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Archive 2001

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, October 26, 2001

Daylight time's end  adds additional hour to sleep

WASHINGTON (AP) - Say goodbye to daylight-saving time this weekend.

Clocks shift back one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, local time, giving an extra hour of sleep to most people Saturday night - and an extra hour of work to those who work the overnight shift.

And the change to Standard Time means it will be dark an hour earlier on Halloween, calling for extra caution on the part of drivers and those watching the children on their rounds.

Most people set their clocks back before retiring Saturday evening. Those who don't need to remember to set them back Sunday - or they'll be an hour out of sync with the rest of the country.

Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, whose department is in charge of the time change, issued a reminder that this is also a good time to change the batteries in smoke detectors.

Daylight-saving time returns April 7.

Halloween parade, carnivals planned for Saturday

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 26, 2001 -- The annual Halloween/Mother Goose Parade will be held along Oak  Street in Downtown Pecos Saturday evening. 

Line-up for the yearly event will be at 5 p.m. at the West Texas National Bank drive-thru. The parade will start at 5:30 p.m., and travel north on Oak Street to the Old Depot and West of the Pecos Museum.

Prizes will be awarded and the categories will be from birth through two years of age; 3-5 years of age; 6-10 years of age; groups and bicycles.

A Halloween Carnival will be held from 5-9 p.m., Saturday, at the Reeves County Civic Center, sponsored by Austin Elementary School.

Game booths, food and fun are all a part of the activities planned at the civic center and there will no cover charge, while An enchilada plate sale is set for 3-9 p.m. at the Civic Center, with plates costing $4 apiece

In Barstow, a Halloween Carnival will be from 7-10 p.m. at the Community Center, and an enchilada plate sale will be from 4 to 9 p.m., with plates cost $3.50 each.

Toyah will be having its Halloween Carnival on Saturday at the Toyah Senior Center. The kitchen will open at 6:30 p.m. and the carnival will begin at 7 p.m.

Cable company says no way to get Cowboys on KPEJ

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 26, 2001 -- Dallas Cowboy fans in Pecos will not be able to watch their  team's games on basic television on most weeks when their games air on  Fox, according to regional vice president of Classic Cable Bill Flowers,  who met with the Town of Pecos City Council Thursday night at City Hall.

Flowers said that KPEJ, the Fox affiliate out of Midland-Odessa, has stopped sending a signal to the Pecos area, which means that Classic Cable has no signal that the company could pick up on and use for their customers.

"Unfortunately the loss of the Fox broadcast station was out of our hands," he said.

Flowers explained that KPEJ was using a low powered broadcast station, position on Gomez Peak located at the Interstate 10 and Interstate 20 junction, to broadcast the Fox signal to Pecos.

The station on Channel 18 went up in 1995, after Fox acquired rights to the NFL and most of the Cowboys' telecasts. But last year, the Federal Communications Commission granted an Odessa station the rights to broadcast the Univision Spanish language network to the Midland-Odessa area over Ch. 18.

In order to avoid any signal interference, the FCC ordered KPEJ to shut down their translator station.

"They (Univision) filed for a license by the FCC," he said. "The translator had to be shut down at which time we could not get a signal."

Now, according to Flowers, KPEJ is operating under their main broadcast station, which does not reach out to Pecos.

The council asked Flowers how Monahans is able to still receive the signal allowing Classic Cable customers there to still get the Cowboy games.

Flowers explained that the residents of Monahans are able to receive the games because they are 35 miles closer to Midland/Odessa. He also explained that Monahans is on the very edge of the broadcast signal, which does not give them a clear reception.

Since the KPEJ signal went down in June, Classic Cable has been using the Fox Net satellite service out of New York City, which does broadcast football games, but not exclusively the Cowboys games.

"Unfortunately for us here in Texas, it carries any game that is picked for broadcast each week," Flowers said.

Because of Dallas' poor record the past two seasons and their 1-4 start this year, Fox has selected fewer of their games for national broadcast. This weekend, when the Cowboys host the Arizona Cardinals at 3:15 p.m., Pecos cable customers are expected to get the Philadelphia-Oakland game over Fox Net while KPEJ viewers watch the Dallas-Arizona game.

KPEJ officials said back in August they were attempting to re-establish a translator station at Gomez Peak on Ch. 20, but had to await approval from the FCC. Until then, Flowers said that there is no way that Classic Cable can get the KPEJ signal to Pecos.

He said that they have even had an antenna study done to see if any kind of antenna would help bring the signal to the area with unsatisfactory results.

The study proved to the company that yes a signal could reach Pecos with an antenna but the reception of that signal is so bad that the customer would not be able to clearly see the broadcast.

"Since it was so bad we weren't even going to try to offer it," he said.

Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Director Tom Rivera said that he believes that not receiving the Cowboys game is not the only problem that local citizens have been having with Classic Cable.

"I think the problems with Classic Cable are deeper than not getting the Cowboy games," he said.

Rivera said that one of the problems is that customers have a hard time talking with a person when using the 800 number.

"That 800 number is just a joke," he said.

Rivera said that he has been trying to get a Classic Cable representative to come check his service for seven months with no success.

"I've been waiting seven months to get somebody to come out and look at my cable," he said. "You can't find anybody to talk to."

Flowers said that about 45 days ago, he and numerous other employees at Classic Cable took a look at the customer service problems the company has had and are now taking steps to correct those problems.

He said that an internal survey on the customer service gave them an idea of what real customers were going through and admitted that the company was falling short.

"Yes, we were falling flat on our face," he said.

Since then, however, Flowers said that the company has taken steps to correct those problems by adding additional phone lines to combat busy signals and over-staffing in order to have someone available to talk with customers.

"We made a drastic improvement," he said. "I think we've taken steps so that we're getting on the right road."

City Manager Carlos Yerena asked Flowers to run an advertisement in the Pecos Enterprise giving the citizens another number they could try in addition to the 800 number, and Flowers agreed.

The council also asked City Attorney Scott Johnson to look into possible breach of contract by Classic Cable and other possibilities for cable providers.

In other action, the council approved changing the Halloween Trick-or-Treat night to Saturday.

The council agreed that since Oct. 31 falls on Wednesday this year that it would be better for the community to change Trick-or-Treat celebrations to Saturday.

The council also approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Ray Ortega, Yerena and City Finance Director George Bejarano as signators for reimbursement of funds dealing with the Texas Community Development Grant.

Also approved by the council was the Pecos Economic Development Cooperation budget, the second reading of the rules for on site sewage facilities, the errors and corrections for the 2000 tax rolls as well as the 2001 tax roles.

Local volunteers for the Greater West Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association Fariss Murphy and Beverly Thomas presented the council with a proclamation designating November as National Alzheimer's Disease Month.

After Thomas read the proclamation to the council, the council approved the proclamation.

Ward Co., Texas Rangers probe allegations

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 26, 2001 -- Ward County Sheriff's Deputies have called in the Texas Rangers  this week to assist them in an investigation involving Ward  County Water Improvement District #1 in the Barstow area.

Ward County Deputy Ben Dieshler said that the investigation began earlier this week with deputies meeting with Texas Ranger Gerry Villalobos of Fort Stockton.

"There is an investigation going on to determine if there has been any possible criminal acts done at the irrigation district," he said.

Dieshler said that it is uncertain how long the investigation will last and as of this time no charges have been filed and no arrests have been made.

"No charges have been filed right now, it's still under investigation," he said.

Ward County Improvement District No. 1 is one of seven sub-districts to the Red Bluff Water Power Control District, which regulates water releases from the Pecos River to farmers between Red Bluff Dam and the Girvin area in northeastern Pecos County. Red Bluff board members assign water allotments each year to the seven districts, and the boards of those districts in turn allot water to the farmers in their areas.

The water district board of directors requested an investigation into several things at the water district office, according to Dieshler.

Dieshler could not say all that is involved in the investigation at this time.

"As of this point right now we can't advise what is involved," he said. "There are several things right now."

Gomez sued by bondsman over ban from county jail

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 26, 2001 -- Pascual Olibas of Freedom Bail Bonds has filed suit against  Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez seeking an injunction blocking Gomez'  order that suspended Olibas' bond-writing privileges at the Reeves County  Jail as well as monetary damages. 

The suit was filed on October 18, in United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division.

Among other allegations contained in the suit Olibas contends that Gomez suspended his bond writing privileges in retaliation for Olibas' comments regarding former Pecos bondsmen Joey Herrera and Olibas' complaints that other area bondsmen were being held to lesser standards than Olibas.

All of the alleged reasons for the suspension that are listed in the suit regard comments and complaints Olibas says he made regarding the sheriff and bond writing procedures at the jail.

Olibas contends that his comments were constitutionally protected speech and that Gomez' suspension is retaliation by Gomez.

Olibas contends that the alleged comments are constitutionally protected free speech.

Gomez said that he would prefer not to comment on the suit but that he was confident that there was no basis for the charges leveled by Olibas.

Gomez did confirm that he had suspended Olibas' bond writing privileges but declined to give a reason.

"This was not done in retaliation for anything Mr. Olibas said," Gomez said. "I'm confident that the truth will come out in court and that these allegations will be proven untrue."

Olibas asked the court for an injunction that would effectively reinstate his bond writing privileges at the jail and also for monetary damages based on: loss of past and future earnings, reduction in the value of his business, injury to his professional reputation, mental anguish, and punitive damages.


PECOS, Fri., Oct. 26, 2001 -- High Thursday 84. Low this morning 49. Forecast for tonight:    Mostly  clear.  Lows  around  50.  East  winds  5  to  15  mph. Saturday:   Partly   cloudy.  Highs  in  the  mid  70s.  Southeast  winds  5 to 15   mph. Saturday  night:   Clear.  Lows  around  50. Sunday:   Partly  cloudy.  Highs   75  to  80. Monday:   Partly  cloudy.  Lows  around  50.  Highs  75  to 80.


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