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Jan. 16, 1996

County probation officer

on probation over assault

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PECOS, Jan. 16, 1996 - A local adult probation officer pleaded no
contest to assault charge filed by a female co-worker.

Louis Aten, probation officer for the Reeves County Adult Probation
Office, was arrested Jan. 3 for simple assault.

The warrant was issued earlier that day by Reeves County Justice of the
Peace Precinct 3 Joel Madrid, after Reeves County Deputy Armando Granado
took a report from RCAPO employee Sandra Yeager, who told the deputy
that Aten allegedly hit her in the face with some papers.

Madrid said this morning that Aten pleaded no contest to the charge
Friday and was charged a $235 fine and issued a 30-day deferred
adjudication probationary sentence.

Yeager said this morning, "for my protection, I will have to say no
comment (on the matter)."

Fire may keep motel closed 4-6 weeks

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Staff Writer

PECOS, Jan. 16, 1996 - Repair work is already underway at the Swiss
Clock Inn Motel, following a fire near the lobby early Friday morning,
but company officials said they did not know when the motel would reopen
for business.

The Alpine Lodge Restaurant, located between the two wings of the motel
on Interstate 20, is still open for its regular hours, despite the fire
which heavily damaged the laundry room area, located behind the lobby on
the east side of the building.

"The restaurant portion is open, but the motel is closed to the public,"
said motel manager Jean Badders. "ABF Trucking Company has its office
(open) located in the back, but we are not opening the motel just yet."

Badders said the motel insurance company will be sending someone to
investigate the fire and assess the damage. Fire officials speculated on
Friday that an old soda machine in the laundry room may have been the
source of the blaze, which broke out about 5 a.m. that day.

"A fire restoration crew will also be coming out to see how much it will
cost to clean up the debris," said Badders. "The work though will
probably be done by our own employees or local individuals."

"We don't know exactly how long it will take to have operations back to
the way they were," said Badders.

Motel officials have estimated it will take from 4-6 weeks to have
operations in order and the motel open to the public.

"We're hoping it will only take this long, with everyone pitching in and
helping out, maybe we can open sooner," Badders said. "All the employees
have been really good about helping us out here," she said.

Badders also wanted to express her appreciation to everyone who helped
out during this time and thank all the motel's loyal customers.

Holiday Inn has reported a slight increase in customers, since the
inoperable Sunday House. "It's not a whole lot, but we have seen an
increase," said a spokesperson for that facility.

Motel 6 reported a larger increase in the amount of customers it is
generating, since the fire.

"We've seen a big increase in our customers, truckers and individuals,"
said Motel 6 Manager Henry Dominguez.

Motel taxes will suffer because of operations. "Anytime you're not
taking in money, it will create a negative effect," said Chamber of
Commerce Director Tom Rivera.

"It will have a negative effect on sales taxes," he said.

First sales tax rebates for 1996 show decline

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PECOS, Jan. 16, 1996 - Reeves County took a hit on sales tax revenue for
the month of January, when rebates were down 2.97 percent on November
sales, reflecting a statewide trend for the month.

Balmorhea lost the largest percentage, with payments 64.46 percent below
last year. State Comptroller John Sharp sent Balmorhea $126, down from
$353 for the same period last year.

Toyah received $432, down 48.57 percent from last year's $840, while the
Reeves County Hospital District's tax rebate of $18,474 was down 37.2
percent from January of 1995.

Pecos sales taxes dropped only slightly, with a rebate of $47,090,
compared to $47,916 last year. It continued a six-month trend in which
the city's tax rebate have shown virtually no change from the previous

Statewide, Sharp said cities received 2.5 percent more than one year
ago, while counties were down 6 percent.

"Texas consumers are remaining cautious with their pocketbooks," Sharp
said as he delivered $138.1 million in rebates to 1,072 cities and 115

Sales tax collections across Texas rose only 1.7 percent in November,
which was a factor in Sharp's prediction that state retailers would see
only a small increase in Christmas sales.

The city of Dallas bucked the statewide trend with an increase of 9.2

"The Dallas area continued to show economic growth in the last year,
with overall employment rising by 3.2 percent," Sharp said. "In
addition, Hitachi announced a $400 million project that will add jobs
and increase production at their Irving semiconductor plant."

Austin remained the fastest growing major metro area in the state, with
6.9 percent employment growth. However, their consumer spending was down
5.2 percent.

Second graders honor King

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PECOS, Jan. 16, 1996 - Patricia Matthews and her second grade class at
Austin Elementary School have celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.'s
birthday annually for several years now.

"I want to teach the children the importance of living and dying if the
need arises for what you believe in," said Matthews.

Matthews uses a variety of resources to teach the children about Dr.
King's life and the life other African-American's as well.

Her main focus is to highlight the fact that King lived and died that
all men could have a better life.

"his life epitomizes what everyone's life should be about, `Love,'" said


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PECOS, Jan. 16, 1996 - High Monday 73, low last night 51. Tonight,
partly cloudy. Low around 45. Southwest wind 10-15 mph. Wednesday,
mostly cloudy. High in the lower 70s. West to southwest wind 15-25 mph
and gusty. Caution advised on area lakes.

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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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