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Archive 2003

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Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, July 2, 2003

County misses bank's deadline on RCDC loan


Staff Writers

PECOS, Wed., July 2, 2003 -- The deadline has come and gone for Reeves County to make the first scheduled payment on the third wing of the Reeves County Detention Center (RCDC III) and the check has not been written.

Meanwhile, a BOP official said there was never any guarantee by the federal agency two years ago that inmates would be placed in RCDC III before the county began its efforts to build the 960-bed facility.

According to documents obtained today from Reeves County by the Enterprise through a Public Information Request, the first monthly payment of $446,676.51 on the new addition was due on Tuesday, July 1.

County Treasurer Linda Clark stated that as of noon today the check had not been written and that as far as she knew there were not sufficient funds to cover the payment.

Over the past week there has been some confusion as to the exact nature of the upcoming payment and future payments for RCDC III.

Originally it was reported that a first payment on the actual bond that was issued for construction was due July 1.

That is not exactly correct.

According to County Auditor Lynn Owens satisfaction of the bond occurs in two steps.

Reeves County is scheduled to make a payment to a lending institution each month. It was such a monthly payment that was due on Tuesday.

The lending institution then makes a quarterly payment to the bondholders in actual satisfaction of the bond.

The first such payment is not due for another 61 days, until September 1, 2003, according to the payment schedule obtained by the Enterprise today.

The question remains as to whether a late monthly payment to the lending institution constitutes default on the bond, or the exact consequences of late payment of one or more monthly installments.

County Judge Jimmy Galindo said that he was scheduled to resume teleconference negotiations with BOP regarding both the per prisoner rate to be paid by Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for prisoners housed at RCDC and filling the empty beds at the new addition today at noon. Galindo and BOP officials discussed the situation in a teleconference call on Tuesday.

Due to today's teleconference, Galindo was not available to comment on the consequences of the late payment or when and if Reeves County might be able to make the payment.

BOP spokesperson Traci Billingsley said that the agency would not comment directly on the negotiations but did state that as far as BOP was concerned that there were two distinct issues involved.

"The first is the renegotiation of the existing agreement concerning RCDC I and RCDC II. The second is the new third facility that Reeves County unilaterally chose to build. There were no promises or commitments to use the beds made by BOP before Reeves County began building this facility."

Billingsley also said that the third wing was not covered under the existing inter-governmental agreement that governs the relationship between Reeves County and BOP.

"RCDC III is a separate issue," she said.

"Reeves County was notified in writing by contracting staff that there was no commitment from BOP regarding use of RCDC III in letter dated June 15, 2001.

Billingsley said that at the moment BOP did not know if there was a need in the region for more bed space.

She also said that she could not comment on whether or not there is a need for bed space in the region.

Billingsley said that there is an ongoing assessment in progress by BOP to determine the needs of the region and the results of that assessment will determine if there is a need for more beds in the area.

"What will determine if and when BOP will use RCDC III is whether there is a need for bed space in the area and if the cost of bed space (at RCDC) was a prudent use of taxpayer dollars," she said.

Legislative Aide Patrick Anderson of U.S. Rep Henry Bonilla's office said that the congressman had asked the same question of BOP in a letter dated June 10 and had still not received an answer.

The negotiations between Reeves County and BOP were still in progress at press time today.

Parade winners announced from larger field of entries

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., July 2, 2003 -- It was a hard decision for the West of the Pecos Parade judges this year, with a colorful array of floats to choose from. But winners were announced in the various categories early this afternoon, following completion of the parade through downtown Pecos.

Golden Girl nominee Bre'Ann Windham's float received first place and second place went to nominee Natalia Ornelas from this year's judges, who included Jay Hendricks and Jessica Garate with KWES-Ch. 9 and Sam Conn from KOSA Ch. 7.

In the antique-vehicles division, first place went to L.M. Ray and second place to James and Joyce Jones.

Riding group winners were Lisa Fernandes - flag girls and second place was the Madera Valley Riding Club.

In the commercial division of the parade, Wal-Mart took first place and Burrito Depot second.

Bicycle winners were first Adrian Nunez and second, Victoria Carrasco.

The Lopez Family placed first in the Animal Drawn Division and Wally Moon took second place.

This year's parade was bigger than last year's event, organizers said, with more entries and different riding groups represented.

The parade is held annually on the opening day of the West of the Pecos Rodeo, and is part of the city's Rodeo Week and Fourth of July activities. The parade concluded with a barbeque luncheon today at the Reeves County Sheriff's Posse Barn, while the official opening of the rodeo will be at 8 p.m. today at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena.

Float runs over child near end of rodeo parade

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., July 2, 2003 -- Children riding in emergency vehicles during this morning's West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade were in for a surprise after both a fire truck and an ambulance took a detour when they were dispatched to emergency calls, including one involving a small child being run over by a float at the rear of this morning's parade.

The first call came in just after 10:30 a.m. in reference to a fire in the 1300 block of Martinez Street. A fire truck and the fire and rescue unit both responded to the call, which a Pecos Police dispatcher said turned out to be trash burning.

The second, and more serious incident, occurred as the parade was ending. EMTs were dispatched to the corner of Third and Cedar in reference to a small child riding on a float, who had fallen out and had been run over.

The float, which was the final one in line in today's parade, and a First Choice Power Co. truck which was the parade's final vehicle, stopped in the intersection while the ambulance, which at this point was about two blocks down, took a detour back to Third Street.

A small boy, about the age of seven, had fallen off the float, landing on his left side as the float continued to go over him. A spectator of the parade then alerted the driver of the float about the incident as one of the float's small tires ran over the child.

Pecos Police Sergeant Armando Garcia who was directing traffic at Third and Cedar took the child from underneath the float, while other parade participants, spectators and law enforcement agents offered their assistance.

The child was then placed on the bed of the truck and was treated by EMT Uvaldo Munoz. The EMT returned to the site on foot from Fifth and Cedar streets while the ambulance was maneuvering its way out of line and around the block.

Scrapes on the child's left arm were treated and a brace was placed on his neck before being transported to Reeves County Hospital.

The child's name and condition was not known as of press time.

The injury put a damper on the 45-minute parade, which began at Third Street and Bickley Avenue on the west side of Pecos and made its way through downtown, before traveling south on Cedar Street to the West of the Pecos Rodeo Grounds. The front section of the parade had already arrived at the rodeo grounds by the time the accident occurred.

Lutheran Church VBS activities set for next week

PECOS, Wed., July 2, 2003 -- The Hispanic Lutheran Church is hosting Vacation Bible School next week with the help of the CAN-DO (Christian Among Nations - Disciple Outreach) mission youth groups, who will be volunteering their time and hard work to ensure that the VBS will be a success.

VBS will be held at The Hispanic Lutheran Church, 1200 Park Street, (the corner of Park and Washington), from 9 a.m. until noon, Monday, July 7 through Friday, July 11.

To register children ages 3-11, call 447-6759.

B-1B flyover scheduled for rodeo's opening night

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., July 2, 2003 -- A U.S. Air Force flyover will be part of the opening ceremonies for the West of the Pecos Rodeo, which will begin tonight at 8 p.m. at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena.

Following the grand entry and the national anthem, a United States Air force B-1B Lancer is scheduled to fly over the rodeo grounds at 8:30 p.m.

The 190,000-pound aircraft has been around since June of 1985, and a B-1 flew over the West of the Pecos Rodeo on opening night two years ago, just after the opening of the Realistic Bomber Training Initiative's electronic scoring site used by the bombers and located southwest of Pecos.

The B-1B can reach speeds over 900 miles per hour. It also holds 43 world records for speed, payload, range, and time of climb. The National Aeronautic Association recognized the B-1B for completing one of the 10 most memorable flights in 1994.

Rodeo president, Trevor Teague said that the jet is hopefully going to make its appearance as the national anthem comes to an end prior to the start of tonight' show.

Communications have been set up between the pilot of the B-1 and Dennis and Isabel Blanchard at the Pecos Municipal Airport.

"We will be talking by hand held radio and cell phones. I will be at the rodeo grounds and will be speaking to my husband who will be at the airport," Isabel Blanchard said.

Blanchard also said that her latest understanding was that the plane would be flying in from east to west. She also said that the plane, following the pass over, would turn on the afterburner and head towards the sunset.

Once the flyover is completed, the first PRCA of two sections of bull riding will begin this evening's events at the rodeo. This evening will be the first night of competition for bull riders, saddle bronc and bareback riders, along with ladies' barrel race competition.

Slack competition in the PRCA's timed events got underway on Monday and continued through morning and evening sessions on Tuesday at the Buck Jackson Arena. Bull riding, along with some other roughstock and barrel racing, have been part of the special Tuesday show in recent years, but on Tuesday those were replaced by Youth Bull Riding Association roughstock competition, involving actual bull riding for high school aged competitors, steer riding for middle school-aged riders, and calf riding and mutton busting for the younger competitors.

Casey Bowman won first place in the bull riding competition with a 76-point effort, beating out local rider Guthrie Long, who scored 73 points. In the youth steer riding, Colton Horrell won with a 66-point ride, while Ty Hughes was the only other rider to last the full eight seconds, and scored 62 points.


PECOS, Wed., July 2, 2003 -- High Tuesday 104. Low this morning 67. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 60s. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 105. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the upper 60s. Independence day: Partly cloudy. Highs near 102. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 60s. Highs near 100.


Charles Edge, Maria Munoz, JoAnn Rodgers, Buddy Spence and Charlotte Waight

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