Tuesday, July 21, 1998
Teens to be used in local graffiti clean-up
By GREG HARMAN
Cryptic spray paint slogans in red and blue on abandoned buildings. Flashy logos and gang insignias in the alleyways. These have long been a problem in Pecos, but beginning next Monday, at-risk youngsters will be working to clean up what many regard as an eyesore.
Six groups of juveniles that are on probation for various offenses will be helping to work off their debt by painting over much of the graffiti in town. Funded by just under $1,300 in county graffiti suppression funds, Juvenile Enforcement Officer Hilda Woods is ready to tackle the problem.
"We went through town and made a lists of most of the graffiti I could find and took pictures," said Woods. "We'll be starting at eight and depending on what time it takes to get to the actual site is when their actual time will start."
Each group will be accompanied by one adult monitor. Woods is still looking for volunteers for these positions.
She encourages those residents who want to see the graffiti painted out to contact her at the Reeves County Sheriff's Office.
Graffiti, much of it gang-related, has been an ongoing problem in Pecos in recent years. Local officials were able to contain an outbreak of gang-related graffiti in the early 1990s, but the number of buildings, walls and other structures `tagged' by spray painters has increased recently.
Seal coating project planned by TxDOT
Although the Town of Pecos City has completed its seal coating project for 1998, local drivers will soon be dealing with more loose rocks and sticky streets, when the Texas Department of Transportation begins it's summer project sometime in the next few weeks.
TxDOT resident engineer Larry Levario said Ronald Wagner Paving Co., of Spring Branch would begin working on two Farm-to-Market roads "sometime in the next three weeks."
The one that will affect the most drivers is the seal coating project on FM 761, which will cover Eddy Street from Eighth Street to Stafford Boulevard, and Stafford from Eddy Street to Bickley Ave (Highway 17). The second project will involve the resurfacing of FM 2119, from three miles north of Business I-20 to the Freeport McMoRan sulphur mine in Culberson County.
A total of 36 miles of FM 2119 will be resurfaced, while the FM 761 project will cover about 2 1/2 miles of highway in central and south Pecos.
"This is part of a seven-year preventive maintenance program," Levario said. "We just need to warn the public to be cautious when driving."
Lindsey Addition drug raid nets trio
Two Lindsey Addition residents and an Ojinaga, Mex., woman were placed under arrest following an early-morning drug raid today by local law enforcement officers.
Officers of the Reeves County Sheriff's Department and Pecos Police Department conducting the narcotics search warrant at 1:19 a.m. found between one to two pounds of suspected marijuana and an undetermined amount of suspected cocaine during their search of 2324 Limpia Road.
Jose Mendoza, 43, Maria Mendoza, 22, both of Pecos, and Norma Montoya, 29, of Ojinaga, Chih., Mex., were booked into Reeves County Jail at 2:35 a.m. They were charged with possession of marijuana over four ounces but less than five pounds. According to police department officials, the subjects also face charges of possession of cocaine when the investigation is completed.
All three suspects are due to be arraigned today, police said.
Meteorite to be sold via Internet auction
Formally hot rock goes on auction block
By GREG HARMAN
Having recently wrangled their extra-terrestrial find from the hands of the Monahans City Council by threatening legal action, "The Monahans Seven" are on their way to a chunk of change for their chunk of outer space debris.
An online auction for the 2.5 pound Monahans Meteorite, discovered by seven area children, ranging in age from eight to 16, will begin at 7 p.m. Friday and continue through 11 p.m. on Sunday. The auction may be followed as it happens in "real time" at <ital>naturalhistoryauction.com.
The group of children said they saw the rock land near the basketball court where they were playing on the north side of Monahans around 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 22. They reported that the rock had "glowed red hot" when it had landed.
Residents of Monahans heard a resonant five-second "boom" and saw a streak of light move from southeast to northwest that evening. A second rock was found by a Monahans deputy the next day embedded in the asphalt of a nearby street, and both rocks were claimed by the city because they landed on "city property."
The rocks were taken to Houston to be studied by NASA and Smithsonian Institute officials for 60 days and then returned to the city. While one of the children's family was being offered sums as high as $31,000 for the rock, city officials only offered the seven boys names engraved on a plaque outside of a proposed display case that was to house the two rocks at Monahans City Hall.
The children -- now is possession of their discovery after the City Council reversed the city's earlier position following several days of adverse publicity -- have been promised a minimum bid of $20,000 by naturalhistoryauction.com -- the group in charge of the on-line auction this weekend.
Small chips off one of the meteorites, that, according to the International Meteorite Brokerage, contained "purple salt crystals" were auctioned on June 22 and 23.
Thunderstorms skirt city, ban continues
From Staff and Wire Reports
Thunderstorms again teased Pecos Monday night, dropping rain in small area to the northwest and south of the city. But overall dry conditions continued across both the Trans-Pecos and Texas as a whole, and state officials continued to warn against outdoor burning.
More than 285,400 acres have burned since May 1, state emergency officials said today, after they received reports of 10 new fires Sunday.
The fires came despite outdoor burning bans that are in effect for two-thirds of the state's 254 counties, including Reeves County.
Lightning strikes have been blamed for several of the biggest West Texas fires, including one covering over 60,000 acres in the Chisos Mountains of Presidio County in May. Last week, lighting was blamed for starting a tank fire between Pecos and Barstow off Business I-20 that was quickly extinguished by local firemen.
Sunday's fires burned more than 1,000 acres, the Department of Public Safety's Division of Emergency Management reported, including 550 acres in Throckmorton County and 300 acres in Ellis County.
Drought conditions the Texas Forest Service is monitoring indicate extreme fire danger in all areas of the state, the agency said.
While fires have caused problems across West Texas, the drier heat has presented fewer problems for residents than the hot-humid weather in Central Texas and along the Gulf Coast.
Monday's high in Pecos was 107 degrees, but the clouds from the thunderstorms and the winds they produced helped to lower temperatures into the 90s by 7 p.m.
The statewide toll rose to 81 Monday when the Dallas County medical examiner's office ruled that Freddie Johnson, 67, and Constance Granfors, 83, both found in their homes on Sunday, had died of heat-related causes.
Twenty-two of the heat deaths have occurred in Dallas, where Monday's high hit 101 degrees - the 15th day of century-mark readings or higher - and forecasters expected another today.
A heat advisory was posted for North Texas as sheriff's deputies in both Dallas and Fort Worth went door-to-door to check on residents.
More than 40 of the deaths were illegal immigrants who died while attempting to traverse scorching stretches of South Texas terrain.
In Houston, four people have been officially listed as heat-related fatalities so far this summer, but that could actually be higher because it's not always easy to tell if heat caused a death.
Hospital officials are warning residents to start taking the current heat wave more seriously.
``The heat is dangerous. More dangerous than people realize,'' said Dr. Janice Zimmerman, emergency medicine director at Houston's Ben Taub Hospital.
``Family members and friends need to be checking on the elderly.''
Two people have died at Ben Taub from heat-related illness in the past month.
Dr. Zimmerman said that while Houston hasn't had as many fatalities as other areas, the heat should still be taken seriously. The city's humidity, she said, makes people even more prone to heat illness.
She added that friends and family should realize the seriousness and take the elderly to a friend's house or shopping mall if they don't have air conditioning.
Houston paramedics are transporting about three to five people with heat-related illness each day, and about double that on the weekends, said Dr. David Persse, director of Emergency Medical Services. That's about the same as last summer, he said.
``I would expect the numbers to be higher, but fortunately they are not,'' he said.
Houstonians apparently have less trouble than their counterparts in Dallas because the city has a longer acclimation period.
Houston also has been said to be the most air conditioned city in the world.
``We've never had the death rate from heat that we'll periodically see in other parts of the country,'' Dr. Zimmerman said.
MADD wants `Booze dispensers' out
HOUSTON (AP) - Machines that dispense an alcoholic drink when a personal identification number is entered on a keypad have been marketed to private golf courses in the Dallas area.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has given its OK despite a provision of the state's alcoholic beverage code that prohibits the sale of an alcoholic beverage from coin-operated machines ``or similar devices.''
TABC officials decided the machines are not similar to coin-operated machines.
That decision brought protests from a state lawmaker and an official with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), who expressed concerned about unauthorized sales to minors and to intoxicated people.
``It was a done deal,'' said Vena Cronin of Houston, an official with MADD, who complained to state Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, after she learned of the state's approval through a tip.
Hochberg said he disagrees with the TABC's interpretation of the Adult Beverage Code and with the lack of a public rule-making process in which formal limits on the adult beverage machines could be established.
Doyne Bailey, executive director of the TABC, said Monday he will let the agency's commissioners resolve the issue.
``It's a tough call,'' he said. ``It'll be up to (commissioners) whether we should reconsider or pass some rules to address it.''
TABC officials, however, already have told their field offices the machines are legal, the Houston Chronicle reported today.
Equipped with computer software, the machines can be programmed to limit the number of drinks that are purchased and the hours of operation, he said.
Typically, the machines are programmed to provide three beverages per day to a specific number.
Antique car race to close off U.S. 285
Travelers driving south from Pecos to Sanderson, Del Rio or the Lower Rio Grande Valley on Saturday should be prepared to take about a 30-mile detour while U.S. 285 is closed for about 11 hours during a Classic Auto Racing Society (C.A.R.S.) event.
Officials in Pecos and Terrell counties agreed to close the highway for the 65-mile stretch between Fort Stockton and Sanderson in order to hold the Big Bend Road Race, one of a number of races sponsored by C.A.R.S. which attracts drivers nationwide.
The race originally was planned along a course that would take it into the Big Bend area, but residents in the Terlingua-Study Butte-Lajitas area objected to the plan, which would have forced drivers to travel an extra 65 miles to go between Big Bend National Park and Alpine.
Drivers on U.S. 285 will face a smaller detour as the result of Saturday's rout. The Texas Department of Transportation said people going between Interstate 10 and U.S. 90 can either travel south from Fort Stockton along U.S. 385 to Marathon, and from there east to Sanderson, or go 65 miles east on I-10 to the State Highway 349, and from there south through Sheffield to U.S. 90 at Dryden.
TxDOT officials urged truck drivers to use U.S. 385 as their alternate route. They also said that while the road is scheduled to be closed from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., it could reopen earlier than planned.
For information on Saturday, drivers can call the TxDOT office in Fort Stockton, at 915-634-7259.
AREA NEWS ROUNDUP
The Big Bend Sentinel
MARFA, July 16, 1998 - The Board of Trustees for the Marfa Independent School District reversed field Tuesday night and voted to alter an existing school uniform policy they had passed in a meeting earlier this summer. The compromise agreement reached on the new uniform policy for students attending the Marfa Elementary and Junior High School was the final peg this year in a contentious and divisive debate that had existed between parents, students, teachers, school board members and concerned citizens of the community for several months.
PRESIDIO, July 16, 1998 - At a special meeting Tuesday night, the board of directors of the Big Bend Regional Hospital District voted to proceed with the purchase of 15 acres of land from the Kokernot Trust. The hospital board agreed to pay $5,000 per acre for the new site that is located just north of the highway department on Texas 118. In addition, the board authorized Ralph Meriwether to executive the appropriate documents pertaining to the transaction.
The McCamey News
McCAMEY, July 16, 1998 - The 1998-99 McCamey High School Varsity Cheerleaders attended a UCA Cheer Camp at Texas Tech in Lubbock on June 16-19. The cheerleaders, as well as the mascot, retained the spirit stick all four camp days. The squad received three gold ribbons on their weekly evaluation, which consisted of three categories: cheer, chant and dance. The squad also received an overall Superior Trophy. Cheerleaders are Kristi Acosta, Meisha Gomez, Elizabeth Garrett, Salina Franco, Wendy Munoz, Erica Solis, Tasha Cornelius, Kristin Vaughn, Jenny Covill, Kristi Folger and mascot Nicci Zuniga.
MONAHANS, July 16, 1998 - New Grandfalls Mayor Joyce Wilhelm, who was sworn in on May 8, faces a trial by the Grandfalls City Council on Aug. 12 that could remove her from office. Among the items at issue are alleged circumvention of the State Open Meetings Act and charges she willfully disregarded City Council directives. According to a report to 143rd District Attorney Randy Reynolds dated May 26, the new Grandfalls mayor, six days after taking office, approved an inspection by Pittsburgh Tank and Tower officials of the elevated city water tank at Grandfalls. She did this, it was alleged, after talking on the telephone with a majority of the City Council and without holding a public council meeting required by the Texas Open Meetings Act. On June 10, the new mayor signed a document instructing a city employee to return money to a Grandfalls citizen and reconnect the citizen's water service.
Matilde M. Rodriguez
Matilde M. Rodriguez, 61, died Sunday, July 19, at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.
A rosary will be held for Rodriguez at 8 p.m. today, followed by mass at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 22, at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Alpine.
She was born on May 27, 1937 in Saragosa. She was a lifetime Alpine resident and a housewife.
Survivors include her husband Ramon Rodriguez, and mother Consuela B. Matta, both of Alpine; sister Maria Angle of San Diego, Calif.; and her children Roberto Rodriguez, Emma Rodriguez and Elva Rodriguez, all of Alpine.
Funeral services for Barbara Tredaway, 65, will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Myers & Smith Chapel in Big Spring, with Rev. Doug Shelly of Eastside Baptist Church presiding. Graveside services will be held at 2:30 p.m. at Sweetwater Cemetery in Sweetwater under the direction of Myers & Smith Funeral Home.
Tredaway died Sunday, July 18, 1998, at Heritage Manor in Hondo.
She was born on Dec. 20, 1932 in Sweetwater and grew up there. She moved to Big Spring in 1960 and managed the Settles Hotel there for many years, while also spending time in Stanton, San Angelo, Breckenridge, Fort Stockton and Granbury. She was a Church of Christ member.
She married Marion Tredaway on June 28, 1952 in Odessa. He proceeded her in death in 1986.
Survivors include two sons, Mike Tredaway of Big Spring and Terry Tredaway of Midland; a sister, Verla Corbell of Colorado City; three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
High Monday 107. Low this morning 74. Forecast for tonight: clear. Low 70-75. Southeast wind 5-10 mph. Wednesday, partly cloudy. High 100-105. South wind 10-20 mph.