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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, July 8, 1999

First charges filed in Tercero murder

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 8, 1999 -- A man currently jailed in Odessa has been charged with murder in connection with a body that was found northeast of Pecos in May, and further arrests may be made in the case.

The body that was found May 20 on the Ward County side of the Pecos River had been identified as being that of Pecos resident Ruben Garcia Tercero. Garcia, 39, had been reported missing since April of 1998.

Ward County sheriff's deputies and Texas Rangers excavated a grave site on the east side of the Pecos River below Barstow Dam, where a body had been buried.

"We have served a warrant on one individual," said Ward County Sheriff Jerry Helfin, who identified the man as Joe Angel Hernandez, 31, of Pecos. He was served with a warrant for murder and his bond for that offense set at $100,000, according to Heflin.

The sheriff said that the warrant had been served on Hernandez in Ector County Jail in Odessa, where the suspect is currently being held on other charges.

"He'll eventually be brought back to Ward County on that warrant," said Heflin.

The charges Hernandez is being held on in Ector County include robbery, evading arrest, threat causing bodily injury and death, murder and robbery.

Total bonds for Hernandez have been set at $202,000, according to Ector County Jail personnel.

"We're still investigating this incident and more arrests will be made," said Helfin.

Heflin said a second warrant has been issued, but has not yet been served on another individual.

"We be looking at some more that may be involved, but we haven't served any other warrants yet," said Heflin.

Tercero's remains were found after Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez obtained information about its location. He had been reported missing by his mother, Catalina Garcia last year. She told deputies she had not seen her son since April when he said he was going to a friend's house.

Garcia said at the time her son had a drug problem and suspected foul play.

"He knew there was a warrant out for his arrest, because he had been arrested before and they had upped the bond," said Garcia, who added Tercero had been planning to turn himself in after visiting with his two sons, who were scheduled to be in Pecos in June on 1998.

City asked to help fix up East Side Center

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 8, 1999 -- David Terry, president of The Tree Club, a new organization promoting community cooperation, asked the Pecos City Council this morning to improve and maintain the East Side Community Center.

Councilman Ricky Herrera said he got involved with the Juneteenth celebration held at the center, and found it to be in poor condition.

"The floor is the biggest concern," he said. "Some doors needed new locks. Since it is a city-owned building, they felt like some maintenance and repairs should be handled through the city just like our other community center."

Terry said the center is like a piece of history.

"When we have a major function, it takes people back down memory lane."

Someone has been renting out the building for events like quinceneras, receptions and funerals, he said. And the Carver Reunion attracts 1,500 to 2,000 people every two years.

Children play around the building, where weeds have been allowed to grow, and parents are concerned they may be bitten by a snake, he said.

City Manager Kenneth Neal said that Conrado Saldana has checked out the building and recommended pouring a concrete floor at a cost of about $5,000.

Councilman Danny Rodriguez suggested creating a separate line item in the 1999-2000 budget for the center so that repairs could be ongoing.

Billy Woodruff said that the city should control the rental and use the proceeds to maintain the building.

"It is just being demolished," he said. "The city did some work five or six years ago, but you can't tell it. It is just like a bunch of savages have been in there. They just tear it up and leave it."

Councilman Larry Levario said the city needs to set up guidelines on who can use the building and start charging for its use.

The first priority should be to replace doors that have to be wired shut because the locks are broken, he said.

Mayor Dot Stafford appointed a committee to determine the most urgent needs.

Regarding a request to install a street light in the area of 1915 Missouri St., the council decided not to set a precedent of placing street lights in the middle of a block.

Numerous streets are dark in between the lighted corners, noted Levario.

"I don't think we need to be installing lights in the middle of the block," he said. "They have to take some responsibility too. I have been driving by there, and I hardly see any porch lights on."

Rejecting a proposal to advertise for bids on a used pickup for the parks department that could make out-of-town trips, the council instructed Neal to have department heads coordinate trips using one pickup.

Utilities Director Octavio Garcia said the water department makes a trip to Odessa twice a month to deliver water samples, and they could pick up supplies for the parks department.

Following a closed session to evaluate the city manager and city secretary, the council approved salary increases of 1.5 percent for Kenneth Neal and Geneva Martinez.

State wants hepatitis shots for area kids

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 8, 1999 -- Area health care practitioners are asking that parents and guardians immunize their children with the newest hepatitis vaccine before the start of school five weeks from now.

"We'd like for them to go ahead and start doing that now instead of waiting until the last minute," said Reeves County Hospital Director of Nursing L.G. Crawford.

Crawford was talking about the hepatitis A vaccination that is now required for school enrollment in 32 border area counties. "We just received this information today, but already we are making plans," said Crawford. "We are already contacting our providers of the vaccine."

Children in the 32 border area counties of Texas must be vaccinated against hepatitis A illness to attend public or private schools or child-care facilities this school year. The requirement is effective Aug. 1 and applies to children 2 and older who were born after Sept. 2, 1992.

"We're already well into July and August is just around the corner, that's why we're telling parents and guardians to take care of this soon," said Crawford.

Vaccinations are already in stock and more have been ordered. "We want to be sure to have enough for all the children," Crawford said.

The 32 counties are Brewster, Brooks, Cameron, Crockett, Culberson, Dimmitt, Duval, Edwards, El Paso, Frio, Hidalgo, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, Kinney, La Salle, Maverick, McMullen, Pecos, Presidio, Real, Reeves, Starr, Sutton, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, Webb, Willacy, Zapata and Zavala.

Under Texas Department of Health (TDH) rules approved by the Texas Board of Health, 2-year-olds in the 32 counties must have one dose of the two-dose hepatitis A vaccination series to attend child-care facilities. Children 3 and older must have two doses given at least six months apart and must have had the first dose before they can enroll in schools or child-care facilities.

"Individuals need to contact the health care providers," said Crawford. "Also, people that bring their children to the emergency room for treatment will be asked if the child has been immunized with this new vaccine."

Children who have had hepatitis A infection are considered immune to the illness and do not have to be vaccinated if proof of immunity or previous infection is provided.

Though the rules only apply to school enrollment, TDH recommends that all of the estimated 228,000 children ages 2 through 6 in the 32 counties be vaccinated against hepatitis A.

Studies indicate that 50 percent of the children in some of the 32 counties have been infected with hepatitis A by age 10. During the last 10 years there has been an average of 39 cases of hepatitis A infection per 100,000 population per year reported in the 32-county area. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine hepatitis A vaccinations be considered in areas with at least 10 cases per 100,000 population per year over a 10-year period.

Hepatitis A is a viral disease spread by the fecal-oral route through close personal contact or by consuming contaminated food or water. The disease affects the liver. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort, jaundice and dark urine. Symptoms can last several weeks. Young children may be infected without showing any signs of illness.

Satellites map local fields in eradication zone

PECOS, July 8, 1999 -- Using state-of-the-art technology provided by Global Positioning Satellites, the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation has begun an extensive mapping process of all cotton fields in the El Paso/Trans Pecos Boll Weevil Eradication Zone.

"The mapping phase provides us with the precision we need as we begin the eradication process," said EP/TP District Supervisor Larry Rodgers. "We use the same GPS satellites that the U.S. military employs giving us unparalleled accuracy that is so vital in the program," Rodgers said.

"The other critical element is working with cotton growers to gather information relative to establishing communication lines identifying field locations, acreage, and point of contacts," he added.

Grower participation, cooperation and understanding are vital to a successful eradication effort in the zone.

"Having access to fields, we are able to efficiently set and check boll weevil traps and this will further enhance the effectiveness of the program," Rodgers said.

"Precise mapping helps cotton growers by allowing very accurate applications of Malathion ULV, the only insecticide used by the Foundation and the same insecticide that many communities use when spraying for pesky mosquitoes. The ULV stands for ultra low volume and it is applied at 12 ounces per acre," said Program Director Osama El-Lissy.

"After many years of research

Federal court hearing for Herrera delayed

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 8, 1999 -- U.S. Magistrate Judge Stuart Platt had a busy day scheduled for the Pecos courtroom today, with defendants indicted by the grand jury last month to be arraigned.

Felony pleas are also on the docket, as Judge Platt assists District Judge Royal Furgeson with his caseload in the absence of Senior Judge Lucius Bunton.

One show cause hearing will not take place as scheduled because the subject is in jail in Tennessee.

Bail bondsman Joey Herrera has been subpoenaed to explain why he should not been held in contempt of court for failing to appear before Judge Platt on June 10 for a hearing on a bond matter.

On April 20, Herrera posted $50,000 surety bail for Jesus Ortiz and $25,000 surety for Gia Ortiz, charging them $7,500.

On the judge's amended order, Herrera later withdrew the surety and posted $5,000 cash bond, then requested an additional payment of $7,500 from the defendants, according to court records.

Their attorney, Adrian Chavez, filed a motion claiming that Herrera had threatened both defendants that he would withdraw the bonds if they failed to pay the additional $7,500.

Chavez alleged that Herrera is not authorized to post bonds in federal court.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Billy Johnson said that, since Herrera is in jail in Tennessee on another bond matter, the Pecos hearing was canceled.

Judge releases Guerrero, extends probation

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 8, 1999 -- Visiting judge Pat Baskin on Wednesday extended the probation of Juan Humberto Guerrero for six months and ordered him released from jail, following a lengthy hearing in 143rd District Court.

District Attorney Randy Reynolds had filed a motion to revoke Guerrero's probation shortly before the term expired on June 25. He had been convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and with delivery of cocaine on Oct. 9, 1992.

District Judge Bob Parks had placed Guerrero on 10 years community supervision on June 25, 1993, but reduced that in 1997 to six years.

Reynolds alleged in the motion to revoke probation that Guerrero had left Reeves County without written permission on Jan. 2, and was not at home that night as required.

Records of the Three Palms Inn were subpoenaed to prove that Guerrero was in Presidio that night.

In the four-hour hearing, two probation officers testified, as did a chemist with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Numerous individuals testified on Guerrero's behalf.

Pecos victory helps Murray set cash record

PECOS, July 8, 1999 -- The $11,608 won by Ty Murray at this past weekend's West of the Pecos Rodeo helped the seven-time National Finals Rodeo champion set a record for a single weekend of earnings, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association said Wednesday.

Murray won the All-Around and Saddle Bronc title at the West of the Pecos Rodeo, and collected $11,608 on the way to a $41,865 weekend at six rodeos across the Western United States.

The seven-time NFR All-Around champ won $10,613 in Greely, Colo., $5,741 in Cody, Wyo., and $5,265 in St. Paul, Ore. Murray picked up another $6,655 competing in rodeos at Prescott, Ariz., Molalla, Ore., and Oakley, Utah. He moved from fifth to second place in the 1999 All Around standings, trailing only roper Fred Whitfield, who placed third in calf roping in Pecos last weekend and went over the $100,000 mark in single season earnings faster than anyone in PRCA history.


AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Wednesday night: Winning numbers drawn: 8-14-21-23-28-35. Estimated jackpot: $17 million. Number matching six of six: 0. Matching five of six: 101. Prize: $1,641. Matching four of six: 8,906. Prize: $67.


AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Wednesday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 7-3-7 (seven, three, seven)


Gail Berry

Gail Berry, 53, of Andrews, died Tuesday, July 6, 1999, in Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo.

Services will be held Saturday, July 10, in Means Memorial United Methodist Church with Rev. Jim Terry, officiating. Burial will follow in the Andrews Old Cemetery.

She was born July 29, 1945, in Andrews, had lived in Pecos, San Angelo and Andrews, was employed with GTE for 32 years and retired in April 1999. She was a member of the Means Memorial United Methodist Church in Andrews.

Survivors include her mother, Jessie Hallene Roberts of Andrews; a daughter, Sherri Dawley of San Angelo; a son, Clint Berry of Colorado Springs, Colo.; a brother, Bill Roberts of Andrews and three grandchildren.

McNett Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Pablo Garcia

Pablo B. Garcia, 90, died Wednesday, July 7, 1999, at Reeves County Hospital.

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

Services are set for 10 a.m., Saturday, at the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints with Bishop John Swanson officiating. A military graveside service will be held at Toyah Cemetery.

He was born March 2, 1909, in Ojinaga, Chih., Mexico, was a longtime Pecos resident, had retired from Grace Co. and as a custodian for the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints. He had served in the U.S. Army during World War II in India-Burma from Oct. 1943-July 1945. He received six medals, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, two Bronze Service Stars, the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal and the Distinguished Unit Emblem-WWII.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Atanasio and Simona Garcia.

Survivors include two daughters, Petra Lara of Pecos and Ramona Chavez of Holland, Mich.; 15 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren and 25 great-great grandchildren.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


High Wednesday 97; low last night 69. Tonight, partly cloudy with a less than 20 percent chance of evening showers or thunderstorms. Low around 70. Light southeast wind. Friday, partly cloudy with a less than 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. High in the mid 90s. Southeast wind 10-20 mph.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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