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By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, November 21, 1996 - Many Texans will soon be forced to work at
least 20 hours a week or lose their food stamp benefits, according to a
new federal law. But Reeves County's high unemployment rate will allow
those out of work here to avoid that requirement for now.
As part of the 1996 federal welfare law, food-stamp benefits will be
stopped for unemployed adults between the ages of 18 and 50 who are able
to work and have no children.
However Texas Department of Human Services officials have filed a waiver
to exempt Texans who live in high unemployment areas.
"Reeves and Loving Counties are included in this waiver," said Rey
Carreon of the TDHS's local office. "There are only about 40 counties
included in the waiver."
Food stamp recipients will receive notice of the new law on Friday.
Carreon stated that even though Reeves County is included in the waiver,
they will be issuing statements this is subject to an annual report and
the status might change if the local jobless rate declines.
Under this new law, it has designated counties with unemployment over 10
percent will be exempt. Reeves County's jobless rate has hovered between
10 and 11 percent for most of the past year, but figures released on
Tuesday by the Texas Workforce Commission put the county's jobless rate
at 9.2 percent.
"We'll stress the fact that this waiver isn't forever," said Carreon.
"In other words, if Reeves County is exempt now, it might not be later,
so individuals will need to be made aware of this," he said.
Although Loving County is also included in the waiver, there are no
food-stamp recipients in the county at this time, according to Carreon.
"The recipients we sometimes have are transients, but no permanent
residents there," he said.
"There are some exceptions, also," said Carreon.
Exceptions will be made for individuals who are pregnant; have children
under the age of 18 living with them and those who live in waiver areas.
"Individuals will be allowed three months eligibility in a 36-month
period," said Carreon.
State officials estimate they will need to spend between $8.2 million
and $23 million to provide job training for food-stamp recipients who
want to avoid losing their food stamps.
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From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, November 21, 1996 - It's been 16 years since unemployment rates
were this low in Texas, and economists say they fear it will make it
harder for companies to find good help.
The Texas Workforce Commission reported Tuesday that unemployment
decreased in October for the fourth straight month. State and local
governments added 29,500 jobs to their payrolls.
Jobless rates for Pecos and Reeves County followed the statewide trend,
though they remain well above the statewide average.
The city's jobless rate dropped from 11.3 to 10.5 percent last month,
while the county's figure fell below 10 percent for the first time since
Pecos' unemployment rate of 10.5 percent reflected an increase of 31
jobs over September, to 4,781, while the local labor force declined by
50, to 5343. However, the jobless figures remain the highest among
Permian Basin cities listed by the TWC, and the 10.5 rate is the same as
October of a year ago, when 4,554 people were employed out of 5,087 in
the labor force.
Reeves County's unemployment rate dropped by 1.1 percent, from 10.3
percent in September to 9.2 percent this month, while the labor force
within the county also shrank slightly, from 6,864 persons to 6,824.
There were 628 unemployed within the county last month, the TWC reported.
Economists say if the unemployment rate falls much lower, and the pool
of available workers continues to shrink, businesses will be unable to
expand or relocate to Texas because they won't be able to find enough
The state's unemployment in October was 5.2 percent, down from 5.4
percent in September, and the lowest rate since 5.1 percent in March
The jobless rate was even lower in Texas' two largest cities - 4.6
percent in Houston and 3.5 percent in Dallas.
Barton Smith, economics professor at the University of Houston, said he
was talking to Compaq Computer Corp. representatives recently and they
were complaining about having trouble finding employees.
``They've always had a great record recruiting people to Houston,''
Smith told the Houston Chronicle.
The shortage problem is more acute because the economy is doing so well
across the nation, he said. Two years ago, a company like Compaq had no
trouble recruiting workers from California. But now, California
employers have jobs of their own to fill.
Joel Wagher, labor market analyst for the Workforce Commission in
Houston, said tight labor markets may lead to higher wages as employees
are able to demand more pay because good workers will be in short
That's already begun to happen in the temporary help business. Personnel
agencies report that many agencies have had to boost wages and sweeten
their benefits packages to attract workers.
But so far, inflation has not increased, the Texas Workforce Commission
Consumer prices in Texas, for example, were up only 2.5 percent at an
annual rate in August, and the average weekly earnings for manufacturing
jobs in Texas rose only 0.1 percent in October, the commission said.
Bill Luker, regional economist for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,
said he sees no cause for alarm.
``This isn't a low rate. A lot of states would gladly swap places with
us,'' Luker told The Dallas Morning News. ``It's not so much the issue
of growing slowly, but having to cope with the externalities of growth,
such as pollution, traffic, higher housing prices and affordable
Copyright 1996 Pecos Enterprise. All rights reserved. AP contributed to
OCTOBER AREA UNEMPLOYMENT
(Source: Texas Workforce Commission)
CITY POP. JOB FORCE EMPLYMNT. UNEMPLYD.RATE
Andrews 10,861 4,150 3,966 184 4.4%
Big Spring 23,258 9,928 9,559 369 3.7%
Fort Stockton 8,712 4,164 3,921 243 5.6%
Kermit 6,925 2,264 2,116 148 6.5%
Lamesa 11,051 4,878 4,561 317 6.5%
Midland 92,005 50,961 49,006 1,955 3.8%
Monahans 8,245 2,840 2,670 170 6.0%
Odessa 91,004 46,864 44,272 2,592 5.5%
PECOS 12,023 5,343 4,781 562 10.5%
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By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, November 21, 1996 - Presidio County Sheriff Rick Thompson lost
his right to privacy when he filed for public office, said Alpine
newsman and book author Jack McNamara in federal court this morning.
McNamara is seeking documents related to the 1992 conviction of Thompson
and his partner, Glyn Robert Chambers, for conspiracy to import a ton of
cocaine into the United States from Mexico.
Citing a December, 1995 ruling by the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of
Appeals regarding Texas billionaire Ross Perot, who has been a candidate
for president, McNamara told District Judge Royal Furgeson that anyone
who seeks office forfeits his right to privacy.
"Thompson was running for sheriff again - an office he had held for 18
years," McNamara said. "He has lost the expectancy of privacy."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Jurecky argued that law enforcement
records are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act because
material they contain may violate the privacy of individuals named
Chambers claimed to be a government informant in international matters
as well as local drug dealing, he said. He may or may not have been
telling the truth about the many individuals named in his interviews
with law enforcement officers.
Chambers and Thompson were arrested after a horse trailer belonging to
the sheriff and containing 1¼ tons of cocaine was discovered at the
Presidio County Fairgrounds in Marfa on Dec. 4, 1991. Both were indicted
by a federal court grand jury in Pecos in January, 1992, and later pled
guilty and were sentenced to prison by U.S. District Court Judge Jerry
McNamara said he doesn't need documents about Chambers' sexual habits or
Thompson's relationship with his son.
But he does want to know if Chambers acted as a government informant in
high-profile drug cases such as Panama's Gen. Manuel Noreiga and
Mexico's Pablo Acosta, as he claimed.
"A blanket claim of privilege for law enforcement investigation files is
something which existed before (Congress' amendment in) 1974," McNamara
said. "It has not existed since and never will again."
McNamara's request for documents relating to Chambers and Thompson went
to the U.S. Department of Justice, then to its five law enforcement
agencies. McNamara received replies - denying his request - from the
FBI, DEA, U.S. Marshals and the DOJ.
Two years later, after Jurecky's inquiry, the INS replied that they had
destroyed all documents related to Thompson and Chambers in a routine
three-year records purge.
Judge Furgeson said he is very disturbed that INS either didn't act on
McNamara's 1994 request through error or deliberately destroyed the
"Another problem: I am not for sure under what congressional authority
the INS has developed this document destruction program," Judge Furgeson
Jurecky said the INS officer in charge of FOI requests claims she
didn't receive notice of McNamara's request until Aug. 7, 1996, and the
records had already been destroyed.
Judge Furgeson said he would order the DOJ and INS to explain what
happened to McNamara's 1994 request and why the records were destroyed.
"We are met with a very difficult result that I really think merits
further and thorough investigation," Judge Furgeson said. "Both by the
justice management division (of the DOJ) and by the FOI response unit of
the INS. I don't think Congress intended the process to work this way."
Judge Furgeson said he will also determine whether McNamara's request
merits the compilation of an index of all agency records pertaining to
Thompson and Chambers. Such an index would allow the court and McNamara
to determine what records are available and which would fulfill the FOI
"We really do need to know what is going on here, because a clear
Congressional mandate may have been thwarted by agency neglect and
sloppiness at best, and I don't believe that's what Congress had in
mind," Judge Furgeson said.
McNamara said he needs the documents for a book he is writing about drug
dealing along the Texas border. He said this morning he has tentatively
chosen the title "Border Rules."
"Rules are different out here," he said.
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PECOS, November 21, 1996 - A Pecos teen remains in a Lubbock hospital
recovering from several injuries after his truck rolled over in the
early morning hours last Friday.
Miguel Martinez, 19, of 2402 Sandia Rd., was transported from Reeves
County Hospital to University Medical Center Hospital about six hours
after his Nov. 15 accident, where he remains with three broken ribs, a
punctured lung, broken backbone, broken pelvic bone and 10 staples in
his head, according to his sister.
Investigating Patrolman Tony Dawdy reported that Martinez was southbound
on Texas Highway 17 in a 1995 GMC pickup, eating a burrito, when he
looked down and lost control of his pickup. He overcorrected and hit
gravel, causing his pickup to roll over, landing on its side across both
lanes of the highway, about one mile south of Interstate 20.
No citations were issued.
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By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, November 21, 1996 - Growing up on a farm near Brady, Fred
Sorrells never got farther from home than the top of a windmill and did
not participate in organized sports. Now he is a sports missionary in
Sorrells paved the way for African teams to compete in the summer
olympics in Atlanta, Ga. this summer, then returned with a
wheelchair-bound team for the paraolympics.
Although he felt totally out of his league, Sorrells told a large crowd
at West Park Baptist Church Wednesday night, "I found God is sufficient.
If he calls you to do something, he equips you."
He will speak again at First Baptist Church at a missions banquet
beginning at 6:30 p.m. today.
"Our God is a great and awesome God," Sorrells said. "He wants us to
simply say yes to him. He is speaking to us."
People who go on mission trips come back transformed and ready to do
something in their own community, he said.
"See where God is working and join Him," he said.
Sorrells showed slides of his teams at both olympics and told how he and
Christian athletes have used contacts they made to tell others about the
way to God through Christ Jesus.
Many of the contacts he has made are to people in Muslim countries where
Christian missionaries are not welcome, he said.
"Very often government people are very excited to have players
competing," Sorrells said. "It has opened many doors. Players are not
allowed to approach others with the Gospel, but they are free to answer
Every country in the world has some type of sports, and most play ball,
"When God made the world, he made it in the shape of a ball," he said.
Bruce Mussey introduced Sorrells, whom he met on a sports evangelism
trip to Africa.
"The Lord led him into sports evangelism," Mussey said. "He started the
International Sports Federation five years ago and travels all over the
world in evangelism."
Sorrells said he met Mussey in the summer of 1993 in Madagascar when
Mussey coached a team.
"It was wonderful to be able to see someone who had pulled up stakes and
headed to the other side of the world because he felt in his heart God
had a plan and purpose in his life," Sorrells said.
Noting that Baptists all over the world would be praying for his wife
Wednesday because it was her birthday, Sorrels asked for daily prayer
for their four children as well.
"We go into dangerous places, where our lives are in danger," he said.
Disease, including AIDS, is always a concern.
"We need your prayers to bind Satan and open the doors to the Gospel,"
he said. "So many doors are opening."
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained
from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County
Sheriff's Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, or other agencies;
and from interviews with officers of those agencies.
Police conducted a warrant service at the Pecos Municipal Court and
arrested Leslie Shane Windham on Nov. 1 for deadly conduct. Windham's
age and address were not indicated.
On Nov. 1, about 5:39 p.m., police cited Rebecca R. Maldonado, 40, for
failing to control speed after a minor accident in the 100 block of West
County Road. The police report stated that Maldonado made a wide turn
onto the road from the 200 block of West Pinehurst Street when she lost
control of the 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera and struck a fence post.
During a traffic stop in the 600 block of South Oleander Street, police
arrested Michael David Lukins the night of Nov. 1 for possession of
marijuana and served him an outstanding warrant out of Ward County for
burglary of a building and burglary of a vehicle. His age and address
were not revealed.
Joe Ray Millan was arrested for public intoxication at the Illusions bar
in the 600 block of East Second Street, Nov. 2. His age and address were
On Nov. 3, Raul Ojeda was arrested by police on a warrant for aggravated
sexual assault issued out of Hillsboro County, N.H. His age and address
were indicated on the police report.
Angie Nunez was arrested by police after serving her a warrant for theft
under $50 the night of Nov. 3. Her age, address and place of arrest were
Wal-Mart employee Olga Guebara reported a case of theft under $50 after
discovering a set of Popular Mechanics brand bolt cutters missing. The
report was made Nov. 3 at 6:41 p.m.
Three warrants for outstanding fines, totalling $172, were served to
Luis Armando Armendariz, 38, at the Reeves County Jail. The warrant
service was conducted Nov. 4 by police.
Jeffrey P. Luck was arrested by police after serving him with an Ector
County warrant for theft over $20 and under $500 on Nov. 7. Luck's age,
address and place of arrest were not indicated.
Mike Foster, 37, who was driving a 1994 Chevrolet Corsica in the
three-way intersection of Plum Street and West County Road, was arrested
by police for having no driver's license, running a stop sign and public
intoxication after landing on the south side of the drainage ditch
embankment during the early morning hours of Nov. 9.
Raul Barrera, 27, was arrested by police on a warrant for theft under
$50. He was served at the Reeves County Jail on Nov. 12, 2:55 p.m.
On Nov. 13, Christopher Thomas Rodriguez, 19, 419 S. Pecan, was arrested
at 1104-A S. Orange on a warrant for terroristic threat by police about
Rodolfo Granado was arrested by police on Nov. 13 in the intersection of
Second and Mulberry after being served a warrant for leaving the scene
of an accident. Granado's age and address were not available.
The morning of Nov. 13, Tyrone Smith turned himself in to police and was
served a warrant for aggravated assault, 2nd Degree Felony. His age and
address were not given.
Police arrested Raymond Vega, 39, on a probation revocation warrant the
night of Nov. 14 in the 400 block of East Sixth Street. While in jail,
on Nov. 15, he was served a warrant for outstanding fines.
Noel Baeza was arrested on Ward County warrants for minor in possession
of alcohol and violating a promise to appear in the 1200 block of South
Park Street (Pecos High School) on Nov. 14. His age and address were not
Douglas Clinton Glenn was arrested Nov. 14 in the 1200 block of Eddy
Street after being served a warrant for burglary of a building and
burglary of a vehicle. His age and address were not given.
Danny Salcido was arrested for outstanding fines by police the night of
Nov. 14 in the intersection of Sixth and Walnut Streets. His age and
address were not released.
Frank Perea, owner of Bianca's Wash and Dry Gulch, reported to police on
Nov. 15 that an unknown party had entered his place of business, at 1330
S. Cedar, and took two color television sets. Entry and exit were gained
at the north side door of the establishment.
Maribel Pacheco was served a warrant for criminal trespass and arrested
by police the afternoon of Nov. 15 in the 300 block of North Cypress
Street. Her age and address were not given.
Police arrested Joe Arthur Salas, 19, 1014 E. Eighth, on Nov. 16 in the
500 block South Oak Street on a warrant for terroristic threat, criminal
trespass and assault.
Antonio Castelo Salmon was arrested for assault under the Family
Violence Act in the 200 block of Locust Street the night of Nov. 16. His
age and address were not indicated.
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High Wednesday 89, low last night 44. Tonight, partly cloudy. Low 40-45.
Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Friday, mostly cloudy morning, partly cloudy
afternoon. High around 80. Southwest wind 10-20 mph.
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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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