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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

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Friday, May 7, 1999

Saenz says Anchor plans new expansion

Staff Writer
PECOS, May 7, 1999 -- Oscar Saenz, director of plant operations for the Anchor West facility in Pecos, was the featured speaker at Thursday’s meeting of the Pecos Rotary Club.

Saenz announced that the Pecos plant is in the process of adding a fifth production line that will boost Anchor’s Pecos employee count, currently at over 500 workers.

“We started out here nine years ago with one line and 35 people,” he said. “Our growth is a direct reflection of the support we have received here in Pecos.”

Saenz pointed out that the relationship between the town and the company has been mutually beneficial.

“This year our payroll will top six million dollars. Our starting wage is $6.40 and our average wage is $12 per hour.
Anchor employees have bought more than 20 homes here in Pecos,” he said.

One of the main reasons that Anchor is expanding here in Pecos and not at the company’s other facilities is because of the support the company receives in Pecos.

“Community support is great here in Pecos. Here we are appreciated. I can’t overstate how nice the community has been to us,” Saenz said.

The new production line will be a “fry line” primarily for frying onion rings but will also be able to handle the frying operations for other products such as okra and zucchini, Saenz said.

“We have been operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week and have not been able to keep up with demand,” he said. “This line will help us maintain our position in the world market place.”

Saenz said that currently Appleton, Wisc.-based Anchor Foods is the leading supplier of appetizers in the world.

The Pecos plant alone uses approximately 80 million pounds of onions each year making onion rings, he said.

The Rotary Club meets every Thursday at twelve noon at the Pecos Valley Country Club.

Local residents  oppose waste dump

Staff Writer
PECOS, May 7, 1999 -- Several residents from the Pecos area were at the Pyote Community Center on Thursday to protest a planned low-level radioactive waste storage site near the town, three weeks after the Utah-based company announced it was seeking land for waste disposal in north-central Ward County.

Envirocare of Texas, a hazardous and low-level radioactive waste disposal firm whose parent company is based in Salt Lake City, is considering operating a radioactive waste site five miles west of Pyote, and about 20 miles northeast of Pecos.

No one from Envirocare was present to answer technical questions at the first public meeting on the issue, and those in opposition made up most of the audience at the meeting.

The meeting took place on the same day the Texas House of Representatives approved a bill that could put a private company in charge of radioactive wastes from Texas, Maine and Vermont. The bill would permit private companies to store nuclear waste in huge above-ground vaults Ï rather than in underground dumps Ï which is the plan Envirocare announced it would use at any Ward County site.

Rep. Gary Walker, R-Plains, led the effort to allow private companies to apply for the permits.

"Overwhelmingly, the members voted that allowing private industry to hold a permit is a good idea," he said.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, had threatened to kill the bill due to Walker's amendment. But after consulting with several attorneys Thursday, Chisum said he felt private companies will not be able to apply for permits to dispose of the waste underground, which had been his main worry.

Walker said he still believes the bill would allow the companies to apply for the permits to dispose of waste below-ground as well as above ground. That point may be clarified by an attorney general's opinion or when the bill is sent to the Senate, he said.

He added there would be enough regulation by the TNRCC to keep the state from becoming a major dumping ground for waste.

The bill faces another House vote before moving to the Senate, where Chisum said he would fight any changes that would allow private companies to apply for below-ground permits.

"We were very concerned about the passage of Walker's amendment that creates licensing for private companies which would allow them to contract with the Department of Energy for their radioactive waste," said Clark Lindley.

Lindley said, "We are currently urging people to contact state senators, particularly Senator (Frank) Madla to oppose licensing of private companies. The radioactive waste that will potentially be disposed of in Ward County under House Bill 1910 will include far more radioactive waste than would be included under the compact between Texas, Vermont and Maine."

"Last night at the community-wide meeting in Pyote people from Barstow and Pyote, except for (Ward County Precinct 4 Commissioner Rick) McCurdy and Industrial Development Director Henry Cutbirth, were solidly opposed to having Envirocare develop a radioactive waste site in western Ward County," said Lindley.

On a show of hands, Cutbirth, a member of the local economic development group, offered his support for Envirocare, while McCurdy said he would honor his constituents wishes.

"In public dialogue I challenged Envirocare and its vice-president Rick Jacobi, to reveal the results of the testing of the two completed wells in Section 163, which is surrounded by John Wilson's ranch," said Lindley.

"I was interrupted by Bluford Thornton, who said that he knows that there is 100 feet of water in the two 300 feet deep wells," said Lindley. "You have to assume that the water in those wells has some connection to the aquifer underlying Ward, Winkler, Reeves and Loving Counties and the passage of radioactive waste into the aquifer would be a disaster for everyone dependent on the water in our counties," Lindley said.

Lindley said that the people in our community have to realize the risks. "We are also asking Governor Bush not to sign any bill that will include a license for a private company and urge all those concerned to do the same," he said.

Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo also voiced objections to the dump plan. "It's really not economic development, it's economic destruction," said Galindo, who also serves as manager for the Ward County Water Improvement District #1 in the Barstow area. "It's very, very dangerous for us to be moving in this direction."

"What they're trying to do is open the door, to bring radioactive waste to our area," said Galindo. "We have to band together and show them that we oppose what they're trying to do and that West Texas is not their dumping ground," said Galindo. "We owe it to our children to preserve our environment the best that we can."

Philip Preach, the mayor of Pyote said, "I'm not excited about this deal."

Jack Rider, a former commissioner from Odessa told the group that one point might be missed. "In keeping your lines of communication open, remember, don't shoot the messenger, but keep communicating," he said.

Officials get tough with school threats

Staff Writer
PECOS, May 7, 1999 -- Even junior high school students are carrying weapons to class, and Reeves County is not going to sit still for it, said County Attorney Walter Holcombe this morning.

Holcombe said he had not been contacted about a girl who took a B-B handgun to Zavala Middle School Wednesday, but he said that a 13-year-old boy who threatened two other students with an air gun last September is in jail.

"He was put in a juvenile facility," Holcombe said. "He was convicted in March, and we had an adjudication hearing this past week. He was sentenced to four months."

Charges are pending on another student who claims to be a member of the Trenchcoat Mafia and one who had a book on making bombs in his locker.

"We are not going to put up with that crap," Holcombe said. "I am tired of these gangs. We will go to a jury; we may lose a few cases, but I am not going to give them probation."

Sheriff's deputy Hilda Woods said she is investigating the report that a Zavala student carried a handgun to school in her purse Wednesday. Another girl who saw the handle of the weapon reported it to her mother that night, and the mother contacted Woods on Thursday.

"The kids apparently saw it in her purse, wrapped with towels," Woods said. "The handle was sticking out, and it looked like a real gun."

Although teachers at the school said the girl brought the B-B gun to school because she was angry with another student, Woods said she had no report of threats.

"She didn't know what she had done with it. I found the gun in her mother's car, hidden under the seat," Woods said. "The school will take care of it."

Zavala Principal Lucila Valenzuela said that the girl was assigned to the alternative education program at Carver for 88 days.

Woods, who works juvenile cases in the schools, said a Pecos High School student was recently arrested after telling a girl he had formed his own Trenchcoat Mafia.

"He said he and these boys, on the anniversary of the Littleton, Colo. thing, were going to do the same thing and she would be the first they would kill," Woods said.

The girl said she thought at first the boy was joking, but later got scared and reported it.

"She gave me a statement, but they didn't want to file charges," Woods said. "We picked him up. We found a notebook with all kinds of tagging about the Trenchcoat Mafia. We suspected he needed to be evaluated."

Another boy had a book in his locker that describes how to make bombs, said Holcombe.

Deputy Michael Dominguez has been involved in investigation of gang activity, Woods said, and is working with some of the juveniles.

Woods said that since the Little incident, students are moved from one class to another more quickly, and she monitors the halls when she is available.

PHS Principal Danny Rodriguez also asked the Pecos Police Department to do "walk-throughs" periodically, she said.

"I kind of expect problems anywhere right now," she said.

Commissioners to study jail modification

PECOS, May 7, 1999 -- Reeves County Jail improvements and modifications will be the topic of discussion at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday on the third floor of the courthouse.

The public is invited to attend the open meeting.

Commissioners will discuss the Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force Interlocal cooperation agreements and a tax abatement agreement between Reeves County and M. Brad Bennett, Inc., Hayes Properties, Inc. and Ernest E. Armstrong.

The court will discuss and take action on payment nine to Banes General Contractors and appoint a Reeves County representative to Annual Tax Property Resale Committee.

Other items on the agenda include:

* Discuss/take action on Ariel Lopez/ Ben and Betty Grear property.

* Discuss/take action on rescinding portable potty rentals award.

* Discuss/take action on bond and oath for county clerk's office, Estella Anaya.

* Discuss/take action on awarding kitchen serving cart bid.

* Discuss/take action on reports from various departments.

* Discuss/take action on budget amendments and line-item transfers.

* Discuss/take action on personnel and salary changes (RCDC, Sheriff's Office and the Juvenile Detention Center).

* Discuss/take action on minutes from previous meetings.

* Discuss/take action on semi-monthly bills.

 Senate banking bill may cut local paperwork

From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, May 7, 1999 -- Sweeping legislation that would let banks, securities firms and insurance companies merge to create big financial "supermarkets" has pushed through the Senate.

On first look, the bill would impact local banks very little. But if the pending sale of Security State Bank goes through, that scenario could change.

Now SSB and First National Bank are locally owned and have assets of less than $100 million. The Senate bill would exempt banks with less than $100 million in assets from making loans to poor and minority residents, a provision pushed by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm, R-Texas.

"When you consider our location, the makeup of Pecos, we are going to be loaning to all those people, or we will be out of business," said SSB Vice President Bill Oglesby.

But he said that the bill may give paperwork relief to banks in small towns who are already making that type of loan.

"A lot of the laws they pass, it is more important that they hit those big banks than to hit small banks," he said, noting that Gramm is a friend of the small bank.

Security State has been in sale negotiations over the past few months, since President Dudley Montgomery contracted with a group of directors for sale of his shares.

When Dick Slack made a counter offer, the three directors not involved in the sale were appointed to a committee to seek the best deal for shareholders.

J.F. Pattee, who chairs the committee composed of himself, Bob Bickley and Archie Scott, said today that bids were taken, and the sale is still in the negotiation stage.

Once the committee reports to shareholders who has made the high bid and what it is, individual shareholders must decide whether to sell, he said.

Slack said that some out-of-town banks have submitted bids, and it is possible that one of those will be the high bidder. A buyout by another bank could lift total financial assets over the  $100 million level.

If so, Thursday's party-line vote of 54-44 could impact Pecos unless President Clinton vetoes the bill.

The administration and many Democrats want to require that banks receive satisfactory community-lending ratings from the government to be allowed to expand into new financial activities. But Gramm and other opponents maintain that the law hurts small banks, especially in rural areas, by having the government tell banks to whom they should lend. The bill would exempt from the law small rural banks with assets less than $100 million.

The main section of the banking bill would lift Depression-era legal barriers separating the three industries, allowing the new companies to sell consumers everything from checking accounts to car insurance to mutual funds.

It includes a provision that would make it a federal crime for anyone to misrepresent himself to obtain someone's private financial data.

The Clinton administration supports the legislation in principle. But in a showdown with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Gramm, R-Texas, it has threatened a presidential veto of the bill unless there are major changes, including the removal of provisions that Democrats view as an attack on a 1977 community-lending law that requires banks to make loans to poor and minority residents in the areas in which they operate.

``I think in the end, the president's going to have to decide, is he for a financial modernization bill,'' Gramm told reporters during the evening vote, which followed 2« days of debate.

Gramm said he believed it was possible to work out a compromise on the issues in contention.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., called it ``exactly the wrong bill as, brokerage firms and insurers would increase the likelihood of future taxpayer bailouts of big institutions that fail, Dorgan warned.

``This orgy of big bank mergers in our country moves now at an accelerated pace, unabated,'' he said. He cited recent consolidations, including those in which banking giant Citicorp merged with brokerage-insurer Travelers Group in a deal valued at $36.9 billion, NationsBank Corp. and BankAmerica Corp. combined in a $41.5 billion marriage and Banc One Corp. and First Chicago NBD Corp. united in an $18.7 billion deal.


AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Cash 5 drawing Thursday night: Winning numbers drawn: 11-17-19-20-37. Number matching five of five: 2. Prize per winner: $44,293. Winning tickets sold in: Austin, San Antonio. Matching four of five: 260. Prize: $511.


AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Thursday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 1-0-2 (one, zero, two)


Rayburn Allgood

Rayburn Allgood, 82, died Thursday, May 6, 1999, at Midland Memorial Hospital.

Services will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 8, at First Baptist Church in Barstow with Rev. Jim Daniels officiating. Burial will be in Barstow Cemetery.

He was born Oct. 2, 1916, in Nolan County, was a veteran of World War II, having served with the 18th Air Force, 95th Bomb Group, stationed in England. He was a lifelong resident of Barstow, and a member of the First Baptist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Ethel G. Allgood of Barstow; two sons, Michael Lee Allgood and Rex David Allgood of Barstow; two brothers, James B. Allgood and Bobby E. Allgood of Barstow; two sisters, Marita Wade of El Paso and Arlie Wright of Henrietta, Tx. and three grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Ricardo Dominguez

Ricardo Dominguez, 37, died Friday, May 7, at Reeves County Hospital.

A rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m., Sunday at the Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.

Mass will be held at 10 a.m., Monday at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.

He was born May 7, 1962, in Pecos and was an Anchor West maintenance employee.

Survivors include his mother, Carmen Dominguez of Pecos and one brother, Reynaldo Dominguez of Pecos.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Maria Navarrette

Services are incomplete for Maria De Jesus Navarrette, 74, of Pecos, who died Thursday, May 6, at Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Midland.

Reyes-Garcia Funeral Home of Midland is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, May 7, 1999 -- High Thursday 80; low last night 47. Tonight, clear. Low in the lower 50s. Southwest wind 5-10 mph. Saturday, mostly sunny. High in the lower 90s. South wind 10-20 mph.

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Pecos Enterprise
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