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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Officials cite minor problems in inspection

Staff Writer

PECOS, Feb. 13, 2003 - The Reeves County Detention Center's new addition failed to pass a recent inspection by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, but officials said the failure was due only to minor problems that can easily be corrected.

TCJS inspectors visited the new 960-bed facility, RCDC-III, recently and found it came up short of the requirements for certification. "They cited some minor problems that are in the process of being corrected," said County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

Galindo said that the two drains were clogged, one had epoxy poured into it and there was one that had a caulking gun left inside.

"Those drains are in the process of being jackhammered out and re-done," said Galindo.

Reeves County Detention Center Warden Rudy Franco said that there were also some privacy shields that needed correcting. "There were a couple of handicap shields that didn't provide reasonable privacy," said Franco.

Where 4-6 inches is left at the bottom in restrooms, the shields didn't provide full privacy in terms of width perspectives, according to Franco. "These are just in about 2-3 cells in the handicaps," said Franco.

Storage bins under bunks, made of expanded metal, were not sturdy enough. "They're bolted, but when you stepped on them they broke," said Franco. "Those will have to be reinforced," he said.

A couple of telephone jacks need cover plates put on them, according to Franco.

"They'll have to line up door position sensors, there's several not aligned," said Franco. "This for the locking mechanism."

The security casing was not fully securely fastened and some screws will need to be tightened, according to Franco.

Franco said that these were all minor issues that could be easily fixed.

"The biggest issue is making sure all life systems are working," said Franco. "The comment they had was that for a facility so big, construction went really well and everything was working appropriately, except for the minor problems."

Franco said that they didn't get certified, but that all major systems were working, especially the life systems and that only minor issues kept them from getting certified.

"They said, I and Warden Franco, can get these things, fixed and a report sent to them and they'll certify us," said Galindo. "They don't have to make another trip to inspect it."

"We can certify those issues ourselves," he said. "As soon as we do that, we'll be okay," he said.

Galindo said that they are looking at mid-March before the first inmates will be accepted at the facility. "There are still a lot of things to be done, but we certainly hope that by that time, we'll be ready for them," he said.

The new complex will consist of a 189,000 square foot campus-style facility designed to house 960 inmates with three bed general housing units, a 96 bed special housing unit, independent central control, visitation and administration, separate kitchen and dining, support services unit, health administration, education and vocational facilities, recreational building and recreational yard, AW complex, central warehouse and motor pool.

The addition will bring capacity of the minimum-security facility to just under 3,000 inmates.

Council asked to can sales of beer bottles

Staff Writer

PECOS, Feb. 13, 2003 - The Town of Pecos City Council heard from local citizens concerned with the selling of beer in glass containers, and also heard a request to renew a water supply agreement at the Reeves County Golf Course, during their meeting this morning at City Hall.

Speaking in behalf of the Pecos Downtown Lions Club and other concerned citizens on the issue of the beer and glass containers, Jim Breese came before the council to ask them to provide an ordinance that would prevent people from purchasing bottled beers that would then end up in the streets and in peoples yard.

Breese said that he did not see how it was a legal issue since there are other cities that do not sell beer inside the city limits and that even the home of Budweiser does not sell bottled beer.

He said that he had even talked to some of the local convenience stores and they told him that it would not be a problem for them to just sell canned beer.

"They said that they would not sell less beer," Breese said. "They said that when they tell their costumers that they are out of bottled beer, they then purchase the canned beers."

After talking to John Morrow, area distributor for Coors, Breese said there would be no problem supplying the stores with canned beer if that is what the city wanted.

"The question was brought up about wine coolers and champaigne bottles," Breese said. "However, the people purchasing wine coolers and champaigne bottles go home to drink and throw the bottles in their own trash can."

City Attorney Scott Johnson told the council members and those in attendance that he had done some work in preparing for the meeting, and called the Texas Attorney General Office, which provided him with some information.

According to Johnson, the attorney general told him that the Alcoholic Beverage Commission prohibits the sale of only one type of beverage container.

He added that it is also a state law to prohibit the sale of one beer. However, Johnson told the council that if they wanted to they could adopt a compliance that would show that they were behind the proposal.

Mayor Dot Stafford said that she had asked Johnson to request a something in writing from the Attorney Generals Office stating the statue.

However, if the beer distributors in Odessa and Fort Stockton were willing to voluntarily sign a waiver along with the convenience stores then Johnson said, "There is a good possibility that it could be done."

"I've picked bottles up in front of my yard as well," he added.

Representing the Pecos Golf Association on the water issue out at the golf course was Gilbert Abila.

According to Abila, 20 years ago a contract was created between the county and the city in regards to the golf course.

"The contract stated that the county would keep up all the maintenance of the golf course if the city would provide the water," Abila said. "That contract was renewed 10 years ago and since then it has expired as of last June."

He informed the council the water well is broken and with tournaments coming up they would need the use of the water.

"All we are asking for is for the renewal of the same contract," Abila said.

With both representatives having their turn to speak, the council agreed to put them on their next agenda and provide them with a solution.

The council was also given a report by Accountant Dan Painter on his audit report for the year 2001-02.

In passing out their packet of information, Painter told the council that the report had been read and approved by the auditing committee and is now presenting it to them for their approval.

The report was approved with a motion made by Councilman Frank Sanchez and seconded by Pro-Tem Gerald Tellez.

In regards to the accounts payable, Finance Director George Bejarano said that they would be getting 60 percent of the city's $720,013.95 cost back in reimbursements from their grants.

He added that $300,000 of that cost was used in the operational portion of the projects.

Bejarano also told the council that the landfill is close to completion and could be done by the end of this month or during the first week of next month.

In reference to the water leaks, City Utilities Director Octavio Garcia told the council that he is having the same problems of water lines breaking during this time of year but said that he had a good crew working on the repairs.

Main Street Program Director Tom Rivera also informed the council that he was done with his training and that he had some ideas on some ordinances for the vacant and abandoned lots.

The reports on the accounts payable was approved with Councilman Johnny Terrazas making a motion and Councilwomen Angelica Valenzuela seconding it.

Board to study school campus shutdown plan

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members will discuss moving sixth grade classes to Bessie Haynes Elementary and the DAEP/AEP programs to Pecos High School in order to close Lamar and Zavala Elementary Schools during this evening's monthly school board meeting.

The board will meet at 6 p.m., today at the Technology Center, 1301 S. Eddy and everyone is invited to attend

Board members will recognize Business Professionals of America.

Under old business, board members will discuss and consider action on a salary stipend for classroom teachers with Master's Degrees and a report on Pecos High School baseball field grandstand awning.

Under new business the board will: consider action on the State Compensatory Education audit; will have the first reading for Police EEB concerning class size; consider an interlocal agreement with the Reeves County Sheriff's Department in order to deed P-B-T ISD's interest in building at 2028 S. Eddy Street, to the Sheriff's Department; consider ordering a school trustee election for May 3, and appointing the early voting clerk, selection of election judges, early voting ballot board judge and alternate and central counting officials, and election calendar. The board will also consider the sale of foreclosed properties; the 2003-2004 school calendar; a report on board member training; the budget calendar and budget amendments; and changing the May 26 payday to May 23.

The group will meet behind closed doors to deliberate the appointment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of a public officer or employee and to discuss renewal of administrators' contracts including the business manager, the curriculum/special services director, the special education director, the food services director, the tax collector, the technology coordinator, the athletic director, the maintenance director, the principals and assistant principals and the DAEP/AEP manager.

The board also plans to hear a complaint or charge against a public officer or employee.

Board members will return to open session and take action.

if any, on items discussed in closed session.

Consider and possible action on professional personnel appointments, reassignments, change of contract, retirements, resignations.

Tax report.

Depository securities report.

Cafeteria report and commodities received.

Current bills and financial report.

Investment transaction report.

Reconciled bank balance report.

Reeves County Community Recreation Department Report.

Date and time for next meeting.

Calendar of events.

Request for items for next agenda.

EMT honored, Chamber gives out own top awards at banquet

Staff Writer

PECOS, Feb. 13, 2003 - A father had the wonderful opportunity of presenting an award to his only daughter during the Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet and Awards Ceremony held last week.

Pecos Emergency Medical Technician Chief John Cravey presented the EMT of the Year Award to his daughter, Susan Wimberly during the annual event.

Wimberly has been an EMT for three years and is very attentive, caring and dedicated. "I'm very proud of her," said Cravey. "And if you're going to have a heart attack, Reeves County is the place to do it, because you'll receive excellent care."

Wimberly said that she was honored to receive the award. "We work well together and I'm following in my dad's footsteps," she said.

Women's Division President Laura Briggs was honored during the banquet.

The Women's Division is an extension of the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce and the group is in charge of some major events including the Golden Girl/Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant held every June in conjunction with the West of the Pecos Rodeo.

Former club president Jenny Abbott of the club presented the award to Briggs, and said the Women's Division has had an excellent year.

"We started the year with a successful membership drive. Each woman that joined received a charm bracelet after paying her dues," said Abbott. "For each event or project that a woman chaired, she received a charm of her choice."

Briggs got the Newcomers Basket project up and running. "She has delivered over 50 baskets since August," said Abbott. "If you are not familiar with the project, it is to welcome new residents to Pecos. If your business has not contributed to the baskets yet, you can contact Laura or the Chamber office," she said.

"Our biggest project every year is the Golden Girl Revue/Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant. This year we had a sell out crowd," said Abbott. "We were able to double the girls scholarships and make a large donation to the West of the Pecos Museum," she said.

"Thanks to the community for your support," said Abbott.

Laura has served as the Women's Division President in 2001 and 2003 and has graciously agreed to serve again in 2003.

"Well, actually when we were going to vote on a new president, everyone just got real quiet," said Briggs. "And then my five-year-old daughter, Ruby, spoke up and said she would do it, somebody agreed to it, and everyone voted on it."

Briggs said that since Ruby was too young to take over the position, she as her guardian had agreed to one more year as president, with Ruby's help.

Briggs thanked all the members of the Women's Division for helping her out and urged other women in the community that would like to join to contact the chamber, her or any other Women's Division member.

"We welcome everyone and hope to get new members," she said.

The Director of the Year Award went to John Grant, who also served as MC of this year's Awards Banquet.

Grant was presented the award by past-president Kevin Duke during the annual event.

"He's just a great person who enjoys helping out and donates a lot of his time," said Duke.

Duke said that Grant was always eager and willing to help. "He's always there when you need him," said Duke.

Dance to collect senior trip funds

PECOS, Feb. 13, 2003 - A Three D.J. Dance is scheduled from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Riverside Ballroom.

The dance will feature three different D.J.'s, including two from Odessa and Ricky Barreno of Pecos. A cover charge of $5 will be assessed.

The dance is being held as a fundraiser for the Pecos High School senior trip, scheduled for after graduation.

High Wednesday 71. Low this morning 50. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy. Chance of showers and thunderstorms: A few storms may be severe with large hail and damaging winds. Lows in the upper 40s. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph.


PECOS, Feb. 13, 2003 - The chance of rain is 40 percent. Friday: Partly cloudy and windy. Highs in the lower 70s. West winds 20 to 30 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 40. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 60s. Sunday: Mostly cloudy.

Lows in the mid 30s. Highs in the upper 50s.

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