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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, September 20, 2000

Bonilla asks TDH to reject Envirocare site

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 20, 2000 - U.S. Representative Henry Bonilla has come out against Envirocare of Texas' proposed low-level radioactive waste site in northwestern Ward County.

Bonilla (R-Texas) sent a letter to the Texas Department of Health Commissioner Dr. William Archer III urging rejection of a Class III low-level radioactive waste storage facility, which would be located eight miles northeast of Barstow in Ward County.

County residents, along with others in neighboring Reeves County, have expressed great concern over recent rumors of an application requesting that Ward County be designated the site for a radioactive waste storage facility.

"As a representative of many West Texas residents, I have a duty to listen to their call for help and lead the charge against placing a waste storage facility in their backyards," said Bonilla. "I actively led the charge against a storage dump in Sierra Blanca and plan to use just as much energy to see that the voices of Ward County residents are heard."

Envirocare sought to build the Ward County site last year, after the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission rejected plans for the state to build its own underground site near Sierra Blanca in Hudspeth County. The Envirocare site would be an aboveground facility, making it under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Health instead of TNRCC.

Bonilla's letter asked Commissioner Archer to `reject any application' proposing a waste storage facility in Ward County. He said residents throughout West Texas have shared with Bonilla their adamant opposition to the potential application for a facility in their backyards. The final decision, which would be made by the Texas Department of Health, could take several years.

"Despite the ambiguity of the time-line on this project, I feel it is important that I vocally share my reservations, and those of the residents of Ward County and neighboring counties. Commissioner Archer and the Texas Department of Health should know now that I stand with the Ward County residents in opposition of this decision," said Bonilla.

"I think Envirocare is confident that the State Department of Health is going to make a decision on license based on scientific evidence and not on emotions," said Gene Brown, Director of West Texas Community Relations for Envirocare.

"There is some opposition to the project, but there is also a lot of supporters and there's obviously a great need for jobs and our proposal is going to create jobs," said Brown.

There will be 31 full-time jobs created, at the point when there will be one storage building. "We plan to create at least eight storage buildings and at that point there could be about 100 jobs," said Brown.

The initial application states that that there will be 31 jobs initially, and they will add additional staff, according to Brown.

"That doesn't include the construction employees, because there will be a great deal of construction work," said Brown. "A road will have to be built coming in to the facility, among other construction jobs."

"Those jobs will not last, but they will be there at the beginning of the project," said Brown. "Those won't be Envirocare jobs."

Brown stated that he has tried to contact Bonilla several times. "We hope as Congressman Bonilla learns more about the isolated facility he will see our project has merit and hope he will support it," said Brown.

Prayer event held at pole outside PHS

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 20, 2000 - About 40 students from Pecos High School gathered at the school's flagpole for the 12th Annual "See You At The Pole" challenge at 7 a.m., this morning.

"See You At The Pole" is a challenge that was developed in early 1990 by a small group of teenagers from Burleson, southwest of Fort Worth. The challenge is for students to come together at their school to pray.

"The main emphasis is praying for the administration, faculty and students," said Greer Willis, Pastor of the First Baptist Church.

In June 1990 the word had spread about the challenge and 20,000 students met at Reunion Arena in Dallas. By September 12, 1990 the challenge expanded into 45,000 students in four different states meeting at their schools.

Willis said the challenge has expanded not only across the nation but also into 20 countries. This is the ninth year the challenge has been brought to Pecos.

"It really caught on and spread," he said.

The challenge is multi-denominational and student led that includes praying and singing.

"They (the students) take the initiative to do it," Willis said.

Students at Crockett Middle School also participated in the challenge.

In previous years the challenge in Pecos was held at the high school for all age groups. This year the group was separated into a group at PHS and another at Crockett.

"Being the first time, the turn out wasn't so good," Co-organizer of the challenge Eddie Vasquez said.

"We didn't have as many as last year," PHS Senior JoAnn Wein said. "But I think we did pretty good."

Willis said seven students gathered at Crockett with a few parents who gathered across the street.

See You At The Pole is always the second or third Wednesday after Labor Day every year, according to Willis.

For more information on the See You At The Pole challenge log on to

Festival events for Fort Davis set for Oct. 7

PECOS, September 20, 2000 - The Nicodemus Buffalo Soldiers Association will be featured at this year's Friends of Fort Davis National Historic Site Festival, scheduled for Oct. 7. In Fort Davis.

The 17th annual event will feature the Nicodemus group, which was formed in 1996 and has appeared throughout the country interpreting the history of the black cavalrymen who served in the late 19th Century. It is based in Kansas and was named in memory of settlers the only town founded by African Americans during the reconstruction period.

Other events set for the Fort Davis Festival include traditional crafts demonstrations, firearms and hospital exhibits, an antiques and collectables auction, barbeque, historic dancing and music and military demonstrations and drills of the 1880s presented by various "living history" groups.

For further information, call the Fort Davis National Historic Site at 915-426-3224.


PECOS, September 20, 2000 - High Tuesday 99. Low this morning 62. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Low in the lower 60s. South wind 5-15 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy and breezy. High in the lower 90s. Southwest wind 15-25 mph and gusty. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low near 60. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Low near 60. Highs from the upper 80s to lower 90s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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