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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Grand Jury clears Henderson in bus gunfight

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., June 12, 2002 -- The Reeves County Grand Jury cleared Trans Pecos Drug Task  Force Sgt. Mike Henderson of any wrong doing for his conduct during the  May 16 gunfight on a Greyhound bus. Fellow task force officer Sgt.  Jaime Rodriguez and suspect Richard Colunga II were both killed during  the fight and one passenger on the bus was injured. 

According to a press release from District Attorney Randy Reynolds' office the two officers were conducting a routine bus drug interdiction operation at the Greyhound Bus Terminal in Pecos.

Randall W. Reynolds, 143rd Judicial District Attorney presented the case to the Reeves County Grand Jury, on June 11, at 9 a.m. The Grand Jury adjourned at 11:30 a.m., after hearing all the evidence and reaching a decision. "The group was unanimous and they declined to return any criminal indictments in this matter," said Reynolds.

"While conducting that search, Trans Pecos Drug Task Force Sgt. Jaime Rodriguez interviewed Richard Colunga II. During the interview, Colunga produced a Lama .380 caliber, semiautomatic pistol and shot twice, striking Sgt. Rodriguez and a passenger on the bus. Sgt. Henderson then returned fire shooting three times at Colunga, striking Colunga two times and striking Sgt. Rodriguez one time, who had apparently come between Henderson and Colunga," Reynolds said.

Colunga died as a result of his wounds from the shots fired by Henderson. Rodriguez died during surgery at Covenant Hospital in Lubbock.

"According to eyewitness accounts of the shooting the first shot was a shot fired by Colunga striking Sgt. Rodriguez in the lower back. The medical examiner reports that this was a fatal wound," Reynolds said.

Colunga fired a second time grazing Rodriguez and striking a passenger in a seat seated ahead of Colunga, according to Reynolds.

Henderson's return fire stopped the suspect before he could fire again.

The subsequent investigation revealed that Colunga was wanted in Travis County, on a warrant for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. It has been discovered that the weapon Colunga used to murder Sgt. Rodriguez was one of the weapons taken during the robbery. At the time of the conflict between the officers and Colunga, the officers were not aware that he was a fugitive wanted for a felony offense.

Newcomers' baskets offer free exposure for businesses

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., June 12, 2002 -- Churches, businesses and individuals are invited  to donate a "little something" to Newcomer's Baskets  being put together by the Pecos Area Chamber of  Commerce Women's Division.

Women's Division President Laura Briggs updated chamber members during their regular meeting held Tuesday at lunch on the many things the group is working on, including the Newcomer's Baskets.

"The city is trying to put together a welcoming committee," said Briggs. "And we're gathering items for the baskets, which we'll deliver personally," she said.

Briggs said that menus, magnets, a letter, invitations to places of business are welcome. "We want to just put items like that into the baskets, to welcome new people in the community and to local establishments," she said.

"We are contacting all the churches and all the businesses that we know of," said Briggs. "There are also some individuals who provide services from their homes and we encourage them to provide something as well," she said.

Briggs said that they encouraged anybody in the community that had any kind of service to provide to donate an item so that they could be recognized. "This is sort of like free publicity that we'll be providing for them, because the new people in the community will look at their flyer or letter, or whatever it is they want to put in the Newcomer's Basket, and they will know where to go when they need something," she said.

Briggs said that civic organizations and groups are also invited to "donate" items for the baskets. "We're getting the names and addresses of new citizens from the city and we're excited about this project," said Briggs.

"We encouraged the Reeves County Library and the museum to put a little coupon or something like that in there," said Briggs. "This will give them more exposure and let the new people know where they are located," she said.

Briggs said that the group is also busy preparing for the Annual Golden Girl/Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant scheduled for June 28, at the Pecos High School Auditorium.

According to organizers for Night in Old Pecos and the West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade, volunteers are still needed for both events.

Grand Marshals for the parade will be the West of the Pecos Cattlewomen and the Martinez family.

Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford has submitted a letter of support to Kay Harvey-Mosley, state coordinator Texas Main Street Program, Community Heritage Development Division, Texas Historical Commission.

"The City of Pecos recently took the initiative of becoming a Self-Initiated Texas Main Street City," the letter read. "Our goal is to be officially designated a Main Street City by the Texas Historical Commission."

In that regard, we are asking for the community's support in our efforts, said Stafford in her letter. "Letters of support for our application are needed," she said. "The deadline for our application is the end of July 2002. Your support of this effort is crucial and important for our community. We thank you for your support," she said.

The letters are to be addressed to Kay Harvey-Mosley, at 1304 Colorado, Austin, Texas 78701.

School board looking at new administrator positions

PECOS, Wed., June 12, 2002 -- Creation and reconsideration of a curriculum director, a special programs director, a PEIMS coordinator/student accounting supervisor, a testing coordinator or assignment of additional duties to existing administrators will be discussed during the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board meeting.

The group will meet at 6 p.m., Thursday, June 13, at the Technology Center, 1301 S. Eddy.

Board members will listen to a report on renovations at area campuses; discuss and consider custodian/maintenance personnel paid holidays and total days worked for the 2002-2003 school year as compared to non-professional/auxiliary PBT-ISD employees; discuss 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 summary of finances and 2002 estimated appraisal total; discuss cafeteria guidelines and prices for the 2002-2003 school year; consider requests to purchase foreclosed properties; consider a request by the Reeves County Community Supervision and Corrections Department to implement a new program called WHO (We Help Ourselves) for PBT-ISD students and appointing a board member as a delegate to TASB's Delegate Assembly.

The board will discuss an agreement with Greater Opportunities of the Southwest (Head Start) for use of the Pecos Elementary School facility; a Grant for Lamar Center in the amount of $35,000 and set dates for budget meetings.

The group will meet in closed session to discuss the appointment of employee(s) for new administrative positions if any are created. The Board's agenda justified the closed session under Sections 551.074, Texas Government Code _ Consultation with attorney and under Section 551.071 which creates an exception to the open meetings requirements for discussion of personnel issues.

They will return to open session and take action, if any, on items discussed in closed session under Section 551.074.

Landfill tops council agenda

PECOS, Wed., June 12, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City Council is scheduled to discuss construction of the ARID Exempt landfill trenches for Type I and Type IV landfills during the regular meeting at 7 a.m., tomorrow in Council Chambers at City Hall.

The city has applied for the landfills through the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

Currently, Pecos has a Type I landfill which holds household garbage and tree limbs however, the city is in need for a Type IV landfill.

The Type IV landfill would hold demolition materials, such as old houses, as well as heavy appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators, etc.

During the public comments portion of tomorrow's meeting, the Council plans to present a plaque to the family of Jaime Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was killed in the line of duty as a member of the Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force on May 16.

The Council also will consider awarding a construction contract for the ground tank and standpipe portion of the South Worsham Water Well Field development project.

Also on the agenda is the approval of accounts payable, the municipal court report, the juvenile monthly report and minutes from previous meetings.

Enchilada plate sale on Friday

PECOS, Wed., June 12, 2002 -- An enchilada plate sale will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Friday, June 14, at Santa Rosa Hall.

Plates will consist of three red or green enchiladas, served with beans, rice and salad.

Deliveries on four plates or more will be made and plates are $4.

To order call 445-2302 on Friday.

Tickets for pageant on Sale Monday

PECOS, Wed., June 12, 2002 -- Tickets for the Golden Girl/Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant will go on sale Monday, June 17 until Thursday, June 27, at the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Office.

Tickets are $8 and they can also be purchased at the door on the night of the event.

The Golden Girl of the Old West will be held at 7 p.m., Friday, June 28, at the Pecos High School Auditorium.

Class of `92 plan a 10-year reunion

PECOS, Wed., June 12, 2002 -- The class of 1992 is having a 10-year class reunion. If you graduated or know someone who graduated from PHS in 1992, contact Lori Williams Mathis via e-mail at for all the details.

The dates of the reunion are July 5-6.

If there is anyone interested in helping out contact Lori via e-mail. If you do not have access to e-mail contact Jimmy V. at 214-732-1335.

Nacho and puppets talk to kids about drugs and alcohol

Jennifer Galvan
Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., June 12, 2002 -- A year after his last visit to Pecos Nacho Estrada was  entertaining students at Crockett Middle School again yesterday afternoon.

The last time that Nacho came to Pecos he brought with him his two friends Maclovio and a dummy parrot with the message -All children can learn.

This time Nacho focused on the theme of, "Don't let drugs make you a dummy."

When asked how he picked which skit to do, Nacho said that out of the four skits that he has, he just rotates them around.

"I have four skits, "All children can learn," "Don't let drugs make you a dummy," "Recycle, reuse, reduce and respect," and "Child abuse prevention through humor and love," Nacho said. " I did another one last year, I just rotate them but these are the most famous."

Before making his summer road trips across the nation, Nacho worked on a video that he made ten-years ago.

"Ten-years ago, I made six master videos and did not do anything with them," Nacho said. "And one day my producer called me and wanted the master of the Texas Folk life Festival. I gave it to him and he made 200 copies. They all sold."

The video takes place in San Antonio at Texas' third largest festival. The festival deals with all of the cultures in Texas in which all nationalities gather in San Antonio and put up a booth and dance.

With the success of his last video, Nacho will be working on six more videos on July 4 which will then be sold to the public beginning in August. Each video will deal with a character trait such as respect, caring, responding, and honesty

"The videos are geared for elementary students," Nacho said. "I will have a package deal for the teachers. I will also be doing one for the parents."

Nacho's skit, focusing on drugs and their dangerous effects, informed the students that they should not just say no because it is what they should say but rather to say no and know why they must say no.

In using his friend Maclovio, Nacho illustrated the dangers of alcohol, inhalants and nicotine by giving statistics provided by the American Cancer Society and the Lung Cancer Society.

Nacho informed the students that alcohol is the number one cause of teenage deaths in the United States because eleven teenagers will die everyday in alcohol related deaths.

In his skit Nacho lets the children know that it is okay for their parents to drink one or two beers but if they continue to drink then that is when they start to abuse alcohol. He also asks them to tell their parents not to drink and drive.

The information that he provided to the children on the dangers of smoking was that 1200 people will die today because of lung cancer and that it is the number one cause of death in the world. He also stated that eleven people a day would die from second hand smoke.

"If your mom and dad smoke, tell them to go outside and smoke," Nacho said. "That way they will not stink up the furniture and when they have a garage sale it will be easier for them to sell it because it does not stink."

Introducing Tortilla Monster to the students, Nacho informs the children on how to be respectful because by being respectful they can makes others feel good.

Summer School Principal Juanita Davila said that Nacho has a good message to deliver because he does it in a comical but serious way.

"He has such a good message to deliver to them. This time the focus was on drugs," Davila said. "He does it in a comical but serious way."

Davila hopes that Nacho will continue to come to Pecos.

"I think that as long as we book him on time he will. He stays pretty busy," Davila said.

Davila also added that the children enjoy him so much that they will talk about "Nacho" for days.

"They enjoy him. They will talk about him for days," Davila said. "A lot of them will go and tell their parents what he said."


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