Weekly Newspaper and Travel Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas
Dec. 10, 1998
Extension service to add programs
Addressing the annual meeting of the Ward County Extension
Program Council, County Agent Linda Russell described two
new programs that will be added in 1999.
The first, "Better Living for Texans" (BLT), will work in
cooperation with the Food and Nutrition Service of USDA and
the Texas Department of Human Services, she said.
"This partnership's primary goal is to improve the health,
well-being and economic stability of limited resource
families in Texas," she told the group.
The program has been in place in Texas for four years. Last
year 64 counties participated which will expand this year to
"This program has been extremely successful and will be a
major part of our 1999 programming," said Russell.
The second new addition, "Strengthening Our Capacity to Care
(SOCC)", will work in partnership with the Texas Juvenile
"This program is designed to be an intervention program for
first time juvenile offenders and their parents," said
It's a program the local Juvenile Probation Department is
very excited about.
"This is something that the juvenile probation commission
has re-commended we do statewide," said Sandra King, Ward
County Juvenile Probation chief, noting that is has worked
very well in the areas where it has already been
implemented. "These are the kind of things we are looking
for to keep the kids out of trouble," she said. "Hopefully
we can get these kids to channel their energies some better
King and Russell have been meeting in planning sessions with
others where the program is already in place and plan to
begin the program the first of the year.
"We believe these programs will be beneficial to Ward County
for both their programming efforts and the federal and state
dollars it will bring to the county," noted Russell.
Agriculture Extension Agent Andy Stewart revealed plans to
expand the shooting sports program. "By using grants to
expand the shooting facilities at the Bentley 4-H center, we
will be able to do more education and anticipate hosting
statewide shooting sports activities which will bring in
tourism dollars," he said.
Stewart also praised the volunteers associated with the
Extension programs. "Volunteerism is one of the strongest
attributes Ward County has," he said. "We would not have
such a great 4-H program without this strong volunteer base.
In the future we hope to recognize more of this
volunteerism." The Extension Service works closely with Main
Street, the Chamber and other civic organizations.
Last year there were 254 4-H members with project entries
totaling 494, Stewart told the Council. Goats headed the
list of project involvement with 90, followed by 73 in pigs
and 50 in 4-H Round-Up with participation noted in 33 other
Reports were also heard from Israel Fuentes, 4-H and Youth
Committee; Gloria Navarrete, Chair of the Family Consumer
Science Committee; Sam Massey, Agriculture Committee Chair;
and Debra Bean, the Horticulture Committee Chair.
Terry Kirkland, representing the Community Development
Committee, reminded everyone that the county barns are
available for travelers to house their horses overnight. As
an incentive to spend money in Monahans, those who use the
facilities may do so free of charge if they provide a
receipt showing money spent locally.
Mary Strickland, District Extension Director, Family
Consumer Sciences, commented on the past, present and future
of Extension Service programs.
"When 4-H comes into a community, there is a marked
reduction in crime and vandalism," she told her listeners.
"We are making a difference in lives that come into contact
with the Extension service.
Strickland believes the challenge for the future will be the
people who move to get out of the city. "They will think 4-H
is for farmers and ranchers. We have to convince them 4-H is
School district gets "A" on audit
Following a yearly audit of all financials of the school
district and tax office as required by state law, the school
district received the highest rating or "opinion" given by
The audit was conducted by Kelley, Smith, Willson and Rives,
a Monahans accounting firm.
Jim Willson of the accounting firm says that there are four
different opinion rankings. Unqualified opinion, which means
the financials are materially correct. Qualified, which
means that the financials are correct except for certain
areas that are always detailed out. Adverse, means that the
financials are not correct and disclaimer opinion, which
means that they don't know if the financials are correct.
The audit was given a "unqualified opinion" rating which is
the highest rating the school district could receive for the
Wilson said, "the school business and administration do a
fine job and are very knowledgeable. They have an attitude
to make things right."
Superintendent Cliff Stephens said, "We are pleased with the
audit, and Kelley, Smith, Willson and Rives did an excellent
job. It's nice to be able to use a local accounting firm to
get the job done and conform with state law," said Stephens.
Couple charged with murdering son
Ector County Judge Bill McCoy has set bond at $200,000 each
for Carlos Cain Hinojos, a 22-year-old Monahans native, and
Cynthia Jolynn Graves, his former girlfriend. The two are
awaiting trial for the alleged murder of Graves' 2-year-old
Approximately 100 people attended the bond hearing, and
according to Jeff Hinkley, Graves' attorney, most of them
came in support of the 24-year-old Graves.
John Smith, Ector County District Attorney, thinks that once
all the facts and evidence of the case are presented, a
large percentage of that support will be withdrawn.
Graves and Hinojos were indicted Nov. 18 on capital murder
charges, and while the two are no longer romantically
involved, they do have a 2-year-old daughter together.
Graves is 5 months pregnant with a third child, also by
At this time, Graves' parents have custody of the
2-year-old. Hinojos, prior to his arrest, had court-ordered
supervised visits with her.
The district attorney is quite definite in his desire to
seek the death penalty, but says a number of factors stand
in his way.
"You have to consider the defendants' age, their past
criminal record, and their future danger to society," he
says. "I have to weigh, and every district attorney has to
weigh, all of these things. It's a very difficult decision.
Besides that, you have to consider how the jury will see
these defendants. If they're good, clean and shiny, then
the jury isn't likely to hand them the death penalty."
Along with the capital murder charge, Graves and Hinojos
were both slapped with four lesser charges. Smith believes
the two are equally responsible in the child's death.
The defense attorneys, however, are both perturbed by how
long it's taken authorities to press charges.
"I think it's strange that it's taken them all these years
to come up with an arrest warrant," said John Hoestenbach,
Smith says that this is merely because the investigation has
been so thorough. His biggest problem is lack of witnesses.
"Anytime you have a child's death where the only two
witnesses are the suspects, you're not going to get much
Graves was working on the night that Bradon died, leaving
him with Hinojos. Bradon, having stopped breathing, was
taken to Medical Center Hospital, where he died during
According to the autopsy, the cause of death was peritonitis
brought on by abdominal trauma. According to the report,
massive head injuries could also have caused Braden's death.
Neither Graves or Hinojos have made a statement to police,
nor did they testify in front of the grand jury.
When asked if part of his client's defense will include
placing the blame on Hinojos, Hinkley replied that he could
not disclose that information at this time.
"The defense will include a number of things. But we do
believe wholeheartedly that Jolynn did not engage in any
acts that would harm her son. We'll wait to see if the
district attorney can convince us of otherwise."
Finley to be honored at retirement
A reception for retiring County Clerk, Pat Finley, is
scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11 in the County
Clerk's Office on the first floor of the Ward County
Courthouse. The come and go event is hosted by her staff.
Mrs. Finley has served in the Clerk's office for 42 years,
the last 19 of them as County Clerk. She has made many
friends during that time and her staff encouarges everyone
Building permits up $1 million
Building permits totaling $12,115 were issued in November.
That brings the total value of all permits issued this year
to $2,485,699, over a million dollars more than the permits
of a year ago.
A total of seven permits were issued for residential new
construction, which included two for additions and repairs
(valued at $1,950), one for reroofing ($250), three for
fences ($450), and one for a carport and garage at ($200),
bringing the residential total to $2,850.
Two commerical permits were issued for new construction, at
a value of $9,000. One permit was issued to a church at a
value of $265.
November permits included $30,000 to Melvin Michum of 203 S.
Nancy to move a mobile home (out); $4,000 to the Visiting
Nurses of Del Rio of 306 S. Bruce to enclose a carport;
$5,000 to Classic Cable of 1200 N. Carol for a storage
building; and $1,200 to Merced Rodriguez of 906 S. Main for
Lawn Mower Brigade wins parade award
Monahans Mainstreet Association and the Monahans Chamber of
Commerce teamed up this year to host a Lighted Christmas
Parade and celebration at the Million Barrel Museum Monday
There were a total of 22 parade entries. Entries are judged
based on originality, creativity and theme.
This years winning entry was the Famous Lawn Mower Brigade.
First prize was $200 and they plan to donate the prize money
to Toys for Tots, said Main Street manager Suzi Blair.
Second place went to the Senior 4-H for their Live manger
scene float. They picked up $100 prize for their effort.
Third place was awarded to First National Bank for their
First National Flyer float. They received a $50 prize.
Judges for the entries were Ed Simmons, Kermit Chamber of
Commerce, Stacy Brown, Odessa Main Street, Lorena Marquez,
Monahans city secretary and Julie Rowe, MHS student council
At the Million Barrel Museum Candy Cane Lane was set up for
pictures with Santa for the young ones. Over 300 children
got to talk to Santa and let him know what their Christmas
wishes are this year.
Hot chocolate and coffee was provided by First State Bank
and First National Bank. Cookies were donated by the Womens
Division of the Chamber of Commerce, Monahans Main Street
board and the Monahans Chamber board.
Entertainment was provided by First United Methodist Bell
Choir, MHS Special Edition, Texas Grass, and In One Accord.
Blair and Sheri Lord, Chamber director, would like to thank
the following for their help in making this year's Hometown
Holiday Christmas Celebration such a successful
Refreshments - First State Bank, First National Bank, WDCC,
Wednesday Study Club, Tau Lambda Study Club, Monahans
Hispanic Chamber, Main Street and Chamber Boards.
Decorations - Ward County Extension Service, The Gift Shop,
Boy Scouts and Marcus Lujan.
Entertainment - FUMC Bell Choir, MHS Special Edition, Texas
Grass (Leslie Gray, Woody Woodard & Doug Maynard) and In One
Accord (Cindy Pules & Lanie Lester)
Parade Judges - Ed Simmons, Stacy Brown, Lorena Marquez and
Julie Rowe and Kay Rankin for lining up everyone and getting
the parade off the ground.
Santa's Helpers - Linda Grant and the MHS FTA, BPA and FHA.
Film for pictures was donated by contributions from
McDonald's, WDCC and Alco.
Thanks also to Judge Massey, Commissioner Bill Welch and the
hardworking guys at Precinct 2, Hal Rankin, Louis Ortega and
Sammy Huertas and Emily and Eddie at the Million Barrel.
And, of course, Santa for taking time out of his busy
schedule to visit.
Stephens contract renewed by M-W-P ISD
Tuesday night the Monahans -Wickett -Pyote Independent
School District board of directors voted 7-0 in favor of
extending Superintendent Cliff Stephens contract to July 1,
No salary was discussed at this time as salaries are set at
budget hearings earlier in the year.
Stephens said, " I appreciate the opportunity to work for
the school district and work for the children of the school
district. I am happy the board has the confidence in me to
get the job done."
Stephens has been the superintendent for of the M.W.P.I.S.D.
since March of '97 and before that he held the position of
In a split vote 3-3, the Board voted not to accept the bid
of $719,000 for stadium renovation and construction of the
Lobo hall of honor. Funds in the neighborhood of $100,000
have been raised for the project which had an anticipated
cost of $350,000. The Board had planned to consider a loan
for the remaining cost at Tuesday's board meeting.
When the architect's bid came in at more than twice the
projected figure, the board was reluctant to put the
District into that kind of debt.
Board member, Steve Hurst voiced the Board's concerns about
borrowing money in "extremely difficult times" with property
value decreasing. He went on to say the Board has asked
Architect Monte Hunter of Hunter and Corral Associates to
come up with other options.
Hurst reiterated that some improvements need to be made to
the stadium and the Board will address each problem area on
an individual basis and consider the best way to fit them
into the budget.
According to Superintendent Stephens, anyone that has
donated to the stadium fund will receive a letter from his
office in the near future concerning the project.
Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Joe Warren, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314
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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers Inc.