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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Pair arrested; N.M. deputy still missing

From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, Wed., Sept. 19, 2001 -- Two persons being sought in connection with the slaying of a man in northern Arizona and the disappearance of a New Mexico sheriff's deputy have been arrested in Texas.

Jimmy Lynn Odom, 36, and Donna Rae Lankford, 34, both of Newton County in East Texas were picked up by Texas authorities on Monday, according to information provided today by the Reeves County Sheriff's Department.

It was unknown at this time exactly when and where the arrests were made, but officials said Monday they suspected the two had made their way to the Houston area from near Balmorhea, where a van they are believed to have stolen was found abandoned on Sunday.

Odom and Lankford were being sought by the Coconino County, Ariz., sheriff's office in the death of Duard Stanphill, who was shot at White Horse Lake campground near Williams, McKinley County sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Goodrich said.

Texas Rangers and Department of Public Safety crime lab workers were in Pecos on Tuesday going over the van, which was found about four miles west of Balmorhea on Interstate 10 Sunday, with both blood and weapons inside the vehicle.

The van belonged to Debbie Valdez, who was due to start work on Monday as a McKinley County, N.M. sheriff's deputy in Gallup, N.M., about 450 miles northwest of Balmorhea.

"New Mexico police, aided by a state police helicopter, searched for Valdez on Monday, who could be anywhere between Gallup and Balmorhea," said Goodrich.

She added there was blood inside, but authorities do not yet know whether it is the same blood type as the deputy's.

A car found Sunday evening near Valdez's house belonged to a man sought in a slaying at a campground near Williams, Ariz., Goodrich said. The car was found a quarter-mile from Valdez's rural Coolidge house, parked off the edge of Interstate 40, she said.

"Coconino County deputies took the car found at Valdez's home back to an Arizona crime lab," Goodrich said. She said authorities believe it broke down where it was found, and have no reason to believe Valdez was ever in it.

"The McKinley County sheriff's office obtained a search warrant for Valdez's house, but found nothing to indicate where she might be," Goodrich said.

Valdez recently moved to Coolidge, east of Gallup, and was supposed to start working for the sheriff's office on Monday. She had previously been with the police force in China Lake, Calif., Goodrich said.

She is described as 5-foot-4, weighing 105 pounds. She is in her late 30s, with brown eyes, long dark hair and a tattoo of the letter "D" on her left ring finger.

Tour of new PHA office held after training

Staff Writer
PECOS, Wed., Sept. 19, 2001 -- Pecos Housing Authority staff and other members from the West Texas area had an opportunity to come together for training in Pecos and to tour the PHA's new facility on the old Pecos Airbase Apartments site.

"There were approximately 50 staff members from the West Texas Council here for update and afterwards we had a walk-through of the newly renovated administration/maintenance building, hosted by the Pecos Housing Authority and the commissioners," said PHA Director Nellie Gomez.

About 60 people attended the walk-through and tour of the renovated building, which was originally built during World War II and is only one of two remaining buildings from the original Pecos Army Airfield housing complex. The group had a chance to see all the new items at the facility including a computer that can be used by the tenants.

"On Monday night, we had community training with about 40 commissioners and directors from the West Texas Area attending," said Gomez.

The training was given by Deputy Director of HUD Roman Palomares from Fort Worth.

On Tuesday, Gomez said the group had staff update training for all the directors from the West Texas Council and members of the community builders with HUD from Lubbock, Frank Arredondo and Mike Rincon attended.

"The staff training was update training given to us by Palomares," said Gomez.

Other officials that attended included Karen Masters, Revitalization Specialist, Management Occupation; Diane Clark, HUD Finance; Steve McGrew, HUD Engineer and from Lubbock, Miguel Rincon Frank Arredondo, HUD Community Builders.

The update training was on all the HUD programs, the new changes, electronic submission and new policies, according to Gomez.

"In the morning before the training began HUD and Community Builders officials were welcomed by city representatives, Carlos Yerena and George Bejarano, and I think that was really nice," said Gomez.

"At the walk-through we had many city and county officials and representatives," she added.

Others on hand for the tour were Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo, city councilman Ricky Herrera, former Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford, Pecos Housing Association members and some of the board members for PHA.

"We also had representatives from the sheriff's department and the Pecos Police Department," said Gomez, who added that the training was very enlightening and the tour was very well received.

"We had a good crowd," said Gomez.

Everyone was treated to a barbecue lunch following the tour.

Schedule set for October's fair events

Staff Writer
PECOS, Wed., Sept. 19, 2001 -- Final preparations are being made for the 2001 Reeves-Loving County Fall Fair, scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 5-6, at the Reeves County Civic Center.

Fall Fair committee members met on Tuesday to discuss plans for the evens, which will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 3, with the Fall Fair Carnival, scheduled from 6-11 p.m., in the Reeves County Civic Center parking lot.

Entries will be accepted from 1-7 p.m., at the Civic Center for all categories, except culinary items.

Entry deadline for Livestock Show entries will be at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, at the Reeves County Extension Office and the carnival will be open from 6-11 p.m.

On Friday Oct. 5, from 7-10 a.m., all entries will be accepted for the Fall Fair, including culinary items and herbs.

At 10 a.m., judging begins on all fair entries in the Home Economics/Art Exhibits and at 1 p.m., the fall fair officially opens with a flag raising ceremony provided by the Catholic War Veterans.

From 4:30-7 p.m., on Friday, weigh-in for livestock show will be held; from 4-10 p.m., the Band Boosters' enchilada plate sale will be held at the Civic Center; at 6 p.m., the barbecue beef cook-off gets underway at the Posse Arena and from 8-9 p.m. a Talent Show is scheduled at the Civic Center.

The fall fair carnival will be open on that day from 6 p.m. until midnight and at 10 p.m. the fair closes for the day.

On Saturday, from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m., the Rotary Club's Pancake Breakfast will be held at the civic center and the fall fair will officially open its doors to the public at 8 a.m.

The Livestock Show judging will begin at 9 a.m. with TCLA Lamb Show followed by West Texas Steer and Heifer Show, in the rear section of the Reeves County Civic Center.

At 3 p.m., a pet show will be held immediately following livestock show, and at the same time, the Barbecue Beef Cook-off Judging begins at the Reeves County Sheriff's Posse Arena.

Ribbon/Photo presentation for the Art Show will be held at 4 p.m., at the civic center; from 7-8 p.m., there will be a Tae Kwon Do presentation and from 1-10 p.m., the Band Boosters Enchilada Plate Sale will be held at the civic center.

Other activities will be, from 5-6 p.m., Stick Horse Rodeo and from 6-7 p.m. a Ranch Rodeo.

The fall fair carnival will be open from 6 p.m. until midnight and at 10 p.m., the fair will officially conclude, although the carnival will also be open on Sunday from 6 p.m. until midnight.

All entries need to be picked up at the Reeves County Civic Center from 2-4 p.m., on Sunday. Items not picked up will be taken to the Reeves County Extension Office, 700 Daggett-Suite E.


Squarely Pegged
By Peggy McCracken

WWII vet Reynolds builds digital symbol of Liberty

PECOS, Wed., Sept. 19, 2001 -- Dr. Elvia Reynolds got his first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty in 1944 when, as a young soldier, he sailed from New York Harbor aboard a troop ship headed for Marsailles, France. Two years ago, his daughter, Gay Britt, brought him a cigarette lighter shaped like the Statue of Liberty, with "New York" painted in gold across the base.

After last week's attack on the World Trade Center, Dr. Reynolds used that symbol of liberty, a small American flag he picked up at the Alpine Lodge restaurant, and a photo of the ocean to create a digital montage as a show of patriotism and as a memorial his family can pass along to their children and grandchildren.

President George W. Bush spoke for Dr. Reynolds when he declared war on terrorists. "I think he's doing great," Reynolds said of the strong stance Bush has taken. "I'm just thankful we have him. It is a terrible thought to think about annihilating a race of people, but that's kind of the general idea the President had in mind; and those that harbor them. I think like the President," he said.

War this time will be different than what Reynolds experienced in World War II, slogging through mud in France, "with the technology we have," but some foot soldiering still may be required if it is necessary to go into Afghanistan, he said.

"I'm not worried they are going to call me up," said the semi-retired dentist. His grandson, Randall Reynolds, could be in that number, though, as he is attending Pepperdine University in California.

"Randall got real upset," Reynolds said. "He called and wrote about how terrible it was." He is studying advertising, with computer courses as part of his degree plan. The two generations share an enthusiasm for the computer, and Randall has won awards for his cyber designs.

Dr. Reynolds was one of my first encouragers when I started trying to put the Enterprise online. We shared tips on how best to operate the browsers that were new to both of us, along with trouble shooting ideas when our computers or digital cameras wouldn't work. When he brought a printout of his digital montage to show me Tuesday, he wasn't looking for publicity, but simply sharing another accomplishment.

He said that he set up the photo of the ocean, placed the American flag and statue in front of it and shot the picture with his Nikon Coolpix 990 digital camera. After loading the resulting photos into his computer, Doc cropped and fiddled until he had it just right, with the "New York" label on the statue showing, then printed out the result on a color inkjet printer. He made several copies and framed them as gifts for family members.

As hard as it is to deal with such a tragedy, preserving the memories for our descendants will help them to understand and to guard against history repeating itself.

"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Eccl. 1:9, NIV

Editor's Note: Peggy McCracken is Enterprise business manager and webmaster. Contact her at

Bessie Haynes PTA meeting Thursday

PECOS, Wed., Sept. 19, 2001 -- Bessie Haynes will be having a parent, teacher organization meeting at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, in the school cafeteria.

There will be a "patriotic" music program presented by the students and conducted by Debbie Lenfest, Bessie Haynes Elementary Music Teacher.

The public is invited to attend.

Class of `51 holds reunion next week

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.


PECOS, Wed., Sept. 19, 2001 -- High Tuesday 101. Low this morning 69. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 60s. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 90s. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 60s. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs around 90. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 60s. Highs in the upper 80s.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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Copyright 2001 by Pecos Enterprise