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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Top Stories

Monday, July 19, 1999

Police get lab due to Howard's closing

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, July 19, 1999 -- It hurt David "Kelly" Davis to close out Howard's Studio, the oldest business in Pecos, and throw away thousands of historical negatives. But he recycled some of the equipment in a modern police laboratory.

Lt. Davis is an investigator for the Pecos Police Department, located just across the street from Howards.

Or what was Howard's. Along with vacating the building over the past two months, the signs were removed, and the building looks bare. Davis said that a vendor removed the signs to sell in a novelty store.

Antique cameras and other equipment that Davis just could not part with, along with the really-old negatives, dating back to 1910, are stored in his garage and two storerooms.

"I like the old camera because it was all metal," Davis said. "No matter what you did to it, it didn't break."

He didn't have a Leica camera, but Davis saved attachments, books and everything connected to Leica.

"There are people that just love Leica. Some cameras sell for $45,000," he said.

One camera he kept is a 4X5 Graflex that has a 1/1000th of a second shutter speed and a "real good lens."

He couldn't save it all, of course.

"I closed out Howard's because I don't run museums," he said.

West of the Pecos Museum gained some of the old equipment for display. One machine stamps out picture post cards.

Curator Dorinda Millan said she would like to borrow Davis' old cameras for a temporary display. Other equipment will be worked in with the other museum displays, she said.

"We have run out of room for new displays," she said.

Some of the photos that Davis donated will be sold and others will be kept.

Among those Davis kept that have drawn interest are Carlsbad Caverns in the 1930s and McDonald Observatory right after they opened. He also has a box of X Ranch photos.

Davis said he would have liked to preserve all the negatives, but he doesn't have the storage space.

"I kept everything from before 1940," he said, noting that he likes to look at the people pictures with the different hair and dress styles.

"I threw away the greatest amount of negatives," he said. "I filled several dumpsters."

He said that more than 100,000 negatives ranging in size from 4X5 to 8X10 were on file in the rear of the studio at 525 S. Oak St.

Davis kept one small glass tube that he can't identify and has no idea what it is used for. Labeled an "antimeter," the slim stem resembles a thermometer, with mercury in a bulb below an empty larger bulb and graduated numbers along the slender top portion.

"I haven't found anyone that knows what it is," he said. "I saved it."

The antimeter, in its wooden case, sits alongside an enlarger with a sophisticated computer attachment that analyzes each negative and automates lens and timer settings.

Davis uses his own enlarger in the police lab, which he created in a storage room at the back of the police department.

"We had stuff all over the office and some in the evidence room," he said. "I finally decided to take over the storage room and build it into a lab to process evidence."

An example of evidence that needs special handling is a big, bloody sheet that has to air dry.

"We can lock it up," he said of the new lab.

A fingerprint machine - forensic optical comparator - was purchased with police department funds, and District Attorney Randy Reynolds provided digital cameras.

"It is probably the only police lab in West Texas except for El Paso and Midland," Davis said.

A fuming chamber is used to develop fingerprints, in addition to chemical processes that show up fingerprints on porous items. By treating a piece of paper with chemicals, then placing it in the comparator, Davis can view a blowup of the print on the paper and compare it with a fingerprint on a card to help identify a suspect.

Physical evidence has become essential in criminal court cases now, Davis said.

"You have to go into court with a box of evidence to convince a jury," he said.

By taking digital photos, officers can more quickly gain evidence to identify a suspect, show a judge a photo of an injury to obtain a warrant and attach a photo to a search warrant to help identify the location.

"It cuts down on film and film processing," Davis said. "It has probably already paid for itself."

He hopes to get a large digital storage device to keep photos on hand for identification, and a program that will draw a crime scene to scale and project it in three dimensions on the computer screen.

While using the most modern technology, Davis also is nostalgic about the good things in the past.

Senior League has day's wait for title game


PECOS, July 19, 1999 -- The Pecos Senior League All-Stars got in their opening game on Friday in subsectional tournament play in Lubbock. But rains after sunset that night caused the second game of the day to be postponed, and that created the chain reaction that moved all the remaining tournament games back a day.

Pecos won their Friday game over Odessa Floyd Gwin, 12-0, but had to wait a day in Lubbock before advancing to the tournament finals last night, with an 8-3 win over Perryton. They've got another day off in Lubbock, and will face the winner of the Perryton-Odessa game at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Lubbock Western, 58th St. and Bangor. A deciding game, if needed would be played at 8:30 p.m.

Results from the first two games are on Page 5.

Saragosa day care on CCRC's agenda

PECOS, July 19, 1999 -- A day care center in Saragosa will once again be the topic of discussion at the regular Community Council of Reeves County board meeting.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, at the Pyote Community Center in Pyote.

Other items for discussion include the Night in Old Pecos booth; the WTU program and Nelson-Brown Equities, Inc.

The board will consider and act on client compliance/grievance procedure and client assistant information accessibility.

In other business the board will listen to a presentation by Charlene Romero Wurtz on Census 2000.

Board members will approve the financial report and the minutes of the June 15 meeting.

Under board vacancies, the participant sector-Ward County, the board will consider and act on resignation of current board member; private sector-Ward County, the board will consider and act on approval of potential representative and in the private sector-Winkler County, the position is currently vacant.

Barstow `burglary' was accident


A report called in to the Ward County Sheriff's office about a possible burglary in progress turned out to be something totally different.

The call was received at the Ward S.O. about 5:39 a.m., today, by Deputy Ben Deishler about a possible burglary in progress at the Lujan residence on County Road 170, according to sheriff's reports.

The call turned out to be a one-vehicle rollover.

Four subjects were transported to the emergency room at the Reeves County Hospital, while a fifth subject walked off the scene of the accident. The subject was later located at the hospital, according to the report.

The accident is being investigated by Department of Public Safety trooper Rodney Tucker.

No further information on the identity of the subjects was available as of presstime.

RAINS FILL IMPERIAL CANAL

Water from recent rains north of Pecos had filled up the Imperial Reservoir canal at the State Highway 18 crossing this past Thursday, while the reservoir itself, which had been suffering from a lack of water in recent years, had enough to get the boat ramp back into the water on the lake's north side. A visual check Thursday showed the canal to be fuller just south of Grandfalls than the Pecos River itself was, at both the FM 1776 bridge west of Grandfalls and at the FM 11 crossing between Grandfalls and Imperial.

TREE LOVERS

 Pecos Tree Board member Carolyn Winkles recently accepted a check for $5,000 from urban forester Oscar Mestas. The funds were used to plant trees and irrigation system at Fairview Cemetery. The funds were made available through the Forest Service Urban Forestry Public Outreach Grant. Matching funds were raised by the Pecos Tree Board by selling caladiums and candles.

Lotto


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

Winning numbers drawn: 21-22-27-28-31-35. Estimated jackpot: $37 million. Number matching six of six: one Winning ticket sold in: Harlingen. Matching five of six: 174. Prize: $2,077. Matching four of six: 11,667. Prize: $112.

***

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Texas Million drawing Friday night:

Winning numbers drawn: 37-76-08-17.

***

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Friday night:

Winning numbers drawn: 09-16-01-25-35. Number matching five of five: 3. Prize per winner: $29,714. Matching four of five: 253. Prize: $529.

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

3-6-7 (three, six, seven)

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

8-3-0 (eight, three, zero)

Obituary

Frances Kerr

Frances Hubbard Kerr, 93, died Friday, July 16, in a Midland hospital.

Services were held at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, at Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity, in Midland, with Rev. Stockton Williams officiating. Graveside services were at 4 p.m., Sunday at Fairview Cemetery in Pecos.

She was born Aug. 23, 1905, in New York City and moved with her parents when she was six weeks old to Barstow, where she spent her early years on her parents' farm. She was educated in Pecos public schools, Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton, the University of Texas and after completing business school in Dallas she worked for the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City.

She was a member the Episcopal Church in Pecos and Midland, the Merry Wives Club in Pecos, the Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity in Midland and the Midland Woman's Club.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Hermon Peirce Hubbard; her husband, William L. Kerr; one grandson, Robert Francis Kerr.

Survivors include two sons, William Monroe Kerr and Theodore Morris Kerr of Midland; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; one niece and one nephew.

Ellis Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Weather

PECOS, July 19, 1999 -- High Sunday 98; low last night 71. Rainfall .28 inch in Pecos and .41 at A&M Research Station. Tonight, partly cloudy with a less than 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Low around 70. Southeast to south wind 10-20 mph. Tuesday, partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. High 90-95. Southeast to south wind 10-20 mph.
 



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