Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, May 20, 1999
Tip leads deputies to body near Pecos River
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, May 20, 1999 -- Once again, the Pecos River has yielded evidence
of a homicide.
Ward County sheriff's deputies and Texas Rangers excavated a grave site
on the east side of the Pecos River this morning below Barstow Dam, where
a body had been buried.
Chief Deputy John Stuessy said the remains were found Wednesday after
Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo Gomez obtained information about its location.
Reeves County deputies Michael Dominguez and Bobby Jenkins assisted
at the site this morning.
The grave, about the length of an adult male and three feet wide, was
not filled to the top. Anthropologist Dr. Robert Paine of Lubbock recommended
placing a grid over the site and lowering one side to get down to where
the remains were buried, about three feet from the surface.
As dirt was removed from the grave, it was screened for evidence.
Ward County deputies for the Barstow area, Ben Deishler, said the grave
is probably a year old, but he refused to speculate who it might be until
the remains are identified.
Texas Ranger Jerry Villalobos said he went to the site Wednesday with
Stuessy to confirm that a body was buried there.
"We found it yesterday evening and put someone in to watch it, then
called Dr. Paine to come help us do the dig," Villalobos said.
DPS pilot Reggie Rhea of Lubbock ferried Dr. Paine to the scene this
morning in a helicopter, arriving just before 10 a.m.
Gomez said a tip to the Reeves County Sheriff's Department led officers
to the site on Wednesday.
"We received a tip that there was a body buried in a shallow grave,
at about 3 p.m., yesterday," said Gomez, who went with Jenkins to the site
described by the informant.
"We went to Barstow and by the Barstow Dam and looked over the place,"
said Gomez, who said he and Jenkins found the body in the shallow grave
and proceeded to call in the Texas Rangers.
"It was right there by the Barstow Dam," said Gomez.
Rangers Villalobos and David Duncan responded and arrived at the scene
"We don't know who the body is yet, it will be sent for an autopsy,"
The site is about two miles upriver from where divers found a drum believed
to contain some remains of Lora Ann Brooks, was removed from the river
last August. Christopher John Bigham was convicted last month in 143rd
District Court in Pecos of killing Brooks on Dec. 1, 1997, burning her
body in a barrel and placing the barrel in the river. He was sentenced
to 75 years in prison.
Fuentes excited about acceptance to Harvard
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, May 20, 1999 -- A Pecos High School senior plans to travel far
to further his education this fall, and he's really excited about it.
Jonathan Fuentes has been accepted into Harvard University in Cambridge,
Mass., along with two other prestigious Texas schools.
"Harvard was my top choice, I've always wanted to be accepted and to
go there," said Fuentes. "The scary part is that it's so far away, but
I'm looking forward to new experiences."
Along with Harvard, Fuentes was accepted into Rice University in Houston
and the University of Texas at Austin. He's one of two PHS seniors accepted
to Harvard this year, along with Alva Alvarez, while a third senior, Efrian
Rodriguez, was accepted to the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Fuentes is one of the top four students who will be graduating on May
28, and has been very active during his high school years.
Fuentes has been an avid tennis player, where he has won All-District
first team in both singles and doubles; is a member of the Pecos High School
Student Council and serves as vice-president of that organization.
He is a member and president of Mu Alpha Theta; Spanish Club President;
Youth Advisory Commission President; Business Professionals of America
Parliamentarian; UIL Academics competitor in accounting and current events;
Kodak Young Leader Award winner; Texas Association of Secondary School
Principals All-State Academic Team; Coca-Cola Scholar winner; Evening Optimist
Scholar recipient and was named to Who's Who Among American High School
Fuentes has attended state competition in Debate; is the recipient of
the National Hispanic Scholar; United States National Leader Award; a member
of JETS; National Honor Society and works with the A.N.G.E.L.S. Program,
a program sponsored by Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Counselors aimed towards
helping younger students with their self-esteem.
In addition to his busy schedule he is a member of the Pecos Eagle Band
and has competed in State Solo and Ensemble and won the United States National
Fuentes participated in the Upward Bound program sponsored by Odessa
In his spare time, Fuentes enjoys all sports, reading and keeping up
with current events. He also makes time to work, part-time, at Car Quest
Auto Parts, something he has done since he was a freshman.
He plans to major in International Business at the popular university.
"I'd like to thank my parents, family and friends for supporting me
throughout my school years," said Fuentes.
"The class of 1999 could not have succeeded without the dedication of
the teachers and staff at Pecos High School," he said.
CCRC re-elects officers, tables daycare center vote
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, May 20, 1999 -- Julian Florez was re-elected as chairman of
the Community Council of Reeves County during their regular monthly meeting
on Tuesday in Pyote, and other board members were also returned to their
Anita Baeza will once again serve as vice-chairman and Felipe Arredondo,
The board appointed Ellen Weinacht to the board, under the private sector
for Reeves County, through the United Methodist Church of Balmorhea.
"The Loving County postmaster was appointed by the judge to the board,
but he will have to be approved by the commissioners court," said Florez.
The CSBG and ENTERP monitoring review report was okay and the Ward County
FEMA grant money was awarded. "The board received $5,473 for Ward County
through FEMA," said Florez.
A daycare facility for Saragosa and Balmorhea residents at the Saragosa
Multi-Purpose Center was tabled, until further information can be gathered.
A summer food program for Saragosa and Grandfalls was discussed. "In
Pecos and Balmorhea the schools sponsor the summer food programs," said
Florez. "We still need to look and see if Balmorhea can also serve Saragosa,
since they are so close by."
Board members discussed a fundraiser scheduled for Friday. "They'll
be selling flauta plates, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.," said Florez.
Community Council Director Mary Jane Ontiveros and Bertha Meierhoff,
who works with the weatherization programs, attended a Texas Association
of Community Action Association seminar in Austin recently, the board was
Board members received updates on CSBG and CEAP; weatherization; elderly
Meals on Wheels Program and Head Start.
"We also received reimbursement from Head Start," said Florez.
When the board relinquished the program, which was taken over by West
Texas Opportunities, the year was not yet over. "We still had to finish
off that year and we paid some bills and spent some monies on the program
and we were reimbursed for that," said Florez.
The board received $18,044.51 reimbursement from Head Start.
Local unemployment declined in April
PECOS, May 20, 1999 -- Reeves County's unemployment dropped two-tenths
of a percent in April, as the number of new jobs in the county outpaced
the growth of the local workforce.
However, unemployment for the county remains above 12 percent, according
to figures released today by the Texas Workforce Commission, though that's
still below the 14.3 percent rate reported for Reeves County at the start
of the year.
TWC figures indicated the local labor force grew by 44 people last month,
to 6,563, while the number of jobs within the county increased from 5,715
in March to 5,768 in April. That left Reeves County with a jobless rate
of 12.1 percent, after starting 1999 with a rate of 14.3 percent.
The local labor force has grown by nearly 400 workers since Janaury,
while the number of jobs within Reeves County has increased from 5,296
to 5,768 last month, the TWC said.
Most other counties also reported drops in their unemployment rates,
as did the Town of Pecos City.
The city's jobless rate remained above the county's level, at 13.8 percent.
That's still down from the 14 percent rate in March and the 16.2 percent
level it hit in January.
There were 4,450 people employed in Pecos last month, with 712 others
out of work. That's eight less than in March, as the city added 41 jobs
while the workforce grew by 33.
Ector County saw it's jobless rate drop by .3 percent, to 10.6 percent,
as the county's workforce fell by over 150 while the number of people with
jobs grew by 23. Midland County was one of the few to report an increase
in it's unemployment rate, from 6.2 to 6.7 percent, as the number of new
jobs failed to keep up with an increase in the county's workfroce.
Andrews County saw it's jobless rate drop from 12.1 to 11.7 percent,
Pecos County's rate declined from 8.4 to 8.1 percent, Ward County saw its
rate fall from 12.4 to 11 percent and Winkler County's rate was down from
16.3 to 14.2 percent. However, part of the decline in those four counties
was due to a decrease in the workforce compared to a month ago.
Presidio County continued to have the area's highest jobless rate, at
27. 8 percent. That's still down from March's 28.9 percent, as the beginning
of the spring havest season increased the number of jobs within the county.
Statewide unemployment was put at 4.3 percent in April by the TWC, down
one-tenth of a percent from March.
AUSTIN (AP) — One ticket correctly matched all six numbers drawn Wednesday
night for the twice-weekly Lotto Texas game, state lottery officials said.
The ticket, worth an estimated $10 million, was sold in Houston. The numbers
drawn Wednesday night from a field of 50 were: 2, 3, 5, 22, 23, 30.
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Wednesday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 5-3-0 (five, three, zero)
PECOS, May 20, 1999 -- High Wednesday 96; low last night 60. Tonight, partly
cloudy with a less than 20 percent chance of an evening thunderstorm. Low
60 65. Southeast wind 10-20 mph. Friday, mostly sunny and warm. High 90
95. Southeast wind 10-20 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
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise