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June 20, 1996

TxDOT planning to start

area road work projects

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PECOS, June 20, 1996 - Cedar Street will take on a new shine after next
week, with construction work scheduled to begin on Monday, while several
other area projects will also begin during the next week.

"A micro-seal, a hot mix overlay will be applied to the street, which
will be put down by a special machine," said Glen Larum, Public
Information Officer for the Texas Department of Transportation.

The project is a joint effort between TxDOT offices Fort Stockton and

Other work is scheduled for FM 516 and 3398 in Reeves and Ward counties,
FM 867 and 1933 in Loving County, and RM 652 in Reeves and Loving

"This was a bid that was combined with U.S. 285 in Pecos and Fort
Stockton," said Larum of the Cedar Street project.

"Plans are to have the surface on the roadway coated beginning on Monday
according to the area engineer in Fort Stockton and finish it up in
about a week," said Larum.

He added that the project to upgrade the street would not interfere with
the heavy traffic expected during the rodeo.

"We know there's going to be a lot of traffic during that time and the
plans are to finish up the overlay before the rodeo events begin," he

Highway employees will go in and put down new striping and buttons,
pavement markers after the overlay is applied, according to Larum.

The striping will be different this time, a new material will be
utilized, called thermo plastic, which will allow motorists greater
reflection and more clear markings during both the day and the night.

"Motorists will be able to see the striping and the inside lane a whole
lot better thanks to this material," said Larum.

Motorists are encouraged to follow all the construction signs, such as
cones and barrels during the construction faze of the project.

"We plan to finish in time for the rodeo, we hope to have the overlay
completed and this construction should not pose a problem for the heavy
traffic expected at that time," Larum said.

The striping and buttons will probably be done following the rodeo

Construction on the project is being done by Viking Construction Company
of Austin, who was the low bidder.

"We want to motorists to proceed with caution and follow all warning
signs," said Larum.

"When we finish we will have a bright, new shining highway through
Pecos," he said.

The improvements will be made beginning on the north side of town, on
"F" Street and all the way to the north frontage road of Interstate 20.

"We hope the weather will cooperate with us to enable us to finish soon
and we will make every effort not to interfere with traffic," Larum said.

Barstow residents will also have to be alert on their main north-south
street through town, when work begins in the next couple of days on FM
Larum said seal-coating work would be done on the road from Business
I-20B (U.S. 80) to where it ends north of the Mivada gas plant. Seal
coating is also set for FM 3398 from the FM 516 intersection to the FM
1219 intersection in Reeves County.

In northern Reeves County, RM 652 will be resurfaced from the Culberson
County line east through Orla and into Loving County to the New Mexico
state line. Larum said other Loving County seal coating will be on FM
867 near the Pecos River and FM 1933, which loops around the Loving
County Courthouse in Mentone.

Stamper resuming role

as Pecos DPS sergeant

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Staff Writer
PECOS, June 20, 1996 - The new sergeant for the local Texas Department
of Public Safety office in Pecos isn't really new to the job.

Sergeant Harvey Stamper has sat at the local DPS sergeant's desk for 20
days now. With almost 14 years of DPS experience behind him, Stamper was
named to the position replacing former Sergeant Tracy Murphree, who
resigned from the post to work as a narcotics investigator in Houston.

It's a return to Pecos for Stamper, who served as sergeant for the local
DPS office in late 1993 until early 1994 when he left for Mount Pleasant
to serve in the same role for that Northeast Texas office.

He was there for almost two years before heading back to West Texas,
first to Van Horn, where he again served as sergeant for about six
months, before coming back to Pecos.

He graduated from Austin's DPS Academy in 1982, from where he
immediately began his law enforcement career with the Texas DPS as a
trooper at the age of 27.

For almost 11½ years he served as trooper for the branches of Electra,
Waxahachie and Livingston, and later Pecos, where his wife's family
resides. It was here that his days as a department head began.

Born and raised in the East Texas town of Corrigan, Stamper said his law
enforcement career has been in the Texas Department of Public Safety for
the past 14½ years.

What asked what he likes most about Pecos, he said, "the community
support that we had," while on the question of what he dislikes most
about the town, Stamper said, "I can't think of anything."

Convicts want out, citizens say no

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Should convicted felons who are serving life or at least several years
in prison be allowed to ask for parole?

That was the question asked on a recent television show, Dateline, in
which they interviewed three convicted felons serving time in prison.

Most of the viewers (about eighty something percent) of those polled
answered an emphatic "no" to that question. But like one of the
individuals who was in prison stated, shouldn't you take into
consideration the fact that the individual has changed and could be a
productive part of society?

Should the board of pardons and paroles take into consideration that the
individual has been a model prisoner and has helped out other fellow

One certain inmate thought so. At 22 years of age, he had killed his
girlfriend's son by beating him to death. Yet, now he's claiming that
he's been a model prisoner, has helped others in their studies and has
helped some obtain their GED's. He also claimed to have participated in
other endeavors.

He had already spent 15 years behind bars, and now he claims that all
this time has really changed him and he can be an active and productive
member of society.

It was not an easy decision for sure, for the board, but at the end they
denied his parole. They didn't feel like he should be out in society
after the brutal way he had killed that little boy. A life was taken,
yet, he says he is sorry. What about the mother of the child?

The second inmate asking for pardon was a woman who had killed her
husband of many years. She claims she killed out of self-defense after
years of abuse.

But no records were available in which she had reported this supposed
abuse. No evidence was available on the matter either, neither physical
or mental.

Her parole was also denied, even though she has spent the last five
years in prison and claims she can be a good citizen again.

In cold blood she shot her husband with a shotgun while he slept. If she
had really been abused wouldn't she have done this a long time ago and
not waited until after she had been married for years to this man.

The parole board thought so. She should have reported the abuse,
divorced him or just plain left the man. But to take a life, that's
something else.

The third prisoner interviewed supposedly assaulted and tried to rape a
nun. He also had spent many years in prison and throughout the whole
time denied ever doing that certain crime. Yes, he said, he had been
guilty of other crimes, but this time he claimed innocence.

Apparently the board believed him because he was granted parole after
all these years. It also helped that he broke down and cried during the
interview with the board. Now he's living happily with his wife and

If you were asked that question what would you answer? The question is a
difficult one. One that has two sides, like all stories do.

Yet, we're all human and we know we're all capable of good and evil.
Some individuals actually can change for the better and sometimes it
doesn't take time in prison to do so!

Group ready to finish de-cedaring street

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Staff Writer
PECOS, June 20, 1996 - Volunteers with the Pecos Chamber of Commerce's
community development committee will finish up what they started on
South Cedar Street when they move in with equipment to haul off brush
they cut on May 18.

Workers are scheduled to meet today at 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, across
from the work site, to begin final work on the site, located between
Lincoln Street and the Cedar Street Exxon station.

Kevin Duke, committee co-chair, said the group trimmed up salt cedar
trees, grubbed up unsightly trees and brush and picked up trash on their
first workday May 18.

"We are just pruning them up to make them look like something," Duke

They also tore down and removed a broken-down barbed wire fence that
separated the salt-cedar grove from U.S. Highway 285 and detracted from
the looks of the area.

Tourists entering Pecos from the south will now see an attractive,
well-kept area instead of the overgrown, weedy, trashy area they saw in
the past south of Wal-Mart.

Duke said they left weeds and small shrubs to hold down the soil so it
will not blow in the high West Texas winds.

Town & Country has purchased the land in that area and plan new
construction in about six months.

Paint-up, fix-up continues all along Cedar Street. Duke's sign shop, the
former Pecos Motors building across from West of the Pecos Museum, is
also undergoing a facelift this week.

City and highway department crews have completed the job of painting
curbs started by the committee.

In conjunction with the July 4 rodeo, the Town of Pecos City annual
city-wide cleanup is underway this week.

"We are urging all Pecos citizens to leave out their discarded items
this week only," said Lupe Nieto of the city sanitation department.

Discarded items include all white products, such as unwanted
refrigerators, stoves and other assorted appliances.

"City employees will be going through the alleys picking up these items
one time and one time only," said Nieto.

The clean-up is a part of the city's annual effort to control litter and
dispose of large items, which are sometimes discarded on county roads.

No concrete slabs, tire parts, batteries or tires will be picked up,
according to Nieto.

Man gets probation in Flying J shooting

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Staff Writer
PECOS, June 20, 1996 - A California truck driver who shot another man at
the Flying J Travel Plaza just after Christmas was ordered Wednesday to
serve two years probation and pay $60,000 in restitution to the victim.

Jurors in 143rd District Court found James Keith Halliday, 55, guilty of
aggravated assault and recommended probation.

District Judge Bob Parks accepted the recommendation, stipulating that
Halliday pay $500 per month into the court treasury. The money will be
held until the court is assured both Reeves County Hospital and Odessa
Medical Center have been paid.

The victim, Lance Warnacut, was treated for a gunshot wound to the upper
left chest after a confrontation with Halliday.

In his statement to police shortly after the incident, Halliday said he
had parked his truck at Flying J after dark Dec. 27, 1995 when Warnacut
and a blond woman occupying a truck with camper shell approached him
asking for batteries.

Halliday said he gave them batteries, then moved his truck. Later, the
blond woman came to his truck offering professional company. He
declined, but allowed her to get in the truck, where she contacted other
truckers, drumming up business, Halliday said.

After the blond went to another truck, her boyfriend, Warnacut, got in
Halliday's truck and they drank beer until she returned. When the couple
left his truck, Halliday said he was concerned about his personal
possessions and began checking to see if anything was missing.

He thought $500 in cash was missing and went to the camper to confront
Warnacut with a .22 caliber pistol. When Warnacut began throwing things
at him and cursing, Halliday said he shot him. The blond woman then ran,
naked, from the camper into the Flying J.

Halliday said he moved his truck to the motel, discovered the missing
$500 in a cubby hole, then sat thinking about what he had done until
police arrived and arrested him.


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PECOS, June 20, 1996 - High Tuesday 109, low last night 71. Tonight,
clear. Low in the mid 70s. South wind 5-15 mph. Friday, sunny. High
105-110. Southwest wind 10-20 mph.


James Earl Wafer

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James Earl Wafer, 48, died Tuesday, June 18, 1996 in Balmorhea.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Pecos Funeral Home Chapel, with
burial in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.

He was born Dec. 16, 1947 in El Paso; was a graduate of Sul Ross State
University and a teacher in Balmorhea schools. Prior to that, he taught
at Wellman and was a partner with Wafer Brothers Oil Co. in Balmorhea.
He was a member of First Methodist Church in Pecos, Balmorhea EMT and
Volunteer Fire Department and a Mason.

Survivors include two daughters, Cessie Rene Wafer of Kitchikan, Alaska
and Christy Michelle Wafer of Bend, Ore.; his parents, Jim and Mary
Wafer of Pecos; and one brother, Jerrial Thomas Wafer of Pecos. He was
preceded in death by one brother, Russell Wafer, in 1992.
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
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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