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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, January 22, 1999

Rain from cold front settles duststorm

Staff Writer
High winds kicked up dust throughout the day Thursday, then carried rain to Pecos early this morning.

At dawn, the National Weather Service reported .03 inches of moisture, the first in 1999. That is .03 more than the total for January, 1998, when no rain was reported for the entire month.

Over the pat 10 years, rainfall amounts in January have ranged from .11 inch in 1996 (an average year) to 1.66 inches in 1991, the year that 21.24 inches was recorded.

Normal rainfall for Pecos is about 10 inches per year.

A dry spring and summer of 1998 left area pastures and fallow farmland with little grass and weeds to hold the topsoil. Consequently, when the wind blows, it picks up dust, reminiscent of the 1950s.

Cold north winds kept temperatures down this morning, following Thursday's high of 73 and an overnight low of 40.

While the Pecos area dealt with high winds and brown dust-tinted skies on Thursday, other parts of Texas had all kinds of weather early today and most of it was bad.

There was snow in the Panhandle and tornadic thunderstorms in eastern areas of the state that produced high winds, frequent lightning and large hail.

Softball-size hail pelted the area around Texas A&M University, breaking numerous windows in buildings on the College Station campus. Hail the size of golf balls covered streets and roads in many sections of neighboring Bryan.

Possible tornadoes were sighted on radar during the night near Centerville and Navasota. There were no reports of serious damage.

The wild weather was triggered by a cold front trying to make its way southward across the state. Early today the front was located from near Wichita Falls to near Hobbs, N.M.

Forecasters warned that moderate to heavy snowfall would produce four-to-five inches of snow in the Panhandle, with some areas expected to get as much as six inches. Northerly winds from 25-35 mph with occasional gusts to 40 mph will cause problems with blowing snow and reduce visbility to near zero.

The snow should melt on Saturday as temperatures climb well above freezing.

It will be partly to mostly cloudy across West Texas through Saturday. Areas outside the snowfall should get some rainfall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Trio indicted on federal PCP charges

Staff Writer
Three Houston residents were indicted Thursday by the federal grand jury in Pecos for conspiracy to possess and possession of one gallon of PCP and for fleeing a checkpoint operated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in a motor vehicle.

Arrested Jan. 11 at the Sierra Blanca Border Patrol checkpoint were Alton Brent Williams, 38, Warren Eugene McGuire, 23, and Jermaine Tremond Andrus, 25.

If convicted they could be sentenced to 10 years to life in prison on each of the first two counts and five years on the third count.

Eleven Mexican citizens are charged with conspiracy to import and possess and importation and possession of 478.44 pounds of marijuana on Jan. 7.

Francisco Acosta-Estrella, 23, Refugio Villalobos-Franco, 36, Jose Valdez-Solis, 34, Sabas Rodriguez-Alvarado, 25, Jose Maximo Novella-Velasquez, 19, Adan Porras-Navarette, 24, Jesus Natividad Aguilar-Armendariz, 24, Armando Hernandez-Ramirez, 28, Laurenzo Villa-Espinoza, 22, and Arturo Villa-Espinoza, 23, all of Ojinaga, Mex.; and Carlos Valdez-Castillo, 21, of Chihuahua, Mex. allegedly backpacked the marijuana across the Rio Grande into Texas.

Raymundo Calderon-Gaytan, 33, of Fabens, is charged with escape from custody. He escaped from the Presidio County Jail in Marfa Jan. 10 and was captured Jan. 14 in Valentine. If convicted, he could have up to five years added to his sentence.

Israel Valeriano, 21, of Fort Stockton, is charged with importing and possessing 45 pounds of marijuana on Jan. 10.

Ruben Adame-Luna, 54, of El Paso, is charged with three separate importing and possessing marijuana offenses involving small loads of marijuana. Dates and amounts are May 7, 1994, 29.5 pounds; Aug. 4, 1998, 30 pounds; and Jan. 6, 1999, 42.6 pounds.

Alfredo Tejeda-Salazar, 20, is charged with importing and possessing marijuana on Jan. 8.

Michelle Racquel Rodriguez, 19, and Jessica Marie Meraz, 18, both of Douglas, Ariz., are charged with importing and possessing 796.36 pounds of marijuana.

Oscar Ortiz-Venegas, 21, of Chihuahua, Mex., is charged with importing and possessing 352.98 pounds of marijuana on Jan. 19.

Anna Ruth Robinson, 22, of Tucson, Ariz., is charged with conspiracy to import and possess and importation and possession of 354.32 pounds of marijuana on Jan. 14.

Tomas Lee Landa, 18, of Odessa, is charged with possession of 229.08 pounds of marijuana on Jan. 6.

Jeannie Sena, 22, of Albuquerque, N.M., is charged with importation and possession of 46.6 pounds of marijuana on Jan. 7.

Mayra Gandara-Escarcega, 19, of Kansas City, Kan., is charged with importing and possessing marijuana on Jan. 14.

Charged with illegal entry after deportation are Yeden Octavio Alvarado-Lujan, 20, of Ojinaga, Mex.; Jesus Marquez-Alvarez, 20, of Mexico; and Oscar Armando Munguia-Martinez, 28, of Honduras.

Decline in labor force cuts unemployment rate

A drop in the labor force during December meant a drop in Reeves County's unemployment rate, though December's total remains more than two percent above the rate in January of 1998.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, The number of people in the county's labor force showed its normal end-of-year decline, with the 1998 harvest season having come to a close. The labor force was at 6,651 in December, 70 below November's total and well below the 8,113 who were working in the county in July.

The decline in the labor force allowed the jobless rate to fall from 12.4 percent in November to 11.5 percent last month, according to TWC figures. There were 767 people without jobs last month and 5,884 employed, a drop of 53 from the previous month.

The total number of jobs in Reeves County during December was up 300 from January of 1998, but the workforce during that time grew by 500 people, which raised the unemployment rate from 9.2 percent at the start of the year.

December's job statistics for the area showed mixed results, with counties that rely heavily on oil-related businesses showing an increase in unemployed.

Ector County's jobless rate jumped from 7.4 to 8.3 percent, as the number of unemployed within the county rose by over 600 last month. Andrews county also saw it's jobless rate climb from 9.4 to 9.8 percent, while unemployment was virtually unchanged in Ward, Winkler and Midland counties.

Presidio County continued to have the area's worst unemployment problem, with over 1,000 people out of a labor force of 3,165 looking for work.

Statewide, TWC reported the jobless rate was up for the first time in four months, from 4.6 to 4.8 percent. TWC chair Diane Roth said growth in the labor force outpaced the creation of new jobs, but added, "Even though the unemployment rate increased slightly, the current rate is the lowest December unemployment rate since 1979."

Bryan-College Station has the lowest rate of Texas' major metropolitan areas, at 1.6 percent, while Lubbock's rate came in at only 2.2 percent. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission had the highest rate among the larger population areas, at 17.8 percent.

NOMADs stop in town to do church repair

Staff Writer
A group of retired individuals are in Pecos improving a local church as part of a missionary program.

Volunteers members of the NOMADS program are busy fixing up Methodist Church, 601 S. Walnut St.

"We're here doing some remodeling, repairing things and replacing windows," said Rod Reeder, a member of the NOMADS. He said the group of volunteers are retired individuals who work through the Methodist church's mission program by traveling around the country to fix things at different churches.

"We work three blocks of time, with the first block of our time having been spent in Odessa and now we've been in Pecos for about a week and a half," said Reeder.

"This particular church has been neglected for a long time," said Reeder.

The group travels in their own recreational vehicles and go where they are needed.

There are currently five couples involved in the Pecos project, with one couple from Tennessee; three from Iowa and one from Illinois.

"This church is part of the Rio Grande Conference of Methodists and they are the ones that contacted the NOMADS about working here and stated that they required assistance," said Reeder.

Reeder stated that their stay in Pecos has been a very enjoyable one. "The people are so friendly, we just love it here and we haven't had any problems with anyone," he said.

After this particular project all five couples are headed in different directions. Some will take a vacation to the Big Bend area, while others headed towards another "working" project.

The NOMADS project offers retired persons with recreational vehicles the opportunity to share their time and skills in United Methodist mission projects. Reeder stated that new members are always welcome.

Services at San Pedro United Methodist Church are conducted every Thursday at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m.

"They share a preacher with Carlsbad and he's the one who comes to Pecos on those days," said Reeder.

The minister is Jesus Lopez, who is joined by his wife Lydia.

Hiring rec boss on commissioners' agenda

Reeves County Commissioners will consider the position of sports and recreation director in their regular meeting Monday.

They have advertised for applications, offering $25,000-$30,000 per year salary, plus benefits. Qualifications include a bachelor's degree with a major emphasis on recreation, human services, public administration or related field.

The position was created as part of the interlocal agreement between the county, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD and the Town of Pecos City to re-establish a recreation department for the community.

Other agenda items include:

* Hiring a civil engineer for the 1,000-bed addition to the Reeves County Detention Center;

* Soil testing professional services

* Deputation of reserve deputies

* Bond and oath on Yvonne Abila, county attorney clerk;

* Budget amendments and line-item transfers

* Personnel and salary changes, sheriff's office, county judge, RCDC

* Reports, minutes, semi-monthly bills

* Spread on minutes: Notice of over-axle, over-gross weight permit; Financial interest affidavit for David Castillo, Precinct 2 commissioner.

The court meets at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor courtroom of the county courthouse.


Coreen Green

Services are incomplete for Coreen Green, 78, who died Thursday, Jan. 21, 1999 at Reeves County Hospital.

Survivors include her husband, James Green, of Pecos.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Kimberly Carr

Kimberly Gay "Webb" Carr, 35, died Wednesday, Jan. 20, 1999, at Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo.

Services will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday  at Christ the King Catholic Church in Balmorhea. Burial will be in Balmorhea Cemetery.

She was born March 14, 1963, in Alpine, had lived in Amarillo for nine years, was a homemaker and a Catholic.

Survivors include her husband, Terry Carr of Amarillo; one daughter, Carissa Kaye Carr of Amarillo; her mother, Patsy Occhiato of Pueblo, Colo.; her father, Ralph Edmon Webb of Carson City, Nev.; her maternal grandmother, Merle Payne of Balmorhea; paternal grandparents, A.G. and Verna Webb of Gunersville, Ala.; one brother, Jerry Don Webb of Arab, Ala.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS - Jan. 22, 1999 - High Thursday 73; low last night 40. Rainfall .03 inch. January rainfall .03 inch. Year-to-date .03 inch. Tonight, clear. Low 25-30. Northwest wind 5-15 mph. Saturday, mostly sunny and warmer. High in the mid 60s. Wind becoming southwest wind 5-15 mph.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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