Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, September 28, 1998
Local Catholics welcome `Father Ben'
By MARI MALDONADO
"Going back to the basics," is at the heart of Father
Benjamin Flores' plans for Pecos area churchgoers.
"Father Ben", as he is most popularly referred to, was
recently installed as pastor for the area's Catholic
churches after an appointment was handed down by Bishop
Armando Xavier Ochoa of the El Paso Diocese.
The Catholic community was invited to recognize Father Ben's
installation in a special ceremonial mass held Saturday at
Santa Rosa de Lima Catholic Church. It was, "a very special
event," according to the pastor,
"The basics give us direction . they keep us true and
honest...they spell out what we're about as a church,"
contends the new pastor. In addition, he claimed, "they
dissolve a lot the questions," parishioners and
non-Catholics have about the Catholic church.
In keeping with his goals, Father Ben, along with his
associates, Father Miguel Alcuino and Father Manuel Munoz ,
are focusing on emphasizing an idealism of "ministry and
community," throughout the parishes.
"Our current drive is to let parishioners know and
understand, we are one with each other," he said.
"One of our biggest concerns, (involved) ~collaboration in
ministry," which Father Ben hopes to strengthen by working
closely with Father Miguel and Father Manuel. "Our style of
administration reflects this," he said.
The trio extend their services from Christ the King Catholic
Church in Balmorhea, to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Saragosa,
to St. Emily's in Toyah, to St. Catherine's and Santa Rosa
de Lima here in Pecos, to Our Lady of Refuge in Barstow.
Father Ben said his administration hopes to organize and
bring back a number of outreach programs that provide
services beyond area communities, including Rite of
Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) and small faith
RCIA is designed to aid adults fulfill their sacraments as
Catholics by offering courses for confirmation, baptism,
communion, etc., "or for anyone wanting to convert to
Catholicism. We're still signing people up," he said.
Enhancing marriage preparation programs for area churches,
said the priest, is only one of their goals The church hopes
to start up marriage retreats in Pecos, or this area, "so
that our couples do not have to travel to El Paso or
Odessa," to complete the required process for marrying by
With a ton of enthusiasm, he said that the Church is looking
to attract couples who have been married by the Church to
train couples looking to have their marriage recognized by
Father Ben also said he'd like to see future 15-year-old
girls, "appreciate a little more," the honor of pronouncing
their status as a young member of the Catholic community
through the Church. To do so, he said plans are underway for
enhancing quinceanera preparation classes.
A jail ministry continues to be carried out under the
direction of Father Ben, and all three priests work into
their hectic schedules time to visit local prisons and jails
"We're also hoping to revitalize the youth ministry,''
Father Ben added.
``Our focus is not so much on the programs, but on the
ministries," he said. Through this, "we're hoping to build
faith in our communities,"
He praised the efforts of all those involved in making the
16th of September Fiestas successful once again, adding that
the task of putting such an event together, "was one of the
most demanding," he's faced.
"They went great," he exclaimed, "We couldn't have asked for
better weather. The turnout was great."
Father Ben complimented plans to dedicate the third day of
the annual event, Sunday, to God,
"In so many ways I am hoping, through my work here, to build
the strength and Support people need in their journey of
faith." Father Ben said.
And all this, he and his associates believe, can be
accomplished, "by going back to the basics.
Marijuana sentencings keep court busy
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Senior Judge Lucius Bunton handed down 17 sentencings during
his Pecos federal court docket last week.
Two defendants were sentenced to prison for importing and
possessing marijuana on April 10. They are: Lucila
Dominguez, 41 months; and Carlos Solis-Colmenero, 63 months.
Sentenced to prison for possession with intent to distribute
* Jose Luis Herrera-Hernandez, 15 months;
* Nicandro Perez-Contreras, 30 months;
* Antonio Mata-Moreno, 30 months;
* Miguel Angel Esparza-Ramos, 30 months;
* Jose Luis Carbajal-Garcia, 30 months
* Francisco Nino, 7 months;
* Rafael Arras, 42 months;
* Valentine Cesarez, 60 months;
* Francisco Ramirea, 18 months;
* Guadalupe Terrazas-Lujan, 48 months;
* Armando Venegas-Mendoza, 30 months
* Manuel Terrazas-Lujan, 46 months - consecutive with a
sentence earlier in the week on a probation revocation for a
Illegal entry after deportation drew the longest sentence -
72 months for Herman Cruz-Juarez.
Others are Francisco Rodriguez-Ramirez, 46 months;
(consecutive with a Midland revocation sentence) and Juan
Manuel Garcia-Vera, 5 months.
`Goose' parade set for Tuesday arrival
By ROSIE FLORES
Children will have an opportunity to dress up in their
costumes early and parade through downtown Pecos on Tuesday
The annual Mother Goose and Friends Parade will again be
sponsored by the Women's Division of the Pecos Chamber of
Commerce. This year's parade is being held a week earlier
than usual, and will be the opening event of the 1998 Fall
Children ranging in age from newborns through 10 years old
are invited to dress up in costume and participate in the
First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded in the
following divisions: individual, birth through four years of
age; individual, five through seven years old; individual,
eight to 10 years of age; groups and decorated bicycle.
Participants should be at the drive-through parking lot at
First National Bank no later than 5:30 p.m. Judging will
begin promptly at 5:30 p.m., with the parade starting at 6
The parade will travel from the First National Bank down Oak
Street to the West of the Pecos Museum. Little Miss
Cantaloupe and runner-up have been invited to lead the way.
The Pecos Eighth Grade Band will be in the parade, as will
the Pecos Eagle Cheerleaders.
For more information, contact the Chamber Office at 445-2406
or Debra Armstrong at 445-7180.
Three more arrests made in drug searches
By ROSIE FLORES
Local law enforcement officials continued their recent
series of drug-related arrests over the weekend, with Pecos
Police and the Reeves County Sheriff's deputies conducting
warrant searches on Friday and Sunday.
In the first incident, police said that at about 2:08 p.m.,
Friday officers executed a narcotics search warrant the
fruit stand located in the 1100 block of South Cedar Street.
The warrant was issued by Judge Phyllis Salyer and was
directed to search the person of Manuel Lopez, 53, who is
employed at the fruit stand as a salesman.
Lieutenant Kelly Davis and Investigator Olga Lopez executed
the warrant and during a search Davis said a clear plastic
bag containing a substance believed to be cocaine as found
inside Lopez' pants pocket.
Lopez was placed under arrest for the offense of possession
of a controlled substance, (cocaine), over one gram but less
than four grams, a felony of the third degree.
Lopez was transported to the Reeves County Jail by Davis and
released to the jail staff. He posted a $10,000 bond on
The second incident took place on Sunday at about 9:05 p.m.,
when the Reeves County Sheriff's Department and Pecos Police
Department Multi-Purpose S.W.A.T. Team executed a narcotics
search warrant at 1109 Orange, Apt. B in Pecos.
Officials said that a result of the search warrant, Norman
Gurule and Grace Mendoza Gurule were placed under arrest for
possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) within a
drug-free zone (Bessie Haynes Elementary), a third degree
Norman Gurule, 30, was charged with possession of a
controlled substance, felony and is currently awaiting
arraignment, according to police.
Grace Gurule, 27, was charged with possession of a
controlled substance, misdemeanor, and is also awaiting
arraignment. Both are being held at Reeves County Jail.
Accident leaves Kermit woman dead
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
A Kermit woman died Sunday night of injuries sustained in a
one-vehicle rollover on Highway 17, 14.6 miles north of Fort
Davis, according to a Department of Public Safety report.
Joena Escarcega Valenzuela, 31, was a passenger in a 1992
Chevrolet pickup driven by Salvador M. Acosta, 40, of
Eunice, N.M. She was a passenger in the pickup as it veered
right off the roadway, knocked down a delineator post, ran
into a cement culvert and rolled end-over-end three times,
crushing the right front passenger.
Three children passengers who were not wearing seat belts
were hospitalized with abrasions and are reported in stable
condition this morning in Big Bend Regional Medical Center
Injured are Blanca Salazar, 7; Esmerelda Salazar, 4; and
Nelson Ray Salazar, 2, all of Kermit.
Acosta was also reported in stable condition with a broken
left arm and abrasions. Both he and the deceased were
wearing seat belts, the report states.
The accident occurred at 6:46 p.m., and all the victims were
transported to Big Bend Regional Medical Center, where
Valenzuela was pronounced dead at 9:30 p.m. by Dr. Jeffrey
Clifton Vaughn, 78, died Thursday, Sept. 24, 1998, at the
Pecos Nursing Home.
Graveside services are scheduled for 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept.
29, at Greenwood Cemetery with Rev. Bruce Abbott officiating.
He was born Feb. 22, 1920 and was retired.
Survivors include two brothers, Lorin Vaughn of Indiana and
Austin Vaughn of Smithville, Tenn.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High Friday 96, Saturday 97, Sunday 97. Low Saturday 70,
Sunday 72, this morning 69. Forecast for tonight: Fair. Low
near 70. Southeast wind 5-10 mph. Tuesday, mostly sunny.
High around 95. Southeast 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