Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, July 14, 2003
Commissioners OK Balmorhea park additions
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Mon., July 14, 2003 -- Two new restrooms will be installed at the
C.T. Gray Park in Balmorhea, Reeves County Commissioners decided this morning,
and payments to different construction companies that worked at the site
of the Reeves County Detention Center III were also approved during their
regularly scheduled meeting.
"We have an interlocal agreement with the City of Balmorhea and now I'm
asking the county to support the construction of two bathrooms at the park,"
said Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 3 Herman Tarin, whose district
Tarin told the court that the construction of the restrooms had at one
time been started, but never completed.
"We have a lot of activities at that park, including soft ball and other
sports," said Tarin. "That little community is blessed to have that park,"
However, Tarin said that the lack of restrooms out at the park poses a
problem for those that utilize it often. "They don't have anywhere to use
a restroom, and have to go knocking on other people's doors that live close
by," he said.
Tarin said that he had received an estimate from a man in Balmorhea who
put the total cost for constructing the two restrooms at $1,500.
Tarin suggested taking the $1,500 from the funds being set aside for the
community center and the court agreed.
"I think these kids also need a place to wash their hands," said county
auditor Lynn Owens.
Owens suggested adding a sink at the restroom facility. "I think putting
in a steel sink, because it's harder to vandalize one made out of steel,"
said Owens. "But I think they need a place to wash their hands, before they
go and get something from the concession stand or do something else," he
Commissioners also approved taking $200 out of the county travel expense
for Tarin to be used towards the utility bill at the park. "Right now, they're
having to pay $5 each time they use the park," said Tarin. "Sometimes these
kids have to put all their change together to come up with the $5," he said.
"I have one more class to attend with that county travel, but we can
set aside $200 for now," he said.
Commissioners also discussed several items relating to the Reeves County
Detention Center III project, but did not discuss any of the funding problems
that took up much of their last meeting, in late June.
They approved payments to several contractors that worked at the Reeves
County Detention Center III including a payment to LMD Architects in the
amount of $598.
"This is work done on the closeout," said Owens.
A payment to Texas Commercial Fence in the amount of $54,227 was approved.
"This will clear them out for the entire construction project," said Owens.
Two payments to Scott Thane Ditching will also finalize their dealings
with Reeves County. The first is the amount of $8,694 and the other payment
in the amount of $41,028.
A payment to Carothers Construction Company was tabled until everything
is finalized and the total amount of savings. "I would recommend that we
wait until everything is cleared up and we know exactly what the savings
will be," said Owens.
Owens said that in the contract between Carothers and Reeves County,
it states that any savings on the construction would be split between Carothers
and the county. The county would receive 70 percent of the savings, while
Carothers would receive 30 percent.
Work was completed earlier this year on the 960-bed addition, but so
far the county has been unable to get the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to add
more inmates to fill the facility, to go along with the 2,000 BOP inmates
housed in the RCDC I and II sections. The BOP has also refused the county's
request to increase the current man-day rate for housing inmates in those
As a result, commissioners were forced at their June 23 meeting to approve
an interim transfer from the county's General Fund to the detention center
in an effort to meet payroll on July 3. A total of $420,000 was transferred,
an amount Owens told commissioners at the time the would be unable to match
in the future.
Reeves County failed to make its first monthly payment of $446,676.51
on the new addition on the scheduled July 1 date. The money is designed
to go towards the first bond payment on the facility, due Sept. 1. When
the addition was built, payment on the bonds was expected to come from payments
made to the county by the BOP.
Because of the cash crunch, there were no new hires at the facility during
this morning's meeting, but officers who were promoted to COII's at $24,000
per year include: James Barron, Lee Roy Brown, Fred Gallego, Lauro Villareal,
Kenneth Whipple, James Wilson and Oliver Zermeno.
New hires for other county positions included Savannah Orona at the Reeves
County Library, on a part-time basis at $5.25 per hour; Kevin Roberts, Reeves
County Sheriff's Office and assigned to the task force at $30,000 per year;
Jason Lopez at $19,000 per year at the RCSO; and Efren Rodriguez and Brian
Fuentes, both part-time at RCSO at $7 per hour.
Construction work at RCH reported on schedule
By KRISTEN CARREON
PECOS, Mon., July 14, 2003 -- Reeves County Hospital construction is on schedule
and work on the addition to the 25-year-old facility is projected to be
completed by March 1, 2004.
The addition is located on the north side of the existing hospital building,
and hospital administrator Robert Vernor said that the construction is
on schedule and everything is on track..
Vernor also said that there have been no weather delays.
"The recent showers that we did have actually helped the field," Vernor
The new building is to house the new emergency room, specialty clinic,
the rural health center, physical therapy, and kidney dialysis.
Vernor said that the existing emergency room would turn into swing space
for labor and delivery.
"We will have two separate labor and delivery rooms. There will be birthing
suites. This is where the whole birthing process will take place, and mothers
won't have to be taken up and down the halls," Vernor said.
Renovations are also planned for both the interior and exterior of the
existing hospital building. The interior renovations will take place after
the construction of the new building and will take twelve months, Vernor
"We're going to remodel the intensive care room and make two separate
rooms," he explained.
Vernor said that the lobby of the existing building will also be undergoing
renovations, as well as the remodeling of the lab and x-ray rooms.
"X-ray will be expanded into the existing emergency room, and the remodeling
of the lobby will take place at the same time the exterior of he building
is being done," he said.
On the outside, Vernor said that both buildings are going to be made to
look the same.
"We're going to stick to a southwest motif, but we're going to modernize
it," he said.
Work on the lobby and exterior of the existing building is expected to
be finished at the same time as construction of the new building.
Pair nabbed in marijuana, cocaine bust
By KRISTEN CARREON
PECOS, Mon., July 14, 2003 -- Trans Pecos Drug Task Force members arrested
two people on Thursday in Kermit, on charges of drug possession.
Task Force officers said the arrest occurred at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday,
and the two arrested were identified as Kevin Fletcher, 31 years old, and
Darcile Morris Blankenship, 43, were arrested at 1912 Jeffee, in Kermit.
Lieutenant Lorenzo Arrendando of the Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force, said
that the two were arrested for possession of marijuana over four ounces
and under five pounds, and possession of a controlled substance, cocaine,
over four grams and under 20 grams.
"The possession of marijuana is a 3rd degree felony, and the possession
of cocaine is a 1st degree felony," Arrendando said.
He added that Fletcher, a convicted felon, was also charged with possession
of a firearm.
"Fletcher was in possession of a 25-caliber automatic pistol. Because
he is a convicted felon, this is a 3rd degree felony," Arrendando said.
Task Force members worked together with the Reeves County Sheriff's Office,
the Kermit Police Department, and the Winkler County Sheriff's Office on
obtaining a search warrant.
"Winker County is part of the task force, so we were able to get the
warrant and make the arrest," Arrendando said.
The two defendants are being held in the Winkler County Jail in Kermit.
PECOS, Mon., July 14, 2003 -- High Sunday 108. Low this morning 67. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows near 70. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday:
Mostly sunny. Highs near 102. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Mostly
clear. Lows near 70. Wednesday: Mostly clear. Highs near 100. Thursday:
Partly cloudy. Lows near 70. Highs in the upper 90s.
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 and release.
Carlos Renteria, 29, was arrested at 4:13 a.m., on July 13, at the Pecos
High School football stadium for public intoxication and possession of a
controlled substance - cocaine.
Elojio Rubio, 43, was arrested at 7:08 p.m., on July 12, on the corner
of Ninth and Mesquite for no driver's license.
David Levario was arrested at 2:11 a.m., on July 12, on the corner of
Stafford Boulevard and Highway 17 for driving under the influence.
Christopher Ephraim, 31, was arrested at 7:01, at the Uncle's at Third
and Cedar streets on a Sheriff's Office warrant for making beer available
Roy Estorga, 41, was arrested at 3:46 p.m., in the 800 block of East
Second Street for public intoxication.
Geronimo Hignojos, 57 and Oscar Rubio, 38, were arrested at 6:18 p.m.,
on July 7, in the 300 block of North Cedar Street. Hignojos was arrested
for allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a motor vehicle. Rubio was
arrested for no driver's license.
Thomas Marquez, 38, was arrested at 7:38 p.m., on July 7, in the 400
block of Walthall Street on a capias warrant for theft under $50.
Emilio Acosta, Jr., 22, was arrested at 8:04 p.m., on July 7, in the
200 block of South Locust Street on a capias warrant for no seat belt -
passenger, a capias warrant for violation promise to appear, a capias warrant
for no driver's license and a capias warrant for no liable insurance.
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 2003 by Pecos Enterprise