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Thursday, April 24, 1997

$500 fines on agenda for overdue book return

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MONAHANS, Apr. 24 -- Ward County Librarian Bonnie Moore is "thoroughly
disgusted" and she isn't going to take it anymore.

In the past five years, the library has lost nearly $15,000 in books and
other library items that have not been returned.

Notes More: "We lose 2,000 to 3,000 books a year because people will not
return them. We have unreturned books from '96, '95 and even years
before that.

Sometimes the borrowers leave the area. Other times they just don't
bring back the books.

"I send overdue notices," says Moore. "I phone. Contacting by phone has
not been terribly successful. I am thoroughly, thoroughly disgusted."

That's why Moore backs a bill pending in the Texas legislature which
would make it a misdemeanor not to return public library materials, a
misdemeanor which on conviction would provide for a fine of up to $500.

State Rep. Tony Goolsby, R-Dallas, is the sponsor of the bill.

Under Goolsby's proposal, failing to return library books or other
materials would be a part of the Theft of Service section of the Texas
Criminal Code.

If approved in the House and Senate and signed into law by the governor,
the state's law enforcement agencies would become an instant part of a
public library's arsenal to coerce, if necessary, the return of library

Moore says she understands, "we would file against those who did not
return materials after a year."

The bill itself leaves that to the discretion of the library staffs.

Lost books at the Ward County Library have been a consistent fiscal
drain on the library's resources.

Moore notes that those who do not return books on the due date or within
a reasonable length of time cause major problems for the maintenance of
the library.

Of the bill, Moore says:

"I thoroughly agree with it. Some people simply will not return items
they have borrowed.

One drive taken after truck raid in Odessa

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MONAHANS, Apr. 24 -- A Mexican national driving a stolen pickup after
truck raiders swept Odessa was collared by one of Sheriff Ben Keele's
deputies last week.

Authorities identified the suspect as Arturo Dozal of Juarez in Old
Mexico. Dozal will be 36 years old on May 1.

Dozal is being held in Ector County on charges of driving a stolen
pickup and for investigation into a ring of Juarez-based car thieves who
have plagued the more populated areas of the Permian Basin.

The truck was one of five reported taken that night from Odessa

"The other four made it back to Juarez," says Sgt. J.D. Echols of the
Permian Basin Auto Theft Task Force in Odessa.

"This is the only truck we recovered. The man Ward County took was the
only arrest we've made. The pickup Ward County recovered was the only
vehicle we have recovered."

In fact, it was the first time known the pickup rustlers from Juarez had
stumbled in their continuing raids for cars in the Midland-Odessa area.
Their preference is pickups.

Notes Echols:

"There always is a market for pickups in Mexico."

After the raiders struck, Sheriff's Deputy Gene Baker was cruising
Interstate 20 before sunrise. It was Wednesday, April 16, 5:45 a.m. when
he spotted a truck headed West.

It resembled one taken only a few hours before in Odessa on which a
stolen report had been broadcast.

Baker stopped the pickup and arrested the driver. Dozal was then
transferred to Ector County. There was no trouble in the arrest.

The usual pattern for the truck rustlers is to scatter down Interstate
20 three to four miles apart in what amounts to a loose convoy to Juarez
after one of the Midland-Odessa pickup raids.

Dilapidated gas station to become city hallmark

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MONAHANS, Apr. 24 -- Work has started on an ambitious project planners
predict eventually will turn a depressed and dilapidated corner in
downtown Monahans into a hallmark of the city.

City crews started initial site preparation last week.

When the work is finished sometime next year, predicts Suzi Blair of
Main Street Monahans, the old Texaco station at State Highway 18 and
Sealy Street will be transformed into a landscaped area whose key will
be the refurbished building which will house a tourist information
center, the Butterfield Overland Stagecoach museum and the offices of
Main Street and the Monahans Office of Economic Development.

Blair says the $150,000 project will be done in three phases. It will be
funded by a blending of Main Street, City of Monahans and volunteer
dollars. Much of the construction, Blair says, will be done by

"Phase 1 (landscaping) is going to be funded by Main Street designated
funds ($10,000) from the Economic Development Corporation," says Blair..
"Phase 2 will be painting and upgrading the exterior of the building.
Paint is being donated by the City of Monahans. All the groundwork is
being done by the city." Blair says Ace Hardware is donating materials
and R.B.'s Home Improvement is providing the skilled labor for the
building exterior..

"All of the painting and scraping is going to be done by Main Street
volunteers," notes Blair. She says landscaping will "include rock and
grass, trees and plants, flowers and shrubbery."

A period street light will be installed, Blair notes, a street light
that will be the "prototype of lighting we'll be using in our eventual
sidewalk renovation" in Monahans. Then comes phase three - the stage
coach museum and tourist center.

Lobo players on way to first
state one-act play competition

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MONAHANS, Apr. 24 -- Monahans High School's Lobo players will take a
one-act play to state competition in Austin for the first time, reports
drama teacher Evelyn Jones.

The play: Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine.

Current schedules provide for Watch on the Rhine to be presented in the
Bass Concert Hall on the University of Texas campus in Austin on May 1.

Jones notes the cast earned the trip to the state competition with eight
other high schools from across Texas after winning, district, area and
regional competitions.

The players include Elvia Gutierrez, a member of the HM All Star Cast;
Matt Wittie and Cody Stockton, who are All Star Cast Members; and Jena
Tisdale, who has been named Regional Best Actress.

Jones is the director. The associate directors are Linda Grant and Clint

In addition to the cast, the production crew includes:

Brian Posey, master carpenter; Roger Mills, stagehand; Belen Ramirez,
wardrobe; Melissa Whitworth, props; Martee DeFranco, props; Carolina
Talamantes, wardrobe; Mayra Sanchez, wardrobe master and Chantell
Clayton, makeup supervisors.

The cast:

Nichole Hammond, Bobbi May, Heath Bundick, Josh Pool, Gutierrez,
Stockton, Tisdale, Christen Higgins, John Rose, Michael Chadic and

800 musicians to play in Monahans
UIL regional competition

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MONAHANS, Apr. 24 -- About 800 musicians from 21 bands representing 15
West Texas High Schools will make music on Thursday, April 24, in
It's the annual UIL Regional Band Contest, notes Monahans High School
Principal Sam Atwood.

The venue for the competition will be the Monahans High School.

"The 800 musicians does not include parents, friends and sponsors of the
students," says Atwood. "This, without a doubt, will be a major economic
impact on the community. All of those musicians will be eating at least
one meal in the city of Monahans."

But, as Atwood notes, the major and most important impact will be
"beautiful music," much of it coming from the four band Lobo contingent
which the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote School District will have in the

The music begin early and continues late.

Atwood says the Monahans concert schedule is:

8 a.m. - Walker Junior High "B" Band, Andy Patterson, Director.

9:40 a.m. - Walker Junior High "A" Band, Jim Rhodes, Director.

3:30 p.m. - Monahans High School Concert Band, Mike Eckerty, director.

5:30 p.m. - Monahans High School Symphonic Band, Tony Gibbs, Director.

The Monahans High School principal invites the whole community to make
at least one of the Monahans band concerts.

According to a statement from the organizers of the regional competition:

"This is the first time that we have had the opportunity to host this
contest and we hope to have a big crowd of Monahans people to support
the bands."

In addition: "The Big Green Band would like to say thank you to the many
local businesses who have been of such great support."

Softball parade 2 p.m. Friday

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MONAHANS, Apr. 24 -- Floats, players and riders will key the Monahans
softball parade which starts on Friday, April 25, at 2 p.m. in downtown

After the parade, games start at 3 p.m. in the season-opening 16-team
tournament of the Monahans Girls Softball Association, reports
association president Alex Ligon. Players from six to 15 years old will
compete in divisions one and two. The parade will climax with a special
dedication of Field #4 at the softball complex on West 10th Street.

Ligon says the parade begins at Hill Park next to the Ward County
Courthouse on Fifth Street, will proceed North on Calvin Street to Sealy
Street, West on Sealy to Main Street and South on Main to West 10th.

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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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