Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, September 14, 1998
Balmorhea seeks funds for city park
By ROSIE FLORES
A park proposal for Balmorhea and a road rehabilitation
project for southern Reeves County are among the items up
for approval at Wednesday's meeting of the Permian Basin
Regional Planning Commission.
the Texas Department of Transportation and the City of
Balmorhea are on the agenda for the regular meeting of the
PBRPC, while West Texas Opportunities, which operates within
the county, also will be seeking funds from the Board of
Directors at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting at
1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The meeting is set for the Board Room of the Planning
Commission offices located at 2910 La Force Blvd., next to
Midland International Airport.
The Texas Department of Transportation is proposing to
rehabilitate State Highway 17 from Farm Road 3334, near
Verhalen, 9.1 miles south to Interstate Highway 10 in Reeves
County. Construction is scheduled to begin in June, 1999;
funding has been approved through the 1997 State Funded
The estimated cost of construction is $1.1 million and does
not include any local participation. This proposal provides
for rehabilitation of the existing two traffic lanes and the
addition of three feet to the shoulders; in addition, one
new culvert will be installed at Toyah Creek and safety end
treatments will be installed at existing culverts. No
highway closures are expected to be involved in this project.
Prior to beginning construction, an Environmental Assessment
will be prepared by the Texas Department of Transportation.
This project is included in the approved FY 1999
Transportation Improvement Program for the rural areas of
the Odessa District, Texas Department of Transportation.
Reconstruction work on Highway 17 from Pecos south to FM
3334 was done six years ago.
The City of Balmorhea has submitted an application to the
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for financial assistance
in acquiring and developing a park site covering
eight-tenths of an acre and located on the southeast side of
City officials said that while Balmorhea State Park is
located four miles south of the city and Balmorhea Lake is
approximately one mile southeast, there are no recreational
facilities within Balmorhea. The closest thing to a park are
the public school facilities located on the west side of the
This project will provide the only public playground in
Balmorhea, the city said in its proposal.
Balmorhea is requesting $63,000 from the state agency and
will match that with $63,000 in local funds for a total
project cost of $126,000; this is a reimbursement program.
This project will provide a variety of facilities that will
serve residents of all ages; it will meet the needs of
school age children, will be a focal point for community
activities and will provide facilities/activities that will
be of interest to elderly residents.
Items that are planned for this park are: playground
facilities/equipment; sheltered picnic units; sheltered
benches; game areas (horseshoe, washers, shuffleboard);
multi-purpose trails; group shelter; volleyball court;
multi-use basketball court/roller skating rink;
fishing/wading pool and xeriscape demonstration plot (plants
that require very little water).
West Texas Opportunities, Inc., Head Start Program has
submitted an application to the Department of Health and
Services (DHHS) for the continuation funding of their
full-year, part-day Head Start Program. $1,938,860 is being
requested from the federal agency with a local match of
$484,715 for a total project budget of $2,423,575.
The Lamesa-based agency operates Head Start centers in
Lamesa, serving 154 children, and in Stanton (37); McCamey
(20), Seminole (85), Andrews (68), Seagraves (70), Rankin
(15), Crane (37) and Garden City (17).
Rally at PHS flag pole set Wednesday
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD students are expected to be among
three million nationwide who will participate in the eighth
annual "See You at the Pole" observance, at 7 a.m. Wednesday
in front of the Pecos High School flag pole.
More than three million teenagers in junior high and high
school are expected to pray on their campuses Wednesday as
part of the National Day of Student Prayer.
"See You At the Pole" is a student-initiated and student-led
movement that began in Texas in 1990 with a single church
youth group. It grew to more than three million by 1997.
Youth in all fifty states and more than 20 counties on five
continents participated last year, including six countries
of Europe. Reports were also sent in from Ivory Coast,
Turkey, Japan, Malaysia, Guam, and Australia.
The gathering of young people for prayer before school at
their school flagpoles is entirely legal, according to the
U.S. Education Secretary Richard Riley. In a letter sent to
school officials in August 1995, See You At the Pole is
listed among those activities that are appropriate forms of
religious expression by students on campus.
The theme for See You At the Pole 1998, is "For Such a time
As This." The phrase refers to the story of the Jewish
Queen, Esther (Esther 4:14), who interceded for her people
before the Persian king to save the Jews from destruction in
473 B.C. Many students believe the threats in that ancient
time and the spiritual dangers facing our nation today are
worth comparison, prompting them to pray to God as the Jews
did in the story of Esther.
The tragic shootings at high school and junior high campuses
in the past school year, resulting in the untimely deaths of
more than a dozen children and teachers, highlight the
danger students face when they walk on the school grounds
each day, a press release from the national organization
stated. Many young people have responded with renewed
spiritual fervor: the daily prayer meetings in Paducah,
Kentucky, grew from around 30 to more than 130 after a
shooting incident on Dec. 1, 1997.
Helping feds in drug case gets N.Y. man freed
BY PEGGY McCRACKEN
A 26-year-old New York man who helped government prosecutors
convict other drug smugglers found favor in the eyes of
federal judge Royal Furgeson this morning and gained his
The man, who was arrested Sept. 19, 1997 and charged
with importing and possessing with intent to distribute 72
pounds of marijuana, will serve five years probation, plus a
He didn't get off without a lecture, though. Warning of the
consequences of drug use, Judge Furgeson told about a young
man who had graduated first in his class and went to the
University of Texas on a full scholarship.
"In his freshman year, someone urged a little heroin on him.
After just ruining his life and his family's life, three
years later, he committed suicide," Judge Furgeson said.
"Drugs just touch everybody...Using drugs is the road to
death and destruction. If nothing else, it really kills the
The New York man and his traveling companion, Robert Nunez, 27, of
Lawrence, Mass., had been stopped on their way to Mexico
three days before their arrest and relieved of $10,000 by an
officer with the Permian Basin Drug Task Force.
Nunez was also set for sentencing today, but had not
arrived from Massachusetts, where he had been arrested on a
minor charge, which was dismissed. Deputy U.S. Marshal Steve
Clark said that Nunez is "in the pipeline" for transport and
should be available for sentencing in October.
Three others were indicted by the grand jury. Two
of those, Herbert T. Nauman, 68 and his wife, Doloras
Nauman, 67, earlier pleaded guilty and were placed on
Mauricio Hernandez-Villalobos, 26, of Andrews, also was
Judge Furgeson was not so lenient with the second defendant,
handing Lorenzo Rojo-Aguilar, 25, of Porvenir, Mexico a
41-month prison sentence for illegal entry after deportation.
Rojo said he was "real sorry" for what he did. "When I tried
to come across over here, I was just trying to cross, not to
cause harm to anyone."
They were the first of 11 defendants to be sentenced today.
Judge Furgeson also had a show cause hearing, three guilty
pleas and jury selection set for today.
Rains from storms failing to reach West Texas
From Staff and Wire Reports
Over the past month, almost every region of Texas has seen
Far North Texas gotten showers from storm systems that
evolved over the Rocky Mountains. South Texas was drenched
by Tropical Storm Frances. Even thirsty East Texas has had
substantial showers from weather systems originating in
In fact, the only region that has seen no showers is the one
that needs them most: West Texas.
Since June, most parts of West Texas have received less than
two inches of rainfall, and some far less than that.
``It's been incredibly dry,'' said Larry Vannozzi, a Lubbock
meteorologist with the National Weather Service, ``and there
isn't anything on the near horizon that suggests that things
will change significantly anytime soon.''
Pecos fared better than areas of the Panhandle in August,
getting more than two-thirds of its 1998 rainfall during the
month. A total of 2.4 inches fell here in August, but Pecos
has gotten no rain so far in September, and the total for
the first 8 1/2 months of the year remains at just under 3
Only the southeastern portion of West Texas,
including Terrell, Crockett, Schleicher and Sutton counties,
received significant rainfall from the remains of Tropical
Storm Charley late last month. Just to the south of those
counties, Charley drenched southern Val Verde County with
over 11 inches of rain, causing floods that killed at least
eight people and forced thousands to flee from their homes
in the Del Rio area.
The storm remained over the Del Rio area and never moved
much further west due to a high pressure system that has
made its home over West Texas and redirected storm systems
toward other parts of the state.
``The storms that we would normally be getting are being
pushed northward, they're not being allowed to move into
West Texas,'' said Amarillo National Weather Service
meteorologist Lance Goehring.
He added that the region was unlikely to see any rain from
Tropical Storm Frances that caused evacuations and flooding
throughout South Texas last week.
``Eastern parts of Texas might see some rain, but most of
the northern movement is headed towards the Dallas/Fort
Worth area,'' Goehring said. ``It doesn't look favorable for
us to get much rain out of it.''
Couple the high pressure system with the region's normal
propensity for dryness and you have the makings of a drought
that shows no signs of breaking.
``The drier climate just makes it less likely to see rain in
any given season, but this season there have been other
factors that have made it worse than usual,'' Goehring said.
Despite forecasts that chances of rain are slim, farmers and
ranchers say they remain hopeful that showers will come in
time to help next year's crop. In some cases, hope is all
``I depend on my faith and confidence in the Lord and my
assurance that my occupation as a farmer and rancher is
important to God and all of his creations,'' Kitchens said.
``That truth causes us to keep going when most people would
give up and say there is no hope. If we catch any hurricane
rains, this barren ground will store rain in our subsoil
that will give us ability to have a good crop in 1999.''
Farmers shouldn't be too envious of the rest of the state.
The type of rain Val Verde County received probably would do
little to alleviate the rest of West Texas' drought.
``What they have right now is a lot of rain at one time,''
Vannozzi said. ``In a drought, you don't need 20 inches in
two days because that will just run off. You need long,
Melvin Estey, 69, died Thursday, Sept. 10, 1998 at Reeves
Memorial services were held at 4:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 13,
at the Church of Christ with Tommy Williamson officiating.
He was born March 24, 1929, in Massachusetts, was an army
veteran who had served in the Korean War, a member of the
Church of Christ and a carpenter. He was a member of the
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #67 of Pecos and a member of
the National Field Archery Association.
Survivors include his wife Betty Estey of Pecos; three
daughters, Pam Maloney, Kathy and Linda Estey of
Massachusetts; two brothers, Dick and Otis Estey of
Massachusetts; one sister, Betty Brennan of Florida; two
stepsons, Carl Smokie Thorp of Midland, Lane Thorp of Hobbs,
N.M.; two step-daughters, Elizabeth Jones of Wink and Sandy
Thorp of Hobbs, N.M. and 13 grandchildren.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Ruben Lawrence Renteria, 5, died Saturday, Sept. 12, 1998,
at Medical City Hospital in Dallas.
A rosary will be held today at 7 p.m., at 720 N. Brant
Street in Barstow.
Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 15, at Our
Lady of Refuge Catholic Church in Barstow with Father Miguel
Aquino officiating. Burial will be in Barstow Cemetery.
He was born June 22, 1993, in Pecos, was a lifelong Pecos
resident, an avid T-ball player who played first base, a
Pecos Kindergarten student and a Catholic.
Survivors include his parents, Ruben and Laura Renteria of
Barstow; two sisters, Kendra Renteria of Barstow, Brandi
Renteria of Odessa; one brother Rodrick Renteria of Barstow;
his maternal grandparents, Benny and Gloria Avila of
Barstow; paternal grandparents, Pablo and Victoria Renteria
of Pecos; great-grandparents, Thomas Gonzales of Clint;
great-grandmother Chona Abila of Barstow; great-grandmother
Louisa Contreras of Barstow.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High Friday 91, Saturday 91, Sunday 96. Low Saturday 66,
Sunday 63, this morning 68. Forecast for tonight: Partly
cloudy. Low in the mid 60s. Light wind. Tuesday, partly
cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. high in
the upper 80s. Northeast wind 5 10 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