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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, October 7, 1999

Barstow man IDed as accident victim

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer

BARSTOW, Oct. 7, 1999 -- A Barstow man has been identified as the victim of Wednesday's two-vehicle accident north of town that left the driver of the second vehicle injured.

The accident happened at 8:28 a.m., at the intersection of County Road 145 and County Road 140, a mile north of Barstow in Ward County.

Killed in the accident was Juan F. Saenz, 67, retired, of Barstow. Justice of the Peace Pascual Olibas pronounced Saenz dead at the scene and his body was taken to Pecos Funeral Home.

Saenz was driving a 1973 Chevrolet Pickup southbound on County Road 140, heading towards Barstow, while Ricardo Huertas was driving a 1995 Mack Truck, owned by M&W Hot Oil, Inc., and was eastbound on County Road 145 approaching the intersection, which is about a quarter-mile east of FM 516.

Both units reached the intersection at the same time. Saenz' vehicle struck the rear quarter panel and passenger side of the Huertas' truck. The two vehicles came to rest 100 feet east of the intersection on the south shoulder of County Road 145.

Saenz was partially ejected from his vehicle and was not wearing a seat belt, according to Department of Public Safety Trooper Darren Storer, of Monahans, who is investigating the accident.

Huertas was wearing his seat belt, and the roads were clear and dry when the accident occurred, Storer's report said. Huertas was transported by private vehicle to Reeves County Hospital for treatment.

Appraisal board approves pickup, data contract

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, Oct. 7, 1999 -- Reeves County Appraisal District directors on Wednesday awarded the bid for a half-ton pickup to Valley Motor Co. Inc.

Valley bid $15,199 for a 1999 GMC Extended Cab pickup, with trade-in of Chief Appraiser Carol King-Markham's GMC Jimmy.

Colt Chevrolet-Buick bid $18,400 on a similar Chevrolet pickup. Both are fully loaded.

"You would almost have to go with Valley, because it beats me $3,000," said Kevin Duke, Colt owner/manager.

Both dealers also submitted bids on 2000 model year vehicles, but noted that they would have to be ordered, and the 99 models are better vehicles.

Pritchard and Abbott Inc. again won the contract for data processing services with a bid of $24,185, an increase about $1,000.

The new contract includes electronic data submission to the office of state comptroller, as required by Senate Bill 1367.

"P&A has done it for three years at no fee," said Markham. "But now the programmers work almost the year around on this. It helps me with state reports. I don't have to do it by hand."

The board adopted the "Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice," which conforms to SB 841.

"The field appraiser was here from Austin doing the audit for 1999," she said. "One of the things we had to have was the uniform standards."

All member taxing entities have paid their appraisal district dues for the year, and the Reeves County Water Improvement District #2 paid for 2000, Markham said.

Reeves County Appraisal District is in the top percentile of Texas CADs statewide on operating cost effectiveness, Markham said.

With the average chief appraiser's salary at $46,316, Reeves County pays $38,916.

Certified staff appraisers earn $12,947-$16,834, while Reeves County's salary schedule calls for $20,000. None of the present staff is certified.

Average appraisal cost per parcel statewide if $13.24, while Reeves County's cost averages $7.53.

The Reeves County budget is $150,000 less than the average annual budget statewide.

Board members set the next quarterly meeting for Jan. 12, 2000, at which time new members appointed by participating entities will be sworn in.

Markham said that the board will need to consider bids for 2001 appraisals next year. She distributed a proposal by McKibben & Associates of Quitman.

"I may not need all the help McKibben has proposed, but I will need more help than in the past," Markham said. "The girls will be more help to me."

Markham said that retiring board member Helen Humphries bid farewell to the group, saying that she misses meeting with them. She encouraged others whose terms expire to talk with their appointing entities and seek to be retained on the board.

Feds hit just-closed hospital with big bill

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, Oct. 7, 1999 -- Big Bend Regional Medical Center owes the federal government $675,000 for failure to control excessive use of Demerol in the emergency room and rural health center, a suit filed in federal court alleges.

Directors for the hospital, which no longer exists as a public entity, signed a consent agreement last year, acknowledging that BBRMC is liable for fines of up to $25,000 on each of 27 violations alleged by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

With the recent change in hospital administration, U.S. Attorney Winstanley F. Luke said he believed the settlement to be in jeopardy, and he filed suit to protect the government's interests.

Community Health Systems operates the new hospital that opened last month in Alpine. It replaces the old hospital, built in 1957, and provides health services for the residents of Brewster, Presidio and Jeff Davis Counties.

BBRMC is the only hospital south of Interstate 10 in the entire Big Bend area. Grand opening for the new building was held Sept. 25.

In the suit, Luke alleges that a physician's assistant, William T. "Bill" Friddell, dispensed Demerol on numerous occasions in 1993 and 1994 without authority to do so.

Warned by the pharmacist that excessive quantities of Demerol were being used at its facilities, administrator Richard Arnold failed to stop the practice, the suit alleges.

Logs for the pharmacy from Jan. 1, 1993 through March 28, 1994, showed inaccurate and/or incomplete records through Demerol carpulets unaccounted for, repeated high wastage of Demerol and inaccurate records, according to the suit.

A review of the narcotics logs showed that they frequently lacked a complete patient's name, or the name of the physician who ordered the controlled substance. A comparison with the patient log showed that many times the patients' names did not match those on the narcotics logs, the petition alleges.

Arnold has since left the hospital and now lives in Hondo. He is not a party to the suit, said Luke. Friddell has moved his practice to another clinic. He said he reached a settlement with the government and paid a fine for his part in the matter.

Police, deputies arrest three

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer

PECOS, Oct. 7, 1999 -- Reeves County Sheriff's deputies and officers from the Pecos Police Department had a fairly busy day Wednesday, making three arrests on drug-related charges.

Officers from both departments executed a narcotics search warrant at the home of Tomas Salgado, Jr. and family, at 2301 Country Club Drive. Officers searched the residence, after executing the search warrant and securing all the individuals in the house at the time.

During the search of Salgado, who also is known as "Jr.," a substance believed to be cocaine was found inside his pants pocket, according to Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler.

Deishler said that contraband used in the transporting and selling of cocaine was found also during the search of the residence. "Electronic equipment believed to be stolen was also found on the premises," he said.

Currency was also seized during the raid, and it is believed to have come from the sale of narcotics, according to Deishler.

Salgado, 28, was transported to Reeves County Jail, following the search of the residence and charged with possession of a controlled substance.

"Other charges are pending in reference to the electronic equipment and other contraband that was found on the premises," said Deishler.

In an unrelated incident, two men are in Reeves County Jail, following a routine traffic stop.

Pecos Police Officers Arnulfo Rivas and Armando Garcia stopped a vehicle driven by Clifton Ikeler, 19, for a traffic violation.

Following the traffic stop, officers found open containers of alcohol. They proceeded to search the individuals and the car and found what police say appeared to be cocaine in Ikeler's pants pocket. A substance police also suspect to be cocaine was found inside the vehicle during the search.

Another passenger in the vehicle, Ruben Villegas, 20, was charged with Minor in Possession, enhanced, which means the individual has been charged with the same violation before.

Ikeler was charged with possession of a controlled substance and Minor in Possession, fourth offense.

Jurors convict Gilmer man of smuggling

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, Oct. 7, 1999 -- Federal court jurors on Tuesday found Ramon Olivares-Munoz guilty on three counts of transporting illegal aliens for the purpose of private financial gain.

Olivares, 30, of Gilmer, was arrested after Border Patrol agents stopped a 1985 Dodge Ramcharger carrying 13 Mexican citizens with no documentation to enter the United States.

While Olivares was traveling in another vehicle that agents had already stopped for an immigration check, occupants of the second vehicle identified the defendant as the man who made the arrangements to smuggle them for $1,000 each.

U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson presided for the trial. Also this week, he accepted a plea of guilty to marijuana possession from Annette Wahquahboshkuk, 33, of Topeka, Kan.

Magistrate/Judge Stuart Platt accepted guilty pleas in seven criminal cases assigned to Furgeson.

Ricardo De La Cruz-Corrales, 32, of Musquiz, Coahuila, Mex., admitted importing 577.68 pounds of marijuana.

Miguel Angel Vasquez-Delgado, 23, of Musquiz, Coah., Mex., pleaded guilty to illegal entry after deportation, as did Pedro Francisco Garcia-Tarin, 32, of Parral, Chih., Mex., Fernando Aguilera-Ayala, 32, of Yurecaro, Mich., Mex., Jorge Luis Madrid-Jasso, 25, of Ojinaga, Mex., and Jose Everado Morales-Colchado, 25, of Queretaro, Mex.

Monserret Cardenas-Jurado, 44, of Chihuahua, Mex., pleaded guilty to importing 67 pounds of marijuana.

Bill Hubbs served the U.S. Navy in the Korean war. He owns a P-51 fighter plane, but did not fly one during World War II, as stated in a caption in Tuesday's Enterprise, where Hubbs was seated in a B-17 bomber.

Balmorhea men arrested in drug raid

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer

PECOS, Oct. 7, 1999 -- The Trans Pecos Drug Task Force announced Wednesday it has completed an investigation in southern Reeves County that led to the arrest of two men on drug-related charges.

Drug Task Force officers, with the assistance of the Reeves County Sheriff's Office, conducted a narcotics investigation in Balmorhea on Monday, arresting Jose Pedro Chavez Baeza, 51, on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana under two ounces. Also arrested was Guadalupe Baeza, 17, who was charged with possession of marijuana over four ounces and under five pounds.

Jose Baeza's bonds were set at $5,000 for the possession of a controlled substance charge and $2,500 for possession of marijuana. Guadalupe Baeza's bond was set at $5,000. Both have posted bonds and have been released from the Reeves County Jail.

The investigation continues and more arrests are expected, according to task force commander Gary Richards.

The Trans Pecos Drug Task Force is a newly formed task force covering several counties in West Texas and is under the direction of Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez and commander Richards.

The Trans Pecos Drug Task Force assisted and supported by the city and county law enforcement agencies within the task force multi-county area, has made a total of 129 arrests since February of this year, and taken off the street over $150,000 in drugs and assets from the drug dealers in area communities, Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez said.

The task force currently is seeking addition funds from participating counties, until final forfeiture of some seized property and assets is approved. The request for the additional $12,000 in funds per county has been questioned by Ward County Judge Sam Massey, who has threatened to pull his county out of the task force due to the increased cost.

Sotelo earns Power Points' Week 4 prize

PECOS, Oct. 7, 1999 -- Amanda Sotelo of 1938 Adams St., was this week's local winner in the Pecos Enterprise Power Points contest.

Sotelo got 108 out of a possible 136 points, earning her tickets to either next week's Pecos Eagles-El Paso Mountain View football game, or to an Odessa Jackalopes hockey game. She submitted her entry at Gibson True Value, one of the contest's sponsors.

Statewide, Eugene Garza of Bolling won the $1,000 first prize for Week 4 of the contest, getting just one game wrong while scoring 134 points. Garza entered the contest through the Wharton Journal-Spectator.
 

Clarification

Randall Reynolds' winning graphic design described in Monday's Enterprise depicts an iMac Mouse, which is standard in all the new Mac computers. The sphere was described as possibly a baseball or the world.

Also, Reynolds used a computer cable as a background for the graphic, which is displayed on the Microsoft MacTopia education site as their new logo.

Lotto

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Wednesday night: Winning numbers drawn: 15-9-33-2-13-47. Estimated jackpot: $10 million. Number matching six of six: None. Matching five of six: 89. Prize: $1,397. Matching four of six: 4,339. Prize: $103.

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Wednesday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 1-6-3 (one, six, three)

Weather

PECOS, Oct. 7, 1999 -- High Wednesday 95; low last night 68. Tonight, partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low 55 60. South wind 10-20 mph and gusty. Friday, partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. High in the lower 80s. North wind 10-20 mph. Extended forecast, Friday night, fair. Low in the mid 50s. Saturday through Monday, mostly sunny. Lows in the 50s. Highs in the 80s.



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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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