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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, December 18, 1998

Impeachment begins as bombings resume

Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON U.S. and British warplanes encountered little resistance from Iraqi forces in the first two days of airstrikes. The Pentagon readied a third round of attacks today as the House began a historic debate over whether President Clinton should be impeached.

Cruise missiles and warplanes struck at a "wide spectrum" of targets for a second night in a row, hitting anti-aircraft missile sites, Republican Guard units and military command and control headquarters, said a senior military officer who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"The good news is, everyone is back safe," the officer said of the pilots undertaking the latest rounds of strikes in "Operation Desert Fox."

National Security Adviser Sandy Berger said in an interview that the airstrikes will not necessarily end this weekend with the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

"That is not an automatic deadline," Berger said.

Addressing his people for the first time since the airstrikes began early Thursday, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said: "Continue your resistance and, by God's will, you will be victorious. You are representing justice and all the great characteristics against injustice."

Saddam's rhetoric contrasted with the light resistance being put up by Iraqi forces in the face of air strikes that U.S. officials said would continue for a third day today.

Anti-American protests erupted

Local jobless rate little changed

From Staff and Wire Reports

Texas reached its lowest November unemployment rate in 18 years, the Texas Workforce Commission said on Thursday, even though jobless rates in West Texas and the state as a whole were virtually unchanged from their October levels.

The state's unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point from 4.6 percent in October to 4.5 percent in November.

"Texas employers added over 214,000 payroll positions this year alone, providing numerous job opportunities for Texans," said TWC Chair Diane Rath. "At the same time, unemployment rates continue at historically low levels."

Like the state as a whole, Reeves County also saw a one-tenth of a percent drop in is adjusted unemployment rate from October, but the number of people without jobs in the county remains above 12 percent.

The local workforce and the number of jobless both dropped in November, with 842 people out of work in a 6,779-person labor force, for a 12.4 percent unemployment rate.

That's well above last November's rate of 7.8 percent, but that's due mainly to a rise in the local labor force, which included only 6,314 workers a year ago. The number of jobs in Reeves County has grown by 115 since last year, to 5,937, though that number is down from 6,005 in October, due in part to the end of the 1998 harvest season.

Other area counties also saw little change in their rates. Ward County's jobless rate fell from 10 to 9.9 percent, Pecos County was down from 7.4 to 7.3 percent, Ector County was unchanged a 7.3 percent, while Midland County showed a slight increase, from 4.5 to 4.6 percent.

Presidio County continued to have the area's highest unemployment rate, at 29.8 percent, up from 29.2 in October and 27.1 percent a year ago.

Of the 25 Texas counties declared eligible for disaster relief funding as a result of the fall's floods, only seven experienced a rise in unemployment rate from October to November. Of those, only DeWitt and Goliad showed a significant increases of 1.2 and 0.7 percentage points respectively.

November's lowest unemployment rate was recorded in the Bryan-College Station area at 1.7 percent.

The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area saw the highest unemployment rate at 17.2 percent in November, followed by Brownsville-Harlingen-San Benito at 11.3 percent.

Rates of unemployment in the urban areas of Texas as announced by the TWC for November, compared with revised October figures (in parentheses) were:

Abilene 3.4 (3.5); Amarillo 3.1 (3.2); Austin-San Marcos 2.4 (2.6); Beaumont-Port Arthur 7.0 (7.1); Brazoria 5.6 (5.6); Brownsville-Harlingen 11.3 (11.7); Bryan-College Station 1.7 (1.7); Corpus Christi 6.4 (6.7); Dallas 2.9 (3.0);

El Paso 9.8 (10.0); Fort Worth-Arlington 3.0 (3.1); Galveston-Texas City 6.0 (6.1); Houston 3.8 (3.9); Killeen-Temple 3.8 (4.0); Laredo 9.0 (9.2); Longview-Marshall 7.2 (7.3); Lubbock 2.5 (2.6); McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 17.2 (16.6);

Odessa-Midland 6.0 (5.9); San Angelo 4.9 (5.3); San Antonio 3.2 (3.4); Sherman-Denison 5.1 (5.4); Texarkana NA; Tyler 4.7 (4.9); Victoria 4.3 (4.2); Waco 3.3 (3.6); Wichita Falls 4.6 (4.2).

Drug task force awaits grant approval

Staff Writer

Permian Basin Drug Task Force organizers have submitted an application for a grant to continue their war against drugs.

The new organization being formed, will bear the same name as the old one, but will be comprised of different members. The Permian Basin Drug Task Force _ Reeves County will take over where the old one left off.

"We submitted our application for the grant about three weeks ago," said Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney.

So far four counties and three cities have agreed to join the Permian Basin Drug Task Force _ Reeves County. Included are Reeves, Culberson, Ward and Winkler counties, along with the cities of Pecos, Monahans and Kermit.

The Pecos-based task force would replace the Permian Basin Drug Task Force that was headquartered in Odessa, but which was not funded by the state for the current fiscal year. Several other area counties have gone with a task force organized by the Department of Public Safety, although the two task forces will cooperate.

The primary goal of the force is to fill in the gap in curtailing the flow of drugs on the interstate highways traveling through the areas served by the task force and to provide undercover operations to the local agencies participating in the new group.

"We met with the Criminal Justice Department Tuesday, and they issued a preliminary report," said Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney, who was joined by Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez and 143rd District Attorney Randall Reynolds.

McKinney stated the preliminary report indicated that they needed clarification on some items and needed some other documents.

"We are in the process of gathering that information for them and sending them in," said McKinney. "We're hoping to hear from them soon after we send off the additional information."

A board of directors made up of sheriffs and police chiefs from the participating agencies will be formed and another committee made up of community members and leaders will be on an advisory board, according to McKinney.

"This will also create some jobs in the community," he said.

The grant for the force is fully funded until May 31, 1999 and will serve over 180,000 people. There will be 15 officers on the force in the nine counties.

The task force will actively pursue forfeiture of the drug dealer's assets, but primarily as a tool to reduce the drug dealers' assets.

"We hope to take more drugs off the street of Pecos and we will still have the local city task force," said McKinney.

Council plans second reading of new curfew

Pecos City Council will consider on second reading Monday an ordinance to change curfew hours for juveniles from midnight to 10 p.m. on weeknights and from 1 a.m. to midnight on weekends.

The change was adopted on first reading in the last regular council meeting, in response to a request from the committee on gang intervention. Councilman Ricky Herrera proposed the 10 p.m. curfew, stating that children under the age of 17 should be home by that time on school nights.

Other agenda items for discussion and/or action in the Monday afternoon meeting include:

* Municipal telephone system;

* Easement on the M.C. Martinez property for disposal of sewer effluent;

* Second reading of ordinance placing four-way stop signs at Second and Locust Streets;

* Interlocal agreement between the city and Reeves County for fire protection;

* Interlocal agreement between the city and Reeves County Hospital for ambulance service billing and collections;

* Renew contract with Reeves County for housing prisoners in exchange for dispatching services.

The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall. The meeting was moved up from the regular Thursday date due to the Christmas holidays.

Fire destroys cotton picker south of town

Pecos Volunteer Firemen used "wet water" to extinguish a cotton fire in a picker on the Randy Taylor farm south of Pecos Thursday night, said Chief Roy Pena.

The picker, owned by Lupe Arguillin from the Rio Grande Valley, was destroyed, Pena said.

Wet water is a soap that firemen use on fires fueled by such products as cotton and alfalfa, where water is not effective, he said.

The picker was half full of cotton, and the fire ruined the picker, engine "and everything," he said.

Firemen were dispatched to the scene 25 miles south of Pecos at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Hot check writers head up indictments

Staff Writer

A woman who allegedly papered the city of Pecos with hot checks shortly after her birthday in mid-October was among 10 persons indicted Thursday by the Reeves County Grand Jury.

Theresa Jean Meininger, 24, is charged with passing checks at Pecos Automotive Supply, Family Dollar Store, Dollar General, Bob's Thriftway, La Tienda, Radio Shack, Gibson's True Value and Wal-Mart on Oct. 14 and 15.

Two of the checks were for more than $500, while the others were between $20 and $500, the indictment alleges. Because they were part of one scheme and a continuing course of conduct, the total of $1,500 to $20,000 involved makes the violation a felony, according to the indictment.

Her bail is $10,000.

Two persons were indicted for forgery of checks written on the account of Pecos Tire and Fuel and purportedly signed by Clay Taylor.

George Fierro Natividad, 18, is charged with possessing a forged check in the amount of $173.52 on Aug. 12. The payee was Samuel Hernandez.

Francisco Mendoza Gonzales, 17, is charged with passing a forged check to A&N Finance on Aug. 20, in the amount of $256. The payee was Robert Saenz.

Bail for each defendant is $10,000.

Tammy Michelle Williams, 24, is charged with passing a forged check in the amount of $100 to Bob's Thriftway on Aug. 8. The check was purportedly signed by Mandy Jenkins.

Rowdy Curry, 34, is charged with possession of heroin on Oct. 7. His bail is $10,000.

Juan Carlos Flores, 34, is charged with resisting arrest on Oct. 15. Pecos Police Patrolman Billy Hull was attempting to arrest Flores when the incident occurred. His bail is $7,500.

San Ignacio Chavez, 19, is charged with burglary of a habitation owned by Oscar Gonzales. Chavez allegedly took a VCR and Home Video tapes without Gonzales' consent.

Oscar Quezada Hernandez, 27, was indicted for driving while intoxicated on Oct. 24. He had previously been convicted of DWI in 1990 and 1992.

His bail is $ $5,000, with the condition that he not drive a vehicle unless it is equipped with a breath analysis device that can detect alcohol and prevent its operation.

Jerry Wayne Crisp Jr. is charged with criminal mischief on Oct. 31 by pushing a vehicle into a residence at 501 S. Willow St.

His bail is $15,000, with the conditions that he stay away from Toyah Walker and not consume alcoholic beverages.

PHA board to get CIAP update, audit report

Pecos Housing Authority Board members will receive a CIAP 96 update and will review or approve the audit report for fiscal year ending Dec. 31 in their regular meeting on Monday.

The board will meet at 5 p.m., Monday at the PHA/FLH, Administration Office, 600 Meadowbrook Drive.

Board members will review and approve the annual report 1998; maintenance wage rate increases for period beginning in January and discuss or approve employee's annual bonus for fiscal year 1998.

Also on the agenda will be a discussion on whether to turn over to Tenant Tracker several individuals for collection losses fiscal year 1998. The following tenants are on the list to be sent to the collection agency: Wanda Capriotti, $312; Yvonne Fuentez, $181; Angela Lara, $169; Lori Lopez, $287; Rebecca Maldonado, $413; Belinda Martinez, $64; Amelia Montes, $205; Hector and Diane Morales, $535; Cynthia Parks, $204 and Maria Patino $835.

Board members will also discuss Farm Labor Housing agenda items including, monthly financial statement, monthly accounts payable, monthly occupancy status and the rent roll and cash journal.

Bunton revokes probation, takes guilty plea

Staff Writer

Senior Judge Lucius Bunton on Thursday closed out the week's federal court docket with one probation revocation and one plea of guilty.

Margot Lopez, 42, of Hobbs, N.M., pleaded guilty to misprison of a felony (failure to report a violation). She will be sentenced Feb. 16, 1999.

She had been indicted for possession of 134.50 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Carlos Alberto Minjarez pleaded guilty to violating conditions of his supervised release and was sentenced to nine months in prison.

High Thursday 52, low last night 36. Tonight, fair in the evening, becoming cloudy and turning colder late. Low in the mid 30s. Northwest wind 5-15 mph becoming northeast 10-20 mph late. Saturday, cloudy and much colder with areas of light drizzle possible. High 40-45. Northeast wind 10-20 mph becoming southeast by afternoon. Chance of measurable precipitation 20 percent.

Druggist bust

Former Pecosite headlocks pharmacy burglar

Staff Writer

Elsie Daniel and her son, Dan, have "had a lot of fun" over his recent capture of a burglar in his Carrollton pharmacy.

Daniel, 48, tackled the man in dark clothing who sledgehammered his way into the Trinity Pharmacy on Dec. 2 for the eighth time.

"I would have been scared and probably would have run," said Mrs. Daniel, who works at Dan Daniel Music and Video with another son, Ronny.

Dan was a quarterback for the Pecos Eagles while in high school in the late 60s, then played four years for Angelo State before going to pharmacy school, Mrs. Daniel said. He used that expertise to tackle the burglar and put a headlock on him.

"I realized it was now or never," Daniel told the Dallas Morning News. "I just jumped on him, and we wrestled for a while before I got him under control. I didn't give him much of a chance."

Tired of the burglar's drug thefts every few months, which had cost him about $10,000 in window repairs and lost medicine, Daniel had spent the night in the pharmacy more than once, trying to catch him.

This time, he was working late in his chemical-mixing lab when he accidentally set off the burglar alarm and notified police that it was a false alarm. Then he heard the front window break and knew the ski-masked burglar he had seen on surveillance tape seven times previously had returned.

Hiding under the counter, Daniel waited until the burglar, Michael Philip Insalaco, 43, walked past, then tackled him.

Police were already on the way, responding to the burglar alarm, and they arrived shortly thereafter. Insalaco admitted all eight break-ins at Trinity and two more at a drugstore across the street.

Police said he told them he was stealing prescription painkillers to feed his addiction. They found 4,300 prescription pills in his home.

Mrs. Daniel said she has clippings from three newspapers about the capture, and three television stations aired it.

"Dan has had hundreds of calls," she said. "He told me all about it; he said he wasn't scared, he was mad."

Mrs. Daniel said she is proud of her son, the father of five children. "He said he would do the same thing again," she said.

Elsie and her late husband, Dan Daniels, also have a daughter, Kay Barnett, of McKinney.


High Thursday 52, low last night 36. Tonight, fair in the evening, becoming cloudy and turning colder late. Low in the mid 30s. Northwest wind 5-15 mph becoming northeast 10-20 mph late. Saturday, cloudy and much colder with areas of light drizzle possible. High 40-45. Northeast wind 10-20 mph becoming southeast by afternoon. Chance of measurable precipitation 20 percent.

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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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