Daily Newspaper for Reeves County, Trans Pecos, Big Bend, Far West Texas

Main Menu|Archives Menu|Classified|Advertising|Monahans|


Thursday, August 8, 1996

Council OKs talks on trash hauling pact

Return to Menu


Staff Writer

Pecos City Council voted this morning to enter negotiations with West
Tex Waste for pickup and disposal of solid waste within the Pecos city

Randy Graham, one of two councilmen on the landfill committee, said that
West Tex Waste offers the city a viable option, and he invited company
officials to today's meeting to answer questions other council members
might have.

Ricky Herrera asked if WTW would continue to pick up residential waste
twice a week like the city does.

Don Foard said that WTW provides enough containers so once-a-week pickup
is enough.

"When there is heavy generation, we will add extra container spaces to
take care of it," he said. "We have supervisors in the alleys (to
determine that)."

If a resident notifies WTW that a container is full and needs to be
picked up, a truck working in another section of town can come by and
dump that one, he added.

All trash that will fit in the container should be placed in it,
including grass clippings and tree limbs, Foard said. The exception
would be hazardous waste, such as batteries and tires, that cannot be
put into a landfill.

"We don't want a half a tree sticking out of the dumpster," he said.
"But we are also going to have a monthly cleanup of all alleys."

Lawrence Kennedy said the ideal situation on tires and batteries is to
have a designated location to take them. Stores that sell batteries
usually accept the old battery and dispose of it, he said.

"It is part of educating the public. We would publish in the newspaper
places that handle that product."

WTW agreed to a three-month trial basis if that is what the council
wants. They would either purchase city equipment at the end of that
period or help the council to sell it by sealed bid or at auction.

Displaced city employees would have the option of applying for the three
truck-driving jobs and possibly two jobs at the transfer station they
plan to build. Truck drivers would have to meet Department of
Transportation requirements, because they would travel to the regional
landfill near Penwell to dispose of the trash, Foard said.

When pressed for details of pay, health insurance and retirement
benefits, Foard suggested the council first vote to enter into
negotiations. Those matters would be worked out in contract
negotiations, he said.

Eight employees in the sanitation department would be affected if the
council agrees to the contract with WTW. One of those plans to retire,
and two can be placed in other departments, Graham said.

Graham estimates the city would save $326,660 per year under the WTW
contract. With the five-year contract WTW requested, the savings would
be $1.6 million over the full term.

The city is already transferring waste to Charter Waste Management's
landfill near Penwell, because the local landfill is nearing capacity.
If the city continues to operate a landfill, a new trench would have to
be constructed every two or three years at a cost of more than $1
million each.

Although WTW's charge to the city would be $13 per month - $2 less than
the city now charges - citizens' would not see a decrease in their
bills. Revenue from trash helps pay expenses in the police department,
parks, building and other city agencies that generate no revenue, said
Steve McCormick, finance officer.

"That has to remain. Our rates are our rates. We are paying WTW whatever
we can negotiate," he said.

Councilman Elvia Reynolds said the city would continue to handle billing
and collection, "so there has to be some difference to offset what we
are doing here. I don't see any drop in rates to the individual, but
there won't be any raise, either."

Danny Rodriguez asked about raises in the future.

Foard said that rates in other cities where they operate have remained
the same or dropped.

Graham said the council is concerned about the problem Butts Recycling
is having.

"I have been visiting with Butts," said Kennedy. "The market has just
gone to the bottom. Everyone is trying to stay at the bare minimum and
trying not to lose any more money."

Butts is going to move some equipment to Charter Waste's site to cut the
cost of transferring recyclable waste.

"We would look at doing that so you are not transporting it to two
different places," Kennedy said. "They are hoping in the last quarter
the rates will come back up and will make it more feasible to recycle."

Sanitation department director Armando Gil said he met with Kevin Butts
at the local recycling center Wednesday, and he is trying to here a
manager to replace David Madril, who resigned to return to his job at
Reeves County Hospital.

"We are probably Butts' largest customer in West Texas," Foard said. "He
is suffering some hard times, as well as everyone. We will certainly
assist him and bear with it as long as we have to. We certainly will
elevate what you have now. We will containterize it and take it to the
facility once we get a transfer station built."

Recycling pickup at individual businesses has to be negotiated on an
individual basis, instead of being forced on them, he said.

Jackie Reid of Midland, WTW manager, also attended the meeting.

In other business today, Dan Painter presented the third-quarter audit
report, showing "the system seems to be running as it should be."

The council approved bills in the amount of $102,558 and adopted on
second reading an ordinance allowing former city employees who return to
work to "buy back" previous retirement years by repaying the amount
withdrawn at the time they resigned.

Dump site gets local opposition

Return to Menu


Staff Writer

Several Reeves County residents and public officials joined hundreds of
others at a hearing in Sierra Blanca concerning the state's plan to
located a low-level radioactive waste dump just east of that community.

"The state legislators made the decision to place the site there at
Sierra Blanca under the rules of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation
Commission," said Pecosite Clark Lindley. The location was moved 30
miles east from Fort Hancock to Sierra Blanca after protests and a
lawsuit by El Paso County five years ago. The new site is located 120
miles southwest of Pecos.

Between 300-700 individuals attended the two days of hearings on Tuesday
and Wednesday at Sierra Blanca High School to express their opinion and
to hopefully be heard by the legislators before any construction begins.

Two state administrative law judges will use the public comments, along
with testimony from two September hearings, to arrive at a
recommendation on whether the facility should receive a license.

The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission will then cast a
final vote.

Lindley was one of many Reeves County citizens who opposes the waste
dump site, citing it as being a threat to all citizens. The group has
met several times to discuss the issue and try to find ways to keep this
from happening.

"The public had a legal right to a hearing and in addition the TNRCC has
authorized a formal hearing on the appropriateness and adequacy of the
draft license of the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal
authorities site," said Lindley.

"The administrative judges will take evidence in regards to issues of
potential contamination, risks involving seismology and hazards to the
aquifer," he said.

According to Lindley, county judges from Culberson and Presidio Counties
expressed deep concern about the potential contamination of the aquifer
which also surrounds the counties adjacent to the site.

"Leaders from the several governments of northern Mexico expressed
concerns about the potential contamination of the Rio Grande and the
resultant hazard to their own people," said Lindley.

The Sierra Blanca site is designed to store low-level radioactive waste
produced in Texas, along with waste from Maine and Vermont. State
officials said they entered a compact with those two states in order to
prevent other states from trying to use the site, but opponents fear
that since no other low-level waste site has been built in the United
States, future action may force Texas to take all low level waste
produced nationwide.

Most of the waste would be brought to the site by truck, going through
Reeves County on Interstates 10 and 20.

Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo was on hand for the hearing and
expressed his deep concern about the potential hazards.

"I most definitely oppose it, I don't think Texas should become the
dumping ground for these other states," said Galindo.

"I didn't get a chance to speak there publicly. A lot of people wanted
to speak up and I think the citizens of that community (Sierra Blanca)
should be heard first since they are the ones who will have to live
there," he said.

"If the states of Vermont and Maine want to use such radioactive
materials then they should keep the waste," said Galindo. "They are the
ones getting the benefits out of it."

"It's the same with Texas, if we use it, we should be responsible for
it," he added.

Galindo said he doesn't think it's right that other states would want to
use Texas as their dumping ground.

"Why should we become a wasteland for them," said Galindo.

"Texas uses nuclear power and medicine, but the benefits are a lot
smaller and it's more manageable," said Galindo.

Whether or not the legislators will take this hearings into
consideration is another issue.

"They have to be totally oblivious to reality if they didn't take note
of the message these people were sending out," said Galindo.

The county judge said that this is also a major issue for Reeves County,
since the waste material will be traveling along both interstates on its
way to their destination.

"The major issue is the emergency management part," said Galindo.

Do we have the personnel trained to deal with this in case of an
accident? Who is responsible for the cost? Can our hospital handle such
a situation in case of an accident? Do we have anyone trained to deal
with someone who has been exposed?

These are some of the questions Galindo said that need to be answered
and that are plaguing individuals concerned about this issue.

Reeves County and Town of Pecos City officials did have discussions
three years ago with officials at the area's other radioactive waste
site, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, on the
transportation of hazardous waste along I-20 and U.S. 285 through the
area. the WIPP site is tentatively scheduled to open in 1998.

Galindo also said Maine and Vermont got to vote on whether to send these
materials to Sierra Blanca, but Texas did not.

"If they had asked Texas to vote the overwhelming response would have
been, `no'," said Galindo.

"We didn't get an opportunity to vote and it's a major issue," said

Galindo stated that an individual's health is of more importance.

"No amount of money can compensate for someone's health," said Galindo.
"And this waste will be coming right through Pecos and the surrounding

"What if someone gets exposed to this?" he added.

Other officials who had an opportunity to speak up on the opposition of
the project were, Henry Bonilla's office; Senator Louis H. Alvarez, of
the State of Chihuahua and President of Environmental Commission of the
Senate; Rogelio Luna, Representative of the State Government of
Chihuahua and President of Environmental office and Carla Torres, a
Member of the State of Chihuahua's Board of Commissions.

The hearing was the first of three scheduled on the Sierra Blanca waste
dump. The others are planned for Sept. 9 at the El Paso Convention
Center, from 2-6 p.m. and 7:30 to 10 p.m. CDT, and from 1-5 and 6:30 to
9 p.m. on Sept. 11 at Marshall Auditorium at Sul Ross State University
in Alpine.

Event merged with Fort Stockton's Harvestfest this year due to drought

Reservoir gets too shrimpy to host festival

Return to Menu


Staff Writer

As a result of the ongoing drought in West Texas, two popular family
celebrations in Pecos County will be combined this year.

The third annual West Texas Desert Shrimp Festival has been moved from
the Imperial Reservoir in northern Pecos County to Fort Stockton, due to
the low level of water in the reservoir this year.

"Because of the drought, and the excellent facilities available where
Harvestfest is held, they have chosen to combine the shrimp festival,
which was formerly celebrated in the Imperial Reservoir, with
Harvestfest," said Junior Chavira, Harvestfest '96 task force chairman.

"This is a natural combination because they do harvest shrimp in Pecos
County. I am excited. Harvestfest is growing so fast; but that's

A lack of rain has left the reservoir at only half its capacity,
according to a spokesman with Pecos County Water Improvement District
No. 3 in Imperial. The reservoir was originally built to supply
irrigation water to area farms, but due to the high salt content of the
Pecos River shrimp farming was begun there four years ago.

Harvestfest '96, which is dedicated to the "promotion of Pecos County
industry, aquaculture, agriculture and fine wines," takes place August
17, at Rooney Park and the large community hall, in Fort Stockton. The
event is a cooperative effort of the Pecos County Extension Service
Community Development Committee and the Harvestfest Task Force.

The call has already gone out of Pecos County's agriculture, aquaculture
and viniculture industries to participate and display their harvests at
the event. There will also be a wide variety of other attractions and

The West Texas Desert Shrimp Festival has been a showcase for the West
Texas aquaculture industry, in which shrimp and red fish are farm-raised
and harvested from pools filled with the brine water that is commonly
found below the surface of the oil patch.

These shrimp are allowed to grow in conditions much more generous than
what their seaborne cousins in the Gulf of Mexico must endure there are
no predators, toxic water spills, or hurricanes to threaten either the
shrimp or the shrimper. These conditions make for lager, healthier
shrimp, and a shrimping industry that must cope with less hazards than
that on the coast.

"The shrimp cookoff is going to be located at the north end of the park.
It's a competition for all classes and all recipes and there will be
three top award trophies," said Pecos River Compact Commissioner Brad
Newton, an organizer for the West Texas Desert Shrimp Festival.

Persons interested in participating in the cookoff need to pre-register.
The entry fee is $35 and deadline is Friday, Aug. 9. Teams consist of
four members and are supposed to used West Texas Shrimp in their
entrees. Contestants will pick up their shrimp at 10 a.m. on Aug. 17,
and judging will be at 3 p.m.

Newton added that all visitors to Harvestfest will be able to purchase
West Texas shrimp in order to test their own culinary prowess at home.

"The Imperial Shrimp Company and Regal Shrimp will be selling shrimp to
the public," he said. "So we recommend everybody bring their ice chests
so they can take some West Texas Desert Shrimp home with them."

For more information about the West Texas Desert Shrimp Cookoff, please
contact Randy and Brad Newton at 915-336-5034, or the Harvestfest '96
headquarters at 336-2541.

At the same time as the shrimp festival announcement, Chavira also
announced that a bike rodeo for kindergarten through fifth grade will be
held in the parking area between the large community hall and the
softball fields at 10 a.m. on Aug. 17.

Police charge four more in Eddy Street beatings

Return to Menu


Staff Writer

Four more men have been arrested in connection with the beating of a
brother and sister July 21 in what officials believe was the result of a
violent disagreement between two groups.

Joe Rubio Machuca, 20, 2219 Wyoming St.,, was placed under arrest Friday
afternoon at the Town of Pecos City Municipal Court; Gabriel Gonzales,
19, turned himself in to Reeves County officials at the sheriffs office,
about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, while police took Joseph Urias, 21, into
custody at the municipal court three hours later.

Oscar Hernandez, 21, 616 S. Eddy St., was arrested Sunday afternoon at
his residence, located a block north of where the assault occurred.

All were charged with aggravated assault, 2nd Degree Felony, as were
Gilbert Rayos, Jr., 28, and Carlos "Charlie" Arenivas, 17, who were
arrested last Friday.

Criminal Investigator Kelly Davis said that arrests resulted from sworn
eyewitness accounts through a photo line-up. "The people arrested
refused to give statements," he added.

The arrests were the result of a 3 a.m. incident on July 21, when Ruben
and Lupe Mendoza were taken from the scene, located in the 700 block of
Eddy Street, after they were discovered by Reeves County Deputy Tony
Aguilar and Reserve Officer Danny Dawdy lying on the street and

Shortly after the beatings occurred, Dawdy said when he came upon Ruben
Mendoza he was, "bloody. I thought he was dead." He added that pieces of
a broken baseball bat were found at the scene.

The two were on the ground in front of their vehicle, while more than 15
onlookers stood at the Eddy Street Car Wash parking lot, Dawdy said.

Ruben Mendoza began to show signs of consciousness at the scene, said
the reserve officer, while Lupe Mendoza remained unconscious, by the
time they were taken by ambulance to Reeves County Hospital.

The brother and sister were released from the local hospital but were
later taken to Odessa Medical Center, said their mother, after Lupe
Mendoza's condition worsened.

Ruben Mendoza was allowed to leave the Odessa facility, but returned for
medical treatment to his lacerations, while Lupe Mendoza underwent
surgery on July 25 for fractures.

Motive for the incident has not been released, but Police Chief Troy
Moore said Friday, "At this time we're speculating it was a disagreement
between them, they were just mad at each other."

Bonds were set at $5,000 apiece for all six men.

Cops warning about charges on phone bills

Return to Menu


Staff Writer

Pecos Police Chief Troy Moore said this morning he has received
complaints from citizens who had long distance calls charged to their
number without their consent.

It seems that someone - either local residents or transients - are
picking numbers out of the telephone book and using them to place
long-distance calls, Moore said.

"Operators are calling and asking if they can use that number for
long-distance service," he said. "One person agreed."

He said the same thing happened to him, and he found several calls to
cities in the northeast charged on his bill.

"I don't know if it was someone here or someone traveling through," he

He warned residents to be alert to any operator call asking for
permission to charge calls to that number. And to refuse if it is not

Sometimes the operator may charge the call even though no one is home to
give permission, Moore said. In that case, the telephone company is
liable for the charge.

Two persons indicted on federal drug charges

Return to Menu


Staff Writer

Federal grand jurors returned two indictments this morning, alleging
drug possession.

Saul Marin-Morales, 22, is charged with importing and possessing
marijuana for distribution on July 26. If convicted, he could be
sentenced to 5-40 years in prison and fined $2 million.

Marin drove his truck across the international bridge at Presidio with
marijuana in 16 of the 18 tires, U.S. Customs agents said.

Corey Tyrell Garfield is charged with possesison with intent to
distribute cocaine and marijuana on July 10.

The minimum sentence on the cocaine charge is five years in prison, and
the maximum 40, with a $2 million fine. Marijuana possession could
result in 2-5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Area News Roundup

Return to Menu

FORT STOCKTON, Aug. 8, 1996 - Recent weeks have seen a number of dark
clouds passing over Pecos County, but officials caution that there
hasn't been much of a silver lining to these clouds, with too little
rain falling upon too small an area to be significant. Nor has it been
enough to signal an end to what some observers call the worst drought in
half a century. Total rainfall this year is 3.42 inches, and the normal
to date is 7.91 inches.
Fort Stockton Pioneer

FORT DAVIS, Aug. 8, 1996 - The Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce has named
Kelly Fenstermaker as its executive director. She replaces Kim Little
who has run the office for the last two years. Fenstermaker spent part
of her childhood on a ranch in the Glass Mountains, is the niece of the
late L.W. and Rowena Fernstermaker, former residents of Fort Davis, and
has been a resident of Fort Davis since March.
Jeff Davis County Mountain Dispatch

FORT DAVIS, Aug. 8, 1996 - Despite ongoing local concern, Village Farms
of Texas company officials and government officials are satisfied there
is enough water to support both the new 40-acre hydroponic tomato farm
and the surrounding areas, including Fort Davis, Marfa and Alpine. a
similar project has been operating just across the highway the past
eight years. Powell Plant Farm grows bedding plants - pansies, mums,
flowering cabbage and kale, dusty miller, dianthus and petunias. The
farm operates five months a year, but plans are in the works to open it
year round.
The Big Bend Sentinel

ALPINE, Aug. 8, 1996 - If you have never been to a Pasture Party, you
don't want to miss the one in Alpine Aug. 24. Highlight of the gala will
be the giving away of $14,000 to lucky ticket holders. It will also
feature entertainment and plenty of barbecue. Tickets are selling for
$150 per couple. Sponsors of the proposed Big Bend Activity Center plan
on selling 300 tickets, and every ticket will be drawn at the party.
The Alpine Avalanche

PRESIDIO, Aug. 8, 1996 - Presidio ISD schools will open next week, with
students returning to classes on Wednesday. All campuses will be closed
during student lunch periods this year. This policy will be formally
addressed at the Aug. 20 school board meeting. No unauthorized visitors
will be allowed onto any campus.
The International, Presidio Paper

OZONA, Aug. 8, 1996 - Direct descendents of David Crockett came from
Midland and Odessa for Ozona's David Crockett Festival Saturday. Claudia
Saxe of Midland and Ben Kerr and his granddaughter, Shay Kerr, of Odessa
attended with members of their families. Kerr was outfitted in coonskin
cap and heavy leggings despite the heat. He carried a long rifle that is
more than 100 years old. Activites on the square drew a modest crowd.
The Ozona Stockman

MONAHANS, Aug. 8, 1996 - An estimated 14-to-15,000 people crowded into
Monahans to enjoy the 1996 version of the Butterfield Overland
Stagecoach & Wagon Festival this past weekend. Festival director Pam
Treadaway described the event as "the most successful ever." This was
the first year the event had been held in the downtown area, and a few
of the merchants got a boost from heavy foot traffic.
The Monahans News


Return to Menu

High Wednesday 98, low last night 69. Tonight, partly to mostly cloudy
with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low near 70. East
to southeast wind 5-10 mph. Friday, partly cloudy with a 20 percent
chance of afternoon showers or thunderstorms. High around 90. East to
southeast wind 5-15 mph.
Return to Menu

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
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
This page prepared in askSam
Return to Menu

Return to Home Page