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April 10, 2001

Commissioners OK closing road at RCDC

Staff Writer

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 Center.

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.

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 Franco.

"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 Tarin.

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

Staff Writer

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 autopsy.

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.

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.
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 offense.

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 to adjudicate.

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 public intoxication.

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.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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