Daily Newspaper for Reeves County, Trans Pecos, Big Bend, Far West Texas

Sports|Opinion|Main Menu|Archives Menu|Classified|Advertising|Monahans|


Friday, January 3, 1997

Officals investigate arson,

vandalism at funeral home

Return to Menu

Staff Writer
PECOS, January 3, 1997 - City officials are continuing to investigate a
New Year's Eve arson case in which a local funeral home's vehicle was
set on fire.

Fire trucks and police officers were dispatched to Martinez Funeral
Home, 116 W. Fourth Street on at 10:42 p.m. Tuesday after getting a
report that a 1988 Chevrolet Suburban was on fire.

"Upon arriving at the scene we noticed that the Suburban had been broken
into, the drivers side door window was broken, along with the
windshield," said Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire.

Brookshire said the next thing they noted was that the interior of the
vehicle was on fire.

"The front seat had caught on fire and had spread throughout the
interior of the vehicle," said Brookshire.

The vehicle had also been egged along with a hearse which was parked a
few feet from the suburban in the parking lot.

"A security lock to the building was also broken indicating someone had
tried to break into the building," said Brookshire.

While firemen and police were at the scene, an intoxicated juvenile was
arrested for disorderly conduct and assault on a peace officer.

"This juvenile came upon the scene and was arrested for those two
offenses, but not for arson," said Brookshire.

"At this point we don't have enough evidence to arrest anybody, so an
investigation is still pending," Brookshire explained.

The fire marshal said he doused the blaze with a fire extinguisher
before the fire units arrived, but the suburban was hosed down with
water to cool it off.

"Right now all we know is that the fire started in the front seat of the
vehicle," said Brookshire, who added the case has been formally labeled
as arson.

The suburban was a total loss and any information the public can provide
will be appreciated.

Alleged suicide try ends pursuit of teen along I-10

Return to Menu

Staff Writer
PECOS, January 3, 1997 - An Arizona teen is currently at an El Paso
hospital following what officials believe might have been a suicide
attempt, following a chase along Interstate 10 Thursday morning.

Van Horn Department of Public Safety Sergeant Damas Lopez said just
before noon today that the chase was not a high-speed pursuit, although
the vehicle, which was not described, was initially sought after
traveling at, "an illegal speed."

Investigating DPS Trooper Ruben Garcia said that he and Trooper Tim
Collie attempted to stop the 1985 Oldsmobile sedan and chose to calmly
follow the vehicle when the 16-year-old driver refused to acknowledge
their signal, sirens and flashing lights, and pull over.

The teen was traveling at an average speed, "of 65 to 70 miles per
hour," said Lopez.

Van Horn DPS units were called on by U.S. Border Patrol agents at the
Sierra Blanca check point, 35 miles west of Van Horn, who indicated that
the driver refused to stop at the inspection post.

"Their (U.S. Border Patrol) pursuit policy is don't pursue," said Lopez,
explaining why the Van Horn officials were contacted.

"Tim (Collie) and Ruben (Garcia) responded," the sergeant said. They
continued eastbound for another 45 miles past Van Horn. Lopez joined the
pursuit as it ended near the Cherry Creek Chevron, some four miles east
of the Interstate-10/I-20 junction when the teen wrecked into one of the
supporting columns underneath the overpass.

The driver was pinned inside the vehicle, said Lopez, and ambulance
attendants from both Van Horn and Balmorhea were called to the scene.
After being removed from the car, the teenager was flown by air
ambulance to an El Paso hospital. No report on his condition was
available this morning.

Garcia stated that officials are still questioning the cause of the
accident because, "there was no reason," for the accident to have

The trooper indicated that a background check of the juvenile showed
that he had suicidal tendencies and was driving an aunt's vehicle.

The aunt was his legal guardian, said Garcia, and the boy came up as a
runaway, "on the system," the DPS sergeant said.

Garcia said that more details will be learned upon interviewing the
juvenile, who was unconscious at the scene of the accident before being
flown to El Paso.

Local rainfall near average during 1996

Return to Menu

Staff Writer
PECOS, January 3, 1997 - Rainfall of 10.65 inches was just .34 inch
below normal at the Pecos station of the National Weather Service during
1996. And it was .13 inch above the total of 10.52 recorded in 1995.

Some would say that is drought conditions, and they would be right. But
it is normal for this area.

Almost all of the rain this year fell during the summer and early fall
months. The city received just three-quarters of an inch of rain in the
first 5½ months of 1996 and less than a half inch in the final two
months of the year.

September's rainfall was almost exactly normal, at 2.09 inches, and was
tied with July as third wettest month of the year. Rain gauges caught
2.59 in June and 2.56 inches in August.

In 1995, September was the wettest month of the year, when 3.39 inches
was recorded at the Pecos station. That was 1.28 inches more than the
normal 2.11 inches, in the month when farmers most need hot, dry weather
to mature their crops.

In the summer, when crops need water, average rainfall for June is 1.23
inches, July 1.24 and August 1.65.

Opposite to other areas, March is traditionally one of the driest month
of the year. It averages .40 inch, with only January's .36 inch total
lower. Those months are followed by April with .44, February .45 and
December with .46 inch.

Last winter was drier than normal, and featured one day in which winds
gusted up to 88 miles per hour in Pecos, and hit 163 miles per hour at
Guadalupe Pass. This year is also starting off warm and dry, but is
scheduled to come to a sudden end across Texas this weekend, when a cold
front brings cooler weather and the possibility of rain and
thunderstorms to the state, the Associated Press reports.

That would be a welcome change from dry December, when only a trace of
snow fell. Normal rainfall for December is .46 inch.

In 1996, only .11 inch fell in January, a trace in February, .08 in
March, .56 in April and .46 in November.

CCRC audit's focus centers on Head Start

Return to Menu

Staff Writer
PECOS, January 3, 1997 - Head Start's share of $1 million in federal
revenues to the Community Council of Reeves County is 50 percent of the
operation, auditor Ron Kirby told CCRC board members Thursday.

In presenting highlights of his 1995-96 audit, Kirby said net assets of
$450,000 is mainly in buildings. CCRC operates Head Start schools in
Pecos, Monahans and Saragosa, centers in Pecos, Balmorhea, Kermit and
Monahans and the Pecos Children's Day Nursery.

Some of the space is rented, while others belong to the council.

"Head Start is a big portion of the overall scheme of things," Kirby
said. It serves 131 children.

Salaries for the 38 employees are budgeted at $288,000 annually. That
includes portions of two administrative salaries that are charged to
Head Start.

Kirby said that executive director Yvonne Martin and finance officer
Olga Contreras spend more time on Head Start than the government is
willing to reimburse the council for.

"It is just such a demanding program," he said.

Contreras needs more time to work on new computer accounting programs,
so she can generate checks on the computer and do bookkeeping in-house
to keep a closer check on finances, Kirby said.

CPA Dan Painter currently does monthly accounting.

Directors took the draft copy of the audit to study and will consider it
for adoption in the next meeting Jan. 16.

Kirby said the audit is late because the board delayed three months in
awarding the audit bid, which should have been done last spring.

"Summer time is the best time, but summer got away, and it just sort of
snowballed," he said.

The audit and attendance at the Head Start Policy Council meeting were
the only agenda items.

Glenda Mixon, a board member from Wink, told policy council members they
wanted to attend so the two groups can work together.

Laura Carrasco of Monahans chaired the council meeting, which primarily
concerned deficiencies cited by Head Start monitors, the 1997 budget and
personnel problems.

Before adopting the $518,083 budget, the council approved a salary
schedule recommended by the staff in an earlier meeting.

Julian Florez, a member of both the CCRC board and the policy council,
questioned the step schedule, which allows a teacher's aide with a
degree to earn more than a teacher without a degree.

He also questioned annual salaries in the budget that allocate a full
12-month salary for a position that is filled only 10 or 11 months of
the year. He was concerned that an employee could sue for the full

Martin said employees are paid on an hourly wage basis, and that none
works overtime. She agreed that the budget should reflect the actual
wages paid, but said the Head Start regional office requires the full
amount be budgeted.

Head Start director Norma Rubio said she has openings for a secretary, a
health and nutrition coordinator and two custodians for Pecos.

Employees receive training after they are hired, and a criminal
background check is done, she said. However, neither of those is
documented in personnel policies, which created some of the deficiencies

Berta Begay of Saragosa said she was surprised to read in the Enterprise that Head Start is in danger of losing its funding because of the deficiencies and asked for a detailed report.

"Why are we in the dark?" she asked.

Rubio explained each of the deficiencies and proposed a Quality
Improvement Plan which outlines the actions to take that will correct
the problems.

Board and policy council training are among the actions required, and a
date was set to provide it. Parents of the students also need training,
and that was provided one-on-one to those who failed to attend training
sessions, Rubio said.

Recruitment of volunteers has also been done, but Head Start officials
require a written plan to do it, Rubio said.

"We have put something in place."

Training in accounting procedures was also lacking, but that has been
corrected, she added.

"They want a complete manual on accounting procedures," Rubio said,
explaining that she didn't have a manual to guide her when she took the
director's position and she has gone by what she learned in training.

"I write it down, so if someone else comes in, they can use it," she

Martin said that previous directors "took off" with written
instructions, "so we are having to start off new."

Rubio said she has consulted other Head Start agencies for their
manuals, but since each one is different, she is having to write her own.

"What works for Odessa won't work for Pecos; they have more resources,"
she said.

Even the Quality Improvement Plan will need to be updated as changes
occur or the staff learns that a certain action "really didn't work,"
Rubio said. "They'll be back in May to make sure the deficiencies are

The policy council is responsible for a Community Needs Assessment,
Rubio said.

"I have never had training on how to do it. That's one I am looking
forward to along with the mid-management staff. I am hoping some policy
council members can be here for training."

Training is free, she said, but she has had a problem setting up a date
that is convenient both for the trainer and policy council.

In the past, Head Start has used a needs assessment made by the
Community Services Block Grant agency, but government rules have
changed, she said.

"There is a lot of contradiction. They will come and tell us one thing,
and then later something different," she said.

Bill Wendt said that one government official will interpret written
policy one way and the next will have a different interpretation.

Rubio said the personnel policy is not meeting some Head Start
performance standards.

She cited the lack of a written policy to obtain a criminal background
check on new employees as one deficiency. Wendt said that a personnel
policy has been drawn up but not approved.

The policy council approved a Quality Improvement Plan that includes a
date to complete the personnel policy.

Carrasco asked everyone except the policy council and CCRC board members
to leave for an executive session on personnel.

Wafer says C-store prices forced closing

Competition does in Eddy St. station

Return to Menu

Staff Writer
PECOS, January 3, 1997 - Competition from local convenience stores has
forced the closing of one of the last full service gas stations in
Pecos, but its long-time owner wanted to pay tribute to its former

Jim Wafer, owner of Jim Wafer Oil, cited the dedication and hard work
done by Johnny Diehl during his 19 years of service at the Seventh and
Eddy Street gas station which closed this week.

"We were not able to compete with all the convenience stores," said
Wafer, explaining why he decided to close down the station, one of the
few which offered both full service gas and repair services in Pecos.

Diehl said today that he was told the gas station was, "loosing too much
money," and plans to close down were finalized the day of the Christmas
Parade (Dec. 13) last month.

"Johnny was always busy," said Wafer, of the enthusiastic manager, who
was promoted to his position in 1986, after having served under Pete

"Johnny and Cindy ran it (the station);" he said, "(they) worked day and
night and tried everything they could to make it go."

"We hated it," said Wafer about have to let go of Diehl and closing the

The station, which is currently on the market, was the last of Wafer
Oil's properties. Jim Wafer sold his other area stations and his Chevron
distributorship to West Texas Gas two years ago. The station has
operated without the Chevron name in recent years.

Although out of a job he's known for almost two decades, Diehl hasn't
let his hopes down.

He said he'll be trying to acquire a small business loan to start up
another similar business, and until then, "I've got a job interview,"
Tuesday at the Reeves County Detention Center, he said.

Diehl said he'd like to see the old station bought and fixed up, as it
is located in a convenient location at one of the city's busiest

Feds charge Alabama man in pot seizure

Return to Menu

Staff Writer
PECOS, January 3, 1997 - FBI agents filed charges in federal court
Thursday against an Alabama man arrested in Ward County for marijuana

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stuart Platt set a detention hearing for 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday for Larry Michael Jones Jr., 28, of Sylacaugh, Ala.

Jones was arrested Dec. 19, 1996 by Ward County Shehriff's Deputy Tommy
Hernandez, who was working traffic east of Barstow on I-20.

Hernandez stopped Jones' 1996 Nissan at 11:31 a.m. because it had no
license plate, according to an affidavit filed with the complaint.

When Jones opened the glove box to look for requested identification,
Henrandez noticed a small plastic bag with a green leafy substance.
Asked what was in the bag, Jones said, "marijuana" and admitted that
suitcases containing marijuana were in the car's trunk.

With the assistance of Deputies Gene Baker and Fred Wilder, Hernandez
searched the truck and found 19 bricks of suspected marijuana weighing
90 pounds.

Jones said his sister rented the car for him to drive from Alabama to El
Paso and that she flew to El Paso. He met her at the airport and rented
a second vehhicle, which they left parked on Noble Street for about two

His sister returned to Alabama by air, while Jones headed for Alabama in
the car, where he was to make a telephone call once he reached his
destination, the affidavit states.

Jones was first charged in Ward County, but the case was turned over to
the FBI, and Jones will be released from state custody.

Chamber puts up calendar to open new year

Return to Menu

Staff Writer
PECOS, January 3, 1997 - A community calendar outlining the year's
events is the newest addition to the exterior of the Pecos Chamber of
Commerce's downtown building.

"What we're trying to do right now is make space to include the whole
year in this calendar," said Chamber of Commerce Director Tom Rivera.

The calendar will include anything happening in the Pecos area ranging
from fundraisers, dances, weddings,«MDUL» quinceaneras «MDNM»and any
other special events.

"Individuals who would like to have their special event on the calendar
can just call the chamber and we will put it on there," said Rivera.

He said the chamber hopes the community can get used to utilizing the
community calendar and encourages everyone to bring items in.

"It will also be lit up at night so that anyone who wishes can come by
and see what the events are," said Rivera.

Individuals who might be planning to stage an event can check to see
what else is occurring on that particular day, Rivera said.

"They might be working on a fund-raiser late at night and want to know
if there will be some conflicting event and they can just come by and
check it out for themselves," he said.

Rivera said the chamber also hopes this will help tourists in deciding
whether to stop and stay awhile in Pecos, if they know what is going on
in our little community.

Richard Crider, of Aluminum Screens and Windows, installed the glass and
the display case where the calender will be placed.

"It's not completed, but we just want the public to know, so that they
can start calling in their events," said Rivera.

All items will be placed on the community calendar free of charge and
individuals may contact the chamber office, at 111 S. Cedar St., or call


Return to Menu

The Fort Stockton Pioneer
FORT STOCKTON, Jan. 2, 1996 - Pecos County Judge Fredie Capers said the
county overcame many difficulties in 1996 and the outlook for the future
is bright. Additions to the county include the Texas A&M University
District 6 Extension Office, a regional technical training center,
paving and water system update. The Third International Business Partner
Trade Show strengthened the county's relationship with Mexico, and
foreign trade zone status is on the horizon for approval.

Jeff Davis County Mountain Dispatch
FORT DAVIS, Jan. 2, 1996 - The man who told a federal judge he could
"take his order and shove them up his gazoo" took a little trip Monday
from his "military hideout," but no effort has been made to serve him
with a federal civil warrant. Rick McLaren, the self-styled ambassador
and general counsel of the Republic of Texas, left the Davis Mountains
Resort in a caravan of vehicles that included numbers of militia
members. He has said he will not be arrested on a warrant issued Dec. 19
by Senior Judge Lucius Bunton.

The Big Bend Sentinel
MARFA, Jan. 2, 1996 - Big Bend Players is gearing up for auditions for
its next performance, "Arsenic and Old Lace," to be presented March 7,
8, 14, 15. The popular comedy tells the story of two elderly sisters and
their very strange family. Nine men and three women are needed for the

The Alpine Avalanche
ALPINE, Jan. 2, 1996 - Brewster County Judge Val Beard foresees a
continuing battle to meet growing community needs with limited
resources. "I think we're going to continue to have growth in our
population but not an increase in the tax base that keeps up with the
population growth," she said.

The International, Presidio Paper
PRESIDIO, Jan. 2, 1996 - Fr. Ricardo Arroyo Mora, assistant priest of
Santa Teresa de Jesus Catholic Church in Presidio, died Dec. 28, 1996 in
Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, after a short illness. A native of
Veracruz, Fr. Ricardo came to the Presidio parish in Sept. 1996.

The Monahans News
MONAHANS, Jan. 2, 1996 - Nine elected officials were sworn in on Monday
in special ceremonies at the 143rd District Courtroom. County Clerk Pat
V. Finley swore in District Judge Bob Parks. Then Parks and County Judge
Sam Massey traded off the official duties in swearing in the others who
had won elective office. Sheriff Ben Keele and Tax Assessor-Collector
Dolores Fine did the official duties for their deputies.


Maria Rodriguez

Return to Menu

Maria Jiner Rodriguez, 85, died this morning in Balmorhea.

Graveside services are scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4 at 10 a.m. at
Balmorhea Cemetery.

She was born April 19, 1911, in Chihuahua, Mexico, was a lifelong
resident of Balmorhea and a homemaker.

Survivors include seven sons, Manuel Rodriguez of Roswell, N.M., Angel
Rodriguez of Ruidosa, Tx., Raul and Jose Astolfo Rodriguez of Balmorhea,
Dolores Rodriguez, Jr. of Dallas, Alfredo Rodriguez of Marfa and David
Rodriguez of Irving; two daughters, Elfida Garcia of Pecos and Mercedes
Mondragon of Saragosa; 62 grandchildren and 84 great-grandchildren.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Return to Menu

High Thursday 81, low last night 56. Tonight, partly cloudy. Low in the
upper 40s. West to southwest wind 10-20 mph. Saturday, partly cloudy.
High around 70. West to northwest wind 10-20 mph.
Return to Menu

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall
not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or
redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP
Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for
personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for
any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the
transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages
arising from any of the foregoing.

Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Return to Menu

Return to Home Page