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Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, August 23, 1999

County residents face RCH operations tax hike

Staff Writer

PECOS, Aug. 23, 1999 -- Reeves County taxpayers face a possible 3-cent increase in the tax rate for hospital operations in the year 2000, said Richard Mathis, chief financial officer.

Directors will consider adopting the operating and capital budget and set the tax rate following a public hearing during the regular meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Mathis said the total tax rate will decrease from 35 cents to 32 cents per $100 valuation because the bond debt requiring 5.4 cents on the tax rate will be paid off this year.

Taxable values decreased $2 million for 1999, said Carol King Markham, chief appraiser for the Reeves County Appraisal District.

Despite a $1.2 million increase in gross patient revenue projections, cutbacks in actual receipts from Medicare and higher operating costs are expected to increase the hospital's loss from operations by $633,266, Mathis said.

Additional expenses include recruitment costs for a new obstetrician and continuing education for administrators and medical staff on Medicare/Medicaid rules and regulations affecting reimbursement for hospital care.

"The way things are changing with Medicare, whatever the doctor calls for here has an effect on the hospital," Mathis said. "We feel it is to the district's benefit to allow for continuing education for doctors to stay up with current laws."

Budget figures will be discussed Tuesday in a public hearing on the proposed budget during the board's regular monthly meeting at 5 p.m.

The board will also consider recommendations from the finance committee on the Balmorhea Rural Health Clinic, contract for physician recruiting, office space and emergency room renovations.

Tax matters include approval of the 1999 certified appraisal roll, anticipated tax collection rate and calculation of effective and rollback tax rates, and exemptions.

Routine reports include financial statements, payment of bills, medical staff and administrator's reports.

Police seize ostrich pens linked to marijuana

Staff Writer

PECOS, Aug. 23, 1999 -- Pecos Police on Friday seized ostrich pens on Rancho Road belonging to Evaristo Guerrero, who is believed to have fled to Mexico to avoid arrest on a marijuana possession charge.

The seizure results from an April 25 raid on property north of Pecos, where 720 pounds of marijuana was found in a bunker.

Having received numerous complaints that the ostrich pens were used for drug activity, police searched them and found five weapons along with packaging similar to that found with the marijuana, said Paul Deishler, narcotics investigator.

Guerrero and Evigael Navarette, who also owns nearby ostrich pens, are suspected of operating a drug smuggling operation that imports marijuana from Mexico and re-packages it in Pecos for distribution to Dallas and points east.

Navarette 41, of 1035 Rancho Rd. has been charged in federal court with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, after police officers stopped him on a probation violation June 6.

A search of the vehicle turned up $17,500 in cash, which the police department seized.

A subsequent search of the Navarette home turned up contraband, weapons and ammunition.

He is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Stuart Platt on Tuesday to enter a plea to the charge.

Narcotics investigator Paul Deishler said that the investigation into activities of the suspected drug ring continue, and more arrests are expected.

Deishler said officers seized all the buildings, materials and land the ostrich pens occupies, but did not seize the ostriches nor Guerrero's home.

Geo's rodeo story, but not pictures, on Web

PECOS, Aug. 23, 1999 -- Internet users can get a quick look at the September National Geographic Magazine's article on professional rodeos.

But to see the pictures by famed photographer William Allen Allard, who attended last year's West of the Pecos Rodeo, you'll have to pick up a copy of the magazine.

The story "Rodeos - Behind the Chutes" by Michael Parfit was posted at the National Geographic's web site last Tuesday, and does give Pecos co-mention with Prescott, Ariz. as staking claim to have held the world's first rodeo, though the bulk of Parfit's article focuses on rodeos later in 1998, including last December's National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev.

It also includes objections by animal rights activists to rodeo as a sport and the Geographic's website includes an online forum to continue that discussion.

But because the feature was designed to focus on Allard's photos, anyone looking for shots of the Pecos Rodeo on the Internet will be disappointed.

Allard, a 35-year veteran of the magazine, made Pecos his one Texas stop on the 1998 rodeo circuit as part of his pictorial, which was done during a period of eight weeks over a 10 1/2 month period in 1998.

It also marked a return to western photography for the 60-year-old Charlottesville, Va., resident, who worked as a freelancer for the magazine between 1967 and 1996, during which time many of a photo essays focused on the West.

It culminated in his 1982 book `Vanishing Breed,' which won "Outstanding Western Book of the Year" from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.

Kidnapping trial underway

PECOS, Aug. 23, 1999 -- Jury selection began this morning in 143rd District Court in the aggravated kidnapping trial of Juan Daniel Sanchez, 33, of Balmorhea.

Sanchez is charged with kidnapping a woman Sept. 5, 1998 with intent to violate and sexually abuse her, using a handgun to threaten to kill her.

District Attorney Randy Reynolds is prosecuting for the state, and Jesse Gonzales is defense attorney. Judge Bob Parks is presiding.


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

Winning numbers drawn: 5-15-24-27-32-33. Estimated jackpot: $14 million. Number matching six of six: none. Matching five of six: 101. Prize: $1,581. Matching four of six: 5,540. Prize: $104.


PECOS, Aug. 23, 1999 -- High Sunday 103; low last night 70. Tonight, partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low around 70. East wind 5-15 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent. Tuesday, partly sunny with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. High lower 90s. East wind 5-15 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.

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Pecos Enterprise
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