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Archive 2001

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, November 15, 2001

Police receive new equipment, training from FBI

Staff Writer
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 15, 2001 -- The Pecos Police Department is now better equipped to conduct forensic investigations after receiving training and new equipment from the FBI.

Police Investigator Kelly Davis said that he and fellow Investigator Olga Lopez became aware of a surplus of FBI investigation equipment when they attended a school in just south of Washington, D.C. at the end of August.

"Recently Olga and I attended a handwriting comparison class at the FBI Academy in Virginia," he said.

Lopez and Davis both attended the school for free after applying for admission through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Program.

"I found a program where they would pay for transportation, lodging, food and school," he said.

This handwriting comparison course is the third class of that type that Davis and Lopez have attended.

Davis said that their knowledge of handwriting comparison helps speed up local investigations.

"We use it on everything from suicide investigations, fraud, threatening letters and forgery," he said.

If the two investigators did not have the capabilities to analyze handwriting, Davis said that the samples would have to be sent to a state lab where it would take much longer.

"If we sent it to the state lab it would take three to six months for them to send a reply," Davis said. "That would make our cases to long so we decided to do it here."

While attending the school, Davis said that he and Lopez became aware of some equipment that the FBI had in their possession, but were not using.

"They were using equipment that we didn't have and couldn't afford," he said. "We convinced them to send us some surplus equipment, which they finally did."

The FBI sent two microscopes that are on special mounts that would enable the investigators to take a look at almost everything as well as a special lighting system.

Davis explained that the fiber light system displays a high concentration of light at an angle under the microscopes.

With the help of the light system, the investigators would be able to study many things under the microscope.

"You could even see an indention made by a ball-point pen with the side lighting," he said.

Davis said that the police department is very fortunate to be able to receive the training and equipment for free.

"We probably saved about $3,000 for free as well as receiving excellent training," he said.

Davis said that he hopes to attend other schools and will keep a look out for more surplus equipment in the future that would help the department protect Pecos better.

"So we could do a good job," he said.

TWC numbers show Anchor represents 13.8 percent of city's jobs

Local jobless rate up slightly, future uncertain

From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 15, 2001 -- Unemployment numbers were up in Texas for the month by two-tenths of one percent, and were up by the same amount in Reeves County and the Town of Pecos City, while dropping overall in the Permian Basin by .4 percent, the Texas Workforce Commission reported today.

The TWC pointed out that October's numbers were affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, resulting in the largest monthly job loss in the state in more than a decade. Those numbers really didn't affect the Trans-Pecos region much, but the future local jobless rate could be sent soaring next year, after the announcement on Monday that McCain Foods would be closing the Anchor Foods plant it operates in Pecos sometime next year.

Anchor is both the Town of Pecos City and Reeves County's largest single employer, with over 700 jobs. Based on the numbers released today by the TWC, that represented about 13.8 percent of the city's total number of jobs, and about 10.6 percent of the total number of jobs in the county.

October's numbers showed Reeves County's jobless rate at 5 percent, up from 4.8 percent in September, which was the lowest rate for the county since the mid-1980s. There were a total of 6,932 people in the local labor force and 349 without jobs.

In September, there were 7,614 people in the county's workforce and 367 without jobs, with the drop in the labor force this month due in part to the winding down of the 2001 harvest season in Reeves County.

The numbers for the Town of Pecos City reflected the same trends. There were 5,391 people in the city's workforce in October, down from 5,920 in September, while the number of people without jobs dropped from 329 to 312. The combination increased Pecos' jobless rate from 5.6 to 5.8 percent.

Area-wide, unemployment fell from 4.2 to 3.8 percent, with Odessa's unemployment rate falling by half a percent and Midland's rate dropping .3 percent. Andrews, Dawson, Howard, Pecos and Ward counties were among those also reporting jobless rate drops, while Winkler County joined Reeves in reporting a slight rise in its unemployment numbers.

In Loving County, the nation's least-populated county, a loss of three residents without jobs was enough to send the unemployment rate plunging from 10.4 to 4.4 percent. The TWC said 43 of the county's 45 people in the workforce were employed, while in September 43 out of 48 people had jobs.

Across the state, the TWC said 27,000 people lost jobs in October due to the terrorist attacks, with some of the loss coming from the major airlines based in Texas, including American and Continental, which have laid off thousands of workers since the attacks.

A slowdown in air and automobile travel also hurt the state's oil and gas industry that was forced to lower prices, the commission reported.

October's unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, up from 5 percent in September and 4 percent a year ago.

Although unemployment was up, Texas fared better economically than the nation because of added jobs in other industries, the report showed.

While Texas added 136,800 jobs between January and October for a growth rate of 1.4 percent, the national job growth rate fell 0.3 percent, the report said.

Christmas for Kids to accept applications through Dec. 3

Staff Writer
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 15, 2001 -- One group of "elves" is closer to reaching their goal of making this Christmas a merry one for the children in the community.

Christmas for Kids organizations raised about $1,600 during their most recent fundraiser, when members went door to door seeking donations for the worthy cause.

Christmas for Kids raises money each year to provide gifts for children who otherwise would not receive anything for the holiday.

"We want to make sure that all the children in this community have a wonderful Christmas," said Sofia Baeza, one of the organizers of the group.

Baeza said that they started the organization in 1996. "We made 186 children very happy at Christmas time and every year we have added at least 100 more children," she said.

"This is one of the fundraisers we do each year to raise money for our kids," said Baeza.

This year Christmas for Kids has a goal of raising $6,000 to help as many children and families as possible.

"We try to help as many families as we can," said Baeza. "Last year we helped 173 families and 511 children."

She said that she believes the group will have the opportunity to help that many families and children this year, if not more. "We'll probably have more this year, because of the economy."

Applications to be recipients of the Christmas for Kids funds can be picked at the Reeves County Sheriff's Office beginning today through Dec. 3.

"This year there will be no exceptions. The cutoff point is Dec. 3, all applications must be turned in by then," said Baeza. "We probably will have a lot more children on the list this year, due to Monday's announcement of plans to close the Anchor plant."

Baeza said that they have only 26 applications, but warned families not to wait until the last minute to fill out a form.

Baeza said that the group wanted to provide the essentials for as many children as possible. "We want to help as many families as we can."

"We provide the essential items such as shoes, clothes, jackets and we want to help every child that is on our list every year," said Baeza. "We want to make it a `Happy Holiday,' for these less fortunate children in our community."

"Our thanks go to the community, who has made it possible for this program to be a success," said Baeza. "We the volunteers get our `thank you' by seeing the smiling faces when we deliver the gifts in December."

Christian Home preparing dinners for Thanksgiving

Staff Writer
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 15, 2001 -- Turkeys, dessert and especially volunteers are needed for the annual free Thanksgiving dinner scheduled for next week.

The dinner is an annual event sponsored by the Christian Home and will be held Thursday, Nov. 22, at the Reeves County Civic Center.

"We'll begin serving at 10 a.m.," said Christian Home Director Bruce Dury.

Dury said that the amount of individuals that attend the annual event has grown and between 400-500 people attended last year's event.

"The number keeps growing, as more people hear about this," said Dury.

Thanksgiving Dinner will also be delivered to the individuals on the Meals On Wheels list. "That's over 100 people," said Dury.

He said the dinner has been a success each year, and he feels confident the community will once again reach out and help.

"We're in need of turkeys and dessert," said Dury. "The turkeys we need right away, because we have some church groups that have volunteered to cook them this year."

Dury said that already Santa Rosa Catholic Church members are preparing some turkeys for the annual event. "They already started cooking some for us and there are other groups that want to help us, but we need those turkeys in," he said.

Dury said that volunteers are also needed. "We always need volunteers," he said.

"Everybody is always welcome to join us," he said.

Pep rally scheduled at PHS gym tonight

PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 15, 2001 -- A pep rally for the Pecos Eagle football team will be held tonight at 7 p.m. at the new Pecos High School gym.

Everyone is invited to attend the rally and support the Eagles, who will host El Paso Parkland at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in the bi-district round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Turkey Shoot set Saturday in Pecos

PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 15, 2001 -- The Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club is holding a Turkey Shoot Saturday.

Competitions for 22 caliber rifles and black powder rifles will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. A 200-yard rifle match will run from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. From 2 p.m. till 5 p.m. there will be a 400-yard bottle bust. Tickets for frozen turkeys from Bob's Thriftway and La Tienda will be given for prizes.

Contact Smokey Briggs at 445-5475 or any club member for details or pick up a flyer at the Pecos Enterprise office.


PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 15, 2001 -- High Wed. 71. Low this morning 53. Rainfall last 24 hours at Texas A&M Experiment Station .54 inch. Forecast for tonight: Cloudy with showers and thunderstorms likely. Lows in the upper 40s. SE winds 5 to 15 mph. The chance of rain is 60 percent. Fri.: Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs 65 to 70. East winds 10 to 20 mph. Fri. night: Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 40s. Sat.: Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 60s. Sun.: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers. Lows 40 to 45. Highs 60 to 65.

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Pecos Enterprise
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 2001 by Pecos Enterprise