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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Tuesday, September 8, 1998

Man critical after tank explosion

Staff Writer
Sparks from a nearby water heater or from pickup may have
set a fire Monday that destroyed a pickup and badly burned
its owner.

Abraham Lujan, 32, who was filling the pickup with propane
from the main tank at 2510 Yeso Rd., was flown to University
Medical Center in Lubbock, said Jack Brookshire, fire

His condition this morning was listed as critical, with
second and third-degree burns over 58 percent of his body,
said a hospital spokesman.

Brookshire said that Lujan had a hose running from the
house's propane tank to the pickup's fuel tank in the bed of
the pickup.

"I don't know if there was a leak, or if he was venting it
(to empty the hose) 25 feet from a gas water heater,"
Brookshire said. "There is a good chance the water heater
could have started it, or something from the pickup may have
started it."

The pickup was "totally involved in fire" when firemen
arrived, so it was impossible to tell whether its engine had
been running, he said.

Firemen were unable to shut off the propane flow, because
the hookup did not have a valve at the main tank, as
required, Brookshire said.

"There was a valve on the end, but it was on fire between
the valve and the propane tank. All we could do was let the
propane run out and burn out," he said.

The main propane tank did not explode, and little damage was
done to the house, Brookshire said.

Smoke from the fire was visible from Pecos following the
explosion, which occurred about 4:15 p.m.

Because Lujan was severely injured and immediately taken by
ambulance to Reeves County Hospital, Brookshire said he did
not interview him to learn specifics of the accident.

Dems' chair, Jones work Pecos on holiday

Staff Writer
Labor Day was a working holiday for Molly Beth Malcom, the
new chair of the Texas Democratic Party, and for Charlie
Urbana Jones, the Democrats' candidate for the 23rd
Congressional District.

Both Malcom and Jones were in Pecos Monday for the opening
of the Democrats' new campaign headquarters, at Fourth and
Oak streets. And both expressed optimism about their party's
chances in this November's election, despite polls showing
some key races going in the Republican's favor.

"I don't particularly like polls," said Malcom, a former
East Texas Republican who was selected as the party's new
leader earlier this year. "The only poll that matters is the
one on election day."

The latest polling by the Dallas Morning News and Houston
Chronicle shows Texas Gov. George W. Bush holding a 70-21
lead over state land commissioner Garry Mauro, while
Republican agriculture commissioner Rick Perry holds a 45-36
lead over Democratic state comptroller John Sharp in the
race for lieutenant governor.

"If you listen to what he (Bush) is saying, he doesn't have
a plan," said Malcom. "People should honestly ask themselves
what he has done to make the state better. He's talked about
generalities, but I haven't seen him come up with a plan the
way Garry Mauro has."

Malcom's West Texas tour began Monday with a stop in El
Paso, followed by a visit to Odessa, before flying back to
Austin after the late afternoon stop in Pecos.

While Malcom is using a plane to criss-cross the state,
Jones said he's doing most of his campaigning by car, as he
seeks to unseat three-term incumbent Henry Bonilla. Jones
was beaten by Bonilla in the 1996 congressional election,
but said turnout will be more in the Democrats' favor this
time around.

"We're seeing significant crossover vote in San Antonio.
There are more moderates crossing over," Jones said. He
cited votes by Bonilla against several bills, including
funding for veterans medical care, the Drug-Free Borders
Act, and the `three-strikes law' for habitual criminal

"The Border Patrol and DEA are important in this area, and
they need the money necessary to stop the flow of drugs.
Henry voted against that and we were stunned," Jones said.

He also said the Freedom to Farm Act, passed by Congress in
1996, has hurt area farmers because the expected markets to
Asia have dried up and price supports have been removed.
"I've seen where they're expecting a 30-35 percent increase
in the number of bankruptcies for family owned farms," Jones

The two men do agree on their opposition to the low-level
nuclear waste dump site near Sierra Blanca. Jones said he
marched with dump opponents last month from El Paso to
Sierra Blanca in opposition to the proposed compact, which
passed the House last week and is awaiting President
Clinton's signature.

Malcom said she broke with the Republicans in 1992 because
of their increasingly hard-line positions on issues such as
the minimum wage and school vouchers.

"THe Republican Party is concerned about a small group of
people," she said. "They put a pretty mask on and talk a
good game, but their plans are only for a small group. ...
Overall, the Republican Party in Texas has been taken over
by the radical right."

Among Mauro's proposals in his race against Bush is a $6,000
pay increase for Texas teachers, which Malcom supports.
"They say the state has a budget surplus, but I don't
consider the budget to be in surplus when Texas is well
below average in expenditures for our children."

Malcom predicted that Democrats would turn out in November,
despite recent reports of low voter turnout due in part to
President Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica
Lewinsky. A report from independent counsel Ken Starr's
office, written by former Pecosite Stephen Bates, is due out
at early as this week.

"President Clinton was wrong in what he did," she said. "It
was indefensible, but he has admitted it's wrong, and it's
time to move on.

"Texas Democrats are focusing on matters important to Texas
families. I think if Republicans tie everything to President
Clinton, they're making a big mistake."

Local `shoot house' is training site for members

Staff Writer
Guns drawn, two police officers ease into a house where
suspects may be hiding. They spot a small child in the
hallway, and just behind the child is a "bad guy" who must
be dealt with. Do they shoot?

That scenario and others were staged in Pecos Friday to
train 35 area sheriff's and police department officers in
real-life situations they may face in the future.

Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney said the S.W.A.T. training
is provided by an organization known as the Sheriffs of
Texas Agreed Response, or STAR.

Police departments may participate if the county's sheriff
is in agreement, he said. Any time a department needs help,
they may call on one or all the other agencies.

"It may be anything from search and rescue to barricaded
subjects, high risk drug raids to putting on programs at
schools," McKinney said.

Friday's training included a "shoot house," where officers
shoot live rounds at targets. Some targets are marked with
an X, designating them as "good guys," who should not be

Each target has a balloon attached that will deflate and let
the target fall if the officer hits a vital spot. He
credited investigator Kelly Davis with that idea.

McKinney said that local businesses donated old tires for
use as thick walls in the shoot house, which is located
behind an earthen berm on the rifle range.

"It is the only shoot house between Midland and El Paso," he
said. "Three or four months ago, the Texas Alcohol and
Beverage Commission in El Paso trained inside it."

Another berm serves as a building where another group of
trainees arrives in an armored personnel carrier to make an
armed search of the premises.

"We have two armored personnel carriers," McKinney said.
"They are the same type used at Fort Davis (during the
Republic of Texas standoff last spring) to move men closer
to the situation as safely as possible."

Surplus military equipment donated to the agencies includes
equipment vans and travel trailers that support the teams in
the field.

"We can send a four-man team into each situation and be
fully equipped with gear, sleeping quarters and everything,"
McKinney said.

District Attorney Randy Reynolds visited the training site
Friday morning, both as an interested ex-policeman and as
legal adviser for the group.

"I support law enforcement," Reynolds said. "I came out to
see how they do things. It will be good to have this
knowledge under my belt."

McKinney said that 12 to 15 counties were represented in
Friday's training session.


On June 3, Pecos Police responded to a Burglary of a
Habitation located at 707 South Peach. Upon arrival officers
were advised that a person or persons had gained entry into
the residence by cutting the rear screen door. Once inside
the person or persons took assorted tools from inside the
residence. Estimated value of tools was placed at $70.
Anyone with information on this crime or any other crime
call "Crime Stoppers" at 445-9898 and you will remain
anonymous...thank you.


The Big Bend Sentinel

MARFA, Sept. 3, 1998 -- Cross Pharmacy is closed and the
neat rows of -toiletries, perfumes and gifts soon to be
liquidated. After 42 years of service to the community,
George Cross abruptly closed the doors and gave up his keys
last Friday signaling an end to what may have been the
oldest continually operated business in Marfa. Cross said
that recent changes in the health care industry and what he
termed "turmoil" in the insurance industry combined to send
his business into a decline during the past few years.

The International

PRESIDIO, Sept. 3, 1998 -- The Presidio City Council put
together a new budget in marathon session recently, raising
water rates but cutting almost $173,000 from this year's
budget. The council did not raise property taxes, but
approved a $1.25 water rate hike for all residential water
users. After heated and emotion discussion that occupied
much of the nearly eight-hour session council members
trimmed a nearly two million dollar budget into one totaling
just over $1.8 million for the 199 fiscal year which began

The McCamey News

McCAMEY, Sept. 3, 1998 -- A Disaster Recovery Center opened
Monday, Aug. 31, in Del Rio to assist individuals and
businesses affected by the flooding that struck southwest
Texas beginning Aug. 22, the Texas Division of Emergency
Management (DEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) announced recently. Numerous other state, federal and
voluntary agencies also will have representatives available
to answer questions.

Iraan News

IRAAN, Sept. 3, 1998 -- Misty Lane Hayre, of Sheffield, won
two world champion titles and a top ten finish in three
separate events the American Quarter Horse Youth Association
(AQHYA) Championship Show in Fort Worth, Aug. 7-15. Misty
and One Red Hot Zip topped 12 entries to win the World
Champion Western Pleasure Title. She and Real Chance View
competed against 81 entries to win the Reserve World
Champion Hunter Hack Title as well.

Monahans News

MONAHANS, Sept. 3, 1998 -- Ward Memorial Hospital
Administrator Steve Holmes says he expects to fill quickly
the ambulance service positions vacated by workers he says
overreacted to unfounded rumors. Six of 11 emergency service
employees have quit, four since Thursday, Aug. 27.


Jack W. Hawkins

Jack W. Hawkins, 90, died Thursday, Sept. 3, 1998 in Cortez,
Colo. Services will be at 2 p.m. today in St. Barnabas
Episcopal Church in Cortez, directed by Firtel Funeral Home.

He was born in January, 1908 and moved to Pecos in the early
1930s to be editor of the Pecos Enterprise. In 1935, Hawkins
and Barney Hubbs started KIUN Radio, and Hawkins operated
the station from 1935 through 1956.

The partners also started radio stations in Carlsbad, N.M.,
Alpine, Fort Stockton, Odessa, Big Lake, McCamey, Blanding,
Utah, and in Cortez, Colo., which Hawkins operated until its
sale in the late 1970s.

Since that time, Hawkins had been in the real estate and
travel agency business. After Barney Hubbs' death, his son,
Bill Hubbs, was partner in the real estate agency.

Survivors include one son, Jim Hawkins, of Ruidoso, N.M.,
three grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and one
great-great grandchild.

The family requests memorials be directed to St. Barnabas
Episcopal Church's memorial scholarship fund.

Guadalupe Romo

Guadalupe "Chino" S. Romo, 68, of Pecos, died Monday, Sept.
7, 1998, at Midland Memorial and Medical Center Hospital in

Mass was scheduled for 2 p.m., today at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.

He was born Dec. 12, 1929, in Aguas Calientes, Mexico, was a
lifetime Pecos resident and a Catholic.

He was preceded in death by his wife Angela Romo.

Survivors include two sons, Jose Isidoro Romo of Odessa,
Carlos Romo of Pecos; two daughters, Dolores Cravens of
Odessa, Rosie Gomez of Wickett; one brother, Jose Romo of
Rosales, Chih., Mexico; one sister, Rosa Romo of San
Lorenzo, Mexico and eight grandchildren.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Loy Weldon

Loy Marie Weldon, 86, died Sunday, Sept. 6, 1998, at Reeves
County Hospital.

Graveside services are scheduled for 9 a.m., Wednesday,
Sept. 9, at Fairview Cemetery with Rev. J.M. McCormick

She was born Feb. 20, 1911, in Maplewood, Ohio, had lived in
Pecos since 1978 and was a Methodist.

Survivors include five brothers, Doyle R. Miller, R.L.
Miller, Lawrence Eugene Miller, Carroll Allen Miller and
Merle Miller of Lakeview, Ohio; three sister, Freemont
Miller of Waynesville, Ohio, Jane Ann Regal of Harrisburg,
Penn. and Rita Zimmerman of Lakeview, Ohio.


High Friday 97; Saturday 96; Sunday 94; Monday 94. Low
Saturday 66; Sunday 65; Monday 65; this morning 64. Forecast
for tonight: fair. Low around 65. East to southeast wind
5-15 mph. Wednesday, partly cloudy. High around 90. East to
southeast wind 10-20 mph.

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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

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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise