Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
March 9, 2001
Jail given passing grades after inspection by TCJS
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, March 9, 2001 - Reeves County Jail and its staff finally received
some good news Thursday, following an inspection by the Texas Commission
on Jail Standards.
The jail passed inspection with flying colors, a year after a controversy
over uncorrected deficiencies almost resulted into closing of the facility.
"We finally passed on the first inspection, something that hasn't happened
in many years," said Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez. "We were very excited
and happy about the outcome."
Texas Commission on Jail Standards Inspector Shannon J. Herklotz was
very impressed with everything that had been accomplished at the jail,
according to Gomez.
"Our staff put a lot of work into it and some of the jail staff did
a lot of work on their own time," said Gomez.
Gomez added that everyone was happy with the outcome. "The morale of
the staff is up and everybody is happy with their jobs and the jail itself,"
Some of the items that were improved upon included the doors, toilets,
showers, ceiling, windows, lighting and plumbing in the kitchen.
"This is also thanks to the commissioners court that approved the funding
for the improvements," said Gomez.
"The new doors can be operated from outside of the single occupancy
cells," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.
There are still a few minor details that the sheriff would like to see
improved, but other than that everything is complete.
Last year after the jail failed TCJS inspection and repairs were not
made following a second visit, the commission threatened to shut down the
jail unless emergency corrective measures were made.
"It was unfortunate that it got to the point that it did, but Reeves
County personnel showed a lot of character in getting the personnel together
to note and fix all the deficiencies through teamwork and dedication to
bring the jail up to standard," said Galindo. "Everybody did their part."
"We have been able to go through a bad situation to the best condition
this jail has ever been in," said Galindo.
"One of the things that the jail commission does not look at is employee's
salaries," said Galindo. "However, one of the things that the commissioners
court is most proud of is being able to raise the salaries of Reeves County
Jail personnel and deputies."
The salaries are in line with those at the Reeves County Detention Center
and everybody seems really pleased with the improvements and the atmosphere
at the facility, according to Gomez.
The facility will undergo another inspection next year. "This inspection
is held every year, but now we feel confident," said Gomez.
Postal Service cuts may halt plan for new Pecos building
From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, March 9, 2001 - The United States Post Office in Pecos, located
at Fourth and Oak Streets for the past 65 years, may be staying in its
current location for quite a while longer following an announcement Thursday
by the U.S. Postal Service.
Moving to block massive losses as costs rise and business slips, the
Postal Service is freezing hundreds of new construction and leasing projects
across the country.
And the agency's governing board issued a warning Thursday that unless
there are changes in the laws that regulate how the post office operates,
universal service to every home, every day, could be in danger.
Postal officials didn't provide a dollar estimate for the savings they
expect in the cutbacks, but they said more than 800 planned projects in
all states will be affected.
The move comes just two months after the price of first class mail went
up a penny to 34 cents.
Many other rates rose also, but several price increases in other types
of mail that had been sought by the agency were rejected or trimmed by
the independent Postal Rate Commission.
The Postal Service has replaced hundreds of buildings around Texas and
the United States over the past decade with new facilities that provide
more parking spaces and are compliant with the Americans With Disabilities
Act. In January 1999, the Postal Service announced it planned to replace
the Pecos facility with a similar new building, which was to be located
in the 800 block of South Cedar Street.
A lack of parking at the current three-story Post Office was cited as
a reason for the move. The Postal Service has occupied the first floor
of the building since 1935, while the upper floors have been unoccupied
since 1995, when federal offices moved to the new Lucius D. Bunton II Federal
Local Postmaster Herman Armendariz said that the new post office project
has been put on hold for quite sometime but he has not been contacted on
"They haven't notified us yet," he said.
With rising costs, postal officials now say they face a $2 billion to
$3 billion loss this fiscal year. After five years in the black, the post
office had a $199 million loss last fiscal year.
Postal managers are preparing to apply this summer for another rate
increase, to take effect next year.
Among the problems cited by the Postal Service are wage rate increases
larger than the rate of inflation, rising fuel costs, changes in the type
of mail being processed, increased competition and forecasts calling for
the diversion of some first-class mail to electronic alternatives.
The construction and leasing freeze affects facilities that the agency
has made commitments to but where construction has not yet begun.
"All new construction, new leasing and expansion planned for 2001 is
frozen," postal spokeswoman Judy de Torok said.
The projects already under way won't be halted, she added, and a few
planned projects will continue if needed for health and safety reasons.
Meanwhile, the universal service that Americans take for granted could
be in jeopardy unless laws regulating operations are changed, said the
postal governing board.
"Regrettably, our call for an additional rate increase, following so
soon after the last one, reflects the fact that the 30-year-old statutory
model that governs the Postal Service is in need of change to protect universal
service at affordable rates," board chairman Robert F. Rider said.
Armendariz said that he has not been notified on any possible changes
on delivery days.
"The only rumor going around is the Saturday delivery being cut off,"
For the past several years postal leaders have sought changes in the
law to give them more flexibility in changing rates and services to cope
with rising costs and changes in competition. Under current rules it takes
nearly a year to change rates.
Long negotiations and hearings produced a bill they felt would solve
many of their problems last year, but the measure never came up for a vote
and died with the end of the last Congress.
The postal governors this week asked the Rate Commission to reconsider
the changes it made in their request. They also sent a letter to President
Bush seeking his assistance in getting legislation to provide them more
Universal service to every address at uniform rates has been a requirement
since the nation's founding. For years Congress subsidized the service,
but when the current system was created in the 1970s the subsidies were
phased out. The post office no longer receives taxpayer money for its operations.
Madera Valley's new water lines undergo flushing
PECOS, March 9, 2001 - Madera Valley Water is flushing out their new lines
in the Green Acres section southwest of Pecos and is warning their customers
that there is not a leak in the system.
"This is something we have to do, we fill the line with chlorinated
water, flush it and get samples to sent back to the state," said Wes Jones.
Jones said the crew has been doing the flushing since yesterday and
will continue to do so until Monday.
The affected area is in Green Acres only and residents should be aware
that it is not a leak.
Manuel Flores and Charles Towler
PECOS, March 9, 2001 - High Thursday 62. Low this morning 47. Forecast
for onight: Mostly cloudy. Low around 40. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Saturday:
Partly cloudy. High 75 to 80. Southwest wind 10 to 20 mph and gusty. Saturday
night: Partly cloudy. Low 40 to 45. Sunday and Monday: Partly cloudy. Lows
40 to 45. Highs around 65.
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