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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, June 7, 1999

Richards heads task force

By PEGGY McCRACKEN

Staff Writer

PECOS, June7, 1999--Gary Richards has made the full circle, coming back to the town he served as a police patrolman 18 years ago to head the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force.

Commander Richards has worked all over West Texas as an investigator for the Texas Attorney General. He has also worked for the Monahans Police Department and was chief deputy for the Brewster County Sheriff's Office.

As an investigator for the AG's office, Richards got to know sheriffs, police chiefs and prosecutors all over this area, an asset in an organization run by those agencies.

Each agency affiliated with the regional task force assigns one of its officers to the task force. Richards will direct their work, but primarily they will serve the locality that hires them.

"Once they are on board they are under my command," Richards said. "The sheriffs have said `use them.' They tell them to follow my orders."

Interdiction units that work traffic on IH-20 and area highways will be moved around, Richards said. And officers who work undercover may be assigned to any cooperating city or county.

"I am really happy to be with the task force," Richards said. "We have super guys working, and we are going to do super work."

Nine investigators are on board so far, with others promised from Reagan County, Monahans PD, Pecos PD and Jeff Davis County, who has just joined.

"We will be working with the West Texas Narcotics Task Force. I have talked to their commander, David Bradshaw, and we will work jointly when we go into each other's territory," Richards said. "We both pledged to cooperate and work together as a team."

Federal agencies also will cooperate with the task forces. U.S. Attorney James Blagg asked for a meeting with Richards on June 9 in Midland. Officers with federal enforcement agencies will also be present, he said.

"I have decided we are going to work with everybody," said the congenial commander. "I feel like that's the only way we are going to accomplish getting drugs off the street."

Richards recalls working for chiefs Don Carlisle and John Prewit at the Pecos PD. Prewit is now an immigration officer working bridge traffic at the Presidio Port of Entry.

"John Prewit has already come in to see me and told me what cases they are working on," Richards said.

He hadn't planned to leave the attorney general's office, but Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo Gomez asked him to apply for the commander position, Richards said.

Richards was hesitant because he has little background in drug investigations, but Gomez said the task force needs a commander who knows the agencies and can work with them.

"That was my job with the AG's office," Richards said. "I worked with criminal non-support and warrants. We did white collar investigations and people that owed large amounts of child support."

He has been hitting the books since taking up residence in the task force office at 324 S. Cypress St. on June 1. "My transition is getting back in with the drug laws," he said. "We have a lot of investigations going on. I kind of hit the ground running."

Grant funding has been approved, and a supplemental application has gone in for the new agencies joining the task force, Richards said.

Counties on board so far are Ward, Reagan, Jeff Davis, Culberson, Presidio, Reeves, Loving, Winkler, Andrews and Midland. Cities include Monahans, Pecos, Kermit and Andrews.

Police nabNavarette with cocaine

By PEGGY McCRACKEN

Staff Writer

PECOS, June7, 1999--Pecos Police arrested Evigael Juarez Navarette, 40, of 1035 Rancho Road, Sunday on a warrant for probation violation on a possession of cocaine conviction.

Upon inventorying Navarette's vehicle, officers found two large packages of suspected cocaine, said Paul Deishler, narcotics investigator. Deishler said the cocaine, weighing 1/2 to one ounce, was packaged for distribution.

Also in the vehicle was $17,500, which officers seized.

Obtaining a search warrant for Navarette's home, officers located various contraband, a weapon and ammunition, Deishler said.

A search of Navarette's home on March 14, 1996, turned up a small amount of cocaine that resulted in his conviction for cocaine possession. District Judge Bob Parks placed Navarette on five years deferred-adjudication probation.

Municipal Judge Phyllis Salyer this morning set bail at $25,000 on the charge of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance filed by police.

Vasquez family making career changes

By PEGGY McCRACKEN

Staff Writer

PECOS, June7, 1999--"Moving on" could be the motto of the Vasquez family as the close their furniture store.

George and Lois Vasquez, who have owned the store for 34 years, plan to spend more time in their church ministries. George is a deacon in the Catholic church, and he performs many priestly duties with consent of the local pastor.

Lois plans to complete some home re-decorating and gardening, then spend more time visiting and ministering through St. Catherine's Catholic Church.

Their sons, Eddie and Mickey, plan to make their Christian music ministry a full-time vocation.

"We have been traveling quite a bit and are away from the store," Eddie said. "We are in negotiations with Heartbeat Records, who are already distributing some of our work. We are looking forward to a long-lasting relationship."

Heartbeat sent the four-member group, known as "Sudden Impact," to Buffalo, N.Y. for a weekend festival where they played their original compositions and other selections for 1,200 people.

"We got good response," said Eddie, noting that they were so busy they didn't even get to see Niagara Falls, only 30 minutes away.

Jason Alvarez and Jorge Hernandez join the Vasquez brothers in the group, which performs concerts, youth rallies, weekend conferences, crusades and "a lot of different stuff" across the country.

Through their web site, Sudden Impact has contacts all over the world, and have even been invited to perform in Russia.

"We are writing new material in case Heartbeat wants us to record a new one with them," Eddie said.

Their previous records were independents, and they are sold through bookstores in Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, El Paso, Las Cruces, N.M. and Austin.

Wherever they are invited, the group still plans to be based in Pecos - "Unless Hearbeat requests something else," Eddie said.

All the Vasquez family has mixed emotions about the radical change in their lives.

"It is exciting, but a little scary because this is like a safety net for us," Eddie said of the store. "We really feel like God is leading us. We have prayed and talked a lot about it. Everything is falling in place too well to call it coincidence."

George voices the same ambivalence.

"I am glad because I am going to retire and have more time to myself, but by the same token, very sad to leave most of my customers, which I have serviced for 49 years, including 15 years with White's," George said.

Lois said she will do "all the things I have been putting off, then do more church work."

Customers may be sad to see them go, but they can cash in on bargains offered in the close-out sale underway at the store, located at 133 S. Oak Street.

Brownlee Hardware plans to purchase the building and expand their store, which is located next door.

Twice weekly watering days set at cemetery


PECOS, June7, 1999--Water is being provided twice a week at the Balmorhea Cemetery, instead of just once a month.

"This is something different, because they used to provide water at that cemetery only once a month," said Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 3 Herman Tarin.

Tarin said that those individuals who would like to use the water can do so on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 1 p.m.

"The man who runs it will be there, but if they want to use the water, they need to go over there on those days," said Tarin. "He won't water for them, but the water will be there," he said.

The water is supplied by the water district located in Balmorhea, and recently the group tried drilling a new well.

"We drilled the well, but there was no water. However, we still have some that comes from the irrigation ditch," said Tarin.

A new well will be drilled in the future to try to locate additional water, Tarin said. "We'll try it again and see if this time we can locate some water, but I don't know yet when that will be done," he said.

Music lifts spirits in piano concert

By PEGGY McCRACKEN

Staff Writer

PECOS, June7, 1999--From America the Beautiful to the Sweet By and By, pianist Judy Love lifted a capacity crowd at First Baptist Church to new heights Friday night in a concert at the new Baldwin grand piano.

Deep bass tones from Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 opened the program, and soft, tinkling notes from My Tribute by Crouch closed the evening's entertainment and inspiration.

In between, Dr. Orville Cerna stroked the strings of his violin to Liszt's Liebestraume and Nocturne de Chopin. Dr. Mike Pharaoh sang "Arise," by Frizzell and Cloninger - both with piano accompaniment.

Love received standing ovations at the intermission and close of the program, when Dr. Pharaoh presented her a bouquet of red roses.

Friends hosted a reception in the church fellowship hall following the concert.

Love thanked Mr. and Mrs. Fred Armstrong for the gift of the Baldwin piano to FBC and to others who helped with the program and reception.

"Praise be to God for the privilege of communicating through sacred piano music what He has done for me," she said. "My constant prayer is that through the music presented, God may minister His touch of encouragement, comfort, strength, dedication, forgiveness and love."

BRIEF

Musical drama targets youth


PECOS, June7, 1999--Issues such as "Does God Really Care?" and "How Can I Make A Difference?" are addressed in a musical drama to be presented tonight at First United Methodist Church.

Youth and their families are invited to hear the youth choir of Travis Park United Methodist Church of San Antonio present "Z Extreme" at 7 p.m. in the church auditorium at Third and Elm Streets.

The choir is made up of young people in grades 6-12. They are committed to spreading the Word of God through music. Each summer they tour and sing their witness to many new friends along the way.

Hospital board to learn tasks

PECOS, June7, 1999--Reeves County Hospital's board of directors will meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday for board orientation.

Holly Key joined the board in their first regular meeting of the year, replacing board president Jeannette Alligood. Greg Luna is the new president.

Meetings are held in the hospital classroom and are open to the public.

LOTTO

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Saturday night: Winning numbers drawn: 5-11-15-21-23-33. Estimated jackpot: $18 million. Number matching six of six: one Winning ticket sold in: San Antonio. Matching five of six: 201. Prize: $921. Matching four of six: 9,719. Prize: $68. Matching three of six: 150,798. Prize: $3. Next Lotto Texas game: Wednesday night. Estimated jackpot: $4 million.

***

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Friday night: Winning numbers drawn: 5-16-25-26-31. Number matching five of five: 1. Prize per winner: $91,991. Winning ticket sold in: Dallas. Matching four of five: 303. Prize: $455. Matching three of five: 9,349. Prize: $24. Next Cash 5 drawing: Monday night.

Obituaries

Marion Carpenter

Marion Carpenter, 77, died Saturday, June 5, 1999, in Odessa Medical Center. Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in First United Methodist Church. Burial will be at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in Fort Bliss Cemetery in El Paso.

She was born May 10, 1922 in Fort Smith, Ark., was a retired teacher for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD and a Methodist.

Survivors include her husband, A.J. Carpenter of Pecos; one daughter, Nancy Tyler of El Paso; one brother, Andy Carpenter of Camptonville, Calif.; one sister, Helen Goodman of Van Buren, Ark.; three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Ruby Corbell

Ruby "Lois" Corbell, 84, of Stephenville, died Thursday, June 3, 1999 at Harris Methodist Hospital in Erath County.

Services were held at 2 p.m., Sunday in Lacy Funeral Home Chapel of Stephenville with Bobby Bates officiating. Burial was in West End Cemetery.

Survivors include one son, Dale Corbell of Stephenville; seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

D.A. Miller

Memorial services for D.A. Miller, 69, of Odessa, were at 11 a.m., today in Mission Dorado Baptist Church with the Rev. Bob Bratcher officiating.

Burial followed in Sunset Memorial Gardens.

Miller was born Dec. 6, 1929 in Knott, was a retired letter carrier, an Army veteran of the Korean War and president of the local basketball referee association.

Survivors include his wife, Yuvonne Miller of Odessa; one son, Lance Miller of Rankin; two daughters, Linda Miller-Coker of Houston, Laura Spann of Carrollton; one brother, Granvil Miller of Big Spring; one sister, Joy Phillips of El Paso and five grandchildren.

Hubbard-Kelly Funeral Home of Odessa was in charge of arrangements.

Jacinto Talamantes

Jacinto Talamantes, 63, of Pecos, died Friday, June 4, 1999, at Reeves County Hospital.

Graveside military services will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday in Greenwood Cemetery.

He was born Feb. 10, 1936, in Monahans, was a cook, a veteran and a Catholic.

Survivors include his step-mother, Amparo Talamantes of Monahans; one brother, Rene Talamantes of Monahans; three sisters, Nellie Talamantes, Rosa Sanchez and Rachel Dorothy Talamantes, all of Monahans.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

WEATHER

PECOS, June7, 1999--High Sunday 99; low last night 66. Trace of rain Friday. June precipitation trace. Year-to-date 1.24 inches. Tonight, partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Low upper 60s. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday, partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. High lower 90s. Southeast 10-20 mph.



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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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