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Wednesday, September 25, 1996

Jobless figures rise in August for city, county

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From Wire and Staff

PECOS, September 25, 1996 - Unemployment fell in Texas for the third
month in a row, hitting a 12-year low of 5.6 percent, according to the
Texas Workforce Commission.

However, the local jobless rate was up three-tenths of a percent for
both the city of Pecos and Reeves County.

Texas' unemployment rate in July was 6 percent. It was 6.6 percent in

The low of 5.6 percent has been matched three times since December 1994.

``Texas had a tremendous gain in the service-producing sector over the
month, adding 15,700 jobs,'' said TWC Commissioner Jo Betsy Norton, who
represents the general public on the board.

Locally, the number of jobs and the workforce for Pecos and Reeves
County were down from July, while the number of jobs were down while the
workforce was up compared to August of a year ago, when the local
unemployment rate was among the lowest in recent years.

Pecos had 704 people unemployed last month, out of a workforce of 6,010,
for an unemployment rate of 11.7 percent. In July, the rate was 11.4
percent, with 699 people out of work from a labor force of 6,146 people,
while in July of 1995, there were 599 people jobless in a workforce of
5,916, for a 10.1 percent unemployment rate.

For the county as a whole, 786 people were without jobs in August out of
7,663 workers, for a 10.3 percent unemployment rate. July's rate was an
even 10 percent, with 781 jobless out of 7,841 workers, while last
August's rate was 8.8 percent, with 669 workers without jobs out of
7,560 people.

Other nearby towns came closer to matching the statewide trend. Fort
Stockton's jobless rate dropped from 7.5 to 6.3 percent from July to
August, though the figure was up by .1 percent from a year ago, and the
total number of workers employed also declined. Monahans' jobless
figures were also up .1 percent from August of 1995, while the city was
down .1 from July to August, dropping from 6.9 to 6.8 percent. As with
Fort Stockton, the number of jobs and the total labor force in August
were down from both July and August of a year ago.

For the Permian Basin as a whole, the jobless rate for August was 5.7
percent, down from 6.2 percent in July and down from the 5.9 percent
recorded in July of 1995.

TWC officials said the state's manufacturing sector added 1,300 jobs in
August, and the apparel and other textile products added 2,300 jobs
during the month.

The Bryan-College Station Metropolitan Statistical Area recorded
August's lowest unemployment rate at 2.6 percent. The highest
unemployment rate was in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA at 18.4

Rates of unemployment in the urban areas of Texas as announced by the
TWC for August, compared with revised July figures (in parentheses)

Abilene 4.9 (5.2); Amarillo 3.8 (4.0); Austin-San Marcos 3.0 (3.3);
Beaumont-Port Arthur 9.4 (10.0); Brazoria 7.1 (7.3);
Brownsville-Harlingen 11.8 (15.1); Bryan-College Station 2.6 (2.8);
Corpus Christi 8.8 (9.1); Dallas 4.0 (4.2);

El Paso 12.1 (12.5); Fort Worth-Arlington 3.8 (4.2); Galveston-Texas
City 8.4 (8.8); Houston 5.4 (5.7); Killeen-Temple 4.8 (4.8); Laredo 12.1
(13.2); Longview-Marshall 7.8 (8.1); Lubbock 4.0 (4.9);
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 18.4 (18.7)

Odessa-Midland 5.7 (6.3); San Angelo 3.4 (3.6); San Antonio 4.5 (5.1);
Sherman-Denison 4.4 (5.2); Texarkana 7.3 (7.4); Tyler 7.0 (7.3);
Victoria 4.9 (5.3); Waco 4.5 (5.1); Wichita Falls 4.6 (6.6).

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

Local leaders discuss possible ways

of boosting industrial development

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PECOS, September 25, 1996 - Local civic, government and elected
officials gathered Tuesday evening for a meeting at the Swiss Clock Inn
on launching a industrial development effort for Pecos and Reeves County.

The 23 people in attendance identified the areas they would like to see
worked on to help the Pecos area attract new businesses and industry.

The meeting was led by E. J. (Chip) Bauer of Bauer II Companies of Waco,
a firm that specializes in economic development and marketing strategic
planning. His company has been contracted through Texas-New Mexico Power
Company to help economic development in communities the company serves.

The dinner meeting, sponsored by Security State Bank, Popular Thriftway,
Anchor West, Pecos Chamber of Commerce and Colt Chevrolet, was the first
in what is planned to be monthly sessions on the third Tuesday of each
month at 7 a.m. at Swiss Clock Inn.

One of the main themes of the evening was to develop a more positive
attitude about the area by people who live in the area. Cooperation was
a subject also mentioned a number of times.

Other areas placed on the "want list" included commitment,
communication, positive attitude, community appreciation, strategic
plannning, volunteers, common goals, leadership, unity, pride,
financing, job opportunities and workforce development.

Economic development objectives identified included providing assistance
to "home-grown" entrepreneurs, retaining and expanding existing business
and industry and attracting new business and industry.

Bauer emphasized the need to get young people involved in the process as
they have ideas and are willing to work. Many of those present expressed
the hope that high-caliber jobs can be created that will allow young
people to come home after they go off to college and get an education.

This meeting follows a one earlier this year which was designed to
identify the goals of the community as set forth by the local economic
development committee and industrial foundation.

The mission statement is outlined as follows:<fn11>

"The Pecos/Reeves County Economic Development committee is committed to
improving the quality of life for all its citizens.

"Through working together in harmony and cooperation with a common goal
of attracting new business, expanding and retaining existing businesses,
all resources will be utilized toward improving and expanding our
economic base by the improvement of our infrastructure, creation of more
jobs and greater financial stability, resulting in a higher qualify of
life realized by the citizens of Pecos and Reeves County.

"By being prepared with an up-to-date database, Pecos and Reeves County
can attract prospective businesses to locate in Pecos and the County.
This database provides information pertaining to resources relating to
work force availability; i.e., training, education and services
frequently provided."

Among those present were, County Judge Jimmy Galindo and Commissioners
Bernado Martinez and Herman Tarin; Town of Pecos City Finance Director
Steve McCormick, also a member of the Chamber of Commerce executive
committee, Pecos Mayor Dot Stafford and Councilmen Ricky Herrera and
Gerald Tellez, who is also the current Chamber president. Other Chamber
officials at the meeting were Manager Tom Rivera, Office Manager Karen
Capers, presdent-elect Paul Hinojos (from First National bank), add
Gilbert Abila of the Chamber Executive Committee (from Security State

Those present from the Reeves County Hospital board were President
Jeanette Alligood and members Greg Luna, Marcella Lovett and Chel
Florez. Also present were Oscar Saenz of Anchor West; Mario Sotelo,
superintendent of P-B-T schools; Steve Armstrong, realtor and school
board member; Jan Spence of Pecos Valley Grain & Supply; Bill Oglesby of
Security State Bank; Dick Alligood, chairman of the economic development
committee and president of the Industrial Foundation; Pauline Moore of
Texas-New Mexico Power Co., and Mac McKinnon, Pecos Enterprise Editor &

Each person was asked to identify five other persons they would like to
see involved in the process as the more broad based the effort becomes,
the more successful it can be. Community involvement is the key, Bauer
A lawsuit against 143rd District Attorney John Stickels was filed
earlier this month in the court that he currently served in, for 1995
taxes owed in Ward County.

Ward County taxing entities seeking money from Stickels

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PECOS, September 25, 1996 - A lawsuit against 143rd District Attorney
John Stickels was filed earlier this month in the court that he
currently servs in, for 1995 taxes owed within Ward County.

The proceeding was filed by the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD on September
3, in the 143rd District Clerk's office at the Ward County Courthouse in

The taxing entity is declaring that Stickels' 1995 delinquent taxes
total $889.89 for both his law practice building and former home in

Stickels' Monahans law practice, which he still operates, is located at
304 E. Fourth St. His former Monahans house, which has been sold since
he moved to Austin, was located at 1202 S. Cowan St.

The City of Monahans and Ward County joined in the M-W-P ISD lawsuit,
declaring back taxes totaling $1190.05 for both personal and business

Although the district attorney has opened up a practice in the Austin
area and did not seek reelection this past March as 143rd District
Attorney, he continues to reside in Pecos during his term as 143rd
district attorney.

Pecos attorney Randy Reynolds will be running unopposed for Stickels'
post in the November general elections.

Court-at-law jury backs PHA on eviction

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 25, 1996 - A Reeves County Court-at-Law jury ruled in
favor of the Pecos Housing Authority Tuesday afternoon following a
hearing instigated by a tenant over the Authority's attempt to evict her
from her apartment.

Pecos attorney Scott Johnson represented PHA, while Legal Aid Attorney
Lilly Plummer of Odessa represented Cindy Montoya, who filed the
complaint against PHA.

The trial took about four hours and was held in the Sheriff's Department
classroom with the jury deliberating about ten minutes on their final

The tenant and her attorney, however, have said that they will file an

The hearing came about after Montoya was asked to leave the PHA
apartments following numerous complaints about her and her family.

Neighbors of Montoya claimed she was unruly, and in a PHA meeting on
Aug. 13, Montoya was given four days to move out. Three other families
were put on notice during the same meeting that they would be evicted if
they couldn't get along with the neighbors.

At that time, Executive Director Nellie Gomez said that fights,
vandalism and attempted arson had been common in one neighborhood at the
HUD apartments on Stafford Boulevard.

Cindy Montoya, her children and their friends created most of the
problems, two of the tenants alleged during the board meeting.

Montoya had appeared before the board in May to plead for time to ready
a house to move into, and promised she would not leave her children
alone in the interim.

The board granted her a three-month stay, cautioning her that she must
abide by the terms of her lease, which prohibits any non-family members
of troublemakers living there.

However, neighbors testified that Montoya did not eject her 18-year-old
daughter as promised; that the girls' boyfriends have caused trouble at
the apartments; that she has left the children there while she works in
Odessa; and that she battles constantly with neighbors.

Mr. and Mrs. Arturo Maruffo and Wanda Capriotti, two of the tenants who
filed complaints against Montoya and who claim to have numerous problems
with her, testified for PHA during Tuesday's hearing. Security officers
for the complex were also on hand to testify, including Ramon Ornelas
and Victor Prieto.

During the August meeting, Montoya asked for more time to find another
place to live, but the board held her to her May promise, and gave her a
three-day deadline. She became angry, threatening to get chairman Frank
Perea off the board and to hire a lawyer and take the board to court.

"I expect this case to be tried again," said Johnson following Tuesday's
court-at-law hearing.

Johnson said legally, a forcible entry and detainer shall not be filed
if there is a timely appeal and the detainer will not be effective until
the appeal is over. It will be disposed if the Housing Authority
prevails at the subsequent trial.

"In other words, she doesn't have to move out just now," said Johnson.

The appeal would need to be filed within five days, according to Johnson.

"I just wish people would appreciate more what PHA is trying to do for
them," said Gomez.

"We cannot tolerate this kind of behavior from anybody, HUD doesn't
expect us to, the mayor doesn't expect us to and we will pursue this to
the very end," said PHA Board Director Frank Perea.

Perea also stated that the board's main concern is for all the tenants.
"We have an obligation to the other tenants, to ensure their safety,
their well-being," he said.

Montoya is currently a zero renter, which means she does not pay any
rent. Her rent is paid by HUD subsidy and she also receives assistance
with her utility allowance, Gomez said.

Texans warned not to pack

pistols on trips to Meixco

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Associated Press Writer

EL PASO, September 25, 1996 - A warning to gun-toting Texans: Your right
to carry does not extend past the border, and the consequences for
ignoring that fact can be severe.

An East Texas couple recently found out how much trouble it can be to
take a firearm into Mexico, even unwittingly.

Marguerite Braden and James Ronnie Mossburg were held in Reynosa,
Mexico, for 1½ days earlier this month after they told Mexican customs
officials they were carrying a .22-caliber rifle and ammunition in their

They're now back in their home in Brookeland, 125 miles northeast of
Houston, but they have yet to get their $50,000 truck out of a Mexican
impound lot.

``We wanted to learn more about the country,'' Ms. Braden said Tuesday.
``We got an education.''

Even though they didn't remember the rifle was in the truck until they
were asked about weapons, the couple broke a Mexican law prohibiting the
importation of firearms or ammunition without a permit.

``The fact that they declared (the weapon) when they were asked was to
their benefit, but it still did not preclude them from being arrested,''
said Douglas Koneff, a U.S. vice consul in Matamoros who assisted in the

Such problems are actually common on the border, officials said, often
because people either forget they have the weapons or the fact they're
entering another country or don't realize that U.S. laws don't apply

Five people are currently in prison on gun charges in Ciudad Juarez,
across from El Paso, and another is being held for taking ammunition
into Mexico. An American is also being held in Matamoros and another in

``It's a real heartbreaker to find people who have gotten themselves in
this situation. It can be very serious,'' said Larry Colbert, consul
general in Juarez.

U.S. officials are trying to counter the problems by increasing public
awareness. They have included information on Mexican gun laws in
government literature and even written to syndicated columnist Ann
Landers to get the word out. They have posted signs at ports of entry,
although officials concede they may need to be bigger.

``If I could have the money to put up a giant billboard in the middle of
El Paso saying, `Please don't this because you can go to jail,' I would
do it,'' said Colbert.

Koneff said avoiding complications is really relatively simple.

Gun owners should simply leave their weapons at home when they intend to
leave the country, he said.

But if they want to take them into Mexico legally they can get a permit
from a Mexican consulate. It has to be done before they cross the
border, however, because at that point it's too late.

Anyone caught in violation can face various penalties. A person carrying
a small-caliber weapon may only have to spend a couple of days in jail
and pay a fine, said Koneff.

``In more aggravated cases where there's multiple higher-caliber weapons
you're looking at spending several months in jail,'' he said.

Mossburg and Ms. Braden were released after posting a $600 bond, but
their truck stayed behind.

Ms. Braden said the couple is trying to use intermediaries to pay the
fines and taxes required to get the vehicle back.

``We don't believe we need to be crossing the border again,'' she said.

Information on Mexican regulations can be found in a State Department
brochure called Tips For Travelers to Mexico, which can be ordered by
sending $1 to Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing
Office, Washington D.C., 20402, or calling (202) 512-1800.

Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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PECOS, September 25, 1996 - High Tuesday 78, low this morning 63.
Rainfall total, trace. Tonight, mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance
of showers or thunderstorms. Low in the mid 60s. South wind 10-20 mph.
Thursday, becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of showers or
thunderstorms. High in the mid 80s. South to southwest wind 10-20 mph.

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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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