Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, September 6, 2005
County offers to house 500 storm, flood victims
By ROSIE FLORES
Reeves County is making an effort to help displaced families from the New Orleans area by providing food and shelter to at least 500 people displaced by Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of the city last week.
“We have offered to put up 500 people from New Orleans,” said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.
Galindo said that between Fort Stockton, Monahans and Pecos, they are putting together a number of beds.
“We came together in this three county area, to see what we can do to help them,” said Galindo.
Texas has taken in almost 250,000 refugees from last week’s flooding, and officials with the state and with the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) have been looking for long-term housing options for those currently being kept in the Astrodome and other arenas and shelters in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.
“This is a humanitarian effort, if people can’t find it in their hearts in this dire situation, it’s a sad day in America,” said Galindo.
Galindo said that he had spoken to Jack Colley, State Coordinator for Emergency Management and that he had been working with him to coordinate this effort.
“Two hotels (Quality Inn and Best Western Motel) committed 30 rooms with double beds, and Laura Lodge 25 beds,” said Galindo.
Galindo said that the Pecos Housing Authority has committed 40 apartments for 160 people.
“We’ve got the 500 beds allocated,” said Galindo.
Reeves County Commissioners were scheduled to discuss the offer during a special meeting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday at the Reeves County Courthouse. The topic was also scheduled to be discussed at 7 a.m. on Wednesday by Town of Pecos City Council, during their regularly scheduled meeting.
City Manager Joseph Torres and Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney said on Friday they had been informed by Galindo about the plans. Torres said the city would coordinate with the Citizen’s Emergency Response Team, while McKinney said, “The city is more than willing to grant any assistance.”
However, Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford said the city’s assistance would have to come with only limited expense, due to the current $300,000 budget deficit.
“There’s no way the city can support any of this financially,” said Stafford, who said she had not discussed the mater with the county or with outside officials.
Galindo said that at 10 p.m., Friday, a presidential declaration that FEMA would authorize reimbursement to every county in Texas with expenditures for this relief.
Stafford said she had received a number of calls over the weekend from local residents, after news of the proposed relocations in Pecos was announced on Friday.
“All of this is new to me,” she said. “I have not been contacted by the county judge, FEMA or anyone.”
Stafford said she planned to attend Tuesday afternoon’s commissioner’s court meeting to discuss the situation.
McKinney said Tuesday morning he would meet with Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez and with local Department of Public Safety officials to discuss the proposal prior to the commissioner’s court meeting.
Reeves is one of several West Texas counties that have offered to host victims of the Aug. 29 hurricane and the aftermath, which caused levees in New Orleans to collapse, flooding 80 percent of the city. Other flood victims were flown into Lubbock and El Paso over the weekend, while Big Spring also has agreed to find housing for refugees of the disaster, who will arrive in the area with no food, jobs or transportation, and with only the clothes they were wearing at the time of the evacuation.
Galindo said that the challenge will be to feed these individuals.
“We’ll be using the kitchen at the Reeves County Detention Center III and feeding them at the Reeves County Civic Center,” said Galindo.
In addition, both Catholic Churches, Santa Rosa Catholic Church and St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, have stated their intent to help.
“They have said that they will help us in any way they can and have offered both reception areas at the churches to feed them or to use for whatever is needed,” said Galindo.
Quality Inn has allocated 100 rooms in Denton as well, which Galindo said he has reported to the state.
“Since last week, when we were coming up with this plan, additional hotels have stated that they will provide shelter for the 500 people,” said Galindo.
While the city prepares to house up to 500 refugees, Pecos High School was the home to several hundred members of the New Mexico National Guard overnight on Sunday. The troops were making the trip from the Guard’s state headquarters in Santa Fe, N.M. to Baton Rouge, La., where they were to help out with relief and recovery efforts.
God’s Army prepares to move into new home
By PEGGY MCCRACKEN
Bud Nelson was piloting airplanes when he was in high school, and now he shares his love of aeronautics with youth through the Air Wing of God’s Army.
In the first two years, Nelson used his U.S. Air Force experience to teach elementary age children to march military style. The past two years, he and his wife, Lois, have led the Air Wing based at Crockett Junior High.
Starting the first Wednesday in October, they are moving into the new God’s Army headquarters at 1320 Veterans Blvd., where they can expand the unit to include the ninth grade, and add a computerized flight simulator to give students hands-on experience as pilots.
Besides flying, the group uses the Truth for Youth Bible to memorize scripture and to study such topics as drug abuse, safe sex and creation.
“We teach on all the moralities that lead to being a good citizen,” Nelson said. “We teach about creation to let them start to understand that evolution is just a theory, and there is more proof in the Bible and recent discoveries that intelligent design by the Master Creator is what happened in the world.”
Nelson uses literature from three major creation museums and a two-hour video that is viewed in 20-minute segments to give students a chance to digest and discuss what they have seen.
For example, one segment shows that coal can be made in a short time, with the right pressure and temperature, Nelson said. “It does not have to be made in millions of years, compacted with hundreds of feet of soil,” he said.
Velma Bradley, who will lead the Bessie Haynes Brigade at 11th and Sycamore streets, also focuses on creation in her Bible teaching.
She said children receive help in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual areas. “They receive most of all love, compassion and understanding, which I believe are the most essential elements necessary for their growth,” she said.
Marching helps the children unwind as they transition from the long school day into study of God’s word. Bible drills, music, board games and scripture memorization give students a knowledge of Jesus Christ and what He expects from his children.
Joyce Morton hosted the Austin Elementary Bible Buddies in her home this past year, and they overflowed her dining room. She looks forward to meeting in the new God’s Army headquarters each Tuesday at 3:15 p.m.
“We have room in the new place for growth,” she said.
And growth is what she expects, with students like Cody Vernon spreading the word among his friends and classmates about the unique studies.
“This year we will begin with the New Testament,” Morton said. “We started with the Old Testament last year. We can say all the books in the Old Testament, and know stories about each one.”
Each week the students memorize a scripture, play memory games and march, under the direction of high school student Joshua Ortiz.
“They look forward to marching each week, carrying the American flag, the Christian flag and the Bible,” Morton said. “They learn what God expects of them, and they witness to family and friends.”
Morton spent 37 years in the public school classroom, so she understands how important it is for students to take what they learn about the Bible back to school and share it with others.
Davie Morelan will lead a group of students in grades four through six in a new unit meeting just across the patio from Bible Buddies. She has extensive training in working with troubled youth.
Besides after-school programs, God’s Army ministers to youth through weekend worship and Bible study sessions. Dallas-area pastor Calvin Cosby will lead the first sessions Sept. 9-10, from 7 to 9 p.m. He has ministered to young drug abusers and gang members.
His wife, Diana, and two teenage children will give their testimonies.
Kim Ewing, former director of the He-Brews coffeehouse ministry, plans to teach Bible study for youth at 6:30 p.m. on Sundays.
He-Brews, a mission of First Baptist Church that was supported by several churches, was dissolved in March, and all assets donated to God’s Army to help refurbish and furnish the Veterans Boulevard house.
Ewing has since led volunteers to clean up the premises, clean up and paint the interior of the house once occupied by gang members and drug abusers.
Marijuana leaves were painted on the walls, along with vulgar words and all types of graffiti when God’s Army volunteers claimed the abandoned house for God’s work. Walls were smeared with feces, and carpets soaked with urine from animals that roamed freely in the open building.
Chief tax appraiser Carol Markham said that neighbors had complained about young people torturing animals, and one dead cat was found among debris that covered the floors from wall to wall. She notified the taxing entities and former owners that the roof was falling in, and the building was a health and safety hazard.
“I see myself right now as helping a vision for the house to come true,” Ewing said. “God is saying, ‘I can fix you, and you can fix this building, along with others who have the skills.’”
She envisions a ministry to all age groups, from young children through young adults.
“And even older adults will be in teaching capacities as God calls them,” she said.
Sylvia Dannelly-McCree has a ministry to women in jail, and she plans to help them when they are released. One program she and Mary Barfield plan to implement at the God’s Army house is landscaping to teach them gardening skills.
“This whole community will be ministered to,” said Ewing.
Rey Carreon, who heads the three-member board that sets policy and handles business matters for God’s Army, said the message for every ministry is Jesus and his saving power.
“Meeting are open to anyone who wants to know and follow Jesus,” he said.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is Enterprise business manager and volunteer executive director for God’s Army.)
Hurricane aid raised by store, victims’ family
By ROSIE FLORES
A local organization is moving forward in helping the victims of the hurricane, while a family of a former Pecos resident has moved to town after losing everything during the tragedy that hit the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.
Move Gallery announced last week it would be among other companies in the U.S. to provide aid to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The company is going to donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Customers can make donations to support the relief effort at all Movie Gallery and Hollywood Studio Store Locations.
Movie Gallery is also encouraging the general public to donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund through its 4,700 Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video store locations. All Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video stores will accept customer cash donations through Friday, Sept. 30.
Joe Malugen, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Movie Gallery, said, “We are deeply concerned about the tragedy and devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. We have numerous customers, associates and partners that live and work in the affected areas and we want to do our part in supporting the relief efforts. “
While the majority of those in need of help are in the New Orleans area, a former Pecos resident now in the U.S. Air Force was one of those affected when the storm ravaged coastal areas of Mississippi.
TSGT Robert Chabarria, Jr. is stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., where he will remain to assist in the rescue mission.
He is a 1993 graduate of Pecos High School and joined the Air Force in June of that year.
His wife Sheryl and son, Robert III will arrive in Pecos, today, to seek refuge with Robert’s parents, Robert and Linda Chabarria.
The family lost all their belongings to Hurricane Katrina. The family is in need of money, clothes, school supplies or any other donations that local residents would like to assist with.
Sheryl and Robert III will be in Pecos for at least a week and will continue on their journey to Las Vegas, Nev., to join her family while awaiting word to join Robert Jr. again.
Any donations can be taken or sent to Sheryl at 1312 S. Elm St. in Pecos or call 445-3342. Sizes for anyone interested in donating clothes are:
Robert Jr. - shirts, XL, pants 36width X 36 length, shoes 10 1/2.
Sheryl - blouses L, pants 9 long, shoes 8.
Robert III - shirts 12, pants, 12, shoes 4 1/2.
Sentences handed out to remaining Beltran brothers
Two members of a family charged with smuggling and selling cocaine in the United States were sentenced last Thursday in U.S. District Court in Midland.
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton said Hernaldo Perea Beltran was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment and his brother, Jesus Beltran, was sentenced to 236 months imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine.
The sentencing comes after their brothers, Raul and Rodolfo Beltran, were sentenced to 20 years and 12 years imprisonment, respectively, for the same crime. The brothers were arrested in Juarez Mexico on New Year’s Eve of 2001, but had previously lived in Reeves County.
“These Beltrans were responsible for moving massive amounts of cocaine through the Midland/Odessa corridor,” Sutton said. “Today, they paid the price for selling this poison in our communities.”
From January 1991 through April 2001, the Beltrans led a criminal enterprise that imported in excess of 6,000 kilograms (13,200 pounds) and as much as 26,000 kilograms of cocaine from Juarez, Mexico, through El Paso for distribution in and around Midland, Odessa, Dallas and Kansas City. Over 27 kilograms of cocaine and $200,000 in cash was seized as part of the investigation.
Over time, there were at least 15 criminal participants beneath the leadership that loaded, transported and distributed cocaine, returned proceeds from cocaine sales to the Beltran brothers, and/or acted as retail distributors based on fronted cocaine on behalf of this organization.
Sutton said the Beltrans sold each kilogram of cocaine for between $16,000 and $20,000 depending on the amount purchased by the buyer, the ability and dependability of the buyer to quickly sell the cocaine and return the money owed to the Beltran organization, the price and available supply of cocaine in Mexico and the demand in the United States. The cocaine was either sold outright for cash or fronted on consignment to the purchaser or a combination of both.
When the arrests began in this investigation in December 2000, the Beltran brothers fled to Mexico. They were fugitives from justice until their apprehension on the evening of December 31, 2001, by the Mexican Agencia Federales Investigaciones (AFI) in Juarez based on a provisional arrest request by the United States.
The Beltrans were ordered extradited to the United States by the Mexican courts in November 2004.
Sutton commended the Midland„Odessa DEA Task Force, the lead investigative unit for this case, and the United States Border Patrol, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Midland County Sheriff’s Office, Midland Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Pecos (TX) Police Department, Reeves County (TX) Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas City (KS) DEA Task Force and the Culberson County (TX) Sheriff's Office.
Cops say duo arrested after home burglary
Odessa Police Department officers, acting on a tip from Pecos Police, arrested two local residents on Aug. 25 on charges of burglary of a habitation.
Police investigator Paul Deishler said that on Aug. 25 they received a call from Henry Matta, 821 S. Cypress St., who told them someone had broken into his home and removed several pieces of property, including electronics equipment and a SWAT bag, belonging to the Reeves County Detention Center.
During the interview, Matta said that Darren Lynn Walker, 36, and Clarissa Fobbs, 21, had been in his home a few hours prior to the burglary, and police later learned that the two had left Pecos and were staying in the Sahara Motel in Odessa. Officers were told that the two were attempting to sell some of Matta’s property while at the motel.
Police then contacted officers in Odessa, who went to the motel that night. Police were later in formed by Odessa PD officer Eric Bartlett that he had located the two in the motel and they did have electronic equipment in their possession. Bartlett said the items matched the description of the stolen items Matta had given to Pecos police, and on Aug. 26 warrants were issued for both on the charge of burglary of a habitation.
Deishler said both subjects currently are in the Ector County Jail awaiting return to Pecos on the burglary charge.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff’s Office, or other officers of those agencies.
The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instances we will indicate payment and release
Servio Fuentes, 923 S. Elm St., was arrested by police on Aug. 18 at 9:44 p.m. on warrants charging him with running a stop sign, permitting an unlicensed driver to operate a motor vehicle, and violation of promise to appear on both charges. Police said the arrest took place in the 400 block of South Mesquite St.
Raul Lujan Barrera, 36, 1202 S. Ash St., was arrested by police on Aug. 20 on charges of failure to display a white light on a bicycle, a Class C misdemeanor, and for resisting arrest, search or transportation, a Class A misdemeanor. Police said Barrera was riding a bicycle at night without a light in the 500 block of East Fourth Street, and then resisted arrest by refusing to allow the officer to apply a second handcuff. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Rudolfo Carrasco Renteria, 34, 1714 Adams St., was arrested by police on Aug. 20 and charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrest occurred after they were called to Renteria’s home on a report of a man possibly passed out in the front yard.
Jesus Guillermo Rayos, 17, 713 W. Fourth St., was arrested on Aug. 25 on a charge of unlawfully carrying a weapon, a Class A misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place in the east alley of the 700 block of West Fourth Street when Rayos was observed carrying a damaged baseball bat. He was then taken to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Anna Isabel Ramos, 35, of Wink, was arrested by police on Aug. 29 on Highway 17 at milepost 360 on a warrant charging her with theft by check. Police said Ramos was stopped for speeding, and a records check then revealed the outstanding warrant from the Ward County Sheriff’s Department.
Solia Gloria Villarreal, 41, of Fort Stockton, was arrested by police on Aug. 29 on a charge of assault under the Family Violence Act, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said they were called to 1205 S. Elm St., about a disturbance, and were told by Villarreal’s ex-husband that she had assaulted him. Villarreal admitted the assault, police said, and scratches were seen on her ex-husband. She was then taken to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Jesus Gonzales, 19, 1124 S. Ash St., was arrested by police on Aug. 29 on warrants charging him with assault, a Class A misdemeanor, and terroristic threat, a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the arrests were made after officers saw Gonzales at his home. He was then taken to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Jose Angel Vasquez, 44, 815 S. Cedar St., was arrested by police at 9:53 p.m. on Aug. 17 on warrant charging him with disorderly conduct (urinating in a public place) and violation of promise to appear on the first charge. Police said the arrest was made at Vasquez’s home, and he was then taken to the Criminal Justice Center.
Jose Angel Vasquez, 44, 815 S. Cedar St., was arrested by police on Aug. 18 on warrants charging him with open container alcohol, no valid driver’s license, no liability insurance, and failure to appear warrants on those three charges. Vasquez was served at 8:03 p.m. at the Pecos Criminal Justice Center, after he already had been arrested by police on two other outstanding warrants.
Jeanette Florez, 27, 707 Meadowbrook Dr., was arrested by police on Aug. 18 on warrants charging her with possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), no liability insurance, open container alcohol and no valid driver’s license. Police said Florez was arrested at 7:51 p.m. at the Northside Park on U.S. 285, and was then taken to the Criminal Justice Center.
Oscar Vllabazo Gonzales, 28, 201 County Road in Barstow, was arrested by police on Aug. 16 at 9:04 p.m. on a warrant from the Reeves County Sheriff’s Department, charging him with no liability insurance. Police said the arrest was made on a records check, following a traffic stop in the 800 block of East Third Street.
Guillermo Gabaldon, Jr., 29, was arrested by police on Aug. 17 on warrants charging him with speeding, failure to display driver’s license and for failure to appear on the original charges. Police said the arrest was made at Gabaldon’s house, at Apt. 29 in the Casa Manana Apartments, 802 Daggett St., and he was then taken to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Brian Santiago Garcia, 17, 1611 S. Park St., was arrested by police on Aug. 15 on warrants charging him with assault causing bodily injury and possession of marijuana under two ounces. Police said the arrest was made when Garcia was seen the back yard of 314 s. Mesquite St., and during the arrest, two plastic baggies with a substance believed to be marijuana were found in his possession. He was then transported to the Criminal Justice Center.
Mingo Jimenez, 35, 2227 Madera Rd., was arrested by police on Aug. 15 on a charge of making beer available to minors, a Class A misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place at the Sonic Drive Inn on West Third Street, when police received a report of juveniles drinking alcoholic beverages in a car with Oklahoma license plates. Open beer was found inside the vehicle, and Jimenez was then arrested and taken to the Criminal Justice Center.
Angela Rodriguez Tarin, 19, was arrested by police on Aug. 30 and charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrest occurred when Tarin returned to a home at 2307 Cactus St and got into a fight with Anneabel Marquez, the homeowner. Police had previously gone to the home at 5:15 a.m. on a disturbance between the two, and had told Tarin to stay away from the house. She was transported to the Criminal Justice Center following her arrest.
Denise Marie Valeriano, 2401 Cactus St., was arrested by police on Aug. 30 on a warrant charging here with assault, and with a warrant out of Presidio County charging her with no child passenger safety seat. Police said the arrest occurred at her home as a result of the incident, which took place on July 8. She was transported from her home to the Criminal Justice Center.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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