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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, February 9, 2007

Motel raid by sheriff’s deputies nets local man on coke charges

A Pecos man was arrested Wednesday afternoon and is facing drug charges, following an ongoing investigation by the Reeves County Sheriff’s Department.

At 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 7, officers with the Reeves County Sheriff’s Department arrested, Lee Arredondo, 23, at a local motel.

Arredondo was arrested by the Reeves County Narcotics Division when he was found to be in possession of approximately two ounces of cocaine that was already packaged for sale.

Officer Melissa Roberts stated that this arrest stems from an ongoing investigation and the seizure took a significant amount of cocaine off the streets of Pecos.

“The investigation is continuing at this time,” said Roberts.

“Our officers are always busy taking care of Pecos and it’s citizens,” said Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez. “They are very hard-working and we’re very proud of them.”

PHS student critically injured in overnight Collie Rd. crash

A Pecos High School student was flown to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa early Thursday morning in critical condition, following an overnight accident on Collie Road just east of Pecos.

Jonathan Gomez was transported to Odessa suffering internal injuries and a punctured lung sustained in the one-vehicle rollover, according to family members. He was flown by air ambulance to Medical Center Hospital, where he was reportedly in critical condition early Thursday afternoon in the hospital’s critical care unit.

A full report on the accident was unavailable from the Texas Department of Public Safety as of noontime on Thursday, but the DPS was informed of the accident at 2:18 a.m. on Collie Road, just north of the Interstate 20 interchange, two miles east of Pecos.

Two people were in the vehicle at the time of the accident, according to preliminary reports. There was no word on the condition of the second person involved in the rollover, but the injuries were said to be non-life threatening.

City’s pre-holiday sales lift latest tax rebate totals

Sales tax collections for the Town of Pecos City during the Christmas shopping period were up over 14 percent from a year ago, according to figures released Wednesday by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ office, while tax collections in Balmorhea were almost double those from the same period last year.

February sales tax checks were sent out, based on sales made during December, and Pecos’ 1 1/2-cent share of the state’s 8 1/4-cent sales tax netted the city $110,141, a 14.39 percent rise from last year’s $92,282 total. One-sixth of February’s check, or $18,357, goes to the Pecos Economic Development Corp., for its operations.

Pecos had surpassed the $100,000 mark in its monthly sales tax rebate check only one other time in recent years. Last year’s 12-month total fell just $1,000 short of the $1 million mark in total tax rebates, and for the first two months of 2007, the city’s sales tax collections total $188,829, up 14.01 percent from last year’s $165,619.

Sales tax collections for the city were up just under 14 percent for all of 2006, after an increase of 10.7 percent in 2005, thanks in large part to the increase in energy drilling activity in the Trans-Pecos region.

Balmorhea’s check for February on its 1 1/2-cent sales tax came to $2,681, a 92.93 percent improvement on last year, when the city got a check for $1,390. For the first two months of 2007, Balmorhea as received $5,624 back from the comptroller’s office, up 76.38 percent from last year’s $3,188 total for January and February.

Toyah was one of the few area towns to show a decrease in their tax rebate check this month. The city’s $755 check was 2.3 percent below last year’s $773 total, but the two-month total of $1,233 is still up 27.19 percent from last year’s $969 in rebates.

The county’s other sales tax collector, the Reeves County Hospital District, also showed a slight decline from last year, after a decline also in their check for January. The hospital’s 1/2-cent sales tax brought in $46,013 this month, a drop of 2.71 percent from last February’s $47,295. For the first two months of the year, the hospital is down 5.83 percent, getting $84,755 back so far this year compared with $90,011 in 2006.

Holiday period sales tax collections in cities across the area in general showed double-digit increases from the previous year. Midland’s check was again the region’s highest, coming in at $3.64 million on its 1 1/2-cent sales tax, which was up 11.22 percent from a year ago. Odessa’s 1 1/4-cent sales tax brought the city $2.35 million for the month, an 11.06 percent rise from last February.

For other cities collecting the 1 1/2-cent sales tax, Alpine received $123,198 this month, an increase of 18.06 percent from a year ago; Crane received a check for $56,385, up 9.32 percent from last year; Lamesa got $126,514 back from the comptroller’s office, which was up 5.34 percent; while Seminole received a check for $96,581, an increase of 28.08 percent.

Among cities collecting a one-cent sales tax Kermit showed a big drop from 2006 with their $38,917 check for February, which was19.85 percent below last year’s total; Wickett received a $9,220 check, up 34.9 percent, Wink received a check for $7,007, which was up 76.07 percent, and Pyote, received a $553 check this month, up 19.82 percent from a year ago.

For other area cities collecting a 1 3/4-cent sales tax, with Andrews saw a 19.59 percent jump in its February check, going from $242,662 to $292,592. Marfa got a check for $25,931, which was down 0.42 percent; while Van Horn got a check for $45,645, which was up 25.71 percent from last year.

For cities collecting the maximum two-cent sales tax, Big Spring received $544,549, a drop of 8.47 percent; Fort Stockton received $196,158, up 11.98 percent; Monahans received a check for $146,202, which was up 21.57 percent from last year; Grandfalls got a $2,475 check, up 17.78 percent; and Presidio received $54,372, up 9.02 percent.

Statewide, Combs’ office sent out rebate checks totaling $414.5 million, up 6.12 percent from last year’s $390.6 million total. Houston’s check for $50.5 million was again the largest one sent out, and was 6.76 percent higher than a year ago. Dallas’ check was next, at $23.9 million, which was up by 0.58 percent from last February’s rebate total.

Cancer increase means new treatments ahead

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the 16th part of a story by Enterprise business manager Peggy McCracken on her diagnosis of cancer, surgery in April of 2005 and ensuing treatment for the disease. By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

Two years ago I discovered a large tumor in my left breast. Although I knew that breast cancer is common, I didn’t believe it would affect me, so I was sure the tumor was benign. It wasn’t.

After surgery to remove the breast and 10 malignant lymph nodes, I returned to work in the Enterprise office and continued organizing God’s Army, an after-school program my prayer group had started.

We had just purchased a dilapidated building at tax sale (my idea), and I felt responsible to see the project through to completion. That would not be possible, my oncologist said, because the cancer had spread to the bones and would kill me in six months if I refused chemotherapy and radiation.

Refuse it I did, and got my affairs in order. Kim Ewing took the lead in fixing up the building, and others accepted leadership roles in God’s Army.

Prayers of many friends and strangers kept me healthy and involved. The program is also healthy, despite Satan’s attacks on every leader. Nearly every member of our prayer group has had a brush with death and experienced God’s healing power.

What started with one sixth grader whose arm was in a cast has grown to include a ministry to about 100 children, youth and adults. I would have given up many times, but God’s Army seems to have a life of its own.

No, I am not cancer free. I can feel pain in my skull as I write this, and know I may have to take a pain pill in order to sleep. Tomorrow I will drive to Midland for infusion of a chemical that may make the pain worse.

I had stopped taking the two-hour infusions last March because I learned the chemical was probably killing the bone, and I believed it was making the pain in the top of my skull worse.

Now the pain has spread to other areas of the skull, and my tumor markers jumped from a low of 34 last Spring to over 400 in January 2007. That is an indication the cancer eating holes in my skull causing the pain, and now I am willing to take Dr. Dave’s advice to take a new 15-minute infusion.

It still promises to kill the bone, so I am opting for dead bones over live ones that hurt. At least it does not make me ill. The new hormone suppressant pills he prescribed to make the tumor markers fall made me tired at first, but now I have about as much energy as before.

So we will see. I reluctantly agreed to have another bone scan in April to see where the little critters are chewing on the bone. A blood test will also tell us whether the new pills are working.

In the meantime, I am planning a trip to Cozumel, Mexico to snorkel in the blue Caribbean, watch colorful fish and admire the coral. It may not cure me, but it can make me glad to be alive for now.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is Enterprise business manager and columnist. Contact her at

New P-B-T personnel head familiar with area

Living in Pecos and getting involved with the community are just two of the things Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD’s new personnel director is looking forward to, after starting his new job in late January.

Raymundo Villarreal, began his new position as personnel director for P-B-T ISD two weeks ago, after serving in several other school district in Texas, including two in West Texas.

“I love it here, I’m thrilled to be in Pecos,” said Villarreal, a native West Texan, who grew up in Monahans and has worked in this area throughout his career.

He comes to Pecos from his most recent position as Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Instruction at Big Spring ISD. In 2001-2002, he was principal at Big Spring Junior High and from 1990-2001, held the same post at Marcy Elementary in Big Spring. Before that, Villarreal was a counselor for Big Spring High School, from 1988-1990, moving there from Fort Stockton, where he was an English teacher and tennis coach at Fort Stockton High School, from 1980-1988. He was also an English teacher and tennis coach at John Marshall High School at Northside ISD in San Antonio from 1978-1980. “I enjoy living in West Texas. It’s a great place to raise a family,” said Villarreal.

He said his wife, Isabel is looking forward to moving here at the end of the semester. She is a Dyslexia teacher for grades kindergarten through sixth grade. “She taught kindergarten for about 16-17 years and also taught first and third grades,” said Villarreal.

Villarreal said that he plans to participate in local clubs and organizations and feels that the Chamber of Commerce is very important to the community.

“I believe that school administrators should be a part of the chamber and other organizations in the community,” he said. “I think it’s important that we work with different groups and meet people in the community.”

Villarreal said that he would like to be a part of all community events.

His hobbies include running and reading. He has run 16 marathons, best time: three hours and eight minutes - Marathon of the Great Southwest, Abilene, 1998 and is a current Boston Marathon Qualifier.

“I ran it one time,” he said.

Villarreal is a member of the Texas Association of School Administrators; Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators and Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association.

“I still like to play tennis and talked to the tennis coach about helping her out,” said Villarreal. “All of my children played high school tennis and one of them played in college,” said Villarreal.

He and his wife, have three girls; Maria Elena, a graduate of the University of Southern Illinois and University of Detroit Mercy Dental School; Monica, a graduate of the University of Maryland and Georgetown Law School, Washington, DC and Veronica, a sophomore at the University of Texas.

Food bank volunteers asking for donations

Meats, dairy products and other items are needed to fill the pantry at the Santa Rosa Food Bank.

“We have canned goods from the food drive that we had in November of last year and we want to thank the community for their generous donations,” said Mae Martinez, with the local food bank.

Martinez said that now they need monetary donations so that the group can purchase meats and dairy products to hand out to those less fortunate in the community.

“We’d also like to be able to purchase paper products, such as toilet paper and paper towels,” she added.

Nora Briceno said that they are also asking community members to save the big boxes for them.

“We need the boxes to put items in, that we hand out to the families,” said Briceno. “We have to buy the products from the food bank in Odessa, which is the reason that we need monetary donations,” said Ester Alvarez.

She said that HEB in Odessa donates cakes, ice cream and bread, but that all other products need to be bought from the food bank there.

If anyone wishes to make a donation, they can call Martinez at 445-4287 or call the food bank at 447-0072.

“They can also bring the items to the food bank located behind the St. Catherine’s Catholic Church,” said Martinez. “They can also drop off items at the Santa Rosa Church.”

The food bank serves the entire community.

“This food bank is for everyone. It used to be located at the Santa Rosa Church, but has been moved over here,” said Martinez.

Martinez said that they currently have 208 families that they are helping.

“They are screened and have to be approved,” said Martinez.

Anyone needing an application can pick one up at the food bank or call Martinez at the food bank.

“They have to qualify for the program, but we welcome all applications,” she said.

Couple weds in Fort Stockton in January

Ismael and Emma Rodriguez of Balmorhea, announce the marriage of their daughter, Roxann Rodriguez Gonzales to Angelo Gonzales.

Angelo Gonzales is the son of Yldefonso and Frances Gonzales of Fort Stockton. He is a 1994 graduate of Fort Stockton High School, attended Sul Ross State University in Alpine studying Biology and is currently employed with KBR stationed in Afghanistan. The bride is a 1998 graduate of Balmorhea High School and is attending Midland College studying to major in Education of Science.

The couple was married at 5 p.m., on Jan. 29, in Fort Stockton with JP Robert Gonzales officiating. Both are members of Church of Christ.

Walker, Ermis announce May Wedding plans

Bret and Heather Walker of Pecos and Brad and Toyah Gholson of Iowa Park, Texas, are pleased to announce the upcoming wedding of their daughter, Rebecca Nicole Walker to Luke Anthony Ermis.

Ermis is the son of Marlene Ermis and the late Pete Ermis of Valley View, Texas. He is a 2003 graduate of Iowa Park High School and is currently self-employed for Ermis Ditching.

The future bride is a 2002 graduate of Pecos High School and is currently employed with IESI in Iowa Park.

The couple will be married on May 5, in Electra, Texas.

Story Hour set for Monday

Children’s Story Hour has been set for 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., on Monday, Feb. 12, at the Reeves County Library, 505 S. Park.

All children in the community are invited to attend and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information call 445-5340.

Enchilada plate sale to be held Friday

An enchilada plate sale will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 9, at Santa Rosa Hall.

Plates will be $5 and include three red or green enchiladas, rice, beans and salad, prepared with homemade tortillas.

Orders can be carry-out, dine-in or delivery will be available.

For orders call on Friday, at 445-2302.

ID kits to be distributed to school children

The Sheriff’s Association of Texas has joined efforts with the American Football Coaches Association, FBI’s National Child Identification Program, Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and the office of Governor Rick Perry to provide ID kits to all Texas children, grades kindergarten through sixth grade.

This initiative will reach over two million Texas children, the fourth largest ID kit distribution in U.S. history.

With the help of Texas Sheriff’s and Superintendents, ID kits will be distributed through the public school systems and Sheriff’s Offices. Students enrolled in the public school system in grades kindergarten through sixth will receive an ID kit through their superintendent. Each Sheriff in Texas will also receive 600 kits to be handed out on a first come, first serve basis to children who fall outside of the kindergarten through sixth age range or do not attend public school.

Each kit contains an inkless fingerprinting card, DNA swab and preservation envelope, and a wallet card. All information can be completed by a parent or guardian and stored at home. In the event of an emergency, the ID kit can be handed over to authorities to help locate a missing child.

For additional information, contact: Tami Becton, AFCA/FBI National Child ID Program, at 806-729-4471-cell, or .

Marriages and Divorces

Editor’s Note: Marriage and divorce records are public record and may be accessed by anyone. All marriage records are kept in the Reeves County Clerk’s office, while divorce records can be located in the District Clerk’s Office located on the second floor of the courthouse.

Marriages for November 2006, as filed with the Reeves County Clerk’s Office. Julian Valenzuela Alvarez and Graciela Cortez Ontiveros.

Marriages for December 2006, as filed with the Reeves County Clerk’s Office. Estephan Lopez, Jr. and Amy J. Abila. Joseph Urias and Flor Karime Lara. Mioa Fa Wu and Hsiao Chin Chu. Francisco Q. Calderon and Patricia Mendoza. Juan Carlos Lujan Sr. and Crystal Lee Minjarez. Luis A. Beltran and Esmeralda Salgado. Eladio V. Tarango and Yesenia Estrello.

Marriages for January 2007, as filed with the Reeves County Clerk’s Office. Eloy O. Jimenez and Lillian G. Muro. Rodolfo L. Cerna and Karen C. Cortez.

Divorces for December 2006, as filed with the Reeves County District’s Clerk’s Office. Edna L. Candelas and Jose Sergio Candelas.

Divorces for January 2007, as filed with the Reeves County District Clerk’s Office. Brenda D. Anaya and Jesse R. Anaya. Christopher M. Barreno and Amy M. Barreno.

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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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