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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, March 3, 1999

Pecos County delays joining water district

By JON FULBRIGHT
Staff Writer

FORT STOCKTON, March 3, 1999 - The Trans-Pecos Underground Water District will have to wait until next Monday to find out if Pecos County will join Reeves and Loving counties in the formation of an underground water district.

Pecos County Commissioners tabled any action on joining the district Tuesday, during a meeting held at the old Pecos County Courthouse in Fort Stockton. Commissioners were joined be members of the temporary board of the Trans-Pecos Underground Water District and by officials of the city of Fort Stockton.

Clark Lindley, one of the water district representatives at the meeting, said a motion to join the district was made by County Judge Delman Hodges, but was not seconded, and a motion by Gregg McKenzie to table the proposal until Monday's meeting of the Pecos County Commissioners Court was then approved.

"After discussing as number of issues, we told the three members of the commissioner's court we were faced with deciding on submitting the boundary of the water conservation district to State Representative Gary Walker for inclusion in the bill," Lindley said "The bill must be submitted to the legislature itself by March 15 ... By Tuesday the ninth in reality we've got to have the boundaries of the district ready for the (legislature's) drafting committee."

Lindley said several Pecos County and Fort Stockton city officials were unable to attend the meeting due to the funeral of the mother of Fort Stockton City Manager Chuy Garcia. He added that Garcia was named on Tuesday to serve on the underground water district's temporary board, replacing Tony Cordova, who has moved out of the Fort Stockton area.

Lindley said the board discussed the plans with officials who were able to attend and with audience members, and took questions. Several of the questions came from Fort Stockton attorney Paul Dionne, who Lindley said sat with Midland oilman Clayton Williams Jr., who farms land in Pecos County.

"Dionne expressed concern that Pecos County would have only three votes of the nine for the three counties, and they could be outvoted by the majority," Lindley said. He added that while Dionne, and a second lawyer did not officially say they were representing Williams, "Evidentially, some of (Dionne's) questions involved Clayton Williams and how he would be able to use his own water, including potential sales outside the water district."

Drug link suspected in murder

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

FORT STOCKTON, March 3, 1999 - Pecos County Sheriff Bruce Wilson believes drugs were involved in the shooting death of a Fort Stockton man Friday.

Fabian Douglas Castaneda, 19, of Coyanosa, was arrested Tuesday and charged with the murder of Javier Tellez Jr., 19, of Fort Stockton.

Wilson said that Tellez's body was spotted by a passerby near a fence just off Farm Road 70 west of Fort Stockton Monday afternoon. He had been missing since Friday night.

Wilson said Tellez had apparently been shot at another location and dumped alongside the road in a brushy area.

Castaneda appeared before Fort Stockton Municipal Judge Lali Minjarez this morning on the murder charge.

"This is the first murder we have had in a long time," said Wilson.

The last one was a convenience store clerk who was killed at the store about four years ago. The killer later identified as Joe Dominguez, eluded capture for some time. Dominguez was recently sentenced to life in prison for that murder.

Deadline near on Post Office site offers

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer

PECOS, March 3, 1999 - Comments from the community on the location for a new Pecos Post Office building will be forwarded to the Dallas main office at the end of this week, according to Postmaster Ramona Sterling.

Sterling said that her office has been receiving nothing but good comments about the idea of building a new Post Office in Pecos.

The United States Postal Service announced plans in January to relocate the Pecos Post Office, and are searching for a site or building to replace the current 64-year-old structure.

The current Post Office, at 106 W. Fourth St., has limited parking outside and is no longer adequate to serve the needs of postal customers in our community, Sterling said.

She added that the Postal Service has been seeking input from the community since the January 20 meeting, and will consider all site recommendations from the community and other comments received within 45 days of that meeting.

"The 45 days will be up at the end of this week, when all comments will be sent to Dallas and then we will take it from there," said Sterling.

"The Postal Service will seek to lease or purchase an existing building or a suitable site to build a new Post Office for Pecos," she said. The preferred area is bounded on the north by Third Street and on the south by Walthall and 14th streets. The areas is bounded on the east and west by Cedar and Eddy streets.

The site size needed is about 1.5 acres, and the facility should contain at least 6,500 square feet of usable area.

One proposal will come from Reeves County, which Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo said will benefit the community, although the suggested location is just outside the preferred area.

In his proposal, Galindo said that the county would build the new Post Office and look at the development site south of the Reeves County Civic Center if the proposal was considered.

The positive aspects of the proposal would be that the county would not have any land acquisition costs, the building would be along a thoroughfare, and in a section that is

Jury deliberates in smuggling trial

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, March 3, 1999 - Federal court jurors began this morning deliberating the fate of four Mexican citizens charged with backpacking marijuana from Mexico into the United States.

Jose Arturo Chavez-Martinez, Jose Alfredo Soto Navarette, Valentin Debora-Ruiz and Eduardo Berumen-Gonzalez were arrested last November near Fort Hancock. Border Patrol agents seized 745 pounds of marijuana packed into 15 duffel bags.

Testimony in the trial before Senior Judge Lucius Bunton began at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Judge Bunton recessed court at 6:10 p.m. Closing arguments were given this morning.

A motion to suppress evidence in another drug smuggling case got underway just before noon, and the trial was to begin at 1 p.m.

Judge Bunton also held a noon hearing on a motion for sanctions in a civil case. Defendants H. Richey, et al are seeking punitive damages against Byard Edwards, claiming he filed a frivolous lawsuit that was later dismissed.

A fourth criminal jury trial with four defendants is set to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday.
 

Lions Club offering free camp

By SMOKEY BRIGGS
Staff Writer

PECOS, March 3, 1999 - Local children with disabilities and diabetes can attend summer camp for free compliments of the Texas Lions Club.

According to Paul Hinojos, president of the Pecos Downtown Lions Club, the Texas Lions Camp, located near Kerrville, is a special camp designed for the needs of children with disabilities.

"The camp is a wonderful opportunity for these kids who wouldn't normally be able to go to camp," said Hinojos, who is also vice president and loan officer at First National Bank. "It has excellent facilities and the only cost to the family is for transportation to and from the camp. Everything else is free."

Hinojos said that the camp is fully equipped to take care of the kids and fully staffed with doctors and nurses as well as camp counselors.

He added that if several kids from the Pecos area were going to attend the camp, the local Lions club might be able to rent a van to take the kids to Kerrville.

Jessica Thomasson, daughter of Gary and Cindy Thomasson, has attended the camp for the last three years.

Jessica is blind. She is a seventh grader, an honor student, and plays coronet in the Zavala Middle School band.

"The camp is a lot of fun," she said. "Last year it rained on the day we were supposed to go horseback riding and that was disappointing, but I'll get to go riding this year."

Along with horseback riding, children participate in swimming, overnight camp outs and a full range of summer camp activities.

This year marks the 50th year of operations for the camp. The camp operates in one-week sessions from

Area faces more drought woes

By CHRIS NEWTON
Associated Press Writer

LUBBOCK West Texas farmers, devastated by the 1998 drought, needed a wet winter to replenish and soften their fields if there was any hope of a bountiful harvest in 1999. Now winter is almost over, and the skies have been little help.

Since Jan. 1, most areas south of the Panhandle have received less-than-average rainfall. Conditions around Big Spring and San Angelo are critical, with rainfall totals already more than an inch below normal.

"The farther south you go, the worse it gets," National Weather Service meteorologist Lance Goehring said. "But even to the north, we have only received one storm near the end of January. Beyond that we're dry as well."

Big Spring, San Angelo, Odessa and Midland have all gotten less than an inch of rain this year, while Lubbock and Amarillo are slightly wetter than usual. But even the rain the northern areas received came in a single spurt not especially helpful for softening the ground since much of it becomes runoff, researchers say.

Carl Anderson, a Texas Agricultural Extension Service researcher, said the southern regions haven't received drought-breaking rain since last summer.

"We've seen a continuation of the dry conditions that plagued the area all last year," Anderson said. "But it is even more critical now, because without rain soon you set up the possibility that this summer could be worse. There is still plenty of time for things to turn around. It just doesn't look great from where we are right now."

Worse yet, forecasters predict that substantial rainfall won't come anytime soon in the region.

Earlier this week, the Big Spring Herald reported that nearly 750 people from Howard County and surrounding areas gathered to pray for rain.

"We rely on the rain here and we rely on God for that rain," said Big Spring Mayor Tim Blackshear, who opened the West Texas Rain Rally that included group prayer and such hymns as "Victory in Jesus" and

Obituary

Howard Dennett

Howard Dennett, 76, died Saturday, Feb. 27, 1999, at Midland Memorial Hospital. Memorial services are scheduled for 6 p.m., today at Pecos Funeral Home with John Swanson officiating.

He was born March 25, 1922, in Rehobeth, Mass., had served in the United States Navy, was a mechanic and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Survivors include his wife Dolores Dennett of Toyah; one son, Kevin Parker of Amber, Penn.; four grandchildren and numerous friends.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
 

Weather

PECOS, March 3, 1999 - High Tuesday 78; low last night 38. Tonight, mostly clear. Low near 40. South wind 10-15 mph. Thursday, partly cloudy, windy and warmer. High near 80. West to southwest wind 15-25 mph and gusty.
 



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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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