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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Bomber project, federal lawsuits remain in place

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Sept. 25, 2001 -- With America preparing for war, the U.S. Air Force is  continuing construction on the Realistic Bomber Training Initiative  (RBTI), though a pair of lawsuits are still pending in federal court in Pecos  and Lubbock to block the low-level training flights.

Lt. Wes Ticer of Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene said that they plan to open sites south of Pecos and in Snyder by the first of the year.

"Training is still ongoing," he said. "Efforts to construct the scoring site continue."

The training efforts took on new urgency following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., in which a combined 7,000 people are feared to have died.

Some military personnel at Dyess Air Force Base have already been deployed in response to planned U.S. action against the terrorists, but officials will not say how many people were deployed, where they were sent or what they will do.

"We repositioned some of our military personnel where required to prepare and support the president's campaign against terrorism," base spokesman Capt. Dave Honchul said Monday.

He said the personnel received deployment orders last week, but would not say when.

Dyess has 40 of the nation's 93 B-1 bombers. Those jets, and B-52 bombers flying out of Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, are scheduled to use the new electronic bomber training site.

The training missions will fly at an altitude of about 3,000 feet over the South Plains, before flying in a loop around Pecos at elevations as low as 500 feet.

Other low level training flights in the area have drawn protests from area farmers and ranchers, who say the jets frighten livestock and rattle the foundations of buildings beneath the flight path. As a result, the Davis Mountains Trans-Pecos Heritage Association (DMTPH) and various area ranchers filed a lawsuit against the Air Force last November to stop them from conducting low-level bomber training missions in this area.

The lawsuit filed claims the noise would violate the federal Noise Control Act and have an adverse effect on humans and livestock. Another suit was filed by ranchers and environmentalists in the South Plains, and is awaiting hearing in U.S. District Court in Lubbock.

Ticer said that he is not aware of any further progress in the suit but said that the events that have come to pass in the past two weeks proves that the Air Force personnel need training more than ever.

"That does show you that there is a need for us to continue our valuable training," he said.

Ticer said that construction is coming along nicely and believes that equipment should start being moved in mid-November.

"It is getting pretty close," he said.

Ticer also said that the Air Force plans on making the Pecos site operational before the Snyder site and "barring any unforeseen delays" such as weather problems and a shortage of material construction should stay on schedule.

"We're staying with our original schedule as events allow," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Commissioners OK 25 percent property tax cut

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Sept. 25, 2001 -- Reeves County Commissioners adopted a 25 percent property tax  rate reduction after holding a public hearing on the proposed  Reeves County Budget for FY 2002 and during their regular meeting,  held Monday on the third floor of the courthouse.

"This commissioners court envisions a time when Reeves County has the lowest county taxes in Texas," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "Yesterday, the commissioners court took a giant step in that direction by lowering taxes by 25 percent."

Commissioners went over the proposed budget, line-item by line-item and heard from some of the elected officials regarding their salary increases, which were included in the proposed budget for next year.

"We'll have $1.809 million in collectible ad valorem taxes," said Reeves County Auditor Lynn Owens. "We have seen a considerable increase in mineral valuations."

Owens also stated that residential values would pretty much remain the same.

"Because residential values have remained the same, the 14 cent tax rate reduction will become a true tax cut for residential owners," said Galindo. "We were able to fully fund all county offices and cut taxes by 25 percent because of the success of the prison and the willingness of county officials and employees to work together," he said.

An estimated 93 percent collection rate was used to develop the property tax collection projection, with a tax rate of 40.513 cents per $100 value, according to county auditor Lynn Owens.

There was an increase in the county auditor's salary from $50,190 to $59,790. "There is also an incentive pay allowance, which will be done quarterly," said Owens.

"This has to be budgeted and planned for this type of incentive, otherwise, the county auditor's budget will remain the same," he said.

Other changes were noted in the 143rd District Court's budget. "Judge (Bob) Parks has changed the amount that will be paid to the attorneys for indigent care," said Galindo.

"This is an increase by 50 percent and is the first increase in 15 years," said Owens. "It's hard to predict what kind of cases he will have and the amount of defendants."

Additional funds were allocated for the North Side Swimming Pool. The pool was closed this summer due to some much-needed repairs that need to be made. "I think we need to go ahead and fix those now, through this budget period," said Galindo.

Galindo told the group that this budget reflects pay increases for some elected officials at the Reeves County Courthouse.

Specifically, Reeves County Clerk, District Clerk, Reeves County Treasurer and the Reeves County Tax-Assessor collector will be seeing an increase from $35,000 to $41,500 a year.

Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez and county treasurer Linda Clark were both on hand for the budget review and thanked the commissioners for their raise and the raise allotted to their staff.

The raises for the clerks in the various departments would range from entry level for secretary/clerk I at $16,000; secretary/clerk II- $18,000; secretary/clerk III-$20,000 and secretary/clerk IV-$22,000.

"A step from each one of the people who will go from one level to the next," said Galindo.

"I appreciate the consideration for the raise and especially the raises for my staff," said Florez.

Other salary increases were seen in the Reeves County Sheriff's Department.

"Under the sheriff's office, there will be four correctional officers IV positions, and eight correction officer III positions and four correction officer II positions for a total of 16," said Galindo, who added that this would provide latitude for the people to move up into those classifications.

"This will be the same pay schedule for the prison (RCDC), the only difference is we have a distinction in the number of positions," said. "The prison is a much bigger operation."

"On behalf of my staff, we really appreciate the pay increases," said Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez. "These are really hard-working individuals that care about their community and who give their all to protect everyone."

Constables will also see a pay increase, but their duties will be varied, according to Galindo. "We want to utilize them in other areas as well," he said.

All constables were making $388 a year in terms of salary and now they will be making $3,600.

Commissioners approved payments to both LMD Architects and Frank Spencer and Associates for their preliminary work on the RCDC III Project.

RCDC will also be seeing a new face at the facility, following a decision made during the regular meeting of the commissioner's court. The group approved a contract with Vincent Romero, as Food Services Administrator at the facility.

Romero's salary will be $55,000 a year, with a $6,000 travel allowance.

RCDC Warden Rudy Franco told the group that Romero has extensive experience in the food service business and is retired from the Bureau of Prisons.

"He has been with food services at three different facilities and has a lot of knowledge about the food services business for inmates," said Franco.

Romero will be at the facility for a year and is responsible for training the food service director, as well as the staff.

"So in other words, he will work himself out of a job after a year," said Galindo.

"Yes, he will be here to train our employees and help them with the rules and regulations of a correctional facility and transfer all of this knowledge before leaving," said Franco.

The group approved a resolution in support of the Justice Court Technology Fund. Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace J.T. Marsh told the group that the technology fund would receive $4 every time someone received a traffic ticket.

"If their ticket is $60, then it would be $64 and the four dollars would go to the technology fund," said Marsh. "This would not come out of county funds."

Marsh said the funding would be used towards computer technology. "This is just for four years, then we have to cut it off," he said.

"We hope to accumulate enough to be able to fix our computers or purchase new ones when necessary," he said.

Commissioners also authorized the assignment of the tax abatement agreement from Anchor West, Inc., to McCain USA Incorporated. Anchor West announced the sale of its facilities in Pecos, Appleton, Wis., and in Mexico to Canadian-based McCain Foods last month, and the transfer allows McCain to receive the abatement commissioners had approved for Anchor.

Area sales tax rebate checks up for September

PECOS, Tues., Sept. 25, 2001 -- Pecos' sales tax rebate check for September showed a five percent increase over the same period from a year ago, and most other Permian Basin and Trans-Pecos cities also saw their rebate checks increase from September 2000's totals, according to figures released earlier this month by State Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander's office.

Town of Pecos City received a check for $63,221 back from Rylander's office this month, based on sales made in the city during July as part of Pecos 1½ cent share of Texas' 8¼ cent sales tax. That's up 5.07 percent from the $60,167 check of a year ago.

However, for the first nine month of 2001, the city's sales tax revenues are still down 3.08 percent compared with 2000, at $565,598 compared with last year's $583,614.

Balmorhea was one of the few towns to see their September check drop this year. The city got back $421, which was down 32.26 percent from last year, when Balmorhea's September tax rebate check was $621. For the year, Balmorhea has gotten back $6,134 from Austin, a drop of 6.89 percent from a year ago.

Toyah's totals for 2001 have gone in the opposite direction. It's $472 check this month was slightly more than double the $235 check from last year and the $5,514 the city has gotten back in tax rebates for the first nine months of the year is up 56.95 percent from a year ago.

Several other area cities along with the Reeves County Hospital District, also saw their sales tax rebate checks increase by double digits compared with a year ago. Odessa's rebate check jumped by nearly 14 percent and Midland was up by almost 12 percent, while Monahans, Kermit and Crane also reported increases of over 10 percent.

The Reeves County Hospital District's check this month for $29,982 was up 19.54 percent from last year's $25,081 total, and for the year the district has gotten back $235,652, an increase of 0.91 percent from the first nine months of 2000.

Statewide, cities and counties in Texas got back $203.6 million in tax rebates from the state this month, up 4.94 percent from the $194 million sent out from Rylander's office last September. Houston again received the single largest rebate check, $25.6 million, which is 10.43 percent above last year, while Dallas had the second largest check, for $14.9 million, which was down 3.76 percent from the $15.5 million check it received a year ago.

PHS preparing for homecoming against Loboes

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Sept. 25, 2001 -- Plans are underway for "Homecoming," as the Pecos  Eagles prepare to face the Monahans Loboes on Friday at Eagle Stadium.

This week's events include a "Hollywood Theme" with tomorrow being dubbed "Hollywood Battles", going to battle against the Loboes. Everyone is encouraged to wear camouflage.

Thursday will be "Hollywood's Finest,", Dazzle the Loboes. Dress-up like your favorite Hollywood star.

Line-Up for the Homecoming Parade will be at 5 p.m., at Second and Eddy streets. The Parade will begin at 5:30 p.m., at Second and Eddy and end at the parking lot at the baseball stadium. A bonfire will be held at 9 p.m., at the old landfill south of the Reeves County Golf Course.

On Friday, the theme will be "Hollywood Sparkle." Rise above the Loboes and wear your purple and gold. An Exes Tea is scheduled for 1 p.m., in the library and will be sponsored by the PHS National Honor Society.

The game will begin at 8 p.m., at Eagle Stadium and Homecoming Queen Coronation is scheduled for halftime.

The game is the final one for Pecos before the beginning of its District 2-4A schedule on Oct. 12 at Clint and the first home game for the Eagles against the Loboes since 1996. The teams did not play regular season games in 1998 and 1999 while Pecos traveled to Monahans for non-district games in 1997 and 2000.

RCH board plans to set new tax rate

PECOS, Tues., Sept. 25, 2001 -- The Reeves County Hospital District Board of Directors plan to set the tax rate for the hospital during the regular meeting at 6 p.m., tonight in the classroom at the hospital.

The Board is also scheduled to adopt the 2002 capital and operating budget as well. The Board will also discuss purchasing an auto external defibrillator and a LifePak 12 monitor/defibrillator for the emergency room.

Also on the agenda is discussion of the monthly tax report, financial statements and budget admendments and payment of bills.

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.


Oscar G. Archuleta, 18, was arrested at 6:12 p.m., on September 20 at Eddy and Jackson streets on a warrant for committing the offense of unlawfully carrying a weapon.


Roger M. Gutierrez, 17, was arrested at 10:27 p.m., on September 20 in the 1500 block of Cowan Street for evading arrest/detention in a motor vehicle.


Manual Alaniz Carrasco, 31, was arrested at 10:48 p.m., on September 23 at First and Cedar Streets on a warrant for theft by check (Class B), a Fort Stockton warrant for presumption of theft by check and an Ector County warrant for theft by check (Class B).


Jaime P. Matta, 33, was arrested at 3:55 a.m., on September 23 in the 600 block of Mesquite Street for family violence.


Thomas Munoz, 18, was arrested at 10:18 p.m., on September 22 at Seventh and Cedar Streets on a warrant for minor in possession.


Esequiel Hernandez, 20, was arrested at 10:36 p.m., on September 22 in the 500 block of South Martinez for public intoxication.


Claudia Gutierrez, 33, was arrested at 12:11 a.m., on September 22 in the 1400 block of South Eddy Street on a Capias Pro Fine warrant.


PECOS, Tues., Sept. 25, 2001 -- High Mon. 78. Low this morning 52. Forecast for tonight: Clear.  Lows in the mid 50s. East winds 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Highs  in the upper 80s. SE winds 5 to 10 mph. Wed. night: Clear. Lows in the  mid 50s. Thurs.: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 80s. Fri.: Partly cloudy.  Lows in the 50s. Highs 80 to 85.


Dominga Galindo and Louis Hernandez

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Pecos Enterprise
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