Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, September 15, 1998
Commissioners set date for road system vote
By MAC McKINNON
There will be a special election on the Reeves County ballot
for the Nov. 3 general election dealing with the possible
abolition of the county unit road system. However, exactly
what the wording will be on the ballot has not yet been
decided on by Reeves County Commissioners.
Commissioners debated the matter in their regular meeting
Monday and decided to recess until 5:30 p.m. Wednesday so
the wording could be worked out with the Secretary of
Commissioners took up the issue after receiving a petition
signed by 454 Reeves County residents requesting it. The
unit road system was created in an election in 1990 with
then-incoming Precinct 2 Commissioner Dr. W. J. Bang as one
of its main supporters.
The unit road system did away with the old system whereby
each commissioner had a crew and equipment to take care of
the roads in their precincts. The new system centralized
crews and equipment with work done on a priority basis
rather than through the old political patronage system.
Dr. Bang believed the unit road system used by many counties
in Texas would be more efficient and save money.
Russ Salcido is the current road administrator, having held
the job since 1995.
The petition was submitted to the county clerk's office and
then turned over to the tax assessor-collector to attest to
the eligibility of each person who signed the petition. Of
the 454, 428 were declared eligible which constituted more
than 10 per cent of the voters who voted in the last general
However, County Judge Jimmy Galindo noted during the meeting
that there are 47 other signatures on the petition he
believes are invalid.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Felipe Arredondo, who has stated on
numerous occasions that he wants the old system voted back
in, did not sign the petition. And he didn't have anything
to say during Monday's meeting although he was chided as
being behind the petition.
Arredondo also didn't comment on having signed a resolution
in support of the unit road system voted on by commissioners
this past May, other than to say some people change.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Bernardo Martinez also did not
comment about the plan. Martinez was opposed to the change
in 1990, and is currently serving out his term, having been
defeated in the March Democratic primary.
Dr. Bang, who will also leave office in January, noted that
if the unit road system is done away with and the county
returns to the old system, that it would probably result in
a tax increase to pay for the additional equipment needed
for all four precincts.
He said that with decreasing revenues, the county must try
to save all that it can and the unit road system has been
It was also alleged that some who signed the petition
apparently were misled in that the old system would create
more jobs and that the Road and Bridge $5 tax on license
plates would be rescinded. Neither of which is the case, it
Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin also had praise for
Salcido and the unit road system, as did Galindo. The county
judge also pointed out that Salcido has exceeded
expectations as he has done more with less every year.
All expressed respect for those who signed the petition,
saying it was their right to do so. It was noted the
election will cost the county about $5,000.
In other matters before the court, a new librarian was named
(see related story) and early voting clerks were named and
approved for the upcoming election.
As named by County Clerk Dianne O. Florez, they are Judge
Nora Briceno, alternate Judge Marianne Clark and to prepare
mail-out ballots, Annette Mendoza and Vanessa Valencia.
Estella Anaya will also be an early voting clerk.
Also approved was a previously tabled item having to do with
a continuing contract with the Texas Department of
Protective and Regulatory Services. That agency was
represented at the meeting by Linda Mangus of Midland. The
agency helps mainly older people who have very few
resources. Last year, that help in Reeves County amounted to
Commissioners also approved payments to Banes General
Contractors for two jobs at the Reeves County Detention
Center as well as approving a payment bond for the company.
RCDC Warden Rudy Franco reported that everything is going
well at the RCDC. The number of inmates surpassed 1,000
several weeks ago but goes up and down as prisoners are
moved in and out. As of Monday, there were 981 inmates with
more due in later this week.
There will be an open house Oct. 14 at the RCDC for the
public to see what is going on with a number of dignitaries
to be on hand for a dedication Oct. 15.
Commissioners decided to stay with their current health
insurance plan with Blue Cross/Blue Shield for their
Also approved was a contract with Midland and Ector Counties
to house juveniles, Midland paying $70 a day and Ector
Galindo also briefed commissioners on approving a resolution
for S.T.A.R. (State of Texas Anniversary Remembrance Day)
which is a project of a Galveston student who is attempting
to get all counties to recognize Feb. 19 since it was the
day Texas officially became a state in 1846. Commissioners
approved the resolution.
Under staff reports, Galindo noted that a $4,000 grant has
been received for the county tree farm at the RCDC from the
Texas Tree Service and that commissioners need to come up
with the number of septic tanks that are needed in the
county to apply for another grant. Anyone who needs one is
asked to call their commissioner.
Ex-Ward librarian gets Reeves County job
By MAC McKINNON
Sarah (Sally) Perry, former director of the Ward County
Library, Monday was named by Reeves County commissioners to
be the new director of the Reeves County Library to succeed
Bentley resigned in early August to move to Arizona.
Perry was one of 32 applicants who was picked among five
finalists for the job in a special commissioners meeting
Of those five, two dropped out - Tanya Rodriguez and Alvian
Venegas - and one, Karen Chavez, was added.
The other finalists were Robbie Jones and Zane Windham.
The four were interviewed separately at length in executive
session, starting at 9:30 a.m. and running until 12:20 p.m.
Later that afternoon, Commissioners went into executive
session again to discuss the finalists and after about 45
minutes they came out to nominate Perry for the position.
Commissioners Herman Tarin noted it was too bad that all
couldn't have been hired as they were all good and well
Perry has a master's degree in library science from Texas
Woman's University. Her bachelor's degree is from Our Lady
of the Lake University in San Antonio.
She has worked for libraries in Irving and for the Corps of
Engineers in Dallas and at West Texas State University in
Canyon. She also served as director of the library in Eagle
Pass. She has also been involved in several retail
She is to begin work today at a salary the same as Bentley's
As part of her application to be librarian, Perry set out as
the mission statement for the library, "To provide library
services and library-retrieved information to the population
of Reeves county and its surroundings."
She set out three goals which includes: "to begin utilizing
the available Texas State Library services, materials and
funding for Reeves County Library and users.
"To expand sources of revenue for the Reeves County
Library's future automation, collection development,
equipment and furnishings, community involvement and more
staffing, hours open and continuing education."
A third goal is "to begin examining possible solutions and
means of relocating the Reeves County Library to one of the
larger existing sites located in the center of Pecos, and
that would bring more pedestrian activities and life to the
center of the Pecos individuals, families and special
Fall Fair's band lineup announced
By ROSIE FLORES
If you're in the mood to listen to some jazz, Tejano,
mariachi music, conjunto or just some good old hip-hop the
Annual Fall Fair Concert is the place to go.
The concert is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3 at the Buck
Jackson Rodeo Arena.
"We're trying to bring in performers that will really
entertain the crowd," said Louis Matta, one of the
organizers for this year's event.
Matta stated that the group is striving to provide,
"something for everyone."
Gates will open at 6 p.m., with the music set to start at 7
"We don't know who will be opening up the concert or who
will play at the end yet," said Matta. "How we'll set them
up is something that has to be worked out."
Among the performers will be Little Joe, an old-time
favorite, who has performed with Willie Nelson. Little Joe's
distinctive style has always been a favorite for young and
old and he continues to work on new songs, according to
Yolanda Del Rio will be bringing her own version of mariachi
music. Del Rio is an international movie star and female
Solomon Robles, a former member of the group Huracanes, a
popular conjunto band, will provide his own flair of
conjunto, a little jazzy, with lots of style.
Mariachi Internacional, an-ever popular mariachi band who
has performed internationally will take the stage during the
concert and will also perform with Yolanda Del Rio.
Dahebegebees the hottest group targeted for the younger
generation, will be bringing in their own hip-hop and rap
The lead musician is the new group is Little Joe's youngest
Pre-sale tickets for the big event are $10 and can be
purchased at both the Pecos Chamber of Commerce Office, 111
S. Cedar St., and at Desert Rentals and Sales, 508 E. Third
St. Tickets at the door will be $12.
An crowd in the vicinity of 6,000 to 8,000 people are
expected for the annual event. "We haven't had that many
people in the last six or so years," said Matta.
All performers are top-notch, quality artists who are
bringing with them their own flair of music.
"We're also going to try to get reduced rates for the food
vendors, so we can have more in there," said Matta.
He added that organizers of the event are very excited and
hope to attract a large crowd of both concert-goers and food
"We just want to make it the best for everyone," he said.
Fishermen able to hook top prize
By CLAUDE W. PORTER
An old cliche says, "Old fishermen never die. They just grow
One set of Pecos area fishing partners do not have to "grow
larger tales" concerning there recent participation in the
1998 Travis Texas Open Bass Fishing Tournament at Lake
Amistad, near Del Rio. Bill Ramsey of Pecos and Bill Blair
of Mentone brought home a sizable share of the $200,000 in
cash and prizes being offered in this year's competition
held Saturday and Sunday, August 8-9.
Taking first place in the tournament, Ramsey and Blair, with
a two-day catch of 35.77 pounds of large-mouth bass, walked
away with a Cobra Vipor 201D Dual Console Boat equipped with
a Johnson 200 HP motor, TI Trailer, Motorguide 756, three
batteries, and boat cover. The total prize package was a
value of more than $32,000.
More than 6,100 pounds of fish were weighed in by the 527
competing teams of fishermen. Teams came from as far as
California and Missouri to fish the 1998 Travis Texas Open.
To qualify, teams were allowed to catch up to five bass per
day. A minimum length of 15 inches per fish was required.
The fish that survived the haul to the Civic Center for the
weigh in were returned to Lake Amistad as part of a
recycling program to keep the lake stocked. Over the two-day
period, 2,409 fish were caught and weighed in. All but 132
were returned to the lake, creating a loss ratio of 8
percent, which is normal for a tournament of this size.
In addition to taking the overall first place prize at the
tournament, the team of Ramsey and Blair was selected in a
drawing to win a second fully rigged boat valued at more
than $24,000. However, Tournament rules rendered them
ineligible to receive the second craft.
"Lots of people told us how lucky we were," said Ramsey,
"but let me tell you about the beauty that got away!"
Will Ramsey and Blair need to embellish this fishing story
as the years go by?
Well ... maybe just a little bit to cover inflation.
Trial gets underway, pleas taken by Furgeson
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Testimony began this morning in the trial of Patricia
Martinez for allegedly smuggling marijuana into the United
States from Mexico.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Brigman said he expected to
conclude the government's case before noon, with testimony
of only four witnesses.
At issue in the case is whether Martinez knew marijuana was
in the car when it crossed the Rio Grande into Texas,
Martinez, 25, and Melissa Alonzo, 28, both of Petersburg,
were indicted for importing and possessing with intent to
distribute 31.4 pounds of marijuana on May 28.
Steve Hershberger represents Martinez.
U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson is presiding for the jury
trial. Jury selection was on Monday, following a morning of
sentencings and guilty pleas.
Pecos resident Tony Earl McGrew, 39, of 515 S. Plum St.,
pleaded guilty to importing and possessing with intent to
distribute 159.08 pounds of marijuana.
Jerome McGill, 46, of Orlando, Fla., pleaded guilty to
misdemeanor possession of a small amount of marijuana for
U.S. Magistrate Judge Stuart Platt accepted several guilty
pleas for Judge Furgeson, most from area residents.
Willie Ben Lara Jr., 30, of Alpine, pleaded guilty to
possession of 1,745 pounds of marijuana with intent to
distribute on July 25.
Daniel Renteria, 23, and Conrado Ramirez-Garcia, 22, both of
Odessa, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to
distribute 518.15 pounds of marijuana on May 23.
Melissa Moreno-Pena, 28, of Kermit, pleaded guilty to
possession with intent to distribute 21.88 pounds of
marijuana on March 29.
Victor Borunda-Aguirre, 22, of Mexico, pleaded guilty of
importing and possessing with intent to distribute 211.6
pounds of marijuana on May 24.
Larry Mader, 50, of Spearfish, S.D., pleased guilty to
possession with intent to distribute 43.2 pounds of
marijuana on June 3.
Red Bluff plans tour of salt cedar project
By JON FULBRIGHT
Red Bluff Water Power Control Board members discussed taking
a Fall trip to New Mexico to view the salt cedar eradication
project along the Pecos River, during their regular monthly
meeting on Monday at the district's office on West Second
Red Bluff is seeking authorization for a similar project
along the Pecos River in Texas, but is awaiting approval of
the herbicide Arsenal for use in the state. A demonstration
project has been conducted on the river near Artesia, as
well as along the Rio Grande near San Antonio, N.M., midway
between Las Cruces and Albuquerque.
"We can take a couple of cars and go up there," Red Bluff
general manager Jim Ed Miller said of the Artesia site. "The
part that has not been treated is like a jungle in there."
Miller said he and Pecos River Compact Commissioner Brad
Newton were planning to tour the San Antonio salt cedar
eradication site this week.
"It killed the trees and the water came back eventually, and
grass will grow back," said board president Randall Hartman
about the Arsenal test site near Artesia.
Hartman also suggested the board stop off at Malaga Bend
just north of the Texas-New Mexico state line, to view the
site where Red Bluff hopes to begin pumping water from a
salt spring away from the Pecos River. He and board member
Teresa Walker both urged the trip be made sometime in
October, while the remaining salt cedars still have their
leaves. The board agreed to put the item on their Oct. 12
Miller also told the board there has been no progress on the
Malaga Bend project as far as permits from the state of New
Mexico are concerned. "I think we've got everything we need
to do done, we're just waiting on them," he said.
"We can start drilling as soon as we get the go-ahead to go
up there and get a drilling permit," Miller said. "The (New
Mexico) state engineer gave us permission to move the well,
so we're just waiting on them to get permission to built the
pits," where the salt spring water would be pumped.
Loving Salt Co. plans to mine the salt from the pits after
the water has evaporated. Miller said company president
Albert Wagner is still awaiting an environmental impact
statement on the pits before proceeding further.
Earlier in the meeting, the board approved a new one-year
contract for Miller, who said he would like to work for at
least another 1 1/2 years until he is vested in the state
pension plan. Miller said the old Red Bluff board decided
not to pay retirement benefits to he and other Red Bluff
employees. "I worked for about four years without it,"
Miller said of the lack of benefits, which was a violation
of state law.
The board also was told the water level at Red Bluff Lake is
just under 50,000 acre/feet, but with 15,000 acre/feet of
water left to deliver, the level could drop as low as 30,000
acre feet by the end of the year. Red Bluff held just under
100,000 acre/feet of water earlier this year.
Board members reaffirmed their plans to change the way
payments are made for water next year, noting that Ward
County Irrigation District No. 3 had received a 1,000
acre/foot allotment, which has not yet been used. "They
don't have to pay for it until they use it, and they never
have used it and they never have transferred it back," said
Cash disbursements and accounts payable for August were also
approved by the board, along with the minutes from last
month's Red Bluff meeting.
Junell seeking state funding for eradication
SAN ANGELO (AP) -- A state lawmaker says a study supports
his plan to eradicate mesquite and other brush in an attempt
to dramatically boost water flow on the North Concho River.
Rep. Rob Junell, D-San Angelo, said he'll seek millions of
dollars in state funding to help rid the Concho watershed of
brush that drinks up precious water.
According to an executive summary of a new 134-page study, a
targeted brush removal effort could increase the flow in the
North Concho River from 5,000 acre-feet to 33,000 acre-feet
per year, the <ital.>San Angelo Standard-Times
``That's a source of water which the state of Texas cannot
ignore whether it's in West Texas, the Hill Country and
Edwards Aquifer of South Texas,'' said Junell, chairman of
the House appropriations committee.
``I am excited about this study and the very real potential
applications it has for all of Texas to capture more water
for the people of Texas.''
The study, conducted by the Upper Colorado River Authority
and Texas A&M University researchers, among others, was
funded largely by an $86,000 grant from the Texas Water
Junell plans to release the full report on Sept. 22.
Early details of the study point to dramatic benefits from
controlling brush, especially the 130 million mesquite and
100 million cedar trees in the 950,000-acre North Concho
The report says brush on the watershed is using 100 times
more water annually than the 90,000 residents of San Angelo.
To change that, the study proposes a 10-year public/private
effort to eradicate brush on up to 440,000 acres.
Under the program, the state would contribute $12 million to
the effort. Landowners would pay up to $5 million.
Stephen Brown, a former city manager who now works for both
the river authority and Junell, said described brush
eradication is vital for water conservation.
``It's the only way the public is going to be able to
realize additional water supplies,'' Brown said. ``There's
not going to be more dams built in Texas, and if you do
build dams, the dry rivers aren't going to fill them up.''
Melvin Estey, 69, died Thursday, Sept. 10, 1998 at Reeves
Memorial services were held Sunday, Sept. 13, at the Church
of Christ with Tommy Williamson officiating.
He was born March 24, 1929, in Massachusetts, was an army
veteran who had served in the Korean War, a member of the
Church of Christ and a carpenter. He was a member of the
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #67 of Pecos and a member of
the National Field Archery Association.
Survivors include his wife Betty Estey of Pecos; three
daughters, Linda Estey of Brockton, Mass., Kathy Estey of
Apinton, Mass., and Pamela Maloney of Hanson, Mass.; two
stepsons, Carl "Smokie" Thorp of Midland and Lane Thorp of
Hobbs, N.M.; two step-daughters, Elizabeth Thorp Jones of
Wink and Sandy Thorp of Hobbs, N.M.; three brothers, Otis
Estey of Brockton, Mass. Richard "Dick" Estey of Stoughton,
Mass. and David Estey of Tauton, Mass.; three sisters,
Elizabeth "Betty" Briennan of Leesburg, Fla., Bernice Estey
of Wareham, Mass. and Mary Lou Bunavicz of Brockton, Mass.
and 13 grandchildren.
The family suggests that memorials be made to the Children's
Home of Lubbock, 4404 Idalou Highway, Lubbock, Tx. 79403 or
the New Mexico Christian Children's Home, HC69 Box 48,
Portales, N.M. 88130-9411.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High Monday 101. Low this morning 68. Rainfall totals past
24 hours .35 inch. Total for month .35 inch. Total for year
3.83 inches. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. A 20
percent chance of thunderstorms. Low 60 65. Northeast wind
5-10 mph. Wednesday, partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of
thunderstorms. high in the mid 80s. Northeast to east wind
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