Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, August 11, 2000
Troubles force out city's grant administrator
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, August 11, 2000 - Carlos Colina-Vargas asked the Town of Pecos
City Council to consider his request to terminate his selection to the
Texas Community Development Program (TCDP) grant administration in the
regular Council meeting Thursday.
Vargas said he had recently gotten into some trouble and thinks it would
be better if he was not associated with this program.
He asked the Council to approve the other proposal they had received
from the Rural Community and Economic Development.
"If you take the other proposal it will clear any problems in my relationship
with the city," Vargas said.
Colina-Vargas, the city's longtime grant administrator, received a two-year
probated sentence and was fined $5,000 on June 20 in U.S. District Court
in Austin, two months after pleading guilty to bribery of public officials
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks sentenced Colina-Vargas to probation
and a fine as the result of his April 20 plea before the judge to one count
of giving illegal compensation to an employee of the Executive Branch of
the U.S. Government for services rendered or to be rendered.
Colina-Vargas was indicted by a U.S. District Court grand jury on March
7 for illegally giving money to a U.S. government official. The indictment
on five bribery counts came following a complaint filed on Feb. 14 in Austin,
and he was arrested on Feb. 23.
The Council approved Vargas' request to terminate his selection and
also approved to move Tom Nance of RC&ED into his place.
After accepting the new selection, Nance reported the progress of the
grant application for the TCDP. Nance said the city is eligible for a $350,000
grant that requires a $70,000 match from the city.
He said the county is also eligible to turn in a separate application
for the same grant that is due on August 24.
Mayor Ray Ortega said he would talk to Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo
about the county applying for the grant.
The Council approved the resolution to submit an application to the
TCDP for the water grants.
The Council also approved the resolutions to submit another application
to the TCDP for funding under the planning capacity building fund.
This grant would give the town of Pecos $50,000 with the city matching
$10,000 for updating all zoning maps.
In other business, council members discussed the trash pick up schedule
and problems with large item pick ups by Duncan Disposal Services out of
Spokesmen from Duncan were present at the meeting and answered complaints
and questions the Council had.
The Council expressed their concern for the amount of large item debris
that are in the alleyways. They believe that the items are not being picked
up as often as they should and sitting in the alleys for weeks.
Councilman Johnny Terrazas explained that the citizens do not dump their
big items in the landfill because they have little access to the site.
"The people get hassled when they try to dump at the landfill so they
give up and dump in the alley," Terrazas said.
Jack Burns, area manager for Duncan, said they would discuss the problem
with the landfill employees and try to get the problem rectified.
"We will definitely coordinate the problems or try to," Burns said.
City Manager Kenneth Neal asked Burns about the toll-free 800 number
citizens could call. Neal said community members call the number but cannot
get an answer.
Burns said he did not understand why that is happening because he has
operators answering the phones during the day and they have an answering
service after hours. He said he would try to solve that problem first thing.
City Finance Director Steve McCormick said sometimes people do get through
but are unable to see results.
"When they do get through, they can not get the people to come out even
after two weeks," McCormick said.
Burns said the company could possibly correct the problem by setting
up an answering service in Pecos so local manager Ronnie Ruiz could call
the people back and take care of the pick up.
Burns also assured the Council that they would go back to Midland and
design a plan and publish the pick up schedule in the newspaper. He said
if community members would call the number and give the company the information
on what needs to be picked up they would give them the schedule of days
they would be there.
The council discussed a change order for the trench closure at the Pecos
During the last regular meeting Abidur Khan, engineer for Frank X. Spencer
and Associates, gave the council the change order, adding another $2,000
to the cost for modifications to the anchor trench.
Khan reported that extra lining material was added to the trench in
order to make it more effective.
The Council tabled the item until this meeting in order to allow City
Attorney Scott Johnson a chance to look into the order.
Johnson reported to the council in yesterday's meeting that the change
order was the engineer's decision to further stabilize the site.
"In the long run, the additional liner would save the city money," he
The Council then approved the change order.
Members also discussed an invoice from Raba-Kistner Consultants, Inc.,
for additional work but tabled the item for lack of information.
Lydia Prieto, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Tax Assessor Collector, asked
the council to consider the 2000-planning calendar, which was approved
after study by the members.
Prieto also submitted the property tax roll to the council.
She said there was an increase in value from last year.
The council approved the tax roll as well as a bid of $1,500 for the
property at 420 South Mesquite Street.
Fire Marshall Jack Brookshire, who missed the last meeting due to shoulder
surgery, reported to the board the appointments of the new electrical board.
The electrical board consists of seven members, including two master
electricians, Wayne North and Starkey Warren, one journeyman electrician,
John Jackson, an insurance agent from Pecos, Bill Allen, a fire insurance
claims adjuster, Armada Johnson, a citizen of Pecos, councilman Gerald
Tellez, Jr., and the city electrical inspector, Brookshire.
The board also has two representatives from Texas New Mexico Power Company,
Tommy Terry and Angela Romero.
The council approved the board and discussed the plumbing codes and
enforcement with Brookshire, who said Pecos does not have a plumbing inspector
so there is no one to enforce the codes.
"To do anything in plumbing, you have to be a certified plumbing inspector,"
The council decided to take no action until someone in Pecos is certified
to be an inspector.
The Texas Department of Transportation requests the council to submit
a "wish list" of what they would like to see done in Pecos.
The council discussed many things including landscaping around and on
the overpasses in Pecos.
Ortega said he would like to get with the county so they could be on
the same page on what would be nice for Pecos.
The council tabled the topic until the budget meeting.
Armando Gil, Pecos Health and Sanitation Director reported to the council
on the process of cleaning up the house at 1607 S. Eddy St.
A concerned citizen asked the Council to have something done about the
residence in the last regular meeting. She said the house is a health hazard
because there are a lot of old cars and car parts in front and the back
of the house.
Gil said he has attempted three times to send a registered letter to
the owner with no success.
He also said the city has no ability to take action on the house until
the owner is notified.
"At this point our hands are tied," Ortega said.
No action was taken until the owner is contacted.
Citizens of the community gave suggestions to naming the community center
on the Eastside of town during the public comment portion of the meeting.
Suggestions included naming the center after Martin Luther King, Jr.,
or after local residents Bessie Haynes or Sydney Sadler.
The Council listened to the suggestions and exclaimed the difficulty
of the decision. They decided to put the topic on the next agenda and give
the decision a lot of thought.
Board told work done at Crockett
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, August 11, 2000 - Crockett Middle School, with all its new additions,
will be ready in time for the beginning of the school year on Monday.
"It's a wonderful facility, Hawkins did you a real good job," said architect
Monte Hunter, from Hunter Corral Associates, while updating Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
school board on the ongoing project, during their regular meeting held
Thursday evening in the board room.
The new addition, which includes a new science lab, computer room and
additional lockers, to accommodate the seventh graders, which will now
be attending that school, are complete.
"The staff helped out a lot, I'm real proud of this and I hope you're
real proud of it as well," said Hunter.
There are a couple of "punch-up items" that still need to be corrected
and they will be corrected within the next couple of weeks, according to
"We'll hold five percent of their money until it's all corrected," said
Hunter. "A little was left over in the contingency fund, you still had
Hunter also updated board members about the roofing project at the Pecos
High School. "We did a walk-through and there are just a few items, very
minor, that need to be corrected," he said. "You got a good job from them,
The facility at Crockett has a one-year warranty on everything and a
10-year guarantee on the roof.
"We're really pleased with their work," he said.
In other business, the board was told school personnel will be paying
a little bit more for prescriptions this year, prior to the board's approval
of health insurance premiums and prescription co-pay on Thursday.
Superintendent Don Love told the board that a group had met and discussed
the current health insurance and the co-pay and did a cost comparison.
"We're currently paying $5 and $10 for prescriptions," said Love.
By going to $8 for generics and $15 for name-brand the district would
Year-to-date total on drugs paid by Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD is $214,319
with 49 mail- order prescriptions at $9,676.
Total amount spent by the district was $18,790 for generic and $195,529
for brand-name medications.
"At least five to one are brand-name by looking at the numbers," said
Love, who added in cost terms, 91.23 percent are brand names by dollar
"Now is the time for personnel to sign up for the insurance," said Love.
Following a short discussion the board approved the health insurance
changing the co-pay to $8 for generic and $15 for name-brand.
The board approved the certification of anticipated tax collection rate
presented by the school's tax-assessor collector, Lydia Prieto.
"The overall increase from last year is $3,157,280," said Prieto. "The
estimated collection rate of the current year is 95 percent," she said.
"I anticipate 99-100 percent collection rates on the tax revenue needed
for this new school year. This includes current taxes, delinqent taxes,
penalties and interest," said Prieto.
Bus routes for the new school year were approved as presented by the
transportation director Jimmy Dutchover.
"We've gone from 12 to 10 bus routes," said Dutchover. "The only major
change for the coming school year was in special education, we were able
to transport them on one bus," he said.
The reading mentor program, which required a bus transport will no longer
be needed as the district is discontinuing the program, according to Dutchover.
"These are the only new changes," he said.
Sealed bid proposals for fuel were discussed and the board approved
the one bid that was submitted, by the current provider, West Texas Gas.
"They've done a good job for us, we don't have any major problems," said
Board members approved purchasing two new pickups from a local vendor,
Colt Chevrolet. The other local dealer, Valley Motors, also bid on the
two pickups, however, Colt was the lowest bidder.
Workman's comp insurance was discussed and board members agreed to go
with another provider for the new school year.
"Cookie (Canon) did a lot of background checking," said Love. "We have
been with TASB (Texas Association of School Boards), who have done us a
good job, but we decided to look around."
Canon told board members that her research indicated that others who
have already signed up with the new company, Deep East Texas, were very
pleased with them.
"The references that I called had left TASB and they stated that they
were very pleased with DETSIF (Deep East Texas)," said Canon. "The only
problem I was worried about is that they're so far away."
Canon told the group that the provider assured her this would not pose
"I didn't get any negative reports," she said.
Rogers and Belding will be monitoring and Canon stated that her other
concern was the people who had incurred claims with TASB. "TASB will still
be taking care of those people that already have claims," she said.
Rogers and Belding's report stated that if the district enters into
a 3-year interlocal agreement, the DETSIF will guarantee their rates for
3 years and the first year premium will be $154,000. The second and third
year premiums will be based on payrolls but the rates will not change.
If the district chooses the DETSIF and the three-year agreement, the fund
agrees there will be no audit adjustment at the end of the policy period.
A bid on property located at 420 S. Mulberry Street was approved in
the amount of $1,500, made by Eddie Chavez of California.
"We actually had two bids and this is the same one that was approved
by the hospital and city," said Prieto.
New appointments included:
· Susan Molina, Bachelor of Arts/Elementary Education/University
of Texas of the Permian Basin, no experience, assignment: Zavala 6th
· Zane Nutt, Bachelor of Arts/Math/University of Texas of the
Permian Basin, no experience, assignment: Pecos High School math teacher;
· Kala Parker, Bachelor of Arts/English/Reading/University of
Texas of the Permian Basin, no experience, assignment: Pecos High School
· Alejandro San Martin, Bachelor of Arts/Spanish/Tarlenton State
University, no experience, assignment: Pecos High School Spanish teacher/coach;
· Stella Rodriguez, LVN Nurse/District, effective Aug. 7.
Under changes in contract, Sonia Mendez, from one probationary contract
to one-year dual probationary contract.
Shorthanded commissioners to eye phone bids
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, August 11, 2000 - Telecommunications systems bids will be the
topic of discussion at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting
scheduled for Monday morning.
The group will meet at 10 a.m., Monday, to discuss several items. The
public is invited to attend.
The court, which canceled a scheduled meeting this past Monday, is expected
to be at least one member short when they meet, after Reeves County Commissioner
Precinct 1 Felipe Arredondo was hospitalized on Thursday for an unspecified
Arredondo is currently listed in stable condition at Odessa Medical
Center Hospital in Odessa. Officials there and family members declined
to give out any further information on the cause of Arredondo's illness
"We appreciate everyone's concern, but right now he needs a lot of rest,"
said his son Jaime Arredondo. "He's doing okay, we just want him to rest
and take care of himself."
Arredondo was re-nominated in a Democratic Party primary runoff election
in April to his third four-year term on the Reeves County Commissioners
court. He was elected to a four-year term in 1985-89, and was then elected
a second time as a write-in candidate in 1994. Arredondo is unopposed in
the November general election.
Commissioners will discuss and take action on approval of the certified
appraisal roll; property tax exemptions and payments options; 2001 tax
collection data processing contract; Reeves County Golf Course Improvements-
Ladies Golf Association and TxDOT priority recommendations for Reeves County.
The group will discuss and take action on DRG Architects request for
payment invoice numbers 193, 196, 197, 183, and 200; Banes General Contractors
request for payment Invoice No. 16; purchase of transportation vans for
RCDC and dishwashing machine lease agreement.
An agreement between the RCDC and Odessa College for Vocational Training
Services; a contract between Reeves County and Ector County Juvenile Detention
Services will also be discussed.
Commissioners will discuss and take action on bid No.11-2000 dining
room tables for RCDC; Bid No. 12-2000 correctional furnishings for RCDC
and RCDC-remodeling architect services contract.
Regular items on the agenda include to discuss and take action on:
· Deputation and oath of Jaime R. Palma.
· Deputation and oath of Jose Millan Gonzales, Jr.
· Deputation and oath of Israel S. Campos.
· Reports from various departments.
· Budget amendments and line-item transfers.
· Personnel and salary changes, (RCDC, sheriff's office, recreation
department, county judge's office and task force).
· Minutes from previous meetings.
· Semi-monthly bills.
· Budget workshop: Revenue and expenditure budget; general fund
and road and bridge employee salaries.
· Spread on minutes: contract between Reeves County and Guadalupe
Regalado, Leonard Lopez, Mike LeCuyer and Jim Clair.
Federal juries find men guilty of drug, illegal entry charges
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, August 11, 2000 - Federal court juries convicted two men in separate
trials this week, on illegal re-entry and possession of marijuana with
intent to distribute charges.
In trials before visiting Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle of Louisiana, Hector
Miranda Miranda, 44, of Satevo, Chih., Mex., was found guilty on Wednesday
of one count of illegal re-entry, on a incident which occurred on April
10, while 30-year-old Rogelio Ruiz was convicted on Tuesday of possession
with intent to distribute under 50 kilograms of marijuana.
Ruiz, of Topeka, Kan., was arrested in an Odessa motel on April 6, where
agents had been told to go by the driver of a Chevy van, identified as
Albert Rodriguez, who had been stopped at the U.S. 67 Border Patrol checkpoint
south of Marfa. Officials said 28.9 kg. of marijuana was found hidden in
a compartment in the floor of the van.
Rodriguez told officers he had flown to Midland and was then driven
to Presidio by Ruiz, who told him to pick up the van and drive it to the
motel in Odessa. Rodriguez said Ruiz was supposed to have followed him
in a second vehicle from Odessa to Topeka, but Ruiz denied knowing Rodriguez
when agents who went to the motel room arrested him.
Miranda was arrested after the Pontiac he was driving in was stopped
on RM 170 headed east towards Study Butte in southern Brewster County.
Records showed Miranda had previously been deported for illegal entry on
Aug. 20, 1987.
Judge Lemelle was busy in court both on Thursday and today following
the trials, taking one plea, ruling on a motion to revoke and handling
sentencing on 10 individuals.
Amarillo duo land in jail in cocaine purchase bust
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, August 11, 2000 - A one-month investigation led by the Trans
Pecos Drug Task Force and aided by the Reeves County Sheriff's Department
and the Pecos Police Department ended with the arrest of two individuals
on cocaine charges and the recovery of a stolen weapon on Wednesday.
According to the report, at approximately 7:29 p.m., officers arrested
Timothy Rodriguez, 27, a white male and Bobby Ray Holman, 24, black male,
both from Amarillo, were arrested by officers while at the Flying J. Truck
The estimated street value of the controlled substance, which officials
said was on kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cocaine, is $34,000. Also seized was
$9,160 in U.S. Currency and officers recovered a stolen 45 caliber automatic
handgun, according to task force commander Gary Richards.
Both men were taken to Reeves County Jail, where they were charged with
possession of a controlled substance, bond set at $15,000 for that charge;
theft of fireman, bond set at $10,000 and illegal investment, bond set
at $10,000. Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Rosendo Carrasco set the bonds
on Rodriguez and Holman.
"The illegal investment charge stemmed from the individuals trying to
buy a kilo of cocaine from one of our undercover officers," said Richards,
who added that the incident occurred at the Flying J Truck Stop.
Holman has an MTR (Motion to Revoke) hold out of Amarillo, with the
original charge listed as attempted murder. He was currently on probation
in that county for attempted murder, according to Reeves County Sheriff's
Gun buy-back program offered in Monahans
PECOS, August 11, 2000 - The Monahans Housing Authority is offering a gun
buy-back program in cooperation with the Monahans Police Department.
The two are offering $50 for both working and non-working guns, and
is available to all area residents. Vouchers will be written at the Monahans
Police Department, 114 W. Second St., for guns brought there, which can
then be turned in to the Monahans Housing Authority, 209 S. Dwight St.,
which will then write the check for the amount listed on the voucher.
Sellers do have control over where their guns end up, according to Shirley
Hill, MHA Executive Director. For further information, call (915) 943-5962.
Robert Scott Hayes, 69, of Pecos, died Thursday, Aug. 10, 2000, at Odessa
Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 12, at Mt.
Evergreen Cemetery with Rev. Joe Fields officiating.
He was born June 3, 1931, in Pecos, was an Army veteran who had served
in the Korean War, a retired farmer, rancher and dispatcher, contract pumper,
a lifelong Pecos resident and a Presbyterian.
He was preceded in death by three brothers, John, Prentice and Dennis
Hayes; three sisters, Josephine Hayes Frye, Maxy Jane Hayes and Gracie
Survivors include his wife, Jane Charlene Fletcher Hayes of Pecos; one
brother, Dick Hayes of Barstow; three sisters, Adabelle Collins of Barstow,
Anne Fleming of Midland and Kitty Reece of Abilene.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, August 11, 2000 - High Thursday 100. Low this morning 69. Forecast
for tonight: Partly cloudy with widely scattered evening thunderstorms.
Low near 70. Saturday: Partly cloudy with widely scattered afternoon thunderstorms
in western areas. Low around 70. High around 100. Saturday night: Partly
cloudy with widely scattered thunderstorms in western areas. Lows in the
mid 60s to around 70. Sunday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance for afternoon
and evening thunderstorms. Highs in the lower to mid 90s.
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