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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, April 29, 1999

Major arrests planned in pot bust

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, April 29, 1999 - The first of what narcotics officers expect to be a large group of suspects has been arrested, and marijuana, weapons and a pickup seized.

Thomas Herrera, 55, is charged with possession of marijuana over 50 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds, said Reeves County Sheriff's Deputy Ernest Lazcano. He was released on $100,000 bail set by Municipal Judge Phyllis Salyer.

Herrera's pickup was also seized.

Lazcano said the arrest came as a result of numerous search warrants issued by Salyer. One search Sunday turned up 17 pinto bean tow sacks of marijuana in an underground bunker located at a vacant house three miles north of Pecos on U.S. Highway 285.

Lazcano said the street value of the marijuana is $1 million at its intended destination. Similar shipments have gone to Dallas and to Chicago, he said.

Subsequent searches at other addresses yielded an assault rifle, semi-automatic carbine, shotguns and one handgun with clips.

Police narcotics investigator Paul Deishler said the weapons and marijuana packaging were found in ostrich pens on Rancho Road.

"We have had a lot of complaints on the ostrich pens - of drug activity in the pens - and finally were able to obtain a search warrant and go in there," he said.

Packaging included cellophane, duffel bags and black trash bags similar to that found with the marijuana cache, Deishler said.

Although no one was arrested at the ostrich pens, Deishler said, "The investigation has only just begun and there will be many more arrests."

Midland County Sheriff's deputies are cooperating with local officers in the ongoing investigation, Lazcano said.

Second Andrews suspect arrested


By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer

PECOS, April 29, 1999 - One day after the arrest of two men in Kermit on drug charges, the son of one of the suspects was arrested in Andrews, for the same offense by the Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force.

The two men were arrested following a drug "sting" operation in which a kilo of cocaine reportedly was seized. The individuals taken into custody at that time were Juan Contreras Bejarano, 34, of Levelland and Antonio Contreras Olivas, 41, of Andrews. Both were charged with possession of a controlled substance, over 400 grams.

"And now we have arrested the son of one of the suspects," said Trans-Pecos Drug Force Interim Commander Tony Garcia.

Garcia said Jose Antonio Olivas, Jr., 21, was arrested at the Town and Country, parking lot, located on South Main (U.S. 385) in Andrews, on Wednesday.

Olivas was charged with possession of a controlled substance. He was in possession of three ounces of cocaine, at 3:25 p.m. and was transported to the Andrews County Sheriff's Department.

The cocaine seized in the Kermit drug sting has an estimated street value of $5,000.

Trial underway in fatal  accident


By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, April 29, 1999 - A 61-year-old Monahans truck driver is the defendant in a manslaughter trial that began Wednesday in 143rd District Court.

Daniel T. Arrieta is charged in the death of Lisa Dawn Morales, 38, a Houston programmer, who died when her 1994 Toyota plowed into the side of Arrieta's truck on U.S. Highway 285 north of Pecos on Jan. 4, 1998.

Arrieta was southbound on County Road 402 in a 1994 Mack truck towing a water tanker. Heavy fog reduced visibility to about one-half mile, DPS investigators reported.

When Arrieta saw the stop sign at the intersection of 402 and 285, he applied the brakes but the truck slid onto the highway in the path of the Toyota. Morales was pronounced dead at the scene. Four members of her family were taken to Reeves County Hospital with injuries.

District Attorney Randy Reynolds and his assistant, Lisa LaPlante, are prosecuting for the state before District Judge Bob Parks. Roddy Harrison represents Arrieta.

Harrison rides in rodeo, runs at regional

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer

PECOS, April 29, 1999 - A Pecos High School student who has made rodeo one of her numerous activities will be competing in the Texas High School Rodeo Finals in June, and will try to make it to the state track and field finals on Friday night.

Brandi Harrison, a 16-year-old junior at Pecos High School, has advanced to state competition in high school rodeo and hopes to someday make it to the national competition.

"I think I'll do good, if I work hard, practice and stay positive and do the best that I can," said Harrison.

Harrison said that if she doesn't make it to national competition this year, she hopes she can do it next year. "That's my dream and my goal right now, that if I don't make it to nationals this year, I hope I can do it next year," she said.

"Right now I'm just very excited to be attending state competition," she said.

Harrison will be competing in a high school rodeo on Saturday in Amarillo, which will require Brandi and her parents, Roger and Angela Harrison, to make a 300-mile drive overnight from San Angelo, after she competes in the finals of the 3200 meter run at the Region I-4A track meet Friday night. The top two finishers will advance to the state finals in Austin on May 14-15.

Harrison, along with Pecos High School Rodeo Team members Clay McKinney and Courtney Clark, competed for state berths at the Region II High School Rodeo Finals held in San Angelo on April 10.

The team competed in 15 rodeos during the fall and spring semesters. The top 10 qualifiers in each event will advance to the state finals in Abilene in June. The top four in each event after state then advance to nationals in Gillette, Wyo., in July.

In the team roping, McKinney finished one place out of the top 10 for 11th place for the year. Clark finished the year with a second in the girls cutting.

Harrison advanced to state in four events.

She placed fourth in pole bending, ninth in barrels, seventh in goat tying and 10th in breakaway roping. She finished fifth in the All-Around standings, enabling her to win Rookie of the Year honors for region II.

"It's a great honor to receive this award," she said.

Harrison was elected to serve as junior barrel racing director for the coming rodeo season.

Region II includes the Permian Basin, South Plains, Concho Valley along with contestants from southeastern New Mexico.

This is Harrison's first year to compete in High School Rodeo. She has been a member of 4-H and FFA for the past three years.

Living on a ranch has its advantages, if you're going to compete in rodeo events, according to Harrison. "I also show steer at the stock shows," she said.

Being around animals has rubbed off on the teen, who has been rodeoing since she was eight years old. "I've been riding since I can remember," she said.

Spending time rodeoing, taking care of her animals doesn't take away from her school activities. "I like all sports, competing in anything," said Harrison.

"I enjoy anything that requires physical exertion," she said.

The active teen is currently ranked first in her junior class and has a 4.0 average. Among her many extracurricular activities and organizations, include being a member of the National Honor Society, Pecos High School Student Council, Pecos Youth Advisory Commission, High Plains Junior Rodeo Association, school newspaper, Drug Awareness Safety and Health (DASH) co-chairperson, Latin Club, Junior Engineering Technology Society (JETS), Journalism UIL, First Baptist Church Youth Group, Mu Alpha Theta, Extension Program Council 4-H and Youth Committee, Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), Gifted and Talented Program, Texas Communities Futures Forum and American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA).

Along with running track she is also a member of the Pecos Eagles' junior varisty basketball team.

Harrison has received the Outstanding Pre-AP English I student, Outstanding Pre-AP English II student, FFA Star Chapter Farmer Award, Outstanding Student of the six weeks, Who's Who Among American High School Students and JETS District Winning Team and State qualifier.

She plans to attend Texas A&M University following graduation from high school and major in veterinary medicine.

Harrison also plans to keep up with her rodeo activities while in college. Her younger sisters is also a member of 4-H and FFA and competes in High Plains Rodeo.

Envirocare's drilling angers ranchers

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, April 29, 1999 - Envirocare is not welcome in ranching country, where low-level nuclear waste storage could threaten the already-hurting cattle industry.

Mike Harrison, who operates Anderson Ranches with headquarters north of Pyote, backed up Ward County rancher John Wilson Wednesday in stopping Envirocare's drilling on a proposed waste storage site.

Wilson owns all the land surrounding a section owned by John J. Forrester of Barstow, where Envirocare of Texas is hoping to store nuclear waste above ground.

Harrison said he believes the company is drilling the 300-ft. wells to determine whether the waste could contaminate water underneath the surface.

Wilson forced the driller to shut down the rig and leave because they had trespassed on his land to get to the site, Harrison said.

"You can't cross another man's property without an implied easement," Harrison said. "They had no right to be in there."

Harrison, whose ranch adjoins the Wilson property, said that a county road running from Interstate 20 through the Wilson ranch provides access to the Anderson Ranch headquarters.

"A sign on the county road says `Authorized Personnel Only,'" Harrison said. "You can go up that road, but you can't leave it. You can lock a county road if you furnish a key for those that have need to be in there."

Harrison said his ranch hands don't use the county road anymore because they have a paved road from Barstow now.

"We ought to get it closed, I guess. But the county will maintain the road and oil companies don't," he said.

Harrison said he is concerned about the definition of low-level nuclear waste, which he said includes not only hospital waste, but debris from nuclear power plants.

House Bill 1910 sets up the mechanics to store such waste, said Carolyn Knipp, aide to Rep. Gary Walker.

Walker has introduced an amendment to that bill that allows the state to let a private business store low-level waste.

"My source said they have 90 votes for the amendment in the House today," Harrison said.

Knipp said the vote had not been taken at mid-morning, and "there is no way to tell what the outcome will be."

Envirocare vice president Rick Jacobi said last week that the company was seeking land in Ward County, after a University of Texas study showed it's land in Andrews County was above the southern edge of the Ogalalla Aquifer, making it unsuitable to store nuclear waste.

Jacobi said Texas Utilities declined to sell Envirocare land near Pyote, and the company would not look at land south of the city, where the Ward County water field serving Pecos is located. He also said the company had not looked at any areas to the west of Pecos.

Mark and Kandy Dean won third place in the Championship Flight of the Sadie Hawkins Golf Tournament on Sunday, not first place in the Third Flight as was listed in Tuesday's Enterprise. Betsy Sikes and Lance Evans, Jill Wright and Jim Brown and Steve and Cheryl Bobbitt were the first through third place winners in the Third Flight.

***

Correction

Pecos Eagles' golfer Lee Lyles shot a 84 in the final round of the Region I-4A golf tournament in San Angelo, not an 88 as listed in Wednesday's Enterprise.

Council plans task force vote

Pecos City Council will consider joining the Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force for 1999-2000 when they meet at 7:30 a.m. Friday.

The decision must be made this week so the task force can file an application for a $1 million grant, said Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney.

City Attorney Scott Johnson said that the council may want to change wording of a resolution accompanying the application that makes them liable for the amount of the grant if something goes awry.
 

Texas Lotto


AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Wednesday night: Winning numbers drawn: 01-05-11-29-31-50. Number matching six of six: none Matching five of six: 140. Prize: $955. Matching four of six: 6,675. Prize: $72.

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Wednesday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 5-9-6 (five, nine, six)
 

Weather

PECOS, April 29, 1999 - High Wednesday 94; low last night 53. Tonight, mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms. low around 60. East to southeast wind 10-20 mph and gusty. Friday, mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms. high 80 85. Southeast wind 10-20 mph and gusty.
 



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