Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, July 4, 2006
Police investigate death after body found in alley
By JON FULBRIGHT
Pecos Police are investigating the death of a 38-year-old man on the east side of town Friday night, but are waiting until coroner’s reports come back before deciding if foul play was involved.
Albert Rubio Corrales was pronounced dead by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Jim Riley at 8:34 p.m. on Friday, about 45 minutes after police were called to the alley west of the 300 block of Mesquite Street in response to the report of a body being found at that location.
“There was a male subject lying on the ground,” said investigator Capt. Kelly Davis. “Officer (Rick) Martinez was the first on the scene, and when he got there he found the subject not breathing, with no heartbeat.”
He said a nearby resident reported the incident to police, but did not discover the body. “Mary Apolinar called because someone had discovered the subject and then knocked on her door and told her about the subject lying on the ground.”
Emergency Medical Service personnel were called to the scene, but no transport was made, and Corrales’ body was later taken to Peaceful Garden Funeral Home. An autopsy was also ordered into the death by JP Riley.
Investigators were called to the scene, and Davis said they planned to talk to people about what they might know about Corrales’ death.
“There have been no interviews yet, but we will be interviewing somebody,” Davis said.
Davis said there was no blood found at the site where the body was discovered, but declined to say if there was anything else out of the ordinary found when Corrales’ body was discovered.
“I don’t want to talk about any of that stuff until we get the autopsy back,” he said. Davis added that while it shouldn’t take long to receive the coroner’s report, it would take longer to get results back on toxicology tests ordered on Corrales.
Brazile wins 4th all-around title at rodeo
By JON FULBRIGHT
“It ain’t over until it’s over” is a baseball saying attributed to Hall of Famer Yogi Berra. But it applied just as much to the bull riding competition at the West of the Pecos Rodeo, where the winning ride took place Saturday night after most people thought the 2006 edition of the rodeo was over.
Steve Oddy, who was awarded a re-ride following the Wild Mare Ride that normally wraps up the nightly events, scored 86 points on “Little All Star” to win first place and $5,130 at the rodeo, which saw Trevor Brazile pick up his fourth All-Around Cowboy title in Pecos, while also claiming both the steer roping and tie-down roping titles.
Cody Buller had taken the lead in bull riding Wednesday on another re-ride, which closed out the opening night’s show. His 84-point score appeared as if it would stand up until Oddy came up with his score. He was given a re-ride after his original ride of Saturday, “Little Allstar” stopped while coming out of the chute during the regular section of riding.
Oddy also picked up $447.50 in day money for being one of five riders on Saturday to make it the full eight seconds. Buller picked up a second prize of $3,933 to go along with his Wednesday day money of $255.71, while third place Luke Haught actually ended up with slightly more money than Buller. He rode “Cisco” to an 80-point effort and earned $2,907, but gained another $1,590 in day money by being the only rider to make it the full eight seconds on Friday night.
Brazile, who currently leads the PRCA standings in the All-Around competition and is a former National Finals Rodeo champion there, ended up earning his All-Around buckle from Pecos before the official start of the show. The Decatur resident, who won his first Pecos title just a month after graduating from high school, competed during Slack competition on Monday and Tuesday. He won both the second go-round and the average in tie-down roping while placing third in the third go-round, and also took the third go and the average in steer roping, along with a second place finish in the second go-round of that event.
His combined time on three runs in steer roping of 39.4 seconds was 3.8 seconds better than runner-up Tee Woolman, while Buster Record was third with a combined 44.8 time. Brazile picked up $2,688 for his first in the average, while Woolman earned $2,337 and Record $1,986. In tie-down, Brazile won with a 16.9 second time to 17.4 for Brett Livingston and 18 seconds for Blake Huckabee. The win in the average was worth $2,496, while Livingston earned $2,147 and Huckabee $1,824.
The combined finishes in average and in both go-rounds of tie-down was worth$6,763 for Brazile, who earned another $5,920 for his finishes in steer roping. The All Around title is based on the highest combined winnings by a cowboy competing in two or more events at the rodeo.
Another Decatur resident, Sean Lancaino, ended up winning the steer wrestling competition. Lanciano had a combined 9.1 time on his two attempts, earning $1,697 for the win and $3,271 overall for both the average and both go-rounds. Matt Reeves and Patrick Maass tied for second in the average with 9.9-second times and both earned $1,365.
In team roping, Shain Sproul and Corey Petska matched Brazile in winning both the second-go round and the average, after placing second in the first go-round. They had a combined 13.8 second time and earned $1,965 in prize money for the average win and $5,638 overall. Second place went to the winners of the first go-round, David Motes and Richard Dunham, who placed one second behind Sproul and Petska on the average and earned $1,708 for the average and $3,672 overall.
Tying for third in the average were the team of Matt Tyler and Jake Conkill and the team of Shane Dubin and Bobby Baize. Both finished with 15.8 combined times and won $1,324.
In the other two riding events, one score from the opening night of the rodeo stood up through the final three nights to win first place, while a Thursday night ride in the other event ended up as the high score for the rodeo.
Mike Outhier, who scored 87 points on “Lone Star” on Wednesday, won the saddle bronc championship by three points over Ryan Mapson, who scored 84 points riding “Centerfold” on Thursday. Outhier’s win was worth $4,575, while Mapson picked up $3,508.
Tying for third were Chad Ferley and Cody Tatom, both with 83-point rides; Ferley on “Coffee Bean” and Tatom riding “Lone Star”. Both cowboys won $2,135.
In bareback, West Stevenson’s 86-point score riding “Miss Hollywood” on Thursday allowed him to beat out former world’s champion Marvin Garrett, who scored 84 points on “Black Coffee” during the opening night’s show. Stevenson also took home $4,575 and Garrett $3,508, while third place and a $2,593 check went to Bobby Mode, who scored 83 points on “Black Smoke”.
In the ladies’ barrel race, rides last Tuesday during slack by Tera Bynum and Teal Rice held up through the full four nights of the show to grab the top prizes. Bynum won the event by one-hundredth of a second, having a 17.59 second time to 17.60 for Rice, and earned $2,812, while Rice took away $2,390.
Kelly Maben, who rode Wednesday night, took third place with a 17.67 time and earned $1,687. Five other barrel racers were able to break the 18-second barrier on the final three nights of the show.
In the local events, the team of Gus Hernandez and Scott Raines (?) won the open team roping competition on Saturday, after the opening round were held on June 25 at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena, while Will Armstrong, Chance Fincher and Ross White took first in the wild mare race and Adam Hernandez and Adam Hernandez (?) were the winners of the wild hide ride.
Prize money at this year’s event was estimated at $235,000, which would be a record for the West of the Pecos Rodeo. Cool temperatures also helped this year’s rodeo during the first three nights of the show, and a near capacity crowd on Saturday night, despite daytime highs that were back into the upper 90s in the Trans-Pecos region.
Reece’s Pecos shows part of busy holiday week
By JON FULBRIGHT
Pauline Reese is doing almost as much traveling over the Fourth of July week as some of the cowboys who appeared this past week at the West of the Pecos Rodeo.
The blond 28-year-old guitarist and singer performed at the Reeves County Sheriff’s Posse Barn over the four nights of the West of the Pecos Rodeo with her six-person band, which is based in Austin but has performed at sites across the state and in Oklahoma.
Reese is staying in Texas for the holiday, but she and her band, along with family members and her horse, had a nearly 400-mile trip back to Austin from Pecos on Sunday, to be followed by a 200 mile trip north to Fort Worth to perform on the July 4 holiday.
“I’m excited to be here in Pecos,” said Reese, during a lunch at Mi. Hacienda Restaurant on Thursday afternoon. “This is the first place I stopped, and if everybody is as nice as Belinda and Adolf, I might want to move here.”
Along with her band, Reese also was accompanied to Pecos by her mother, Sarah, who is also living in the Austin area.
“It’s rare to get mom to go with me, but Pecos is a special occasion,” she said.
Reese spent her early years in the East Texas town of Pittsburg before moving to the Austin area 17 years ago, but said her family has a local connection. “My grandfather used to live here, and was a saddle bronc rider in the 1930s.”
Reese has been part of the Austin music scene since her teen-age years, and has released four albums since 1999, the latest entitled “Too Texas,” which came out in mid-June on Paradoa Records. She has performed her own songs on her albums, along with covers of other popular songs, and her third album featured a duet with Willie Nelson on one song.
Reese said she would be working with him in two other events over the Fourth of July holiday, following her shows in Pecos.
“I’m playing Willie’s picnic this year, as well as Carl’s Corner,” she said, referring to the truck stop near Hillsboro that Nelson has been associated with, and recently purchased with an eye towards turning it into a musical venue that will include its own XM satellite radio channel starting next week.
“He’s trying to get it going as far as the music, but it’s not there yet,” said Reese, who was to perform there on Monday and at Nelson’s picnic at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth the following day.
“My music is country and southern rock, with a little Tex-Mex,” she said. “I’ve opened a lot of shows for a lot of acts. I’ve worked with Merle Haggard and was in one of his videos.”
“We’re booked up through September and going into October,” Reese said. “We usually play about 5-6 gigs per week. It’s a lot of hard work.”
Hathcox finds area support in statewide race
By JON FULBRIGHT
The Democratic Party’s nominee for Texas Land Commissioner said actions taken over the past few years by the General Land Office that affect West Texans have helped gain support in the area for making a change in that position in the November general election.
VaLinda Hathcox, a northeast Texas attorney, is challenging Republican Jerry Patterson for the position in the November 7 election. Hathcox was one of a number of Democratic Party hopefuls who were in Pecos last Wednesday for the annual West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade, and said she’s already heard from area residents about a proposal first made public three years ago to pump groundwater out of West Texas for resale in other parts of the state.
Patterson’s seeming support for the Rio Nuevo proposal to purchase underground water rights in the Big Bend area in order to resell the water to more populated areas in Central Texas angered many landowners in the counties to the south of Pecos. Among those complaining was Patterson’s fellow Republican Susan Combs, the state agriculture commissioner whose family ranches in the area.
Hathcox said the controversy has made people in the area open to her candidacy. “It’s been very promising here, because people know what the General Land Office is supposed to do,” she said.
The Sulphur Springs resident had an unsuccessful run for the Texas Legislature in Austin before being elected County Attorney in her hometown. She said she decided to challenge Patterson just prior to the filing deadline at the start of this year.
“When January came and nobody had filed for the office, I said ‘I’m qualified’ and I filed,” she said, adding that she has past experience working in the General Land Office.
“I clerked in this office when I went to law school,” Hathcox said. She was working as an intern for Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe at the time. She helped rewrite state leases to include provisions for geothermal resources, and later worked for then-State Comptroller Bob Bullock and former Attorney General Jim Mattox.
Aside from the regional concerns about water, Hathcox said her main issue is the failure of the General Land Office to collect the property royalty payments from oil and gas producers who have rights on Public University Land.
“We’re putting $500 million into the Public School Fund, yet the State of Texas doesn’t have the money to buy textbooks,” she said. “Texas was getting $300 million into the School Fund when oil was $17-$18 a barrel. Now it’s $60 a barrel, and we’re only putting $500 million in.
“I don’t think they (oil and gas producers) are paying on the lease agreements the way they should be,” Hathcox added. “My mother has a little royalty interest in one of our ranches in East Texas, and as the price of oil has gone up her checks have gone down. I think that’s the way it is with the State of Texas.”
She also said the Land Officer under Patterson hasn’t done due diligence in the sale of some University Lands in West Texas to real estate speculators, who then resell the land over the Internet to people in other parts of the country.
“We’ve seen schemes like this in the past,” she said, adding that the land sold often has neither utilities nor road access from main highways. “It’s easy enough to say that if someone is fool enough to go on the Internet and buy the land, they ought to suffer the consequences accordingly. But the Land Office knows what the land is being used for, and the state retains the mineral rights.”
Hathcox also criticized the Land Office for considering sale of state land rights along the Texas Gulf Coast. She said that, as with the Rio Nuevo situation, Patterson is too willing to go along with big campaign donors and their development plans over those of other local residents.
“We see some information about selling off land and properties not at full market value,” Hathcox said. “They’re being touted as for the benefit of the children of the state, but I’m not sure who benefits.”
“They say the individuals don’t ask for anything, but if you’re contributing $300,000 and above maybe you don’t have to ask,” she said.
Fireworks sales fizzle due to drought
By ROSIE FLORES
Sales have been pretty slow for most of the fireworks stands in Pecos, leading up to Tuesday’s Fourth of July holiday, even though not all fireworks have been banned in Reeves County due to drought conditions.
Reeves County Commissioners banned only “bottle rockets” and the missiles with fins, due to fears the airborne fireworks could cause fires in nearby fields, which have received less than 1 1/2 inches of rain so far this year.
“It’s been pretty fair, but it is slow,” said Domingo Mata, who is manning one of the fireworks stands on the north side of Wal-Mart.
Mata said that a lot of people have been asking for these types of fireworks, but that they do not have them for sale.
“Since they were banned, we were asked not to sell them, so we sent them back,” said Mata.
Mata said he hopes sales will pick up today and Tuesday, which is the Fourth of July.
“People usually celebrate it on the third, so maybe we’ll do better this evening,” said Mata.
Closer to Wal-Mart is another stand, being manned by Richard Hayes.
“We don’t carry the bottle rockets, some people have been asking for them, but the fire marshal was out here and said we couldn’t sell them,” said Hayes.
Hayes said that his stand had also had very few customers.
“It has been really slow,” said Hayes. “They told me we would be making more than what we really are,” he said.
“It hasn’t been great at all,” said Hayes.
Hayes said that if sales went up, he was hoping to make a donation to the Christian Home.
“I was hoping to do better than this, because we wanted to make a donation to the Christian Home,” said Hayes. “Ken Winkles is always doing so much for this community.”
Hayes said he hoped sales go up Monday and Tuesday.
Pecos Volunteer Fire Chief Freddy Contreras said that he hopes that if individuals do go out and set off fireworks they should carry water with them.
“They should try to carry a little bit of water in their trunk of their cars or with them,” said Contreras. “A small fire is easier to contain than a larger one,” he said.
Contreras said that all the fire trucks would be ready and available and that all the volunteer fireman would also be ready today and tomorrow should an accident occur.
“We’ll be ready, but it would also help if these individuals were ready as well,” he said. “People doing this where there is are a lot of weeds of grass, should especially carry a container of water.”
Contreras said that with the winds and dry conditions, the small fires can grow easily and will be harder to put out, putting people at risk.
“Kids should be supervised at all times and we hope that everyone follows all the rules,” said Contreras.
“We just want everyone to be cautious, but we’ll be ready if something should go wrong,” he said.
Villalobos gets probation in vote fraud case
From Staff and Wire Reports
A Pecos woman indicted in January for voter fraud was convicted on two counts last week by a 143rd District Court jury and was given probated sentences on both charges.
Trini Villalobos, 60, was convicted of illegally possessing and transporting the ballots of several voters prior to the March 2004 Democratic Party primary election.
Abbott says the Pecos woman has been sentenced to six months probation on each count.
Witnesses told investigators that Villalobos routinely helped elderly Texans fill out applications for mail-in ballots. The indictment alleged that Villalobos would return to people’s homes to pick up the filled-out ballots and mail them.
“Those who perpetrate voter fraud are victimizing and intimidating the elderly,” said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. “The integrity of our democratic election process must be protected. I will make certain that anyone who takes advantage of Texas voters is held accountable.”
Villalobos was one of two women indicted by grand jurors in January. The other, 68-year-old Anita Baeza, is still awaiting trial on her charges, according to the 143rd District Clerk’s office. Baeza’s son, Jeffrey, was a candidate for Reeves County Sheriff in the March 2004 Democratic primary.
Investigators from the Attorney General’s Criminal Investigations Division interviewed numerous witnesses, who corroborated complaints that Villalobos routinely assisted elderly residents in filling out applications for mail-in ballots. When the actual ballots arrived by mail, she returned to these homes to collect completed ballots and mailed them for the residents.
The charges against her were violations of Chapter 86 of the Texas Election Code, which specifies the officials who may handle and process mail-in ballots. The charges, Class B misdemeanors, carry a possible $2,000 fine and up to 180 days confinement on each count.
The sentencing follows nearly a dozen misdemeanor indictments and one felony indictment entered since last summer. All were investigated and prosecuted on referral from the Texas Secretary of State.
Odessa man pleads to child porn charge
By ROSIE FLORES
An Odessa man pled guilty to federal child pornography charges last week in federal court, in a case involving America Online chatrooms on the Internet.
United States Attorney Johnny Sutton announced that 51-year-old Jose Antonio Acosta of Odessa, pleaded guilty Thursday, June 27, to two counts of transmitting video file images of child pornography over the Internet. He faces a mandatory minimum of five years in federal prison, up to a maximum of 20 years, on each count.
Appearing before United States Magistrate Judge L. Stuart Platt, Acosta admitted entering AOL chatrooms on Oct. 6, 2005, and e-mailing sexually graphic movie files to a person he thought shared his interest in such illicit material.
However, Sutton said the person whom Acosta sent the files was an undercover FBI agent in Buffalo, N.Y. A multi-month investigation commenced, culminating in the identification of Acosta as the perpetrator and the seizure of his computers.
Some of the images Acosta transmitted depict adults engaging in sexual intercourse with children as young as three years old.
“Viewing and trading images of children being sexually abused is inexcusable,” said United States Attorney Johnny Sutton noting that the damage to victims can be devastating. “Those who trade these images create a demand for additional explicit material and thus destroy the lives of more of our most innocent.”
Sutton added that the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative gives law enforcement another tool to aggressively identify and prosecute those deviants who exploit and abuse children.
Acosta has remained in jail since his arrest on March 24, 2006. He will be sentenced in October.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Offices in Buffalo and Midland. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John S. Klassen.
Project Safe Childhood is a new Department of Justice initiative that coordinates Federal, State, and local law enforcement efforts to prosecute internet predators and rescue their victims. Through cooperation with legal and community partners, this initiative will help bring criminals to justice and protect the most vulnerable members of our society.
Store seeking past models for reunion
Hollywood Blvd is holding a reunion of models who have participate in any of the shows put on by the store in the past, as part of a 16-year fashion show anniversary.
Anyone wishing to participate should call Nancy 445-6647 or 770-6151.
Stanford receives coveted award
Private First Class Quinten Seth Stanford received the coveted Glob and Anchor Award on Nov. 4, 2005.
He is with the 1st Light Armored Recor Battalion, Charlie Co. 2nd Platoon and is currently stationed in Las Flores Camp Pendleton, California.
He is the son of Quinten and Macy Stanford, who currently own the Collier House Bed and Breakfast in Pecos and Michelle Voges of New Braunfels.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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