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


September 29, 1997

Family charges Mexican

police involved in kidnap

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ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) September 29, 1997 - Relatives of a man kidnapped
a month ago have filed a criminal complaint charging that Guerrero state
police carried out the crime.

Adalberto Barragan Serrato filed the complaint Sunday with the Morelos
state attorney general's office in Cuernavaca, near where his brother
Jose Guadalupe Barragan was kidnapped on Aug. 27.

"We know that they have my brother in their power and the director of
that agency, Francisco Vargas Najera, knows that perfectly well," said
Amalia Barragan, the victim's sister, according to the Mexico City daily

The complaint alleges that three commanders and an agent of Guerrero
state's Ministerial Investigating Police were named as the kidnappers by
people riding in the car from which Barragan was seized.

The family said the kidnappers have demanded 1 million pesos - about
$128,000 - in ransom.

Reforma said Morelos state police had received a letter from Vargas
Najera asking them to permit the operations of the four Guerrero
policemen within their state for an operation the letter did not

The letter said the men would be armed with AK-47 rifles, an Uzi
machine-pistol and other weaponry.

Amalia Barragan told reporters that her brother earlier this year filed
a criminal complaint against another Guerrero police commander accusing
him of extortion.

In other Guerrero-related kidnap attempts, 53-year-old rancher David
Estrada Roman was shot to death on Friday while resisting attempts to
kidnap him in the township of Cuetzala del Progreso, according to the
district attorney's office in nearby Iguala.

The same day, heavily armed men seized Nicomedes Roman Roman, wife of a
local hardware store owner, in the town of Iguala. Officials at the
state attorney general's office said they have asked 3 million pesos
($385,000) for her return.

On Saturday, state police arrested two men accused of kidnapping
14-year-old Martin Carbajal Radilla on Sept. 22 in the township of
Tecpan de Galeana. The youth remains missing.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

ANGELS support PBT students

who need a little extra attention

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 29, 1997 - More "angels" are needed to guide students
throughout the new school year, according to Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school
district Guidance and Counseling Director Ana Hernandez.

"With the new school year underway, we're in need of more volunteers to
join our ANGELS program," said Hernandez.

ANGELS (Assisting the Next Generation with Encouraging Love and Support)
is a mentoring program which aims to pair caring adults of our community
with students needing increased self-esteem, motivation and
self-confidence for the purpose of improving learning.

"These are children that the counselors feel need a little extra
attention," said Hernandez. "Some kids just have to have an adult role
model," she said.

Teachers are usually the ones that can pinpoint which children need that
extra attention and refer them to the school counselor, according to

"The counselors then try to match the child with an adult that can most
help them, motivate them and provide the caring atmosphere the child
needs," said Hernandez.

One interested adult can provide a positive influence in a young
person's life to offset the overwhelming number of negative pressures,
according to Hernandez.

"There is no greater calling for an individual than to dedicate a small
but meaningful part of one's time and energy to helping another," said

Extending a helping hand through mentoring can provide hope and guidance
to a beleaguered youngster, according to Hernandez.

Through the guidance, counsel and role modeling of a thoughtful adult,
the young person receives selective attention and inspiration.

"They can spend as little as 15 minutes, or as much as an hour or
however much they want to spend with the little ones," said Hernandez.

Volunteers can work with the teachers and help with homework assignments
such as, reading or learning to write in cursive.

"They can contact the teacher and help everyday or once a week, or
however much time they have to spare," said Hernandez.

Although mentors are not asked to tutor, student achievement is fostered
and recognized, according to Hernandez. Mentors meet three times per
year for a seminar to gain insight into the mentoring process and share
materials and information.

Mentor "angels" meet with their student at least once per week at the
student's school. The mentor becomes a special friend to the student,
sharing school breakfast, lunch or recess and providing encouragement.

Instruction time is not interrupted, rather it is supported through the
caring relationship, according to Hernandez.

Each of the following campuses have adopted the ANGELS program: Austin
Elementary, Pecos Elementary, Barstow Elementary and Lamar Middle School.

"Jim Adams who was at Bessie Haynes last year, is at the high school
this year, and has been very helpful in steering students toward this
program that will help the younger students," said Hernandez.

Pecos High School students can volunteer for the program and provide a
role model from a younger viewpoint, according to Hernandez.

For more information or to volunteer as an ANGELS mentor, call any
principal or counselor of participating schools or Hernandez at 447-7282.

Children get hands-on view of camping

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 29, 1997 - If you are sleeping in your sleeping bag and
a rattlesnake crawls up to the place where you are, will it bother you?

This is just one of the many questions youngsters asked Saturday morning
at Chuckwagon Day held across the street from the West of the Pecos
Museum, beside the chuckwagon donated by Tom Linebery.

A campfire was set up for the little ones to enjoy and campsite
activities such as singing and storytelling were a part of the morning's

About 30 children ages four and up participated in the free activity
sponsored by the museum.

Other animals that concerned the youngsters were lions, bears and
tigers, none of which are common in Pecos, according to museum employee
Mary Barfield, who answered most of the questions for the young campers.
Doug Fernandes also answered many questions and was on hand for most of
the activities.

Fernandes also provided a small saddle for the children to look at.

Other activities included games and cooking outdoors. Each child received their own bandana.

Balmorhea Homecoming Queen chosen

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Enterprise Editor

BALMORHEA, September 29, 1997 - Balmorhea High School Senior Naomi
Madrid was crowned 1997 Homecoming Queen Friday night, during halftime
ceremonies of the Bears' 66-38 victory over the Marathon Mustangs. BHS
Principal Elizabeth Cook is pictured above placing the royal robe on

The big crowd on hand also saw Nelda Mondragon named High School
Sweetheart and Debiasie Mendoza, Beau. For Balmorhea Junior High, Isiah
Rodriguez was Beau while Veronica Mendoza was Sweetheart. Other
homecoming queen nominees were Amanda Lozano, junior; Erica Apodaca,
sophomore, and Celina Rodriguez, freshman.

For the Homecoming Parade earlier in the day, winners were:

ELEMENTARY FLOATS - Pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten, first; third
grade, second, and first grade, third.

BIKES - Cheerleaders, first; Football players, second and seventh
graders, third.

HIGH SCHOOL FLOATS - Seniors, first; Football players, second and the
junior class, third.

HORSES - Jimmy Barragan, first, Logan Humphries, second and Liberty Wofford, third.

Hot radiactive gas containers

surprise Pantex handlers

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AMARILLO, Texas (AP) September 29, 1997 - Containers of radioactive gas
that can become too hot to handle have prompted Pantex Plant
administrators to change how workers treat them.

The gas is tritium, the radioactive hydrogen isotope that gives hydrogen
bombs their thermonuclear punch.

Risk management officials at the nuclear weapons plant have found that
the containers can heat up enough to burn workers' hands, increasing the
chance that a worker could drop one and accidentally release the gas.

The containers often feel warm because the tritium inside radioactively
decays over time. But the reservoirs can become hot if they are stored
too close together, said Kerry Campbell, a spokeswoman for Pantex
contractor Mason & Hanger Corp.

The carriers used to move the gas containers have been changed and
workers now are limited to moving one container at a time, plant
officials said.

The issue arose earlier this year when a worker removed a tritium
reservoir from a suitcase-like storage container and found the foam
insulation inside compacted and melted, according to a government

"Conservative calculations performed by risk management division
personnel indicated that it was possible for reservoirs to reach high
enough temperatures to burn the hand of someone picking them up," an
Energy Department report said. "This was expected to increase the
possibility of dropping a reservoir onto the floor."

The problem came as a surprise. A U.S. Department of Energy report noted
that temperature tests of tritium reservoirs over the past three years
found no evidence that any heated up.

The Pantex Plant is responsible for disassembling nuclear weapons.
Technicians remove the gas reservoirs from weapons and ship them back to
the Savannah River Site in South Carolina for recycling.

In May 1989, a tritium gas reservoir discharged during a disassembly
accident, contaminating five workers.

One worker received a radiation dose of 1.2 REM, but other workers in
the assembly cell received minute doses, Campbell said. At the time, the
Energy Department annual limit was 5 REM and the company's annual
exposure limit was 2 REM, Energy Department spokesman Tom Walton said.

Radiation exposure is measured in REM, which stands for roentgen
equivalent man.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Self-made engineer has

turned his hand to ranching

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Staff Writer

BARSTOW, September 29, 1997 - Take a drive down old Highway 80 into
Barstow, turn down FM 516 toward the Interstate and your bound to see
him. Turning soil, leveling ground, or tinkering outside of his
19,000-square-foot-plus barn on one of his massive machines.

John Forrester loves his machines. Whether working on a back hoe,
trencher, motor grader, or loader, Forrester feels he "can't keep 'em
(the machines) busy enough" working the old Dunnigan ranch which he
purchased last year.

"I need to be about three persons," he said.

His neighbors don't mind the heavy machinery either. Recently, he has
had to drive down twice to Kiowa and pull sunken trucks out of the pits
of gas well drilling sites.

Born in Borden Springs, Alabama, Forrester moved to California after his
stint in the U.S. Navy and got married. He ran several businesses,
including a used car lot and a maintenance shop, before opening
Distinctive Industries in March of 1969. Distinctive Industries provides
after-market leather interiors, sunroofs and wood trim for automobiles.

"We started with three employees. Today the company employs over 1200. .
.and operates in 40-45 locations across the country." The Texas
locations are: Grand Prairie, Houston, San Antonio and Austin.

John Romero, Vice-President of Operations at Distinctive Industries'
manufacturing plant in Commerce City, Calif., said the company that
started out with nothing is now worth about $35 million. Romero, who
came on with the company in 1980, called Forrester a self-made engineer.

"If he doesn't know how an engine works he just takes it apart and
figures it out," said Romero.

Forrester moved to Texas in 1991. In 1993, he turned the company over to
his son Dwight.

"I got tired of spending all my time in the office," he said, "and
everyone always wants to run a ranch."

Forrester began to pursue his ranching dreams about 20 years ago when he
became part owner of a 7,000 acre ranch east of Barstow.

All of Forrester's farm and earth-moving equipment lend him an ability
which he makes full use of, namely moving mountains. This trait carries
over into his personal life.

Pushing himself early in his career with 16-hour work days, Forrester
now enjoys the fruits of his labor. But money doesn't all stay at home
for his own satisfaction, Forrester provides for several evangelist
outreaches, a television ministry and an abortion-alternative single
mother home.

Forrester declines to take credit for his business success, saying
simply that "if God hasn't given the ability then you wouldn't be able
to do it . . .There's no monopoly on brains, but there is a monopoly on

According to Forrester, "Man's first responsibility is to respect and
treat God right, then to treat our fellow man right."

Although Forrester has seen his share of snakes in the business world,
he said that whether other people treat us right or not is "neither here nor there."|

Insurance commissioner weighs

discount for hail resistant roofs

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Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN (AP) September 29, 1997 - Texas homeowners who invest in
hail-resistant roofing material could see a sizeable cut in their
insurance premiums under a proposal Insurance Commissioner Elton Bomer
is considering.

The discount program would divide the state into eight regions and
establish four grades of roof coverings. Based on a home's location and
the grade of its roof covering, homeowner's insurance premiums could be
cut by up to 35 percent.

Regulated insurance companies would have to honor the discount if Bomer
approves it.

"If this rule is adopted, it would be the first time homeowners anywhere
will have the opportunity to shop for impact-resistant roofs and save
money on their property insurance rates," Bomer said.

The commissioner will hold a public hearing on the matter Dec. 3.

The discount program also would apply to roof coverings on dwelling and
extended coverage policies. The state would be divided into six regions
to determine the premium cuts for those types of policies.

Jerry Johns, president of Southwestern Insurance Information Service,
said industry officials generally support the idea.

"Hundreds of millions of dollars are paid-out each year by insurers to
replace or repair roofs damaged by hail," he said. "The relevance of
these discounts will vary from one region of Texas to the other."

Earlier this year, Bomer raised a key factor in determining how much
Texas homeowners pay for insurance by more than 14 percent. That takes
effect next year.

The statewide benchmark is an average of benchmarks set in 23 insurance
rating territories across the state. Insurance companies can set their
rates from 30 percent below to 30 percent above the benchmark in the
areas they cover.

At the time of the benchmark increase, Johns blamed continued severe
weather patterns.

"Computer models indicate that rapid growth in home construction across
Texas makes the potential for weather-related losses greater ... each
year," he said.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Former Cowboy fasts to raise funds

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AUSTIN (AP) September 29, 1997 - Former Cowboys linebacker Thomas
"Hollywood" Henderson is fasting in a effort to raise funds for a
running track in low-income East Austin.

"I challenge people who are skeptical to come, look and see what I have
done already. Look and see that I'm doing the right thing," Henderson

Henderson played for the Cowboys in the 1970s. He is a graduate of the
old Anderson High School in East Austin.

The high school, which graduated its last class in 1971, was torn down
to build a parking lot. Henderson bought it and used community
contributions to convert the parking lot into a football field.

Since last Thursday, Henderson has gone without food to raise $200,000
to build an eight-lane track around the field. By Sunday, he had raised

"I think this is great what he's doing," said Melvin White, a referee
for the East Austin Football League. "I have respect for him because he
remembers where he came from."

(Contributions, which are tax-deductible, can be mailed to East Side
Youth Services and Street Outreach at ESYSSO, 512 E. 11th St., Suite
201, Austin, Texas 78701.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Gospel hour still tuned to traditional harmonies

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San Antonio Express-News

PLEASANTON, September 29, 1997 - The half-dozen people gathered in a
tiny, wood-paneled downtown radio studio aren't the best singers in the
world. The songs they're playing will never, ever hit any radio stations
near you.

But there's something undeniably decent, touching and reaffirming about
the "Old Time Gospel Hour," a live performance of traditional spirituals
and country preaching that transcends anyone's skepticism, cynicism or
perceived sophistication.

In a world of ebbs, flows, fads and fashion, this show has been rock
solid, airing at 9 a.m. every Sunday morning - except once - for the
last 41 years on station KBOP, 1380 AM.

The only time the show didn't air live was when Rev. Albert Riley, the
show's originator, took a week off for vacation. That week, a tape of a
previous show was played.

This music doesn't sound anything like the slick gospel sounds of Kirk
Franklin or Amy Grant or the new breed of business-savvy,
image-conscious acts who've taken over the spiritual music business.

Folks, this is about as plain and real and heartfelt as it gets. We're
talking church hymns, old-style pulpit preaching and lots of "Praise
Gods" and "Amens."

The burly Rev. Jimmy Riley - who, in the tradition of his father, is
host of the show and pastor at the Full Gospel Church of nearby
Jourdanton - plays guitar and sings every week. His mother, Clara Riley,
sits against the back wall, singing, clapping or waving her hands over
her head as she would in church.

Jimmy Riley took over the show three years ago when his father became
too ill to continue. Mrs. Riley has been at every broadcast since the
original in June 1956.

Joining them for Sunday's broadcast were church members Janice Walker
and Margaret Vardeman, each of whom gets to sing lead occasionally. Joe
Waller of Houston, who came to South Texas to preach at a revival, sat
in and played guitar and harmonica.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Beer battle brings problems

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KINGSVILLE, (AP) September 29, 1997 - A proposal to open a beer-serving
barbecue restaurant in this community's Western-themed downtown has led
to a showdown among merchants.

About 500 people have signed a petition opposing the Wild Horse Desert
Saloon, saying selling beer downtown would endanger children, increase
crime and litter, and create traffic and parking problems.

Would-be restaurateur Glenda Webb disagrees.

"I thought beer and barbecue, they go together," said Ms. Webb, who
wants to open the restaurant on Kleberg Avenue, the town's main street.

But the proposal has several downtown merchants brewing.

Wesley Goetsch, who owns a music store across the street from Webb's
planned restaurant, said selling beer on main street would be disastrous
for business and for the town's image.

"I think it will ruin the character of downtown," he said.

Goetsch started the petition drive and hopes to convince city officials
to declare Kleberg Avenue dry to stop beer-selling businesses from

"It's not that those of us who oppose it are teetotalers," Goetsch told
the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. "A bar does not fit our shopping
district, and we do not want to have one here. Alcohol brings other
undesirable businesses once it is approved."

Bobbie Nix, who helps plan Christmas activities in the downtown area,
said she would consider moving the events if Ms. Webb's license to sell
beer is approved.

"We have parades and a Christmas tree forest, and lots of the events are
aimed at children," she said. "I just don't think the two mix."

Investigators with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission are looking
into Ms. Webb's request and may recommend a hearing so that both sides
can voice their opinions, said TABC Sgt. Robert Gonzalez.

Ms. Webb, who oversees a city beautification program and owns a gift
shop next door to her planned restaurant, said she shares her fellow
merchants' concerns about litter, safety and the image of downtown.

However, she said her restaurant would not mar that image.

"It will be classy," she said.

Some merchants support her idea.

"The restaurant is going to be done in good taste," said Josiebelle
Manheimer, who owns a store next to Webb's. "There aren't going to be
drunks breaking in windows and vomiting in the streets just because
there is a restaurant serving beer."

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Community Council announces meal policy

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PECOS, September 29, 1997 - The Community Council of Reeves County
announced its policy for free and reduced-price meals served under the
Child and Adult Care Food Program last week.

Copies of the policy are available for review in their administrative
office at 902 E. 10th St., as well as at Family Services - Pecos Center,
Saragosa Center, Monahans Center, Balmorhea Center, and Kermit Center,
plus at the Pecos Children's Day Nursery, Pecos Head Start, Monahans
Head Start, Saragosa Head Start and Elderly Meals/Medical

Household size and income criteria are used to determine one's
eligibility for the program. Children from households whose income is at
or below certain levels are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

Some foster children are eligible for the meals program.

To apply for the meals, households must fill out an application.
Information that households provide is confidential and will be used
only to determine eligibility and verify data. Applications have already
been given to parents who have children enrolled in one of the daycare
or head start programs.

While this program is different from a similar program in the schools
and will not lower costs to families with children in one of the
programs, it is a way for families to help the program their child is
enrolled in by reducing costs to them.

For further information, go to one of the locations listed above, or call the administrative office at 445-3538.


Return to top
PECOS, September 29, 1997 - High Sunday, 91, low this morning, 62. West
Texas will have mostly sunny days and fair nights. Lows tonight will be
in the 50s and 60s. Highs Tuesday will be in the 80s and 90s.

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