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Archive 2002

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Antenna's trip final PD move into new home

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tuesday, May 14, 2002 -- The Pecos Police Department has finally completed moving  into their new home, after the last of the department's  communications equipment was relocated from downtown Pecos to  the  new Municipal Criminal Justice Center Monday morning.

Employees from D & R Windmill, of Odessa, worked all morning on moving the police department's communications tower from the old building on Oak Street to the new building located on Raul Florez Boulevard north of Interstate 20.

"D & R was able to take it down without cutting it into smaller pieces," Police Chief Clay McKinney said. "They moved it all in one piece."

McKinney said that Texas New Mexico Power Company representatives were on standby while the tower was transported in case any problems arose.

McKinney explained that his decision to move the existing tower instead of purchasing a new one was quite easy to make.

"It would have cost $24,000 for a new tower," he said.

The cost of moving the tower, painting it and installing it at the new location is considerably less at $2,500.

McKinney said that transporting the tower went real well and now the tower is awaiting painters to give it a fresh coat of primer and paint.

"We didn't have any problems at all," he said.

In fact the police department has had very few problems since they finished moving the entire department to the new facility last Friday.

Now anyone needing anything from the police department must visit the new facility, since no one is at the old facility. However, McKinney said that anyone wishing to call the department might still use the same phone number.

"I got special permission from Valor (Telecomm) to keep the 445 prefix even though we're now in the 447 area," he said.

McKinney believes that having the same phone number that many people in the area recognize is helpful with safety issues.

"I thought that was important," he said.

The jail portion of the facility has been up and running since mid-February and has not brought any problems for the department.

McKinney said that the jail is busy but with the help of his staff they are able to handle it.

"We're at capacity right now," he said. "I'm real pleased with everything that has unfolded. The staff has done a real good job."

County seeks $307,000 colonia sewer grant

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tuesday, May 14, 2002 -- A resolution for authorizing a grant application of  over $300,000 for sewage system improvements to rural  homes in Reeves County was approved Monday by  Reeves County Commissioners.

The commissioners approved the submission of a Texas Community Development Program Colonia Construction Fund Application to the Office of Rural Community Affairs at their regular meeting, Monday morning in the third floor courtroom at Reeves County Courthouse.

"We have identified 50 sites for onsite sewage systems," said Mike Duran, grant writer with Gary Traylor and Associates. He added that the application had to be submitted by 5 p.m., Thursday.

The resolution authorizes the submission of the application to the Office of Rural Community Affairs and authorizes participation in the program, according to Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

"This will provide 50 septic tanks in rural areas for moderate to low-income residents," said Galindo.

Duran told the group that the grant application is in the amount of $307,175 and would fund construction and installation of the septic tanks, if it is approved.

In other action on Monday, commissioners approved a local match for the Elderly Meals on Wheels Program in the amount of $7,833. "Each year they have been receiving more money from the state and our cost has been going down," said county auditor Lynn Owens.

A resolution for the Texas Task Force for Indigent Defense Grant Funds was approved. Owens told the group that it was going to be quite a bit of trouble, but worthwhile. "They will be giving us slightly over $8,000 this year, but we can't use these funds to replace any existing funds," he said.

Owens said they would have be making changes to their budget and separating costs. "There will be all kinds of things we'll have to look into with this program," he said.

Commissioners agreed to declare two 1990 Ford Crown Victoria cars from the Reeves County Sheriff's Office as surplus material and to be sold in their auction.

A bid for inmate work boots and jackets was tabled, following a lengthy discussion with members of the Reeves County Detention Center who were on hand for the regular meeting.

Adam Rodriguez told the group that the new assistant warden, Gary Payne, had tested all the boots to see which was the best for their needs. Desiree's Boutique, owner of Pecos, was also at the regular meeting to discuss the different types of boots available.

"There was one pair we liked a lot," said Rodriguez. "It was slip resistant, to oil and water and met all the requirements," he said.

Rodriguez said that they were having a number of accidents in the kitchen area and wanted to prevent further problems. "The inmates are slipping and hurting themselves and we want to make sure there are no more accidents," he said.

Commissioners agreed to reject all bids and declare specifications that will yield the right boot for the job, because the boot that was chosen was not the lowest bidder and had been bid separately from the jackets.

"We also have to notify the vendors that we can pick and choose on the products," said Owens.

Commissioners approved LMD Architect request for payment Invoice No. 237-RCDC III plan/specification changes for BOP revisions in the amount of $67,311; LMD Architect request for payment Invoice No. 238 RCDC III expense reimbursement in the amount of $2,692; Frank X. Spencer request for payment invoice No. 2001060-relocation of guard tower and fence RCDC-III in the amount of $6,503; Trinity Engineering request for payment invoice No. 22982-RCDC III bond funds in the amount of $4,771; SamCorp General Contractors request for payment No. 1-RCDC III bond funds, $170,643; ABCO fire protection request for payment No. 2-RCDC III bond funds, $44,175; Scott Thane Ditching Service request for payment No. 2-RCDC III, $61,826; Scott Thane Ditching Service amended request for payment No. 2-RCDC _ correcting retainage from 10 percent to five percent and change order to $13,379; Tank Builders, Inc. request payment No. 3, RCDC III bond funds, $58,330; Acme Electric Company request for payment No. 5-RCDC III bond funds, $176,700; ISI Detention Contracting Group request for payment No. 5-RCDC III bond funds, $89,970; R.W. Jones and Sons, Inc. request for payment No. 6-RCDC III bond funds, $529,961; Howard's Mechanical, Inc., request for payment No. 6-RCDC III bond funds, $893,616; N.C. Sturgeon, LP request for payment No. 6-RCDC III bond funds, $887,591 and Carothers Construction Inc. request for payment No. 8-RCDC III bond funds, $146,159.

A termite problem at the Reeves County Library was tabled until Commissioner Precinct 1 Felipe Arredondo can gather more information on which process would be best for the building at Fifth and Park streets. Arredondo said that this had been an ongoing problem and suggested comparing prices and methods between the Odessa exterminators that had done a presentation here at the courthouse last year and the local exterminator, Pecos Pest Control.

"This is something that can't be ignored too long," said Owens.

Personnel and salary changes included new hires at the Reeves County Detention Center, Stephen Aranda, Michael Gandy, Manuel Guerrero, Don Jones, Otoniel Lopez, Silbia Nabarrette, Samuel Stanley, Diana Marquez and Samantha Natividad as Correctional Officers I at $19,000 per year; Gilbert Kinne was promoted to COII at $24,000 per year and at the Reeves County Sheriff's Department Jose Luis Hernandez, was promoted to $24,000 per year.

Commissioners accept land for Balmorhea park, center

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tuesday, May 14, 2002 -- The transfer of the deed on a nine-acre parcel of land from The  Nature Conservancy of Texas to Reeves County was finalized  Monday, completing the process of securing space for a community center  and park in Balmorhea.

Reeves County Commissioners approved the acceptance of the title to the land donated by the wildlife-conservation organization during their regular meeting Monday in the third floor courtroom at the Reeves County Courthouse

The nine acres border Hwy. 17 and are just east of the Country Inn Motel in Balmorhea. The land was part of The Nature Conservancy's Sandia Springs Preserve, which protects East and West Sandia Springs. These springs are connected to the Balmorhea springs complex and provide habitat for rare and unusual species, said Jason Wrinkle, who manages the project for The Nature Conservancy of Texas.

"This is great news and something we've been looking forward to," said Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 3 Herman Tarin. "It's a project we can't wait to get started on."

"We bought 242 acres in 1997 to create the preserve and protect Sandia Springs," Wrinkle said. "The nine acres that front Highway 17 don't have special ecological value, and we saw an opportunity to give the land to Reeves County to help fulfill a need for a community center and park. The land will still provide a buffer between the highway and the more sensitive lands on our preserve," he said.

Originally announced last November, the gift is to be completed with the transfer of the deed to the county and the acceptance of the donation.

"The donation of this property greatly benefits the community of Balmorhea," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "For the longest time, Balmorhea has needed a community center right there in the middle of town. Now, this public-private partnership between Reeves County and The Nature Conservancy will make that a reality," he said.

The Nature Conservancy of Texas is a non-profit organization that works with communities and individuals to conserve land that is important for wildlife habitats. The Conservancy also owns an 18,000-acre nature preserve near Fort Davis and another 2,240-acre preserve at Madera Canyon.

Judge Galindo said that the community center building will be surrounded by a park that is expected to include basketball courts, volleyball courts, a playground and a hike-and-bike trail that will run around the perimeter of the property.

"In conjunction with the community center, the donation of the property has made the community eligible for a grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department," said Galindo.

TPWD will donate $60,000 to be matched by the community for creating the park. Including in-kind donations, the partnership between city, county and The Nature Conservancy will reach that goal, according to Galindo.

In accepting the donation, Reeves County Commissioners agreed to deed restrictions on the property that prohibit activities that would be detrimental to the adjacent wildlife preserve. Eventually, The Nature Conservancy hopes to provide some interpretive signage on the site that describes the ecology of the rare desert springs such as the Balmorhea springs complex, which includes Sandia Springs as well as San Solomon Spring at Balmorhea State Park.

Swim registration for summer class set for next week

Pecos High School will be offering summer swimming lessons and registration has been set for next Monday and Wednesday, May 20 and 22, at the Pecos High School Swimming Pool.

Registration will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m., and cost will be $25 per session, per child.

Session I will take place from June 3-14 and will run from Monday through Friday and session II will be from June 17-28, (Monday through Friday).

For more information contact Terri Morse at 447-7242.

Pecos FFA group claims national title

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tuesday, May 14, 2002 -- The first Pecos National Champions were recognized  during the annual Career and Technology Education Spring Banquet last  night at the Reeves County Civic Center.

All four members of the Pecos FFA National Champion Land Judging team were congratulated by the guest speaker and FFA State Vice President T.J. Lewis, who handed them all certificates of recognition.

The team, consisting of Senior John Canon, Junior Chase Laurence and Freshmen Jack Bradley and Clifton Brantley competed in the 2002 National FFA Competition last Thursday in Oklahoma City, Okla. The four were recognized as National Champions early Friday morning, a day after the normal announcement of the winners.

FFA Sponsor and Coach Tim Flanagan said that due to a mix up in the tabulations of the score cards the Pecos team was not recognized as the champions the night of the awards banquet, in fact a team from Iowa had been announced as the winners.

Flanagan said that his students had been confident that they had won the competition but were disappointed after their names were not called out in the awards ceremony.

"The students were very disappointed," he said.

However, that disappointment was short-lived after receiving word that they had in fact won the competition, beating the Iowa team by 20 points.

The students were excited to hear that they were now the National Champs after they've spent many months preparing themselves for each competition.

"I never thought that the team would qualify for Nationals, much less come home as National Champions," Laurence said. "I learned that all the hard work and long practices paid off in the end."

Flanagan explained that land judging is the process of determining the class of different types of land.

"This is a deal where students have to classify land by eight USDA land classifications," he said.

The students classify the land after looking at many different things including the soil content, the slope of the land, erosion and depth of soil.

This team, who started off the year with a 30th placing in their first competition, amazed Flanagan, who said they would always work hard to prepare for competitions and never complain.

"That was absolutely the best bunch of kids I have ever had the pleasure of working with," he said.

Flanagan said that it wasn't uncommon for the group to practice from before sunrise to after sunset on numerous occasions just so they would be prepared for competition.

The team had one week to prepare for National competition after winning third place in State competition. They also placed second in Area competition.

Flanagan said that the rules for land judging are completely different from Texas to Oklahoma, so the students had to learn a whole new set of rules before competition.

The team traveled to Oklahoma and spent two days practicing in the Oklahoma soil trying to adjust to the differences in the judging, which apparently paid off.

Flanagan said that this group of boys would never be able to compete in land judging again.

"They disqualified themselves," he said, because anyone who qualifies for Nationals in any one event would not be allowed to compete in that event again.

So Flanagan is already preparing for the team, minus Canon who graduates at the end of this month, to compete in another event, Range and Pasture Judging.

During last night's banquet, other student competitors from FFA, Business Professionals of America (BPA) and DECA were also recognized.

FFA competitors include Amanda Armstrong, Chris Barreno, Susan Bradley, Jennie Canon, Nabor Franco, Dustin Gulihur, Kaci Harrison, Ashley Horsburgh, Lauren Martinez, Sarah McKinney, Kimberly Nunez, Natalia Ornelas, Chris Orona and Chantel Orona.

BPA competitors include Daisy Chavez, Mayra Dominguez, Miriam Dominguez, Brenda Fuentes, Stephanie Garcia, Vanessa Soto Lomeli, Viridiana Lujan, Ramon Lujan, Jeannette Muniz, Mariebel Munoz, Marisa Pando, Erika Rubio, Jasmine Sauceda, Brenda Villescas and Diana Villescas.

DECA competitors include Elizabeth Herrera, Rocky Mata, Lee Varela and Nikki Walker.

Student employers for both BPA and DECA were also recognized for the support of the school programs.


PECOS, Tuesday, May 14, 2002 -- High Monday 77. Low this morning 59. Forecast for tonight:   Partly cloudy. Lows around 60. Southeast winds 10 to 20  mph. Wednesday:  Partly cloudy and breezy. Highs around 95.  South winds 15 to 25 mph. Wednesday night:  Partly cloudy. Lows  around 65. Thursday:  Partly cloudy. Highs 95 to 100. Friday:  Partly  cloudy. Lows 55 to 60. Highs 85 to 90.

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Pecos Enterprise
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