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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

April 5, 2001

Area residents' phone services disrupted again

Staff Writer

PECOS, April 5, 2001 - Community members and businesses were left without long distance service for the second time in as many days and for the third time in just over two weeks today, when a fiber-optic phone cable was cut early this afternoon.

The exact cause of today's outage had not been determined at press time, but the first two incidents were caused by Southwestern Bell crews who have been installing new fiber optic cable during the past few weeks along Interstate 20 between Penwell and Pecos.

Wednesday afternoon's outage not only affected long distance service for home and office phones but also completely shut down Internet, cellular and 911 services. Those services were also affected by this afternoon's outage.

A representative for Valor Communications said that the incident Wednesday was similar to one two Wednesdays ago when Southwestern Bell accidentally cut the cable while plowing in a new fiber optic line next to existing cables. This time the cut occurred while workers were at a site near mile marker 56 on Interstate 20, seven miles east of Barstow in Ward County.

The various services were down from approximately 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., yesterday afternoon, according to Communications Chief for the Pecos Police Department Sue Carrasco.

Carrasco said that anyone who needed ambulance, fire, or police services were urged to use the police department's main line, which is 445-4911.

Carrasco contacted KIUN/ KPTX radio and asked them to announce the problem and the number change.

"The radio station did announce it for us," she said.

Carrasco said that luckily no one seemed to have an emergency during the time that the phone lines were down.

"We never did have any in that time frame," she said.

Allcomm Long Distance, Inc. partner Jeannette Alligood said that many of their customers called in frustration because they could not get on the Internet.

"They wanted to know why the Internet wasn't working," she said.

Since the long distance cable had been cut before, Alligood said that most of the customers that called already suspected what had happened but just wanted conformation.

"A lot of them had a pretty good idea what it was," she said.

Alligood said that the cut cable made communication with the outside world close to impossible.

"In essence, unless there are satellites, CB radios or Ham radios we could only communicate within the city," she said.

Alligood said that to some the cut cable might have been a good thing to happen.

"It gave everybody the chance to get some work done without phone distractions," she said.

Dave Thomas, owner of the local Radio Shack, said that many of his NetWest Internet customers had also called wondering what was wrong with the service.

He said that once he explained to them what had happened they understood but he is not very happy with Southwestern Bell for cutting the cable for the second time in less than three weeks.

Thomas said that since the company had cut the cable before they should not have done it again.

"It shouldn't happen anymore," he said.

Thomas said that his customers were upset with the down cable but since there is nothing they could do about it they were fine with it.

"There was not anything anybody could do," he said. "The people installing the fiber-optic lines are the ones who need to be more careful."

During the first outage, on March 21, emergency and cellular service was still available locally. Wednesday's cut line left both Cellular One and Cingular wireless customers with no signals on their phones, because the service interruption affected the area's cell site, located about six miles northeast of Barstow.

Alligood said that not being able to call long distance to get in touch with anyone that needed to be contacted _ not even Valor Communications itself _ reminds her of how far away from another town Pecos is.

"It lets us know how remote we are out here," she said.

Alligood said that not having the chance to call out of town basically shuts down the community.

"When it goes the whole town goes," she said.

Crockett students taking projects to Austin

Staff Writer

PECOS, April 5, 2001 - Does hair really help a plant grow? Which bridge holds the most weight? What lives under the ground?

These are just some of the answers that seventh and eighth grade students from Crockett Middle School learned, while working on their science projects.

The students will now take their projects to the State Capitol in hopes of earning an award at a higher level.

The students participated in the local science fair, earning them a chance to go on to regional competition held in Odessa last month, with the top finishers there earning trips to the state competition in Austin.

"Last year there were about 1,500 contestants in the junior division, so we're expecting about the same number," said science teacher Jim Workman.

Workman said the group would be competing at the Convention Center in Austin, with everything starting today. "Actual judging will be Friday morning, with public viewing in the afternoon and an awards banquet scheduled for Saturday morning," he said.

Jennie Canon and Sara Wein will be attending the State Science Fair for the first time. The two placed third at the regional event with their project, "Bean Stalk Or Not."

"We expect to place third again," said Canon.

"I just feel very excited to be going to state competition," said Wein.

Roxxie Mendoza and Candice Moore placed second at the local event and were second at regionals.

"We placed second here and at regionals so we hope to get first or second at State Competition," said Mendoza. "I feel very confident."

Their project, "Hairy Potter," was an experiment to see if hair helps plant growth. "We put hair inside the soil to see if the nitrogen in the hair and the nitrogen in the soil will combine to enhance growth of plants," said Moore.

"We found that one of the plants was smaller, the one without the hair," said Mendoza. "And both plants were planted at the same time and taken care of the same, we found that the hair does enhance growth," she said.

Mendoza said this wasn't her first trip to regional competition, but it was her first trip to state. "I went to regional competition when I was in the fifth grade, I won first here in Behavioral Science and went on to regional competition," she said.

Ashley Mendoza had also been to regional competition before, but it is her first trip to state. While she was in fifth grade, she placed second at the local competition in Earth and Science and attended regional competition.

"I feel very happy to be going to state and I hope I get a first," she said.

Mendoza's project was to find out which bridge holds the most weight. "I put weights on the bridges to see which one holds the most weight for the architects to build," said Mendoza.

Olivia Legarda and Lori Natividad wanted to find out what lives within the soil.

"We researched small things under the ground that you can't see," said Legarda, whose project was titled, "Life Within the Soil."

Legarda and her partner, found earthworms so they researched them.

"We put rubbing alcohol in a jar and lighted it, this dries the soil so that whatever you're looking for will come out," said Natividad.

Both girls stated they are very excited about their trip. "I'm nervous," said Legarda. "I just hope we do good," she said.

The students are very well prepared, according to Workman.

"They have been working their tails off since October," said Workman. "Doing a science fair project is outside of classroom learning experience."

Workman said no classroom time is assigned, all the work is done on the student's own time. "All the work has been done by themselves," he said, adding that that they owed the parents a big pat on the back.

"We do have parents that will be going down there," he said.

"We're very proud of all these students, they've worked very hard and done a good job," said Workman.

A lot of support also came from the faculty, including the other Crockett science teachers, Gaston Tarango and Jerry Parent.

"There was a lot of collegiately," he said.

"We'd also like to extend special thanks to the other two sponsors, Becky Chabarria and Cookie Canon," said Workman.

Workman said it would be good going down to Austin and that he hoped to place in the state level.

"Either way it will be a great experience and the students did their best," he said.

Kingergarten holds book fair this week

PECOS, April 5, 2001 - Pecos Kindergarten is currently having a book fair this week.

Hours for the book fair are from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the school, located at 10th and Hickory streets.

Immunization shots offered on Saturday at RCH Health Fair

PECOS, April 5, 2001 - Free immunizations will be issued at the Reeves County Health Fair scheduled for Saturday, April 7.

Student enrollment at the kindergarten will be held in early May, so now is a great opportunity to get your child's immunizations at no cost.

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 indicate payment and release.
Raymond Vega, 34, was arrested at 8:32 p.m., on April 1 in the 500 block of Almond Street on a warrant for terroristic threat.

Marilyn Vega, 35, was arrested at 9:22 p.m., on April 1 in the 500 block of Almond Street on a warrant for an animal at large.

Pedro Barragan, Jr., 22, was arrested at 11:40 a.m., on April 3 at the Sheriff's Office on a warrant for assault under the Family Violence Act.

Jeffrey Knisley, 34, was arrested at 1:09 p.m., on April 3 at Flying J Truck Stop for public intoxication.

Roberto Valdez, 46, was arrested at 4:43 a.m., on April 1 in the 100 block of Lampton Street in Toyah for public intoxication.

Juanita Ovalle, 48, was arrested at 7:26 p.m., on April 4 in the 1100 block of Mesquite Street on a warrant for no operators license.

Jose Luis Ortiz, Sr., 39, was arrested at 7:48 p.m., on April 4 in the 500 block of Peach Street on a warrant for assault under the Family Violence Act.

Abel Sanchez, 31, was arrested at 7:52 p.m., on April 4 in the 500 block of Sycamore Street on a Sheriff's Office warrant for theft by check for greater than $20 and under $500.


Gariela Mendoza and Ilda Mendoza


PECOS, April 5, 2001 - High Wednesday 96. Low this morning 55. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms. Low near 60. South to southwest wind 10 to 20 mph. Friday: Mostly cloudy in the morning with a slight chance of thunderstorms: Then becoming windy with decreasing cloudiness by afternoon. Areas of blowing dust possible. High in the upper 70s. West wind increasing to 25 to 35 mph and gusty. The chance of rain is 20 percent. Friday night: Partly cloudy and cooler. Low in the lower 40s. Saturday and Sunday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 40s to near 50. Highs near 80.

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Pecos Enterprise
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