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Weekly Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas

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Thursday, January 15, 1998

Monahans building permits down $794,842

Building permits issued in the city of Monahans were down
$794,842 in 1997 compared with 1996, according to year end
building statistics released by City Inspector Bobby

In the December tally, Sinclair reports the total value of
building permits issued in 1997 were $1,396,216 compared
with $2,191,068 in 1996.

In December, permits with a value of $156,000 were issued,
according to the city numbers.

All of those were for new construction and one building
permit for $150,000 accounted for that.

Sinclair reports the $150,000 December permit was for a new
residence at 1608 South Harry Avenue. The permit was issued
to Robert Wells.

Of the December permits, $4,200 was for repairs or additions
to residences, $600 for new roofs and $1,200 for residential

No commercial or institutional building permits were
reported to have been issued.

December permits in detail included, in addition to the new
home permit:

Oscar Samaniego, $600 for a roof, at 410 West Ninth Street;
David C. Martinez Jr., $4,200 for an addition at 500 North
Doris Avenue;

Laura Spearman, $1,200 for a fence at 1507 South Main
Street; and Nancy Armendariz, $2,000 to move a mobile home
to 300 North Allen Avenue.

Cancer Society to honor John Senft

City Lights Gala '98, scheduled on April 4 at the Ward
County Coliseum, is dedicated to John Senft, reports the
Gal's co-chair Sheri Lord and Chair Julie Vasquez.

The annual City Lights fund raiser is a production of the
Ward County unit of the American Cancer Society.

"This year the Gala is dedicated to John Senft," reports

In a special tribute to Senft, members of the Society write:

"John Senft was an incredible man. He faced cancer not once
but twice in his lifetime. John retired from the Navy and
then continued in a military job with the government until
his retirement and moved to West Texas to be near his wife
Lorene's sister, Anna Neace.

"John loved God, his wife and people.

"He loved to be with his buddies on the golf course with
their camping friends with the Good Sam Camping Club and all
of nature.

"John had cancer 19 years ago and was cured. Then in 1996
the cancer reappeared in a different organ.

"He faced his illness with faith and courage. He fought a
good fight and truly left it in God's hands. John touched
the lives of all he came in contact with. His positive
attitude was contagious. . . John truly was an inspiration
to all that knew him. With the love, prayers and support of
his wife Lorene, he faced his illness one day at a time."

ICO Inc. buys Curley's firm

ICO Inc. of Houston has acquired Curley's Inspection Service
Inc. of Monahans, report executives of ICO.

Curley's, located at 5301 South Highway 18, provides drill
pipe and casing inspection services for the Permian Basin of
West Texas and Southeast New Mexico.

Joe L. Moore, Ron G. Stitt and Al O. Pacholder of ICO said
they could not disclose the terms under which the Houston
company acquired Curley's.

"Curley's offers an excellent complement to ICO's existing
business in these markets (Permian Basin and New Mexico),"
say the three in a statement released by ICO. "While ICO
traditionally has focused on in plant inspection, Curley's
business focuses on mobile inspection of new and used drill
pipe and casing."

ICO's president and chief executive officer Sylvia Pacholder

"We expect to be able to grow Curley's through ICO's name
recognition and strong reputation in the Permian Basin."

ICO operates globally.

Monahans man involved in crash that kills 1

Special to the News

PECOS - One person was killed and four were injured after a
collision in heavy fog between an automobile and a rig
driven by a Monahans man, according to Highway Patrol

The incident occurred at 10:05 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 4, at the
intersection of U.S. Route 285 and Reeves County Road 402
four miles North of Pecos.

All of the victims were from a Houston family. The Highway
Patrol identified the fatality as Lisa Dawn Morales, 38.
Injured were Jerry Morales, 29; Mathew Morales, 10; Jerry
Bryan Morales, 14 and Shawn Daniel Morales, 8. All were
admitted to Reeves County Hospital.

The Highway Patrol says the rig driver, Dan T. Arrieta of
Monahans, was not hurt.

Lisa Dawn Morales was driving the car, according to the
investigation report.

Superintendent announces fundraisng drive

Superintendent Clifton L. Stephens of the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote School District Tuesday night, Jan. 14, announced a $350,000 private subscription drive for a major enhancement of Lobo Field.

If all goes as scheduled, the fund raising goal would be
reached and construction finished by July of 1999.

Stephens made the announcement at a meeting of the school
district board of trustees and assured that the school
district also would provide funds to help make:

"Lobo Field a comfortable, safe, first class facility
dedicated to the supporters of the Loboes who have competed,
entertained and raised the spirits of our community by
participating on the field of competition and to all of the
fans who have built the proud tradition of what it means to
be a Lobo."

In a fact sheet prepared by Stephens on the plans for the
enhancement of the stadium, it notes that renovation would
*improved seating on both sides.
*Rest room facilities will be made handicap accessible
*uParking areas will be resurfaced.
*A new scoreboard will be installed.
*A Hall of Honor will be erected.
*The track will be sealed and striped.
*Fencing will be repaired and replaced if needed.
*Concession stands will be improved.
*North and South dressing rooms will be redecorated.

Stephens says the project is necessary because Lobo Field is
aging and there are school liability concerns in terms of
safety and accessibility.

And he notes that contributions for the project will be

"Money saved in terms of school funds can be utilized in
other areas of need in the district," notes Stephens in his
information packet.

And he says a selling point for the Chamber of Commerce is
that a remodeled, enhanced, modern Lobo Field "will draw
individuals and activities to the community" which will
translate directly into more dollars in the Monahans economy.

Sources of money for the private subscription drive would
include foundations, businesses, individuals, clubs and

And there would be a donation recognition plan for a Hall of

For donations of $2,500 or more, businesses, families and
organizations would be honored as Mega Loboes.

Those individuals, agencies or groups who donate $1,000 to
$2,499 would henceforth be known as Super Loboes.

Donations of $500 to $999 would earn a Green Club Award.

$100 to $499 donations mean White Club Award Status.

Former Monahans High School football players, band members
and cheer leaderswould earn special status for donations of
$100 for the first individual and $25 for each additional
immedite family member that took part in the Lobo activities
- spouse, son or daughter.

Stephens notes donations of less than $100 give the
contributor the right to take part in a drawing for three
sets of season tickets (two seats per set) for the 1999 and
2000 year football seasons.

According to the superintendent's report: "Recognition in
the Hall of Honor is for anyone who financially participates
in any category listed . . .

"You may join more than one group.

"For the exes, we will the years you participated during
high school on the varsity level along side your name. This
will be a permanent historical record so we will be as
accurate as possible.

"Anyone giving $1,000 or more will receive as many name
plates in the Hall of Honor as would apply to the immediate

"A payment plan may be set up for any length of time up to
August of 1999."

State honors three Monahans schools

Three campuses of the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote school district
have received $500 awards for the way in which their
students performed on state academic examinations, reports
District Superintendent Cliff Stephens.

Stephens says the $500 awards were to each of the campuses
by the Texas Successful Schools Awards System.

Sudderth Elementary won the state's highest honor,
exemplary, in the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills test.
For a campus to become exemplary, 90 percent of its students
must pass the test.

Walker Junior High and Gensler Elementary in Wickett
received their awards for having a "recognized" campus,
where at lest 75 percent of the students must pass all of
the tests.

"The schools are being recognized for gains in student
performance on indicators that are part of the Academic
Excellence Indicator System, more commonly known as the
state's school report card," says Stephens. "The
Monahans-Wickett-Pyote . . .schools are among 2,300
cash-winning schools statewide receiving awards based on
comparable improvements.

Stephens notes that to earn the ratings and the cash awards
schools must meet performance standards for dropout and
attendance rates as well as scoring high academically.
Year-to-year improvement also was a factor.

The $1,500 that went to the high achieving schools in the
Monahans district was part of a total of $2.5 million
distributed in awards to Texas schools in 1997 by the Texas
Successful Schools Award System.

Hospital chief O'Brien resigns

William F. O'Brien, administrator of Ward Memorial Hospital
in Monahans, has resigned to accept a comparable position in
La Grange, O'Brien confirms.

O'Brien's resignation is effective Feb. 1. He will become
chief executive officer and administrator of Fayette
Memorial Hospital.

O'Brien leaves a county-operated not-for-profit hospital
with an $8 million a year budget for a private
not-for-profit institution with an $18 million a year budget.

His resignation comes as the Ward County Commission and the
Ward Memorial Hospital Board of Managers intensifies its
drive to resolve several issues with the hospital.
Representatives of the several sides on the hospital issue
now seem to believe that leasing Ward Memorial is the best
option to resolve the disputes.

Several town meetings have been held with prospective
leasors. So far those meetings and explorations have
involved for-profit health care corporations. A town meetng
on Jan. 20 at the Ward County Convention Center will be the
first with representatives of a not for profit health group
that includes Midland Memorial.

At Ward, O'Brien received an annual commpensation of about
$67,000 a year. At La Grange, his annual compensation will
be increased by several thousand dollars although the State
Open Records Act does not require the disclosure of salaries
for instiutions like Fayette Memorial which are not under
government control and which do not receive direct tax
subsidies from local, state or federla sources.

"I can say there is a significant increase in income," says

In a letter to Glenn Vance, dated Friday, Jan. 9, 1998,
O'Brien wrote: "Please accept my resignation as
CEO/Administrator of Ward Memorial Hospital effective Feb.
1, 1998. The last 17 months have been very challenging for
my family and me. I believe I have provided the needed
leadership to change the course of the hospital to being
successful and profitable but there has not been the
required time nor support to complete the turn around. I
wish my successor and the hospital staff all possible luck
and success in the future."

Vance is chair of the Hospital Board of Managers appointed
by the Ward County Commissioners Court.

Copies of the letter were sent to board members Paula
Johnson, Kay Waatson, Chris Kesslker, Rocky Rives and Vicki

O'Brien says he and wife, Jane, will miss Monahans but they
feel the move to La Grange is the best for them

Sheriff's inquiries in kidnap continue

Bizarre journey starts in Sherman, ends near Pyote

Ward County Sheriff Ben Keele, the Texas Rangers and Sherman
law enforcement officers Wednesday, Jan. 14, turned their
investigation of a reported bizarre kidnapping from the
desert to the laboratory.

The woman victim in the case was not harmed.

Wednesday, she was helping officers in Sherman, North of
Dallas near the Oklahoma line, prepare a composite sketch of
the abductor late Wednesday. He was described as young,
perhaps, in his 20s; and about five feet, two inches tall.
He was reported to be wearing a black leather jacket, a
white t-shirt, jeans and sneakers, says Ward County Sheriff
Ben Keele.

Physical evidence, including fingerprints, gathered from
the car which the woman drove and from which she fled West
of Pyote was being processed in forensic laboratories.

A helicopter, horse and dog enhanced search through the
desert for the man the Sherman woman said had kidnapped her
at a Sherman cemetery was suspended at 5 p.m. on Tuesday,
Jan. 13.

"The last time she says she saw the man was at the car when
she ran," says Jerry Heflin, Ward County's Chief Sheriff's

Searchers later found tracks heading from where the car was
abandoned back East toward Pyote. Law enforcement officers
found the car about two miles West of the West Texas State

Here is the tale Lynda Smith, 48, of Sherman told Keele and
the Rangers.

About 2:30 p.m.,Sunday, Jan. 11, at a Sherman cemetery,
Smith says she was approached by a young Hispanic man. Smith
reports she was at the cemetery to lay flowers on the grave
of a loved one.

The man, armed, reports Smith, with a gun and a knife,
forced her into her automobile and told her he wanted a ride
to Juarez across the Rio Grande from El Paso.

They began driving, stopping once for gas, West on
Interstate 20 toward its link with Interstate 10 and the
trip on West to El Paso.

About two miles West of Pyote, the woman says she pleaded to
stop because she had to relieve herself and the abductor
replied that he also had to do so. She stopped the car. They
got out. With the keys to the car in her hand, she ran back
East toward the West Texas State School.

A little before Midnight, John Blankenship director of
Security at the West Texas State School, says Smith burst
through the juvenile center's gates crying.

Blankenship says the woman sobbed as she told them part of
the story.

Ranger Capt. Barry Carter of Midland and Heflin suggest the
many caught another ride quickly and may have been gone from
the area before the mammoth search actually began.

Why the incident occurred still has not been determined. The
reported kidnapper has not been identified. FBI and
Immigrtion Service files are being checked.

Texas Main Street architect to visit Monahans

Dick Ryan, Texas Main Street Architect, will be in Monahans
on Thursday, Jan. 22, for his first official visit to the
Ward County seat, reports Monahans Main Street Project
Director Suzi Blair.

Blair notes:

"The Texas Main Street program provides architectural
services within the Main Street District to cities
participating in their first thre eyears of the program.

"These services are offered to individual businesses or
building owners at no charge to the individual."

Blair says she will be scheduling appointments with property
owners in the Monahans Main Street area to meet with Ryan.
She urges downtown business and property owners to call her
at the Main Street offices at 943-3418.

Ryan first became intersted in historic preservation while
attending the University of Texas. After he was graduated
Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1974, he
worked for restoration architect, Eugene George.

In 1978, Ryan returned to school at the University of
Virginia where he received a Masters of Architectural
History and a Certificate in Preseervation. From 1980 to
1982, Ryan was on the staff of the Commission of Fine Arts
in Washington D.C.

Since 1982, Ryan has helped building and business owners in
more than 100 Texas Main Street Cities, advising them on
maintaining and rehabilitating their downtown buildings.
Ryan's services are free, and each year, together with his
staff, advises on more than 400 buildings and completes
colored facade drawings on more than 250 buildings.

He also collects and distributes technical information on
preservation materials and techniques and advises on various
aspects of downtown revitalization.

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