Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, February 1, 2002
Police preparing staff, equipment for jail's opening
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Fri., Feb. 1, 2002 -- Finishing touches are being put on the new Pecos
Municipal Criminal Justice Center, though all the work won't be completed
by the time Grand Opening ceremonies for the 98-bed facility are held
The Open House for the new facility, located on Raul Florez Boulevard
and Moore Street, is planned for 11 a.m. next Wednesday.
"We're really excited about this and looking forward to moving to the
new facility," said Town of Pecos City Police Chief Clay McKinney. "We have
a great, hard-working staff."
Although the opening ceremonies will be on Feb 6, McKinney said the new
staff will not become familiarized with the Criminal Justice Center until
the following week, and the police department's communications center will
remain at the current Pecos PD office on South Oak Street until federal approval
to relocate the site is received.
"We'll have a week of orientation for new jail staff for the week of Feb.
11," said McKinney. "And all that staff has been hired."
Training and orientation will cover uniforms, training procedures, orientation
with the building, U.S. Marshal's Service training and evacuation procedures,
according to McKinney.
"This will be for all new jail staff," said McKinney.
After that week of training, the new hires will then be assigned to their
respective different shifts, according McKinney.
"On Feb. 19, we will start accepting inmates from the U.S. Marshals,"
The CJC will hold Marshal's Service prisoners awaiting trial in U.S. District
Court in Pecos, along with persons arrested by the Pecos Police Department
who currently are held in the Reeves County Jail. The police department offices
will be also be located at the new facility.
"As for the PD, we're waiting for the FCC (Federal Communications Commission),
for permission to move communications to another location," said McKinney.
"I filed the application with the FCC in November, but I still haven't heard
Phone services at the new facility are another item that McKinney is working
on completing. "We opened the bids up in late January and I'm meeting with
the city manager today to discuss that," said McKinney.
"Communications and 911 are my priority before I move anything else concerning
the PD," he said.
RCDC kitchen fire causes only minor damage
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Fri., Feb. 1, 2002 -- Pecos Volunteer Fire and Emergency Medical
Service personnel were called to a possible structure fire last night at
the Reeves County Detention Center, though only minor damage was reported
to the kitchen area of the facility.
Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire said that the staff of the 2,000-bed facility
called for fire units at approximately 8:45 p.m., last night, after a guard
noticed flames coming from an exhaust system on the roof of the kitchen building.
"It was an electric motor and an exhaust fan that caught on fire," he
It is a policy for the RCDC to call for fire personnel once a fire is
spotted and then working on putting out that fire, according to Brookshire.
Once the fire department was contacted, Brookshire said that the RCDC
personnel shut off the power to that exhaust system.
"They killed the power to the exhaust fan and once they did that the fire
went out itself," he said.
The fire personnel made sure that the fire was not a threat when they
arrived at the prison and were allowed inside by guards.
No one was injured as a result of the fire and the fire did not damage
anything other than the exhaust system, according to Brookshire.
"They came out pretty lucky on that," he said.
Chamber honors Gerke with ag award
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Fri., Feb. 1, 2002 -- A long-time farmer and rancher was honored last
Friday with the Agricultural Service Award, at the Annual Pecos Area
Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet.
Texas Agriculture Extension Agent Terry Holder presented the award for
2001 to Calvin Gerke at the banquet held on Jan. 25 at the Reeves County
"He and his brother first came to Pecos in 1967, operating their cotton
stripper business," said Holder. "In 1981, he moved to Pecos and began farming
in Reeves County and later, in Ward County."
Holder said that Gerke has raised cotton, cantaloupe, and vegetables.
"He has cattle and is planting small grains for year round feed," said Holder.
Gerke was elected to the Upper Pecos Soil and Water Conservation Board
in 1997. He has been instrumental in starting the Salt Cedar Eradication
Program in 1999 to clean up the Pecos River and its success in 1999 and 2000
has secured a state grant to continue the project.
He has been on the Ward County Irrigation District Board for two years
and just started his second term. Concerned over our limited water resources
and the effects of the drought, the board has drilled wells to supplement
the river water and recently, investigated the possibility of a cloud seeding
program for our area, to increase rainfall.
The agriculture service award was one of several given out last Friday
at the annual Chamber awards banquet.
Cocaine, cash found in raid on west side home
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Fri., Feb. 1, 2002 -- An investigation is continuing following a narcotics
search warrant that was executed last week and which led to the arrest
of one person on the west side of Pecos.
Lead Investigator Lieutenant Michael Dominguez with the Reeves County
Sheriff's Office said the warrant was executed at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Jan.
23, on a home at 1910 Wyoming Street, near the Austin Elementary School campus.
"We located a little over four grams of cocaine and it was in a drug-free
zone," said Dominguez. "Because it was a drug-free zone, it's a first degree
Arrested in the incident was Oscar G. Archuleta, 40, and charged with
possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) over four grams and under
"We also recovered packaging materials, some firearms, the cocaine and
some currency," said Dominguez. "A little over $5,000 was confiscated."
The assets are believed to be assets from the sale of narcotics, according
"After a lengthy investigation into narcotics being sold out of this residence
led us there and gave us the justification to get a warrant to search the
premises," said Dominguez.
Dominguez said that it was a joint effort and thanked those who helped
in the incident including, the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force, the sheriff's
department and their trusty canine friend, "Guerro." "It was actually `Guerro'
who found the narcotics," said Dominguez.
Dominguez said that Archuleta has been arraigned and is currently out
"The investigation into this is continuing," said Dominguez. "We will
continue to investigate this incident and others."
Love sends out letter to parents on gun seizures
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Fri., Feb. 1, 2002 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Superintendent Don Love
has issued a letter to all parents, community and employees of the
PBT-ISD school district in regard to two separate incidents involving
weapons on school grounds last month.
An Austin Elementary student brought an unloaded gun to class on Jan.
9, while a Pecos High School student placed a sawed-off shotgun into his
locker two days later. A PHS teacher was dismissed last week after helping
the student remove the gun from campus without reporting the incident to
high school administrators.
"Like many school districts across our nation, and state, earlier this
month, our school district confiscated a gun from the high school and a gun
from Austin Elementary School," said Love. "I commend the excellent work
done by the Reeves County Sheriff's Department and the school employees who
were involved in seeing that the weapons were removed."
"Please be assured that appropriate discipline has been administered to
the students involved and appropriate personnel action has been taken," Love
added in the letter.
The district takes the issue of any weapon on our campuses very seriously
and maintaining a safe environment for all our children and employees at
all Pecos campuses is paramount, the superintendent said. As stated in every
Student Code of Conduct that is issued to our students, any student bringing
a weapon to school will be expelled in accordance with local policy and state
law and referred to local law enforcement officers.
"We ask for your help and support in emphasizing the seriousness of this
matter to your children," said Love. "We also ask that you place all weapons
in secure places to prevent unauthorized access to such items."
Love told parents that with their help, we can teach our children that
guns at schools are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
He said in the district's continuing efforts to keep our campuses gun
free, we will continue to work with all law enforcement officials and continue
to provide training to our staff so our children's learning environment can
be as safe as possible.
"Although as school officials, we cannot discuss the specifics of any
student discipline issue, I will be happy to talk to any parent, community
member or employee about our commitment to safety and what we are doing to
keep our campuses as safe as possible," said Love. "The administration, faculty
and staff pledge to continue our vigilance in keeping our schools safe."
City Council appoints Garza to Housing Authority board
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Fri., Feb. 1, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City Council appointed John
Garza to the Pecos Housing Authority during the council's regular meeting
Thursday night at City Hall.
Mayor Ray Ortega swore Garza in as resident commissioner during the meeting.
The Pecos Housing Authority Board of Commissioners recommended Garza for
the position after discussing him briefly during their regular meeting earlier
The council also appointed five members and two alternates to the Zoning
Board of Adjustment.
The members will serve a two-year term as well as the alternates, who
would fill in for any members not able to attend any meeting.
The council appointed Jim Breese, Joe Coody, Mark Zuniga, Roy Rich and
Bob Trammel along with Jerry Matta and City Secretary Connie Levario as alternates.
Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire informed the council that three of the seven
people appointed are new to the Board.
"Most of them are serving right now," he said.
Coody, Matta and Levario are new to the Board.
The council approved a bid of $2,500 for the store located at 305 South
Sycamore Street submitted by Armando Rodriguez.
The school board and hospital district already approved the bid for the
The council also approved the municipal court report, the juvenile monthly
report, accounts payable and the minutes of the previous meeting.
Museum hosting meeting for Golden Girls
PECOS, Fri., Feb. 1, 2002 -- All girls interested in participating in
the 2002 Golden Girl Pageant should attend an information meeting which will
be held at 10 a.m., Saturday at the West of the Pecos Museum, 120 E. First
Deadline for Golden Girl entries is Friday, Feb. 15.
For more information contact Laura Briggs at 445-5155 or the Pecos Area
Chamber of Commerce Office at 445-2406.
PECOS, Fri., Feb. 1, 2002 -- High Thurs. 55. Low this morning 24. Forecast
for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s. SE winds 5 to 15 mph.
Sat.: Mostly cloudy. Highs near 50. SE winds 5 to 15 mph. Sat. night:
Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s. Sun.: Mostly cloudy. Highs in the
mid 50s. Mon.: Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s. Highs 50 to 55.
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
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise