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January 16, 1997

Suzi Blair hired as first Main Street manager

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Suzi Blair has been hired as the first manager of Main Street Monahans,
according to a communique from the City of Monahans.
Her appointment, says the statement released this week, was effective
Jan. 2.
Hiring Blair is a major step toward revitalizing the downtown area,
reports the communique.
Says the announcement:
"As manager, Suzi will oversee the operations of the Monahans Main
Street organization. Monahans Main Street is an organization comprised
of local businesses and citizens whose main objective is the
revitalization of downtown Monahans.
"The Texas Historical Commission has invited our Main Street program to
participate as a self-initiated city in 1997. As a self-initiated city
we will have help available to us through the THC (Texas Historical
Commission) on our application to become a designated Main Street City
in 1998."
The statement notes that Main Street is a program "to help with
historical preservation of the downtown... maintaining why Monahans
exists in the first place. By putting equity back into our central
business district Monahans will be more attractive to expanding
businesses by showing them that we, as a community, support them. This
support has been evidenced in the past year by the many volunteer hours
and hard work of the existing Main Street organization."
City Council has affirmed the appointment by City Manager David Mills.
Blair and three Main Street board members attended a training session
in Austin last week. Those attending the two day board member seminar
were board president Billie Lou Harris, secretary/treasurer Connie Hisel
and trustee Mary Jean Asbury. A five-day manager training course focused
or the four-point approach of the Main Street program and how to
implement strategies.
Blair is the former Suzi Parker. She is a 1972 graduate of Monahans
High School and attended Texas Tech University. She is married to
Raymond Blair, a self-employed contractor. Sons Matthew and Patrick
attend Monahans High School. Says Blair of her appointment: "I am very
excited about this new position and am looking forward to working with
the Main Street organization and the citizens of Monahans.

Jury say Ward County not at fault in jail death

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Special to the News
PECOS - A federal court jury Wednesday, Jan. 15, found Ward County
Jail officials were not at fault in the strangulation death of a
prisoner who had been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a minor.
"I am just glad to get this one over," said Ward County Sheriff Ben
Keele. "We were found 'no fault' and I am glad to see that justice was
done, that ~justice is possible."
Keele was one of several defendants who included Ward County, the jail
administrator and several jailers.
Maria Gutierrez, mother of David Oyerbides, 29, had filed the $1.7
million damage suit in U.S. District Court. Her only listed address is
California. the jury heard the case in the court of U.S. District Judge
Lucius Bunton, the presiding judge for the Western District of Texas.
Keele said the jury went out at about 10:20 a.m. and returned about two
hours later.
"I was relieved," said the Ward County Sheriff.
Gutierrez had alleged in her suit against the Ward County jail officials
that the jail staff caused her son's death by "being consciously
indifferent to his human needs."
Administrator Mary Byrne had testified on Tuesday that Oyerbides had
been handled properly because officials did not consider him suicidal.
Byrne testified Oyerbides was placed in the padded cell where he died
because he had been verbally abusive to former jailer Eubanks. Byrne
told the court Eubanks was fired for the way in which she handled the
series of incidents.
Administrator Byrne further testified that it is the jail's policy to
check an inmate every 30 minutes if he or she has been violent or every
15 minutes if it is thought suicide is a possibility. She says that
policy was followed in the case at issue. Oyerbides was checked every 30
minutes because of his reported abusive behavior.

SW Bell exec says local calls from

Monahans to Odessa start April 16

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By Jerome P. Curry
of the News
Local telephone calls from Monahans to Odessa (for an extra $3.50 a
month for residential customers; $7 a month for business) start on April
16, an Austin-based executive of Southwestern Bell reports.
Further, says Randal Johnson of Southwestern Bell in Austin, and Guy
Andrews, the Odessa Area Manager for Southwestern Bell, it is possible
for Monahans subscribers to add the four cities it rejected in the
extended local calling vote without an additional monthly charge.
Monahans voters rejected the five-for-the-price-of-one deal they were
offered in the extended local calling election.
for $3.50 a month extra ($7 for private business) the Monahans telephone
subscribers could have had local telephone service to Odessa, Terminal
(the Midland Airport area), Grandfalls, Pecos and Fort Stockton.
They chose only Odessa, willing, it appeared, to pay the extra dollars
just for the local call to Odessa, rejecting the other four cities.
Johnson and Andrews say they did not believe Monahans telephone
subscribers meant to reject the other four cities. Both believe voters
thought the cost was $3.50 each.
In that they echoed earlier comments from Charles Walker, director of
the Monahans Economic Development Commission. All three blame the ballot
language prepared by the Public Utility Commission. Andrews said it was
"Monahans voter can request another election involving the four cities
that were rejected in the earlier vote," Andrews says. "They can then
approve those cities and still take advantage of local calls to all five
for the same extra monthly charges."
Andrews says expanded local calling involves five cities for the same
charge. But it probably would be 18 months from the petition filing date
(Aug. 1, 1996) before another election could be held. Johnson notes
though the local call vote could be sooner if a compelling need can be

Soo Pig! Soo-eee?

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By Richard Acosta
of the News

Cold weather-caused famine and continuing drought has lured unwelcome
visitors out of the desert into the city of Monahans.
As of Wednesday, city officers had caught and disposed of six wild hogs
in the past week of below normal temperatures.
"If the pigs are not disposed of, they'll end up back in town," notes
Terry King of the Monahans Police department.
Robert French of the Texas Parks and Wildlife agency says the pigs come
to town because there is water and food. Due to the cold and the dryness
of the wild lands near Monahans food is scarce for the pigs, reports
The first feral pig was captured in the Monahans city limits on Friday,
Jan. 10.
It was about a 250-pound black sow that did not want to be photographed
or anyone around her. The pig attempted to run away three times and
charged three times.
Each time the pig slammed into the steel cage in which it was snared.
French says the only wild pigs native to ward County are the Javelinas.
Feral hogs invading Monahans, he notes, are a mix of Russian boar and
domesticated swine that were either released or escaped from capture and
have gone wild.
French says the major damage attributed to such animals is rooting up
yards. Wild hogs are a bigger problem in South Texas were they can cause
major damage to crops in the field, he notes.
Hogs like those caught in Monahans in the past week can only be found in
the Sandhills, French says, a desert environment which stretches as far
North at Kermit.
The wildlife agent says the hogs are no more aggressive than any other
wild animal. In fact, he says, the wild pig's first instinct would be to
run away if confronted by a person. However, the agent warns, if
cornered or if a sow's litter is threatened, feral swine become
dangerous animals.
"Some of the boars have pretty good size tusks," says French, "If you're
foolish enough to get in a situation where the pig is on the defensive
they can hurt you."
A warning from the police department: Residents on the outskirts of town
where the desert meets the city limits are more likely to encounter
wildlife in their yard looking for something to eat and drink.
If you see or suspect a wild pig in your neighborhood, do not attempt to
capture it. Contact the Monahans Police Department.
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Copyright 1997 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

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