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Archive 2002

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Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, October 28, 2002

TransPecos gets contract to supply Texas DQ stores

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Oct. 28, 2002 -- TransPecos Foods, which held its official opening earlier this  month after buying the Anchor Foods onion ring plant in Pecos,  announced its first major customer today, as the company announced  that TransPecos Foods would be the exclusive provider of onion rings  to the 650 Dairy Queens in Texas.

In a press release sent out by TransPecos Foods and Dairy Queen today, Texas Dairy Queen's President Larry Newell said, "the decision to provide its customers with TransPecos onion rings was based upon the quality of the onion rings and their `real' Texas flavor."

"It is especially gratifying to find such a quality product right in Texas DQ's backyard that is supporting our Texas marketing efforts and the Texas economy," Newell said.

In a phone conversation with Newell, he said that they have been talking with TransPecos Foods for a couple of weeks now but that they had been looking at their samples for about a month.

Newell went on to say that the company has not make any further decisions on whether they will be buying further products from TransPecos Foods.

With Minneapolis-based Dairy Queen being a fairly high profile company in the fast food business, Newell said that he hopes the news of the two companies relationship will reach other companies as well.

In his company's press release, Chairman of the Board of TransPecos Foods, Patrick J. Kennedy, Jr. thanked Texas DQ for selecting TransPecos' onion rings said, "I am especially pleased with Texas DQ's decision to sell TransPecos Onion Rings, since it will result in putting Texans back to work in our recently acquired Pecos facility.

"We are confident Texans will love TransPecos Onion Rings and we look forward to supporting Texas Dairy Queens throughout this great state. Trans Pecos supports the Texas Agriculture Department's Go Texan Program, which promotes Texas agri-business from the `field to the consumer' and I can't think of a better example than the Texas DQ/TransPecos connection."

TransPecos Foods reopened the Anchor Foods plant in September and held its grand opening earlier this month after acquiring the 127,000 square foot processing facility in Pecos, Texas from McCain Foods. The plant employed 700 people at this time last year, just after its purchase by McCain, but the company announced last November it would close the Pecos facility and move all onion ring processing operations to its plant in Grand Island, Neb.

The final day of operations at the Anchor plant by McCain was May 31. TransPecos Foods announced plans to buy the facility five days later, and the agreement was finalized two months later.

"This is an example of good old-fashioned Texas loyalty and spirit," Commissioner of Texas Department of Agriculture Susan Combs, said. "When businesses use the high-quality products of their neighbors, jobs are created and economic development happens for communities across Texas. This partnership is good news for the people of Pecos and West Texas."

TransPecos Foods is a Texas owned and operated manufacturer of gourmet onion rings and breaded appetizers.

TransPecos maintains corporate and marketing offices in San Antonio, Texas.

RCDC population at capacity, commissioners told by Franco

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Oct. 28, 2002 -- Inmate population at the Reeves County Detention Center has  been at capacity in recent weeks, and things are coming along well at  the construction of the newest 960-bed addition to the prison facility,  Reeves County Commissioners were told this morning.

Reeves County Detention Center Warden Rudy Franco updated commissioners during reports from various departments at the regular Commissioners Court meeting held this morning on the third floor of the Reeves County Courthouse.

"Our population has been over 2,000," said Franco, who added that there were no signs of it slowing.

"There are jails in South Texas who are full, jails everywhere are full right now," said Franco. The RCDC prisoners are mainly low-risk federal prisoners held under contract with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

As far as inmate population the facility is doing great and now administrators are making extensive efforts to change the turnover rate. "We had been having a problem with the turnover rate of employees at the facility, but we're working on correcting that problem," said Franco.

However, Franco said that some employees that left the facility are coming back. "Management is taking steps to keep staff at the facility," said Franco. "We've been having a lot of applicants though and now we just want to take extra steps to keep them."

"The turnover rate was beginning to be a concern," said Franco. "But now the applicants seem to be increasing, we see no problem in staffing RCDC-III."

Franco said that the medical aspects at the facility have improved as well. "We used to be behind with medical about 200 inmates, but we're caught up now and dental is going down as well," he said.

Construction at RCDC-III is going along well, according to Franco. "It's moving along smoothly and we'll open on time.

"Right now we're using every available bed we have, we've had over 2,000 inmates, at one time it was 2,025," he said.

Franco added that when you look at statistics, everybody is full. "The total of BOP population is at least 5,000 more than they had anticipated this time last year," he said.

Franco said that long-term inmates was one of the reasons for stabilizing the population at the facility. "Transportation has been down, because really inmates are not being moved around that much," he said.

Franco said that a plus at the facility was the outside warehouse. "This will help vendors, who won't be waiting at the gate," said Franco. "In the future, they can just drive up to the warehouse and won't have to wait, so this shouldn't be an issue," he said.

Franco said that all segregation cases would be housed at RCDC-III, which would also help with the inmate population.

"They'll all be in one place, so the other units will be very secure," said Franco. "We'll have all sorts of latitude, with this new segregation unit."

New hires at the facility as Correctional Officers I, at a starting salary of $19,000 per year include: Jesus Baeza, Tiffany Baeza, Lorina Carrasco, Robert Carrasco, Jae Ewing, Ruben Galindo, Jorge Hernandez, Chris Lara, Jason Lopez, Reggie Lozano, Tammy Lozano, Mario Olivas, Linda Pipkin, Rebecca Rios, Aldrene Starks, Raymond Valdez, Delia Venzor, Ismael Alvarado, Erik Gabaldon, Mike D. Contreras. Martin Duenas was transferred from the custody department to Food Service Department.

In other action, commissioners approved payments to several contractors working at the site of RCDC-III. Payment requests for LMD Architect and Frank Spencer were approved.

Change orders were also approved as presented.

Payment to Physician's Network Association for Medical Professional Services for September in the amount of $247,643 was approved.

The group approved a lease agreement with Xerox for a new copy machine for the county judges office in the amount of $221 a month.

A new election judge for Box 12 for the Nov. 5 General Election was approved. The new judge for that box will be Estella Nichols.

A property bid for property located at 525 Martinez in the amount of $2,500 was approved during the regular meeting.

Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez told the court that early voting had taken place at several sites this weekend.

"We had 70 voters at Wal-Mart, seven in Balmorhea, 25 at Bob's and five at La Tienda this past weekend," said Florez.

Florez said that they were hoping for a better turnout, but that the weather might have kept some individuals indoors.

"I had some good comments though, especially from the elderly, who don't want to come to the courthouse and have trouble climbing the steps," said Florez.

Early voting is continuing at the courthouse until 5 p.m., Friday, according to Florez. Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., on Nov. 5.

Police investigate weekend business, home burglaries

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Oct. 28, 2002 -- A downtown business and a home in the Airlawn section of Pecos  were burglarized over the weekend, with clothing, money and guns  reported stolen.

One person has been arrested in connection with the business break-in, and police are hoping to make other arrests in that incident and the house burglary that occurred the following day.

According to Pecos Police Department Lt. Kelly Davis, a call came in at 4:58 p.m. Saturday regarding the burglary at City Cleaners, located at Fifth and Oak streets.

Davis said that the burglar gained entry into the cleaners through the rear door and took clothing and cash from the register.

"A quantity of clothing was recovered," Davis said.

One male juvenile was arrested and more arrests are pending Davis added.

A second burglary call came in yesterday after 2:30 p.m. in which the house at 1004 S. Oleander St. home burglarized.

Davis said that a shotgun, a 22-rifle and a pistol were taken from the home.

"Two Hispanic males were seen leaving the home," Davis said.

No arrests were made.

Local Girl Scouts celebrate group's 90th anniversary

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Oct. 28, 2002 -- Former and present Girl Scouts in Pecos gathered Sunday  afternoon for a Founder's Day Celebration held at the Girl Scout Hut at  Sixth and Park streets.

The celebration was in honor of Julia Low, founder of Girl Scouts and marked the 90th year of Girl Scouting in America.

Brownie Troop #69 and Junior Girl Scout Troop #188 participated in the special event, while troop #188 did a flag presentation and sang some songs for parents and guests.

Troop #69 read the Julia Low story and beginning of Girl Scouts and sang some songs.

Rosemary Varela, troop leader for Troop #188 presented a quilt made by the troop to Bessie Osborn, who was Varela's troop leader when she was a Girl Scout.

"She is my inspiration and the one who got me interested in Girl Scouting," said Varela. "She's the reason I continue to be a troop leader and enjoy participating in all these events."

Guests had an opportunity to view some old uniforms worn by other Girl Scouts, along with some old books and view the displays the troops had made.

Refreshments were served to everyone and Jenny Abbott reminded everyone that nuts that local Girl Scouts are selling would be in today.

Girl Scouts in the area sold nuts as their first fundraiser of the year. If anyone still wants to purchase some, they can contact any of the Girl Scouts or their troop leaders.

"We will also be kicking off cookie sales on Jan. 4," said Abbott.

Proceeds from the sales go towards the troops and everyone's cooperation is appreciated.

Dance to benefit food bank planned

PECOS, Mon., Oct. 28, 2002 -- A benefit dance for the Santa Rosa Food Bank will be held beginning at 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2, at Saragosa Hall.

Los Latin Kings will be performing and admission is two cans of food to go towards the food bank's inventory.

The event is sponsored by the Pecos Evening Optimist Club.


PECOS, Mon., Oct. 28, 2002 -- High Sun. 67. Low this morning 66. Flash flood watch until 4 pm  CST. Rainfall last 24 hours at Texas A&M Experiment Station .76 inch.  Forecast for tonight:  Clear. Lows around 45. SW winds 5 to 15 mph. Tues.:   Mostly sunny and a little warmer. Highs around 75. SW winds 10 to 20 mph. Tues. night:   Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 40s. Wed.:  Partly cloudy and cooler. Highs  around 60. Thurs.:  Mostly cloudy. Lows 40 to 45. Highs 55 to 60.


Jerry Wayne Crisp

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