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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, September 13, 2001

Airline flying, small airports remain closed

From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 13, 2001 -- Federal aviation officials reopened the nation's skies for travel  Thursday, but only for commercial aircraft and airports that meet new  stringent security guidelines.

The lifting of the flight ban will allow many of the nation's larger airports to resume operations, though officials warn that it could take days for schedules to return to normal. But flights out of smaller sites, such as the Pecos Municipal Airport are on indefinite hold, according to Pecos Airport Manager Isabel Blanchard.

"The airspace was supposed to be open as of 10 o'clock, but at the last minute the head of the Department of Transportation (Norman Mineta) said the airspace was only open to commercial aviation. Private and business planes are still grounded," she said. "Only airplanes and airports that comply with the new regulations are allowed to reopen."

Blanchard said as of now, she has not been told what the new regulations will mean to airports like Pecos Municipal Airport, which handles mostly small private planes. "That has not been determined," she said.

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered security increased to its highest level since the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Mineta urged passengers on commercial airlines to allow ample time to deal with the new procedures.

"There will be some inconveniences, but safety will be the first element of our system to be restored," Mineta said in a statement released by the White House.

Some of the planes that were diverted Tuesday were allowed to fly Wednesday, carrying only those passengers who had begun the journey. More were expected to leave Thursday.

At least some regularly scheduled United Airlines flights were expected to begin at 6 p.m. CDT Thursday, and some scheduled flights on American Airlines and TWA after 3 p.m. CDT.

"We expect the return of our full schedule of service to take several days," American said.

The continued ban on non-commercial flights centers around fears that all of the terrorists involved in Tuesday's airplane attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center have not yet been apprehended, and that others with flying capabilities could gain access to airplanes again once the ban is lifted, if tougher security rules are not in place.

Blanchard had been waiting for the third straight day for the arrival of Dr. Carlene Mendieta, who was piloting a 1927 Avro Avian plane on a transcontinental recreation of Amelia Earhart's 1928 flight across the United States. Mendieta's plane was grounded along with all other U.S. aircraft on Tuesday, just before she was to have taken off from Hobbs Municipal Airport for her flight to Pecos.

Today's arrival was scheduled for 12 noon, but is Blanchard said the new delay "is open-ended until further notice."

"We had the (Pecos Eagle) band out here on short notice, which was really nice. They played the Star Spangled Banner in front of a picture of Amelia Earhart, and the ground crew for her flight taped it, and it will go into footage of her trip across the country."

Mineta has proposed a series of tough measures, including a ban on curbside check-ins and an increased police presence in airports. The Justice Department said one option is to put law enforcement personnel on planes, a practice that has been used in the past.

Regardless of whether that step is taken, U.S. marshals, the U.S. Customs Service and the Border Patrol will be part of increased security on the ground at airports, Justice Department spokeswoman Mindy Tucker said.

The Air Transport Association said the FAA should consider taking over the passenger screening process rather than leaving it to the airlines.

"When we are dealing with terrorism, there are functions and responsibilities that are beyond our abilities and responsibilities," the airlines' trade group said in a statement.

FAA Administrator Jane Garvey was expected to brief the Massachusetts congressional delegation Thursday on security at Logan Airport in Boston, where two of the hijacked planes originated.

Third graders show support with ribbons

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 13, 2001 -- A local third grade class wants to make a difference and let  others know that they care about the situation affecting the United  States, following an attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in  New York by terrorists.

"After quite a discussion in our class about everything that is going on in and with our country right now, our class wanted to make a small difference," said third grade teacher Heather Scheier.

Scheier said that the class decided that they will ask that everyone put a red, white and blue ribbon on their car's antennae and show their pride to be Americans.

"I went out and bought material with red, white and blue, like the flag and we're making ribbons to pin on our shirts, our car antennas or somewhere prominent," said Scheier. "We also wanted these ribbons to represent all of those that lost their lives and to their families and friends in their time of grief."

Scheier's class was busy this morning making ribbons, not only for themselves but also for others.

"This idea is catching on quickly," said Scheier. "I spoke to Don Love, (school superintendent) and he wants us to make some for all the school board members for tonight's school board meeting."

Scheier said that since the youngsters are too young to donate blood, they felt they still wanted to do something special to show their respect and their support for those suffering through this crisis.

"We want to let them know that we proud to be Americans," said Scheier.

Scheier said that the class is also composing a letter to President George Bush. "The kids are so excited about this project," she said. "They were so worried and wanted to know about the situation," she said.

Scheier told her class this morning that their pride is contagious. "This project is really rolling, I just went out and bought more material for more ribbons," she said.

Scheier said that she hopes others will show support. "Would you please help us make a difference and tie a ribbon on your antennae and show everyone that we are proud and no one can break our spirit," she said.

School board to look over enrollment report tonight

PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 13, 2001 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board will discuss enrollment report and effect on 2001-2002 budget during their regular meeting scheduled for this evening.

The group will meet at 6 p.m., in the boardroom, 1304 S. Park St., and the public is invited to attend the open session of the meeting.

School board members will also meet behind closed doors to discuss personnel or hear complaints against personnel and under Section 551.071: private consultation with the board's attorney regarding parent complaint: 1. Level 3 parent complaint (Patricia Perez).

In other business the board will recognize Athletic Booster Club's contribution to improvements at Pecos High School; staff recognition for on-line TIFTECH Training and Intel Teach to the Future Program; Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year-Debbie Flores and Region 18 Education Service Center Elem. Teacher of the Year _ Alice Wein.

Under correspondence the group will listen to a report on the district's report card and National Food Service Employee Day _ Sept. 26.

Old Business, board members will listen to a report on CATE building/TDLR accessibility compliance at Crockett Middle School/roofing at Pecos Kindergarten/carpet.

Board members will discuss and approve tax roll errors and corrections for 2000 and prior years; 2001-2002 budget amendments; disposal of 1996 diesel crew cab pickup that is no longer necessary for the operation of the school district; request for proposal for vans and buses and set date to canvass tax rollback election results (between Sept. 25-27).

Group will discuss and approve Accident Prevention Plan and associated forms from Safety Consultant concerning Hazardous Employer designation.

Under regular agenda items the group will discuss and approve:

Professional personnel: appointments, reassignments, change of contract.

Tax report.

Depository securities report.

Current bills and financial report.

Investment transaction report.

Reconciled bank balance report.

Cafeteria report and list of commodities.

Reeves County Community Recreation Department report.

Date and time for next regular meeting.

Calendar of events.

Request for items for next agenda.

Council to listen to Airport Board

PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 13, 2001 -- The Town of Pecos City Council is scheduled to discuss recommendations for appointment to the Permian Basin Airport Board during the regular meeting at 5:30 p.m., tonight in Council Chambers at City Hall.

Originally, the Council was scheduled to discuss the use of Saragosa Park and the closing of streets for the September 16th Celebrations but will announce that the celebrations have been canceled.

The Santa Rosa Church canceled the festivities this weekend in response to the tragic events that took place on Tuesday in New York City. Pecos Municipal Airport is closed because of the tragedy, and may not reopen until new security measures for airports across the United States are announced and in place.

The Council is also scheduled to discuss the first reading of the proposed budget for the fiscal year of 2001-02.

PHS Class of `51 plans 50th reunion

PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 13, 2001 -- The Pecos High School Class of 1951 is having their 50th class reunion on September 28-30 at the Swiss Clock Inn in Pecos. All 1951 graduates are urged to attend plus any and all PHS graduates are welcome.

Time is short so graduates are asked to please register as soon as possible.

Registration is $36 per person and check may be mailed to Bill Hubbs at P.O. Box 1897 in Pecos or call 445-2773.

U.S. preparing major assaults on terror sites

AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON - The United States will respond to terrorist  attacks on New York and Washington with a sustained military campaign,  Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said Thursday.

"It's going to unfold over time," he told reporters at the Pentagon. "One thing that is clear is you don't do it with just a single military strike, no matter how dramatic."

Wolfowitz was asked what U.S. military strikes might target.

"It will be a campaign, not a single action," he said. "And we're going to keep after these people and the people who support them until this stops."

Wolfowitz said part of the $20 billion in emergency funds President Bush has asked Congress to approve will be used to strengthen U.S. military readiness for the fight against terrorism. He could not specify how much.

"A significant piece of this is going to be used to bring our armed forces to the highest level of preparedness to do whatever the president may ask them to do," he said.

Wolfowitz would not discuss specific military options.

"The president has a whole range of options in front of him," he said.

Another portion of the extra money sought by the president would pay for air patrols that have been flying over major American cities since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"There are costs already incurred with the combat air patrols that have been maintained over a significant number of American cities, including Washington," he said. "The costs mount rapidly and they will mount more rapidly as this campaign develops."

Wolfowitz praised Congress for uniting to support emergency funds for the military.

"I think it's a message to friends and adversaries alike that this is a completely different ballgame that we're in now," he said.

Wolfowitz said the anti-terrorism campaign the president is prepared to direct will not be limited to military force.

"These people try to hide. They won't be able to hide forever," Wolfowitz said. "They think their harbors are safe, but they won't be safe forever. One has to say it's not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism."

Wolfowitz dismissed any suggestion the Bush administration would reduce the size of the military in the face of its goal to eradicate the sources of terrorism.

"There are also going to be some huge requirements to build up our military for the next year and maybe longer," he said.

On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said in a message to U.S. troops worldwide that "in the days ahead" some among them would be called to join the battle against terrorism.

Rumsfeld, in remarks that strongly suggested military retaliation for the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, said the entire Defense Department must be prepared for "dangerous work."

"We face powerful and terrible enemies, enemies we intend to vanquish," Rumsfeld said in a videotaped message to U.S. forces around the globe. He called the attacks Tuesday the first great crisis of the 21st century and said it would demand a response from those in uniform.

"The task of vanquishing these terrible enemies - and protecting the American people and the cause of human freedom - will fall to you," he said.

Rumsfeld noted the U.S. military's history of heroism.

"At the Pentagon yesterday, heroes were here again. I know I am speaking to many now - especially those of you in the field, those of you who wear the uniform of our country - who will in the days ahead also be called heroes," he said.

A text of Rumsfeld's remarks were distributed by his aides.

At a news conference, Rumsfeld told reporters that an American response must be "sustained and broadly based," though he did not refer specifically to military retaliation.

The attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon by terrorists in hijacked jetliners were "the definition of a new battlefield," he said.

"It is a different kind of conflict," Rumsfeld said. He spoke to reporters in a grave tone in a Pentagon briefing room that still reeked of acrid smoke from the smoldering fires.

Meanwhile, a Navy aircraft carrier sailed into the waters off New York's Long Island on Wednesday and other warships stood guard off the East Coast as the U.S. military remained on high alert against further terrorist attacks.

At his news conference, Rumsfeld said an estimate from the Arlington County (Va.) Fire Department, which led the fire fighting effort, that as many as 800 people may have perished in the attack was "considerably high."

Rumsfeld declined to provide an estimate, although reports from the military services indicated the toll might be closer to 150, plus those aboard the hijacked airliner.

Asked whether the Bush administration was prepared to take bold action against the perpetrators, Rumsfeld replied, "Time will tell. I'm kind of old fashioned. I'm inclined to think if you're going to cock it you throw it" - in other words, if you threaten to retaliate you must carry through.

"So my instinct is you go about your business and do what you have to do," he added. "Anyone who thinks it's easy is wrong. I think it will take a sustained and broadly based effort."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., expressed hope that the United States and Russia might take "joint action" against Osama bin Laden, the exiled Saudi millionaire who is considered the leading suspect in Tuesday's attacks.

Recovery of victims at WTC going slowly

Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK  - The ghastly toll of terrorism came into focus  Thursday, as the mayor said 4,763 people had been reported missing in  the devastation of the World Trade Center. Crews combed through  the ruins, desperate to find a living soul.

"It could turn out we recover fewer than that; it could be more," Mayor Rudolph Giuliani told reporters. "We don't know the answer."

He said the city had some 30,000 body bags available to hold the pieces taken from the rubble, and parts of 70 bodies had been recovered. There were just 94 confirmed dead; 30 or fewer had been identified.

"Let's just say there was a steady stream of body bags coming out all night," said Dr. Todd Wider, a surgeon who was working at a triage center. "That and lots and lots of body parts."

In a call to Giuliani and New York Gov. George Pataki, President Bush said he would visit the nation's largest city on Friday. "I weep and mourn with America," he said, describing Tuesday's attacks as "the first war of the 21st century."

The president will find a reeling metropolis. A vast section of the city has been sealed off, as emergency workers struggled to cope with the unprecedented destruction.

Work was slowed by hellish bursts of flame and the collapse of the last standing section of one of the towers taken out by suicide jets.

The effort was mirrored at the Pentagon, where 190 people were feared dead and 70 bodies had been recovered.

The 4,763 missing reported by Giuliani, added to the deaths in Washington and Pennsylvania when commandeered airliners crashed into the Pentagon and a grassy field southeast of Pittsburgh, would bring the total to more than 5,000.

That would be higher than the death toll from Pearl Harbor and the Titanic combined. A total of 2,390 Americans died at Pearl Harbor nearly 60 years ago, and the sinking of the Titanic claimed 1,500 lives.

On Wednesday, five people were pulled alive from the Trade Center rubble - three of them police officers.

A thick cloud of acrid, white smoke blew through the streets Wednesday after the four-story fragment of the south tower fell. Gusts of flame occasionally jumped up as debris was removed from the smoldering wreckage.

"The volunteers are literally putting their lives at risk," Giuliani said.

The vast search to uncover the terrorist plot stretched from Miami to Boston to Portland, Maine, and on to Canada and Germany. Up to 50 people were involved in the attack, the Justice Department said, with at least four hijackers trained at U.S. flight schools. Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden remained a top suspect.

"We're pursuing a couple thousand credible leads and I believe we're making progress on those leads," Attorney General John Ashcroft said Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

In Washington, Bush worked with Congress on legislation authorizing military retaliation, and officials revealed that the White House, Air Force One and the president himself had been targeted Tuesday.

America's NATO allies bolstered Bush's case for military action, declaring the terrorist attacks an assault on the alliance itself.

Gradually, some sectors returned to normal. The U.S. Department of Transportation gave the go-ahead for commercial and private flights to resume as of 11 a.m. EDT Thursday, but schedules were expected to be in disarray, and heavy security was the rule.

Flags flown, vigils held for victims

Associated Press Writer

In towns across the nation, people flew American flags and gathered  for vigils to remember the lives lost in this week's terrorists attacks at  the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Congress broke from its business Wednesday to hold an evening prayer vigil for the victims. As the Marine Corps band played, lawmakers and their spouses sang "God Bless America."

"There are often times in our lives when things happen. We don't know why," Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla., told the crowd. "We just have to call on faith and climb in God's lap and say, `Here, Father, fix it."'

In Grants Pass, Ore., Kiwanis Club members festooned the two main streets with American flags. They were put out at the behest of Ruth McGregor, a local bookstore owner who remembered living through the horror of World War II as a child.

"When I woke up yesterday and turned on the television, it was Pearl Harbor Day all over again," McGregor said. "The first thing my mother did then was put the flag out on the porch."

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., asked all New Yorkers to hang an American flag from their windows as a symbol of freedom, and South Dakota Gov. Bill Janklow urged churches to ring their bells for five minutes Saturday at noon.

"Let's ring those bells in memory of our soldiers, and in memory of those who have died and have been injured this week, and let's ring them for freedom," Janklow said.

Country singer Martina McBride performed for about 2,000 people at a vigil in Nashville, Tenn., hastily organized by several local radio stations. Organizers handed out small American flags, white ribbons and candles.

In Cincinnati, about 150 people holding lighted candles marched Wednesday evening from Fountain Square to the federal building, where they left yellow marigolds and black-eyed Susans in the memory of the victims.

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft told about 750 at the Statehouse in Columbus: "Today is a day to renew our faith in America."

The California Legislature also held a 30-minute memorial service.

"We will not let these acts of terrorism bring our country to a halt," said Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg.

In sports, the Big Sky Conference called off all Friday events to set aside the day as a memorial to victims.

The New York Philharmonic canceled its opening night gala Sept. 20 and planned to replace it with a memorial concert.

Organizers of the Miss America Pageant, scheduled Sept. 22, said the show would be dedicated to the memory of the firefighters, police officers, emergency workers, airline crews and other innocent people who died.

"As our leaders have all been saying, these terrorists wanted to disrupt our American way of life," said Miss California Stephanie Baldwin. "We felt it was important to go ahead with our way of life and not let them win."

Congress eyes $20 billion for anti-terrorism effort

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - In an extraordinary show of  bipartisan unity, congressional leaders said they intended to begin pushing  an emergency anti-terrorism package through Congress on Thursday  with a price tag that could exceed $20 billion.

They said they also wanted quick approval this week of a separate measure stating Congress' support for the use of force by President Bush against the terrorists who crashed airliners into New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Tuesday, inflicting massive casualties.

Top lawmakers and White House officials were hoping to nail down final details of both bills by late Thursday.

Bush sent House Speaker Dennis Hastert a formal request Thursday for $20 billion and suggested he could request more money. Quick passage "will send a powerful signal of unity to our fellow Americans and to the world," Bush said.

"If additional resources are necessary, I will forward another request for additional funding," he said.

Background documents say the money is needed to provide assistance to victims and address other consequences of the attack, including "support to counter, investigate or prosecute" terrorism and increase money for transportation.

Emerging from a meeting of Congress' top Democrats and Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., told reporters:

"There is a unanimous understanding that whatever we do this week is a very minimal down payment to what will be required and what we will do in the days and weeks ahead."

House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, said $20 billion was "very clearly designed to fund the initial response to this horrible act."

Among the final details to be worked out on the spending bill were the leeway Bush would have to disperse the money to specific programs without congressional approval.

Under the version that administration officials had prepared on Wednesday, the entire sum would be provided to an emergency response fund the president controls and he would be allowed to use it for broadly defined categories such as to "counter, investigate or prosecute domestic or international terrorism."

"We are not talking about second-guessing the president," said Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. "We are supposed to protect the taxpayers' interests."

"We don't want a dime's worth of difference with the president... but you don't make 10-year policy on attacking terrorism on the back on an envelope," Obey said.

Daschle said the separate bill on the use of force would be to restate his constitutional powers in that area. Like spending, the authority over force is a power that the two branches of government have contested throughout history.

"We want to give the president maximum flexibility, but we also want to recognize the constitutional responsibilities the Congress has," Daschle said.

Sen. John Warner of Virginia, top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he and others were trying to reach compromise language on the resolution on force.

"It is in the best interests of the United States when faced with a crisis ... that there be a contemporary expression by the coequal branch of government, the Congress, that they support him in such actions as he deems essential for our national security," Warner told reporters.

While the thought of spending billions more this year and likely tapping into formerly untouchable Social Security reserves would have ignited a political firestorm just a week ago, lawmakers said Wednesday the request would be granted now.

"That debate is over at this point," said Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.

"If we can't protect our national security, how can we protect Social Security?" Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said.


PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 13, 2001 -- High Wednesday 93. Low this morning 70. Forecast for  tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows near 65. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph.  Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 90. South winds 5 to 15 mph. Friday night:  Partly cloudy. Lows near 65. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper  80s. Sunday: Partly cloudy. Lows near 65. Highs 85 to 90.


Marie Brown

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Tell us what you think

How do you think America should respond to Tuesday's attack? Drop your comments off at the Enterprise office to be published.

Slim chances for terrorist

I saw Slim yesterday. `Mad" does not adequately describe his mood, but no other word does either.

To me, Slim and folks like him are what made America great. Solid people firmly tied to a Christian morality. People who care if their neighbors think they can be counted on. People who take pride in never asking for help and always offering to help others. People who answer their country's call in wartime and in peace. Americans.

There is only one topic of conversation since the World Trade Center attack.

"This is the only time in my life I've truly wanted to be President of the United States," Slim said quietly.


"Yeah. I think I could do a lot of good right now," he said.

"What would you do?"

"Well, first I would declare war and I would put the screws to Congress to make it official. Then I would call in my Joint-Chiefs of Staff and the lead fellow with the Coast Guard and I would hand them each a piece of the list."

"What list?"

"I figure the CIA and FBI have a list of names with every known terrorist in the world. That list."

"Every terrorist?"

"Yep. Every blasted person that has stood up and said, `America is evil and I am going to attack her, or I will support those that do.' As far as I'm concerned that is a declaration of war on their part, and it is time we started acting like it."

"That's a lot of people."

"Yep. We have a lot of troops. Anyway, I'd hand them each a part of the list," he said.

"Gentlemen," I would say, "I want every person on that list dead in the next two weeks. They have declared war on America and we are going to respond in kind. I do not care how you do it. If you can send in a company of Rangers and take two of them out and not hurt anyone else that is fine. If you need to simply bomb the village they live in into dust, then do that. If we run out of bombs surround it with the 2nd Marine Division, set it on fire and bayonet everyone that come out. If you have to chase them across the desert with the entire First Armored Division, that is fine. This is not about collateral damage, or saving innocent lives, or due process. This is about protecting America in time of war. The only thing I care about is results. Please keep me updated on your progress."

"That's a lot of dead people Slim."

"Yep. There is a price to be paid. We can't avoid that. America paid a terrible price Tuesday. If that was any indication of what these people are capable of, then it will save more lives than it cost. And those saved would be Americans. That ought to be our first concern _ saving American lives and protecting our country. We did not ask for this war. But we are in it whether we want to be or not. It's time we started acting like it," he said.

If Slim runs in the next presidential race, I think I know who I'm voting for.

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