Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, February 18, 2000
RTBI flights, N-dump may face conflict
By JON FULBRIGHT
Friday, Feb. 18, 2000 - You might be able to run low-level bomber
flights 300 feet off the ground in and around Reeves County. And you might
be able to build an aboveground radioactive waste storage facility just
outside Reeves County.
But can you run low-level bomber flights above an aboveground radioactive
waste storage facility?
It's a question the Texas Department of Health officials will have to
look at before any action is taken on Envirocare of Texas' plan to build
a low-level radioactive waste facility eight miles northeast of Barstow
in Ward County.
Envirocare is seeking to store radioactive waste originally destined
for a state-operated underground site southeast of Sierra Blanca in Hudspeth
County. That site was rejected in December, 1998, due to earthquake fault
lines in the area, while an plan a year ago by Envirocare to use land it
owned in western Andrews County was rejected due to the presence of an
The company then located land in northwestern Ward County and submitted
its permit request to the TDH last November. Envirocare is currently revising
the proposal to answer the department's questions about long-term waste
storage at the facility.
The plan has drawn protests from citizens in Reeves and Ward County,
while at the same time, residents in south-central Reeves County have been
protesting the U.S. Air Force's Realistic Bomber Training Initiative, for
which the final environmental impact statement was released two weeks ago.
The Air Force plans to fly B-1 and B-52 bombers from Dyess Air Force
Base in Abilene and Barksdale AFB into West Texas, where they will run
in a loop pattern around Pecos, flying at altitudes of as little as 300
feet off the ground as they fly past an electronic scoring site to be located
in the Alamo area of south central Reeves County.
A map handed out by the USAF during hearings on the plan last year showed
the low altitude scoring site runs will begin near the Coyonosa area of
eastern Reeves County. But the top half of the loop, designated by the
Air Force as the re-entry route for Electronic Scoring Site, would pass
southeast of Mentone and then turn due south through western and central
Ward County. Jets would pass near or possibly over Envirocare's proposed
waste dump site before resuming their low level runs south of the Pecos
"That would be something for people to bring up, if anyone has any information
on it," said Richard Ratliff, chairman of the Texas Department of Health's
Bureau of Radiation Control. "When we look at the environmental assessment,
we look at a number of factors to determine our performance assessment
Envirocare's site may be just to the southeast of the bombers' flight
path loop. "We can always get real detailed information from them (the
Air Force) about it," said Ratliff, who added bombers already fly over
the Pantex nuclear weapons plant in Amarillo, though at much higher altitudes.
"It's considered a slight risk," Ratliff said, referring to the flights
over the Pantex plant.
"I don't foresee any problems," said Envirocare Vice President Rick
Jacobi, though he said he had not had a chance to look at the RTBI flight
pattern. "I'll go down and chat with the Air Force on those patterns."
Lt. Wes Ticer of the public information department at Dyess AFB said
his office was contacted by the TDH on Thursday about getting a copy of
the RTBI environmental impact statement. "They asked me for more information,
and I asked the headquarters to take a look at that."
Looking at a map of western Ward County, Ticer said, "It's going to
be close," as to whether or not the RTBI jets will overfly Envirocare's
site. But he added, "Some places in Nevada we fly over the same conditions."
Ticer pointed out that the Air Force's environmental statement was done
before Envirocare announced plans to purchase land from Ward County rancher
John Forrester to use for it's storage site. "Whether or not they can have
it is not up to us, it's up to them (the TDH). It's not there now, so it
was not added in the environmental impact statement."
As far as the permitting procedure itself, Jacobi said, "I am going
downtown (in Austin) today to talk with our attorneys and finalize revisions
to the application either today or more likely next week."
Both Jacobi and Ratliff said even after the new application is submitted,
any final action on the site would be at least a year or more off.
The site would house drums of low-level waste inside a concrete storage
area that would be covered with dirt. Envirocare said the site was picked
because it is not above any aquifers, and rainwater from the site drains
into Soda Lake to the south, and does not have any outlets to the Pecos
River or to farmland in the Barstow area.
Ratliff said several factors _ including construction, safety and any
socio-economic impact on the area _ would be taken into account before
the TDH takes any action. Results would be filed in the Texas Register
and area legislators would be notified.
The public could them request a hearing be held by the State Office
of Hearing Examiners. "People would have to show why they are affected,"
Ratliff said, adding the process could take "six months to a couple of
"We need to get years of environmental monitoring data," Ratliff said.
"It will be at least a year before we send anything (on the permit) out."
Board puts off juvenile center final decision
By ROSIE FLORES
Fri., February 18, 2000 - Continued operation of the Reeves County
Juvenile Detention Center was the topic of discussion at the regular Reeves
County Juvenile Board meeting held at noon Thursday.
The board discussed options for the juvenile facility's future use,
and weighed the recommendation of Reeves County Juvenile Probation Officer
and chief Alberto Alvarez that operation of the facility cease.
"Your suggestion was that we no longer use the facility as a hold-over
facility, detention or post-adjudication, but to send local youths out
of the county," said board member Bob Parks.
Parks, 143rd District Court Judge, said he thinks the facility
should continue to operate as it is for now, and the other options looked
into more closely.
One of the options outlined by Alvarez was to use the facility to house
non-offenders, through the Immigration and Naturalization Services. These
would be juveniles just pending deportation and in most cases are not from
Mexico, but from Central and South America, according to Alvarez.
"Their average stay would be 90 days and the contract would be negotiable
as to how much we would charge them," said Alvarez.
Another option would be to go to privatization. Give the facility to
a private company, to be used as a private business.
"There's other options we'll be looking into, but these are two that
we discussed," said Alvarez.
Following a lengthy discussion on the subject, board members voted to
table the item, until more information can be gathered on the several options
as to how to use the facility and make it work financially.
"The response from the community as to what to do with the facility
is divided, half want the facility for Reeves County and the other half
are for sending the juveniles out of the county," said Alvarez.
Alvarez told the board that in order to get the facility upgraded to
one that will be fully operational a lot of repairs are needed, including
on the phone systems and generator. "We'll need a few thousand dollars
to get this kicked in and ready to be used," said Alvarez.
"It's in the budget, I don't see why this hasn't been taken care of,"
"We're at a critical point that where we need to use it or look at alternative
means of servicing our youth," said Alvarez.
"If we stay like this it's a possibility that the county will spend
between $100-$200,000 of the counties money and may mean a tax increase,"
said board member Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.
"It's my understanding that the county passed the budget to include
this and it should have no impact on the counties drawers," said Parks.
"Because some of their budget does come from the counties funds," said
Galindo. "We will have to raise taxes, if we continue to spend like that."
"We're paying people that are underutilized and I think this matter
deserves our full attention," Parks said. "But I don't think it will create
a tax increase."
Alvarez will look into all the options and come back to the board and
discuss the matter further.
The juvenile detention center budget was set at $450,960, with the required
match by Reeves County estimated at $279,839 and the rest coming from state
The number of juveniles currently on administrative probation is four,
with the number of juveniles on court-supervised probation 26, (of these,
eight have been placed outside of Reeves County).
One of the juveniles is in placement (program); one is currently in
custody (Reeves holdover); three are in detention (Ft. Stockton); three
are pending court action (modification hearing); 10 are on electronic monitoring
and six juveniles are enrolled in the JJAEP.
The number of referrals in January was 23, of the approximately ten
have been referred for probation violations.
Bates receives student award from Chamber
By ROSIE FLORES
Fri., February 18, 2000 - An avid swimmer who also participates in
other sports and is a member of several organizations was the recipient
of the Student of the Year Award given out by the Pecos Chamber of Commerce
at their annual banquet last Saturday.
Pecos High School student Kevin Bates has participated in swimming,
football, baseball, 4-H and FFA during his four years in high school
He has been a member of the varsity swim team since his freshman year;
during which time the Eagles have won three district titles.
"I have held the position of team captain for the past two years," said
Bates, who is seeded first in both the 50 and 100-yard freestyle races
going into the State Swimming Finals next weekend in Austin.
Bates has received Who's Who in Sports, All-District, All-Region and
Honorable Mention All-State in Swimming. He received Competitor of the
Year Honors at the District Swim Meat, in 1997-98 and 1998-99.
"I participated in varsity football this year, where I was starting
right corner and received All-District honors," he said. "After an undefeated
season in district baseball, I received the honor of being named All-District
right fielder," on Pecos' regional semifinal team of a year ago.
For the past four years, he has participated in the high school band
program, where he was treasurer his junior year.
Academically, he was selected as AP Chemistry Student of the Year in
1998-99. He was chosen for the Bill Dean Memorial Award, which is given
to an outstanding junior every year. Among other achievements, he has been
nominated for The United States National Leadership Merit Awards, National
Leadership and Service Awards, Who's Who Among American High School Students,
and the All-American Scholar award for the past four years.
Bates has been an active member of the Student Council for the past
four years, where he was president of the freshman, sophomore and junior
"I have been a Boy Scout for six years and I am currently a Life Scout,"
Bates has a 3.675 Grade Point Average, with a class ranking of fifth
in a class of 160 students and is a member of the National Honor Society.
He plans to attend Texas A&M University or Texas Tech University
and earn a degree in engineering.
Bates is the son of Phyllis and Earl Bates and has one brother, Evan
Bates, who is currently attending college. He is a member of St. Catherine's
Among the other nominees for the prestigious awards was Bhavesh Bhakta.
Bhakta's family originally migrated from India and Bhavesh said he has
achieved very much throughout his high school career.
Bhakta has been named to Who's Who and is currently involved in the
Upward Bound program, a program for youth who are planning to attend college.
His favorite subject in high school is chemistry.
The first generation college students in his family were his parents.
They attended college in India for three years, before they came to the
Bhakta plans to be a computer analyst or a computer programmer. "The
major that I really desire is mainly in computers," said Bhakta. "I've
though about other professions such as dentists or a professional analyst,"
Bhakta would also like to learn more about formatting, programming,
etc. "Hopefully, I will do the best I can and achieve as much as possible,"
Brandi Harrison is currently President of the National Honor Society
and FFA, vice president of the Pecos Youth Advisory Commission and 4-H,
secretary/treasurer of the Youth Development Foundation, Editor of the
school newspaper, and a student director for the Region II Texas High School
Rodeo Association. She has been in the PHS Student County and a co-chairperson
of the DASH committee.
Harrison has been a member of the Latin Club, Journalism UIL, the FFA
Senior Chapter Conducting Team, Junior Engineering Technical Society, track,
basketball and the First Baptist Church Youth Group.
She has been honored with awards such as being the Outstanding Pre-AP
English I-II, and Pre-Calculus Student. "I have received the FFA Star Chapter
Farmer, 4-H Gold Star and All-District Track Awards," said Harrison.
She was also chosen as Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Gifted and Talented student
of the year and was nominated to attend the Global Young Leaders Conference
in New York and Washington D.C., this past summer.
Harrison has been a volunteer for projects such as a highway cleanups,
school seatbelt checks, food and clothing drives, passing out holiday safety
flyers, caroling at the nursing home, and the NHS blood drive. "Volunteering
is a community service that I strongly value and I hope to be able to volunteer
for even more worthy project," he said.
Harrison currently ranks number one in her class and plans to graduate
"I am working towards qualifying for the State and National High School
Rodeo finals. I have been involved with animals from a very early age and
they have taught me many lessons about life," she said.
Harrison credits her many accomplishments to the Lord God. "There of
course, would be nothing to write about myself if God had not granted me
live and it is through His will and in His words that a I try to live each
day, making the most of every second," she said.
After high school, she plans to attend the Texas A&M College of
Harrison is the daughter of Roger and Angela Harrison.
Sara Matta was also a nominee for the award. She is the daughter of
Ernest and Alice Matta, has four brothers and two sisters. She is a Catholic
and attends Santa Rosa De Lima church.
She is a member of the Pecos Eagle Band, where she competed in solo
and ensemble competition her freshmen and sophomore year and placed second
in competition both times. During concert season she qualified for symphonic
band all four years.
During her sophomore year, she began planning out her future and helping
out the community in many ways. She participated in the Toys for Tots organization,
which helps out families in need during Christmas. She devoted most of
her time helping out the Santa Rosa Food Bank.
"During this year, I have also been a member of the Pecos Youth Advisory
Commission for five years, and secretary for one year," said Matta. "In
my church, I am also a lecture, and enjoy reciting the word of God"
She has been named to Who's Who Among American High School Students
and received the United States National Leadership Merit Award.
During her junior year, she joined the Spanish Club. She competed in
the Foreign Language Festival and entered U.I.L. Poetry.
In June of 1999, she received the title of Golden Girl of the Old West.
"This experience gave me self-confidence I never knew I had and it showed
me how to take on responsibility," she said.
She is a member of the National Honor Society, was a nominee for Homecoming
Queen and is still a member of the Spanish Club and will compete in U.I.L.
She plans to attend St. Mary's University, following graduation and
major in Biology.
Dana Warren became a member of the Pecos Eagle Band her freshman year,
performing with the flag line which continued through her junior year.
As a senior, a dance team was added to the band. She was appointed captain
by the directors of the dance team and had the opportunity to choreograph
routines putting her years of dance lessons to good use. During concert
season, she has been a member of the Symphonic Band for the past four years.
She is a member of FFA and during her freshman through junior years,
has raised goats, sheep and pigs showing them at the local livestock show
and traveling to San Antonio and Houston for the annual events there.
She became a cheerleader the end of her freshman year and was nominated
by her classmates into the homecoming court as sophomore duchess. As a
senior, she was nominated for Homecoming Queen.
Awards that she has received include being named to Who's Who Among
American High School Students and the United States Achievement Academy
Award for Cheerleading during her junior and senior years.
AS a member of the G-Force Gymnastics in Monahans, she qualified for
nationals with her flood exercise as well as her trampoline exercise. As
a qualifier she had the opportunity to travel to California for national
In June of 1999, she participated in the Golden Girl Revue as a nominee
for Golden Girl of the Old West. She was selected as runner-up in the pageant.
Through all four years of high school has participated in volunteer
work including Toys for Tots and helping out at the Anchor picnics held
at the park. "One of the classes I am taking this year involves going to
Bessie Haynes Elementary School to help certain students with their reading
skills," Warren said. "It has been rewarding seeing the students improve
with time and knowing that I made a difference by helping them improve
themselves," she said.
She plans to attend Sam Houston State University in Huntsville to major
in education. "I will try out for the dance team at Sam Houston hoping
to continue my cheerleading and dance skills," she said.
Warren is the daughter of Starkey and Jackie Warren.
Task force makes meth, heroin arrests
By ROSIE FLORES
Fri., February 18, 2000 - Officers with the Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force
have been busy lately, not only in their home county, but also assisting
on arrests in other counties.
The biggest seizure occurred this past Wednesday, Feb. 16, according
to Task Force Assistant Commander Bo Semmler.
A four-month investigation ended with a drug buy/bust and arrest of
Dulces N. Hernandez, 38, of Presidio.
Officers helping out in the four-month investigation included officers
from the task force, Midland County Sheriff's Office and the FBI.
After Hernandez delivered 2.2 pounds of a controlled substance (methamphetamine)
through an undercover agent in Midland County, and was arrested, officials
then executed a search warrant of a residence in Midland belonging to Esequiel
Officers seized an additional five ounces of methamphetamine during
this search, according to Semmler.
This also led to the arrest of Esequiel Hernandez, 29, and a third man,
Juan Sigala, 23, of Presidio.
Several other seizures of vehicles and property are pending, according
This seizure of methamphetamine is the largest in Midland history and
the officers actually ended up seizing over four pounds of the drug.
Dulces Hernandez, is currently in Midland County Jail, on hold for the
U.S. Marshal's Service; Esequiel Hernandez is also still in the Midland
County Jail with a $200,000 bond set for a possession of a controlled substance.
Sigala has also been charged with possession of a controlled substance,
bond set at $200,000 and is currently in the Midland County Jail.
A week before the Midland arrests, Task Force members conducted a drug
sting operation on Feb. 8, in which Pecos residents Mike Rayos and Tillie
Rayos were arrested while making a delivery of heroin in the presence of
an undercover agent, according to Semmler.
Currency and a vehicle that were used in the crime were seized.
These arrests led to the execution of a search warrant and arrest of
Anival Pando, for possession of cocaine and over $7,000 in drug proceeds.
The warrant was executed on his home on County Road 206.
Mike Rayos, 40, was charged with delivery of a controlled substance
(heroin) and his bond was set at $10,000; Tillie Rayos, 41, (heroin) was
charged with delivery of a controlled substance and her bond was set at
Pando, 25, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, (cocaine)
and his bond was set at $15,000.
On Feb. 11, the task force hit the road and conducted a highway interdiction
stop in Midland County, where over a quarter ounce of cocaine was seized.
Sergio R. Pules, 47, of Midland was arrested for possession of a controlled
substance, with intent to deliver. Bond was set at $7,550.
In conjunction with this arrest, a 1994 Pontiac Firebird, plus several
hundred dollars were seized.
Schools, offices taking break for President's Day
Fri., February 18, 2000 - Students in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD will
have the day off on Monday, in honor of President's Day, while other government
offices and businesses will also close for the day.
Jo Allgood, secretary for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD superintendent
will be at her office on Monday, for anyone wishing to apply for a position
on the ballot for the May school elections.
Allgood will be on hand from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., for the first day
to apply for a place on the ballot for the May 6 school board election.
Two full three-year terms will be open.
Both, First National and Security State Banks will be closed, along
with the Federal Courthouse and the U.S. Post Office.
Fire Department hamburger sale set for Saturday
Fri., February 18, 2000 - A Hamburger Sale will be held Saturdayat the
Central Fire Station, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
The event is sponsored by the Pecos Volunteer Fire Department.
Hamburgers will cost $1.50, and will be $1.75 with cheese.
Pecos Valley Crime Stoppers
Pecos Valley Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading
to the arrest of a suspected burglar.
On Jan. 31, at approximately 6:15 a.m., Pecos Police Officers were advised
of an attempted robbery that occurred at Amigo's Texaco located at 1317
S. Cedar St.
Upon arrival, officers met with the clerk who stated that about 6:15
a.m., she was in back of the store making coffee when she heard the door
heard the door open due to a cow bell which is hung on the door.
The clerk was approached by a male subject wearing a black trench coat
and dark warmups. The subject also had his head covered with a white T-Shirt
with a place for the eyes cut out. The male subject then demanded the money
and threatened the clerk's life. The man grabbed a zippered money bag which
was laying in the back office, pushed the clerk to the floor knocking her
glasses off and fled the store on foot in an unknown direction.
Anyone with information on this crime or any other crime call Crime
Stoppers at 445-9898 and you will remain anonymous.
Crime Stoppers will pay a "Cash Reward" of up to $1,000 for information
called into Crime Stoppers leading to the arrest of individual or individuals
involved in the crime.
Fri., February 18, 2000 - TIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Thursday
night: Winning numbers drawn: 4-11-18-28-39. Number matching five of five:
2. Prize per winner: $41,362. Winning tickets sold in: Deer Park, San Antonio.
Matching four of five: 261. Prize: $476.
AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Thursday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 4-2-3 (four, two, three)
Fri., February 18, 2000 - High Thursday 85. Low this morning 47. Forecast
for tonight: Fair. Low in the mid 30s. East wind 5-15 mph. Saturday: Partly
cloudy. High in the mid 60s. East to southeast wind 5-15 mph. Saturday
night: Increasing clouds. Low around 40. Sunday: Mostly cloudy. High in
the mid 60s.
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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