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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, July 6, 2007

Police probe incident of shots fired

Pecos police are investigating a report of shots fired outside a home on South Cherry Street early Sunday morning, though police said it doesn’t appear as if any bullets were fired at nearby homes.

Police said they were called at 2:25 a.m. about the incident, which took place outside 809 S. Cherry Street. “Officers arrived and witnesses said two vehicles were involved in the incident,” said Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney. “The witnesses said at least one subject fired one shot while in front of the residence, and the vehicle then fled the scene.”

McKinney said the two vehicles were described as a four-door gray vehicle and a white vehicle, but that there were no suspects as of now.

“Officers fond one spent .22 caliber shell casing and one bullet fragment,” McKinney said. “The shell was in the roadway and the fragment was found in the street, so it’s possible that the shot was fired into the pavement.”

Departing doc won’t cut back dialysis center

The doctor in charge of the kidney dialysis center at Reeves County Hospital will be leaving his job later this month. But operations will remain on their regular schedule, hospital administrator Al LaRochelle said, with the hospital sharing a doctor with another dialysis center in Denver City.

Dr. K.M.L.S.T. Moorthi, who has been the physician in charge of the dialysis center since it opened three years ago, has announced he’ll be closing his practice in Pecos in two weeks. When he leaves, LaRochelle said Dr. Amir Memon would be taking his place as the doctor in charge of the facility.

“We signed a contract with Dr. Memon. He will be coming in about two times a month and then he’ll be coming in after a couple of months 3-4 times a month,” LaRochelle said. “He’s known to us because when Dr. Moorthi has been out of town he’s been coming in from Denver City.

“He’ll be covering the Denver City dialysis unit, and he’ll cover us also,” he added.

The dialysis center was built in 2004 as part of an expansion by the hospital. Hopes were that it would attract patients from around the Trans-Pecos region. But the center has struggled to bring in patients, though the numbers have increased over the past year.

“We’re up to 33 (patients) right now, and I think we can make it work, but it’s extremely labor-intensive, and it’s hard to get labor right now,” LaRochelle told the Reeves County Hospital District’s board of directors in May.

LaRochelle said on Tuesday that they planned no disruptions with the impending change in doctors. He added that while Dr. Moorthi’s practice officially will end on July 12, he’ll work here for a period during August to cover for Dr. Orville Cerna, while he’s on vacation.

An ad in today’s Enterprise informs patients that records can be picked up at the doctor’s office through July 31, or at the hospital after that date. It also notes that Dr. Memon will supervise the dialysis center after Dr. Moorthi’s departure.

The hospital already has been searching for replacements for Dr. Haitham Jifi, who closed his practice in Pecos last June, and Dr. Olaide “Dele” Olusanya, who left in December to move to Dallas. They’ve also been hoping to eventually add to the overall medical staff at the facility, but LaRochelle said attracting doctors has been a problem for hospitals throughout Texas.

“Everybody’s looking. I’ve talked with folks in all areas of the state, and they’re all looking,” he said, adding that delays in getting new doctors approved by the Texas Board of Medical Examiners has contributed to the problem.

“They’ve got all kinds of applicants, but it takes so long to get through, and that’s if you’re from out-of-state. If you get someone from in-state, you’re just robbing somebody else to cover yourself,” he said.

The hospital is continuing to interview physicians from out of state, but LaRochelle said, “You never know until they finally decide. We’ve got two in from Iowa and one is coming down from Chicago to look. We’ve got one this Friday and we’ve got another one next Saturday, so it isn’t for a lack of effort.

“The first thing they want to know is where the clinic is. Then they want to know about housing and then about the schools. If there’s any problem with those things, it can be an instant deal-breaker,” he said.

Fireworks used to start fire at library

Pecos Volunteer Fire Department crews and local law enforcement officials were called out early Thursday morning after fireworks were used to start a fire inside the Reeves County Library, the second major vandalism incident there in the past four months.

The damage to the library at Fifth and Park streets forced the facility to shut down for two days due to the vandalism, which caused smoke damage inside the building.

“We want everyone to know that the library will be closed Thursday and Friday, because of some damage that occurred to the library in the morning hours of the holiday,” said Reeves County Librarian Sally Perry.

Fire trucks were dispatched to the library at about 2 a.m., Thursday morning after a smoke alarm went off inside the building.

“They sent out two fire trucks and the fire was contained quickly,” said Town of Pecos City Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire.

Brookshire said that someone had dropped fireworks in the night book drop, located in the back of the library, causing it to ignite.

“It was a small fire, in a cardboard box, but there was some smoke damage, some minor damage to the floor and smoke damage to the wall,” said Brookshire.

Perry said that she was very upset about the vandalism at the library, which is not the first time.

The front door window of the library was broken out by a bb gun and two other windows damaged sometime between 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 12 and 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 13. Pecos Police Investigator Capt. Kelly Davis said damage to the windows was put at $460.

Brookshire said that he was going to talk to Pecos Police Officer Mike Balog and try to put the latest library vandalism incident on the Crimestoppers list.

If anyone has any information about this incident they are urged to contact the Pecos Police Department at 445-4911 or the fire marshal at 445-2421.

Jones receives law degree in May

Ayanna Sterling Jones, granddaughter of the late Saul B. Roquemore Sr. and Daisy Roquemore received her Juris Doctor degree in law from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama on May 19.

Jones graduated from Central Gwennett High School in Lawrenceville, Ga. In 1998 and went on to attend Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.

She graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in International Business in 2002.

Jones is married to Devinne M. Jones and they have a daughter, Kaylinne Monet.

After taking the bar exam in July, she will begin work with the Gwinnett District Attorney’s office in Lawrenceville.

She is the daughter of Huntley and Fridria Carter Sterling.

Her mother grew up in Pecos and graduated from Pecos High School in 1967.

Davis spends time in Pecos during rodeo events

Ora Mae Davis, 101 years old, and her son, Jim Davis of Kermit had the opportunity to see the 125th West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade.The two were guests of Bill and Sib Higginbotham of Pecos.

Ora Mae is the sister of the late Annie B. Hollis of Pecos.

Davis was born June 22, 1906, in Stanton, the daughter of an early Jal homesteader, J.H. and Bessie Medlin.

She attended a teacher’s college or normal school, and started teaching in a two-room school in Jal.

Davis taught all grades and all subjects.

In 1930, she married George Davis, who died in 1993 at the age of 98.

She ended her teaching career to raise a family of four boys, the oldest thee of whom attended Jal schools.

The family lived in Jal until 1949, when they moved to Cisco, where they purchased and operated a motel.

Eventually, they moved to Kermit in 1976.

The boys are George, of Gainesville, Leland E. of St. Cloud, Minn.; Jim of Kermit, and Glenn of Hartford, Conn.

She has seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.

Crawford graduates from Texas A&M

Lonnie Gus “Gito” Crawford IV graduated from Texas A&M University on May 12 with a Bachelor of Animal Science.

He is a 2001 graduate of Pecos High School.

Crawford is the son of Lonnie Gus III and Diana Mendoza Crawford of Houston.

Maternal grandparents are Marcus and Georgia Espinosa Mendoza of Pecos.

Paternal grandparents are the late Lonnie Gus Jr. and Tommie J. Crawford of Cleburne.

Family, friends, and Texas A&M Alumni are cordially invited to attend the celebration of Aggie graduate Lonnie Gus “Gito” Crawford IV.

The celebration will take place at the Pecos Community Center, 505 S. Oak, Pecos, at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 7.

The Aggie Celebration will include barbecue with all the trimmings, dessert, Aggie Trivia, Gito Trivia, dancing and close with the Aggie Midnight Yell.

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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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