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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Top Stories

Thursday, July 15, 1999

Water hurts effort to fight oil tank fire

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, July 15, 1999 -- Pecos Volunteer Firemen spent about four hours Wednesday evening fighting a tank battery fire 10 miles south of Orla, said Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire.

Lightning hit a tank filled with oil on the New Horizon Texaco 9 lease, blowing a hole on the bottom of the tank, Brookshire said.

"Oil was leaking out and running on the ground. The fire in the tank ignited the oil on the ground," he said.

Water that firemen were spraying on the fire ran for about a quarter mile from the tank, carrying oil on top. Fire followed the oil flow in both directions from the tank, he said.

Pecos Police dispatchers received the call at 6:49 p.m., and firemen were back in the hall at 11 p.m., Brookshire said.

Road repairs scheduled for U.S. 285, I-20

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer

PECOS, July 15, 1999 -- Motorists are urged to be cautious during construction which is set to begin Monday and continue until Aug. 1 on U.S. 285 south of town.

More than 10 miles of US 285 south of Pecos will be getting a new surface over the next two weeks, according to Texas Department of Transportation public information officer Glen Larum.

Larum said that the construction will start at the south frontage road of Interstate 20 and continue south towards Fort Stockton. The work should be completed by Aug. 1, barring bad weather.

During this time, workers will work on one side of the road and leave the other one open for traffic, according to Larum.

While the work is underway travel is restricted to a single lane on the two-lane highway. Flaggers will halt oncoming traffic and a pilot car driver will lead motorists through the work zone, which will be no more than three miles long at any one time.

Cox Paving, Inc., of Blanco, will put down a thin layer of asphalt hot mix over the existing surface. The micro-surface, as it is called, is a preventive maintenance measure to seal the roadway surfce and prevent moisture from damaging the road base.

When the surfacing is complete, crews will paint center and edge stripes on the roadway. The total project will cost $330,629.

"Work is scheduled to begin Monday, but may start earlier if the contractor can mobilize a crew sooner," said Larum.

The project is one of two scheduled to begin shortly, with the second involving roadwork on Interstate 20 between Odessa and Monahans.

Roadwork on I-20 in western Ector County will slow traffic for the next three months while construction workers rebuild the highway from the Crane County line to a a site near Penwell.

"There will be times when a single lane will be open for traffic," said Dan Dalager, the TxDOT engineer in charge of the project. "Drivers should be alert for construction equipment and workers," he said.

The work will be performed by Jones Brothers Dirt and Paving Contractors of Odessa. The cost of the project will be about $2.8 million.

Traffic will be restricted to a single lane through the area where work is taking place. An advisory speed limit may be posted for the work zone and motorists will be advised of the state law that doubles all traffic fines within an construction area.

The project is expected to be finished by mid-September, said Dalager.

Parks deals with drug probation cases

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, July 15, 1999 -- District Judge Bob Parks on Wednesday revoked the probation of Evigael Juarez Navarette, and sentenced him to 10 years in state prison.

Navarette, 40, violated his curfew by being on the streets of Pecos at 1:55 a.m. on May 27, said District Attorney Randy Reynolds in the motion to revoke. He had been placed on five years probation upon his guilty plea Oct. 25, 1996 for possession of a controlled substance.

Federal charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine have also been filed against Navarette, who allegedly had the substance in his vehicle when stopped by two Pecos Police patrolmen on Cypress Street.

Police confiscated $17,500 found in the pickup, and Reynolds has filed notice of seizure and intent to forfeit.

Judge Parks announced his decision following a hearing Wednesday afternoon. He is to enter formal judgment Friday.

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer

PECOS, July 15, 1999 -- A Pecos man is back in the Reeves County Jail following his arrest on a warrant for a motion to adjudicate following a probation violation.

Pecos Police executed the felony arrest warrant on Wednesday, at the home of Paul Armstrong and family, 1902 Jackson Blvd.

The warrant was issued by 143rd District Court Judge Bob Parks to arrest Paul Armstrong, 40, who originally was arrested on May 20, 1998, for possession of a controlled substance under one gram.

Officers uncovered a small amount of cocaine in a warrant executed at his home in 1998.

Armstrong was previously placed on felony probation by Judge Parks for the offense of possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) and is currently on probation.

"The warrant was issued by Judge Parks because Mr. Armstrong is accused of probation violations which were set forth by him," said Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler.

Officials said Armstrong violated three sections of his probation agreement, involving attending a West of the Pecos Rodeo dance on July 4 where alcohol was sold, and violating his court-imposed curfew while at the Reeves County Civic Center dance.

Armstrong is currently in the Reeves County Jail on a charge of motion to adjudicate guilt and a hearing is set for today before Judge Parks.

Agency seeks ombudsman

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, July 15, 1999 -- Elderly residents of a nursing home who have no family or friends to provide individual attention may benefit from the Area Agency on Aging's ombudsman program.

Ann Dunbar, director of volunteer services in the Midland area office, said that she is seeking a volunteer ombudsman in Pecos.

Ombudsmen are trained to be intermediaries between the resident and the nursing home, Dunbar said.

"They are advocates for resident's quality of care and quality of life. Volunteers are asked to visit nursing facilities on a weekly basis. They assist nursing home administrators resolve potential problems before they become major," Dunbar said.

Pecos Nursing Home Administrator Jim Lofton said that the ombudsman program is different from the volunteer program in which individuals visit nursing home patients and participate in the activity program.

"We have regular activities where we have volunteers come," Lofton said. "And people come on a regular basis to visit with residents."

Churches also have an organized program to provide worship services each Sunday afternoon.

"We have a real good volunteer program here," Lofton said.

Dunbar said that the Texas elderly population is predicted to double from 1995 to 2020, and the Area Agency on Aging has recognized the need for support of this silent and growing group of frail elderly.

"The volunteer ombudsman program was designed to assist in filling in the gaps for long-term care residents and nursing home staff," she said.

Jurors return guilty verdict on Honduran

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, July 15, 1999 -- He may be a citizen of Honduras, but Juan Lopez-Sanabria is not entitled to stay in the United States without permission, a federal judge has ruled.

And on Wednesday a federal jury found Lopez, 42, guilty of illegal re-entry after deportation.

Arrested by Border Patrol agents when his bus stopped in Van Horn Dec. 5, 1998, Lopez was first charged as a Mexican citizen. However, investigation showed he was a citizen of Honduras who had been arrested and deported three times since 1988.

While living in Redwood City, Calif. in 1994, Lopez was also convicted of disorderly conduct and assault.

His attorney, Paul Williams, claimed that Lopez was eligible for temporary protection from prosecution under immigration laws that protect all Nicaraguan and Honduran citizens who continuously resided in the United States before Dec. 30, 1998.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stuart Platt overruled that motion earlier, and Lopez opted to go to trial before a jury.

Jurors deliberated 55 minutes before returning a guilty verdict about mid-afternoon Wednesday.

Presiding Judge Royal Furgeson set sentencing for Sept. 13.

The trial closed a busy week of hearings and sentencings.

Cantaloupes survive storm south of town

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, July 15, 1999 -- Cantaloupes started rolling into the sheds in Pecos on July 1, and Wednesday's rain did little to slow them down.

Clay Taylor of Pecos Cantaloupe Co. said the fields were a little wet this morning, but crews are still picking.

"The crop looks real promising," Taylor said.

Produce stands are offering the popular PecosSweet cantaloupe for sale in Pecos, and refrigerated trucks are hauling them to market in other areas.

Winds accompanying a storm that passed south of Pecos Wednesday knocked the roof off the two-story brick house on the Flat Top Farm where once a grape vineyard stood, and heavy rain fell in the area.

Coyanosa had a heavy rain for about 30 minutes Wednesday afternoon, accompanied by high winds, said Gail Fritter, general manager for the Coyanosa Co-op Gin and Farm Store.

Those afternoon showers missed Pecos and Texas A&M Research Station west of town, but rains fell overnight, cooling Wednesday's high temperature of 101 to a low of 74 this morning

Jaxie Young said that .51 inch of rain was recorded at the research station during the night.

Pecos received .01 inch, bringing the rainfall total this year to 2.41 inches. Of that .99 fell in July.

Balmorhea received .23 inch Wednesday afternoon.

Overnight rains extended north to Orla, where one rancher reported he received "just enough," said Susan Gahr, Postmaster.

Sales tax rebates continue downward

PECOS, July 15, 1999 -- Sales tax receipts in the Permian Basin continued their plunge for another month in July, as tax rebates to area cities were almost uniformly down, according to the State Comptroller's Office.

Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander sent out checks totalling $178.5 million to Texas cities and counties last week, a 2.2 percent rise over a year ago. But in the Permian Basin, sales tax figures, based on May sales, continued to decline, with Pecos joining in the drop for the second month in a row, after avoiding a fall earlier this year.

The city's tax rebate check for this month totalled $52,561, down just over 9 1/2 percent from the $58,141 check sent back from Austin a year ago, based on Pecos' 1 1/2 cent share of the state's 8 1/4 cent sales tax. The decline comes after a 13 percent drop in June, but for the year, the city's tax rebates are down just 1.1 percent from a year ago, to $439,032.

Other cities reported even larger drops in their rebate totals, and even some areas in the Davis Mountains and Big Bend that had avoided recent declines were hit this month.

Big Spring was down over 7 percent and Fort Stockton reported a nearly 9 percent decline, while Andrews, Crane, Monahans, Kermit and both Midland and Odessa saw double digit declines in their tax rebate checks. Alpine in Presidio also reported small drops in their July checks, though both Marfa and Van Horn saw double-digit increases for the month.

Balmorhea got back just $130 from Rylander's office, 57 1/2 percent lower than 1998, while Toyah's $353 check represented a 30 percent increase, but that was due to a 1/2 cent rise in the city's sales tax since last year.

The Reeves County Hospital District also recorded a double-digit drop in their tax rebate check. The $19,533 total was down 24 percent from the $25,718 last year, and for the first seven months of 1999, the hospital has gotten back $173,052 from Rylander's office, down 2 3/4 percent from 1998.
 

Lotto

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Wednesday night:

Winning numbers drawn: 3-11-14-28-33-44. Estimated jackpot: $27 million. Number matching six of six: 0. Matching five of six: 214. Prize: $1,250. Matching four of six: 11,442. Prize: $84.

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Wednesday by the Texas Lottery, in order:

7-7-1 (seven, seven, one)

Obituaries

Samuell Smith

Samuell C.R. Smith, 73, of San Angelo, died July 13, 1999, in a San Angelo hospital.

Masonic graveside services will be at 10 a.m., Friday, July 16, at the Robert Lee Cemetery.

He was born Feb. 6, 1926, in Edith, Tx., and worked as a Safety Engineer with Pennzoil Sulphur. He was a member of the United States Marine Corps and a veteran of World War II. He was also a member of the San Angelo Masonic Lodge #570, Robert Lee Masonic Lodge #696, the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, and was a Shriner.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Kathryn Smith of San Angelo; one son, John J.S. Smith of San Angelo; two daughters, Nancy Anderson of Paris and Judith Rodgers of Sanger; two sisters, Louise Graves of Fort Stockton, and Arrajo Warner of Houston and five grandchildren.

Shaffer Funeral Home of San Angelo is in charge of arrangements.

Louise L.S. Kohlhoff

Funeral services are incomplete for Louise Leana Smith Kohlhoff, 57, of Barstow, who died Wednesday afternoon at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa. Services will be under the direction of Pecos Funeral Home.

Kohlhoff was born Aug. 2, 1941 in Eldorado and was a longtime resident of Barstow and a housewife.

Survivors include her husband, Dennis Kohlhoff, and two sons.

Weather

PECOS, July 15, 1999 -- High Wednesday 101; low last night 74. Rainfall .01 in Pecos. July rainfall .99 inch. Year-to-date 2.41 inches. Tonight, partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Low near 70. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Friday, partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. High in the mid 90s. South wind 10-20 mph.
 



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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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