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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Remodling work begins at La Tienda

Staff Writer

The planned remodeling of Pecos’ only grocery store has begun, with work on the outside of the building underway before renovations to the inside starts early next year. “Construction began a few weeks ago,” said La Tienda Thirftway Manager Oscar Ramirez of the remodeling effort, which was announced earlier this year.

La Tienda’s owners, Fenn Foods, announced plans to redo the store shortly after closing down their other Pecos supermarket, Bob’s Thriftway. The closing left La Tienda as the only supermarket in the city since the end of May.

Ramirez said that stucco will be installed all around the building and construction to the front of the store is underway as well.

“We’re moving the doors to the outside and a roofing crew is coming in today to redo all the roof,” said Ramirez. “The sign was taken down and they will come up with a new sign,” he said.

Ramirez said that this is the beginning of major construction at the only grocery store in Pecos.

“In January we will start re-modeling all the inside,” said Ramirez.

What workers are doing now is all the stucco on the outside of the building and the front of the building to move the doors.

“The entrance will be towards the middle of the store,” said Ramirez.

Ramirez said that there will be three doors on the outside, but all will meet on the inside and only one entrance in the middle will be going inside the store.

“Then a compete remodel will start inside the store,” said Ramirez. “Actually, it will begin as soon as the roofing is complete,” he said.

The remodeling will include new shelves, freezers, floors and the décor.

“The meat market and deli will receive facelifts as well and both will be upgraded,” said Ramirez. “All this will begin as soon as the finish the roofing,” he said.

Ramirez said that everybody is really excited about the ongoing construction.

“Even the customers have expressed their excitement and how happy they are to see all this construction and renovations,” said Ramirez. “I think it’s way past overdue.”

He said that this was a positive thing for everybody.

“Even though we’re not really expanding, the store will seem a lot bigger,” said Ramirez. “Thanks to a couple of more aisles and once we move our doors up, it will seem bigger.” The office area will be moved to the back and a couple of more registers will be added, according to Ramirez.

“More produce and market products will be added,” said Ramirez.

New ovens will also be installed at the deli. “It will look bigger and give customers more of a selection,” said Ramirez.

New selections will be added in the frozen food section.

“There’s always a lot of new items, that we didn’t have room for, but we will have once we’re finished with all the upgrading,” said Ramirez.

Driver lands in jail on turkey day drug bust

A Pecos man found unconscious inside a vehicle on the south side of town Thanksgiving Day faces two drug-related charged, after officers allegedly found heroin and other items inside the vehicle.

Rafael Vales Medina, 44, 2029 Ivey St., was arrested by police last Thursday on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police investigator Paul Deishler said the arrest occurred after they were dispatched to the 800 block of West Daggett Street at 3:50 p.m. on Nov. 24 following a report of a possible drug overdose.

Once there they found a man, later identified as Medina, slumped over in the seat of the vehicle. Officers were able to wake him up and then called for ambulance personnel, who checked out the suspect and found he did not need transport to the hospital.

However, a check of the vehicle revealed a substance believed to be heroin, along with paraphernalia used in the cooking and injecting of heroin both inside the vehicle and in Medina’s possession. In addition, Deishler said $1,700 in cash was found inside the vehicle.

Medina was then placed under arrest on the drug charges, and was transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.

KMID official, council to meet on signal woes

Staff Writer

The general manager of the ABC station for Midland Odessa will be at the next regular meeting of the Pecos City Council to discuss his station’s problems in getting a signal to local viewers.

City officials are also hoping officials from Cebridge Connections will be at the meeting, after two representatives met with the council last Monday to discuss the problems getting KMID-TV back on the Pecos cable system.

City manager Joseph Torres said on Wednesday KMID’s general manager Chris Pruitt agreed to meet with the council at their next meeting, on Dec. 8, after Torres and Mayor Dot Stafford visited with Pruitt at KMID’s offices at the Midland International Airport on Nov. 22. The meeting came a day after Cebridge officials explained once again to the council why they are unable to provide a signal for the local ABC station on the Pecos cable system.

“We met with Chris Pruitt and got a tour of his studio with their engineer Glenn Edwards,” said Torres, who added that they also discussed some of the technical issues that have kept KMID from providing a signal to the Pecos area.

KMID’s antenna signal only reaches as far as the area between Wickett and Pyote at their allowed power level. “They transmit at 100,000 kilowatts. That’s basically their license,” Torres said.

During the Nov. 21 city council meeting, Robert Montalvo, West Texas General Manager for Cebridge, and Manuel Gonzales, the company’s area engineer, presented members with maps of the coverage areas for the Midland-Odessa stations. “Basically, we’re just out of the area where we can get an ABC affiliate,” Montalvo said.

KMID’s local problems began after they lost their space on the microwave relay system that had been used for years to beam the signal from their tower north of the airport to Pecos. KMID’s tower is about 20 miles further from Pecos than the towers for KOSA and KTPX, the area CBS and NBC stations, which can be picked up by antenna in the Pecos area, according to the maps presented by Montalvo and Gonzales.

“No matter how high we build the tower, and no matter how much we amplify it, we can’t get it here,” Monatlvo said, though the company did try for about two years to receive KMID by a direct antenna link.

But the signal was so poor that in September of 2004, Cebridge replaced the channel on its local lineup, first with WRKN out of Nashville, and since the first of this year with WABC out of New York. KMID was shifted to Ch. 95 on the system, but has rarely provided a viewable signal since last fall.

“What I would do if I were the council and the city manager, I would say ‘we have so many people here,’ because that’s a big selling point for the advertisers,” Montalvo told the council last Monday.

“We said you’re telling advertisers you are serving the Pecos area,” Torres said on Wednesday, following his meeting with Pruitt. “You say you’re serving those customers, but you’re not serving Pecos.”

While the ABC picture quality has been far better since last fall, the council heard complaints about both the lack of local news coverage and the absence of Saturday afternoon Big 12 college football games on WABC.

“Right now we’ve got all the University of Texas fans upset,” Torres said. “If A&M were having a good season, they’d be upset, but right now it’s the UT fans.”

“It’s not only the football, it’s local news,” said councilman Frank Sanchez. “I think when we talked about it last time, you said this was only a temporary solution.”

Montalvo told the council no Texas ABC affiliates were available on the satellite, and the only option was distant signals from cities such as New York and Denver. The Denver ABC station does air regional Big 12 games, but because it is in the Mountain Time Zone, almost all ABC shows would start an hour later than they do now if the Denver station was placed on the local cable system.

Pruitt said last year he was hoping Cebridge would be able to get KMID’s signal via satellite, when Echostar, the parent company of DISH Network, began offering Midland-Odessa TV stations on its satellite service. But Gonzales said during the Nov. 21 council meeting that plan fell through earlier this year.

Torres said during Tuesday’s meeting with Pruitt, he was asked why Fox affiliate KPEJ could get its signal into Pecos, while KMID could not. KPEJ’s tower is located near KMID’s, and its signal also fails to directly reach the Pecos area. But the station beams its signal down to an antenna on Gomez Peak near the I-10 junction with I-20, and that signal is rebroadcast into the Pecos and Van Horn areas on UHF Ch. 20.

“We want him to come before the council and tell us why you can’t give us some solutions,” Torres said. “Let’s go ahead and see if there’s a remedy. If not, tell us.”

Council members also asked about the lack of a Texas PBS station on the local system. Pecos had been served by KERA out of Dallas until that station was removed from the microwave transmission lines in 1990, and since then has received stations from Michigan, Nebraska and currently Denver for it’s PBS signal.

Montalvo said Midland-Odessa PBS station KOCV, like KMID, cannot be picked up by antenna in the Pecos area. “Their signal barely gets out of there. They just cover Midland and Odessa,” he said.

Torres said Pruitt did tell him KMID’s signal problems should be solved by 2009, when federal law mandates all television stations in the United States be fully converted to digital broadcasts. The digital images will provide a clearer picture, though all non-digital TVs currently in use will either have to have an adaptor to receive the new signals, or be replaced.

“He said all this will be satisfied when we go over to digital, but somebody has to make the investment with regards to the transmitter and tower,” Torres said.

City starts Campus Crime Stoppers program

Staff Writer

Pecos City Council members were briefed on a new Campus Crime Stoppers program, during their Nov. 21 meeting at City Hall.

The council also agreed to extend the current weekend hours at the city’s landfill, and agreed to closure of a street on Dec. 10 for an event benefiting Christmas for Kids as part of their regular meeting.

Pecos Police Department Community Affairs Officer Mike Balog said the new program involved Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD students and teachers, and was designed to help with crime problems in local schools.

“It’s the same concept,” he said. “They do the same thing the adult board does,” Balog said. It involved cash rewards for information leading to arrests for crimes.

“There’s money out there for tips, when a student brings drugs or weapons to school,” he said. The information can be reported by either calling 445-9696 or by going to campus administrators. The names of those reporting incidents will be kept confidential, and the rewards will be paid out following arrest and conviction.

Balog also told the council he had recently received grants to help fund software programs for the Crimestoppers operation, and also had used grant funds to take some of the students on the board to Austin for training.

The council made no final decision on current extended Saturday hours for the landfill, while discussing the options of overtime staffing arrangements, or switching the landfill workers’ regular weekday hours.

“The current operation is two operators operating 40 hours weekday, and one operator for four hours on Saturdays,” said Martin Arreguy, who is in charge of the city’s clean-up program. The two workers at the landfill alternate their overtime hours on Saturdays, with a cost to the city of $4,500.

The alternative option presented by Arreguy would be to have one of the workers take a day off during the week and work regular hours on Saturday. “The problem is in order to make the landfill operate successfully, you need two operators at all times,” he said.

He said the other option was to revert to the former 8 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday hours from the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. hours the city has been testing since late summer. But council member Frank Sanchez said, “They need to leave it open all day, and train people that it is open.”

Arreguy added that the city does need to cross-train some of its other employees to run the spreader and scraper at the landfill, which will come under full city operations at the end of next year, when the current contract with Duncan Disposal expires.

City manager Joseph Torres said, “Right now, we only have one person effective with the compactor and scraper,” at the landfill. “What we put in place has to carry over to next year, when we have full landfill operation.”

Mark Zuniga made the request to close the 1300 block of Morris Street, in the Airlawn Addition, on Dec. 10 for a Christmas for Kids motorcycle toy run, which would include cycle games and displays. The event would begin at 10 a.m. and continue until about sunset.

“We’re still asking for donations,” said Zuniga, who added that the local motorcycle group planned to help with toy deliveries for this year’s Christmas for Kids program.

Brown, Matocha announce wedding plans

Mr. and Mrs. Don S. Brown proudly announce the engagement of their daughter, Kari Melinda Brown to Joseph Earl Matocha, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gene Matocha of Portland, Texas.

Kari is the daughter of 1966 Pecos High School graduate, Nancy Stanfield and the great niece of long time local banker (and renowned coffee bunch member/bridge aficionado) Harold Eld.

The bride to be was born in Georgetown and attended Lakewoods Baptist Academy, Georgetown and Richarte High Schools. She graduated in 2003.

The future groom graduated from Gregory-Portland High School in 2000.

The couple reside in Corpus Christi, TX.

Kari is employed as a gymnastics instructor and team coach at Northwest Gym and Joseph is employed by a vending company.

The wedding is planned for Dec. 10, 2005 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Portland, Texas.

Police Report

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.

*** John Wesley Bagley, 17, 1619 S. Alamo St., was arrested on Nov. 28 by police on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest was made in the 700 block of Sage Street.

*** Rene Leonard Dominguez, 18, 604 S. Cypress St., was arrested on Nov. 28 by police on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest was made in the 700 block of Sage Street.

*** Angela Rodriguez Tarin, 19, 2309 Cactus St., Apt. A, was arrested on Nov. 28 by police on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest was made in the 700 block of Sage Street.

*** Priscilla Wright Orosco, 37, 1211 W. ‘F’ St., was arrested by police on Nov. 26 at 4:03 a.m. on a warrant charging her with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, a 2nd degree felony. Police said the arrest took place at 808 E. 12th St., and Orosco was transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.

*** Ramiro Contreraz Ramirez, 31, of Odessa, was arrested by police on Nov. 27 on a charge of public intoxication and a warrant charging him with driving while intoxicated, a 2nd bond forfeiture, issued out of Midland County. Police said the arrest took place at the Riverside Ballroom, 1301 E. Third St.

*** Coronado Gonzales Jr., 26, 207 E. 12th St., was arrested by police on Nov. 24 and charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. Police said the arrest was made in the 2100 block of Sage Street.

*** Ignacio Vasquez Suarez, 63, 801 E. Third St., was arrested by police on Nov. 23 at 11:04 p.m. and charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrest took place following a call on a disturbance in the 300 block of North Hackberry Street.

*** Michael J. Foster, 25, 1400 S. Willow St., was arrested at 5:54 p.m. on Nov. 22 on warrant charging him with no proof of liability insurance and violation of a promise to appear. Police said the arrest took place following a traffic stop in the 900 block of West Monroe Street.

*** Eric Brown, 25, 403 S. Sycamore St., was arrested on warrants charging him with discharging fireworks within the city limits, open container of alcohol and no driver’s license. Police said the arrest took place on Nov. 23 at 12:06 a.m. in the 500 block of East Fourth Street.

*** Julio Guzman Dominguez, 20, of Odessa, was arrested by police on a warrant out of Ector County for theft by check. Police said the arrest took place at 10:34 p.m. on Nov. 18 following a traffic stop in the 200 block of Raul Florez Boulevard.

*** Ermalinda Machuca Corrales, 34, 304 Ross Blvd., was arrested by police on Nov. 18 on a warrant out of Ector County charging her with theft by check. Police said the arrest was made following a traffic stop in the 900 block of West Sixth Street.

*** A female juvenile was arrested by police on Nov. 20 on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. Police said the arrest took place at 12:53 a.m. in the 1800 block of Washington Street, but did not indicate what substance was found at the time of the arrest.

*** Elario P. Bustamantes, 19, 2310 Country Club Dr., was arrested by police at 2319 Country Club Dr., on Nov. 18 on a warrant charge of cruelty to animals. Police said the arrest was made after officers found a dog without food or water outside a home in the 2300 block of Country Club Drive at 4:13 p.m. on Nov. 15.

*** Police arrested six male juveniles on Nov. 16 on a charge of burglary of a habitation. Police said the arrests took place after officers were called to 523 S. Park St., at 5:58 p.m. Police said witnesses identified the juveniles as having broken windows at the house to enter the residence. The six were located a short time later and admitted breaking the windows. They were placed under arrest, before being taken to the Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center.

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