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


Jan. 27, 1998

Clark duo show champion steers

Courtney Clark and her brother John Marvin Clark entered the
ring at the Reeves County Civic Center on January 16, 1998
not necessarily expecting to win, but "hoping." Hoping that
judge Andy Stewart would call them up as Grand Champions.
And for the first time in the history of the Reeves-Loving
Junior Livestock Show a brother and sister team won the
prize for Grand and Reserve Grand Champion Steers, Courtney
and John walked out of that ring winners.

So now is the time for the Clark family to pack up "Boomer,"
"Bandit," and "Boo-boo" - Boomer, Courtney's Grand Champion;
Boo-boo, John Marvin's Reserve Grand Champion - and head off
to the big shows. Fort Worth is the first destination, where
the kids will exhibit their champion steers. Courtney will
show Bandit, her Simmental steer, at the San Antonio
livestock show later in the month.

Both John and Courtney started showing livestock in the
third or fourth grade, carrying on a family tradition. They
said they enjoy traveling to the various livestock shows
around the state. It is their opportunity to see more of the
world and visit with friends from other counties. "They know
kids from all over the state," said mother Judy Clark. "But
they have to make the grades - they have to tend to their
cattle and their studies."

Don't they get nervous with the ever-watchful eye of the
judge waiting and watching for any mistake? "I just try to
stay as calm as I can," said John Marvin. His sister
continued the thought, saying the steer "can tell if you're
nervous and will start acting up."

Success has come in other area as well. Courtney is
currently ranked third in the region in the Texas High
School Rodeo Association's Cutting Horse category and will
be traveling to Abilene in June to compete in the state-wide
competition. While John busies himself calf-roping as a
member of the American Junior Rodeo Association.

"It's better than staying home with the T.V." said John

Aaron's struggle to the livestock show

By Rick Chaffey
Special to the Enterprise

Aaron Taylor almost had no goat to show. The 10-year-old
girl decided last year to participate in 4-H and bought two
Spanish goats from her uncle in October. The larger goat
died within the first week, leaving Aaron's 4-H fortune
resting on the other goat, Whitey.

Aaron came home from school several weeks later to find
Whitey bloody in the corner of his pen. "I ran in, and then
I go, `What happened to my goat?' Whenever (my dad) told me
the dogs attacked him, I started crying," she remembers. "I
didn't want to lose him."

Aaron had been walking Whitey the day before. The family
spent the evening in their yard, playing and visiting with
each other. Nobody noticed that the gate wasn't locked.
The goat squeezed through the gate and got out the next day.

"Our neighbor has goats, too. He (Whitey) was in the
process of going over there to see the other goats," said
Aaron's mom, Machelle Taylor. Apparently two of the
family's dogs started following the goat. The goat got
spooked and ran, and the dogs gave chase.

Geeder, a blue healer mix which had been with the family
since it was a puppy, took Whitey by the throat. Zipper, a
stray blue healer which had been taken in by the family,
took his hind legs.

Aaron's mom and dad actually saw the attack in progress when
they came home for lunch. As they approached, they saw that
the dogs had already taken Whitey down. Aaron's dad, Chris,
ran into the house for his gun. Machelle ran to Whitey's

As soon as the dogs were pulled off, Zipper ran and hid
under a neighbor's house. Geeder came to his master, as if
nothing had happened.

Knowing that once a dog started attacking stock it wouldn't
stop, Chris took Geeder to the pit and shot him. While
Machelle took Whitey back to his pen, Chris left to look for
Zipper. Several minutes later, Zipper had joined Geeder in
the pit.

Whitey's condition was somewhat better than the dogs, but
critical nonetheless. He was left with a deep gash and
several smaller wounds around his neck. Machelle credits
the collar he was wearing with saving his life. She
believes that without it, Whitey's throat would have been
completely ripped out. In spite of the collar, though,
Whitey was seriously injured.

"Every time he moved around, blood came out. You could see
muscle where it had ripped open," Machelle said.

Aaron wanted to know what she could do for her goat. "We
told her that if he didn't get up and start walking, if he
even lived overnight, we were probably going to have to put
him down anyway," said Machelle.

Aaron was not ready to give up, and neither was Whitey. "He
kept on trying," said Aaron. "I fed him by my hand. I gave
him water. I cleaned the wounds. I covered him with a
blanket, and he kept on calling out."

After four days, Whitey was up and walking around his pen.
Aaron and her brother Jonathan had to help him walk since he
was unable to keep his balance without assistance. Every day
for the next three weeks, Aaron cleaned, debrided, and
treated the wounds on Whitey's neck with antibiotic ointment.

Her diligence paid off. Other than a slight limp and a
crooked backbone, Whitey has completely recovered. Aaron
thinks Whitey's chances of winning at the Pecos Livestock
Show are good.

"I was really worried about him, because (if he died) I
wouldn't be able to be in 4-H. It would just cost more
money to get another goat," Aaron explained.

The crude stuff in the county

Staff Writer

The oil and gas industries are notorious for their
fluctuating market shares - price per barrel often bouncing
violently within any given period. But many experts are
divided as to which direction the market may be headed and
how this turn in prices will affect the Trans-Pecos area.

Recent events in the Middle East and Southeast Asia have
contributed to declining oil prices in recent months. The
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC for
short) recently raised its production level to 27.5 million
barrels per day - an increase of almost 10 percent. This
factor alone affected the market worldwide, but now Iraq, on
invitation of the UN, may now sell up to $2 billion worth of
oil in a shortened five month period. This may bring as many
as one million barrels per day into the export market. (The
standard unit of measure in the oil industry, the barrel,
equals about 42 gallons.)

Meanwhile, another shake-up has presented itself in the form
of the Asian market. Temporarily dampening demand for oil
and gas, the recent International Monetary Fund's bailout of
these shaky economies may represent a quick rebound to high
petroleum demand or a continued reduction stretching well
into the future.

Woodside Research Ltd. is anticipating that the hardest hit
by these international events will be West Texas
Intermediate. Predictions have been made by the company that
levels may sink this year to as low as $12 per barrel.

John Dorr, Petroleum Land Management owner, wasn't surprised
by the speculation. He also cited the situation in the
Middle East for the decline in oil's price, saying that West
Texas Intermediate had already reached $14 per barrel. "Some
are expecting it to bounce back . . . Saudi Arabia is more
interested in maintaining their market share than keeping
prices high."

Dorr was also optimistic of oil's recovery, comparing the
International Monetary Fund's bailout of several Asian
countries to the United States intervention in the downward
spiral of the Mexican peso. "They paid us back," Dorr said
of the Mexican government, "and ahead of schedule."

He said that he anticipated the price per barrel to bounce
back to 16 or 17 per barrel by the summer. "The refineries
are switching over from production of heating fuel to
producing gasoline right now," he said. "We need to have
about 300 million gallons in surplus by (this summer)."

The global situation may have slowed a good situation in
Reeves and surrounding counties. As the price of oil goes
down the cost to lease a rig goes up "companies start
putting their leases back in the file cabinets for awhile,"
Dorr said.

However, there is still a great amount of exploration and
drilling going on in the area. Over 20 leases have been
filed in the last six months for oil and gas drilling in
Reeves County. Penwell has two wells just north of Pecos,
Burlington has been active out by Toyah, Pogo had one come
up dry and is completing another south of Pecos. Others in
the area include: Aegis Energy, Inc., Arco Permian, Chevron
USA, Pitts Energy, and many more.

Despite the low oil prices the Railroad Commission reports
an increase in total well completions and drilling permits
issued in the state during 1997. Total well completions were
up in '97, at 9,417 from 8,544. There were 13,933 drilling
permits issued in 1997 as compared to 12,669 issued the
previous year. December, 1997 saw 1,109 permits issued,
which were primarilly for new oil and gas wells (849) and
re-completions (228) - with 32 permits issued to re-enter
existing well bores.

"We've found over the last several years that activity in
the oil fields is based more on advances of technology
opposed to the commodity price," said Commission spokesman
Danny Gibbs.

According to Gibbs, individuals and smaller companies are
able to do much more with a personal computer and the right
software than just short time ago. "There is information
available to small players for the first time, such as 3D
Seismic, that only the majors, the Amocos and Conocos, have
been able to afford."

Smaller operators are now able to locate and pull oil and
gas from ground. In the past, activity has been more tied to
price and less-accelerated technology. "Companies weren't as
efficient in the past," said Gibbs.

In fact, the majority of wells drilled in Texas are drilled
by independents.
According to the Railroad Commission, district eight (which
includes Pecos) saw 109 oil completions, 9 gas completions
and 159 permits to drill in Dec., 1997.

In Oct, 97 production figures showed West Texas figuring
prominently in the rankings. Andrews County ranked #2 with
2,598,876 barrels, Ector County ranked #4 with 2,273,368
barrels, and Pecos County ranked #6 with 1,903,156 barrels.
Reeves followed behind, boasting only 64,423 barrels
produced for the month.Brother and sister show champion

C.W.'s quips


Cotton market outlook

A balance in world cotton supplies and demand for the last
two seasons implies fairly stable but weak prices during the
year ahead. Yet, strong corn and soybean prices threaten to
reduce U.S. cotton acreage well under the 13.8 million for
the 1997 crop and far below the 16.9 million planted in
1995. With planting decisions largely guided by financial
risk and income potential, producers in several regions of
the Cotton Belt plan to cut cotton acreage substantially
next season unless the farm price of cotton increases to at
least 70 cents per pound or higher.

Acreage for the 1998 crop season may fall in the same range
of 13.2 million to 13.7 million acres that were planted for
the 1992-1994 crops when set-aside acreage was around 10
percent. The resulting possible production variation could
also follow a similar 16.1 to 19.7 million bale path that it
did during those years. Since U.S. cotton usage is fairly
stable around 18.0 to 18.5 million bales, the market price
levels next fall are subject to a sizable variation from
well under 70 cents per pound for December 1998 futures, if
yields are high, to above 80 cents for low yields.

Therefore, the potential price level has a wide range
because of the acreage and yield uncertainties. However, the
fairly stable December futures price range of 72 to 78 cents
since the 1995 crop season could continue if world
production and use remain in balance. Thus, a marketing plan
that uses strategies to price producer cotton in the
vicinity of 70 cents per pound and possibly higher should be
considered. Pricing strategies that insure against price
declines but allow benefits from higher prices are desirable.

Cotton acreage for the new season is expected to decline for
the third year in a row. The main reasons are high costs and
financial risk associated with cotton production, a sluggish
cotton market, relatively strong corn and soybean prices,
and fixed transition payments by the government. Cotton
acreage for 1998 will remain uncertain until the June 30
USDA planted acreage report.

A review of production costs for cotton indicates the lowest
costs per pound are in the Southeast and Southwest regions.
Costs are higher in the Delta and the far west. Thus, cotton
acreage is likely to decline the least in the Southeast and
Southwest. The largest acreage reduction is expected in the
Delta, with acreage in California and Arizona slightly lower.

The U.S. cotton industry needs at least 13.5 million acres
to meet an 18.0 to 18.5 million bale market at price levels
that are internationally competitive. Any smaller acreage
suggests the U.S. cotton industry may lose export market
share, and domestic mills may resort to importing cotton.

Another big decline in acreage would lead to even fewer gins
and agribusinesses, and curtail economic activity in rural
areas dependent upon cotton production.

Assuming an optimistic 13.5 million planted acres, 7 percent
loss between planted and harvested acreage and an average
yield of 665 pounds per acre, a 17.4 million bale crop would
be produced. That's 1.5 million less than produced during
the last two seasons. If domestic use remains at 11.4
million and exports at 7.0 million, total use would exceed
production by a million bales and decrease carryover by 3.3.
million bales, compared to 4.3 million carryover estimated
this season.

In early 1998, the cotton price level, relative to corn and
soybean prices, needs to be favorable to assure that growers
will plant enough cotton acreage to meet market requirements.

The December 1998 price level next fall has a wide range of
possibilities from well under 70 cents to near 80 cents per
pound because of the uncertain acreage and yield. Although,
if world production and use remain in balance, the stability
in prices since 1995 could continue another season.

Given expectations of substantially less cotton acreage at
home and overseas, December, 1998 futures this spring may
follow a path similar to the 1997 contract but slightly
lower. December, 1997 traded mostly in the 76 to 78 cent
range during the first half of last year. The new crop
expectations in late spring and early summer, along with the
June acreage report, will direct market forces in the second
half of 1998.

Fort Worth's expo and livestock show

Fort Worth - A whopping increase of 37.6 percent in the
Quarter Horse Division has sparked the 102nd annual
Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show to a new record
entry list of 20,538 head. The show opened on January 23 and
runs through February 8 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center
in West Fort Worth.

Noticeable, Quarter Horse entries jumped to 914 head from
664 a year earlier, sparked by the introduction of a new
concept in horse show competition. Styled as the Cowboy
Publishing Timed Event Challenge, the inaugural package
includes a $20,000 added prize for Quarter Horse competitors
who participate in calf roping, barrel racing, pole bending
and team roping.

Junior entries from 4-H Club and FFA Chapter youngsters in
Texas, along with the overall entries in the various horse
departments, logged a 10 percent gain, while the open
breeding departments for beef and dairy cattle, sheep,
swine, goats and llamas held generally steady with a year
ago. An advance was noted in the small stock division for
poultry, rabbits and pigeons.

The new high mark of total livestock entries represents a
substantial gain over a year earlier when 18,900 head of
animals were exhibited. The previous peak year was the Stock
Show centennial year of 1996 when 20,124 head were counted.

Inaugurated as an effort to benefit exhibitors of Quarter
Horses by attracting greater numbers in show classes which
generate higher American Quarter Horse Association points
toward championship status, the Cowboy Publishing Timed
Event Challenge will include the horses that posted the 60
fastest times for each of the four qualifying events.

Stars shine at Houston Livestock Show

Houston - Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo officials
announced recently an extraordinary star-studded line-up
featuring music's hottest newcomers and a sampling of music
legends, a new rodeo start time and major new entertainment
enhancements and features.

Houston industries is joining forces with the Houston
Livestock Show and Rodeo to provide an electrifying,
exciting and motivating multimedia presentation of video,
lasers and pyrotechnics, and a myriad of fixed, flashing and
moving lights, all paced and accentuated by music and other
audio effects at each of this year's 20 Houston Rodeo

All rodeo performances also feature PRCA rodeo action, the
world's largest calf scramble, chuck wagon races, in-door
fireworks and concert entertainment. New this year is an
earlier start time of 6:30 p.m. for evening performances and
a rearrangement of rodeo events. Calf roping and bareback
riding will start off every show, followed by the grand
entry, the remaining rodeo events and the music concert.
Kicking off the phenomenal entertainer line-up on Friday,
Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m., is Alan Jackson. Saturday, Feb. 21, 11
a.m., the Houston Rodeo welcomes Tracy Byrd and Trace Adkins
to the Astrodome. Houston's own Clint Black headlines the
6:30 p.m. performance on Feb. 21. The first Sunday twilight
performance at 4 p.m., Feb. 22, features the talents of
LeAnn Rimes and Bryan White.

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Pecos Enterprise
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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