Daily Newspaper for Reeves County, Trans Pecos, Big Bend, Far West Texas

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Aug. 2, 1996

Water, power outages strike parts of city

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Staff Writer

PECOS, Aug. 2, 1996 - Utility crews have been busy around Pecos the past
couple of days, thanks to a power outage on the southwest side of town
Wednesday afternoon and a water main break near the downtown area
Thursday afternoon.

A break in the main distribution line along Fifth Street Thursday
caused water to flow east to Cedar St. and cause a minor flood around
the Reeves County Jail, which sits in a drainage area.

Most of the water came from the length of pipe that was replaced, said
Harry Nagel, Town of Pecos City manager.

Nagel said this morning he doesn't know how much pipe was replaced nor
how much water was lost as a result of the break, which occurred in the
200 block of West Fifth Street.

Wednesday's problem with the electric lines was the result of nearby
trees, according to Texas-New Mexico Power Co. officials.

John Jackson, area service supervisor for Texas-New Mexico Power Co.,
said that winds caused tree limbs to brush against power lines on the
Swiss Clock Inn parking lot about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, causing a short
that blew some fuses.

Swiss Clock Inn and the Town & Country Convenience Store at Palmer
Street and Country Club Drive were among the businesses losing power for
about 40 minutes. About 20 houses in the area also lost power, Jackson

To prevent future outages, Jackson said the options are to cut the tree
limbs or re-route the lines.

Local Border Patrol chief says

drug dealers' ranch takeovers

not yet a problem in Big Bend

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From Staff and Wire Reports

Ranchers along the Southwest border with Mexico are being forced to sell
their property to Mexican drug cartels seeking new routes into the
United States, witnesses at a Senate hearing said.

But so far, that has not happened in the Marfa sector, said Richard
Morrissey, sector chief for the U.S. Border Patrol.

Morrissey's sector includes the Big Bend and all the Rio Grande west to
El Paso County.

"I hope we don't have that problem," Morrissey said, although his agents
are alert to any shift in narcotics trafficking.

A Texas rancher, hooded to hide his identity, and border-state senators
told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that ranchers intimidated
by rising violence and crime were selling land to the American fronts of
Mexican drug traffickers.

Ranchers ``have begun selling their ranches to the highest bidders, who
happen to be fronting for the very Mexican drug traffickers who
intimidated the ranchers into abandoning their livelihoods and way of
life,'' said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.

The key witness was a Texas rancher who appeared wearing a black hood
and raincoat and spoke behind a curtain into a microphone that altered
his voice.

Committee chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, commended his courage in
speaking out. ``Numerous Texas ranchers were contacted but have refused
to testify for fear of extreme reprisal by Mexican drug cartels.''

The rancher said that he too has decided to sell the land his family has
lived on for two generations even though he knows the only potential
buyers would be drug-connected.

The border along the Rio Grande River ``has become a Golan Heights, a
no-man's land at night'' with smugglers slashing fences, knocking down
gates and firing rifle shots at his home. ``Some days it looks like an
army has crossed'' the land.

The rancher alleged that drug money had ``gradually destroyed the
community'' by tainting local politicians and law enforcement officers.

The president's drug czar, Barry McCaffrey of the National Drug Control
Policy Office, testified that successes in intercepting drugs at border
cities such as San Diego and El Paso have forced traffickers to look for
weaknesses elsewhere. ``The level of rural violence on the border is
consequently increasing.''

In one New Mexico county, said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., ``drug
smugglers armed with automatic weapons threaten state police flying
helicopters along the border at night.''

Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, spoke of ``running gun battles'' around Eagle
Pass, Texas. ``This is an area where we have lost control of our

Gramm said that when he asked an Air Force colonel to house
drug-fighting units on his base near the border, he was told the Air
Force was concerned that flight lines might be attacked by drug groups.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said drug smuggling had become ``our
number one national security problem'' and said she was nearing the
opinion that ``we need to put a military presence on the border to stop
these incursions.''

The military has cooperated in efforts to interdict drugs on the high
seas, but there are constitutional barriers and military resistance to
using military forces for domestic law enforcement purposes.

McCaffrey, responding to Republican criticisms that the Clinton
administration has been weak in fighting illegal drugs, said the Border
Patrol has grown from 4,000 to 5,700 agents in the past five years,
during which time cocaine seizures were up 50 percent and heroin
seizures rose 100 percent.

He said that while corruption in Mexico has impeded drug-fighting
efforts, ``Mexican authorities are determined to root out the endemic
corruption which $30 billion of drug profits has created.''

Two charged in Eddy St. assault case

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Staff Writer

PECOS, Aug. 2, 1996 - Two men have been arrested in the assault case of
a brother and sister which occurred near an Eddy Street car wash last

Gilbert Rayos, Jr., 28, and Carlos "Charlie" Arenivas, 17, were both
served warrants Thursday for aggravated assault causing bodily injury.
The charge is a second degree felony.

Their bail was set at $5,000, which has been posted by both men.

"The next step would be to present it to the grand jury," said Pecos
Police Chief Troy Moore.

Moore added that the investigation is continuing.

"We will continue investigating this incident and from the looks of the
witnesses reports we are anticipating more arrests," he said.

The incident took place in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 21,
in the 700 block of Eddy Street. At that time, police said Lupe Mendoza
and her brother, Ruben, were both taken by Pecos ambulance from the
scene after being assaulted by unknown individuals.

Both were released from Reeves County Hospital that morning, but Lupe
Mendoza was later admitted to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa where
she underwent surgery for skull fractures.

Ruben Mendoza continued to see MCH staff for treatment of his facial
lacerations and fractures, according to their mother.

According to police reports, Police Reserve Officer Danny Dawdy was the
first to arrive at the scene, along with Reeves County Sheriff's Deputy
Tony Aguilar. The two discovered the Mendozas lying unresponsive in the
middle of the road in front of their vehicle. Pieces of a baseball bat
were discovered at the scene.

About 18 onlookers were standing in the Eddy Street Car Wash lot when
Dawdy and Aguilar arrived.

The reserve officer said Ruben Mendoza was covered in blood, but was
beginning to respond, while Lupe Mendoza showed no signs of blood and
remained unresponsive.

Even though a motive for the assault has not been established, it is
believed to have been a disagreement between two groups.

"We don't have a motive, but maybe after we investigate it a little bit
more, we'll find out," said Moore. "At this time we're speculating it
was a disagreement between them, they were just mad at each other."

"We have several witnesses and will continue to look into this matter,"
he added.


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PECOS, Aug. 2, 1996 - High Thursday 101, low last night 71. Tonight,
fair. Low 70-75. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Saturday, mostly sunny. High
near 101. South wind 10-20 mph.

Jaylynn Kerley

Jaylynn Kerley, 67, died Thursday, Aug. 1 at Medical Center Hospital in
Graveside services are scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Mount
Evergreen Cemetery with Virgil Gage officiating.
She was born Nov. 6, 1928 in Grosbeck, was a homemaker and a Baptist.

Survivors include her husband, Joe Bennett Kerley of Saragosa; two sons,
Don Kerley of Saragosa and Max Kerley of Pecos; two daughters, Kim
Sanders of Pecos and Karla Bowles of Big Spring; one sister, Glenna
Medlen of Grosbeck, and 10 grandchildren.
The family requests that donations be made to the American Cancer
Society in lieu of flowers.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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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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