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July 22, 1997

Arizona teen burglar arrested holding $16,000

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Staff Writer

PECOS, July 22, 1997 - An Arizona teen might have heard the Steve Miller
Band's song "Take the Money and Run" recently, because that is just what
he did this past weekend, and he brought one of his young friends along
for the ride.

Jacky Ray Sheets, 18, of Ehrenberg, Arizona, was caught in a Quality Inn
hotel room early Monday morning with thousands of dollars in cash on his
person and hidden under the mattress in his room.

Sheets was arrested on a warrant from his home state, charging him with
theft, a Class Two felony, and burglary in the second degree, a Class
Three felony.

"We got information that the suspect was travelling this way to visit
his girlfriend," said Reeves County Sheriff's Deputy Gilberto Rayos.

The girl that Sheets was allegedly coming to see is a juvenile, as is
the young man who was riding along with Sheets. Deputies say that the
other man does not appear to be connected with the burglary that Sheets
was wanted for. That male juvenile is being held at the local detention
center on an unrelated charge.

"We got information that Sheets had silver certificates, which he did
have in his possession," said Rayos.

"He hired a taxi cab driver in El Paso to transport a load of new stuff
that he had bought to Pecos for $500," Rayos continued.

"He and the juvenile rode a bus to Van Horn, then they decided to ride
in the taxi cab the rest of the way," said Rayos. The two were able to
join the taxi cab driver in Van Horn because the taxi cab driver and the
bus driver both stopped for lunch at the same time and place in Van Horn.

At about 11 p.m. Sunday, "I went to the Uncles convenience store at
Cedar and 3rd, and I showed the clerk there a picture of the suspect,"
said Rayos.

He said that the clerk told him that the two men had made some purchases
at the store, then got back in the taxi cab and were going to Quality
Inn to rent a room for the night.

"When the clerk told me they were going to Quality Inn, myself and
Deputy Danny Reynolds and Sergeant Tony Dowdy and Officer Ishmael Gamboa
from the Pecos Police Department went up there."

Rayos continued, "When we got up there, the taxi cab driver was outside.
We spoke to him and he told us that he brought the kids from Van Horn
and told us about the El Paso deal, then told us which room one of them
was in."

Before the group of law enforcement officers arrived at the room, they
found the juvenile standing outside.

"We told him to come downstairs and talk to us and he did," Rayos said.

"He told us that the other male, Sheets, was in another room. We knocked
on his door and he came out," said Rayos.

"We advised him that he was a suspect in a burglary in Arizona and he
gave us written permission to search his room."

Sheets had more than $2,000 in his possession, according to Rayos, and
the other juvenile had more than $3,000 cash in his possession.

"Sheets came back in the room. We asked him if he had any more cash in
his possession, and he showed us another $11,000 in cash that was hidden
under the mattress on the bed," said Rayos.

The juvenile was arrested for carrying an illegal weapon, a butterfly
knife, Rayos said, but he added, it is believed that he was just along for the ride. They were arrested at 2:40 Monday morning.

Witness tampering law flawed

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Staff Writer

PECOS, July 22, 1997 - State law describing an offense under the penal
code relating to tampering with a government witness is flawed, District
Attorney Randy Reynolds agreed last week.

Reynolds dismissed his appeal of a case in 143rd District Court wherein
the tampering charge against Jim Ed Miller was dismissed.

Miller, general manager for Red Bluff Water Power Control District, had
been charged with attempting to influence Ed Armstrong not to testify in
an official proceeding. He was convicted by a 143rd District Court jury
Aug. 15, 1996 and sentenced to the minimum 180 days in jail, probated
for two years.

District Judge Bob Parks later set aside the conviction and ordered a
new trial, based on defense attorney Richard Abalos' motion claiming the
statute is faulty.

Then-district attorney John Stickels filed the appeal.

In asking for the dismissal, Reynolds said that Section 36.05 (a) (5) of
the Texas Penal Code, as it existed at the time of the alleged offense,
is "incomprehensible, vague and uncertain, and therefore, fatally

Texas legislators agreed with that assessment and amended the statute
this year. They removed the word "witness" from Line 5 of 36.05, which
stated: "to abstain from, discontinue, or delay the prosecution of another witness."

One third of Hispanic Americans
in poverty, study says

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Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO (AP) July 22, 1997 - Hispanic Americans, who are expected to be
the largest minority in the United States within 10 years, are
struggling to find ways to share in the nation's economic boom.

A study of Hispanic economic status indicates that a third of all
Hispanic Americans live in poverty and trail other ethnic groups in
educational levels, home ownership and health insurance protection.

Community leaders gathered at the annual conference of the National
Council of La Raza, the nation's largest Hispanic advocacy group, are
seeking to reverse those trends.

"The problems must be attacked on several fronts," said Raul Yzaguirre,
president of the National Council of La Raza. "We need progressive tax
reform, we need greater home ownership, and we need fairness."

The nation's Hispanic population is 32 million people; in 10 years,
Hispanics are expected to be the largest U.S. minority.

"What happens to the Hispanic community is important to what happens to
America," Yzaguirre said. "Whether America has a Social Security system
that is viable, whether America has a Medicare system that is viable,
will be determined by Hispanics."

In a luncheon address to the conference on Monday, Vice President Al
Gore credited Hispanics with helping fuel the U.S. economic boom that
has raised wages, lowered inflation and created a winning investment

But Gore told the audience of 2,200 he agreed that Hispanic Americans
were not sharing fully in the economic good times.

"Not enough Latinos are participating," Gore said. "We have a lot of
work to do, and we will not rest until everyone in every community
shares fully."

During the four-day conference, more than 4,000 participants will attend
workshops on dozens of topics affecting the Hispanic American community,
such as welfare and immigration reform, job readiness, nonprofit job
opportunities and community mobilization.

The economic status report was based on a range of university studies
and census data. It represents "a mixed bag" of indicators, but "the
negative stuff is pretty serious," said Sonia Perez, director of the
research for La Raza.

"The positives give us some promise of what we need to build the
strength of the community," Perez said.

Positives in the report were few. Chief among them were that Hispanic
men have the highest labor participation rate, meaning they are more
likely to be working or in search of work.

Another hopeful sign was that the ranks of Hispanic women classified as
managers or professionals increased from 14.7 percent to 17.5 percent
between 1990 to 1996.

But the good news was overwhelmed in a sea of statistics indicating
Hispanics were being trapped in a cycle of low-paying jobs, poor
education and a lack of health insurance that is sapping the community
of its vast potential, Yzaguirre said.

"Every other group has a higher income than Latinos," Yzaguirre said.
"Hispanics are the only group that dropped in median income. We are the poorest."

Naturalization ceremony set for Wednesday

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Staff Writer

PECOS, July 22, 1997 - Federal court will be crowded Wednesday when
Senior Judge Lucius Bunton presides for the first group naturalization
ceremony in the Pecos Division.

Immigration and Naturalization officials approved the ceremony for 150
would-be citizens after a local citizenship teacher, David Reyes,
requested it. In the past, his students had to travel to El Paso for the

Judge Bunton said his courtroom will not accommodate all 150 candidates,
so he plans two ceremonies - one at 10 a.m. and another at 2 p.m.
Seating will be limited, but the judge said he will allow cameras inside
the courtroom.

State Rep. Pete Gallego of Alpine is scheduled to speak at both

Celia Nazaroff, whom Judge Bunton introduced at today's docket call as
the new court interpreter, said she will not be needed for the
naturalization ceremonies. One requirement for citizenship is that the
candidate speak and read English.

Reyes teaches a class in English as a second language and added the citizenship class to it at the request of some of his students.|

City Council meets tonight

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PECOS, July 22, 1997 - A regular city council meeting of the Town of
Pecos City will be held tonight at 5:30 in the city council chambers.

The council will approve monthly reports of the municipal court, the tax
collector, the ambulance, and financials. They will discuss C.P.A. Dan
Painter's quarterly report.

The report on the meeting with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation
Commission (TNRCC) representative in Austin concerning the agreed order
by committee members and Frank X. Spencer and Associates will be
discussed by the council.

The council will also consider appointing an alternate to the planning
and zoning commission as well as an officer to calculate the effective
and rollback tax rate. They will then consider the certified 1997
appraisal roll.

Three ordinances are on their second reading today, one for repair and
maintenance of curbs in city limits, one for stop signs to be placed at
the intersection of 13th and Locust Streets, and the third for the speed
limit to be set at 20 miles per hour within Maxey Park and all perimeter
streets adjacent to Maxey Park.

They will discuss changing the next meeting date and in and executive
session, they will discuss and employee performance review of the Health
Department Director. During the last executive session, the council
voted to approve a salary increase for the Health Department Director of 1 1/2 percent and to review him in six months for 1 1/2 percent more.

Police study emergency driving situations

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PECOS, July 22, 1997 - Members of the Pecos Police Department, along
with other area law enforcement officers, recently attended a three-day
Police Emergency Driving Course.

The course was taught three times during July. Five Pecos police
officers attended the course, which was brought to the area by the Law
Enforcement Training Division of Texas A & M.

Local participants were Sergeant Ramon Ornelas, Officers Ishmael Gamboa,
Armando Garcia, Freddie Contreras and Felipe Villalobos.

The course covered emergency driving situations where the officers
learned skills needed to safely drive in stressful emergency

Emergency driving instructors Charles Sabastian with the Monahans Police
Department and Kelly Davis from the Pecos Police Department assisted the
A & M instructors during the courses. Additional courses will be
provided in the future so that the remainder of the police department can be trained.

Consequences, low voter
turnout may affect Aug. 9 vote

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Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN (AP) July 22, 1997 - Texas homeowners may have a "no-brainer" tax
break awaiting them at the ballot box. But state officials fear a low
voter turnout and some people say the obvious choice has consequences.

Early voting for the Aug. 9 election began Monday and runs through Aug.

On the ballot is a single question, asking voters whether homestead
property tax exemptions should be increased from a minimum of $5,000 to
a minimum of $15,000.

The higher exemption will cost school districts about $1 billion every
two years - money lawmakers have pledged to replace.

Secretary of State Tony Garza, the state's chief elections official,
began his week in South Texas on a get-out-the-vote tour. He has not set
an estimate on how many of the state's 10.6 million registered voters
will cast a ballot in the election.

Ann McGeehan, Garza's election director, said she expects between 10
percent and 15 percent.

"Constitutional elections are uphill battles in terms of getting people
out to vote," Garza said, adding that when there aren't candidates on
the ballot, fewer people bring attention to the election.

"I'm trying to raise the awareness level," he said.

The tax exemption question comes after lawmakers failed to approve an
attempt to lower and cap local school property taxes. The House and
Senate approved separate plans to cut the locally set tax rates, but
could not agree on a final version of the idea.

Instead, they approved a plan to increase the amount of a home's value
not subject to taxation for schools. Also included is dedicating lottery
revenues to education and a provision allowing Texans' 65 and older to
transfer a proportionate amount of their homestead tax freezes from one
home to another if they move.

The lottery-to-education provision goes into effect Sept. 1 regardless
of the election. The tax freeze portability is contingent on the

Bush has said there's little argument against increasing the tax
exemptions. Even so, the governor also plans a get-out-the-vote tour
before Aug. 9.

"He hopes that Texans vote early or make sure they get to the polls on
Aug. 9," said Bush spokesman Ray Sullivan.

Dick Lavine, an analyst for the Center for Public Policy Priorities,
said it's hard for Texans to turn down a tax cut because of future
consequences. But he said voters should think about what they are

"It puts us at least $1 billion in the hole in every future (state)
budget," Lavine said of the proposal.

As property tax rates continue to go up, school districts will lose more
money because of the tax exemption. That means the exemptions will cost
more than $1 billion in the future.

The $1 billion being used to pay for the tax break in the next two-year
budget, beginning Sept. 1, came from state funds reserved for such
spending. Lavine said there is no guarantee that money will be available
in the future.

"It's putting a little extra pressure on the budget," he said.

Lavine added that while the money used to pay for the tax breaks will
come from all taxpayers, only homeowners will get the benefit.

"The good news is that homeowners are going to get a tax break and it is
a progressive tax break because its $140 no matter what the value of
your home is," he said. "For some people, $140 pays for two weeks' of groceries."

Whooping creane chicks receive
special designation from feds

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Associated Press Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) July 22, 1997 - A flock of seven whooping crane
chicks has received special designation from the federal government to
fly 750 miles south through the Rocky Mountains this fall.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approval published Monday in the
Federal Register clears the latest hurdle for the majestic birds, whose
numbers have dwindled to about 230 still living in the wild.

Wild whooping cranes are generally designated as endangered, which means
humans must leave them and their habitat alone.

But as of Monday, seven chicks in Grace, Idaho, are considered
"experimental, nonessential" so they can be raised by rancher Kent
Clegg, who has convinced the birds he is their mother.

"They're pretty much imprinted on me," he said by telephone. "They're
following me around really well."

That bonding will be essential to the birds' survival this October when
Clegg flies his ultralight airplane and leads them on their first
migratory journey south to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife

The refuge sits on the Rio Grande 80 miles south of Albuquerque.

For the past two years, Clegg similarly bonded with sandhill crane
chicks, then taught them to migrate to New Mexico. He conducted the
successful test runs with sandhill cranes because they are not

The whooping crane chicks were hatched in May at the Batuxent Wildlife
Center in Maryland and flown to Clegg's Idaho ranch in a Lear jet.

Clegg also is hand-raising nine sandhill cranes, which he hopes will
mingle with the whooping cranes and help them fit in when they arrive in
New Mexico.

Each winter, the Bosque del Apache bird population reaches about
150,000, including nearly 20,000 sandhills, 75,000 ducks and 50,000
geese, plus a few thousand of other species, refuge officials have said.

Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Tom Bauer in Albuquerque said in
earlier experiments - between 1976 and 1988 - whooping crane eggs were
placed in sandhill crane nests.

Sandhill "foster parents" raised the whooping crane chicks and taught
them how to survive, migrate and where to winter.

Unfortunately, Bauer said, the whooping cranes "became imprinted on
their sandhill crane foster parents and did not pair or breed with their
own species."

Only three whooping cranes from that experiment still survive. Another
165 whooping cranes migrate between the Northwest Territories of Canada
and the Texas Gulf coast. And an experimental, nonmigratory flock in
central Florida now contains 64 birds.

Another 129 whooping cranes live in captivity, Bauer said.

If Clegg can help his chicks learn to migrate, they may survive and
breed, helping the species survive.

The Whooping Crane Project - which will cost about $100,000 in 1997 -
receives public funding from the Fish and Wildlife Service. It also gets
private funding from the World Wildlife Fund of Canada, the Whooping Crane Conservation Association and the Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Federal toilet law just one that needs flushing

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AUSTIN (AP) July 22, 1997 - It has become known as the federal toilet

To conserve water, Congress in 1992 approved legislation reducing the
amount of water that can be used each time a toilet flushes, thus also
reducing the water pressure and the ability to clear the bowl of its

After complaints flooded in from people saying that they now need to
flush two and three times to get enough pressure to clear the bowl -
thus wasting more water than before - several U.S. House members on the
Corrections Advisory Group are now attempting to flush the law, once and
for all.

That group, comprised of 12 House members, is going across the country
looking for other "foolish and ridiculous laws" for repeal or amendment.

On Monday, the group was represented by Reps. Sam Johnson, R-Plano, and
Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, at a hearing open to the public.

Since its inception in 1995, the legislative corrections process has
resulted in 23 bills being passed by Congress and 16 being signed into

"The public wasn't consulted about the toilet law," Johnson said. "The
public has to work, so it never gets consulted about anything. Kay and I
think that the people have better ideas about what's best."

"Congress passes laws and you say, 'What in the world causes this to
happen?"' Ms. Granger said. "This is our chance to correct it."

The House members heard an assortment of stories Monday, mostly focusing
on overburdensome regulations being administered by agencies such as the
Environmental Protection Agency.

Michael J. Nasi, an attorney representing the city of Frisco, just north
of Dallas, said actions taken by the city regarding the discharge of
effluents by a battery company had been targeted for $125,000 in fines
by one arm of the EPA and cited for an award by another EPA section.

"We are optimistic that our problem will be resolved," Nasi said. "But
we don't want anyone else going through this. It's ironic that an agency
could be imposing penalties for something that another part of the
agency wants to give an award for."

Nasi said the EPA had cited the city for allowing too much effluent,
which included salt water, into its water system.

The city, rather than reroute the effluent to a larger body of water
where it would be diluted according to EPA standards, tried to work with
the plant responsible for discharging the salt water on a method that
would eliminate the pollutants completely.

"We want to do better than the EPA standards," Nasi said. "We want to
fix the problem with an innovative treatment process."

David Bary, an EPA spokesman in Dallas, said, "We are quite used to
criticism of the agency.

"The enforcement actions that we do take are done to protect human
health and the environment," Bary said. "That tends to be unpopular
among certain groups but it is a mandate that the agency must follow."

Don Summers, a 65-year-old owner of an electric generator service
business in Austin, complained about a federal law requiring him to send
certain taxes withheld from employees directly to the IRS via wire.

As part of the law, businesses have the option of allowing the IRS to
withdraw the money from their accounts directly or authorize their bank
to wire the money.

"I would rather die than give the IRS access to my bank account,"
Summers said.

Johnson said he, too, was critical of a new federal push to have
businesses wire tax money directly to the government. He said Social
Security checks are being considered for direct wire to a recipient's

"There are people who don't have bank accounts," Johnson said. "I think we stand a chance of getting that changed."

PBT ISD board meets today

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PECOS, July 22, 1997 - There will be a special meeting of the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board of Education today at 6 p.m. to interview
and hire a new principal for Pecos High school.

The meeting, originally scheduled as a budget workshop, will begin with
a closed session as soon as the meeting is called to order, according to
the published agenda. During the closed session, applicants for the high
school principalship will be interviewed.

The board will return to open meeting to do the actual hiring of
whomever they select.

Also, the proposed dress code for pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade
will be presented to the school district's attorney for review before it
is approved. At their meeting last Thursday, there was some question as
to whether the wording was specific enough, and as to whether the
proposed code is legally enforceable as it is written.

There will also be discussion/approval of professional personnel
appointments, resignations, retirements and transfers and public hearings for the Title-I and Title-VI programs.


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PECOS, July 22, 1997 - High Monday, 98, low this morning, 72. Typical
summer weather is in store across all of Texas tonight and Wednesday. It
will be partly cloudy and warm to hot with a chance of isolated to
scattered showers. In West Texas there is a slight chance of
thunderstorms over most sections. It will be fair to partly cloudy. Lows
tonight will be in the 60s and 70s.

State News
San Angelo Standard Times
Abilene Reporter News
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Dallas Morning News
Texas Press Association

National News
USA Today
York (Pa.) Daily Record, Sister Paper to Pecos Enterprise

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
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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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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