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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide for Reeves County, Trans-Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


March 16, 1998

PHA to help Balmorhea housing agency

Staff Writer
Pecos Housing Authority board members agreed to help the
troubled Balmorhea Housing Authority in any way possible,
during their regular monthly meeting Friday evening.

Board members agreed that they would provide assistance to
the smaller community's authority, but made plans to contact
Roman Palomarez, deputy director of the federal Housing and
Urban Development's area office in Fort Worth.

The group agreed to set up a meeting with the Balmorhea
Housing Authority Board, Palomarez, and with two others HUD
officials from the Fort Worth office, Jackie Miller,
financial analyst and Ethel Montague, public housing
revitalization specialist.

Miller and Montague were recently in Pecos, where they asked
board members to help out the BHA office, and also wanted
the names of Pecos Housing Authority board president Frank
Perea and PHA executive director Nellie Gomez put on the on
the signature card at the bank.

BHA housing funds had been frozen due to some alleged
misappropriation of funds that had occurred in Balmorhea.
However, Perea said HUD would unfreeze the funds if he and
Gomez agreed to be put on the signature cards.

Balmorhea board members Rosa Dominguez and Ellen Weinacht
and Balmorhea Mayor Ismael Rodriguez were on hand for the
meeting. They expressed their gratitude to Gomez, who has
already been helping them to straighten out the mess the
Balmorhea housing has been left in.

"Yes, we do need your help and already Nellie has been very
nice and patient with us," said Dominguez.

After a short discussion, the group agreed that both Perea
and Gomez would be on the signature cards, which would allow
the BHA to pay bills the authority needed to pay.

"HUD came down here to ask that we sort of help them out, I
told them I didn't want to work for two boards, but I was
willing to help," said Gomez.

"It will take a lot of time to set them up in our computer,
but it can be done," she added.

Balmorhea Housing Authority currently has 22 units, while
Pecos has 130, along with 56 Farm Labor Housing apartments.

"I think we need to support them in any way that we can,"
said board member Ken Winkles.

"I need to sit down and make out a plan and possibly manage
those in Balmorhea the same way that we do the Farm Labor
Housing apartments," said Gomez.

However, Perea added "We need to get some things cleared,
like who will be making all the decisions."

A resolution was adopted to approve signatures on the
Balmorhea account to unfreeze the funds, "and Nellie can
contact the people from Fort Worth and set up a joint
meeting with those from Balmorhea," said Perea.

In other business, board members were given copies of a
letter from architect Shane Sigrist, who is involved in the
CIAP '96 construction project.

The letter was a progress report on rehabilitation work on
apartments at two sites, on the south side of town and the
senior citizens housing, located on Second Street.

"Things are coming along real well, they done all the
windows and have started on screen doors," said Gomez.
"Everything is on schedule and now we can rent some of the
vacant ones on the East side."

Both Sigrist and the officials for the contractor, Master
Builders, will be in Pecos on Tuesday and will have a more
thorough update then, according to Gomez.

In the correspondence, Sigrist stated that Master Builders
is approaching completion of the installation of the new
windows. They installed about 740 new windows and have about
50 left. The contractors will then start on screens and
screen doors next week. Electrical work (upgrade to panels
and new disconnects) appears to be ahead of schedule.

Master Builders is about half complete with HVAC work.

The first phase of the maintenance building renovations is
nearing completion. After they have completed work in the
area, they will move maintenance operations to the new side.
They will then complete renovation work to the other side of
the building, according to Sigrist.

Board members opted to table a motion to remove idle
telephone poles and transmitters from the Airbase lot until
someone can figure out who they actually belong to.

"They don't belong to us, they belong to the electric
company so therefore, they should be the ones to remove
those," said board member Ray Golden.

Golden stated that before Texas-New Mexico Power Company was
in operation it was under a different name. "However, they
bought out that other company and are liable for those
transmitters," he said.

Gomez told the board that she had spoken to T-NMP officials,
and had been told that it was up to PHA to dispose of the
unwanted items.

"We really need to get rid of those, but first we need to
find out who's liable for them," said Winkles.

Board members also agreed to approve allowing Pecos High
School Science Environmental Science Classes to continue
working on South side park development project.

"They just want your approval to continue working there with
us, and one of the projects will be to install a basketball
court," said Gomez.

She said funds for the court will be donated from a grant
the group obtained and the other half from CIAP funds.

"I'm very happy with them, they did real good last year,"
said Gomez.

Officials hunt murder suspect in U.S., Mexico

Staff Writer
Law enforcement officials in Presidio County, the Texas
Panhandle and in Mexico are continuing their investigation
into the death of a 19-year-old Muleshoe woman, whose body
was found behind a Presidio store on Friday.

Yvette Barraz was found early Friday morning behind a Dollar
General store in Presidio. She appeared to have been beaten
with some type of hammer, according to Presidio County chief
sheriff's deputy Rusty Taylor.

Barraz was last seen alive at about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday
leaving Leal's Restaurant, her place of employment, in
Muleshoe. Her family reported her missing at 8 a.m. the
following morning, according to a press release from the
Muleshoe police department.

When Barraz was reported missing, the Muleshoe police
department immediately began searching for her and the 1996
Mitsubishi Eclipse that she normally drove. An aerial search
was conducted with the assistance of the Texas Department of
Public Safety.

Muleshoe police officials said that based on prior incidents
and evidence collected during the investigation, they
believe Barraz may have been abducted by her ex-boyfriend,
Gilberto Guadalupe Reyes.

Taylor said at about 4 a.m. Thursday morning, Reyes had
entered the Presidio port of entry on foot, according to
Taylor. Everyone who enters the port of entry on foot is
stopped and interviewed, the deputy explained.

Authorities were not searching for Reyes until after he went
through the port of entry, so he was not detained at that
time. Reyes stated at the port of entry that he was going to
Chihuahua, according to Taylor, although authorities doubt
the validity of his statement.

The Muleshoe PD issued a statewide broadcast once the search
for Barraz began. Taylor said that the border patrol
received the report and alerted the Presidio County
Sheriff's Department to be on the lookout for the car that
Barraz had been driving because they remembered Reyes
crossing the border with a key to a Mitsubishi car.

About 20 minutes later, at around 1:30 a.m. Friday Taylor
said, the Mitsubishi Eclipse was located by a Presidio
County sheriff's deputy, with Barraz's body in the back.
According to the PD's press release, she was pronounced dead
at 2:45 a.m. by Presidio County Precinct 2 Justice of the
Peace Daniel Bodine.

Taylor said that the Muleshoe PD has taken over the
investigation of the murder with the help of a Texas Ranger
who is assigned to Bailey County. Reyes is being sought for
questioning, and Barraz's body has been sent for an autopsy
to determine her exact time and cause of death, Taylor said.
Because of the distance between Muleshoe and Presidio,
determining Barraz's time of death may help authorities tell
where she was killed.

As for Reyes, Taylor said, "We still feel like he's in
Mexico. He was last seen at the Presidio border crossing.
We're working with the state police in Mexico trying to find

Victor Leal, owner of the restaurant where Barraz worked,
told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that after learning of Barraz's death, a decision was made to close the restaurant until after funeral, to give those she had worked with time to grieve.

Barraz had worked at Leal's for about six months, was the
mother of a 2-year-old daughter. Leal said Barraz was a
sweet and lovable person who endeared herself to everyone at
the restaurant.

The Muleshoe PD said earlier this morning that another press
release about the murder would issued today, but had not
been sent out as of press time.

Chamber, county host seminar

A seminar on pay scales and the legal use of child labor is
scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the 143rd District
courtroom, located on the second floor of the Reeves County

The event will be co-hosted by Reeves County and the Pecos
Chamber of Commerce.

The Fair Labor Standards Act will be discussed at the
seminar, with Philip W. Flood, investigator from San Angelo
on hand for the special presentation.

The seminar on the Fair Labor Standards Act will include
discussion of its sections, which include the Federal
minimum wage, overtime and child labor law. It will cover
basic requirements of the law, and the problems commonly
found in a variety of industries.

Topics for discussion will be the basics,
problems/violations, minimum wage, overtime, child labor,
exemptions and enforcement.

Failure to comply with Federal labor laws can have
detrimental effects including a loss of company image,
employee morale and privilege licenses.

Everyone is invited to attend this free seminar.

To pre-register and for more information contact the Chamber
of Commerce, at 445-2406.


Crecencio Rede

Services are incomplete for Crecencio Rede, 55, died Sunday
night, at Midland Memorial Hospital.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


High Sunday 72. Low this morning 49. Precipitation last 24
hours, .01 inch. Total for month, .01, total for year .12
inch. Forecast for tonight: Decreasing clouds. Low around
40. Northwest wind 10-20 mph. Tuesday, partly cloudy. High
in the upper 60s. Northwest wind 10-20 mph, becoming light
and variable in the afternoon.

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Pecos Enterprise
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise