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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, December 9, 1998

Union Pacific route cut by derailment

Staff Writer

See Photo Train Wreck

Sixteen cars of a mile-long eastbound Union Pacific freight train derailed at 5:10 a.m. today at the Farm Road 2119 crossing, better known as the Duval Road, west of Pecos.

No one was injured, and there was no release of dangerous chemicals.

Most of the 91 cars on the train were empty, and only one of those derailed carried freight, said Mark Davis, media contact for Union Pacific. That car carried Perlit, a form of blow-in insulation.

Residues in some of the empty cars could be hazardous if spilled, but nothing was reported escaping from them, Davis said. Among the residues was a corrosive, denatured alcohol, immodium nitrate, aluminum dust and anhydrous ammonia.

First reports were that anhydrous ammonia may be leaking from one of the overturned cars, but it turned out to be air from the brake line, Davis said.

Ten of the wrecked cars were "pool cars," which are owned by individuals or companies who lease them through a pool. Two belong to Kansas City Southern, and three belong to Union Pacific.

The train was traveling from El Paso to Fort Worth. Derailment started at the 10th car from the rear of the train and went to the 25th car. The engine and 66 cars remained on the track this morning.

Contractors will arrive with a bulldozer and side beam about 4 p.m. today to begin removing the wrecked cars, Davis said. They will work through the night to replace 600 feet of track.

Cars that are not heavily damaged may be placed back on the track or taken by flat-bed truck to a repair facility.

"If they are destroyed, they will scrap them right there," Davis said.

While the track is blocked, "hot" freight will be re-routed from El Paso through New Mexico or San Antonio, Davis said. Westbound freight from Fort Worth may be held in Midland-Odessa until the track is cleared.

"Freight for communities along the line will be held in El Paso," he said.

The derailment is the second in just over two months in Reeves County. Four cars of a Union Pacific train derailed the morning of Oct. 3 as it was being pulled off a siding in Toyah to be transported to Big Spring. Because the cars fell off the siding away from the main track, service was disrupted only briefly along the Fort Worth-El Paso line.

Big Spring woman convicted in smuggling case

Staff Writer

Federal court jurors on Tuesday took about 40 minutes to find Adelita Valenzuela-Reyna of Big Spring guilty of possession with intent to distribute 86.86 pounds of marijuana.

Two Border Patrol agents testified they arrested Valenzuela and a Mexican male companion after locating their vehicles at a rest stop south of Alpine at 1:30 a.m. April 7.

A sensor had alerted the agents that two vehicles were traveling north on Texas Highway 118 from Lajitas, but the vehicles never arrived at the checkpoint south of Alpine, they testified.

When the agents arrived at the rest area, Valenzuela was in the car with the male, who was in the United States illegally. A check showed both vehicles were registered to Valenzuela, who had a history of drug violations.

A drug-sniffing dog indicated the presence of contraband in the van, so the agents asked Valenzuela to drive it to the Alpine station, where they discovered marijuana in vacuum sealed packages inside the gas tank.

U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson presided for the trial, prosecuted by J. Miller of Alpine and Glenn Jackson of Midland. Carolyn Thurmond represented Valenzueala.

Judge Furgeson spent most of Monday and some time Tuesday sentencing convicted defendants.

He counseled a West Memphis, Ark. man about his long criminal history, then gave him another chance to mend his ways by cutting his sentence from a possible 20 years to 80 months in federal prison.

Fernando Arthur Johnson, 28, was convicted of cocaine possession.

Others sentenced this week include:

* Ramon Antillon-Rios, possession with intent to distribute heroin, 21 months;

* Reymundo Canales, import marijuana, 24 months;

* Humberto Morales-Gomez, import marijuana, 24 months;

* Marcos Noyola, import marijuana, 15 months;

* Martin Todd Stone, 33, of Lawton, Okla., import and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, 18 months each count, concurrent.

* Ignacio Jaurequi, 38, of Dodge City, Kan., import marijuana, 6 months;

* Epifanio Islas-Baeza, Marcos A. Santillan, Reymundo Canales and Jose Ortega-Navarete, import marijuana, 24 months;

* Joaquin Romero-Cordova, time served for illegal entry after deportation.

Defendants were placed on probation were:

* Richard Gary Garcia, 24, of Alpine, import cocaine, five years;

* Chester Wayne Gray, 41, of Alpine, possess diazepam;

* Jerome McGill of Orlando, Fla, possess marijuana, 12 months;

Octavio Chavarria-Castillo, 27, of Amarillo, pleaded guilty to importing marijuana. He will be sentenced Feb. 8, 1999.

Chamber calls tour of home a success

Staff Writer

The Second Annual Christmas Tour of Homes was termed a success by the women's division of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the event.

"We sold 64 tickets at $10 each and had a really great crowd at the Quality Inn, where the local merchants had their Holiday Gift Show," Women's Division president Suan Cross told chamber board members during their regular monthly meeting, held at noon Tuesday.

The funds generated from the tour of homes will be used towards helping a needy family in the community during the holidays, according to Cross.

She also told chamber members that the first winner in the annual Christmas lighting contest has been named. "The Herman and Linda Steen home is the first winner," Cross said. Homes can be nominated by calling the chamber office, and Cross said judges "will be doing the judging every Friday during December and the winner gets a $25 prize."

The Chamber also continues to seek volunteers to help with Friday's Christmas Parade. "We still need people to help during the lineup," said chamber director Tom Rivera.

The parade is scheduled for 6 p.m., Friday, with lineup at 5 p.m., at the Pecos High School parking lot. This year's parade will end with the Christmas lighting ceremony at the Reeves County Courthouse. Caroling and hot chocolate will be part of that event, according to Rivera.

In the financial report, Rivera told the group that the had both good news and bad news.

"The good news is that our expenditure was $8,000 below what is budgeted, the bed tax incomes if over by above $4,000 and other income over by about $2,000," said Rivera.

The bad news is that dues were way below expectations and membership was down, according to Rivera.

"We need to get a membership drive together and get new members in here," he said.

The chamber is down to 75 members, when ideally for a city this size it should have about 300 members, according to Rivera.

Rivera stated that he has some informational videos at the chamber office available for all the members. "I have asked the attorney general's office to put us on the list for videos and they are here for any member who wants to use them," he said.

The annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet has been set for Jan. 22 and guest speaker for the event will be Elvia Hernandez from El Paso. "She's just great, she's done so many things and we think everyone will enjoy her," said Rivera.

Tickets for the banquet, which will be held at the Reeves County Civic Center are $10. The event will be catered by the Reeves County Sheriff's Posse.

Chamber President Richard Crider thanked all the members for their year of contribution. Crider presided over his last meeting as president of the organization. "We accomplished some things we had in mind and hopefully next year under Linda Gholson we'll do more," said Crider.

Advertising chairman Kevin Duke stated that 75,000 new stars have been ordered and 25,000 new brochures to promote Pecos. "The booster club fed all the coaches and their spouses Saturday night, I think this is something positive and a good way to promote Pecos, by standing by them and supporting all athletics," he said.

School board to recognize PHS band

The Pecos High School Marching Band will be recognized during the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board meeting scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday.

The band earned a Division I rating at the regional marching contest in El Paso recently under the direction of new band director Bill Goff, the first in four years for the PHS band.

Board members wanted a chance to express their appreciation to the band members. The board recognized PHS fall sport athletes during last month's meeting.

Board members will also discuss and approve the audit for fiscal year 1997-98; approve bid for sale of property on `F' Street, Block 5, Section 8, 2.760 acres; asbestos removal bid; textbook committee and listen to the technology report.

Other items to be discussed Thursday include the second reading and discuss/approve policy update 59;; 1998-99 budget amendments and the superintendent's goals for P-B-T ISD.

Other items on the agenda to be discussed and approved:

* Performance level standards for Carver Alternative Education Center.

* Evaluation instrument for superintendent.

* Approve professional personnel: assignments, resignations and reassignments.

* Tax report.

* Depository securities report.

* Investment transaction report.

* Reconciled bank balance report.

* Cafeteria report.

* List of commodities received.

* Reconciled bank balance report.

* Cafeteria report.

* Current bills and financial report.

* Time for next regular meeting, calendar of events and request for items for next agenda.

The group will also meet in closed session, if needed, to discuss personnel or hear complaints against personnel.

Council eyes local curfew time changes

Staff Writer

Pecos City Council on Thursday will consider changing curfew hours for juveniles to require them to be home by 11 p.m. on school nights and by midnight on weekends.

The current ordinance sets the hours at midnight on school nights and 1 a.m. on weekends.

Other agenda items for the 7:30 a.m. meeting include an audit conducted by Dan Painter and renewal of his contract;

* Approval of 1998 tax roll;

* Ordinance placing stop signs at Second and Locust and/or Peach Streets;

* Overtime policy;

* Fire chief contract;

* Employee recognition;

* Hours of work for municipal employees;

* Report from city manager on Charter Waste landfill charges;

* Monthly reports from Pecos Ambulance Service and Municipal Court.

Local band's song on CD compilation

Staff Writer

A local Christian band is featured on a promotional CD that is being made available to radio stations across the state.

"We're very happy that they selected one of our songs to be on this promotional CD," said Eddie Vasquez, one of the members of Sudden Impact, a local group whose song is one of several featured in this CD. Other band members include Jason Alvarez and Mickie Vasquez.

"It's a big honor and we get more publicity for our music, more listeners," said Vasquez.

KIUN has already received the promotional CD, which features the song, "The Garden," from the Sudden Impact CD titled, No Illusion.

"We had contacted the Gospel Music Association and they put together CDs and send them out to radio stations," said Vasquez. "They liked our CD and wanted to put one of our songs and this was the song they chose to put on there.

"Hopefully the radio stations that receive this promotional CD will play our song," said Vasquez. "And of course, we hope everyone likes it."

Pecos Valley Crime Stoppers

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 in reward for information leading to the arrest and Grand Jury Indictment of person(s) responsible for the incident described below.

On July 12, Pecos Police responded to the burglary of a motor vehicle located in the 500 block of South Peach Street. Upon arrival officers met with the complainant who stated that the person(s) had gained entry into his gold 1994 Chevrolet pickup by prying the small window on the driver's side of the extended cab.

Once inside the person(s) took a Pioneer compact disc player and a compact disc carrying case with approximately 24 CD's in it. It appeared that the subject(s) had tried to "hot wire" the pickup due to the steering column being broken.

Anyone with information on this crime or any other crime call "Crime Stoppers" at 445-9898 and you will remain anonymous.

Police Report

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 agencies.
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.
Noe Nunez, 18, was arrested at 4:12 p.m., on November 30, in the 1100 block of West Sixth Street, on Capias Pro Fine warrants. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.


Oscar Mendoza, 20, was arrested at 2:31 p.m., on December 2, at Pecos Municipal Court, on a Capias Pro Fine warrant. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.


Hal Pratt, 57, was arrested at 6:39 p.m., on December 2, near Pizza Hut, for public intoxication. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.


Mark Anthony Abila was arrested at 7:03 p.m, on December 2, at Pecos Police Department, on Capias Pro Fine warrants. He paid the fines and was released.


Francisco B. Gonzales, 37, was arrested at 9:14 p.m., on December 2, in the 1100 block of East Third Street, on a warrant for delivery of a controlled substance (cocaine). He was transported to Reeves County Jail.


Mary Ramirez, 35, was arrested at 10:30 p.m., on December 2, in the 500 block of South Mesquite Street, for public intoxication. She was transported to Reeves County Jail.


Frankie S. Abila, 36, was arrested at 11:41 p.m., on December 3, in the 1600 block of Morris Street, for assault by threat under the Family Violence Act. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.


Xochitl Armendariz, 20, was arrested at 1:03 a.m., on December 4, at the corner of Fourth and Eddy streets, for driving while intoxicated. She was transported to Reeves County Jail.


Pedro Morales, 60, was arrested at 9:33 p.m., on December 4, at the Circle M Bar, for public intoxication. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.


Eduardo Fuentes Sr., 32, was arrested at 12:20 a.m., on December 5, in the 100 block of West Second Street, for driving while intoxicated. He was transported to Reeves County Jail. He was later served with a warrant for injury to a child.


Ronald Ruiz, 36, was arrested at 6:16 p.m., on December 5, in the 2100 block of Nebraska Street, for assault by threat under the Family Violence Act. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.


A female juvenile was arrested at 11:17 p.m., on December 6, at the Pecos Police Department, for running away from home. She was transported to Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center.


Olga Orona, 38, was arrested at 9:04 p.m., on December 7, in the 500 block of Walnut Street, on a Capias Pro Fine warrant. She was transported to Reeves County Jail.


Victor Jaramillo, 45, was arrested at 11:51 p.m., on December 8, in the 900 block of East Third Street, on a DWI/refusal. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.


George Tyler

George Harden Tyler, 81, of Odessa, died Saturday, Dec. 5, 1998 at Avalon Nursing Center.

Graveside services were held at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 8, at Fairview Cemetery with Matt Williamson officiating.

Survivors include one daughter, Brenda "Murdock" Blackwell of Abilene; six sisters, Dorthy L. Musick of Big Spring, M. Kathleen Ashing of Odessa, Neta Maston of Garland, Anne Smith of Broken Arrow, Okla., Joanne Ard of Whitesboro and Jeanette Pettit of Mesquite; two brothers, James Tyler of New Braunfels and Leonard Tyler of Sherman; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Hubbard-Kelly Funeral Home of Odessa is in charge of arrangements.


High Tuesday 53, low last night 20. Tonight, a 40 percent chance of rain. Cloudy. Low in the lower 30s. northeast wind 10-20 mph. Thursday, rain likely. Rain may mix with or change to snow. High in the upper 30s. Northeast wind 10-20 mph and gusty, diminishing by late afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.

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Pecos Enterprise
Ned Cantwell, 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