Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, June 22, 1999
County, Cassell agree to golf course deal
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
PECOS, June 22, 1999--Another chapter in the saga of the Reeves County
Golf Course was written yesterday at a special meeting of the Reeves County
Among the 10 items on the agenda were three that dealt with the golf
course — bid specifications for the golf pro shop operator, the golf course
managing plan, and a possible golf cart rental contract.
When the smoke cleared provisional plans were under way to hire a greenskeeper,
hire someone to run the pro shop, and rent golf carts for the near future.
More than 30 area residents showed up for the meeting — many voicing
their discontent with the way commissioners handled the contract renewal
for the former pro shop operator Royce Cassell.
The contract for Cassell, who also served as the greenskeeper at the
course, expired at the end of 1998.
County Judge Jimmy Galindo said that the contract for the pro shop was
not renewed sooner because of other pressing matters.
"I've been working on closing a $40 million loan for the expansion of
the prison. I've been focused on that. In light of Pecos' economic situation,
jobs are of great importance and the expansion promises 180 new jobs for
Pecos," he said.
The matter came to a head last week when the county published the bid
specifications for the pro shop contract with two changes involving trail
fees and the electricity bill, Jo Cooksey said. Cooksey is a member of
the Golf Advisory Committee and represents the Women's Golf Association.
After reading the specs, Cassell resigned for the second, and apparently
final time as the head greenskeeper, effective last Friday. He said that
he would vacate the pro shop by this coming Friday, she said.
According to Ken Winkles, who also serves on the Golf Advisory Committee,
the proposed contract submitted by the committee to the court made provisions
for the use of personal golf carts, with a yearly registration fee of $125.
Along with the fee, a $4 trail fee would also be charged for each round
Reeves County was to get the $125 and the pro shop operator was to receive
the trail fee.
Also, the proposed contract required the county to pay the electric
bill for the pro shop, as had always been done in the past, Winkles said.
When the bid specifications were published the specs called for the
trail fee to be paid to the county and for the pro shop proprietor to pay
the electric bill, Winkles said.
Galindo said that a simple miscommunication was at the root of the controversy.
"It is regrettable that this occurred. Nobody wanted this to happen,"
he said, referring to Cassell's resignation and decision to vacate the
pro shop as well.
Galindo said that several weeks before, the court had created the Golf
Advisory Committee and appointed members from the golfing community and
"The court asked the committee to submit a proposed contract for the
pro shop," he said.
He added that the committee worked with Cassell and the commissioner's
court and came up with a workable contract which was submitted to his office.
Galindo then asked County Auditor Lynn Owens, to draw up bid specifications
for the position so that it could be advertised as required by law.
But no one told Owens to use the exact wording of the proposed contract
to write the bid specifications from, Galindo said.
"This is where the miscommunication took place," Galindo said.
"We (the Golf Advisory Committee) were under the impression that the
proposed contract would be the basis for the bid specs," Jo Cooksey said.
Galindo said that several months before, he had discussed the electricity
issue with Owens.
"We didn't make a decision but we are always looking for ways to save
the county money," he said.
Owens said that he then wrote bid specifications in light of what he
knew and in terms of what was best for the county.
The bid specifications were then read by commissioner David Castillo
at last week's commissioner's meeting.
"We read the specs out loud. I thought if there were something out of
order, someone would say so," Castillo said.
"They did read the specs in court. I remember that," Cooksey said. "But
it was two or three pages of legalease. I guess you get kind of glassy
eyed after a while. But the provisions about the electricity and the trail
fees just went right past me and the other members of the advisory committee,"
Of primary concern among golfers at the meeting was the continued maintenance
of the golf course.
Before resigning, Cassell had been receiving a salary of $18,000 to
act as greenskeeper.
"This is about half of what a greens keeper makes in this region," Ken
The court passed a motion to offer the position of greens keeper to
Cassell at the salary of $38,500 per year.
The motion drew applause from those in attendance.
Commissioner Herman Tarin went directly from the meeting to offer the
"I hope he accepts the position," Tarin said. "Royce is a good man and
I wish this had never happened. If he takes the job it will be good for
the county, the golf course and hopefully, himself."
Cooksey later confirmed that Cassell had accepted the position.
The court also passed a motion to lease 25 golf carts for one month.
"This will make sure that there are golf carts available on Saturday,"
Galindo said, "and will buy us some breathing room to work with the advisory
committee and determine what our next move should be."
Cassell's last day at the pro shop will be this Friday.
Galindo reported to the court that the carts will cost about $70 per
month in rental fees, and there would also be a shipping charge for transporting
the carts to Pecos.
The court also passed a motion to empower Galindo to approach Cassell's
two current assistants, Robin Land and James "Ham" Hamilton, about running
the pro shop until a bid is accepted for the contract.
"With any luck at all, the golf course will be open Saturday, it will
be in good shape under Royce's care, there will be carts available, and
there will be someone at the pro shop to collect fees and rent the carts,"
Border Patrol joins hunt for alleged serial killer
From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, June 22, 1999--Freight train hitchhikers are being watched closely
along the Texas border since a string of killings, rapes and burglary have
been linked to a suspect known to ride the rails.
Border Patrol agents for the Marfa Sector have seen an increase in reports
of aliens riding trains, said Chief Patrol Agent Simon Garcia Jr.
Some of the reports have resulted in apprehensions, and agents are looking
closely at everyone taken into custody on the chance that one of them may
be Rafael Resendez-Ramirez.
Resendez-Ramirez is wanted by the FBI as a suspect in numerous crimes
occurring close to railroad tracks in Texas and two Midwestern states.
He is a Mexican national, 5-foot-7 and 150 pounds with black hair and brown
eyes and a tattoo of a snake on his left forearm.
A car, stolen from the suspect's latest victim in Texas was found abandoned
in Del Rio, leading authorities to suspect that Resendez-Ramirez may have
fled into Mexico.
Meanwhile, in Gorham, Ill, anguish and relief have taken hold where
Resendez-Ramirez is charged with killing a man and his daughter.
"There's a lot of people scared around here," said Ray Miller, a friend
of one of the victims. "I suppose if he was going to choose another person,
though, he would have moved on."
Authorities think Resendez-Ramirez may have done just that: Hours after
he was charged Monday in the Gorham killings, the FBI said it was investigating
whether he was involved in two killings 335 miles away in northern Illinois.
Resendez-Ramirez, put on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list Monday, is wanted
for questioning in five killings in Texas and one in Kentucky since August
1997. Authorities suspect he has been hitching rides on trains, finding
his victims on or near the rails.
Federal agents in Texas say they are getting calls about Resendez-Ramirez
from all over the country. The FBI in Wisconsin warned law enforcement
agencies to be on the lookout.
Resendez-Ramirez was charged in the June 15 deaths of George Morber
Sr. and his daughter, Carolyn Frederick, Jackson County State's Attorney
Mike Wepseic said.
Morber, 80, was shot in the head with a shotgun in his mobile home yards
from a Union Pacific rail line. Investigators say they believe Resendez-Ramirez
used the gun to fatally beat Frederick, 52, in the head.
Morber's truck was found Wednesday in a school parking lot in Cairo,
about 60 miles south of Gorham. State's Attorney Mike Wepseic said fingerprints
connect Resendez-Ramirez to the two southern Illinois slayings.
The killings have resulted in unusual measures for this sleepy farm
community of some 400 people about 110 miles southeast of St. Louis, where
the tiny downtown and many homes face railroad tracks across two lanes
of blacktop. Residents said they are locking their doors and being more
cautious for the first time.
"Our community has just been stunned by this senseless act," said Morber's
son, Bill Morber. "Everyone is scared, they're on edge, and I think they
will be until this Ramirez is caught."
Linda Meade, who said she grew up with Frederick, said residents of
the close-knit community of farmers and prison workers were particularly
angry that the killings robbed Frederick's three grown children of their
mother and Morber's ailing wife of her primary caretakers.
"She was a good mother. He was a good man," she said. "Ramirez, he deserves
to be blown away."
FBI officials said the agency was assisting authorities in northwest
Jo Daviess County to determine whether two deaths in Apple River and one
more in Pontiac could be linked to Resendez-Ramirez.
The bodies of Darin J. Oellerich, 23, and Rhonda Sue Wurm, 25, were
discovered Sunday in their rented farmhouse near a railroad line, the Jo
Daviess County sheriff's office said.
In Pontiac, about 80 miles southwest of Chicago, the body of 40-year-old
Juanita Sapp was discovered Wednesday in the bushes outside her apartment
complex across the street from railroad tracks.
Details of those three killings have not been released. In killings
in which Resendez-Ramirez is suspected, most of the victims were beaten.
"He's demonstrated he can use almost any kind of object to take a human
life in a very violent manner, and we've got to try and catch him," said
Don K. Clark, the special agent in charge of FBI's Houston office and leader
of a nationwide task force searching for the suspect. The task force has
more than 200 investigators working the case.
As for a motive, Clark said: "I wish I could tell you."
The task force, assembled earlier this month after authorities allegedly
connected the killings, has stopped and searched freight trains as part
of its manhunt, and freight railroads have stepped up security, watching
for drifters hopping trains.
Authorities said Resendez-Ramirez, a 38-year-old native of Puebla, Mexico,
has used numerous aliases and changes his appearance by altering his hair
style and wearing glasses. He has scars on his right ring finger, left
wrist and forehead, a snake tattoo on his left arm and may have a flower
tattoo on his left wrist.
The ex-convict has a criminal record in California, Florida and New
Mexico on weapons and burglary charges.
Rains fall overnight across area
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, June 22, 1999--Fierce lightning and thunder woke up area residents
Monday night and early this morning, then soothed their frazzled nerves
by dropping good rains across a wide section of West Texas and southern
Flash flooding occurred in northern Reeves, Culberson and Loving counties
overnight, and warnings continued today.
Two inches of rain fell on the Loving County ranch in northeast Loving
County, and .60 fell at the Lindley ranch closer to Mentone, said Susan
Gahr, Orla postmaster.
"Red Bluff got quite a bit of rain, and water is running in Four-Mile
Draw," Gahr said.
Jody McElroy reported 1.50 inches on the McElroy ranch west of Balmorhea.
She said that seven inches has fallen in that area over the past week or
two, and the countryside is greening up.
Pecos' rains began about 2 a.m. and the city received .67 inch, bringing
the June total to .97 inch and the year-to-date total to 1.21 inches.
Fort Stockton and Balmorhea received about .10 inch overnight, while
.22 was measured at Kent, the National Weather Service reported.
Slow-moving thunderstorms from a tropical air mass were keeping a rainy
week on the agenda for much of Texas, according to the Associated Press.
A flash flood watch is posted today for South Central and far West Texas
and the Hill Country as well as the South Plains and southern Panhandle,
with scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms expected through Thursday.
Locally heavy rainfall was possible.
Early-morning temperatures ranged from the 60s to 80s. It was 71 degrees
at Junction and Burnet and 81 at Rockport.
Along with heavy rain, temperatures in Central Texas have been unseasonably
cool. San Antonio's high temperature overnight on Monday reached only 78
degrees, breaking the old record of 80 set in 1997.
Record rain amounts fell in Del Rio. The airport in the border city
received 0.76 inches of rain Monday, topping the previous mark of 0.54
inches set in 1921.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms prevailed overnight over all but
the lower Rio Grande Valley, which had fair skies.
Winds were generally southeast at 5 to 15 mph.
Airport work, sewer rates on agenda
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, June 22, 1999--Improvements to the Pecos Municipal Airport and
final approval of a sewer rate increase are among topics for discussion
at the Pecos City Council meeting Thursday.
Rehabilitation and repair of the airport are estimated at $1.7 million,
to be funded 90 percent by the Texas Department of Transportation.
The city will be responsible for 10 percent of the total project cost.
Sewer rates approved in the last meeting will be effective immediately
after adoption on second reading Thursday.
* Water taps at $225, $300 and $700 (or actual cost), a one-time charge.
* Sewer tap of $150, one-time charge.
* Minimum sewer charge of $6.50 per month plus 30 cents per 1,000 average
gallons of water used in November, December and January.
Another water issue is payment of $14,120 to the Texas Water Development
Board Region F Water Planning Group for administrative expense.
Region F is one of 16 planning regions designated by the TWDB to develop
a state water plan covering the next 50 years.
The regional group began meeting in March of 1998. Administrative costs
to be borne by member counties is $160,000.
Based on population and water usage, Reeves County would pay two installments
of $7,060 each. The first payment was due Feb. 1, 1999, and the second
will be due Feb. 1, 2000.
Large water users in Reeves County are identified as the city of Balmorhea,
Madera Valley Water Supply Corp., city of Pecos, Texas Parks and Wildlife
Dept., city of Toyah, El Paso Field Services Inc., Greasewood Plant; Anchor
West, Inc., Capitol Aggregates, ILTD., Hoban Plant; and Pan Energy Field
Services, Waha Plant.
Other agenda items for the 7:30 a.m. meeting include the East Side Civic
Center, update on Odessa College, street light in 1900 block of Missouri
St., tri-agency agreement to rehab Pecos High School athletic track; Charter
Waste Management, placement and removal of rodeo flags, and employee review
for city manager and city secretary.
The meeting will begin at 7:30 a.m. in the council chamber at City Hall.
Local entries still being sought
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, June 22, 1999--The Second Annual West of the Pecos Team Roping
Classic will take place on Saturday, July 3, at the Buck Jackson Rodeo
The roping is seperate from the PRCA's competition at the West of the
Pecos Rodeo and will be paid on a four steer average Saturday morning.
The top 12 teams from Saturday morning's roping, will come back and rope
one steer in the Saturday night performance.
"This will be a number nine team roping, four steers for $150 per team,
progressive after one steer, enter three times," said rodeo committee member
The team with the fastest time in Saturday night's performance will
win $500 gift buckles.
Entries are still being accepted, but must be postmarked by this Friday,
For more information and entry blanks call 915-445-4155.
Entries are open for the wild cow milking and wild horse race, with
Saturday, June 26 the last day to register. Sign-up entry fee is $50 per
team in this event.
Tickets for the rodeo performances are being sold at Airlawn Furniture,
1310 S. Eddy, or by calling 1-800-588-2855 or call 447-9035. Reserved tickets
are $8 and $10 and general admission will be $5. Each performance will
begin at 8:30 p.m.
`Upward Bound' program given grant
PECOS, June 22, 1999--Sul Ross State University has been awarded
a $200,000 grant for its TRIO Upward Bound Program, said U.S. Rep. Henry
Bonilla (R-San Antonio).
The SRSU Upward Bound Program targets low-income, potential first-generation
college students to help them develop the skills they need to complete
secondary education and succeed at the post-secondary educational institution
of their choice.
Bonilla's District 23 includes both Sul Ross State University in Alpine,
along with Pecos and Reeves County.
AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Cash 5 drawing Monday night: Winning numbers
drawn: 9-11-14-24-34. Number matching five of five: 3. Prize per winner:
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery,
in order: 0-4-2 (zero, four, two)
Charlie Millan II
Charlie Garcia Millan II, 57, died Saturday, June 19, 1999 at Odessa Medical
A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m. today at Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m., Wednesday, June 23, at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.
He was born Sept. 30, 1941, in Balmorhea, was a retired water well technician,
a lifelong Pecos resident and a Catholic.
He was preceded in death by his father Carlos "Charlie" Millan and sister
Survivors include his wife, Debbie Millan of Pecos; five sons, Charlie
Millan III of Odessa, Jerry and Matthew Millan of Pecos, David Millan of
Midland and Dwayne Millan of Lubbock; four daughters, Corina Millan of
Grandfalls, Sandra and Valerie Millan of Pecos and Deanna Tarver of St.
Francisville, La.; his mother, Lorenza Millan of Pecos; four brothers,
Mike Millan of Barstow, Henry and Tommy Millan of Andrews and Julian Millan
Sr. of Pecos; four sisters, Mary Millan, Sally Gomez and Cinderella Pallanes
of Pecos, Eloisa Contreras of Odessa and 11 grandchildren.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High Monday 92; low last night 68. Rainfall .67 inch. June rainfall
.97 inch. Year-to-date 2.21 inches. Last year, 109-71. Record high for
this date, 114 in 1960; record low 52 in 1982. Precipitation 1.50 in 1958.
Average precipitation for June 1.09 inch. High 3.31 inches, 1980. Flash
flood watch in effect today. Tonight, mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance
of showers or thunderstorms. Low in the mid 60s. Southeast wind 10-15 mph.
Wednesday, mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms.
High in the upper 80s. South 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