Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, October 15, 1998
Public views RCDC expansion
By ROSIE FLORES
Community members had the opportunity to see the inside of a
"real" prison Wednesday, when tours were offered at the
Reeves County Detention Center.
The RCDC Open House was held a day before the dedication
ceremonies for the new day rooms, which expanded the
prison's capacity by over 350 inmates. Ceremonies were held
at 2 p.m. today at the RCDC, with local officials in
attendance along with those from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons,
whose inmates are housed in the center.
"We wanted the entire community to come meet the staff here
at the RCDC and realize what an excellent crew we have,"
said Assistant Warden Guadalupe Regalado. "We also wanted
everyone to realize how secure this prison is," he said.
Regalado along with warden Rudy Franco and assistant warden
Antonio Perez were on hand to greet attendees and to answer
questions they might have.
The RCDC opened 12 years ago as the Reeves County Law
Enforcement Center. It was established in a joint effort by
then Reeves County Sheriff Raul Florez and the Reeves County
Commissioner's Court with the idea of relieving overcrowding
of contract federal inmates within the county jail.
The center has been expanded several times since its May 1,
1986 opening, and in 1997, a second perimeter fence and
reinforced front gate were completed. These projects
provided a more secure barrier between the inmates and
citizens of Reeves County.
The present inmate population consists primarily of
deportable aliens, most of whom are from Mexico. These
inmates have been convicted of various federal offenses. The
majority are drug and immigration law violators.
The new day rooms were added to Units A,B. and C in July.
They enabled the facility to expand the housing units by 356
beds to a current capacity of 1,037 inmates. The population
in the RCDC is presently at 998.
The day rooms are equipped with three TV rooms and one quiet
room. The quiet room is used for reading, writing letters,
hobby crafts and table games. The addition of these day
rooms enabled staff to better manage the population.
The day room function was taken out of the dormitories
increasing dormitory space and providing a more comfortable
In order to support the increased population, construction
of a Support Services Building has begun. This building will
contain a central laundry, warehouse, loading dock,
mechanical shop and office space. This also will help better
serve the inmate population and allow the staff to be more
efficient in the food service department by having a
warehouse, according to RCDC Warden Rudy Franco.
Among programs offered to the inmates at this facility are
various recreational activities including tournaments, the
opportunity to play in one of several inmate bands, GED
classes, "English as a Second Language" classes and leather
working classes. Classes are also available on electrical
repair, typing and basic home writing. A vocational training
program in auto mechanics has been functioning for the last
thirty days. Three new VT programs that will come on line in
the near future are horticulture, building trades and baking.
These programs will help keep inmates busy and productive
and provide skills for their release.
With the present population, the facility will earn more
than $12 million this year, of which more than half goes to
pay the salaries of the 218 employees. The Reeves County
Detention Center will contribute almost $1 million toward
the Reeves County General Fund in 1999.
"Our primary mission is to keep the community safe and
provide a safe and secure environment in which the inmates
can live and function," said Franco. "We provide the
opportunity for inmates to improve themselves and have a
positive reintegration into their community," he said.
Livestock farm ruling is appealed
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Dr. Elvia Reynolds has filed a motion for a new trial in the
Reeves County vs. Pecos River Livestock Inc. loan case.
Reynolds is one of nine guarantors whom Judge Paul McCollum
found liable for $101,352 in principal, interest and
attorney fees on the county's low-interest loan for the
corporation to start a goat dairy in 1993.
He lists three reasons why Judge McCollum should grant a new
1. The guarantee obligation of Reynolds was modified by
Reeves County without his consent.
2. Reeves County was not authorized to make the loan, nor to
employ independent counsel to prosecute this action.
3. Elvia Reynolds was not unjustly enriched as determined by
Dr. Reynolds sold Pecos River Livestock Inc. an 80-acre
tract of land south of Pecos, where they built a goat barn
and milking barn before defaulting on the loan.
Judge McCollum found that the corporation did not overpay
Dr. Reynolds for the real property.
Reeves County Commissioners hired John Stickels to prosecute
the case when County Attorney Bill Weinacht claimed a
conflict of interest.
Rosemary Wilke, who operated the goat farm for a short time
in an effort to keep it going, obtained an extension of time
on the loan without consulting other guarantors.
In dividing up responsibility for the debt among guarantors
who were named defendants in the suit, Judge McCollum
assessed $8,642.68 plus attorney fees of $864.27 against Dr.
Reynolds, John F. Teague, David Kidd, Mark Wilke, Wiley B.
Kidd, Roger Simmons, Louis Lively and Trevor Teague.
Wilke was assessed $16,248.78 plus attorney fees of
$1,624.88, plus any additional sum up to and including
$19,650 that results from a shortfall in response to damages
from the other defendants.
Each of 10 guarantors pledged $19,650 against the loan.
Randy Reynolds had paid the county $9,500 cash and signed a
promissory note for the remainder of his $19,650. That
amount, plus $30,000 for the fair value of the land, which
was sold at sheriff's sale, were deducted from the total
principal amount of $131,000 to determine the sum still owed
Sharp's wife touts efforts of husband
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Lone Star Scholars and Lone Star cards are subjects that
Charlotte Sharp addressed Wednesday with Pecos voters as she
made a nine-city tour through West Texas on behalf of her
husband, John Sharp.
Sharp, the longtime Texas comptroller, is running for
lieutenant governor in the Nov. 3 general election. He is
being challenged by Republican agriculture commissioner Rick
As state comptroller, John Sharp's cost-cutting proposals
have identified more than $8.5 billion in taxpayer savings
since 1991 and helped state lawmakers avoid a state income
tax while safeguarding vital state services, said Mrs. Sharp.
As lieutenant governor, Sharp proposes to dramatically
improve the education system by boosting the state's
investment in public schools. He has also presented a plan
to move all Texas school children out of portable facilities
into permanent classrooms.
Mrs. Sharp also detailed her husband's Lone Star Scholars
proposal, which would provide tuition, fees and books to any
Texas high school graduate who works hard and maintains at
least a "B" average in college.
Other innovations created by Sharp are the Texas Tomorrow
Fund, which is making it possible for 80,000 families to
lock in the future costs of their children's college
education at today's prices, and the Lone Star card, which
has eliminated paper food stamp coupons and helped more than
one million Texans leave the welfare rolls behind.
Among Sharp's newest money-saving ideas is a tax cut for
small businesses and a tax credit for research and
development of new products.
Mr. and Mrs. Sharp celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary
in August. Their children are Spencer, a student at the
University of Texas, and Victoria, 10.
Charlotte Slack hosted Mrs. Sharp's Pecos visit, conducting
a tour of the business community Wednesday afternoon.
Comptroller criticizes plans for dump site
LAREDO (AP) -- West Texas could become the nation's nuclear
waste site if a proposed low-level radioactive dump is
approved at Sierra Blanca, State Comptroller John Sharp
Sharp, in Laredo Tuesday for a stop in his campaign for
lieutenant governor, was asked about the dump site proposal,
which goes before the Texas Natural Resource Conservation
Commission for possible approval on Oct. 22.
``Sierra Blanca will become the depository for every state
in the country,'' Sharp said. ``You can bet that every
utility company in America with a nuke is for this deal.
That place is going to glow in the dark.''
If approved, the site would be built seven miles southeast
of the town, which is located about 120 miles west of Pecos
and less than 20 miles from the Rio Grande.
Critics say the dump, in the most seismically active part of
Texas, would end up tainting the area's water supply.
Supporters say the site is safe.
Sierra Blanca would become the destination for low-level
radioactive waste from Vermont, Maine and Texas under a
contract among the states.
But opponents warn that others eventually will be shipping
their waste to Texas. There are three other low-level dump
sites in the country.
State releasing unclaimed funds list
You may have some money owed to you and don't even know it.
State Comptroller John Sharp will publish his annual
Unclaimed Property list on Sunday, Oct. 18.
Names of unclaimed property owners in our community are on
the list. If someone is on the list the public should call
1-800-654-3463 to enquire about unclaimed money, or use the
Comptroller's Window on State Government Internet site at
http://www.window.state.tx.us to search for their names and
begin the claims process electronically.
In the last decade, the state has returned more than $300
million in unclaimed property to its rightful owners, but
more than $800 million remains unclaimed. The money comes
from forgotten bank accounts, abandoned safe deposit boxes,
uncashed checks, uncollected wages, and other sources.
The Unclaimed Property publication contains only the names
of unclaimed property owners who have been reported to the
state within the last year, and only the names of people who
have at least $100 coming to them.
Names on the list from the community include from Pecos:
Herbert E. Blackstock, LA Boswell, Bernice Bradley, H.
Bradley, Annie Cecilia Brocat, Rachel D. Cadena, James J.
Cannaday, Raul Cardenas, Ruben Carrasco, Margaret Crockett,
Billy L. Davis, John J. Dorr, Billy Eastland and Irene
Also, Lemuel Gregory, Richard Haines, D.W. Harris, Michael
A. Harrison, Hondo Oil and Gas Co., Andres Machuca Jr.,
James W. McIver, Sara W. Meek, Pedro L. Mendoza, Willie D.
Metcalf, B. Miller and Cathy Davis Moore.
Also, Sherri Mulligan, Pecos Insurance Agency, Pecos
Refining Co., Pecos Valley Country Club, Maria Reyes, Glenn
Salisbury, Jerry Swaim, Fred Cesario Urias, Leon Walker,
Western Construction Co. Inc. and Birdie M. Woods.
From Toyah are Bill Keifer and James Patterson and from
Balmorhea L. B. Titus.
Financial institutions and businesses report unclaimed cash
and valuables to the state every day - from uncashed checks,
deposits, or refunds, to the contents of long-forgotten safe
Over the past year, over $38 million of unclaimed property
was returned to the rightful owners.
If someone finds their name on the list or has in the past
years they are urged to call write or send an e-mail at:
firstname.lastname@example.org. It's never too late to
try to reclaim it.
County's jobless rate hits 13.1 percent
The end of the summer harvest season meant a drop in both
the number of jobs and the number of those employed within
Reeves County. But while the number of jobless within the
county also was down, September's unemployment rate was up
one percent from August, according to statistics released
today by the Texas Workforce Commission.
With the end of the annual onion and cantaloupe harvests,
employment in Reeves County dropped by nearly 850 jobs,
while the local labor force fell by nearly 900, from 7,740
to 6,860. Those unemployed also fell from 935 to 902, but
the overall rate climbed from 12.1 to 13.1 percent, the TWC
The rate is also up by 5.6 percent from September of 1997,
though that is due to a rise in the local labor force. There
are 30 more jobs within Reeves County this year than there
were a year ago, the TWC said, but the labor force has
climbed by 450 people since last September, resulting in the
jobless rate's sharp rise.
Other area counties also saw their unemployment rates rise
during the past year despite adding jobs.
Pecos County's rate was up 1.7 percent from last year, to
7.7 percent, even though the number of jobs was up by seven
over a year ago. Like Reeves County, the number of jobs and
the labor force declined from August due to the end of the
summer harvest, when the county had a 6.5 percent
Ward County's rate was up just .2 percent from last month,
but is up 2.9 percent since last year, climbing to 9.9
percent, while the area's two biggest counties, Ector and
Midland, saw their rates go up as well -- Ector from 7.2
percent in August to 7.4 and Midland from 4.6 to 4.7
percent. Those counties had 5.7 and 3.8 percent jobless
rates in September of 1997.
Presidio County continued to have the highest rate of
unemployment in the Permian Basin/Trans-Pecos/Big Bend
region. TWC said 34.2 percent of its labor force were
without jobs last month, up one percent from August and five
percent from a year ago.
Statewide, the numbers were different than for the area.
Texas' jobless rate remained unchanged from August to
September, standing at 5 percent according to the TWC, while
the rate is down .2 percent from September of 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, or other officers of those
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.
Lorenzo Carrasco, 26, and Mark Renteria, 20, were arrested
at 1:22 a.m. on October 7 in the 300 block of Palm Street.
Carrasco was charged with for driving while intoxicated and
Renteria was cited for minor in possession and failure to
Daniel Valenzuela, 24, was arrested at 9:17 p.m., on October
6, in the 100 block of East Second Street, and was charged
with driving without a license plate light.
Benjamin Maldonado, 18, and Jason Barrera, 17, were arrested
at 3:40 p.m., on October 7, at the corner of Washington and
Hackberry streets, for unlawfully carrying a prohibited
weapon. They were transported to Reeves County Jail.
Rowdy Curry, 34, and James Worsham, 30, were arrested at
11:12 p.m., on October 7, at the corner of Ninth and Cedar
streets, for public intoxication. They were transported to
Reeves County Jail.
High Wednesday 92. Low last night 52. Tonight, mostly cloudy
and breezy. Low in the mid 60s. South wind 15-20 mph.
Friday, mostly cloudy and windy with a 20 percent chance of
thunderstorms. High near 80. South wind 20-30 mph and gusty.
Mac McKinnon, 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 1998 by Pecos Enterprise