Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, June 17, 1999
Council moves on day care center plan
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS,June,17,1999--A project aimed at bringing a day care center to
Saragosa will be pursued, said Community Council of Reeves County board
president Julian Florez.
"This is with a contingency that the start-up money of $3,000 for salaries
and insurance and such be in place," said Florez.
The group discussed this issue during the regular board meeting held
Tuesday in Pyote.
This will be a self-sufficient project and will operate on what's collected,
said council executive director Mary Jane Ontiveros.
The board formed a string committee consisting of Balmorhea concerned
citizens, Ellen Weinacht of Balmorhea, who's on the community council board,
and community council staff members.
"If there is interest, funds and licensing, we'll start the project,"
The group will be seeking contributions for the start-up money.
About 15-20 kids will be using the day care center, to be housed in
the Saragosa Multi-Purpose Center, Ontiveros said.
"This committee will report to the board on any action taken by the
day care center," said Ontiveros.
Ontiveros updated the board on the summer food program.
"The schools are doing the summer food programs in the different areas,
such as Balmorhea, Pecos and Monahans," she said. "Everything is going
real well," she said.
Ontiveros told the board that the council had open houses in Reeves
County, Ward and Winkler.
"We had a good turnout in all the different facilities," she said. "We
want to thank the community for their support."
Community Council will have a booth at Night in Old Pecos, scheduled
for June 26, to inform the public of the purpose of the council and inform
the public on what they do for the community. Items will also be sold during
"The funds are used for our emergency assistance to clients," said Ontiveros.
At the end of the year, these funds are usually depleted and the council
wants to keep funds in that program.
"The program usually doesn't have money until the first three months
of the year, so towards the end, there aren't any funds in that program.
We want to make sure to have funds in there in case there is an emergency,"
ceap monitoring review board will be in the area on Aug. 16-21.
"Basically, they go through the ceap files, agency ledgers and journal,
time and travel records, documentation of expenditures, how we deliver
services to clients and procurement of procedures and records," said Ontiveros.
Ontiveros provided the board with information on CSBG and CEAP programs.
"This is information on how much we spent on the different programs
on client assistance and how many families we assisted," said Ontiveros.
Hilda Mendoza reported that 2,720 meals were served during the month
of May through the Meals on Wheels program.
Through the Federal Emergency Management Assistance program 14 families
were assisted and a total of $1,449 spent on this program in Reeves County.
In Ward County two families were assisted and a total of $174 spent.
"This is the first year this program is implemented in Ward County,"
Twenty-four job referrals were made, and out of all those 10 have been
hired, Ontiveros said.
"Three didn't show up for their interviews," she said.
Under CEAP a total of six new families were put in that program, 15
families have been assisted, and a total of $4,011 has been expended.
Bigham loses bid for new trial
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS,June,17,1999--District Judge Bob Parks this morning denied a new
trial for Christopher John Bigham, who was convicted in April of murdering
his girlfriend, Lora Ann Brooks.
Bigham's new attorney, Jesse Gonzalez, claimed that jury misconduct
and conflict of interest as the basis for a new trial.
Elizabeth Sedberry, Bigham's younger sister, testified that she had
observed jurors talking with witnesses for the state during a break in
the trial. She said they were talking in Spanish and she could not understand
what they said.
Conflict of interest was raised because an investigator for Bigham's
trial attorney, Adrian Chavez, had been hired as interim commander of the
Trans Pecos Drug Task Force.
Tony Garcia, who served as interim task force commander from Feb. 15
until he was replaced recently by the permanent commander Gary Richards,
may have discussed Bigham's case with the district attorney, Gonzalez said.
However, district attorney Randy Reynolds testified that Garcia had
brought up the subject to his assistant, Lisa LaPlante, and she refused
LaPlante, whose salary is funded by a task force grant, testified that
Garcia told her that Bigham's defense team thought he was crazy.
"He contacted me," she said. "I told him I was aware he had worked for
the defendant's lawyer at one point during the investigation, and I considered
him an agent. Any information he acquired was confidential and I wasn't
interested in hearing what he had to say."
La Plante said she did not learn anything that was used in the trial.
Reynolds had earlier testified that in his talks with Chavez, the matter
of Bigham's sanity had already come up. In fact, the defendant was examined
to determine whether he was competent to stand trial.
Chavez had said he might raise the insanity issue at trial, but he did
not. Bigham instead testified that Brooks shot herself and he burned her
body in a barrel so he could take the ashes back to Washington state.
Judge Parks found that no evidence was presented to prove that jurors
discussed the case with witnesses, and that Garcia's work for the task
force did not compromise the prosecution.
Bigham was sentenced to 75 years in prison for Brooks' murder.
Family members held a memorial service for Brooks in Kent, Wash. on
June 12. She is believed to have died on Dec. 1, 1997 at the small ranch
she and Bigham owned north of Pecos.
Cassells bid farewell to golf business
By ROSIE FLORES
After 17 years, Royce and Louise Cassell will be bidding farewell to the golf business.
Cassell's last day as greenskeeper at the Reeves County Golf Course will be this Friday and the couple's last day as managers of the pro shop will be next Friday.
A story in Wednesday's Pecos Enterprise estimated Cassell's net income as about $62,000 from carts; $18,000 as greenskeeper and about $20,000 from the pro shop.
The $62,000 is actually the gross receipts, Cassell said.
"This amount does not reflect expenses that are incurred and is not a profit," said Reeves County Auditor Lynn Owens.
"(County Judge Jimmy) Galindo has no way of knowing profit and concession stand expenses and revenues," said Louise Cassell. "He can't make an estimate as to how much the pro shop makes," she said.
Reeves County Commissioners opted to bid out the pro shop/concession stand recently and are advertising for the position. The last day to bid is June 30.
Cassell said he has no plans to bid and will pursue other ventures.
"If they can make $100,000 a year at this, then there will be a lot of bidders," said Cassell. "It just isn't true that we make that amount," he said.
Cassell said he wishes the commissioners court good luck and hopes they will receive a lot of bids.
"I think the golf course is very important to Reeves County and I wish them luck," said Cassell.
In the meantime, the couple is making other plans. "We've been together for 40 years and we'll be all right, we'll make it," said Cassell.
Training program puts teenagers in jobs
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS,June,17,1999--Summer is not just a time to swim and play baseball
for some teenagers. Some are working at real jobs through the Texas Workforce
Commission's JTPA program.
The Joint Training Partnership Act provides government funding to pay
100 percent of wages for boys and girls ages 14-21 to work for non-profit
organizations - and now businesses - who contract with TWC to train them.
"We try to link these to school programs," said Elva Arreguy, TWC area
manager. "It offers remediation for those that need to upgrade their basic
The 13-year-old program has produced some good results, Arreguy said.
"Some kids have never worked, and it does give them pretty job skills
to prepare them for the work force," she said.
In the past, only non-profit organizations were eligible for the workers,
and they have worked in the schools, city, county and other entities.
Most of the workers this year are 14 and 15 years old, Arreguy said.
"Child labor laws don't allow 14-15 year olds to handle power tools,
but we are watching that," she said.
They may not cook, but can package and serve food and clean up, she
"The city has been instrumental in exposing kids to work in the lab,
meter reading, warehouse, zoo and parks," she said. "Some are cleaning
up and feeding animals, cleaning cemeteries and parks."
Walter Holland has extended his arts program through the summer to provide
work for JTPA students through painting an Eagle in the gymnasium, painting
bleachers and doors, and painting murals on cafeteria walls to depict area
industry and activities.
"They are doing a sculpture now," Arreguy said. "I am going to videotape
it for the school-to-work conference next year."
Holland does a great job with the kids, as do others, she said. "All
of our supervisors work really well with our kids. We have good end results."
Woodcarving predicts clown career
PECOS,June,17,1999--Jim Bob Feller's grandfather predicted his career
as a rodeo clown in a woodcarving on the lad's sixth birthday.
Feller will replace Quail Dobbs in the clown lineup at this year's West
of the Pecos Rodeo July 1-4. He has been a rodeo clown for 32 of his 48
World champion bull rider Ty Murray has entered the Pecos rodeo, along
with 149 others.
National Finals Rodeo contestants Keith Adams, Cody Custer, Josh O'Byrne,
Mike White, Brian Herman and the current world standings leader, Gregory
Potter, will be competing against the Bad Company Rodeo's bucking string,
the "young Guns."
The "Young Guns" lineup includes bucking phenoms Maniac, Hootie, Warrior,
Bad Leroy Brown, Young Blood and Funky Cole Medina.
The son of a Texas Methodist preacher, Feller grew up in a non-rodeo
family, having never even seen a rodeo until age 11. The same was true
of his grandfather, a barber who was not involved in rodeo and had seen
perhaps one or two in his entire life.
Looking at the woodcarving, though, one can be nothing less than amazed
at his grandfather's uncanny prediction of the future of his grandson.
Carefully etched in wood is a smiling, waving rodeo clown in a barrel,
surrounded by bucking broncs and bulls.
Feller spent his early years in Waco and a few other small Texas communities
before he and his family settled in Fort Worth. By the time he was in junior
high school, rodeo had become a fun and exciting part of the young boy's
"They had weekly amateur rodeos in Mansfield and I would slip off down
there. Also there were high school rodeos and buckouts, where stock contractors
bring in young bulls, and kids would pay $5 to ride them and practice,"
Feller said. "I started hanging around those and that is how I got started
Feller competed for three years in bull riding and saddle bronc events,
but he said he was not very successful at it and just did it because everyone
At 15 he started traveling the circuit with a friend, Keith Anderson,
a veteran rodeo clown. Based on that exposure, Feller slowly began to formulate
his own approach to clowning.
"The earlier clowns did it all. They were funny as well as bull fighters,"
Feller said. "In the business today there are only three or four bullfighters
that do comedy as well. It is a shame, but in the late 1970s the comedy
bullfighters began to disappear with the emergence of the Bullfight Tours."
The emphasis on athleticism overshadowed comedy aspects.
"The smaller rodeos could only afford to hire a bullfighter, so many
clowns were out of work," Feller said.
Of his 30 years in the business, 16 were spent as a bullfighter as well.
But he doesn't work as a bullfighter anymore.
"Father time has taken its toll," he said.
It is the job of the bullfighter to protect the cowboys from the bulls
in the bullriding event.
Big aluminum barrels are a part of the rodeo clown's arsenal. As a clown
and barrelman, Feller uses the barrel as an island of safety from the charging
bulls. The barrel weighs about 140 pounds, with three inches of foam rubber
lining it inside and out.
Handles on the inside allow the clown to pick the barrel up and walk
or run while inside it.
Feller has been trapped inside the barrel many times, depending solely
on the ability of the bullfighters to control the situation.
"Bulls can get their head inside the barrel, horns and all," he said.
"They can stick their heads inside and pick it up with the clown inside."
Feller, who works about 10 months a year, has gotten to know many of
the bulls used in rodeos. He has learned their habits and their moods,
and he can gauge his approach based on his experience.
As a clown and barrelman, he has never experienced any serious injuries,
just a lot of aches and pains.
As a bullfighter he experienced a dislocated elbows, broken ribs and
"It is not a question of IF you get hurt in this business, it is WHEN
and how bad," he said.
A lifetime member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy's Association, Feller
was selected to appear at the 1991 and 1998 Wrangler Bullfight at the National
Finals Rodeo. In 1993 he was selected to work the Dodge National Circuit
Finals Rodeo. He appears each year at major rodeos throughout the country.
Feller is married and has two children. His son, J.D., travels with
him whenever he is not in school. It is sometimes tough to juggle work
and family being on the road so much, but the family is the main focus
of his life.
Early retirement is common in this business, and Feller has been planning
ahead. He has a small construction business in Granbury. But he still believes
retirement will be difficult.
"Rodeo is a great life with lots of great people. It will be hard to
someday leave it," he said.
Red Bluff dam to get overhaul
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
PECOS,June,17,1999--Red Bluff Dam will be getting a minor overhaul
in the near future.
"The valves under the damn are pretty old and we are going to have to
do some repair work on them," said Jim Ed Miller, general manager for the
Red Bluff Water Power Control District.
In conjunction with the project the district hired Inshore Divers, Inc.,
to do the preliminary dive work and inspection of the damn.
"This kind of work is pretty expensive but we got lucky," Miller said.
"Inshore was doing some dive work at Possum Kingdom and we cut a deal with
them to dive Red Bluff on their way back home," he said.
Inshore is a California company.
"This really helped cut our expenses," Miller said.
The final cost to the District was $2,350.
Miller said that the divers inspected equipment, took measurements,
and shot video footage.
"The data will be used by the engineers in drawing up the plans," Miller
Of particular importance, the divers measured the intakes so that stoplogs
could be constructed.
"Stoplogs are used to stop up the intakes so that the water can be pumped
out of the valve areas and the valves can then be overhauled," Miller said.
The valves were last overhauled about 20 or 25 years ago.
Bake sale benefit set for Ingram
A bake sale will be held from 9 a.m. until noon, Friday, June 18
at the Reeves County Hospital Lobby.
The sale is to benefit Josephine Ingram and assist with medical expenses
incurred by cancer treatments.
Also a medical fund has been established at Security State Bank and
anyone wishing to help contribute and assist with medical expenses can
go to Security State Bank. The account set up is in Ingram's name specially
set up for medical expenses.
AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Wednesday night: Winning
numbers drawn: 4-10-13-32-38-50. Estimated jackpot: $10 million. Number
matching six of six: 0. Matching five of six: 96. Prize: $1,396. Matching
four of six: 4,983. Prize: $97. Matching three of six: 92,538. Prize: $3.
Next Lotto Texas game: Saturday night. Estimated jackpot: $14 million.
Ramon E. Juarez
Ramon E. Juarez, 59, died June 15, 1999, at his residence. Services will
be at 1 p.m. Friday in Santa Rosa Catholic Church, with burial in Greenwood
Cemetery. Rosary will be at 7:30 p.m. today in the VFW Hall on Second Street.
Mr. Juarez was born Oct. 4, 1939 in Coyame, Mexico. He was a Catholic.
Survivors include his wife, Maria L. Juarez of Pecos; five sons, Encarnacion
Juarez and Raymond Juarez of Coyame, Mex., Ricardo Juarez, Benito Juarez
and Gerardo Juarez of Pecos; four daughters, Josefina Juarez, Margarita
Juarez and Zulema Juarez of Coyame, Mex., and Amparo Juarez of Kermit;
one brother, Dulces Juarez of Jal, N.M.; four sisters, Ema Juarez, Cecila
Juarez, Dora Juarez and Guadalupe Juarez of Coyame, Mex., and 18 grandchildren.
PECOS,June,17,1999--High Wednesday 94; low last night 63. Rain .04 at Texas
A&M Agricultural Research Station. None in town. Overcast skies with
68 degree temperature downtown at mid-morning. Tonight, partly cloudy with
a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low in the lower 60s.
East wind 5-10 mph. Friday, mostly sunny and warmer. High in the upper
80s. Southeast wind 10-20 mph.
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