Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, December 1, 2003
Arredondo, Tarin begin re-election efforts
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Mon., Dec. 1, 2003 -- Filing for the Reeves County primary
elections in March doesn't officially begin for another two days, but
two incumbents have already filed their treasurers designation for the
Democratic Primary election.
"They can designate a treasurer with the county clerk, but the
official date to file will be Wednesday, Dec. 3," said Democratic Party
Chairman Robert C. Dean.
Incumbents Reeves County Precinct 1 Commissioner Felipe Arredondo
filed his treasurers designation, naming himself as treasurer as well
as incumbent commissioner as has Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin,
who also designated himself as treasurer.
Dean said that to file officially, candidates must file a petition
with 50 names or pay a filing fee. "It depends on what they are running
for, as to how much the fee is," said Dean.
Along with the Precinct 1 and 3 commissioner positions, other local
positions that will be up for election on March 9, are Reeves County
Tax Assessor/Collector; Reeves County Attorney; 143rd District Attorney
and 143rd District Court Judge.
The District Attorney and District Judge positions cover Reeves,
Ward and Loving Counties. Former District Attorney Hal Upchurch of
Monahans already has announced his plans to seek re-election to the
position he last held 12 years ago. The position is currently held by
Randall W. Reynolds.
Both the District Attorney and the District Judge candidates will
file their petitions or pay a filing fee in Austin.
Speeding tickets for area highest in I-10 counties
From Staff and Wire Reports
Watch your speed when you're driving on Interstate 10 - despite
sparse populations, Pecos and Sutton counties ranked among the Top 20
in the state in number of traffic tickets issued over a three-year
period by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Drivers in Sutton County, which includes a 41-mile stretch of
Interstate 10 on either side of Sonora, received 17,430 traffic tickets
from DPS troopers in 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a survey
conducted by the Associated Press. That was the 12th highest total
among the state's 254 counties, and was 1,000 more than were issued
during the same period to the east on I-10 in Bexar County, which
includes San Antonio and three other interstates, and has a population
of over 1 million.
Pecos County was also in the Top 20, in 18th place, with DPS
troopers having written 16,210 tickets during the three-year period,
according to the AP survey. Interstate 10 travels for 99 miles through
Pecos County, though the traffic ticket survey included all highways
covered by the DPS.
In contrast, Reeves County was ranked only 77th in the state, with
troopers having written 7,777 tickets in 2000, 2001 and 2002. The
county contains 89 miles of Interstate highways, less than Pecos
County, but is the only county west of Bexar to contain two major
Interstates, in I-10 and I-20.
Culberson County, which handles traffic from both Interstates after
I-10 and I-20 merge in western Reeves County, ranked just ahead of
Reeves on the ticket-issuing list. A total of 7,979 tickets were handed
out by DPS troopers in three years, putting Culberson County in 72nd
To the east of Reeves County, Ward County, which includes 39 miles
of I-20, ranked 86th on the list, with 7,201 tickets having been
written during the three-year span. Under the state law put in effect
two years ago, Reeves, Culberson, Pecos and Sutton counties are
authorized to allow 75 mph speed limits on Interstate and some two-lane
roads due to their sparse populations. Ward County's maximum speed
limit remains at 70 mph.
Pecos and Sutton counties were the only two remote areas to make it
into the Top 20. Capt. Ron Joy Jr., whose area includes Pecos and the
state's largest county, Brewster, said his staff has fewer roadways to
patrol out in the Big Empty, with drivers going miles and miles of
miles and miles.
"People probably get bored and they're trying to get through as fast
as they can," Joy said.
Statewide, the AP survey showed leadfoots tend to hit the gas in
greater numbers in heavily populated suburban counties that contain a
major interstate highway.
Of the 10 counties that got the most of the 2.2 million tickets
handed out during the three-year period, Montgomery County, northwest
of Houston, tops the list with more than 36,600.
Parker County near Fort Worth was a close second, followed by other
suburban havens - Hunt, northeast of Dallas; fourth; Collin, home to
the affluent Dallas suburb of Plano, fifth; and Bell, between Austin
and Waco, ninth.
Filling out the top 10 were Hidalgo County in South Texas at third
and Brazoria County southwest of Houston at sixth - the only two
without major interstates; Houston's Harris County, seventh; Tyler's
Smith County, eighth; and Waco's McLennan County, 10th.
"It's a problem," said Tela Mange, spokeswoman for the Texas
Department of Public Safety. "It's not just people who live in those
areas who use those roads, and when they're in the cities they often
get stuck in traffic and feel they're losing time. When they get a
little breathing room, they just go, go, go."
The 10 counties with the fewest tickets include San Saba in Central
Texas and McMullen in South Texas, each between major interstates;
Borden, Cochran, Stonewall, Kent, Foard and Lipscomb in or near the
Panhandle, far from interstates; and Terrell and Loving in far West
Predictably, Loving County, with a population of 67 in the 2000
Census, had the fewest tickets over the three-year span at 17.
That troopers and other Montgomery County law enforcement officers
keep a keen lookout for speeders comes as no surprise to Blythe
Palamara, a mother of two in The Woodlands who manages to limit herself
to one ticket a year. With that, she can take a defensive driving
course and pay the ticket fine, but keep her driving record clean so
her car insurance rates won't rise.
"On one of my tickets, I was just driving down the road, and (the
trooper) was driving in the opposite direction. I didn't know I was
speeding. He just turned around, did a complete U-turn, and came after
me," she said.
Montgomery County earns its speedy reputation thanks to Interstate
45 on the west side and state Highway 59 on the east, said Scott
Markowitz, a Houston attorney specializing in traffic offenses in
Houston and surrounding counties. In addition, speed limits of 55 miles
per hour in construction zones for Highway 59 expansion projects have
been strictly enforced.
Capt. Randy McDaniel, who oversees 42 troopers patrolling
Montgomery County, said his area tops suburban counties in fatal
accidents as well as speeders. Statistics on fatal accidents from 2000
- the most recent available - show 72 fatal accidents occurred in
Montgomery, compared to 20 in Parker County.
"It all becomes a cycle," he said. "We would like to work ourselves
out of a job. Unfortunately, I don't think we will."
However, Mange said counties with major cities still have more
fatal accidents - such as 259 in Dallas County and 389 in Harris County
that year. The state doesn't specify how many such accidents are
attributed to speeding.
For all the tickets handed out in suburban Dallas counties, Dallas
County itself was 111th among the state's 254 counties. Tarrant County
was 55th, while Travis County was a little faster at 50th.
Roy Crooks, who runs a defensive driving course in Fort Worth, said
Tarrant County speeders keep him busy, though he gets a steady flow of
students from No. 2 Parker County.
"That part of I-20 in Parker County is one of the growing areas
between Fort Worth and Weatherford," Crooks said. "It's a nice, great
big six-lane highway and people just keep the speed up a bit on a lot
of hills. Troopers patrol that area pretty heavily."
Police seize money found in traffic stop
PECOS, Mon., Dec. 1, 2003 -- Pecos police are looking at charging an El
Paso man with money laundering, after almost $10,000 in cash was found
in his car following a Wednesday afternoon traffic stop.
Police said that at 2:26 p.m. on Wednesday officer Oscar Machuca,
stopped a 1996 green Ford Explorer for speeding while westbound on
Interstate 20 in Pecos. Machuca said the driver was overly nervous and
gave conflicting stories on the ownership of the car and the purpose of
The man, an El Paso resident, said that he was returning to El Paso
but could not remember the owner of the car's last name. Machuca then
asked to search the vehicle. The driver gave verbal consent, and in the
search police found $9,600 in cash. The money was found at the bottom
of a gym bag in the pocket of one of the pants in the bag.
The vehicle has a Texas registration, belongs to a third party and
was not reported stolen.
The money found in the gym bag was confiscated, police said, after
the man asserted that the money was not his. Charges are pending
against the man for money laundering.
Schools schedule Christmas concert Tuesday
PECOS, Mon., Dec. 1, 2003 -- The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD bands will
be performing their Christmas Concert, at 7 p.m., Tuesday in the Pecos
High School auditorium.
The concert will begin with the sixth grade band followed by both
Crockett Middle School bands, and both high school bands.
Sixth grade band members need to be on stage at 6:30 p.m., 7th and
8th grade band members need to be in the cafeteria at 6:30 p.m.
Admission is free.
PECOS, Mon., Dec. 1, 2003 -- High Sun. 83. Low this morning 40.
Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows near 40. East winds 10 to 15
mph. Tues.: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of rain. Highs near 70.
South winds 10 to 15 mph. The chance of rain is less than 20 percent.
Tues. night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 40. SE winds 10 to 15 mph
shifting to the NW after midnight. Wed.: Partly cloudy. Highs in the
mid 60s. North winds 10 to 15 mph. Wed. night: Partly cloudy. Lows in
the lower 30s. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 60s.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information
contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the
Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff's Office, or other
officers of those agencies.The serving of warrants by an officer for
outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control
violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be
printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such
instances we will indicate payment and release.
Omar Gomez Zermeno, 21, was arrested on
two Texas Department of Public Safety warrants for speeding and display
of expired registration on Nov. 28, at 8:04 p.m., at the intersection
of Third and Cedar streets
Eric Estorga, 20, was arrested for a
Capias warrant for possession of drug paraphernalia on Nov. 27, at 7:15
p.m., during a traffic stop at Veterans Boulevard and Park Street
Stephen Biddinger, 34, was arrested for
theft, a Class B misdemeanor, on Nov. 24, at 9:43 p.m., at Wal-Mart
based on a call from the store manager to report employee theft.
Juan Portillo, 73, was arrested for
public intoxication on Nov. 22, at 7:49 p.m., in the La Tienda parking
Elario Bustamante, 17, was arrested for a
Reeves County Sheriff Office warrant for assault on Nov. 22, at 10:38
p.m., at the intersection of Fifth and Eddy streets.
Roy Jimenez, 19, was arrested for
interfering with public duty on Nov. 21, at 9:18 p.m., at the
intersection of Fourth Pine streets
Timothy John Hendricks, 17, was arrested
for disrupting class, a Class C misdemeanor, on Nov. 21, at 10:41 a.m.,
at Pecos High School at the OCS building.
Elario Bustamante, 17, was arrested on
two warrants for possession of marijuana within 1000 feet of a school
and possession of drug paraphernalia on Oct. 31, at 7:31 a.m.
Bustamante turned himself in at the CJC.
Miguel Mike Palomino, 41, was arrested
for public intoxication and on a warrant out of Travis County for
driving while intoxicated on Oct. 31, at 5:38 p.m., in the 400 block of
Lee Anthony Orona, 18, was arrested on
multiple warrants on Oct. 30, at 4:42 p.m., in the 400 block of Peach
St. The warrants include a Pecos Police Department citation for curfew
violation and New Mexico warrants for firing a weapon at a motor
vehicle, conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and
the unlawful possession of a handgun.
Alberto Prieto, 44, was arrested for
public intoxication and on a warrant for parole violation on Oct. 27,
at 11:11 p.m., in the 300 block of Sycamore Street.
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