Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, September 23, 2002
Former Valley Motors owner guilty of fraud
PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- A former Pecos auto dealer is awaiting sentencing on
a fraud conviction.
Ben Frank Meek Jr., 71, of Pecos, longtime owner of Valley Motor Co.
in Pecos and Alpine, pleaded guilty last week in federal court to
bank fraud and is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 19.
According to a story broadcast last Thursday by KOSA-Ch. 7, Meek is working
with the bank to provide as much restitution as he can. Meek had owned the
Pecos Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Cadillac and GMC dealership for over 30 years,
but closed up shop five months ago, citing economic conditions. The local
Cadillac and GMC franchises have since been acquired by Colt Chevrolet, while
Meek's Alpine dealership, which opened in the early 1990s, closed its doors
Federal prosecutors said the fraud involved 31 vehicles and was worth
a total of $700,000. The incidents had been occurring since January of 1998,
according to the plea agreement.
Under terms of the plea deal, Meek admitted using the Internet to get
vehicle information on cars from other dealers and entering them as his own
inventory. He would then borrow money from State National Bank in Odessa
to pay for the non-existent cars.
Meek is a former Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board president, and served for
many years as director of the Golden Girl of the Old West Pageant, held in
conjunction with Fourth of July and West of the Pecos Rodeo activities.
Circus to set up quickly for tonight's performance
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- The Carden Shrine Circus will be in Pecos
tonight at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena with shows for everyone to
Though the Circus had not set up for tonight's show as of late this morning,
Linda Gholson, Chamber of Commerce manager, said the circus crew will
be here this afternoon and will have the grounds set up in time for this
"They will be readying for their 7 p.m. performance," Gholson said. "I
have already been out there and one group was out there this morning."
The rest of the circus is coming from El Paso to Pecos later today, Gholson
Children 12 years of age and under will be admitted for free, with tickets available
in local offices. However the tickets only are good when an adult accompanies
the child. The tickets also limit two children per paid adult.
"They (Carden Circus) are excited about coming to Pecos," Gholson said.
"I hope everyone comes out."
Doors open an hour before the show begins.
Gholson saidd that the Chamber welcomes any suggestions about upcoming
events, specifically the Fall Fair, which will be held on Oct. 3-5 at the
Reeves County Civic Center and the Reeves County Sheriff's Posse arena.
Council holds public hearing on budget, taxes
PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- A special meeting of the Town of Pecos
City Council to discuss the city's new budget and tax rates is scheduled
for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Council Chambers in City Hall
The council will be holding a public hearing for the 2002-2003 budget
as well as discuss and consider an ordinance making appropriations for the
support of the town of Pecos City, for the fiscal year beginning October
1, 2002 and ending September 30, 2003.
The money will then be appropriated to a sinking fund to pay interest
and principal due on the city's bonded indebtness and the annual operating
budget the 2002-2003 fiscal year.
An ordinance levying taxes for the use of and support of the municipal
government of the Town of Pecos City; providing for the interest and sinking
fund for the year 2002-2003, and apportioning each levy for its specific
purpose will also be discussed and considered by the council.
This will be the first reading for both ordinances.
He-Brews coffee house in construction stage
PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- More than a year since Danny Fitzpatrick
saw an empty building that would be perfect for a youth ministry, the He-brews
coffee house is fast becoming a reality.
Though not the building that first inspired him, Fitzpatrick said the
former Bozeman Drug at 800 W. Third St. is being transformed to his specifications.
He and other adults who conceived the project plan to clean the building
Saturday and lay out the kitchen design.
Fitzpatrick, who is associate pastor and youth minister at First Baptist
Church, said the building will also be available for other Christian groups.
God's Army, a marching Bible club for elementary and middle school students,
will meet each Wednesday after school, beginning Oct. 2.
Youth meetings will be primarily on weekends, but he does hope to have
a week-night intensive Bible study for youth, Fitzpatrick said.
First Baptist, West Park, Calvary, Nueva Vida, St. James, First Assembly
of God , Assemblea de Dios and North Temple Baptist churches are represented
on the youth committee. Michael Benavides, a community leader, and musician
Eddie Vasquez are also working with the group.
Some of the churches have voted to financially support the para-church
ministry, and many others have donated time, materials and money. Texas Baptists'
church starting agency matches monetary donations two to one.
"We will need tables and chairs, ping pong, fooz ball and pool tables,
video and sound system and board games," Fitzpatrick said. Furnishings will
also be welcomed in the lounge area.
Fitzpatrick has supplied a detailed list of equipment and furnishings
needed to each participating church. Members may make donations through their
own church to receive an income tax deduction while he is obtaining tax-free
status for the ministry.
"We have been planning community youth activities," Fitzpatrick said of
the 24/7 ministry. The name 24/7 was chosen from Jer. 24:7, and it also describes
the round-the-clock concern the group is committed to.
Fitzpatrick said the idea for the coffee house came to him in August 2001,
when David Crain came to Pecos for a youth event at the State Theater, owned
by Richard Creasy.
"Richard had some stuff in the Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber building, and
I went with him to pick it up. When I saw the stage, I thought, `This is
perfect,' for youth activities," Fitzpatrick said.
Eventually, Creasy offered to donate the building for a coffee house,
and the 24/7 committee began to clean it up. In the meantime, Fitzpatrick
talked with the director of youth work for the Baptist General Convention
of Texas and learned that financial support is available through the church
After taking bids to replace the roof on the old lumber company building
and learning it could cost up to $50,000, the group turned down the gift
and began looking at other possibilities.
Tom Rivera, the city's main street program director, helped out, as did
members of the Downtown Lions Club, where Fitzpatrick spoke.
"We chose the Bozeman building because it is in the best condition of
any building we looked at," he said. "We have begun to work on that. We will
be building in a kitchen and the facilities we need. It has two existing
bathrooms in good condition."
Coffee, fountain drinks, milk shakes and hot chocolate are among the refreshments
to be offered.
"On Sunday nights, we will have an inter-denominational worship service
on the students' level," Fitzpatrick said.
Unity among the churches has brought the dream to fruition, and Fitzpatrick
expects the unity to grow as additional churches join the effort.
"Even though we have theological differences, we have chosen to work together
to spread the message of Christ," he said.
Open House set for sixth graders on Tuesday
PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- Zavala Elementary would like to remind
everyone that they would be having their annual Open House on Tuesday, September
24, from 6 p.m. till 7:30 p.m. All sixth grade students and parents are invited
Pecos teen listed as critical after Friday I-20 rollover
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- A Pecos teen was flown to Lubbock by air ambulance
Friday night, after he and another teen were involved in a one-vehicle rollover
on Interstate 20 at the Business I-20 exit east of Barstow.
Jaime Herrera sustained head injuries that required treatment at Covenant
Medical Center in Lubbock, while the other teen, identified as Jae Ewing,
sustained some bruises and lacerations.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Amanda Hellinger,
the vehicle in which Herrera and Ewing were traveling west, rolled over as they exited
Hellinger said that Ewing was driving the vehicle when it exited I-20
on Exit 52 at an unsafe speed causing it to go off south side of the road.
At that point Ewing then overcorrected causing the vehicle to roll over
and ejecting both Herrera and him from the vehicle.
Both were transported first to Reeves County Hospital, from where Herrera
was then airlifted to Lubbock with head injuries. Ewing was released from
the hospital on Saturday with several stitches and bruises.
Herrera is in the Intensive Care Unit at Covenant Medical Center Hospital
in Lubbock where he is unresponsive and on a ventilator.
Herrera's father, former Pecos City Councilman Ricky Herrera, said that
his son is in critical condition but stable.
He said that doctors are very happy with the condition of his
son because, though he is in critical condition and unresponsive, the fact
that Herrera is stable is good news.
"We just want to thank everyone for their support and their prayers,"
Though Herrera said that they are praying for their, son he would
like for everyone else to pray for him as well.
Madera Valley lifts water warnings
PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- Water restrictions for Madera Valley Water
Co. customers north of Verhalen have been lifted, following last week's problems
due to power outages in the Pecos area.
Customers were told to boil water after storms last Wednesday night knocked
out power to pumping and filtration systems for the water district, which
serves areas to the south and west of Pecos. Texas-New Mexico Power Co. crews
were able to restore electricity to all customers over the weekend, and the
restrictions requiring Madera Valley customers to boil their water to prevent
infection has been lifted, the company said.
PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- High Sunday 96. Low this morning 70. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. East winds 5 to 15
mph. Tuesday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 80s. Southeast winds 10
to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. Wednesday:
Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 80s. Thursday: Mostly clear.
Lows near 60. Highs 85 to 90.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report
is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves
County Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those agencies.
The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of
either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs
are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated
that the fines were paid. In such instances we will indicate payment
Florestin Torres Flores, 48, was arrested at 8:04 a.m., on Sept. 18,
in the 400 block of South Cedar, for 2 warrants, theft by repetition
violation of bond and theft by repetition grand jury indictment (Midland
County Sheriff's warrants).
Toribio Rodriguez, 19, was arrested at 7:08 p.m., Sept. 20, in the
2300 block of Sage Street, for warrant capias for default payment of
minor in possession of alcohol.
Leroy Chavez, 21, and Miguel Chavez, 44, were arrested at 11:05 p.m.,
on Sept. 20 in the 800 block of Hickory street. Leroy Chavez was arrested
for Warrant capias default payment of minor in possession, warrant
capias default payment no set bail, and warrant capias un-restraint
child under the age of 2 yrs, warrant violation promise to appear payment
ran a stop sign and warrant for default payment un-restraint child under
the age of 2 yrs. Miguel Chavez was arrested for assault under the
Eduardo Garay, 23, was arrested at 11 p.m., on Sept. 20, at the
police department for a warrant for no driver's license and a warrant
for violation promise to appear.
Jacob Herrera, 52, was arrested at 12:18 a.m., on Sept. 21 at the
Oasis Bar for a warrant capias default payment ran a stop sign.
Amilcar Florez, 39, was arrested at 2:10 a.m., on Sept. 21 at Fourth
and Plum streets for warrant probation violation out of Laredo County and
2 warrants for resisting arrest (Class A felony).
Rigoberto Perez, 25, was arrested at 7:24 p.m., in the 1200 block of
Cedar Street for 3 warrants for theft by check (Class A felony) out of Ector
Chris Sims, 28, was arrested at 10:12 p.m., on Sept. 22 at Eighth and
Plum streets for possession of marijuana.
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