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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, July 8, 2002

Saturday storm hits Pecos area, hampers rodeo

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, July 8, 2002 -- Rain was a welcome sight this weekend even when it delayed  the start of the final night of the West of the Pecos Rodeo by 45 minutes.

Rodeo fans and contestants patiently waited for the start of Saturday's show, as well as the dance, which had been rained on twice earlier in the week. The show was delayed about 15 minutes during the heaviest of the rains when the lights went out at the Buck Jackson Rodeo arena, and finished up about 45 minutes behind schedule.

The rains were part of a storm front that caused flooding last week in the Austin and San Antonio areas, and on Saturday in the Abilene and Brownwood areas.

According to KIUN, downtown Pecos received .60 inches of rain on Saturday night while the Texas A&M Agriculture Experiment Station received .50 inches over the whole weekend.

"We got rain this morning sometime," Experiment Station employee Jaxie Young said.

However, it seems that Pecos is the only part of Reeves County or nearby areas, with the exception of Toyah, that received a significant amount of rain over the past week.

Robert Gamboa of the Coyanosa Food Mart reported that the small town received only seven-tenths of an inch of rain on Saturday.

"We didn't get a lot of rain total," he said.

Although there wasn't much of it Gamboa said that the rain was welcomed. It did not hurt any of the onion or cantaloupe crops in the area.

All the rain might have hurt was the cantaloupe harvesting.

"It was nice," he said. "It didn't hurt anything expect maybe the cantaloupe picking."

The people of Balmorhea were upset yesterday after not receiving any rain over the weekend. However, they did get a small amount early this morning.

Park Manager of the Balmorhea State Park Tom Johnson said that they received about three-tenths of an inch of rain at approximately 5:45 a.m., this morning.

"That's the first rain we had all weekend," he said.

Johnson said that they could see storms surrounding the little town yesterday but was not hit.

"We were just depressed yesterday because we could see the storms," he said.

That three-tenths of rain is the only rain Balmorhea has seen since May 2.

Toyah was the big winner this weekend after receiving 1.5 inches of rain on Saturday, according to Toyah resident Gary Ingram.

Ingram said that they did receive a small amount this morning as well.

"It was sprinkling when I left for work," he said.

The strongest of the storms on Saturday hit about 300 miles to the east in Brownwood and Abilene.

A 2-square-mile swath of downtown Brownwood was under 3 to 4 feet of water Sunday afternoon, and Lake Brownwood was rising to a record 7.7 feet above the spillway before slowly starting to go down.

Meanwhile, Texans some 150 miles to the south in flood-ravaged New Braunfels returned to their homes to survey the devastation left by the Guadalupe River. Soggy carpets were piled on driveways in one neighborhood.

In New Braunfels, Fred Maxwell's home, the only one left standing from the 1998 flood, withstood the latest flooding as well. At the height of the flooding, it had 3 feet of water on the top floor of the two-story structure.

"We're going to stay, I'm sure," Maxwell said, then hesitated. "I'm at least going to rebuild. I can't sell it like this."

More than 30 inches of rain fell in parts of south-central Texas during the week, causing tens of millions of dollars in property damage. Eight people have died.

Preliminary damage assessments show at least 48,000 houses have been affected _ double the number of cases reported after Houston's Tropical Storm Allison last year, according to the American Red Cross.

Thirteen Texas counties have been declared federal disaster areas by President Bush. Gov. Rick Perry, who took a helicopter tour of the swollen Guadalupe River, asked for declarations Sunday for 17 counties.

On Monday, Perry toured a flood-damaged home in San Antonio. He said he expected the president to decide today on disaster status for additional Texas counties.

"Once all of these floodwaters recede, we'll see the impact," Perry said afterward. "It's going to be substantial."

Flood waters started receding Sunday in Abilene, Buffalo Gap and other West Texas towns hit by a thunderstorm early Saturday. More than 1,500 people had been evacuated.

B.J. Flynn, 70, waited Sunday at a temporary shelter at the Abilene Civic Center for word on whether her street had reopened. She said she didn't care about the condition of her house of 30 years because her most precious possession, a 7-year-old poodle named Chris, was at her side.

"I told them, `Wherever I go, that dog goes,'" Flynn said, recalling her conversation with National Guard troops who told her to evacuate. "Do you think I'd abandon that little thing? Not on your life. He's been the best dog here."

Brownwood didn't get much rain, but the Saturday morning downpour in the hills south of Abilene flowed south into Lake Coleman and then into Jim Ned Creek, which feeds Lake Brownwood.

Brownwood's worst flood was in April 1990 after storms dumped 17 inches of rain in a short period of time. Dozens of businesses were damaged with costs exceeding $1 million.

Flash flood warnings were issued on Saturday for several areas of West Texas, along with Eddy County, N.M.

The National Weather Service reports that today could be the last day this week that Pecos might receive rain.

"You'll have scattered showers today with a high in the 90s and a 40 percent chance of rain," Meteorologist Brian Curran said.

Tonight Pecos has a 20 percent chance of rain with a low in the 70s.

"Thereafter, it looks like it'll dry up," Curran said.

Through Sunday, Curran said that Pecos would see partly cloudy skies with highs from 95 to 100 degrees.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Frazer earns All-Around title for 2002 rodeo

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, July 8, 2002 -- After dodging thunderstorms the first two nights of competition, rains struck the West of the Pecos Rodeo head-on Saturday night, driving  fans underneath the stands for cover and making things wet and muddy for cowboys during the final night of competition.

Rider Scott Frazer, who didn't have to worry about the rains, having competed on Wednesday, earned the All-Around Cowboy title by tying for first place in the Bareback Riding competition and placing second in the Bull Riding event. The combined finishes earned the Wilmington, Tx., cowboy $7,008.37, to finish about $2,400 ahead of runner up Brent Lewis.

Frasier scored 82 points on his bull to place second to Royd Doyal, and tied James Boudreaux for the title in bareback, both with 79 points. Each one took home $3,435.19, while Doyal won for his Tuesday night ride that scored 90 points, and was worth $4,791.00.

That made Doyal the second biggest money winner for the rodeo, but Lewis was second in the All-Around, after teaming with Clint James to win the first-go round of Team Roping and placing third in the average in the Steer Roping event. The Pinon, N.M., cowboy collected $4,655.93 for his efforts.

Howdy Cloud and Joaquin Garza tied for third place with 78-point rides, while Austin Griffin took third and Lance Kelly fourth in the bareback standings, with 75- and 74-point efforts.

Lewis was one of the few ropers in the finals on Saturday not to have problems with the rain and mud, as heavy rains broke over the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena just after the start of bull riding and continued through a 15-minute power outage up until the end of steer wrestling competition two hours later.

He placed fourth in the short-go of calf roping with a 12.6 time and was third overall, with a combined 35.1 seconds for three attempts. Shawn Felton of Stephenville won the short-go with a 11.5 time, while Cliff Kirkpatrick of Post was second at 11.7 seconds and Matt Petrus of Skidmore was third, at 12.1 seconds.

In the average, Texas high school calf roping champ Bradley Bynum of Snyder won, with a combined 33.7 seconds for his three attempts, one second ahead of Kirkpatrick.

In Team Roping, short-go winners Breck Bean of Fort Hancock and Shot Branham of Midland also ended up first in the average. Their 8.5 second time in the rain on Saturday gave them a combined 27.1 time, 1.4 seconds ahead of Kerrville ropers Brady and Tom Wren. They placed third in the short-go with a 10.3 time, while Scott Accomazzo of Stephenville and JoJo Leonard of Andrews were second, at 10.1 seconds and fourth in the average, at 38.3 seconds.

Jason Thomas of Canyon and Hollis Harris of Friona were fourth, with a 13.8 time and placed third in the average, at 33.9 seconds.

In Steer Roping, Abilene's Bryce Davis won the short-go with an 14.3 second time, and took the average with a combined 41 second time. That was 4.1 seconds ahead of Jay Sellers of Buffalo, Okla., who also was second in Saturday's finals, with a 15.7 second time.

Sellers was ranked 10th in steer roping coming in, while Davis was not ranked among the Top 20 going into the West of the Pecos Rodeo. Eleventh-ranked Buster Record, also from Buffalo, and Larry Duggan were third and fourth in the short-go, with 17.6 and 22.5 second times, and third and fourth in the average, with times of 49.4 and 54.7 seconds.

Frank Davis of Menard took this year's belt buckle in steer wrestling, winning the title with a combined 16.7 second time after finishing first in the short-go on Saturday, with a 5-second effort. Jason Miller of Lance Creek, Wyo., was next in both the short-go and the average, with 5.3 and 17.3 second times, while C.T. Fox of Keller placed third, with 5.9 and 18.1 time.

Current No. 2 in the national All-Around competition, Jesse Bail, added to his earnings for the year with a win in the Saddle Bronc event. Bail, who rode on Wednesday, scored 85 points to beat out Tom Reeves, who scored 82 points on another Wednesday night ride.

Steve Dollarhide and John Jones shared third, with 80 point riders, while Brett Crowser and Robert Aragon were able to get into a tie for seventh on Saturday, both with 75-point efforts.

Along with slowing things down for the ropers and wrestlers, the mud on Saturday also slowed the times for the ladies' barrel racers. Snyder's Kassi Mowery's time from Wednesday's show of 17.22 seconds held up through the final three nights to take first place, while Benette Holt of Rotan was second at 17.70 seconds and Laticia Duke of Merkel was third, with a 17.77 second time.

The threatening clouds even before the start of Saturday's rodeo helped hold down the final night's crowd, and many had already left by the time the second of two local events, the Wild Mare Race, was decided. The team of Shawn Clark, B.J. Clark and Jack Bradley won first place in that event, while earlier Clay Taylor and Chris Peters captured the Wild Cow Milking competition.

Total payout for this year's rodeo came to $160,801, which was down by a little over $20,000 from a year ago, when bad weather stayed away from the rodeo. The rains and flooding to the east also kept a number of competitors from making the trip to Pecos, due to flooding in the Austin-San Antonio areas of south central Texas, and in the Abilene-Brownwood areas to the north.

DPS officer Moore recovering after heart transplant

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, July 8, 2002 -- After a long wait for a heart transplant, Texas Department  of Transportation's Corporal Emmit Moore, finally received his new  heart Sunday at Baylor Hospital in Dallas.

Moore received the news that a donor heart had been located at 1:45 Sunday morning, but surgery would have to wait awhile because the donor had other organs harvested from the person who had died.

He then contacted his wife, Louise, who arrived at the hospital with the couples children and other family members before the transplant surgery began later in the day.

Nancy Ontiveros, Director of Program Development and Community Services at Reeves County Hospital, said Louise called the hospital today to inform them that Moore would be taken off his ventilator this afternoon. She also said that his vital organs and vital sign are doing well.

"We are relieved," Texas Department of Transportation Secretary, Becky Gonzales said. "He is doing really well. He asked for our prayers not only for him but also for his family. We need to keep him in our prayers."

Moore first had a triple bypass surgery in early November, said Gonzales. After his bypass he made several trips to the Reeves County Hospital Emergency Room where they would then transport him to Odessa.

In April, Moore finally made his trip to Baylor Hospital in Dallas were he stayed while awaiting his transplant.

"I have been thinking about him since he has been gone," Moore's partner, Trooper Terry Gilcrest said in a phone interview.

According to Gonzales, Moore has been with the department of transportation for a long time now and is very well liked.

"He has been with DPS since March 1, 1982," Gonzales said. "He is very well know and liked. And missed." Gonzales looks around and says, "It wouldn't be quite if he were here. We are just holding on till he gets back."

Though Moore has received his transplant, Gonzales said that he would still have to stay in Dallas for three or four more months to make sure that his body does not reject the heart.

Gilcrest said that he was glad that Moore finally got his new heart.

"We are really glad he got his heart so he can get back over here," Gilcrest said. "It has been nerve racking with out him."

Since Moore has been gone, Gilcrest said that he has missed his partner.

"He is a stable person," Gilcrest said. "He is someone you can go to when you need to talk to someone. He is my best friend here."

While he has been out, Sergeant Damas Lopez from Van Horn comes into Pecos to see how things are going.

On Thursday, July 11, 2002, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Reeves County Hospital will be holding a blood drive from noon till 7 p.m. in the hospital's main lobby.

Appointments to donate blood will be taken with a 10 minute interval but not necessary and free t-shirts will be given on a first come first serve basis.

"We will be holding a replacement blood drive in honor of Emmit Moore," Ontiveros said. "He has used 20 units of blood."

According to Ontiveros, when a replacement blood drive is done four units must be raised for every one unit used by the recipient.

"We need approximately 80 units to replace the blood he has used," Ontiveros said. "He used 17 units in his first surgery and for his transplant he used another couple."

Because this is a replacement drive all blood types will be accepted, however a donator must be in good health, weight 110 lbs., be 17-years-old, have a list of any medications and they must also bring some form of identification with them, Otiveros said.

"The FDA requires identification for a proper ID match," Otiveros said. "It helps protect recipients and it helps insure that the blood is safe. Knowing the names of the types of medications you are taking is also important."

According to Ontiveros, there are certain medications that can cause an allergic reaction to a recipient. Also if someone were taking some form of blood thinners then of course a recipient coming out of a transplant would not be able to receive that blood.

"The blood raised will be used on any patient in this area needing blood," Ontiveros said.

"We would really appreciate the support of the community," Gonzales said.

Gilcreast said that he would be donating blood on Thursday and hopes everyone continue to pray for his partner.

"I hope everyone in Pecos will keep praying for him," Gilcreast said.

Tennessee teenager killed in accident on I-20

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, July 8, 2002 -- A 16-year-old girl from Nashville, Tennessee, died Saturday at  Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock, while two others suffered minor injuries  after being involved in a one-vehicle roll over on Friday.

Lisa Talent was pronounced dead at the hospital, about 16 hours after the accident on Interstate 20 in western Reeves County.

According to the Department of Public Safety, Talent was traveling with Charlotte Audine Rathbun, a 42-year old Exchange Student Program Coordinator from Goodlettsville, Tennessee and Skyier Blake Powell a five-month-old baby boy from Nashville, Tennessee. Both the baby and Rathburn were taken to Reeves County Hospital and were treated for minor injuries following the accident.

Rathburn was released on Sunday, July 7.

The DPS said the accident occurred when the 2002 Chevrolet Blazer they were traveling in veered off to the right while traveling in the westbound lane on I-20, near mile maker four. The driver then overcorrected back to the left causing the vehicle to go into a broad side skid before overturning on its right side. The Blazer landed on its top causing the vehicle to stop in near a ditch facing east.

Trooper Derek Evans investigated the accident.

Woman gets deferred sentence over accident

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, July 8, 2002 -- A Pecos woman was placed on deferred adjudication after being  indicted in February by the 143rd grand jury in Reeves County on charges in  connection with an accident involving a teenager last August at the North Side Park  on U.S. 285.

Suzanne Renee Brizzi, 38, at the time of Arlington, Tex., was arrested following the Aug. 24 accident at the park and charged with deadly conduct, a Class A Misdemeanor, after Kimbertly Matta, 15, of Pecos, fell off the hood of the 1998 green Chevrolet Blazer she was driving.

Brizzi, who now lives in Pecos, was indicted on Feb. 27, by the grand jury, which handed up their indictment to Judge Bob Parks in the 143 rd District Court.

On June 20, Brizzi, was placed on deferred adjudication for three years and assessed a total of $3,000 for restitution.

According to the indictment, Brizzi allowed Matta to ride on the hood of her 1998 Chevrolet Blazer while at the North Side Park. Matta fell from the vehicle while it was in motion. The teen struck her head on the gorund and was taken first to Reeves County Hospital, and then to Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock with head injuries.

The report filed by Sergeant Danny Leos of the Reeves County Sheriff's Department stated in his report that Matta and Brizzi were parked at the picnic tables on the south side of the park, located just north of Pecos on U.S. 285, when Matta climbed on the hood of the Blazer and Brizzi started to drive around the park.

After speaking with Brizzi, Leos said that she informed him that Matta told her to go faster, while talking on her cellular phone.

According to the report, when Brizzi was turning to go back south Matta fell off the hood. After running to where Matta was lying Brizzi found her to be unresponsive and called for help.

Matta is currently at her home in Pecos, but is still under a physician's care.

Vets honored with Saturday DQ ceremony

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, July 8, 2002 -- Local honor guard members were on hand at the Dairy Queen on  South Eddy Street Saturday morning to participate in a special ceremony.

In a show of patriotism and gratitude for our nation's military and veterans, the Dairy Queen restaurant, located at 1226 S. Eddy, proclaimed Saturday, July 6, as "American Legion/Military Day."

On that day, members of the American Legion Family, military personnel and veterans showing proper membership or military identification cards, received a free five-ounce sundae.

"We wanted to say `thank you' to those who have made and continue to make tremendous sacrifices for our country," said Dairy Queen Manager Elsa Palomino. "At the same time, we wanted to raise money for our charity of choice, Children's Miracle Network (CMN)," she said.

The one-day event is just one element in the Dairy Queen system's Red, White and Blue promotion, which runs throughout the month of July. The nationwide restaurant chain is partnering with the American Legion Family to celebrate America, honoring our nation's military and veterans, and raise $1 million for Children's Miracle Network hospitals.

"We want to say thank you to the Honor Guard for attending on Saturday and helping us with the ceremony," said Palomino.

The Honor Guard performed a 21-gun salute and former Pecos resident Mingo Matta led the crowd in singing the National Anthem and accompanied them on his guitar.

Bible School class for summer begin at church tonight

PECOS, Monday, July 8, 2002 -- Vacation Bible School is scheduled from 6-9 p.m. today through Friday, July 12, at Primera Iglesia Buatista, at Eighth and Sycamore streets.

If anyone needs a ride they can call, 447-0809; 445-0101 or 448-0117.

All children are invited to attend.


Matilde Cano, Miguel Chavz, Sr., Cristobal Martinez and Bianca Urias

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