Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
March 14, 2001
Officers getting training through local classes
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, March 14, 2001 - Local and area law enforcement officers have
been attending an interview and interrogation school sponsored by the U.S.
Attorney's Office and the Pecos Police Department this week at the Reeves
County Civic Center.
Steven Rhoades, retired Chief of Police for Calumet City, Ill., is teaching
the course that covers a variety of topics dealing with interviews and
Pecos Police Investigator Kelly Davis said Rhoades is a nationally acclaimed
instructor who travels all over the United States teaching courses to law
Pecos Police Investigator Olga Lopez said that the officers that have
been attending the school have said many good things about Rhoades and
"He's a very interesting instructor," she said. "He keeps you involved
in the lectures."
Over 30 law enforcement officers from Fort Stockton, Andrews and Crane
counties, the U.S. Border Patrol as well as area Police officers, sheriff's
deputies and Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force agents have been attending the
Among the topics covered by Rhoades during the three-day course including
the information gathering process, steps to a successful interview, human
defense mechanisms, verbal and nonverbal communication, and the interrogation
process, according to Lopez.
Police Chief Clay McKinney said that the police department wanted to
cut costs while still providing enough training for the officers.
"We were trying to find some alternatives to sending our officers out
of town," he said.
McKinney said the cost of most schools per officer is between $275 to
$500 plus meals and lodging, making it very expensive to send many officers
to those schools.
He said co-sponsoring a school held here saves more money, allows more
local officers to attend and brings money to Pecos.
"Instead of taking officers to school, we bring the school to the officers,"
Next week the police department is co-sponsoring a two-day school on
handling air smuggling attempts, along with the Reeves County Sheriff's
Department and the Midland County Sheriff's Department.
McKinney said that the class would be held in the classroom at the police
department with some field training.
"We're trying to cut down on our costs and still give the officers the
required amount of training that they need," he said.
Next week's class is open to all local and area law enforcement officers.
Chamber board discusses plans for upcoming events
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, March 14, 2001 - Pecos Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
discussed upcoming events in Pecos during the spring and summer as part
of their regular monthly meeting, held Tuesday at the Pecos Senior Center.
Reeves County Extension Agent Terry Holder told the group that the Tri-County
4-H Horse Show will be held Saturday, April 7, here in Pecos. "This made
us a little money last year and there will be people coming into town,
that will be staying overnight," said Holder.
A concession stand will be set up by some of the participants. "If they
don't have one, this might be something we might want to do," said Holder.
"All the people that come into town will be spending money here, eating
out or at the concession stand, which will certainly help us."
Board member Linda Gholson talked about the upcoming Reeves County Health
Fair scheduled for 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., April 7. "This year they are having
immunizations for the children, there seems to be a great need for the
children to get their immunizations updated," said Gholson.
Another new project that will be featured will be child car seats. "Individuals
can take their car seats to the health fair and if they are not in compliance
they will receive a new one that is," said Gholson.
Gholson said that other new exhibitors would be part of the health fair,
along with some of the same ones who've been here in past years. "They'll
have the blood tests and the PSA's for $20, along with EKG's for $7," said
All these events are good news for Pecos to promote tourism and help
the local economy, according to Chamber President Barbara Creager. "These
are great opportunities for us and I hope we see many of you at all the
events," she said.
"The county is putting up lights at the Little League Field and I think
we should commend them for their efforts," said board member Kevin Duke.
"If you see one of your commissioners, you should thank them."
Chamber members also discusses the Job and Career Fair, to be held April
25 at the Odessa College-Pecos campus. "They'll be having it at the Pecos
center and will highlight area training," said executive director Tom Rivera.
The fair is scheduled to run from 12 noon to 6 p.m. and will cover truck
driving school, diesel and auto mechanics, along with other job and career
training. "You can get more information from the chamber office," said
The chamber has faired well on their last couple of projects, according
"This year the chamber banquet actually made us a little money," said
Rivera. "In the past, after we have paid all the bills we've lost money
on the event."
This year the banquet made a profit of about $2,000.
Board member Dick Alligood said that he wanted to pass along special
thanks to the chamber staff who helped out during the recent concert sponsored
by the chamber. "The staff had their family and themselves out there working
hard for us during the recent Wayanay (Inka) concert and reception," said
Alligood said they did a fantastic job, they worked the booths and they
did an excellent job. "We did make a little money on it and I wanted to
thank the sponsors for the event," said Alligood.
Alligood suggested taking out an ad in the newspaper to thank all the
sponsors. "They were very pleased with the concert and everyone I talked
to said they really enjoyed it," he said.
Women's Division President Laura Briggs said that the group is working
on several projects, including an evening meeting in an effort to recruit
more members. "We'll also be doing a little something for Priscilla Cook
for being named Teacher of the Year, since she had to miss the banquet
due to a family emergency," said Briggs.
The evening meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on March 22.
"We're also working on the Golden Girls and the cutoff date to register
is March 30, so if you know of any junior girls that are interested in
participating in the pageant," said Briggs.
This year the group will concentrate on the Out-of-Town Belles and possibly
give them a bigger role in the pageant, according to Briggs "We'll be sending
out something to area chamber of commerce about the pageant, to try to
get more out of town girls to participate," she said.
The women are also getting Welcome Baskets together for newcomers to
Pecos and will be providing refreshments to the cancer survivors during
the Relay For Life scheduled for May 20.
Plans for the Annual Night in Old Pecos are already being worked on.
"We want everyone to give us their suggestions on how to improve it
or give us new ideas," said Creager.
"We have several DJ's that are interested in participating," said Rivera.
Rivera suggested sending out Request for Proposals. "They can tell us
what they want to do and the type of music they will be playing," said
Duke told the group that he felt there should be more games at the annual
event. "I don't really know what kind of games, but I think there should
be more," he said. "Always, we've concentrated on the food, but now I think
we need to concentrate more on having more events for the kids."
Chamber board members also agreed to have an audit following each change
"I think the chamber of commerce is a business and as such it should
be treated as one," said Jesse Stephens. "To have an audit it will help
all the directors and the members."
Rivera agreed and said it would be good idea and would give the chamber
a better idea of things they need to do.
Jeannette Alligood made the motion to hire an auditor and amend the
by-laws to include an audit whenever the chamber changes officers.
Markham says property owners can get info on cutting 2001 tax
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, March 14, 2001 - Reeves County Chief Appraiser Carol King-Markham
is offering information property owners on upcoming tax payments for 2001.
Markham said a pamphlet, entitled "Texas Property Taxes: Taxpayers'
Rights, Remedies and Responsibilities" can help them save on their property
Published by the State Comptroller's office, the pamphlet explains how
the property tax system in Texas works and tells property owners about
possible tax savings.
Markham said the pamphlet applies to property taxes collected by all
types of taxing units: counties, cities, school districts and special districts
(such as municipal utility, junior college, and hospital districts).
"Homeowners may file for various property tax exemptions offered by
taxing units on residence homesteads," said Markham. In Texas, a homestead
is generally the house and yard used as the owner's principal residence.
The pamphlet explains such exemption and how to apply for it.
For example, all homeowners who owned and lived in their homes on Jan.
1 may file for a $15,000 general exemption from their principal home's
value for school taxes. In addition, certain disabled homeowners and those
aged 65 or older may qualify for an additional $10,000 exemption from the
value of their homes.
"A tax freeze, or ceiling, for school taxes is a benefit for homeowners
once they become 65 years old," said Markham. "State law provides the homeowners
who turn 65 may apply during the year, rather than waiting until the next
"An elderly homeowner's taxes that pay for public schools cannot increase
above the total school tax amount on that home in the first year that the
homeowner receives the over-65 homeowner exemption," she said. Under the
law, if the homeowner is at least 55 years old at the time of the older
spouse's death, then he or she can keep the school tax ceiling. However,
the tax ceiling, does not apply for other taxing units, such as the county
The surviving spouse also my retain the over-65 homeowner's exemptions
offered by the local taxing units, if the surviving spouse is at least
55 years old at the time of the older spouse's death and owns and lives
in the home.
The chief appraiser pointed out that homeowners age 65 or older do not
need to reapply for the exemption this year if they received the exemption
and tax ceiling last year. Homeowners turning 65 during the year may file
for the exemption up to one year from the date they turned 65, provided
they owned the home and lived it as their principal residence. Only those
who have never had the exemption and tax ceiling _ such as the surviving
spouse age 55 or older _ must apply in 2001.
The taxpayer pamphlet also describes other exemptions available, such
as those for disabled veterans and other disabled persons.
Productivity appraisal is another type of tax relief available to agricultural
or timberland owners. It is available in two forms, referred to by its
location in the Texas Constitution: "1-d" or agricultural-use appraisal
and "1-d-1" or open-space land appraisal.
Landowners who wish their land to receive 1-d appraisal must apply each
year. The landowner must file a signed, sworn application with the chief
appraiser by April 30. However, owners of land receiving 1-d-1 appraisal
do not need to reapply, unless the chief appraiser requests in writing
that they do so.
Because the qualifications are less strict, many landowners choose to
apply for 1-d-1. However, if the land's use changes to a non-agricultural
one, the period for recaptuinr lost taxes is five years for 1-d-1. For
1-d, the recapture time is three years for change of ownership or use.
"Appraisal district staff can offer more information about special land
appraisal, tax renditions and exemptions," said Markham.
Markham said the Remedies pamphlet also contains information about protesting
to the appraisal review board (ARB). The ARB is a citizen board that hears
taxpayer protests to ensure that property values are fair and uniform.
Another section deals with how voters can petition for an election to
reduce the amount of a tax increase adopted by any taxing unit.
"I urge all property owners in the Reeves County Appraisal District
to read the pamphlet and learn about the property tax system and all possible
property tax relief," said Markham. "Remember, taxpayers must file exemption
applications with the appraisal office by April 30 and any protests by
May 31 of this year," she said.
LL sets meeting Thursday night, tryouts Saturday
PECOS, March 14, 2001 - The Pecos Little League will hold a meeting for
coaches and other officials at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Saragosa Hall on East
Sixth Street, league official Lee Serrano said today.
Meanwhile, another round of tryouts for both the Little League and Senior
League will take place on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at the Senior League
field in Maxey Park. Serrano said the Little League tryouts will be held
there because work is continuing on installing new light towers and watering
systems at Chano Prieto Field.
PECOS, March 14, 2001 - High Tuesday 76. Low this morning 52. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly clear. Low near 35. Northwest wind 10 to 20 mph. Thursday:
Partly cloudy. High around 65. Northeast wind 10 to 20 mph and gusty. Thursday
night: Mostly cloudy. Low around 35. Friday: Partly cloudy. High around
60. Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms.
Lows near 40. Highs in the 60s. Sunday: Cloudy with a slight chance of
rain. Lows 35 to 40. Highs in the 50s.
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