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

Top Stories

March 9, 1998

High winds may have caused fire

Staff Writer
High winds are being considered as the possible cause of a
fire which occurred Saturday night and destroyed a business
on the southwest side of Pecos.

The fire came at the end of a day of high winds, which were
clocked at up to 59 miles-per-hour Saturday, according to
Isabel Blanchard of the Pecos Municipal Airport.

An old army surplus store, located on Highway 17 just north
of Interstate 20, caught fire at about 10:25 p.m., Saturday.
The building is owned by the Bill Hollis family.

"The fire then got into the shop next door to this building,
a shop run by Rocky Blackstock," said assistant fire chief
Mike Elliott.

Police closed off Highway 17 to traffic between I-20 and
Stafford Boulevard after firefighters arrived at the scene
at 10:38 p.m.

"By the time we arrived the surplus army store was already
engulfed in flames," said Elliott. An adjacent utility pole
was also set on fire, and a Texas-New Mexico Power Co crew
was called to the scene a short time after firemen arrived.

The army supply store was totally burned and the building
next door had a large amount of damage, according to the

Winds blowing out of the northwest blew smoke and lighted
cinders over an adjacent service station which has been
closed for several years, and the smoke also went across the
traffic lanes of I-20.

"Our biggest problem was fighting the winds," said Elliott.

It took firefighters about three hours to contain the fire.
"We finished at about 1:30 a.m.," Elliott side.

The fire is still under investigation and fire marshal Jack
Brookshire will be looking into the cause of the fire.

All six fire trucks were at the scene and ambulance crews on
standby even though no injuries were reported.

"It was lucky that nobody was in the buildings at the time
of the fire," said Elliott. "The wind was our biggest
problem, but we worked hard and fast," he said.

No other damage was reported from the high winds, which blew
through the area before and after a cold front moved across
West Texas. The front dropped temperatures from near 70
Saturday morning to the low 50s by the afternoon, and to
near freezing by Saturday night.

County to face overcrowding citation

Staff Writer
Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo "Andy" Gomez said that when
results of last week's inspection by Texas Jail Centers are
returned in about 30 days, he expected the county jail to

The jail was cited for over-crowding by state officials at
the conclusion of their investigation last Thursday, Gomez
said. "But this is a problem all over Texas," he added.

"They said they were pleased with the rest of it," he said.
"We fixed the plumbing and the roof looks good."

Texas Department of Jail Standards inspector Paul
Scarborough recommended a 48-bed expansion for the facility.
Gomez said he shared the recommendation with County Judge
Jimmy Galindo, and commented that an expansion of this size
could be effected without an increase in staff.

Saturday crash leaves man dead

Staff Writer
A Houston maintenance foreman was killed early Saturday
morning in a one-vehicle accident on U.S. 285 north of Pecos.

Rodolfo Marquez Lazo, 44, was pronounced dead at 4 a.m. on
Saturday after apparently falling asleep at the wheel while
driving north on U.S. 285 near the Texas 302 junction, 18.1
miles north of Pecos, according to Department of Public
Safety officials.

The DPS report said Lazo drove his 1989 model Nissan pickup
across the southbound lane of the highway, at about 1 a.m.
on Saturday and into a guard rail, where it was lodged. The
guardrail reportedly cut through both the engine area and
the cab of the pickup and into the bed before the vehicle
came to a halt.

Lazo was pronounced dead on the scene by Justice of the
Peace Joel Madrid and taken to Pecos Funeral Home. He was
not wearing a seatbelt, according to DPS Trooper Richard
Jacobs and Corporal Emmit Moore, who investigated the

The accident was the third of the year in Reeves County, all
of which have occurred on U.S. 285 north of Pecos.

Departure of deputy, suspect delay arrest

Staff Writer
When someone is indicted by a grand jury, it doesn't always
take over five months to arrest them. But it did in the case
of Diana Marie Ramos, 29, a former resident of Saragosa who
was indicted for injury to a child under 15 on Sept. 11,
1997 but wasn't arrested for the crime until two weeks ago.

Personnel changes at the Reeves County Sheriff's Department
were cited as part of the reason for the 5½ month delay, as
both the suspect and the investigating officer were no
longer living in the county shortly after the alleged
beating occurred.

Ramos was arrested on Feb. 26 as the result of an incident
on July 9, 1997 in which deputies said she beat her
11-year-old son with a belt and her closed fist severely
enough for the child's uncle and grandfather to take him to
the hospital.

According to a sheriff's department report, injuries to the
boy included bruises on his back, left shoulder, right chest
area, face and left forearm; scratches to his left eye area
and the left side of his face, a bloody nose, cut lip,
swelling on his left forearm and whelp marks on his left
side and back that the report said appeared to have been
made by a belt type object.

Ramos also apparently grabbed the boy's right hand and
twisted it behind his back, trying to gain control of the
child during the incident, the report said. She also
scratched his left face area.

According to the report, the boy's uncle arrived at the
house during the incident and grabbed the young boy in an
attempt to remove him from the situation, at which time
Ramos picked up some type of stick and hit the uncle with it.

The boy's uncle took the stick away from Ramos, broke it and
threw it out the door. He then ran to the field where the
boy's father and grandfather were working. The boy's uncle
and grandfather took the boy to the hospital.

During an interview by law enforcement officers with the
boy, he was asked how often this type of incident took
place. He told officers that this had occurred almost daily
and that it had been going on since he was eight or nine
years old.

When the boy was asked if his father ever intervened, he
said that his father did try to intervene sometimes, but
that his mother sometimes would push his father against the
wall or push him down.

The boy was also asked if his father hit him in the same way
as his mother did. The child said that his father spanked
him on his bottom, but didn't hit him like his mother did.

Investigators also asked the boy if he was afraid to go
home. The boy said that he was afraid to return, and wanted
to stay with his grandfather.

The investigators also determined that there was also a
four-year-old child in the home. The boy said that the
younger child was also being hit at times, although not as

Further, the investigators found that Ramos had lost one
daughter at birth and was again pregnant, by about four

However, after interviewing the 11-year-old, the officers
could not contact Ramos. The boys was released him into the
custody of his grandfather, pending further investigation by
the appropriate agencies.

During that investigation, both Ramos and the deputy
investigating the incident moved away. Sheriff Arnulfo Gomez
said the deputy married and moved to Dallas, while Ramos did
not tell the authorities where she moved to. They eventually
found her living in Kermit, Gomez said.

Ramos was arrested for the crime on Feb. 26, but posted
$10,000 bond and was released from jail the same day.

Early voting surpasses 2,300

Final early voting totals show that 1,968 residents of Reeves County have already cast their ballots by personal
appearance in Tuesday's Democratic Primary Election.

In addition, county officials said over 350 others have
voted by mail for the state and local races.

Early voting by personal appearance has ended in Reeves
County, but votes by mail will be received until 7 p.m. on
March 10. "They don't have to be sent by regular post," said
early voting clerk Debbie Thomas. Federal Express and United
Parcel Shipping are okay, she said.

Polling places will be Box 1, located at the Pecos
Community Center, 505 South Oak; Box 2 will be at the Pecos
Elementary School, 901 S. Willow; Box 3, Pecos High School
Gym, 1300 Iowa Street; Box 4, Toyah City Hall in Toyah; Box
5, Senior Citizen Hall in Balmorhea; Box 6, Saragosa
Multi-Purpose Center in Saragosa; Box 7, Reeves County
Library, 505 S. Park; Box 8, Lamar Elementary School, Room
#1, corner of Oak and "F" streets; Box 9, Orla Red Bluff
Office in Orla; Box 10, Reeves County Annex/N. Side, 700
Daggett Street; Box 11, Bessie Haynes Elementary School, 800
E. 11th Street and Box 12, Texas-New Mexico Power Co., 1126
Stafford Blvd.

Those voting in precinct 1 will vote at Boxes 2 & 11;
precinct 2, will vote at Boxes 3, 4, and 12; precinct 3,
will cast their ballots at Boxes, 5, 6 and 10 and precinct
4, at Boxes 1, 7, 8 and 9.

All local candidates are running in the Democratic primary,
but those people wishing to vote in the Republican primary
can do so on Tuesday by going to the mayor's office at City
Hall at Sixth and Cedar streets between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The main area race there is for the District 80 seat
currently held by Gary Walker.

The two-term Republican is being challenged by rancher
Skeet Workman for the nomination, while no Democrat is
running for the District 80 seat, which covers the area from
Reeves County north along the Texas-New Mexico border to

Shoving match results in two injuries

Staff Writer
Two Pecos High School students were taken to Reeves County
Hospital Friday afternoon by ambulance, after both were cut
by glass from a display case in the building's front hallway.

Ambulance attendants were called to the school just after
noon, and according to PHS principal Danny Rodriguez, "there
were two boys fighting and they went into the display case."

Rodriguez later clarified his statement, saying that the two
boys apparently were just shoving each other, not having a
fist fight or using weapons, and accidentally fell into the
glass trophy case in the hallway by the main entrance to the
school building. He added the whole incident happened very

Rodriguez said that both boys were taken to the hospital,
one with a cut to his hand and one with a cut on his
shoulder that might require surgery.

"It's unfortunate that things like this happen. Our staff
moved as quickly as possible to do what they could for the
kids. Our main concern is our students," said Rodriguez
later Friday afternoon, after rushing to check on the boys
at the hospital as soon as emergency personnel left the

Area Roundup

The Fort Stockton Pioneer

FORT STOCKTON, Feb. 26, 1998 - The Fort Stockton school
board held a Saturday morning meeting and workshop to
consider improvements to school facilities, although the
scope and direction of those improvements is yet defined.
The half-day meeting and workshop was attended not only by
the Fort Stockton ISD Board of Trustees, but also members of
district administration, principals and directors from all
of the district's campuses.

The Alpine Avalanche

ALPINE, March 5, 1998 - Sul Ross State University students
who live in Fletcher Hall were evacuated Feb. 28 when a fire
broke out in a room on the third floor. Johnny Holbrooks,
director of the University Department of Public Safety, said
the Alpine Police Department called them at 6:47 a.m. to
report a fire in room 315. The fire was contained by the
Alpine Volunteer Fire Department.

The Sanderson Times

SANDERSON, March, 1998 - Tuesday is voting day in Terrell
County for candidates in the Democratic and Republican
Primaries. All voting will be in the Terrell County
Courthouse from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. As of last Tuesday,
there had been 148 early votes cast by personal appearance
and 15 early votes cast by mail, according to Martha Allen,
county and district clerk.

The McCamey News

McCamey, March 5, 1998 - McCamey High School Principal Jerry
Stinson has filed his report with the Institute for Academic
Excellence requesting that the high school be recognized as
a "Model School" under the Reading Renaissance program. If
this recognition is given, McCamey High School will be the
first school to achieve this distinction in the entire
nation. Last week, the high school students earned the
necessary level of reading success to qualify for Model
status. To become a Model School, a campus must have at
least five Model Classrooms, a Model Library, and have 85
percent or more of its students reading successfully, based
upon nine weeks of accountable reading records. So far, 89
percent of the McCamey High students had acceptable reading

Iraan News

Iraan, March 5, 1998 - The last time an Iraan Braves Boys
Varsity Basketball team won a bi-district championship,
Coach Cary Tyson was a player, and several of this year's
players were five-years-old. But the long wait ended last
Thursday evening at Dorothy Garrett coliseum in Big Spring
when the Braves stunned the Shallowater Mustangs, District 5
Champions, 88-89.

The Monahans News

MONAHANS, March 5, 1998 - Sometime next year more than 600
parched citizens of Thorntonville and areas south and west
of Monahans are scheduled to start receiving the City of
Monahans award-winning water, reports the president of the
non-profit Southwest Sandhills Water Supply Corp. When a
federally backed loan formally is approved as expected,
cool, clean, clear water will begin flowing into an area of
Ward County where various chemical salts have rendered the
water from some wells in the area nearly impossible to
drink. Formal confirmation of that loan is expected soon.


Annie Collins

Annie Loraine Collins, 86, of Balmorhea, died Friday, March
6, 1998, at Reeves County Hospital.

Services were held at 2 p.m., today at the First United
Methodist Church in Balmorhea with Reverend Ernest Vineyard
officiating. Burial was in Balmorhea Cemetery.

She was born Feb. 12, 1912, in Coke County, was a lifelong
Balmorhea resident, a homemaker and a Methodist.

Survivors include two sons, Richard Hueslter of Oklahoma
City, Okla., Craig Hueslter of Verhalen; one daughter,
Barbara Harrison of Abilene; three sisters, Jessie Harman of
Robert Lee, Prudence DuBas of Houston, Madelle Griffith of
Lubbock; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Isabel Lara

Services are incomplete for Isabel "Chavelo," "Bill," Lara,
58, of Pecos, who died Saturday, March 7 at Reeves County

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mariano Morales

Mariano Morales, 83, of Pecos, died Saturday, March 7, 1998
at Reeves County Hospital.

A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., today, at Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.

Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m., Tuesday at Santa Rosa
Catholic Church with Father Antonio Mena officiating. Burial
will be in Mount Evergreen Cemetery.

He was born Oct. 16, 1914, in Ruidoso, Tx., was a lifelong
Pecos resident, a retired fence builder and a Catholic.

Survivors include his wife, Ephina Morales of Pecos; one
son, Ruben Morales of Pecos; one daughter, Maria Elena
Saldana of Pecos and five grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Jose Rodriguez

Jose Antonio Rodriguez, 42, died Sunday, March 8, 1998, at
Reeves County Hospital.

A rosary is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, at Martinez
Funeral Home Chapel.

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

Rodriguez was born Feb. 5, 1955, in Ojinaga, Mexico, was a
longtime Pecos resident and a Catholic.

He was preceded in death by one son, Jose Antonio
Rodriguez, Jr.

Survivors include one daughter, Mary Louisa Rodriguez of
Pecos; three brothers, Alberto, Daniel and David Rodriguez
of Hobbs, N.M.; four sisters, Alicia Hernandez, Olivia
Rodriguez and Maria Nunez of Hobbs, N.M., Elva Rodriguez of
Pecos; paternal grandmother, Antonia Rivas of Ojinaga,
Mexico and two grandchildren.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


High Sunday, 55, low this morning, 28. A winter storm dumped
up to four inches of snow in the Texas Panhandle, gave North
Texas a brief dusting of snow and sent temperatures plunging
below freezing as far south as the Hill Country. Clearing
skies will produce a very cold night tonight, but the sun
will be out on Tuesday,causing a rapid warmup. It will be
mostly sunny during the day and mostly fair at night across
West Texas through Tuesday. Lows tonight will be in the 20s
and 30s in the Permian Basin. Highs Tuesday will be in the
50s and 60s in West Texas.

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Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
e-mail news@pecos.net

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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise