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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, June 21, 2000

First National plans merger, name change

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 21, 2000 - A local bank will receive a name change and a facelift, as part of merger plans with several other banks in West Texas.

John Grant, President of First National Bank, of Pecos, has announced that an application to merge has been filed with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The parties to the merger will be the Seminole National Bank, Seminole and the First National Bank in Alpine. First National Bank, Pecos has existing branches in Kermit and Crane.

Seminole National Bank has a branch in Denver City and First National Bank in Alpine has a branch in Terlingua. First National Bank in Alpine will be the surviving charter as it is the oldest charter of the three charters.

"The name of the merged banks will be changed to West Texas National Bank," said Grant. "The new name is indicative of management's desire to provide competitive financial services to all of West Texas."

"The name change will take place Sept. 1," said Keith Moore, executive vice-president for the holding company based in Midland. "The local facility will still provide the same services."

First National Bank of Pecos was chartered in 1907, and moved into its current location at Sixth and Cedar streets in 1967. The current holding company, headed by Midlander J.L. Davis, has operated the bank for the past 15 years.

As part of the merger, the bank will be adding new products including banking mutual funds, an ATM and the facility will be receiving a face lift. "We'll be doing some remodeling in the drive thru area and making room for the ATM," said Moore.

Remodeling of the back area of the bank will take place sometime in September or October, according to Moore.

"West Texas National Bank will have combined assets of $240 million and capital of $23 million," said Grant. "Existing board members will continue to serve as Community Directors to ensure that each branch is responsive to the needs of our customers and community."

The Board, management and staff are dedicated to providing the highest quality service and competitive products in our communities, according to Grant.

"The financial services industry is experiencing rapid change as a result of technology and competitive pressure from non-traditional providers. The repeal of outdated regulations and the development of new technology allow community banks to compete in a global market," said Grant. "However, banks must be efficient while providing the best products and services in a friendly and personal way," he said.

Customers of West Texas National Bank will experience hometown banking at multiple locations. Check imaging, investment and brokerage services, annuity and insurance products, and internet banking are just a few of the products and services that are on the drawing board, according to Grant.

West Texas National Bank administrative offices will be located in Midland; however, local management under the guidance of its community directors will make daily decisions. Approval of the merger is expected later this year.

RCDC expansion project set for September opening

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 21, 2000 - Construction is on schedule at the Reeves County Detention Center, where work on doubling the capacity of the facility to 2,000 inmates is expected to be completed within the next three months.

Work on the new 1,000-bed addition will be completed sometime in September and a grand opening is scheduled.

"We'll have a grand opening and let the community come and see for themselves," said Reeves County Detention Center Warden Rudy Franco. "We'll also open the old addition and have tours of the facility."

So far the project is under budget and no big problems have arisen, according to Franco.

The facility is up to 279 employees and will be up to 417 by the end of the year.

Franco came to Pecos in 1996, to take over the facility as warden, after problems had led the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to cut the number of inmates held at the RCDC to under 350. He had recently retired as warden of the LaTuna Federal Correctional Institute northwest of El Paso, and brought with him a crew of dedicated and experienced professionals to help him run the facility.

There were 124 employees in November 1996 and that number has risen considerably and will continue to rise as construction is completed, according to Franco.

"We have had a real good quality of applicants and the list of applicants is larger than I've ever seen," said Franco. "The workforce is maintaining our number of applications and it has continued to grow."

There are now between 60 and 70 job applicants at the facility, from that they are interviewed and selected, according to Franco.

Staffing has not been a problem whatsoever.

There will be 417 employees with the opening of the new addition, which will increase the prison's capacity to 2,000 beds.

Reeves County Detention Center is the biggest facility associated with the BOP under one management.

"Some Wall Street people will be in Pecos on Thursday," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "They were our co-signers for the new addition."

"They've already analyzed this prison and gave it an `A' rating," said Galindo. "This is something good for the prison and something that will help us out in the future."

The financial market analysts analyze everything and set the standards in terms of investing on Wall Street, according to Galindo. An `A' rating will mean a lower interest rate the county will have to pay on the bonds used to finance construction of the prison addition.

Few mineral valuations are protested at hearings

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 21, 2000 - Mineral appraisal hearings were held yesterday morning for the Reeves County Appraisal District, while real estate appraisal hearings are scheduled for Thursday and Friday at the district's Cypress Street office.

The appraisal district received 40 protests of mineral valuations, but only four people showed up for the hearings. Carol King-Markham, Chief Appraiser, said the missing protests had either been settled ahead of time or were withdrawn.

Markham said this year's totals went down slightly but it was nothing to worry about.

"We lost a little value," Markham said. "It was a minimum amount."

She added that she would not have the true valuations for a few weeks because she has to wait for the analysis by Prichard and Abbott Company.

"Prichard and Abbott are in the process of going all over to complete appraisals, so until they get back we won't have totals," Markham said.

She said she hopes to have the totals by the 17 or 18 of July.

This year's mineral appraisal value for Reeves County was $216,385,540 and the town of Pecos City was $15,442,420.

Last year the appraisal for Reeves County had an increase of $3,413,120. Markham said this increase was a result in oil prices.

"The oil values really helped the mineral appraisal," Markham said.

Markham also said appraising helps keep local taxes as low as possible. Local taxing entities will begin work to set their tax rates over the next three months, based on the appraised values given to them by Markham and their projected budgets for the 2001 fiscal year.

"The values that come out of here helps to keep the tax rate down," Markham said.

The real estate appraisal hearings will be held from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., on Thursday and Friday. These meetings are open to the public and will be held at the appraisal district building, at 403 S. Cypress St.

More storms hit Coyanosa, cause area flood warnings

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 21, 2000 - Thunderstorms hit West Texas again last night, dumping more rain on the surrounding areas of Pecos.

The city received just a trace of rain, as the main parts of the storm passed both to the north and south of Pecos after sunset. The clouds dumped as much as two inches of rain in the area near Mentone, and slightly less around Toyah Lake before moving east into the Coyanosa area.

Rain has fallen on Coyanosa every day this week. Last night brought approximately one more inch of rain.

That gives the Trans-Pecos' main agricultural area an approximate total of 18 inches of rain since May 31, when 10 inches reportedly fell in northern Pecos County.

Farmers with land around Coyanosa have lost crops and are on the verge of losing more if the rain does not stop.

Robert Gamboa, farmer and owner of Coyanosa Food Center, said earlier this week that there have been thousands of onions ruined because the sacks are still in the field and are rotting from the rain.

Gamboa fears if the rains keep coming, the cantaloupe and watermelon crops also will be ruined. He said the both fruits are looking good right now but the water will cause them to mildew and rot.

Although the rain hurts the farmers, Gamboa added the rain is good for the ranchers, who have suffered from over seven years of drought conditions in the Trans-Pecos region.

"The rain is needed," Gamboa said. "All the ranchers need for the cattle."

Gamboa is hopeful the sun will come out soon but said he is taking it day by day.

"We'll just have to wait and see what happens," Gamboa said.

Rain also fell on the cities of Fort Davis and Balmorhea on Tuesday, prompting flash flood warnings in Jeff Davis and southern Reeves County.

Jeff Davis County Sheriff Steve Bailey reported strong winds, heavy rain, lots of lightning and marble size hail. He said the winds got up to 50 miles per hour but there was no damage to buildings.

Bailey believes that Fort Davis was not the hardest hit.

"I think the brunt of the storm was in North Jeff Davis County," Bailey said.

The Balmorhea Independent School District reported heavy rain, strong winds and lots of lightning but there was no hail.

The National Weather Service in Midland reports that Pecos has about a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms each day until Friday and it will start drying up on Saturday.

Recent T-storms don't alter burn, fireworks ban for area

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 21, 2000 - Despite the recent rains, the burning ban in Pecos and Reeves County will continue and all aerial-type fireworks will not be allowed except in a designated area.

"The ban is still in effect, because despite the recent rains, the grass is still very dry," said Pecos Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire. "It just made it wet, but everything is still very dry."

Reeves County Commissioners had suggested those wanting to celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks could do so at a designated area, Martinez Field, located south of Interstate 20 behind the 4-H barns.

"The type of fireworks that shoot up in the air, is what is banned in the city," said Brookshire. "Those are the ones most likely to start grass fires."

Firefighters will be on call during that time and will respond to all emergencies.

School board sets special meeting,budget workshop

PECOS, June 21, 2000 - The creation of an assistant principal position at Crockett Middle School which will house seventh and eighth graders the new school year, will be the topic of discussion at a special Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board meeting on Thursday.

The board will meet at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, at 1304 S. Park St. The public is invited to attend.

A budget workshop will be held following the special meeting.

CCRC offering funding to help pay electric bills

PECOS, June 21, 2000 - The Community Council of Reeves County currently has funding available for assistance in paying electric bills affected by last month's 110-plus heat wave.

If you experienced a higher bill due to the hot weather last month, come by and pick up an application at 700 W. Daggett St., Suite F. These bills should reflect your May consumption.

Applications may be picked up through July 7.

For more information call 447-4913.

Former Pecos resident dies in accident on Kansas road

PECOS, June 21, 2000 - A one-vehicle accident claimed the life of a former Pecos resident in Kansas last weekend.

Manuel Lozoya, Jr., 25, was driving west in a 1998 Ford Expedition on Mansfield Road in Garden City, Kan, Saturday morning at 9:10 a.m., when he lost control of the vehicle and entered the north ditch a quarter-mile east of Farmland Road, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Lozoya tried correcting to get back on the road but overcorrected, this time rolling the vehicle, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol's report. He was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

Lozoya was not wearing a seatbelt, the report said.

The Expedition, which was a total loss, came to rest on its wheels, facing north in the ditch.

A passenger in the vehicle, 20-year-old Juan Guajardo of Garden City, Kan., was not injured and officials did not know whether he was wearing a seat belt or not, according to the report.


Albino Casias

Services are incomplete for Albino Casias, 86, of Odessa, who died Tuesday, June 20, 2000.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Manuel Lozoya, Jr.

Manuel Lozoya, Jr., 25, of Garden City, Kan., died Saturday, June 10, 2000, from injuries suffered in an automobile accident in Fenney County.

Services were held at 10:30 a.m., today, at St. Mary Catholic Church, in Garden City, with burial in Valley View Cemetery.

He was born Aug. 24, 1974, in Pecos, was a laborer and attended St. Mary Catholic Church. The family moved to Garden City in 1984 and he attended Garden City schools.

He was preceded in death by a grandfather and a grandmother.

Survivors include his parents, Manuel and Bertha Lozoya Sr., of Garden City; his wife, Angel Erika Urbina Lozoya of Garden City; one daughter, Melissa Lozoya of Garden City; one sister, Velinda Tinajero of Garden City; his grandparents, Esperanza Marinez of Chihuahua, Mexico and Jose Manuel Lozoya of Pecos.

Garnand Funeral Home of Garden City was in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, June 21, 2000 - High Tuesday 100. Low this morning 69. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Low in the upper 60s. East wind 5-15 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent. Thursday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. High in the mid 90s. South wind 5-15 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.

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Pecos Enterprise
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