Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, June 22, 1998
McLaren facing stacked sentence
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
It's all over but the shoutin' for the self-styled
ambassador for the Republic of Texas.
Richard McLaren, 44, faces a federal prison sentence for
fraud, in addition to a 99-year state prison sentence for
If U.S. District Judge Joe Fish stacks the sentences on
Tuesday, McLaren would have to serve 27 years before he is
eligible for early release.
Evelyn McLaren, 51, of Fort Worth, and Jasper Edward Baccus,
69, of Dallas, also are to be sentenced in the same case.
They were convicted of attempting to pass $1.8 billion in
worthless warrants drawn on the Republic of Texas. Credit
card companies, banks and small businesses lost $426,800 in
transactions prior to a federal investigation that shut down
McLaren owes Houston-based Stewart Title $1.8 million in a
federal court judgment handed down two years ago by Senior
Judge Lucius Bunton in the Pecos court. The civil judgment
was returned against McLaren for filing false title liens
against the company.
Bunton had jailed McLaren for a month in May, 1996 on the
civil contempt finding, then issued another warrant in
December of that year when McLaren again failed to appear
He remained on his property in the Davis Mountain Resort
though April 27, 1997, when a kidnapping resulted in a
week-long siege and finally the surrender of McLaren and
four of his followers.
It was that kidnapping of Joe and M.A. Rowe that led to the
99-year sentence in a district court trial last fall.
Lightning-caused fires near Ft. Davis
By GREG HARMAN
Fires, sparked by a recent lightning storm in the Davis
Mountain Resort area southwest of Fort Davis, have been
contained as of this morning.
The fire burned in the area near last year's Republic of
Texas Standoff, where group leader Richard McLaren and his
followers held state and local law enforcement officials at
bay for 6½ days.
Officials expect the fire that has burned about 200 acres to
be completely controlled later today, and federal
firefighting funds have been released to the state of Texas
through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to
help battle the Paradise fire in Jeff Davis County.
Local fire agencies will benefit from the federal funds, as
will the Texas Forest Service, Texas Department of
Transportation and the Army National Guard who have worked
together to combat the fire.
Approved Thursday, June 18, the funds will cover 70 percent
of all costs above $251,913 for combating the blaze that
threatens more than 250 homes in the community of Fort Davis.
"We work very closely with the local jurisdictions
identifying the eligible cost. We understand that a lot of
fire departments, especially rural fire departments operate
on a shoe string budget," said Texas Emergency Management
spokeswoman Jo Moss.
Local agencies can be easily strained by the high demand on
their resources, especially with large, resource-intensive
fires like the Paradise fire in Jeff Davis County, said Moss.
"It's going to be a long, hot summer," Moss said. West Texas
has been one of the hardest-hit areas by the current
drought, with some sections receiving less than an inch of
rain through the first 5½ months of 1998.
FEMA fire suppression funds have been provided for fires in
Texas Hill Country's Camp Wood Hills and Presidio County's
Cibolo Creek. The federal funds provide for field camps;
equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and
supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.
Officials expect the monies to be divvied up among the
agencies in about six months, after each agencies'
involvement has been analyzed.
Balmorhea pool as way to escape heat
From Staff and Wire Reports
With temperatures across Texas continuing in
double-digits, and with those around Pecos hovering around
110 degrees, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has a
suggestion -- Go to Balmorhea. Or to any of the spring-fed
lakes and pools across the state.
TP&W officials in Austin said Balmorhea State Park is
reporting increased visitation to the state's largest pool -
one and a half acres of water fed by 20 million gallons per
day gushing from the San Solomon Springs.
Swimmers and scuba divers have been heading to the 77-degree
waters because visibility has been enhanced by the lack of
rainfall, according to Parks and Wildlife officials.
That's 32 degrees cooler than Sunday's high temperature of
109 degrees in Pecos. The thermometer hit 110 on Friday, and
reached a high of 107 on Saturday, as the second extended
heat wave continued in the area with summer just arriving
The Devils River State Natural Area north of Del Rio also is
reporting reliable spring flow. The Devils River maintains
an average temperature of 74 degrees and is a popular
destination for canoeists.
Throughout North Texas, which has benefited from sporadic
thunderstorms during the past month, Possum Kingdom, Lake
Mineral Wells, Lake Arrowhead and Meridian state parks all
report plenty of water.
In the east and northeast parts of the state, where parks
often benefit from shade-cooled pine trees and hardwood
forests, lake, creek and river levels have remained fairly
constant thus far.
Those bodies of water include Cooper Lake, Lake Ray Roberts,
Lake Bob Sandlin, Purtis Creek, Village Creek and Caddo
Recent four- to five-inch rains have helped boost water
levels at traditionally low O.C. Fisher Reservoir at San
Angelo State Park.
``There is absolutely no shortage of water and cool places
for folks to utilize in the Texas Hill Country,'' said
regional parks director Roger Rosenbaum.
Rosenbaum said the most refreshing swim in the state may be
at Longhorn Cavern, south of Burnet, which maintains a
64-degree temperature and is an underground escape from the
glaring sunbaked land above.
Services planned for crash victim
Funeral services for a Pecos man who was killed following a
Thursday night accident have been set for Tuesday.
Andrew Bond Bradford, 89, was driving a 1989 Beige Mercury
Grand Marquis when it collided with a 1984 maroon Buick
Riviera, driven by Joel Macario Ramirez, Sr., 57.
According to Pecos Police, Ramirez was travelling southbound
in the 3000 block of Cedar and Bradford was northbound when
Ramirez, who was in the left turn lane, attempted to turn
onto East Lincoln Street and collided with the Bradford
The collision spun Bradford's car around leaving it facing
Bradford was pronounced dead at 10:30 p.m. at Reeves County
Hospital, where he was transported following the accident.
Services will be held Tuesday morning at First Christian
Joel Macario Ramirez was transported to Reeves County
Hospital where he was treated and released.
Three passengers with Ramirez when the accident occurred
were identified as Emma Ramirez, 52; Marisa Mariscal, age 10
and Megan Mariscal, six years old. Information on the
passengers that were with Ramirez was unavailable as
requested by the family.
Schools get break on sex case liability
By RICHARD CARELLI
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON -- The nation's school districts cannot be held
responsible when teachers sexually harass or abuse students
if administrators did not know about the misconduct, a
deeply divided Supreme Court ruled today in interpreting a
key anti-bias law.
The sweeping ruling, based on a 1972 law best known for
bolstering women's sports, makes it far more difficult for
harassed students to hold a wayward teacher's supervisors
accountable and therefore collect more money in damages.
By a 5-4 vote, the court killed a sexual-harassment lawsuit
against a Texas public school district over a teacher's
sexual relationship with a ninth-grade student.
``Damages may not be recovered ... unless an official of the
school district who at a minimum has authority to institute
corrective measures on the district's behalf has actual
notice of, and is deliberately indifferent to, the teacher's
misconduct,'' Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote for the
She said the ruling does not affect any right a harassed
student has to recover monetary damages from the guilty
teacher, or against a school district under some state law.
But state-law lawsuits in such cases have proved virtually
futile to date.
The court also held out the possibility that a much-invoked
federal civil rights law might be used to hold school
districts accountable for such teacher misconduct.
``The number of reported cases involving sexual harassment
of students in schools confirms that harassment
unfortunately is an all too common aspect of the educational
experience,'' O'Connor wrote. ``No one questions that a
student suffers extraordinary harm when subjected to sexual
harassment and abuse by a teacher, and that the teacher's
conduct is reprehensible and undermines the basic purposes
of the educational system.''
But she said such misconduct cannot be attributable to a
school district that did not know about it.
``Until Congress speaks directly on the subject ... we will
not hold a school district liable in damages under Title IX
for a teacher's sexual harassment of a student absent actual
notice and deliberate indifference,'' she said.
Because the decision focused exclusively on a school setting
involving teachers and students, it does not apply to
on-the-job sexual harassment.
But the justices are expected to have more to say on sexual
harassment in employment in a pair of decisions to be
announced before the court ends its 1997-98 term this week
Frank Waldrop was 52 and a social studies teacher at a Lago
Vista, Texas, high school when in 1993 police found him
naked in the woods with a 15-year-old student, Alida Star
According to a lawsuit Miss Gebser and her mother later
filed against the Lago Vista school district, the sexual
relationship had lasted for about six months. Miss Gebser,
now a college student, apparently told no one about the
Waldrop was quickly fired and later stripped of his teaching
certificate. He eventually pleaded no contest to a charge of
attempted sexual assault.
A federal judge threw out Miss Gebser's lawsuit against the
school district, however, after noting a lack of evidence
that any administrative official knew about the sexual
Parents or guardians of at least two other girls had
complained that year about what they called inappropriate
comments Waldrop made to their daughters. He met with the
parents and said he had meant no offense. The school
principal admonished Waldrop and considered the matter
resolved, according to court documents.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld dismissal of
the lawsuit, rejecting arguments that school districts
should be held responsible whenever a teacher sexually
harasses a student.
Today, the Supreme Court agreed.
Joining O'Connor's majority opinion were Chief Justice
William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M.
Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.
Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader
Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer dissented.
Writing for the four, Stevens said the decision ``thwarts
the purposes of Title IX.''
The Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that sexually harassed
students may collect monetary damages from their schools and
school officials under a federal law known as Title IX of
the Education Amendments of 1972. But that decision did not
state what standard should be used for imposing liability on
a school district for the intentional acts of one of its
Title IX bars sex bias by ``any educational program or
activity receiving federal financial assistance'' -- making
it applicable to the vast majority of public and private
Lawyers for the Lago Vista school district told the justices
it would be unfair to make employers legally responsible
when they don't know. But the court also had been warned
that letting unaware employers off the hook would reward
Lawyers for Miss Gebser argued that a school district should
be held financially liable if it knew or should have known
about sexual harassment, or if it had inadequate procedures
to prevent, discover and eradicate sexual harassment.
Stevens' dissenting opinion accused the court of putting
``protection of the school district's purse above the
protection of immature high school students.''
The case is Gebser vs. Lago Vista Independent School
Bonilla seeks funding for drug smuggling
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Members of a House Republican task force
pledged Saturday to seek $2 billion more to combat drug
The United States now spends about $17 billion annually on
programs ranging from drug treatment to law enforcement.
The seven-member delegation led by U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla
(R-San Antonio) spent two days inspecting federal drug
``Law enforcement at every level are doing a tremendous
job,'' Bonilla said at the Eagle Pass International Bridge.
``But they're doing so much with very little resources.''
The lawmakers were greeted at the bridge by four young
college students, one of whom held a sign: ``The border is
our home, not your battleground.''
The reference was to an amendment to the defense bill that
would give the president discretion in placing up to 10,000
troops on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Bonilla was the delegation's only member to vote against the
amendment, sponsored by Rep. James Traficant Jr., D-Ohio.
The measure was passed 288-132 last month.
The continued support for the Traficant measure raised
eyebrows among those who fear a big military presence could
harm the economic interdependence of U.S.-Mexico border
AREA NEWS ROUNDUP
The Big Bend Sentinel
Marfa, June 18, 1998 -- The Pecos federal grand jury has
returned 67 indictments targeting two narcotics smuggling
organizations in Far West Texas and the northern state of
Chihuahua, Mexico. Among those indicted are a prominent
Odessa attorney, his lead investigator from Presidio, a
former Presidio County deputy sheriff who was assassinated
recently and alleged narcotics trafficker from El Mulato,
and Cuidad Ojinaga, Chih., Mexico, just across the Rio
Grande from the south county communities of Redford and
Presidio, respectively. Named in the indictments are
attorney Jose Antonio "Tony" Chavez of Odessa, his lead
investigator Moises "Boy" Hernandez Jr. of Presidio and
former Presidio County sheriff's deputy Rigoberto "Rigo"
Carillo Loera of Presidio. Loera was found shot to death at
Polvo crossing near Redford last month.
Presidio, Tx. June 18, 1998 - A Presidio man has been
charged with a violation of a customs service law and an
Alpine man has been charged in connection with a drug bust
at the port of entry. Jose Jaime Cruz, 42, is charged with
theft of merchandise from a bonded warehouse, according to
the U.S. Magistrate Court office in Alpine. He is free on a
$10,000 bond. Aaron Briswalter, 20, of Alpine is charged
with illegally importing from Mexico 90 tablets of the
tranquilizer Valium, court records show.
The McCamey News
McCamey, Upton County, June 18, 1998 -- The 52nd annual
Texas 4-H Roundup was held on the campus of Texas A&M June
1-5. More than 1,500 volunteers and over 2,000 4-H members
took part in public speaking and judging contests,
leadership development programs, educational rallies and
community service efforts. The Texas 4-H program currently
has more than 624,000 members.
Iraan, Pecos County, June 18, 1998 -- Stop, Drop and Roll --
That is what many area youth will be practicing after a Fire
Prevention Workshop was held Thursday, June 11, in
Sheffield. The Sheffield Volunteer Fire and EMS Department
sponsored the educational workshop with 26 youth, parents
and grandparents attending from Sheffield, Iraan and Odessa.
The Monahans News
MONAHANS, June 18, 1998 - Barring drenching rains that will
break the continuing drought, there will be no rocket's red
glare to celebrate Independence Day in Ward County this
year. The aerial fireworks contemplated for the July 4
Weekend Freedom Fest at Hill Park in Monahans is off. At
least one fireworks dealer will not sell aerial fireworks.
But ground based fireworks can be fired at the Ward County
Coliseum parking lot South of Monahans at the Barstow
baseball field on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the July 4
weekend, according to county officials.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is
obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department,
Reeves County Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those
The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines
of either traffic citations, animal control violations or
other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed
as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such
instances we will indicate payment and release.
Mario Lujan Valenzuela, 45, was arrested at 11:40 p.m., on
June 20, on South of Oak Street, for public intoxication. He
was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Marisol Galvan, 23, was arrested at 1:18 a.m., on June 21,
in the 500 block of South Peach Street, for public
intoxication. She was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Donaciano Torres, 48, and Ruben Zaragosa, 45, were arrested
at 2:06 a.m., on June 21, at the corner of Eighth and Locust
streets. Torres was arrested on a D.W.I. refusal and
Zaragosa was arrested for public intoxication.
Tommy Millan Jr., 23, was arrested at 5:50 a.m., on June 21,
in the 100 block of East Fourth Street, for public
intoxication. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Adan Rivera, 21, was arrested at 6 a.m., on June 21, in the
100 block of East Fourth Street, for public intoxication. He
was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Jesus Gomez, 29, was arrested at midnight, on June 22, at
131 S. Pecan St., on a warrant for motion to revoke
probation on drug delivery. He was transported to Reeves
Daniel Marquez, 37, was arrested at midnight, on June 22, at
the corner of Seventh and Pecan streets, for public
intoxication. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Delma Rodriguez, 25, was arrested at midnight, on June 22,
at 1306 Fifth St., on a warrant for an indictment for
assault on a public servant. She was transported to Reeves
Funeral arraignments are incomplete for Howard Collier, who
died this morning at his home on West Fourth Street.
Services are being handled by Pecos Funeral Home.
Bond Bradford, 89, died Thursday, June 18, 1998 at Reeves
Services are scheduled for 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 23, at
First Christian Church with Reverend Clark Ford of Midland
officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.
He was born May 29, 1909, in Sweetwater, was a CPA, a
lifelong Pecos resident and a member of the First Christian
Church in Pecos.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Kathryn Bradford in
Survivors include three daughters Joanne Doak of
Albuquerque, N.M., Kathren C. Bradford of Bedford, Linda J.
Bowden of Wichita Falls; seven grandchildren and six
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High Sunday 109. Low this morning 77. Forecast for tonight:
A less than 20 percent chance of evening thunderstorms,
otherwise fair. Low around 75. Southeast wind 10-20 mph.
Tuesday, mostly sunny. High around 100. Southeast to south
wind 10-20 mph.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise