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Monday, January 15, 2001

Marshals stress need for new Pecos city jail

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 15, 2001 - The Town of Pecos City Council met with officers with the U.S. Marshals Service, investor representatives and Corplan Corrections President James Parkey to discuss the Marshall's need for a municipal law enforcement center in Pecos in a special meeting Friday at City Hall.

"The main thing is to identify the fact that there is a demand in Pecos," City Manager Carlos Yerena said.

Michael Harling, investor representative from Unicapital Securities Corp., said that it is important for everyone looking at the transaction to "make sure we're hearing the same thing, so everybody understands the transaction," he said.

Deputy U.S. Marshall Gary Brown informed the council and investor reps that there is a great demand for bed space for federal inmates awaiting trial in the Southwest region of the U.S., which includes the area from San Diego to Houston.

"In the last seven years there has been phenomenal growth," he said. "It has been a challenge for us to meet the needs."

Brown said that as of this year there are an approximate total of 3,700 inmates awaiting trial with 1,300 of them in the El Paso district.

"My biggest challenge is that we have 1,300 prisoners and 600 beds," he said.

Right now the Marshal's Service is forced to house inmates awaiting trial in the El Paso division in eight or nine county jails, some as far away as Odessa.

Once those inmates are sentenced they are moved as far as Waco while awaiting placement in a federal facility.

"We need those prisoners closer to El Paso," Brown said.

Brown assured the investor reps and the council that building a facility in Pecos would be beneficial for the Service and the city because Pecos is a "court city," with its own U.S. District Courthouse where trials and sentencings take place.

He also said the Marshal's Service has more than enough prisoners to fill up the new jail.

"I have no doubt in my mind that we would fill a 150 bed facility in Pecos and continue to need county jails," he said.

"We're anxious to see this facility started, we're anxious to see it completed," he said.

Yerena summarized Brown's points, concluding by saying the Pecos facility would continue to be needed in the future, with an expected growth of Marshal's Service inmates awaiting trial to be 15 percent every year for the next five years.

Yerena asked Brown what he expects the per diem rate per inmate would be once the facility in Pecos was opened.

Brown said that he could not predict the per diem rate because it is based on expenses and changes easily.

"At present, most per diem rates are $40 per day per prisoner," he said.

Brown said that figure was a guess but did report that the rate is different for each facility with some getting as high as $57 per day and some as low as $35 per day.

"The per diem rate can be re-negotiated once every 12 months," he said.

Brown said that he has seen the location of the facility and is very pleased with it considering it is in a "court city" and its proximity to the Reeves County Hospital and Interstate 20.

"I'm very pleased with it," he said. "We have absolutely no complaints about the site."

Investor representative from the GMS Financial Group Paul Steets asked if there would be any problems in staffing the facility once it's built along with training.

"I don't see any problem in staffing this facility," Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney said.

He added that many people are excited about the facility and the city has already received applications even before the groundbreaking.

Mayor Pro Tem Danny Rodriguez informed Steets that Pecos has had a Law Enforcement Center for many years and now has the Pecos branch of Odessa College enabling the new employees to be trained easily.

Steets said that he did not see a problem with building the facility in Pecos and is happy to see the support of the Council.

"I appreciate the enthusiasm," he said. "I'm real optimistic."

Board weighs split payment of school tax

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 15, 2001 - Taxes and the use of the Pecos High School football field for a worthy cause were discussed during the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board's regular monthly meeting, held Thursday in the boardroom.

Superintendent Don Love told the board that they were considering going to a split payment system for property taxes in the future and discussed how state payments to the school district affect this decision.

Love said that two thirds of the funds for the school come from the state while the other one-third comes from taxes. When money is received from the state 22 percent comes in September; 18 percent comes in October and 9.5 percent comes in November.

"The district does not receive state money in December, January, February or March," said Love.

In April payments resume with the state sending 7.5 percent of the total then; 5 percent in May; 10 percent in June; 13 percent in July and 15 percent in August, according to Love.

Tax-assessor collector Lydia Prieto said that property taxes are due by Nov. 30 and then June 30. "The second payment won't have any penalties and interest just taxes, if taxpayers choose to pay their taxes in two payments," she said.

Love said they would have to take advantage of the district's cash balance to make it work. "We've built up our fund balance up to help exercise the cash flow," he said.

Love went into detail about how the split payment taxes work and stated that the school would have had the money this year, if they were on the split payment system. "With the natural gas and electricity so uncertain, we could go as low as $1.2 million (in cash balance), but I think we're in pretty good shape, I don't think we'll go that low," he said.

As for local taxes, board member Brent Shaw asked if there was a payment plan.

"I'm just trying to help people out, which is why I wanted to see this on the agenda," said board member Paul Deishler.

Deishler said he had been approached by several people who told him they just couldn't pay their taxes. "They want to, but some are due right around Christmas time and they just don't have the money," he said.

"The computer will post partial payments," said Prieto. "Times are hard, so we'll accept anything," she said.

"I just feel sorry for some of these people who think they have to come up with the whole amount," said Deishler. "So instead, of paying the whole amount they just don't pay them and then get into trouble."

Prieto assured the board that taxpayers could come to her office and do partial payments.

"They can just come in and talk to us and just give payments," she said.

"But at the bottom of the tax notice it says that you need to pay it in full," said Shaw.

"Well that's not true, because we'll take anything, any payment they want to make," said Prieto. "We'll make arrangements with them to pay the back taxes, if they owe them and then the current ones," she said.

Individuals over 65 are also allowed to pay their taxes in four payments without being penalized, according to Prieto.

Before the board can approve the split payment system it has to be approved by the Reeves County Hospital District and Town of Pecos City, since the school tax-assessor collector collects taxes for them as well, according to Love.

"We'll postpone approving this until the next meeting," he said.

Board members also approved a request by the American Cancer Society Relay for Life for use of the Pecos High School football stadium and waive fees.

The group requested the field for Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19, for its annual Relay for Life. Relay for Life is a community-based event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for the American Cancer Society.

The relay teams will begin setting up camps at 12 p.m. on May 18, with opening ceremonies beginning at 6 p.m. and closing ceremonies ending the relay on Saturday, at 10 a.m.

Board members approved an offer to purchase foreclosed property located at 409 E. Fifth St. Edubigen Ocon made the property offer in the amount of $1,500. All other entities must approve the offer before it is final.

Winners selected at annual Reeves County stock show

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 15, 2001 - The Reeves County Civic Center was overrun with animals this weekend, during the annual Reeves-Loving County Junior Livestock Show and Sale.

The three-day event began with the livestock weigh in on Thursday, while the goat show started off the judging late Friday afternoon.

Heath Armstrong won Grand Champion honors with his 107-pound heavy weight goat. Armstrong also won the Junior Showmanship award while Amanda Armstrong won Senior Showmanship.

Her 88-pound medium goat won Reserve Grand Champion as well as first place in that category, while in the lightweight competition Arturo Rodriguez with the Balmorhea FFA won first place with his 68-pound goat.

Adrienne Bagley and Usbaldo Baeza, both from Balmorhea, won second and third, Bagley with her 65-pound goat and Baeza with his 67-pound goat.

Amanda Armstrong also placed first in the light medium weight category with her 70-pound goat.

Derek Teague won both second and third places in that category with his 78-pound and 75-pound goats.

In the medium weight class, Pecos' Clifton Brantley's 89-pound goat won second and Savanna Machuca of Balmorhea placed third with her 80-pound goat, behind Armstrong's Reserve Grand Champion.

Heath Armstrong also placed first in the light heavy weight class with his 96-pound goat.

Jose Rodriguez of Balmorhea placed second with his 97-pound goat while Amber Cook also of Balmorhea placed third with her 95-pound goat.

While Heath Armstrong placed first in the heavy weight category, Pecos' Chris Armstrong placed second with his 115-pound goat and Brantley placed third with his 103-pound goat.

Grand Champion Steer honors went to the 1,555-pound black steer belonging to John Clark of Pecos.

Courtney Clark also of Pecos won Reserve Grand Champion with her slightly lighter 1,450-pound black steer. She also won Senior Showmanship honors.

Jennifer Ward of Balmorhea won third place with her 1,555-pound red and white steer.

Breed Champion for the finewool lambs went to Pecos' Lyndall Elkins with her 111-pound lamb while Katie Lee of the Reeves County 4-H won Reserve Breed Champion with her 112-pound lamb.

Michael Lee also of the Reeves County 4-H won third place with his 107-pound lamb.

In the Cross-category, Breed Champion honors went to the 103-pound lightweight lamb belonging to Bagley.

Elkins won Reserve Breed Champion with her 105-pound lightweight lamb.

In the lightweight class third place went to the 98-pound lamb belonging to Pecos' David Elkins.

Bagley also placed first in the heavy weight cross category with her 110-pound lamb while Katie Lee placed second with her 112-pound lamb.

Reeves County 4-Her Drake Bradley placed third in that class with his 122-pound lamb.

Breed Champion honors for the medium wool category went to Lyndall Elkins' heavy weight 130-pound lamb while Bradley won Reserve Breed Champion for his 115-pound medium weight lamb.

Bagley again placed first in both the lightweight and light medium medium wool category with her 98-pound and 110-pound lambs.

In the lightweight class, Jamie Gallego's 85-pound lamb placed second and Candice Regelman's 80-pound lamb was third. Both Gallego and Regelman are from Balmorhea FFA.

In the light medium class, Lyndall Elkins placed second with her 112-pound lamb while Ward placed third with her 103-pound lamb.

Bradley's 115-pound lamb placed first in the medium weight medium wool class while Pecos' Mateo Tarango won second with his 119-pound lamb and Adam Roman of the Balmorhea FFA placed third with his 119-pound lamb.

David Bradley placed second in the heavy weight class with his 132-pound lamb while Drake Bradley placed third with his 125-pound lamb.

In addition to her numerous Breed Champion and Reserve Breed Champion honors Lyndall Elkins won the Grand Champion Lamb award with her medium wool lamb. She also won the Senior Showmanship award.

Bagley's cross lamb won Reserve Grand Champion Lamb.

Drake Bradley won the Junior Showmanship award in the lamb show.

The hog show started off the last day of the show at 8:30 a.m., on Saturday and lasted over four hours, with more than 90 entries in the four categories.

Breed Champion in the Duroc category went to Justin Lara from the Reeves County 4-H while Pecos' Mateo Tarango won Reserve Breed Champion.

Mateo Tarango placed first with his 187-pound lightweight Duroc hog.

Jack Stickels of the Pecos FFA won second and third in the same category with his 176-pound and 192-pound hogs.

Brandi Bradley of the Reeves County 4-H won first placed with her 203-pound medium weight Duroc hog while Derek Teague from the Pecos FFA won second with his 209-pound hog.

Pecos' Josh Elliott won third place with his 202-pound hog.

In the Hampshire hog category, Breed Champion honors went to Balmorhea's Chance Cook while Kaci Harrison of the Pecos FFA won Reserve Breed Champion.

Stickels placed first in the lightweight Hampshire hog category with his 176-pound hog.

Francisco Ornelas of the Pecos FFA placed second with his 187-lbs hog while Brantley placed third with his 184-pound hog.

Chance Cook placed first in the medium weight class with his 189-pound hog while Tarango placed second with his 189-pound hog and Drake Bradley placed third with his 188-pound hog.

In the heavy weight class, Harrison placed first with her 216-pound hog.

Alex Morales of the Pecos FFA placed second with his 200-pound hog and Chris Armstrong placed third with his 207-pound hog.

Brandi Bradley received Breed Champion honors in the OPB hog category while Stickels won Reserve Breed Champion.

In the light weight OPB class, Stickels placed first with his 191-pound hog, Andrew Lopez of Reeves County 4-H placed second with his 186-pound hog and Dustin Guliher of Reeves County 4-H placed third with his 180-pound hog.

Elliott placed first in the medium weight class with is 192-pound hog.

Samuel Urias of Reeves County 4-H and Kattie Davis of Pecos FFA placed second and third with their 197-pound and 196-pound hogs.

Brandi Bradley placed first in the heavy weight class with her 210-pound hog while Liberty Wofford of Balmorhea FFA placed second with his 216-pound hog and Kalyn Lara of the Reeves County 4-H placed third with her 204-pound hog.

Breed Champion for cross hog category honors went to Tarango while Stickels won Reserve Breed Champion.

In the light weight class, Susan Bradley of Reeves County 4-H placed first with her 180-pound cross hog, Jamye Galindo of Reeves County 4-H placed second with her 179-pound hog and Levi Cobos of the Pecos FFA placed third with his 178-pound hog.

Morales placed first in the medium weight class with his 200-pound hog while Natalia Ornelas of the Pecos FFA placed second with her 191-pound hog and Amanda Armstrong placed third with her 200-pound hog.

Stickels placed first in the heavy weight class with his 209-pound hog, Wofford placed second with his 211-pound hog and Fred Caballero of the Pecos FFA placed third with his 209-lbs hog.

Tarango placed first again in the heavy heavy weight class with his 217-pound hog while Jennie Canon of the Pecos FFA placed second with her 223-pound hog and Dillion Garcia of Reeves County 4-H placed third with his 218-pound hog.

Grand Champion Hog honors went to Tarango's cross hog while Justin Lara's Duroc hog received Reserve Grand Champion.

Josh Elliott won the Junior Showmanship award while Stickels won the Senior Showmanship award.

The livestock show preceded Saturday night's annual Reeves County Junior Livestock Show auction at the Civic Center. Auction results will be in Tuesday's Enterprise.

First graders mark birthday of King early

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 15, 2001 - Two classes at Austin Elementary School paid tribute last week to one of America's heroes whose birthday is being honored across the nation today.

Patricia Matthews and Diana Rodriguez' first grade classes at the elementary school celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday on Thursday of last week, due to the fact that students didn't attend school on Friday as a scheduled bad weather day, and today, in honor of King's birthday.

The students marked what would have been King's 72nd birthday with a story of his life, read by the children and TAAS questions about his life in the form of a contest between the girls and boys. The students received treats in their treat bags for answering questions correctly.

"African-Americans have done many things to make life better for everyone in the United States," said Matthews. "They have shared their faith, knowledge, vision, and humor. They have made history in civil rights, science, business, the arts and more."

African-Americans have accomplished great things despite facing prejudice. Instead of giving up, they worked hard for their goals. By reaching them, they have made life healthier, easier and more interesting for all, according to Matthews.

"One of our great heroes is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who gave his life that all men can have the same freedom regardless of race, creed, color or national origin," said Matthews.

"We owe him the courtesy of at least honoring his efforts on a national holiday that has been set aside in honor," said Matthews. "We all can celebrate this holiday together remembering what he and so many other races of people did so people can enjoy the same freedom in the United States."

The classes enjoyed learning more about Dr. King and the celebration was complete with a cake with a photo of the civil rights leader who was slain outside a Memphis, Tenn. motel in April of 1968.

Water shutdown for Barstow set during Tuesday

PECOS, January 15, 2001 - Residents of Barstow are being asked for their patience, between 10 a.m. and noon on Tuesday, when local utility officials will turn off water to homes in the city.

While the water will be turned off during this time so work can be done on the system, it will be back on after lunch.

Wrestling show to help boosters Saturday at gym

PECOS, January 15, 2001 - A wrestling show will be staged on Saturdayat the Pecos High School gym to benefit the Pecos Eagle Athletic Booster Club.

South Central Wrestling will put on the show, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the new PHS gym. Tickets are $5 apiece and seats will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Five matches are scheduled on the night, with the feature attraction pitting "The Warlock", 6-foot-7 and 345 pounds from Midland, against "Mr. Big Time" of New York City. Before that, a tag-team match featuring Junk Yard Dog, Jr. of Charlotte, N.C. and Chief Running Deer of Great Falls, Mo., will be pitted against "The Texas Cowboy" and "Justin Tough," both out of Lubbock.

Tickets will be available at the gate, while advance tickets are available at Terrazas Drive Inn, Dan's Music and Video and from Pecos High School coaches at the PHS Field House.


James Canon, Helen Mellard, and Hal Price


PECOS, January 15, 2001 - High Sunday 64. Low this morning 30. Forecast for tonight: Becoming mostly cloudy. A 30 percent chance of rain. Low in the mid 30s. Southeast wind 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday: Mostly cloudy and cooler with a 20 percent chance of rain. High around 50. Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy. Low in the mid 20s. Wednesday: Cloudy with a chance of rain. Rain may be mixed with snow. Highs 40 to 45. Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow. Lows in the 20s. Highs 35 to 45.

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