Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
March 12, 2001
City hopes for April start-up on new jail
By LEIA HOLLAND
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,"
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,"
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,"
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
By ROSIE FLORES
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
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
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
"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
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
By JON FULBRIGHT
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
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 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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