Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, October 14, 2005
Trio arrested on drug chargesBy JON FULBRIGHT
Three persons were arrested by Pecos police on Monday afternoon on drug related charges, following a traffic stop and the search of a home by police on the west side of town.
The incident took place shortly before 5 p.m. on Monday, Pecos PD Lt. Juan Vasquez stopped a vehicle driven by Jesus Valeriano Gomez, 35, 1803 W. Fifth St., on a traffic violation in the 1800 block of West Fifth. During the search, Vasquez said cocaine was found in Gomez’s possession. He was then arrested and charged with possession of a controls substance with the intent to distribute and the traffic violation.
Immediately following the arrest, a search warrant was executed on Gomez’s home, and said they discovered various types of prescription medicines with the name of the patient removed from the labels on the bottles, along with drug paraphernalia used in the smoking of marijuana.
As a result, two people in the home at the time, Maria Nanette Gomez, 34, and Jacob Jaramillo Jr., 17, were also placed under arrest, Gomez on a charge of possession of a dangerous drug and Jaramillo for possession of drug paraphernalia. All three persons were then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center, where officers said during a search of Jaramillo a substance believed to be cocaine was found in Jaramillo’s pants pocket. He was then charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Police investigator Cpt. Kelly Davis said the total amount of cocaine came to a little more than one ounce.
Former Pecos resident sought after shooting incident
By PAULA BARD
A search continues for a former Pecos resident being sought by area law enforcement officials in connection with a shooting incident in Ward County on Tuesday.
Ward County deputies, Texas Department of Public Safety officers and a search helicopter from Midland were called to a ranch north of Pyote on Tuesday, following reports of gunfire.
Ward County Chief Deputy John Stuessy said law officials responded to a domestic dispute on property belonging to David Brantley. The dispute was apparently between Brantley and Leeta Fernandes. She told officials the shots were fired either into the air or the ground.
Stuessy said Fernandes was fine, and she left the property for a while but planned to return.
Officers conducted an in-depth search, but Brantley was not found. Stuessy said Fernandez recalled Brantley having a cell phone in his possession, and officers assumed he called someone to pick him up.
Stuessy said deputies suspected Brantley would attempt to go to the Pecos area, where he formerly lived.
Ward County Sheriff Mikel Strickland told The News on Thursday morning that Brantley had called Reeves County Sheriff’s office on Wednesday afternoon, but officials still do not know his whereabouts.
Strickland also said charges are pending.
Final two agents sentenced in I-10 smuggling scheme
The last two U.S. Border Patrol agents out of four involved in a scheme that allowed drugs to pass through the Sierra Blanca checkpoint without inspection were sentenced on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in El Paso.
United States Attorney Johnny Sutton announced that David Garcia and Jesus Delgado were sentenced to two years and one year plus one day in federal prison, respectively, for their roles in a scheme to smuggle controlled substances and illegal aliens through the Interstate 10 checkpoint at Sierra Blanca without inspection.
In addition, United States District Judge Frank Montalvo ordered that the former Marfa Sector Border Patrol agents be placed under supervised release for a period of two years after completing their prison terms.
Garcia pled guilty on May 11 of this year to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. By pleading guilty, Garcia admitted that for several days in August 2004, he conspired with others to allow more than 50 kilograms of marijuana through the checkpoint without inspection in exchange for approximately $1,000.
Delgado pled guilty on July 15 to one count of conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens. By pleading guilty, Delgado admitted that in April 2004, he allowed between 8 and 24 illegal aliens to pass through the checkpoint without inspection in exchange for $700.
“We should commend the dedicated men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol for risking their lives to protect our country and secure its borders. However, when we catch rogue agents joining forces with the criminals, justice demands that they too serve time behind bars,” said Sutton.
Two other former Border Patrol agents and a third man previously were sentenced in connection with this investigation.
On September 21, former Border Patrol Agent Aldo Manuel Erives was sentenced to 127 months imprisonment for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. On Sept. 29, Aldo’s brother, Jose Lehi Erives, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on the same charge.
The other sentencing was on Oct. 4, when former Marfa Sector Border Patrol agent Robert Espino was given eight year term in federal prison on the same charge.
These cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security - Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorneys Mark Greenberg and Greg McDonald are prosecuting these cases on behalf of the government.
Council given update on city clean-up effort
Town of Pecos City Council members were given a slide presentation by the city’s new code enforcement officer, Julio Quinones, on clean-up efforts on alleys, abandoned homes and junked cars in the city, during their regular meeting on Thursday morning at City Hall.
The council also approved an update on the city’s policy handbook during the meeting, while tabling action on the reading on the ordinance setting the city’s new higher water and sewer rates.
Quinones, who was moved from the Pecos Police Department to the new position of city code enforcement officer, said he has already issued 52 citations in connection with violations of city codes, and has been getting calls from local residents about violations. “I’ve gotten complaints on high weeds to junked vehicles, and abandoned houses, too, especially with all the fires we’ve been having lately,” he said. “I also sent out a list of city properties that need to be cleaned up.”
He said each property owner is responsible for the area from their yards at the front sidewalk to the dumpster area of the alley behind their homes.
“Last night we met with the PEDC board, and that was one of our concerns. How can we attract businesses if we don’t get the town cleaned up,” councilwoman Angelica Valenzuela said.
“I think anybody at City Hall should be able to take a complaint and give it to Julio,” said councilman Frank Sanchez.
Council members approved the increase during a Sept. 30 meeting, which will cause the monthly bill for residential users to rise on average about $24 a month. But city manager Joseph Torres recommended the council table any action on the reading of the ordinance until a water rate study is completed.
Torres said the study was designed to look at how well the rates could support the water and sewer construction projects the city is working on, and which are required by state agencies. “One of the things we’ve gotten word on the sewer rates are fine, but we need to look at the gallonage for the water rates,” Torres said.
Council members also discussed conduction information sessions on the reasons for the rate increase for people who don’t speak English with city utilities director Edgardo Madrid sometime in the near future.
Also tabled was action on a lease of oil and gas property at the Pecos Municipal Airport. Mayor Dot Stafford said she wanted Pecos Economic Development Corp. president Mike Burkholder to be on hand to do the presentation, but city attorney Scott Johnson said the city did receive a bid for drilling rights on the airport property.
The changes approved to the employee handbook were outlined by Torres, and include separate sections on anti-discrimination, sexual harassment, violence in the workplace, concealed weapons, the use of city computers, the right to access information and protection of confidential information.
“We want to make sure we have a clear-cut policy handbook, and that they understand the release form,” said Torres. He added the city also wants to have the ability to do background checks on new employees.
In other action, the council set Saturday, Oct. 29 as the city’s official trick or treating day for Halloween, which falls on a Monday this year.
“We usually do it on a Saturday, and I think Saturday is your best bet,” said councilman Danny Rodriguez. Valenzuela added that the school Halloween carnival also was scheduled for a Saturday.
During the public comments section of the meeting, Pecos Chamber of Commerce President Linda Gholson thanks city workers for their help with the Reeves County Fall Fair last weekend, and Torres said the city was loaning traffic control barriers to Kermit this weekend, for the special Kermit the Frog event being staged in that town by the Walt Disney Corp., as part of a nationwide publicity event.
The council also voted to move the scheduled date for their next meeting up eight days, to 7 a.m. on Oct. 19 at City Hall. The meeting originally had been scheduled for Oct. 26.
PEDC seeks help updating strategic plan
By JON FULBRIGHT
The Pecos Economic Development Corp. is looking at hiring an Austin consultant to help set out future goals for the group, board members were told during a meeting on Wednesday in the TransPecos Banks boardroom.
PEDC President Mike Burkholder and board chairman Joe Keese said the planning consultant would help the group look at realistic options for attracting new businesses to the Pecos area.
“We built a good strategic plan, but basically we’ve accomplished all that in the original strategic plan,” said Burkholder, citing actions such as helping to open a branch of Odessa College in Pecos and the recent deal to re-open the former Smithers Transportation Testing Center.
He said he had talked with a facilitator in Austin about helping with the new plan, and Keese added, “We need to narrow down the focus and see what we want to do.”
In the near-term, Burkholder told the board he planned to go before the Pecos City Council, to see if they would deed land owned by the city west of Reeves County Hospital to the PEDC for future economic development, and was in talks with the Pecos Housing Authority about acquiring 51 acres of land on the north side of I-20 for use as possible business sites.
Keese said the PEDC is also looking to acquire city-owned empty buildings in other parts of town, possibly for use by oil and gas exploration companies, who have begun drilling activities to the northwest of Pecos, in Culberson County.
“We’ve got some interest from the oilfield companies in moving yards here,” said Keese. “That’s why we’ve been trying to get these properties. My fear is they’re going to leap over Pecos and set up yards in Van Horn.”
“We might do some ads in the Odessa paper for some of these oilfield companies,” Burkholder added. “They are looking for places right now.”
Earlier, Burkholder said he had attended another meeting in Dallas last week with officials from the Texas Transportation Institute and Applied Research Associates, who signed a lease in July to reopen the Smithers facility that had been closed for the past five years.
“They still haven’t figured out how they’re going to do all of this,” he said. “They’re still trying to hire someone to run all of it.”
He said a supervisor and four workers are at the track doing maintenance, and local businesses and motels have benefited from ARA and TTI officials who have been staying in the area and buying food and supplies locally.
“They’re trying to spend their money in Pecos if they can,” Burkholder said, though by law, the pact with ARA and TTI can’t mandate workers at the track live in Pecos.
“What’s encouraging to me is to hear people have called the employees who worked at the test track. They have left town, but if they get it back up, they’ve said they’d like to come back,” Keese said.
Board members also went over the final numbers for the 2005 fiscal year budget, which showed the PEDC spent $21,594 less than budgeted, and that income from the 1/4-cent share of the city’s 1 1/2-cent sales tax brought in more money than had been projected, due to the city’s improving economy.
“The end result is we wound up $32,000 better than we started,” Burkholder said.
Division winners annouced at Fall Fair
Poetry, paintings and other assorted items were a big hit at the Annual Reeves-Loving County Fall Fair held this past weekend at the Reeves County Civic Center.
The items were judged and ribbons awarded during the fair, which Pecos Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Gholson said attracted a large crowd to the Reeves County Civic Center.
Winners in the various categories are listed below.
In the Dried Arrangements Category:
1st - Virginia Pena - “Basket of Gourds”2nd - Shirley Worrell - Balmorhea Basket3rd - Lynell Putnam - “Western Weeds”Artificial/Silk:- Allison Espinosa - “White Lilies”- Jan Chandler - “Fall Basket”Cathy Teague - “Silk Flower Lantern”Fresh:Kathy Lujan - “Rosemary”Kathy Lujan Kathy LujanBest of Show (Overall):Virginia Pena - “Basket of Gourds”Small Quilts:Hand Quilted - Adult:Kathy PaschalBessie OsbornKathy PaschalMachine Quilted:Nyla DominguezSusan LindsayElisa MendozaMachine Quilted - YouthRainey Lindsay - Best of ShowLarge Quilts - AdultsMachine Applique/Machine Quilted:Nyla Dominugez - Best of ShowBarbara CreagerSusan LindsayBessie OsbornMachine Pieced/TackedDora RochenDixie BeanMachine Pieced-Machine Quilted:Lynn FowlerEllen FriarJerry NeelyTesselated Quilts:Ellen FriarBarbara CreagerWinners of Canned Goods:Fruit:Margie Williamson - ApplesMargie Williamson - PeachesRelish:Helen Vernon - Green TomatoesCalvin Howard - CornCalvin Howard - PiccadillyJam:Diana Renz - PeachCalvin Howard - ApricotMina Morris - PlumJelly:Diana Renz - PomegranateCalvin Howard - PlumDiana Renz - PeachPickles:Helen Vernon - Bread and Butter PicklesHelen Vernon - Pickled BeetsSoft Spreads:Calvin Howard - Apple ButterBest of Show:Helen Vernon - Bread and Butter PicklesBaked GoodsYouth:Cookies:Clay Teague - Jan Lastrapes Sugar CookiesAdultCookies:Cathy Teague - Quick Chocolate Sandwich CookiesBarbara Creager - Giant Kitchen Sink CookiesPatsy Bowles - Chocolate Covered PeanutsCakes:Cathy Teague - Tres Leches CakeCatherine Travland - Pumpkin Spice CakeLaura Teal - Cream Cheese Pound CakePies:Norma Golden - Buttermilk PieNorma Golden - Pecan PieCalvin Howard - Apple PieYeast Bread:Calvin Howard - Cinnamon RollsChristie Blake - Cheese RollsQuick Bread:Barbara Creager - Sweet Potato MuffinsBarbara Creager - Carrot Banana BreadElfida Howard - Bacon PopoversBest of Show:Norma Golden - Buttermilk PiePhotography - AmateurPortrait, Personality Color:Joyce MrtonBruce ShoresR.L. TellezPortrait, Personality, Black & WhiteMargie WillilamsonBruce ShoresMargie WilliamsonNatural History - Color:Margie WilliamsonLisa FernandezCathy TeagueNatural History - Black & White:Margie WilliamsonSephanie GonzalesOld Structures - Color:Margie WilliamsonR.L. TellezR.L. TellezOld Structures - Black & White:1st - 3rd Margie WilliamsonScenic - Color:Joyce MortonStephanie GonzalesTrevor TeagueScenic - Black & White:Margie WilliamsonStephanie GonzalesStephanie GonzalesFeature - Human Interest - Color:R.L. TellezMargie WilliamsonR.L. TellezFeature - Human Interest - Black & White:Margie WilliamsonCathy TeagueVanishing Past:Lisa FernandesMargie WillliamsonLisa FernandesVanishing Past - Black & White:Stephanie GonzalesStephanie GonzalesYouth:Natural History - Color:Carrie ShoresBest of Show - Margie WilliamsonPhotography - Professional:Portrait - Color - Cindy ShoresPortrait- Black & White; Natural History - Color; Natural History - Black & White; Vanishing Past - Color; Vanishing Past - Black & White; Scenic - Color and Scenic - Black & White.Art Show Winners:Category:Oil:Shirley Worrell - “Yucca w/Stormy Sky”Shirley Worrell - “Desert Yucca”Nancy McAnally - “Boots”Watercolor:Shirley Worrell - “Indian Pot”Doris Tillery - “Magnolias”Joyce Morton - “Swing Over the River”Pastel:Susie Watkins - “Rooster”Susie Watkins - “Lady in Red Hat”Pencil:Sarah Kratzmeyer - “Lion”Sarah Kratzmeyer - “Giraffe”Meaghan Kratzmeyer - “Fallen Heroes”Best of Show: (Overall) - Shirley Worrell - “Ocotilla”Poetry Contest:Youth:Sabrina LeAnn Tarin - “Reading”Jacqueline Nicole Tarin - “Librarians”Jacqueline Nicole Tarin - “Blessed Teachers”Honorable Mention: Aeon Rayos - “Books”Honorable Mention: Emaleth Goldsborough - “Twitch”Older Youth:April Monique Flores - “Sinner’s Prayer”Sara Leigh Clark - “The Garden of You”Military Themed:Mary Ann Tarin - “Life on the Line”James A. Tarin - “The Freedom Bird”Jason Foster - “The Bond”Adult:Joyce Morton - “Memories Are Good”Margie Williamson - “I’m A Train”Nan Cate - “Houses and Homes”Honorable Mention: Robert Ornelas - “One Night”Honorable Mention: Angelina O. Sanchez - “Times”Honorable Mention: Allison Espinosa - “I Am”Art and Writing “A Blessing is….”1st. Kindergarten - Jasmine Diaz - Miss Tarin’s classFourth Grade - Nicholas Navarette, Miss Wein’s classFourth Grade - Lara Gonzales, Miss Wein’s classFourth Grade - Pony Palomino, Miss Wein’s classSixth Grade - Ramon Barrera, Miss Willis’ classSixth Grade - Jesus Salgado, Miss Willis’ classSixth Grade - Samantha Contreras, Miss Willis’ classChildren’s Art:Theme: “My Blessing is….”Pre-K and Kindergarten:Teachers: Crissy Zuniga and Lupe Acosta3-D Bears on Posters:Pedro MoralesMichael ValenciaJay Lynn Martinez3-D Bears Without PostersJonathan AguilarBernice TarinJulian BarraganFlat Bears:Isabel AcevedoAngel DeLaCruzAbraham CarrascoTeacher: Sue ParentWater Color - RainbowsTrinity RodriguezDaniel MadridKennan SalgadoWater Color - HousesRodolfo AlanizDebra AlvaradoIsaiah GarciaTeacher: Mrs. Sharon HolcombeCrayons:Dominic EspudoCristian HerreraJazmin PayenFourth Grade - Montgomery MillerTeacher: Rachel TarinCut-Out Houses:Esmeralda MunozChristian SolisElias “E.J.” GarciaFourth Grade - Bessie HaynesTeachers: Alice Wein, Marcia McCormick and Nan ZemanKristy WinfreyChantz ContrerasJasmine SimmonsSixth Grade- Bessie HaynesTeachers: Glenda Willis, Jim MillerAriel GarciaChristian RodriguezAlley MoralesBalmorhea ISDTeacher: Mrs. GuerreroFirst Grade:Chloe DominguezThais ZunigaAryn PortilloSecond Grade:Jana HarbourJames GarciaJoshua GuebaraThird Grade:Karissa LopezKimberly RodriguezJames HearinFourth Grade:Karly MondragonDiego VasquezCasey DutchoverFifth Grade:Marlena BaezaRamon GutierrezMia RamonSixth Grade:Yanira NatividadGabriel SalcidoIlene LopezSeventh Grade:Sarah YackelRyan MondragonBrianna Rodriguez10th Grade:Miguel VasquezSavanna MachucaRodney FuentezWink:Emmi Goldsborough
Oden, Maddox announce wedding plans
Gary J. Oden of Coyanosa and Patricia A. Oden of Pecos are proud to announce the forthcoming marriage of their son, Cody Earl Oden to Lori Suzanne Maddox, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Maddox of Lometa, Tx.
They will exchange vows at the Chapel on the Bosque in Stephenville, on Saturday, Oct. 22.
Cody is employed with Rough Creek Lodge outside of Stephenville, as a Wildlife Manager.
Lori is also employed at Rough Creek as a Hunting Sales Manager.
The couple will be moving to Gainsville, Florida shortly after the ceremony.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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