Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, September 15, 1999
Chamber shifts parade, sets Fall Fair plans
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Sept. 15, 1999 -- The Women's Division of the Pecos Chamber of
Commerce will be having a busy schedule over the next six weeks, with several
activities planned by the organization, division officials said during
the monthly Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting held at noon
Tuesday at the Pecos Senior Center.
A Fireman's Appreciation Dinner will be held on Oct. 7, at the West
of the Pecos Museum, to show support to the local volunteer firemen.
Plans for the annual Mother Goose Parade, which has been renamed the
Halloween Parade, are already underway. The annual event was held in conjunction
with the Reeves County Fall Fair in the past, but will now be held later
The Halloween Parade will be held Thursday, Oct. 21 and the parade route
has also changed slightly. The parade will now commence at the West of
the Pecos Museum and end at the State Theater, where a Haunted House will
be set up for the youngsters.
Richard Creasy, owner of the State Theater, told chamber members that
the group is trying to get everything ready for the Haunted House, which
will also be open Oct. 22 and 23, following the parade. "We hope to have
it open the following weekend also and probably do one on Halloween night
as well," said Creasy.
"If there's anybody out there that would like to volunteer to help us,
we need all he help we can get," he added.
Chamber members also were updated on next month's 55th Annual Reeves
County Fall Fair. Pete Astudillo, a former band member and singer with
the late Selena and her group, will be the headliner at this year's Fall
Fair Concert. Other bands to be performing on Saturday, Oct. 2, at the
Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena include, Los Jinetes Del Bravo, Alianza Nortena,
Expresiones, and La Distancia.
The gates will open at 6 p.m. with the concert kicking off at 7 p.m.
and run until 1 a.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Pecos Chamber
of Commerce office, Dan's Music and Video and Desert Rental and Sales.
In conjunction, the chamber will be hosting the 27th Annual World Championship
Barbecue Cook-Off at the Reeves County Sheriff's Posse Arena on Friday
and Saturday, Oct. 1-2. Entries are $75 per team, with a capacity limit
of 85 teams.
Divisions are open to Pro, Amateur and Club groups. Grand prize is $300
and a silver plate; first prize in each division is $200 and a trophy and
second prize in each division is $100 and a trophy. Awards will also be
presented for Worst Barbecue and Best Camp.
"We only have 10 entries right now, which isn't good, but a lot of people
wait until the last minute to sign up," said chamber of commerce director
Tom Rivera. "We're hoping for 40 entries."
The Fall Fair's Livestock Show is also scheduled for that weekend in
the Reeves County Civic Center. This year's over all theme is "Fall." There
will be culinary and art contests, crafts and novelty booths, a pet show,
school exhibits and one of the finest carnivals in Texas.
Bob Curry, with BCTI, gave board members an update on the company, which
has been recycling batteries in Pecos since 1990.
"It was R&R in 1991 and the name was changed to BCTI in 1996," said
Curry. "And then in May of last year it was bought out by a Canadian group,
which was very active in the community where they come from."
Curry told chamber members that this group plans to be active in this
community as well. "Once they get the new equipment in here and finish
the acquisition, they want to stay active here also," he said.
New computers and outside monitoring are part of the equipment that
will be installed at the facility, according to Curry. They are currently
behind schedule by about 60 days, but hope to complete bringing in the
new equipment by November.
The group is expected to spend about $1.3 million and about $3 million
in the community, Curry added.
Contrary to rumors, Curry said, BCTI has never been closed. "There hasn't
been a lot of activity, but we've never closed," he said. "It was never
moved either, they could have moved it, but they didn't," he said.
Curry noted that one of the problems for the company is lack of services
that they need to keep operations running smoothly. "We want to buy locally
as much as possible."
The Texas Natural Recourse Conservation Commission will also have access
to BCTI via computers. "We're moving along slowly, but we'll get there,"
He said that working with the local economic development committee,
he knew that there were some things out there that the company could utilize.
"We wanted to make sure we were in the Enterprise Zone and we also submitted
a sales tax application and have received verbal approval on it," said
Curry. He told the chamber board this would mean that with the approved
application the company would get a percentage of sales tax back.
"This would be about 80 percent of the $1.3 million that we would get
back from the state," said Curry. "This also opens up doors for grants
and other things we might be eligible for."
"There's a lot of possibilities out there that we don't know about and
need to look into," he said.
Curry said that with the help of former city councilman Randy Graham
and Pecos Economic Development Corporation Director Gari Ward's help, they
have connected with Smart Job, which will enable the company to hire 19
"This project application is the first ever done in Pecos, so it won't
be hard for others to follow suit," said Curry. "We're just waiting for
final approval," he said.
Jesse Stephens told chamber members that a meeting had been held and
was attended by several concerned community citizens regarding housing
in the area. "A member of the Texas Department of Housing and Community
Affairs and HUD representative were on hand to give us some information,"
"I think it's something we should work at, there's a lot of possibilities,"
Stephens said a public meeting would be held soon to give the public
a chance to attend and give their input.
"We'll publicize it and let everyone know when and where, so that they
can attend," he said.
Lindsay water woes improved after repairs to line
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Sept. 15, 1999 -- A leaking four-inch water line was one cause
of low pressure at the Lindsay Addition this summer, the staff of Madera
Valley Water Supply Corp. found recently.
Manager Peggy Cox located the leaking line that piped water to one of
two overhead tanks serving the Lindsay Addition.
"It wasn't keeping the tank full," she said today. "We sure hope that
solved the problem. I haven't had any more complaints."
Board President Herman Tarin said that about 120 feet of pipe was replaced,
and "It is working for now. If it stays cool, we will be O.K. If there
is more demand, it could run a little low."
Tarin said the board is still working on a project to lay a larger line
from the Hoban plant to Alamo.
"We will run a new line from the Hoban Water Station on Hwy. 17 to Alamo
and then once we put that water into Alamo lines, we will come back to
Lindsay and loop every line with the four-inch line, and that will give
them plenty of pressure," he said.
"It is just a matter of advertising for bids," he said. "There's been
a lot more customers asking for service, and we have been putting them
on hold until we can get those lines installed."
Slim Heath, one of the Lindsay Addition residents who complained about
low _ and no _ water pressure this summer, said Sunday that he has plenty
of water now.
Fed court begins series of jury trials
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Sept. 15, 1999 -- Robert Edward Beaton had the distinction of
being the first of nine defendants for whom juries were chosen in federal
court this week to go on trial in Pecos.
The 39-year-old New York resident is charged with conspiracy to possess
and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, carrying a firearm
during a drug trafficking transaction, and with illegal entry after deportation.
Beaton and Alfred Antony Reed, 34, of Decatur, Ga., were arrested Oct.
20, 1998 at the Desert Haven Border Patrol Checkpoint on U.S. Highway 62/180
just east of El Paso.
Border Patrol agent Glenn Silverio Escontrias of Ysleta said he conducted
an immigration inspection of the two occupants in a 1989 Dodge van with
Georgia plates. Reed, the driver and owner of the van, said he was a U.S.
citizen. Beaton said he was a U.S. citizen born in the Virgin Islands.
Escontrias noticed a heavy accent in Beaton's voice and noticed that
he was uneasy and fidgety, which elevated during questioning. A subsequent
check showed he was not a U.S. citizen and had previously been deported.
While searching the vehicle, agents noticed the van floor was covered
with 3/8 inch plywood covered with unfastened blue carpet. They discovered
several hidden compartments throughout the vehicle, containing 114 bundles
of marijuana weighing 330.3 pounds and valued at $250,000.
A loaded model 17 Glock 9mm handgun was discovered in the left rear
Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Miller said in closing argument this morning
that Beaton's story that he was a professional cyclist who went to El Paso
to enter a bicycle race and attended a wedding while there did not match
the evidence found in the van.
A bag containing a bicycle suit that had been worn and one helmet did
not contain cycling shoes, he said. But the bag did contain enough clothing
for three days, the amount of time it would have taken to construct all
the compartments in the van and hide the marijuana.
Paul Higdon represents Beaton. He said the government's evidence fails
to prove that Beaton knew the marijuana and handgun were in the van. They
also were unable to produce an order of deportation, although they did
have a form showing Beaton was ordered deported.
Higdon said that Beaton met Reed at a wedding and decided to ride with
him when he learned he was headed for the east coast. He was nervous at
the checkpoint because of his immigration problems, Higdon said.
U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson presided for the trial and set another
for today. George Guzman is defendant in that trial, represented by Anthony
Foster of Alpine.
Mike Barclay of Alpine has trials Thursday and Friday, with defendants
Jesus Sotomayor-Garcia and Charles E. Kesse.
A third defendant, Hernando Felix-Yague (pronounced yoggy) failed to
appear for docket call Monday. Barclay used his poetic license to explain
Hernando Felix Yague
Has a mind that's now become foggy.
On a search for his person
Pre-trial is still cursin'.
But I learned just this day
He's down Mexico way.
Judge Furgeson issued a warrant for Felix-Yague and for Angela Marquez
of Kansas, who also failed to appear for trial.
Four additional juries were chosen Monday and told to report back for
trials in October.
Sentenced Monday were Scott Alan Vigen, 84 months in prison, with credit
for minor role, minimum role and acceptance of responsibility, with two
points added for obstruction of justice; Aracely Ortega-Ortega and Abel
Dominguez-Armendariz, time served.
Sentenced Tuesday were Rachel Ann Gonzalez, 22, of Odessa, 41 months
for possession with intent to distribute marijuana; Odell Dozier Locklair,
46, of Aiken, S.C., five years probation for marijuana possession; Mario
Barrientes-Gonzales, 12 months+1 day; Jose Augustin Garcia-Paulino, 14
months; Juan Lopez-Sanabria, 43, time served for illegal entry after deportation;
and Jessica Franco Jaquez, 19, of Presidio, four months for possession
with intent to distribute marijuana.
School board sets tax rate $15 million budget
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Sept. 15, 1999 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board members without
comment approved both the budget for the 1999-2000 fiscal year on Tuesday,
along with setting a property tax rate 6.3 cents below last year's figure.
The $15 million budget was approved as presented. The tax rate was set
at $1.4371 per $100 valuation.. That's below the $1.50 rate of a year ago
because debt obligations by the district were paid off during the past
An ordinance was also implemented in regards to the tax rate. Superintendent
Don Love explained it was part of changes made by the Texas Legislature
earlier this year in the process in which Texas school districts adopt
budgets and tax rates.
These revisions are contained in House Bill 2075 and Senate Bill 4.
House Bill 2075 became effective on Aug. 30 and Senate Bill 4 became effective
Sept. 1, which involve adopting rates and taxpayer challenges to the rates.
To adopt a tax rate after Sept. 1, the new law requires the following:
on or after Sept. 1, and at least 10 but no more than 30 days before the
meeting: the board should post the "Notice of Public Meeting to Discuss
Budget and Proposed Tax Rate" in accordance with HB 2075. All districts
must post this Notice regardless of whether the tax levy is increasing,
decreasing, or remaining the same, and even though the budget has already
The P-B-T ISD board opted to adopt the tax rate after Sept. 1 and held
both meetings Tuesday evening in the boardroom.
Tuesday's meeting didn't attract as many community members as last week's
regular meeting did. Individuals were on hand last Thursday to protest
the district's decision not to include prayer before each football game
of the season.
The decision by the board was the result of a federal law made by the
U.S. Circuit Fifth Court of Appeals in February. Most other West Texas
school districts also have opted against challenging the ruling, which
would leave schools liable to potential lawsuits.
Salt cedar spraying underway
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
PECOS, Sept. 15, 1999 -- The assault on the salt cedar trees along the
Pecos River began this morning at dawn when Bob Ewing dropped his Bell
Jet Ranger helicopter down to tree top level near the Red Bluff dam and
hit the trigger.
That first spray of herbicide marks the culmination of a lot of work
and cooperation for the Upper Pecos Soil and Water Conservation District,
the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Red Bluff Water Power Control
American Cyanamid, local farmers and ranchers, the Texas A&M Extension
Service and about a dozen other agencies and water districts also are involved
in the project, which hopes to return the Pecos River to its salt cedar-free
condition of a century ago.
"It's good to finally see this underway," Barney Lee said. Lee is the
district conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service,
and has been assisting the Conservation District in the project.
Ewing and his company, North Star Helicopters, Inc., were selected by
the conservation district board as the right men for the job.
"The helicopter application is more expensive per acre, but because
the helicopter is more precise we can spray more miles of river for the
same amount of money," chairman of the Upper Pecos Soil and Water Conservation
board Larry Fernandes explained.
Helicopter aerial spraying is a different breed of animal from fixed-wing
crop dusting, the 48-year-old Ewing explained.
"We've got three-quarters of a million dollars in equipment out here
with the two trucks and helicopter," he said. "It is more expensive but
often the precision of the helicopter application is more cost effective
than a fixed wing aircraft."
Helicopter spraying is a team effort said Ewing, whose company is based
"The team we have out here is pretty typical for our operation," he
Ewing said that the team included the helicopter and pilot, two specially
built trucks with driver/technicians, and a forester.
He uses the trucks to refuel the helicopter, refill the herbicide tank
and as a landing pad.
"We land right on the pad on the truck," Ewing said. "That way we always
have a good place to land, and by being on top of the truck it simplifies
refilling with the herbicide and fuel."
Ewing said that two trucks are used so that one can leap-frog ahead
of the other.
"Time is critical in this business. You only have a certain window on
a given day when conditions are right to spray and we try to take advantage
of every minute of that time," Ewing said.
"Wind and low humidity are the factors that affect us the most," explained
Sherrod King, who is a forester with North Star and has worked with Ewing
for the last five years. He is also the operations manager for the company.
Sherrod said that as humidity drops evaporation will deplete the mixture
before it hits the target.
"We've set 15 percent humidity as the cut off point," he said. "Wind
is the other factor we have to keep a close eye on. Too much wind and we
aren't as effective."
The forester is the man that coordinates the actual operation.
"The forester is very important to the success of the operation. He
coordinates the operation, staying in touch with the pilot and the trucks,
keeps track of where we've sprayed and how much, and keeps things running
smooth. We have some of the best foresters in the business," Ewing said.
On hand this morning along with King was Buddy Stalnaker who is a forester
and also marketing director for North Star. Both Stalnaker and King are
experienced foresters with about 40 years in the business between them.
"This is a team effort. To be successful you have to have good people
and we have some of the best. They are why we are successful," Ewing said.
Running the two trucks this morning were Gary Hyfield and Bobby Stanley.
Along with good people the operation requires some sophisticated equipment.
"The helicopters are fitted with Global Positioning Systems as are the
trucks," King said. "When we're done, we'll have a complete map of the
area where we applied the chemical."
Sherrod said that for this particular operation, the company built a
special spray boom for the helicopter as well.
"This boom breaks down in to sections so that we can choose to spray
a 45, 28 or 14 foot swath."
Sherrod said that because of the twisting course of the Pecos River
and the variable width of the tree line, the special boom was necessary
to cover spraying.
"This is the first crack anybody has really taken at the salt cedar
and we want to make sure we do the job right," Ewing said.
Ewing said that he expects the project to take four or five days, depending
on weather conditions.
Winners named from Saturday's fiesta parade
PECOS, Sept. 15, 1999 -- The 1999 September 16th Parade Winners in the
float division were Reinita Andrielle Martinez, sponsored by the Santa
Rosa Catholic Group, the Guadalupana's; second place went to the American
Queen, (Jennifer Contreras) and the third place winner was Austin Elementary
(Mary Tarango's second grade class).
In the car/truck division, Gabriel Dominguez placed first; Rene Guerra
took second place and Hector Hinojos won third place.
Trophies were handed out during the 16th of September Fiestas held this
past weekend at the Santa Rosa Church grounds.
Pecos man enters plea deal in handgun threat
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Sept. 15, 1999 -- Hector Briceno, 50, pleaded guilty this morning
in 143rd District Court to endangering a child and was placed
on two years deferred-adjudication probation.
Jurors who reported for service in a companion aggravated assault case
were excused when that charge was dismissed in the plea bargain between
Briceno's attorney, Scott Johnson, and District Attorney Randy Reynolds.
Briceno had been indicted for assaulting his wife, Linda Briceno, on
May 25, by threatening her with a handgun. The child endangerment indictment
stemmed from the same offense, Reynolds said.
Today's action closed out jury docket week for District Judge Bob Parks.
He presided Monday for a jury trial in a civil case involving an insurance
Pecos River Compact Commissioner J.W. Thrasher's last name was misspelled
in a story in Tuesday's Enterprise. We regret the error.
In Monday's story on the Pecos-Alpine football game, it was reported Alex
Garcia threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Esparza. Richard Rodriguez
was actually the quarterback who threw the touchdown pass.
AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Cash 5 drawing Tuesday night: Winning numbers
drawn: 13-28-30-36-37. Number matching five of five: 1. Prize per winner:
$79,031. Winning ticket sold in: Port Lavaca. Matching four of five: 221.
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 9-7-0 (nine, seven, zero)
High Tuesday 93; low last night 63. Today, partly cloudy with a slight
chance of showers or thunderstorms. High in the lower 80s. Southeast wind
10-20 mph. chance of rain 20 percent. Tonight, partly cloudy with a slight
chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low in the lower 60s. Chance of rain
20 percent. Thursday, partly cloudy. High in the lower 80s. Extended forecast,
Thursday night, partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms.
Low in the lower 60s.
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