Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, July 28, 2003
Galindo plans afternoon release of RCDC deal info
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
PECOS, Mon., July 28, 2003 -- Representatives of Reeves County, the Town
of Pecos City and Pecos Chamber of Commerce have returned from last week's
trip to Washington, D.C., to discuss the fate of Reeves County Detention
Center (RCDC) with U.S. Representative Henry Bonilla and Bureau of Prisons
Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo said this morning that the county
had reached an agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on payments to
the county, but the full details of the meeting with BOP were to be made
public by Galindo during this afternoon's commissioner's court meeting and
were not available at press time.
Local officials present at the negotiation session with the BOP were
Galindo, Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin, Reeves County Sheriff Andy
Gomez and RCDC attorney Bill Weinacht. The county also retained legal council
out of Washington, and they also attended Thursday's meeting.
Galindo and Tarin were both at this morning's county commissioner's meeting
in which agenda items that would invoke discussion of a possible deal with
BOP, including a transfer in the amount of $415,000 from the General Fund
to the Reeves County Detention Center Fund to meet payroll at the facility,
were tabled until the end of the meeting.
Weinacht said that it appeared a deal had been struck but could not comment
on the details.
"I had no part in this deal," Weinacht said. "The guys who made the deal
need to explain it."
Weinacht said that he walked out of the session shortly after the director
of BOP addressed the group.
"We went to Washington to get an increase (in the per diem rate)," he
"I left because our representatives were deferring to the Washington
counsel," Weinacht said.
Although Weinacht did not comment on what may have taken place after
he left the meeting, county officials were reportedly considering an offer
for a slightly lower per diem rate than the $47.47 interim rate the BOP
had been paying when he left.
The county originally had sought an increase in the man-day rate from
$47.47 to $54.72. At the time, Galindo said the 10 percent increase would
still be 10 percent lower than the rate the BOP paid to other privately
run prisons in the U.S.
The county also was seeking to get the BOP to send the county additional
inmates to fill up the just-completed RCDC III project. The $40 million
addition can house 960 inmates, but the BOP has balked at adding any more
prisoners to the 2,000 currently being kept in RCDC I and RCDC II.
Sheriff Andy Gomez actually left the meeting before Weinacht.
"I left when the director told us that BOP would not negotiate the use
of RCDC III," Gomez said.
Gomez concurred with Weinacht that the deal makers, Galindo and Tarin,
were the ones that would need to explain any deal that was made.
The county is facing a $950,000 bond payment on Sept. 1, the first towards
repaying bond holders who funded construction of RCDC III. Galindo said
last month that the three sections of the prison are cross-collateralized,
so any problem with repaying the RCDC III bonds will affect the status of
the other two prison units.
While the meeting with the BOP left some hard feelings, meetings with
Congressman Henry Bonilla were very successful, Chamber President Al Gomez
Gomez, Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford, City Manager Carlos Yrena
and Chamber Executive Director Linda Gholson all met with Bonilla last Wednesday.
"It was a good trip," Gomez said. "We met with Mr. Bonilla for about an
hour and I feel sure that he and his staff are doing everything that can
be done on our behalf."
"There is quite a lobbying effort going on," he said.
"Our goal was to communicate just how serious this situation is and I
feel certain Congressman Bonilla understands," Gomez said.
El Paso woman dies after car plunges off I-10
By KRISTEN CARREON
PECOS, Mon., July 28, 2003 -- A one-vehicle rollover claimed the life of
an El Paso woman and injured another Friday on Interstate 10 near the Springhills
exit in Jeff Davis County.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the accident occurred
Friday at 2:18 p.m.
The DPS report said the vehicle was traveling west on I-10, near the
Springhills exit (mile marker 184), two miles west of the I-10 I-20 junction.
The vehicle veered off a cliff in the hilly area just north of Gomez Peak
and became airborne.
The vehicle landed on its right side, slid into the curb of a service
road, and came to rest upright in a barrow ditch.
The driver of the 1997 Plymoth Neon was Gina Rene Fields, 33, of El Paso.
According to DPS reports, Fields, who was not wearing a safety belt, was
ejected from the vehicle and was killed. Justice of the Peace, Fred Granado,
pronounced fields dead at the scene. Her body was taken to Peaceful Gardens
Funeral Home in Pecos.
The passenger, Norman Owen, 41, of El Paso, was taken to Reeves County
Hospital with broken ankles. He is listed in stable condition.
Grassland Reserve program sign-up ending
PECOS, Mon., July 28, 2003 -- USDA Farm Service Agency is taking application
until Friday for the Grassland Reserve Program. It is a voluntary Program
that helps landowners and operators restore and protect grassland, including
rangeland, and pastureland, and certain other lands, while maintaining the
areas as grazing lands.
The program emphasizes support for grazing operations, plant and animal
biodiversity, and grassland and land containing shrubs and forbs under the
greatest threat of conversion. It offers several enrollment options: Permanent
Easement, 30-year Easement, Rental Agreement or Restoration Agreement
If you need more information about GRP, please contact your local USDA
Service Center at 1417 W Third St, Pecos, Texas 79772 or call (432) 445-3196.
PECOS, Mon., July 28, 2003 -- High Sun. 100. Low this morning 67. Forecast
for tonight: Partly cloudy with an isolated shower or thunderstorm. Lows
65 to 70. SE winds 5 to 15 mph. Tues.: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance
of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 90s. SE winds 5 to 15 mph.
Tues. night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Lows in the upper 60s. Wed.: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers
and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 90s.
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