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Daily Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Reeves County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


September 22, 1997

Pecos applying to build
juvenile corrections facility

As many as 600 jobs could come with the facility, bringing as much as $20 million annually into the local economy

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 22, 1997 - Reeves County and Pecos officials are always on the lookout for new avenues to bring revenue into the area. They think they might have found potential for an economy boost in a proposed juvenile corrections facility.

The Town of Pecos City has made an application to the Texas Youth Commission in hopes of constructing a new juvenile corrections facility in Pecos.

"We've made the first step in preparing this proposal," said city manager Kenneth Neal.

The proposal would have to be in Austin by Oct. 3 and a public hearing on the matter has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23 at city hall chambers.

The site targeted in the proposal is located next to the landfill, off of Balmorhea Highway, and south of the juvenile detention center.

"This center would be something like the one they have in Pyote," said Neal.

Neal stated that he has been working closely with Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo who has been very instrumental in helping obtain the information necessary and in backing the proposal.

"He and the commissioners have been very helpful and have been very cooperative," said Neal.

Neal called the proposal a `joint effort' by the county and the city.

One of the main criteria to apply for the facility is that land be available for such a site. The site must be a minimum of 120 acres.

"We have the land, and the landfill will not conflict with the facility at all," said Neal.

The facility compound and security road will encompass about 60 acres. The 120-acre requirement provides for a buffer zone around the school.

The school will eventually provide 660 beds of various custody levels. The facility will utilize dormitory construction for living areas along with additional areas provided for educational, recreational and correctional therapy program space. There may be a limited industrial program as well.

If Pecos is granted the right to build the facility it will bring about 600 jobs to the area, including clerical support, youth activity supervisors, administrators and clinical professionals. It is expected that most employees will reside in adjacent communities. Annual payroll for the facility, when fully operational and staffed for the 660 youth population, will average $20 million. Salaries will range from $14,000 to $68,000 annually.

"A lot of communities have applied for this facility," said Neal.

If Pecos does not qualify or is not granted the facility, this same proposal can be used to apply for other ventures that would bring revenue into the community, according to Neal.

"There's been talk about new prisons being constructed at the beginning of the year and other such facilities and this same proposal can be used to apply for those," he said.

If Pecos is granted the facility it would be a 330-bed high restriction (fenced) juvenile corrections facility. This school will be constructed with support and infrastructure for the eventual planned population of 660 beds.

Pecos engineer Frank X. Spencer and his staff have been working hard in helping with the proposal also, Neal said.

New store comes to Pecos

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 22, 1997 - Anthony's Department Store has closed its doors, but will re-open with a new look and a new name.

Bealls introduces a new fashion store to Pecos and has set the grand opening for Thursday, Oct. 9, at 910 East Eddy St.

Bealls offers famous name, top quality merchandise at affordable prices, according to Pecos store manager Chris Metler.

"We're very excited about this new venture and have been working very hard to spruce things up," she said.

New fixtures and remodeling has been taking place at the old Anthony's store.

"It will have a totally new look, with everything brand new," said Metler.

The store will be filled with the latest men's, women's and children's fashions, stylish shoes, accessories, fine fragrances for both men and women, beautiful lingerie and hard-to-fit sizes, according to Metler.

"We'll be giving out door prizes during the grand opening and two big prizes which will be trips," she said.

"Pecos is our kind of hometown," said Carl Tooker, chairman and chief executive officer of Stage Stores, Inc. "It's a friendly, family-oriented community, and we're making a major commitment to give our customers the nicest shopping environment and the best service to be found anywhere," he said.

Bealls is part of the Houston-based retail group, Stage Stores, Inc., an association of stores with a strong track record for success, according to Tooker. As a division of Stage Stores, Beall's merchandisers shop the world for the newest fashions - buying in large quantities to offer day-in, day-out value prices.

Bealls looks for towns like Pecos to open new stores because we know a growing number of people and businesses are looking to return to their roots, Tooker said. "It's a community where the quality of life is important and neighbors know each other - a perfect fit for the Bealls family."

Stage Stores, Inc. now operates more than 600 stores in 24 states with most of the stores located in small communities.

"The Bealls philosophy is `taking fashion to small-town America' giving people the opportunity to buy up-to-the-minute styles from some of the best names in the business without having to drive long distances to the nearest city or regional mall," said Tooker.

Beall's will offer such brand names as Calvin Klein, Liz Claiborne, Levi's, Nike, Reebok, Elizabeth Taylor fragrances, Chaps, Ralph Lauren and many more.

Bealls will also offer instant service, dressing room call buttons, an exceptional V.I.P. charge program, where every dollar charged earns points toward gold, silver or bronze status (eligibility entitles one to an array of special privileges, private savings and more), according to Tooker.

The same Anthony's staff will be on hand to serve the public, with Metler as manager and Elsa Duran as assistant manager.

"I think it's really going to be fun," said Metler. "I can't wait for the grand opening and want to invite everyone out here," she said.

The grand opening will be held beginning Thursday, Oct. 9 through Sunday, Oct. 12 with special gift certificates and prizes being awarded throughout the week.

"We're going to make a big splash," said Metler.

Sound off to Enterprise on Internet

Web Master

PECOS, September 22, 1997 - Got a gripe?

Did one of our news stories or columns hit a nerve today?

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Watch for that E-mail address on stories and columns, then let them know how you feel about the subject - or the persons - in the news.

Check out the pages at Links to individual pages are listed in the left-hand column. Just click on a name and that person's page will appear on-screen.

E-mail messages may be launched from that web page.

For local access to the Internet and E-mail, contact Oilfield Phone Service. Dennis Thorp offers access to free E-mail service for those who do not have Internet access but do have a modem.

First day of fall wet, cool

Associated Press and Staff Reports

PECOS, September 22, 1997 - A cold front that moved into Pecos during the weekend and a Pacific Ocean hurricane resulted in much needed showers for the area. Pecos received .26 of an inch of rain in the past 24 hours.

The little more than a quarter of an inch of precipitation brought the monthly total to 1.82 inches and the yearly total of rain to 8.30 inches.

The high yesterday was only 64 and the low this morning was 58.

Hurricane Nora, located in the Pacific Ocean hundreds of mile off the Baja California coast, is going to play a role in the weather in West Texas.

An upper-level low pressure system centered over southwest Wyoming helped draw ample moisture from the hurricane into all of West Texas early today.

There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms across all of West Texas for the first day of autumn and tomorrow.

The state's other weather maker is a cold front that moved through North Texas late Saturday. It returned northward as a warm front and was located near the Red River early today.

North Texas will have a chance of rain and thunderstorms tonight and Tuesday.

Heavy showers and thunderstorms were expected through tonight across a vast area of South Texas. They will become scattered on Tuesday.

Lows tonight will be in the 50s and 60s in West Texas, the 60s and 70s in North Texas and in the 70s in South Texas.

Highs Tuesday will be in the 70s and 80s in West Texas, the 70s, 80s and 90s in North Texas and in the 80s in South Texas.

A flash flood watch was in effect before dawn today in the Hill Country, Southeast Texas and the coastal bend. More than three inches of rain fell at Palacios along the central coast before dawn today.

Rail improvements will bring more trains

PECOS, September 22, 1997 - Union Pacific Railroad Company crews began a 40-mile railway tie project extending from Pyote to Penwell earlier this month.

While the work is in progress, day-time train traffic through Ward County is expected to be curtailed. Trains will likely be rerouted to the evening hours when about 60 employees from the Union Pacific gang are not scheduled to work, according to a spokesman for the railroad.

The work is part of a multi-million dollar rail renovation and construction project on UP rail in West Texas, focused on lines from El Paso to Fort Worth.

Eventually, the work will allow about a dozen trains a day to move through the area, said press officers from Union Pacific's base of operations in Omaha, Nebraska.

Part of the work scheduled is to upgrade railway crossings in the region. The construction also includes ties, rail beds and rails where the UP planners have identified the need for such work.

Off-loading of construction equipment began in Monahans on Sept. 7. Ties for the Ward County leg of the rail bed renovation were unloaded Sept. 10.

The 20 miles or so of new ties are scheduled to be finished to Penwell before Christmas. Next year, rails and crossings in Monahans and other areas in the Pyote to Odessa corridor are scheduled to be renovated and enhanced, said the spokesman. Work on the rails could start as early as January, 1998, he said.

Word on whether or not any repairs or renovations are scheduled in Reeves County was not available as of press time today.

Pecos City Manager Kenneth Neal hasn't seen any local impact from the project so far, and said, "I don't anticipate any problems or effect whatsoever."

Norris named PBT interim super

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 22, 1997 - The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board held a special meeting at noon today to appoint an interim superintendent to replace Wayne Mitchell, who had to step down from the post for health reasons.

The board voted to offer the position to Ken Norris, a retired superintendent who has also served as an interim superintendent in the past.

Norris accepted the position and is expected to start work with the school district tomorrow.

Rumors have been circulating around town that Ken Norris is married to Pecos Elementary Principal Gail Norris. That is untrue; her husband's name is Robert Frank Norris.

One other person had been considered for the position of interim superintendent, David Dutchover.

Board President Frank Perea said, "I had contacted David Dutchover, a former assistant superintendent here who retired as an assistant superintendent, to see if he would be available if he was appointed, and he said that he would be willing to be considered. But, he called me last night and asked to have his name withdrawn due to personal reasons beyond his control."

Grant helps families improve sewers

PECOS, September 22, 1997 - An additional 89 persons were served under Reeves County's implementation of a Texas Community Development Program (TCDP) grant awarded to the county by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs in 1995 for a third phase of sanitary sewer improvements throughout the unincorporated regions of Reeves County, which include Pecos' Lindsay Addition, Brogado, Saragosa, Verhalen and Orla.

A public hearing was held in the Reeves County Courthouse main lobby Monday, Sept. 15, to hear any public complaints or comments on the program. Reeves County Commissioner Felipe Arredondo, a representative of the engineering firm Frank X. Spencer and Associates and Reeves County Grant Administrator Mari Maldonado were present for the hearing.

It was originally planned that 90 On-Site Sewage Facility systems would be installed and 233 beneficiaries would benefit from the $500,000 granted to Reeves County. However, in late spring and mid-summer, plans were made to include an additional 29 sites which were served with remaining funds.

The systems replaced existing cesspools, which have been deemed environmental hazards by the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission. A number of existing and abandoned cesspools were pumped out, exposed, cleaned out and backfilled as well.

"This program grant has been extremely successful," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo, "and through the work of Ms. Maldonado and Frank X. Spencer and Associates 29 more households were assisted."

There is a one-year warranty for work done to each of the work sites, according to Maldonado. She stated that plans are underway for another similar program to continue the County's waste water management efforts.

Source: Reeves County Commissioner's Court

3-D center collects seismic data

Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON, September 22, 1997 - - His face bathed in the ghostly glow of computer screens, Mike Zeitlin slices through chunks of underground rock like a chef using a butcher knife on a head of cabbage.

Layers of rocks and sediment fall away, exposing formations, cracks and crannies.

"Watch this," said Zeitlin, typing commands and clicking the computer mouse at Texaco's Exploration and Production Technology department in southwest Houston.

With a tilt of the screen, what at first look like lines on a topographical map transform into real-life mountains, hills and valleys on the screen. Zeitlin cruises across miles of underground formations, zooms in and pulls out chunks for a closer examination.

Zeitlin next massages the computer software to reveal an ancient streambed meandering thousands of feet below the West Texas landscape.

"This will blow your mind," he warns.

Change the shading, add a little more computer magic, and suddenly the streambed appears to float above the rest of the landscape. A darker area traces the channel that was cut by water and filled by sand millennia ago, a good place to sink a drill bit.

Because of heat and pressure, oil and gas migrated upward until they became trapped between layers, under bowl-like formations, in cracks and crevices and under the lips of salt domes.

With the help of powerful computers, these underground features can be seen on a screen covering the walls of a room where a group of decision makers can pick apart a multimillion-dollar project.

Texaco is spending $3 million to build a 3-D visualization center behind its E&P building on Briarpark, called the first such facility in the oil industry.

In this center is a round pod, with a 160-degree screen on one interior wall. You will be able to look at three or four times as much seismic data as before, at one time, Zeitlin said.

The basic information comes from the 3-D seismic data gathered by companies that gather data on underground formations by bouncing shock waves, and from information gathered by logs of existing wells.

Companies in the business of providing graphic displays of seismic data have made big advances in the look of data that in their simplest form would show up as squiggly lines of varying levels of darkness.

These enhancements allow the images to be manipulated to add colors to certain areas, zoom in on specific target zones and manipulate the viewer's point of view.

Competitors in the oil industry are also racing to develop similar visualization technology, but what makes this unique is the ability both to create images rapidly based on a huge data base and to project for a group of decision makers at once.

Using a simpler facility that was a precursor to the center, Texaco was able to bring in teams of experts from three oil companies to review a prospect at one time, said Ron Robinson, president of Texaco's technology division. He said this allowed them in a week to make a decision about a well that could have taken six months or more.

Zeitlin, a geologist by training and portfolio manager of Texaco's integrated data and visualization technology team in Houston, says the company has an edge at the moment.

He heads a team of 14, whose work he said is about 18 months ahead of the industry in the field of turning those representations of underground rocks into concrete images.

The rapidly changing images on the walls of the pod depend on three powerful new computers. Costing a total of $1 million, these draw lines so fast that the result looks like a moving picture, showing changing views of the underground formations.

Other companies are capable of creating enhanced views of underground rock formations, but this system is able to crunch three times as much data fast enough to allow a demonstration to keep moving, said Steve Goldsberry, Silicon Graphics director of Global Energy. Silicon Graphics was a major software provider for Texaco, which also relied on Landmark Graphics and in-house efforts.

Zeitlin says this movement is important, and so is seeing from the edge of one's field of vision, Zeitlin says. Information received that way makes a greater impression on the brain, he believes, because it activates a self-defense mechanism. This is sort of like a fly sitting in front of a frog. Nothing happens until the fly moves, then zap.

John Pohlman, who heads Pohlman International in Reno, said Texaco is at the leading edge of visualization because of a commitment it made years ago. Pohlman's company evaluates hardware and software used by the oil industry and publishes research reports.

"A lot of companies have the technology, but they don't have the desire," Pohlman said.

Zeitlin and his team have taken various good ideas and synthesized them into a package to be maintained by the company, rather than by vendors, he said.

In the Kern River field in California, Texaco is already using its visualization package to extract more of the heavy oil there, which must be heated with steam in order to flow.

In this rather old field, the idea is to find pockets of oil that were missed by previous steam flooding, said Chris Smizer of Bakersfield, engineering manager for the reservoir.

The oil field was put down by a river, which makes it more like a field of spaghetti than a layer cake, he said. "If you don't put the steam in the same place as the oil, you are nowhere," said Smizer.

Visualization will help Texaco recover possibly 80 percent of the oil in place, said Smizer, compared with the previous 65 to 67 percent recovery rate.

The difference between 65 and 80 percent means up to 300 million more barrels of oil will be recovered over time, said Smizer and Noel Schotts, the enhanced oil recovery technology manager.

Women computer nerds too

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) September 22, 1997 -- Blame it on violent software, the stereotype of men as the only true computer nerds or whatever fits - experts say fewer women are studying computer science.

Hundreds of women gathered here over the weekend to discuss potential solutions to the problem and ways to convince everyone that women do too write code.

"I want to find out what marks women are making out there and what possible marks I can make," said Michele Titcombe, who is pursuing a doctorate in applied mathematics at the University of British Columbia.

Many at the conference agreed that women in computer science enjoy more career opportunities than they used to. By and large, women say, they're treated as men are treated - once they're in the field.

But they worry about a dropoff in the number of women preparing for it. Anita Borg, an engineer at Digital Equipment Corp., cited a study by CorpTech of Woburn, Mass., that found the number of women earning computer science degrees fell from 37 percent of the total in 1984 to 28 percent in 1995.

No one's sure why that has happened. But many blame the perception common to both sexes that computer whizzes are guys. Nerdy guys.

The fact that generally isn't true is immaterial.

"In a young girl's eye, (computer science) may not be what she wants to pursue," Borg said Sunday.

It may not matter that more and more computers are in the nation's classrooms. Valerie Green, who is working on her master's degree in computer science at Brown University, said the machines are popular with boys, largely because the majority of game software appeals more to them than girls.

"Computers can become boys' territory as early as elementary school," Green said. "If teachers don't actually schedule times for individual study, the boys tend to take over."

Those at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, which was founded three years ago and named for a World War II-era programming pioneer, also brainstormed on possible strategies for solving the shortfall.

They included talking to school children about their work; serving as mentors to female students; working with high-tech companies eager to recruit women; and developing software that will entice young girls into computing.

Behind the approaches is a key message girls need to hear: Computers are cool.

"The challenge of how to figure out how to make a computer do what I want it to do, figuring out what I got wrong and then getting it right is tremendous fun," Borg said.

Gramm, Hutchison follow coalition line

PECOS, September 22, 1997 - The Christian Coalition, Pat Robertson's brainchild for generating the conservative Christian vote, just released its 1997 Congressional Scorecard which tracks the representatives voting record on issues that the Christian Coalition targets.

The issues recorded that went before the House of Representatives included the ban on "partial birth" abortions, foreign aid for abortion, prohibiting abortions in military hospitals, the tax limitation amendment, elimination of all federal funding for the National Endowment of the Arts, allowing public display of the Ten Commandments, revoking Most Favored Nation status for China, $1.5 billion package for state and local authorities to utilize in the suppression of juvenile crime, and setting term limits for Congress. Henry Bonilla, of the 23rd District voted in line with the coalition in all areas except revoking Most Favored Nation status to China.

Those issues recorded that went before the Senate included all of the abortion initiatives that went before the house, as well as a ban on federal employee health coverage for abortion, the balanced budget amendment, education savings accounts, and a school-age crime victim bill. Texas Senators Phil Gramm and Kay Baily Hutchison both voted in line with the Christian Coalition's agenda on every issue recorded.


Gwin Fowler

Gwin Dale Fowler, 67, of Hondo, died recently in San Antonio, following a long battle with cancer.

Services were 11 a.m., Monday, Sept. 22, at the Sunset Memorial Park and Funeral Home in San Antonio, with Mark Williamson of Katy and Donald F. Willis, minister of the O'Connor Road Church of Christ in San Antonio, officiating. Burial was in Sunset Memorial Park.

Fowler was born July 23, 1930, in the Big Four Community in Crosby County. He attended Big Four School and graduated from Crosbyton High School. Fowler served with the United States Navy and received numerous awards.

He was a member of the Church of Christ in Corpus Christi and served as deacon there. He also served in the same capacity for several years at the Corinth Road Church of Christ in Jacksonville.

He was preceded in death by two sisters, Bonnie Fae Fowler and Dixie Arona Fowler Stainthorpe and one brother, Norris Hale "Bub" Fowler. He and his wife, Cleo, also lost an infant daughter.

Survivors include: two daughters, Teresa Marie Fowler Jones of Bullard and Evelyn Annette Jordan of San Antonio; two sisters, Wilman Jean Stahl of Denver, Colo. and Margie Williamson of Pecos; and three brothers, Leslie Loyd Fowler of Seattle, Wash., Eph allen Fowler of Crosbyton, and Harley Atom Fowler of Blue Mound, Tx.

The family suggests memorials be made to the Sunny Glen Children's Home, P.O. Box 1373, San Benito, Tx., 78586-1373.

Jose Cantu

Services are incomplete for Jose (Joe) Angel Cantu, 70, who died in El Paso, Sunday, Sept. 21, 1997. Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, September 22, 1997 - High Sunday, 64, low this morning, 58. Precipitation in last 24 hours, .26 of an inch, month-to-date, 1.82, and year-to-date, 8.30 inches. Tonight there is a 50 percent chance of showers, mainly this evening. The low will be between 60 and 65 with easterly winds at 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday will be mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. The high will be around 80 with winds out of the northeast at 5 to 15 mph.

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