Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, December 29, 2000
County requests raise from BOP for RCDC
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, December 29, 2000 - The Reeves County Commissioners' Court was
given an update on the inter-governmental agreement contract between Reeves
County and the Bureau of Prisons during the regular meeting on Wednesday.
Reeves County has been renegotiating the mandate rate with the BOP since
February of this year.
Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo said the county requested an increase
in the mandate rate from the current $36.50 per inmate per day to $41.48
per inmate per day for two reasons.
Galindo said the increase would help with infrastructure improvements
and also the salaries for Reeves County Detentions Center employees.
He said the salaries would need to be adjusted to "be more competitive
in the region."
Barry Freidman, chief executive officer of Carlyle Capitol Markets,
informed the court that during the negotiations some language was changed
and must be approved by the BOP.
Galindo explained that the county must essentially work with three different
departments within the BOP in order to get the contract approved.
Galindo said the contract has to go through the community corrections,
contract and legal departments.
"We're waiting for the BOP to clear our language with their legal department,"
he said. "That is what has delayed the new mandate rate."
Galindo said the BOP is willing to compensate the county for the delay
in the contract approval.
"The BOP will retroactively apply the difference of the current and
new mandate rate from June 1 of this year," he said.
Galindo said he talked with the BOP on Wednesday morning and the court
should be hearing word on whether or not the contract was approved within
a few days.
"We should hear something back by early next week," he said.
In other business Assistant Supervisor of Headstart, Sophia Abila requested
assistance from the county in paving the land around Headstart located
on 13th Street.
Abila said the lots on both sides and behind the building become very
muddy in wet weather and believes that it is hazardous to the children,
parents, and employees.
"We're requesting help to pave the West Side for the safety of the kids,
parents, and workers," she said.
Commissioner for Precinct 4 Gilberto Rayos explained to the court that
he went before the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School Board to speak
of the problems with the lots.
Rayos said the school board asked for assistance from the county. Rayos
also said he discussed the topic with City Public Works Director Octavio
Garcia and got support from the city in removing curbs for the lots.
Rayos stated that it is dangerous for the children to walk on the muddy
lots before or after school or during fire drills.
Galindo stated that if the county were to pave the lots now the material
would not set correctly because the temperature was too low.
The court discussed paving the lots later in the year when the weather
In the mean time, the court discussed temporarily spreading gravel over
the lots until the county is able to permanently fix them.
The court approved fixing the lots beside Headstart for "the safety
of the kids,"
The court has scheduled a special meeting at 11 a.m., on Tuesday to
discuss needed additional workspace for the County courthouse as well as
numerous other items that were tabled from this week's meeting.
New Year's Day holiday hours
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, December 29, 2000 - Many area businesses and government offices
are set to close on Monday, in celebration of New Year's Day although a
few will stay open to serve the public.
Dan's Music and Video is scheduled to be open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
If those batteries from all the Christmas toys given to the many kids
in town happen to run low new ones could be purchased at Radio Shack, which
will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Batteries as well as many other things may be purchased at Wal-Mart,
which will be open regular hours.
Beall's Department Store on Eddy Street is scheduled to be open at regular
store hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Citizens don't have to worry about running out of food at the many New
Year's celebrations because both La Tienda and Bob's Thriftway will be
open during regular store hours.
There will surely be a rush at the local banks today because both West
Texas National Bank and Security State Bank will be closed on Monday.
Other stores closed on New Year's Day include Gibson True Value, Fonville
Jewelers, Brownlee Hardware, Needleworks, Etc., Airlawn Furniture, Napa
Auto Parts, Rediger's Pharmacy and Taylor's Flowers.
All city and county offices as well as the post office will be closing
for the holiday.
KIUN and the Pecos Enterprise will also be closed on Monday.
The Pecos Enterprise will resume news coverage on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2001.
Have a safe and Happy New Year.
The Year in Review
Top stories from 2000. Today: January
Commissioners make RCDC water bill offer
PECOS, Jan. 3, 2000 - Reeves County Commissioners hoped the results
of a closed-door session on Thursday will end their ongoing problems with
the Town of Pecos City over water payments for the Reeves County Detention
Commissioners approved several items during their final meeting of 1999,
including the water dispute, which was handled in executive session and
has been a topic for both the city and the county for some time.
They agreed to pay a water bill and to offer a proposal to the Town
of Pecos City in their dispute over the water rate at the RCDC, which is
just outside the city limits. Customers outside the city that are connected
to the water line pay higher rates than those within the city's boundaries,
and the dispute stemmed from Pecos' demand that the RCDC pay the difference
between the city and county rates for past water deliveries.
Commissioners agreed to offer the city $4 million at 1 percent interest
for 20 years in exchange for being treated as a regular (in-town) commercial
customer on water and sewer. The city would also have to fulfill what they
had already agreed on, to install water lines from Lincoln and Eddy streets
to the elevated storage tanks at the Reeves County Detention Center. The
city would also continue with the parks and recreation agreement over the
same terms under the plan Reeves County is currently paying Pecos $3.75
per every 1,000 gallons used at the RCDC.
First Baby of 2000
Sylvia Mendoza holds her grandson and Reeves County Hospital's first
baby of the year this morning. Jo Allison and Bea Owens of the RCH Ladies
Auxiliary where also on hand to present Pecos' newest citizen with a basket
The baby _ who hasn't been named yet _ was born at 4:21 p.m. on January
1, and weighed in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 21 inches. Dr. Theresa
Whitt delivered the child. Dr. Whitt was filling in for Dr. Joseph Darpolar
who was on vacation.
Y2K bug hitting people, not computers Systems looking OK as business
PECOS, Jan. 4, 2000 - While Monday was a holiday for all Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD students, it was a working day for all staff members.
"We had a Y2K day for all the staff," said Career and Technology Coordinator
"Every staff member was asked to try out their computers, to find out
if there were any problems."
The school is one of the largest computer users in Reeves County and
among those who tested out their computers for the first time on Monday
after the New Year's holiday.
Exum said that very few problems were reported, and those that were
turned out not to be caused by the changeover to the Year 2000. "They were
just general technology problems that had nothing to do with Y2K," she
She said school district personnel spent hundreds of hours preparing
for this year and had already anticipated little problems. "I'm just glad
everything went so smoothly," she said.
Firemen prevent hot lunchtime at store
PECOS, Jan. 5, 2000 - Customers at Subway in the Town and County Convenience
Store on West Palmer Street almost had a little bit hotter lunch than they
planned Tuesday, but Pecos volunteer firemen were able to put out the back
room fire before it had a chance to reach some highly flammable items.
"We got there just in time," said fire chief Roy Pena, holding his hands
about a foot apart to show where the fire was when they arrived. "It was
about this close to where the matches and other were being stored. If it
had gotten there, we would have had problems."
The fire broke out a little after 1 p.m. and was called in by a store
employee. The building was then evacuated, as firemen went in through the
back door while smoke poured out of the roof area on the northeast side
of the building.in.
Bomber flight controversy
PECOS _ Jan. 7, 2000 _ Low level bomber flights around Pecos and over
sections of Reeves County appear a step closer to reality this week, after
a New Mexico senator said the U.S. Air Force has ruled out an alternative
route for the training flights over the mountains in the northern part
of his state.
A route over northern New Mexico had been in the running as a possible
a training ground for about 2,600 annual low-altitude flights of B-52 and
B-1 bombers from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas and Barksdale AFB in Louisiana.
But Sen. Jeff Bingaman said Wednesday that Air Force officials told
him an environmental study will recommend the planes fly over West Texas.
"This report will confirm what we have known in New Mexico all along:
the proposed route is a bad idea," said Bingaman, D-N.M.
The proposed route would send low level bomber flights in a loop around
Pecos, with low level bombing runs starting near the Reeves-Pecos County
line, and traveling along the eastern edge of the Davis Mountains, passing
over the Balmorhea and Saragosa areas to northwestern Culberson County
west of Orla. The re-entry route would run over the Pecos River from Red
Bluff Dam to Mentone, and then through the Pyote area of central Ward County
before flying south to the Pecos-Reeves line.
Churches come together
PECOS, Jan. 10, 2000 - Baptist churches throughout Pecos had a unique
experience Sunday when pastors exchanged pulpits for one day to promote
revival services each night this week at West Park Baptist, Sixth and Eddy
Ron Garcia, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, preached the morning sermon
at West Park, while West Park's interim pastor, Rey Carreon, preached at
James Henderson, House of Prayer pastor, opened the revival services
at West Park at 7 p.m. Sunday. Other Baptist pastors will take turns preaching
throughout the week, with each service beginning at 7 p.m.
Garcia will preach today. Greer Willis, First Baptist pastor, will preach
Tuesday, Bruce Dury, Christian Home director, Wednesday, Mac McCormick,
North Temple pastor, Thursday, and Carreon will close out the revival services
Gas stockpiles dangerous
PECOS, Jan. 11, 2000 - The State Fire Marshal's office is warning anyone
who stocked up on fuel in preparation for a possible Y2K emergency that
storing gasoline or other fuels in large quantities around their homes
"I know of at least one man who filled two 55-gallon drums with gasoline
and stored the containers in their garage," said Claude Fire Chief Jim
Hubbard." If we had to fight a fire at this man's house, that 110 gallons
of gasoline would certainly catch our firefighters off guard, and there's
no way to protect yourself against that."
State Fire Marshal G. Mike Davis said residents should be careful where
fuels are kept and in what containers they are stored. A barrel of gasoline
is the equivalent of 25 sticks of dynamite, and all Texans who purchased
fuel for possible emergencies are better off using the products as quickly
as possible or disposing of them.
Transit option created for Balmorhea seniors
BALMORHEA, Jan. 13, 2000 - Senior citizens in Balmorhea who require
transportation to doctor's appointments or other places will need to just
make a phone call to receive assistance.
"We'll be providing the transportation through the services we provide,"
said Pecos Senior Citizens Center Director Donna Woodard.
Woodard was recently named grant writer for senior citizen's services
by the Reeves County Commissioners Court and was asked to help elderly
residents of Balmorhea.
"Right now, they don't have transportation or a senior citizens center,"
She explained that to receive funding for a center, they have to apply
through Triple A Permian Basin Area on Aging, out of Midland-Odessa. "We
receive state funding through them," she said.
School Board sends out dress code survey
PECOS, Jan. 14, 2000 - Letters to the parents of all Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD students have gone out, as the first step in exploring the possibility
of implementing a uniform dress policy, according to assistant superintendent
Gome Olibas, who was on hand for the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board
"We should get the results of that survey by next Friday, Jan. 21,"
said Olibas, at the meeting held last evening. "After that we will bring
the results back to the board," he said.
Although statistics on school uniforms are still developing, school
districts that have adopted a uniform dress policy have reported decreases
in first year suspensions, school crime, violence and vandalism. A national
survey of almost 1,000 principals who have a uniform policy report that
they have experienced improved school image in the community, better student
behavior, increased school safety and enhanced student achievement.
The idea of implementing a school dress policy has been one that the
PBT ISD has been talking about for a while.
Church billboards spread the word
PECOS, Jan. 14, 2000 - Pecos will soon be surrounded by God's commandments,
courtesy of local Baptist churches.
Kenneth Winkles, who is coordinating the effort, said that each of five
billboards at entrances to the city will have two commandments.
The first billboard went up this week on the Winkles Truck property
on the Balmorhea Highway. On the side facing south is the first commandment:
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me." On the opposite side is the
Churches sponsoring the signs will add a message, such as "Learn to
Live, Attend Church," that graces the first sign along with the names of
four of the sponsoring churches: First Baptist, West Park Baptist, Calvary
Baptist and North Temple Baptist.
"That's all we had room for," said Winkles, noting that other churches
are cooperating in the effort.
PEDC touts college, dairy recruiting success
PECOS, Jan. 18, 2000 - College and cows were two success stories the
Pecos Economic Development Corporation's board of directors were updated
on Monday evening, during their meeting on the second floor of the Security
State Bank building.
The board heard about progress on Odessa College's new Pecos campus
and the increased local enrollment figures, and were also told construction
of a new dairy to handle 2,000 cattle should be completed in six months.
Kyle Hoodenpyle said the dairy would be located between Pecos and Toyah,
past the Texas A&M Experiment Station on Interstate 20 and would handle
2,000 Jersey cows. "Most of the cows around here are Holsteins, but Jerseys
handle the hot weather better and have a high butter fat and (milk) protein
content," he said.
Hoodenpyle brought numbers showing the expenses the dairy will require,
much of which can be spent in the local community. He also discussed the
efforts needed to attract other dairies into the Trans-Pecos area.
"We'll have 20 employees," said Hoodenpyle, and the dairy will be a
24-hour operation. "I've had a lot of people come out there looking for
He said in terms of feed, the dairy would require 317 trucks of silage,
317 of alfalfa hay and corn, 40 trucks of cottonseed, and 40 more of other
types of feed for the cows annually. Much of the grain can be bought locally,
and at a cost of $3.20 per day to feed one cow, the costs per year for
2,000 head would come in at over $3.3 million.
County gets doubledose of bad job news
BALMORHEA, Jan. 21, 2000 - Employees at the Brunswick Roadmaster warehouse
in Balmorhea are sad and depressed, after hearing the bad news that the
plant will cease its maquildora plant operations in Balmorhea and Ojinaga,
Mex., later this year.
The plants are being closed by the company in favor of lower-cost bicycle
manufacturing operations in China.
"As soon as I received the newsletter from Brunswick Corporation, I
held a meeting with all the employees and made them aware of what was going
on," said Distribution Manager for the company, Armando Mondragon.
The plant employed 27 people in the Balmorhea area, and four other workers
"We had 31 employees during the holiday, some of them were temps and
we had to let them go after the holidays, since it slowed down," said Mondragon.
The company is going to be buying bicycles in China and not produce
them in the United States and Mexico, according to Mondragon.
"They'll be shutting down two plants in Ojinaga, Mexico, which employs
about 800 people, and if Ojinaga shuts down, we will too," he said.
The plant in Illinois, also owned by the Brunswick Corporation, will
be operated until April. It will be distributing bicycles, but will not
be involved in the manufacturing operations. "They have 300 and something
people at that plant," said Mondragon.
Unemployment up after mine closing
PECOS, Jan. 21, 2000 - The final shutdown of the Freeport McMoRan sulphur
mine northwest of Pecos helped increase Reeves County's unemployment rate
by nearly two percent in December, according to figures released today
by the Texas Workforce Commission.
The county's jobless rate, which already stood at 10.5 percent in November,
jumped to 12.3 percent last month, despite a drop of 100 people in the
local labor force. The number of people without jobs in the county climbed
from 646 to 751 at the same time most other area counties were showing
jobless rates that were either lower or unchanged from November's figures.
Freeport announced in June of 1998 it would close the sulphur mine,
located in northeastern Culberson County. However, work there continued
at a decreased level through this past fall, when mining activity finally
"That was one of the reasons," for the unemployment increase, said Joe
Garcia, Workforce Development Specialist for the TWC in Pecos. "They closed
Freeport down at the end of November, and that would have a little impact
for the area."
He said those laid off would show up on last month's jobless figures.
"We probably picked them up in December," Garcia said, while adding, "Most
of the guys who have come up here are going into retraining. That's a positive
output in that they're staying in the area. Hopefully, they'll be retrained
in a different area."
The jobless numbers for Pecos were even worse. The city's unemployment
rate went from 12 to 14 percent, the highest it's been since June, when
the jobless level stood at 15.7 percent. The TWC said there were 4,808
people in Pecos' workforce, with 672 unemployed. In November, the workforce
stood at 4,876, but only 584 people were without jobs.
Comite `88 sponsor New Year's dance
PECOS, December 29, 2000 - Comite '88 will be sponsoring a New Year's Dance,
on Sunday, Dec. 31, at the Reeves County Civic Center.
Tickets will be $12 and can be purchased at Dan's, Lucky Partners and
Terrazas Drive In.
The group that will be featured if Mara Villa and tables will be on
a first come first serve basis.
West Park Baptist Church schedule dinner for Sunday
PECOS, December 29, 2000 - A covered dish supper is scheduled for 7 p.m.,
Sunday, Dec. 31, at West Park Baptist Church, 6th and Eddy Streets.
Everyone is invited to come enjoy fellowship and good food.
PECOS, December 29, 2000 - High Thursday 66. Low this morning 30. Today:
Mostly sunny and cooler. High around 40. Northeast wind 5 To 15 mph. Tonight:
Clear and cold. Low around 20. Southeast wind 5 to 10 Mph. Saturday: Mostly
sunny. High 45 to 50. South wind 10 to 15 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy.
Low in the upper 20s. Extended forecast: Sunday: Partly cloudy. High 50
to 55. New years day and Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. Lows in the teens. Highs
35 to 45. Wednesday and Thursday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the 20s. Highs
40 To 45.
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