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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

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Friday, March 12, 1999

County seeks advice on potential burial lawsuit

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 12, 1999 - Facing a possible lawsuit over a misplaced body in Greenwood Cemetery, Reeves County officials have turned to District Attorney Randy Reynolds for legal advice.

Reynolds met with the commissioners court in an emergency session Tuesday and has begun research to determine how the matter can be resolved in the best interest of all parties.

He said this morning that he will first have to check deed records to verify that Charlie N. Millan is buried on a plot purchased by Lupe Garcia.

"There appears to be a mistake made somewhere by someone," he said.

Commissioner Felipe Arredondo said that he staked the location for Millan's grave, using information provided by the office of county clerk, who sold the burial plot.

"What happened was not intended to be wrong. It just happened," Arredondo said. "I hope we can work something out."

County Clerk Dianne Florez said the Millan family purchased a space in Section 61, Block 3.

Millan's grave occupies a space in the adjacent Block 4 of Section 61, just a few feet from its intended location.

Arredondo said that either he was given the wrong information or he misunderstood the number. He also noted that some of the metal and concrete block markers have been damaged, making it difficult to identify some locations.

One marker at the southeast corner of Block 3 is broken apart and the metal plate with the numbers is missing, as are others throughout the county cemetery.

Graves are dug with a backhoe, but a spokesman for Pecos Funeral Home said he does not believe a backhoe damaged the markers.

Millan's widow, Florencia Millan, said she wants the county to move her husband's body to the correct place.

No one from the county has contacted her, nor has Garcia, Mrs. Millan said. "I have contacted a lawyer and plan to sue the county. We want a settlement for what they did. We are going to see what the lawyer said."

Millan's attorney has sent a demand letter to the county, Reynolds said.

"If he's in the wrong place, we have to try to correct it with minimal disruption to all involved," Reynolds said.

And he will research the law to determine what needs to be done to minimize the risk of such a mistake in the future.

"Nobody wants people to be buried in the wrong place and exhume bodies," he said.

Meanwhile, Garcia is wondering whether he needs an attorney to resolve the situation.

He said he had purchased all of Block 4 when his son, Michael died, with the intention of using it as a family plot.

"Now we can't do that," he said.

When Garcia discovered the mistake, he contacted County Judge Jimmy Galindo, "and he said he would get back to me."

Garcia said that Galindo has since tried several times to contact Galindo, and he has not returned his calls.

"I haven't talked to a lawyer so I can keep the door open, and they don't take the initiative to try to talk to me," he said.

Galindo said he has visited the county clerk's office to try to get an understanding of what had happened. He has been out of town the past two days.

Florez said that when someone wants to buy a space, she shows them the map with sold spaces marked.

"They check the records to see if it has been marked or someone is buried there," she said.

When they choose a space, she sends them to the treasurer's office to pay for it, then notifies Arredondo of its location so he can stake it.

Arredondo said that he no longer accepts information for grave locations over the telephone.

"Since then, when they have a burial or someone to stake on a plot, it is written in paper and I go by and make sure the figures are correct," he said.

Pecos gets light drizzle, misses cold

From Staff and Wire Reports

PECOS, March 12, 1999 - Moisture was in the air this morning, and a few sprinkles of rain fell around Reeves County.

While the National Weather Services reported no precipitation at their Pecos station, one citizen said that a light sprinkle fell at the airport. Gary Ingram also reported a light sprinkle at Toyah.

Cliff Adkins said he drove through a light mist from Fort Stockton, but it stopped about midway to Pecos.

Temperatures dropped to 44 degrees overnight, after a high of 76 on Thursday.

Pecos was just on the edge of the colder air to the north and east Thursday. While the city enjoyed highs in the mid-70s, afternoon temperatures in the Midland-Odessa area hovered around 50 degrees, while Pecos Eagles baseball fans watching the team play near Snyder on Thursday had to suffer through day-long temperatures around 40 degrees.

The Associated Press reports that a late winter storm is dumping snow and freezing rain in the Texas Panhandle and rains, some heavy, are falling in other regions after a front stalled out across the state.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued this morning for parts of Northwest Texas. Freezing rain, ice and snow were reported at Amarillo, Dalhart and Borger. Fog and drizzle formed at Wink, San Angelo and Midland-Odessa.

A tornado warning was issued for Sutton County near Ozona, but no damage or injuries were reported.

The stationary front stretched from a surface low-pressure system in New Mexico to near Guadalupe Pass and north of San Antonio to near Beaumont.

Storms developed along the Red River from Wichita Falls to north of the Sherman-Paris area, with a stronger zone of rain and showers from Dallas-Fort Worth into the Tyler-Longview area. More showers fell in the Beaumont area, spreading north into the Lufkin area and eastward into Louisiana.

Fog shrouded Victoria and Houston Hobby airports.

Winds were mostly northeasterly to easterly at 10 to 15 mph, gusting to near 30 mph at Paris.

Early-morning lows ranged from the 20s to 60s. It was 30 degrees at Dalhart, 43 at Abilene, 54 in Bryan-College Station, 55 at Burnet and Huntsville, 59 at the Killeen area, 64 at Sanderson, 71 at Brownsville and McAllen and 73 elsewhere in deep South Texas.

The National Weather Service posted a flash flood watch east of a line from Haskell to Eastand and Lampasas, then west of a line from Paris to Tyler and Groveton.

Rain was possible through the weekend, with some severe storms providing heavy precipitation.

Daytime highs were expected to range from the 40s to 80s, including 90s in the Rio Grande Valley, with lows in the 20s to upper 50s. A dense fog advisory in effect through mid-morning for portions of Southeast Texas.

Two more enter city council election

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 12, 1999 - A second incumbent has filed for a seat on the Town of Pecos City Council, while a newcomer has also decided to run in the May 1 city election.

Gerald Tellez, currently serving on the council and whose term will expire in May, has filed for that position again. Larry Levario has also opted to try for a position on the council.

In Pecos this year, voters will select three city councilmen for two-year terms.

Councilmen whose terms will expire along with Tellez' include Johnny Terrazas and Randy Graham. Terrazas had earlier filed to retain his position on the council while Graham has yet to enter his name for re-election.

City, school and hospital district elections will be held on May 1 around the area, and several other individuals have already thrown their hat in the ring.

Two incumbents have filed to retain their positions on the Balmorhea School Board.

Braulia Natividad and Javier Lozano have both filed to continue to serve on the board. Three positions are currently open in that race.

All incumbents in the Barstow City Council have filed for to retain their positions.

The positions open in Barstow are for a full two-year terms and the three incumbents _ Olga Abila, Lucio Florez and Dora Villanueva _ are seeking to retain their positions.

Marcella Lovett has announced her plans to run in the Reeves County Hospital District elections.

Lovett is currently serving on the board as Precinct 2 represenative. The term of the RCHD's board president, Jeannette Alligood, in Precinct 4, also expires in May.

Billie Sadler has filed as a prospective candidate in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board elections.

In the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, trustees Daisy Roquemore and Alberto Alvarez have three-year terms expiring.

Prospective candidates may pick up forms for the city election from Geneva Martinez, city secretary, at City Hall; from secretary Jo Allgood at the school administration office; and from administrative assistant Nadine Smith at Reeves County Hospital.

New Wednesday is the last day to file for the election. Debbie Thomas, elections administrator, will handle early voting for all three entities.

A&M holding forum on counties' future

PECOS, March 12, 1999 - What are the issues and concerns that need to be addressed in Reeves and Loving counties to help the citizens and out total county in the years ahead? What can be done to assure a better quality of life and prosperity in the 21st century as we plan for the future?

These are just some of the questions that will be addressed at a Texas Community Futures Forum, scheduled for 7 p.m., Tuesday at the Reeves County Civic Center, according to C.W. Roberts, County Extension Agent-Agriculture.

The forum is being conducted in every county as a statewide effort of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service of the Texas A&M University System to bring together a diverse group of individuals, groups and organizations to identify issues and concerns.

"Once needs are identified, focus teams will be organized to develop specific plans of action," said Roberts.

"We want to get broad-based input into this process so that a plan can be developed for the future of each county and Texas as a whole," said Dr. Chester P. Fehlis of College Station, the Extension Service's deputy director. "We especially want other local, state and federal agencies and organizations to participate. Many of the needs and concerns of people can best be addressed through partnerships with other groups and organizations."

The Futures Forum process will help the Extension Service develop its long-range plan for the next four years Ï from 2000 through 2003, Fehlis said. However, he emphasized that the true goal is to aid in the identification of common issues and define a process whereby they can be solved to create a better economic, environmental and social situation in communities across the state.

He said participating agencies, groups and organizations can better focus on issues and programs related to their missions and interests and the needs of the local people.

"We view this as a partnership effort with all of us working together for the future of Texas," Fehlis said. "This is everyone's opportunity to help shape the future."

For more information contact the Reeves County Extension Office at 915-447-9041.

Pleas taken, sentences given out

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 12, 1999 - U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson and magistrate/judge Stuart Platt teamed up on Thursday to dispose of a large criminal docket.

Platt accepted guilty pleas in six cases while Furgeson was sentencing 15 defendants. Furgeson also accepted guilty pleas in three cases and found a fourth defendant guilty of marijuana possession after a bench trial.

Sentences ranged from 57 months in prison to five years probation.

Defendants and their sentences are:

Robert Lorin Jackman, 18 months in prison, and co-defendant Elvieria Brito, 24 months for cocaine possession; Robert Lorin Furrow, 33 months; Ernesto Madrid-Vega, 41 months for illegal entry after deportation; Betty Jo Hernandez, five years probation for transporting illegal aliens;

Martha Patricia Esquivel-Garcia, 18 months for possession of marijuana; Irene Anita Rodriguez, five years probation for possession of marijuana;

Maria Rosales-Castro, 18 months for marijuana possession; Carlos Bueno Jr., five years probation for importing marijuana; Jesus Marquez-Alvarez, 10 months; Rosalio Villa-Silvestre, 57 months; and Robert Lorin Furrow, 33 months.

Gun report has light side for deputies

Staff Writer

BALMORHEA, March 12, 1999 - A domestic dispute in Balmorhea which could have turned volatile turned out to be a misunderstanding instead.

"We just never know what kind of situation we'll be handling until we get there and listen to the complainants," said Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez.

On Wednesday at about 9:43 p.m. deputies Bobby Jenkins and Terry Halpain were assisted by Pecos police officer Oscar Machuca, and were dispatched to Balmorhea Lake, in reference to an intoxicated female who said to have been in possession of a firearm.

Deputy Jenkins said in his report that upon arriving at the scene they were notified that the female subject left in a red Chevrolet pickup.

"At about this time we were contacted by Department of Public Safety Trooper Richard Jacobs, stating that he had located the Chevy Pickup at a residence," said Jenkins.

Jenkins then met with the female at this particular residence, who told them she and her boyfriend had gotten into an argument at the lake, but everything was okay now.

Jenkins advised the woman that the sheriff's department had a complaint of her pointing a handgun, but were told it was only a flashlight, "I was just playing," she is quoted as saying.

Deputy Jenkins then returned to the lake with the woman to get the matter resolved.

Deputy Jenkins spoke to the boyfriend who said that he wasn't sure if it was a handgun or not, but also requested that the woman stay away from his residence.

Gas prices show rise across U.S.

From Staff and Wire Reports

After months of cruising on cheap gas, drivers are seeing prices climb at the pump.

Crude oil prices have rallied in recent days, helping to lift prices at the pump, on hopes that major producers such as Saudi Arabia and Iran will agree to cut output and ease the world's oil glut.

Gas prices locally have jumped several cents a gallon this week, with regulat unleaded prices in Pecos now ranging from between 85.9 and 95.9 cents per gallon. Prices also have gone up in neighnoring towns, with gas in Midland rising to 95.9 cents per gallon, while those in Odessa and Monahans are slightly lower.

Prices had dropped as low as 63.9 cents per gallon in Odessa just over a week ago.

While the increases mean drivers may have to shell out a few more cents per gallon, the surge is providing relief to U.S. oil companies that have been battered by the long price slump.

"Higher prices would help a lot of companies here, so I wouldn't mind paying a little bit more," Karen McQuilling said Thursday after filling up her sport-utility vehicle in Houston with 89-cent gas.

The rally has pushed crude oil futures to about $14.30 per barrel, a level not seen since November and a 33 percent jump from December's 12-year low of $10.72.

The surge has carried over to Wall Street, where stocks in oil companies such as Exxon, Mobil and Chevron have risen on hopes that their dwindling profits would be revived by a turnaround in oil prices.

And the results are already showing at the pump, where gasoline prices rose last week for the first time since September. The average price of self-serve regular gasoline was 94 cents per gallon, up a penny from two weeks earlier, according to the Lundberg Survey Inc., which polls 10,000 gas stations nationwide.

If oil production cuts are announced and sustained, analysts said crude oil could rise to $17 or $18 per barrel in the next several months adding another 10 to 20 cents per gallon to average gasoline prices.

Increased demand during the spring and summer travel season historically adds a few cents per gallon to pump prices as well.

But even that would not mean much hardship for drivers because gas prices are now at their lowest point since 1979, said AAA spokesman Mitch Fuqua.

Just 18 months ago, for example,

Foreign nations agree to slash oil production

Associated Press Writer

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands Oil ministry representatives from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela and Mexico today agreed to cut production by more than 2 million barrels a day in an attempt to bolster depressed oil prices.

On commodity markets, prices jumped to five-month highs.

The agreement is effective April 1, Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi said. The pact was reached after two days of meetings ahead of a March 23 meeting of OPEC oil ministers in Vienna, Austria.

After hovering near 12-year lows this winter, oil prices have rebounded in recent days as traders grew optimistic that some production cutbacks would be announced before the OPEC meeting.

Today's announcement pushed up contracts for April delivery of light, sweet crude 59 cents to $14.90 per barrel this morning on the New York Mercantile Exchange the highest level since early October. The rally has pushed oil prices up 39 percent from December's 12-year low of $10.72.

In London, North Sea Brent Blend crude oil was up 75 cents at $12.95 per barrel in afternoon dealings at the International Petroleum Exchange, after hitting an intraday high of $13.19. Brent crude last settled above $13 per barrel in November.

Janelle Matharoo, an analyst with Bankers Trust in London, said the production cutbacks were at the high end of what analysts had been expecting.

"Any higher than this and I think it would have got into the range of implausible. This is about the maximum people can stomach," Matharoo said.


AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Thursday night: Winning numbers drawn: 11-15-23-31-38. Number matching five of five: 2. Prize per winner: $47,105. Winning tickets sold in: Houston 2. Matching four of five: 311. Prize: $454.


AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Thursday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 6-8-8 (six, eight, eight)


Jesus Ornelas, Sr.

Jesus "Chuy" Aguilar Ornelas, Sr., 70, of Pecos, died Thursday, March 11, 1999 at Reeves County Hospital.

A rosary will be held at 7 p.m., Sunday, March 14, at Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.

Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m., Monday, March 15, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with burial in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.

He was born Jan. 26, 1928, in Presidio, Tx., was retired and a Catholic.

He was preceded in death by one son, Jesus Q. Ornelas; one daughter, Sally Q. Ornelas; one brother, Manuel A. Ornelas and one sister, Paula A. Sanchez.

Survivors include his wife, Mercedes Quintana Ornelas of Pecos; three sons, Raymundo Q. Ornelas of Odessa, Oscar Q. Ornelas of Pecos and Ricardo Q. Ornelas of Laredo; three daughters, Lupe O. Machuca of Midland, Angelina O. Sanchez of Pecos and Lydia O. Prieto of Pecos; one brother, David Ornelas of Balmorhea; two sisters, Virginia O. Carrasco of Pecos, Carmen Sanchez of Balmorhea; 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, March 12, 1999 - High Thursday 76; low last night 44. Tonight, increasing cloudiness, windy, and turning cooler. Low in the lower 30s. North wind 15-25 mph. Saturday, mostly cloudy. High near 50. North wind 10-20 mph.

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Pecos Enterprise
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