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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, September 10, 2001

North side home destroyed in Sunday blaze

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Sept. 10, 2001 -- An early morning fire destroyed a Pecos family's home and sent  Pecos volunteer firemen to the site twice on  Sunday, and the cause of the  early morning blaze remains under investigation.

The original fire call woke up members of the Pecos Volunteer Fire Department (PVFD) before sunrise. Firemen were called out on a house fire at 5:06 a.m., on Sunday morning in the 2200 block of West F Street.

Pecos Fire Marshall Jack Brookshire said that the fire department fought the fire for quite some time but unfortunately were unable to save the structure.

"We were out there for about two hours," he said. "It was a total loss. There was nothing left of it (the home)."

Brookshire said the home belongs to Donny and Christina Winfrey.

No one living in the home was injured in the fire and no firemen were hurt while fighting the fire, according to Brookshire.

"Nobody was home at the time," he said.

Firemen were called back out to the site about 12 hours later to hose down an area that was beginning to re-ignite.

Brookshire said that the cause of the fire is unknown at this time and is still under investigation.

City participates in Earhart flight recreation events

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Sept. 10, 2001 -- A California woman who is recreating the 1928 round-trip  flight across American of pioneer aviatrix Amelia Earhart will be make a stop  in Pecos on Tuesday morning, though she's not planning on having  the same type of extended stay Earhart had in Pecos 73 years ago.

Dr. Carlene Mendieta left Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y. last week, and will be flying south from Hobbs, N.M. to Pecos on Tuesday, where a full day of activities have been scheduled to mark the recreation of Earhart's 1928 flight from New York to Los Angeles and back.

That flight ended up making an extended stop in Pecos, due to engine trouble with her 1927 Avro Avian airplane, for which a replacement part had to be brought in from El Paso. That's the next stop for Mendieta after Pecos, but she plans to be there by Wednesday afternoon, after spending most of Tuesday and part of Wednesday morning in town.

My understanding is she'll arrive here at 10:15 a.m.," said Pecos Municipal Airport manager Isabel Blanchard. The mayor (Ray Ortega) will be out here with the city manager (Carlos Yerena) to greet her, and the (Pecos High School) cheerleaders have committed to being out there, but we don't know about the band because it was such short notice."

Earhart's 1937 disappearance while flying across the Pacific Ocean remains a mystery and the event most associated with her. But she first gained national fame by becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928 and her 1928 cross-country trip, which Blanchard said traveled west from Fort Worth's Mecham Field to Hobbs, and from there south to Pecos while the repairs to her plane were being made.

According to a press release about the recreation, Mendieta, who regular job is as a dentist in Sonoma, Calif., is flying a fully restored 1927 Avro Avian, the only working Avian left in North America. The flight will land in 23 cities along the historic route and cover approximately 5,500 miles at an average speed of 82 mph.

For Earhart, the original flight was among her first aviation records and was the first solo, round-trip transcontinental crossing by a woman. The flight is called "Amelia Earhart's Flight Across America: Rediscovering A Legend," and is sponsored by St. Paul, Minn.-based, while information in the flight itself is available at .

After being greeted at the airport, Blanchard said Mendieta will be taken in a Model A car owned by former Pecos mayor and pilot Bill Hubbs to the West of the Pecos Museum, where museum volunteers have created an exhibit marking Earhart's 1928 visit to Pecos.

"When they're there, the mayor will sign a proclamation in the room where the display is declaring Tuesday `Amelia Earhart Day'," Blanchard said, which will be followed by a hamburger lunch prepared by Pecos Rotary and Lions Club members. "We've also asked her to be the guest speaker for the Rotary Club, the same way Amelia Earhart was," she added.

"After that, she'll be taken by the house where Ameila stayed when she was in Pecos," Blanchard said. The Hickory Street home is owned by Mr. And Mrs. Jimmy Dutchover, and Blanchard said, "They have been kind enough to let me take Dr. Mendieta into the house to share a little bit of the historical value of the house."

Since Mendieta's stay will only be for one day, Blanchard said she didn't know if she would be able to recreate some of Earhart's other activities. "When she was here, Amelia Earhart went by car to Carlsbad Caverns. Dr. Mendieta is staying the night, and there will be transportation available for her, but I don't know if she'll be going to Carlsbad."

After leaving for El Paso at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Mandieta plans to make three stops in Arizona before arriving in Burbank Calif. She will then begin her trip back east, taking a northern route through Utah, Wyoming and Nebraska before returning to Westchester County, tentatively scheduled on Oct. 2.

Commissioners OK payments for next RCDC job

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Sept. 10, 2001 -- Payments to the architect and construction company that will  be in charge of the construction of the Reeves County  Detention Center III project were approved at a regular meeting held by  the Reeves County Commissioners Court this morning on the  third floor of the Reeves County Courthouse.

The group approved the first payment to Carothers Construction, Inc. in the amount of $220,579 as the first payment for the construction of a 1,000-bed addition at the facility.

A payment to Frank Spencer and for geo-technical services was approved, along with a payment to LMD Architects for invoice number #204 in the amount of $1,300.

Commissioners also approved an interlocal agreement between Reeves County and the Pecos Housing Authority for the golf course expansion and PHA park development plan.

Two additional holes will be added to the local golf course and the contract allows Reeves County to use land owned by PHA on the south side of Interstate 20 for the expansion of the Reeves County Golf Course. The new holes are part of a project to eventually add seven holes to the golf course to create a full 18-hole course for the first time in Pecos.

Commissioners were to continue their meeting this afternoon following a lunch break.

Schools schedule events this week for Open House

PECOS, Mon., Sept. 10, 2001 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD campuses will be holding Open Houses to welcome parents and community members to see their facilities and offer an opportunity to meet the teachers and new principals.

Open House was held at Bessie Haynes Elementary School, all fourth and fifth graders, Thursday.

Crockett Middle School, eighth graders, will have Open House, at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 10; Austin Elementary School, 1st-3rd graders, will have Open House at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 11 and Pecos Kindergarten will have it's Open House at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Also Crockett Middle School is selling yearbooks from year's past for $5 each. If interested call Gome Olibas at 447-7202.

Eagles' next game at Alpine changed to 8 p.m. 

PECOS, Mon., Sept. 10, 2001 -- The Pecos Eagles' game this Friday at Alpine against the Bucks has been changed from a 7:30 p.m. starting time to an 8 p.m. kickoff.

The game will be the first of five road contests for Pecos this season.

Barstow parties lead to arrests, rollover on I-20

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Sept. 10, 2001 -- A one-vehicle rollover sent six people, five of them teenagers, to  the hospital with minor injuries on Interstate 20 after leaving  Barstow Saturday night, while six other people were arrested in Barstow after  Ward County sheriff's deputies received a report of under-age drinking at  two parties held there that same night. 

Stephanie Clark, 24, of Wickett, Chanea Robinson, 14, of Monahans, Adrian Rodriguez, 18, of Pecos, Ashley Arredondo, 16, of Monahans, Chandler Pendleton, 17, of Pecos, and Pete Rodriguez, 18, of Pecos all went to either Ward Memorial Hospital or Reeves County Hospital after the vehicle they were in rolled over.

DPS Trooper Terry Gilchrest said that it is believed that the six people were leaving a party in Barstow that had been broken up by the Ward County Sheriff's Department.

"They were leaving Barstow and heading to Monahans," he said.

Gilchrest said that Clark was driving a 1991 Pontiac Bonneville eastbound on I-20 about 10 miles east of Barstow when she swerved to the left and into the median, where the vehicle rolled.

"She said she was swerving to miss a semi but there wasn't any indication as such," he said.

Gilchrest said that after entering the median the vehicle rolled and landed on its top in the westbound lanes of traffic.

Once ambulance personnel arrived on scene three of the six were transported to Ward County Memorial while another was transported to Reeves County Hospital.

Trooper Emmit Moore said the other two people showed up at the hospital on their own.

Gilchrest said that alcohol is suspected to be involved in the accident but no charges have been filed.

However, Clark was given a citation for traveling at an unsafe speed.

Troopers Gilchrest and Moore are still investigating the accident.

Meanwhile, Ward County Sheriff's Deputy Ben Dieshler is still investigating two separate parties in Barstow that led to the arrest of six people.

The names of the six people that were arrested have not been released at this time and no charges have reportedly been filed as of this morning.


PECOS, Mon., Sept. 10, 2001 -- High Sun. 80. Low this morning 67. Forecast for tonight: Partly  cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s. SE winds 5 to 10 mph. Tues.: Partly cloudy. Highs in  the upper 80s. South winds 5 to 15 mph. Tues. night: Partly cloudy. Lows in  the upper 50s. Wed.: Partly cloudy. Highs 85 to 90. Thurs.: Partly cloudy.  Lows around 60. Highs around 90.


Lloyd Chappell

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