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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, April 26, 2002

Council approves 10th St. reopening

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, April 26, 2002 -- Parents dropping off their children at Pecos Kindergarten should  have an easier time once the Town of Pecos City opens up the portion of  10th Street just west of the school that has  been closed for many years. The City Council approved the reopening  of 10th Street, next to the former  Pecos Elementary campus, during the regular meeting last night at City Hall.

The council has been discussing reopening that portion of the street for a few months after some inquiries were made to several councilmen.

The one block portion of the street was closed to public traffic numerous years ago for use as a school bus stop next to Pecos Elementary.

Since the school district closed that school last year, Utilities Director Octavio Garcia said that Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Superintendent Don Love didn't have any problems opening the street again.

"He said he didn't have plans to reuse the building," he said.

Garcia also said that in order to reopen the street, the city needs to remove the gravel on that portion of the street and repair the street.

"We're just going to have to repair the street," he said.

The council also authorized Frank X. Spencer & Associates to increase the well size on two water well locations in the South Worsham Water Well Field.

Engineer Ashek Rana reported to the council that eight successful water wells have been drilled each emitting 170 to 750 gallons of water per minute.

Rana explained that they tested the wells for 36 hours and discovered that the recovery rate was good.

Rana said that he and Spencer discussed placing larger casing in order to learn more about the aquifer.

Well plans currently call for 10 inch casings for the wells however Rana requested the council to authorize for 12-inch casings to be placed in two wells so they would be able to discover how fast the recovery would be if a larger pump was used.

"To be more confident and to know more about the aquifer we want to go with bigger wells," he said.

Several members of the council asked whether or not the change in casing size for the two wells would cause the city to go over budget.

Rana and City Manager Carlos Yerena assured the council that doing this now could possibly save money in the future and that two different sized casings would allow them to stay within budget.

"Whatever we do we can't go over the budget," Yerena said.

In other business the council approved the monthly tax collection report, the accounts payable and the minutes from the previous meeting.

Crime victims honored in courthouse ceremony

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, April 26, 2002 -- Victims of crime have rights too and need help coping with  their dilemma, which is the main reason a local office to serve those  purposes was set up.

This week, victims of crime, victim advocates, criminal and justice officials, allied professionals, and community sponsors across the United States are observing the 22nd Annual National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, this year's theme, "Bringing Honor to Victims," reflects the country's heightened awareness of the harsh and tragic impact of crime on its victims, while underscoring the critical importance of helping all victim of crime rebuild their lives.

"This week is about bringing honor to all crime victims by promoting a greater understanding of crime victims' needs, by educating victims about their rights and the resources available to them, and by applauding the countless volunteers and professionals who have dedicated their lives to seeing that harmed by crime don't fall through the cracks," said Susie Saenz with victim services in Pecos.

"I love my job," said Saenz. "Working with the victims has changed my life in more ways than one."

At the ceremony held on the courthouse steps at noon Thursday, Saenz thanked everyone for being there and Town of Pecos City Mayor Ray Ortega signed and read a proclamation in honor of National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

Crime victims had the opportunity to say a few words during the ceremony.

Danny Leos told the crowd that seven years ago he had lost a sister-in-law during an accident. "It was a drunk driver that hit my brother's car from behind and my sister-in-law died," said Leos.

Both were ejected from the vehicle, but Leos brother survived. "We think about her everyday and her kids miss her a lot," he said.

"Thanks to Susie who has been helping my brother cope and finding resources for him, he's doing alright," said Leos.

Leos said his brother still had some physical problems and missed his wife terribly.

"I also want to talk about the crimes that go unreported," said Leos, who is a sheriff's deputy with the Reeves County Sheriff's Department. "There is a large number of crimes that go unreported and if you know someone who has been a victim of a crime, please urge them to report and we will get them some help," he said.

Marie Cardenas told of a horrific accident that occurred behind her home in a rural area north of Pecos where an accident had occurred and two individuals had lost their lives.

"We weren't the immediate victims, but seeing that accident and those two that lost their lives out there," said Cardenas, who wept during her speech.

"We didn't know them, but they were somebody's brother, sons, and possibly parents," said Cardenas.

Cardenas told the group that wearing a seatbelt is very important. "You're chances of surviving an accident are greater if you wear a seatbelt," she said. "You won't be ejected and there's a greater chance of survival, so please keep that in mind," she said.

Rev. J.E. McCormick led a prayer in tribute for all those who suffered as victims and the group released balloons in honor/memory of victims of crime.

Anchor workers study job offers as closing nears

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, April 26, 2002 -- Anchor West employees were enthusiastic Thursday afternoon,  as they applied for several positions with different companies and  looked at different options with the loss of their jobs in Pecos looming as  early as next Friday.

Anchor parent McCain foods plans to close the plant over a period of three weeks in May, putting 640 employees out of work. But the workers were offered a variety of options during a Job Fair, held at the Anchor facility Thursday afternoon.

"We have 12 employers represented here," said one of the fair coordinator Nancy Ontiveros, who added that employees were pleased that they were having the job fair at the facility.

"They're excited and happy that we're having the job fair here on site and they can come at their own time," she said. "They believe Anchor is doing a good job of finding a placement for those that will be losing their jobs on May 3."

The first layoffs are scheduled to begin Friday, May 3. The remaining workers will be laid off at the end of May, company officials said last month.

Ontiveros said that many employees have started taking GED classes in anticipation of applying for a job at the Reeves County Detention Center. "The employers that are here today are companies that the Anchor employees wanted to see because they were at the first job fair also," she said.

Ontiveros said that Wright Brand Foods, out of Vernon in North Texas, was already setting up employees that they plan to hire for employee physicals at the hospital. "We're also setting up a trip for them to see tour the facility in Vernon," said Ontiveros.

Will Sager, with Human Resources/Recruiting for Wright Brand Foods said that the company is already scheduling physicals for employees that definitely want a position with Wright. "We could probably use about 100 employees, because we are expanding," said Sager.

Sager said that within an hour they had already had six employees on file that they had talked to at the last job fair. "We're setting them up with a schedule as to when they can be up there and taking care of the details," he said.

"This is for the employees that are definitely interested," said Sager. "We're giving them a letter and they will give us a window as to when they can join us, say within two to three weeks."

"We want to know the approximate time to start the orientation procedure," said Sager.

Sager said that Vernon is a town much like Pecos with a population of 11,600. "It's a lot like Pecos, so they won't be homesick," he said.

RMS representative Hector Vega said that they really didn't a certain amount of openings, but they were taking applications for the facility based in Hobbs, N.M.

"We'll also be helping with relocating," said Vega.

RMS was looking for quality assistance technicians, sanitation, maintenance employees, machine operators, productions workers and packers. "They don't have to have a high school diploma or GED," said Vega. "We're a multi-lingual facility so bilingual is a plus, but not a must," he said.

Vega said that he felt that they needed to go to the employees and the employees not to them. "We need to approach them and talk to them," he said.

Sam Hausman of Corpus Christi representative Junior Moreno said that the company had a variety of openings from quality control to laborer. "Today we're taking applications," said Moreno. "We're opening up another plant there in Corpus and we'll be needing employees," he said.

"So far we've been doing pretty good, recruiting them today," he said.

Tita Mora and Laura Contreras representing the Reeves County Detention Center in Pecos were on hand to provide information on the facility and offer applications to the employees.

"We haven't had that many yet, but we're providing them with information," said Mora. "We also have applications, but we heard that some employees are waiting for their GED's to apply, which is one of the requirements at the facility."

The two were busy providing information to the job seekers and handing out applications. "We're still giving them the applications so they can fill them out later," she said.

McCain Foods, which purchased Anchor's parent company last September, announced plans to close the Pecos facility in November, opting instead to expand a smaller facility the company already owned in Grand Island, Neb.

While McCain Foods vice president Bob Thomas said last week that the company is currently in negotiations with another firm for purchase of the facility. However, Thomas said he could not disclose the name of that company.

Anchor began operations in Pecos in 1990 expanding over the next 10 years from one line to four, and from 200 to 700 workers. Of that number 640 people were still employed at the plant as of the end of March. The 640 employees represent about 10 percent of Reeves County's workforce.

Rabies clinic set for next Saturday

PECOS, Friday, April 26, 2002 -- A Rabies Clinic will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, May 4, at the Pecos Animal Clinic Parking Lot.

The event is sponsored by the Pecos Animal Clinic and other rabies prevention efforts are planned for the area.


PECOS, Friday, April 26, 2002 -- High Thursday 60. Low this morning 49. Rainfall last 24 hours  at Texas A&M Experiment Station .03 inch. Forecast for tonight:  Mostly cloudy and breezy with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms.  Some storms may be severe large hail and damaging winds. Lows in the mid  50s. Winds becoming southwest 15 to 25 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny  and breezy. Highs 85 to 90. West winds 15 to 25 mph. Saturday night:  Partly cloudy. Lows 50 to 55. Sunday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 90. Monday:  Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s. Highs in the lower 90s.


Clovis Baca, Alan Hoefs and Mitchell Hoover -

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