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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, September 24, 1999

Lack of entries threatens Fair's cookoff

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer

PECOS, Sept. 24, 1999 -- With only a week to go and fewer than 10 applications returned, plans for the 27 th Annual World Championship Barbecue Cookoff are up in the air.

"We don't know if this event is going to take place this year," said Pecos Chamber of Commerce Director Tom Rivera.

The cookoff has annually been part of the Reeves County Fall Fair, but Rivera said the chamber has set a deadline of 5 p.m. next Wednesday for all those who would like to participate in the event.

The event has been held in early October in the Reeves County Sheriff's Posse arena, "But we need a minimum of 25 entries and at this time we only have nine," said Rivera.

"We need at least the 25 to break even," said Rivera.

In all the years the event has taken place, there have never been fewer than 25 entries. Last year there were 40 entries in the popular yearly event. As many as 106 teams have been entered in the past, with a major drop-off occurring in the early 1990s, when the cookoff was moved to late October for two years and changed from the posse arena to the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena.

Entries have averaged in the mid-30s and lower 40s since the event was returned to early October, and the posse arena is currently set up to accommodate 88 entries, according to Rivera.

Rivera said that about $1,200 in prize money is awarded and money is also spent on trophies, electricity, port-a-potties and other expenditures. "We just can't afford to lose that kind of money," he said.

Rivera is asking the community to participate and help out in this yearly event, to keep the tradition of the cook-off alive.

Entry fee for the event is $75, and trophies and prize money are awarded to the winners in each division.

"Some people do wait until the last minute," said office assistant Rachel Orona. "We're hoping that's the case now," she said.

Trophies are awarded in the Amateur, Club and Pro Divisions, along with prize money.

The cookoff is scheduled for Friday night, Oct. 1, and Saturday, Oct. 2, and will be followed by the Reeves County Fall Fair Concert Saturday night at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena. Headlining the event will be Pete Astudillo. Other groups scheduled to perform include Los Jinetes Del Bravo, Alianza Nortena, Expresiones and La Distancia. Tickets are $10.

Other events that are part of the Fall Fair, including the livestock show and other judging events inside the Reeves County Civic Center, will go on as scheduled.

Walnut Street sites again hit by arsonist

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, Sept. 24, 1999 -- First it was on Sunday. Then Saturday. Then Friday. Each week arsonists set a fire in the 1100 block of Walnut Street a little earlier. This week it was on Thursday, said Jack Brookshire, fire marshal.

"This is the 10th time in three weeks," Brookshire said of Thursday's fire in the back yard of an occupied house. Debris in the back yard had been set on fire.

"There's not much left to burn," he said.

The first fire was in a vacant house at 1124 Walnut, next door. First a bedroom, then the whole house was pretty well gutted. So the fire bugs moved into the neighbor's yard, which Brookshire described as a dump gound.

"I will try to get the code enforcement officer to go by there and do something about it," he said.

A six-foot metal fence surrounds the back yard and the junk, he said.

"It keeps starting up on fire. If it were kids, I don't think it would keep starting in the same place," he said. "They set whatever they find that will burn. One time they poured gasoline on an old recliner."

The burned-out house is on Brookshire's list of condemned buildings to be demolished.

"We are waiting on a Type IV landfill," he said. "We don't have any place to dispose of the debris. Last year it cost $30,000 to dispose of the buildings we tore down."

The Pecos City Council has begun the process of getting a new trench permitted and dug for a landfill that will contain only construction debris, tree limbs and similar dry waste.

Balmorhea area faces WTU surcharge

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, Sept. 24, 1999 -- Balmorhea residents may see an increase in electricity costs this winter if West Texas Utilities Co. gains approval for a surcharge to recover past fuel costs, plus an increase in future fuel costs to be passed through to the customer.

WTU claims it has under-collected fuel costs in 52 Texas counties by $6.4 million over the past year. And an increase of 21.2 percent in fuel costs projected for this winter would add another $15.9 million annually.

The Public Utility Commission has yet to rule on the two requests, which will affect 183,000 customers from Presidio on the Rio Grande to Childress in north Texas.

Utility companies are allowed to pass on the full cost of fuel to customers. Investor-owned utilities must estimate what the annual cost will be and add that amount to customers' monthly bills. If they undercharge, they may collect a surcharge the next year. If they overcharge, they must refund the excess.

WTU produces 68 percent of its electricity using natural gas or purchases from other companies affected by the price of natural gas, which has escalated recently.

If the PUC approves the surcharge, the cost for 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity would cost $1.84 per month for six months. The fuel factor change would increase the average monthly bill by another $3.25, beginning in December.

Goat auction commissioners agenda

PECOS, Sept. 24, 1999 -- The ongoing saga of the Pecos River Livestock goat farm may get another step closer to conclusion on Monday, after Reeves County Commissioners discuss an auction of the farm south of Pecos, during their regularly scheduled meeting.

The goat farm defaulted on its $131,000 loan from the Reeves County Revolving Loan Fund four years ago, and dissolution of the property has been tied up in court since then. In conjunction with the goat farm auction, the group will meet behind closed doors to discuss pending litigation.

Along with the Pecos River Livestock situation, commissioners also are scheduled to discuss resolution and cooperative agreement between Reeves County and the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force during the meeting, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. on the third floor of the Reeves County Courthouse.

Commissioners will also discuss Reeves County Sheriff's Office fees, a contract between Jim Claire and the Commissioners Court and a copier replacement at the Reeves County Annex under state contract pricing with Xerox Corporation.

Also on the agenda for discussion will be Trinity Engineering Testing Payment, 1998 Dayroom Support Buildings at the Reeves County Detention Center, wages for the Nov. 2 general election and deputation of Ruben Dominguez.

Regular items for discussion are:

* Reports from various departments.

* Budget amendments and line item transfers.

* Personnel and Salary changes.

* Minutes from previous minutes.

* Semi-monthly bills.

* Spread on minutes: Dianne O. Florez certificate of education and Notice of General Election for Nov. 2.

Fuentes gets win in  Power Points

PECOS, Sept. 24, 1999 -- Orlando Fuentes of 1004 S. Elm St. won a tie-breaker to claim first place locally in the second week of the Pecos Enterprise Power Points contest.

Fuentes beat out Imelda Guerrero for the first prize, after both scored 107 points out of a possible 136 this past week. He won tickets to the Oct. 2 Reeves County Fall Fair Concert, courtesy of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce. Fuentes picked his ticket at Big A Auto Parts, one of the contest's sponsors.

Overall, the statewide winner was Martha Leitch of El Paso, who won $1,000 for scoring 124 points last week.

Lotto

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Thursday night: Winning numbers drawn: 19-28-34-35-38. Number matching five of five: 1. Prize per winner: $97,232. Winning ticket sold in: Alice. Matching four of five: 252. Prize: $579.

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Thursday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 8-5-9 (eight, five, nine)

Obituaries

Maria Sauceda

Maria Sauceda, 54, died Tuesday, Sept. 21, 1999 at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.

Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m. today at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.

She was born July 2, 1945, in San Antonio Del Bravo, Chih., Mexico, was a housewife, a life-long Pecos resident and a Catholic.

Survivors include her husband, Tomas Carmona of Pecos; four sons, Jesus Armando S. Martinez, Jesus Manuel S. Martinez and Rosalio S. Carmona of Pecos, Roberto Martin S. Martinez of Odessa; two daughters, Denette S. Carmona Aguilera and Diana S. Carmona of Pecos; four brothers, Manuel, Trinidad and Jose Angel Sauceda of Pecos, Eladio Sauceda of Ojinaga, Mexico; three sisters, Vicenta S. Carrasco of Ojinaga, Mexico, Rosa S. Madrid of Odessa and Elia S. Lujan of Pecos and six grandchildren.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Victor Ybarra Saldana

Victor Ybarra Saldana, 62, died Thursday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Time of services is pending.

He is the brother of Juana Jaquez and Conrad Saldana of Pecos.

Weather

PECOS, Sept. 24, 1999 -- High Thursday 96; low last night 67. Tonight, partly cloudy. Low in the upper 50s. Southwest wind 5-10 mph. Saturday, partly cloudy. High near 90. West to northwest wind 5-15 mph. Extended forecast, Saturday night, partly cloudy. Low in the mid to upper 50s. Sunday through Tuesday, mostly sunny days and fair nights through the period. Highs in the mid 80s to near 90.



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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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