Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, July 31, 2003
County studies four options for filling RCDC III
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
PECOS, Thurs., July 31, 2003 -- Reeves County Commissioners agreed to investigate
four possible options for filling the newly-completed Reeves County Detention
Center III unit on Wednesday, in an emergency session at the Reeves County
Commissioners discussed a number of topics related to the ongoing financial
crisis at the Reeves County Detention Center, which was opened in March
but currently is running at less than 10 percent of capacity.
Commissioners approved the new, lower man-day rate to be paid by the
U.S. Bureau of Prisons, contracts for legal and consulting services and also
possible courses of action to fill the nearly 900 empty beds at RCDC III,
which is needed in order to fund bond payments on the $40 million facility.
The county agreed to accept a rate of $47.32, 14 cents lower than the
previous interim rate, for the 2,000 BOP inmates house in the RCDC I and
II units. The county will also receive an $800,000 one-time lump sum payment
from the BOP, according to County Judge Jimmy Galindo.
At the same time, commissioners also approved retaining Washington, D.C.
lawyer Joe Summerall and Washington lobbyist Randy DeLay to work with the
county in its effort to get the BOP to place new inmates in RCDC III, which
can house up to 960 prisoners. Summerall is being contracted by the county
at a rate of $250 per hour, while DeLay will be paid a minimum of $120,000
under a one-year consulting contract.
Summerall is an attorney with Barnes and Thornberg Law Firm and a former
lawyer for the Bureau of Prisons while DeLay is employed by Public-Private
Strategies and is the brother of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Sugar
Land), who is considered one of the most powerful members of Congress.
Reeves County is facing a $950,000 bond payment on Sept. 1 for construction
of RCDC III. The $800,000 lump sum payment, along with an additional $140,000
of cuts to be made in the operational expenses of the facility, would just
about equal the amount of initial bond payment, but the county would still
have to come up with the money for the second bond payment, due at the end
Galindo presented four possible courses of action for the county in its
quest to fill the beds of RCDC III before payments on the new construction
overtake revenues, which would force the county to default on the construction
bonds and possibly relinquish control of the prison.
Galindo told commissioners that he was seeking their approval to pursue
all four possibilities at the same time.
"We have to move forward aggressively and knock on every door under the
circumstances," Galindo said.
The four possibilities include presenting a new proposal to BOP, the
possibility of housing illegal foreign nationals incarcerated by the Department
of Homeland Security, taking on more United States Marshall Service Prisoners
and a possible contract with the state of Arizona that possibly would fill
RCDC III for the next few years.
RCDC Warden Rudy Franco told the court that before the war with Iraq
the prison had been contacted by the Department of Homeland Security about
housing foreign nationals illegally in the United States.
Franco said that there was a real possibility that there would be an increase
in federal prisoners with the increased emphasis on picking up illegal aliens.
Galindo also said that it was economical for the U. S. Marshals Service
to use RCDC and that while so far RCDC III had only housed about 80 such
inmates there was a potential for as many as 300.
Commissioners spent the most time discussing the possible contract with
Galindo said that the county had hosted a team from Arizona earlier in
the month that had inspected RCDC III as well as other prison facilities
in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
"Two weeks ago the contract officer called and said RCDC III was number
one on their list," Galindo said.
Galindo said that he told the officials that the rate for housing the
prisoners would be between $50 and $55 per day and that the court had a
draft copy of a contract before it.
Galindo said that there were pros and cons to the Arizona deal.
On the good side the contract contains a clause guaranteeing the county
90 percent occupancy.
On the down side the county would be faced with making RCDC III a totally
separate facility, both physically and in terms of staff and inmates, to
satisfy Arizona and BOP requirements.
"Operationally the warden has assured me the staff can handle whatever
they bring," Galindo said.
One of the major obstacles to the deal is the smaller guard-to-inmate
ratio required by Arizona compared to BOP.
Arizona will require a 1 to 48 ratio, Galindo said.
"By clearly separating one and two (from RCDC III) we can keep from having
to operate all three facilities to Arizona standards," Galindo said.
Commissioners voted to give Galindo the green light to pursue all four
Board to discuss handbooks, vending machine
PECOS, Thurs., July 31, 2003 -- Student handbooks and Student Code of
Conduct will be the topic of discussion at a special Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD Board meeting scheduled for this evening.
Board members will meet at 6 p.m., today at the Technology Center, 1301
S. Eddy and the public is invited to attend the open portion of the meeting.
Board members will consider and take possible action on vending machine
beverages agreement for the 2003-2004 school year.
The group will meet in closed session as authorized by the Texas Open
Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Section 551.101 et. Seq., Section 551.074:
discuss personnel or hear complaints against personnel.
They will return to open session and consider and take possible action
on professional personnel: resignations, retirements, change of contract,
A budget workshop for the board will be held following the special meeting.
Jurors convict Jordan in Oak Street arson case
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Thurs., July 31, 2003 -- A 35-year-old Pecos man is awaiting sentencing
after being found guilty of arson Tuesday, by a jury in the 143rd District
Court in Pecos.
Kacey Lynn Jordan was found guilty of arson, an incident that occurred
on Aug. 21, 2002, after the home that his girlfriend and her children were
living in was heavily damaged in an overnight fire.
Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez said the following day that his deputies
arrested Jordan for terroristic threats on his girlfriend, Crissy Florez.
He was arrested at 906 S. Walnut St. by deputies, about 10 hours after the
fire broke out at the Florez' Oak Street home.
Jordan was later indicted for arson and his trial was held this week in
At the time of the incident he threatened to burn the house according
to Gomez. "He also threatened to kill her and her kids."
Flores' two children are from a previous relationship.
Florez had recently moved into the Oak Street home with her family. The
fire broke out while Florez was working an overnight shift at the Reeves
County Detention Center. Her children were not in the house at the time
the fire broke out.
Firefighters found the home engulfed in flames when they arrived at the
home shortly after 2 a.m. on Aug. 21, 2002. They were able to contain the
blaze, and put out most of the flames coming out of the windows shortly
after their arrival, but the rooms inside suffered heavy damage.
Town of Pecos City Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire investigated the incident
and ruled the fire as arson. Neighbors reported seeing a man flee from the
scene at the time the fire began, according to reports that night, and Jordan
was arrested later that day.
Local stores getting ready for state sales tax
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Thurs., July 31, 2003 -- With less then a day to go, local clothing
stores have begun placing sale prices, promotions and an abundance of clothes
out in preparation for this weekend's tax-free weekend.
Several of the department stores participating in this weekend's back
to school tax-free weekend have also extended their hours of operation in
preparation for extra customers expected to take advantage of the annual
For the next three days, the state's 81/4 cent sales tax will be suspended
on most clothing items, according to State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn's
office. The sales tax holiday applies to items of less than $100 in value.
Desiree's Boutique will maintain it regular hours while also opening
on Sunday from 1 p.m. till 6 p.m.
Owner Lamberto Herrera said that they would have a lot of sales on items
such as Red Wing Boots, children's boots, wranglers and sketchers.
"We will have five types of Red Wings for $99.95," Herrera said.
In addition to the wranglers, Herrera said that there would also be sales
on Rocky Mountains, Lamas, Cruel Girl and several other name brand jeans.
"We also have a new item," he said. "We now offer medical scrubs for
men and women."
Beall's will also be participating in this tax-free weekend, Manager
Delma Arreguy said.
"We will have an additional 33 percent off all our clearance," Arreguy
They will also be offering a 'buy one pair get second for half off' on
their shoes, Arreguy said.
"We will also have 50 percent off guy's carpenter pants," she added.
Beall's is also heading a promotion for a free X-Treme gel watch with
any purchase of $50 or more.
In order to accommodate everyone Beall's will be open from 9 a.m. till
9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. till 8 p.m. on Sunday.
"We hope that everyone can come out and take advantage of this," Arreguy
said. "They can also apply and open up a new account with Bealls."
Wal-Mart Assistant Manager Rene Gomez said that they had plenty of cloth
in stock and were ready for this weekend.
"We have a lot of rollback prices, plus our everyday prices," Gomez said.
"We have also received a lot of cloth like socks and under wears."
He added that they would be giving away some door prices throughout the
"We also have a lot of items on sale that do not pertain to the tax-free
weekend," he added. "Like our 12 packs of Pepsis will be $2."
Dawn Taylor owner of Tumbleweeds added that she would also be having
a lot of stuff on sale.
"I have items for 25 to 50 percent off," Taylor said. "And if they bring
in your ad I will give them and additional 10 percent off."
She said that she would be open from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. on Friday, 10
a.m. till 3 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. till 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Texas is one of the nine states that participate in this tax-free weekend,
which begins at 12:01 a.m., Friday, August 1 and ends at midnight on Sunday,
August 3. This will be the fifth year Texas participates in this tax holiday,
which was first held seven years ago in New York.
The other states that participate are Kentucky, Georgia, Illinois, New
York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia and the
District of Columbia.
Maryland and Florida have participated in this tax holiday in the past
but opted not to do so this year.
What is Tax-Free
Baby clothes; Belts with attached buckles; Boots - cowboy, hiking; Caps/hats
- baseball, fishing, golf, knitted; Coats and wraps; Diapers - adult and
baby; Dresses; Gloves (generally); Gym suits and uniforms; Hooded shirts
and hooded sweatshirts; Hosiery; Jackets; Jeans; Jerseys - baseball and
football; Jogging apparel; Neckwear and ties; Pajamas; Pants and trousers;
Raincoats and ponchos; Robes; Shirts; Shoes - sandals, slippers, sneakers,
tennis, walking; Socks (including athletic); Shorts; Suits, slacks, and jackets;
Sweatshirts; Sweat suits; Sweaters; Underclothes; Work clothes and uniforms.
Accessories (generally) - barrettes, elastic ponytail holders, wallets,
watches; Backpacks; Baseball cleats and pants; Belt buckles (without belt);
Boots - climbing, fishing, rubber work boots, ski, waders; Buttons and zippers;
Cloth and lace, knitting yarns, and other fabrics; Dry cleaning services;
Football pants; Golf gloves; Handbags and purses; Handkerchiefs; Hard hats;
Helmets - bike, baseball, football, hockey, motorcycle, sports; Ice skates;
Jewelry; Laundering services; Leather goods - except belts with buckles
and wearing apparel; Pads - football, hockey, soccer, elbow, knee, shoulder;
Personal flotation devices; Rented clothing (including uniforms, formal
wear, and costumes); Roller blades and skates; Safety clothing, glasses;
Shoes - bicycle (cleated), bowling, golf.
Brisket plate sale fundraiser Friday
PECOS, Thurs., July 31, 2003 -- A brisket plate fundraiser is planned
for 11 a.m., Friday at Saragosa Hall.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards medical expenses for Brenda
Fuentes, who is undergoing treatment for cancer.
Plates will be $4 per plate and delivery will be made on four or more
To order on Friday call 445-2552.
PECOS, Thurs., July 31, 2003 -- High Wednesday 101. Low this morning 75.
Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms. Lows in
the lower 70s. Light and variable winds. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs near
105. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Friday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the
lower 70s. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 106. Sunday: Partly cloudy.
Lows in the lower 70s. Highs near 104.
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