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Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, October 9, 2000

Barstow residents voice opposition to dump

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 9, 2000 - Nuclear waste will not come into West Texas, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Representatives Isidro Garza vowed at a public meeting discussing the issue of Envirocare on Saturday in Barstow.

Citizens from Barstow and Pecos gathered to discuss their opinions of a radioactive nuclear waste facility in Ward County with Garza and U.S. Representative Bob Turner.

The opinion was unanimous among all the citizens; they do not want the nuclear waste facility in the Barstow area.

Envirocare of Texas announced last year it planned to locate an aboveground low level radioactive waste storage facility eight miles northeast of Barstow, on land owned by Ward County rancher John Forrester. The company is currently awaiting a decision on its permit request from the Texas Department of Heath in Austin.

Turner spoke to community members and said he believed that the decision to place the Envirocare facility in Barstow is up to the citizens of Barstow and Ward County.

"I believe that all decisions made here should be local," he said. "I believe in local control."

Turner assured the community that he has drafted two pieces of legislature that would help give Barstow citizens that control if passed.

The referendum he discussed would allow Ward County citizens to vote on the issues like the Envirocare facility. The vote would have to be 60 percent for or against the issue to pass or fail.

"If it's the safest thing in the world and you don't want it you should decide," he said.

Envirocare began the project last year, after a state-run radioactive waste facility, to be located near Sierra Blanca, was rejected by the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission. Sierra Blanca resident Bill Addington, leader in the fight against that project, said he has been fighting against the dumps for many years and has had trouble getting the support of state representatives and Congress.

"It's a bad plan to rely that the government would give us that referendum," he said.

Addington explained that politicians representing Hudspeth County and the state of Texas has supported placing the waste dumps in Texas.

He added that current Texas Governor and presidential candidate George W. Bush supported placing a similar waste dump in Sierra Blanca.

However, Bush rejected the Sierra Blanca site in December 1998 after a recommendation from the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC) that earthquake fault lines in the area made the Hudspeth County site unfeasible. It was an argument made for several years by Addington and other dump opponents, who also cited its location within 15 miles of the Rio Grande as a reason not to build the site there.

The Sierra Blanca site was selected in 1992 under then-governor Ann Richards, after El Paso County successfully filed suit to block the original location, north of Fort Hancock in western Hudspeth County. After it was rejected two years ago, Envirocare and Waste Control Specialists both sought to use land they owned in Andrews County, near Eunice, N.M., as the site to store the state's low-level waste, but a geology report by the University of Texas in May of 1999 indicated the land might be above the Ogallala Aquifer, which stretches from the Andrews area north into the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.

Envirocare said the Ward County site was chosen because there was no underground aquifer, and said water at the site would run off towards Soda Lake, a dry lake north of Barstow, instead of towards the Pecos River. Also, because the site would be above ground, it is not regulated by the TNRCC, but instead it is being overseen by the Texas Department of Health.

Addington said Texas needs someone to stand up for the citizens and pledged to the community members that he personally would do all he can to fight against this facility.

"I pledge to my dieing day that I'll support my neighbors here," he said.

Local fighter against the Envirocare facility Clark Lindley agreed with Addington that someone needs to stand up for the citizens.

"If we're going to have a fair opportunity to protect ourselves, we need fair representation," he said.

Garza assured the community that if he were elected into office he would do everything in his power to stop the nuclear waste from coming here.

"The nuclear waste would not come into the 23rd Congressional District," he said.

Garza said it is wrong for waste to come into Texas from other states and continued to say that if those states produce the waste they should store it.

When asked how he would stop the waste from coming into Texas he replied with "I will stand in front of the train to stop it."

Garza is running against four-term Republican Henry Bonilla in the Nov. 7 general election. Bonilla announced two weeks ago he was opposed to Envirocare's Ward County waste dump site.

Creager calls Fair a success despite cold

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 9, 2000 - Despite the cold weather this weekend, the Reeves/Loving County Fall Fair was a success according to Fall Fair Chairman Barbara Creager.

"It was fantastic," she said. "Everybody was thrilled about it."

Creager said the cold weather did not hurt the fair much.

"Even though it was cold we had a lot of people come out on Friday," she said. "We had an even flow of people on Saturday."

The mid-40 temperature did have an effect on the number of people who came to some of the fair's outdoor events.

"It had a terrible affect on the Ranch Rodeo as well as the Carnival," Creager said. About 50 to 75 people braved nighttime temperatures in the mid-40s on Saturday at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena to attend the ranch rodeo, while the cold also kept children away from the carnival on the south side of the Civic Center.

Creager said she wanted to thank all the people who worked at the fair and the community members for coming out and participating.

"Without the community we don't have a fair," she said.

Because of the Columbus Day holiday, complete results were not available this morning from the Civic Center events. Results of the various food, art and textile show events will be published in Tuesday's edition of the Pecos Enterprise.

Holder happy with outcome of stock show

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 9, 2000 - Reeves County Agricultural Extension Agent Terry Holder was pleased with this years Reeves-Loving County Fall Fair Livestock Show despite lower attendance figures this year.

There were classes for lambs, steers and heifers Holder said.

"We had a very good show. This year we were not sanctioned for showmanship and there were some other shows over the weekend so we down a little," Holder said.

Holder explained that the lamb show was sanctioned under the Texas Club Lamb Association and that a show could not be sanctioned for showmanship two years in a row.

"Lots of kids use our show as a training show to get ready for the major shows and we still had a good show, with 64 entries in all classes," Holder said.

Holder also said that he wanted to thank everyone involved with the show.

"It takes a lot of work to put on a stock show and everyone out there putting on the show was a volunteer. I really appreciate their time and effort," he said.

The results for the show were as follows:

Grand champion lamb _ Taryn McNeil, Midland.

Reserve grand champion lamb _ La Shae Johnson, Post.

Southdown (lamb): Champion _ La Shae Johnson, Post. Reserve Champion _ La Shae Johnson, Post.

Fine wool: (lamb) Champion _ Levi Bruttomesso, Marfa. Reserve Champion _ Lyndall Elkins, Pecos.

Cross (lamb): Champion _ Taryn McNeil, Midland. Reserve Champion _ Cotton Long, Sterling City.

Medium wool (lamb): Champion _ Taryn McNeil, Midland. Reserve Champion _ La Shae Johnson, Post.

Overall lamb showmanship _ Taryn McNeil, Midland.

Exotic (steer): Champion _ Courtney Clark, Pecos. Reserve Champion _ Frances Clark, Lenorah.

English (steer): Champion John. M. Clark, Pecos. Reserve Champion _ Frances Clark, Lenorah.

Grand Champion Steer _ John M. Clark, Pecos. Reserve Grand Champion Steer _ Courtney Clark, Pecos.

Heifer: Champion _ Courtney Clark, Pecos. Reserve Champion _ Clay Haws, Wink.

Alpine area's electricity cut by ice storm

From Staff and Wire Reports

PECOS, October 9, 2000 - Cold weather caused problems for the outdoor events this past weekend at the Reeves County Fall Fair, but the Pecos Valley escaped the cold and freezing temperatures that hit the mountain areas over the weekend, and left some residents in the Big Bend without power this morning.

Rain and sleet coated trees with up to a quarter of an inch of ice and sent them crashing into yards, cars and power lines in the areas around Marfa, Fort Davis and Alpine.

AEP West Texas Utilities said crews were working Monday morning to restore power to 4,500 homes across Jeff Davis, Presidio and Brewster counties. Most of the outages were reported in Alpine, and officials said no injuries were reported.

"We have a devastated courthouse lawn. Trees are precious in West Texas and it looks like we have lost a few. Hundreds and hundreds of trees have been destroyed or damaged across town," said Brewster County Judge Val Clark Beard.

Beard said almost every tree in the courthouse lawn had some form of damage.

"The dearest to us are the pecan trees, they took some really bad damage," Beard said.

Icicles still clung to trees and power lines in Marfa, but less damage was reported. Officials said the longest residents had been without power was about 20 minutes.

Rain and sleet fell over the Big Bend steadily all weekend. Most areas received between 1 1/2 and 2 inches of precipitation, said Chris Smallcomb, a weather service meteorologist in Midland.

"The Chisos Basin had one inch of ice and snow as of this morning," Smallcomb said. "They still had roads closed in the Chisos Basin as of this morning."

The Pecos area received just under one-tenth of an inch of rain on Sunday. "Most of the rainfall was south of I-10," Smallcomb said, though winter storm warnings were out for the Guadalupe Mountains to the northwest over the weekend, as well as in the Davis Mountains and Big Bend region to the south.

"It came down pretty vigorously. Basically the reason they are having all the problems out there is because they are in little valleys," Smallcomb said. "Cold air will sit in the valleys. It is still rain but it will freeze in there."

Temperatures Monday morning lingered in the low 30s. Smallcomb said none of the agricultural areas in the Pecos Valley area saw lows dip below freezing. Wink had a low of 41 last night, while Fort Stockton's low was 33 degrees, and the Balmorhea area also awoke to temperatures near freezing today.

Utilities crews, which began work around 9 a.m. Sunday and continued through the night, hoped to have power restored to Alpine area customers by Monday afternoon, said Linda Caton, spokeswoman for West Texas Utilities.

The last ice storm reported to hit the region was in December 1981.

"I guess it is their turn to have a problem. It was much needed moisture, but we would have preferred it came in a more gentle manner," Caton said.

Resource report to be discussed at Civic Center

PECOS, October 9, 2000 - A public Town Hall meeting has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Reeves County Civic Center to discuss the Resource Team Report, which was presented last month to members of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce.

The report was complied by a resource team made up of out-of-town officials, and is designed to analyze the problems and needs of Pecos and offer possible solutions.


PECOS, October 9, 2000 - High Sunday 44. Low this morning 40. Weekend rainfall at the Texas A&M Experiment Station .08 inch. Forecast for tonight: Cloudy. Low near 40. South wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy and warmer. High around 60. South wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Low near 40. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Low in the 40s. High in the 70s.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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