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Archive 2003

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Judge delays bond hearing for Marquez

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 20, 2003 -- A scheduled hearing for a former Pecos Police Officer arrested  last week on charges of solicitation of child pornography was put off  on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Midland.

U.S. Magistrate Stuart Platt rescheduled the bond hearing for John Peter Marquez, 41, for next Friday, Feb. 28, in Midland federal court. Marquez was arrested on Feb. 11 on a charge of sexual exploitation of a minor, as the result of an undercover sting involving U.S. Postal Inspectors.

A hearing was held for Marquez in federal court on Tuesday. The Midland Reporter-Telegram said on Wednesday that U.S. Postal Inspector J.K. Terry signed an affidavit referencing a hand-written statement in which Marquez allegedly admits to soliciting "hard core" porn videos of teenage boys. Terry testified on behalf of the government at Tuesday's hearing.

"Also in his statement, Marquez admitted to having sexual contact with a 13-year-old male and with a 16-year-old male when Marquez himself was in his late 20s," the Reporter-Telegram said Terry stated in his affidavit.

Marquez was working for the Pecos Police Department, first as a dispatcher and then as a police officer during the 1980s and early 1990. He was terminated in 1991 at the age of 29 by then police chief Troy Moore, but no charges were ever filed in connection with his termination.

Town of Pecos City Police Chief Clay McKinney said that while he was not with the department at that time, both he and Moore have been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in connection with the current charges against Marquez.

"Right now I'm in a situation where I can't comment about this issue," McKinney said on Wednesday. "I've been served a federal subpoena and was advised not to discuss the matter with anyone."

Tip leads police to handgun hidden on Lamar campus

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 20, 2003 -- The Pecos Police Department responded to an anonymous  Crime Stoppers tip Wednesday afternoon at Lamar AEP campus, which  resulted in the arrest of one male juvenile on a gun possession charge.

Investigator/Gang Officer Armando Granado said that he had been dispatched to Lamar AEP yesterday at about 1:36 p.m. on a tip about a student with a gun at the school.

"When we arrived at the school we met with Campus Director Jimmy Dutchover," Granado said.

He added that during the investigation the male juvenile denied any wrongdoing.

"He told us that he did not know anything about a pistol," Granado said.

However, after several hours of interrogation, Granado said that the juvenile confessed about having a gun.

"He told us that he was going to take it back to his grandpa's house where he got it from," Granado said.

The juvenile had no intention of using the gun, the officer added.

With the juvenile's confession, Granado began to search for the gun on the school premises.

"He had hid it under some cross ties on the southeast door," Granado said. "That is where it was found by Pecos Police Department's Sgt. Cosme Ortega."

The gun, which was recovered, was a Raven .25-caliber pistol. "It was not loaded but it did have five rounds," he said.

Pecos Police Department Lt. Kelly Davis said that the officers did a good job in reference to recovering the weapon.

"They did some good investigating work," Davis said.

The juvenile was arrested at about 6:30 p.m. at the Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center and was transported to the Pecos County Juvenile Detention Center in Fort Stockton, Granado said.

He added that the juvenile is not a member of any gang.

"They did good work," Davis said again. "And we believe that he was the only one involved."

Pecos Police Department's Chief Clay McKinney was also proud of the work his officers did.

"That's great," McKinney said. "Anytime we get a gun out of the schools that's great."

Teen probationers' courthouse visit

held to honor work on new window

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 20, 2003 -- A dedication ceremony and reception was held in the lobby  of the Reeves County Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon, which  gave community members the opportunity to see the newest  item in the courthouse.

The ceremony was for a new stained glass window located at the top of the stairs leading to the second floor of the courthouse, and is part of a project aimed at helping students with their self-esteem.

Three young ladies were involved in an art project that included designing, constructing and painting the stained glass window, and was done in conjunction with Pecos High School's art department and the Reeves County Juvenile Probation Office.

"This is one of our projects that we have implemented to help these students," said Reeves County Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Louise Moore.

All three young ladies, Adriana Vasquez, Michelle Carrera and Joy Petty, said that they had enjoyed doing the project.

Moore said that the Juvenile Detention Center is allotted money from the state to implement programs for the students. "That art programs was one that we wanted to implement to help the kids with to develop self-esteem and in different problem areas," said Moore.

Moore said that the art project helped the three students with patience and learn discipline.

Pecos High School art teacher Walter Holland told the group during the reception that this project had helped the girls and also him.

"This is a great way to learn discipline, patience and to develop a sense of pride in a project that when completed looks really great," he said.

Holland helped the girls with the art project, which took several weeks to complete.

"We're really excited about this project and we wanted to show that this is where glass belongs and not in the streets," said Holland. "These girls were really great to work with, they helped me out a lot as well and we had a great time doing it."

The top design of the window is the U.S. Flag and the bottom half is the Texas Flag. "The girls decided that in light of everything going on they wanted to show their patriotism, which is why we chose this design and the bottom half, is the State Flag, to show our support of our state," he said.

Carrera, a junior at Pecos High School, said that the project was fun. "It was something new, I had never done something like this before, but it was great," she said.

Her favorite subject is geometry and she plans to finish school, possibly go to college, get a good job and basically just "enjoy life."

Vasquez is a sophomore at Pecos High School, who also plans to continue her education and raise her baby at the same time.

"I want to someday get a good job and take care of my baby," she said.

"This project is also to help them learn from their mistakes," said Moore.

Moore said that they have already begun a new project with another group of students. The Juvenile Detention Center offers counseling services, first referral services, group counseling and a variety of other services.

"We also do a Choices Program, where we do presentations at the schools," she said.

As part of the ceremony, Richard Crider received an award for his donation of the glass. Simona Villalobos, who helped with the reception, Jon Cook and Mary Ann Acosta with the probation department, and Reeves County Auditor Lynn Owens received awards as well.

"He was a great help to us and we really appreciate it," said Moore.

Baeza becomes second to enter PBT campaign

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 20, 2003 -- A newcomer has joined the race for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD  Board, becoming the second person to file to run in the May 3 elections.

Randy Baeza filed to run for the school board yesterday, joining incumbent David Flores in seeking one of the two available seats on the school board. Baeza is a graduate of P-B-T ISD schools and currently is employed by Reeves County.

Flores, is seeking a new three-year term on the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD school board. The other seat up for election on May 3 is currently held by Steve Valenzuela.

Two other incumbents and one former officeholder had previously filed to run in the local city and hospital elections.

Incumbent Frank Sanchez has filed to retain his seat on the Town of Pecos City Council, along with former councilman Danny Rodriguez, who was defeated for re-election last year.

Sanchez's seat is one of three on the council up for election on May 3. Mayor Pro-Tem Gerald Tellez and councilman Johnny Terrazas hold the other two-year terms. Sanchez was elected to the council in 2001 after serving as Town of Pecos City Mayor in the 1980s.

In the Reeves County Hospital District board election, Precinct 2 incumbent and current RCH Board president Linda Gholson filed for a new two-year term on the board on Monday. Gholson's seat is one of two up for election this May, the other being the seat in Precinct 4, currently held by Hugh Box.

Deadline to file an application for a place on the ballot is 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 19.

Tuesday, March 4, will be the first day to accept applications to vote by mail, and early voting by personal appearance will be held at the Pecos Community Center, 508 S. Oak St., from April 16-29.

The last day a person may register to vote in the elections is April 3, and the last day to receive applications for early voting ballots to be voted by mail is April 25.

City council elections will also be held in Barstow, Toyah and Balmorhea on May 3, as will elections for the Balmorhea ISD board.

Bears' playoff against Lometa set for Sonora

PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 20, 2003 -- The Balmorhea Bears' Class A-Division II Area Round boys basketball playoff game against the Lometa Hornets has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday night at Sonora High School.

Balmorhea advanced to the area round in Pecos on Tuesday with a 70-63 bi-district win over Buena Vista. Lometa, located 50 miles west of Killeen, won their opening round game over Novice, 46-35.

The winner of the game will face the winner between Blackwell and Throckmorton in the Class A-Division II quarterfinals next week.


PECOS, Thurs., Feb. 20, 2003 -- High Wednesday 67. Low this morning 43. Forecast for tonight:   Occasional rain. Lows near 40. East winds 5 to 15 mph. The chance  of precipitation is 100 percent. Friday:  Mostly cloudy. Morning  showers likely:  Tapering to scattered showers in the afternoon. Highs in the mid  50s. Northwest winds 10 to 20 mph. The chance of precipitation is 40  percent. Friday night:  Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s. Saturday:   Mostly cloudy in the morning then clearing. Highs in the upper 60s. Sunday:   Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 30s. Highs in the upper 60s.

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