Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, August 17, 1998
Clinton begins questioning on Lewinsky
By PETE YOST
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON -- With the future course of his presidency at
stake, President Clinton underwent questioning before a
grand jury today about his relationship with Monica
Lewinsky. The nation awaited a signal from him.
The president was being prepared by his lawyers to
acknowledge an ``inappropriate relationship'' with the
former White House intern and answer the inevitable
questions about whether it was sexual and whether he sought
to conceal it, advisers said.
The president began his testimony at 11:59 a.m. CDT, said
deputy press secretary Joe Lockhart.
``The president is confident as he goes into today's
session,'' White House press secretary Mike McCurry said
earlier this morning. ``I wouldn't say he's exactly looking
forward to it.'' He added that Clinton was certain about the
testimony he would give, and that it would be the truth.
The White House staff, cut off from the secretive legal
preparations, was preparing for the possibility of a
presidential address to the nation after his testimony. One
option was to stage it from the White House living quarters
rather than from the Oval Office -- separating Clinton's
personal conduct from his official duties.
Another option, officials said, was for the president to
issue a written statement. The next photographs of Clinton
would be those of him leaving on vacation Tuesday with his
Clinton likely would not make a final decision until after
he completes his testimony before prosecutors in the White
House Map Room, an official said this morning.
Outside the courthouse where grand jurors would hear the
testimony, Starr spokesman Charles Bakaly signaled
prosecutors are nearing an end to their investigation. ``We
are trying to complete the investigation as quickly as
possible,'' he said.
After denying for seven months that he had had a sexual
relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, any such admission was
certain to prove painful, not only to Clinton's family but
to the legions of supporters who vigorously defended him
At the White House senior staff meeting this morning, Chief
of Staff Erskine Bowles acknowledged the magnitude of the
day and stressed ``the importance of sticking together,''
two participants said. No specifics of Clinton's testimony
were discussed, the participants said.
McCurry said Bowles told the staff something his father had
told him as a boy:
``It's easy to be there for someone when they're up. But
it's the good ones who are there for you when you're down.''
The stakes could not be higher -- possible impeachment
proceedings on Capitol Hill. As Clinton spent the last hours
in preparation, chief lawyer said the president would
confront the evidence gathered by prosecutors head-on.
``The truth is the truth. Period. And that's how the
president will testify,'' attorney David Kendall said
First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, a stalwart defender of
her husband since the Lewinsky allegations first surfaced,
was with the president during his final preparations.
Two advisers familiar with Clinton's preparation said the
president was poised to acknowledge an ``inappropriate
relationship'' and ``improper encounters'' with Ms.
Lewinsky. But his inner circle debated how revealing his
answers to any questions about sexual behavior should be,
both in public and before the grand jury.
``The question is how deeply he goes into that,'' said one
source involved in Clinton's preparation. The source, like
others, spoke on condition of anonymity.
A second source, who spoke to those preparing Clinton late
Sunday, said some advisers were pressing the president to
answer questions about sexual conduct when asked by
Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr. Any refusal to answer
certain questions could spark another legal clash between
Starr and Clinton.
What was certain was that Clinton's secret testimony from
the White House would be carried live via closed-circuit
television to the grand jurors at the U.S. Courthouse who
have investigated the Lewinsky case.
Workers from Starr's office arrived at the courthouse early
in the morning bearing equipment labeled ``secure video.''
Although Clinton was testifying from afar, more than a dozen
TV satellite trucks surrounded the courthouse. Camera crews
crowded the White House lawn and briefing room as well.
Confronting a task he repeatedly resisted, Clinton was to
take questions from prosecutors who pieced together evidence
of his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky and a possible
cover-up through legal battles and subpoenas.
The evidence includes testimony from more than 70 grand jury
witnesses -- including Clinton's personal secretary and his
closest advisers, the Linda Tripp tapes and Ms. Lewinsky's
own testimony that she had sexual encounters with the
president inside the White House and had discussed ways to
conceal their relationship.
At issue are whether Clinton lied under oath in Paula Jones'
sexual harassment lawsuit when he denied having sexual
relations with Ms. Lewinsky, and whether he conspired with
others to obstruct the lawsuit.
``I think he can put this behind him,'' but ``I don't think
there is any easy way out for him,'' former White House
press secretary Dee Dee Myers said Sunday.
Rep. Vic Fazio of California, chairman of the House
Democratic Caucus, said ``the American people are
forgiving'' and ``I think the president needs to tell the
But key congressional Republicans cautioned that how Clinton
answers the questions would affect their deliberations over
whether to begin impeachment proceedings.
``If he goes in there and tries to manipulate the terms and
use lawyer-like language to try and, you know, not tell the
full truth, I think it's going to hurt him,'' said Senate
Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
White House officials have contacted Democratic
congressional leaders in recent days, urging them quickly to
declare the crisis over after Clinton's testimony.
A senior Democratic aide said, however, the leaders were
likely to hold off such a reaction a day or two to see if
Clinton testified truthfully to the grand jury, explained
his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky to the public and
apologized for dragging out the crisis.
Any acknowledgment by Clinton of a sexual relationship with
Ms. Lewinsky would trigger long lines of questioning by
Starr's prosecutors into whether the president's desire to
keep the relationship quiet led to other actions that might
have been aimed at obstruction of justice.
Polls taken over the weekend left three unmistakable
messages for Clinton -- Americans are happy with his work in
office, will not tolerate any lies to the grand jury but
believe the investigation should end if he admits a sexual
An NBC poll showed the president's job approval rating stood
at 70 percent, the highest the network has recorded since
the controversy erupted in January.
But an ABC News poll found that 59 percent of Americans
believed Clinton should resign if he is caught lying before
the grand jury.
Program set on alcohol awareness
By ROSIE FLORES
It's never too early to teach young children about the
dangers of alcohol and this issue will be addressed at Pecos
schools this year.
Project SAVE (Stop Alcohol Violations Early) is a school
based alcohol prevention program developed by the Texas
Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) to be used in Texas
Pecos Police officer Freddy Contreras spoke to
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD school board members on Thursday
about the benefits of the program.
"We're going to try to introduce SAVE into the school
district," Contreras said. "The program starts with fourth
or fifth grade, with the first session set at the beginning
of the year, the second at the end of the year and by the
time the students get into the 10th grade they will have had
four years of this."
The program is offered to students in either the fourth or
fifth grades, sixth or seventh, or the eighth or ninth
grades. It teaches children not only to avoid alcohol
because it is illegal for them to drink, but also teaches
Project SAVE instructors equip children with the necessary
skills and tools to resist pressure to drink by peers,
adults, society and their community. These tools have been
tested by children and are proven to work in real life
Officers receive training, and with the help of teachers and
the whole community can work, according to Contreras.
The project teachers students how to deal with peer
pressure, helps students relieve the pressure and teaches
them about choices.
"We want to introduce this program to the community, I think
it's a good program and can help the students," said
Contreras, who has just completed training in this project,
which is designed to accommodate 20-25 students at a time.
"Is a whole school going to be taking it, or one class or
what?" asked board member Louis Matta.
"Hopefully we can get everyone, if they can work it into
their schedules," said Contreras.
Fourth and fifth graders follow basically the same session,
with sixth and seventh paired in their own session and the
eighth and ninth graders receiving a different session.
"So basically, if they receive it in the fourth grade we
won't target them until the sixth grade and then the ninth
grade, since seventh grade follows the same session as sixth
graders," said Contreras.
The message is delivered by officers with the Pecos Police
Department experienced in liquor law enforcement, who
present a realistic picture of the consequences of illegal
underage drinking. These instructors are certified peace
officers who have been specifically selected to instruct
Project SAVE because of their exemplary dedication to
They undergo a rigorous training period and are thus highly
qualified to instruct the SAVE program. The participants in
a SAVE program also have the added benefit of asking
questions to instructors with years of experience in
handling alcoholic beverage violations by minors.
Project SAVE targets the entire community by offering a
program not only to school children, but also to parents,
community groups, faith groups, civic groups and retailers
in the area. In reaching the entire community, the Project
SAVE message is more effective.
Bus routes set, board receives update
By ROSIE FLORES
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board members approved bus routes
during their Thursday board meeting for transporting P-B-T
ISD students back and forth to school during the 1998-99
The board also were updated on the 1998-99 school budget,
and set a hearing date for next week on the district's
proposed 10 cent tax increase.
A bus route was added from Barstow as a result of the
closing of Barstow Elementary, according to superintendent
"We want to separate all elementary school students from
the high school students," Love said. "I've met with all the
bus drivers and I think they're happy with this."
"If we need two bus routes we'll have two, but if we don't
we'll just get rid of it, we'll see how it goes," said Love.
A second new bus route, to the Lindsey Addition, also was
approved by school board members. All routes take effect
with the start of classes for P-B-T students on Tuesday
Love told the board that things are looking better
financially, in giving members an update on the 1998-99
"We have the money to operate the district, due to all the
budget cuts," he said. "We're still doing some polishing and
working on it."
As part of the new budget, a public hearing was scheduled
next Monday, Aug. 24, at 6 p.m., to vote on a proposed 10
cent tax increase. School board members had decided to
increase the taxes for the district during an earlier
meeting, due to the school' financial troubles.
Custodial maintenance holidays were approved as presented.
Days approved included Labor Day, Sept. 7; Thanksgiving,
Nov. 25-27; Christmas, Dec. 23-25; New Years, Jan. 1;
Easter, April 2 and Independence Day, July 5. In addition
the custodians also have five personal days off per year and
five local sick leave days and accrued vacation days.
Board members met in closed session to discuss personnel.
In open session board members heard from a bilingual
elementary school teacher, Alonzo Garcia.
He told the board that he really didn't want to move out of
the district, but was asking to be released from his
one-year contract because of financial reasons. "I've really
enjoyed working here, my family loves Pecos and I do to,"
However, he said his wife has been having health problems
and that he cannot afford the insurance without a pay
"The resignation letter must give reasonable notice and be
dated no later than the 45th day, which would have been July
3 or 4," said board president Earl Bates.
"I wasn't planning on leaving, but this situation with my
wife leaves me no choice," Garcia said. "I don't want to
leave, but I feel I have no choice and I wanted to explain
this to the board."
Bates told Garcia that the superintendent would be in
contact with him about any decision that was made regarding
Jurors indict truck driver for accident
One person was indicted by the Reeves County grand jury
Dan T. Arrieta, 60, is charged with manslaughter in the
traffic death of Lisa Dawn Morales on Jan. 4, 1998, just
north of Pecos at the intersection of U.S. 285 and North
Arrieta was driving a truck-tractor/semi-trailer that
collided with a vehicle occupied by Morales, causing her
death, the indictment states. He allegedly drove the truck
too fast for the foggy conditions and defective brakes on
the truck, and failed to yield right-of-way from a stop
The judge set bail at $10,000 for the truck driver.
`Town' moving out towards country
By ROSIE FLORES
One of Pecos' three Town and Country Food Stores will be
closing its doors next month, but another is scheduled to
open next year at a different location.
"We will be closing the Town and Country Store #29, located
on Third Street," said Dan McCurdy, Director of
Communications for Town and Country's regional office.
McCurdy stated that he had been in contact with both the
regional director and the president of the company in regard
to the Third and Eddy streets location. The store is one of
the company's oldest, and is the one of the few convenience
stores in the west-central part of Pecos.
"The store that will be closing doesn't fit our strategic
plans," said McCurdy.
He explained that the decision to close the store was made
because Town and Country does not own the property. We don't
like to lease property, most of our stores are located on
property we own," he said.
The lease on the property has been extended on a month to
month basis, according to McCurdy.
"It would take more money than what we have to bring the
store up to our standards, because right now we are in the
process of revamping all of our stores," he said.
McCurdy said Town and Country does own some land on the
south side of Pecos, and will be building another
convenience store in that location in the future.
The location in question is on U.S. 285, between Lincoln and
Pinehurst streets, across from Motel 6.
The new store will be up and running within a year, with the
old one set to close by Labor Day, Sept. 7.
Employees at the Third and Eddy location will be offered
another assignment, if that's what they choose to do, but
obviously there will be some lag time between the closing of
the old one and the opening of the new one, according to
The new store will be closer to Town & Country's other two
Pecos locations, at 13th and Cedar streets and a Palmer
Street and Country Club Drive.
Mexico won't stop illegal immigrants
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico won't try to stop its citizens
from crossing illegally into the United States because they
have a right to try to better their lives, the head of
Mexico's migration agency says.
``Mexico will never discourage Mexican migrants from
entering or leaving the country. We will do nothing that
limits or discourages migration to the United States by
people who leave their families and their hometowns to
better their living conditions,'' Fernando Solis Camara said
in comments reported by local newspapers on Sunday.
As head of Mexico's Subsecretariat of Population and
Migration Services, Solis Camara is Mexico's top official
for immigration matters.
He said he was worried about an increase in deaths and
injuries to immigrants trying to cross the border through
harsh deserts, and that the Mexican government was trying to
offer more protection to those who try to make the trip.
He said signs now warn people about natural hazards, and
that rescue teams patrol the area to help migrants in need.
He said the teams never try to persuade people not to make
On Thursday, seven bodies were found near El Centro,
California, bringing the number of heat-related deaths among
would-be illegal immigrants this year to 81.
As U.S. immigration officials have invested more officers
and equipment into blocking the border at the most common
crossing places, many immigrants have been trying to cross
in more remote -- and dangerous -- spots.
Project Haylift program announced
ROUND ROCK -- Governor George W. Bush met Thursday with
firefighters to thank them for their successful efforts to
avoid a major fire disaster despite the heat and drought in
Bush also announced the start of Project Haylift, a
cooperative effort between the state and agriculture to
deliver hay to farmers and ranchers who need it to feed
The Texas Department of Agriculture is working with private
companies to get donated hay hauled to Texas. Project
Haylift will distribute this hay throughout the state.
"Our farmers and ranchers are hurting," said Bush. "Many
have seen their livelihoods literally burn up during two out
of the last three years. Only rain, and a lot of it, can
ultimately solve the problem, but fortunately a lot of good
people want to help."
Some have suggested using the National Guard to help haul
the hay. Bush said that, while it is an option, they are
currently heavily involved in firefighting efforts.
Bush thanked and praised the work of the firefighters, many
of them from out of the state, who have helped the state
avoid a major fire disaster despite severe fire hazard.
Firefighters have successfully controlled more than 8,000
fires since May 1, this year.
High Sunday 96. low this morning 69. Forecast for tonight: A
30 percent chance possibility of thunderstorms. Low around
70. Tuesday, mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of
showers or thunderstorms. High around 90. Southeast wind
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