July 15, 1996
Main Menu|Archives Menu|

Rains give mountain areas drought relief

From Staff and Wire Reports

Maybe it wasn't enough to break the drought, but nobody complained about
Sunday's rains that refreshed pastures and brought up creeks in and
around the Davis Mountains south of Pecos.

Jody McElroy of Balmorhea said that .70 inch fell in parts of southern
Reeves County, while the city of Balmorhea measured .20 inch.

Limpia Creek was flowing strongly alongside Highway 17 in Jeff Davis
County early Sunday evening, and the city of Alpine got a deluge both on
Saturday night and on Sunday afternoon, soaking many Pecosites attending
a baseball playoff game there.

While Alpine reported about three inches of rain, no rain at all was
reported 25 miles away in Marfa, while rain fell Sunday afternoon 20
miles to the north in Fort Davis.

"It was real scattered," McElroy said.

Fort Stockton fared about the same as Balmorhea, with .25 inch reported
by the National Weather Service.

Pecos got a few drops and benefited by cloudy skies, which held the
Sunday temperature to 92 degrees. The overnight low was 72.

Showers and thunderstorms are forecast across most of areas of West
Texas through Tuesday.

The mountain areas to the south and west of Pecos have received more
rain in recent weeks, with as much as three inches reported in the Upper
Rio Grande Valley north of El Paso.

New Mexico's chili growers have said that after a hot, dry spring, the
rains have come at the wrong time for their crop, which is threatened by
chili wilt, a leaf fungus, and a variety of other afflictions associated
with too much moisture.

In the Mesilla Valley near Las Cruces, where most of the state's chilis
are grown, the last two weeks have brought about 3 inches of rain.

``The rain has been wonderful for other crops, but chili is a sensitive
plant, and you have to baby it,'' said Mary Lou Tharp, a Las Cruces
chili farmer.

The ongoing dry weather in the Pecos area hasn't been all bad news,
since the area's main summer crop, cantaloupes, also can be hurt by
heavy rains at harvest time.

The rains have held off, and higher food prices have "trickled up" to
cantaloupe growers, with a 22-cent jump in retail prices last week.

"It is a good market," said Trey Miller for Pecos Cantaloupe Company
this morning.

Cantaloupes are being harvested and packed at a fast pace, and the
quality is good, Miller said.

Onion prices went up as well, after months of a depressed market due to
an oversupply.

Miller said he does not handle onion sales, and doesn't know how the
price has affected Pecos Cantaloupe Co.

Fruit and vegetable prices are volatile, and could move up or down as
the season progresses.

Aside from the Davis Mountains, areas of North Central Texas also were
reporting heavy rains over the weekend.

At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, 2.12 inches fell on Sunday.
It was the most rainfall recorded there since May 5, 1995. Many other
reporting stations in North Texas got an inch or more of rainfall.

But forecasters say there's only a slight chance of showers and
thunderstorms through Tuesday.

Higher food prices have "trickled up" to cantaloupe growers, with a
22-cent jump in retail prices last week.

"It is a good market," said Trey Miller for Pecos Cantaloupe Company
this morning.

Cantaloupes are being harvested and packed at a fast pace, and the
quality is good, Miller said.

Onion prices went up as well, after months of a depressed market due to
an oversupply.

Miller said he does not handle onion sales, and doesn't know how the
price has affected Pecos Cantaloupe Co.

Fruit and vegetable prices are volatile, and could move up or down as
the season progresses.

Corn and soybeans futures prices raced to new highs Friday on the
Chicago Board of Trade as dry weather continues to plague young
Midwestern crops that badly need moisture.

Parts of Illinois, Indiana and Iowa have not received rain for almost a
month, and searing, mostly dry weather is expected next week. Crops need
at least 1 to 2 inches of rain, but scattered rain is the best farmers
can hope for.

``The market is taking it hook line and sinker that hot conditions are
going to come into the Midwest next week and stress corn and soybeans
that have been without widespread rain for the last three weeks,'' said
analyst Joel Karlin at Everen Securities Inc. in Chicago.

Corn and soybean crops look slightly worse than they did last year, but
analysts predict next Monday's Agriculture Department report will show
dry weather has hurt crops significantly.

Wheat futures dropped after the USDA predicted a greater-than-expected
harvest. With the harvest more than half complete, winter wheat
production was put at 1.48 billion bushels, up 8 percent from the June 1
forecast. As a result, the harvest will be the lowest since 1989 instead
of 1978 as first thought. Wheat stocks are expected to rise to 428
million bushels from 340 million.

Corn for July delivery gained 9 cents to $5.48 a bushel; September corn
gained 7¼ cents to $4.28½ cents a bushel. August soybeans rose 16¼ cents
to $8.38¼ a bushel; September wheat dropped 5 cents to $5.01 a bushel;
September oats lost 4_ cents to $2.30 cents.

Hog futures prices gained on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange because of
a recent government report that said historically high corn prices
likely would lead farmers to reduce their hog herds by about 5 percent,
Luth said. Live cattle futures rose in sympathy with hogs, but feeder
cattle lost ground on higher corn prices.

August frozen pork bellies surged the 2-cent limit to 84.30 cents a
pound - the third consecutive limit-increase. August live hogs gained
1.25 cent to 57.55 cents a pound; Live August cattle gained 1 cent to
67.90 cents a pound; August feeder cattle lost .48 cent to 60.27 cents a

Copyright 1996 Pecos Enterprise. All rights reserved. AP contributed to
this report.

Carlsbad man dies in Saturday rollover

Return to Top
Staff Writer

A one-vehicle car accident early Saturday morning claimed the life of a
Carlsbad man, while two others, including a Pecos man, were treated and
released from a Monahans hospital.

James Ogden, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene by Ward County Justice
of the Peace Pascual Olibas at 5:35 a.m. after Ogden had lost control of
his pickup and crashed almost two hours earlier.

Rex Ogden, 28, of Odessa, and Robert Charlie Rehrig, 29, of Pecos, were
listed in stable condition Saturday at the Ward County Memorial
Hospital, according to the local Texas Department of Public Safety
dispatcher, but have since been released, said a WCMH spokesperson.

According to investigating Monahans DPS Trooper Shannon Gray, the
accident occurred on Interstate 20 near mile marker 54, about five miles
east of Barstow, just before 3:45 a.m.

Gray's report said the men were westbound headed towards Pecos on I-20
when the vehicle left the roadway to the right into a bar ditch. James
Ogden over-corrected to the left, and the pickup reentered the westbound
lane and traffic, crossed the median, into the eastbound lane and
traffic. The vehicle came to rest in the southside bar ditch after
rolling over one time.

None of the men were wearing seat belts, Gray said.

James Ogden's next of kin have been notified and his body was taken to
Harkey Funeral Chapel in Monahans.

Newsweek story uses

`pickup line' by Luna

Return to Top
Staff Writer

Greg Luna thought it was a joke when a man accompanying senatorial
candidate Victor Morales to Pecos last week told him he was from

But it was no joke, and Luna's remarks lead off Joe Klein's story in
this past week's edition of the national newsmagazine.

"It was Tuesday night in Pecos and Victor Morales was working without a
net," Klein wrote.

"Hey, where's your truck?" asked Greg Luna, a retired hospital

Morales drove his 1992 Nissan pickup around Texas during the past year,
logging 70,000 miles. But he left it at home this trip.

Luna said he was hoping for a picture of himself with Morales and the

"It's the perfect symbol. David vs. Goliath," Luna said. "People say,
`I don't know about you, but I'm voting for the little guy in the pickup

Luna said this morning that his remarks were just a light-hearted,
humorous conversation, and he was surprised it wound up in Newsweek.
Klein was standing next to Morales, and when he asked for Luna's name,
he thought it was a gag. "I thought, `sure, Newsweek in Pecos?'" Luna

Luna was impressed by the dark-horse candidate.

"He's a breath of fresh air," he said. "The guy seems and sounds
honest, sincere and I think he's going to make it. He sounds like a
wonderful man.

"This man is different. He will not represent gridlock, I assure you.
He reminds me of what we were in World War II - `we can do it.' After
the war, something happened to us. We became more conservative," Luna

Morales took Luna's comments about his pickup seriously.

"I guess I'll have to keep that in mind if I'm gonna beat Phil Gramm,"
he sighed. "And I am going to beat Gramm. Bad."

In the story in the July 14 issue of the magazine, Klein suggests that
ultra-conservative Gramm's sidle to the middle of the road could be due
in part to the little white pickup truck puttering across Texas.

In separate appearances before

Film leads earthlings to invade Roswell

Return to Top

AMARILLO (AP) - Some think aliens visited the eastern New Mexico city of
Roswell nearly 50 years ago. This summer, the human invasion of Roswell
has been indisputable.

The July 2 release of the wildly successful alien attack flick
``Independence Day'' happened to coincide with the city's annual UFO
convention. Not coincidental are the hundreds of national and
international media that have flocked there.

In Roswell, the alien business is no joking matter.

``People here do not laugh about it; they are easily offended by people
who don't take them seriously,'' Deon Crosby, director of the
International UFO Museum and Research Center, told the Amarillo

Crosby organizes the annual Roswell UFO Encounters convention in a city
of 50,000 residents and three museums dedicated to the extraterrestrial.

Roswell became the hub of UFO study in 1947 following a mysterious crash
near the now-closed Walker Air Base there. Visitors and media have
brought extra attention to a place already etched in interplanetary

The ``Area 51'' crash site at Roswell is a key to the plot of
``Independence Day'' and is part of the story line of another summer
action release, ``The Rock.''

The president of UFO Central Home Video recently said that videos based
on extraterrestrial themes have piggybacked on the success of
``Independence Day.''

Tim Crawford said that some, including ``Alien Autopsy,'' and ``UFOs:
The Best Evidence,'' are related directly to Roswell.

One of the scores of television cameras recently focused upon Roswell
belonged to CBS' ``Late Show with David Letterman.'' Movie reviewer
``Manny the hippie'' was dispatched from San Francisco to Roswell to
check out UFO fever.

``Is this some sort of punishment?'' a less-than-enthusiastic Manny
responded to Letterman's travel plans for him.

Everyone from ``Late Show'' to ABC's ``Nightline'' has taken a crack at
Roswell this month.

Despite all the hype, many still treat claims of life outside our
universe as pure fancy, a view another museum curator believes

``I just tell them, `You know, it's a proven fact that your more
educated people believe we're not alone in the universe,'' said John
Price, founder of the UFO Enigma, another museum. ``That usually shuts
them up.''

Roswell is about 200 miles southwest of Amarillo.

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall
not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or
redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP
Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for
personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for
any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the
transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages
arising from any of the foregoing.

Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos TX 79772
915-445-5475; FAX 915-445-4321

Planning a good time

Permian Basin commission's boss spent

tax funds on visit to Austin topless bar

Return to Top

AUSTIN (AP) - A state legislator's inquiry into expense reports of
Texas' regional planning commissions uncovered six trips in one year to
an Austin topless night club, a newspaper has reported.

In October 1994, Ernie Crawford, executive director of the Permian Basin
Regional Planning Commission, and his guests spent $221 in taxpayer
money for food and drink at a night spot in Austin that features topless
women dancing on four stages.

During the 1995 fiscal year, Crawford and his associates charged
hundreds of dollars of expenses at Austin night clubs on the agency's
credit cards, including almost $700 to Sugar's Uptown Cabaret, known for
inexpensive food, valet parking and $20 table dances by topless women.

Also, $167 was spent at a country and western night club in Austin.

The San Angelo Standard-Times and the Harte-Hanks Austin bureau learned
of the expenditures by examining documents gathered by State Rep. Robert
Junell, D-San Angelo, while investigating operations of Texas' 24
regional planning commissions.

The Concho Valley Council of Government, on which Junell sits, amended
its travel policies earlier this year following a series by the
Standard-Times on travel expenditures, developed through several months.

Afterward, Junell asked House Speaker Pete Laney to allow the House
Appropriations Committee, which Junell heads, to investigate similar
spending at the state's 23 other planning commissions.

``One of the reasons given ... was that everybody does it. So I thought,
let's look at everybody and see if everybody really does do it. And if
so, is that an appropriate policy,'' Junell said.

The 13-county regional planning commission on which Junell sat had spent
$320,000 over two years on out-of-region trips by its council, including
annual trips to a resort at Horseshoe Bay, where the council was
supposed to hold its monthly business meeting.

The trips in 1994 and 1995 cost taxpayers more than $14,000, but the
formal business session in 1995 lasted just 19 minutes, and on neither
of the two-day trips did the governing board have a quorum, the
newspaper reported.

Three Concho Valley employees leased a Cadillac DeVille for a 73-mile
round trip from Houston to Galveston at a cost of $342.74.

Junell's committee will begin hearings Thursday into the 24 councils of
government, which in 1995 controlled almost $265 million in local, state
and federal funding.

Councils of government, organized in the late 1960s, administer funds
for numerous programs. Those include senior citizen assistance, job
training, regional economic development, solid waste planning, rural
transportation, 911 planning and implementation, and housing programs.

Each council is comprised primarily of area elected officials and can
include city and county governments, school districts and other
governing bodies.

``All of us who serve on boards are well-meaning, but sometimes we just
accept what the staff tells us about the way things are,'' Junell told
the Standard-Times.

``I don't want to have such complex regulations that oversight is
difficult to handle, but on the other hand we need to make sure that
some practices - such as travel and use of credit cards - are
examined,'' Junell said.

``We don't condone misuse of (taxpayer money) at the state level or in
state agencies, and it shouldn't be condoned in COGs, or county
governments or on local school boards,'' Junell said.

Crawford said his forays into Austin's night life are legitimate
expenses until his board instructs him otherwise.

Credit card statements show members of the 17-county Permian Basin
Regional Planning Commission frequented Sugar's Uptown Cabaret at least
six times during the 1995 fiscal year, including twice in one day.

``These are all charged to local monies, not grants,'' Crawford told the
Standard-Times. ``That's an eligible expense as far as the local (board)
is concerned. ... That has been our policy. So unless the state changes
our policy or my board changes the policy, that's the way it's going to

The newspaper said the policies and procedures handbook of the
commission headed by Crawford lists ``personal entertainment'' and
``amusements'' as prohibited expenses.

Among other expenses turned up by the House Appropriations Committee

- a trip to Cincinnati in June 1995 by 14 staff and board members of the
Concho Valley COG that included a posh dinner where the tab was $590.91,
including a $106.42 tip.

- a $16,000 weeklong trip to Washington in February 1995 by 12 staff and
board members of the Abilene-based West Central Texas COG that included
restaurant tabs of $288.82 tab for eight people, $463.59 for 11 people
and $1,650.39 for 33 people.

- $94.66 for rental ski equipment two different days while a West
Central Texas COG staffer was attending a five-day training session in
Salt Lake City.

- a day-day trip by Crawford to Austin last August that cost taxpayers
$1,800.74, including $760 for meals and $820 for lodging.


Bonita Hart

Services for Bonita Hart, 80, were at 2 p.m. today in Pecos Funeral Home
Chapel, with burial in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery. She died at her residence
July 12, 1996.

She was born Feb. 19, 1916 in Springtown, was a beautician, a Methodist
and a member of Business and Professional Women.

Survivors include one son, Bill Hart of Stanton; one daughter, Donna
Cronin of Bucyrus, Ohio; four brothers, Weldon Stroud of Levelland,
Donald Stroud of Midland, Wayne Stroud of Stanton and Lee Stroud of
Andrews; four sisters, Sue Elrod of Andrews, Marianna Williams of Denver
City, Ruth Holloway of Florida and Madge Foule of Arizona; five
grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Tommy Kilcrease

Tommy Kilcrease, 34, died Thursday, July 11, 1996, in Austin. Services
will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Pecos Funeral Home Chapel, with burial in
Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.

He was born March 28, 1962 in Pecos, where he graduated from Pecos High
School in 1980. He was an Army veteran.

Survivors include his wife, Rachel Kilcrease of Austin; one son, Joshua
Kilcrease of Austin; two daughters, Leslie Kilcrease and Valerie
Kilcrease of Austin; his father, Weldon Kilcrease of Midland; his
step-father, Odell Winkles of Lovington, N.M.; three brothers, Danny
Kilcrease of Wolforth, Benny Kilcrease of Monahans and Terry Kilcrease
of Dallas; three sisters, Sharon Hubert of Oklahoma, Arlene Lilles of
Midland and Charlotte Kilcrease of Monahans.


PECOS, Tx. July 15, 1996 - High Sunday 92, low last night 72. Tonight, mostly cloudy with a 20
percent chance of mainly evening thunderstorms. Low around 70. South
wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday, partly cloudy. High in the lower to mid 90s.
Southeast to south wind 10-20 mph.