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Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Top Stories

Thursday, October 5, 2000

FAA probes cause of Grandfalls plane crash

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 5, 2000 - Two prominent community leaders in Monahans were killed Wednesday when the plane they were in crashed a half-mile south of Grandfalls.

Killed was the pilot and owner of the Thorp T-18C experimental class fixed wing single engine plane, Dayton Earl "Pat" Ramsey, according to a report filed by the Department of Public Safety. Ramsey, 78, is also owner of MR Oil Co. in Monahans.

DPS officials could not confirm the identity is not confirmed of the second victim, pending autopsy, but she was tentatively identified as Suzanne "Suzi" Parker Blair, 46, of Monahans.

Ward County Justice of the Peace Ronold Ray of Monahans pronounced both occupants of the plane dead at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday. Ray also ordered an autopsy on Ramsey, as both bodies were severely burned in the fire following the crash.

The crash occurred near State Highway 18 on the south side of the small Ward County community, and 200 yards east of FM 11. The plane ignited on impact in an open field, according to the DPS report.

The plane had taken off from Monahans Municipal Airport, 20 miles north of Grandfalls, and had just passed over Grandfalls High School when witnesses said they heard the engine sputter and saw the engine cowling disengage from the aircraft then fall to the ground, according to DPS reports.

Pablo Navarette, Animal Control Officer for Ward County, was working in the area around the school when the crash occurred. He said the plane looked like it was falling apart in mid-air, with the wheels and landing gear coming apart first, followed by the cowling before the experimental plane crashed.

The crash is under investigation by Troopers Phillip Breeding and Darren Storer both of Monahans.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Phillip Brady said federal investigators from Lubbock were scheduled to arrive at the scene Thursday.

Monahans residents were in shock after hearing news of the deaths.

"It's just a terrible tragedy for our little town," owner of Billy Lou's Flowers and Gifts Billy Lou Harris said.

Ramsey was president of the First State Bank, a member of the First United Methodist Church as well as owner of MR Oil Co. and "an excellent pilot," according to Harris.

"He was the leader of our town," she said.

Harris also said Ramsey was a very respected and prominent member of the community and a father figure to all his children's friends.

"He was a very down to earth person," she said.

Blair was the manager of the Main Street Association as well as a part-time photographer for the Monahans News, which was busy putting out their weekly edition when news of the deaths arrived.

Linda Stephens, Editor and Publisher of the Monahans News, said Blair was a very creative and vibrant person who excelled at whatever she did.

"The community lost a good friend when they lost Suzi," she said.

She was one of the key members who started working for the city's Main Street Project and was the project's manager at the time of her death.

Harris, who is the president of the board for the Main Street Association, worked with her from the beginning stages.

"We worked really hard for Monahans to become a Main Street City," she said.

Stephens said Blair won many awards for her work with the Main Street Association including Outstanding Main Street Manager of the Year, last year.

Stephens said Blair started working at the Monahans News about a year ago as a full-time employee but cut down to part-time when she was given the job of manager for the Main Street Project.

"That was her dream and that was her vision," she said. "Because of that the community benefited from it."

Stephens said she and the staff at the Monahans News fell in love with Blair when they first met her because of her energy and fearlessness.

"There was nothing she wouldn't tackle," she said. "She was like a breath of fresh air."

"Whatever she did she loved," Stephens added.

Blair was also a member of the First United Methodist Church and is survived by her husband Ramie Blair and two twin sons.

Ramsey is survived by his wife, Mary Beth Ramsey, three daughters and one son.

Funeral services for both are pending.

Fire department receives $12,000 state grant

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 5, 2000 - Town of Pecos City will receive $12,000 in grant money for equipment and training for the city's volunteer fire department, following a visit to Austin by local officials this week.

Armando Gil, Emergency Management Coordinator, Roy Pena, Fire Chief and Jim Riley attended a grant review session before the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Funds Allocation Advisory Committee in Austin. The three made the trip in order to provide input and information to the committee, to justify why they are requesting a $25,000 grant for the fire department.

After the presentation, the Funds Allocation Advisory Committee told the three that they would put the Pecos Fire Department on the list to receive $12,000 of the $25,000 grant to purchase the equipment they requested.

Gil made the presentation to the commission, while Pena and Riley were on hand to answer any questions and provide additional information.

"This is something we've been working on, coordinating with each other," said Gil. "We're hoping to work on other grants in the future to be able to fund other projects."

The grant monies when received will go towards the purchase of three SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) units, three auxiliary tanks and also for training of six volunteer firefighters.

"The SCBA's are the ones the firefighters use when going into a burning building, while the auxiliary tanks are the ones that they use on the SCBA's as refills," said Gil.

The grant application process originally began about a month ago when Town of Pecos City Mayor Ray Ortega received information that the Pecos Fire Department could be eligible to apply for the grant. Ortega, Gil and Pena were given the grant information from vendors while attending the International Fire and Rescue Conference 2000 on Aug. 26 in Dallas.

The volunteers will be receiving training at College Station at Texas A&M, according to Gil.

Gil stated that another grant the city is seeking would fund a training tower, to be used by firemen simulate fires in multi-story buildings. He and the mayor have been researching the possibility of applying for a grant from Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist in the purchase of the tower.

The fire department continues to seek funds separately to finance accessories to their new Rescue Cam, which is used to look for people trapped in buildings under smoke and fire conditions.

USDA to announce new funding grant

PECOS, October 5, 2000 - A funding announcement for Madera Valley Water Supply Company Office on State Highway 17 in Verhalen will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development is providing funding to Madera Valley WSC.

John E. Perkins, Community Development Specialist, USDA Rural Development of Fort Stockton will be on hand along with board members of Madera Valley Water Supply Co.


Micaela Corrales

Micaela Z. Corrales, 62, of Pecos, died Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2000, at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.

A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 6, at Martinez Funeral Home Chapel.

Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 7, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with burial in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.

She was born Dec. 10, 1937, in Pecos, was a lifetime Pecos resident, a housewife and a Catholic.

Survivors include her husband, Juan L. Corrales of Pecos and Petra Martinez Zermeno of Pecos; children, Edmundo and Florence, Tia Marie, Betina and Edmundo Corrales II of Oak Harbor, Wash.; John L. and Celina, Deanna, Marie John L. and Aaron J. Corrales of Odessa; Pearl C. and Pete, Kelsey Sloan, Pete III and Tyler Clay Ramos of Pecos; Jane C. and Jerry, Jasmine and Jerry II of McAllen; Elizabeth C. and Dre Brooks and Carlos Avila of Oak Harbor, Wash.; one brother, Ysidro M. Zermeno of Pecos; one sister, Erminia M. Zermeno of Pecos.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Alicia Gonzales

Alicia Paz Gonzales, 53, of Del Rio, died Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2000, at the Pecos Nursing Home.

A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., today, at Martinez Funeral Home.

Graveside services are scheduled for 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 6, at Greenwood Cemetery.

She was born Sept. 24, 1947, in Del Rio, was an elementary school teacher and a Catholic.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Jose R. Paz Sr. and Josefa Cruz Paz.

Survivors include one son, Edward James Gonzales of Austin, and three brothers, Jose Robert Paz Jr. of Midland, Alfredo and Guadalupe Paz of Pecos.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, October 5, 2000 - High Wednesday 105. Low this morning 63. Forecast for tonight: Becoming cloudy, windy and much cooler during the early evening with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Areas of drizzle developing toward morning along with a slight chance of rain. Periods of blowing dust and sand possible during the evening hours. Low 50-55. Northeast wind 20-30 mph and gusty. The chance for measurable rain is 20 percent. Friday: Cloudy, breezy and cool with areas of drizzle and a slight chance for rain. High in the lower 60s. Northeast wind 15-25 mph and gusty. The chance for measurable rain is 20 percent. Friday night: Cloudy and cool with a chance of rain. Lows near 40. Saturday: Mostly cloudy and cool with a slight chance of rain. High in the lower 60s.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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