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Archive 2003

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Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, July 21, 2003

County officials heading for D.C. for RCDC talks

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., July 21, 2003 -- Reeves County officials will be leaving early Tuesday for Washington D.C., where they will meet with top officials from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons in hopes of resolving the dispute between the county and the BOP over the Reeves County Detention Center.

The meeting with the BOP over payments given to the county for housing inmates at the RCDC, and over having the federal agency add more inmates to fill the new RCDC III addition, will take place on Thursday. "We want to leave a bit early to get ready for our meeting with BOP officials," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

Galindo said that he would be traveling to Washington along with RCDC Warden Rudy Franco, Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin, Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez and legal counsel Bill Weinacht.

"We're still waiting to hear from (Congressman Henry) Bonilla on whether or not we'll be able to meet with him," said Galindo.

Reeves County has an agreement with BOP to provide detention services in two of the three RCDC units, housing 2,065 inmates. But the pact is being renegotiated over the rate paid by the BOP to the county to house inmates and the wages the prison is able to pay corrections officers.

"They had asked us to submit information on the Department of Labor wages and we've done that," said Galindo.

Galindo said that he hasn't heard from BOP on that information, only that the Pecos group had received confirmation that they would be meeting.

RCDC III, a 960-bed addition, cost approximately $40 million to build, including engineering fees, architect fees and other expenses. "Construction cost was about $39 million, but there were other fees as well," said county auditor Lynn Owens.

The original RCDC, a 300-bed facility, was built in 1986 and expanded to hold 700 additional inmates over the next decade. RCDC II, a 1,000-bed addition, was built 2001 and was quickly filled with inmates by the BOP. The latest addition was completed in March, and the first bond payment on the $40 million prison is due on Sept. 1. The payment was to be met by income given to the county from the BOP for housing the additional inmates at the facility, but as of now, RCDC III remains virtually empty.

Galindo said the meeting would take place in Washington and would involve negotiation on the man/day rate at the prison and discussions on filling the prison, in order to keep Reeves County from facing default on the Sept. 1 payment.

He said that the group was hoping for support from Bonilla (R-San Antonio), whose district includes the Reeves County and the RCDC site.

The BOP last month denied Reeves County's request for a 10 percent increase in the man/day rate of $47.47, with their most recent offer being $2 lower than the current interim rate. Galindo said in late June that the proposed $54.74 rate would still be about 10 percent lower than what the BOP was paying other prisons on average to house their inmates.

In addition, the federal officials have not agreed to place any new prisoners in the 960-bed addition. The only current inmates are there under contract with the U.S. Marshal's Service, but take up only 59 of the 960 beds.

Galindo said in early July that the three sections of the prison are "cross-collateralized," meaning that any default on the bonds that financed the construction of RCDC III would also affect the status of RCDC I and RCDC II.

With the closing of the Anchor Foods plant in Pecos last year, the prison became Reeves County's single largest employer, with nearly 500 people working in the three sections of the minimum-security facility.

Weather monitors part of airport's improvements

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., July 21, 2003 -- Pecos Municipal Airport has undergone a well-needed facelift. The 700-acre airport received a $1.7 million dollar grant to go toward repairs and new equipment, including some that will provide information to all Pecos residents.

Airport operator Isabel Blanchard said that every runway, taxiway, and ramp had been touched up.

"What we were and are doing is maintaining what we already have," she said.

Blanchard said that, normally, the grant would not have been so extensive, but no work had been done in over a decade.

There was a drainage ditch that had to be completely redone.

"The top of the drainage ditch was collapsing. It was a real hazard; an accident waiting to happen," Blanchard said.

Blanchard said that the cement ramp had been patched and cracks in the cement had been sealed.

"When it rains, rain seeps through the cracks and soaks the base. When heavy aircraft goes over this area, it caves. This actually happened once," Blanchard said.

A few new things have also been added to the airport.

The taxiways now have lighted signs and the runways have been lit.

"With as much traffic that we get at night, these lighted signs and lit runways are a real good thing," Blanchard said.

Blanchard said that the airport has three runways, but only two are used on a regular basis.

"During the winter, or when we have a cold front we usually use the third runway," Blanchard said.

The airport also received another wind indicator.

Blanchard said that this device allows pilots to view which the direction the wind is blowing, so they will know which runway and what direction to land on.

A different grant brought AWOS, an automated weather, observation, system, to the airport.

According to Blanchard, in the near future this system will allow not only pilots, put everyone to find out about the weather for our area.

"At this time, the Weather Channel displays the weather for Wink, but soon, it will display the weather for the Pecos area," Blanchard said.

Wink currently is the nearest city to Pecos with monitoring equipment connected up to the National Weather Service. Once the airport's equipment is tied into the NWS network, people will be able to access the weather on the internet, by local telephone, and on the Weather Channel.

Blanchard said that pilots will be able to turn to a certain frequency that will enable them to know what the weather is like.

The airport also received a precision approach path indicator, or PAPI. PAPI gives the pilot an indication of the ideal glide path.

"This is very important at night, and is also very important for larger aircraft. Planes come in at around 180 miles per hour. This provides a good safe landing," Blanchard said.

PAPI is pilot activated. Instead of the system remaining on 24 hours, the pilot is in control of turning it on during the day. At night, the system remains on all of the time.

The airport has an electronic fence that, according to Blanchard, always needed to be repaired.

"This was not originally a part of the grant, but I decided to ask and the grant took care of it," Blanchard said.

Blanchard stressed the importance of maintaining the airport.

"The runways and taxiways need repairs, just like the streets. It does take a while for our repairs to be needed, but they need to be done," Blanchard said.

The airport will also be hosting its 18th Annual Fly-In Breakfast on Sunday, August 3, from 7 to 11 a.m. The Pecos Downtown Lions Club is providing the breakfast for the 11th year, and the breakfast is free to all fly-ins.

"We are extremely grateful to them. They have been faithful," Blanchard said.

Blanchard said that surrounding airports have been invited and she is expecting a good crowd.

Former school board president,

city councilman Reynolds dies

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., July 21, 2003 -- A long-time Pecos dentist and former city councilman and school board member has died following a battle with cancer.

Dr. Elvia Reynolds, 78, died Friday at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.

He retired from his dental practice on Feb. 28, after serving Pecos for 49 years as an orthodontist.

Reynolds was also a city council member for six years during the 1990s and before that was a long-time Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board member who served as president at one time. He also was a member and past-president of the Rotary Club; an Elder for the Church of Christ and served on the board of the Medina Children's Home.

After serving in World War II, the Reynolds moved their family to St. Louis, Mo., to attend dental school.

In March 1954, Reynolds graduated and became a licensed dentist, moving to Pecos with his wife, Norma Jean, and three children.

Services for Reynolds were held this morning at Church of Christ, with burial to be in Cedar Creek Jerusalem, Ark.

Reynolds is survived by his wife Norma Jean Reynolds of Pecos; two sons, Randy Reynolds, who is currently serving as 143rd District Attorney for Reeves, Ward and Loving counties, Danny Reynolds of Brownfield; one daughter, Gayle R. Britt of San Carlos, Calif.; two sisters, Dale Meyer and Dot King of Petit Jean Mountain, Ark.; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

CCRC accepting fund applications for school supplies

PECOS, Mon., July 21, 2003 -- Community Council of Reeves County will be accepting applications for school supplies for children of low-income families now through the end of the month.

Applications may be picked up at the CCRC office in the Reeves County Annex, 700 W. Daggett St., Suite F, through July 31.


PECOS, Mon., July 21, 2003 -- High Sun. 105. Low this morning 70. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows near 70. SE winds 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 90s. Light and variable winds. Tues. night: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 60s. Wed.: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 90s.

Police Report

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.


Lorenzo Hernandez was arrested at 9:15 p.m., on July 20, at the Reeves County Sheriff's Office on a warrant for speeding, two warrants for no liable proof of insurance and a warrant for driving with out driver's license in possession.


Mingo Jimenez was arrested at 10 p.m., on July 20, in the 1400 block of South Eddy Street on a Sheriff's Office warrant for manufacturing or delivery of controlled substance.


Javier Villegas was arrested at 11:48 p.m., on July 20, in the 300 block of South Eddy Street on a warrant for disorderly conduct - loud music.


Louie Franco, 25, was arrested at 2:32 a.m., on July 20, at Saragosa Hall at Sixth and Pecan streets on a capias pro fine warrant for unrestrained child under 4-years of age and a capias pro fine warrant for no driver's license. Franco paid his fines and was released.


Gilberto Lopez was arrested at 7:42 p.m., on July 18, at La Tienda, 810 S. Eddy St., on a Department of Public Safety warrant for speeding, warrant for failure to appear and a warrant for failure to signal lane change.


Rodney Carrasco, 27, was arrested at 4:27 p.m., on July 18, at Eagle Tire at Bickley Avenue and Veteran's Boulevard on a warrant for disorderly conduct - profane language and a warrant for violation promise to appear.


Arturo Chavez, 32, was arrested at 7:55 p.m., on July 17, in the 600 block of Pecan Street on a capias warrant for violation promise to appear, outstanding DPS warrants for no liable insurance and failure to display driver's license.


Rigoberto Perez, 26, was arrested at 8:08 p.m., on July 17, at Allsup's, 708 S. Cedar St., on a Ward County Sheriff's Office warrant for probation violation.


Elojio Rubio, 43, was arrest at 7:37 p.m., on July 17, in the 200 block of N. Cedar Street on a warrant for burglary of a habitation - a second-degree felony.


Anna Chavez, 36, Jennie Wright, 35 and Jose Orozco, 23, were arrested at 12:42 a.m., on July 18, at the Club Suavecito, at Ninth and Cedar streets for public intoxication.


Jesse Tarin, 42, was arrested at 1:26 p.m., on July 17, in the 200 block of Pecan Street on a warrant for possession of a controlled substance - heroin state jail felony.


Jesse Sauceda was arrested at 8:48 p.m., on July 14, on the corner of Sixth and Orange streets on two warrants for no liability insurance proof and a warrant for violation promise to appear.


Sandra Ronquillo Ortega, 39, was arrested at 11:06 a.m., on July 14, in the 500 block of Mulberry Street for possession of a controlled substance.


Natalia Guerrero, 48, was arrested at 12:35 a.m., on July 14, on the corner of Monroe and Johnson streets on outstanding DPS warrants for speeding and failure to appear.


Soledad Palomino, Patsy Prieto and Elvia Reynolds

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