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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, June 29, 2007

Rodeo Parade award winners are announced

Riding groups, floats and antique cars were all a part of this year’s Annual West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade, held Wednesday morning in Pecos.

The parade took about 90 minutes to cover its 2 1/2-mile long route along West Third Street to downtown and then along Fifth, Oak and First streets around the West of the Pecos Museum before traveling down Cedar Street to the West of the Pecos Rodeo Grounds.

Winners were announced at the Reeves County Sheriff’s Posse Barn, where most participants stayed for a post-parade barbeque lunchA barbecue luncheon was also held at the Pecos Senior Citizen’s Center, for those who participated in the annual Old Timer’s Reunion, held at the museum in conjunction with the parade and the opening night of the 2007 West of the Pecos Rodeo.

The winners of the parade included: in the Golden Girl float division, Maritza Acosta first place and Golden Girl of the Old West Katherine Ramirez, second place.

In the Civic Clubs/Organizations, first place went to Primera Iglesia Bautista and second place to the West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee.

In the Commercial/Business: first place, American Home Health/Nursing Home Medical Equipment and second place, Brittany’s Brain Freeze.

Antique cars division: first place went to Ruben Tarango and second to Benny Patterson.

In the bicycles division: first, Out of Town Belles and second Joshua Matta.

Classic cars winner was Arturo Hinojos and second place, Sam and Vicky Austin.

In the Riding Groups: first place was Wally Moon and second, Taylor Family.

Complaints heard by council over trash, abandoned homes

Local residents were talking trash to the Town of Pecos City Council Monday evening - specifically, asking the city to do more with their current clean up efforts on trash and junked vehicles around town.

Council members heard from a series of local residents at the start their regular meeting on Monday about problems both on city and privately-owned properties. That included a request by Lupe Acosta for the city to place better dumpsters at Santa Rosa Cemetery and work more on cleaning up the east side site.

“And don’t tell me about the budget. Everything is budget, budget, budget,” Acosta said.

“There’s bound to be some way to help us out.”

She said she and her husband had cleaned up their family’s graves, but had to take the trash home because there were no dumpsters in the area.

“We’ve had this problem for many years,” said Andrea Natividad. “The trees need pruning. Nothing’s been done there.”

Other complaints involved abandoned homes on South Orange and

Council member and Pecos Mayor Dick Alligood noted that the council had limited ability to do clean-up work on private property, though property owners do have to meet city ordinances on maintaining their property. “If it’s out of code, we can handle it from there,” Alligood said.

“Right now I have 15 houses on my list that need to be knocked down, but we don’t have that crew,” said code enforcement officer Julio Quinones.

“The crews we had on the demolition projects have been moved on to the sewer project, water line project and construction crews,” said city manager Joseph Torres. He said the city was operating under a state grant to install or replace sewer lines on the north and east side of the city.

“We will get back on schedule, but we need to complete one project at a time,” he said. “We’ll be back on that, but just give us some time for this one project, and then we’ll get on the other project.”

The city’s public works director, Edgardo Madrid, told the council that the sewer project would take about two years to complete.

Council member Danny Rodriguez asked Torres about openings in the street department. Torres said there were currently two openings, due to retirements, but they have not found applicants yet who meet the city’s requirements for those positions. Madrid said when the street department was back up to full staffing, they would have a little spare time to resume the demolition of abandoned homes.

Alligood asked for contact information from those complaining about the trash problems. He also those with concerns about Santa Rosa to attend the next meeting of the Pecos Cemetery Board in early July to discuss her concerns, though he and Council member Frank Sanchez noted that because the cemetery is owned by Santa Rosa Church, they would have to have church members involved before any clean-up work could begin.

Lola Garcia asked the council to look into problems with a home and sno-cone stand owned by Freddie Martinez on the east side, in the 500 block of Martinez Street. Councilwoman Angelica Valenzuela noted some local residents were continuing to throw trash in alleys just after city crews had gone in to clean up those areas, creating new trash problems.

“We did it for the people as a service the first time. Then we’re asking them to keep in clean,” she said. “Some of them have abided by that. Some have refused to abide by that.”“What you all should do is start fining people. If they don’t keep their alleys clean, fine people,” Garcia said.

Quinones said he was working on issuing fines, and has talked to Martinez in the past about cleaning up his property, but that it was tough to catch all violators around Pecos. Alligood added that some violators simply go outside the city limits to illegally dump trash to get around in-town ordinances.

Sanchez suggested having people call Quinones to report illegal trash dumpers, and councilman Danny Rodriguez told the code enforcement officer he should go on KIUN’s Hotline to tell people about the rules against illegal dumping. “Everybody listens to it,” he said.

Local resident Bill Oglesby told the council they should put a phone number on city dumpsters and vehicles where people can call to report violations of city trash dumping laws or property maintenance rules, while Valenzuela mentioned the quarterly clean-up efforts by councilman Michael Benavides, who was not at Monday’s meeting.

“But turnout has been rather low,” she said. “This would be a good time to make announcements and to contact people.”

Council members were also asked by local resident Mildred Ferguson to install a speed bump on East 13th Street because of people failing to stop at the stop sign at Locust Street. “They just go through there and the kids from Bessie Haynes who live near the rodeo ground walk through there all the time,” she said.

Defending champs hold early leads at rodeo

The Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena could have used Buck Jackson and his megaphone for a little while Wednesday night, during the opening performance of the 2007 West of the Pecos Rodeo.Jackson for years used a megaphone to announce the rodeo while on horseback inside the arena, which reverted to the pre-speaker system days for about 30 minutes on Wednesday night. A problem with the transformer knocked out power to the press box, taking the public address, music system and scoreboard out with it just prior to the start of ladies’ barrel racing.

The power loss was blamed on a bull, which won a battle with a guide wire next to the pole with the transformer. The bull was in a temporary pen constructed due to an increase in the number of rodeo stock at this year’s show, and rubbed up against the wire, causing it to break and come in contact with the transformer on top of the pole, shorting it out.

But the rest of the arena’s power remained on, and power was restored for announcer Benje Bendele just after the start of bull riding, though Bendele had to abandon his horse and wireless mic and work from inside the press box’s temporary set-up for the rest of the show.

The final rider of the night in bull riding, Fred Boettcher, ended up taking the early lead in that event, scoring 88 points on board Ruby Rip, four points higher than Cooper Kenngiesser, who scored 84 points as the night’s first bull rider, on board Rock Star.

Defending National Finals Rodeo bareback riding champion Bobby Mote took a step towards adding onto his lead in the 2007 lead, scoring 84 points on Black Magic to take the lead in that event on the opening night in Pecos, while nine-time NFR qualifier Jesse Bail owns a one-point lead in the saddle bronc riding competition, with three nights to go in this year’s show.

The 2007 West of the Pecos Rodeo continued on Thursday with “Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night’, with proceeds going to help area cancer victims with the cost of their treatments. It concludes with Friday and Saturday’s performances, with all three shows scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena.

Mote’s score was three points more than Chris Harris and Chad Mask, who scored 81 points on Broken Dreams and Grass Dancer respectively. Tyson Thompson was the only other bareback rider to score 80 points or more on Wednesday, earning an 80 for his ride on Doll House.

Four of the six cowboys who scored points in bull riding surpassed the 80-point mark. Along with Boettcher and Kenngiesser, Ardie Maier had an 82-point ride on Tongue Twister, and defending NFR champion bull rider B.J. Schumacher scored 81 points with an eight-second ride on Spyro.

Two other defending NFR champions hold the lead in their events entering the final go-rounds. Cody Ohl, the 2006 tie-down roping champion, won the first go-round with an 8.5 second time, and leads in the second go-round at 8.6 seconds. His first go-round win was worth $2,440, and his combined 17.1 second time is more than two second up on Blair Burk, who pocketed $2,122 for his second place finish in the first go-round, with an 8.9 second time.

Defending NFR steer roping and All-Around champ Trevor Brazile won the first go-round in steer roping on Monday, while Guy Allen, who has won the title 18 times, took first in the second go-round, just ahead of Brazile. The four-time All Around winner in Pecos had an 11.5 second time to win the first go and $1,757, and cut 1.1 seconds off that time in the second go-round, but was beaten out by Allen, who placed first with a 10.1 second effort, the best so far in the rodeo.

Allen also earned $1,757 and was eighth in the first go-round, earning another $153, while Brazile and the runner-up in the first go-round, Chris Glover with a 12.2 second time, picked up $1,528.Lawson Plemons’ 10.7 second time on Wednesday night was good enough to give him the early lead in the third go-round, while Rod Hartness is second, at 11.9 seconds. Plemons earlier was fourth in the first go-round, but the average leader after three attempts is Cash Myers, who placed fifth in the first and second go-rounds with 13.2 and 12.7 times, and stands seventh in the third go-round with a 13.4 time.

His combined 39.3 time put him ahead of Buster Record, who tied Myers for fifth in the first go-round and is at a combined 40.3 seconds. He’s currently third in the third go-round at 12.2 seconds. J.R Olsen, third in the second go-round at 10.5 seconds, is third in the average as well, at 40.3 seconds.

Brazile has already picked up over $6,000 at the West of the Pecos Rodeo in his two events, as he seeks his fifth All-Around title here. He and partner Patrick Smith were second in the first go-round of team roping, with a 7.3 time and earned $1,941. The team of Chaise Burleson and Trey Cruz won the opening go with a 6.4 second effort and earned $2.232.

A full list of the second go round and average leaders was not available, due to the power problems on Wednesday, but Chance Kelton and J.D. Yates tied their steer in seven seconds flat, to tie Chad Masters and Allen Bach for the lead, with three performances remaining.

The electrical problems during Wednesday’s show left the barrel racers performing in relative silence and anonymity while a portable generator was brought in to restore the PA system, before full power was restored by Texas-New Mexico Power Co. crews later during bull riding. Of the barrel racers who did compete, Kelly Maben had the best time, a 17.76 effort, but that was only good enough for fifth place. Terra Bynum of Colorado City, who rode during slack competition, holds the lead with a 17.44 time, while Bennette Barrington of Lubbock is second, at 17.51 seconds.

A trio of cowboys are tied for the lead in the second go-round of steer wrestling. Gerald Pasley, Will Scroggins and Clayton Haas all took down their steers in 4.8 seconds, while the best time so far was posted by first go-round winner Casey Martin, at 4.2 seconds. That earned him $1,827, while Mike Dickey was second with a 4.7 time, worth $1,512.

Matt Reeves, Rowdy Cooper and Jeremiah Peek tied for third in the first go-round at 5.1 seconds. Paisley’s combined 10.1 second is the best so far, while Myers, sixth in the second go with a 5.3 time, is next, with a combined 11.2 second time on his two attempts.

County loses final section of water suit

Reeves County suffered another loss in court on Wednesday in their effort to block efforts by the Town of Pecos City to charge the county higher water and sewer rates, based on changes to the city’s rate structure approved in December of 2005.

A district judge in Austin affirmed a ruling by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that affirmed the city’s right to increase the rates it was charging customers, including Reeves County, owner of the Reeves County Detention Center, the single largest water user in the county.

Darlene Byrne presiding judge for the 345th District Court, issued her ruling following a hearing in Austin on Wednesday.

“After reviewing the record, and after hearing arguments and briefing of counsel, the Court finds that the decision of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality should be affirmed,” Byrne wrote in her three-paragraph judgment.

“If they want to spend more money they can appeal it, but this will be the third time the courts have ruled on behalf of the city,” said Town of Pecos City Mayor Dick Alligood, one of several city officials who made the trip to Austin in support of the TECQ in Wednesday’s hearing.

Alligood said the lawsuit had been “a waste of taxpayers’ money,” after the initial TECQ ruling in favor of the city’s higher water and sewer rates.

Reeves County had sued to challenge both the city’s right to raise its water and sewer rates, and then on the TECQ’s decision to side with the city in the initial state hearing. Byrne held a two-day hearing in early February, after which she dismissed the county’s charges of breach of contract by the city, when it sharply increased all municipal water rates in December of 2005.

Byrne also ruled that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality did have jurisdiction to rule in favor of the city in its dispute with the county. “Further, the Court finds that the Town of Pecos City’s Motion to Dismiss for Want of Jurisdiction should be granted as to Plaintiff’s declaratory judgment claims and claims of damages,” she wrote in her Feb. 9 ruling.

The judge did deny the city’s claim that the court did not have jurisdiction over the county’s appeal of the TECQ ruling, which led to Wednesday’s hearing in Austin.

The city raised rates in order to fund state-mandated improvements to the city’s water and sewer systems. Rates for most customers doubled over the previous levels, and then-city finance director Sam Contreras, now Reeves County Judge, said the increases also affect city offices and other city-owned sites around town.

The suit was filed by then-County Judge Jimmy Galindo and Reeves County Commissioners against both the city and the TECQ, after an agency examiner last year ruled in favor of the city. Galindo left office in December and was replaced by Contreras, who was out of town on Thursday and unavailable for comment.

During a 2005 public hearing prior to the increases, Galindo said the city had failed to prepare for the future costs of new water-related construction projects, and had been using water fees to balance its general fund.

Reeves County is currently paying the first 10-years on a 20-yard loan taken out by the city to fund development of the South Worsham Water Field, on which the city will assume bond payments in 2011. Galindo said by spending the money on regular city operations, the council was taking away funds that should be used on the upcoming water and sewer projects.

Rodeo Hall project gets Dukes’ donation

A Pecos family has made a generous donation to a project that community members have been working on for the past several years.

The Duke family made a generous donation to the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame in memory of Jack Duke.

A special plaque will hang in the museum honoring Duke, longtime owner of Colt Chevrolet in Pecos, along with other donors.

The Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame will be housed in the former Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot, across the street from the West of the Pecos Museum. Preliminary work has been done on renovating the nearly 100-year-old depot, but the project is still seeking funds to work on the interior and exterior of the building.

The Dukes’ gift will kick off a special fundraiser that will enable the board to finish out the front of the building, thus getting the building open to the public featuring memorabilia from all previous inductees.

Jack Duke was always a very local supporter of the West of the Pecos Rodeo. For many years, his cooking expertise fed the out of town cowboys and he later fed over 400 people on “appreciation” night. Anytime that you saw his special-made cooker set up, you knew that you would be in for a treat.

Jack and his son Kevin were responsible for planting all the trees around the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena, and took it on their own to add the automatic watering system. Kevin and Colt Chevrolet remain one of the rodeo’s major local sponsors.

Former WTNB president Grant moves to new job

John Grant, president of West Texas National Bank for the past seven years, is leaving his job to take a new position as president of a bank north of Austin.

J.L. Davis, Chairman of the Board for West Texas National Bank, announced on Tuesday that Grant will be leaving the Pecos branch to become president of Schwertner State Bank in Schwertner. “It’s near Jarrell,” Grant said on Wednesday. “It’s a lot different from West Texas.”

“Schwertner is located north of Georgetown, Texas, just off I-35, in the fastest growing area of Texas, with over 50 percent of the population in Texas living in the I-35 corridor,” Davis said in a press release. He expressed his sincere thanks for the 7 1/2 years of service by Grant in Pecos, and wished him continued success in his new location.

Paul Hinojos was named to replace Grant as President of the Pecos Branch. Hinojos had served as a WTNB vice-president under Grant, before being appointed president of the bank’s branch in Kermit.

Dominguez receives Bachelor’s Degree from Tech

Franchesca M. Dominguez received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

Proud parents are Rumaldo Dominguez Jr. of Odessa and Rosa Avila of Lubbock.

Paternal grandparents are Rumaldo and Flora Dominguez of Pecos.

Maternal grandparents are the late Manuel Avila and the late Ofelia Avila of Barstow.

Rodriguez plans Pecos trip, monthly rep visits

Area residents will have the opportunity to get help with their Social Security, Medicare and Veterans benefits, along with passports and other items, through a representative of the area’s new congressman, who plans his own visit to Pecos on Saturday.

Cesar Blanco, field representative for Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez, was in Pecos on Tuesday and will be back in town each month.

“Congressman Rodriguez is a very hands-on type of individual and wants to be available to his constituents,” said Blanco.

Blanco said that he has been traveling for the past week and half, as part of the Congressman’s mobile team.

“What I do is I set up in an office and take requests, complaints , questions, from the public,” said Blanco. “The congressman wants to make sure that the public is taken care of and that they receive the held that they need,” he said.0

Rodriguez, a San Antonio Democrat, set up an office earlier this year in Fort Stockton, after defeating Republican Henry Bonilla in his bid for re-election last December.

Rodriguez will be in Pecos on Saturday and will be on hand at the West of the Pecos Rodeo, but Blanco said that the congressman realized that it was a long drive to where his office is located, which led to the decision to set up the monthly visits. This way individuals have an opportunity to voice their opinions to the congressman himself, through his team.

“He wants to make sure that they have access to him and that he hears from them,” said Blanco.

Blanco said that his trip began in El Paso County and he traveled on down through West Texas.

“There’s a lot of little towns in West Texas and we’ll try to stop at as many of them as we can,” he said.

Blanco said that it’s a very large district and that this was a way of bringing his office to his constituents instead of them going to him.

“I’ll be coming to Pecos with the mobile team, once a month,” said Blanco. “We don’t know which days, yet, this was our first trip and we’re going to work on a schedule.”

Talent search group plans Pecos stop

A representative for the Talent Search Program will be on hand at 6 p.m., Sunday, July 10, at Crockett Middle School.

At that time individuals can get an application, fill it out and sign it.

The group is looking for 100 middle school students; 150 high school and 45 sixth grade students.

For more information contact Sam Anchondo at 432-294-2325 or 432-445-7714.

Cemetery committee seeks deed info

Fairview Cemetery Committee is asking the public for copies of any deeds or certificates they may have for their family plots located within the cemetery .

This will help the group in remapping the cemetery up to date.

Copies can be faxed to 432-445-6670; Attn. To the city secretary, Town of Pecos City.

Copies may also be mailed to Town of Pecos City, P.O. Box 929, Pecos, Tx. 79772.

Casillas wins in pretty baby contest

Jennesis Casillas, of Odessa participated and won second place in Walmart's Pretty Baby Contest. The contest was done in an effort to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network. There were 28 contestants participating in the contest with the goal of raising the most money for the organization. Casillas is pictured here with Assistant Manager Carlos Casa and her mother Laura.

Casillas recieved a gift card to spend at walmart and also recieved a Dora the Explorer Patio Set and also will recieve a trophy. Jennesis is the daughter of Joseph and Laura Casillas of Odessa and the granddaughter of Mickey and Jane Marquez of Pecos.

Guerra receives scholarship from foundation

A Pecos High School student has received a scholarship from an area college that will enable him to further his education while staying in the area.

Ramiro M. Guerra, a 2007 Pecos High School graduate, was awarded a four-year scholarship worth $7,600 to attend Midland College and The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Guerra plans to major in computer science.

He is the son of Ramiro and Grace Guerra.

Permian Honor Scholarship Foundation, Inc. celebrates 30 years of awards this year.

Since 1977, the foundation has awarded 2,347 area students with scholarships totaling $5.4 million. Permian Honor Scholarship Foundation, Inc. a private foundation was established by J. Conrad and Kathlyn Cosper Dunagan, to provide scholarships to area high school graduates in order for them to remain in the Permian Basin for their higher education.

Permian Honor Scholarsip Foundation, Inc. has announced its 2007 scholarship recipients. This year, the foundation awarded scholarships totaling $298,000 to Permian Basin students who wish to pursue their education at Howard College in Big Spring, Midland College, New Mexico Jr. College in Hobbs, Odessa College and The University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa.

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

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