Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, January 14, 2005
Chamber told R-III inmates staying at site
By ROSIE FLORES
The Reeves County Detention Center III will be staying open for the foreseeable future, Pecos Chamber of Commerce members were told during their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday.
Chamber directors met for lunch and heard from RCDC III Warden Martin McDaniel, who discussed the status of the prison and laid to rest any rumors circulating that the prison would be closing its doors soon.
“There have been some concerns that R-III will close this spring,” said McDaniel, referring to the current contract between the county and the state of Arizona to house up to 864 inmates at the Pecos facility.
McDaniel said that Arizona inmates had been placed in the Reeves County Detention Center III, as well as in prisons in Oklahoma and Newton until enough beds were available in that state’s prison. Arizona prison officials told state legislators last year that they would have enough beds to bring prisoners home by the middle of 2005, but McDonald said the state is not going to meet that target date.
“Their goal was to have all the inmates back home (in Arizona) this year,” said McDaniel. “They just don’t have the room, they had one prison built and filled it,” he said.
McDaniel said that the Arizona inmates were supposed to be moved back to Arizona, but that there just isn’t enough room. “They have the largest growing county, but with that the crime rate grows as well,” he said.
However, McDaniel said even if the Arizona inmates were to be moved back home, R-III would be filled with other inmates.
“We’re looking at other resources and we would move other inmates into the prison,” he said.
“I just wanted to express that to everyone and to make sure that the employees and their families know that, that the prison is not closing and they will not lose their jobs,” said McDaniel. “That is one concern that these employees have, that they will soon lose their jobs.”
He also spoke about the community service agreement between Reeves County and the Town of Pecos City.
“There was something in the agreement that the county had concerns about and I plan to talk to them this week to iron those out,” said McDaniel. “We have the free labor and we want to use it.”
McDaniel said that rumors circulating included the rumor that violent inmates were being sent out into the community with no supervision. “That is just not so, they are being watched and they are inmates that just want to do their time and go home,” he said.
He said that the inmates who are sent out in to the community to do community service are lower-risk inmates.
“These individuals are non-violent inmates that have been incarcerated for other reasons,” he said. “Also, law enforcement officers will be with these inmates at all times.”
McDaniel added that with any future clients, they would put this in their contracts. “We’ll put in there that they will go out and do community service work,” he said.
“We can get a lot of things done with this workforce,” he said.
“We have also been contributing a lot of food to the center (senior center) and haven’t done so recently,” said McDaniel. “The reason for this is because we couldn’t get a fall garden going, either because of the soil or weather, but we will start donating more as soon as we get the garden going again,” he said.
McDaniel said that R-III currently employs 182 employees. “We have an extremely difficult population, but we have an excellent staff,” he said.
“Out of all the employees, 76 are Reeves County individuals, with the rest being GEO staff,” said McDaniel.
McDaniel added that GEO will be sending a new warden will come to Pecos on Monday to oversee operations at the Reeves County Detention Center I and II. “Tony Garcia is a 30-year correctional retiree who is anxious to come out and work here,” said McDaniel.
McDaniel told the group that GEO wants him to be involved in the community. “The GEO group wants to be more involved and we have already started scholarships and have donated to Christmas for Kids,” he said.
“I just wanted to dispel some of the rumors circulating and feel free to come out and visit with me if you have any concerns or questions,” he said.
Galindo denies doing business with RCDC
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
“There has not been one single transaction outside the scope of my official duties where the County has paid me from the General Fund or the Commissary Fund.”
That was Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo’s answer when asked about recent allegations that he is doing business with Reeves County Detention Center.
In a lawsuit filed in December, Robert Hanks made numerous allegations regarding Galindo, former county commissioners Felipe Arredondo and Herman Tarin, and several county employees - most regarding the decision to build the Reeves County Detention Center III unit, along with alleged business dealings with the prison.
One such allegation is that Galindo is doing business with the prison without the knowledge of the Commissioners’ Court and without filing a notice with the County Clerk’s office.
In his petition Hanks names Beaver Express as the mode by which Galindo was doing business with the prison. Hanks has also produced documents to the Pecos Enterprise, which he alleges show a connection between a business, the judge and the prison.
Galindo said that Oklahoma-based Beaver Express was a tenant of his warehouse and distributing business at one time, but that he had no other relationship with the company or the prison.
The documents presented to the Enterprise are two photocopies - one of a check and the other of what appears to be a print out from a computer screen.
The computer printout lists Jimmy Galindo as the customer and Economy Cash and Carry in El Paso as where the load is to be picked up and L & F Distributing as the Consignee.
The amount of money listed is $247.10.
The check is drawn on an account listing Jimmy B. Galindo, Pecos Warehouse & Distributing, Company.
The payee is Winkles Tucks and the amount is $247.10.
When presented with the copy of the check Galindo said that it was his.
Galindo said L & F was not his company but rather it was a tenant of his that leased space from his warehouse business, located on the east side of Pecos.
“I am not a principal of L & F. They were a client of mine,” Galindo said.
“I help coordinate transport for tenant’s goods and in the process of coordinating delivery I am the one with ultimate responsibility to pay the freight bill. I then get reimbursed by my client,” he said.
“In this instance Economy Cash and Carry sold goods to L & F and L & F sold them to RCDC. My company, Pecos Warehouse and Distributing, coordinated the delivery of the goods,” he said.
Galindo said that L & F was a local company operated by Luis Salgado.
Galindo said that he provided warehouse space and delivery coordination for many local businesses such as Wal-Mart but that was the only capacity in which he did business in Reeves County.
Galindo said he bought the warehouse on the east side of town and started his business in 2001. The warehouse was formerly owned by Rio Pecos Sales and served as the area’s Budweiser distributorship.
“I am not affiliated with any business that does business with RCDC and I have never attempted to influence any business to do business with RCDC,” he said.
Council offers alternate pact for ambulance
By JON FULBRIGHT
Town of Pecos City Council members approved a counter-offer to the Reeves County Hospital District on Thursday on the proposed new ambulance service contact between the hospital district and the city, one that would increase the payment cap for the district by $10,000.
The council approved a plan presented by city manage Joseph Torres and city finance director Sam Contreras. It would follow a proposal made last month to the city by the hospital district that would increase the district’s base payment over a three-year period from $60,000 to $70,000, but would raise the cap proposed from $5,000 to $15,000, if the ambulance service ends up running in deficit.
The contract offer was approved unanimously by the council, and will be presented to the hospital board during their monthly meeting on Jan. 25. The measure will then go back to the city council for any further action at its next meeting, scheduled for Jan. 27.
Torres said the city has written off $422,000 in money owed to the city for ambulance services over a period of year, while the service ran a $63,000 deficit in 2003 and an $84,000 deficit in the 2003-04 fiscal year. Contreras said “The city has dropped the ball in collecting,” money owed in the past to the service, but added that new procedures should make collection efforts more efficient.
The hospital’s offer represents a $20,000 increase on its current base payment for operation of the ambulance service. RCH board president Linda Gholson pointed out that the hospital district has continued to make payments to the city for the past two years, even though there has been no contract agreement since 2002, and Reeves County Hospital Interim CEO Bill Conder said with the expansion and renovation work going on at the hospital, it was also short of funds.
“It just depends on our cash. We have a cash deficit right now,” said Conder. “We’re putting in a lot of things right now and adding new services, so I can say right now we don’t have the money.”
City attorney Scott Johnson said the proposed contract and any effort to get additional payments from the hospital district to cover past deficits are separate issues, and he would like to get the future contract taken care of first.
“At least there’s some meeting of the mind here,” said Johnson, who urged the council to take action on the proposal. “At least let’s get a contract in place for the future.”
Councilwoman Angelica Valenzuela said because the hospital had gone up $20,000 in its payment, she was willing to accept the $5,000 cap proposal. However, city finance director Mark Rushing said the $5,000 would cause additional uncertainty for the city on its budget.
“To cap the deficit we set their budget, but ours is still open-ended,” he said.
“We’ve improved the deficit by installing controls,” Torres said. “But we just have to stay current.
“We’re not in the medical business. It’s not our core business. We just feel like we should have more (payment) up front,” he said.
In addition to the ambulance service contract, Torres said the city and hospital district are still negotiating over a new central hall for both ambulance services. Currently, the city’s ambulances are kept at the Pecos Fire Hall in the 500 block of South Cedar Street, while the hospital houses its own transfer ambulances.
Winners announced for Balmorhea stock show
Students were rewarded for their showmanship abilities and their talent in raising animals at the Annual Balmorhea Junior Livestock Show held last weekend in Balmorhea.
In the hogs division, class I Hampshire - Duroc; Joshua Matta placed first; Ryan Woodruff, second and Joel Madrid, third.
In class II, Hampshire - Ducoc: first place, Kristie Rodriguez; second place, Anisha Vasquez; third, Joseph Dutchover and fourth, Amber Cook.
Champion Hampshire-Duroc: Kristie Rodriguez and Reserve Champion Hamp-Duroc; Anisha Vasquez.
Class 1 York: first, Ryan Woodruff; second, Casey Dutchover; third, Alexander Mendoza; fourth, Lorissa Rodriguez.
Class II York: first place, Ansiha Vasquez; second, Russell Garlick; third, Levon Barragan; fourth, Joseph Dutchover and fifth, Amber Cook.
Class III York: first, Cutter Crider; second, Robert Vasquez; third, Joseph Dutchover ; fourth, Vanessa Garcia and fifth, Mayle McElroy.
Champion York: Cutter Crider and Reserve Champion York, Robert Vasquez.
Class I Cross: first, Kailynn Hernandez; second, Cutter Crider; third, Mayle McElroy; fourth, Casey Dutchover and fifth, Cutter Crider.
Class II Cross: first, Joel Madrid; second, Robert Vasquez; third, Noelee Garcia and fourth, Levon Barragan.
Class II Cross Champion: Joel Madrid; Reserve Champion Cross, Robert Vasquez; Grand Champion, Cutter Crider; Reserve Champion Joel Madrid; Jr. Showmanship, Joel Madrid and Sr. Showmanship, Robert Vasquez.
Finewool lambs: first, Adrienne Bagley; second, Mayle McElroy and third, Mia Roman.
Cross lamb: first, Adrienne Bagley, second, Adam Roman and third, Jo Gina Gallego.
Medium Wool: first, Adam Roman, second, Mayle McElroy; third, Adrienne Bagley; fourth, Mia Roman and fifth, Jamie Gallego.
Grand Champion: Adam Roman; Reserve Champion: Adrienne Bagley: Jr. Showmanship, Mayle McElroy; Sr. Showmanship, Adrienne Bagley.
Class 1: first, Casey Dutchover; second, Mariable Rodriguez; third, Diego Estrada; fourth, Noelee Garcia; fifth Dailynn Mondragon.
Class II: first, Joe Able Rodriguez; second, Marcus Muniz; third, Daniel Estrada; fourth, Joseph Dutchover and fifth, Mia Roman.
Class III: first, Jose Rodriguez; second, Marcus Muniz; third, Gabriel Salcido; fourth, Sarah Lujan; fifth, Brianna Rodriguez; sixth, Vanessa Garcia.
Class IV: first, Dailynn Mondragon; second, Adrian Muniz; third, Joe Able Rodriguez; fourth Gabriel Salcido; fifth, Brandi Machuca; sixth, Jo Gina Gallego.
Class V: first, Adrienne Bagley; second, Anastasia Contreras; third, Sarah Lujan; fourth, James Tarin; fifth, Jose Rodriguez.
Class VI: first, Marcus Muniz; second, Mayle McElroy; third, Cutter Crider; fourth, Adrian Muniz; fifth, Victoria Salcido; sixth, Brianna Rodriguez.
Grand Champion: Marcus Muniz; Reserve Champion, Mayle McElroy; Jr. Showmanship, Joe Able Rodriguez; Sr. Showmanship, Sarah Lujan.
In the Steers division: Amber Cook took Grand Champion, Reserve Champion and Sr. Showmanship.
Students again welcome home soldier
By ROSIE FLORES
A third grade class will be welcoming home a serviceperson from the Persian Gulf this weekend, and is encouraging the community to join them.
Heather Scheier’s third grade class at Austin Elementary has been keeping “in touch” with Rebecca Natividad who is serving her second tour in Iraq.
“She will be here Sunday and we want everyone to give her a big welcome,” said Scheier.
She added that her class has “adopted” about 23 soldiers serving the U.S. in different parts of the country.
“This is the second time that we adopt Rebecca, we had adopted her two years ago, when she was in Iraq,” said Scheier. “She came by the school on registration night and told me to please take care of her, because she was going back,” she said.
Scheier said that her class had toured the technology van that was parked in front of the Technology Center and that every student had the opportunity to e-mail Natividad.
“We took pictures and everything,” she said.
The class has been busy making welcome home signs and is encouraging businesses and other individuals in the community to welcome her home.
“We want everyone to participate by decorating with red, white and blue or yellow,” said Scheier. “We want her to know how proud we are of her.”
She said that if anybody has someone in the armed forces and would like the class to “adopt them,” they can contact her at Austin Elementary.
“Our goal is not to necessarily hear back from them, but for them to bring a smile to their faces and to let them know we’re thinking of them,” said Scheier.
Service individuals or anybody else can e-mail the class at firstname.lastname@example.org .
“We want all those serving our country to know that we care about them here at home and are proud of them,” she said.
Reeves-Loving stock show set for weekend
Goats, hogs and lambs are all being prepared for this year’s Reeves-Loving County Junior Livestock Show and Sale, scheduled for this weekend in Pecos.
Events began with weigh-ins between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday. All sheep, goats and hog weigh-ins will be held at this time at the Reeves County Civic Center.
On Friday, the show will start with the Heifer Show at 5:15 p.m., followed by the Steer Show at 5:45 p.m.; goat show at 6:15 p.m. and the lamb show at 8 p.m.
On Saturday, events will start at 8 a.m. with the hog show. A cobbler cooking contest wil take place at 4 p.m., followed by a barbecue dinner from 5- 7 p.m. and the premium sale at 7 p.m.
Preston Falls of Sonora will be the judge for the Steer, Lamb and Goat Show on Friday, while Jason Belew of Tahoka will serve as judge for Saturday’s Hog Show.
The 2004 Showmanship winners included: Sr. Steer, John Clark; Jr. Steer, Nathan Box; Sr. Lamb, Katie Lee; Jr. Lamb, Adrienne Bagley; Sr. Hog, Natalia Ornelas; Jr. Hog, Clay Teague; Sr. Goat, Alex Morales and Jr. Goat, Clay Teague.
Israel Matta and Jason Sanders
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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.
Copyright 2003-04 by Pecos Enterprise