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Top Stories

Thursday, June 1, 2000

Coyanosa storms cause flooding, damage

Staff Writer

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 still bad.

"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," Murdoch said.

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 injury.

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 some roads.

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 is over.

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

Staff Writer

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," he said.

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," he said.

New insurance plan for kids introduced

Staff Writer

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 Hospital.

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 under CHIPS.

"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," said Ontiveros.

"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 Carreon.

"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," said Ontiveros.

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 Ontiveros.

"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 Ontiveros.

Stolen items found during Wed. drug raid

Staff Writer

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 paraphernalia.

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

Staff Writer

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," said Davis.

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 to Davis.

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

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. High 90-95.

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Pecos Enterprise
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