Colored Rock Map of Texas at I-20 in Pecos Pecos Enterprise


Archives 62
Archives 74
Archives 87
Archives 95
Archives 96
Archives 97
Archives 98
1987 Tornado Photos
News Photos 1997
News Photos 1998

Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, June 10, 1998

Council gives up meteorite

Associated Press Writer
MONAHANS, Texas (AP) - The city council agrees: It's finders, keepers.

Seven boys who laid claim to a meteorite that crashed near where they played basketball won their fight Tuesday, when the Monahans City Council voted unanimously to let them keep it.

The mayor and city manager of this West Texas city had said the space rock landed on city property and thus belonged to them.

But council members said before their 4-0 vote that it would be heartless not to recognize the boys' right to the meteor.

There was also worry about a public relations nightmare if city officials seized the object.

``In my opinion we were looking at the expenditure of public funds to fight a lawsuit and the crucifixion of the city by the media had we not given the rock back,'' said councilman Curtis Howard. ``I did not see how that would have been in the best interest of the city.''

Alvaro Lyles, the 11-year-old near whose front yard the rock fell, said the decision was fair. Scientists have already offered thousands of dollars for the rock.

``I'm very excited. We won and now it's ours,'' Alvaro said as the boys celebrated their victory at his home. ``It's cool that they didn't try to trick us out of what was ours.''

Before announcing their decision, council members blasted Steve Arnold, a meteorite broker based in Tulsa, Okla., for threatening that the boys would sue if they were not given the rock.

Arnold, who will receive a percentage of any money gained by selling the object, said he was just helping the family secure what was rightfully theirs.

``We could have won the rock in court, but then we would have had to share any money with the attorney,'' Arnold said. ``I think the city knew that they didn't want to be seen as a council that would have taken seven kids to court over a rock they found. That would not be a good way to get re-elected.''

The dispute began in March, after firefighters took the soccer ball-sized meteor from the front of the Lyles' home so it could be studied. They promised it would be returned as long as NASA determined it was not radioactive.

Days later, the Lyles family telephone began ringing off the hook as university science departments offered to buy the meteorite, with bids reaching as high as $31,000.

But when the family asked the city to return it, the mayor sent a letter politely declining. The meteorite, he wrote, was city property.

Neither the mayor or city manager could be reached for comment by The Associated Press.

Howard said the rock will be taken from a city vault and given to the boys.

Orlando Lyles, Alvaro's father, said the rock will be sold and the money kept for the boys' educations.

Lyles added, to wild shouts and cheers in the background, that there's also a party in the works.

``First we're all going to Little League practice, then we're going to celebrate our victory over the politicians,'' he said.

Economic development group eyes sales tax

Enterprise Editor
The Pecos Economic Development Corporation is exploring the
possibility of having local residents vote on a referendum
to use part of the current sales tax money to help finance
economic development.

Since the local sales tax is at its maximum, the money would
have to be taken away from either the city or hospital.
Exactly how much would be sought is not yet known but
members of the economic development group say that about
$120,000 a year is needed to finance efforts to bring
business and industry to Pecos and Reeves County.

Local entities - city, county and hospital - are now
financing the effort through special allocations.
Members of the economic development corporation will travel
to Austin tomorrow to meet with officials of the
comptrollers office to get more details on how the sales tax
issue can be accomplished and sent to the voters. Among
those going are Oscar Saenz, chairman of the board; Frank
Spencer, member of the board's executive committee, and Gari
Ward, president and CEO of the corporation.

The sales tax issue was among a number of items up for
disucssion during a meeting of the corporation's board
Tuesday night. Ward was introduced to the board. He had met
with many members but had not met several of those in the
group since he was hired to head up the industrial
recruitment effort.

It was noted that several area cities are now using sales
tax money to finance industrial recruitment. That includes

Also discussed was the possibility that the state
legislature in their next session starting in January will
increase the top rate of sales taxes that can be levied.
Pecos is among a number of cities that is at the maximum

Also on the agenda Tuesday was approval of a budget in the
amount of $135,000 for the year, a total of $47,260 for six
months which is the term of employment for Ward.

Ward gave a brief report on what he has been doing and the
fact that he is housed in offices on the second floor of
Security State Bank. One effort he has made is to meet with
Freeport-McMoran Sulphur Co. to see about expanding their
markets and increasing demand for sulphur.

Short and long term goals of PEDC were discussed along with
a training program for members of the industrial recruitment
team and marketing strategy.

Ward noted he has an interest in baseball and said he will
be working with older teenagers to get what is called a
"select" baseball squad to play other teams in the area,
something that could help teenagers get scholarships and a
look by pro scouts.

A happy ending is a new beginning

Staff Writer
Jimmy Ortega was the first one to notice the frail body
clinging to the underside of one of the Black-capped
Capuchin monkeys at Maxey Park Zoo several weeks ago.
He informed his boss, Park and Zoo Director Armando Gil,
with the declaration, "I'm going to have to get a new pair
of sneakers. I'm a daddy again."

It was an event no one had expected. Up until the actual
birth, Gil, Ortega and the veterinarian who examined the
Capuchin pair, were convinced they had two male monkeys on
their hands.

Just one week previous Gil had been in contact with a monkey
dealer in Miami, Fla., searching for a female Capuchin. The
dealer asked about Gil's recent monkey aquisition, "Are you
sure it's a male?"

"I said, `Yes, sir. I'm positive.'" said Gil. "`It's been

The response on the other end of the phone was, "If I were
you I would double check."

Gil said that it is particularly hard to determine the
gender of the monkeys.

A second opinion was made unnecessary by the surprise birth.
The baby Capuchin monkey is still too young to be taken from
its mother to determine its gender, so it remains nameless.
If handled, Ortega said, the baby has a better chance of
being abandoned by its mother and dying.

The mother of the new addition was originally named "Andy"
because the previous owners had been fooled as well.

The monkeys are fed a wide variety of fruits and vegetables
each morning and afternoon. Each adult has a favorite food.
Andy, the female, enjoys corn on the cob, and Mikey, the
male, prefers hard-boiled eggs.

To ward away pesky flies and mosquitoes the pair will chew
up jalapeno peppers "like chewing gum," confided Ortega,
"and spread on their bodies for insect repellent."

A wide variety of Capuchin monkeys inhabit southern and
central South America. They live in dense forests with packs
of up to 30 individuals, descending from the trees only to
drink. In captivity they may live as long as 45 years and
grow as large as 15 pounds.

The baby monkey will probably begin to explore its
surroundings without clinging to its mother at three months
of age. The females are able to reproduce once every two

Ortega said the zoo plans to keep the trio together in their
current habitat at Maxey Park Zoo.

The event follows the shooting death of the last male
Capuchin by two local teens three years ago.

Chamber discusses summer events

Staff Writer
Board of Directors of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce met
yesterday afternoon at the Pecos Senior Center to share a
meal, discuss recent activities, hear committee reports, and
prepare for the upcoming Night in Old Pecos and the West of
the Pecos Rodeo.

President Richard Crider opened the meeting by reminding
those gathered that the recent flurry of flower box planting
was a chamber activity, not a Lion's Club function. Because
of the early onslaught of summer and some criticism, Crider
said, the project will be ended.

"We have decided not to go ahead with any more since it's
debatable," said Crider. "We will use the leftover flowers
to replace the dead ones."

Ideas are still being sought, Crider continued, for any
ways that Pecos may be bettered. "Bring your ideas up here,"
he addressed the group, "and we will see who is interested
and what we can get done."

Executive Director Tom Rivera announced, "We are getting a
tremendous amount of interest in the rodeo right now. I
expect it to be better than previous years."

Rivera reminded the board that filmmakers from Germany and
Denmark would be in Pecos filming during the rodeo. "We need
to be on our best to show the visitors that Pecos is a great
place to be," he said.

Suan Cross of the Women's Division of the Chamber announced
that the Golden Girl Bake Sale will be this Friday to raise
money for the girls' scholarships. The pageant rehearsals
are being held at Pecos High School and are "going great."

Eight Golden Girl floats will enter the rodeo parade and one
Little Miss Cantaloupe float will join as well.

Kevin Duke, head of the tourism committee, informed the
board that billboards will be going up next week. A series
of photographs by Pecos Police Department's Lt. Kelley Davis
are being scanned. The board will soon be able to choose
which images it wants to use.

"This could be a good summer for us," said Duke. "Our T.V.
and radio ads are going out tomorrow."

Rivera announced that this year's rodeo banners have arrived
and are to go up at area businesses on Monday, June 22.

Someone will be available for anyone who needs help
installing them, said Rivera.

Also, the director said, Night In Old Pecos has received
many vendor entries this year. "We are looking for a
volunteer organization to set up children's games," he said,
"and they can keep the proceeds."

There will be a Western Shoot-out this year, complete with
banditos. Rivera said he had to agree to be hung to bring in
the gunslingers.

The group concluded its meeting by viewing a introductory
video for education program, Texas Ambassadors for
Education. The board voted to bring an ambassadors workshop
to Pecos. The program was developed to improve public
schools through community and local business involvement.

School board meets tomorrow

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members will have a busy
evening scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, June 11.

The group will meet at the board room, 1304 S. Park, to
discuss a lengthy agenda filled with important items.

Under new business, the group will meet behind closed doors
to discuss personnel or hear complaints against personnel.

In open session they will discuss restructuring and discuss
and approve professional personnel appointments,
resignations, retirements, reassignments and reduction in

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Superintendent Don Love had stated
in a previous article written in the Pecos Enterprise that
the board would just have to do what needed to be done. "The
fact is that we are in a hole right now and there are
certain things that need to be done," Love said.

TAAS results will be reported and lunch and breakfast prices
for 1998-99 discussed.

The board will discuss and approve 1997-98 budget
amendments; transfers for Wink ISD; TASB compensation
consulting services and approve a textbook cooridinator.
Other items to be discussed include:
* Second reading and discuss/approve Policy Update 58.
* Summer school report.
* Annual technology report.
* Revision of local policy manual (TASB).
* Investment transaction report.
* Reconciled bank balance report.
* Depository securities report.
* Discuss/approve board policy for property tax monthly
* Discuss/approve rescinding 10 percent local homestead
* Tax report.
* Cafeteria report.
* Commodities received report.
* Approve payment of current bills and financial report.

Under old business the board will discuss/approve peace
officer; interlocal agreement with Reeves County and discuss
elementary Spanish classes.

Under miscellaneous items the board will set the time for
the next regular meeting, set dates for budget meetings and
request for items for next agenda.

Pecos Housing group to discuss bids

Board members of the Pecos Housing Authority will discuss
and open bids to purchase ten new refrigerators for the
apartments at their regular meeting scheduled for 5 p.m.,
Thursday, June 11 at the administration office, 600
Meadowbrook Drive.

Members will discuss a resolution for the termination of
lease agreement with Enrique Lujan and discuss a letter to
Benny Watkins, for termination of fee accounting services

Other items on the PHA agenda include monthly income and
expense report (PHA and CIAP '96); monthly accounts payable
and monthly occupancy report.

In the Farm Labor Housing portion of the meeting the group
will discuss the pruchase of one coin operated washer for
the laundromat and ten new refrigerators for those

Other items to be discussed include monthly financial
statement, June 1998; monthly account payable, June 1998;
monthly occupancy status, June 1998 and rent roll and cash

Home health services get certification

After a year wait, Reeves County Hospital's Home Health
Services has received official certification to practice as
a licensed home health agency.

Texas Department of Health inspectors surveyed the agency
and gave its approval following a two-day examination which
ended on May 21.

The hospital missed its first survey date when a moratorium
was placed on surveying new agencies by President Clinton on
Sept. 15, 1997, in the midst of the managed health care

The moratorium was lifted in mid-January with new guidelines
by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). The new
guidelines stipulated that all new agencies must have seven
active patients and ten served previously.

Another delay for the agency came when the HCFA failed to
authorize state licensing agencies to perform surveys.

According to Tojia Criss, director of Home Health Services,
"New criteria for surveys was still in the process of being
created while we were ready and waiting to be surveyed.

There was still a major web of politics to be dealt with."
Throughout the waiting period, the home health program was
unable to charge for service provided. Only after 51
patients had been treated by the program were they finally
certified in May.

"It's been a real long process," continued Criss. "It was
real frustrating for all the staff when they had the
moratorium on because we were following all the rules and
regulations. It was just the frustration of waiting."

But the waiting is over. Reeves County Hospital's Home
Health Services is ready to serve the public in Reeves
County and surrounding areas. They may be reached at
447-3670, or 1-800-989-3670.


The chance of rain will be decreasing across Texas on
Thursday. The high in Pecos yesterday was 101 degrees, the
low was 78.Some strong thunderstorms moved across western
areas of North Texas Tuesday night. There is a chance of
showers and thunderstorms in West Texas through tonight. It
will be mostly cloudy tonight with a partial clearing and a
decreasing chance of rain on Thursday. Lows tonight will be
in the 60s and 70s in West Texas, the 70s in North Texas and
in the 70s and 80s in South Texas. Highs Thursday will be in
the 80s and 90s over West Texas, ranging upward to near 105.

Search Entire Site:

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

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise