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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Top Stories

Tuesday, November 30, 1999

Candidates begin filing for election

Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 30, 1999 - Filing for positions on the ballot in the March primary elections will begin on Friday, but already both incumbent Reeves County Commissioners appear to have re-election challenges on their hands.

While the official filing date is three days off, individuals wanting to run for office in the March 14, 2000 primary election, can now file their treasurer's designation with the Reeves County Clerk.

"This is the first step they take in running for office and then they have to file with (Reeves County Democratic Chairman) Bobby Dean," said Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez.

Candidates can also file to run in the Republican primary election, to be held the same day, but in heavily Democratic Reeves County, the March primary race winners usually are unopposed in the November general election.

Offices open for election include the Reeves County Tax Assessor-Collector, a position currently held by Elfida Zuniga; Reeves County Sheriff, a position held by Andy Gomez; Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 1, currently held by Felipe Arredondo; Commissioner Precinct 3, a position held by Herman Tarin; the County Attorney's position, currently held by Walter Holcombe; 143rd District Attorney, held by Randy Reynolds; 143rd District Judge, a position held by Bob Parks, and the four constable positions.

Several individuals have already filed their treasurer's designation with Florez, including Arredondo, who listed himself as treasurer for the position of Commissioner Precinct 1. Jesse L. Baeza has designated Bonnie Valles as treasurer for his bid for Arredondo's Precinct 1 spot, while James Lee M. "Jimmy Gallego, designated Linda G. Briceno as treasurer for his campaign to run for the Precinct 3 commissioner's post held by Tarin, who like Arredondo, plans to run for re-election.

Also filing according to Florez was Louis Urquidez Carrasco, who designated Crissy Martinez a treasurer for his campaign for Reeves County Attorney.

The filing period for a place on the ballot in the Democratic primary election will begin at 9 a.m., Friday, Dec. 3 and continue until 6 p.m., Jan 3, 2000.

The place for filing is 523 S. Hackberry Street, in Pecos.

The filing period for the office of Precinct Chairman is now open and will remain open until Jan. 3. This is an important position and there will probably be an opportunity for those elected to choose a candidate for one or more vacancies that occur between January and September 2000. If you are interested in becoming a Precinct Chair contact Dean, at 915-445-3071 or 915-528-7447, for the forms necessary to have your name placed on the ballot.

Along with the local races in March, other state and national election races will be on the primary ballot. On the Democratic side, at least two challengers have said they plan to run against incumbent Republican congressman Henry Bonilla, while the race between Al Gore and Bill Bradley for the Democratic nomination will also be on the Democratic ballot.

Aside from Bonilla, State Rep. Gary Walker will also be on the local Republican ballot, while Gov. George W. Bush will be among the names on the presidential primary ballot.

Crash kills Ft. Stockton man, 9-year-old

An early morning accident on Sunday on a farm road north of Imperial killed a man and child from Fort Stockton and injured two others.

The accident occurred at about 10:35 a.m. Sunday on Farm Market Road 1053, north of Imperial in Pecos County.

According to the Department of Public Safety, four people were traveling north in the vehicle on FM 1053, when there was a distraction in the vehicle. The front side passenger grabbed the steering wheel, which sent the car into a broadside skid, into the bar ditch on the east side of the highway. The car overturned about two times and coming to rest on left side.

Three passengers were thrown from the vehicle. The passenger on the front seat was thrown eight feet north of the vehicle; the passenger in the rear, was thrown and came to rest five feet north of the vehicle and the right rear passenger was ejected and the vehicle came to rest on top of that person.

Killed were 30-year-old Michael Martinez of Fort Stockton, along with a passenger in the vehicle, identified as 9-year-old Martika Martinez.

The incident was investigated by Trooper Anthony Mata, with the Fort Stockton Department of Public Safety Office.

Permit questions stop shipments to WIPP

Associated Press Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The federal government has suspended shipments of nuclear waste to its southeastern New Mexico repository until waste-generating weapons sites can prove what is in their barrels.

A state permit for the waste, challenged both by environmentalists and the Department of Energy, went into effect Friday.

The long-awaited permit eventually would let the DOE's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad receive shipments of radioactive waste that also contain hazardous chemicals.

WIPP opened in late March, after two decades of planning, without the state permit. The DOE has sent 44 shipments of purely radioactive waste since then - 17 from Los Alamos; 23 from Rocky Flats in Colorado; and four from the Idaho Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.

New Mexico has no authority over shipments of solely radioactive waste, but does have jurisdiction over waste that has both radioactive and chemical components.

All shipments to WIPP will stop for now, however.

The DOE must audit each site that generates waste and submit a report to the state Environment Department. Officials will review the audits to ensure each site complies with the permit's waste analysis requirements, Nathan Wade, a spokesman for the Environment Department, said Monday.

It will take several weeks for the DOE to write reports and the state to review them, Wade said. The process does not require public comments or hearings.

A DOE official in Washington said the agency expected to resume shipments in early January, but Wade said that timetable was "highly unlikely."

The DOE official, who spoke on condition his name not be used, said the agency expects Rocky Flats to be ready to ship again in January. A site in Hanford, Wash., would come on line in February, followed by the Idaho lab. Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico would resume shipping sometime next year and Savannah River, S.C., would initiate shipments next year.

The WIPP site is located in eastern Eddy County, 75 miles north of Pecos. Waste from the Savannah site and four other locations in eastern states will travel to WIPP along Interstate 20, exiting the highway on the south side of Pecos and traveling north along U.S. 285.

"The process depends on getting sites authorized to ship as quickly as possible," the DOE official said.

If the process is drawn out six or seven months for each site, "it could cause significant delays" in the agency's ability to clean up the nuclear waste complex, he said. "That would be a severe disappointment."

But Don Hancock, head of the Southwest Research and Information Center, an Albuquerque-based environmental group long critical of WIPP, pointed out the Energy Department had not shipped to WIPP since Nov. 9 - a delay caused at Rocky Flats and not by the state permit.

And, he said, most of the Rocky Flats and Idaho shipments have not been full shipments. Sending partial shipments will take longer to fill WIPP and will increase hauling costs, Hancock said.

Pat Etchart, a DOE spokesman at Rocky Flats, said six Rocky Flats shipments did not fill all three shipping casks because they had to comply with weight limits or rules against mixing waste streams.

He said Rocky Flats had not shipped anything since early November because the contractor at the Colorado site initiated a "safety slowdown" at the entire complex to check compliance with operating procedures. The DOE could have resumed shipments after that, but since the agency knew shipments would be suspended once the permit went into effect, it decided to focus on complying with the permit, he said.

"It is our goal to be the first site that can demonstrate compliance with the new permit requirements," he said. Rocky Flats hopes to resume shipments in the first quarter of 2000, Etchart said.

The DOE sued Nov. 3 in federal court in Albuquerque, arguing that complying with the permit would cost too much and would endanger workers.

Among its objections is a provision that requires Westinghouse, WIPP's main contractor, to provide $100 million in financial assurances that the state will not get stuck with cleanup once the site closes. The DOE contends the state should not require financial assurances and threatened to withhold $20 million in highway funds if the state did not withdraw the requirement.

Wade has defended the provision, saying the federal government "isn't very good at cleaning up after itself."

Hancock's group also has challenged the permit, arguing in a filing before the state Court of Appeals that the DOE's application was inadequate and that the Environment Department ignored expert testimony on safety concerns.

Mass graves found at Juarez drug ranches

Associated Press Writer
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico - More than 100 people, including 22 Americans, are believed to have been killed by a Mexican drug cartel and buried on two ranches near this border city, Mexican authorities said today.

U.S. and Mexican agents returned today to resume the search for people Attorney General Jorge Madrazo said were believed killed by the Juarez drug cartel, the dominant Mexican drug-trafficking organization in the mid-1990s.

"The list is of more than 100 persons who hypothetically could be buried in those points," Madrazo told the Televisa network here. Twenty-two of them, he said, were believed to be U.S. citizens.

"In the last four years, and possibly over more time, citizens of both nationalities have disappeared without leaving any trace," a statement from Madrazo's office said.

Assistant FBI Director Thomas Pickard said today in Washington that agents at the scene has recovered part of one body this morning.

"We believe these people were killed for their knowledge or for being witnesses to drug trafficking endeavors," Pickard said. "Most of the information we have shows these individuals were buried there at least two to three years ago, so it's not a recent situation."

Pickard said digging only started late yesterday and that 68 FBI agents and forensic experts and other U.S. personnel were escorted to the sites this morning by Mexican authorities.

"We've been discussing this for a period of time with the Mexicans," Pickard said, describing a process he said has taken several months. "We developed some information and provided them with information, and they went and developed their own information."

He said "it's a pretty good assumption" that Americans are among those buried at the ranches, given "the proximity to the border."

President Clinton said he had not received confirmation that 22 Americans were among the believed victims and he condemned the killings as "a horrible example" of the excesses of Mexico's drug cartels.

"I think it reinforces the imperative of our trying not only to protect our border but to work with the Mexican authorities to try to combat these," Clinton said in Washington. "We had a lot of success a few years ago in taking down a number of the Colombian drug cartels, and one of the adverse consequences of that was a lot of the operations were moved north into Mexico.

"There are organized criminal operations there and they are particularly vicious."

Authorities were led to the two ranches by an informant who first approached the FBI early this year, a federal law enforcement official said in Washington today. The informant said there might be as many as 100 bodies there, including some people who had been providing information to U.S. drug agents, according to the official, who requested anonymity.

The official said investigators vetted the informant's veracity, including giving the informant a lie detector test, before beginning the effort to dig up the bodies.

On Monday night, dozens of armed soldiers, some wearing black ski masks,


AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Monday night: Winning numbers drawn: 31-30-25-05-34. Number matching five of five: 1. Prize per winner: $76,712. Winning ticket sold in: Austin. Matching four of five: 197. Prize: $584.


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 5-9-1 (five, nine, one)


Bettye Ivey

Bettye Louise Weaver Ivey, 76, died Sunday, Nov. 28, 1999, at her home after a long battle with cancer.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Thursday, at United Methodist Church, 600 W. Park Street, in Cedar Park.

She was born Nov. 14, 1923, to Frank Arthur Weaver and Florence Eileen Darr Weaver, in Langtry. She married Paul Ivey and adopted three children, Shawn, Veronica and Deborah.

Survivors include one son, Shawn Ivey; two daughters, Viki Cate and Debbie Boone and five grandchildren.


High Monday 69. Low this morning 30. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low 40-45. South wind 5-15 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy: Windy and warmer. High in the upper 70s. Southwest wind 20-30 mph and gusty. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Lows 40-45.

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Pecos Enterprise
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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