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FORT DAVIS, Texas (AP) - After years of clogging up the courts with
bogus filings and liens, the leader of a group of Texas secessionists is
now at the mercy of a justice system he says he doesn't respect.
As Richard McLaren vowed to wage his legal battle from behind bars, two
armed members of the Republic of Texas faction remained on the loose
Richard Keyes III, 21 and Mike Matson, 48, fled the group's remote
hideaway hours before the others surrendered peacefully on Saturday.
Authorities watched them disappear separately into the mountains,
letting them go to avoid jeopardizing the negotiations with McLaren.
Five shots were fired this morning at dogs that were unleashed to track
two who fled into the rugged Davis Mountains after a week-long standoff.
"So far we have not returned any fire and none of our officers have been
shot at," Department of Public Safety spokesman Mike Cox said.
One dog was wounded.
Airplanes and helicopters searched for the men Sunday. Hounds and
horseback troopers were held back because of possible booby traps left
behind by McLaren's group. Authorities have found more than 60 pipe
bombs and 12 gasoline cans in the area, as well as several fortified
Cox said searchers discovered a campsite with a tent, two bedrolls and
ready-to-eat meals in the canyon behind the group's "embassy."
The dogs from Texas Department of Criminal Justice were unleashed about
8 this morning near the campsite and within minutes, the shots were
fired. The men are believed to be armed with a .30-30 deer rifle, an SKS
semiautomatic military rifle and a 9 mm handgun, Cox said.
Helicopters from the DPS and the U.S. Border Patrol were circling the
"We're on these guys," Cox said. "The DPS is on their trail."
Of the two, only Keyes is charged with a crime. He is accused of
organized criminal activity and kidnapping related to a hostage-taking
April 27 that sparked the seven-day standoff.
In jail in Marfa, McLaren said he would continue to seek independence
for Texas even as he's dragged into court.
"We're still moving forward. We've not stopped it," he told NBC News on
Sunday. He said he will try to move into federal courts "because the
courts in Texas are strictly military courts sitting under war powers."
McLaren, a 43-year-old Missouri native, was in jail today without bail,
sharing a cell with his wife, Evelyn. He and three other members are
charged with organized criminal activity; the others were held on
Residents of the Davis Mountains Resort subdivision, the isolated
development where McLaren set up his headquarters, tried to return to
normal life. Many joked about no longer turning to CNN for local news.
Those previously stung by McLaren's blizzard of legal paperwork,
including bogus liens, expect to hear more from him.
"I think the standoff is over, but it's all just starting," said Randall
Kinzie. "We haven't seen the last of Rick McLaren."
"I expect appeals, appeals, appeals," added Malcolm Tweedy. "It's going
to cost us millions. He's a very dedicated paper shuffler."
Like other members of the Republic of Texas, McLaren believes Texas was
illegally annexed by the United States in 1845. But other factions have
disavowed his actions; one even "impeached" him.
The standoff began last week when McLaren's followers stormed the home
of two neighbors and held the couple hostage to protest of the arrest of
a comrade, Robert Scheidt. He was exchanged for the hostages, but the
standoff continued. Scheidt later surrendered.
McLaren and three others left their "embassy" after McLaren signed a
"cease-fire document" with the Texas Rangers on Saturday afternoon. His
wife had given up earlier in the day.
Mrs. McLaren faces federal charges from a February indictment issued in
Dallas charging her with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud and
aiding and abetting. She was not charged in connection with the
kidnapping or siege by
PECOS, May 5 - Voters chose several incumbents in Saturday's election
for school board, city council and hospital.
One newcomer to the Town of Pecos City Council is excited about joining
the group and eager to share ideas and getting involved.
Johnny Terrazas, the newest member to join the city council following
Saturday's elections, plans to work hard and not let anyone down.
Terrazas will be joining incumbents Gerald Luis Tellez, Jr. and Randy J.
In the city council elections Gerald Tellez netted 920 votes; Johnny
Terrazas received 805 votes; Randy J. Graham, 658; Carlos H. Campos, 505
and Elvia Reynolds, 494.
"I've never leaned towards politics and I thought it was time to get
involved," said Terrazas.
Terrazas stated that he has been keeping up with city issues and plans
to work hard and hopefully not let anyone down.
"I feel pretty good right now, I had a lot of people pulling for me and
I want to thank them and all the voters," said Terrazas.
Incumbent Gerald Luis Tellez, Jr. stated that he feels great about being
re-elected to the council.
"I want to thank God for without whom nothing is possible," said Tellez.
"I also want to thank my mother and father, and Pete Reyes and all of my
friends for their support," he said.
"The council has our work cut out for us," said Tellez. "We have a
couple of large projects that require our attention right now. We will
need to work together with the other organizations in the city," he said.
Tellez was appointed to take Dot Stafford's place on the city council
when she was elected mayor. When that term ended he was elected for his
first full term.
Incumbent Randy Graham is looking forward to working with the newest
member of the council.
"Dr. Reynolds will surely be missed, but I'm optimistic and looking
forward to working with Johnny," said Graham. "I'm looking forward to
serving two more years on the council," he said.
Graham stated that the city will be facing some major decisions,
pertaining to sewer and water issues.
"I think these will be our main priority and I'm looking forward to
studying them and working on these issues," said Graham.
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah School Board will be welcoming one newcomer to their
group, with incumbent Steve Armstrong back for another three years.
Newcomer Freddy Lujan is ready to go to work for the school district.
"I plan to work hard, study the issues, I'm very concerned about the
education of our children," said Lujan.
"I plan to give 110 percent to this effort and I'm very excited about
the joining the school board," said Lujan.
Lujan extended his congratulations to incumbent Steve Armstrong and
thanked Hugh Box for his many years of dedicated service to the board.
"I wish him well and thank him for all he has done, I look forward to
working with Steve and I plan to work hard to provide the best education
for our children," said Lujan.
In the school election, Lujan netted 898 votes; Steve F. Armstrong, 702
and Hugh Box, 677.
Armstrong was appointed to serve last year to a 1-year unexpired term
and had served on the board as a member from 1982-1985.
"I'm looking forward to the following term and looking forward to
working with the new school board member," said Armstrong. "I think the
coming year will be a very challenging year with the new tax base set by
state legislature," he said.
Armstrong stated that he had a lot of help and thanked all his
supporters and those who went to out vote.
Hugh Box who lost his bid for re-election to the board stated that he
feels good after having served on the board for more than 10 years.
"I think we have a real good board and they will be good for the
community," said Box.
Box doesn't plan to run for any other political offices, but does plan
to stay involved in the community and with school issues.
In Toyah, six individuals were seeking three available two-year seats.
Two incumbents were re-elected to their posts with one newcomer.
Incumbents Diana Tollett and Rose Barnes will be joined by Sharon
Sharon Sanchez netted 34 votes in that election; Diana Tollett, 25
votes; Rose Barnes, 21; Bart Sanchez, 20; Howard Dennett, 11 votes and
Jana McHorse, 5.
In the Balmorhea city council election, Richard Hoefs, Olga Mendoza and
Sammy Baeza will serve on the council for two years.
Richard Hoefs received 69 votes; Olga Mendoza, 84; Janell Ward, 38 and
Sammy Baeza netted 83 of those votes in that election.
In the Balmorhea ISD elections four candidates were seeking two
three-year terms. Incumbent Paul Matta and Reyes Castillo will serve on
Darrell Rhyne received 30 votes in that election; James Garlick, 64;
Castillo, 69 and Paul Matta 116.
Uncontested races were in Barstow where incumbents Olga Abila, Lucio
Florez and Salvador Villalobos will serve two-year terms on the council.
For Reeves County Hospital District, only voters in Precinct 2 and 4
cast their ballots. Both incumbents were unopposed for new two-year
RCH incumbent Marcella Lovett, Precinct 2 received 402 votes while
Precinct 4 incumbent Jeanette Alligood netted 243 votes.
PECOS, May 5, 1997 - Things went really well at the 19th Annual Pecos
Eagle Band Auction held this weekend, according to band booster
president Linda Chabarria.
Over $5,000 in funds was raised between the barbecue lunch, bake sale
and auction held.
"We're still collecting cash donations, but between all the events held
on Saturday a little over $5,000 was raised," said Chabarria.
Individuals who would like to donate funds to the worthy cause can
contact the Pecos Eagle Band Hall at 447-7218 and speak to Steven Clary,
"We apologize if there was anybody we missed, but we will still accept
donations," said Chabarria.
The group was so busy and there were some merchant who were
inadvertently missed, but Chabarria stated that everything went well.
"We're sorry if we missed anybody, but we were short-handed and we would
like to thank everyone that helped," said Chabarria.
The community really came through for the event, even some merchants who
were not contacted donated items.
"We especially want to thank them, because we feel bad for overlooking
them," said Chabarria.
The Pecos High School Mariachi Band was on hand to kick of things early
Saturday morning and a barbecue lunch prepared by the Reeves County
Sheriff's Posse got underway at 11 a.m. A cake sale was held throughout
the day, with baked good provided by middle schools band members
Proceeds from the auction will go towards the purchase of new uniforms
for the students. Funds are also used throughout the year for assorted
Several scholarships are also given out during the awards ceremony held
at the end of the school year.
Funds will also be needed for annual band camp held during the summer.
"All in all, we had a very good turnout," said Chabarria.
This will be the last fund-raiser held the group for this school year.
"We want to give special thanks to all those who helped and to the
community, who is very important to us and the students," said Chabarria.
PECOS, May 5, 1997 - Travel and tourism brings almost $14 million into
Reeves County each year. Pecos city leaders are spending this week
reminding area residents of the importance of the travel and tourism
This week, which is both National Tourism Week and Texas Chamber of
Commerce Week, members of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce are educating
citizens and city officials about the positive impact that travel and
tourism have on the local economy.
Pecos Mayor Dot Stafford signed a proclamation this morning recognizing
the importance of tourists coming to Pecos.
May 5-9 will be Open House at the chamber, a traveler will be surprised
with an Award of Honorary Texan Citizenship and a visiting family will
be kidnapped and provided with the grand tour of Pecos hospitality.
"We want to be sure that everyone in the Reeves County area is aware of
the role played by travel and tourism for our community," said Dick
Alligood, Chairman of the Advertising/Tourism Committee for the Pecos
Chamber of Commerce. "There are many benefits to us when tourism is
developed and promoted. It helps local businesses, creates jobs and
enhances local tax revenues."
Travel and tourism represented $13.86 million dollars to the Reeves
County area, which translated into $410,000 in tax revenue in 1995,
according to "Travel Spending for Texas Counties," a report issued by
the Tourism Division of the Texas Department of Commerce.
Between 15,000 and 20,000 people visit the West of the Pecos Museum each
year, most of whom are tourists. The annual July 4th West of the Pecos
Rodeo, and the activities surrounding it, also brings many tourists to
Travel is the third largest industry in Texas, generating $25.4 billion
in revenue for 1995. Approximately 446,000 jobs are directly related to
travel and tourism in Texas, according to the report.
State Comptroller John Sharp, spokesman for Texas Chamber of Commerce
Week, said chamber programs to help businesses grow, promote Texas
cities for new investment, enhance the growth of local tax bases mean
better schools, improved roads and streets, and a smaller tax burden on
Chambers also implement community development programs in education,
crime prevention, and leadership development, which are critical in the
enhancement of local communities.
Comptroller Sharp calls on Texas to join him in recognizing local
chambers and their volunteers for their commitment to a better statewide
The Pecos Chamber of Commerce was established in 1957 and represents 175
business members. The organization is actively working to improve by
Pecos by focusing on economic development, tax abatements, business
expansion and retention, tourism and community pride.
Texas Chamber of Commerce Week is sponsored by the Texas Chamber of
Commerce Executives - the professional development association for
chamber executives in Texas - and Texas Association of Business &
Chamber of Commerce - the state's leading organization for employers.
Governor George W. Bush issued a proclamation declaring May 5-9 Texas
Tourism Week. Texas communities throughout the state will unite this
week to recognize the importance of the Texas tourism industry.
To help commemorate Texas Tourism Week, the Texas Department of Commerce
and the Texas Department of Transportation have planned a special
statewide event to recognize visitors to Texas-Tourist Appreciation Day,
Wednesday, May 7. On this day, anyone who visits one of the Texas
Department of Transportation's 12 travel information centers will
receive an "Official Texas Ambassador" certificate. The 12 travel
information centers served 3.8 million visitors in 1995.
In addition, communities throughout Texas also will commemorate the
importance of tourism to the Texas economy with special events honoring
tourists as well as the tourism related businesses.
The Texas Department of Commerce promotes Texas as a premier travel
destination through national and international advertising, media
relations, travel industry sales, and product development programs. In
Fiscal Year 1995, approximately 1.2 million inquiries for Texas travel
information were received and fulfilled by the Texas Department of
Commerce and the Texas Department of Transportation as a result of the
state tourism advertising campaign.
Texas is the second most visited state in the nation. In 1995, 169
million domestic visitors traveled to Texas. Total travel expenditures
in Texas by U.S. residents reached more than $22.5 billion in 1995.
For more information about Tourism/Chamber Week activities in Pecos,
contact Tom Rivera at the Pecos Chamber of Commerce (445-2406).
PECOS, May 5, 1997 - Three of seven men arrested Wednesday morning in
Pecos are now in federal custody charged with possession of a firearm by
Jeffrey William Howard, aka John Doe, 32, of Dallas, was charged Friday
before U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine Baker of Alpine in the Pecos
Howard, who refused to give his name to arresting officers, was
identified through fingerprints. Court records show he pleaded guilty
June 13, 1991 to aggravated possession of marijuana over 50 pounds and
was placed on 10 years probation.
His probation was later revoked, and he was a fugitive at the time of
his arrest here. Magistrate Judge Stuart Platt set a
detention/preliminary hearing at 2 p.m. Wednesday for Howard and two of
Jimmy Dee Potter, 47, of Palestine, aka James Williamson, was charged
Thursday afternoon before Judge Platt.
Platt also detained Dudley Edward Vandergiff, 29, of Dallas, on the same
charge. Vandergriff and Howard occupied an Oldsmobile in which Texas
Rangers found two Nornico rifles manufactured in China.
The Chevrolet Suburban which Potter occupied was "loaded with firearms,"
according to the complaint filed by an agent for the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms.
Listed are a .45 caliber pistol, three Norinco SKS 7.62mm rifles and one
Norinco MAC-90 7.62mm rifle, one Springfield M-1 Garand, .308 caliber;
and two 12-gauge shotguns.
Since the Norinco rifles were manufactured in China, they had affected
interstate and foreign commerce, thus making their possession by a
convicted felon a federal offense, the complaint alleges.
Robert Summitt, in whose name the Suburban was registered, told Rangers
that James Williamson was traveling in his Suburban, and he brought an
SKS rifle with him.
Potter was convicted in Tulsa, Okla. of burglary and sentenced to 10
years probation, said Texas Ranger Marshall Brown. He is still on
Two of the seven men are being held on out-of-county warrants, and the
remaining three are considered material witnesses. They are believed to
have been enroute to Fort Davis to join the standoff with Republic of
Texas "ambassador" Richard McLaren.
They were arrested by Pecos police with the assistance of Texas Rangers
as they ate breakfast at Thad's Restaurant in the Flying J Travel Plaza
PECOS, May 5, 1997 - Graveside services are being arranged for William
Campbell Holden, 76, in Southport, N.C. Holden, 76, died Saturday, May 3
at Reeves County Hospital. Arrangements are being handled by Pecos
He was born on Feb. 21, 1921 in Southport, and was a retired auto
mechanic and a military veteran. He had been a resident of Balmorhea for
the past six years.
Survivors include his wife, Ruby Holden of Balmorhea; four sons, Bill
Holden of Grapevine, Keith Holden of Fort Worth; Kenneth Thedford of
Balmorhea and Raymond Thedford of Lufkin; one daughter, Evelyn Tore of
Lufkin; and one brother, Wesley Holden of Southport, N.C.
CARLSBAD, N.M., May 5, 1997 - Salvador Ortega, 83, died, Sunday, May 4,
at Guadalupe Medical Center in Carlsbad, N.M. Viewing will be at 2 p.m.
today at Christ the King Catholic Church in Balmorhea, with a rosary at
7:30 p.m. this evening. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Christ
the King Catholic Church, followed by burial at Balmorhea Cemetery under
the direction of Martinez Funeral Home.
Ortega was born on Nov. 10, 1913 in Balmorhea, and married Barbara
Millan on Aug. 23, 1938. The couple lived in Balmorhea most of their
lives, before moving to Carlsbad, N.M. several years ago.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara; two sons, Salvador Ortega, Jr., of
Carlsbad and Roberto Ortega of Fort Davis; three daughters, Lydia Payen
of Odessa, Maria Louise Riley of Carlsbad and Carolina Brijalba of
Marfa; one brother, Leonardo Ortega of San Bernardino, Calif.; four
sisters, Juanita Trujillo and Josie Alvarez of Pecos; Alvesa Gomez of
Balmorhea and Esperanza Gutierrez of Oakland, Calif.; 13 grandchildren
and 15 great-grandchildren.
ODESSA, May 5, 1997 - Felix 'Guapo' Urias, Sr., 70, died Saturday, May 3
at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa. Rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m.
this evening at Pecos Funeral Home Chapel, with a funeral mass set for 2
p.m. Tuesday at Santa Rosa Catholic Church under the direction of Father
Rick Zamorano. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery under the direction
of Pecos Funeral Home.
Urias was born on Sept. 6, 1926 in Buena Vista, Chih., Mex. He was a
retired railman, a lifetime resident of Pecos and a Catholic.
Survivors include his wife, Manuela Urias of Pecos; five sons, Felix
Urias, Jr., Silvino Urias and Samuel Urias of Pecos, and Rodolfo Urias
and Abel Urias of Dallas; two daughters, Imelda Lara of Odessa and Rita
Urias of Pecos; four brothers, Jose Urias, Jose Maria Urias and Nepo
Muceno Urias of Presidio and Jesus Urias of Midland; five sisters, Maria
Carrasco and Demetria Montoya of McCamey; Regina Herrera and Viola Paula
Machuca of Pecos, and Miciala Vuelvas of Odessa; 19 grandchildren and
nine great-grandchildren.Norine Hosie Swindell
COLORADO CITY, May 5, 1997 - Norine Hosie Swindell, 94, of Colorado
City, died Friday, May 2 at a nursing home.
Memorial services will be set at a later date.
She was born Jan. 25, 1903 in Toyah and was a retired chiropractor.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Lum Swindell.
Survivors include one nephew, John C. Hosey of Abion, Pa. and several
great nieces and nephews.
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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
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