Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, June 23, 1998
Commissioners extend Anchor's tax abatement
By MAC McKINNON
Anchor West's tax abatement for further expansion and
addition of lines was extended to cover the years 2001 and
2002 by Reeves County Commissioners, during their regular
Oscar Saenz, general manager of Anchor West, made the
request so Anchor could carry out expansion plans for the
next five years. He also sought to clear up a
misunderstanding, stressing that the extension was not due
to Anchor missing out on tax abatement for 1998 due to an
error in filing the necessary paperwork, but to help the
company in its future plans.
Saenz noted that in 1996, Anchor paid $185,000 in taxes and
in 1997 and 1998 have paid $202,000 in taxes plus for 1998,
they will pay an additional $85,000 due to the proper
paperwork not being filed.
He noted that the plant now has 495 employees. That will
increase to 566 in 1999, 641 by 2000. That figure will
increase to 716 by 2001 and 791 by the year 2002.
He also pointed out that Anchor's job creation has far
exceeded the requirements of the enterprise zone and by the
year 2002, the company will only be in its seventh year of
Anchor, headquartered in Appleton, Wis., provides appetizers
such as onion rings to restaurants across the United States.
It started in Pecos in 1990 with 35 employees in the former
Pecos Cantaloupe Co. building on Interstate 20 and is now
the city's largest single private employer.
Enterprise zone consultant John Wojtkun, outlined
resolutions that would be necessary to provide Anchor with
the requested abatement.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Dr. W. J. Bang questioned the timing
of the abatement extension and asked if it could wait for
several years and also questioned Anchor's pay scale and
fringe benefit policies.
Saenz noted that the starting salary is $6.23 an hour plus
full benefits. It was also noted that the extension is
needed now in order for Anchor senior managers to carry out
planning for the future.
Dr. Bang apparently was still not satisfied as he voted
against the measure while Precinct 4 Commissioner Bernado
Martinez abstained due to a conflict of interest. County
Judge Jimmy Galindo made the motion to approve the extension
which was seconded by Precinct 1 Commissioner Felipe
Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin also voted for the
extension and applauded Anchor for their work and how
important they are to the local economy, particularly in
light of Freeport McMoRan's cutbacks at its Culberson County
Those at the meeting stressed that Anchor is the only local
private employer that has had major growth in jobs in recent
In other business, Commissioners tabled naming of election
judges and workers for the fall election due to the absence
of County Clerk Dianne O. Florez, and also tabled action on
re-instating seniority for the purposes of vacation time for
employees at the Reeves County Detention Center.
This item had been approved in a previous meeting but
wording of a personnel policy was in question. The change
would affect those who worked for Corrections Corp. of
America which ran the prison for a period of time in the
late 1980s and early 1990s.
On another matter, Olga Contreras, interim director of the
Community Council of Reeves County, asked the commissioners
for additional funds going back to July 1997 to finance the
local Meals on Wheels program.
Meals on Wheels fed 123 people last month, but has been
running a deficit and needs $13,911.48 to continue
operations through the month of August. The state will fund
September and a new program will start Oct. 1. Exactly what
that program will be remains to be seen, Contreras noted, as
it will be up for bids.
Galindo was surprised by the request, as were other
commissioners. Figures provided showed that the Meals on
Wheels Program, headed by Hilda Mendoza, spends $2.96 per
meal of which $1.29 is raw food costs. During part of that
time, Reeves County was responsible for 30 percent of the
cost while for most of the months, its share was 25 percent,
or 74 cents.
Galindo said he had never been given these figures although
he has worked up three budgets and has always put in $15,000
for the county's share. He added that he was never told the
amount was not adequate.
Arredondo, who is on the board of the community council and
also assists in the program by delivering meals, noted the
program is in the hole and needs help. While the average
number of meals has been 103, he said that the May total of
123 could go higher.
After reviewing the figures, it was decided to pay the
balance for the budgeted amount -- $10,000 -- going back to
July of 1997 and then amend the budget in future months as
needed to help out the program.
The meals program has already received $5,000 this year from
County Auditor Lynn Owens reported on bids and the
commissioners approved low offer for the prison on various
food and kitchen items.
White Swan got the bid on general groceries, kitchen
supplies, fresh meat, and frozen food while El Paso Foods
will furnish bread and Bell Dairies, a division of Gandy's,
will supply dairy items.
Nobel Sysco is to supply samples of their frozen tortillas
as opposed to the fresh ones from LaNortena before that bid
is decided and coffee and spice will be rebid after the
normal bidders did not bid and one bid was 20 per cent
higher than the current price.
During discussion of budget amendment and line-item
transfers, Owens noted in the cost for court commitments has
exceeded the yearly budget less than halfway through fiscal
1998, as has the cost for autopsies. He and Galindo told
commissioners that nothing could be done about that, but a
Justice of the Peace is checking prices with the El Paso
coroner to see if that would be cheaper than going through
Lubbock, whose coroner just announced a price increase.
Commissioners also noted during discussion on bills that
money has been spent at the Civic Center to make overdue
improvements. Arredondo pointed out that a new floor is in
place and Galindo applauded the Criminal Justice System for
providing help in improving the rodeo arena.
McLaren gets 12-year term
By SUSAN MONTOYA
Associated Press Writer
DALLAS -- A federal judge sentenced Texas separatist Richard
McLaren today to 12 years and seven months in federal prison
and ordered him to make $426,000 in restitution payments.
The punishment is in addition to the 99-year state term
McLaren already is serving.
McLaren's wife, Evelyn McLaren, was sentenced to two years
and three months in federal prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Uhl said he was pleased that
McLaren will spend at least 27 years behind bars. He will
not be eligible for parole from the state system for at
least 15 years. There is no parole in the federal system.
``The day he is paroled from his state sentence, he will
start to serve his federal sentence,'' Uhl said.
McLaren's attorney, Thomas W. Mills Jr., promised to appeal
both his state conviction for his role in a kidnapping last
year that triggered a Republic of Texas standoff with state
troopers and the federal conviction on fraud charges.
At a hearing before U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish, McLaren
spoke for a half hour about what he called his illegal
imprisonment and his belief that Texas is not a state. He
said more followers are joining his Republic of Texas group
and sentencing him is ``not going to stop what's coming on''
for everyone else.
McLaren, 44, his wife and six other people were convicted in
April on federal charges that they participated in a
fraudulent scheme to distribute $1.8 billion in worthless
Republic warrants, which resembled cashier's checks.
Credit-card companies, banks and small businesses lost
$426,800 before the Internal Revenue Service, FBI and Secret
Service began arresting Republic members.
The restitution payments McLaren makes will go to them.
McLaren already was facing a $1.8 million judgment in a
civil lawsuit handed down in U.S. District Court in Pecos in
1995. Houston-based Stewart Title, Inc., won the judgment
after Judge Lucius Bunton ruled McLaren had filed fraudulent
property liens against the company.
Bunton jailed McLaren for a month in May, 1996 on a civil
contempt finding, then issued another warrant in December,
1996, when McLaren again failed to appear for court.
McLaren, leader of the Republic of Texas, was sentenced to
99 years for causing two residents to be held hostage at
gunpoint at the Davis Mountain Resort in West Texas in April
of 1997. The hostage incident prompted an armed standoff
with state troopers.
Republic members contend that Texas was never properly
annexed by the United States and remains an independent
nation with McLaren as its self-style leader. Other
separatists groups make similar claims with different
Oden enjoying business of boxing
By JON FULBRIGHT
NEW YORK -- The world of high finance in New York City can
be a bare-knuckles business.
In the world of boxing -- even in New York -- they let you
Former Pecos resident John Oden has been involved in the
former on and off in New York for a period 25 years, but it
wasn't until a few years ago Oden decided to put on the
gloves and started a second career as "The Pecos Kid" in
"I never pursued it athletically until 1992 when I joined
the New York Athletic Club," he said. "It has a fine
tradition. Their members have won over 120 gold medals in
the Olympic Games."
Oden was already in his 40s when "The Pecos Kid" took to the
ring for his first bout 4½ years ago.
"There's nothing like walking into the ring and squaring off
with danger. You have to have great confidence in your
ability," said Oden, who graduated from Pecos High School at
a `middleweight' 155 pounds back in 1964, before earning
bachelor's and master's degrees in business from the
University of Texas in 1968 and 1970.
"The Pecos Kid" had his most recent boxing experience in a
place definitely far removed from home -- at Gleason's Gym
in Downtown Brooklyn just before Thanksgiving last year.
Oden ended a one-year break from the ring by participating
in a sparring contest, where he earned a three-round
decision over Bill "Cobra" Logan.
"It was a sparring contest, not a formal challenge," said
Oden, who enjoyed the change of pace the trip to Gleason's
"It's probably the most famous boxing gym in the world," he
said. Fighters such as Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Roberto
Duran and Jake LaMotta have trained there, and it's
currently home to six reigning world champions, including
Julio Cesar-Green, Junior Jones and Arturo Gatti. His coach
for last November's bout at the gym was 1984 Olympian Darius
Ford, while 1960 Irish Olympic Boxer Jack "The Dancing
Ghost" Kendrick, has served as his coach for the NYAC team.
Oden is a partner with the firm of Sanford C. Bernstein &
Co., which he joined in 1992, the same year he began his
boxing career. He first worked in New York back in the 1970s
for Banker's Trust, then spent nine years as a senior vice
president of MBank in Dallas, focusing on real estate
He returned to New York in 1987 to work for Drexel Burnham
Lambert, Inc., then spent three years as managing director
of Cushman & Wakefield. He also is a member of the board of
trustees of the Manhattan School of Music, the Metropolitan
None of which seems to match up with an interest in taking
up boxing as a sidelight. But Oden pointed out that other
members of the New York Athletic Club's amateur team are
also businessmen (and one businesswoman).
"There's another money manager on the team. There's one man
who's the best tailor in New York. One person on the team is
an actor, another in a poet and write, so there's an
interesting mix on the team," Oden said. "Some fight more
than others. Some come in from scratch, others come in with
good amateur records."
Oden took the name "The Pecos Kid" from his hometown and
family roots in the area which go back over 100 years. His
grandfather, Bill Arp Oden was a pioneer cowboy and
historian, while his parents, I.G. and Violet Oden were also
Pecos residents and his brother Bill still lives in the area.
Oden had never been involved in boxing before, but said. "I
always thought I could do it, and in 1993 they had an
inter-club challenge as part of their 125th anniversary. I
won the fight (over Scott "Slick" Butler) and became
heavyweight champion of the club."
"The sport feels very awkward when you first do it," said
Oden, who regretted his late start.
"If I had to do it over again, I would have begun boxing
when I was in Pecos Junior High and trained to get into
Golden Gloves boxing," he said. "It's a sport you have to
keep in shape for, not just for motivation, but for the fear
factor. If you're not in shape, you're going to get hurt."
As far as training goes, Oden has both a scenic and compact
area to work out in around midtown Manhattan, with an
apartment across the street from Carnegie Hall on West 57th
Street, and his office in the General Motors Building and
the New York Athletic Club just two blocks to the north --
and two blocks apart -- on Central Park South.
"When I'm training for a fight, I work out seven days a
week," he said adding he does in running before work in the
mornings in Central Park.
"I'll run in the park, and if the weather's really bad the
New York Athletic Club has a track indoors," he said. "But
Central Park is one of the greatest places in the world to
"The first mile I'll run backwards, the second will be a
skip movement, the third mile will be a zig-zag movement,
then I'll do a 100-yard sprint. Then at 6:30 I'll work on
the bags and have sparring workouts at the Club, and on
Saturday I'll go for a long six-mile run.
"I really watch my diet, and that goes on for a couple of
months before a fight," Oden said. "I get particularly
boring to my friends, but when I'm in the ring it's
enormously draining, and all that time I spent training pays
His main opponent since taking up the sport has been John
"The Torturer" Turco, heavyweight champ of the Downtown
Athletic Club, the NYAC's main rival and best known as the
home of the Heisman Trophy.
The two met on April 29, 1995, with Oden sending Turco to
the canvas in Round 3 on the way to his victory. Turco would
avenge that loss on October 18 of that year, handing Oden
his lone loss in seven decisions by split decision.
"The Downtown Athletic Club is a hard place to fight in if
you're not a member. It's a loud gym and hard to fight in,"
said Oden, who added that former World's Heavyweight
Champion "Smokin'" Joe Frazier was at the fight, and told
"The Kid" he scored the bout in his favor while presenting
both boxers with medals.
Oden and Turco would fight again a year later in the
All-City Championship, with that bout ending in a draw. That
was "The Kid's" last official heavyweight bout for the NYAC,
but six months later, on June 5, 1997, he was at the
Downtown Athletic Club to watch "The Torturer" score a
decision over Gerry Cooney, who had battled Larry Holmes
back in 1984 for the World's Championship title before
losing on a 12th round TKO.
Holmes was also in attendance that night, and Oden joined
all three in the ring at the start of the night for the
singing of the National Anthem, and was called back up for
the closing ceremonies.
He later was given, a challenged to fight by Cooney. It
hasn't been accepted, but Oden said the offer still stands.
"Boxing is a sport of great camaraderie. Some of my best
friends are on the (NYAC) team," Oden said, while adding
he's also become friends with his main opponent.
"We've developed a great, great friendship, so much so that
he invited me to his 25th wedding anniversary," Oden said.
Outside of the sparring at Gleason's Gym, Oden said his
boxing career is on hold for now, though he still has that
standing offer from Cooney.
"Gerry's gotten pretty friendly with me. I've seen him on
lots of occasions and he's quietly challenged me, but he's
awfully big. At 250 pounds, he's a lot bigger than me," Oden
Group updated in Austin on options
By GREG HARMAN
A tour of the "Who's Who" of economic development in the
state's capital two weeks ago has given local leaders the
knowledge they need to proceed with an economic development
plan of their for the local community.
The group led by Pecos Economic Development Corporation
Chairman Oscar Saenz and comprised of President and CEO Gari
Ward, board member Frank Spencer, and Pecos City Councilman
Ricky Herrera, met with officials in the state comptroller's
office and the state attorney general's office, along with
those at the Texas Department of Commerce and U.S.
Department of Commerce during their June 11 visit.
The group gathered information about sales tax variations
that could help fund economic development, along with how to
hold a ballot referendum for development-geared tax,
criteria for enterprise zone designation and what state and
federal grants are available to towns such as Pecos for
Ward said the trip prepared him to begin narrowing his list
of potential target industries for the area. He plans to
return to Austin next Tuesday to check his thoughts with
department heads there.
"Identifying target industries, has to be precise. It is
important that this is done right," he said.
Summarizing the recent Austin trip, Ward said, "It really
educated our people as to what the scheme of things is
about. In order to make this fly, we have got to go basic."
Ward said he could not speculate about a possible sale tax
for economic development. "We're not interested in a tax
yet," he said, "We are much more interested in possible
grant monies and we discovered the potential for them."
Fast pitch clinic scheduled
A fast-pitch clinch for girls softball will be held from 7
to 10 p.m. Wednesday at the Maxey Park girls softball field.
The clinic will cost $20 per player. to register, call
Connie Herrera at 445-2611 or stop by Hair by Connie at 319
S. Oak St.
Irene Orona Garzon, 60, of Pecos, died Thursday, June 18,
1998 in California.
A rosary will be held at 7 p.m., today at Pecos Funeral Home
Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 24, at Santa
Rosa Catholic Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.
She was born April 5, 1938, was a homemaker, a lifelong
Pecos resident and a Catholic.
Survivors include one daughter, Isabel Garzon of
Bakersfield, Calif.; two sons, Ernesto Orona and Luis
Garzon, Jr. of Bakersfield, Calif.; seven brothers, Manuel
Orona of Stockton, Calif., Santiago, Leandro, Fernando Sr.,
Jesse and Casmiro Orona of Pecos, Ramon Orona of Midland;
four sisters, Maria Licon of Pecos, Maria Alvarado of Fort
Davis, Maria Lobato of Littlefield, Ramona Cortez of
Lamount, Calif.; 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High Monday 108. Low this morning 76. Forecast for tonight:
Isolated evening thunderstorms, then becoming clear. Low
around 75. South to southeast wind 10-20 mph. Rain chance is
less than 20 percent. Wednesday, mostly sunny. High around
101. South to southeast 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