Big Bend News
An 18 year-old boy was beaten and sexually assaulted after being abducted from outside the Boathouse in the Terlingua Ghosttown. His car was set on fire as well. The two men responsible are being held at the Brewster County Jail.
Daniel Phillip Martinez, 46, was indicted on sexual assault, kidnapping and arson charges. His bond is $60,000.
Kristapher Buchanan, 27, was indicted on a sexual assault charge, and bond has been set at $60,000. Buchanan also is held on felony warrants charging him with violating parole for burglary conviction.
On behalf of the staff here at West Texas Weekly, I offer my sincere condolences to the victim and his family.
A fund has been set up for the victim of this attack. Donations can be mailed to:
West Texas National Bank
P.O. Box 266
Terlingua, TX 79852
Payable to: Bonnie Hill/Special Victim Fund
— Many people are speculating that this event was a hate crime. The Dallas Voice reports: “Equality Texas political director Randall Terrell, who spoke with Waters, told Dallas Voice on Wednesday that although many of the facts aren’t yet known, “It sounds like Matthew Shepard all over again.”
Gay blog Towelroad reports: “”I’ve been unable to confirm rumors that the sexual assault involved the victim being sodomized with a tire iron. According to media reports, the victim met the two suspects at the Boathouse bar in Terlingua Ghost Town, near the Texas-Mexico border and the Big Bend National Forest. The suspects reportedly hit the teen over the back of the head and kidnapped him. The suspects drove the victim in his own car to a remote location in south Brewster County, before sexually assaulting him and burning the car. They then took him to a private residence, where they again sexually assaulted him before he managed to escape. The victim crossed 3 miles of harsh desert terrain on foot to a highway, where he was eventually found by a sheriff’s deputy at about 1 a.m. Monday. NewsWest 9 reports that the victim was bleeding and bruised, and that he was taken to Big Bend Regional Medical Center in Alpine, where it was confirmed that he’d been sexually assaulted. He was treated and released.”
Also, the Dallas Voice reports that the FBI will be investigating the crime:
“Espenshade said authorities believe the attack may have been an anti-gay hate crime based on witness statements about activity at the bar prior to the attack.
He declined to elaborate on the facts of the case because he said he didn’t want to jeopardize the investigation.
“We’re investigating those particular comments,” Espenshade said. “I can’t say the breadth of them right now, because it may or may not pan out that way.”
Espenshade said the FBI’s inquiry hasn’t formally begun and agents are working to come up with an investigative plan.
“We’re five hours from the location, so this is something that we’re going to do in a series of trips down there,” he said.”
–The Texas Tribune reports on the poor state of health care in West Texas. Read this four part feature here. This is a issue that particularly effects Terlingua and Marfa.
–Evi Quaid has been arrested for the 4 Failure to Appears that a Santa Barbara Court issued. Randy was arrested the day after. Their location? Hudspeth County, not Presidio County. I suppose they have abandoned their Marfa, Texas stronghold.
The Quaids’ attorney has refused to talk to me regarding this issue. Oddly enough, a California private eye has been contacting me for information. Evi and Randi have kept a low profile locally (according to my sources).
–According the Texas Workforce Commission, jobless rates are not as bad here in the Big Bend area compared to elsewhere. Brewster, Culberson and Jeff Davis counties continued to enjoy very low unemployment rates at, respectively, 4.6 percent, 3.9 percent and 4.7 percent. Hudspeth reported a jobless rate of 7.2 percent for the month and Presidio County remained very high at 18 percent unemployed.
–The Border Patrol has started an interesting method of deterring teens from using drugs. “Bloody bodies piled in a truck bed, charred corpses lying next to gas containers in the desert, teens getting shot in the head at point-blank range: As the gory images fill the screen, more than 100 high school students in hoodies and letter jackets sit in rapt attention.”
Read more of this article at the Texas Tribune.
Your Letters and Comments
The City of Alpine is currently considering an ordinance for “home occupations.” I appreciate the areas of the proposed ordinance changes that reduce existing restrictions. I believe that the goal of this ordinance should be to maintain the residential nature and character of neighborhoods. This could be accomplished by restricting specific actions which would be damaging to the neighborhood such as:
* workers and/or customers parking in front of a neighbor’s residence
* persistent and/or excessively loud noises
* noxious or hazardous odors
* creating a fire hazard
Flexibility regarding home-based occupations would be accomplished by adopting clear and concise language such as:
“Home occupations, including limited wholesale and/or retail sales, are permissible. Activities related to the home occupation that does not generate noticeably greater traffic, noise, or other nuisances, and/or hazardous conditions are permissible. The home occupation is acceptable as long as it does not affect the outward appearance of the residence or the character of the neighborhood.”
Contact the Mayor and the appropriate City Council person to voice your position regarding the changes to the home occupation ordinance.
Whoops and Hollers
Keep a lookout for t-shirts featuring this Hugh MacLoed comment on the magic of Marfa:
–Oy, NPR, step off my d@#k! Just because this is out in the country doesn’t mean it is “NOWHERE”. Presidio County was recently described as ‘nowhere’ in an NPR report. How can we be ‘nowhere’? We have KRTS, our own NPR affiliate.
Just kidding, guys. I love me some NPR.
–“TALK AT TEN”, the local interview show on 93.5 FM is broadcast weekdays at 10 AM, and replayed at 6:30 PM.
UPCOMING GUESTS AT 10 AM:
Thursday, January 7: Nightclub singer Jackie Pepper, performing in Marfa.
Friday, January 8: A look at EMS services in Marfa.
Monday, January 9: Archeologist Richard Walker, Center For Big Bend Studies.
–One of my favorite local bands, The Pinche Gringos, got a little press in Dallas. “The Gringos know their name raises eyebrows – “shock value,” they say – but they won’t have it any other way. They concede that their name and music may not sit well in cities like Dallas, San Antonio or even liberal-minded Austin.” Read the rest of the article here.
–A New Yorker gives his thoughts on Marfa, Texas:
–I received the following news from Leslye Waldock of Lajitas, Texas:
LAJITAS STABLES NOW OFFERING HORSEBACK RIDING ADVENTURES INTO BIG BEND RANCH STATE PARK
Recently opened areas of Big Bend Ranch State Park are now accessible for Lajitas Stables Multi-Day Trips, introductory rates now being offered for limited time. Click here to learn more.
–Great to see Marfa Interiors featured on DailyCandy.com.
–The Reata in Alpine, Texas got a great review from the San Marcos Record: “Whether you’re impressing guests with the tenderloin tamales or just dipping a bite of chicken fried steak into a bowl of cream gravy, it’s exciting to see such familiar dishes in such a refined state.”
–The Austin American Statesman reports on long-time area photographer James Evans of Marathon, Texas. “James Evans heads to work, a camera slung over his shoulder and a vast desert in his windshield.
His office? The Big Bend region of far West Texas, a sprawling, prickly landscape populated by spindly ocotillo, bristly javelina and a rugged, independent brand of human. Sometimes, he’s directed by the weather. Sometimes he moves with the clouds. He might notice a rock or formation he hasn’t seen before. Maybe the fall or summer light is just right.”
Read the rest of the article here.
Stop by James’s website here.
–Marfa Film Festival Promo: Rapture Drills
–The Sublime Joni Mitchell on the Johnny Cash Show (R.I.P. Johnny, you’re my motherf@#$ing heart)