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Van Horn Advocate |


August 27, 1997

Community Council gives
up control of Head Start

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 27, 1997 - Members of the Community Council of Reeves County (CCRC) voted last night to relinquish sponsorship of the Pecos Head Start Program. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Region IV (HHS/ACF) will now place oversight of the program out for bids from nonprofit organizations.

Pecos Head Start classes will still begin Sept. 1 on a five day schedule.

The decision to drop the program was precipitated by a telephone call from Bill Wendt, CCRC head since former Chairman Linda Clark resigned last week, to HHS/ACF headquarters in Dallas. Wendt called the regional office of the HHS/ACF to get clarification as to which local organization, the CCRC or the Pecos Head Start Policy Council, had final say in hiring a director for the local program.

In addition to getting the matter clarified, Wendt was also told officials at the regional office were very upset about Clark's resignation and the fact that the policy council and council board were clashing over who would be director of the local Head Start program.

The Pecos Head Start program was already under a Nov. 1 deadline from the HHS/ACF to correct several deficiencies the agency found in the program. Wendt said he was told during his Monday telephone call with HHS/ACF Dallas headquarters that the recent developments, coupled with a lack of progress in correcting deficiencies in the program, indicated that the CCRC had run out of time and had not lived up to its agreement to improve the program.

"Kathy Cryner (HHS/ACF official) said we are so deep in a whole that it would be impossible for us to dig our way out," Wendt said. "She felt it would be in the best interest for all if we relinquish now instead of waiting until November."

Wendt said if the CCRC gave up control of the Pecos Head Start program before the Nov. 1 deadline for correction of deficiencies the council would not suffer any repercussions. However, if the CCRC held on to the program and did not correct the deficiencies by the deadline the council would be in default. If the council went into default with the HHS/ACF over the Head Start program it could jeopardize the CCRC's ability to obtain grants from the agency in the future.

Wendt told the CCRC board that if an intense effort was made for the rest of the month it might not be necessary to give up the Head Start program. But the consensus of the board was that they had tried to correct these problems for eight months and they did not believe another week would make a difference.

"There are so many other things in the community we need to do and we can't because this program has taken up all our time," said CCRC board member Joyce Wilhelm. I'm all for letting somebody else take it and let us get back to business."

The CCRC will continue to oversee the Pecos Head Start program until the HHS/ACF finds another agency to take over. Wendt said the transition could take as long as until Jan. 1, 1998. Meanwhile, Elida Rodriguez will remain as interim Head Start Director.

Deputy intoxicated at time of fatal accident

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From Staff Reports

PECOS, August 27, 1997 - An autopsy conducted by the Lubbock County Medical Examiner's Office determined that Reeves County Sheriff's Deputy Floyd Estrada was legally intoxicated when he died in a one vehicle accident in the early morning hours of July 24, according to Chief Forensic Death Investigator Robert Byers.

Byers said results of the autopsy show Estrada had a blood alcohol content of 0.20.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Richard Jacobs, who investigated the accident, "0.10 is legally intoxicated according to the state of Texas, and the higher you go, the more intoxicated you are." Jacobs said that he couldn't give any further comment because he did not have a copy of the autopsy report.

The official cause of Estrada's death was found to be "blunt force trauma to the head," said Byers, and that the manner of death was accidental.

Estrada was killed when his pickup left State Highway 17 as it was traveling south. The pickup then flipped 1 1/2 times. The cab of the pick-up was crushed when rescue crews arrived at the site, about three miles south of Pecos, just north of FM 1934. Emergency personnel used the jaws-of-life to cut open the pick-up door to remove Estrada from the truck.

Estrada was taken by ambulance to Reeves County Hospital and then flown to Lubbock about 1:15 a.m. July 24.

According to Sheriff Arnulfo "Andy" Gomez, at the time of the accident Estrada was hauling pipe to Balmorhea, where he was a deputy sheriff. Estrada first became a deputy in 1977.

Guilty charges handed out in 14 drug cases

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 27, 1997 - "Guilty" was a word heard frequently in federal court Tuesday when 14 defendants admitted importing, possessing with intent to distribute or simply possessing controlled substances.

Some of the cases resulted from undercover work by the drug task force based in Alpine. Jeffery Todd Williams, now of Odessa, admitted felony possession of heroin on June 24. He could be sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $1 million.

Co-defendants Leticia Garcia, Irene Olivas and Irene Campos admitted misdemeanor possession of heroin, which could result in a one-year prison term and up to $100,000 fine.

Garcia and Olivas went to the Williams trailer in Alpine on separate occasions to purchase heroin for an undercover confidential informant, said government prosecutor Jim Blankinship.

Campos was in the trailer home when agents arrived to serve a search warrant. As agents knocked on the door and identified themselves as police officers, they heard a commode flush, Blankinship said.

Upon breaking open the sewer, the agents found a substance later identified as heroin. Additional heroin and cocaine was found inside the commode, he said.

Wade Wiggins, 20, Chad Taylor, 19, Justin Davis, 19, and Ronald Emanuel, 18, all of Henrietta, admitted importing and possessing cocaine on June 14;

Admitting to importing and/or possessing with intent to distribute marijuana were:

* Yazmin A. Maldonado-Ballasteros, 20, of Sundown, 44.92 lb. on June 15;

* Braulia Navarrete-Sanchez, 51, of Ojinaga, Mex., June 13;

* Uvaldo Ruiz-Ramirez, 19, Chihuahua, Mex., June 18;

* Sarah Sanders, Clifford Rose, and Alberto Ramirez-Arzate.

Imelda Chavez-De Astorga failed to appear, and Judge Bunton issued a warrant for her arrest. Her attorney, Anthony Foster, said he had talked with a family member who said she had not seen Astorga in two weeks. She may have fled with her husband, Foster said.

"A family that flees together stay together," Judge Bunton quipped.

A jury was chose to hear marijuana possession charges against Jose Efrain Orozco-Tinoco, 40, of Los Angeles, Calif. He allegedly had 274.78 lb. of marijuana in his possession on June 15.
Judge Bunton also sentenced 17 defendants.

Labor Day acitivities abound

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PECOS, August 27, 1997 - Labor Day weekend in the Trans-Pecos offers opportunities to celebrate in Pecos, Balmorhea, Marfa and Alpine.

The Marfa Lights Festival will be held this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Labor Day weekend. There will be booths featuring arts, crafts and food, as well as live entertainment.

The festivities will begin with a street dance on Friday night featuring Western Express. Tickets for the dance will be sold at the gate only for $5 each.

Special events on Saturday are a parade and a 5K run. In addition to the booths and live daytime entertainment, there will be a tejano concert during the evening.

The Saturday night concert will feature Emilio and La Diferenzia. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, with children 10 and younger being admitted free with a paid adult ticket.

On Sunday, the booths will open at the Presidio County Courthouse, and there will be more live entertainment throughout the day.

Tickets are already sold out for the finale dance, featuring Elidia y Avante.

For more information on the festival, call 1-800-650-9696. Visa and Mastercard are accepted for concert tickets.

Hot air balloon enthusiasts will converge on Alpine for the Alpine Labor Day Invitational Balloon Ralley. The ralley will run from Saturday, August 30, to Monday, September 1.

The festivities begin with a launching of the first race Saturday morning at 7:30. There will be a sidewalk sale that day also. Two other launchings are scheduled during the ralley-one on Sunday, the other on Monday. Both will begin at 7 AM.

The launchings will probably be held near the Ramada Limited west of town. This, however, depends on the wind direction on any given day and may be moved to the fairgrounds area north of the city.

The 1997 Oasis of West Texas Frijole Bean and Brisket Cookoff will be held on Saturday, August 30, in Balmorhea. The cookoff will be the featured event during the 22nd Annual Oasis of West Texas Labor Day Festival.

Beans and briskets, which will be provided, will be available by 6 a.m. and will be picked up for judging at 6 p.m. Both foods will be judged on taste, appearance, aroma and tenderness.

The entry fee for the bean cookoff only is $20, $30 for the brisket cookoff only, and $40 for entry into both contests.

For more information on entering, or for an entry form, contact the Balmorhea Area Chamber of Commerce at P.O. Box 251, Balmorhea, TX 79718, or call 915-375-2272.

Other events will take place in Balmorhea during the day-long festival as well. There will be games, a washer pitching tournament, free face painting, a watermelon eating contest, a giant jumping balloon, arts, crafts, and food vendors, plus music provided by DJ David Matta. For more information, call Pat Brijalba at 915-375-2272 or 915-375-2323.

To put the finishing touches on the festivities, there will be a free street dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. featuring "Little Joe Davila and the Jetliners." For more information, contact Pat Brijalba at one of the numbers listed above, or Norman Roman at 915-375-2400.

Odessa College eyes Pecos for new facilities

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 27, 1997 - Odessa College is considering building facilities in Pecos. Dr. Eckert, of Odessa College, mentioned at a recent Rotary Club meeting that the college is searching out possible sources of grants and assistance to move ahead with such a facility.

"I just received the green light from the president (of Odessa College, Dr. Vance Gipson) to investigate the possibility," said Eckert, "We've been out to Fort Stockton . . . The center there seems to be working out real well for Midland (College)."

Odessa College officials hope to build a similar connection in Pecos.

The extension program for Midland College, the Regional Technical Training Center, is located behind the high school in Fort Stockton on Interstate Highway 10. It offers audio-visual and Internet classes.

"If a student isn't familiar with the Internet," said Dixie Phillips, Registrar at the R.T.T.C., "they will be able to see and interact with students in classes in Midland by video camera in our audio-visual classes."

Regarding the possibility of Odessa College's expansion into Pecos, appointments have not been made with officials here yet, but Eckert said they could be meeting with Pecos civic and education leaders as soon as September or October.|

Son Shine 97 concert brings
top Christian singers to town

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 27, 1997 - Son Shine '97 organizers are very excited about this year's festival scheduled for Labor Day Weekend.

The local group Sudden Impact has been hosting the Son Shine Festival for the last eight years, and this year will mark the ninth year of the special event.

Son Shine '97 will be held beginning at 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 30, at the Windmill Square, located next to the West of the Pecos Museum, 120 E. First Street.

"Pecos will finally be graced with the talents of a major contemporary Christian artist," said Eddie Vasquez.

Through a wonderful, close friend in El Paso, Yvonne Miles, Vasquez was able to contact Patty Cabrera.

"Yvonne has always been like family to us ever since we met in 1990. She made this whole thing possible," Vasquez said. "Yvonne will be our M.C. for this event, and I thank God for allowing our paths to cross," he said.

Sudden Impact has played all over the West Texas area as well as in the Panhandle and New Mexico. They have traveled to San Antonio, Phoenix, and the state of Utah.

"We have been blessed to have traveled so far for God's purpose, especially seeing how we are from such a small town," said Mickey Vasquez of Sudden Impact. "It's amazing how different people are in different areas, especially in their spiritual lives," he said.

The Son Shine Festival has been a joint effort of many denominations through Pecos, according to Vasquez.

Sudden Impact will open this year's Festival of Concerts at Windmill Square at 4 p.m. They will then present some of their new music later that evening. "After we play a short set in the evening, then Geno will come on followed by Patty.

Admission is free. "Please come out to Windmill Square this Saturday. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed," said Vasquez.

Patty Cabrera always had an interest in music even as a young girl. When she was growing up, she and her brother would spend hours studying the musical production on their favorite records.

"He would sit me down and say, `Listen to how tight the horns are. Pay attention to how rhythmic the percussion is,'" Cabrera said.

Her music has followed her spiritual growth. Not only is there a heartfelt honesty, there is also a purpose. "I don't have a problem with music done for the sake of entertainment, but that's not my calling. If the music isn't saying something...if it doesn't point people to Christ, then there's no sense in doing it," said Cabrera.

Grapetree Records artist Geno V will be returning to Pecos for his fourth visit with a new CD and a new sound. His new release, "Take Me To Tha Homies" has a Latin feel.

His raps are his poetry and it speaks out loud and clear against gang violence and the struggles many young people face today. His message encourages and brings hope to teens in a world full of uncertainties.

When asked about returning to the Son Shine Festival, Geno said, "Pecos is like a second home for me. I'm excited to come back with my new sound and finally a new recording."

Geno will also come with his dancers Johnny and Steve, known as the Latin Apostles.

Oasis has been involved with the festival for most of the nine years. Albert Alvarez, is a former Pecos resident, and his desire to help his hometown community has brought him to this festival for several years.

The group is comprised of seven musicians. Along with Albert who plays guitar and vocals, the members include Sharon McPhearson on keyboard, Stephen Nance on trumpet and vocals, Joe Navarrette on sax and percussion, Steve Wallen on drums and vocals, Avery Williams on bass guitar, and Ellyce Vandenberg being the lead vocalist.

"We feel we have been blessed, and we desire to be a blessing to people everywhere," said Alvarez.

Former Pecos resident Robert Lopez, Jr. will once again be arriving to Pecos to give of time and talents for the annual concert.

He has been singing for the Lord since the age of 13.

Now at 24, Robert and his wife, Marcia continue in the music ministry that God had led him to for so many years.

After high school, Robert graduated from Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, in 1995 with a Practical Theology Degree. Shortly after that, he moved to Carlsbad, N.M. to start his job at Oasis Christian Fellowship.

"I feel a strong calling over my life in music ministry. The Lord gives me songs...that will reach the lost and heal the hurting. I believe that God's vision for my life is to reach those not only in this area, but in other nations as well," said Lopez.

Cheyenne Reeves, age 22, was born in Pittsburg, with a voice to make a mother proud. In April of 1995, the Lord crossed her path with that of Candace Sabo, age 24, of Modesta, Calif. They met in a "Young Married Couples" Sunday School class.

As destiny would have it, their church was involved in the Don Dennis Prison Ministry. Through this encounter, the Lord led Blessed Hope to singing in prisons. They now do music ministry in prison function, church gatherings and Christian concerts.

Blessed Hope feels strongly that this music ministry is where the Lord has led them, according to Vasquez.

Chamber nears goal for Christmas lights fund

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 27, 1997 - More money is needed if the city of Pecos is going to have Christmas lights to rival those of the years gone by.

The Chamber of Commerce, according to Tom Rivera, Executive Director of the Chamber, is looking for another $3,000 for the Christmas lights fund.

"The fixtures are very old and most need refurbishing," Rivera said. He added that some of the lights need to be replaced.

The Chamber is shooting for at least $10,000, of which $7,000 has already been raised from the private sector including individuals and businesses. Rivera is hoping that the remaining money will be provided by the city.

The lights, if all goes well, will be lining 3rd Street, Cedar, and Eddy soon after Thanksgiving and are set to come down after New Years.

Contributors to the fund at the Associate's level include: Martha Summit; Bob Parks; Leo Elliott; Debbie Thomas; Joe Chavez; Pecos VFD; Tony's Floor Covering; David Madril; and Bob and Peggy Walker.

Contributors at the Bronze level ($99-$250) include: Gibson's True Value; Leadership Pecos Alumni; Women's Division; R.C. Slack; Saul B. Roquemore; Pecos Insurance Agency; Dr. Lovett; Brownlee Hardware; Genora and Skeeter Prewit; Fonville Jewlers; Pecos Sheriff's Posse; Pecos Enterprise; Rediger's; Evening Optimist Club; Xi Beta Sigma.

At the Silver level ($250-$500) is the Flying J. Then, at the Platinum level ($1000 or more), the contributor's include: Security State Bank; Pecos Lion's Club; Pecos Rotary Club; and First National Bank.

Council looks at budget, tax rate

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PECOS, August 27, 1997 - The City Council of the Town of Pecos City convenes at 7:30 a.m. this Thursday, August 28. It will meet in the City Council Chambers to discuss such issues as zoning changes, building permits, and the tax rate.

After the approval of minutes from last council meeting, the floor will be open for public comments. The council will be asked to approve the Pecos Ambulance Service's monthly report and the accounts payable.

Also slated for Thursday's meeting is a request for a change in zoning status, from C-1 to C-2 status (except for beer parlors and/or liquor retail sales), of various Harris and W.J. Investments properties. La Nortena has also made a building request that must be reviewed by the council.

The council must review the 1997 planning calender for tax rates, the 1997 debt collection rate, and 1996 excess debt tax collections.

If the proposed tax rate is more than 3 percent above the effective rate or is above the rollback rate, a public meeting must be scheduled. The council will meet on September 11 in order to adopt the new tax rate.

Next on the agenda is consideration of phase two of the water transmission line improvements project and engineerng services at the Area B landfill. A new Municipal Maintenance Agreement has been issued and must be considered by the council. Without this agreement, according to Larry Levario, Roadway Maintenane Supervisor, "TxDOT will not perform any maintenance whatsoever on any state road within city limits."

The City Council of the Town of Pecos City will also consider the formation of a non-profit organization for the purpose of financial support of the city as well as any other charitable agencies. Lastly, the council will review and consider a transaction with Union Pacific; establishing a recycling program in Pecos with Butts Recycling; advertising bids on hay; for the zoo and gasoline; and the Texas-New Mexico Power Company's competition plan.


August 27, 1997

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Marie Hinkle

Marie Hinkle, 87, died Monday, Aug. 18, 1997, at Memorial Hospital in Midland.

Services were held Wednesday, Aug. 20, at First Baptist Church chapel in Midland with Dr. Gary Dyer officiating.

Hinkle was born Sept. 25, 1909, in Canyon, graduated from Hamlin High School and the University of Texas in Austin. She taught school for a number of years in Pecos and then moved to Mildand in 1940. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Midland, a member of the Midland Woman's Club Inc., Twentieth Century Club, Texas Game Fishing Club, International Game Fishing Association and Kappa Delta Sorority.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Hinkle, on Sept. 13, 1990.

Survivors include: one son, Harry Hinkle of Midland; one daughter, Ann H. Dunbar of Austin; one sister, Doris P. Kinney of Stamford; and four grandchildren.

Nettie Fay Oster

Services are incomplete for Nettie Fay Oster who died last night at her residence in Pecos.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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PECOS, August 27, 1997 - High Tuesday, 97, low this morning, 65. Sunny skies prevailed over most of Texas on Tuesday and more sunny weather was in store for the Lone Star State. In West Texas, skies were mostly sunny across the area Tuesday afternoon. Afternoon temperatures were in the 80s and 90s. The forecast for West Texas was for mostly sunny days and fair nights through Thursday. Highs will be in the 80s and 90s. Lows tonight will be in the 60s and 70s.

24-hour weather info available - See the Pecos Enterprise Website on the Internet at for continual radar coverage of area weather. Click on the "News" page and look for the "Weather" link.


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