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July 9, 1997
Wire mesh added to ceilings
after two escape county jail
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By SHANNON BRYER
PECOS, July 9, 1997 - Installation of wire mesh on secured area ceilings
started at the Reeves County Sheriff's Department yesterday in response
to the ease with which Auden Bernal-Cabello and Jaime Alejandro Adame
escaped from the county jail Sunday afternoon.
They escaped by taking a hallway ceiling panel off, crawling through the
ceiling, and dropping down into the unsecured men's restroom next to the
The two were supposed to be working, one in the kitchen and the other in
"When the jail staff couldn't find them, we locked everybody up and did
a head count. They were missing," said Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo
"Andy" Gomez. They were found 7 to twelve minutes later across the
street next to the State Theatre.
"They planned this. They know we're busy during visitation. They said
they had been planning it for two weeks," Gomez said.
At 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays there is always a line of visitors
waiting to see inmates.
"These two figured they could blend in with the civilians by changing
clothes and mixing with the people waiting. They then went through the
ceiling to the men's restroom by the front door and then ran across the
street," said Gomez.
A 13-year-old girl outside said that she saw two men run toward the
"Also, the alarm had gone off at the City Cleaners, so we figured we
should go in that direction. We checked beside the buildings and in
trash cans. Then I saw them on the ground hiding in the tumble weeds,"
Sheriff Gomez took swift action to keep such an escape from recurring.
"We are going to cage in all secured-area ceilings with mesh wire. This
should have been done years ago. They are starting installation today,"
The two escapees had been trustees, or prisoners who have given
indication that they can be trusted to perform duties such as clean,
cook, paint, and do yard work. Trustee status is given based on inmates'
behavior, the type of crime they committed, and whether their background
in any other facility has been violent. Bernal-Cabello and Adame
qualified for this status before their break-out.
In the future, officials will know not to use Bernal-Cabello and Adame
to work in unsecured areas because a report will follow them noting that
they tried to break out.
"Obviously, prisoners aren't here because they are outstanding citizens.
We just call them trustees," Gomez said.
The only other attempted escapes from the Reeves County jail have been
through air conditioning ducts, and not long ago wire was put over
those. "It is an old building. I think it was built around 1975," Gomez
"The little girl was a good citizen. That just goes to show how the
public can help when they witness a crime. Because she told us where she
saw them running, our response time was a lot faster in catching these
people," Gomez said.
The two prisoners were both in jail for drug smuggling. Bernal-Cabello is from Ft. Stockton and Adame is from Mexico.
Ranchers help out Jeff Davis Co.
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MIDLAND, Texas (AP) July 9, 1997 - Financially strapped by their
week-long standoff with Republic of Texas separatists, Jeff Davis County
agencies have been rescued by some West Texas ranchers.
Former Republican gubernatorial nominee Clayton Williams and Bobby Holt,
a member of the Texas Public Safety Commission, said they have raised
around $10,000 toward covering the agencies' costs. Both are Midland
"I think it is fantastic," said Sheriff Steve Bailey, who is overseeing
distribution of the funds. "All the money stays in Jeff Davis County."
Republic leader Richard McLaren and his followers ended their standoff
with hundreds of state troopers and other officers on May 3. Bailey
estimates that the siege cost his tiny department $8,000 to $12,000.
Officers, medical personnel and other staffers literally ate up half the
money, he said.
"When you start adding up 450 to 500 hamburgers, or 1,000 burritos a
day, it gets expensive," he said.
State funds were not available to reimburse the county, Holt told the
Midland Reporter-Telegram. The total cost of the operation has not been
tallied, DPS officials said Tuesday.
Williams, who owns three ranches in the mountainous region, said his
neighbors have been generous.
"Nearly everybody has responded," he said. Many area ranchers,
requesting anonymity, told the newspaper that they had contributed.
The fund will pay for ambulance service from Fort Davis and nearby
Valentine and equipment borrowed from the local volunteer fire
department. Davis Mountains Resort residents whose doors were kicked in
by SWAT officers securing the area also can dip into the fund for
repairs, Bailey said.
Bailey said his department's annual budget runs $120,000. The donated
money will prevent what could have been a financial crisis in the county
"It was a logistical nightmare," Bailey said. "We are still in the process of sorting it all out."
Town Meeting called to discuss
Pecos Head Start Program
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By RICK SMITH
PECOS, July 9, 1997 - Officials overseeing the Pecos Head Start Program
have called a Town Meeting to discuss problems affecting the program.
"We want to make any interested people aware that the Head Start Program
is still here and is not going anywhere," said Caprice Cox, Executive
Director of the Reeves County Community Council.
"It's an informational meeting to let people know what the program
The meeting will be at 7 p.m. July 14 at the Reeves County Civic Center.
In addition to informing the public about the Pecos Head Start Program,
community council members also hope to update the program's community
needs assessment, according to Cox. "We want to get as much information
from parents as we can get," she said.
Troubles for the Pecos Head Start Program began last year when
evaluators from the Dallas office of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services Administration for Children and Families found
deficiencies in the program.
The community council is working to maintain control of the Pecos Head
Start Program by correcting some of the deficiencies but when department
of health officials returned to Pecos in the spring they still found
problems in the program.
Reeves County Community Council President Linda Clark, along with Cox
and President of the Policy Council Board for Head Start Laura Carrasco,
went to Dallas on June 4 to meet with Head Start administrators.
The Community Council is working to implement the recommended changes in
order to maintain control of the program.
June 24 Pecos Head Start administrators signed an agreement with the
U.S. Department of Health which specified what the community council
needed to do to maintain the Head Start program, according to Mae
Saulter, Program Liaison Specialist with the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. The
agreement gave the council until Nov. 1 to rectify the problems.
"It is mandatory that they take care of the problems in order to
maintain the program," Saulter said.
"Our goal is for every agency to follow the program standards as
mandated by law. If they do not comply then they must put in place a
quality improvement plan to meet the standards. Our goal also is to help
this group meet the standards."
According to Saulter, administrators of the Pecos Head Start Program
must beef up training for program administrators.
"Our findings showed that a lot of the administration staff are not
trained," Saulter said. "They are required to have training in order for
the board to understand their role."
Saulter said staff training is available through the health department.
The program's personnel policy also must be revised to include the role
which the policy council plays in overseeing the program, according to
Program personnel policy enforcement practices regarding hiring and
firing of staff, absenteeism and resignation must be revised.
And finally, the Pecos Head Start Program must conduct a community needs
assessment to ensure quality service delivery, according to Saulter.
"We are asking them to do one right now," she said. Such a needs
assessment would help the health department determine community social
services or health needs that might be available through agencies other
than the Head Start Program, Saulter said.
The deficiencies in the local program must be corrected by Nov. 1.
"If they are not then we will take another look at the program and
determine if they should retain designation as a Head Start Program," Saulter said.
Exchange students simple to enroll
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By SHANNON BRYER
PECOS, July 9, 1997 - Foreign high school students are scheduled to
arrive soon for academic program homestays, and the sponsoring
organization, Pacific Intercultural Exchange (P.I.E.), needs a few more
local host families.
According to P.I.E. Executive Director, John Doty, the students are all
between the ages of 15 and 18 years, are English-speaking, have their
own spending money, carry accident and health insurance, and are anxious
to share their cultural experiences with their new American families.
P.I.E. currently has programs to match almost every family's needs,
ranging in length from a semester to a full academic year, where the
students attend local high schools.
Alice Duerksen, the Pecos High School Principal, welcomes students from
other countries, and notes that it is a simple process enroll them.
"The host parents would just have to bring the student to the high
school and meet with the counselors. Together, they would figure out if
the student wants to take courses toward a diploma or just for
educational enrichment," Duerksen said.
Pecos High School has hosted several foreign students. Last year, Yuka
Hashimoto, of Japan, stayed for three months with the LaStrapes family
of Pecos through the Rotary Club exchange program. "It was a good
experience. Yuka was very positive about being here. It was very
interesting to have her. We learned a lot," Jan LaStrapes said.
In the P.I.E. program, area representatives match students with host
families by finding common interests and life-styles through an informal
in-home meeting. Prospective host families are able to review student
applications and select the perfect match. As there are no "typical"
host families, P.I.E. can fit a student into just about any situation,
whether it be a single parent, a childless couple, a retired couple, or
a large family.
LaStrapes advises prospective host families to fully investigate the
exchange organization. "Look into the program and see what preparation
the student has. It is important that they be toward the end of their
educational experience in their own country and that they are coming
because they want to, not just because their parents encouraged them
to," LaStrapes said.
Hashimoto turned eighteen shortly after she arrived in the United
States. "She was prepared to spend the time away from home, and we
enjoyed her. She has a good personality," LaStrapes said.
"There also need to be some good rules in the exchange program
concerning expectations for the student and what will happen if they
don't meet those expectations," LaStrapes continued. "For us it was a
good experience having an exchange student. I think it's a neat program."
For the upcoming programs, P.I.E. has students from Spain, Denmark,
Germany, Poland, Russia, Finland, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay,
Australia, New Zealand, Croatia and many other countries. P.I.E. has
also been invited to participate in a special government-funded program
to bring scholarship students from the newly independent states of the
former Soviet Union to the United States.
P.I.E. is a non-profit educational organization that has sponsored more
than 18,000 students from 40 countries since its founding in 1975. The
organization is designated by the United States Information Agency and
is listed by the Council on Standards for International Educational
Travel (CSIET), certifying that the organization complies with the
standards set forth in CSIET's Standards for International Travel
Families who host for P.I.E. are also eligible to claim a $50 per month
charitable contribution deduction on their itemized tax returns for each
month they host a sponsored student.
Doty encourages families to contact the program immediately, as it will
allow the proper time for the students and hosts to get to know one
another before they actually meet for the first time.
Pecos area families interested in learning more about student exchange
or arranging for a meeting with a community representative may call
P.I.E., toll-free, at 1-800-631-1818. The agency also has travel/study
program opportunities available for American high school students as
well as possibilities for community volunteers to assist and work with area host families, students and schools.
Chamber profits from celebrations
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PECOS, July 9, 1997 - Night in Old Pecos/Cantaloupe Festival was dubbed
a success at the Pecos Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting
yesterday at noon at the Senior Citizens' Center.
Tom Rivera, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, announced that the
chamber made a good profit from the festival. "We still have a couple of
bills outstanding for ice and portable restrooms, but thanks to the fine
work of all who participated, we approximate a $1,000 gain," Rivera
Chamber members went on to discuss possible improvements to next year's
festival. Bruce Salcido voiced a concern that there was insufficient
electricity for the booths at the festival.
"We had three merchants without electricity. We had some vendors with
two microwaves and a fan running, and that would knock the booths next
to them off," concurred Paul Hinojos, Pecos Chamber of Commerce
"We need to talk to Texas New Mexico [Power Company]. We have 30 amps
but we need 50. We want the festival to grow, so we have to do it
right," said Hinojos. "This is not something we can forget about until
next year and allow to go on the year after that."
"We don't want to be liable. Vendors sell liquids and have extension
cords strung everywhere. We could be liable for that," Hinojos continued.
Another concern discussed by the Board was lack of volunteers when they
were needed. "Volunteers would sign up for one time, then show up 45
minutes early, expecting to be able to leave in an hour and go do
something else," Hinojos said. "Sometimes, a booth would have 10 people,
and later it would be shorthanded."
Dick Alligood noted that he heard several complaints from tourists who
tracked tar into their cars, and suggested that the Board request that
the highway department pave city roads just after the Fourth of July
rather than before the holiday to eliminate this problem.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was announced for Friday morning at 10 for
Tony's Restaurant, which is across from Allsup's where Socorro's used to
be. Tony's Restaurant is the newest member of the chamber.
Rivera thanked the board for their financial support in sending him to
Southern Methodist University's Institutes for Organization Management
in Dallas. He noted that he is the only SMU Institute graduate in West
The Advertising/Tourism Committee reported that they distributed a
survey at the rodeo to gather information on the people who attended.
They got 176 back. Alligood noted that when tourists stay in Pecos
hotels and motels, the chamber benefits.
"The hotel or motel collects a bed tax, which is paid to the city, who
gives it to the chamber to publicize future events. We need to think
about getting people to stay longer when they come to the rodeo and other Fourth of July events," Alligood said.
City Council meeting tomorrow
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PECOS, July 9, 1997 - A regular Town of Pecos City Council meeting will
be held tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. at the City Council Chambers at 110 6th
The council will discuss a request by Primera Iglesia Bautista Church to
sell, donate, or abandon the city right of way at 8th and Sycamore
Also on the agenda is an amended ordinance for repair and maintenance of
curbs in the city limits, as well as traffic control at baseball fields
and on 13th Street.
The council will discuss renewal of the enterprise zone, which will
expire Sept. 1, 1997.
The council will also consider giving permission to advertise for two
pick-ups for the water department and one for the buildings department.
The council will consider advertising in the Pecos Enterprise for fiscal
year 1997-98, and changing the next council meeting date.
They will discuss the Health Department director's employee performance
review, consider the monthly juvenile report, and approve accounts payable.
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PECOS, July 9, 1997 - EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police
Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department,
Reeves County Sheriff's Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, 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.
Jose Zacharias Chacon, 66, 2404 Sage, was arrested on June 25 at 8:02
p.m. on the 2300 block of Texas Street for public intoxication.
Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo "Andy" Gomez
Juan Ortiz Chavez was arrested on June 27 at 1 a.m. for public
intoxication at the Western Club at 9th and Cedar.
Yolanda Rodriguez, 1001 E. 11th, was arrested on June 27 at 10:47 a.m.
for three local warrants. She was also charged with driving without a
valid Texas driver's license.
Rodrigo R. Nunez was arrested on June 27 at 12:06 p.m. on the 400 block
of West 2nd Street on three local warrants.
Juan Lujan, 18, 1113 S. Cherry, was arrested on June 27 at 9:59 p.m. at
1005 S. Pecan for assault by threat under the Family Violence Act, a
Class "C" misdemeanor.
Lupe Marchan, 34, 428 N. Ash, was arrested on June 29 at 12:34 a.m. on
the 800 block of West 3rd Street for public intoxication, paid a $150
fine and was released.
Mario Gonzales was arrested the morning of June 30 on two local
warrants and released after he paid the fines.
Brian Scott Rodriguez was arrested July 4 at 5:49 p.m. on the 300 block
of W. 6th and charged with public intoxication. He was released after
paying the $150 fine.
On July 7 at 3:19 a.m., the burglary of a building by an unknown person
or persons was reported at 123 S. Oak.
Piedad Vargas, 34, 1108 S. Orange, was arrested on July 6 at 11:08 p.m.
on the 300 block of East 8th Street for disorderly conduct, a Class "C"
Gloria Orosco, 26, 1112 S. Orange, was arrested at 11:08 p.m. on July 6
for disorderly conduct on the 300 block of E. 8th Street.
Esequiela Martinez, 402 E. 6th, was arrested July 4 at 1:44 a.m. at the
Western Club, 9th and Cedar, for public intoxication. She paid the $150
fine and was released.
The burglary of a habitation at 317 Walthall St. was reported on July 8
at 2:15 a.m.
Tressa Jenkins, 17, 912 W. 9th, was arrested on two capias pro fine warrants on July 7 at 11:48 p.m
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PECOS, July 9, 1997 - High Tuesday, 98, low this morning, 65. Skies will
be partly to mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Lows tonight will be in the 60s and 70s highs Thursday will be in the
90s except in the Big Bend area of Southwest Texas where the mercury
will climb to near 104 by mid-afternoon.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.
Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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