Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, February 16, 2000
Local officials push U.S. 285 expansion
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Feb. 16, 2000 - A group of Reeves County citizens were in San
Angelo Tuesday, to make a presentation to the Texas Department of Transportation
on improving the main north-south highway through the county.
"We made a presentation on behalf of Pecos and Reeves County," said
Chamber of Commerce Director Tom Rivera, who made the trip to the public
hearing on updating the Texas Trunk Highway System. He was joined at the
hearing by Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford and her husband Joe, city
manager Kenneth Neal and Chamber president Jeannette Alligood and her husband
"They're checking on public input on existing criteria on establishing
a Trunk System and have 285 designated," said Rivera.
TxDOT created the trunk system 10 years ago, and is currently holding
hearing to update that plan. Roads listed on the system would be expanded
from two lane highways to four-lane divided highways in the fiture.
U.S. 285 is currently not designated as part of the trunk system between
Ft. Stockton to the New Mexico area. The section from Sanderson to Fort
Stockton was included in the original plan, and Rivera said, "We're pushing
for that (designation)."
The group made a presentation to the Texas Department of Transportation
and had representatives on hand. "One of our speakers pointed out that
one of the criteria in designating U.S. 285 is the hazardous waste traveling
on that highway in route to Waste Isolation Pilot Plant," said Rivera.
The speaker stated that it should be included in the criteria, because
of the waste site, according to Rivera.
WIPP trucks from five sites in the eastern United States are scheduled
to begin using U.S. 285 between Pecos and Loving, N.M. to transport hazardous
waste cargo to the underground site southeast of Carlsbad, N.M. Waste from
six western sites is also designated for the WIPP site, and the U.S. Department
of Energy and the State of New Mexico earmarked $120 million in funds to
widen U.S. 285 from two to four lanes from Loving to Interstate 40 in northern
TxDOT did say last year it has proposed funding in the FY 2006 budget
to construct a loop around the east side of Pecos, so trucks would no longer
have to travel along Cedar Street through the downtown area. The loop would
use the existing Collie Road overpass with a new Farm-to-Market highway
to be built north of Business I-20 (Third Street) and south of Interstate
County OKs RCDC bills, parking plan
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Feb. 16, 2000 - Reeves County Commissioners approved several
requests for payments related to the ongoing expansion of the Reeves County
Detention Center and discussed expanding the parking area at the prison
during the regular meeting of the Reeves County Commissioners Court held
DRG Architect's request for payment invoice #156 was approved in the
amount of $4,305, along with invoice #160 in the amount of $35,108. A request
for payment for Banes General Contractors in amount of $1.4 million and
payment to Frank Spencer and Associates in the amount of $2,090 for infrastructure
work was approved.
DRG Architects and Banes General Contractors are currently the architects
and contractors working on the 1,000-bed addition at the Reeves County
"Everything is on schedule, there's been a lot of progress done, a lot
of internal work," said Mark Schumacker with Banes General Contractors.
He invited the court to visit the facility and see the progress of the
construction. "We're still under-budget and any amount not spent will be
returned to the county," said Schumacker.
In conjunction with the construction at the facility, commissioners
discussed parking at the site for the employees who are working on the
"Because of the 100-plus people working out there, it has created some
safety issues, because of the vehicles parked on the county roads," said
Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "Taking out the big farm tractors
and maneuvering them at that location is posing a problem for one of the
farmers there," he said.
Galindo said that establishing a site for parking was one of the solutions
brought up. "This will hopefully alleviate some of these safety issues
and look into discontinuing the county road or part of it, but that last
part would be a future agenda item," he said.
Galindo said Trey Miller owns the farm adjacent to the facility. He
has offered to rent out some space for parking at $400 per month for the
next eight months.
"We're encroaching on Mr. Miller's property and he was willing to make
us a parking area, which will be located right across from the construction
site," said Schumacker. "No addition funds will be required to pay for
the parking area, it will be taken out of the funds already allocated for
construction," said Schumacker.
A resolution was approved for setting the Central Counting Station for
the March 14 Democratic primary election, along with a resolution for Texas
Community Development Program Contract.
"Early voting will begin Feb. 26, with the election slated for March
14," said Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez. "People have been appointed
to serve in the central counting station."
On the resolution for Texas Community Development Program Contract,
Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin said, "Basically we need to have four
signatures to administer this grant that we will receive from the Texas
Two signatures are to be able to request for payments and two for purchases,
according to Tarin.
"These monies will not be asked for until expenditures are done," said
A pharmaceuticals services contract was approved for a two-year period
versus the one-year period previously implemented. "I haven't had a chance
to speak to Dr. (David) Lovett, but we want to do the same with the dental
services," said Galindo.
RCDC Warden Rudy Franco told the group that dental services would soon
be handled within the facility. "He'll be going out there to the prison,
where a small dental office will be set up basic instruments," said Franco.
"This will save wear and tear on the employees and they won't have to bring
the inmates into town."
Agreement between the Reeves County Juvenile Center and Pecos County
Galindo told the group that at the last juvenile board meeting, juvenile
probation officer Alberto Alvarez had suggested that the facility cease
operations and the local juveniles be sent out to other counties. "Right
now, its only being used a holdover facility," said Galindo.
This proposal was only a recommendation by Alvarez and the matter will
be discussed again at the next juvenile board meeting scheduled for 11:30
a.m. Thursday, on the third floor of the courthouse.
An interlocal agreement between Reeves County and Town of Pecos City
FY 2000 and an interlocal agreement cooperation contract for Natural Resources
Conservation Services Between Reeves County and Upper Soil and Water Conservation
District were approved. Both are contracts already in place that needed
to be renewed.
A Reeves County On-Site Sewage Facilities Regulations Amendment was
approved by the court. "There was just one item that was found to be in
deficiency," said Town of Pecos City Health and Sanitation Director Armando
Gil. "I went ahead and added that in there."
Everybody that does site and soil work needs to attend a Texas Natural
Resources Conservation Commission class and pass it. "These were the only
changes we received and we already had it published in the paper," said
Personnel and salary changes included new hire Zulema Dominguez at the
Reeves County Auditor's Office at $16,000 per year; Catalina Y. Lozoya
as Deputy Treasurer with the treasurer's office at $13,000; Liz Vega, as
a low-impact aerobics instructor and a high impact aerobics instructor
substitute for the recreation department on a part-time basis at the recreation
department at $6 and $8 respectively; Jorge Munoz as a full-time Roadway
Maintenance Tech I for the Road and Bridges Department at $13,977 per year;
Ruben Cazares from Tech II, to a Welder Position with the Road and Bridges
Department, at $16,640; and at the Reeves County Detention Center, Trinidad
Ortega, Jesus Orona, Cecilia Muniz, Adolfo Gomez, Rodolfo Hernandez and
Letty Armendariz as Correctional Officers I at $19,000 per year.
Balmorhea coping with plant's shut down
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Enterprise reported last month on
the announcement that Brunswick Corporation would close it maquiladora
bicycle plants in Balmorhea and Ojinaga, Mex., in order to save money by
contracting to have the bicycles built in China. This story on the closing
was released today by the Associated Press.
By MICHELLE KOIDIN
Associated Press Writer
BALMORHEA - Already hit hard by drought, the tiny West Texas town of
Balmorhea now must cope with the loss of its only real industry.
The company that owns a bicycle distribution center in Balmorhea and
two assembly plants in the border town of Ojinaga, Mexico, plans to close
them by the end of June and move production to Asia.
The closures mean 750 people in Ojinaga and 24 in Balmorhea will lose
"I thought there was room to advance to a higher position - a foreman
or something," said Antonio Contreras, a 23-year-old forklift operator
at the distribution center. "Now it's just kind of down the drain."
Contreras said he is one of the lucky ones: He has already lined up
a job as a machinist in Odessa, 100 miles away.
News of the closures "was very upsetting, because the atmosphere here
is wonderful, here and in Mexico," said 23-year-old secretary Teresa Rodriguez,
who plans to go back to school. "Everyone's taking it very hard."
Most residents of Balmorhea are farmers or ranchers, while some work
for the schools, do maintenance for the state highway department or work
for Balmorhea State Park, known for its spring-fed swimming pool.
A long drought has hurt the cotton-farming community of about 750.
Less than three years ago, the so-called twin plants opened in Balmorhea
and Ojinaga, a town just across the U.S.-Mexico border from Presidio and
100 miles southwest of Balmorhea.
Balmorhea was chosen for the distribution center because of its access
to Interstate 10 and proximity to Interstate 20.
The center ships parts for Roadmaster brand mountain bikes to the two
assembly plants in Mexico, which then send finished products back to Balmorhea
to be shipped nationwide.
After the opening of the distribution center, which has employed up
to 32 people, "everybody was starting to fix their houses and buy some
good automobiles," said Mayor Ismael Rodriguez.
Now, Rodriguez said, "they'll probably go on unemployment. I don't know
what kind of jobs they're going to look for."
He said the town hopes to attract another twin plant.
The distribution center opened in
McCormicks receive award for work within community
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Feb. 16, 2000 - A longtime Pecos couple was honored this past
Saturday with the Hidden Hero/Profile of Courage Award at the annual Pecos
Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet.
Mac McCormick, who started a career with the railroad as a telegraph
operator and retired as the Vice President after 40 years, and his wife
Billie received the honor at Saturday's banquet.
"These two without any fanfare have silently and gently brought great
influence to this community, including their family, and countless friends,"
said Ken Winkles, Sr. who presented the award to the McCormicks. "Not only
by their achievements, but by the way they have conducted their own lives."
When anyone was in need of transportation to the doctor they were ready
to take them there. When someone is in the hospital they are there to meet
their needs, Winkles said. They have traveled many times, to Odessa and
Midland just to check on someone, who needs someone to spiritually encourage
and uplift them.
On several occasions this couple has put their own health concerns aside
to assist otherS, according to Winkles.
"Their spiritual kindness and gentle manner makes them a welcome guest
anywhere," said Winkles.
They frequently visit with friends at the nursing home. They have been
very compassionate and caring to the residents through the years. On Sundays
when their church has the nursing home program many of the residents will
come forward to hear him sing one of their favorite songs, "How Great Thou
The couple have lived in Pecos since 1948, and Winkles said the city
became a better place, for they came to work, to share, to give of their
talents and to serve God and raise their family, and these things they
did with all their heart.
"It was here in Pecos that he was ordained a deacon in the West Park
Baptist Church, and it was there he felt the call to the ministry, to which
he followed God's will in his life. A life that has impacted many others
since. In 1963 he took his first Pastorate in Orla, and later in Coyanosa
and the past several years at North Temple Baptist Church," said Winkles.
The McCormick's award was a combination of the Hidden Hero and Ruiz
Profile in Courage awards, which had been awarded separately at past Chamber
Board to discuss possible closing of juvenile center
PECOS, Feb. 16, 2000 - The Reeves County Juvenile Board will discuss the
future of the county's Juvenile Detention Center during their meeting set
for 11:30 a.m. Thursday on the third floor of the Reeves County Courthouse.
Officials will discuss Juvenile Probation Officer Alberto Alvarez's
recommendation for the center, located southwest of Pecos. Officials have
been considering whether or not to close the facility, since it is unable
to hold juveniles for long-term stays.
In connection with that, the board will also discuss/approve a detention
contract between Reeves County and Pecos County for detention of Reeves
County juvenile detainees.
Other items include approving the juvenile probation/juvenile policy
manual, a Texas Juvenile Probation Commission grant contract for JJAEP
personnel, and discuss/approve departmental policy on hiring probation
and detention personnel.
AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Tuesday night: Winning numbers
drawn: 3-4-14-20-36. Number matching five of five: 2. Prize per winner:
$39,725. Winning tickets sold in: El Paso 2. Matching four of five: 180.
AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 1-6-2 (one, six, two)
Chance Aaron Felts
Chance Aaron Felts, a newborn baby boy, died Friday, Feb. 11, 2000, at
Odessa Regional Hospital.
Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 17, at Barstow
Cemetery with Rev. Greer Willis officiating.
Survivors include his parents, Kenneth and Sonya Felts of Barstow; paternal
grandmother, Elizabeth Seltz; maternal grandparents, Sandra Fred of Barstow,
Glen Burkhalter of Seattle, Wash.; three brothers, Skyler McCoy and Kenneth
Felts III of Barstow and Tyler Felts of Pecos; three sisters, Leslie Tollett,
Stormy McCoy and Lorin McCoy all of Barstow.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, Feb. 16, 2000 - High Tuesday 89. Low this morning 45. Forcast for
tonight: Partly cloudy. Low 40-45. East to southeast wind 5-15 mph. Thursday:
Partly cloudy. High near 80. Southwest wind 15-25 mph and gusty. Thursday
night: Partly cloudy. Low around 40. Friday: Partly cloudy and cooler.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise