Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, August 24, 2001
City seeks grant for Washington St. homes
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- The Town of Pecos City Council authorized
City Manager Carlos Yerena to submit a grant application that would help
the city build housing infrastructure for a new housing development during
the regular meeting last night at City Hall.
Yerena explained to the council that the grant would allow the city
to connect new homes that they are proposing to build in the 700 and 800
block of Washington Street to the city water and sewer system as well as
construct sidewalks, streets and curbs for the homes.
The council authorized the application for a State of Texas home improvement
partnership program grant that would be used to help in purchasing affordable
housing in Pecos during a special meeting in June.
During that meeting, Yerena informed the council that the $300,000 grant
would be for affordable housing through the Texas Department of Housing
and Community Affairs (TDHCA) and could be used toward either new or existing
housing in Pecos.
The Pecos Emergency Medical Service has raised questions about whether
or not the land, located behind Gibson's, had been given to the service
for use of building a new ambulance hall. Pecos EMS currently shares its
facility on Cedar Street with the Pecos Volunteer Fire Department.
Yerena repeatedly said that the land is deeded to the city and the council
has approved constructing houses on the two blocks.
Yerena said that the proposed 960-bed addition to the Reeves County
Detention Center unit and the arrival of personnel to man the new U.S.
Air Force bomber training manned scoring site would hopefully bring more
families to Pecos.
"We want to attract more housing into the area," he said.
Yerena said that the city is in more need of new housing in a centrally-located
area, and that while construction would leaved the EMS without a site for
their hall, the city is willing to work with the EMS personnel to give
them some different land for the hall or adding onto the current ambulance
"We're working with them to accommodate them," he said.
In other action during Thursday night's meeting, the council also approved
city tax assessor-collection Lydia Prieto's calculations for the city's
2001 effective tax rate.
Prieto presented the council with an effective tax rate calculation
of .7136, which would allow the city to collect the same amount of tax
money as last year.
Prieto also informed the council that if they wished they could raise
the taxes to .7350 without publishing a notice for a public hearing.
The council approved Prieto's calculations for the effective tax rate
as well as the debt tax rate of .26775, but agreed that they would not
raise the taxes.
Mayor Ray Ortega said that the council will not increase the taxes and
would stay at the current rate of .6967, which is below the 2001 effective
"There will be no tax increase," he said.
The council will set the tax rate at the September 13 meeting.
Council members also approved the revised employee's recognition policy
that now states that any employees that are leaving or retiring and have
been with the city for more than five years would be recognized and given
an award at the time of their departure.
Pecos will now have a city vehicle policy after the council approved
The policy states that all city employees that are issued city vehicle
would not be able to take them home unless they are department heads, employees
on-call or emergency personnel.
The council approved the bid to purchase the building housing the Northside
Cafe and the mobile home behind it, which was submitted by Hugh Box.
The council was hesitant to approve Box's request of $6,250 because
Sally Gomez, manager of the Northside Cafe, still lives in the mobile home
and the cafe is still open. The two sites were being sold to pay for delinquent
back property taxes. The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board already has approved
a similar bid by Box.
City Attorney Scott Johnson said that Gomez had recently been sick therefore
she was unable to open the café and fell behind on her tax payments.
After talking with Gomez, Johnson said that she and Box had worked out
an agreement where Gomez would still be able to live in the home and run
The council also approved the request of purchase for foreclosed property
at 313 South Oak Street by Aida Hernandez for $1,350.
Drugs, cash seized in I-10 interdictions
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- Trans Pecos Drug Task Force members,
working with the Culberson County Sheriff's Department, the U.S. Border
Patrol and other area law enforcement agencies, arrested three people and
seized over 5½ pounds of cocaine following a traffic stop just east
of Van Horn Thursday morning.
The arrests came were part of a weeklong interdiction effort on Interstate
10 west of Pecos, in which over $50,000 in PCP, along with crack cocaine
and over $18,000 in cash believed to be used in drug transactions was also
The latest arrests occurred about 1:30 a.m. on Thursday on I-10 in Culberson
County, next the eastbound rest area at mile marker 145.
Officers found a total of 5.52 pounds of cocaine and two Hispanic females
along with one Hispanic male were arrested. The individuals were residents
The group was traveling from El Paso to the Fort Worth area and the
group was riding in an Americano bus.
"This is an ongoing investigation and the subjects were turned over
to DEA," said Henri Cruse, Assistant Commander with the Stop Narcotics
Task Force from Cleveland, Tx.
"This is the second operation I've worked with here in West Texas,"
Task Force Commander Gary Richards said that they had asked the Stop
Narcotics Force for some help because the task force has new officers and
because of the move of the check point from Sierra Blanca to Van Horn.
Cruse has been in Pecos "helping out" since Monday and today is his
last day before returning to Cleveland, which is located northeast of Houston.
"We're hoping to confiscate more drugs and put more drug dealers out of
business today," he said.
Along with Thursday's stop, Task Force officials said on Wednesday evening
about 1.24 pounds of crack cocaine was seized from a black male who was
traveling from Sacramento, Calif. to Little Rock, Ark. in a Greyhound Bus.
The stop also was made in Culberson County.
"We've been targeting the Culberson County area and the Guadalupe Mountains,"
"Another black male traveling to Atlanta, Ga., had 1.34 pounds of marijuana,"
said Cruse. "Both were body carriers, which means the contraband was taped
to their bodies."
Prior to these arrests made yesterday, one subject was arrested and
$18,670 was seized. "The money was confiscated because it's believed to
have been used in drug transactions," said Cruse. "When there's that much
cash, we begin to question it."
The money was confiscated from Bobby Eugene Coller of California, who
was traveling from Mississippi to California.
"This is the second time this individual has been caught carrying a
large amount of currency," said Cruse, who said, "This same subject in
the month of March was arrested here in Pecos, carrying $39,840. This time
it was in Culberson County; he had already passed Pecos."
Another stop and drug seizure involving a bus passenger occurred about
6:45 p.m. on Monday. Officers searched the bus traveling from Los Angeles
to Louisiana and uncovered over 50 ounces of PCP liquid with a street value
of $52,000 was confiscated.
"The drugs were found in a canvas bag and one subject claimed it," said
Cruse. The suspect, identified as Tarvor Larry Bernard, of Los Angeles,
Calif. was arrested.
The liquid drugs were found in bottles of ginger ale, which were emptied
and filled with the PCP.
"There was another load that went through to Abilene and the Border
Patrol picked it up," said Richards.
"That made the total of the PCP street value to $170,000, with the confiscation,"
said Cruse. "This is the biggest PCP seizure that I know of."
"All these operations were a success and I really appreciate the cooperation
of the Stop Narcotics Force," said Richards.
Richards said that this was also a training program for the new officers
that have come on board. "We were shorthanded for a while and now with
these new officers, it was a little bit of training for them," he said.
Cruse said this operation was a huge success and expected to make more
arrests today, on their last day in Pecos.
"We appreciate all the cooperation and want to thank everyone that helped,"
said Richards. "Van Horn Sheriff Oscar Carrillo was very instrumental in
these operations as well."
County's precinct boundaries redrawn
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- Reeves County commissioners had to
juggle their boundaries a little on Thursday to reapportion county precincts
along federal guidelines, but the result was four districts with less than
a full percentage point difference in population.
County Judge Jimmy Galindo said that the next step in the reapportionment
process is to submit the plan to the United States Department of Justice
"Reapportionment is required by the Voter Rights Act every 10 years,"
Galindo said that the goal is for all of the precincts in the county
to have an equal numbers of people.
A few precinct lines were moved around, with the biggest changes coming
along Eddy Street between Precincts 2 and 3 and in West Pecos between Precincts
3 and 4.
With the proposed boundaries Commissioner David Castillo will add an
area east of Eddy Street to Cherry Street to his Precinct 2.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Hivi Rayos, will add the south side of West
Adams Street and all of West Jackson and West Jefferson Street to his precinct,
which previously had been part of Precinct 2.
Galindo said that Reeves County lost about 2,000 people over the last
ten years with the official county population being about 13,000 counting
the prison population at the time the census.
The prison population at that time was about 1,100, he said.
The deviation in population for the proposed precincts comes to .37
percent or less than one-half a percentage point, Galindo said.
"The law requires a deviation of no more than 10 percent, so we are
well within that limit," Galindo said.
Galindo said that he expected the plan to be approved by December, and
that the new precincts would be in effect by next year's primary elections.
Council approves proclamation for "Pray for Rain" day Sunday
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- Town of Pecos City Mayor Ray Ortega
signed a proclamation designating this Sunday, Aug. 26, as "Pray for Rain
in Pecos Day" during the regular Council meeting last night at City Hall.
The proclamation states that there is an urgent need for rain in Pecos
and the city has confidence that rain would come on the request of the
The area around Pecos is supposed to get 10.99 inches of rain a year,
according to the National Weather Service. However, rainfall totals have
been below that amount for every year since 1992, and total rainfall for
the past 3½ years in Pecos is less than 20 inches.
Ortega said that Councilman Gerald Tellez brought the idea to the Council
after he read an article in the San Angelo Standard Times.
Tellez said that San Angelo proclaimed a day to pray for rain, which
seemed to have worked.
Councilman Johnny Terrazas said that San Angelo did receive a fair amount
of rain when he drove through that area not long ago.
The Council requests the help of the community to pray for rain this
Band Boosters set concession stand clean-up Monday
PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- Pecos Band Boosters are being asked to
help with the clean-up of concession stands at Eagle Stadium Monday evening
at 7 p.m.
The Band Boosters help operate the concession stands to help raise funds
during Pecos Eagle football games. The first game of the 2001 season is
next Friday, Aug. 31, against Kermit.
Pecos range hosts service rifle match Saturday morning
PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- A Service Rifle Match will be held Saturday
starting at 8 a.m. at the Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club Range south of Maxey
Competitors will shoot a modified National Match course of fire of 50
shots for record with three sighting shots before each stage. This match
will be a qualifying match for purchase of an M-1 rifle from the Civilian
Sign-up begins at 7:45 a.m. and the match is limited to the first 22
Burton shows own visual style in 'Planet of the Apes' remake
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- Perhaps no one is able to create such
exotic beauty than Director Tim Burton, who proves, once again, that he
has a very strange and beautiful vision for everything he directs with
his latest movie Planet of the Apes.
Many people in Hollywood have said that the latest Ape movie in not
a remake of the 1960s phenomenon but a reinvention, which is so true.
After watching this "reinvented" version of the Planet of the Apes,
you find yourself wondering what worlds and possibilities are out there
in the universe.
Burton is a visual genius who is able to not only dream of but create
these different worlds that cross over into your dreams.
Burton has a long list of visual wonders that include Sleepy Hollow
(1999), Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Edward
Scissorhands (1990) and Beetlejuice (1988).
Whatever happened in his childhood that caused Burton to become the
man he is today should forever be celebrated because now he is able to
share his vision with the masses.
It is amazing to be transported into this world of Apes along with Captain
Leo Davidson, played by Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights-1997).
Wahlberg, who is better known as Marky Mark (and the Funky Bunch), proves
that he is not only a musician but also a wonderful (looking) actor.
Wahlberg becomes the knight in shining honor with his take charge attitude
and good looks.
Wahlberg's biggest conflict comes from the leader of the Ape Army, Thade,
played by Tim Roth (Pulp Fiction-1994).
Once the Ape suit goes on, Roth becomes on of the most evil and demented
characters of late (but so would you after spending numerous hours in the
Roth does, however, show a more vulnerable side for maybe a total of
But the fun thing to do while watching this movie is trying to guess
which Ape is played by the 1968 Planet of the Apes star Charlton
Heston, who originally played the part done in this film by Wahlberg,
takes a turn at playing an Ape in this reinvented version.
Perhaps this movie will provide the audience with a real-life "Where's
Waldo" puzzle but instead it would be called "Where's Heston."
Planet of the Apes is rated PG-13.
PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- High Thursday 106. Low this morning 71.
Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low around 70. Southeast wind 5 to
15 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy with a less than 20 percent chance of showers
and thunderstorms. High around 100. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Saturday
night: Partly cloudy with a less than 20 percent chance of showers and
thunderstorms. Low around 70. Sunday and Monday: Partly cloudy. Lows in
the upper 60s and lower 70s. Highs in the 90s.
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