Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, June 2, 2006
Front provides break from hot, dry conditions
By JON FULBRIGHT
After two weeks of dry weather and 100-plus temperatures to close out May, June began in Pecos with early morning rains and temperatures that didn’t climb out of the 60s until early Thursday afternoon.
A line of showers that was part of a cold front passing through the area brought the rain and cooler temperatures, after Pecos’ high on Wednesday failed to hit the triple-digit mark for the first time since May 17, when the high was 95 degrees. The National Weather Service’s station at Pecos Municipal Airport also reported a high of only 95 on the final day of May, while June opened with .05 inch of rain falling between 8 and 9:30 a.m. at the airport.
“Doppler radar estimated about a quarter inch of rain from those storms,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Cody Lindsey in Midland. “We only reported getting .05 inch at the airport, but they might have gotten a quarter to a half-inch of rain north of town.”
Temperatures hit 104 on Tuesday in Pecos, while storms that were scattered through the area missed the city, but did hit Barstow about 4:30 p.m., with both rain and hail, though no damage was reported.
Thursday morning’s rain almost equaled the city’s total for all of May, while no rain at all was reported in Pecos during April. Lindsey said the city picked up .06 inch of rain last month, but none after May 15, and has gotten just 1.16 inch of rain so far in 2006, as part of a drought that began late last year. The city normally gets just under 11 inches of rain annually, and received nearly double that total in 2004 after a decade of mostly dry weather. Last year’s totals were just above the normal average, despite dry weather during the final three months of the year.
Other areas around Pecos have received more rain from the latest line of storms, after showers passed through the area during the Memorial Day weekend. In the mountains to the south, Marfa reported .45 inches of rain on Wednesday and more showers this morning, while temperatures remained below 60 degrees as of noon at the NWS station in Alpine. To the east, flash flood warnings were in effect for Midland and Crane counties from slow morning storms on Thursday. And to the north, emergency crews were sent out about 1:30 p.m. on Thursday to fight a utility pole fire sparked by lightning from storms traveling to the southeast through northern Reeves County.
Local residents are forecast to get only one more day of relief before temperatures head back towards 100 again. The NWS forecast calls for highs only around 90 on Friday, with a 20 percent chance of rain, while temperatures will be back around 100 on Saturday and over the 100 mark during the afternoon on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Kunwar reports projects on track despite setbacks
By ROSIE FLORES
Despite some setbacks, one local business owner plans to work hard to make his dreams and plans a realization.
Ram Kunwar has been busy trying to complete the renovations at the old Pecos Inn, located on Third Street.
“We’ve had some problems and I had to fire one guy,” said Kunwar. “I plan to work hard and continue with my plans,” he said.
Construction work at the facility has been ongoing and near completion.
“We want to have everything ready in about 20 days,” said Kunwar. “Hopefully before the rodeo events,” he said.
Pecos police reported on Tuesday that Richard James Hayes, 1715 S. Alamo St., had been arrested on a charge of theft over $1,500 and under $20,000, as a result of thefts reported by Kunwar from the motel that occurred between February and April of this year.
Kunwar said that the employee in question had tried to ruin everything for him.
“He tried to destroy everything, the other owner that was here before me also lost money,” said Kunwar.
Kunwar said that the employee had stolen not only money, but merchandise from the motel.
“He charged things that were never seen here at the motel, he rented out a shampooer and never did anything in the rooms or anywhere at the motel,” said Kunwar.
The police report filed by investigator Paul Deishler said that Hays, 53, was arrested. “Lt. Juan Vasquez and I did recover one piece of property reported taken that Mr. Hays had removed from the motel,” Deishler said in his report. “The stolen property was recovered inside a residence located at 2219 S. Alamo St.”
Kunwar said that he is still trying to determine exactly how much is missing. “We have figured that he was putting something like $5,000 a month in his pocket,” said Kunwar, and the police said the total reported was over $10,000.
But even though there has been some adversity and setbacks, Kunwar said that he wants to continue with his plans to open both the motel and the State Theater.
“I’ve been working with Bruce Shores and everything is done and ready to go,” said Kunwar.
Kunwar said that they want to open the theater by June 15 or 16, but that he has been so busy at the motel that he doesn’t know yet.
“I also have a business in California, so I need to work real hard to get these things going,” said Kunwar. “Slowly, but surely, we’ll make all these things happen,” he said.
Kunwar said that he doesn’t plan to give up on his dreams, including constructing another building in the lot where the old Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber Company used to be.
The building burned completely on May 12 when fire from a cutting torch being used to demolish some of the old lumber storage sheds spread to the main building. City employees cleaned up the debris from that fire, which took several hours to bring under control.
“I plan to make new building and sell all flooring items,” said Kunwar of the Third and Walnut street location.
He has a similar business in California that is currently being run by his wife, Kamalgit.
“I’m always working, I like it here and I plan to hire all local people,” said Kunwar.
Kunwar also is in the bidding to purchase property owned by the city and located south of Reeves County Hospital on Interstate 20.
“I would like a franchise to move in there,” said Kunwar. “That’s something else I will be working on.”
He also has a bid in to construct up to 48 apartments on land that was recently rezoned from single-family units to multiple family dwellings by the Town of Pecos City. The land, in the 1000 block of Washington St., received a $400,000 state grant for improvement that the city must repay, and plans now call for 56 apartments to be built on the land where 19 single-family homes were expected to go.
Kunwar said that the motel business has picked up thanks to the oilfield business, but that he doesn’t have all the rooms ready yet. Motels in Pecos have been reporting 90 to 100 percent occupancy rates this year, due to the number of oil and gas industry workers staying in the area. Room space will become even tighter at the end of the month, when the annual West of the Pecos Rodeo gets underway.
“We’ve been renting out about 15-30 rooms, but in 20 days we hope to have all 62 rooms ready,” said Kunwar. “I love this town and I plan to stay here and make it my home.”
Kunwar said that he plans to move his wife, four children and his parents to Pecos.
“When the motel is completed, I want to start the new building at the empty lot,” he said.
Kunwar said that everybody in Pecos has been very kind to him and he wants to do something for the community. “The mayor, the new mayor, the city council and everybody in the community has welcomed me and been very nice, I want to do something in return,” he said.
143rd District Court
(Ward, Reeves and Loving Counties)
Beginning May 1, and ending May 12
Judge Bob Parks, presiding
Civil Cases Filed:
Jose Rodriguez vs. Maria Fuentes, injury-damage with motor vehicle suit.
State of Texas vs. $11,700 in U.S. Currency, seizure and intent to forfeit suit.
The following delinquent tax cases were filed:
Reeves County, et al vs. Joe C. Garcia.
Town of Pecos City, et al vs. Jose Samaniego, et al.
Town of Pecos City, et al vs. Salvador C. Lozano, et al.
Mike Benton Farms vs. Norman Hicks, account-note-contract suit.
One family case was filed to change the name of a child.
One family case was filed on a Petition for Confirmation of Non-Agreed Child Support Review Order.
The following family cases were re-activated on motions:
Two cases were re-activated with the filing of Petitions for Confirmation of Non-Agreed Child Support Review Order.
One case was re-activated on the filing of a Motion to Modify.
One case was re-activated on the filing of a Child Support Review Order.
Civil Case Disposed:
State of Texas vs. 1992 Green Ford Taurus, et al, seizure-forfeiture case; an agreed judgment was entered when it was agreed that the 1992 Green Ford Taurus was contraband and that $45,000 of the $60,619 is contraband as defined by Chapter 59 of the Code of Criminal Procedure; $15,619 of the $60,019 is not subject to forfeiture and subject to return to Respondent Hector Acosta and Randy Ramos through their attorney; the remainder of the $60,619 ($45,000) plus any and all interest is forfeited with 2/3rds to the Reeves County Sheriff Office and 1/3rd to the Reeves Co. District Attorney in compliance with their local agreement, the Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 59.06 (c), and audited in accordance with Art. 59.06(g); any and all interest in the vehicle is forfeited by Hector Acosta, Randy Ramos and Estilo Auto Consultants to the State of Texas, namely the Reeves County Sheriff’s Office.
George G. Staley vs. Kimball Production Company, et al, application for appointment of receiver case; case dismissed without prejudice.
One family case resolved by judgment entered on a petition for establishment of parent-child relationship.
CACV of Colorado, LLC vs. Reyes Abila; account-note-contract suit, order of dismissal entered.
The following family cases were disposed on re-activated motions:
A Motion to Enforce and License Suspension was disposed.
A Motion to Modify was disposed by an agreed order.
A Motion to Enforce was disposed by an agreed order.
A Child Support Review Order was entered in one case.
The following new criminal case was filed and disposed:
State of Texas vs. Jeanette Florez, case was filed by an Information for the offense of drug possession; defendant was sentenced to three years of deferred adjudication, ordered to pay $1,000 fine, $225.25 courts costs and $140 restitution. The indictment for an offense of drug possession was dismissed.
The following cases were re-activated on Motions to Adjudicate Guilt:
State of Texas vs. Ridessa Cherie Wright, original offense; drug possession;
State of Texas vs. Delma Nunez Gabaldon, original offense; burglary;
State of Texas vs. Raul Pando, original offense; drug possession; (Unarrested at this time).
The following cases were re-activated on Motions to Revoke Community Supervision:
State of Texas vs. Diana Munoz Salas, original offense; drug sale, (Unarrested at this time).
State of Texas vs. Delma Hernandez, original offense: drug possession; (Unarrested at this time).
The following criminal cases were disposed.
State of Texas vs. Alberto Lira Jr., offense: credit card abuse; Defendant was sentenced to three years deferred adjudication and ordered to pay a $1,500 fine, court costs of $227.25 and restitution of $1,259.35.
State of Texas vs. Victor Arthur Mariano, offense: unlawful use of a criminal instrument; Defendant was sentenced to four years confinement to the Institutional Division of the TDCJ but probated for four years, ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and court costs of $227.25. A second indictment was dismissed.
State of Texas vs. Maria Senaida Mendoza; offense; forgery; the Motion to Adjudicate Guilt was dismissed and Defandant’s terms and conditions of community supervision were amended as follows: Defendant to (i) report to a Residential Treatment Center to serve a term of not more than 24 months with certain conditions; (ii) remain under custodial supervision of Reeves Co. Sheriff until placement; (iii) pay a $500 probationary fine to Reeves Co. CSCD; (iv) pay $665.60 for reimbursement of attorney’s fees paid by Reeves County to the court-appointed attorney; (v) get current on all fees that are in arrears; and (vi) have term extended one additional year to expire on Aug. 19, 2010.
State of Texas vs. Amanda Armendariz; offense; theft; the Motion for Notice to Show Cause why probation shouldn’t be revoked was dismissed and Defendant’s terms and conditions of community supervision (probation) were amended extending community supervision an additional year to expire May 13, 2009.
State of Texas vs. Erineo Corral Gutierrez; offense: drug possession; the Motion to Adjudicate Guilt was tried and Defendant’s community supervision was revoked. Defendant was sentenced to 28 months and $0 fine.
State of Texas vs. Doris Jean Wilson, offense: drug possession; Defendant’s terms and conditions of community supervision were amended as follows: (i) as an alternative to incarceration Defendant’s term of community supervision is extended for an additional six months to expire on Nov. 24, 2006.
RCH’s Conder taking second try at retirement
Wednesday was the final day on the job for Reeves County Hospital CEO Bill Conder, who is hoping his second attempt at retirement lasts a little longer than his first one did.
“I was chief operating officer for 10 years in Andrews, at Permian General, and then I retired for around three years,” Conder said. “I’ll try to make it stick this time. At my age I’d like to enjoy things a little.”
A reception was held at the hospital on Tuesday for Conder, who replaced Robert Vernor four years ago as top administrator at the hospital, and took the facility through a major expansion and remodeling effort between 2003 and 2005.
“When I decided to retire it was with mixed emotions, but at my age, 71, I want to try and start taking it easy,” he said
Before Andrews, Conder worked at a number of hospitals, mostly in West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico.
“I started in the hospital field in 1960, and I just wanted to get enough money to get my masters,” he said. “I went to work at the Kermit hospital, and have been in the hospital field ever since.”
He said he came out of retirement to work in the Lubbock area after leaving Andrews, before taking the job of interim CEO with Reeves County Hospital.
“I got a call from Robert about the interim job, which was supposed to be four to six months and ended up being four years,” Conder said.
“The employees have been among the best employees I’ve worked with,” he said, “And the board is among the best I’ve worked with.”
Conder said the remolding work at the hospital is what he’s proudest of accomplishing during his time as CEO.
“Getting through the remolding, plus still keeping a good financial basis with a good cash flow,” he said. “We did get the critical access process started with the board. At least we got to the point of doing a feasibility study.”
“We went through a period of transition, but things are going to be all right,” Conder added.
Frank Seals, the hospital’s chief financial officer, took over as interim CEO on Thursday, and will continue in that post until the hospital board names a full-time replacement.
“The new person is going to have to work on getting the dialysis center on a financially sound basis, but it’s already improving,” Conder said. “He’s going to have to get into new contract negotiations with Dr. Abdo and Dr. Moorti, and make sure they stay. They both have another year on their contracts, but he’ll need to get into negotiations soon to make sure they stay.
“Replacing Dr. Jiffi is another objective, but that process is already in place,” Conder added. Dr. Jiffi will be leaving the hospital next month, and the hospital board already has signed a contract with a firm to help find his replacement.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes in hospitals. I came in before Medicare. In 1966 it went into full force, and I’ve seen a lot of changes in Medicare since that time,” he said. “Any administrator that goes into the hospital business has got to know all the changes in Medicare, with 75-80 percent of the people here affected by Medicare.
“You also have to learn to deal with the medical staff and be capable of working together and communicating. You’re not going to agree with each other all the time, but it’s important to keep up and air your differences.”
Conder said while Wednesday was his final day on the job, he’d still be in Pecos until mid-summer.
“We’re going to be here a while. On the first of August we’ll be moving to the Lubbock area, and we’ll settle around New Deal,” he said. “The reason we’re moving back to New Deal is that that’s where the bulk of my family is, and that’s where my wife’s family is from.”
Warren, Hinojos announce June wedding plans
Starkey and Jackie Warren, of Pecos, announce the engagement and approaching marriage of their daughter, Donna to Cain Hinojos.
Hinojos is the son of Freddy Hinojos of Pecos and Linda Hinojos of Monahans. He is a 1994 graduate of Monahans High School, received a degree from Southwest Texas College in Business Management and is currently co-owner of Pentworld Productions in Ft. Worth.
The future bride is a 2003 graduate of Pecos High School, is a secretary at Computer Solutions in Pecos and print model for Pentworld Productions.
The couple plan to wed June 24, in “The Courtyard” in Pecos.
Maynard selected for summer clinic
Balmorhea teacher Doug Maynard has been selected for Southwest Vistas: The Border in American History, a summer institute sponsored by Humanities Texas and the University of Houston from June 4-7 on the University of Houston campus.
He will join 39 other outstanding teachers from across Texas to explore the history and culture of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Maynard, who has been teaching for 22 years, currently teaches U.S. and world history, geography, government and economics in the Balmorhea Independent School District.
Teachers will attend lectures and participate in workshops that examine U.S. history and Texas history through the broader perspective of the Western hemisphere.
“Humanities Texas is pleased to sponsor such an exciting educational initiative,” said Michael L. Gillette, executive director. “As border issues receive attention in the public dialogue, it’s essential that teachers and students understand the rich history and culture of the region,” he said.
Steven Mintz, the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of History at the University of Houston, echoed the importance of providing teachers with this kind of professional development experience. “The teachers selected for this institute will have the opportunity to learn from preeminent scholars in the fields of U.S. and Latin American history and to analyze a variety of primary documents related to state, national and international history,” he said.
Although most activities are limited to participating teachers, David J. Weber, director of the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University, will deliver a free public lecture on June 4.
Entitled, “Where Cultures Meet: Viewing American History from the Southwest,” Weber’s presentation will take place at 6:30 on Sunday, June 4, in the Rockwell Pavilion, located in the M.D. Anderson Library on the University of Houston campus.
Southwest Vistas is made possible with support from a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Texas develops and supports diverse programs across the state, including lectures, oral history projects, teacher institutes, museum exhibitions and documentary films.
For more information about Humanities Texas, visit www.humanitiestexas.org .
For more information about Southwest Vistas, visit www.swvistas.uh.edu .
Students need to set 06-07 schedules
Students who are scheduled to take concurrent classes during the 2006-2007 school year need to come by the counselor’s office between June 1-9 to determine if you are exempted from the THEA.
The THEA test must be taken before enrolling in concurrent courses unless the student is exempt due to TAKS scores, which needs to be verified by a PHS counselor.
Exit level tutorials underway
Tutorials began May 29 for Exit Level - Retest (Juniors and Seniors 2005-2006).
Report to Pecos High School at 8 a.m., and tutorial schedule will be given.
State offers students TAKS test guide
If any Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD high school student did not meet the standard on one or more of the TAKS tests, the state provided a study guide for the child free of charge.
The study guides may be picked up at the counselor’s office during May 22-June 9.
The study guides are provided for students in grades 9-12.
The TAKS retest for Exit Level TAKS (11th graders 2005-2006 and Seniors 2005-2006) will be held in July.
The English/Language Arts TAKS retest will be held July 11; the math portion on July 12; the science test on July 13 and social studies on July 14.
Students testing need to report to the cafeteria at 8 a.m. Retest is only available to 2005-2006 11th and 12th graders.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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