Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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for Pecos Country of West Texas
April 10, 2001
Commissioners OK closing road at RCDC
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 10, 2001 - A proposal for closing three tenths of a mile
of Reeves County Road 203 between Greenwood Cemetery and Locker Road was
approved by the Reeves County Commissioners Court during their regular
meeting on Monday, as a way to improve security at the Reeves County Detention
Reeves County Detention Center Warden Rudy Franco was on hand during
the regular meeting to talk to the commissioners about the proposal and
explain the reasons behind requesting the road be closed to the public.
Franco said that the prison submitted the proposal to close a section
of Reeves County Road 203, better known as cemetery road, because it runs
right next to the perimeter or RCDC II, the new addition to the prison.
"There's a lot of traffic during the day and evening and our perimeter
guard travels at a slow rate of speed," said Franco.
The group was requesting that the section of road parallel to the west
side of the Detention Center, from the south entry off County Road 204
(Locker Road) to the north of the RCDC property, terminating at the corner
of the institution perimeter road, be closed. "This section only encompasses
approximately three tenths of a mile," said Franco.
During normal operating hours, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., the section of the
road from the corner of County Road 204, to the rear gate entrance will
be open to traffic that needs to conduct business with RCDC, such as delivery,
law enforcement and BOP vehicles.
After normal duty hours, all traffic needing access will have to be
cleared by the Operations Lieutenant and escorted by the perimeter patrol,
according to Franco.
The road will be physically closed by erecting a gate barrier that can
be opened only by the perimeter patrol, Franco said. The section of County
Road 203 north of the RCDC that provides access to Greenwood and Mt. Evergreen
cemeteries would remain open to the public, and would be accessible from
the Interstate 20 service road.
"This proposal shows that security issues are important to RCDC," said
Franco told the group that with the perimeter guard traveling at such
a slow rate of speed it could provide a hazardous.
"As for the security issue, it could be very easy for a civilian to
pass by and throw a tennis ball filled with narcotics or something else
into the recreation yard, which is just adjacent to the county road," said
"There's a lot of traffic on that road and how is the sheriff's department
going to patrol?" asked Precinct 4 Commissioner Hivi Rayos.
Franco told the group that the sheriff's department could still go through.
"I believe that the prison should be isolated, it's too close, but I
don't know if it would be permissible to close those roads," said Precinct
1 Commissioner Felipe Arredondo.
"There are certain steps that need to be taken, this is just the initial
stage, the proposal and the reasons why it is being made," said Reeves
County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "I think all the warden asks is that traffic
be reduced," said Galindo.
County Auditor Lynn Owens said that he had read a lot on the issue and
that some of the opinions on the subject were contradictory.
"Some of these opinions contradict each other," said Owens. "I think
we need our county attorney to look at it."
Owens said one of the Attorney Generals' opinions had stated that, "no
road shall be closed until another road is built."
"The case law is very confusing," said Owens.
"In terms of the security aspect, in the past there used to be a farm
there, now it's a recreational area for the prison, so circumstances have
changed," said Galindo.
"The perimeter vehicle always travels real slow and you have vehicles
going by there fast," said Franco.
"I think the next step is moving forward to erect barriers for the prison
facility on county road 203 and figure out exactly what it takes for a
future commissioners court meeting," said Galindo.
"We'll be looking at securing that area and to proceed to follow all
the rules for the prison facility concerning the county road," said Galindo.
Commissioners ended up voting to close the road by a 3-1 margin. Rayos
voted against the measure, while Arredondo, Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman
Tarin and Galindo voted in favor. Precinct 2 Commissioner David Castillo
was absent for the meeting.
In other action, County Commissioners will be observing County Government
Week on April 22-28 and approved a resolution in favor of the celebration.
"We want to invite the public during that week to the courthouse," said
He told the group that there would also be a special day set aside during
the week. "On April 25, we'll be having lunch and at 10 a.m., have a group
of students from Pecos and one from Balmorhea doing a `mock commissioners
court,'" said Tarin.
"I have asked some of the instructors to choose a topic and discuss
it during their mock meeting," said Tarin. "I think this is a great opportunity
for the students to learn more about government," he said.
Tarin said the group wanted to invite all the community to come and
eat with them. "We'll be having hamburgers with all the trimmings, compliments
of the commissioners," said Tarin.
A couple of videos will be presented in the courthouse lobby, along
with free brochures and bumper stickers, according to Tarin.
"Hopefully all the commissioners will be available to visit with the
public and answer their questions," said Tarin.
OSHA probing fatal tank blast west of Pyote
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, April 10, 2001 - Officials with the Occupational Safety Health
Investigations will be conducting an investigation into Friday's gas storage
tank explosion Northwest of Pyote that killed two Midland men.
Ward County Sheriff Mikel Strickland nothing new has been discovered
since the explosion occurred Friday afternoon, as the two men were using
welding tools on the newly installed storage tank.
According to a press release from Ward County Sheriff's Department the
explosion occurred at about 3:15 p.m., on Friday approximately 10 miles
northwest of Pyote off Highway 2355. When deputies arrived at the scene
they found the two men, identified as Norman Perea Pallanes, 32, and Gilberto
Urias, 27, both of Midland, had been killed.
"The investigation revealed that these two persons had been up on top
of a storage tank using a cutting torch, the tank exploded knocking the
two persons from atop the tank," the press release said.
Ward County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Pasqual Olibas ordered autopsies
to be performed on both men and their bodies were sent to Lubbock for the
Strickland said that there was a witness to the explosion.
According to the Odessa American, the tank the men were working on was
a part of a tank battery at a new well site.
The explosion occurred at a time when wind gusts in the area surpassed
60 mph. The two men reportedly told others that they had planned to quit
welding on the tank due to the high winds, but then opted to continue through
the afternoon. A spark from one of the welding torches is believed to have
set off gas inside the tank, but the exact cause of the explosion has yet
to be determined by the OSHA investigators.
Transfer forms needed by P-B-T prior to May 1
PECOS, April 10, 2001 - Any non-resident student wishing to transfer into
the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District for the 2001-2002 school
year must file an application for transfer with the Superintendent of Schools
prior to May 1.
Students who are now transfers must also file an application for next
year if they wish to attend school at Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD. The superintendent's
office is located at 1302 S. Park Street.
The board reserves the right to accept or reject any transfer and, upon
notice from the Texas Education Agency, shall not accept transfers in violation
of Court Order 5281.
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.
Jesus M. Hernandez, 62, was arrested at 6:41 p.m., on April 5 in the 400
block of Locust Street for public intoxication-enhanced Class B.
Hector R. Castillo, 58, was arrested at 7:04 p.m., on April 5 in the
400 block of Mesquite Street for public intoxication.
Jeffrey K. Knisley, 34, was arrested at 10:25 p.m., on April 5 at the
Greyhound Bus Station for public intoxication.
Mandy Hernandez, 23, was arrested at 1:29 a.m., on April 6 in the 2200
block of Eddy Street for furnishing alcohol to minors.
Adam Ray Arredondo, 28, was arrested at 8:37 a.m., on April 5 at Motel
6 on a Capias Pro Fine warrant.
Enrique Natividad Lujan, 45, was arrested at 2:10 p.m., on April 8 in
the 1500 block of Cowan Street for assault under the Family Violence Act.
Adolfo Tarango Mendoza, 42, was arrested at 5:51 p.m., on April 8 on
Interstate 20 on a warrant for credit card abuse.
Raymond Bernard, 48, was arrested at 7:17 p.m., on April 7 at the Oasis
Lounge for disorderly conduct, public intoxication and resisting arrest.
Gloria Menchaca, 23, and Tiffany Salcido, 19, were arrested at 9:40
p.m., on April 7 in the 200 block of Ash Street. Menchaca was arrested
for furnishing alcohol to minors and on a warrant for consuming an alcoholic
beverage on unlicensed premises and failure to adjudicate and Salcido was
arrested for minor in possession.
Jesus Valles, 21, and Ivan Max Garza, 20, was arrested at 10:37 p.m.,
on April 7 in the 400 block of Locust Street. Valles was arrested for furnishing
alcohol to a minor and Garza was arrested for minor in possession-2nd
Joseph Rodriguez, 17, was arrested at 10:54 p.m., on April 7 at 11th
and Oleander Streets on a warrants for minor in possession and failure
Araseli Archuleta, 29, was arrested at 2:01 a.m., on April 8 in the
300 block of Cypress Street for disorderly conduct-fighting.
Ysa Munoz, 27, Oscar Hernandez, 46, and Martin Miranda, 27, were arrested
at 1:52 a.m., on April 8 in the 200 block of Peach Street. Munoz was arrested
for driving while intoxicated and no driver's license, Hernandez was arrested
for public intoxication-Class B Misdemeanor and Miranda was arrested for
Ricardo Garcia, 18, Leonel Ramirez, 23, and Abel Velasquez, 22, were
arrested at 3:46 a.m., on April 8 at Fourth and Palm streets. Garcia was
arrested for minor in possession, Ramirez and Velasquez were arrested for
disorderly conduct-loud music and furnishing alcohol to minors.
A male juvenile was arrested at 7:36 p.m., on April 6 at the Allsup's,
708 S. Eddy St., for unlawfully carrying a weapon, criminal mischief over
$50 and aggravated assault using a vehicle.
Julio Franco, 17, Christopher Armstrong, 17, and Federico Caballero,
18, were arrested at 2:05 a.m., on April 7 in the 1500 block of Hackberry
Street all for minor in possession.
PECOS, April 10, 2001 - High Monday 92. Low this morning 59. Forecast for
tonight: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Low in the mid 40s. Southwest wind 15 to 25 mph and gusty: Becoming west
5 to 15 mph after midnight. Caution is advised on area lakes. Chance of
precipitation 20 percent. Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High around 80. West
to southwest wind 10 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Mostly clear. Low in the
mid 40s. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Lows from the mid 40s to lower 50s. Highs
in the 80s.
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