Thursday, April 16, 1998
County applying for home rehab extension
By RICK L. SMITH
PECOS, April 16, 1998 - County officials are applying for a
three-month extension to complete the rehabilitation of five
homes in Reeves County.
Grant administrator for the project, Mari Maldonado, told
commissioners last night that work has been completed on 10
homes. She reported that there is $139,266 left for
construction and $12,507 for grant administration of the
"Construction draws in the amount of $48,404 and a grant
administration draw in the amount of $3,115 are pending for
a reconciled grant total of $100,253," Maldonado said in her
report to the commissioners.
Maldonado told commissioners she had prepared a draft of an
extension request letter asking for another three months to
complete the projects.
"I think it's important to get the homes completed as soon
as possible," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo. "It'll
be great if the state grants an extension to finish the
Galindo said the regional coordinator for the Texas
Community Development Program, Allison Russell, recently
inspected the completed homes and was pleased with the work.
"I don't think we will have any problem getting the
extension," Galindo said.
All five projects yet to be completed are supervised by
construction manager Norman Roman and include projects
number 1A for $34,184, 7A for $35,184, 4 for $14,200, 7 for
$25,990, and 12 for $6,390.
Roman has received $4,145 for his services and construction
manager Arthur Granado has received $4,434 for his services,
Work has begun on project 7 and is expected to be completed
by June 29.
A property dispute involving project 7A is expected to be
remedied by a letter from TCDP regional coordinator Russell,
A revised write-up for project 1A has been completed and
will be published for bids soon, according to Maldonado.
Projects 12 and 4 will be set up for work later this week,
"As funds become less and less available, the grant
administrator has made appointments with various homeowners
throughout the unincorporated areas of Reeves County who
have already applied for assistance and undergone the
screening process in search of homes that require minimal
work to bring up to Section 8 standards," Maldonado said.
"We will continue to serve as many homeowners as we can with
"I realize the numbers are surprising, but change orders
were unavoidable and necessary to bring these homes up to
Section 8 standards, which I feel we've done successfully,
as noted by Ms. Russell during her visit. She was meticulous
in reviewing the change orders.
"I am confident when I say that we have provided a much
needed and professional service to these homeowners."
Marijuana found in pickup bed liner
PECOS, April 16, 1998 - Reeves County Deputy Sheriff Jesse
Franco made an unexpected discovery yesterday after pulling
over a white pickup for a traffic violation on Interstate 20
near its junction with U.S. 285.
Franco said he received permission to search the vehicle,
that had been swerving from lane to lane on the highway,
from the driver, Eduardo Galindo, 20, of Tell, Tex. From
there on out it was all up to Megan.
Probably the youngest employee of the Reeves County
Sheriff's Department, Megan is a one-and-a-half-year-old
Labrador Retriever trained in the fine art of drug detection.
"She started sniffing," explained officer Franco, "and then
pointed through the bed liner where was discovered what
appeared to be marijuana."
The driver was booked at the sheriff's department at 9:47
a.m. yesterday, on charges of possession of marijuana over
50 pounds, but under 2,000 pounds.
The official weigh-in found the total amount seized to be 71
Galindo is scheduled to go before Judge Hererra for
arraignment later this afternoon.
Chamber plans for fall fair
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 16, 1998 - Fall fair concert plans were
discussed during an executive session held by Pecos Chamber
of Commerce Directors Tuesday at the Pecos Senior Center.
"We met with Louis (Matta) and agreed to let him and his
group be in charge of entertainment and we get proceeds off
of it," said chamber president Richard Crider.
Crider told the directors that the group had been losing
money at the concerts previously and that "this is the way
to go to make money and not take all the risk."
"We had to let him know something because time is of the
essence," said Crider.
While the directors agreed to let Matta and his investment
group take over the concert, a formal agreement has not yet
been signed. The agreement would call for a 5-year contract.
"They want this long-term agreement because they eventually
want to make money out of this," said Crider.
The agreement was made, but plans to finalize everything
have to be worked out, according to Crider.
"The way I see this thing we don't have the money to back
this up," said Crider.
Chris Metler told the group that sales of banners to be
placed outside businesses for the Fourth of July went really
well. "There are still 15 of the rodeo flags that are for
sale," said Metler.
Profits from the sales will go towards purchasing flowers to
be placed by the trees on Cedar Street.
"We'll get the planters and everything, but we need help
with funds for purchasing the flowers," she said.
Metler suggested going to businesses and individuals and
asking them to sponsor some of these flowers that will be
planted along Cedar Street.
During the meeting the group was entertained by Alvin Crow,
a Texas Folklife fiddler. Crow learned the art on his own
and will be performing at different locations in Pecos
throughout the week. On Friday, he will perform at the
The Women's Division president updated those assembled on
the Golden Girl Revue and the Little Miss Cantaloupe
Eight girls have signed up for the Golden Girl Pageant and
signups for the Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant will continue
until April 24. The Style Show has been scheduled for May 9
at the Pecos Valley Country Club. Tickets for the event can
be purchased at Security State Bank.
"Tom has indicated that he can get people to help us with
setting up the stage, but we still need volunteers," said
Johnny Terrazas will be Master of Ceremonies for the Golden
Girl/Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant.
Crider told the group that volunteers are needed for the
Relay for Life event. "Basically they need about 10 people
who will walk for 30 minutes," said Crider. "It could be
made into a fun deal," he said.
"I've also talked to Tom about Texas Tourism Week," said
The group will again "kidnap" a family and be treated to a
day in Pecos during the Fourth of July festivities.
"We need to get people familiar with what the chamber does
and what is happening in the chamber," said Crider.
Crider suggested visiting more people and telling them what
the chamber is all about. "We need to convince them and find
out what they feel we ought to be doing and what they think
about chamber events," he said.
Prosecutor gives details of drug bust
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, April 16, 1998 - Obdulio Oyervides and his attorney,
Gerald Lopez, made such a good case for the defense that a
federal court jury deliberated several hours Tuesday and
Wednesday before finding the Fort Stockton man guilty of
aiding and abetting marijuana smuggling.
U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson set sentencing for July
Oyervides, 26, was charged with helping several people
involved in marijuana smuggling on Jan. 26. He allegedly
drove to Alpine to pick up two of the suspects and return
them to Fort Stockton after U.S. Border Patrol agents
intercepted the 88.6 pound load of marijuana.
Prosecutor Jim Blankinship painted a detailed picture of the
interception, chase and subsequent arrest of five suspects,
beginning before dawn on the day before Super Bowl Sunday
south of Marathon on Hwy. 385.
Border Patrol agents spotted two vehicles traveling north at
4:30 a.m. that Saturday in an area where "there's not much
traffic at all," Blankinship said.
Agents attempted to stop the Suburban and Tahoe, but "don't
have any luck," he said. "The Tahoe runs from them down
Longfellow Road, and they can't find him."
Later, the agents did locate the Tahoe, stopped on Hwy. 385.
Cesar Gonzales and his father, of Fort Stockton, Omar Trejo
and an illegal alien from Mexico occupied the vehicle.
They took the senior Gonzales and the alien to Fort Stockton
for further investigation and the two young men to the bus
station in Alpine. Suspecting they are involved in marijuana
smuggling, BP agents watch the two young men.
After the senior Gonzales was released, he and Oyervides
drove to Alpine to pick up the young men, returning to Fort
Stockton by way of Marathon, rather than the more direct
route up Hwy. 67, Blankinship said.
Other agents began surveillance on Longfellow Road to see if
the group returned for the marijuana they believe was dumped
after the early-morning chase began.
Back in Fort Stockton, Oyervides went to the home of Richard
Sheehan at halftime during the Super Bowl game. Sheehan left
in his pickup, along with the Cesar Gonzales and Trejo,
accompanied by Oyervides' black Ford LTD.
After the marijuana was located and loaded into the pickup,
agents attempted to stop it, only to have Sheehan drive
across a pasture. "The marijuana goes everywhere,"
Trejo and Gonzales bailed out of the pickup and headed
toward Fort Stockton, while Sheehan went the other
direction. While searching for them, an agent spoted three
men in a water disposal truck that normally would have had
only the driver. When he stoped the truck, the agent drove
up on the passenger side to prevent the two young men
-Gonzales and Trejo -from escaping.
Sheehan's wife told DEA agents later that Oyervides came
back to the house looking for Sheehan, who eventually
Lopez had an explanation for all that, saying that
Oyvervides was simply doing a favor for a friend when he
drove to Alpine to pick up the two young men. He denied any
knowledge of a marijuana transaction.
Sheehan, the primary witness against Oyervides, is a snitch
for the government, Lopez said.
Sheehan was arrested Oct. 27, 1997 on a marijuana possession
charge, and to avoid going to prison, he made a deal with
the government, Lopez said.
"He would provide information;... would be a snitch for the
government and buy his way out of prison," he said.
Jurors deliberated late into the night Tuesday, returning
Wednesday for about three more hours of deliberation before
finding Oyervides guilty.
Judge Furgeson accepted several guilty pleas this week and
sentenced 19 defendants, including Michael Matta, 27, of
Pecos, and Aubrey Dean Price, 72, of Pyote.
Price pleaded guilty to violating his probation on a
previous conviction for marijuana possession. He will be
sentenced July 13.Matta plead true to violating his
probation on a recent conviction for drug possession and was
sentenced to 10 months in prison.
Carmela Juana Rodriguez cried when Judge Furgeson sentenced
her to 70 months in prison for possession of cocaine and
ordered her immediate surrender to deputy U.S. Marshals.
Turning from the lectern, the young woman voiced a tearful
goodby to several family members seated in the courtroom.
U.S. Magistrate Stuart Platt accepted numerous guilty pleas
for Judge Furgeson during the week and held two hearings
PHS students demonstrate language skills
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 16, 1998 - Several Pecos High School students
will show off their flair for the Spanish language Friday in
The students will be participating in the Foreign Language
Festival at Angelo State University.
"One group will perform a skit in Spanish," said teacher
The skit, which is titled, "Todo Por Una Maleta," was
derived from the Spanish language hit show "Sabado Gigante,"
according to Tarango.
"All the students participating are very fluent in Spanish,"
said Tarango. "These are the top Spanish students," she said.
Other students will be participating in prose, poetry, sight
reading, extemporaneous speaking and a written test.
"Everything is in Spanish, but I have confidence in these
students," said Tarango.
"I think they'll do real well," said Tarango. "There's no
problem with the fluency, they just need to work on getting
their lines right," she said.
The students performing in the skit will receive points for
fluency, how well they remember their lines and their
actions. "Everything will be put together and they will be
judged on all of it," said Tarango.
Ribbons of "excellente" and "superior" will be given out.
"Superior ribbons are the highest," she said.
About 25 schools will be participating in the annual event.
"The skit we are doing is about a woman who mistakenly gets
the wrong bag at the airport," said Tarango. "The woman then
takes the bag home, only to discover that it is full of
money and the plot unfolds from there," she said.
Students participating in the skit include, Gladys
Izquierdo, Herman Seijas, Bacilio Ortega, Roy Ramos and
Other top Spanish students participating in the festival in
other events are: Griselda Muniz, Michelle Gabaldon, Adriana
Lara, Marissa Salgado, Suzanne Carrasco, Veronica Marruffo,
Adela Garcia, Elma Gomez, Karina Castillo, Isabel Madrid,
Angela Martinez, Noemi Perez and Freddy Caballero.
Teacher sponsors along with Tarango, are Jacqueline
Mandujano, Juan Dominguez and Rick Martinez.
Teams still needed for cancer fundraiser
By CARA ALLIGOOD
PECOS, April 16, 1998 - American Cancer Society members are
gathering teams to participate in the Relay for Life next
month, but there is still room for a few more teams to take
part in the fundraising event. A team captains' meeting was
held yesterday at Reeves County Hospital.
The Relay for Life will be held from 6 p.m. May 15 until
noon May 16 at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena. The event will
be an overnight fund raiser for cancer research, education
and service that will put the "fun" back in fundraiser.
Since Relay for Life is raising money for the American
Cancer Society, the event will be an alcohol-free,
tobacco-free, family and community oriented event. Everyone
who has had a friend or family member touched by cancer is
invited to participate.
So far, teams will participate from the U.S. Post Office,
Anchor Foods, Reeves County Hospital, American Home Health,
First National Bank, the Pecos Youth Advisory Committee and
the Pecos Chamber of Commerce.
Teams generally consist of at least 10 members. Team members
collect donations from their sponsors before the event, then
have a good time camping out and walking their laps during
the relay. Each team rotates their members on and off the
track, keeping a team member walking laps around the track
throughout the relay.
Special events during the relay include the kickoff lap by
cancer survivors, a luminary lighting ceremony at nightfall
to honor those who are fighting or who have battled cancer,
and a victory lap at the end of the relay. There will also
be food, games and entertainment during the event. Families
are welcome to attend with their children.
If you are interested in organizing a team or becoming a
corporate sponsor, contact Marie Cardenas at 447-9041 or
Nancy Ontiveros at 447-3551, ext. 350 for more information.
An organization representative will be happy to meet with
you to explain details of the relay.
Cattle fraud, theft on increase in state
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, April 16, 1998 - Stolen livestock and ranch
equipment, worth more than $4.5 million, were recovered or
accounted for in 1997 by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle
Raisers Association. So reports the Fort Worth-based
producer group founded 121 years ago to fight the ranching
theft problem. The $4.5 figure represents an increase of $2
million from the previous year, said TSCRA Director of Law
Enforcement Larry Gray.
Fortunate for locals, there has not been much of an increase
in theft in the Trans-Pecos area, said Gray, because most of
the crimes have been restricted to white-collar crimes such
as fraud and embezzlement that occur close to the industry
around Dallas/Fort Worth.
"We still have the plain, old everyday cattle theft as
always," he said, "but we're having more white-collar type
One single instance of embezzlement brought in $1 million,
said Gray. "There's been a domino effect," he said, summing
up the problem of increased crimes affecting livestock.
"There's the bad cattle market, plus the drought a few years
back and there has been a lot more mortgaging of cattle."
Most horse thefts also occur closer to the larger cities,
said Gray. Thieves tend to go after stable or "pleasure"
horses, not work-hardened ranch horses.
In an annual report presented on April 8, members attending
the TSCRA convention in Dallas heard Executive Vice
President Steve Munday say that in 1997, the association's
33 field inspectors (all certified peace officers with
special Ranger commissions) investigated 1,611 cases in
Texas and Oklahoma, primarily involving stray or stolen
Working closely with federal, state and local law
enforcement officers, the inspectors recovered or accounted
for 6,588 head of cattle, 80 horses, 21 trailers, 23 saddles
and miscellaneous ranch property -a total value of
$4,527,693. The average value of property recovered or
accounted for each day was $12,404.
No new scams or crime-rings are in operation in the
Trans-Pecos, according to TSCRA field inspector Bobby
Upchurch. He summed up the relative quiet with one word:
"There simply aren't enough people to have much of a
problem," he said, "We have a high cattle count and big
ranches, but for the most part folks are good to their
neighbors." Also, working to the advantage of the small
towns, Upchurch said, "Strangers tend to stand out."
Offenders were given more than 762 years of prison,
probated, deferred, suspended, and jail sentences. In
addition, the courts ordered those convicted to pay
$1,846,708 in restitution to the victims.
The offenders were also required to pay $90,189 in fines,
court costs and attorney's fees.
Munday said the association employs 80 market inspectors who
identify five million to six million head of cattle at the
time of sale at more than 140 auction markets in Texas each
year. The inspectors report their findings to the group's
Fort Worth headquarters, where the information is processed
for computer retrieval.
Since September 1997, the association has been responsible
for similar inspection of all horses processed at commercial
slaughter plants in Texas. The Texas Legislature conferred
this authority in order to meet a recognized need to
identify stolen horses.
Prices fetched at these slaughters are also up for horse
meat demanded by the mostly European market. "The prices
tend to fluctuate," said Gray, "but I think last I checked
they were at 60 cents per pound."
Munday encouraged all cattle producers and owners of other
livestock and farm and ranch equipment to take steps to
protect themselves from theft. He invited them to contact
their local TSCRA field inspector or the Fort Worth office
for theft prevention and brand information.
West Texas Gas assumes gas supply
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, April 16, 1998 - West Texas Gas, Inc., the sole and
successful bidder for 81 miles of gas transmission line in
Reeves, Jeff Davis, Brewster and Presidio counties, and
distribution systems in Reeves County, has assumed the
responsibilities for providing gas service throughout the
Trans-Pecos area. The company services about 260 customers
in southern Reeves County.
"Our assumption of operations of these systems was effective
April 1, 1998 -on schedule," said Richard Hatchett, vice
president of the natural gas division of West Texas Gas,
Inc. "We have long been interested in the Alpine, Marfa, and
Fort Stockton areas and have watched as the area has
continued in its orderly growth. This acquisition is a
natural extension of our interest in the area, as we already
supply or transport natural gas to Southwest Municipal Gas
Corporation at a point near Verhalen, Texas."
The Midland-based company purchased the gas systems and
transmission line from Southwest Texas Municipal Gas
Corporation for $1.8 million. The original bid was placed on
Monday, March 23.
West Texas Gas plans to maintain a natural gas office at its
Liquids District office at East Highway 90 in Alpine. The
gas activities in Alpine, Marfa and Fort Davis will be
supervised from the company's Fort Stockton office.
PECOS, April 16, 1998 - High Wednesday, 88, low this
morning, 45. A late-season cold front moved southward across
Texas today, bringing with it cooler temperatures and a
mixture of showers and thunderstorms. Most of the
thunderstorm activity was in Young, Jack, Cooke and Wise
county with an isolated thunderstorm that developed south of
Frisco moving across Collin County. Skies will be partly to
mostly cloudy across West Texas through Friday. Some rain is
possible in Northwest Texas through tonight. Lows tonight
will be in the 30s and 40s in West Texas, highs Friday will
be in the 50s in the Panhandle and in the 60s and 70s
elsewhere in West Texas.
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.