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


January 21, 1998

Congressman has seen many changes in D.C.

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 21, 1998 - Congressman Henry Bonilla says he
has seen a lot of changes since he went to Washington D.C. in 1993.

When the Republican from the twenty third district of Texas
joined the U.S. House of Representatives the nation had a new president and the U.S. House and Senate were controlled
by a liberal majority, Bonilla pointed out yesterday as he
spoke to a small group who gathered to greet him in the Reeves County Court House lobby.

Bonilla was in Washington when President Bill Clinton wanted
to increase federal government spending and raise taxes, he said. Bonilla added that he and other fiscal conservatives lead the fight to reign in government spending and higher taxes. Fiscal conservatives lost the fight on taxes but managed to hold down government spending, he said.

"By 97 we had a whole different ball game," Bonilla said.
"The way of thinking in D.C. has changed dramatically. We have gotten two million able bodied people off welfare and the thinking now is that we need to get people to be responsible for themselves.

"We passed the balanced budget bill, families with children
get tax cuts. There have been big changes since 93."

Bonilla said the future holds even more changes.

Fiscal conservatives hope to "eliminate the IRS as we know
it," he said. "Because the IRS has been abusive to people.

"The president signed the IRS reform bill that says you are
innocent until proven guilty before the IRS. We want to start the process of eliminating the IRS and replacing it with a sales tax or a flat tax."

The president is looking for something to leave as his
legacy, Bonilla said. Eliminating the IRS would be a legacy Bonilla would help President Clinton create, he said.

When asked if there is going to be any money left to fund
Social Security in the future Bonilla said the program could be seriously threatened in 20 years. The problem with doing anything about it now is that the public won't support any big changes, Bonilla said. The public probably will not support any drastic changes until a crisis arises with the current system, he added.

"What about the erosion of veterans' benefits?" asked Tom
Rivera who is a Pecos veterans representative.

"I'm 100 percent committed to helping veterans maintain
their benefits," Bonilla said. "I don't understand why some people are willing to spend $4 billion to help Bosnia and $2 billion to help Haiti when we could be helping our veterans.

"I disagree with cuts to veterans' benefits, military troop
pay cuts and military training cuts. The cuts to our agriculture programs and military programs are appalling."

In matters closer to home, Bonilla said he favored letting
local law enforcement agencies along the Mexican-U.S. border determine the extent of help they will receive from the U.S. military in protecting the border.

"Some sections want military help and others don't," Bonilla
said. "I favor letting local law enforcement tell us what they want."

Bonilla is currently seeking re-election as the Texas
District-23 U.S. Representative.

Search for woman spreads to Washington

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 21, 1998 - A Washington state sheriff's
department has joined the search for Lora Brooks Gabbert, who has been missing from Pecos since Nov. 30.

Gabbert's boyfriend, Chris Bigham, and her teenage daughter
have been questioned by the Pacific County Sheriff's Office in Washington, according to Under Sheriff Dale Staudenraus, who makes their media statements.

Bigham and Gabbert's daughter moved to Washington shortly
after Gabbert was reported missing by friends and relatives.

"Yes, I have talked to them," said Staudenraus. "They say
that they put her on the bus and sent her on her way."

However, Elva Flores at the Pecos Greyhound bus terminal
said that they didn't sell Gabbert a bus ticket, as Bigham has told both law enforcement authorities and Gabbert's parents.

"It's still an active case. We know where the boyfriend and
the daughter are," Staudenraus said. He would not discuss whether or not the van that Gabbert and Bigham shared at the time of her disappearance has been found.

Reeves County Sheriff's Deputy Ernest Lozcano, who is
investigating the case locally, said that he took bones found on the property the couple once shared to local veterinarian Ronald Box for analysis and was told that the bones were those of an animal and not human remains.

Staudenraus said that he plans to talk with the Reeves
County Sheriff's Office tomorrow.

City Council meets Thursday

PECOS, January 21, 1998 - The City Council of the Town of
Pecos City will meet at 7:30 a.m. Thursday to approve a slew of monthly reports, pursue advertising for a vehicle for the city manager, award a proposal for the closure of the Pecos landfill, and take action on the
findings of sewer line smoke tests.

Reports slated for approval include the juvenile monthly
report, tax collector's report, ambulance report, municipal court report, Chamber of Commerce's fourth quarter report, and city financials.

The council will enter into executive session to evaluate
the performance of Municipal Court Judge Phyllis Salyer.

Several complain of explosion

PECOS, January 21, 1998 - An early morning explosion shook
several houses on the west side of town this morning. Concerned calls began to come into the Pecos Police Department around 8:30 a.m.

"We got a call from Dr. Box's office saying the office
shook, as well as, calls from Texas Street and Wyoming Street saying their houses shook," said Dispatcher Laure Orona.

Smoke emanating from behind the Pecos Cantaloupe Company
shed on Highway 17 prompted Fire Chief Jack Brookshire to investigate. According to Orona, Brookshire announced over the radio that the trash and weeds being incinerated behind the shed had been doused with fuel before being ignited, thus causing the explosion.

Clay Taylor, one of the managers at the Cantaloupe Company,
said there had been no explosion. "We're just burning weeds," he said, "There was a tall flame for a while, but no explosion."

Francisco Reyes, who lit the fire, said he had used a little
fuel to help burn the refuse.


Petra Gonzales

Petra F. Gonzales, 67, died Monday, Jan. 19, 1998, at the
Pecos Nursing Home.

A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 21, at
the Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.

Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m., Thursday, at Santa Rosa
Catholic Church with Father Juan Narez officiating. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery.

Gonzales was born June 29, 1930, in Balmorhea, and was
homemaker and a Catholic.

Survivors include: her husband, Felis Gonzales of Pecos; two
sons, Bonifacio Garcia and Jesus Gonzales of Pecos; one daughter, Frances Leyva of Carlsbad; one brother, Eulalo Fuentez, Jr. of Pecos; one sister, Manuela Martinez of Pecos; and five grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mona Mauldin

Mona Mauldin, 47, died Monday, Jan. 19, 1998, at Reeves
County Hospital.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan.
22, at Pecos Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Les Woodard officiating. Burial will be in Mount Evergreen Cemetery.

Mauldin was born March 26, 1950, in Brownfield, Tx. She was
an office manager for an insurance company, had lived in Pecos since 1965 and was a Baptist.

Survivors include: her husband, Johnny Mauldin of Pecos; two
daughters, Mandy Hardwick of Alpine and Cindy Mauldin of Pecos; one son, John Mauldin of Odessa; her parents, Oscar and Norma Skurlock; her grandmother, Mrs. Figpen; two brothers, Michael Smith of Seattle, Wash., and Dale Smith of Menard, Tx.; two sisters, Brenda Skurlock of Terrell, Tx. and Francis Cope of Big Spring.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, January 21, 1998 - High Tuesday, 76, low this
morning, 42. A cold front moving
southward across the state will bring colder temperatures,
rain and some light snow to Texas
tonight and Thursday. The front was located early today
along a line from just west of Paris to
south of Fort Worth and Abilene to the Midland-Odessa area.
There is a chance of some light
snow over northern sections of the Panhandle tonight. The
rest of West Texas will have a chance
of rain or showers from the southern Panhandle to the Concho
Valley and Guadalupe Mountains
tonight and Thursday. The rain will continue Thursday and
possibly be mixed with snow in
extreme northern and northwest sections. There is a chance
of rain eastern areas.

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