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Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, June 19, 2000

Weekend rains help ranchers, hamper crops

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 19, 2000 - More rain hit Pecos and surrounding areas this weekend, and additional showers are expected over the southern sections of the Trans-Pecos region today.

Coyanosa received an inch of rain in town and an inch and a half outside of town.

Robert Gamboa, farmer and owner of Coyanosa Food Center, said Coyanosa has gotten four inches since the 10-inch rain they received on May 31.

Gamboa said the rain is good for ranchers but does not help the farmers.

"We had to replant cotton and some vegetables," Gamboa said. "This rain ruined a lot of onions."

He added that what the farmers need now is to have the fields dry out.

"We haven't been able to get out in the fields." Gamboa said.

Pecos has not had as much rain as Coyanosa. According to KIUN Studios, Pecos received three-tenths of an inch Sunday morning and one-tenth of an inch on Sunday evening. This last rainfall brings the total rainfall for the year to 1.35 inches.

KIUN also reported an area eight miles north west of Pecos received a half-inch on Saturday and 1.4 inches on Sunday, while to the southwest, the Texas Department of Public Safety stated that FM 869 was closed this morning due to flooding.

The Reeves County Sheriff's Department reported the flooding at 1:45 a.m., this morning, with water over the highway. The water had receded by mid-morning, but debris from the flood still lined the west side of the highway. Chris Smallcomb, National Weather Service meteorologist, said the area around Pecos received 1-1 ½ inches of rain all weekend.

"Approximately eight miles west of Pecos 1.67 inches of rain fell on Sunday," Smallcomb said. Overall, Texas A&M Agriculture Experiment Station reported receiving 1.97 inches of rain over the weekend.

Smallcomb said a flash flood watch is in effect today for Brewster, Jeff Davis, Pecos, Presidio and Terrell counties until 5 p.m.

Smallcomb said Presidio and Brewster counties have received four to six inches of rain in the last few days.

Pecos will have a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms this afternoon and this evening, Smallcomb said. He said there is also a chance of thunderstorms each day through Friday in the afternoon and evening hours and it should start drying up on Saturday.

The rain is part of a long storm line that stretched from the El Paso area across Texas and up through the middle sections of the Eastern United States. The showers are expected to continue in those areas through Tuesday.

Probe continues of seven-fatality crash

From Staff and Wire Reports

PECOS, June 19, 2000 - Law enforcment officials are continuing their investigation of a bizarre accident, which occurred about 2 p.m., Saturday and left seven people dead on Interstate 10, 17 miles west of Van Horn in Hudspeth County.

A car going the wrong way on I-10 collided head-on with another car, killing all seven people in the two vehicles at a site midway between Van Horn and Sierra Blanca.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said a 1998 Pontiac was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of the interstate, into the path of a tractor-trailer truck and a 1994 Nissan in the process of passing the truck.

DPS spokesman Mike Cox said the truck veered to the shoulder to avoid the Pontiac, which then collided with the Nissan. The force of the accident sent both cars spinning in the air, according to the report.

The driver of the Pontiac was identified as Lorenzo Sukis, 33, of El Paso. Also in the vehicle were Ivana Sukis, 10 and Pablo Sukis, 5. Killed in the Nissan were Fredo Fernandez, 46, and Maria Escobar, 51, both of Los Angeles, Calif.; Carlos Laugart, 45 of Southgate, Calif., and an unidentified Hispanic woman.

Three of those killed were in the Pontiac, while the other four victims were in the Nissan, according to the DPS report. All were wearing seat belts except for the five-year-old victim, who was thrown from the Pontiac.

Cox said troopers at the scene found evidence that drinking may have been involved, but toxicology reports won't be available for a few weeks.

Only a grassy median separates the eastbound and westbound lanes of the four-lane highway, Cox said. That section of I-10 also allows cars to crossover the westbound lanes of traffic to reach the eastbound lanes from the service road on the north side of the highway. The crossover is used mainly by cars traveling east out of Sierra Blanca on the service road going towards Van Horn.

"We're still investigating this accident and have several officers from different DPS (stations) out there," said an officer from the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Department this morning.

City's sales tax rebate slight increase for June

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 19, 2000 - Sales tax rebates for Pecos were up slightly for June, while figures across the Permian Basin were mixed this month, based on sales made during April.

According to figures released by State Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander's office, the city received $56,632 back this month, based on its 1½-cent share of Texas' 8¼ percent sales tax. That's a 6.6 percent improvement from a year ago, when Pecos received $53,123 back from the comptroller's office.

However, for the first half of 2000, the city's sales tax totals are virtually unchanged from a year ago. Pecos has gotten $392,781 back from Austin for the period from January through June, up 1.6 percent from the first six months of 1999.

In contrast, Balmorhea reported a big increase in their rebate check, while Toyah's check was down sharply from last year.

Balmorhea got $448 in tax rebates in June, up 130.9 percent from the $194 the city received in 1999, while Toyah's check was $273, down by over 87½ percent after last year's $2,182 rebate check from Rylander's office.

Across the area there were more gainers than losers this month, but most of the larger cities showed only slight changes from a year ago.

Midland was up 41 percent, getting the area's largest tax rebate of $1.09 million, but that was due in part to a ¼-cent increase in the city's tax rate since last year. Odessa's rebate check of $897,702 was up 8.77 percent, while Andrews reported an 11.6 percent increase and Fort Stockton's check was 5.9 percent above last year.

Monahans saw the biggest drop this month; falling 30.3 percent from a year ago, while Alpine, Van Horn and Presidio were also down from last year.

June's tax rebate for the Reeves County Hospital District totaled $21,367, up 4.3 percent from last year. But for the first half of 2000, the district has seen its rebate check drop 3.4 percent to $148,277, based on the hospital's ½-cent sales tax rebate.

Statewide rebate checks were up this month by 8.37 percent over last June and are up 8.07 percent for the first half of 2000. Houston's check for $21.02 million was the largest single check sent out by Rylander's office and was down 2.72 percent, while Dallas got a 15.3 million check, up 10 ½ percent from June of 1999.

Rifle club hosts match after long break

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 19, 2000 - The Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club hosted a Service Rifle shooting competition over the weekend with ten shooters from as far away as Houston competing for top honors.

"This was the first match the club has hosted in a long time," rifle club president Dannie Shelton said. "We had a good turn out and everyone had a good time."

"The match rules were modified to include as many competitors as possible," said Mike Mason, who is vice president of the club.

"We relaxed the Service Rifle rules to include almost any rifle that has seen military service and can be reloaded quickly enough to compete in the rapid fire stages of the match," he said.

Mason said that competitors used rifles ranging from British Enfields dating from World War I to modern-day AR-15s, the civilian variant of the military's M-16 service rifle.

First and second place was captured by shooters shooting M-1 Garands dating from World War II and third place went to a shooter using an AR-15 type rifle.

"We also shot every leg of the match at 200 yards and used reduced targets to simulate the 300 and 600 yard stages of the match," Mason said. "This summer we plan to improve the range so that we can shoot a similar match at the actual 300 and 600 yard distances."

Match results were:

Smokey Briggs (383), Allen Gallego (369), Larry Longoria (366), Allen Gallego (316), Mike Mason (303), Olin Briggs (296), Buster Brown (284), Raymond Rayos (279), Joey Hernandez (273), Bobby Clark (112). All scores are out of a possible 500 points.

"We had an excellent match with a lot of good riflemen," Mason said. "We also had a good representation of different rifles."

Mason said that at the next match there would probably be two categories _ one for more modern weapons and one category for older, bolt-action service rifles with no modifications.

"Bobby Clark shot the match with a hundred-year-old rifle with the original barrel and sights that really don't adjust for target shooting. That put him at a tremendous disadvantage competing against the more modern semi-automatic rifles with fully adjustable sights. In the next match we will have a category for older, completely stock rifles as well," Mason said.

Mason said the club plans to sponsor another match in late July and invited anyone who is interested to contact a member of the Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club.

Enterprise offering `Melodrama' tickets

PECOS, June 19, 2000 - Tickets to the Melodrama, which will be presented on July 1-4 at the State Theatre will be available at the Pecos Enterprise.

Five tickets will be given to the first new subscribers.

The Melodrama, which is part of the annual West of the Pecos Rodeo Week events, will take place at 8 p.m., each evening and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Senior Citizens get in free.


PECOS, June 19, 2000 - High Sunday 78. Low this morning 67. Precipitation last 48 hours at Texas A&M Experiment Station, 1.97 inches Forecast for tonight: Increasing cloudiness with a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low in the upper 60s. Southeast wind 10-20 mph. Tuesday: Morning cloudiness: Otherwise partly cloudy with a slight chance of afternoon thunderstorms. High in the mid 90s. South to Southwest wind 10-20 mph. Extended forecast: Tuesday night: Increasing cloudiness with a slight chance of thunderstorms. Low in the upper 60s.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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