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Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, November 5, 1999

Area cities' sales tax rebates fall sharply

Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 5, 1999 - Sales tax rebate checks were down by a third for all three cities in Reeves County, and dropped by as much as two-thirds for other towns in the Permian Basin and Big Bend areas.

Pecos' rebate check for November of $56,073 was down 33.73 percent from the $84,621 check the city got back from State Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander's office last year, based on the city's 1½ cent share of the state's 8¼ cent sales tax.

Part of the decline was due to a sharp jump in last November's tax rebate check. November checks are based on tax collections made in the city during September. Pecos' rebate check was still down compared with November 1997, but by only 10 percent. The city got back $62,126 from Austin two years ago.

For all of 1999, Pecos has received $690,087 back from Rylander's office, a 5.89 percent decline from the first 11 months of last year.

Other area cities had the same problem showing a sharp drop in their tax rebate checks after an increase a year ago. Monahans' $57,295 check on its two cent sales tax was off 38 percent from last year, Fort Stockton's 68,088 on its 1½ cent tax was down by 27.36 percent, while Van Horn and Wink reported declines of 45.7 and 66.8 percent respectively compared with a year ago.

Alpine was the only city to buck the trend. Their tax rebate check of $79,758 was up 16 percent from 1998's total. Andrews had the smallest decline of any area city, falling just 5.87 percent, but that city's oil-based economy was one of the first affected by the major drop in oil prices in late 1997, and took its big hit a year ago, when the November check from the comptroller's office was down by 24 percent.

Oil prices have bounced back in recent months, but the increase has not yet shown up in the region's sales tax rebate figures.

Balmorhea saw it's rebate check drop from 1,224 to 829 despite a rise in its tax rate from 1 to 1.5 percent. The total was 32.23 percent below last November and for the year; Balmorhea has gotten 30.70 percent less in sales tax rebate revenue.

Toyah, which raised its tax rate a year before Balmorhea, saw a 34 percent drop in November, from $617 to $407. Overall though, the city's numbers look better for the year up 145 percent from 1998.

Statewide, November's rebate checks to cities and counties totaled $227.5 million, down 0.17 percent from a year ago. For all of 1999 so far, checks sent out from Rylander's office are just over $2.5 billion, a 5.65 percent increase from last year.

Illegal horse source earns indictment for pair

Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 5, 1999 - Smuggled drugs are not unusual in federal court. But smuggled horses are.

Grand jurors for the Pecos Division on Thursday indicted a Lajitas stable operator and a Mexican citizen for bringing four horses across the Rio Grande without documentation.

Linda Lou Walker, 44, of Lajitas, and Jose Onorio Orozco-Pina, 38, of Nuevo Lajitas, Mex., allegedly conspired to smuggle and with smuggling one Palomino gelding, one sorrel mare, one sorrel stallion and one Appaloosa gelding into the United States from Mexico.

Unusual charges were the order of the day for the grand jury, which indicted a woman for stealing property within a special maritime territorial jurisdiction, and a man for failure to surrender for service of his sentence.

Anale Leigh Young, 23, of Spring, is charged with stealing $8,774 belonging to the National Parks Concessions Inc. during a period from Aug. 9 to Sept. 14.

Hilario Alvarez-Sifuentes, 41, of Dallas, is wanted for failure to surrender.

Four defendants were indicted for failure to appear for court, 10 are charged with illegal entry after deportation, 11 with marijuana possession with intent to distribute, and two are charged with importing and possessing marijuana for distribution.

Commissioners again to discuss N-dump site

PECOS, Nov. 5, 1999 - Opposing a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility will once again be the topic of discussion at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting, scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Monday.

Commissioners will meet on the third floor of the Reeves County Courthouse and the public is invited to attend the open meeting.

Commissioners will continue their discussion of Envirocare of Texas' plans to build a waste storage facility at one of three sites in West Texas, including a location northeast of Barstow in Ward County. A second site would also be located near Reeves County, at a site somewhere in central Loving County.

The site has been the subject of several meetings in the area, including Grandfalls and Monahans, which hosted a meeting of waste dump opponents last Sunday in which Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo was one of the main speakers.

In other action, commissioners will discuss the Area Agency on Aging's Contract for Older Americans Act Program at the Balmorhea Senior Center; Reeves County Detention Center bus transportation services contract and Montgomery-Kone elevator proposal for the Reeves County Sheriff's Office elevator repairs.

Payments for several companies will also be discussed including Frank Spencer and Associates request for payment No. 4; Trinity Engineering request for payment; DRG Architect's request for payment and Banes General Contractors request for payment.

Commissioners will discuss declaring fixed asset items at Sheriff's Office as salvage and will listen to a presentation by George Arroyos of TCDRS regarding Reeves County retirement plan fund review.

During the meeting the group will approve election workers for voting Box 9 and canvass the November 1999 election.

Legal services for Reeves County Reapportionment/Redistricting based on 2000 Census will also be discussed.

Other items for discussion and approval include:

· Reports from various departments.

· Budget amendments and line-item transfers.

· Personnel and salary changes (RCDC, JDC, recreation department and the Road and Bridge Department).

· Minutes from previous meetings.

· Semi-monthly bills.

· Spread on Minutes: Notice of over-axle-gross weight permits; DRG Architect Associates Contract dated Oct. 11 and Arco State 14-5 Railroad No. 33585 API 42-389-32010.

Church set to welcome new pastor

Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 5, 1999 - Joseph T. Fields has joined the congregation as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, and a service of installation is planned in his honor, at 4 p.m. this Sunday.

The installation service will be held at the church, 401 S. Plum and everyone is invited to welcome Fields into the community.

Fields and his wife, Mary, have been living in Monahans since March 1997, and he has been serving as pastor to the First Presbyterian Church there. His new pastorate will include both parishes.

He was born and raised in Kentucky and holds a Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology SMU in Dallas.

He has previously served as chaplain for Family Hospice in Fort Worth while serving as pulpit supply for First Presbyterian Church in Canton. Prior to his work with hospice, he served as the only full time chaplain working exclusively in Community Services for Texas Mental Health Mental Retardation at Terrell State Hospital covering a 15 county area of northeast Texas.

A self-taught artist, his time in West Texas has afforded him the opportunity to do more of this past time. He has completed drawings of several churches in the Tres Rios Presbytery, and has a goal of drawing all 36. He also enjoys reading, walking, traveling, or simply viewing old movies, "especially John Wayne's."

"Some talents I bring to my ministry are a genuine love of people and a willingness to help those in need," said Fields. "I also bring my effectiveness at being a good teacher, preacher and leader."

"I have a talent to be sensitive to the needs of others and to enable them to help themselves in ways that display, not only the love of God in my own life, but in their lives as well," he said.

"We are truly excited about God's call to become pastor of First Presbyterian Church here in Pecos," said Fields.

The congregation encourages everyone in the community to visit any of their services and always welcome new members.

Bunce captures Power Points Week 8 title

PECOS, Nov. 5, 1999 - Byron Bunce, 2405 S. Eddy St., was this week's local winner in the Pecos Enterprise Power Points contest. Bunce scored 111 out of a possible 136 points to win Week 8 of the competition and earn tickets to an Odessa Jackalopes hockey game.

Statewide, the $1,000 first prize winner was a 9-year-old Canutillo girl, Crystal Pegoda, who was entered into the contest by her grandparents through the El Paso Times. She scored 133 out of 136 points to earn top honors.

PHS sets meeting for seniors, parents

PECOS, Nov. 5, 1999 - An important meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 6:15 p.m., in the Pecos High School Cafeteria for all Pecos High School seniors.

Seniors and their parents are encouraged to attend the meeting. Graduation invitations will be ordered at this time and seniors will be measured for their caps and gowns.

Seniors need to bring their order form packets with them at this time.

Mr. Jacks with Herff-Jones will be taking up orders at the meeting.


AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Thursday night: Winning numbers drawn: 11-16-34-27-23. Number matching five of five: 5. Prize per winner: $16,556. Winning tickets sold in: Baytown, El Paso, Flatonia, New Braunfels and Spring. Matching four of five: 280. Prize: $444.


AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Thursday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 2-3-6 (two, three, six)


PECOS, Nov. 5, 1999 - High Thursday 87; low last night 42. Tonight, partly cloudy. Low in the mid 40s. South wind 5-10 mph. Saturday, mostly sunny and unseasonably warm. High 80-85. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Extended forecast - Saturday night, fair. Lows in the mid 40s. Sunday through Tuesday, mostly sunny days and fair nights. Lows n the 40s. Highs from the lower to mid 80s.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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