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1991: Four years for UTPB, Mojo undefeated - Odessa American: 75th Anniversary

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1991: Four years for UTPB, Mojo undefeated

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Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2015 6:00 am

UTPB bill signed: In May, Gov. Ann Richards signs a bill making the University of Texas of the Permian Basin a four-year institution. The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Gary Watkins, D-Odessa, and Sen. John Montford, D-Lubbock, culminated a 20-year effort to establish a full-fledged, four-year university in the area. UTPB President Duane Leach resigned in November, and Edwin Sharpe, UT-Austin vice president for administration, stepped into the position as interim president.

    Oil prices: An anticipated rise in oil prices during the Persian Gulf war failed to materialize. Prices-- which hovered at around $20 a barrel, and the lowest natural gas prices in more than a decade-- combined with a national recession to force an economic slump. To help development, the city designated an enterprise zone on the south side of Odessa. The enterprise zone offered benefits, including tax abatements, from the city and state. In May, Highland Pump Co. announced plans to construct a 97,000-square foot oil field equipment factory within the new enterprise zone.

    Multiple killings: In the city's worst multiple homicide, Richard Allen Law killed himself, his wife and their three children in August. One day earlier Law had been released from a mental hospital.

    On Dec. 18, Clarence Edward Stephens entered a house and fatally shot Hattie Mae Smith, 56, and Casey Branch, 72. The assailant fled the scene with $100 cash. After police cornered him in the closet of another residence later that day, Stephens shot himself.

    New chief: In September, James H. Jenkins, a 24-year law enforcement veteran, was hired as police chief. Jenkins came to Odessa from Daytona Beach, Fla., where he was deputy chief of police.

    City manager: The city council votes 3-2 to dismiss City Manager Bill Brown. After being hired in 1987, Brown began a restructuring plan in which nearly all of the city's division heads resigned or were fired. Odessa Mayor Lorraine Bonner explained that Brown's management style had caused low employee morale and poor employee relations that had hindered the city's ability to operate its numerous agencies. Two new members joined the city council: W. R. "Bro" Hill began his first term as an at-large member, and Bob Slider won District 4. Fred Crawford was re-elected councilman of District 3.

    Sixth title: Permian High's football team, disqualified from the playoffs a year earlier for holding illegal workouts, posted an undefeated 16-0 record, culminating in a 27-14 victory over San Antonio Marshall in the Class 5A championship game. The title was the school's sixth.


    >>One of the state's largest newspapers, the Dallas Times-Herald, closed on Dec. 9 after 112 years of publication.

    >>By a 2-1 margin, Texas voters approved a lottery, the state's first venture into legalized gambling.

    >>Dynagen Inc., which operated a plant in the south side petrochemical complex, agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle a lawsuit by the Texas Air Quality Control Board. The civil penalty was the largest since the Clean Air Act was adopted in 1965.

    >>David Keith Mack, 31, of Florida, was sentenced to life in prison and fined $10,000 for the December 1990 shooting of a sheriff's deputy and police officer in Fort Stockton.

    >>A coalition led by the United States defeats Iraq and liberates Kuwait, which Iraq had invaded in August 1990.

    >>On April 17, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 3,000 for the first time.

    >>The Senate approves the nomination of Clarence Thomas as the second black Supreme Court justice.

>>Lance Armstrong becomes U.S. national amateur champion.

>>Operation Desert Storm gets under way.

>>The Giants defeat the Bills 20-19 in Super Bowl XXV.

>>Rodney King is pulled over and beaten by LAPD officers.

>>The world wide web becomes publicly available on the internet.

>>Desmond Howard wins the Heisman.

>>Los Angeles Lakers point guard Magic Johnson announces he has HIV, effectively ending his NBA career.

>>Boris Yeltsin is elected President of Russia, the largest and most populous of the 15 Soviet republics.

    Information is drawn from news accounts, archives and other historical records.


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