Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, June 1, 2000
Coyanosa storms cause flooding, damage
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, June 1, 2000 - Heavy rains, reportedly reaching up to ten inches
hit the Coyanosa area Wednesday, when multiple storms passed through eastern
Reeves and the northern part of Pecos County.
At least one person was reportedly injured and roads into the area from
Pecos and Fort Stockton were closed by high water resulting from the storms.
According to long time resident, farmer and owner of the Coyanosa Food
Center Robert Gamboa this is not the worst Coyanosa has seen but it was
"We've got rains before but never that much at one time," Gamboa said.
Senior forecaster for the National Weather Service in Midland Greg Murdoch
said no warnings were issued, however statements indicating two strong
storms were given out to area officials.
"We advised them of 60 mile per hour winds, heavy rain and deadly lightning,"
There was wind damage resulting in one injury. The roof of the Coyanosa
Fire Department was blown off and several trailer houses and houses were
damaged including one trailer house flipping over resulting causing the
Coyanosa resident Sonia Nichols said two houses down from her lived
a family whose trailer flipped over on top of their car. Nichols said in
the house was a mother and three children.
"The mother had a broken leg and I think the six month old received
scrapes," Nichols said.
Murdoch said the initial storm is the one that caused all the wind damage
while additional storms continued to develop just west of Coyanosa and
then passed over the same areas, causing flooding.
The flooding forced the Texas Department of Transportation to close
Maintenance supervisor Larry Levario said FM 1450 was closed last night
from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., while U.S. 285 between Pecos and Fort Stockton was
closed from 10:30 p.m. to 12 midnight and Fort Stockton TxDOT crews closed
FM 1776 from U.S. 285 to FM 1450 all night.
Levario also said FM 1450 from FM 1776 in Coyanosa to State Highway
18 south of Grandfalls remained closed as of this morning.
Gamboa said they received quite a bit of hail with the rain and there
is four feet of water in some places.
"Everything is under water," Gamboa said.
He added that he had not been able to get to the fields but believes
that a lot of crops were ruined.
"It's really hard to tell what kind of damage there is," Gamboa said.
It looks like Coyanosa might have some more trouble before the week
Murdoch said there is a 30 percent chance of storms and there will be
flash flood watches mainly in the mountains through Friday.
"There still is the potential for heavy rains," Murdoch said.
Most of the storms formed to the southeast of Pecos, but rain clouds
did drop a little bit of moisture over parts of the city, mostly on the
west and south sides of town.
Downtown KIUN received only a few drops of rain in their gauge, while
about a quarter-inch fell in areas west of Texas Street.
Out at the Texas A&M Agricultural Experiment Station seven miles
west of town, .08 inch of rain was recorded on Wednesday. That still leaves
the year-to-date total well below normal, at .62 inch for the first five
months of 2000.
Commission decides jail can remain open
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, June 1, 2000 - The Texas Commission on Jail Standard agreed to
allow Reeves County Jail to remain open today, following a meeting with
county officials in Austin.
Representatives from Reeves County went before the commission early
this morning in an effort to reverse the decision made in April to shut
the facility down due to ongoing violations.
"We went before the jail commission to document and show the commission
that we expediently acted upon all the deficiencies that were noted," said
Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.
Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez and attorney Bill Weinacht, representing
Reeves County, accompanied Galindo to Austin to speak to commission members
The Texas Jail Commission had given Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez
15 days to shut down the Reeves County Jail in April due to violations
of state standards that had previously been noted, but not repaired. Overcrowding
of the jail, which is certified to handle a maximum of 84 inmates, was
also cited by the TCJS.
However, Galindo explained at the time that the county had 15 days from
that point to appeal after the Commission issues the order, and then it
would take a week or two for the Commission to issue that order. After
that, the county had 15 days to appeal.
"Once we appeal, nothing will happen until the Commission hears the
appeal, and that can be several more weeks, or even longer," Galindo said
back in April.
When the original closing decision was announced, Gomez explained that
in a surprise inspection by the TCJS, Feb. 24, the jail was found wanting
in several areas other than the cell locks and plumbing problems, but that
these were easily remedied.
"We had not been documenting our fire drills and emergency generator
checks, among other things," Gomez said. "We also had not had our classification
plan, our health services plan, and our facility handbook approved, but
these were submitted to the Commission back in October. They weren't approved
on Feb. 24, but had been approved by the Commission before the hearing,"
The locking mechanism for the sally port was installed, as indicated
to the TCJS when Reeves County requested the appeal, according to Galindo.
"There are still some custom locks, for the old doors, that need to
be custom made," said Galindo.
Custom made locks for each of the dormitories, or "tanks" are now secured
with locking mechanisms that are working so they can lock the facility
adequately, according to Galindo.
"Each of the doors were disabled, but have to be custom made," he said.
Repairs to the showers should be completed by the end of this month,
according to Galindo.
"The sheriff had Roter-Rooter at the facility and they fixed the plumbing
issues," said Galindo.
Gomez has completed all the classified issues, health service plans
and inmate handbook and they're starting to document the fire drills and
operation of emergency operations and document their air pack training.
With the results of all these corrective actions, the Commission voted
unanimously to keep the jail open.
"What this goes to show, is that as long as we can work together, anything
can be accomplished in the worst of circumstances," said Galindo.
Galindo credited the unified effort to saving the jail. "We plan to
work together and strive towards making the community a better place,"
New insurance plan for kids introduced
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, June 1, 2000 - Health insurance too high?
A new program aimed at insuring more children was introduced to the
public at a mass enrollment held Wednesday in the lobby of Reeves County
Many local agencies united to provide mass enrollment of the CHIPS program
for the children of Reeves County, according to Reeves County Director
of Special Services, Public Relations Nancy Ontiveros.
"We all are interested in assuring that every child has health care
accessible at a low cost," said Ontiveros.
The agencies represented at the mass enrollment included, Reeves County
Hospital, Community Council of Reeves, Reeves County Judge's Office, Texas
Human Services, Texas Department of Health and West Texas Opportunities.
CHIPS, the Children's Health Insurance Program, covers children from
newborns through age18, with an income of up to $33,000 for a family of
four, according to Ontiveros.
In includes regular checkups, doctor's visits, prescriptions, medical
supplies, lab tests and more. "Dental care will also be covered beginning
next month," said Ontiveros.
Eye exams, routine tests and other health care items will be covered
"Most people won't have to pay anything but a one-time processing fee,"
said Ontiveros. "And the most they will pay is $18 per month," she said.
The processing fee is $15 and the co-pays will vary from anywhere from
$1 to $10 for doctor's visits, according to Ontiveros.
"All medical providers in Reeves County are in the process of completing
enrollment applications to be able to provide service within the month,"
"It's a win-win situation for clients," said Rey Carreon, area manager
for the Texas Department of Human Services.
Individuals who did not qualify for Medicaid because of income may qualify
for this program and are automatically referred to CHIPS, according to
"The good thing about this program is that it doesn't consider assets
or resources," said Ontiveros. "This is the only program where resources
are not a factor."
"Another benefit is for the grandparents that are raising their grandchildren,"
This enables the children to qualify immediately because the grandparent's
income doesn't count, according to Ontiveros.
"The purpose of having this mass enrollment is in hope of getting the
children enrolled before school starts so that they can get their shots,
eye exams and physical exams before the start of the school year," said
"If we take them off of Medicaid because of income, we are automatically
sending their application to CHIPS," said Carreon. "We feel it's a big
benefit to the community."
Individuals will be notified within 14 business days after applying
of their status. "They will receive their insurance card that states their
co-pay and list of providers," said Ontiveros.
Applications are available at the Texas Department of Human Services,
Texas Department of Health, Reeves County Hospital, Community Council of
Reeves County, West Texas Opportunities and the Reeves County Judge's Office.
"All the agencies working together can reinforce good health," said
Stolen items found during Wed. drug raid
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, June 1, 2000 - A narcotics search warrant at a Pecos residence
on Wednesday turned up more than just drugs and drug paraphernalia and
led to the arrest of the three individuals.
The arrests occurred after officers from the Pecos Police Department,
Reeves County Sheriff's Department and the Trans Pecos Narcotics Task Force
executed a narcotics search warrant at the home of Jose Manuel Garcia,
920 S. Orange St. Officers searched the residence after all the occupants
were secured, according to Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler.
"During the search of the residence various types of packaging materials
for heroin were found inside the residence and outside the residence inside
a storage building," said Deishler.
Also located inside the residence were a number of items officials believe
had been stolen. Property that was found included various types of rifles,
shotgun, and handgun, one VCR, one DVD player, two televisions, assorted
clothing, one bicycle, power tools, car stereo and other items.
"Also found inside the residence was a short barrel shotgun, which is
classified as a prohibited weapon," said Deishler.
After officers completed their search of the residence Garcia, 61, was
arrested and charged with the offenses of possession of a prohibited weapon
(a firearm), a third degree felony; theft by appropriation, state jail
felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Police said the second person arrested in the house, Miguel Granado
Ortega, 40, was charged with Theft by Appropriation, a Class B Misdemeanor.
While officers were still at the residence searching, a female subject
arrived at the and she was placed under arrest for outstanding warrants
issued by Municipal Court Judge Amonario Ramon, involving a previous narcotics
search warrant at Fifth and Mulberry Streets.
The woman was identified as Sandra Ronquillo, 36 and the warrants were
for the offenses of possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug
If the citizens of Pecos believe that any of this recovered property
could be theirs, they can contact either Lt. Kelly Davis or Investigator
Olga Lopez at the Pecos Police Department at 445-4911.
Citizens are asked to write down the serial numbers of all their property
and place them in a file, in case they are ever stolen. "A lot of people
don't realize that this is very important," said Davis. "We urge everyone
to write down the serial numbers as soon as they purchase an item, keep
them in a file in a safe place, in case they are ever stolen we can recover
their property easier," he said.
Warning issued on curfew, `Peeping Tom' violations
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, June 1, 2000 - Pecos Police are asking the community's help in
solving a number of minor law violations that have arisen late.
Police said there has been a rash of "Peeping Toms" and exhibitionists
reported in the past few weeks, while with the end of school, curfew violations
also are on the rise.
An exhibitionist was reported in the vicinity of Crockett Middle School
and other "Peeping Toms" in the community.
"It would help us catch them if they would just report," said Pecos
Police Lt. Tony Dawdy.
"Sometimes people catch these peeping Toms, but they don't report it
to us," said Dawdy. "If they report it, we can be on the lookout and possibly
catch the perpetrator."
Curfew violations have also been rising with teens having more free
time during the summer months. Curfew hours for teens 16 and younger is
10 p.m., on Sunday through Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday.
"These teens need to go home or they will be cited," said Pecos Police
Lt. Kelly Davis.
Parents don't realize that even if they give the teenager permission
to stay out late, they are still in violation of the law. "You can't give
your teenager permission to be out so late, because it is against the law,"
Also, if the underage teenager is with an older sibling they are still
in violation of the curfew law. "They have to be with their parent or legal
guardian," said Davis.
Davis said the teenagers will be cited if they are in violation of the
curfew law and will have to appear in court. "They're under the impression
that if they have permission from the parents it's OK," said Davis.
No charges filed after accidental shooting of child
PECOS, June 1, 2000 - Pecos Police Department said no charged have been
filed as the result of an accidental shooting which happened last Friday
on the north side of town.
The report stated that the child, who was about 13-years-old, was taken
to the Reeves County Hospital Emergency with a gunshot wound as a result
of the 11:30 a.m. shooting.
"Apparently he was playing with the gun, another kid was playing Nintendo,
when the gun accidentally went off," said Davis.
The gun was a 357 Colt that belonged to the youngster's dad, according
No charges were filed and the child is said to be in satisfactory condition
at home. "We checked on him and his at home and doing fine," said Davis.
Eusebia Urquidez, 80, of Pecos, died Wednesday, May 31, 2000, in El Paso.
A rosary will be held at 7 p.m., today at the Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Friday, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church
with Father Manuel Munoz officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.
She was born June 1, 1919, in Pecos, was a homemaker, a lifelong Pecos
resident and a Catholic.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Julian Urquidez and two sons,
Joe and Albert Urquidez.
Survivors include one son, Armando Urquidez of Wichita Falls; four daughters,
Mary Lou Carrasco of Pecos, Susan Urquidez of Midland, Elisa Franco of
La Mesa, N.M. and Violeta Urquidez of El Paso; one brother, Adan Salcido
of Fabens; five sisters, Julia Marquez and Modesta Urquidez both of Pecos,
Merced Talavera of Fort Davis, Eva Lyles and Maria Talavera of Monahans;
12 grandchildren, Luis Carrasco, Jr., Albert Carrasco, Crisselda Martinez,
Imelda Carrasco, Julian Urquidez, Tommy Urquidez, Omar Urquidez, Joe Urquidez,
Jr., Amanda Urquidez, Johnny Franco, Jimmy Franco and Fabian Franco; six
great-grandchildren, Alex Morales, Christopher Martinez, Matthew Martinez,
Victoria Carrasco, Luis Zachary Carrasco and Julian Patrick Urquidez.
PECOS, June 1, 2000 - High Wednesday 98. Low this morning 69. Rainfall
last 24 hours .08 inch. Total for month .08 inch. Total for year .62 inch.
Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance thunderstorms.
Low in the lower 70s. Southeast wind 10-20 mph. Friday: Mostly cloudy with
a 30 percent chance thunderstorms. High near 90. Southeast wind 10-20 mph.
Friday night: Mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. Low near 70.
Saturday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms. Low 65-70.
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