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Archive 2002

Area Newspapers
Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, February 7, 2002

Anchor gunshot victims out of hospital

Staff Writer
PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 7, 2002 -- An Anchor West employee and a Pecos Police officer involved in an accidental shooting early Monday morning at the plant on the south side of Pecos have both been released from Reeves County Hospital.

"The incident is still under investigation," said Town of Pecos City Police Chief Clay McKinney.

Two people, including an off-duty Pecos police officer, were wounded early Monday morning in what police said was an accidental shooting at the Anchor West plant on the south side of Pecos.

McKinney said that there was a weapon discharged at the onion processing plant, located on the I-20 South Access Road (Palmer Street). "The incident was an accidental shooting and we believe it will be the officer's gun that was used in the incident," said McKinney.

Anchor West employee Albert Matta was released from Reeves County Hospital on Tuesday, while Pecos Police Officer Oscar Machuca was out of the hospital today, following surgery on his damaged hand. "He's doing as well as can be expected," said McKinney.

The shooting was reported at 3:30 a.m. on Monday and sent other local police officers and two ambulances to the plant, where they found the wounded men in the front area of the building.

Machuca was shot in the hand and Matta was shot in the chest when the weapon discharged.

"There is no indication of foul play, but as a precaution we have contacted the District Attorney and the Texas Rangers," McKinney said on Monday, but the Texas Rangers were notified about the incident, but declined to get involved because it wasn't any type of criminal procedure.

"They opted not to get involved, but an internal investigation will continue," said McKinney.

The incident is being investigated by the Pecos Police Department at this time, according to McKinney, who added that not as a criminal matter, but as an administrative procedure.

"We'll continue with the investigation to get the matter resolved," said McKinney. "We don't know if any discipline procedures will be used at this time," he said.

Off-duty Pecos police officers are used to work security at times at the Anchor West plant, which new owner McCain Foods announced late last year it would close down beginning in early March. The plant is Pecos' largest employer, with 700 workers at the time of McCain Foods' purchase last September.

Calls to McCain Foods officials on Wednesday and today about the company's reaction to the shooting incident were not returned as of press time today.

Hispanic leadership program offered to local HS students

Staff Writer
PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 7, 2002 -- Top high school students and their parents will attend a session about leadership programs that provide opportunities for college next week in both Pecos-Barstow-Toyah and Balmorhea schools.

The National Hispanic Institute will visit Pecos and Balmorhea on Tuesday, after a visit to Alpine on Monday and before stops in Kermit, and Crane on Wednesday, to recruit high-achieving students for prestigious programs this summer. The public is encouraged to learn more about the Young Leaders Conference (YLC) for freshmen and the Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session (LDZ) for sophomores and juniors at a session nearest you.

The YLC is a highly competitive experience that introduces eligible freshmen to communications as a crucial element in leadership training. Chris Nieto, Director of the YLC, said, "Students develop confidence in their public speaking skills by having to respond to tough intellectual topics."

Eligible students must have a 3.0 or higher G.P.A., be enrolled in a college-bound curriculum, and demonstrate leadership. This year, a total of 888 freshmen from across the nation will participate in the YLC, including 100 students from the West Texas area who will go to the Big Bend Great Debate at Sul Ross State University in Alpine. Other institutions hosting the YLC include: Austin College, University of Southern Colorado, Loyola University, and Texas A&M at Corpus Christi.

On Tuesday Balmorhea will have a meeting from 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the Balmorhea High School library, while Pecos will have a meeting from 7:30-8:30 p.m., that same evening at the high school's cafeteria.

On Monday Alpine will host a 6-7 p.m., meeting in the high school's foyer. On Wednesday Kermit will host a meeting from 5:30-6:30 p.m., at Kermit High's library and Crane will host a meeting on Thursday, Feb. 14, from 6-7 p.m., in the auditorium.

Sophomore students accepted to the exciting Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session (LDZ) demonstrate grace under fire, articulate complex issues, and learn the importance of controlling outcomes. The eight-day conference takes place on a college campus and places students in direct competition with each other for a limited number of key leadership positions. Ninety-eight percent of all students who participate in the LDZ enroll in college. A national network of over 80 colleges and universities such as Brown, Duke, UT-Austin, M.I.T., Stanford, Texas A&M, and Rice annually attend the LDZ to recruit top students. This year's host institutions include: Occidental College, Colorado State University, New Mexico State University, DePaul University and Southwestern University.

Students can still apply until the end of February. Scholarships will be awarded to students who demonstrate financial need.

For an application, contact your local high school counselor or Maritza Dominguez at the National Hispanic Institute at 512-357-6137. Also apply on the web at Interested sponsors can contribute charitable, tax-deductible contributions as well. Contact Ms. Dominguez at the Institute at 512-357-6137.

These programs are part of the Texas Rural Initiative, a project made possible through the efforts of State Representative Pete Gallego and the support of the Sul Ross State University and the National Hispanic Institute.

Session on college for PHS juniors scheduled Friday

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 7, 2002 -- A "Making College Count" presentation for Pecos High School seniors will take place for juniors at 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Friday in the auditorium.

As a part of the efforts to prepare seniors for future success, the Pecos High School guidance department is pleased to be able to offer a presentation that can play an important role in the process. Making College Count, a practical, current look at succeeding after high school.

Parents are welcome to attend. Making College Count offers valuable perspective to students on how to:

Set and achieve personal success goals.

Avoid typical first year pitfalls.

Manage time and set priorities.

Achieve academic and career success in a challenging environment.

Effectively choose extracurricular activities to set themselves apart.

Utilize internships and other jobs to build critical skills.

Create a personal experience that will impress future interviewers and graduate schools.

The program shares the national success statistic for today's students and stresses that every individual's post high school experience is unique.

For more information contact Pecos High School counselors Eva Arriola or Pat Cobos at 447-7229.


PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 7, 2002 -- High Wednesday 57. Low this morning 34. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 30 to 35. South winds 5 to 10 mph. Friday: Sunny. Highs 65 to 70. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Lows around 35. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 55. Sunday: Partly cloudy. Lows around 25. Highs near 55.

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.


Fabian Mendoza, 32, was arrested at 7:49 p.m., on January 24 in the 3000 block of Arlington Street on a warrant for tampering with serial numbers.


John C. Kulesza, 38, and Donald W. Sczepanik, 37, were arrested at 9:28 p.m., on January 31 in the 500 block of South Eddy Street. Kulesza was arrested for public intoxication while Sczepanik was arrested for DWI-refusal.


Elias D. Sanchez, 49, was arrested at 4 a.m., on February 1 in the 600 block of South Locust Street for public intoxication.


Ruben Anthony Martinez, 22, was arrested at 3:49 p.m., on January 31 in the 600 block of Walnut Street for evading, public intoxication and failure to identify.


Sandra Ronquillo, 38, was arrested at 8:43 a.m., on January 30 in the 500 block of Mesquite Street for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Ernesto Baca, 18, was arrested at 10:17 p.m., on January 29 in the 400 block of Magnolia Street on a warrant for evading arrest or detention.


David G. Pando, 20, was arrested at 1:28 p.m., on January 29 at Seventh and Eddy Streets on three warrants for terroristic threat.


Robert Jimenez, 22, was arrested at 11:12 p.m., on February 6 in the 2200 block of Missouri Street on a warrant for no operator's license.


Ricky O. Ortiz, 19, Crissy S. Lopez, 32, and Gilbert R. Ortega, 31, were arrested at 6:30 p.m., on February 4 in the 500 block of South Park Street all for possession of a controlled substance-heroine within 1,000 feet of a school zone and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Ashleigh Parks, 24, was arrested at 1:10 a.m., on February 3 in the 2900 block of Toliver Street on a Dallas County warrant for probation violation on original charge of possession of cocaine and an Ector County warrant for failure to adjudicate for theft by check.


Johnny Valencia, 39, was arrested at 1:10 a.m., on February 3 in the 2900 block of Toliver Street for public intoxication.


Conrado Gonzales, 22, was arrested at 1:31 a.m., on February 3 in the 2200 block of South Eddy Street on a warrant for aggravated assault.


Pilar V. Soto, 33, was arrested at 1:42 a.m., on February 3 in the 1700 block of South Eddy Street for possession of cocaine.


Epifanio P. Montoya, 18, was arrested at 12:04 a.m., on February 2 in the 800 block of Yucca Street for possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.


Hector Luna, 28, was arrested at 4:31 p.m., on February 1 at the Municipal Court on a warrants for speeding and violation of promise to appear. Luna paid his fines and was released.


Loy A. Wells

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