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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, October 31, 2003

Commissioners to study prison management bids

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 31, 2003 -- Reeves County Commissioners will meet this afternoon to discuss proposals which have been sent in for the past month by private companies seeking to operate all or part of the Reeves County Detention Center.

The deadline for bid for management or lease of either the 960-bed RCDC III unit, or all three units of the $89 million facility, is 2 p.m. today, and commissioners are scheduled to meet an hour later on the third floor of the Reeves County Courthouse to discuss the proposals.

Proposals have been floating in to the Reeves County Judge's office to manage the RCDC after the county did not find enough inmates to fill up RCDC III, which was completed in March and has construction and interest payments of $40 million due over the next several years. The payments were to be made from money the country received for housing inmates in the prison.

Reeves County began accepting proposals at the beginning of October from private vendors for the operation, management and/or lease of all three units of the 2,960-bed prison or each unit individually, after an unsuccessful effort to find prisoners during the previous three months. The action came after the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which provided most of the inmates for RCDC I and II, declined to provide any inmates for the new unit.

"There has been considerable interest expressed," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "There's been interest from a number of companies, but today we'll know if they are good proposals."

Galindo said that it all depends on what the proposals are, as to whether or not commissioners will go any of the offers.

"It depends on the companies that are interested on whether they will send a proposal or not," said Galindo. "They've expressed interest, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they will turn in a proposal."

Galindo said that interest has been expressed by several correctional management companies including the prison's former management company, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) of Nashville, Tenn., and other management firms, including Wackenhut of Boca Raton, Fla., MTC (Management Training Corporation) of Utah, Emerald Management Corporation of Shreveport, La, CSC (Correctional Services Corporation) and CiviGenics of Pennsylvania.

"There is considerable interest, but we won't know until we open the proposals," said Galindo. "We'll make the selection based on the proposal, but also we can negotiate with them later," he said.

He added that having another company manage/lease the facility with provide long-term stability, because that 's what these companies do for a living.

Galindo said that as a group they would come to a consensus as to which is the best way to go. "We'll open the proposals at 2 p.m. and meet at 3 p.m., to discuss and make a decision," said Galindo. "All the commissioners will receive a copy of the proposals and then we'll discuss them," he said.

A public notice was officially posted on Sept. 30 by the Reeves County Commissioners Court as a request for proposals, with a deadline of Oct. 31 for the proposals to be submitted.

The management/lease offer would take away some control of the prison from county commissioners, but would allow the county to maintain its ownership of the facility.

RCDC I was built in 1986 to house 300 inmates, and over the next 12 years was expanded to hold 1,000 inmates. During that time, several disputes broke out between then-Reeves County Sheriff Raul Florez and county commissioners over which group would oversee the prison, and as a compromise in 1989 the prison operations were turned over to CCA. That company ran the prison for three years, until the contract was terminated and the sheriff's department regained control.

However, several prison escapes and two riots over the next three years led the BOP to remove some prisoners from RCDC I. County commissioners then took over supervision of the facility and hired former La Tuna Federal Prison Warden Rudy Franco to be in charge of the prison in late 1995.

Before deciding on the prison management offer, Galindo and other county officials visited Washington D.C., twice during the summer, seeking both agreements to find new inmates for the facility, and a higher man/day rate on the BOP inmates housed at RCDC I and II. The county ended up agreeing to a man/day rate of $47.32 for those two prisons, though Galindo had sought a $54.72 rate, saying that private prisons operated by management companies in other parts of the United States received man/day rates of over $60 from the BOP.

Since then, the county has looked at several other options, including inmates through the U.S. Marshal's Service, the Department of Homeland Security and the State of Arizona. The Marshal's Service has placed over 100 inmates in RCDC III, but that total has not been enough to meet the future bond payments on the facility.

Parks announces candidacy for new term as district judge

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 31, 2003 -- Bob Parks, who has served for the past 17 years as 143rd District Court Judge, has announced his plans to run for a fifth term as judge for the three-county district in the 2004 Democratic primary election.

Parks, who was first appointed to the bench in 1986, replacing Larry Fuller, was elected to an unexpired term later that year and since has been re-elected to full four-year terms four times, the most recent in November of 2000.

"I have been honored to serve as your district judge and seek your vote and support for re-election in 2004," Parks said in a statement released earlier this week. "If reelected, I promise to continue to work hard and to be fair to all."

A graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas School of Law, Parks practiced law in Midland as a partner in the firm of Kern, Fitzgerald & Kerr. He moved his practice to Monahans in 1980 and served as city attorney there, before being named to the 143rd District Court, which serves Reeves, Ward and Loving counties.

Judge Parks has served as a director of the Texas Center for the Judiciary, Inc., and as a task force member on the Texas Commission on Judicial Efficiency. He is a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, president of the Monahans-Ward County Bar Association, a former president of the Trans-Pecos Bar Association and a trustee emeritus of Rice University.

He is married to Cathy Parks and they have four children, Christy Eddings of Monahans, Lisa Smith of Midland, Justin Parks and Allison Parks, and three grandchildren.

"I request your vote and support for my reelection, so that we may work together to keep our communities great places to live and raise our children and grandchildren," Parks said.

Granado tracking gangs in job at Pecos PD

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 31, 2003 -- Armando "Mondie" Granado Jr. swapped an oilfield career for one in law enforcement, and has been serving Pecos for almost 13 years, working first at the Reeves County Sheriff's Department and now as a member of the Pecos Police Department.

A Pecos native, Granado started in the oilfields straight out of high school, but knew that that was not the job for him. After a couple of years working on pulling units and roustabout crews, he attended the police academy at Sul Ross University to move into his preferred field of work.

"I always respected the officers and knew that I would like to work in law enforcement one day," Granado said.

He began his law enforcement career as a jailer with the Reeves County Sheriff's Department, which he did for two years. He moved on to become a deputy for five years and eventually switched over to the police department, and has been there every since.

He served as a patrol officer for four years before being chosen as the gang officer-investigator, a position he has held for almost three years now. He is also the assistant SWAT commander, under Lt. Kelly Davis, and an instructor for the police academy.

Born to Armando Sr. and Modesta Granado, "Mondie" attended school here in town, playing shortstop and third base for his high school baseball team all four years. He has two sisters, both older; his sister Becky lives here in town and is the high school volleyball head coach and the other lives in Fort. Worth.

When Pecos started having problems with gangs in the early 90's, Granado, then a deputy on patrol for the Sheriff's Office, saw the violence and destruction that gangs breed. Ever since, Granado has been expanding his knowledge on gangs to better fight the problem.

He is currently a member of the Texas Violent Gang Task Force, which is comprised of officers from El Paso to Abilene. Training for this task force begins with a three-day intensive course, with refresher days frequently to keep the officers up to date with what the gangs are doing.

"I don't necessarily deal with gangs on a daily basis; typically, an officer will alert me if they believe that a crime is gang related. I come in and interview victims, witnesses and suspects. If I determine it to be so, we proceed differently than we would if it were not. The charges available to us if gang members are involved are expanded a little and that gives us more to bring against them in court," Granado said.

"The training I have gone through helps me to identify gang members and gang activities; once it is established someone was present during a crime and that they are associated with a gang, then they can be charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a charge unavailable to us with other crimes," he added.

According to Granado, Pecos currently has three gangs actively fighting with each other, as compared to 150 active gangs in Midland. The BPG, or brown pride gang, is one of the largest and is usually involved when there is a gang dispute going on. The other two, Locos 13 and Kriminal Minded (KM), are smaller and typically fight with the BPG members.

"We have seen a reduction in gang violence since the 90's, when the violence was at its height," Granado said, "a lot of the members have been locked up or moved away since then."

The gang members that do go to jail and return to town do not usually return to their original gang. Once in jail, the gangsters usually join up with one of the prison gangs for protection. If and when they do get released and return to town, they are not allowed by the prison gang to rejoin or hangout with their old partners in crime. If they do, the prison gang will typically put a hit out on them.

Granado says that the gang indoctrination starts early with kids. It can be stopped, but the parents must open their eyes to the way their kids are acting and whom they are hanging out with. "Most of the time the parents don't want to admit that their kids could possibly be in a gang," Granado said.

"I remember one time when I was on patrol with the Sheriff's Office, I drove by a gas station on Eddy St. and I saw three 12-13 year-olds flashing gang signs. I circled around and asked them why at such an early age they would be involved. They denied doing anything, but I told them then that I would see them again if they kept up with the gang involvement. It wasn't maybe three years later that all three had been arrested for something," Granado related.

For the future, Granado sees his future here in Pecos. "All my wife's family and most of mine is here; and I like Pecos and I would like to see my kids grow up here."

"Mondie" has four kids, John a senior in high school, Stephanie a junior in high school, Amanda in seventh grade, and Armando Jr. who is 3 years old.

St. Catherine's hosts Saturday garage sale

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 31, 2003 -- A Garage Sale will be held from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday at the St. Catherine Catholic Church Hall, Plum and Walthall Streets.

The event is sponsored by the Catholic Daughters and proceeds will benefit the many projects the group is involved in.

Strayhorn's office has unclaimed funds list

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 31, 2003 -- More than 142,000 unclaimed property owners, including 40 from Pecos, who have lost track of $71 million in cash and other valuable assets, had their names listed in Texas newspapers on Sunday, Oct. 19, when Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn published the annual Unclaimed Property List.

"This is unclaimed property owned by Texans that has been reported to the state within the last year alone," said Strayhorn. "When you add up the money that remains unclaimed from previous years, the unclaimed property fund has now reached an incredible $1 billion. That's money that rightfully belongs to hardworking Texans," she said.

"With so much money waiting to be claimed, it is important to take a few minutes to check the Unclaimed Property List every year," said Strayhorn. "As one tough grandma, I know that no Texans can afford to walk away from their hard earned dollars," she said.

"While the state is holding this money, it is put to good use to educate our children and provide other essential state services, but I would much rather give it back to its rightful owners, especially in these tough economic times," she said.

In addition to checking the Unclaimed Property List in the newspaper, Strayhorn urges Texans to visit her Unclaimed Property Web site, The site contains the names of unclaimed property owners on this year's list and from previous years. The online database also includes unclaimed property owners who have less than $100 in unclaimed property, whose names are not published on the newspaper list.

Unclaimed property can be anything from a forgotten rent or utility deposit, to an uncashed check, a dormant bank account or an abandoned safe deposit box. Banks and businesses turn these assets over to the state after three to five years if the owners cannot be found, but unclaimed property continues to belong to its rightful owners. There is no time limit to claim the money.

Since Strayhorn took office, she has returned more than $300 million in unclaimed property to its owners.

Names that appear on the list from Pecos include: AHA Corporation, Jessie Allen, Jamie Allred, Mario Enrique Almanza, Encaranacio Calderon, Tomas Carmoner, Rosemary Chabarria, Portirio Chavez, Steve Cordova, Family Pharmacy, Rafael Florez, Jesus V. Galindo, R.L. Hanson, William B. Harrison, Erminia Hernandez, David L. Hess, Michael Kojis, Orlando Lara, Barbara Faye Lease, Ethel Lewellen, Adan Machuca, S. Machuca, Gabriel Martinez, Myretta Ann McLeod, Jose Mesta, B. Miller, Hattie Miller, Dorothy Nelson, Joel Perez, Saint James Laity Co., Shell Western E&P, Raymond A. Thomas, Virgil Turnbow, Frances Valenzuela, Guillermo Valle, Joel Villanueva, Albert J. Wafer, Donald K. Weaver, Ernesto T. Zubiate and Adela M. Zuniga.


PECOS, Fri., Oct. 31, 2003 -- High Thursday 89. Low this morning 49. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows 55 to 60. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms. Highs near 80. Southeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 50s to the lower 60s. South winds 10 to 20 mph. Sunday: Partly cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower to mid 80s. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Sunday night: Partly cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 50s. Monday: Partly cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower to mid 80s. Monday night: Partly cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower to mid 50s.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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