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Archive 2002

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, April 22, 2002

Burglars on the lam after weekend cash, rifle thefts

Staff Writer
PECOS, Monday, April 22, 2002 -- The Jersey Lilly Steakhouse opened on Saturday with less money and fewer decorations than what they had at closing time on Friday, after burglars broke into the restaurant sometime early Saturday morning.

Pecos Police Investigator Kelly Davis said that the owner of the steakhouse contacted the police department to report the burglary at 9:57 a.m., on Saturday.

A complete list of items stolen from the restaurant, located at Fifth and Cedar streets, was unavailable at press time. However, Davis did state that a number of guns that were hanging on the walls were missing.

"We do know that $800 and some rifles and handguns were missing," he said.

Davis said that the burglars entered the steakhouse from a back door. He added that the owner did not realize that the burglary had happened until sometime after she arrived at work that morning.

"She was working and finally noticed something was wrong," he said.

The Jersey Lilly did open for business that day after police officers investigated the scene.

The police are still investigating the burglary and Davis encourages anyone with any information about the burglary to contact the police department at 445-4911 or Crimestoppers at 445-9898.

Davis also said that if anyone had any information on stolen items to also contact the police.

"If somebody's approached to buy a gun or other stolen property please contact us," he said.

PD's move to new home almost done

Staff Writer
PECOS, Monday, April 22, 2002 -- The Pecos Police Department is making the final preparations to move the department to the new Municipal Criminal Justice Center, on Interstate 20 near Reeves County Hospital.

Police Chief Clay McKinney said that all they need is to wait for the computer systems to be installed and the communication systems to be moved to the new location.

"We don't lack too much more," he said.

McKinney explained that the computer systems are currently being installed and should be completed sometime this week.

"Then the next step is to get the tower moved," he said.

McKinney said back in February that the communications tower, which is located at the current police station, would be moved to a spot just outside of the facility. The city had to receive approval from the Federal Communications Commission before the tower could be moved.

The Town of Pecos City along with McKinney and the Pecos Police Department decided to build the 96-bed jail to hold police department prisoners, along with U.S. Marshal's Service inmates awaiting trial at the Lucius D. Bunton Federal Courthouse in Pecos.

The city determined that building the jail would bring in thousands of dollars in revenue each year.

A dedication ceremony was held on Feb. 6, and the first Marshal's Service inmates were brought in two weeks later. But the police have not yet fully moved their operations to the site on the southwest side of Pecos from their longtime home, at Sixth and Oak streets.

McKinney and his staff met on Friday to coordinate the plans for the final stages of the moving process.

"We had a staff meeting to try to get coordinated to make this move as smooth as possible," he said.

McKinney also plans to meet with the Reeves County Sheriff's Department and the Department of Public Safety to ask for their help while the police department is moving their tower and communication equipment, which includes the 911 emergency line.

"We're going to need assistance from the DPS and the Sheriff's department to make this move possible," he said.

He explained that after they move the tower to the new location, they would have to shut down their communications, including 911, for about one day.

McKinney said that that part of the move would be the most difficult because it is involving more than just furniture.

"It's just not as easy as picking up a desk and chair and moving it out there," he said.

McKinney said when the Criminal Justice Center opened that he decided to move the tower because building a new tower would cost $24,000 and moving the current one would only cost approximately $2,000.

The police department has now received all their furniture for the new facility and offices a couple of weeks ago, all they need now is the communication systems.

Corplan Corrections Corp. constructed the municipal criminal justice center at a cost of $5.6 million. Of that amount, $2.4 million was funded through a grant from the Marshal's Service, which has been forced to house an increasing number of its inmates in jails outside of town in recent years, as the docket in U.S. District Court has grown since the opening of the new federal courthouse in 1995.

Town of Pecos City Council members have already talked with Corplan about an expansion of the facility to house more Marshal's Service inmates in the future, but opted earlier this year to take no action until the current facility is up and running.

Commissioners reject changing investment plan

Staff Writer
PECOS, Monday, April 22, 2002 -- Reeves County Commissioners opted to go with the "old" method for handling the county's investments during their regular meeting held this morning in the third floor courtroom of Reeves County Courthouse.

West Texas National Bank President John Grant was on hand to discuss the item with the commissioners and explain the new procedure.

"We're seeking authorization for Home Loan Bank letters of credit as collateral for Reeves County investments," said Grant.

He told commissioners that this was a new procedure and not that many banks were using it yet.

"We've looked at all the information provided by the bank and I talked to the State Comprtoller's Office, who said that we were entitled to use this," said county auditor Lynn Owens. "It's easier to manage and requires less paperwork."

"What we're required under new legislation is to substitute bonds for letters of credit from the Home Loan Bank," said Grant.

"So the request is to replace those securities with a letter of credit," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

"Yes, the Home Loan Bank would issue those letters," said Grant.

"Would this simplify things in your office?" Precinct 2 David Castillo asked county treasurer Linda Clark.

She told the court that the new system would simplify things and it would require less paperwork.

"It's helping the bank as well," said Grant.

He said this letter of credit is just a different "instrument" being used and that some schools are using this method as well.

However, after a short discussion, Galindo made a motion to continue using the same method the county has been using for years for Reeves County investments.

"I make a motion to stay under the same system, where there is hard cash pledged for the county's deposits," said Galindo.

In other action, commissioners approved several items during their morning meeting, including the American Cancer Society's Texas Golf Pass Program and payments to several contractors working at the construction site of RCDC-III.

Commissioners approved an interagency agreement between Town of Pecos City and Reeves County for the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force.

A request by RCDC employee club for soft drink concession for employees and visitors to the facility was approved as presented.

Commissioners tabled a decision to enroll Reeves County with the Trans Pecos Weather Modification Program. The program was presented to the commissioners at an earlier meeting.

Bids on two properties one a vacant lot at 503 S. Ash St. and a house at 1607 Eddy St. were approved. The bid on the vacant lot was for $400 and the house on Eddy was for $2,000. "Both of these have been approved by the other entities," said Owens.

Personnel and salary changes included new hires at the RCDC, Joe Ray Flores as CO-I at $19,000 per year, Richard Pfingsten and Emma Aguilar as CO-I's at $19,000 per year; Rene E. Rayos was promoted to shift lieutenant at $31,500 a year; Joel Baeza promoted to food service foreman at $26,000 per year; Samuel Urias, CO-II at $24,000; Benny Chabarria, Adam Machuca, Timothy Harrison and Pete Fierro as CO-II's at $24,000 per year.

PHS band heading to Odessa, Dallas events this week

PECOS, Monday, April 22, 2002 -- The Pecos High School Band will be traveling to Odessa Tuesday and Wednesday for a Concert and Sightreading contest at Permian High School.

Head Band Director Merle Lenfest said the Concert band is scheduled to perform at 3:30 p.m., while the Symphonic band would be performing at 11:30 a.m., on Wednesday.

Admission is free to the contest.

After contest the band will be heading to Dallas on Thursday to participate in the Sandy Lake Music Festival at 2 p.m., Saturday at the Sandy Lake Park on I-35 East.

Lenfest welcomes anyone interested in watching the band perform at either contest or in the music festival to drop by Permian or make the trip to Dallas.


PECOS, Monday, April 22, 2002 -- High Sunday 82. Low this morning 50. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Storms may produce large hail and damaging winds. Lows 60 to 65. South winds 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Highs 90 to 95. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Lows around 60. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Highs 90 to 95. Thursday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows around 60. Highs 85 to 90.


Benjamin True Strong

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