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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, August 13, 1998

Area's cotton outlook better than rest of state

From Staff and Wire Reports
Cotton growers in the Trans-Pecos are expecting to harvest a
relatively normal crop this fall, but the state's ongoing
drought is expected to cut production in other parts of the
state severely this year.

While drought has affected crops in areas such as the South
Plains and Concho Valley, other cotton growing regions of
the world have experienced the opposite problem, to the
point that cotton goods may become more expensive next year.

In China, the main cotton growing region has been stricken
by severe floods. In California, the No. 2 cotton-producer
in the United States, rain-soaked soil has been contaminated
with fungus.

The poor U.S. growing conditions led the U.S. Agriculture
Department to warn Wednesday that the domestic cotton crop
would shrink 24 percent from last year.

In all, the cotton harvest is estimated at 14.3 million
bales, compared to 18.8 million bales a year ago. That's
enough to keep stores stocked with blue jeans, T-shirts and
bed linens, but perhaps not at current prices, experts said

``Short supply leads to higher prices,'' said Larry Martin,
president of the American Apparel Manufacturers Association.

Commodity traders have already made that bet. Contracts for
December delivery of cotton rose 2.3 percent Wednesday on
the New York Cotton Exchange.

Cotton won't be as scarce in fields around the Trans-Pecos
as it is in other parts of Texas, according to Bob Bickley,
president of the Trans-Pecos Cotton Grower's Association.

"I would say our cotton crop is about average. It's not a
bumper crop, but it's not bad," he said.

"We're fully irrigated, so it's not a question of if we're
getting any rain," said Bickley, though he did add that this
summer's hotter-than-normal temperatures could have an
effect on yield this fall.

"I feel like any time it gets as hot as it is, it's hard to
keep the cotton wet," he said. "We'll know about how it
affected it when we start taking the cotton to gin."

Because contracts between cotton growers, mills and
manufacturers are set well in advance, retailers probably
wouldn't raise prices until the middle of next year, said
Dean Ethridge, director of the International Textile Center
at Texas Tech University.

Kevin Brinkley, an economist with the National Cotton
Council of America, said the price of cotton represents only
about 5 percent of an item's retail price. For a $40 golf
shirt, that's just $2. If competition is stiff, retailers
may not even raise prices that much, or might opt to swallow
the cost entirely.

But from ponytail holders to socks, work clothes to casual
duds, little increases could add up. Between 1984 and 1994,
production of 100-percent cotton goods more than tripled as
synthetic fibers fell by the wayside, according to the
National Cotton Council.

The trend has continued in the past couple of years. Thanks
to relaxed corporate dress codes, women wear T-shirts under
their blazers and men don knit golf-style shirts for casual
Fridays. At home, the influence of Martha Stewart has turned
consumers away from blends and toward all-cotton towels, bed
linens, even covers for armchairs and sofas.

``It's clearly the fiber of choice,'' Martin said.

To keep up with demand, U.S. textile manufacturers would
ordinarily turn to the world's biggest cotton producer,
China. But dueling influences there are muddying the outlook
for cotton trade.

China has vast stocks of cotton, and analysts have long
worried that the government would unload its supply all at
once, swelling supplies and depressing world prices.

That outlook changed this month with floods that have
devastated the Yangtze River region, where about one-fourth
of China's cotton is produced. Tight government controls on
information have left trade experts unsure of how much
cotton has been damaged, and how much might be exported.

Brinkley said if U.S. supplies remain low, manufacturers
will look for cotton from smaller producers, like India,
Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Australia and Brazil. The quality of
the crops is roughly equal, but packaging and delivery is
often slow.

Schools host Podesta speech Monday

Connie Podesta will be the keynote speaker for all
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD personnel beginning at 8:30 a.m.,
Monday at the Pecos High School Auditorium.

The public is also invited to hear Podesta, an international
speaker, successful leader and a dynamic personality. Her
high energy, sense of humor, flair for drama and emphasis on
content and technique have inspired audiences throughout the
world to take a look at themselves, explore relationships,
take risks, cope with change and work together to improve
both their personal and professional lives.

She is an author, educator, humorist, counselor, radio
personality, national speaker, television talk show host,
business owner, playwright, songwriter and actress. She
radiates a supercharged, high energy presence that
immediately involves people and has them instantly
responding to her exciting challenge to reach for the best
in themselves.

Her credentials include a Bachelor's Degree in Speech and
Communications and a Master's Degree in Human Relations and
Counseling. She is a licensed professional counselor and has
worked with individuals and couples. She is presently
president of CommuniCare, a Dallas based consulting firm
that provides keynotes, inservice training and seminars to
all industries, health care, business/corporate industry and

Ector County rejects state task force

Staff Writer
As a newly-elected official, Ector County Sheriff Reggie
Yearwood said he had not been aware what the law stated
regarding the sheriff's authority over the drug task force
until it became an issue.

For Ector County Commissioners it represented a big enough
issue to kill the revised program.

In an emergency meeting yesterday morning the commissioners
voted 3-2 not to host a revamped Permian Basin Drug Task
Force in Ector County. The primary complaint revolved around
who would have authority to hire and fire task force

A fax received from the office of Governor George W. Bush on
Tuesday informed the commissioners that they would not have
such authority. Commissioners Bob Bryant, Mike Patton and
Ector County Judge Jim Jordan rebelled at the notion of not
having ultimate control over the force and voted the measure

Bryant said he was concerned that the participating counties
would withdraw if Yearwood were in charge of the force.

"For one reason or another they don't want to give me that
authority and that's fine," said Yearwood following the
vote. But considering the chances of the force being picked
up by another county, Yearwood said, "Everybody's
(complaining) and everybody's raising hell, but nobody wants
the task force."

Sheriff Yearwood, who took office in January, 1997, asked
the commissioners to reconsider their decision, and
Commissioner Tom Todd, who voted in favor of hosting the
task force, promised to reintroduce the resolution after the
first of the year.

Should no county agree to host the task force, it would be
turned over to the leadership of the Department of Public

Governor's spokesperson Linda Edwards said that her office
is optimistic about the future of the task force despite the
commissioners decision.

"There are a number of law enforcement agencies interested
in being a part of this. We are disappointed that Ector
County won't be applying for the grant funds, but we are
moving ahead with out plan with the DPS."

Edwards said the governor's office wanted to see the force
up and operational by September 1, but wasn't sure that
would happen. Counties are still welcome to apply to host
the force, she said.

"We are optimistic. It may not be as big at first; It may
take a while to grow, until more counties decide it is
something they want to be a part of. But we are optimistic."

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter said that his argument
with the state's offer was with the leadership of the force.
"According to the governor's written policy, the grantee
agency is the one to make the decision (of who to hire)," he
saidl. The grantee agency, he said, was the county.

Painter didn't see the Ector County commissioners changing
their mind on the issue and said Midland County wouldn't be
taking it on either.

"They got a bellyful of Austin," said Painter. "They've
dealt with those people who speak out of both sides of their
mouth." He said that he wanted to see a broader leadership
for the task force, not just the Ector County Sheriff and
district attorney.

Of the possibility of Midland County hosting the task force,
Painter said, "There is no way we could get a vote on this
thing here."

Edwards said she had not seen the written policy to which
Painter referred.

The loss of the task force has hindered undercover drug
operations in less affluent counties such as Reeves County,
but operations in Ector and Midland, according to Yearwood,
are still operating smoothly.

"The druggies think they're clean but we snatch them up as
fast as we can get them. Our city PD is doing a good job,
the Midland PD is doing a good job."

Yearwood attributed his difficulty with the commissioners to
his leadership style. "They found out that they can't run me
like the last sheriff and that grates them a little," he

Bryant was unavailable for comment.

Judge talks defendant into shorter sentence

Staff Writer
U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson saved one young defendant
50 months in prison this morning by patiently eliciting an
admission that he organized a drug-smuggling operation.

Ricardo T. Sandoval, 27, of Kansas City, Kan., characterized
as organizer of the "Kansas City Ring" by investigating
officers, was charged with importing and possessing 61
pounds of marijuana from Mexico. He pleaded guilty to
importing marijuana, and the second charge was dismissed at

The indictment alleged that the five defendants were part of
a ring that smuggled more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana
from Mexico over a period of "quite some time."

Even with the promise of a sentence cut almost in half for
acceptance of responsibility, Sandoval hesitated to admit
being the ring leader. Finally, he agreed that he did make
the telephone call to Cari Ellyn Willis, 25, that instigated
the trip that resulted in the Oct. 2, 1997 arrest of five

Judge Furgeson said that all four of Sandoval's
co-defendants pleaded guilty and named him as organizer of
the trip. Besides Willis, they are Amiee Jo Anderson, 26,
James R. Kriley, 31, and Raechel Jean Eaglen, 18, all of
Kansas City, Kan.

He sentenced Sandoval to 88 months in prison, with five
years probation after his release.

Two Massachusetts residents failed to appear for sentencing.
Attorney Frank Brown had gained a continuance for his
client, Alvin Polanco, 25. Mike Barclay said he did not ask
for a continuance after he learned the court had issued a
warrant for his client, Robert Nunez, 27, of Lawrence, Mass.

Judge Furgeson set sentencing for September.

The duo lost $10,000 to the Permian Basin Drug Task Force on
September 16, 1997, and were charged in federal court three
days later with importing and possessing with intent to
distribute 72.10 pounds of marijuana.

PBDTF deputy commander Jack Brewer said the duo was
traveling in a rental car when they were stopped.

Charged along with Nunez and Polanco are Herbert T. Nauman,
68, of Townsend, Ma., Doloras Nauman, 67, of Townsend, Ma.,
and Mauricio Hernandez-Villalobos, 26, of Andrews. They were
sentenced earlier.

Judge Furgeson had nine sentencings on the docket this
morning, along with a motion to revoke probation, another
for a new trial, and jury selection in five criminal cases.

Power disconnects in heat wave banned

Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN -- Texans cannot legally have their electricity shut
off for nonpayment of bills before the end of September, the
state Public Utility Commission decided Wednesday.

After September, customers cannot be cut off if they have
arranged payment plans with their electric company, the
commission said.

Electric companies must offer payment plans of at least six
months, but customers can opt for shorter pay-back
arrangements. The plans cannot include penalties, interest
or deposits.

Under state law, Texans' electricity cannot be shut off
while the National Weather Service has an excessive heat
advisory in affect.

But PUC officials and consumer advocates said they are
concerned that people aren't aware of the law and aren't
turning on their air conditioning because of fear of high
bills. Consumer advocates also said they feared companies
would impose short pay-back periods once the heat wave is

With the emergency rule adopted Wednesday, PUC Chairman Pat
Wood and Commissioner Judy Walsh said they wanted to send a
clear signal to Texans that they should use their air
conditioning to protect their health.

``The message about that is not getting out,'' Wood said.
``What is an emergency is developing into needless tragedy
because people aren't getting the message.''

The heat wave, which has pushed electricity use over
expected levels for the summer, has killed 127 people in

``We want to stop disconnections because it endangers
people's lives,'' said Carol Biedrzycki, head of Texas
Ratepayer's Organization to Save Energy, a consumer group
that proposed the emergency rule.

``We want people to be aware that they won't be disconnected
so we don't have panic in the local neighborhoods and we
want to make sure that everybody has a fair chance to get a
little extra time to pay off their high bills.''

Ms. Biedrzycki and PUC officials said disconnection and
late-payment notices mailed to customers and delivered by
hand to their doors has caused some Texans to panic, seeking
assistance from relief organizations whose resources already
are stretched.

Leticia Cantu Lowe, spokeswoman for Houston Lighting and
Power, said her company hadn't cut off any services since
Aug. 1. But she said late payment notices are being
distributed to remind customers that they need to arrange
payment plans.

``That is the whole basis of the (late payment notices),''
she said.

While officials encouraged Texans to use air conditioning,
they also warned that the units should be used wisely.

Parvis Adib, a PUC electric industry analyst, said if peak
electricity demand levels for July continued through August,
the state could reach a low of 5 percent reserve capacity.
That means utility companies could produce only 5 percent
more power statewide.

The reserve capacity normally is around 15 percent. Adib
said the state has never reached such low reserves, but he
believes there will be enough power to get through the

Central Power & Light of Corpus Christi said Wednesday that
up to 45,000 customers in the Lower Rio Grande Valley lost
power when a transmission line failed about 1:30 p.m.

CP&L spokeswoman Maricela Rodriguez said the line was being
brought back to full capacity while investigators tried to
determine what caused the outage.

Auto slump blamed for poorer economy

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A slump in auto sales reflecting the
General Motors strike in July produced the worst decline in
retail sales in 15 months. Outside of autos, sales were
about average.

Sales fell 0.4 percent from the month before, to a
seasonally adjusted $224.7 billion, after rising just 0.1
percent in June, the Commerce Department said today. The
drop wasn't as steep as economists expected.

Auto sales dropped 3 percent, to $59 billion, also the worst
decrease since April 1997. Sales of all other retail goods,
however, rose 0.5 percent -- in line with the average so far
this year. They had edged 0.1 percent lower in June.

The nearly 2-month-long GM strikes ended late in July, not
in time to prevent a 9 percent sales slump for the company,
compared with the previous July. For the first time in 28
years, Ford sold more cars than GM during the month.

On Wall Street, stocks were modestly higher at midmorning,
with the Dow Jones industrial average up 6.95 at 8559.91.

The Labor Department said today the number of Americans
filing first-time applications for unemployment benefits
slipped by 7,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 301,000.

That was down from 394,000 for two consecutive weeks in late
June and early July, when tens of thousands of strikers
filed claims. The decline illustrates the economy's
resilience in the face of reduced export sales and crimped
corporate profits, reflecting the Asian economic slump.

Consumers have continued spending briskly because jobs
remain plentiful and income is rising and because, even with
recent drops, stock portfolios reflect large accumulated

In July, except for autos, sales of big-ticket durable goods
thrived. Furniture stores reported a 1.2 percent increase
and building-supply and hardware stores, 1.1 percent.

Sales rose 0.7 percent at clothing and accessory shops, 0.6
percent at drug stores, 0.4 percent at gas stations, 0.3
percent at food stores and 0.2 percent at department stores.
They fell 0.4 percent at restaurants and bars.


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.
Amy Barbosa, 21, was arrested at 12:10 p.m., on August 7, at
517 Alamo Street, on a warrant. She was transported to
Reeves County Jail.
Francisco Perez, 47, was arrested at 4:30 p.m., on July 10,
at 120 South Mulberry Street, on a capias warrant for
delivery of a controlled substance--a motion to revoke
Alvaro Armendariz, 44, was arrested at 4:45 p.m., on August
12, in the 200 block of South Ash Street, for driving with a
suspended license. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Marta Vela, 36, was arrested at 6:31 p.m., on August 12, at
1903 South Cedar Street (Wal-Mart), for theft under $50--a
state jail felony. She was transported to Reeves County Jail.


Eric Bainter

Memorial services for Eric Bainter, 18, will be at 6 p.m.
Friday in the Christian Fellowship Church, 308 S. Helen, in

Bainter died Saturday, Aug. 8, 1998 in Odessa of a brain
aneurysm. Services were held Wednesday in Enid, Okla., with
burial in Del Norte Cemetery, Drummond, Okla.

A former Pecos resident, Bainter attended Monahans High
School and worked at Pizza Hut. He would have been a senior
this year. He was born Jan. 29, 1980, in Oklahoma City.

Survivors include his father and step-mother, Lynn and Pat
Bainter of San Antonio; his mother and step-father, Sherry
and Jimmy Horsley of Brownwood; two sisters, Jessica and
Tammie Bainter of San Antonio; a step-brother, Matt Mehojan,
and a step-sister, Dena Mehojah, both of Wichita, Kan., and
his step-grandparents, Neil and Sally Horsley of Clarksville.

Eric was an organ donor.


High Wednesday in Pecos was 101. Low this morning 72.
Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent
chance of thunderstorms. low in the mid to upper 60s. Light
northeast wind. Friday, partly cloudy with a 20 percent
chance of thunderstorms. high in the lower 90s. Northeast to
east wind 5-10 mph.

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Pecos Enterprise
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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