Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, April 12, 2000
Tarin, Arredondo score runoff victories
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 12, 2000 - Reeves County Commissioners Felipe Arredondo
and Herman Tarin won nomination to new four year terms on Tuesday, as the
result of the Democratic Party runoff elections.
Arredondo repeated his victory over Jesse Baeza in the March 14 primary
election, when the two finished first and second in a four-person race
for Precinct 1 commissioner, while Tarin narrowly beat out challenger David
Pattillo, after suffering a narrow loss to him in last month's four-man
election for the Precinct 3 commissioner's post.
The candidates were sweating and pacing back and forth Tuesday evening
at the Reeves County Courthouse, as the counting of votes for the run-off
Arredondo, who beat out Baeza for first last month by 159 votes, won
again on Tuesday, this time by 93 votes. Arredondo had 442 votes to Baeza's
In the Precinct 3 election, Pattillo had beaten Tarin last month by
11 votes, but in the runoff, Tarin came out ahead by a 17-vote margin,
collecting 530 votes to 513 for Pattillo, who remained unhappy with the
results this morning.
"I can't believe that 530 people voted for a known liar," Pattillo said.
"I did everything right and as honestly and fairly as I could."
Pattillo added that he will be asking for a re-count and that he would
take it from there.
"We'll see what happens," he said.
"I'd like to thank God for the things he's done, it's wonderful and
it's through Him that all things are possible," said Tarin.
Tarin also thanked his family, friends and the voters for coming out
to vote. "I want to thank my faithful supporters for everything," he said.
Tarin said he has worked hard for Reeves County and will continue to
do so. "I have been working hard and now I'm ready to start on some of
those projects that I have mentioned before," he said.
Tarin congratulated Pattillo on a good, hard race and wished him luck.
"I'm very, very happy with the turnout and want to let everyone know
that I am here to help," said Tarin, who is seeking his third consecutive
four-year term on the commissioner's court.
Arredondo is seeking his second consecutive term and third overall as
commissioner, after serving one term in the 1980s and winning as a write-in
candidate in the November general election four years ago.
"First I just want to thank the Lord for providing me with this win,"
Arredondo said this morning. "We worked very hard on the campaign for the
last two months. It was a rather clean campaign with no real mud slinging
on anybody's part.
"I really appreciate that. I want to thank the voters of Reeves County
for coming out for the extra election. They came out strong in the primary;
they gave me a win but not enough of a majority to keep from having the
run-off. Then they came out again," he said.
Arredondo also promised to work to keep the Reeves County Jail from
being closed by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
"Tell the people of Reeves County that I can almost assure them that
the jail will not be closed. We are working hand-in-hand with the Sheriff
to make sure of it," he said.
Arredondo's challenger, Baeza, is employed at the Reeves County Jail,
which is under threat of closing due to both a failure by commissioners
to implement reforms mandated by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards
as long as 5½ years ago, and recent overcrowding by the sheriff's
department, which has raised the number of inmates at the facility above
the maximum 84 allowed by the state.
Gomez, Galindo swap jail charges
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
PECOS, April 12, 2000 - Whose fault is it? That is the million-dollar
question concerning the possible closing of the Reeves County Jail.
So far, no one seems to agree on an answer, though commissioners were
scheduled to discuss the problem during a special session that began at
1 p.m. today.
"The two worst problems the Commission found with the jail were the
locking systems and the overcrowding problem," Texas Jail Standards Commission
Executive Director Jack Crump said.
"The most important issue of all is the locking system. This can become
a huge problem and is an issue of security and safety," he said.
According to Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez, the problem with the
locks dates back to at least 1994.
"I have the Commission report where the jail was written up for the
locks in 1994," Gomez said.
County Judge Jimmy Galindo disagrees.
"The locks may have been a problem in 1994, but we obviously fixed the
problems that existed then because the locks were not written up in the
Commission inspection reports in 1996 or 1997," Galindo said.
Gomez saidd that the lock problem should have been addressed long ago.
"The commissioners court has been promising to do something about the
locks, and the other physical repairs needed to come into compliance, for
at least two years and still no action has been taken," Gomez said.
In reply, Galindo said that the court has solicited bids for the work,
but that in an effort to save money, the work was "piggybacked" with work
being done at the Reeves County Detention Center expansion project.
Galindo said that the county would save about $100,000 with the move,
but that if the jail is in danger of being shut down, the county would
forego the savings and do whatever is necessary to make the repairs.
Gomez also said that a lack of support on the part of other county officials
played a role in the Commission's decision to order the jail closed.
"Midland's hearing (last Thursday in Collin County, north of Dallas)
was the one before mine and the jail commissioners commented on the support
shown by other county officials. The sheriff, the county judge, a commissioner
and the district judge were there to address the Jail Commission," Gomez
said. "And the jail commissioners noted that support. When I stood up,
they asked me, `Where is your support?'"
"The commissioners said that it was obvious that Reeves County didn't
care about what was going on with the jail. This really hurt us," Gomez
"I met with Mr. Crump the Monday (April 3) before the hearing," Judge
Galindo said in reply. "We discussed the issues and I explained what we
were doing about the locks and plumbing. At that time, he had already written
his recommendation to the Commission and his recommendation was to close
the jail, so there wasn't really a reason for me to be at the hearing.
I can't address the administrative problems with the jail, only the sheriff
can do that, and I had already talked with Mr. Crump about the issues the
commissioners court can address."
Gomez also accused Galindo of neglecting the jail to attend to other
matters such as the RCDC and a separate private prison-building venture
in southeast Texas.
"I think the work we've already done clearly indicates that the jail
has not been ignored," Galindo said. He also said that while he has been
involved with helping other communities with prison related projects, he
has "no monetary interest in building a prison outside of Reeves County."
"I think the biggest factor (leading to the order closing the jail)
is that we are capped at 84 prisoners and these inmates have to be transported
to other jails so we don't go over that limit," Galindo said.
"The Jail Commission issued a remedial order to Reeves County in 1998
regarding the population limit of 84 prisoners in the jail," Crump said.
"When the Commission inspected the jail early this year, there were indicators
that the county was busting the order (by housing more than 84 prisoners).
"The most important issue to me is that the county was busting the order
not because it had more than 84 local prisoners, but because it was housing
a large number of federal contract prisoners," he added.
"I can't say that either of these two violations (overcrowding or the
locks) would, or would not have, led to the Commission's decision if the
other problem had not existed. The blame seems pretty much equal to me.
The statutes charge the commissioners court with providing a jail up to
standards and the sheriff with operating the jail. One problem rests with
the commissioners court and the other with the sheriff," Crump said.
"We didn't have a problem with overcrowding until January, and I can't
really say why it became a problem in the last few months. It's just how
things worked out," Sheriff Gomez said.
Gomez explained that he tries to keep 55-plus U.S. Marshal's Service
prisoners in the jail at all times.
"The county makes $35/day on these prisoners and the county budgeted
for revenue from an average of 55 of these prisoners a day. We also try
to keep a few more than 55 because the money from the additional prisoners
goes to fund the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force. Without those funds, the
task force funding has to come out of the general fund," he said.
Gomez said that he felt pressure from the commissioners court to keep
the federal prisoner count as high as possible.
"Every time I go before the court the first thing they say is, `You
are not bringing in enough money.'"
"We try to ship off local prisoners as fast as possible when we get
close to the limit, but we can't always ship them out fast enough," Gomez
"The overpopulation in the last few months is my fault, and sometimes
it happens, but it doesn't make sense to blame the jail being closed on
a couple months of over population when the locks and plumbing haven't
been fixed for years. That just doesn't make sense."
Galindo explained that in the agreement with other counties in the region
that formed the task force, Reeves County agreed to fund the task force
by housing federal prisoners if other counties would take local prisoners
that would put the county jail over the 84-prisoner limit.
"If we can't keep 55 federal prisoners in the jail without going over
the population limit then we will have to keep fewer of them," he said.
As to the financial impact on the county, Galindo said that either the
budget would have to be trimmed or taxes would have to be raised.
As for the jail, Crump explained that the Commission's order closing
the jail would be signed and the county would receive it within the next
"Once they receive it, the county will have 15 days to appeal. The Commission
can then either call a special meeting to hear the appeal or wait until
June 1, at the regularly scheduled meeting," he said.
The jail would remain open until the Commission heard the county's appeal,
West of the Pecos Rodeo planning Internet broadcast
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 12, 2000 - Fans who can't make it to all of the West of
the Pecos Rodeo events this year will have the opportunity not only to
check on the results but to watch the rodeo's events live over the Internet
Starkey Warren, president of the West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee,
told Pecos Chamber of Commerce Directors at their monthly chamber luncheon,
that 25 rodeos are going to be televised this year. The Pecos rodeo is
not going to be one, but Warren said they would be available to computer
owners with an Internet connection.
"It will be live on the internet, which is something new," said Warren.
Warren saidd that he had talked to the bed tax committee and they had
agreed to fund the effort. Cost will be $6,000 and will be on the Internet
"Tom and I are putting together a tape and we will use it to promote
Pecos," said Warren. "The clown shows won't be shown on the internet, just
the actual events, but we'll use that time to promote Pecos, the museum
and everything here."
Executive Director Tom Rivera reported that the Pecos Area Chamber of
Commerce and Convention and Visitor's Bureau is sponsoring a briefing session
on the Texas Main Street Program, at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Reeves County
The main speaker for this presentation will be Genora Young, Main Street
Manager for the city of Fort Stockton.
Each year, the Texas Historical Commission selects up to five Texas
cities as official Texas Main Street Cities. Selected communities are eligible
to receive a wide range of services, to include:
· Ongoing comprehensive training for Main Street manager and
· Training communities in successful economic development approaches.
· Providing a three-day, on-site evaluation and full report with
· Identifying and assisting with architectural elements, such
as façade drawings, and educating building owners in proper maintenance
· Consulting with downtown merchants about visual merchandising
and window display.
· Advising communities on heritage tourism programs and marketing.
The continuing deterioration of our downtown area cannot continue as
it has to date, Rivera said. "We must be proactive in that regard and find
a solution to the current problem as it pertains to our downtown area,"
"We look forward to seeing you at the presentation and more importantly,
of working together to improve the quality of life in our community," he
"I wish the entire community would get involved and attend this seminar,"
said Rivera. "It's very important that we come together on this," he said.
The Women's Division of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce reported that
there are currently eight young ladies vying for the title of Golden Girl.
Applications are being accepted for younger girls to participate in the
Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant to be held in conjunction with the Golden
Tickets are now on sale for the Style Show, featuring the Golden Girls
and to be held at the West of the Pecos Museum on May 6. Tickets for the
event are $12 and can be purchased at the chamber office.
Kevin Duke told the group that he had spoken to Edwin Jaquez of Odessa,
who will be having a softball tournament later this year in Pecos. "This
will bring in more people to Pecos and he's doing an excellent job," said
Duke. "He did do it, so that they will qualify for the state competition."
The next Fall Fair Committee meeting will be held at noon on April 25,
according to Barbara Creager.
Board member Richard Creasey told the group that a lot of newspapers
had picked up the story on the State Theater. An Associated Press Reporter,
Michelle Kordin, wrote a story on the theater on one of her visits to Pecos.
The story has been picked up newspapers all over the country.
"I got a call from a friend in Madison, Wisconsin, San Diego, California
and CNN from Atlanta called about possibly doing a feature story," said
Creasey. "Pecos is starting to get back on the map."
"We've gone nationwide with this article," he said.
Rivera spoke to the group briefly about a business directory for Pecos.
"I would recommend setting up a committee of 3-4 people, to have a membership/shopper's
guide," said Rivera. "We are in the process of launching a web-site and
we could have a membership drive and include the members."
"I still believe that we need to publicize our local hotels and activities,"
Board to hear update on new Crockett labs
PECOS, April 12, 2000 - An update on the Crockett Middle School Eighth
Grade lab addition project will be topics of discussion at the regular
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board meeting.
Bids to re-roof sections of Austin Elementary and sections of Pecos
High School also are scheduled to be discussed and approved during the
meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, in the boardroom, 1304
S. Park St.
The lab expansion is part of the overall expansion project at Crockett,
which will house both seventh and eighth grade students beginning with
the 2000-2001 school year. Sixth grade students at Lamar Middle School
will take the place of the seventh graders currently at Zavala Middle School,
while part of Lamar will be used to house students currently attending
the Carver Center.
In other action on Thursday, Crockett Middle School and Pecos High School
science fair students will be recognized, along with UIL science and math
students in grades 6-8 at Crockett, Zavala and Lamar Middle School during
Thursday's meeting. The board will also discuss participating in adult
education for the Pecos River Economic Restoration Project and listen to
the presentation of candidates and announcement of Teacher of the Year.
Under correspondence, is a donation from Pecos Eagles Athletic Booster
Club of 50 gym chairs and donation from First National Bank for eighth
grade science fair students.
Board members will discuss and approve a resolution that the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD Board of Trustees joins with Texas State Teacher's Association in petitioning
the Texas Legislature to provide quality health care to all teachers and
other school employees under the umbrella and protection of the State of
The group will discuss and approve an interlocal agreement for transfer
of Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD/Town of Pecos City video lab equipment to the
new Odessa College-Pecos Campus.
Board members will also discuss summer school and the 1999-2000 budge
Also for discussion and approval will be requests to purchase property
owned by P-B-T ISD: Block 3, Lots 11-14, Blk 4 Lots 11-12, Blk. 7, Lots
13-14, Blk 8 Lots 1-14, Blk 9 Lots 1-2 Meadowbrook Addition; to purchase
foreclosed property Block 131, Lot 4, Orig. Pecos; Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD's investment policy and security cameras for parking lot and Park Street
area of Pecos High School funded by Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block
The board will also meet behind closed doors in closed session to discuss
personnel or hear complaints against personnel as authorized by the Texas
Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Section 551.01 et. Seq., Section
55.074: and Section 551.071- Private consultation with the board's attorney.
The board will return to open session and take action, if any, on items
discussed in closed session.
Alamo St. crossing, landfill top council agenda
PECOS, April 12, 2000 - The Town of Pecos City Council will take on a lengthy
agenda Thursday during their regularly scheduled meeting at city hall at
7:30 a.m. The council is slated to discuss the railroad crossing at Alamo
Street, awarding the bid for closing of "Trench 1" at the landfill, and
ratification of the water contract with Reeves County.
The council will also discuss an interlocal agreement with Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
Independent School District and Odessa College dealing with the transfer
of interactive video equipment, and discuss ongoing work in the Ward County
water well field and Worsham field.
In other business the council will discuss / consider:
An offer to purchase the property described as: North 45 feet of
Lot 5 and south 15 feet of Lot 6, Block 2, Veterans Addition, also
known as 2019 S. Park St.
Purchase of a rescue cam for the fire department.
Closing the streets at Maxey Park for the Firemans' Convention.
Resolution supporting the Resource Development Team.
Placement of a stop sign at intersection of Cherry and Adams Streets.
Public hearing on the city sewer system and permit modifications.
Employment of a police reservist.
Sewer mediation agreement.
The meeting will be held in the council chambers at City Hall.
OC campus plans session for seniors
PECOS, April 12, 2000 - The Odessa College-Pecos Center will be sponsoring
a college orientation for high school seniors and parents, from 7-8 p.m.
on Thursday at the Reeves County Civic Center.
Attend the seminar and find out how the Odessa College-Pecos Center
can save your family money by attending your local college.
The presentation will be available in both English and Spanish.
Financial aid information and payment plans will be discussed.
Bake sale set at RCH Friday
PECOS, April 12, 2000 - A "Benefit Bake Sale," will be held beginning at
9 a.m. on Friday in the lobby of the Reeves County Hospital.
The sale will benefit Juanita Metcalf, a Reeves County Hospital employee,
who is suffering from cancer.
All baked goods will be homemade by hospital employees.
Donations will be accepted for the special fund set up for Metcalf.
AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Tuesday night: Winning numbers
drawn: 21-25-31-35-37. Number matching five of five: 2. Prize per winner:
$38,138. Winning tickets sold in: Houston, Sugar Land. Matching four of
five: 259. Prize: $442.
AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 1-4-3 (one, four, three)
PECOS, April 12, 2000 - High Tuesday 77. Low this morning 53. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of rain early. Low in the
lower 40s. Chance of rain 20 percent. Thursday: Partly cloudy. High in
the upper 70s. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low around 45.
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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