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Thursday , July 1, 1999

O'Neal had long trail ride to rodeo

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 1, 1999 -- Ty O'Neal drove straight through from Los Angeles to Pecos, hauling two of his rodeo ponies and a third for the friend who accompanied him.

Arriving at 5 a.m. Monday, O'Neal has kept busy meeting Pecos people, roping calves and wrestling steers in the rodeo slack events, and preparing to ride in the rodeo parade as grand marshal.

You won't see his name on any rodeo programs, though. That's because O'Neal is his stage name, and he uses McClary when he competes. You won't even see McClary in write-ups of the event scores, because "I didn't do any good," O'Neal said. "But that's all right. There's always another one."

Rodeo has been the 20-year-old O'Neal's life. His grandfather and father were rodeo contestants, and O'Neal entered his first rodeo at age four.

It was about that time that a friend suggested to Bob and Dee McClary that their son try his hand at acting, and he soon began taking acting classes and doing commercials.

"I got an agent and worked my way up," he said. "I got in Mighty Ducks when I was 14."

"Mighty Ducks" movies are about kids playing ice hockey, O'Neal said.

As a result of his work, O'Neal got interested in ice hockey and plays occasionally when he is not working or competing in rodeos.

Two years ago, O'Neal's agent got him a part in The Postman with Kevin Costner, and he was in one episode of the TV production "Magnificent Seven."

His latest part was in "The Wild Wild West," the movie starting Will Smith which was released to theaters Wednesday.

"I've been in all kinds of commercials," O'Neal said. "I have advertised about everything you can advertise. I am happy to say my career has gone pretty good."

To further that career, O'Neal moved to Los Angeles three years ago.

"I enjoy it," he said of the Hollywood scene. "But it's not Texas."

O'Neal said he returns to Texas every chance he gets.

"I miss my Mom and Dad back in Abilene. When Kenneth (Neal) called about me being grand marshal for the parade, I said, `you bet.'"

O'Neal was born in Denton but moved with his family to Abilene a year later when his mother was transferred by Victor Equipment Company to manage their new welding and cutting torch plant.

His father is a blacksmith who also ranches around Abilene.

"I love being in Pecos," O'Neal said. "I am going to have a darned good time today as grand marshal. I am real anxious about getting the key to the city. I never had one before. That's a big honor to me, to get the key to Pecos, Texas."

Weldon Brookshire provided the 1951 Plymouth convertible that ferried O'Neal in the parade.

"That's perfect," O'Neal said of the classic car. "It is older than I am."

Although his acting career has attracted some female admirers, O'Neal said there is no special woman in his life.

"I have a lot of friends who are women. We go out to dinner and to the movies. But I wouldn't call them girlfriends," he said.

He does enjoy country-western dancing and has already taken the floor at the rodeo dances. Girls, he's not at all shy, so look for the tall young man in a big, black hat.

More Rodeo

Production ends at sulphur mine

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 1, 1999 -- Wednesday was the last day of production at the Freeport McMoRan sulphur mine, and 22 employees were cut from the steadily-decreasing payroll, exactly a year after the mine's closing was confirmed.

Freeport announced on June 30, 1998, that they would close the mine and began paring the staff. Of those laid off last year, some are in training and some found jobs in other industries.

The majority moved out-of-town, said Dora Pineda of the Texas Workforce Commission.

"Those that stayed here went to work on a contract basis for another company," Pineda said Wednesday. "This morning, the human resource office said 22 employees were terminated today."

Pineda said she expects those 22 to come into the TWC office Tuesday morning to register for work, orientation and information they need to file for unemployment and job assistance.

TWC offers two programs for laid-off workers. The trade adjustment assistance program has already been approved for Freeport workers, she said.

The trade readjustment assistance program concerns extension of additional unemployment benefits for workers in training who have exhausted their regular benefits.

"To enhance their opportunities once they finish training, they are also eligible for job relocation allowance up to $800 lump sum if they secure a bonified job. They can make a request in writing to the TAA or TRA person in charge of their program," she said.

In the Permian Basin, the TAA/TRA contact is based out of the Odessa office.

"She will probably come here," said Pineda.

Freeport will keep a skeleton crew on hand to mothball the plant, which they are attempting to sell, said Bill Collier, public relations officer.

The mine at one time employed over 400 people at its site, 40 miles northwest of Pecos. But lower-cost sulphur production methods, and lower sulphur prices, combined to cut back the mine's operation to fewer than 200 workers when the shutdown was announced last year.

While Freeport is closing its operations, jobs are being added at two other sites in Pecos. Anchor West Inc. is hiring for the new frozen onion ring line they are about ready to start up, and Reeves County is hiring correctional officers and support staff for the 1,000-bed addition to the detention center.

Commissioners face decisions on golf course

PECOS, July 1, 1999 -- Golf cart lease and/or purchase options and change fund for the Reeves County Golf Course will be the topics of discussion at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting.

The group will meet at 10 a.m., Friday, at the Reeves County Courthouse. The usual meeting time is the second and fourth Monday of each month, but commissioners were unable to meet earlier this week.

Along with the golf course situation, which has been a major item for commissioners over the past six weeks, other topics include the park and recreation master plan, Reeves County Sheriff's Department Deputy position re-classification and Reeves County Detention Center Engineering Services Invoice No. 3 will be discussed.

In other business commissioners will discuss and take action on the acceptance of the software license and maintenance agreement with Jury Systems, Inc. for Reeves County District Clerk Department.

Deputation and oath of Gary Kim Richards will also be discussed during the regular meeting.

Also on the agenda for discussion and consideration are:

* Reports from various departments.

* Budget amendments and line-item transfers.

* Personnel and salary changes (RCDC, sheriff's office, juvenile detention center and the Reeves County Golf Course).

* Semi-monthly bills.

July meeting set by RCH board

PECOS, July 1, 1999 -- Reeves County Hospital District directors decided Wednesday to set their regular monthly meeting for July 8 in the doctor's lounge at the hospital.

The board also discussed a board/staff social, but made no final decision.

Murray featured on rodeo's opening night

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 1, 1999 -- The West of the Pecos Rodeo was a bump in the road for Ty Murray, on the way to his seventh All-Around Cowboy title at the National Finals Rodeo.

Tonight, Murray will try to do in Pecos what he did in Las Vegas last December, and earn enough points in his three riding events to win the All-Around title at the West of the Pecos Rodeo.

The rodeo officially gets underway at 8:30 p.m. tonight at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena, with Murray, the former Odessa College star, as the featured performer.

A season-ending knee injury just weeks before the 1995 West of the Pecos Rodeo began a three-year string of injuries for Murray, after he had earned the All-Around title six straight times between 1989 and 1994. Last year was his comeback season, and he won the NFR title by $35,000 over Herbert Theriot, picking up over $264,000 in his three riding events.

However, the Stephenville native didn't fare as well in Pecos, picking up 69 points in the saddle bronc competition and failing to score in the bull riding and bareback events.

Tonight, Murray is scheduled to ride "Hot Child" in the bull riding, "Skoals Free Ride" in the bareback and "Mabelline" in saddle bronc competition.

Bull riding got underway Wednesday with three sections at a special pre-rodeo performance at the Buck Jackson Arena, with Vince Stanton of Weiser, Idaho, picking up a $1,000 bonus and taking the early lead by scoring 85 points on "Honky Cat."

Brian Herman of Victoria was the only other cowboy to score over 80 points, earning 81 on "Katmandu." Myron Duarte of Auburn, Wash., was third, with a 78-point ride on "Greased Lightning."

A saddle bronc riding section was also held for the first time in the pre-rodeo show, and featured defending NFR world's champion Dan Mortenson of Manhattan, Mont., who placed second with a 75 point ride on "Kung Fu." Earlier Red Lemmel of Mud Butte, N.D. scored one point higher, earning a 76 for his ride on "Copenhagen Billy." Craig Morgan of Teague and Jim Brown of Stephenville tied for third with 72 point rides last night.

Wednesday night's events began with the ladies barrel racing, where Corley Cox of Cottula grabbed the first day's lead with a 17.54 time on her ride. She was one of several riders to turn in sub-18 second times on Wednesday, with Darlene Kasper of Van Olney a tenth of a second behind and Pamela Pikenton of DeKalb in third, with a 17.68 time.

Steer roping began its third go round during the night performance, with David Felton of Weatherford posting the best time so far of the week, an 11.1 second effort. Clay Cameron of Canyon was next with an 11.3 time and 13-time world's champion Guy Allen was third, with an 11.8 second effort.

Leo Campbell maintained the lead in the average through three rides, with a 39.2 second total. Scott Stickley of Aubrey was next at 43.3 seconds, a tenth of a second ahead of Rocky Patterson of Pratt, Kan.

The other timed events completed their second go rounds earlier in the day. Rusty Miller won the second go of calf roping with a 9.4 second time, a tenth of a second up on Bubba Paschal of LaPorte and Scott Accomazzo of Tolleson, Ariz. In the average, Paschal leads with a 19 second flat total, while former world's champ Roy Cooper of Childress is second at 20 seconds, and Cash Myers of Athens, Tx., is third, at 20.1 seconds.

Ote Berry and Byron Walker were tied for first in the second go round of steer wrestling and stand 1-2 in the average. Both had 4.4 second times on their second attempt, giving Berry, of Checotah, Okla., a 9.5 second combined time and Walker, of Ennis, a 10.5 total.

Jim Bob Clayman of Georgetown and Sid Steiner of nearby Austin tied for third in the second go, both with 5.3 second efforts, and Steiner is third in the average, with a 10.8 total. In team roping, defending NFR champions Rick Skelton and Speed Williams hold the lead, after winning the second go round. The Llano duo had a 6.3 second time in their second attempt and are at 13.1 seconds in the average, nearly 2 1/2 seconds ahead of Tommy Bierschwale of Mason and Cuarto Hindes of Charlotte, who have a combined 15.5 time. Kevin Stewart of Glen Rose and Martin Lucero of Stephenville are third overall, at 16.5 seconds, while in the second go round, Matt Davis of Vega and Greg Martinez of Albuquerque were second with a 6.5 time, and Alpine cowboy Turtle Powell and his partner Steve Northcott of Stephenville, were third with a 6.8 second effort.


AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Wednesday night:

Winning numbers drawn: 2-24-28-34-43-47. Estimated jackpot: $10 million. Number matching six of six: 0. Matching five of six: 63. Prize: $2,056. Matching four of six: 3,888. Prize: $120.

More Rodeo


AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Wednesday by the Texas Lottery, in order:

8-4-1 (eight, four, one)


High Wednesday 111; low last night 77. Tonight, clear. Low in the mid 70s. South to southeast wind 10-20 mph. Friday, mostly sunny and hot. High around 101. South to southeast wind 10-20 mph. Forecast for the Fourth of July weekend, fair. Lows 70-75. Highs around 100.

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