Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, March 31, 1999
Heath agency changed OKed by RCH board
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, March 31, 1999 -- Lengthy reports extended the meeting time
for the Reeves County Hospital District board of directors on Tuesday,
and all recommendations were approved.
A new organizational structure for the home health agency was approved,
along with operating policies and procedures.
Several physicians who no longer work in the emergency room were removed
from the medical staff, and two radiologists were approved for consulting
The board approved amendments to the medical staff by-laws regarding
delinquent records and on-call response time.
A request for tax abatement on property along I-20 where a new building
is proposed for lease to the federal government was tabled.
Board President Jeannette Alligood said that financial reports show
the hospital to be in good shape, and money is in the bank to pay the bills
as listed and approved.
An informational report on the Social Security survey prepared the board
and staff for the upcoming re-certification survey, which is made every
RCH opts out of lawsuit over mineral valuations
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, March 31, 1999 -- Reeves County Hospital District is not interested
in suing oil companies that pay taxes in Reeves County, said Charles Butts,
chief executive officer.
The district was listed as a plaintiff, along with Loving County and
school districts in Kermit, Wink, Fort Stockton and Pecos, against 15 oil
companies whose mineral properties are believed to be undervalued by appraisal
Butts said that when the law firm that filed the suit in 109th District
Court in Kermit contacted him by letter about joining the suit, he thought
it pertained to some land the hospital district owns mineral rights to.
"When we found out what it was about, we opted out," he said.
The suit accuses the oil companies of selling oil and gas at a low price
to one of their own subsidiaries to artificially lower the amount they
would be taxed on. The subsidiaries then sold the oil and gas at a higher
price, the suit alleges.
Representatives of the oil companies have been meeting with taxing entities
to explain their position, and several have opted out, including the Crane
Russell McInturff, a representative of Linebarger, Heard, Groggan, Blair,
Graham, Pena and Sampson, LLP, told the Crane ISD board that the oil companies'
action was discovered when royalty owners learned they may have been underpaid,
based on the lower selling price.
A representative of the Texas Oil and Gas Association said that appraisal
districts using projected oil prices, and not the oil companies, are responsible
for errors in undervaluation of mineral interests.
"I don't think anyone knew what it was all about," Butts said this morning.
"I am not sure what the attorney group are doing. The hospital is not interested
in suing oil companies that pay the taxes in Reeves County. We would like
for them to drill more wells out here, and if we sue them, they may not
Butts said he believes the oil companies will pay additional taxes if
they discover they owe them.
Chevron representative Richard Burchfield told the Fort Stockton ISD
board of trustees that Pecos County and Iraan-Sheffield ISD were not a
part of the suit, and that the school district alone would be responsible
for any litigation costs.
The board set a special meeting for next week to hear more from the
oil companies and attorneys.
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD trustees will also hear from oil companies in
a special meeting April 6. Board president Earl Bates said he is not sure
if the meeting will be open to the public.
Trustee Steve Armstrong said the meeting would be closed because it
pertains to litigation.
Plaintiffs with P-B-T are Kermit ISD, Wink-Loving ISD, Loving County
and Fort Stockton ISD.
Bonilla visiting Pecos to open office
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, March 31, 1999 -- U.S. Congressman Henry Bonilla will be in
Pecos on Thursday to announce plans to open a part-time office here to
better serve this community and the surrounding area, press spokeswoman
Susan Phalen said Tuesday.
At the same time, the congressman also announced that the comment period
on low-level bomber flights _ one of the main issues concerning ranchers
in the western part of his 23rd Congressional District Ï has been
extended from 45 to 90 days by the U.S. Air Force.
Bonilla (R-San Antonio) will hold a community event in Pecos, from 11
a.m. until noon Thursday. At the meeting, Bonilla will announce the opening
of his new part-time district office, and will introduce Tony Carrillo,
Bonilla's constituent liaison based in Midland.
Carrillo will come to Pecos for several days, four times a year to handle
casework and serve as Bonilla's constituent liaison for the area. He will
handle requests for information, and will work with constituents on a variety
of issues including: social security, VA concerns, immigration, information
on obtaining a passport, agricultural concerns, etc.
Along with that announcement, the congressman also plans to give an
update on a variety of issues from a federal perspective, and will answer
questions from community members.
The topic of low level flights by both U.S. and German Air Force jets
over West Texas will be the subject of a hearing on April 9 in Pecos, three
weeks after the comment period on the Air Force's Environmental Impact
Statement opened on March 19.
The comment period originally was scheduled to run for only 45 days,
but Bonilla said after requesting an extension from Air Force Chief of
Staff Michael E. Ryan, the period for the public to comment on the plan
has been extended another 45 days, to June 16.
"It is important that West Texans have ample time to voice their concerns
over the Air Force's RTBI (Realistic Bomber Training Initiative) program,"
Bonilla said is a statement. "We must do everything we can to make sure
the rights of private property owners are protected and their concerns
Bonilla was first elected to Congress in 1992, and was re-elected to
a fourth two-year term this past November. His Pecos office will be based
in the Reeves County courthouse where Judge Jimmy Galindo has offered office
Carrillo will open the Bonilla office in Pecos on Monday, April 19 and
will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on April 19 and April 20.
Local lowrider gets regional recognition
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, March 31, 1999 -- A Pecos resident's 1964 Chevrolet Impala will
be featured in the April issue of a popular car magazine.
Ben Sanchez' car is featured in a full page of Orlie's Lowriding magazine,
which is distributed in Oregon, Washington, Texas and California.
"It's a great honor, I didn't realize they were actually going to use
the pictures I sent in," said Sanchez.
He said he sent the magazine a couple of pictures of his "oldie" car,
which he has owned for seven years, along with a note saying that he would
appreciate their consideration in using at least one of the photos.
"They didn't even call me to let me know they were going to use it,
I was really surprised," he said.
Sanchez said that he buys the magazine regularly and when he opened
up April's issue was astonished to find his Chevy featured on page 12 of
"This was just three months ago that I sent them the pictures and note,"
Even though Sanchez doesn't participate in any low-rider car shows,
this past February he took his classic car cruising. "In the first week
of February I took it cruising in different parts of Texas," said Sanchez.
Sanchez "cruised" in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Austin, Dallas, Abilene
and Fort Worth. "Everywhere I went I got the thumbs up and a lot of compliments,"
said Sanchez. "I put in about 1,600 miles and it never gave me any trouble,"
Sanchez said that people would ask him about his car and whether he
showed it any shows and how long he had had it. "They asked me where I
was from and I told them, `from Pecos, home of the world's first rodeo,'"
Site submission deadline for new Post Office nears
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, March 31, 1999 -- Friday is the deadline to submit proposals
for the new Pecos Post Office, and one group of downtown property owners
hope their site is selected.
Mike Harrison, owner of the Pecos Furniture Company buildings in the
300 block of South Oak Street, said that he and other owners have offered
to sell at the appraised price.
Tony's Carpets is using the old Pecos Furniture building, and the Back
Door T-Shirt Shop has an active business down the street. Dale and Sue
Toone own the vacant First National Bank building on the northwest corner.
The empty lot where the Pecos Trade Center burned to the ground several
years ago is now owned by West Texas Gas, who also owns the vacant service
station building on the southeast corner of the block.
"We have all signed a contract with Steve Armstrong to work out the
proposal," said Harrison.
He said the buildings would all be torn down and a new post office erected
on the block if it is the chosen site.
Pecos City Council last week approved a letter of intent to close the
alley on that block in the event it is chosen.
Postal officials have made Third Street the northern boundary of their
preferred location, but Harrison said the block qualifies because it is
contiguous with Third Street.
Postal officials said in January the current 64-year-old building at
Fourth and Oak streets does not have enough parking to meet customer needs,
and as a result, are seeking a full block site for the new facility. Third
Street is the northern boundary of the preferred area, which is bounded
by Walthall and 14th streets on the south, and by Eddy Street on the west
and Cedar Street on the east.
TxDOT engineer's memorial service set
PECOS, March 31, 1999 -- A memorial service for Texas Department of Transportation
District Engineer Jose E. Morales will be held Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at
Mid-Cities Community Church on State Highway 191 between Midland and Odessa.
Morales, 44, supervised state highway construction and maintenance activities
for TxDOT's Odessa District - an 18,000 square mile, 12-county area that
included Ector and Midland counties. He died suddenly of a massive heart
attack on March 23 while playing basketball after work with co-workers.
Funeral services were held Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church
in Del Rio, with burial at Del Rio Memorial Park.
He is survived by his wife, Marivel, and one son, Jose Eliseo, 5, of
Midland; father and mother, Jose and Rafaela Morales of San Antonio; two
sisters, Maria Elena Morales of Laredo and Minerva Vasquez of San Antonio;
and two brothers, Rolando and Jesus, both of San Antonio.
Abilene police name suspect in murders
By CHRIS NEWTON
Associated Press Writer
ABILENE — A woman's refusal to help conceal her boyfriend's criminal
activity may have led to a massacre in which four people were shot at close
range, police said.
"Why?" asked the mother of one victim, choking as she tried to hold
back tears. "It doesn't help to know why when it doesn't make any sense,"
said Juanita Valdez.
Her pregnant 21-year-old daughter, Penny Estrada, was one of the quartet
gunned down Monday evening. Police accuse Arthur Goodman, 19, in the rampage.
Police and state troopers were looking for Goodman, who was charged
Tuesday with capital murder. They also want to question Goodman's 16-year-old
brother, who might have been with him when the shooting occurred.
Police said both could be in Fort Worth.
The motives behind the shootings began to unravel Tuesday as police
questioned friends who seemed to know that violence was brewing.
Goodman may have killed his 20-year-old girlfriend, Sandy Witt, in her
apartment because she wouldn't give a false alibi for him in connection
with at least one crime of which he was suspected, or because she was planning
to go to police with details, police said.
The other three women slain — Naomi Martinez, 23; Erica Arispe, 21;
and Ms. Estrada — were "in the wrong place at the wrong time," police said.
"Given what the motive seems to be, four people did not need to die,"
said Detective Jay Hatcher. "One person was too many."
A maintenance man, Larry Hammond, 36, was shot in the abdomen and was
in critical condition Tuesday night at Hendrick Medical Center. Hammond
was running to Ms. Witt's apartment to investigate the commotion.
Officers also suspect Goodman in the Sunday night shooting of 16-year-old
Jimmy Estrada at his home, but police wouldn't say if that was among the
crimes to which a possible motive might be linked. Authorities said Estrada
is not related to victim Penny Estrada.
Mrs. Valdez was one of dozens of relatives and friends who visited the
duplex Tuesday to pray, leave flowers or poetry and light candles in memory
of the victims.
"It didn't help him (Goodman) do what he wanted to do," she said. "Now
they're just going to catch him and kill him. It just doesn't make any
AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Cash 5 drawing Tuesday night: Winning numbers
drawn: 7-13-16-29-36. Number matching five of five: 3. Prize per winner:
$29,847. Winning tickets sold in: Dallas, Lake Dallas, Magnolia. Matching
four of five: 236. Prize: $569.
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 1-7-3 (one, seven, three)
Miguel Machuca-Barrera, 19, of 501 N. Alamo St., was indicted by the federal
grand jury Thursday for possession of 43.58 pounds of marijuana on March
21. A story in Friday's Enterprise incorrectly listed the address as 501
On February 23, 1999, the Enterprise reported that funeral services
for Ms. Wilma Buchanan were to be held at 11 a.m. The correct time was
10 a.m. As publisher, the ultimate responsibility for mistakes is mine.
As such, I would like to extend my apology to family and friends of Ms.
Former Pecos resident LaVaughn Wicker, 82, died Monday, March 29, 1999,
in Rocksprings. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in First Baptist
Church, Rocksprings, with burial in Rocksprings Cemetery, directed by Nelson
He was born August 18, 1916 in Hall Valley. While in Pecos, he was employed
by the Pecos Men's Shop. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Rocksprings.
Survivors include his wife, Margaret Wicker of Rocksprings; two daughters,
Jennifer Wicker Callison of Rocksprings and Cynthia Cyd Wicker of Minneapolis,
Minn.; one son, Garet Wicker of Blaine, Minnesota; and five grandchildren.
High Tuesday 73; low last night 43. Tonight, fair. Low near 55. South to
southeast wind 10-20 mph. Thursday, partly cloudy and breezy. High 80-85.
South to southwest wind 15-25 mph and gusty.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, 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 1999 by Pecos Enterprise