Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, August 14, 1998
Sex ordinance passes council by 3-2 vote
By GREG HARMAN
A round of applause greeted the Pecos City Council's
decision Thursday evening when they approved, by a 3-2 vote,
an ordinance to regulate sexually-orientated business within
The council's split vote went the way of the audience, which
was overwhelmingly in favor of the ordinance.
Prior to the vote, Pecos Mayor Dot Stafford solicited
audience participation, asking that each speaker limit their
remarks to a couple minutes.
Abundant Life pastor Matt Williamson, who has been a central
figure in the fight for the regulations, opened the comment
period and asked the council to vote according to their
consciences. "Ask yourself this morning, `What would Jesus
do?' he urged.
Club Suavecito co-owner Sylvia Ormon countered, "Jesus would
say, `Judge not, lest you be judged.' There is nothing wrong
with attractive people dancing to good music."
Ormon argued that bad thing happen everywhere, even in
churches where children are sexually victimized by "wolves
in sheep's clothing."
"This in not about morality," she continued, "but about
hard-working, tax-paying, voting adults retaining the right
to go where they want to go and do what they want to do."
Ormon's comments were followed by about 10 residents
speaking in favor of the ordinance and of protecting Pecos
young people from the influence of such businesses.
"The youth have been brought up," said Councilman Randy
Graham, "but my concern is for the adults, too. I can't see
how this type of entertainment honors God." Graham added he
was concerned about the addictive nature of pornography.
Mayor Stafford informed the audience -- which spilled out of
the council chambers into an adjoining room and hallway and
included a television crew from Midland-Odessa -- that she
personally received "numerous calls" in support of the
ordinance, but none in opposition.
Reverend Bruce Dury, the executive director of The Christian
Home of Pecos, responded, "I believe Pecos is a God-fearing
community. I believe we as Christians have the obligation to
speak out, and that you, as politicians, are obligated to
act on our behalf."
When the final vote was taken, Council members Johnny
Terrazas and Gerald Tellez represented the dissenting votes.
"I believe we have bigger problems to go after," said
Tellez. "This city is already over-regulated."
Councilman Ricky Herrera explained that he voted in favor of
the ordinance out of his concern for area families.
"I believe in the people's rights, but we as a governing
body have the right to restrict and regulate," Herrera said.
He said he supported requiring sexually-orientated business
to keep their distance from residential areas.
The ordinance will go into effect on November 1.
As adopted, it will restrict sexually-orientated businesses
from operating within 800 feet of a church, park, school,
residential area, convention center, coliseum or shopping
It would further restrict such businesses from operating
within 1000 feet of each other.
A license for operation will be required to run any
sexually-orientated business at a cost of $500 per year.
Also, the applicant, or applicant's spouse, may not have
been convicted of any offense of a sexual nature, involving
prostitution, public lewdness, indecency with a child or
possession of child pornography, among others.
Sandra Fierro, co-owner of Club Suavecito, said the
ordinance would not affect her business and plans were
already underway for another performance by male strippers
in September, before the ordinance goes into effect.
New computers fail to keep audience
By GREG HARMAN
"Where did everybody go?" Councilman Gerald Tellez asked
after Ordinance #98-7-3 -- which will regulate
sexually-orientated businesses within city limits -- was
approved by a vote of 3-2, emptying the room of its
multitude of guests.
"Club Suavecito," joked City Attorney Scott W. Johnson.
With the problem of regulating semi-clad dancers behind
them, the Pecos City Council moved on with municipal
business in the relative calm after the storm.
The council accepted Oilfield Phone Service's bid of
$34,636.42 for computer equipment. The ten, 300 megahertz
computers would be used in City Hall and Pecos Municipal
City Finance Director Steve McCormick said he had
anticipated $100,000 for the computer system, to be paid out
$33,000 a year for three years. "This will cost us $20,000
this year, pay the rest next year and then we're done." All
that would remain of expenses would be about $5,000 per year
for licensing charges, he said.
The council voted to post the opening for a part-time grant
writer position in all municipal departments. Johnson
suggested that the council allow the applicants to propose
their basis for compensation, whether the would operate on
salary or commission.
As Councilman Danny Rodriguez said, "Let's see what's out
there . . . and see what we like."
An unsolicited offer to purchase land owned by the city in
Worsham Field by Alliance Royalty of Midland will be
investigated, the council decided. The company offered to
pay $10,439.85 for the property.
"We need to do background work if you are interested in
disposing of this interest," said Johnson.
The council also approved the juvenile court report, which
showed 14 referrals in July; the Municipal Court report,
that reported $10,772.96 in court cost/fines collected and
30 case filed in; the juvenile officer's report, who handled
10 juvenile cases last month; and the Civic Center second
The next council meeting is scheduled for 7 a.m. on August
Galindo gives P-B-T gym proposal
By ROSIE FLORES
Racquetball courts, paved tracks, treadmills and stationary
cycles may soon be available to residents of the Pecos area.
Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo was on hand at
Thursday's Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board meeting to
outline the county's proposal for a comprehensive youth
recreation and adult wellness program.
Galindo said the county proposed in December of last year
that through intergovernmental cooperation Reeves County,
the Town of Pecos City and the school district establish
comprehensive youth recreation and adult wellness program.
"I want to make this proposal a reality and establish this
for the community," said Galindo.
The program would be similar to the now-defunct Pecos
Community Recreation Department which was funded by the
city, school and county in the 1970s and 1980s. It used the
facilities of the school district's old West Pecos Gym
before it was closed due to unsafe building rafters in
"I think this wellness program is a good idea, but we want
to make sure everything is legit and legal," said P-B-T ISD
Superintendent Don Love. "The school profits as well as the
Through an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement, the
commissioner's court was proposing to improve and enhance
the existing sports and fitness facilities at Pecos High
"Our proposal is to use the old Pecos High School gym and
just improve upon it," said Galindo.
In particular, he said two new racquetball courts would be
installed. "Architectural services for these would be
donated by the architect (who) is currently working at the
prison, if that is the step we choose to take," said Galindo.
The architect has toured the old gym and has a design plan
of the building. Galindo estimated that this part of the
plan would cost about $100,000.
Other plans include painting, replacing ceiling tiles and
other repairs to the gym, according to Galindo.
"I am estimating this will cost between $10-$20,000," said
These physical improvements of the facility would become the
property of the school district in exchange for general
public use of the facilities.
"Furthermore, with the board's consent, I would ask the
commissioner's court to consider buying additional fitness
equipment, such as, treadmills, stationary cycles, and
weight lifting equipment to be placed in the old gym
facility for fitness programs," said Galindo.
Galindo stated that in exchange for the work, the public
should have reasonable access and use of the gym and the
fitness equipment purchased for the facility would remain
the property of Reeves County.
Along with improvements to the old gym, Galindo said that
part of the plan included paving the school districts' dirt
tracks at Austin and Pecos Elementary and Lamar Middle
To fund the staffing requirement, Reeves County and the city
of Pecos would transfer General Fund monies to the school
district on an annual basis, through an Interlocal
"However, after some careful considerations and discussions,
I believe it may be best that the development and
coordination of the community sports and recreation programs
be done by the county, as the lead agency in our Interlocal
Cooperation Agreement," said Galindo.
The use of the high school old gym for community recreation
would never interfere with any of the regularly scheduled
activities of the student body. Furthermore, the county
would pay the salaries and benefits of the required staff
and provide the sports and recreation program director with
a vehicle. Additionally, the county would serve as the
fiscal agent and manage the financial affairs of the
program, through the Reeves County Auditor's Office.
"On the issues of facilities liability, it is my
understanding that Texas school districts are immune from
tort claims brought by injured students and other
individuals," said Galindo.
He suggested that interested school board members, school
personnel and other community members look at such
facilities currently being used in surrounding cities, such
as those located in Fort Stockton and Monahans.
Board members Alberto Alvarez, Brent Shaw and Freddy Lujan
volunteered to be on an advisory board that will look at the
proposal and tour the facilities in the surrounding
communities. Love will also be a member of the the committee.
Love will recruit school personnel such as the coaches, and
high school principal, to serve on the committee and plan a
tour of the other facilities and a decision will be reached
by the next school board meeting.
Defendants' deals cut terms in cases
BY PEGGY McCRACKEN
Richard Sheehan, 27, of Fort Stockton, on Thursday gained
U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson's favor by cooperating
with narcotics investigators to receive a reduction in his
sentence for marijuana possession.
Judge Furgeson sentenced Sheehan to four months in prison,
with four months electronic monitoring upon his release. He
could have received 30-37 months in prison.
Cesar L. Gonzalez, 19, of Liberal, Kan., a co-defendant,
also cooperated with investigators and received a sentence
of 20 months in prison for possession with intent to
distribute 88.6 pounds of marijuana.
Gonzalez and Sheehan testified in the hearing on motion for
new trial made by a third co-defendant, Obdulio Oyervides,
26, of Fort Stockton. Judge Furgeson denied the motion and
will sentence Oyervides in September.
Larry Gene Grubbs, 45, "provided significant and useful
information" in another narcotics trafficking case, and he
was placed on probation for four years for possession with
intent to distribute 97.14 pounds of marijuana.
Sentencing guidelines called for a prison sentence of 24-30
months, but on the recommendation of prosecutors, Judge
Furgeson departed downward nine levels.
Maria de las Nueves Ramirez, 23, of Rio Grande, Zacateas,
Mex., was sentenced to time served in jail since her arrest
for illegal entry after deportation.
Michael B. Seeley, 20, of Austin, received the longest
sentence of the day - 60 months added to a 24-month sentence
for marijuana importation and possession of 59.8 pounds of
marijuana. The 60-month enhancement is for possession of a
firearm during a drug-trafficking crime.
Gabino Castello was sentenced to two concurrent 26-month
prison terms for importation and possession of 123.2 pounds
Maria Luz Ruiz was sentenced to 12 months plus one day in
prison for possession with intent to distribute 49.50 pounds
Lorenzo Sanchez-Molina 22, of Coyame, Chih., Mex., will
serve 21 months in prison for possession of 177.95 pounds of
U.S. Magistrate Stuart Platt accepted five guilty pleas in
felony cases assigned to Judge Furgeson.
Admitting marijuana possession were: Jesus Rodriguez Lopez,
40, of Ojinaga, Mex.; and Adeleta Valenzuela-Reyna, 40, of
Thomas Priddy, 50, of Kansas City, Kan., pleaded guilty to
importing and possessing marijuana.
Rafael Sanchez-Reyes, 25, of Delicias, Chih., Mex.; and
Efrain Cortina, 31, of Mexico pleaded guilty to illegal
entry after deportation.
Judge Furgeson delayed jury selection in five cases on the
docket because he is involved in a civil trial in Midland.
Learning Center to remain open
By JON FULBRIGHT
The Pecos Learning Center will be open for business come
Monday, but board members for the day care facility told a
group of parents Thursday evening that action must be taken
on a $35,000 deficit to assure its continued survival.
The meeting was the second in two days at the center, after
board president Oscar Saenz told the center's director Kim
Ewing, that Anchor West could no longer afford to subsidize
the South Eddy Street facility.
Parents were told at Wednesday's meeting the center would
shut down on Monday, one day before the start of school for
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah students. But on Thursday Ewing and
board member Dick Alligood told parents they would be able
to keep the facility open for the near future.
"We plan to reopen on Monday, but we need help from the
whole community," Ewing said. "The staff wants to stay
together. They don't want to be babysitters."
"I don't think we have expectations of resolving everything
tonight, but we just want to hear from you people and see if
we can find a way to keep it open," said board member Alan
Figures handed out at the meeting showed the learning center
has a deficit of $32,755, with a pending payroll of $4,500
due for the first two weeks of August. The largest single
debt is a $10,000 loan secured by Saenz, the president of
the center's board of directions, through Anchor West. Debts
of $7,500 on real and personal property are also owed to
local taxing entities.
Alligood said a lack of oversight by the center's board was
partially to blame for Wednesday's surprise announcement.
"I was taken aback as much as you were," he told the crowd
at the learning center. "The last time we had a meeting of
the board of directors was September, 1997."
He said the discussion at that time also dealt with the
center's financial statement, and added "At the time, we
were told the parents could not afford price increases."
Paul Hinojos of the First National Bank, one of the parents
in attendance at the meeting, asked for a more complete
breakdown of the center's finances. Alligood said the short
list handed out Thursday was provided by Bruce Salcido, who
was maintaining the center's books on his computer.
Alligood said Salcido was too busy to do a complete list
Thursday, but another board meeting would be called next
week after a more detailed financial breakdown was available.
Pecos lost its other major day care facility less than a
month ago, when the Pecos Day Care Nursery on East 10th
Street shut its doors on July 24. That facility was licensed
to handle 115 children, and outside of Pecos' Head Start
program, which handles 80 children, no other local facility
is licensed to take more than 36 children at a time.
"If we don't have child care, we don't have a work force,
because people need some place for their children to stay,"
"We need 60 kids to operate, and right now we're running 20
to 25 kids this week" said Ewing. But she added that with
the beginning of P-B-T classes on Tuesday, "I anticipate we
will have 60 kids next week."
Hinojos said, based on the preliminary figures, "With 60
kids at $180 each that would be enough," to keep the center
He said the fluxuating enrollment, and the uncertainty is
created, was one likely cause of the financial difficulties.
"Any other place you go, you pay for your place for the
whole year, whether your kids are there or not, not just on
a month-by-month basis," Hinojos said. "That was the point I
was making yesterday (at Wednesday's meeting). What is the
budget? Nobody knew.
"Unless you know what your budget is and what the number of
kids are, you're just spinning your wheels," Hinojos said.
Alligood said he talked with Jannette Everhart of West Texas
Opportunities about the situation and with the Region 18
development board about any other available facilities.
Those sites include the former Pecos Day Nursery and an area
of the Head Start building on Fifth and Pecan streets.
However, that section is only approved to handle 57 children.
As far as the deficit itself, "We're looking at CCMS (Child
Care Management Service) money," Alligood said. "Betsy
Carter of Head Start put in a grant for Odessa and Pecos,
and she can submit a grant for day care as well.
"Gail Dickenson of CCMS called back at least three times
trying to find out what resources we can call on," said
Alligood, who did caution parents that if the learning
center takes state and/or federal funds it would be subject
to stricter government guidelines.
"You need to have a voice on what goes on," Alligood told
the parents. "You need to be the ones who elect the people
up here. If it hadn't been for the help from Anchor, if it
hadn't been for the help from Fenn Foods we wouldn't have
been able to do this. But we want a commitment from you
parents to become members of this organization."
Fenn Foods donated the section of the building to the
learning center, though Hinojos questioned the contract, in
which the building reverts to company ownership if the
learning center moves out. "We're paying for fix the roof
leaks (an $853 bill) and we're paying his property taxes as
well. So we're scratching his back while he's scratching
ours," Hinojos said.
Hinojos and the others were told the transfer of title was
made last year to allow the learning center to qualify for
two grants, neither of which did come through. Alligood said
the center could move to another building if it was found to
be more economical to operate.
"You need to be looking at how you want the day care run,
and if you want to keep it open," Alligood told the
audience. "People on the state level are concerned with this
issue, but they're not going to shove it down everybody's
Ewing and the board members also said they need more
parental volunteers to help with fundraisers, and said if
parents simply pull their children from the learning center
over questions about its future, they will kill any hopes of
"If you take a negative attitude that it won't work and
can't be done, it won't work and it won't be done," Zeman
"We need those people (parents) here, we need those
children, and we need those dollars. That's the only way we
can survive," Alligood said.
Ex-postal worker indicted for thefts
BY PEGGY McCRACKEN
A former Pecos Post Office mail carrier is among nine
persons indicted Thursday by the federal grand jury.
Paul A. Sabonya, 52, who delivered mail in Pecos for about
three years, is charged with three counts of stealing checks
from letters intended for delivery.
The indictment alleges that Sabonya took a check payable to
Vivian L. Hudson, 509 Ross Blvd., on July 28, 1997; and two
payable to Kendall Osborn, 1509 W. Sixth St., on Sept. 8 and
Postal Inspector Fermin Romo of Lubbock investigated the
matter after Hudson's daughter filed a complaint. Sabonya
had transferred to Portland, Ore. before the investigation,
but since has returned to his home in Kermit.
Sulema Garcia, 40, of Monahans, was re-indicted, with two
additional counts of importing and possessing marijuana
added. The original indictment alleged that Garcia, Monica
Rodriguez, 25, of Monahans, and Victoria Balderas-Ortega,
24, of Wichita, Kan., imported and possessed 844.74 pounds
of marijuana for distribution on May 31.
Additional counts charge the three defendants with importing
and possessing marijuana on June 1, and Garcia with
importing and possessing marijuana on July 30.
Eric Steve Rodriguez, 21, of Abilene, is charged with
importing and possessing cocaine for distribution on Aug. 8.
Charged with possessing marijuana for distribution are:
* Annabel Acosta, 20, of Presidio, 63.38 pounds on July 20;
* Larry Michael Jones Jr., 30, of Sylacauga, Ala., 90 pounds
on Dec. 19, 1996;
* Glenda Lazalde-Alarid, 28, of Ojinaga, Mex., 197.6 pounds
on Aug. 12.
Luis Raul Ordonez-Muniz, 41, of Meoqui, Chih., Mex., is
charged with illegal entry after deportation.
HS minorities more violent
By KAREN HILL
Associated Press Writer
ATLANTA -- Black and Hispanic high school students are more
likely than their white counterparts to be a threat to
others by carrying weapons or fighting, while whites are
more likely to hurt themselves by driving after drinking
alcohol, a government study found.
The similarities among teen-agers were equally stark: About
one in three are involved in fights. Almost one of every
five carries a weapon or drives after drinking. Almost one
in 10 attempts suicide.
The findings, based on a survey of 16,262 high school
students nationwide, were released Thursday by the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.
``The lesson here is that too many youth continue to
practice behaviors that put them at risk --. for injury or
death now and chronic disease later,'' said Laura Kann, a
chief researcher for the CDC's National Center for Chronic
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
The 1997 survey looked at behavior leading to injury, and
surveyed teen-agers' use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and
their sexual and physical activity.
Hispanic high school students were most likely to arm
themselves, with 23 percent carrying a gun, knife or club,
compared with 22 percent of blacks and 17 percent of whites.
Blacks were most likely to have fought in the previous year,
at 43 percent vs. 41 percent for Hispanics and 34 percent
Whites were most likely to have drunk five or more glasses
of alcohol on at least one of the 30 days before the survey:
38 percent of whites said they had, compared with 35 percent
of Hispanics and 16 percent of blacks.
Blacks were least likely to mix alcohol and driving. Nine
percent drove after drinking, compared with 19 percent of
whites and 18 percent of Hispanics.
The differences could be ``a marker for socioeconomic
status'' and urban living, Ms. Kann said.
White teen-agers were nearly twice as likely as Hispanics to
smoke frequently or chew tobacco, with 20 percent of whites
saying they smoked frequently, compared with 11 percent of
Hispanics. Among blacks, 7 percent smoked frequently and 2
percent chewed tobacco.
Six percent of Hispanics had used cocaine in the 30 days
before the survey, double the number of whites and nine
times the number of blacks. Hispanics also were more likely
to have used steroids or injected drugs.
Nineteen percent of whites and 18 percent of Hispanics had
tried other illegal drugs such as LSD, PCP, Ecstasy,
mushrooms, speed, methamphetamines or heroin. Only 3 percent
of blacks had.
Asked whether they ate the minimum five daily servings of
fruits and vegetables recommended for good health, only 29
percent of whites and 28 percent of Hispanics and blacks
said they did.
Teen-agers at 151 schools filled out confidential
questionnaires for the survey. The margin of error, which
differed for each question, was as high as 4 percentage
Louise "Tudie" Patrick, 75, died Thursday, Aug. 13, at
Odessa Medical Center.
A memorial service is planned for her for a later date.
Survivors include one son, John Patrick of Odessa; two
daughters, Louise P. Acosta of Pflugerville, Tx. and Clay
Patrick of Midland; two sisters, Amy McIntire and Pat Towler
of Balmorhea; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High in Pecos Thursday 91. Low this morning 72. Forecast for
tonight: Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of showers or
thunderstorms. Low 65 70. Light wind. Saturday, partly
cloudy. A less than 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. High
90 95. Variable wind 5-15 mph.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise