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Top Stories

Wednesday, May 31, 2000

First classes held at OC's Pecos campus

Staff Writer

PECOS, May 31, 2000 - Students of all ages filed in for their first day of classes Tuesday at the new Odessa College Campus in Pecos, located at 1000 S. Eddy St.

"We're real excited," said Odessa College-Pecos Director Michelle Workman. She said everyone has been working really hard to make this college campus a reality.

"Everything is coming along just great," Workman added.

Work began back in January on converting the old White's Auto Building into OC's Pecos Technical Training Center. The office space is complete, the lounge is finished and the vocational side of the facility should be completed by the time fall classes begin, Workman said

"We have some equipment that still needs to come in and the computer lab needs to be supplied and equipped," she said. "It's not quite ready yet."

Office staff has moved in and classes begin at the facility Tuesday, with several classes scheduled throughout the day.

"They want everything ready for the grand opening," said Workman.

A Grand Opening ceremony is scheduled for July 29.

"We're here to help all those who want to take classes, for credit or for fun," said Workman.

Herrera's sentencing date pushed back to late June

Staff Writer

PECOS, May 31, 2000 - The sentencing date for Pecos bail bondsman Jose T. "Joey" Herrera has been pushed back to late June in Davidson County District Court in Nashville, Tenn.

Herrera agreed to plead guilty in March to seven counts of fabricating evidence and money laundering, in connection with a scheme to falsify death records on drug suspects out on bail in Nashville, Tenn. Senior Assistant District Attorney John Zimmermann said at the time Herrera would have to pay a $90,000 fine and faces a minimum sentence of eight years in prison after agreeing to the guilty plea.

Sentencing before Davidson County District Judge Cheryl Blackburn had been scheduled for Tuesday, but Zimmermann said this morning that day had been changed due to another court case and medical problems facing one of Herrera's co-defendants.

"The court was in the middle of a death penalty case that wrapped up on Saturday night, but was expected to go into next (this) week," Zimmermann said. "Plus some of the people were from out of town and it would have made it tough for them to come, and a second defendant, Peggy Coleman, is undergoing chemo treatment for cancer, which should be over by then."

The new sentencing hearing has been set for 1 p.m. on June 28 before Judge Blackburn, according to the Davidson County District Clerk's office.

Herrera has been in jail in Davidson County since late March of 1999. In early March of this year, he pled guilty to four counts of fabricating evidence, one count of conspiracy to fabricate evidence, and two counts of money laundering. The District Clerk's office said Herrera pled no contest to the last two counts.

Under the terms of the agreement, all the terms would run concurrently and Herrera will pay the maximum fine, while Judge Blackburn will determine the length of his sentence at the July sentencing hearing. Zimmermann said under the sentencing guidelines, Herrera would receive a term of between eight and 12 years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary.

Herrera, who owned the Herrera Insurance Company in Pecos along with his bonding business at the time of his arrest, was one of four charged in the scam. Two, including Coleman, were former employees of Paul's Bonding Co. of Nashville, who allegedly worked with Herrera to produce the death certificates, in order to persuade local court officials to drop drug charges against three men whose releases they had obtained.

Ojinaga man guilty in pot smuggling case

Staff Writer

PECOS, May 31, 2000 - An Ojinaga, Mex., man was found guilty by a U.S. District Court jury last Thursday of attempting to import over three-quarters of a ton of marijuana into the United States last year, while an Arlington Tex., man was sentenced to 97 months in prison by federal Judge Royal Furgeson on a separate marijuana smuggling charge.

Luciano Chapa, 40, was found guilty by jurors following deliberations by jurors. According to court testimony, Chapa was driving a Chevrolet pickup on Nov. 3, 1999 headed east on FM 170 about seven miles east of Redford when he was stopped by Border Patrol agents Angel A. Lopez and Michael Kim. The agents said a check of the vehicle revealed 1,504.46 pounds of marijuana hidden inside a hollowed out plywood container in the rear of the pickup.

In sentencings last week by Judge Furgeson, George Contreras, 24, of Arlington, Tx., received 97 months after pleading guilty to one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Contreras had been charged with two counts of possession, in connection with shipments of marijuana totaling 1,299 pounds and 2,011 pounds in October of 1999.

Other marijuana case sentincings last week included one Reeves County man, Ramiro Ramirez-Contreras, 25, of Balmorhea, who received an 18-month term at a federal boot camp for possession with intent to distribute 45.44 pounds of marijuana.

Also sentenced after entering guilty pleas were:

Fidencio Eduardo Aremendariz-Gomez, 18, of Manuel Benavides, Chih., Mex., and Antonio Zarate Hernandez, 21, of Chihuahua, Chih., Mex., 12 months plus one day for possession with intent to distribute 61.6 pounds of marijuana;

Billy Wayne Sowell, 38, 24 months at the FCI in Fort Worth for possession with intent to distribute 210.42 pounds of marijuana;

Irene Garza White, 35, of Hobbs, N.M., three years probation for possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) with intent to distribute;

Elicela Marquez-Sotelo, 50, of Midland, three years probation for possession of a controlled substance (44.6 pounds of marijuana) with intent to distribute;

Melissa Maria Enriquez, 21, of Monahans, 12 months plus one day at FCI-Bryan for possession of a controlled substance (45.76 pounds of marijuana) with intent to distribute;

Irene Anita Rodriguez, 40, of Odessa, five years probation for possession of a controlled substance (69.4 pounds of marijuana) with intent to distribute;

Torivio Hernandez- Garcia, 50, 41 months at the FCI in Big Spring for possession of a controlled substance (44.52 pounds of marijuana) with intent to distribute;

Fernando Duran, Jr., 20, of Odessa, 24 months in federal boot camp for possession of a controlled substance (143.68 pounds of marijuana) with intent to distribute;

Heinrich Theisen-Penner, 19, of Cuauhtemoc, Chih., Mex., 24 months for importation/possession of marijuana (under 50 kilograms) with intent to distribute;

Judge Furgeson also revoked the probation of Bobby Joe Leos, 22, of Alpine. He had been sentenced on a possession of a controlled substance charge (cocaine) in August of 1998, and was sent back to prison for 18 months for violating terms of his supervised release in February of this year. He also declined to revoke the probation of Jose Alfredo Corrales, 26, of Odessa, who was sentenced in February of 1997 of a possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) charge. Judge Furgeson did modify the terms of Corrales' release following his DWI arrest of February of this year.

Other sentencings on charges of illegal immigrant smuggling or illegal entry were:

Donald Joseph Schoolcraft, 18 months for transportation of illegal aliens;

Trinidad Rios Carrillo, 43, of Brownfield, time serves for transportation of illegal aliens;

Humberto Montoya Rios, 25, of El Portento, Durango, Mex., time served for illegal entry after deportation;

Sergio Berzoza-Miranda, 25, of Delicias Chih. Mex., time served for three counts of illegal entry after deportation.

Javier Cesar Gonzalez-Flores, 22, of Delicias, Chih., Mex., time served for illegal entry;

Rene Montoya-Tarin, 22, of Kermit, four months concurrent sentences on four counts of importation/transport of illegal aliens;

Ycela Diaz, 25, of Dallas, four months probation of three counts of transporting illegal aliens;

Hector Montoya-Tarin, 34, of Kermit, three months probation for importing/transporting illegal aliens;

Earl Lancelot Vernon, 42, of Belize, 57 months in a medical facility in California or New York for illegal entry after deportation;

Benito Guerrero-Carreron, 25, of Ojinaga, Mex., time served for illegal entry after deportation;

Estaban Sanchez-Molina, 21, of Coyana, Chih., Mex., 36 months for importation of illegal aliens.

School board makes personnel changes

Staff Writer

PECOS, May 31, 2000 - Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board members met in a special meeting held at noon Tuesday to discuss personnel in closed session, and to make changes in staff assignments during the open session of the meeting.

Board members met behind closed doors for a private consultation with the board's attorney regarding Cause Number 99-06-16339-CVR and Section 551.074: discussing personnel or hear complaints against personnel.

In open session board members agreed to let the superintendent proceed with in Cause Number 99-06-16339 CVR under the terms discussed and closed session.

In open session, the board approved appointments, reassignments and resignations.

Appointments included:

· Jerri Akers, Bachelor of Science/Kinesiology/Sul Ross State University, one year experience, assignment: Crockett Middle School math teacher/coach;

· Alicia Brown, Bachelor of Arts/Interdisciplinary Studies/Sul Ross State University, one year experience, assignment: Austin Elementary School second grade bilingual teacher;

· Carla Sneed, Bachelor of Science/Speech Pathology/West Georgia College, 11 years experience, assignment: District's speech therapist;

· Becky Wein, Bachelor Arts/History/University of Texas of the Permian Basin, three years experience, assignment: Alternative Education Program/Discipline teacher/coach.

Reassignments approved were:

· John Barrett, from Pecos Elementary School third grade special education teacher to Zavala Middle School sixth grade special education teacher;

· Francita Brooks, from Crockett Middle School teacher for the visually impaired to Pecos High School teacher for the visually impaired;

· Charles Bunch, from Crockett Middle School special education teacher/coach to Pecos High School special education teacher/coach;

· Joe Flores, from Crockett Middle School history teacher/coach to Pecos High School history teacher/coach;

· Alfonso Gonzales, from Pecos Elementary School special education teacher to Bessie Haynes Elementary School special education teacher;

· Francisco Ornelas, from Crockett Middle School science teacher to Pecos High School chemistry teacher.

Resignations came from:

· Ronald Arnesen, history teacher/coach/Pecos High School effective: May 26;

· Jason Hewitt, Special Education teacher/coach/Pecos High School, effective: May 26;

· Tammie Hewitt, First grade teacher/Austin Elementary School, effective: May 26;

· Jerry Workman, Chemistry teacher/Pecos High School, effective: May 31.

Councilman faces court hearing following DWI arrest

Staff Writer

PECOS, May 31, 2000 - Town of Pecos City Councilman Larry Levario is awaiting a hearing before Reeves County Court-At-Law Judge Lee Green following his arrest earlier this month on a driving while intoxicated charge.

According to the police report dated May 22, Levario was arrested at 2:10 a.m., on May 21 in the 1400 block of South Cedar Street for driving while intoxicated and breath test refusal.

Pecos police officer Jeffrey Green, who made the arrest, stated in his report Levario was "very unsteady on his feet."

He was given three sobriety tests and was unable to pass any of them.

Levario was then transported to the Pecos Police Department and advised of his rights.

Green's report said, "He initially consented to a breath test, but refused to give a second sample and complete the test."

After refusing the test, Levario was taken to the Reeves County Jail and charged with DWI/BTR.

Levario went before Municipal Court Magistrate Amanario Ramon, who informed Levario of his rights and set his bond for this Class B misdemeanor at $500, before turning the case over to the county court-at-law.

Levario, who is serving his second term on the Pecos City Council, was contacted and refused comment on this matter.

Final work near completion on new Chinese restaurant

Staff Writer

PECOS, May 31, 2000 - Odessa College's training center isn't the only building opening up in the Airlawn Shopping Center. A new restaurant is coming to town in 10-11 days at the north end of the center on South Eddy Street.

The China Bowl Chinese Restaurant has moved into the old Serranito's building at Eighth and Eddy streets.

The owner John Wu has been working on renovating the restaurant for about a month. It will be the first Chinese restaurant operating in Pecos in over 15 years.

Wu and his wife have been living in a motel and will be moving here permanently from Dallas next month.

The couple owned and operated several restaurants in Dallas and will bring in a few employees to work in Pecos.

Wu said he has known and worked with the chef for many years.

The China Bowl will serve original Chinese food, available for dine in, call in and to go orders.

It will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. for lunch and from 2:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. for dinner.

For more information call 445-8899.

TxDOT warning of construction along FM 1776

PECOS, May 31, 2000 - The Texas Department of Transportation is cautioning drivers that road construction will slow down traffic on FM 1776 south of Monahans for the next three to four months.

Work began last week on rebuilding 5.4 miles of the highway, from FM 1219 to the Ward-Pecos County line at the Pecos River, north of Coyanosa. Traffic will be restricted to one lane during the day, with flaggers and a pilot car leading drivers through the construction zone. The road will be opened at nights, but drivers are warned to slow down due to the rough surface in the area.

Jones Bros. Dirt and Paving Contractors of Odessa is handing the $1 million project, which should be completed by early September. FM 1776 is the main highway for traffic traveling between Alpine and the Midland-Odessa area.


Bobby Sherrill

Bobby K. Sherrill, 79, of Pecos, died Monday, May 29, 2000, at Odessa Medical Center Hospital.

Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, June 1, at Mt. Evergreen Cemetery with Rev. Jim Miles officiating.

He was born Aug. 26, 1920, in Uvalde, was a retired rancher and oil and gas lease man and a World War II Marine Corp Fighter Pilot. He had lived in Pecos since 1946 and was a Presbyterian.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Cancer Society, West of the Pecos Museum and the Presbyterian Church of Pecos.

Survivors include one sister, Snooky Sherrill Griffith of Pecos, and one nephew.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Eusebia Urquidez

Services are incomplete for Eusebia Urquidez, 80, of Pecos, who died today in El Paso.

A rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, at the Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, May 31, 2000 - High Tuesday 104. Low this morning 77. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Low 65-70. Southeast wind 10-20 mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of afternoon thunderstorms. High 90-95. Southeast wind 15-25 mph. Chance of rain less than 20 percent. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. A slight chance of thunderstorms. Low 65-70.

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Pecos Enterprise
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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