Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, June 7, 2002
Charges filed in PD firebombing
From staff and wire reports
MONAHANS, June 7, 2002 - Travis James Harris, a 22-year-old man who had lived in
Monahans about two months, was arraigned Thursday on a felony arson
charge for allegedly starting a fire at the Monahans Police Department
earlier this week.
Harris was arrested on Monday in Odessa after someone threw
a "Molotov cocktail" through a window at the Monahans
Police Station about 3:30 Monday morning. Harris was transferred to
Ward County on Tuesday.
Although no one was injured in the fire the building and much of
the police department's equipment was damaged.
Monahans Police Chief Charles Sebastian has estimated damages
at a minimum of $350,000 but said that the estimate was probably on the
City Manager David Mills said that the dispatch console alone
was worth $20,000. With headquarters out of commission
Monahans Police are working out of the City Annex building and working
around the lost equipment to provide police protection to the city.
Officers are writing their reports by hand since their computers
were largely destroyed in the blaze. Replacement equipment has
been ordered and is being rushed to the police station, Sebastian said.
"Hopefully within a week or so we'll be up and fully
functional," he said.
The city's 911 system is not fully functional but 911 calls are
being routed through Kermit so that residents can still summon a
police officer by dialing the three digits.
The Ward County Sheriff's office is handling dispatch duties for
Harris also faces a third-degree felony charge of retaliation
for allegedly threatening a Monahans officer on Monday, Sebastian
Harris remained in the Ward County Jail with bail on the
arson charge set at $500,000, Sebastian said.
Bail on the retaliation was set at $40,000, said Jeff Baiza, a jailer at
Sebastian said that even though Harris had been arraigned
the investigation would continue.
"We don't know that (he acted alone) so we're going to
continue on until we have no more leads to follow up on," he said.
2nd Band wins superior rating,
1st Band can't compete because of stolen music
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, June 7, 2002 - Several Pecos Eagle Band members had the opportunity to travel
to Dallas recently for a spring concert.
The group was in Dallas from Thursday, April 25 through
Saturday, April 27. On Saturday the second band from Pecos received a
first division superior rating in competition. "Just before the
first band was to perform we discovered we did not have the correct music
so the first band did not get to perform," said Eagle Band Director
Merle Lenfest. "This was a shame because seven years ago, the first
band received a second division at the same contest," he said.
"Our second group getting a superior rating demonstrates
how much progress we have made this year and indicates that our first
group was probably cheated out of a first division on Saturday," said Lenfest.
On return to school on Monday the group looked and looked for
their music and didn't find it. "We did get back from contest with it
that Wednesday," said Lenfest. "I can only suppose that someone took
our music to hurt the band students, they were successful and it makes me
quite angry," he said.
Lenfest said that several months ago, someone slashed three of
his tires. "That was something done against me to hurt me. This seems
to have been done to hurt my kids," said Lenfest. "You parents know
this feeling: do what you want to me, but don't hurt my kids," he said.
"Mrs. Lenfest shed many tears after finding we did not have
our music," said Lenfest. "Many students came to her to console
her and it is very humbling to both of us to see how much faith these
students have developed in us in just nine months," he said.
"It is also very humbling to have these same teenagers get up as
a group and tell us we were a gift from God to them as they did in
the restaurant we went to later," said Lenfest. "In just nine months
many of them have truly become our kids and when you try so hard not to
let them down it hurts a lot to know you have."
The students and directors thanked all the sponsors for
giving their time to make this trip happen. Sponsors were: Amanda
Moreno, Bertha Natividad, Bertha Porras, Guadalupe and Imelda Rede,
Israel and Yolanda Rubio, Salomon and Sylvia Quintana, Albina Lara,
Saul Garcia and Angel Rayos.
"We also need to thank our drivers, Raymond and
Rachel Natividad and Francisco Ramirez for keeping us safe and on time on
the road," said Lenfest.
"One reason this trip went so well is that I expect the best my
students have to give," said Lenfest. "I do
not expect more than they have to give. I insist that they represent me,
the band, the school and the community with the highest standard
possible," he said.
Lenfest said that the group had several Six Flags Over Texas
tickets left from the trip. "They are
available on a first come first served basis for $20. General admission is $42.89,
so these tickets are a bargain," he said.
These tickets are good for any regular opening day for the
entire 2002 season.
For more information on availability contact the band hall
School board denies parent complaint
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, June 7, 2002 - Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members met until late last
evening behind closed doors to discuss a Parent Level III Complaint.
The Parent Level III Complaint was against Jim Workman. Board
members closed the meeting to the public as they heard the complaint
and consulted with their attorney as allowed under sections 551.071
and 551.074 of the Texas Public Information Act.
Board members returned to open session and a motion was made
by board member David Flores to deny the grievances, including denying
the request to terminate science teacher Jim Workman and Crockett
Middle School Principal Juanita Davila. The board also voted to deny the
request to reprimand the Superintendent Don Love, but did grant the grievances
to the extent that the board will require the superintendent to conduct
in-service trainings and establish district-wide guidelines to ensure
the appropriate supervision of students on trips.
Workman is a science teacher at Crockett Middle School.
Board member Paul Deishler seconded the motion and all
board members agreed to the motion.
Commissioners regular meeting Monday at 9:30
A departmental budget hearing for FY 2003 will be discussed at
the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court
meeting scheduled for Monday morning.
The group will meet at 9:30 a.m., in the third floor courtroom and
the public is invited to attend.
Commissioners will discuss and take action on award of Trans
Pecos Drug Task Force Grant by the Criminal Justice Division of the
Governor's office; award of Juvenile Accountability Grant by the
Criminal Justice Division of the Governor's Office and award of District
Attorney Victim's Assistance Grant by the Criminal Justice Division of
the Governor's Office.
The group will also discuss and take action on payments to
several contractors currently working at the site of the Reeves County
Detention Center III.
Commissioners will discuss and take action on award bid No.
01A-02 inmate work boots and jackets; award bid No. 02-02 inmate food and
kitchen supplies and inmate transportation crew mileage payment.
To discuss and take action on is a property bid on property located
at 4th and Pecan streets; appointment
of salary grievance committee for FY 2003; Reeves County
Community Sports and Recreation and Golf Course Personnel work
schedules and time keeping.
Under regular agenda items the group will discuss and take action
on reports from various departments; budget amendments and
line-item transfers; personnel and salary changes; minutes from
previous meetings and semi-monthly bills.
Car Wash Saturday
A car wash is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., Saturday, June 8, at the
Pecos Fire Department Central Station.
Cars will be washed for $10; trucks $12 and SUV's $15.
Two Rifle matches scheduled for Saturday
Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club will hold a John C. Garand and
a Highpower/Service Rifle match this Saturday morning 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
Competitors do not have to be club members.
For more information contact Smokey Briggs at 445-5475.
Work place style show Monday
Summer fashions and proper attire for the work place do's and
don'ts Style Show will be held at 6:30 p.m., Monday, June 10, at the
Reeves County Hospital Lobby.
The style show is for both men and women and everyone is invited
The event is being sponsored by the Reeves County Hospital,
Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Cooperative Extension Agency.
Fashions will be provided by Wal-Mart, Needleworks, Beall's,
Desiree's Boutique and Hollywood Boulevard.
Refreshments will be provided.
Peaceful Garden Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High Thursday 96. Low this morning 72. Temperature at noon
92. Forecast for weekend: A slight chance of thunderstorms
through Sunday with variable cloudiness and generally mild temperatures.
Highs in the 90s over the weekend with lows expected in
the 60s and 70s.
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
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Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise