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


September 23, 1997

Pure-Tex offers the real thing

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 23, 1997 - Local business Pure-Tex Fertilizer, established in 1974 and housed in an old World War II warehouse on Moore, still produces high quality fertilizer for green-thumbs across the country. What had been a sideline business for Bob Bates is now his focal point.

Bates said that the bulk of the business goes to Florida (although they ship to about 30 states) because the growers there look for the highest quality fertilizers. Wholesale providers, such as Wal-Mart, only carry brands according to price, he said, and that means that the more available fertilizers are often of a lesser quality and generaly packed with extenders. "But we have a guarantee."

The Pure-Tex guarantee, which applys to their other products as well, provides that the fertilizer is pure feedlot manure and contains no bedding, additives or extenders. They carry several bag sizes, from 10 to 50 pounds, and all are composed of the 2-1-2% analysis (2 percent nitrogen, 1 percent phosphorus, and 2% pot ash).

Bates said that the success of his business depended on three things: the driest climate "this side of Arizona," being in close proximity to Interstate 20, and the large available workforce.

Pure-Tex, which also produces Tex-Gro, Yellow Rose, and Baa Baa Doo (a guaranteed 2-2-1 sheep manure), provides for six full-time positions, including Bates'. Also, during the bagging season, which occurs during the first half of the year, they employ four temporary workers.

"To sum up Pure-Tex Fertilizer," Bates said, "it's a small, dependable business that provides for a (hand-full) of employees.

"I came here thirty years ago to make my fortune in five years . . . I tell people now that I've been saving up ever since for a tank of gas. The question is: where to?"

But for all the talk of moving, the fact that Bates is here with Pure-Tex keeps green-thumbs around the country and several local families happy and growing. All thanks to Pure-Tex's pure Texas manure.

Feds not serious about investigation

SAN ANTONIO (AP) September 23, 1997 - Federal authorities aren't really committed to a complete investigation into the shooting of a teen-ager along the Texas-Mexico border, an attorney for the victim's family says.

"I think they'd like to see it die and go away, but it won't," Pecos lawyer Bill Weinacht told the San Antonio Express-News in a telephone interview Monday.

A camouflaged Marine on an anti-drug patrol to support the U.S. Border Patrol shot 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez Jr. to death on May 20 near the Rio Grande in the Big Bend.

Weinacht questioned why U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, postponed a promised congressional hearing on the matter last week after meeting with U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.

A spokesman for the congressman says the hearing was delayed only until the civil rights investigation is completed and that the congressman remains "strongly committed to getting to the bottom of this."

Cpl. Clemente Banuelos, the team leader who shot Hernandez, said the youth was killed after firing twice at the four-man Marine patrol and raising his .22-caliber rifle to take a third shot.

The Hernandez family believes the youth had no idea the men were Marines and that he was hunted down and murdered in cold blood while taking care of the family's goat herd. Hernandez lived with his family near the town of Redford.

Weinacht is pursuing a negligence claim against the federal government and said the civil rights investigation is keeping him from reviewing vital evidence.

The hearing would likely provide some answers about what really happened, Weinacht said.

Among the Pecos attorney's questions is how the right-handed Hernandez could have been hit in the right side of the chest if he were aiming his rifle at the time of his death.

After a grand jury announced last month that it would not issue criminal charges, FBI agents seized evidence, including Hernandez's rifle, and announced a civil rights investigation was under way.

Spokesman Daryl Fields of the U.S. attorney's office in San Antonio said FBI agents are doing their job. He said it's likely the results will be made public.

Smith, chairman of the House immigration subcommittee, postponed the hearing after Reno gave him a personal briefing on the matter.

"There are still many unanswered questions about the circumstances of the shooting," Smith said in a statement. "Americans have a right to a prompt and full accounting when their government is responsible for the death of a citizen. The immigration subcommittee will see to it that they receive that accounting."

Weinacht says he doubts the U.S. Justice Department ever considered going after the Marines because the government is both investigating the crime and paying for private defense lawyers for each member of the four-man patrol.

Illegal receives 70 months

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 23, 1997 - Senior Judge Lucius Bunton handed down a 70-month prison sentence Monday and added eight months for probation violation.

Diego Rivera-Tarango of Mexico drew the long sentence for illegal re-entry after deportation on Nov. 26, 1996. Rivera-Tarango also violated terms of his probation on a previous conviction, Judge Bunton found.

Others sentenced were Juvento Lujan-Salgado, using an entry document acquired by false statement, 12 months in prison;

Maria Bernadine Arredondo, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, 12 months plus one day; and Matthew Sanders, six months for simple possession of marijuana.

Edwardo Hernandez pleaded guilty to importing marijuana June 21.

Jesus Guerrero Mendoza-Ortiz pleaded guilty to importing and possessing 53 pounds of marijuana. Both defendants will be sentenced Nov. 24.

Senior Center prepares for garage sale

PECOS, September 23, 1997 - Things are getting underway for the annual Garage Sale scheduled at the Pecos Senior Center.

The sale will feature a little bit of everything, according to director Donna Woodard.

Doors for the sale will open on Monday, Sept. 29 and continue until Friday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

"However, we will be having a sneak preview, for those who would like to shop early," said Woodard.

The sneak preview sale is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 26, from 9 a.m. until noon.

There will be a $3 donation fee to attend the sneak preview.

Dishes, shoes, books, clothes and some furniture will be available at the annual event.

Martinez seeks re-election

PECOS, September 23, 1997 - Bernardo Martinez, veteran of five terms as Precinct 4 Reeves County Commissioner, has announced his intentions to seek re-election by designating himself as treasurer for his campaign.

He filed the treasurer designation with the Reeves County Clerk Sept. 15.

Official filing for the Democratic Primary in March does not begin until Dec. 3 but designation of campaign treasurers can now be filed to begin raising campaign funds.

Martinez said in making his announcement that he is seeking re-election to continue to work toward lowering Reeves County taxes even further and to continue the programs already started including a recreation center and a new county prison that would employ 150 more people.

He also wants to see more cooperation with other taxing entities through interlocal agreements.

"My 18 years on the court is a very valuable experience for the taxpayers," Martinez said.

PHS Student Council has big plans

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 23, 1997 - An exciting, spirited and positive experience for not only the school, but for the community is planned, according to Pecos High School Student Council President Gabi Bafidis.

The PHS Student Council is probably the most involved student organization at PHS.

"As a student council our goals are to achieve spirit, pride and leadership amongst our student body," said Bafidis.

Bafidis is the president of the coveted organization this year, with Alva Alvarez as vice-president; Erica Orona, secretary and Jonathan Fuentes, treasurer.

The council also has representatives from each classroom in each grade level.

Student council is made up of seven committees which include: outstanding committee made up of officers; energy and environment led by Jeff Lam; health and safety led by Alessandra Aguilar; SMILE led by Megan Freeman; spirit and spirit attitude led by Jennifer Fuentes; teacher appreaciation led by Liz Parent; and pride and patriotism led by Mark Marquez. Each committee is in charge of activities around school and even around the community. Each committee identifys its job in its committee name.

This summer, members Gabi Bafidis, Jonathan Fuentes, Erica Orona, Mark Marquez, Alessandra Aguilar and Jeff Lam went to camp.

"Our sponsors at the time were not able to take us so Linda Bafidis and J.T. Paz accompanied us to Texas Tech from July 20-25," said Bafidis. "We were so excited after camp that we started planning out the year as soon as we got back," she said.

Plans included a StuCo Lock-In, where the officers and committee chairman planned out goals for the 1997-98 school year. One of the projects planned at the lock-in was freshman orientation which included a mini pep rally, coke floats after the orientation and a freshman dance. Members also made back to school posters and welcomed students in every way, according to Bafidis.

Pep rallies, student of the month, teacher of the month, highway clean-ups, seat belt checks (at school before the bell rings), talent show, and multi-cultural projects are just a few of the activities lead by StuCo.

StuCo is in charge of Homecoming which is set for Sept. 29-Oct. 3.

"The student council will be sponsoring activities throughout the week to boost the Pecos Eagles to victory," said Bafidis.

There will be a theme to accompany every day of the week.

Monday will be pajama day, put the yellow jackets to sleep; Tuesday, twin day, make `em see double day; Wednesday is crazy hair day, spook their spirits day; Thursday will `70's Disco day, freak `em out day (Le Freak) and Friday will be a Traditional Day, wear your purple and gold day.

A bonfire will take place on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 8:30 p.m. at the old landfill. The annual P.H.S. Student Council Parade will be held on Friday, Oct. 3. The theme for this year's parade is "Dare to Soar: there are not limits." Lineup will be at 4 p.m. at the Pecos High School and the parade will proceed at 4:30.

"These are a few of the activities StuCo is involved in, however we still have the rest of the year to go," said Bafidis.

"We submit forms at District Forum in Odessa in the fall and all the committees that achieve certain goals advance on to the Texas Association for Student Council State Convention in Austin," she said.

Children make ready for Mother Goose Parade

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 23, 1997 - Children will have the chance to show off their costumes at the Annual Mother Goose and Friends Parade scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 8.

Children from birth through 10 years of age are invited to dress up in costume and participate in the parade.

The annual event is sponsored by the Women's Division of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce.

First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded in the following divisions: individual, birth-four years of age; individual, 5-7 years old; individual 8-10 years of age; groups, decorated bicycle.

Honorable mention ribbons will be awarded to all other participants.

Participants should be at the drive-through parking lot of First National Bank, 100 E. Sixth Street, no later than 5 p.m.

Judging will begin promptly at 5 p.m., with the parade commencing at 5:30 p.m.

The parade will travel from the First National Bank down Oak Street to the West of the Pecos Museum. Little Miss Cantaloupe and runner-up have been invited to lead the way.

The Pecos seventh and eighth grade bands will be in the parade, as will the Pecos cheerleaders.

Ronald McDonald will be joining the group this year for the first time, as will the Sonic Cherry Lime and Sonic Hot Dog.

For more information, contact the chamber office at 445-2406 or Debra Armstrong at 445-7180.

Convienience stores drop Lone Star Card

PECOS, September 23, 1997 - Town & Country Foods will no longer take the Lone Star Card, Texas' alternative to paper food stamps, as of Sunday morning, Sept. 28, according to the corporation's president, Don Allison.

Allison said that this was an "upper management group decision" based on decreased usage of the cards and an increase in the expense of administering the program.

"This is one less form of payment that we will have to train our employees to take," said Allison, who also said that the training process was rather lengthy.

Town & Country Foods is a chain of convenience stores, not a major grocery retailer. "We expect it to have a minimum effect on business," said Allison.

"We hope that our customers will continue to patronize our stores and use an alternate method of payment," Allison said.

The local Texas Department of Health office, which administers the Lone Star Card program, had not been informed of Town & Country's decision to cease accepting the cards as of press time, and was unable to comment on the local effect of this decision.

Keyes moved to West Texas jail

Associated Press Writer

HOUSTON (AP) September 23, 1997 - Richard A. Keyes III, the Republic of Texas member captured after four months on the run, was transported to West Texas on Monday to faces charges of aggravated kidnapping and organized crime.

Texas Rangers took Keyes from his Harris County Jail cell and transported him to the Presidio County Jail in Marfa, his attorney said.

The attorney, Terence "Terry" O'Rourke, did not know if Keyes was taken by plane or car. He said his client would be arraigned in Fort Davis before state District Judge Kenneth DeHart at 1 p.m. Friday.

Keyes faces life in prison if convicted on the state charges against him.

O'Rourke, who visited Keyes on Monday, rejected characterizations of his client as a religious zealot or fanatic.

"He's a prayerful person," O'Rourke said. "In the 1960s he might have been an anti-war demonstrator."

O'Rourke wants his client's trial moved out of West Texas, preferably to Houston, Austin or El Paso. He believes pretrial publicity about the separatists' standoff last April will harm Keyes' chances for a fair trial.

Keyes, 22, was the remaining fugitive from a weeklong April standoff between 300 state police and the armed separatists. He was caught Friday in the Sam Houston National Forest near New Waverly, north of Houston.

Until earlier this year, Keyes lived in St. Marys, Kan.

Three days before authorities arrested Keyes, he called a friend near St. Marys, saying, "This isn't the last you've heard of me." He went on to discuss plans to "be heard" in Washington, D.C., The Kansas City Star reported Sunday.

Hurricane, boxer battle for attention in California

Associated Press Writer

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) September 23, 1997 - Amid the howling winds, lashing rain and crashing surf that Hurricane Nora is inflicting on southern Baja California, one man still draws a stare.

Oscar de la Hoya, the WBC welterweight champion from Los Angeles, drew a crowd seeking photographs when he visited a local nightclub, despite the growing storm outside.

De la Hoya has been coming to Cabo San Lucas for years after each fight to fish, golf and relax. He picked a bad time to celebrate his recent victory over Hector "Macho" Camacho.

Hurricane Nora is bearing down on this rocky resort, and many disappointed tourists are packing up and heading home.

At 8 a.m. EDT, Nora's large and well-defined eye was 285 miles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas, the U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami said. Moving northwest at 9 mph with sustained winds of 115 mph, it was forecast to veer north - toward the Baja coast - today.

Hurricane force winds extended outward up to 85 miles from the eye, and tropical storm force winds outward up to 200 miles.

De la Hoya, who arrived with his brother, his financial adviser and four friends, planned to make the best of things. He has stocked up on food and candles for his penthouse apartment, which offers a beautiful view of the 25-foot waves of the open Pacific.

"At first it was a scary feeling," he said. "But it's not that scary when you're with a lot of friends. You just laugh about it and show no fear. Even though you're scared inside."

Other visitors were less confident. When the outer squalls of the hurricane pelted the coastline with rain, wind and surf Monday, many tourists tried to make it to the airport.

"We used to live in Miami. We know enough to get out of here," said John Livingston, 51, a Newport Beach, Calif., engineering executive who came to celebrate his wife Bonnie's 54th birthday.

Nora, the second hurricane this month to menace the peninsula, destroyed dozens of beachfront homes and forced major ports to close as it skirted mainland Mexico to the southeast. It has not caused any deaths.

U.S. hurricane forecaster Richard Pasch, reached by telephone in Miami, didn't expect Nora's eye to hit Cabo San Lucas, "but we are expecting the storm to come further up the Baja peninsula within the next 48 hours."

A coastal flood warning remained in effect for a large swath of the mainland and forecasters said the storm eventually could bring heavy rainfall to the U.S. Southwest, primarily east of California.

In Cabo San Lucas, merchants protected storefront glass with duct tape and tried to sweep muddy water from their businesses. The main street was a knee-deep river.

Greg Smithey, who produces the "Buns of Steel" video series, watched from the Hard Rock Cafe as a Humvee pulled a truck out of a submerged sinkhole. He decided against trying to drive back to his hotel.

"There were waterfalls coming down. We thought we were going to get swept off the road," said Smithey, 47. "So now we're stuck."

For some, all the rain in the world wasn't going to stop a good time.

"A little rain never hurt anybody," said Sharon Bull, 50, of Danville, Calif. "There's enough tequila and guacamole here to keep anybody happy."

Montana moves out Texas inmates

HELENA (AP) September 23, 1997 - Montana will move inmates from a private Texas prison system to private prisons in Tennessee and Arizona later this year, ending months of dissatisfaction with operations in the Lone Star State.

"Montana was not getting the services that we were paying for under the contract," Corrections Director Rick Day said this morning in announcing cancellation of the state's $3.6 million-a-year contract with the Bobby Ross Group, which runs the Dickens County Correctional Center in Spur, Texas.

At the same time, Day signed a contract to transfer up to 125 inmates to a Corrections Corporation of America prison in Arizona.

A spokesman for Bobby Ross Group did not immediately return a phone call for comment this morning.

Today's moves are Gov. Marc Racicot's administration's latest efforts to cope with a chronic overflow of inmates in Montana's prison system.

Last month, the administration announced plans to send up 450 inmates to another Corrections Corp. prison in Tennessee this fall. The first 40 inmates will be moved by the end of this month, Day said.

Montana has housed inmates at Dickens County for about 15 months, but the relationship has been a rocky one.

State officials have been unhappy for months with conditions at the prison. A fight in May left one Montana inmate dead, another disturbance last year had to be stopped with warning gunfire from guards, and three Montana prisoners have escaped.

A series of inspections by Montana officials earlier this summer disclosed continued problems with the food service, security and medical care for inmates.

The Bobby Ross Group responded last week by denying many of the allegations made by inspection teams, but promised to work with the state to improve operations.

"What we see is a pattern of some partial fixes," Day said. "In some cases it did appear that there was a tendency to dispute rather than address positively the corrections."

The state should not have to point out problems to a company that gets millions of dollars for its service and expertise in operating a prison system, he said.

"The goal here is to part," Day said. "We have differences. We have other needs."

He said the Texas prison served its purpose as a temporary solution and was the only facility with the room Montana needed last year. However, the prison is designed for short-term custody, not the long-term lockup that the state believes it needs in other states, Day said.

By early next year, the state will be able to keep 575 inmates out of state and another 152 in the Cascade County re gional prison expected to open in January, he said.

The new contract signed today involves the Central Arizona Detention Center in Florence, Ariz., which is in the south-central part of the state, about midway between Tucson and Phoenix. Florence has a population of about 11,400.

The contract is for one year and allows annual renewals for up to seven years.

The contract will be the most expensive yet for out-of-state placement of inmates. It sets a daily rate of $49.50 per inmate the first year, and $51 the second year.

The state spends about $48.93 per day in Texas, and the Tennessee contract carries a $46.25 daily rate per inmate. The daily rate at the Montana State Prison is about $47.

Day said the cost at the Arizona prison is higher than in Tennessee because it offers a sex-offender treatment program. About a fourth of the inmates at the state prison have committed sex crimes, he noted.

The Arizona prison, which opened in October 1994, has a capacity of 2,000 inmates and held 1,795 on Monday, said Jeff Quasny, spokesman for the institution.

The prison houses low-, medium- and high-security inmates from Oregon, Alaska, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and also houses some federal inmates.

The prison does not hold maximum-security inmates, Quasny said.


PECOS, September 23, 1997

Jose Cantu

Jose (Joe) Angel Cantu, 70, died at the William Beaumont Army Center in El Paso, Sunday, Sept. 21, 1997.

A rosary is scheduled at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.

Mass will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 24, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with Father Antonio Mena officiating. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery.

Cantu was born Oct. 2, 1926, in Pearsall, Tx. He was a retired truck driver, a World War II U.S. Navy Veteran, a lifelong Pecos resident and a Catholic.

Survivors include: one brother, Eleuterio Cantu of Long Beach, Calif.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Jesus G. Ornelas

Services are incomplete for Jesus G. Ornelas, 74, who died Monday, Sept. 23, 1997, at his residence in Pecos.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, September 23, 1997 - High Monday, 77, low this morning, 57. Early morning drizzle and fog is expected in addition to the showers and thunderstorms. Lows tonight will be in the 50s and 60s in West Texas, ranging upward into the 70s in the Big Bend area. Highs Wednesday will be in the 70s and 80s.

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