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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Rodeo Hall design plans displayed for public

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Aug. 6, 2003 -- The Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame Committee will begin financial planning for development of the downtown facility, as it now has a proposed renovation plan for the Missuri-Pacific Railroad depot.

Graduate students for Texas Tech University's Architecture Department were in town Tuesday afternoon at the Reeves County Civic Center to share and receive ideas on their proposed renovation plans for the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame, which would be located inside the depot, at First and Oak streets.

The committee and the Town of Pecos City have been working on the project for the past several years. The design plans were presented to the public on Tuesday, after rights to build the proposed Hall of Fame at the depot was cleared with its owner, Union Pacific Railroad.

Union Pacific gave the depot to the city, but rights to the land also had to be secured before any work could begin. Crews were inside the building last month, doing preliminary clean-up work.

"We now have to get in gear," Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Director Linda Gholson said. "We will be asking for private donations, business donations, apply for grants and hold fund raisers."

She added that they would go through every avenue possible to come up with the money to get the renovations started.

"The committee will meet a week from tomorrow to begin the financial planning," Gholson said.

The proposed plans will be displaced at the Chamber of Commerce Directors' meeting next week as well at both the Security State Bank and the West Texas National Bank and at the Fall Fair, Gholson said.

Fixed RCDC wage rate eyed

if out-of-state inmates added

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Aug. 6, 2003 -- Salaries for employees at the Reeves County Detention Center-III will coordinate with those of the other two facilities, even if the county enters into an agreement to house non-federal prisoners at the new 960-bed facility.

The county is seeking inmates to fill up the prison, after the U.S. Bureau of Prisons opted not to place any of its inmates in RCDC III, after putting 2,000 into the RCDC I and II units. Money from housing the prisoners is needed to pay off $40 million in construction bonds, with the first $950,000 payment due on Sept. 1.

"If we go into a contract with the state of Arizona, what we would move and push for is for all the staff to be paid those wages," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

Galindo was referring to the wages outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor and Bureau of Prisons, which Reeves County agreed to on July 24. The federal wage scale means raises of up to 60 percent for some correctional officers at RCDC I and II.

"In time it would move toward the county general fund," he said.

Galindo said that the wages were determined using statistical data obtained by Department of Labor for what these services should be. "This is objective data by the federal government," he said.

The wages at the Reeves County Detention Center will change according to the Department of Labor Wages and recommendations made by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The Reeves County Commissioners approved the July 24 agreement with the BOP during a special meeting held on July 30. That agreement included the new wage scale along with a one-time lump sum payment of $800,000, which will go towards the Sept. 1 bond payment.

Galindo along with commissioner Precinct 3 Herman Tarin, had attended a meeting in Washington to discuss the new man-day rate for the prison along with other concerns regarding the facility.

At that time, the county officials were assisted by a Washington lawyer and lobbyist whom Reeves County opted to hire in their negotiations with BOP.

The lawyer, a Washington-based lawyer, Joe Summerall helped the county officials with negotiations with BOP in Washington.

"He's an attorney with Barnes and Thornberg Law Firm and a former BOP attorney, who worked with them for four years," said Galindo. "Prior to that he worked at the Pentagon."

Galindo said that there are very few people that know the ins and outs of BOP and that Reeves County was fortunate to have him.

The lawyer was recommended by Pat Kennedy, owner of Security State Bank, while the lobbyist was recommended by Galindo after consultations with other Washington, D.C. politicians.

"After meeting people through Congressman Solomon Ortiz' office it became clear that the best person to help was Randy DeLay," said Galindo. "Through my relationships with other congressmen in Texas I made that recommendation to the court."

DeLay, is with Public-Private Strategies, and was hired on a $120,000 one-year contract to help resolve problems between the county and the BOP. He is the brother of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Sugar Land), the second-highest ranking Republican in the House of Representatives.

"He's a professional that knows the inner working of the congressional process," said Galindo. "He has very important relationships that are important in this process."

State, local officials probe Barstow area fire

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Aug. 6, 2003 -- Ward County officials, along with the state fire marshal's office, are looking into the cause of a structure fire that occurred late last month in the Barstow area.

"It is still under investigation," Ward County Fire Marshal Billy Riley said. "I do have some suspects."

The fire occurred the weekend of July 26 in the structure, which is located about a mile outside Barstow.

Because the cause of the fire looks suspicious, Riley said that we would like to talk to some more people before determining the actual cause of the fire.

"It was not a barn," Riley said. "It was a house."

He also added that the house was not being occupied at the time of the fire.

"I will get back to you when I find out what happened," Riley said.

Old Timers hold Mata tournament

PECOS, Wed., Aug. 6, 2003 -- The West Texas Old Timer's League will present the Johnny V. Mata Memorial Tournament 2003 on Saturday, Aug. 9 and Sunday, Aug. 10, at Martinez Field.

Opening ceremony will be at 9 a.m., Saturday.

Special appearance will be made by former major leaguer and Midland Lee grad Randy Velarde and Rocky Rockhound, the Midland Rockhounds' Mascot.

Tumblers' class Friday cancelled

PECOS, Wed., Aug. 6, 2003 -- Texas Tumblers has cancelled their class for this Friday, August 8. However, classes will resume the following Friday, August 15.

For more information you can contact Jerry Ray at 943-6440.


PECOS, Wed., Aug. 6, 2003 -- High Tuesday 108. Low this morning 75. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 70s. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 101. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 70. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 101. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Lows near 70. Highs near 102.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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