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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Thursday, July 24, 2003

TransPecos plant marks reopening anniversary

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., July 24, 2003 -- TransPecos Foods is marking its first anniversary of operations in Pecos today at the re-opened Anchor Foods plant on Interstate 20. And while production and staff levels are not up to the level Anchor had reached during its 11 years of operations, the company's chairman is optimistic about growth in the near future.

"Sales are growing every month, and we're competing on a nationwide basis," said TransPecos Foods Chairman Patrick Kennedy Jr. "I expect our business to continue to grow."

TransPecos Foods bought the 147-acre facility from McCain Foods USA, in a sale that was first announced on June 5, 2002 and finalized a year ago today. McCain acquired the plant and campus from Anchor Foods in September of 2001 and two months later, announced it would close the plant and consolidate all of its onion ring production at a facility the company already operated in Grand Island, Neb.

At the time of the sale of Appleton, Wisconsin-based Anchor to McCain Foods, the plant was Pecos' largest single employer, with 700 people working on four shifts. Currently, the plant is running with about 20 percent of its former maximum workforce, but in the past year has signed production contracts with Texas Dairy Queen restaurants along with the International House of Pancakes.

The Dairy Queen deal made Trans Pecos the exclusive provider of onion rings to the company's 650 Texas stores, while the deal with IHOP was to supply French toast to the company's restaurants.

TransPecos Foods recently was granted a tax abatement for its plant by local taxing entities. Company officials said at the time the abatement would help it afford future expansion and modernization projects.

"We've got adequate equipment for the time being," Kennedy said. "As our volume grows, we have plans to add equipment to further increase volume. I can't say when it's going to happen, but it should happen in the next few months."

"We want to thank the people for supporting TransPecos Foods," said Kennedy, who is also the owner of Security State Bank of Pecos. "We look to be a strong corporate citizen in the future."

Area church members begin missionary work

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., July 24, 2003 -- A group of 21 people left Pecos on a mission trip this morning to Porvenir, Mexico. The group is made up of people from local Baptist churches as well as people from out- of-town Baptist churches.

Churches being represented are First Baptist of Wickett, First Baptist of Pyote, Emmanuel Baptist of Monahans, Primera Iglesia Bautista of Pecos, First Baptist of Pecos, and West Park Baptist Church of Pecos.

Joyce Morton, who is in charge of overseeing the trip, said that everyone was very excited about going, and is looking forward to seeing what great things are going to be done.

"We will be staying at the church in Porvenir. The women will stay in the parsonage, the church house, and the men will stay in the church," Morton said.

Prior to the trip, group members and members of their churches had been gathering materials that would be taken to Porvenir, which is located across the Rio Grande about 50 miles southeast of El Paso.

"We're taking food, clothing, and VBS materials. We're also taking school packets that have folders, glue, crayons and pencils," Morton said.

The group should arrive in Mexico later this evening. Upon arriving, Morton said that they will get situated and get ready for a church service.

"Rey Carreon, the pastor of West Park, will be preaching tonight and tomorrow," Morton said.

A Vacation Bible School will also be provided for children on Friday and Saturday.

"We'll be presenting the birth, miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ. The theme for VBS is 'He is God's Son.'" Morton said.

Along with revival services and VBS, the group will also be providing Bible Study classes for men and women.

Morton said that this group would be working along side Bernie and Gracie Segura of Van Horn.

"Bernie and Gracie are missionaries who work in Mexico. They helped put this together," Morton said.

The group will be staying in Porvenir until Saturday, and will return that evening.

Orona judges de Zavala Legislative Session work a success

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., July 24, 2003 -- A Pecos High School student had the opportunity to attend a leadership program this summer and learn more about government in action.

"Community Equity Building." was the phrase that Pecos High School student Michael Orona heard over and over while attending a 2003 National Hispanic Institute program, called the Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session in Las Cruces, N.M., from June 29 through July 7. It was defined as a concept and model that utilizes the energy, talent, and resources of a community to problem solve or attain common community goals.

The session is a highly selective leadership program for high ability youth who want to know more about the needs and challenges facing the future Latino students and community. As a high-impact, high-intensity experience of eight days on a college campus, the Lorenzo de Zavala program involves its participants in intellectually engaging discussions regarding the changing demographics of Latinos in the United States and the roles they perceive themselves playing as future community leaders.

To be eligible, the student must be in the top 25 percent of their class, have a grade point average of 3.3 or better, and be enrolled in a college bound curriculum.

When Orona entered the campus, he expected a leadership program to enhance his knowledge on the Latinos. During orientation, the students were to name words describing the Latinos. About 90 percent of the phrases came out negative. This is where the program began, according to Orona.

The group was organized on how to officially run a legislative session. That night, they began forming into two political parties, where they elected a governor, lieutenant governors, party whips, attorneys, senate and house representatives and supreme court justices, of which Orona was one of nine chosen.

Over the next two days, he had to base a decision between two propositions brought forward by two attorney teams on the assets of the Latino community such as Global Influence. They then had a night out in the town, where they had the opportunity to socialize away from the session.

On the sixth day, Orona and the other eight Supreme Court Justices rules the final trial based on Latina Leadership, from the two top attorney teams. "This was the toughest part," he said.

Here the delegates now learned and viewed the Latino community in a different aspect with 100 percent of the phrases describing the Latinos coming out positive. When the seventh day came, there was an awards ceremony and Orona received the Supreme Court Justices Award.

"Only 30 awards were given out of the 120 attendees," said Orona.

A "Governor's Ball," was held that evening following the awards ceremony and the delegates danced the night away to officially close the 2003 New Mexico Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session.

On the last day of the program, there was the "circle of love" where they each had their last goodbyes.

Orona remembers tears, hugs, and more tears when leaving the campus.

"I not only attended a program, but had a life changing experience," said Orona.

Orona made several friends, staff who initially have an impact on college admissions, and the co-founder of the National Hispanic Institute, Gloria de Leon.

"Now I know the true expectations of the program," said Orona. "I feel that I am a new person, with stronger beliefs, assets and knowledge, now only about the Latino community, but on life."

"I want to thank my sisters, Erica and Ashley, for encouragement, my mother, Sally, my grandmother Elisa, my aunt, Merced Segovia, aunt and uncle, Jack and Helen Keen, and aunt Dianne Ornelas, for making every step of this life changing experience possible," said Orona.

Another National Hispanic Institute program that Orona attended was the Collegiate World Series at Sul Ross State University in Alpine from June 13-15.

The eligibility requirements are the same as the Lorenzo de Zavala, but here, he learned how to prepare for college.

"Each day we learned how to apply, write out references and essays, how to conduct myself in an interview, and how to financially prepare for college," said Orona.

After the three intensive days, Orona was honored with a Major League All-Star award, award that was handed out to only 12 students. "I placed fourth and a little more than 100 students attended this program," he said.

With this award, Orona now has several scholarships and opportunities awaiting. "One is a $10,000 scholarship to the largest Catholic University in the nation, DePaul University in Chicago, Ill.," he said.

"I feel ready for the college process to begin," said Orona. "I also want to thank State of Texas House Representative, Pete P. Gallego, for giving me the opportunity to attend the Collegiate World Series."

Pick-up theft suspect caught by Odessa PD

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., July 24, 2003 -- A 25-year old man who led local officers on a high-speed chase through the west side of Pecos and out to the Lindsay addition after stealing a vehicle from the Sonic Drive-In parking lot earlier this month was arrested in Odessa on local charges.

According to the Odessa Police Department report, Jesus Manuel Martinez, of Pecos was arrested Tuesday night on a capias pro fine warrant for theft under $50, failure to identify as a fugitive and for probation violation.

Police were seeking Martinez in connection with the July 8 incident, in which he allegedly stole a vehicle belonging to a Sonic employee while at the West Third Street drive-in. The employee was not working at the time, but left the engine running while going inside to retrieve an item.

Martinez and the 1998 Chevy Z71 pickup truck were located on the south side of Pecos a short time later, but he was able to elude officers while driving through the Lindsey Addition after a high-speed pursuit down State Highway 17.

Martinez faces charges for unauthorized uses of a vehicle, a state jail felony, here in Pecos, Odessa PD officials said.

Pecos Police officials said that they got the warrant from Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Jim Riley, after Narcotics Investigator Paul Deishler authorized it.

"We receive a teletype requesting conformation of the warrant on July 23 at 3:37 a.m.," PD Dispatcher Sue Carrasco said.

Deishler added that they are waiting for Odessa PD to release Martinez before they can extradite him to Pecos.

Council to select officer to calculate tax rate

PECOS, Thurs., July 24, 2003 -- The Town of Pecos City will hold its regular monthly meeting this afternoon at 5:30 p.m., in the Council Chambers to discuss the appointment of an officer to calculate the effective and rollback tax rates for 2003.

The council will also discuss and consider the Homeland Security Agreement, the agreement for pole attachments with Texas-New Mexico Power Company, the purchase of properties located at 1100 S. Pecan and 918 S. Willow, the resolution for purchase of a truck, the awarding the purchase of an accounting software and the closure of the alley located on Fourth and Hackberry streets.

The minutes of its regular council meeting, the accounts payable report, the monthly municipal court report, the monthly juvenile report and the tax monthly tax collection report for June will also be on hand for the approval of the council members.


PECOS, Thurs., July 24, 2003 -- High Wednesday 106, low this morning 73. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows near 70. Southeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 90s. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Friday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the upper 60s. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 90s. Sunday: Clear. Lows in the mid 60s. Highs in the lower 90s.


Cecilia Carrasco, Jacob Carrasco, Bowie Davis and Dorothy Lindsay

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