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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, March 29, 2004

City preparing for Perry visit, Main St. event

Staff Writer

Final preparations are being made for Tuesday’s visit to Pecos by Texas First Lady Anita Perry, to help dedicate the city’s new Main Street Program.

Town of Pecos City officials involved with the program are busy making final preparations and everyone is encouraged to participate.

“We want to invite everyone to come out and give her a big welcome,” said Main Street Program Director Tom Rivera.

Rivera said that the first lady will arrive in Pecos at about 1:15 p.m. “But we want everyone to come out a little earlier than that, because there will be entertainment and other guests as well,” he said.

Perry will be flying directly to the Pecos Municipal Airport, from where she will be driven to the dedication site. “We’ll meet her at the airport and are making arrangements to transport her and her entourage to the downtown area,” said Rivera.

Perry visit to Pecos is one of two scheduled for the First Lady on Tuesday as part of the welcoming new towns into the Main Street Program, which is designed to help revitalize downtown areas in smaller cities across Texas. The 75-minute event is also scheduled to include the first project to be part of the program, the restoration of the old Missouri-Pacific Railroad depot for use as a new Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame.

The fronts of several empty buildings on Oak Street have been painted in the past two weeks, while rehearsals were held on Friday and Sunday in preparation for Tuesday’s events. Rivera and his crew have been working very hard over the past few weeks, securing donations and putting together the necessary plans for submittal to the state in anticipation of the visit.

“The state requires that every detail of Mrs. Perry’s visit be planned and approved before she arrives, that includes everything from seating arrangements to possible motor routes that she can take from the airport,” Rivera said.

The program outlines the other aspects of the tour as well, with entertainment provided by reigning Golden Girl of the Old West, Maritza Sandoval, Ballet Folklorico, and music provided by the Pecos High School Band.

According to a press release put out by the Texas Historical Commission, Perry’s visit is par of a celebration of the designation of four cities as new Main Street Program participants.

“Growing up in a small town, I know the vital role downtown plays in a community,” Perry is quoted saying in the press release. “Being a Main Street city means citizens recognize that downtown is still the heart and soul of a town.”

Perry is slated to give a keynote address and unveil an architectural rendering for the downtown renovation of the railroad depot, followed by a reception. The Independent Bankers Association of Texas has sponsored the tour of the designated cities.

President and CEO of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas Christopher Williston and John L. Nau III of the Texas Historical Commission will be on hand as well.

“We want to make a good impression and want as many people involved as possible,” said Rivera.

Pecos began its effort to join the Texas Main Street Program in 2000, but was turned down on its initial attempts. The city created the new position of Main Street Director a year ago and named Rivera to fill the post. He previously had worked on the Main Street project as executive director of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce.

Thieves uproot trees belonging to funeral home

Staff Writer

A downtown business owner is seeking the community’s help in solving an unusual theft that occurred over the weekend.

Two trees were stolen from the Peaceful Garden Funeral Home, 116 W. Fourth St., sometime between Sunday evening and early this morning. The trees are six-foot pine trees in Terra Cotta pots and were directly in front of the funeral home, on each side of the front doors.

If anyone has any information on the trees, or if they would like to return the trees, funeral home owner Mark Zuniga, said there would be no questions asked. Just return the trees.

Value of the trees has been assessed at between $300-$500. The incident has been reported to the Pecos Police Department and the Reeves County Sheriff’s Office.

Anyone who has information on the theft can call the funeral home at 445-3457, the police department at 445-4911 or the sheriff’s department at 445-4901.

“This is really sad,” said Zuniga. “Right now, everybody is trying to clean up the community and make it better, in time for the first lady’s visit and then we have individuals like this,” he said.

Texas First Lady Anita Perry will be in Pecos tomorrow for the Main Street Program and everyone is encouraged to participate.

City workers have been busy cleaning up the downtown area and painting closed down buildings.

Truck wreck shuts eastbound I-20 Sunday

Staff Writer

An accident involving three semi-trucks blocked both of the eastbound lanes of I-20 for an estimated 11 hours on Sunday and sent five people to Reeves County Hospital with injuries.

Traffic was rerouted off of the highway and through town for the duration of the clean-up efforts, which involved two loads of spinach, one of which spilled onto the highway. According to DPS Trooper Arnulfo Rivas, the accident occurred around 6 a.m. Sunday morning near the 43 mile marker on Interstate 20, just east of Pecos.

“The first semi-truck was traveling eastbound when it drifted off the roadway, and into the bar ditch on the southern edge of the freeway, striking one T-post and damaging one box culvert,” Rivas said.

“The driver then corrected back to the left, causing the truck to enter into a broadside skid, and eventually overturning the truck onto the right/passenger side,” Rivas said. “The truck slid across the eastbound lanes, finally coming to rest with its cab in the center median, facing northeast,” Rivas added. “The trailer came to rest across the freeway, blocking both lanes.”

“Two more semi-trucks, in an attempt to avoid the overturned truck, corrected to the right,” Rivas said. “The first truck cleared the wreckage, entering the ditch to the south and coming to rest well past the original truck. The second clipped the trailer of the overturned truck and continued east rear-ending the truck that cleared, and overturning it.”

Rivas added that all five people involved in the wreck were taken to Reeves County Hospital for treatment, and that none had required additional transport since that time.

The driver of the first truck was identified as Michael Charles George, 34, of North Carolina. The second truck was driven by Jose Maria Delgado, 37, while Jose Manuel Delgado, 37, was riding in the truck. Both men were from La Habra, Calif. The third truck was driven by Diane Lighsey Strickland, 44, of Boaz, Ala., along with a passenger Michael Allen Borror, 30, also from Boaz.

Two of the trucks were transporting loads of spinach, one load was condemned after the refrigeration unit cooling it quit, and the second load of spinach was spilled over the roadway after the trailer containing it ruptured.

Reeves County Health Dept. condemned the first load, which was supposed to be kept between 34-36 degrees Fahrenheit, and the local Texas Department of Transportation office loaned the use of its sweeper to aid in the cleanup of the second load.

Rivas added that the Pecos Police Department and the Reeves County Sheriff’s Office had both assisted with the accident.

Church plans garage sale on Saturday

North Temple Baptist Church youth will be sponsoring a garage sale, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday at 1638 Cowan Street.

Proceeds will go to the Annie Armstrong Easter offering.


Grady Kellar, Paula Pineda and Winiford Williams

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