Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, June 5, 2002
Security State owner to buy Anchor plant
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., June 5, 2002 -- The Anchor Foods onion processing plant in Pecos,
which ended production last Friday after being purchased last year by
McCain Foods, has been sold to a new company owned by the Chairman
of Security State Bank, the two groups announced today.
McCain Foods USA and TransPecos Foods of Texas jointly announced today
that they have signed an agreement providing for the sale of McCain's onion
ring plant and certain equipment to TransPecos Foods. The closing of the
sale is subject to certain conditions including receipt of local, state and
federal governmental approvals, which are anticipated within the next few
McCain is the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality potato products
and snack foods. It acquired the plant last summer when it bought the facilities
owned by Wisconsin-based Anchor Foods. McCain then announced on Nov. 12 of
last year it would shut the Pecos plant and consolidate all of its onion
processing operations at its Grand Island, Neb., facility, resulting in the
loss of 700 local jobs, representing about 10 percent of Reeves County's
At the time the sale was made, McCain's senior vice president of operations
and supply chain, Steve Prater said the company would work with state and
local officials towards finding a buyer for the facility, which began operations
under Anchor Foods in 1990 with 200 employees.
TransPecos Foods is a newly organized Texas company, which will specialize
in producing high quality onion rings and frozen appetizers. The agreement
between the two companies will, among other things, facilitate a smooth transition
for some of the plant employees and create an opportunity for growth of the
employment base in Pecos. All but about 90 of the plant's workers had been
laid off prior to today's announced sale.
"We are pleased and enthusiastic about this agreement, as it represents
an opportunity for the people of Pecos to continue to work at a good food
manufacturing plant and an opportunity for the City of Pecos to retain an
important local business," said Harold Durost, McCain vice president of corporate
development in North and South America. "Solidifying this purchase agreement
creates a win-win situation for all parties involved and all stakeholders
in the Pecos community," he said.
Patrick Kennedy, Jr., Chairman of TransPecos Banks, Security State Bank
of Pecos and the purchaser, TransPecos Foods expressed his gratitude to McCain
officials for working towards the sale of the plant.
"This acquisition will enable Pecos to rebuild a thriving business which
has for the past decade served as a major employment base for this small
West Texas community. Our focus at TransPecos Development and our bank group
is to bring capital, leadership and business to smaller rural communities,"
"I want to thank Harold Durost and the McCain family for its willingness
to engage in a creative transaction," he said, noting that the McCain family
started their company in a small rural community in northeastern Canada where
they have built a world class French fry and snack food business.
Durost credits TransPecos Development Corp, a locally based community
development corporation, owned by Security State Bank of Pecos, for its assistance
in negotiating and structuring the agreement between McCain and TransPecos
He also thanked Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo and the local community
leaders for their assistance and efforts during this period of transition.
In the press release today, McCain said after acquiring the Pecos plant
it soon realized that other plants in the McCain network could handle its
onion ring and snack food production needs.
However, McCain and TransPecos Foods cemented the agreement just in time
to allow the plant to begin operations anew after a short period of time.
There was no immediate word of when production would resume or how many employees
the plant would have once it reopened.
"The agreement to purchase the McCain plant gives us the proven tools
to run a successful onion ring and frozen appetizer manufacturing operation
and, even more importantly, we get the help of the skilled and dedicated
people who have operated this high quality operation for years," said Kennedy.
"We are a Texas based company which will primarily use Texas grown products
and deliver fresh to Texas and southwest markets."
He went on to discuss the future of TransPecos Foods saying, "We face
a number of challenges in obtaining new markets and customers, but I am confident
we will get the support of the local market."
Kennedy noted that TransPecos Foods was a strong supporter of Texas Agriculture
Commissioner Susan Combs and her GO TEXAN program, which seeks to help and
encourage Texas based food growers and producers.
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Rural Development office in
Texas have been very supportive of TransPecos Foods and this acquisition,"
Both Kennedy and Durost expressed confidence that the transition would
go smoothly. "Harold Durost has been most cordial and supportive in reaching
this agreement and we appreciate his and McCain's attitude and willingness
to help the new company make the transition at the plant," said Kennedy.
Durost noted, "Pat Kennedy and McCain's overriding concern has been for
the people of Pecos and we have reached an agreement which will help put
people to work as quickly as possible."
Police locate stolen goods, seek owners
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., June 5, 2002 -- If you've lost some equipment lately, chances
are officers at the Criminal Justice Center have them.
"We have several pieces of equipment that we believe are stolen items,"
said Pecos Police Department Investigator Paul Deishler, who added that the
equipment was bought by an individual known to buy stolen property.
"There's always these individuals out on the street that steal items from
homeowners and then sell them at a lower price to whoever will buy them,"
said Deishler. "They sell them for almost nothing, sometimes just to support
their drug habit."
Some of the items that are in storage at the new Criminal Justice Center
include an air compressor, a weed eater, a chain saw, a tool box with assorted
tools inside, a cordless drill and a car stereo.
"If anybody has lost some item recently, they can come by and identify
it, by telling us the color of the item, bringing a receipt for the item
or in some way identify it, so that we know for sure that it is theirs,"
"We're almost positive that all these items are stolen items," said Deishler.
The items can be identified at the new Criminal Justice Center, 172 Raul
"We'd like to get these items back to the rightful owners," said Deishler.
School board sets special meeting
PECOS, Wed., June 5, 2002 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board will meet at
6 p.m., Thursday, June 6, at the Technology Center, 1301 S. Eddy St.
The group will meet in closed session _ Parent Level III Complaint(s)
against Jim Workman and consultation with attorney under Section 551.071
and 551.074, Texas Government Code.
Board members will return to open session to take possible action on items
discussed in closed session regarding complaint(s).
Rifle Club hosts match Saturday
PECOS, Wed., June 5, 2002 -- Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club will hold a John
C. Garand and a Highpower/Service Rifle match this Saturday beginning 8 a.m.
at the Club range.
The Garand match resembles a Service Rifle match in form but is limited
to "as-issued" M-1 Garands, M-1 Carbines, 1903 Springfields and 1917 Enfields.
The Club will issue ammunition for the match. The Service Rifle match is
scheduled to begin after the Garand match.
Competitors do not have to be club members. For more information contact
Smokey Briggs at 445-5475.
Odessa golf tourney to benefit ex-Pecosite shot
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Wed., June 5, 2002 -- A golf tournament being held at the Ratliff
Ranch Golf Course this Saturday will go to help the family of a former
Pecos resident who was shot while working for the Odessa Police Department
this past January.
Cpl. Greg Travland, of the Odessa Police Department, will be the beneficiary
of the tournament, which is being hosted by the Mexican-American Network
of Odessa (MANO). Proceeds from the tournament will be given to Travland,
according to MANO Staff Member, Kimberly Perez.
Travland suffered a single gunshot wound to the upper area of his left
thigh in a shootout while he was investigating a domestic dispute on Jan.
18 in downtown Odessa.
Estela Cadena Ramon, 36, was shot and killed by her estranged husband,
Joe Albert Ramon, at her place of employment in downtown Odessa while she
was giving a statement to Travland. Joe Ramon then got into a shootout with
the officer, who shot Ramon several times in the chest while being wounded
in the leg by Ramon.
Ramon spent over a month in the hospital before being released to police
custody, while Travland has yet to return to his job with the Odessa PD.
"We want to do our part to help him and his family," Chairman of MANO,
Greg Maes said. "The community has done a lot of things to help and we just
want to do our part."
Registration time is set to begin at 7:15 am with a tee off time set for
The registration fee is set at $400 per team of four players or $100 per
"The cost is set for $400 a team or $100 per person. If they are not on
a team we can get them on one," Maes said.
However, people wanting to sign-up as a team must call ahead of time and
let Kimberly know, Maes said.
The last count made a total of 16 teams had signed up but a goal of 36
teams has been set.
"As of several days ago we had 16 teams, we would like to get 36 but I
do not think we are going to make it," Maes said.
Prizes that will be given to the winners of the tournament will be gift
certificates of $800 for first place, $600 for second place and $400 for
third place. The gift certificates can be used at the Ratliff Ranch Golf
Course and at the Ratliff Ranch Gift Shop. Prices for longest drive and closest
to pin will also be given.
La Margarita Restaurant will provide a lunch for participants of the golf
Travland is the son of former Pecos Postal Service worker J.E. Travland
and the stepson of former Reeves County Clerk Catherine Ashley-Travland.
He was the first of three law enforcement officers from Pecos to be shot
in a four-month period this year.
One of the other two shootings also occurred in Odessa. On April 11, Robert
Diaz a member of the Ector County Sheriffs Department and a former Pecos
police officer and Reeves County sheriff's deputy, was also shot in the upper
arm back in April while also responding to a domestic disturbance.
Diaz, 54, was shot in the upper arm after struggling with the Efren Olivas
Gonzales, 40, during a family disturbance call. Diaz was attempting to handcuff
the suspect when Gonzales began to resist arrest, and in the struggle that
followed shots were fired from the officer's gun, with one hitting Diaz in
the upper arm.
On April 16, Jaime Rodriguez, 38, a member of the Trans-Pecos Task Force,
was shot and killed during a routine bus check three week ago. Rodriguez
died about 6 ½ hours after the shooting, while the Austin man who
fired the fatal shot at Rodriguez was also shot and killed by another drug
Rodriguez was the first officer in 18 years to die while on duty in Pecos.
He was a former Reeves County Sheriff's Department deputy and was assigned
to the task force out of Midland at the time of his death.
Suspect arrested in Monahans PD firebombing
By The Monahans News
Monahans Police Chief Charles Sebastian confirmed that a man arrested
Monday is a suspect in the firebombing of the Monahans Police Station.
Sebastian said the man, identified as 22-year-old Travis James Harris
of Monahans, was arrested on a charge of obstruction or retaliation, a Felony
3, in connection with a case involving Monahans K-9 Officer Mark Ward.
Harris was arrested in Odessa on Monday and transferred to Ward County
Jail on Tuesday.
Sebastian also indicated the police department's desire to find the individual
or individuals responsible for the firebombing as quickly as possible.
Two investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and
a representative of the State Fire Marshal's office joined the investigation
into the firebombing early Monday.
A police department spokesman said an incendiary device was thrown through
a west side window of the Monahans City Hall building about 3:30 a.m. Monday,
starting a fire that burned the mail room and the surrounding area in the
The spokesman said Neil Davis, a dispatcher who was on duty at the time,
heard a window break and an explosion. Davis attempted to put out the fire
with a fire extinguisher, but there was too much smoke and he was forced
to get out of the building.
The window through which the "Molotov cocktail" was thrown was in a small
room that formerly housed the dispatcher office in the police department.
On Tuesday, Dispatcher Ginger Boren noted that if Davis had been in the small
office when the incident occurred he might have been seriously injured or
Although police officials refused to speculate on the possible identity
of the firebomber or a reason for the firebombing, Police Chief Charles Sebastian
admitted he was already thinking of possible suspects early Monday.
Interestingly, Harris was one of the first individuals law enforcement
officials questioned but did not arrest following the Monday firebombing.
City Manager David Mills said, "You make a lot of enemies in this business."
Fire sirens activated when the blaze at the police department set them
off could not be silenced until the fire completely consumed the wires, officials
Following the incident, the police department and other city offices housed
in Monahans City Hall were moved to a City Annex building at 114 S. Bruce
St. "I sure hope so. Water reading is scheduled to begin Monday. Monthly
water bills are going to be at least a week late. The initial investigation
was being conducted by Texas Ranger Gerry Villalobos. All 911 calls were
immediately rerouted to the Kermit Police Department.
Although Rex Thee, public works director, told one publication that the
fire destroyed about $350,000 worth of equipment, other officials indicated
the total cost of the destruction to both equipment and the building would
be much higher.
Mills agreed that the $350,000 estimate was "on the low side," noting
that a few years back when the city was considering remodeling an estimate
was given of $280,000 to remodel less than the area the firebombing damaged.
That in addition to the extra space that will be involved in this project
and the cost of moving to the annex building likely will boost the estimate
above the initial figure, Mills said.
The computer dispatch console alone is $20,000, Mills said, and city officials
are still uncertain as to how extensively it was damaged in the fire. Mills
added that computer equipment can mount up quickly in cost.
Although the city had hoped to be able to move some offices back to the
damaged building by Wednesday Mills said it would likely be Monday before
the offices are restored at city hall. "I sure hope so," Mills said. "Water
reading is scheduled to begin Monday. Monthly water bills are going to be
at least a week late."
PECOS, Wed., June 5, 2002 -- High Tues. 102. Low this morning 67. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and
thunderstorms. Lows near 60. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Thurs.: Partly
cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs
in the upper 80s. SE winds 5 to 15 mph. Thurs. night: Partly cloudy.
Lows in the lower 60s. Fri.: Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 90s.
Sat.: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 60s. Highs 95 to 100.
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