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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, May 6, 1999

PEDC planning to roll out carpet for OC

Staff Writer
PECOS, May 6, 1999 -- Bad news turned to good news for Odessa College when they learned that floor tile in the old White's building contains asbestos.

Asbestos abatement can be expensive, but Gari Ward, executive director for the Pecos Economic Development Corporation, said that covering the floor with carpet will suffice.

"We had already proposed to put in a lot of carpet," Ward said. "They can lay carpet directly over that tile and won't disturb the asbestos."

That means laying 13,500 square feet of carpet in the classroom and administration portion of the building. The garage and vocational area has concrete floors, and there are no problems with it, he said.

Oscar Saenz, PEDC board chairman, said that Odessa College is still working on the plans to refurbish the building. Until those plans are complete, the corporation is unable to estimate the cost or advertise for bids.

"The cost of repairs should be our responsibility," Saenz said. "Right now Odessa College is getting together with the deans associated with the move and looking for a way to make this the least costly so we won't have to strain too much to pay for it."

Once the plans are received and modified, the board can proceed with a plan to finance it, he said.

Saenz had expected the plans and blue prints to be available for the meeting so they could proceed with bid letting.

In other business, Saenz reported that the barbecue sauce manufacturer still wants an interest-free loan to come to Pecos, but refuses to divulge his financial status.

"No financial status, no dealings," Saenz said.

A new prospect is a dairy farmer from New Mexico who has applied for a loan from the Texas Department of Agriculture to establish a 1,600-head dairy farm in Reeves County.

"If it goes, he will put in a state-of-the art turnstile system which none of the dairies in Texas or New Mexico has," he said.

The turnstile system reduces milking time, he said.

"Gari is helping him to line up banks who are specialists in loaning to farms, and it looks like there's not much problem," Saenz said.

If Texas becomes a dairy state as expected, this farmer could be a good resource, because he is well known in the dairy industry, he said.

Saenz said he has been in contact with an economic development corporation in Chihuahua, Mexico who is pursuing industry for that state.

"They go throughout the world trying to get companies to come, and I asked if we could ride their coat tails," Saenz said.

They agreed to share the names of companies that decide not to move to Mexico, he said.

As a result of the corporation's work, with over 200 companies, 13 maquiladoras have been established in Chihuahua.

Ward said he has a book that lists all maquila corporations by state, with the location of the American entity and Mexico.

Maquiladoras utilize cheap labor in Mexico to assemble products for American companies.

Sewer line replacement awaits inspection

Staff Writer
PECOS, May 6, 1999 -- Holloman Construction Company is in the last block of their work replacing sewer lines under Third Street, and they are to start replacing pavement when that is complete.

Since replacing 12 old manholes and laying new 15-inch sewer pipe from Ash to Oleander Streets, the contractor has worked back down the street to hook up utilities from the north side of the highway.

Ruben Carrasco, engineer for Frank X. Spencer & Associates, said he plans to inspect the job today to determine how much work is left and how long it will take to complete.

He said that Holloman is required to plug all old manholes to prevent damage to vehicles traveling Third Street.

"I will make sure everything is done properly," Carrasco said.

Holloman began the job the second week in January and spent a month on the first block because of trouble with old, abandoned lines and a problem with leaks where sewer pipe was attached to the new manhole.

Their contract completion deadline was in March, and by the end of the month, engineer Abidur Khan said they had completed 85 percent of the job and were due "two or three" days for rain delay.

Kenneth Neal, city manager, said that another delay was caused by gas leaks from an old service station that had to be removed before they could proceed.

The council will discuss the work in their next meeting May 13 and decide whether to penalize the firm for passing the deadline, he said.

Larry Levario will take his seat on the council in that meeting, Neal said. He was elected to fill the seat vacated by Randy Graham.

Barstow woman disputes arson ruling

Staff Writer
PECOS, May 6, 1999 -- House fires in Pecos and Barstow that occurred during the past week remain under investigation and are termed as "suspicious" by Town of Pecos City Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire.

"We don't have a lot of information yet, but we do know that both fires were very suspicious," said Brookshire, who is handling the investigation for both cases.

The first fire occurred in a house on Mackey Street in Barstow Friday morning, while second involved a fire that started early Sunday morning in the west end of a five-bedroom house at 423 S. Alamo and spread throughout the building.

Pecos Volunteer Firemen were at the scene until after dawn Sunday.

The house fire in Barstow has already been ruled as arson and the investigation is continuing in that incident.

Homeowner Lisa Abila Medrano had asked Brookshire to investigate the incident. "I had asked him to investigate it, because I wasn't sure there was a fire marshal here in Barstow," said Medrano.

However, Medrano now feels "uncomfortable" with Brookshire's comments on the incident. "He's been asking me a lot of inappropriate questions that I don't feel comfortable with," she said.

"He's making it sound like we're the suspects, when we have nothing to gain from burning our own home," she said.

Brookshire said he had asked Medrano those questions because of the ongoing investigation. "She was the last one at the home," he said.

Medrano was very upset and claims that Brookshire said items were missing from the home. "We haven't been back in there, but those items are still there," said Medrano.

The items in question were gifts from her brothers to her children, such as a play station and stereo. "I'm pretty sure those items were still there, and I know for sure they were there when I left," said Medrano.

According to Medrano, a neighbor told her the fire started at a wall where the electronic items were plugged in. "And now I'm hearing that one of the residents here didn't buy this home because of the electrical problems it was known to have," she said.

Medrano also said that about two weeks ago she had some electrical problems there in the home and that now she hears that there had been a fire in the home when it was owned by someone else.

"We just had about $800 owing on it, but it didn't have insurance," said Medrano.

"What would we gain from burning our own home, my children's things?" she said.

"I just don't think this is right and then what really upset me is him asking if we're related to the people who's home burned on Alamo Street, or if we had anything to do with that fire," Medrano said. "That's why I want someone else to come in and investigate."

"He didn't even tell me he had ruled it as arson, I had to hear it from other people," she said.

Brookshire said the Alamo Street fire, "is still under investigation, but is very suspicious."

Firemen were called to the Elvia Barron residence at 423 S. Alamo at 4:08 a.m., Sunday, Brookshire said.

Fire that started in the northwest corner of a storage room on the west end of the five-bedroom structure spread throughout the house and gutted it. "It was a total loss," said Brookshire.

The mother of five said she told Brookshire she and her husband were willing to take a polygraph test, and said another fire investigator was scheduled to look at the cause of the fire.

"We'll have someone from Houston investigating it," said Medrano, who added all she wants is a clarification of what's going on. "I want someone else to verify exactly what happened and not to be blamed."

Balmorhea HS hosts volleyball  tourney

PECOS, May 6, 1999 -- An adult volleyball tournament has been scheduled for Saturday, May 22 at the Balmorhea High School gym.

The tournament, sponsored by Balmorhea High School's junior class, has an entry fee of $100 per team, with a limit of 10 players per team. The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. on May 22, and the top three finishers will receive trophies and T-shirts.

For further information, call either Liz Lozano at 915-375-2223 or Eilda Mendoza at 915-375-2228.


AUSTIN (AP) No ticket correctly matched all six numbers drawn Wednesday night for the twice-weekly Lotto Texas game, state lottery officials said. The ticket would have been worth an estimated $18 million. The numbers drawn Wednesday night from a field of 50 were: 6-14-19-32-37-39 Saturday night's drawing will be worth an estimated $22 million.


AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Wednesday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 1-5-2 (one, five, two)


Rayburn Allgood

Services are incomplete for Rayburn Allgood, 82, who died today at Midland Memorial Hospital.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Concha Villescas

Concha R. Villescas, 71, died Wednesday, May 5, 1999, at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.

A rosary will be held at 7 p.m., Friday, at Martinez Funeral Home Chapel.

Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m., Saturday at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.

She was born March 25, 1928, in Shafter, Tx., was a  Pecos resident, a housewife and a Catholic.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Jose C. Ramirez.

Survivors include her husband, Lorenzo F. Villescas of Pecos; three daughters, Gloria Reyes and Irma Benavides of Pecos, Hilda Munoz of Odessa; two sisters, Angela Orona of Miami, Ariz. and Luz Balderrama of Carlsbad, N.M. and five grandchildren.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, May 6, 1999 -- High Wednesday 83; low last night 42. Tonight, clear. Low in the mid 40s. East to northeast wind 5-10 mph. Friday, sunny. High in the mid 80s. South wind 10-15 mph.

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Pecos Enterprise
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