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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, September 2, 1998

Senate approves Sierra Blanca waste compact

Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON -- Years after Texas, Maine and Vermont first
proposed an alliance that would allow the two New England
states to ship their low-level radioactive waste to Texas,
Congress completed action today on the deal.

On a 78-15 vote this morning, the Senate approved the Texas
Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact, sending the
legislation to President Clinton for his likely signature.

Approval of the compact, which paves the way for
construction of a waste dump seven miles southeast of Sierra
Blanca in Hudspeth County, triggers payments of $55 million
by Maine and Vermont to Texas for the long-term disposal of
waste generated mostly from nuclear power plants.

Texas Gov. George W. Bush has said the state would not
proceed with the dump's construction absent congressional
approval. The House overwhelmingly ratified the compact in

The measure's leading Senate opponent, Democrat Paul
Wellstone of Minnesota, implored colleagues to reject the
deal, saying Sierra Blanca was targeted for the dump because
it is a poor, predominately Hispanic town far from the power
corridors of Austin and Washington.

``This is a fight for communities all across the country who
don't have the political clout to keep this pollution out,''
Wellstone said today. ``This is a fight for minority
communities who are burdened with a disproportionate share
of these sites.''

But Senate backers said the legislation is fair, following
the same dictates as previous compacts approved by Congress.

``In making the decision to consider the proposed site in
Hudspeth County, Texas, there has been extensive public
involvement as well as thorough environmental and technical
review,'' said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Me.

A day before the vote, anti-dump activists rallied at the
Capitol, urging Clinton to intervene.

``If this bill passes, President Clinton must veto it to
stop the beautiful desert town of Sierra Blanca from
becoming another chapter in this nation's sad, sorry history
of racial discrimination,'' said Erin Rogers, executive
director of the Sierra Blanca Legal Defense Fund.

But a veto is ``unlikely,'' a White House official said
Tuesday, noting that the compact is silent on the question
of the dump's location.

``We do have concerns about the site,'' the official said,
speaking on condition of anonymity. ``But the compact itself
doesn't select the site. It's Texas' decision and we're
expecting the governor to take the concerns that have been
raised seriously before they make a final siting decision.''

Wellstone and other dump opponents have rallied under the
banner of ``environmental justice,'' saying Sierra Blanca
was targeted as the receptacle for the nuclear industry's
waste because it is an impoverished, overwhelmingly Hispanic
town that lacks political clout.

They also have challenged Sierra Blanca's selection on
geological, environmental and diplomatic reasons -- points
that more than a dozen Texans made during lobbying trips on
Capitol Hill in recent days.

But compact supporters say any issues about the dump's
location, approved by the Texas Legislature in 1991, rest
with Bush and other state officials.

``Such location questions are the exclusive purview of the
state of Texas,'' said Sen. Olympia Snowe, the Maine
Republican who is the lead Senate sponsor of the compact.

She and others noted the legislation is backed by the three
states' governors and senators, and that Congress has
approved nine previous compacts covering 41 other states.

``We ask for nothing more than what Congress has already
given these 41 other states,'' said Sen. James Jeffords,

Texas officials contend the location was selected after
careful review and that it meets safety requirements.

But critics gained some support in July when two state
hearing officers concluded that licensing should be denied
because of questions about an underground fault below the
site. Faults within the mountainous areas of Far West Texas
triggered a 5.3 magnitude earthquake near Marathon, 120
miles east of Sierra Blanca, in 1995, and a aftershock to
that quake this past April.

The officers' recommendation isn't binding on the Texas
Natural Resource Conservation Commission, which could issue
a licensing decision as early as mid-September.

Rehab, removal projects finished

Staff Writer
Sixteen homes in Reeves County have been given a "new look"
thanks to a special grant aimed at improving the quality of

The homes were worked on utilizing $326,051 in contract from
funds from the state and federal government at an average of
$20,378 per owner occupied home.

"The funds are low interest deferred loans, with the
stipulation that they live in the homes for the next five
years," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

In conjunction, over $40,000 of in-kind services was
accomplished, as part of a proposal made to the state as
part of the grant. The proposal stated that the county would
demolish and clear up five dilipadated buildings and a
little over that amount was accomplished, according to

"It's been a very difficult process, but ultimately it has
been a success, to try to imrove the quality of living for
individuals living in the 16 homes in this community," said

Homes beneffiting from the program are located in Balmorhea,
Saragosa and the Lindsay Addition. The homeowners go through
a screening process before they are approved.

"There are 16 families out there that we were able to help
and that improved their way of living," said Commissioner
Precinct 3 Herman Tarin.

Although not everyone was completely satisfied, Tarin said
that overall, the people are grateful to the county for
having helped them improve their homes. "They're grateful
that they had someone go out there and improve their home in
some way and it's something they can enjoy for the rest of
their lives," he said.

"There's always some pros and cons in any situation, but
this project turned out really well, we're very pleased with
the results and I think these families are too," said Tarin.

One family was very pleased with the results and grateful to
the county for the improvements made to their home.

"My parents are just very, very happy, they did a very good
job," said Rosa Dominguez, the daughter of homeowners Abel
and Maria Sanchez of Balmorhea, who qualified for the home
improvement program.

"Their home needed a lot of work done inside and some minor
items taken care of on the outside," said Dominguez. "They
had no complaints whatsoever, everything was taken care of,"
she said.

According to Dominguez, those working on the project, came
in and told the homeowners exactly what they could do and
what couldn't be done, under the project guidelines.

"And they did exactly what they said could be done and both
my parents are very happy," she said.

"I'm just thrilled that they were approved for this project
and want to thank everyone involved," she said.

Tailgate party to precede `late' Kickoff

Staff Writer
The "Kickoff Classic" actually doesn't fully live up to its
name this season. But Thursday night's game does kick off
the 1998 football season for the teams involved and will be
a new experience for the Pecos Eagles, when they face the
Denver City Mustangs at Odessa's Ratliff Stadium.

A rule change for the 1998-99 seasons by the University
Interscholastic League allowed all Texas football teams to
play 10 games over 11 weeks for the first time this year,
with the extra date added on the final weekend of August. So
teams such as Odessa High, Andrews and Monahans have already
started their 1998 seasons, though it's still the first week
of play for most Texas teams.

The game is also the Eagles' first in Odessa since 1981, the
year before Ratliff Stadium opened. Pecos has played games
in recent years in Midland's Memorial Stadium, as well as in
Lubbock and El Paso, but not at the top facilities in those
towns, like Jones Stadium and the Sun Bowl.

"A lot of these kids won't play in a stadium this nice in
their careers," said Craig Morgan of the Odessa Chamber of
Commerce, which sponsors the annual event.

"We basically provide a service for the coaches," Morgan
said. "We do all the work for the teams. All the coaches
have to do is take care of the officials, play the game and
go home."

Thursday's game is an 8 p.m. start, and before then, Pecos
Eagle Booster Club members plan to hold a tailgate party in
the west parking lot of Ratliff Stadium, starting at about
5;30 p.m. Morgan said the stadium gates will open at 5 p.m.
for Thursday's game.

Tailgate parties are common outside stadiums before college
and pro football games, though Morgan reminded fans that
this one would have to be non-alcoholic to conform with
Ector County ISD rules. Booster club members are hoping to
hold the tailgate events prior to the start of the Eagles'
home games this season, and decided to test out support for
the plan at Thursday's game.

"My wife talked with Laura Quisenberry (wife of Odessa High
coach Randy Quisenberry), and she said they had one last
year before the Odessa Permian game," Eagles' coach Dan
Swaim said last month. "Everybody sets up at one end of the
field and brings something for before the game."

"We're excited about Pecos coming here," Morgan said. The
Eagles-Mustangs game is one of three neutral site games
scheduled for Ratliff Stadium in September, down one from
recent years, due to the early opening of the season.

The other games are on Saturdays, and Morgan added that, "We
also host a lot of playoff games. Seminole brought all their
fans down last year. They followed the team bus here, and we
ended up with about 10,000 people at the game."

Morgan said the teams that are invited are the "first set
matchup" of the first week of September. "That's been Denver
City the past several years, but next year may be their last
year, and coach Swaim has said he'd definitely like to put
his name in the hat about having the first Thursday game.

Commissioners eye tax hike with budget

Staff Writer
Loving County Commissioners expect to adopt a $1.033 million
budget on Sept. 14 and set a tax rate that will increase
revenues by 8 percent.

Increased cost of utilities, supplies, maintenance and
repairs account for the $26,000 increase over the 1998
budget, said Auditor Janie Parker. No salary increases are
included, but about $12,000 is earmarked for capital

"We hope to do some work on the roads," Parker said.

The court held a public hearing on the proposed tax rate
Tuesday, as required by state tax law, since the budget
requires an 8 percent increase in total tax revenues for

That does not mean the tax rate will increase by 8 percent,
however. Property valuations have increased almost $10
million from 1997, Parker said. The 1998 valuation is
$129,136,821, up from $119,560,995 in 1997.

If the court adopts the budget of $1,033,234, the 1999 tax
rate would be 80.1 cents per $100 valuation, up from 78.4
cents this year, Parker said.

P-B-T seeks ANGELS to help boost students

Staff Writer
Heaven isn't the only one seeking out angels. The
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD is searching for ANGELS for their
school program aimed at encouraging students and boosting
their self-esteem.

The ANGELS program is a mentor program which aims to pair
concerning adults within the community with students needing
increased self-esteem, motivation and self confidence for
the purpose of improved learning, according to P-B-T ISD
counselor Rosie Salcido.

"These adults will go to the schools and visit with their
designated student once a week for about 20-30 minutes,"
Salcido said.

Anyone interested in the mentoring program can contact the
counselor at the appropriate school.

High school students will also participate and will have a
criteria to be an ANGEL.

Kindergarten and Austin Elementary School counselor is Rosie
Salcido and she can be reached at 447-7248; Bessie Haynes
Counselor Virginia Caballero can be contacted at 447-7243;
Lamar Middle School and Pecos Elementary School Counselor
Denise McNeese, can be reached at 447-7216; Zavala and
Crockett Middle School Counselor Michelle Workman at
447-7251 and Pecos High School Counselors are Pat Cobos and
Jim Adams can be reached at 447-7229.

Pecos, Monahans EMS reach deal on coverage

Staff Writer
Pecos and Monahans emergency medical services have worked
out an agreement for double coverage of a stretch of
Interstate 20 that has been a point of contention for the
past several years.

Pecos Ambulance Service Chief Bill Cole said this morning
that he and Monahans EMS Chief Tim Kidwell worked out the
agreement with the help of administrators for the two

A past administrator for Ward Memorial Hospital had insisted
that the Monahans EMS respond to all calls on I-20 as far
west as Mile Marker 52, better known as "Beer Hill," just
east of Barstow, even though Pecos is closer.

That resulted in some long delays for critically injured
accident victims. Kidwell said the agreement, which took
effect Aug. 4, will be much better for the patient.

"We are making sure an ambulance is going out there, and we
don't expect any problems. It is a joint effort between the
two entities," he said.

If both units are not needed, the first one on the scene
will notify the second and it will turn around and head back
home, Kidwell said.

"Our number one goal is the same as theirs - patient care,"
he said. "There is no boundary to me. I know it will be
better for the patient. I never did like the original plan,
where Pecos didn't go past the 52 mile marker."

Cole said his crew has always been willing to go as far as
they are needed, and he is pleased to have the written
agreement so both entities know what is expected of them.

"We haven't had any calls (in that area) since we
established the new policy," Cole said. "But we have a real
good working relationship. It will make things a little
easier on dispatching. We both have a real ppositive feeling
about this."

Administrators Charles Butts of Reeves County Hospital and
Steve Holmes of Ward Memorial met with the two EMS chiefs to
work out the policy, Cole said.

"We are real appreciative for their help.

"Our membership seems real excited about it, and we will be
working real close with them in that 11-mile stretch," Cole
said. "There's been lots of bad accidents in that stretch."

Some of the Pecos EMS volunteers may help out Monahans while
they are trying to rebuild their staff, Cole said.

Six of the 11-person Monahans crew have resigned as of Sept.
30, and Tidwell asked Cole to spread the word he needs
trained personnel.

Kidwell said the EMS has five full-time slots, including
his, and six "as needed" slots.


The Big Bend Sentinel

MARFA, Aug. 27, 1998 -- During the early hours of Monday,
Aug. 24, Border Patrol agents staffing the checkpoint near
Sierra Blanca encouraged a semi-truck trailer combination
eastbound on Interstate 10. The agents heard pounding and
cries for help as the truck came through the checkpoint. A
closer examination of the truck revealed a total 113 illegal
immigrants concealed in the cab and trailer of the rig. Two
individuals, a driver and co-driver of the semi-truck, were
arrested and charged with alien smuggling. They are Ronald
Eugene Jones, of Charlotte, N.C. and Kenneth McCoy Jr., 25,
of Emory.

The International

PRESIDIO, Aug. 27, 1998 -- A fire Tuesday afternoon, Aug.
25, destroyed a four-apartment building under construction
in Presidio. No one was injured in the 3:45 p.m. blaze that
was fought by Presidio Volunteer Fire Department and
Ojinaga, Mexico, firefighters. Presidio Fire Marshal Don
"Doc" Lewis said it appears negligence on the part of
plumbers led to the fire at the Big Bend Apartments.

The McCamey News

McCAMEY, Aug. 27, 1998 -- On Monday, Aug. 3, at about 3:35
p.m., the Upton County Sheriff's Department served a search
warrant at a residence located at 1619 Crenshaw in McCamey.
In the course of the search a 4 oz. scale, believed to be
used in the weighing and packaging of drugs, and a small
amount of marijuana were seized. Raymond Acosta and Vicky
Armendarez, both of McCamey were arrested and charged with
possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

Iraan News

IRAAN, Aug. 27, 1998 -- Federal disaster funds were made
available last week, to help families and businesses recover
from Tropical Storm Charley, according to the head of the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA Director
James Lee Witt said President Clinton authorized the
assistance under a major disaster declaration issued
Wednesday, Aug. 26. The declaration covers damage from
Tropical Storm Charley which drenched southwestern portions
of Texas beginning on Aug. 22.

Sanderson Times

SANDERSON, Aug. 27, 1998 -- Teachers and students,
particularly, have gained bragging rights, administrators
are to be commended, and parents and local citizens owe a
sincere expression of gratitude to all those responsible for
their motivating the students of the Terrell County
Independent School District and the students' willingness to
accept the challenge in earning an "exemplary" rating by the
Texas Education Agency. The "exemplary" rating was awarded
to all three campuses in the school district and is the
second consecutive year for this highest commendation or
rating by the Texas Education Agency.

Monahans News

MONAHANS, Aug. 27, 1998 -- Laura Bush, the First Lady of
Texas, came to Monahans, Thursday, Aug. 20, to boost her
drive for adult literacy and her husband's re-election
campaign. Incumbent Republican Gov. George W. Bush faces
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Garry Mauro in the November
general elections. While in Monahans on a calendar-filled
morning. The First Lady met privately for 45 minutes with
executives for of the Monahans News, toured the Rainbow Room
under the guidance of Sheri Lord for 30 minutes and ate
lunch at Leal's. After lunch she returned to Austin.


High Tuesday 94. Low this morning 66. Forecast for tonight:
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 60s. Light east winds.
Thursday, partly cloudy. Highs in the mid to upper 90s. East
to southeast winds 5-10 mph.

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Pecos Enterprise
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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