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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Forecasts predict no early end to drought

From Staff and Wire Reports

May 16, 2000 - Don't expect an end to West Texas' ongoing drought any time soon, according to the National Weather Service.

The area is one of 13 sections of the United States the NWS is forecasting will have a dry summer, though for some areas, high temperatures will be the main cause of a lack of moisture.

The NWS said despite the likelihood of rain, a drought will persist into the summer in the Midwest and South as expected high temperatures cause the moisture to evaporate.

Severe to extreme dry conditions will continue in Florida, Georgia, western South Carolina, western Texas, northern Arkansas and southern parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, according to the National Weather Service.

Severe drought conditions are expected to linger in eastern Nebraska, northern Indiana and most of Missouri, Iowa and Illinois, a region that is the heart of the nation's corn and soybean production.

Areas near St. Louis received 8 to 14 inches of rain in early May, but later high temperatures evaporated much of the water that wasn't lost through runoff. April was the driest month in 106 years in Missouri and the state is still 11 inches below normal precipitation.

"Rains like these can't erase overnight what two years of La Nina, and long-term drought helped to produce. These are major precipitation deficits," said Jack Kelly, director of the weather service.

La Nina is a cooling of the Pacific Ocean that is blamed for the drought in the eastern United States last summer as well as this year's dry conditions in the South and Midwest. La Nina is expected to continue diminishing over the next several months, meteorologists say.

The Trans-Pecos rain shortfall isn't as severe as some other areas, in terms of sheer numbers. But the drought has gone on longer in the western Permian Basin than in almost any part of the United States, continuing through both the El Nino warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean in late 1997, and the La Nina cooling of the same area in late 1998.

The Pecos area has not received its predicted average annual rainfall total of just under 11 inches in any of the past eight years. Rainfall in the city was less than 6½ inches in 1998, fell to 4.02 inches in 1999, and through the first 4½ months of 2000, stands at only .62 inches, according to the Texas Agriculture Experiment Station's gauge west of town.

The drought has had only a limited effect on area crops, because over 95 percent of crop land in the Pecos area is irrigated using underground water supplies. But ranchers have been forced to cut down their herds or sell off their cattle entirely due to a lack of plants for grazing.

Further to the east, central and southern Louisiana have rainfall deficits of 29 inches this year. Georgia is 20 inches below normal and western South Carolina is 18 inches behind.

While those areas are the ones that are expected to lose the most ground moisture due to heat-related evaporation, hot weather is already out in force in Pecos, after a break over the weekend. The Experiment Station said temperatures hit 107 degrees in Pecos Monday, the highest so far in 2000.

The drought forecast was being released today along with the recommendations of a commission that was formed to suggest improvements in government policies on drought.

Annual `Relay for Life' to honor cancer patients

Staff Writer

Pecos May 16, 2000 - The American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life," an event celebrating the courage of cancer survivors and honoring those who lost their battle with cancer, will be held beginning a 6 p.m., Friday at Eagle Stadium.

The events will kick-off with Opening Ceremonies including the first lap around the Pecos High School track by local cancer survivors.

The Relay is being sponsored by American Home Health, Anchor West, Capital Aggregates, Dr. Orville Cerna, First National Bank, the Marshall Family, Pecos Nursing Home, Reeves County Hospital, Security State Bank, and Texas-New Mexico Power Company.

The relay committee consists of Tracy Shaw, Irma Castillo, Cathy Teague, Velma Dominguez, Georgia Morrison, Dot Stafford, Linda Gholson, Sherry Marshall, Charlene Pry, Terri Spence, and Marie Cardenas.

"The committee has worked hard to provide entertainment with an all-night DJ, games, and food, while raising money to find a cure for cancer," said Shaw.

The teams will consist of 10 to 15 people, with each member raising a minimum of $50. Each team will have one walker on the track at all times from 6 p.m. Friday until 11 a.m., on Saturday.

WIPP holds hearing on modifications to permit

May 16, 2000 - A public hearing has been scheduled for today and tonight in Carlsbad, N.M., to discuss changes to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's hazardous waste permit.

WIPP is located 75 miles north of Pecos, and began taking its first shipments of transuranic (radioactive) waste last year. Waste from five western sites will bring waste to the site southeast of Carlsbad along U.S. 285 south from Interstate 40, while five eastern sites will ship their waste to WIPP along a route that will take the trucks along I-20 to Pecos, and from here north on U.S. 285 to Loving, N.M.

Today's hearing will be from 3 to 6 p.m. CDT and from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the Skeen-Whitlock Building, 4021 National Parks Highway in Carlsbad, and involves a request by site manager Westinghouse and the Department of Energy to modify the permit issued last October by the New Mexico Environmental Department for WIPP.

DOE and Westinghouse are requesting a change so that all containers shipped to the site do not have to be sampled for volatile organic compounds (VOC) that might be released from the container. The DOE said reducing the number of containers checked would be sufficient, because not all containers will have VOC gases.

Containers that would not have to be sampled would be those either proven not to contain the compounds or those that have been subjected to a thermal process that eliminates the VOCs.

The second modification to the permit would allow more Cresols and pyridine compounds in the waste. The DOE said those items are semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC), but the permit uses VOE data to determine their inclusion in radioactive waste shipments.

Only written public comments will be accepted at today's hearing, and one scheduled for Thursday in Santa Fe. Stamped envelopes will be provided for mailing comments to the New Mexico Environment Department between now and June 11.

Comments should be sent to Mr. Steve Zapper, New Mexico Environment Department, 2044A Galisteo St., Santa Fe, N.M. 87505. Comments can also be e-mailed to between now and June 11.

CCRC holding monthly meeting tonight in Pyote

Pecos May 16, 2000 - The Community Council of Reeves County will discuss filling board vacancies along with an agreement on utilization of a building between the agency and Greater Opportunities of the Permian Basin during their monthly meeting, at 6 p.m. today at the Pyote Community Center.

Vacancies on the board include the Loving County public sector position and the Ward County participant sector spot. The board will also discuss the attendance of the Winkler County private sector board member.

The building agreement is under old business, as are items on Pecos Housing Authority carpet and storage trailer, and a report on the outcome of the CCRC Weatherization program.

The only new item is information on 1999-200 Audit field work, while updates on CSBG, CEAP and Weatherization programs will be heard, along with information on the elderly meals program.

The CCRC serves clients in Reeves, Ward, Loving and Winkler counties.

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 instanced we will indication payment and release.


William Loren Davis, 45, was arrested at 10:33 p.m., on April 5, in the 1600 block of Cowan Street, for public intoxication.


Miguel F. Natividad, 35, was arrested at 12:45 a.m., on April 6, in the 1100 block of Orange Street, for driving while intoxicated.


Eddie Galindo Alvarez, 41, was arrested at 1:45 a.m., on April 6, on Highway 17 and Austin Street, for driving while license suspended.


Michael Ontiveros, 32, was arrested at 1:06 a.m., on April 7, at Quality Inn, for public intoxication under Class `B'.


Maribel Salgado, 25, was arrested at 3:51 a.m., on April 7, in the 100 block of Peach Street, on a DWI refusal.


Conrado Gonzalez Jr., 20, was arrested at 2:20 p.m., on April 7, in the 700 block of Stafford Street, for criminal trespass.


Omar Luna, 17, was arrested at 6:04 p.m., on April 8, in the 1000 block of Pecan Street, for assault under the Family Violence Act.


David W. Woods, 42, and Sharon Stevens, 41, were arrested at 6:39 p.m., on April 8, in the 1800 block of Eddy Street, for public intoxication.


Oscar Hernandez, 29, was arrested at 12:31 a.m., on April 9, at the corner of Eddy and Jackson streets, for driving while license suspended.


Margarita Beltran, 34, was arrested at 2:01 a.m., on April 9, in the 1400 block of East Second Street, for driving while intoxicated.


Amador Salgado, 33, and Maribel Salgado, 25, were arrested at 7:48 a.m., on April 9, in the 900 block of North Elm Street, for assault under the Family Violence Act under Class `C'.


David Quiroz, 40, was arrested at 10:18 a.m., on April 10, at the Pecos Police Department, on a warrant for burglary of a habitation.


Jose Alfredo Lujan, 38, was arrested at 5:02 p.m., on April 10, at the corner of Fifth and Locust streets, for fleeing/DWI refusal.


Darryl Gene Brooks, 32, was arrested at 10:38 p.m., on April 10, in the 1900 block of Rhodes Street, on a warrant out of Titis County for theft over $50, under $500.


Hal Pratt, 58, was arrested at 5:52 p.m., on April 11, on Highway 285, for public intoxication under Class `B'.


Rosalinda V. Munoz, 52, was arrested at 2:13 a.m., on April 13, in the 900 block of South Cedar St., for public intoxication under Class `B' (enhanced).


Virginia Ornelas, 29, was arrested at 9:46 a.m., on April 14, at the corner of Fourteenth and Cedar streets, on a warrant for terroristic threat.


Jessica Dominguez, 20, was arrested at 11:53 a.m., on April 14, at Wal-Mart, for theft under Class `B'.


Jeremy Renteria, 19, was arrested at 8:35 p.m., on April 14, in the 1200 block of East Fourth Street, for criminal trespass.


Florencio Garcia, 31, and Mary Monge Ramirez, 36, were arrested at 8:44 p.m., on April 14, in the 1300 block of East Third Street. Garcia was charged with assault by threat under the Family Violence Act; Ramirez with possession and use of aerosol paint.


Ridessa Cherie Wright, 20, was arrested at 12:49 p.m., on April 16, at Town and Country on Cedar Street, on a warrant out of Taylor County for theft by check under Class ~`B'.


Trinidad Sauceda, 50, was arrested at 6:58 a.m., on April 17, in the 1200 block of Cedar Street, for an invalid driver's license.


Sandra Tucker, 34, and Elizabeth Cocozza, 37, were arrested at 9:19 a.m., on April 17, at Quality Inn, for criminal trespass.


Georgia Maxine Garrett, 47, was arrested at 3:18 p.m., on April 17, in the 1900 block of Scott Street, for possession of a controlled substance.


Maria D. Villa was arrested at 8:09 a.m., on April 19, in the 700 block of Cherry Street, on DPS warrants. She paid the fines and was released.


Felix Ortiz, 20, was arrested at 12:03 p.m., on April 19, in the 200 block of East 14th Street, on a warrant for assault.


Pecos May 16, 2000 - High Monday 107. Low this morning 67. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy and breezy. Low 60-65. South wind 15-25 mph and gusty. Wednesday: Sunny and windy. High 90 to 95. Wind becoming west 20-30 mph and gusty. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low 55 to 60. Thursday: Mostly sunny and fair at night. Low 60 to 65. High 90 to 95.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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