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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

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Monday, May 14, 2001

Storms cause scares, minor damage in area

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, May 14, 2001 -- Residents of Pecos and the surrounding areas  experienced violent weather this weekend when a thunderstorm blew through this  area causing some minor damage, with a possible tornado sending  residents in Saragosa and Balmorhea to area shelters.

Perry Martin, senior meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Midland, said that it was reported that at about 8:45 p.m., on Friday there was a report of 60 mile per hour thunderstorm gusts going through this area.

He said that there was a funnel cloud sighting in the Balmorhea area, but added "There were no confirmed reports of that."

Residents in Saragosa went to the shelter built at the Saragosa Multi-Purpose Center following the 1987 tornado that killed 30 people, while residents in Balmorhea took shelter from the storm at the Balmorhea ISD building after a tornado warning was issued for southern Reeves County.

Local law enforcement were sent out to investigate both the report of a possible tornado sighting near Saragosa and another on Interstate 20 near Toyah, according to the Pecos Police reports.

Minor damage can be seen all over town with a few windows blown out as a result of the high wind gusts and some downed power lines.

The Pecos Volunteer Fire Department responded to a report of a utility pole on fire after lighting struck it, while other damage was reported to buildings along South Eddy Street and a carport canopy was blown down by the winds on the northeast side of Casa Manana Apartments in the 800 block of Daggett Street.

Martin said that there were also reports of hail in Ward County near Wickett and Monahans.

He said that there were numerous thunderstorms in this area but they were "all hit or miss that night."

According to KIUN, downtown Pecos received .56 of an inch with reports from just under an inch to one and one quarter inches.

Martin said that Pecos has a slight chance of thunderstorms each day this week that would result in some gusty winds and rain but nothing severe.

"That's just normal for summer here (in this area)," he said.

Area's sales tax rebates mostly up for May

PECOS, Monday, May 14, 2001 -- Sales tax rebate figures for the Permian Basin and  Trans-Pecos region were mostly up for May, according to figures  release Thursday by State Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander's  office, though the closer towns were to the heart of the oil patch  around Midland-Odessa, the better their rebate numbers appeared to be.

That meant increases in rebate totals of over 20 percent in Andrews, Big Spring, Crane and Midland, an increase of nearly 15 percent in Odessa, while Pecos, Fort Stockton and Monahans saw only single-digit rises in their rebate totals, based on local sales made during March.

Pecos' tax rebate check from Austin was for $75,385, based on its 1½ cent share of the state's 8¼ percent sales tax. That's up 2.36 percent from a year ago, when the city got $73,645 back from Rylander's office. However, three straight months of smaller rebate checks left the city down 6¾ percent for the first five months of 2001. Pecos has gotten $313,401 back so far this year, after getting back $336,148 in the period from January through May of 2000.

While the latest rig reports show the Reeves County area is as active as other Permian Basin counties, most of the oilfield businesses remain in the Midland-Odessa and surrounding areas, all of which have seen sharp jumps in their tax rebate checks due to the increased drilling activity over the past year.

Midland's rebate check for the month was up 48 percent, though just over half of that total was due to a 25 percent rise in the city's sales tax during the past year. Andrews saw its sales tax check for May rise by just over 20½ percent, Big Spring was up by 22.66 percent and Crane was up nearly 26½ percent.

Of other area cities, only Marfa reported a similar increase; up 25¾ percent for the month. Monahans' tax rebate check was up just under seven percent, Fort Stockton's check grew by 2.44 percent, and Kermit saw its check rise by 8.84 percent.

Balmorhea saw its May rebate check grow by 2.45 percent, from $1,235 to $1,265, while Toyah's check dropped 14.56 percent, from $665 to $568. However, for the first five months of 2001, Toyah's tax rebates are nearly double those of last year, at $3,898, while Balmorhea's five-month total of $3,289 is down by just over eight percent.

Also down was the Reeves County Hospital District, which got back $26,126 this month from its ½-cent sales tax, a 1.34 percent decline from last year. Overall, the hospital's 2001 tax rebates have brought in $122,131, down 3.76 percent.

The Pecos Economic Development Corp., which gets ¼-cent of the city's 1 ½-cent sales tax, got $12,564 this month.

Statewide, sales tax rebate checks to cities and counties in May totaled just under $276.2 million, up almost 7½ percent from last year. Houston received the largest single check, for $34.67 million, a seven percent increase, while Dallas' rebate check was for $22.7 million, which was down one-tenth of a percent from a year ago.

Police continue to investigate Saturday stabbing on east side

Staff Writer

A 35-year-old Pecos man was stabbed at his home on the east  side of town on Saturday, according to the Pecos Police Department. 

Edward Villalobos reported to the police that he was stabbed at his home in the 300 block of South Sycamore Street at 7:56 p.m., on Saturday.

Pecos Police Investigator Kelly Davis said that Villalobos knew the person who stabbed him but Davis could not release that name until police get more information from their investigation.

"We don't know for sure who it was," he said.

Davis said that ambulance personnel arrived soon after police did and transported Villalobos to Reeves County Hospital.

Davis said that the incident is still under investigation.

Bloys helped bring gospel to area cities

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is one in a continuing series of features  on historical locations and events in the Trans-Pecos region
By The Ghost Writer
Circuit riders _ preachers _ traveled from one small city to  another and went to far-flung ranches in West Texas preaching and  establishing congregations.  This started as far back as 1888.  The influence of  these faithful men is felt to this day.  They were dedicated, true believers  who suffered many hardships to preach the Word. 

One of the first of these preachers was a Presbyterian, D.W. Bloys, who started his work in Fort Davis in 1888. The town of Fort Davis was established in 1854 to protect the area from Apache and Comanche Indians. Ill health brought him to this dry country. Alpine, Marfa and Valentine and numerous ranch families were within his working area. The "Cowboy Preacher" continued his preaching until his death in 1917.

A horse or buggy was his mode of traveling these long distances until circa 1916 when he acquired a Ford Model T. This made his work a bit easer, however, a Ford could get stuck and flat tires were common. All Ford owners were equipped with a jack, hand pump and tire repair kit. The noted historian, Barry Scobee, and one of Scobee's ranchman friend, helped the Cowboy Preacher out of a sandy road.

Circuit rider Bloys established Presbyterian churches in the three towns in the area and wanted to establish an interdenominational camp meeting and in 1889, at the John Zach Means ranch, plans were made to do just that. Skillman's Grove was the site decided upon. The land was owned by E.P. Hill who sold it to the Bloys' Camp Meeting Association. Ranchers and cowboys cleared the brush and built an arbor and they had a two-day religious meeting. Word spread and they started having one-day meetings on Sunday but that was too short a time for people who lived 50 miles away so they extended it to a weeklong meeting. The camp has grown and many improvements have been made.

The Pecos Enterprise and Gusher reported Sept. 7, 1917, upon the death of the Cowboy Preacher, that the Bloys' Camp Meeting Association passed a resolution that a monument to Bloys should be erected and they did just that. They resolved to "consecrate ourselves anew." And "to follow in his footsteps, as he followed in the footsteps of the Master."

The Bloys' Camp Meeting continues to have a good influence on people. They meet every August and Paisano, the Baptist meeting, meets every July.

My "Mature" advisors feel that the note on a screwdriver left in the rich man's Cadillac door should not have read "You've found the rattle you rich son-of-a-gun" it should have read "You've found the rattle you rich son-of-a-gun and thank you for buying this car that has provided me with a job so that I can clothe, feed and house my family."

P.S. to the young preacher who wanted to know if the car hit by an airplane back in 1929 belonged to the Ghost Writer. The car belonged to the Ghost Writer's great-grand son.

Child remains hospitalized in Friday car-train accident

Staff Writer

Four people were transported to Reeves County Hospital after  the vehicle they were in was hit by a train early Friday afternoon in Barstow,  and one remains in a Lubbock hospital with internal injuries.

The Eastbound Union Pacific Railroad train struck a 1998 Pontiac Sunfire as it was crossing the railroad tracks going into Barstow.

A Department of Public Safety representative in Pecos said that the driver of the vehicle, Martha Williams, of Cisco, was traveling East on Business 20 and turned left to cross the tracks on Farm to Market 516 when she was distracted and did not see the train coming.

"Apparently she was distracted by the children in the back seat and failed to see the warning lights," the representative said.

There were six other people in the vehicle at the time of the accident including Williams' son Jesse, 2, and her baby daughter.

Also in the vehicle was Jennifer Blake of Barstow and her three children, Reba, 6, Tyler, 4, and Nathan, 1.

It is unknown at this time if all passengers of the vehicle were properly secured in the car.

Pecos Ambulance personnel transported three of the children and Williams to Reeves County Hospital.

Williams, who is pregnant, was not injured in the accident but was transported to the hospital for observation.

Jesse was airlifted to Lubbock with internal injuries and remains in the hospital there, though the injuries are not said to be life-threatening.

Reba and Tyler were taken to the hospital to be treated for whiplash. Reba also had some bruising while Tyler had minor bruising to his kidneys and liver and lacerations.

The accident is still under investigation by DPS Trooper Anthony Moreno and special investigators for Union Pacific Railroad Police.

Special Agent with the Union Pacific Railroad Police Jerry Janosek said that they are currently investigating the accident but are still unaware of exactly what happened at the time of the accident.

"It's just lucky that they're alive," he said. Janoske has been questioning Barstow residents all weekend to find out as much information as possible.

Area residents to be contacted for city directory

City Directory, Inc. will be publishing a new Pecos City Directory in the near future. Local personnel are hired to contact all residents and businesses scheduled to be included in the directory, to verify and update the information. The directory will be offered at that time to the residents.

City Directory, Inc. has been publishing city directories since 1988 and is currently publishing directories in over 40 states. CDI is a subsidiary of Farm and Home Publishers, who have been publishing county directories for over 10 years and currently does over 600 counties in the Midwest.


High Sunday 87. Low this morning 62. Forecast for  tonight: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of evening showers  and thunderstorms. Low in the upper 50s. Southeast wind 10 to 20  mph. Chance of precipitation 20 percent. Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. High  in the upper 90s. Southwest wind 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday night:  Partly cloudy. Low around 60. Wednesday and Thursday: Partly cloudy.  Lows from the upper 50s to mid 60s. Highs from the lower 90s to 101.


Cornelio Camacho, Sr., Connie Marquez, Anthony Wilson, Jack Rogers and Victor Chavez

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