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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, March 18, 1999

Herrera's bond set at $25,000

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, March 18, 1999 - Bail for bail bondsman Joey Herrera Jr. was set at $25,000 this morning following a hearing in Reeves County Court-at-law on a writ for habeas corpus.

Herrera was arrested Monday on a governor's warrant on a six-count indictment in Nashville, Tenn., alleging he fabricated evidence, laundered money and conspired to do both.

Pecos attorney Scott Johnson claims in the writ that the governor's warrant is defective in that it alleges Herrera committed a crime in Tennessee, then fled to Texas.

District Attorney Randy Reynolds agreed that was not the case; that Herrera was accused of committing acts in Texas that resulted in crimes in Tennessee.

Reynolds obtained a corrected warrant from Texas Gov. George Bush this morning via FAX, which he presented to the court.

He agreed that Herrera would be eligible for bail if Judge Green denied the writ and Johnson appealed.

Judge Green denied the writ, and Johnson immediately filed notice of appeal.

Reynolds said he and defense attorneys had agreed to $25,000 bail with the terms that Herrera remain in Reeves County at all times except when traveling to Ector County to see Brian Chavez, who is assisting Johnson as his attorney; that Herrera appear at a hearing in Nashville, Tenn. at 9 a.m. March 29, accompanied by a licensed attorney from Texas or a law enforcement officer; and that this attorney should notify Reynolds when they leave.

Chavez said that Herrera has business in other counties, and he may ask that the bond terms be modified later as needed. He said that he would work that out with the D.A.

Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo Gomez said that A Liberty Bonding posted bail.

The indictment, returned Feb. 19 by the Davidson County, Tenn. grand jury, alleges that Herrera presented false and fictitious birth certificates for three defendants bailed out by Paul's Bonding Company; that he laundered money by sending Paul's Bonding Company more money than was needed for the bail bond; and that he conspired with co-defendants to do fabricate evidence and to launder money.

John Zimmerman, the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case, was in Pecos Monday for the arrest and search of Herrera's office and home. He and other officers then went to El Paso, where Herrera has an office and apartment.

Balmorhea has lone contested election

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer

PECOS, March 18, 1999 - Balmorhea voters will be the only ones in the area going to the polls on May 1, unless write-in candidates materialize in the other local city, school and hospital board elections.

City council seats are up for election in Toyah, Balmorhea, Barstow and Pecos, along with seats on the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah and Balmorhea school boards, and for two precincts on the Reeves County Hospital District board. But when the filing deadline closed at 5 p.m. Wednesday, the only race that was uncontested was for the Balmorhea City Council.

Incumbents Sammy Baeza, Richard Hoefs and Olga Lopez all filed for new two-year terms, and will be challenged by Anna Contreras, Rosa Dominguez, Diana Roman and Ike Ward. The seven candidates were scheduled to draw for positions on the ballot at 1 p.m. today.

Several other area races will only have as many candidates as there are seats up for election, while only one individual has filed for city council in Toyah, Diane Tollett, where three seats were scheduled to be chosen on May 1.

Also short of candidates is the Balmorhea School Board, where only two of the three incumbents, Braulia Natividad and Javier Lozano, filed for new three-year terms.

If no candidates file for write in positions in those races, the remaining members can appoint people to fill the vacancies after the May 1 elections.

In the Town of Pecos City Council election, incumbents Gerald Tellez and Johnny Terrazas have filed re-election, and they will be joined by Larry Levario, maintenance director for the Texas Department of Transportation, who will seek the seat currently held by Randy Graham, who opted not to run again.

"I've been on the council for seven years and I think there needs to be new blood in there," said Graham. "It's been a great experience and I think I've given back to Pecos a little of what it's given me."

All three incumbents in the Barstow City Council filed to retain their positions. Olga Abila, Lucio Florez and Dora Villanueva will run unopposed for new two-year terms.

In the Reeves County Hospital District election, only one of the two incumbents, Marcella Lovett, is seeking a new two-year term.

Lovett, who represents Precinct 2 on the board, will be joined by Holly Key, who filed Wednesday to run for the seat from Precinct 4 currently held by board president, Jeannette Alligood.

"I believe in term limits and have imposed one on myself," said Alligood, who has served on the board for six years, and as president for the past two.

The hospital is in good shape right now and a new perspective is needed for it to keep viable, according to Alligood.

"It's a good time to leave, in the next election the majority of the board will be up for re-election and this will give Holly Key a chance to learn more about the board," said Alligood. "A new outlook and ideas, fresh perspective, is what is needed at this time."

In the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD election, neither incumbent Daisy Roquemore or Alberto Alvarez filed for new three-year terms. Former board member Billie Sadler and Frank Apolinar, Jr. are the only candidates in the race.

Alvarez said that he has served on the school board for 10 years and that it's time for others to serve. "We need new blood with individuals that have new ideas and a different perspective," said Alvarez.

"I also have other priorities at this time, both personally and professionally," he added. "With someone new on the board, more can be accomplished."

Individuals who would like to run as write-in candidates can pick up forms for the city election from Geneva Martinez, city secretary, at City Hall; from secretary Jo Allgood at the school administration office; and from administrative assistant Nadine Smith at Reeves County Hospital.

Prospective write-in candidates have until 5 p.m., Monday to decide. If no write-in candidates file, a state law passed in 1993 allows the local governing bodies to cancel the elections in order to save money.

Study questions Andrews  waste dump


ODESSA (AP) University of Texas researchers say western Andrews County, part of which sits atop the the Ogallala Aquifer, may be unsuitable for radioactive waste disposal.

The report, released late last month and made public this week by UT's Bureau of Economic Geology, said the aquifer is located beneath land owned by Envirocare of Texas and may also lie beneath Waste Control Specialists' hazardous and low-level radioactive storage facility, the Odessa American reported.

Both companies have proposed their facilities be used to dispose of low-level radioactive waste from Texas, Maine and Vermont after a state-owned site seven miles southeast of Sierra Blanca in Hudspeth County was rejected last year.

UT scientist Alan Dutton questions the methodology behind a recent report by Texas Tech University scientists, paid for by Pasadena-based Waste Control Specialists.

WCS site is located on the Texas-New Mexico state line, just north of State Highway 176 in Andrews County, while Envirocare's site is six miles to the southeast in Andrews County.

None of the area around either sites is currently in use for farming, but land is in cultivation along State Highway 176 about five miles east of the Envirocare site and 10 miles east of WCS's land.

The Tech research concludes that the Ogallala aquifer was not beneath the WCS site and is often cited by proponents of the nuclear waste facility who say Andrews County is a safe site.

"(Tech researchers) state that Ogallala is absent at the WCS site," Dutton's report said. "No scientific description or documentation were included with the text . . . to substantiate these interpretations."

Tech researchers could not be reached for comment by The Associated Press.

The UT report also states that "the description of core materials" at the WCS site resemble those found at Envirocare's 888 acres, located eight miles southeast of Envirocare's lands.

Wet core samples taken from the Envirocare of Texas site reflect the presence of groundwater, the report said.

Core samples taken from the WCS site for the company's 1993 application for radioactive waste disposal also were wet.

Both companies have touted the presence of the Red Bed Ridge, a thick bank of "impermeable" clay, on their lands as suitable for disposal of radioactive materials.

Dutton's report said the ridge itself may not be as old as previously reported, and that the thickness of the High Plains aquifer increases along the ridge by 1.25 feet per mile to the southeast.

Groundwater "recharge" may be occurring at either location, the report says.

"A saturated section can develop and build up across the `Red Bed Ridge' in a given area that is presently unsaturated," the report reads.

The report said the "conditions" at the WCS location "might at a later time come to resemble" those at Envirocare of Texas lands.

Texas law forbids either site from being considered for radioactive waste disposal unless it can be proved that the Ogallala aquifer is not "recharged from or discharged to" either site area, a 1987 letter by Rick Jacobi, former manager for the Authority states.

The report said further study of the WCS site and lands in the south-central part of the county, near the border with Ector and Winkler counties, is needed.

The Texas Low-Level Radioactive Disposal Authority, the state agency charged with operating a low-level radioactive waste dump in Texas for wastes from Texas, Maine and Vermont, requested the report from the Bureau of Economic Geology in January.

Race for Odessa council also short of candidates

ODESSA (AP) Elections in this West Texas city have been canceled after only one candidate stepped forward.

Spring elections, scheduled for May 1, for City Council were called off, according to City Attorney Joel Roberts.

"I've never seen this happen at least not in the last 20 years," Roberts told the Odessa American.

By Wednesday's deadline to file for City Council, only Larry Melton, an accountant and former banker, had filed to run for the District 3 seat.

However, no one came to the City Secretary's office by Wednesday's 5 p.m. deadline to file for District 4 or District 5.

The council, by state law, must appoint someone in Districts 4 and 5 this year. The two positions will be up for election again in the year 2000.

In May, Melton will automatically take the District 3 seat. But District 4 incumbent Terry Witherspoon, who battled three rivals for his position in 1997, decided not to run again.

Berta Calzada, District 5 appointee, said she failed to gather the required 50 signatures by the deadline.

Gary Johnson, chairman of the Ector County Republican Party, said the lack of candidates was the result of many factors.

"And we were under the impression that Ms. Calzada had filed and we had not heard from Terry Witherspoon," he said. "A lot of people assumed that other people were going to run and they were doing a job ..."

Roman Brothers to perform at Tejano Awards this week

PECOS, March 18, 1999 - Andy Roman and the Roman Brothers, a multi-talented group of Pecos, have again been invited to perform at this year's Tejano Music Awards Fanfare in San Antonio, scheduled for Friday, March 19.

The 18th annual awards will be the third straight show in which the Roman Brothers will perform. The six musicians, four of whom are brothers, have been around for 19 years playing their energetic music from Texas to California to Kansas.

The group spent five years on the Las Vegas Casino circuit opening for such groups as Kenny G, The Cover Girls, Elvis The Impersonator and Zapp. Closer to home, the Romans also performs jazz in and around the Odessa-Midland area.

In 1996 The Roman Brothers teamed up with Barb Wire Production and released a Tejano CD entitled, "Andy Roman and the Roman Brothers."

The groups' first release helped them gain a nomination as Up-and-Coming Band at the 7th Annual El Paso Hispanic Music Awards. The band won second at the Tejano Music Awards Talent Search in San Antonio and were invited to participate at the 16th Annual Fanfare of the TTMA and 16th Annual Tejano Awards in 1997.

The band is made up of Andy Roman on saxophones; Tito Roman on drums; Arti Roman, on lead vocals and keyboards; Joel Roman, bass; Ernest Marquez, guitar and Paul Briones, keyboards.

Ryan featured at Sandhills benefit dinner


MONAHANS, March 18, 1999 - Future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan will be the featured guest on March 27 for events surrounding the dedication of the Dunigan Visitors Center at Monahans Sandhills State Park.

Dedication ceremonies are set for 4 p.m., and Ryan will appear at a dinner benefiting the endowment fund for the park at 7 p.m. at the Ward County Coliseum.

An autograph session with Ryan will be held prior to the dinner for the first 200 people who purchase benefit dinner tickets. The session with Ryan, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame last month, will run from 6 to 6:50 p.m., with tickets for the dinner $35 apiece.

Tickets are available through the Monahans Chamber of Commerce, 401 S. Dwight Ave., Monahans, Tx., 79756. For further information, call the chamber at 915-943-2187.
 

Texas Lotto

AUSTIN (AP) No ticket correctly matched all six numbers drawn Wednesday night for the twice-weekly Lotto Texas game, state lottery officials said. The jackpot was worth $10 million. The numbers drawn Wednesday night from a field of 50 were: 5, 28, 38, 43, 44, and 45. Saturday night's drawing will be worth an estimated $14 million.

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Wednesday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 3-5-8 (three, five, eight)
 

Weather


PECOS, March 18, 1999 - High Wednesday 79; low last night 42. Rainfall .11 inch. March rainfall .11 inch. Year-to-date .16 inch. Tonight, cloudy and windy with a chance of rain, rain may mix with snow late. Low in the mid 30s. North wind 15-25 mph. Chance of precipitation 40 percent. Friday, mostly cloudy with a chance of morning showers. High around 50. North wind 10-20 mph. Chance of rain 30 percent.
 



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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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