Friday, December 11, 1998
Winter storm slows traffic, cuts powerBy PEGGY McCRACKEN
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Heavy, wet snow blanketed Far West Texas this morning, creating havoc for electric companies and hazardous driving conditions.
Deep snow at the junction of Interstate Highways 10 and 20 about 40 miles west of Pecos caused dozens of vehicles to slide off the highway and get stuck in the snow.
Richard Jacobs, a Department of Public Safety trooper, said it was the worst he has ever seen it at the junction, which is at a 4,000 elevation. He had pushed 27 cars out of snowbanks by mid-morning before coming to Pecos to gas up and return with help. Van Horn troopers were also at the scene, said Dickie Jones, communications supervisor.
Larry Simpson, publisher of the Van Horn Advocate and weather observer for the National Weather Service, said it had snowed five inches by mid-morning, and a light snow was still falling. Temperatures had risen so that the new flakes were not sticking, he said.
Eastbound trucks were being stopped on I-10 in Van Horn, while Greyhound canceled all of its bus service through the mountains due to the storm, the DPS reported.
Deep snow was reported in places around McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, and light snow was still falling at 11 a.m.
Jones said the Midland DPS office reported roads were "real bad" all the way to Abilene.
Pecos had received 4.5 inches of snow by 7:30 a.m., and moisture measured .60 inch - with large flakes continuing to fall just before noon and more expected.
Texas-New Mexico Power Company reported numerous electrical power outages caused by the snow and ice on power lines and on trees that broke and fell into power lines.
In the southwest part of Pecos, a spectacular light show accompanied a power outage at 7:17 a.m. That part of town stayed dark for two hours after the lines sparked out, with the power restored at 9:17 a.m. Outages were also reported in other areas, and Tommy Terry of T-NP said they would continue as long as the storm does.
"We have stuff out everywhere," Terry said. "Until this storm lets up, we are going to have problems. It is happening all over West Texas"
Both Pecos-Barstow-Toyah and Balmorhea schools remained open today, although the power outage left students at Austin Elementary and Crockett Middle School without power for lights or computers for the first hours of classes.
Because temperatures never fell much below freezing in the Pecos Valley area overnight, Interstate 20 was clear enough to allow Pecos' basketball teams to travel to Monahans for morning tournament games. However, schools were closed today in Kermit, while snows were expected to continue in the Midland-Odessa area until late this afternoon.
The Associated Press reported that the upper level storm system was moving slowly eastward across Texas and was expected to reach the Dallas-Fort Worth area by sometime Saturday, bringing with it a narrow band of winter precipitation.
Forecasters warned that the system will make bridges, roads and overpasses hazardous.
A snow advisory was in effect for North Texas west of a line from Henrietta to Graham to Eastland to Coleman.
The system will produce widespread rain over North Texas with the rain changing to snow in the advisory area. It will be ending from the west tonight.
No significant accumulation of snow or ice is expected in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The winter precipitation will end this evening in West Texas where it will be mostly sunny and warmer on Saturday.
There is a chance of light snow in western areas of North Texas and rain mixed with snow in north central areas tonight. It will be cloudy Saturday morning with rain ending late in the day.
Rain will continue in South Texas tonight. Skies will be clearing late Saturday.
Lows tonight will be in the 20s and 30s except in South Texas where readings will be in the 30s in the Hill Country and in the 40s and 50s elsewhere.
Highs Saturday will be in the 50 except in South Texas where readings will be in the 40s and 50s.
Auditor says P-B-T school finances improvedBy MARI MALDONADO
Commendations were handed down to Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members and staff, during their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, for the positive financial turnaround by the school district.
"I know I had given you a hard chore last year," said Bob Card of Card, Graham and Company, "and that was to cut your deficit spending. But I didn't expect it to happen this quickly."
In his 1997-98 audit review, Card said that the general fund activity showed about $15.3 million in revenues and $15.1 million in expenditures, giving P-B-T ISD approximately a $208,000 surplus. From that $133,000 is to be deducted for cafeteria support, leaving a positive fund balance of $75,000.
"You all turned this around very quickly and the entire school (district) is to be commended," Card said.
A total of $2.2 million in federal program revenues was reported, with expenses totaling $2.4 million. "The difference is funded by the general fund," which he explained has already been deducted, Card said.
In the delinquent tax schedule, the auditor said there were, "good collections," with a balance of $2 million down almost $60,000 from last year's figures.
"I found things to be in generally good order," said Card. "I made some substantial corrections in the payroll area."
With a unanimous vote, board members approved the audit.
In other action, members of the Pecos High School band paraded around the board room as board members heard words of appreciation from Band Director Bill Goff and Superintendent Don Love for the group's efforts at this fall's area marching contest in El Paso.
They received a first division at the U.I.L. Marching Contest in October, the first Division I ranking for the Eagle band in four years.
"We're very, very proud of our band program," said Love, while Goff told the board "We're looking forward to a successful spring."
Also on Thursday, board members heard Love present the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) report, and considered the P-B-T ISD report card as handed down by the Texas Education Agency.
Love told the board that Bessie Haynes Elementary, Lamar Elementary and Zavala Middle School were recognized by the state agency, iterating increased passing levels in TAAS testing and Attendance rate and decreases in the drop-out percentage rates. TAAS participation rates are also considered.
In accordance with this report, board members later heard Love outline his superintendent's goals, which included:
* Ninety percent of third grade student will be reading at grade level within a three to five year period;
* The district will study and implement successful practices that will increase student attendance to meet the state mandated attendance requirement and
* Implement best practices to increase math scores within a three to five year period.
Board members voted unanimously to award a bid of $19,500 to Vanco Insulation Abatement for the removal of asbestos for construction and rewiring purposes to Austin Elementary, Zavala Middle School, Bessie Haynes Elementary and Barstow Elementary.
This amount and the consultant's fee all fall within the $25,000 alloted for this project, Love told the board. "We'll try to get the work done during the holidays," he said, "so it doesn't affect our kids."
A textbook committee of 20 P-B-T ISD staff members was approved by all four board members who attended the meeting, as recommended by the superintendent, who submitted a list of volunteers for the task from each campus.
Policy update 59 was approved, "as is," by unanimous vote, as was the appointment of Richard Steed to Lamar Middle School as special education teacher.
For $1,075 David Sandoval will be allowed to purchase an "F" Street property owned by the district, comprised of 2.76 acres.
RCDC escapees hit with new chargesBy PEGGY McCRACKEN
Numerous charges of failure to appear and illegal entry after deportation, the usual number of marijuana importation and possession, and a superseding indictment for escape swelled the number of federal court indictments Thursday to 30.
A new indictment adds aiding and abetting and conspiracy to escape charges against Luis Castillo-Rodriguez, 31, Jose Jaramillo-Hernandez, 22, Milton Alarcon, 39, and Mariano Flores-Benavidez, 24. They escaped from the Reeves County Detention Center Nov. 1 but were captured two days later.
A Fort Davis man and three Mexican citizens are charged with conspiracy and possession of 220.75 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute on Nov. 25.
They are Francisco Javier Hernandez, 23, of Fort Davis; Reynaldo Fernando-Grielva-Hermosillo, 29, of Chihuahua, Mex.; Leobardo Ramirez-Castro, 30, of Villa Aldama, Mex.; and Enrique Flores-Gonzales, 53, of Villa Aldama, Mex.
The three Mexican citizens are also charged with importing marijuana and Hernandez is charged with three counts of transporting illegal aliens.
Charges of conspiracy, importing and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute were filed against:
* Ricardo Gonzales-Rosales, 22, and Maria Rosales-Castro, 47, of Delicias, Mex., 90.2 pounds on Nov. 19;
* Lilia Orrantia-Venegas, 29, and Silvia Orrantia-Venegas, both of Chihuahua, Mex., 67.6 pounds on Nov. 29.
Charged with importing and possessing with intent to distribute marijuana are:
* Saby Letitia Rubio, 28, of Oklahoma City, Nov. 12;
* Ramon Peinado-Esparza, 120.8 pounds on Dec. 4;
* Armando Palma-Chavira, 28, of Cuauhtemoc, Chih., Mex., 347.2 pounds on Nov. 30;
* Juan Carlos Moreno, 23, Guerrero, Chih., Mex., 138.4 pounds on Dec. 4;
* Armando Casteneda-Munoz, 51, of Camargo, Mex., 95.8 pounds on Dec. 4;
* Albert M. Sena, 63, of El Paso, 121.4 pounds on Dec. 3;
Marijuana possession with intent to distribute is the charge against:
* David Dale Pinosa, 22, of Presidio, 65.78 pounds on Dec. 9;
* Richard Macias of Odessa, 154.56 pounds on Dec. 9;
* Jose M. Franco-Vasquez, 21, of Presidio, 74.34 pounds on Nov. 14;
* Abel Trevizo-Corrales, 39, of Metachi, Chih., Mex., 303.12 pounds on Nov. 17;
* Greg Herrera Jr., 19, of Monument, N.M., 298.32 poounds on Nov. 25;
* Theodore Diaz, 26, of Big Spring, 217.95 pounds on Nov. 12;
* Jose Angel Herrera-Carrillo of Delicias, Mex., 103.1 pounds on Nov. 21;
* Cesar Hernandez, 40, 268.38 pounds on Dec. 5;
Charged with failure to appear for court are:
* Guadalupe Ibarra-Sandoval, 29, of Carlsbad, N.M.;
* Emma Torres-Sandoval, 35, of Carlsbad, N.M.
* Marcos Dionisio Rivera, 19, of Odessa;
* Martin Gonzalez, 30, Chihuahua, Mex., and
* Teofilo Meraz Carrasco.
Illegal entry after deportation is the charge against:
* Juan Lopez-Sanabria, 32, of Mexico;
* Alfredo Mendez-Perez, 28, of Mexico;
* Tomas Estrada-Rodriguez, 34, of Mexico;
* Juan Daniel Sanchez-Rios, 32, of Ojinaga, Mex.;
* Ramon Leal-Barrera, 31, of Mexico;
* Antonio Arzola-Mendoza, 42, of Mexico;
* Porfirio Gomez-Medrano, 38, of Mexico;
* Angel Gandara-Gonzalez of Mexico;
* Ernesto Jose Madrid-Vega, 24, of Mexico;
* Noe Nardo Tobon-Cuautel, 28, of Mexico; and
* Mario Alberto Saenz-Gonzalez, 23, of Mexico.
RCDC items dominate county's agendaReeves County Commissioners have several items on their Monday agenda regarding the Reeves County Detention Center, along with bid awards for numerous items.
The regular meeting is set for 9:45 a.m. in the commissioner's third floor courtroom.
RCDC items include appointment of an architect for the 1,000-bed addition; the Bureau of Prisons statement of work modification; payment for the support shell building and recreation building additions; carryover annual leave for employees; financial arrangements for transportation; emergency water heater improvements and replacements; and salary and personnel changes.
Bids will be awarded for janitorial supplies, employee uniforms, inmate uniforms, motor oils and fuel, discarded food products, aggregates for surface treatment, asphalt, oils and emulsion, laboratory and X-ray services, dental services and pharmaceuticals.
They will also consider giving a fire truck to the city of Toyah, discuss AFLAC "change in status," discuss bond and oath on clerk for the county attorney's office and set paid holidays for 1999.
Eagle girls lose to Prowlers at SandhillsThe Fort Stockton Prowlers avenged Tuesday's loss to the Pecos Eagles in the consolation semifinals of this morning's Monahans Sandhills Tournament, rallying from a seven-point deficit after three quarters to beat Pecos by a 40-37 final score.
Coach Brian Williams said the Prowlers hit two free throws in the final minute, and added a lay-up at the buzzer to get the victory, after Pecos had won by three points at home three days earlier.
"The officials didn't see my time out (signal) and we went down and turned the ball over, and then they went ahead on two foul shots," Williams said. "We went down after that and got a good shot, but it didn't drop and they went down and scored with one second left."
Fort Stockton held a 7-2 lead after one period, but were outscored in the middle periods by Pecos 29-17 before coming back in the fourth quarter. Shaye Lara led Pecos with 17 points and Monique Levario added seven for the Eagles, who will face either Monahans or Reagan County in the tournament's seventh place game at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Estelle Cole BurtonEstelle Cole Burton, 89, died Wednesday, Dec. 9, 1998, in Odessa Medical Center. Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday in Fairview Cemetery.
She was born Jan. 14, 1909 in Farmersvill, La. and lived in Pecos 51 years.
Survivors include three sons, James Burton of Lubbock, N.H. Burton Jr. of Carlsbad, N.M., and Jack Cole Burton of Abilene; two daughters, Linnie Mae Parson of Carlsbad, N.M. and Barbara Schneider of Odessa; one sister, Paula Liscomb of Austin; 15 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren.
Floyd CurryFloyd Curry, 80, died at 12:20 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, 1998, at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, following a short illness. Private family graveside services will be in Tahoka at a later date.
Mr. Curry was born Mar. 26, 1918, in Corsicana. He lived in Pecos for three years with his nephew, Wesley Curry, moving here from Big Spring. He lived most of his life in Big Spring and Lamesa and was a retired farmer.
Survivors include four daughters, Lyn Franks, Lori West and Becky Ray of Lorena and Kathy Overstreet of Houston; eight grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Helen OglesbyHelen Oglesby, 98, died Thursday, Dec. 10, 1998, in Pecos Nursing Home. Services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday in First Christian Church, with burial in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery, directed by Pecos Funeral Home.
Helen Gertrude Tilden was born Sept. 29, 1900 in Wilcox, Arizona Territory and moved to Pecos in 1920 with her husband, John Henry Oglesby. She was a homemaker and a member of First Christian Church.
Survivors include one son, William Robert "Bill" Oglesby of Pecos; four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to First Christian Church, American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.
WeatherHigh Thursday 42; low last night 32. Snowfall by 7:30 a.m. 4.5 inches; moisture .60 inch. December moisture .60. Year-to-date 6.57 inches Winter weather advisory today. Tonight, partial clearing. Low upper 20s. Light wind. Saturday, becoming mostly sunny and warmer. High upper 50s. northwest wind 5-15 mph.
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