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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, June 13, 2008

Chamber given update on plans for rodeo events

Tickets for next Friday’s Annual Golden Girl/Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant are on sale and can be purchased at the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce office.

“The tickets are on sale now, we have been working really hard and things are coming along great,” said Gail Box, during the regular Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce meeting, held this past Tuesday.

Tickets can be purchased at the chamber office, located at 111 S. Cedar or from any Golden Girl or Little Miss Cantaloupe contestant, for $15 each.

“We had to go up on the price, but we hope everyone can make it,” said Box. “The Lion’s Club will be helping us, but we only have one out of town belle at this time.”

Box said that if anybody knows of a young lady from out of town that would like to participate to talk to Emma Workman, who is in charge of the out-of-town belles, at West Texas National Bank.

The West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade is scheduled for 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 25, in downtown Pecos.

“The rodeo is just two and half weeks away,” said president of the rodeo committee Joe Keese. “The billboards are up and posters being picked up and usually sponsors wait until the last minute.”

He said that the committee has been losing sleep over the number of cowboys that will be attending, because that is what makes the purse. But that the final numbers weren’t as bad as first feared.

“We had moved ours back to bring in more cowboys and then Reno scheduled theirs on top of us,” said Keese. “But we still have about 613 cowboys that will be attending, 650 entries, because some of them go two to three times,” he said.

Keese said that this speaks a lot for the tradition of Pecos.

“With the cost of gas we didn’t know if a lot of them would be willing to make the round trip and still come down here,” he said.

Keese added that they still need volunteers, especially for Saturday night.

The Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame project is coming along really well and an induction ceremony is planned for Friday, June 27.

The inductions will be held at the Hall of Fame’s planned site in the former Missouri-Pacific Railroad depot at 11 a.m., and a barbecue luncheon will be held starting at 11:30 a.m.

“We’d like for everyone to come out and see our display cases and eat some lunch,” said Keese. “Come out and see what we’ve been doing at the depot.”

Leo Hung told the group that they were having a groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m., Friday, Aug. 8, at the site of Hung’s new hotel on Interstate 20 east of Country Club Drive.

The name of the new facility will be Country Inn and Suites by Carlson and the brand is the Flagship, according to Hung.

“It will have 65 rooms and include a sports bar and food court,” said Hung. “We will be sending out invitations.”

Al LaRochelle, Reeves County Hospital Administrator, told chamber directors that it’s been a rough road, but that things are looking up for the medical clinic that has been planned, and will be located next to the hospital. The hospital is expected to make a decision on the 20,000 square foot clinic’s location in early July.

“We have three physicians that will be coming in and three that are interested,” said LaRochelle.

LaRochelle said that they are currently looking for another Physician’s Assistant and four physical therapists.

“We no longer have an optometrist and that’s something that I will be discussing with the (hospital) board and see if they want to try to bring one in or leave it to the private sector,” said LaRochelle. He said he wanted some input as to whether the city needed an optometrist, and what steps need to be taken.

“I welcome all suggestions or ideas, but I do think we need one in town,” he said. “We’ll have two dentists and two hygienists that will be coming in also.”

LaRochelle said that he felt that this was something that was really needed in the community, especially as preventive medicine. “And from a monetary standpoint we need to do something to bring in good healthcare for everyone,” he said.

He said that he didn’t know if the Physician’s Assistant, Michele Cser if she was going back to work. Cser, who took medical leave at the end of May, has been here for 14 years.

“Right now she’s on medical leave and we won’t know until four to six weeks if she’s coming back,” said LaRochelle. “We’re looking at different things.”

Reeves County Judge Sam Contreras told the group that the venue tax committee is in the organizational stage.

?“We’re trying to see in what direction we need to go,” said Contreras. “People won’t see a lot of changes at this year’s rodeo, but we’re hoping that by next year there will be some improvements,” he said.

The venue tax will be used to make some much-needed repairs to the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena and the Reeves County Civic Center.

Details sought on old cemetery north of Pecos

An epidemic of typhoid fever is blamed for the deaths of many children and others buried a cemetery named “Pantheon Lara” about 14 miles north of Pecos.

Lupe Villela, whose family has used the burial site since 1919, said her grandfather owned the ranch at that time.

“People were dying, especially children, and they buried them there,” said Villela of the little hill on land now owned by Cole Armstrong.

Villela is asking anyone who has family buried there to meet at the cemetery next month to help locate their graves so that names can be placed on white metal crosses that mark each grave.

Her mother, Juana Lara Chabarria, spoke often about the family plot, where Laras and their extended family fill the majority of spaces.

“We know where they are because we have kept their graves up,” said Villela. Included are her grandparents and great-grandparents, aunts and uncles on the Lara side.

“There are a lot of unmarked graves,” she said. Her cousin, Mike Lara, made the crosses, but they do not have names.

“There’s a lot of other people there, not just our family,” Villela said. “Ranchers and farmers used it. Any of those that lost their children due to the fever are buried there. There are a lot of little graves.”

Family members have cleaned the fenced area that once was overgrown with weeds and mesquite bushes.

“It is looking a lot better,” she said. “Now we need a name on the crosses.”

She hopes to have a day of dedication and mapping the gravesites in July at a date to be announced.

“We still have rights to the cemetery. We are still using it,” said Villela.

Noise Lara is the latest to be interred. She died in May.

Other interments include Gomez, Ramirez and Carrasco families, Villela said. She is asking anyone who knows anything about the graves to call her at 445-5292.

Hospital runaway runs into armed homeowner

An Odessa man who ran away from at Reeves County Hospital Monday night was later returned to the hospital by ambulance, after being held at gunpoint by a homeowner whose house he broke into while being sought by local law enforcement officers.

Ismael Ramirez Reyes, 33, of Odessa, was ranting at police and Pecos EMS workers as he was wheeled out of the back yard of the home of Lloyd and Lori Hughes, 2331 Wyoming St., after he crashed through the window on the north side of their home about 11 p.m. on Monday. Reyes was held at gunpoint by Lloyd Hughes, who said he had to fire one shot past Reyes when he got up and started coming towards him, after being chased out of the home and into Hughes’ back yard.

“We got a call a little after 11 p.m.,” said Pecos Police Capt. Kelly Davis. “Officers were advised the homeowner was detaining a male subject at gunpoint.”

Hughes said he had returned home between 8:30 and 9 p.m. and had gone to sleep. His wife was in the living room area when Reyes crashed through the plate glass window, cutting himself while also knocking over a lamp and other furniture.

Hughes said after he heard his wife scream, he got a gun out of the bedroom and confronted Reyes.

“After I found him in the house, I got him on the porch out there,” he said. “He laid down because I had the gun on him, but then he got up and acted like he was coming towards me.”

Hughes had called 911 then, and was on-line with police when he fired a shot past Reyes to stop his approach.

“I figured that would get his attention, and it did,” he said.

Reyes got back on the ground until police arrived a short time later. Officers and EMS workers then strapped him down to a gurney for transport back to Reeves County Hospital, where he was treated for the cuts suffered by breaking through the window.

Davis said officials were looking for Reyes in the area around the hospital at the time he broke into the Hughes’ home. “When we first encountered him, he was outside the ER,” he said.

Reyes reportedly had been brought to the emergency room by his girlfriend, but Davis said, “He didn’t want to go to the hospital, so he left. Shortly after that, he was trying to break into the house.”

“That night Mr. Reyes made some statements to police officers that he was under the influence of a substance,” police chief Clay McKinney said.

“Right now we’re pursuing burglary charges,” Davis said. Along with burglary of a habitation, a second-degree felony, Reyes was also charged with criminal trespass, a Class A misdemeanor, and criminal mischief over $50 and under $500, a Class B misdemeanor.

McKinney said the case would be brought to 143rd District Attorney Randy Reynolds, who would have the final decision on whether or not to seek further charges against Reyes.

City’s June sales tax rebate up 33 percent from last year

The Town of Pecos City’s sales tax check for June was again up sharply compared to the same period a year ago, according to figures released on Wednesday by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ office.

Pecos’ 1 1/2-cent share of Texas’ 8 1/4-cent sales tax, based on tax receipts collected during the month of April totaled $174,552, a 33.07 percent rise from last year, when the city got $131,166 back from Austin. Out of the 1 1/2 cent tax rebate, 1/4-cent, or $29,092, will go to the Pecos Economic Development Corp., for its operations.

Percentage-wise, Pecos’ monthly increases are down from the first quarter of 2008, when the city’s tax rebates surged by as much as 83 percent from the previous year. The slowing was because the sharp increases in the city’s tax rebate checks didn’t start until the second quarter of 2007, and overall for the first six months of the year, Pecos has still seen a 53.78 percent increase in tax rebates. The city has gotten back $970,738 so far in 2008, versus $631,247 at this time last year.

Tax rebate collections have more than doubled for the city since the start of the energy-drilling boom in 2004. Pecos’ 12-month tax rebate totals in the early part of the decade averaged just over $750,000.

June’s sales tax rebate numbers for Balmorhea and Toyah showed even bigger increases. Balmorhea reported a 33.74 percent increase in its 1 1/2-cent tax rebate check, which rose from $2,370 to $3,169. For the first half of the year, Balmorhea got back $18,352 from the comptroller’s office, a 22 percent increase over last year’s $15,041 total. Toyah’s June rebate check for $932 was up just under 86 percent from a year ago, when the city got $501 back from Austin. For the year, Toyah has received $4,923, up 27.93 percent from last year’s $3,848 in tax rebates.

Meanwhile, the Reeves County Hospital District received its first-ever monthly check over $100,000 from Austin. The hospital’s 1/2-cent sales tax brought in $101,496, a 75.74 percent increase from last June’s $57,751 total. The hospital has collected $536,153 so far in 2008, up 85.13 percent from the $289,594 it had gotten back from Combs’ office at the midpoint of 2007.

Tax rebate totals were up for almost all of the cities in the Permian Basin and Trans-Pecos. The main oil and natural gas exploration areas and the Basin’s two main business hubs showed the biggest gains in sales tax receipts, well ahead of the statewide average of an 8 percent rise in tax rebate totals from June of a year ago.

Midland’s June check from its 1 1/2-cent sales tax was up 22.84 percent from last year, and at $2.92 million again was the largest single check sent out for the area. Overall for 2008, the city has seen a 10.67 percent rise in its sales tax totals. Odessa’s 1 1/4-cent share of the state’s sales tax share brought in just under $1.9 million in June, an increase of 20.63 percent, while for the year, Odessa is up 8.91 percent.

For other cities collecting the 1 1/2-cent sales tax, Alpine received a $95,765 check, which was up 31.72 percent, its largest increase of the year. The check moved Alpine into the black for 2008, with a 3 percent rise in tax rebates from the first half of 2007. Crane received a check for $54,642, a 14.77 percent rise, while the city is up 24.23 percent overall this year. Lamesa got a $79,195 check back this month, which was up 0.64 percent, and its half-year total is up 11.69 percent. Seminole received a check for $83,892, which was up 3.96 percent from last June, while overall, its 2008 totals are up 7.85 percent.

Among cities collecting a one-cent sales tax Kermit received $37,162 and was one of the few cities to show a drop from last year, falling 8.46 percent this month. However, Kermit is still up 18.54 percent this year. Wickett received a $17,800 check, up 97.17 percent this month and 80.48 percent for the year; Wink received a check for $10,483, up 210.47 percent for the month and 93.87 percent for the year;and Pyote, received an $817 check this month, a 67.32 percent drop from last June, but the city is still up 40.55 percent for the year.

For area cities collecting a 1 3/4-cent sales tax, Andrews received a check for $310,353, a 31.90 percent increase for the month, while its six-month total is up 14.23 percent. Marfa got a check for $18,436, which was up 10.53 percent, and boosted its rise for the year to 7.82 percent, while Van Horn got a check for $29,386, which was up 9.39 percent from a year ago. However, the city, which gets much of its sales taxes from traffic along Interstate 10, is still down 8.58 percent from 2007.

For cities collecting the maximum two-cent sales tax, Fort Stockton received $218,362 this month, up 42.22 percent, while the city is up 41.16 percent overall this year. Big Spring received $451,191, a 12.19 percent rise for the month, moving the city to a 2.48 percent increase for the year. Monahans received a check for $160,558, which was up 49.75 percent from last June and improved the city’s half-year increase to 18.01 percent. Grandfalls got a $2,363 check, up 11.75 percent for the month, while overall for 2008, the city is up 5.8 percent, and Presidio received $38,985 this month from Austin, up 25.78 percent from last June. Overall, Presidio still is down 2.65 percent in its tax rebates from a year ago.

Statewide, Combs’ office sent out rebate checks totaling $306.4 million, compared with the $283.7 million rebated last year. Houston’s check for just under $39 million again was the largest single check and was up 11.39 percent from last year, while Dallas’ check was next, with a $16.9 million check, which increased 1.3 percent from last June.

Gonzales, McKinney announce August wedding plans

Mr. and Mrs. Rudy Gonzales and Mr. and Mrs. Clay McKinney announce the engagement and approaching marriage of their children, Ana Lisa and Clay Ryon.

The couple will exchange vows in a double ring ceremony at 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 16, at Saint Catherine’s Catholic Church in Pecos. The bride-to-be is a graduate of Pecos High School and the University of Texas at the Permian Basin. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and is currently employed by Natural Gas Services Group in Midland.

The prospective groom graduated from Pecos High School and attended Odessa College. He is employed by Compressor Systems, Inc. in Midland.

Maternal grandparents are the late Mr. and Mrs. Pabo Rivera and Mr. Rodolfo and the late Ysidra Gonzales of Barstow.

Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. M.C. Martinez, Jr. of Pecos and Mrs. Jean McKinney and the late Clayton McKinney of Midland.

The couple plans to make their home in Midland.

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.


Hector Jose Perez, 30, 921 s. Walnut St., was arrested by police on June 1 on charges of public intoxication and escape from custody, a Class A misdemeanor. Police said Perez was arrested on the first charge at 605 S. Mesquite St., at 7:35 p.m., but broke out the back window of the police vehicle he was being transported in and tried to run away from the arresting officer. Perez was recaptured and then completed his trip to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Maribel Valles Salgado, 33, and Amador Carrasco Salgado, 41, both of 518 S. Walnut St., were arrested by police on June 2 on charges of assault under the Family Violence Act. Police said the arrests were made after officers were called to the couple’s home, when Maribel Salgado allegedly threw a shovel at her husband, hitting her in the arm, and she allegedly pushed Amador Salgado to the ground. Both were then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Enrique Lara, 52, 1502 Cowan St., was arrested by police on May 31 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest occurred after officers were called to the 1200 block of South Plum Street at 1:03 a.m. on a report of an intoxicated subject. Lara was located in the 1400 block of South Plum, placed under arrest and was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Camilio Salgado, 63, 515 S. Almond St., was arrested by police on May 31 on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest was made at 12:16 a.m. in the 300 block of South Mesquite Street, and Salgado was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Pilar Chavez Jr., 30, 2302 Country Club Dr., was arrested by police on June 9 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place in the 2300 block of Country Club, after police were called to Reeves County Hospital in response to a disturbance. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Emilio Acosta Jr., 27, 2014 Scott St., was arrested by police on June 9 on a warrant charging him with making alcohol available to minors. Police said the arrest was made following a traffic stop at 2:21 p.m. in the 500 block of South Maple Street, when a records check turned up the outstanding warrant. Acosta was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Ciro Baltierra Ortiz, 59, 1332 Leader St., was arrested by police on June 10 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made after a vehicle being driven by Ortiz was stopped for driving erratically at 6:32 p.m. in the 100 block of West ‘F’ Street. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Bianca Janel Lujan, 19, 2314 Cothrun St., was arrested by police on June 7 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made at 3:24 a.m. in the 400 block of South Elm Street, and Lujan was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Pilar Chavez Jr., 30, 1829 Missouri St., was arrested by police on June 8 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place in the 100 block of South Cypress Street, and Chavez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Andrea Ortiz, 22, 2324 Sage St., Apt. A, was arrested by police on June 7 on charges of possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor, and possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), a State Jail Felony. Police said they were called to Ortiz’s home in response to a report of a family disturbance, and then discovered the cocaine and drug paraphernalia. She was placed under arrest and then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Mario Rico Jasso, 21, 616 S. Eddy St., was arrested by police on June 7 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made at 2:44 a.m. at the Town and Country Food Store, 800 W. Palmer St., and Jasso was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


John Monroe Flora, 17, 1517 Cowan St, was arrested by police on charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrest was made on June 5, after officers were dispatched to the emergency room at Reeves County Hospital, where they were told Flora had broken one of the glass doors to the main lobby. He was placed under arrest and was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Angela Salazar Corrales, 21, 1230 S. Oak St., was arrested by police on June 5 on warrants charging her with failure to pay fines on two previous charges of no driver’s license and one of no valid insurance. The arrest was made at 7:30 p.m. at Wal-Mart, 1903 S. Cedar St., and Corrales was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.

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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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