Colored Rock Map of Texas at I-20 in Pecos, Click for Travel Guide

Pecos Enterprise

Site Map

Pecos Country History
Archive 62
Archive 74
Archive 87
1987 Tornado Photos
Rodeo Photos 88
Archive 95
Archive 96
Archive 97
News Photos 1997
Rodeo Photos 97
Archive 98
News Photos 1998
Rodeo Photos 98
Parade Photos 98
Archive 99
Photos 99
Archive 2000
Photos 2000

Area Newspapers
Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

March 12, 2001

City hopes for April start-up on new jail

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 12, 2001 - The Town of Pecos City Council were updated on the status of the city's proposed municipal criminal justice center and discussed the possibility of applying for a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Aviation grant for Pecos Municipal Airport during a special meeting at noon on Friday at City Hall.

City Manager Carlos Yerena informed the Council on the city's standing on the proposed municipal jail on the southwest side of town.

"It was just a workshop to let them know where we stand," he said.

The city has been pursuing this project for quite sometime. Under the proposal, Corplan Corrections Corp. would construct the municipal criminal justice center to house U.S. Marshal Service inmates awaiting trial at the Lucius D. Bunton Federal Courthouse here in Pecos.

Yerena said right now the city's application for the jail is being reviewed by the Texas Attorney General's office and the city should be receiving word on whether or not the project can move forward.

"Once they give us the okay, construction should start in early April," he said.

Once construction begins the project should only take about a year to complete, according to Yerena.

The new jail facility will have 96-beds, and would house both Marshal's Service inmates and police prisoners, along with service as the new home of the Pecos Police Department.

Yerena also told the Council that the city is also applying for a Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP) grant given out by the U.S. Marshal Service.

"The grant would provide funding for construction of the facility up to 50 percent," Yerena said.

Yerena said the grant would be on a reimbursement basis.

Yerena told the Council that giving priority to the Marshal Service would help the city's chances of receiving the grant.

"If we give them priority, they'll consider us in giving the CAP grant," he said.

Yerena said that the city's chances are "looking very favorable" because the U.S. Marshal Service is supporting the project right now.

He said that things could change in the future because currently there is no one at the head of the Marshall Service, and once someone is placed as director by the new Bush Administration a lot of things could change.

"I want to take advantage of the situation now," he said.

Once the city receives the grant the money could be used for anything they need involving the facility.

"Once we obtain the funding, we can utilize the money any which way we want to," said Yerena, who suggested that the money be used on the facility itself, excluding the police department portion of the building.

"We need to move on it as quickly as possible," said Mayor Ray Ortega, and Yerena added that

the application should be complete and ready to send to the Marshal Service sometime this week

The Council went into a special meeting after the workshop to discuss the possibility of applying for a TxDOT Aviation grant that would allow the city to obtain an Automatic Weather Observation System (AWOS).

Yerena said that the system is "pilot friendly".

"It gives the pilots a better reading of the weather," he said.

The estimated cost of the system is $85,000 and the grant would cover 75 percent of that total cost, making the city's portion come out to $21,250.

Yerena said having an airport in Pecos is very beneficial to the community because it is something that might help bring businesses to the city.

Airport manager Isabelle Blanchard said that the AWOS would provide weather readings to the pilots as well as by phone and Internet.

She said that it even could be connected to the National Weather Service, which would put Pecos on the map. The nearest electronic weather service stations to Pecos right now are in Wink and Fort Stockton.

"If we're looking to try to attract businesses to be on the map, you can't go wrong," she said.

Blanchard said that there is no guarantee that the city would receive the grant, it is up to the state to decide and it would be beneficial to give word to the state that the city's funds are available as soon as possible.

"The quicker we say these funds are available the better off we are," she said.

Blanchard said that the state should decide which airports receive the grant by the end of April.

Councilman Larry Levario, who is also an employee of TxDOT, said that credit should be given to Blanchard and her husband, Dennis, for the great work they have been doing at the airport.

"Isabelle and Dennis are an asset because pilots stop there because of them," he said.

The Council approved to allow Yerena to move forward in the application of the grant with Levario abstaining from the vote.

County OKs golf driving range lights

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 12, 2001 - A proposal for lighting to be set up at the Reeves County Golf Course Driving Range and the classification of a Reeves County Transportation Coordinator position were approved at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court.

"This is something we've had on the back burner for some time," said Galindo.

Commissioners approved the lighting, which will cost about $3,250. The funds will be taken out of the interest money from the Reeves County Detention Center construction.

On a related topic, commissioners approved a proposal submitted by Julio Torres for golf shop operations.

"We had advertised for requests for proposals," said county auditor Lynn Owens. The county took over the golf shop a year and a half ago, and it has provided limited services since then.

Owens said that they had received only one proposal and that it described what the types of services he would offer and the percentage the county would receive.

"What we had in mind was to have things that golf shops carry, that are needed out at the golf course," said Galindo.

Torres said he would offer golf clubs, balls, tees, and other golf associated items and that the county would receive 33 percent of the profits.

"Since it was a request for proposals, if the county wants to negotiate with him after accepting the proposal it can do so," said Owens.

Galindo said that they would enter into contract and allow two weeks to work out the details. "I'll also take it to the county attorney," said Galindo.

Commissioners also approved the classification and hiring of a new transportation coordinator, which will be housed in the San Antonio office.

RCDC Warden Rudy Franco told the group that they had some concerns because of the slow going of the ramp-up at the detention center. "We have 1,687 inmates, with 32 marshal inmates," said Franco. The expanded facility was built to house up to 2,000 inmates.

Franco said that they had been discussing solutions to the problem. "We want to hire a transportation coordinator," he said.

The individual Franco had in mind is a retired BOP employee with 15 years experience in transportation. "She's willing to take over the position again for the RCDC," said Franco.

This would serve two purposes according to Franco. "This would ramp-up our services and maximize our transportation department," said Franco.

"This would benefit us tremendously," he said.

The position will be in the San Antonio office at an annual salary of $35,000. In conjunction with the position, commissioners approved a contract with Sandra Hansen.

Hansen was on hand for the regular meeting and told the court that she wanted to do the best job she could for the county. "I'll do the best I can as I did with BOP and I'll try to keep everybody happy," said Hansen.

Towns see tax rebate totals tumble for March

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 12, 2001 - Sales tax receipts took a tumble in West Texas for all but the biggest and smallest cities, according to figures released Friday by State Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander's office.

Sales tax rebate checks for March, based on sales made during January, were up in Midland and virtually unchanged in Odessa, the two biggest cities in the Permian Basin, while jumping sharply in Toyah and Wink, two of the smallest receiving sales tax checks. But for virtually all the cities in between, including Pecos, their checks were down from a year ago, Rylander's office said.

Pecos saw its tax rebate check fall by 18.3 percent, from $61,172 to $50,451, based on its 1½-cent share of the state's 8¼-cent sales tax. For the first quarter of 2001, the city's rebate checks have totaled $186,740, which is down 6.43 percent from the first three months of 2000.

Of the city's $50,451 total for March, $8,408.50 is dedicated towards funding for the Pecos Economic Development Corp.

Other cities reporting similar declines in their rebate checks were Andrews, Fort Stockton, Monahans, Big Spring, Presidio and Van Horn. Kermit was down only slightly from a year ago, while at the other end, Midland saw its rebate check rise by over 25 percent, while Odessa's check was down by less than one quarter of 1 percent. However, Midland's rise was almost entirely due to a 25 percent jump in the city's sales tax rate since last year.

Balmorhea's check for $318 was also down from last year's March total of $474, while Toyah, which saw sharp drops in their tax rebate checks for almost all of 2000, received its second straight sharp increase in tax rebate money. The city got back $2,048 this month, a jump of over 250 percent from the $585 check last year, and comes after a 161 percent rise in its rebate check for February.

For the first quarter of 2001, Toyah's rebate checks total $3,052, a rise of 152 percent, while Balmorhea has gotten $1,769 back from Austin so far in 2001, a 13.78 drop from a year ago.

The Reeves County Hospital District's ½-cent sales tax brought in $23,442 this month, up 2¾ percent from the $22,814 it got last March. For the first three months of 2001, the hospital's tax rebates are at $73,566, down 3½ percent from 2000's total.

Statewide rebate checks to Texas' cities and counties for March came in at just under $185.4 million a 3.05 percent rise from last year. Houston's $23.1 million check was the largest sent out from Austin and was 7.3 percent above last year's figure.

Lindley joins Precinct 2 race for Hospital District's board

PECOS, March 12, 2001 - A second candidate has filed to run for the Precinct 2 seat on the Reeves County Hospital District Board, in the May 5 area election.

Clark Lindley filed for a position on the Hospital Board this morning, joining Linda Gholson in seeking the two-year seat for Precinct 2. The seat is currently held by Maricela Lovett, who has not filed for a new two-year term as of today.

Only votes in Precincts 2 and 4 will cast ballots in this year's Hospital Board election. Holly Key is the incumbent from Precinct 4 and as of this morning, no one had filed to run in that race.

The deadline to file in the hospital district election, along with all other area city and school board elections, in March 21.

In the P-B-T school board election, Paul Deishler, who was appointed last year to replace Frank Apolinar, Jr., on the board, has filed for one of the full three-year terms along with incumbent Brent Shaw.

Three of the board's three-year terms and Deishler's unexpired term are up for election on May 5. The three-year terms are held by Shaw, Earl Bates and Louis Matta, who is president of the board.

In the Balmorhea city election incumbent Olga Lopez has filed to retain her seat, one of two up for election on May 5. In the Barstow City Council race, all three incumbents whose terms are up have filed to retain their seats.

Aldermen Olga Abila, Dora Villanueva and Lucio Florez have filed to seek new two-year terms in the upcoming local elections.

In the Town of Pecos City, two of the three incumbents and one former city official have filed. Incumbents Gerald Tellez and Larry Levario are joined by former Pecos mayor Frank Sanchez in the council race. Johnny Terrazas holds the other council seat whose two-year terms expire in May.

If there are no opposed candidates, along with no propositions and no vacancies to be filled by special election in the various city, school and hospital board races, the election may be canceled anytime after this date.

The last day a person may register to vote in the local elections is April 5. Early voting by personal appearance will be April 18 through May 1. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., on Election Day, May 5.

Saragosa site of gold scam 90 years ago

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a continuing series of features on historical locations in Pecos region
By The Ghost Writer
PECOS, March 12, 2001 - New developments are pending in the Saragosa gold find.  The Saragosa Mining Company stated that they were entering into a new field of work and that their engineer, Kohimeyer, had ordered timber for the shaft that is going well and is at the 40 foot level and only 15 or 20 more feet before encountering first stratum of gold.  The work is being done in section 321 that they recently bought from T. N. Wilson.

The mining company is not giving out definite information; however, it is well known that a rich vein, assaying at $2,400 a ton, has been found.  Stockholders have been quite contented with their buy.  It is rumored that you can buy stock in the mine at the Securities and Bonds located on Oak St.
Before you rush to buy this stock or any stock without first checking on the facts and the people involved, know that this gold strike was reported in the Pecos Recorder Times March 26, 1913.  Alton Hughes wrote of this in one of his books on Pecos.   I write of this as I had forgotten Alton’s story and this area is often the location of scams.

There have been scams perpetrated upon victims in years past and in this day.  We had a local citizen who diverted the water that Western Cotton Oil pumped into a highway ditch, into a small dammed-up area he had built and called it “South Clear Lake.” He than tried to sell lots on so-called lake property.  A more recent scam.

Another effort that failed to meet expectations came in 1968, when sulfur was in demand with the price having gone from $24 to $48.  Duval and many other companies were leasing sulfur rights as was Elcor Chemical Corp.  Elcor did not plan to mine the sulfur as was the practice using the Fratch method but was going to take it from the gypsum that is plentiful in this area.

They kept a highly secretive operation so no one could steal their idea.  They increased their common stock shares from 3 million to 6 million and were to issue 1 million shares of preferred stock.  They announced that the plant would go on line the first of 1969 and that there was enough gypsum to produce 1000 long tons of sulfur per day for 80 years.

Texas & Pacific was to build 28 miles of railroad, Pioneer Gas was to build 76 miles of pipeline, Elcor was to build 15 miles of water line and Texas Electric was to build electric lines to the site.  All of this news caused local people to buy their stock and I can’t find that any sulfur was produced.

Elcor repeatedly reported finance arrangements and they fought against proposed taxing gypsum. They continued to report trouble with their new system of refining sulfur.  They are now listed on the NYSE as “ELK (Elcor Corp.)” and they supply materials but sulfur is not on of them.  New processes are often difficult to develop and you should not buy into any new process until it is fully developed.

Abstract offices are always receiving telephone calls asking about some land that is advertised in the paper at a cheap price.  The abstracter will not say that it is a scam, but will tell them that they should come see the property before buying.  The caller usually becomes angry when you don’t agree it is a good deal.

When you see a house and some small improvement out in the middle of nowhere, they didn’t come and see the land.  Don’t be taken by cheap anything.

When I ask my “mature” advisors about sulfur, one of them started telling how it is mined, the melting point and before he could finish, he had fallen asleep. We may never know the rest of the story.

School allowing Spring Break candidate filings

PECOS, March 12, 2001 - Individuals wanting to pick up a packet to file for a place on the ballot in the May 5 elections for Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board can still do so this week, even though classes are out for Spring Break.

The school district will be on Spring Break through Friday, but the administration office will remain open. Individuals can pick up packets at the administration office, 1304 S. Park, from 9 a.m. until noon and from 1-4 p.m.


Manuel Flores and Jane Ross

Police Report

EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those agencies.
The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instanced we will indicate payment and release.
Tomas S. Herrera, 57, and Genoveva M. Wright, 32, were arrested at 10:48 p.m., on March 8 in the 100 block of Sycamore Street both for public intoxication.

Javier A. Herrera, 38, and Adela A. Herrera, 33, were arrested at 5:15 p.m., on March 8 in the 1700 block of Alamo Street both for assault under the Family Violence Act (Class B).

Hector Rey, 43, was arrested at 10:50 p.m., on March 10 in the 1300 block of East Third Street for public intoxication.

Alma Romo, 37, was arrested at 10:50 p.m., on March 10 in the 1300 block of East Third on a warrant for grand jury indictment of theft.

Santiago Ortiz, 36, was arrested at 12:07 a.m., on March 11 in the 400 block of Sycamore Street on a warrant for assault causing bodily injury against a family member.

Amador Salgado, 34, was arrested at 1:18 a.m., on March 11 in the 900 block of North Elm Street on a warrant for an ordinance (animal at large).

Jose Luis Orosco, 29, was arrested at 8:40 p.m., on March 9 in the 1600 block of West Sixth Street for assault by contact under the Family Violence Act.

Frank Revira, Jr., 52, was arrested at 10:14 p.m., on March 9 in the 500 block of East Seventh Street on a capias pro fine warrant.

Robert Jimenez, 48, was arrested at 10:14 p.m., on March 9 at Ninth and Cedar Streets for public intoxication.


PECOS, March 12, 2001 - High Sunday 73. Low this morning 45. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Low 30 to 35. West wind 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High in the mid 70s. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph: Becoming light and variable in the afternoon. Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy. Low in the mid 40s. Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers or thunderstorms. High in the mid 60s. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Lows 35 to 40. Highs 65 to 70.

Search Entire Site:

Pecos Enterprise
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

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise