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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Contreras asks judge to reject Gomez lawsuit

Reeves County Judge candidate Sam Contreras has asked that a lawsuit filed by Al Gomez to overturn the results of the April 11 Democratic primary runoff election be dismissed.

Contreras filed his response to the suit, filed on April 27 by Gomez, at 4:15 p.m. on Friday. Gomez’s suit asked that the April 11 runoff election be overturned due to problems with counting the ballots that resulted in two boxes not being included in the election night ballot count.

Contreras scored a 15-vote win over Al Gomez out of over 2,400 votes cast in the April 11 runoff. That number changed twice after the original count, when it was discovered that two of the 11 boxes in the election had not been fully counted. The addition of votes from Box 7 cut Contreras lead over Gomez from 65 to 15 votes, and on April 27 Gomez filed a lawsuit in 143rd District Court, asking that the election either be voided and a new election ordered, or that he be declared the winner of the election due to the irregularities in the Box 7 count. Gomez petition, filed by Monahans attorney Hal Upchurch, named Contreras a defendant, while alleging that Box 7 was illegally opened by Reeves County Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Dean. The suit asked that either the election be voided and a new vote ordered, or that Gomez be declared winner of the runoff election.

In Contreras’ response, filed by Austin attorney Buck Wood, he denies the allegations made in Gomez’s petition, and demands strict proof that the actions alleged in the petition did occur.,

The reply requests judgment of the court, that Gomez is granted no relief by the lawsuit and that all costs of court be taxed and adjudged against Gomez.

After the Box 7 problem was reported by Gomez to Dean, he filed a petition to reopen the box, which was granted by 143rd District County Judge Bob Parks. The recount was held on April 20, and while Gomez received 101 of the 152 uncounted ballots from the box, he fell eight votes short in Box 7 of the 109 he needed to win the election.

While the suit was filed in 143rd District Court, the case will go before visiting Judge Joseph Conley, Sr. of the 244th District Court. The case will be heard at the judge’s convenience and the date has not been set yet.

Contreras, the Town of Pecos City Finance Director, placed second to Gomez, owner of Alfredo’s Restaurant and former Pecos Chamber of Commerce president, in the five-person race for Reeves County Judge in the March 7 Democratic primary, forcing the April 11 runoff. The eventual winner of the race will face Republican Bobby Hanks in the Nov. 7 general election for the right to replace Jimmy Galindo as county judge in January of 2007.

City, school early voting wrapping up

Early voting for the May 13 Town of Pecos City and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD elections will continue until 8 p.m., Tuesday, with just over 450 people having cast ballots in the first week of early voting.

A total of 458 individuals had already cast their votes early, as of Monday morning.

Early voting is being conducted at the Community Center, located on Oak Street.

The polls at the center are open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Monday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. By law, they are required to have two 12-hour days for early voting. Local election officials opted to have the extended hours on the first and final days of early voting.

While this was to have been the first city and school election to use the new optical scanning equipment purchased last year, ballots for the election that could be scanned by the machines were not ready in time for the early voting period. As a result, elections clerk Debbie Thomas said that they will be using paper ballots during this election, and the ballots will be hand-counted on May 13.

The highest profile race on May 13 is for Town of Pecos City mayor, where Dick Alligood, owner of Oilfield Phone Service in Pecos, is challenging incumbent Mayor Dot Stafford for her position. Stafford has held for the past four years and for 10 of the past 12 years.

Along with Stafford’s position, two council seats will also be decided. Incumbents Michael Benavides and Angelica Valenzuela have filed to retain their seats, and are challenged by Mark Bragg. Two seats also are up for election on the P-B-T ISD board, where one incumbent and three challengers have filed for the available three-year terms.

Incumbent Amy Montgomery Miller and challenger Vanessa Simmons joined John Grant and Ramiro “Ron” Garcia in entering their names for the three-year terms up for election in May.

Miller was first elected to the school board in 2003, while the other board seat currently is held by Steve Valenzuela.

Saturday was also scheduled to be the date for the Reeves County Hospital District election, but that election was cancelled when no one filed to challenge the incumbents in the at-large, Precinct 1 and Precinct 3 elections.

Style show features nominees

The latest in fashion could be seen at the Annual Golden Girl/Little Miss Cantaloupe Style Show held Sunday at the Reeves County Civic Center.

The young ladies had the opportunity to introduce themselves and show off the latest fashions from local clothing shops.

This year’s Golden Girl nominees include: Melissa Guerrero, Eleanor Mason, Syra Mendoza, Jesseca Perea, Delicia Ramirez and Tiffanie Rodriguez.

Little Miss Cantaloupe nominees are: Alexa Arreguy, Lila Benavides, Jaylin Burleson, Victoria Chacon, Liz Berta Fierro, Shantea Flow, Kayla Martinez, Brookley Matta, Alexis Mendoza, Isabella Millan, Ysidra Navarrete, Makayla Niblett, Lissette Ortiz, Eileen Puertas, Kariz Rodriguez, Natalia Romo and Marie Urias. Lunch was served to all the guests and door prizes awarded. Volunteers were: photo shoot: Stacy Fowlkes, Irene Lujan, Nikki Matta, Dorinda Millan and Debra Quiroz. Food: Cindy Duke, Terri Spence and Traci Shaw.

Decorating committee: Alexis Foster, Dorinda Millan and Heather Scheier. Rehearsal and music: Dana Howard, Kalyn Salgado and Elvira Martinez; program: Karen Hill, Nikki Matta and Sandy Overcash and clothing: Gail Box, Cindy Duke and Mary Tarango. Severs and ushers included: Paul Zubeldia, Omar Garcia, Nathan Duke, Josh Elliott, Matt Elliott, Andrew Grant, Bill Moody, Luke Serrano, J.P. Salcido, Isaiah Porras, Samuel Orona and Daniel Acosta.

Fashion clothing was provided by Needleworks Etc., Bealls, Wal-Mart and Desiree Boutique.

Door prizes were from the Chamber of Commerce, Golden Girl Revue tickets; Rodeo Committee, rodeo tickets; Reeves County Sheriff’s Posse, posse barbecue tickets, posse dance tickets and Windmill Square Melodrama Playhouse, melodrama tickets.

Cyclist promotes disease awareness on 3,000 mile trip

A Seattle man spent part of Saturday on a stopover in Pecos, while on a cross-country trip to promote awareness of a disease he suffers from.

Earl Lay made a stop in town as part of his 3,000-mile trip from San Diego, Calif., to Savannah, Ga., promoting awareness of celiac disease, which involves the inability to digest gluten, which is the protein found in wheat, rye and barley. “It’s a disease that goes undiagnosed,” Lay said during a stop at Mi Hacienda Restaurant on South Cedar Street on Saturday. “Estimates are there are 3 million people in the United States who are undiagnosed.”

Lay said he was first diagnosed nine years ago, at age 54, with the disease, which is an autoimmune disorder. Gluten from foods like breads, pastas and even beer cause the body’s immune system when the food enters the small intestine. The reaction prevents calories, fats, carbohydrates and proteins from being absorbed into the body, and leads to nutritional deficiencies.

“It’s almost as common as diabetes, and nobody has ever heard of it,” he said.

Lay’s goal is to both make the general public more aware of the disease and to make local physicians in the cities he visits more aware of the problem.

“I want doctors to order tests for people who don’t know what’s going on with them,” he said. “They don’t know what triggers it, but it’s an autoimmune syndrome that prevents the body from absorbing minerals … when it does, the body collapses.”

He said blood tests are done to find out if a person suffers from celiac disease, and the treatment is to follow a free-free diet, which also includes no dairy products or additional salt.

Lay said he started the Texas leg of his trip on May 1 in El Paso, and planned to head for Dallas and the to continue along Interstate 20 through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to Georgia. Along with increasing awareness, he is also trying to raise $50,000 in funds for the Gluten Intolerance Group ( ) a non-profit organization devoted to raising awareness of celiac disease.

Police report

EDITOR’S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff’s Office, or other officers of those agencies. The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instances we will indicate payment and release.


Julio Enriquez, 3021 Titan St., was arrested by police on May 1 on a warrant charging him with reporting a false alarm, a State Jail Felony. Police said the arrest took place at 7:15 p.m. in the 700 block of South Eddy Street, and Enriquez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


A male juvenile was arrested by police on April 24 on a charge of burglary of a motor vehicle. Police said the 15-year-old, who lives in the 5400 block of Valley Street in Pecos, was already at the Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center when officers were contacted about the burglary charge, which is a Class A misdemeanor.


Javier Chavez Vela, 36, 1217 S. Elm St., was arrested by police on April 30 on a charge of public intoxication, ad Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest occurred in the 200 block of West 12th Street, after a report that the vehicle Vela was driving had struck a tree outside 1122 S. Elm St. Vela was placed under arrest and transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Hernando Losoya, 33, 1607 Morris St., was arrested by police on April 29 on a charge of assault under the Family Violence Act, a Class A misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place after officers were called at 12:29 a.m. to Losoya’s home, where they said he had assaulted his wife, Edubigen Ocon, by pulling her hair, sitting on top of her on the couple’s bed, and then hitting her head into the bed’s headboard. Losoya was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Eric Mata, 19, of El Paso, was arrested by police on May 1 and charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrest took place after officers were called to 2300 Cactus St., in response to a disturbance. Mata was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Edna Rubio, 27, and Melissa Acosta Ortiz, 30, both of 417 S. Park St., were arrested on April 30 on a charge of assault under the Family Violence Act, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made after they were called to their home at 5:38 a.m., in response to a fight between Rubio and Ortiz. Both women were found to be at fault in the fight, and both were then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Rojelio Jimenez, 21, 2223 Missouri St., was arrested by police on April 27 and charged with public intoxication, enhanced to a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the arrest occurred at Seventh and Pecan streets. Jimenez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Geronimo Mendoza Hignojos of Barstow was arrested by police on April 27 and charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrested took place at 11:25 a.m. in an alleyway in the 300 block of South Orange Street. Hignojos was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Guillermo Gabaldon Jr., 30, 805 S. Hickory St., was arrested by police on April 26 on warrants charging him with disorderly conduct and failure to appear on the charge. Police said the arrest took place after Gabaldon was located in the Wal-Mart parking lot, at 1901 S. Cedar St., He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Cynthia M. Pando., 19, 612 S. Plum St., was arrested by police on April 26 on a warrant charging her with assault causing bodily injury, a Class A misdemeanor. Police said the warrant was served after Pando came into the Criminal Justice Center in response to the warrant, issued out of Pecos Municipal Court.

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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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