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Van Horn Advocate |


September 16, 1997

Cotton farmers study boll weevil problem

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 16, 1997 - The County Extension Service brought the Trans-Pecos Cotton Growers together last Friday morning in order to inform them about the Boll Weevil problem in the area and try to reach agreement on what action to take.

"This is a very important topic in our area," said County Entomologist Rex Freisen, "We need some kind of consensus . . . if anything is going to work."

The farmers were presented with a series of overhead graphs representing current levels of infestation compared with last year's recorded levels. In the Mexia Valley area of New Mexico, from the 1000 traps being serviced, there were over 1000 weevils collected to date this season. Ninety percent of these were based near the Las Cruces area.

But the most heavily infested area in New Mexico, as represented by the trap results, was that around Carlsbad. From 122 traps set in the Carlsbad region nearly 500 weevils were caught to date this season. Weevils are also active in the Panhandle, where there are no active programs to combat the problem.

Freisen said that the Extension Service was not suggesting an eradication program, where pesticides are heavily sprayed with the intention of killing off the weevils completely, be implemented. Eradication has been used in other areas for the problem and resulted in worsening overall conditions.

Freisen suggested that the growers commit to suppression by diapause applications. For farmers this would mean spraying every 10 to 14 days with Malathon in the hopes of keeping as many of the pests from entering into over-winter habitat, their reproductive period. The more weevils kept out of over-winter habitat, the less that may return in the Spring.

A consolidated diapause application program would begin in late September, or early October, and last until winter.

Farmers may be far from coming together in a joint effort to combat the bugs.

As one grower stated, "A lot of growers aren't even here and that speaks for a lot of acres."

C.W. Roberts, County Extension Agent-Agriculture, estimated that about half of the acreage of Reeves County was represented at the meeting. Roberts said that more efforts must be made to reach growers that have not been contacted, but he explained that everyone who attended the meeting voted in favor of the diapause program.

However, until cotton growers can be assured of what action their neighbors will take, nothing is certain.

Pecos police hope to add video
taping to crime fighting tools

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 16, 1997 - One item on the Pecos Police Department's wish list is a set of video cameras to mount in some of their patrol cars for use in their daily duties, mainly traffic law enforcement. They don't currently have any of the recording equipment, according to Pecos Police Chief Troy Moore, but are very interested in obtaining this technology to help them gather evidence.

"We're going to try to find a grant to help us buy the cameras," said Moore. He said that each color camera setup would cost around $3,000.

"We'd like to get started with about five cameras," Moore said. The cameras would only be mounted in marked patrol cars.

"They would definitely strengthen our traffic cases," said Sergeant Paul Videtto.

"Occasionally, officers get accused of doing things they didn't do, and if the officer was wrong, they would reflect that, too," Moore said.

Moore said the cameras are something that the department has wished for for a long time. "We run a pretty tight financial ship around here," Moore said, "and this is something that would be in the future."

Moore explained that the police department has to go through a council of governments to get programs such as this, and added that "the next two to three months would be an excellent time to apply for a grant."

Videtto said that the cameras would be especially helpful when police are in pursuit of a suspect and when they have to arrest someone for driving while intoxicated. "Having this on tape would really help," said Videtto.

"This is something that would be an excellent tool in traffic enforcement," said Moore. "I think they would be an asset to the public in the long run."

Currently, the only law enforcement officers in the area who have the video equipment are DPS troopers.

According to DPS Sergeant Harvey Stamper, most troopers have the video cameras in their cars.

"They are very valuable," said Stamper. He said that they have the cameras fixed to come on when the troopers turn their overhead lights on, but that the cameras can also be switched on manually.

County looks to bring water to graveyards

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PECOS, September 16, 1997 - Supplying water to the Balmorhea and Saragosa graveyards has become a difficult endeavor.

At a recent Reeves County Commissioners meeting Commissioner Herman Tarin was placed in charge of examining possible solutions, specifically looking into the cost of digging a well in Saragosa.

"Right now," said Tarin, "we have a county employee running back and forth with the water truck."

The water is gathered from an irrigation ditch in Balmorhea and transported to the two graveyards, but even this resource depends upon when the farmers are actually irrigating.

"I'm waiting for the results from a man in Ft. Stockton," said Tarin, "The cost of the well will depend on how deep they have to drill."

County Judge Jimmy Galindo, who requested Tarin look into drilling costs, said, "It's not like we don't have any water. I believe for years the county has provided water to a storage tank in Saragosa. But, the existing system could be improved."|

More than ½ ton of marijuana
found in abandoned vehicle

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PECOS, September 16, 1997 - A 1992 Ford one-ton van containing 1,329 pounds of marijuana was abandoned about 26 miles south of Alpine on Texas 118 yesterday morning.

According to DPS reports, Highway Patrol Trooper Hector Carillo was driving south on Texas 118 at about 6 a.m. yesterday, when he clocked the van traveling in the opposite direction at 76 miles per hour. Carillo made a U-turn and pursued the van, which came to a stop with its lights turned off.

Carillo observed movement inside the van and then heard footsteps as the driver fled into the surrounding brush.

Troopers searched the area until 5 this morning and have as yet been unable to locate the suspect. According to the DPS, the vehicle may have been sold and not reregistered, making the owner difficult to trace.

Monahans mayor says economic
development efforts needed locally

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 16, 1997 - The Reeves County Economic Development Committee was visited at their noon meeting last Friday by Mayor David Cutbirth, of Monahans, who enthusiastically encouraged the committee to move ahead with their plans for economic development in Pecos.

Members of all the taxing entities of Reeves County were present at the meeting and responded favorably to Cutbirth's message of economic renewal.

Monahans has recently experienced success in attracting foreign businesses, specifically out of China. Two groups from China have visited Monahans recently (plans are under way for a fishing pole factory and a shrimp farm) and another is on the way.

"They chose Monahans because of our business attitude," Cutbirth said, "They chose us over another town that had a larger labor force because we wanted to talk about the future."

Other incentives were to be found in reduced property taxes, the revenues of which have been compensated for by raising service rates in Monahans.

"We are going to zero with our property tax rates," said Cutbirth.

He also encouraged members of the committee to establish enterprise zones in Pecos, the formation of which would allow the city to then sell the properties at a less than fair market value-if it is for a public purpose.

Speaking of the need to prepare for the future, Tom Rivera, Executive Director of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce, said, "We have everything in place, but have no building (to offer an incoming company). We've been in this situation many times before."

"Everything is leaving (Pecos) and nothing is coming back," said Chamber President Paul Hinajos, "Economic development would keep families together."

According to Larry Sloan, head of the Career and Technology Department of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school district, young people generally move back to their home towns after 10 years providing there is something there for them by way of jobs. "Right now there is nothing for them," he said, "We need to get excited and focus on what we can do instead of what we can't."

The committee agreed to dissolve the current board at its next meeting. A new board will be formed at the meeting which is tentatively scheduled for the 29th of this month. The new board will include one representative each from the county, city, school, hospital, as well as one from the Industrial Foundation.

Informant turned drug dealer,
says Assistant U.S. Attorney

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 16, 1997 - Mike Brewster had been feeding information on drug dealers to state narcotics officers when he was linked to two marijuana transactions in February, said Jim Blankinship, Assistant U.S. Attorney, at the opening of Brewster's trial this morning in federal court.

Brewster, a 46-year-old rancher who lives near the Rio Grande south of Van Horn, is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana on Feb. 4 and Feb. 11.

Blankinship said that officers linked Brewster to a 130-pound marijuana delivery made Feb. 4 to an undercover officer in Odessa. Motel records prove that Brewster was in Odessa that night, he said.

In addition, Brewster had borrowed the gray suburban containing the marijuana from its Van Horn owner about a month earlier, Blankinship said.

One week later, a Department of Public Safety trooper returning from El Paso to Marfa saw Brewster and another man parked alongside the highway in the early morning hours.

When the trooper turned around to offer help to the drivers of the two vehicles, they both sped off. Following the first one at speeds over 100 MPH, the trooper noticed the driver weaving all over the road as if drunk. Stopping the car, he noticed a spare tire in the interior and became suspicious.

Calling in a drug sniffing dog, which alerted on the trunk, the trooper located 342 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of the car.

Another officer stopped Brewster and returned to the scene with him, Blankinship said. Brewster claimed he had merely stopped to offer assistance to the obviously drunk driver.

Later, under questioning by officers he had been feeding information to, Brewster changed his story and said he was following the load of marijuana, Blankinship said.

Jerry Caddell of Odessa represents Brewster in the jury trial that is expected to continue through Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson.

Survey shows 8 of 10 Americans
ignorant of U.S. Constitution

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WASHINGTON (AP) September 16, 1997 - Even Chau Chu's examiner got one wrong.

Chu said on his naturalization exam that the U.S. Constitution was signed in 1787. The answer, though correct, was marked "wrong."

His story was heralded Monday as underscoring Americans' ignorance of the U.S. Constitution. Fewer than one in five Americans surveyed was able to correctly answer at least eight of 10 basic questions about the document, including the year it was written and signed.

"I thought it was funny that the tester didn't know," said Chu, a Vietnam native who became a U.S. citizen last spring despite his answer.

Mayor Edward G. Rendell of Philadelphia, where the Constitution was signed 210 years ago Wednesday, was less amused.

"People have an appalling lack of knowledge for a document that impacts their daily lives," said Rendell, chairman of the National Constitution Center, created by Congress in 1988 to increase awareness of the document. "It's very startling."

According to the survey, which was unconnected to Chu's exam, two in five Americans do not know that three branches of government exist, let alone what they are: legislative, judicial and executive branches. One in two Americans does not know the number of U.S. senators (100).

"All you have to do is multiply two by 50 (states) to come up with the number of senators," said Rendell, whose group sponsored the survey.

Rendell said the lack of knowledge stems partly from an education system that tends to treat the Constitution in the context of history, rather than as a living document that shapes current events.

Judith Rodin, president of the University of Pennsylvania, said basic rights are at risk if citizens remain uninformed.

"To protect the Constitution, we have to know it and truly understand it," she said at a news conference announcing the poll. "With insufficient knowledge, we may not notice as American citizens when someone tries to steal our constitutional rights."

The survey also found that:

I16 percent incorrectly believe the Constitution declares Christianity the official U.S. religion.

I35 percent wrongly believe the document declares English the premier language.

I24 percent cannot name any of the First Amendment rights.

Nevertheless, Rendell did find a ray of hope in findings that 91 percent consider the Constitution important and 77 percent believe it has an impact on their daily lives I even if many of them cannot say precisely how.

"The good news," Rendell said, "is they have a great reverence for the Constitution."

The telephone survey of 1,000 U.S. citizens, conducted by the New York communications firm of Shepardson, Stern & Kaminsky, has a margin of error of 3 percentage points. Respondents were asked a series of open-ended and true-false questions.

Mouth-to-mouth may be harmful
during adult cardiac arrest emergency

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Associated Press Writer

DALLAS (AP) September 16, 1997 - If you've ever taken a course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, you know the drill: Clear the victim's airway, aid breathing by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, perform chest compressions to aid circulation.

Now a panel of experts is questioning the necessity and even the helpfulness of treating cardiac arrest by breathing into a stranger's mouth.

In an analysis to be published today, the panel suggests that in many cases of adult cardiac arrest, mouth-to-mouth rarely helps and may even harm the patient.

The American Heart Association's Ventilation Working Group said the procedure can interfere with the rescuer's efforts to perform chest compressions and can cause significant side effects. It makes CPR more difficult to teach, learn and perform and dissuades bystanders from initiating CPR, the panel said.

The physicians and heart association scientist Bill Thies noted the panel has not changed the association's guidelines. Their analysis was done in preparation for a worldwide CPR conference in 2000 in hopes of generating research in key areas, said panel chairman Lance Becker.

"We know the current guidelines save people's lives," said Becker, associate professor of medicine and director of research for the University of Chicago Hospitals. "What we don't know is if mouth-to-mouth is actually required for every single person who needs CPR."

Becker emphasized that immediate mouth-to-mouth ventilation remains critically important for children and for adults where cardiac arrest results from choking, drowning or respiratory problems.

Until new guidelines are formulated, a bystander who witnesses a cardiac arrest should call 911 and perform CPR as usual.

"If mouth-to-mouth ventilation bothers you, skip it and concentrate on chest compressions," Becker said. "That is far, far better than doing nothing."

In its report, published in the Heart Association journal Circulation, the committee said studies show mouth-to-mouth ventilation has its own disadvantages.

Exhaled air from a rescuer contains just 17 percent oxygen, less than the 21 percent found in fresh air. From 10 percent to 35 percent of patients who receive CPR inhale stomach contents, emitted after air is blown into the stomach rather than the lungs. And time spent on ventilation, especially if only one rescuer is at hand, takes away from time spent doing chest compressions.

An emergency physician in Dallas who wasn't on the panel said anecdotal evidence clearly shows that mouth-to-mouth inhibits people from performing CPR. Some fear catching diseases from the person being rescued, said Brian S. Zachariah, medical director of emergency medical services for Dallas and several suburbs.

Others are apprehensive about remembering all the steps for alternating mouth-to-mouth ventilation with chest compression.

"It's a much harder psychomotor skill than 'Put your hands in the middle of his chest and push up and down,"' Zachariah said.

Further studies are needed to find out what will help the most people, he said.

"I think it will save lives. If we can say CPR without mouth-to-mouth is effective, I think that will be good in the long run.

Storm headed for Mexico

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MEXICO CITY (AP) September 16, 1997 - A storm forming south of Mexico is gaining strength and could hit land, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

The tropical disturbance with 35 mph winds was located about 300 miles southwest of Acapulco at midday Tuesday. Forecasters said its winds could increase to almost 70 mph within two days as it moves to the northwest.

A high pressure area now over Mexico was expected to shift eastward while a trough was expected for deepen off the U.S. West Coast, a combination that might steer the storm toward Mexico's Pacific Coast.

Retired UT aerospace professor dies

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AUSTIN (AP)September 16, 1997 - Retired University of Texas aerospace professor Victor Szebehely, an expert in orbital mechanics whose work helped ensure the success of the Apollo moon flights, is dead at 76.

A memorial service was held Tuesday for Szebehely, who died Saturday of cancer.

Szebehely retired Sept. 1 after teaching at the UT College of Engineering since 1968, when he moved to Austin from Yale University.

By then, he was already widely known, having been knighted by Queen Juliana of the Netherlands for his technical achievements.

The Apollo missions used a figure-eight orbit from Earth to the moon and back again that was well-defined by Szebehely's research. He also was the author of mathematical tools that National Aeronautics and Space Administration engineers still use to determine the curving path, or orbit, of space probes.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1921, Szebehely received his doctorate at the University of Budapest in 1946. He came to the United States the next year, becoming an American citizen in 1954.

"He was a gallant gentleman and a great man," said Hans Mark, a former UT chancellor and professor of aerospace engineering.

Szebehely is survived by his wife, Jo Betsy Szebehely of Austin, and his daughter, Julie Agnes Szebehely of Webster, near Houston. >


>>Return to top >PECOS, September 16, 1997 - High Monday, 99, low this morning, 69. Temperatures will remain unseasonably high across all of Texas tonight and Wednesday. It will be partly cloudy across West Texas with a chance of thunderstorms over the low rolling plains tonight and Wednesday and over the northern South Plains on Wednesday. Lows tonight will be in the 50s and 60s in West Texas. Highs Wednesday will be in the 90s except in South Texas where readings will be in the 80s and 90s. > |

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