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for Pecos Country of West Texas

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Tuesday, October 27, 1998

Task force on despite Midland vote

Staff Writer
Despite the fact that commissioners in Midland County have
voted against joining the new Permian Basin Drug Task Force,
plans to form the new anti-drug unit will continue.

"We'll just have to go ahead without them," said Reeves
County Sheriff Andy Gomez, after Monday's vote by
commissioners, over the objections of Midland County Sheriff
Gary Painter.

Gomez stated that several other counties have voted to go
"with" the new task force, which will bear the same name as
the old one, but will be operated out of Reeves County, as
opposed to the former group, which was run out of the Ector
County Sheriff's Department in Odessa.

The Pecos-based task force would replace the Permian Basin
Drug Task Force after it was not funded by the state for the
current fiscal year. Several other area counties have gone
with a task force proposed by Texas Gov. George W. Bush's
office and organized by the Department of Public Safety,
although the two task forces will cooperate.

Ector County had already voted to join the DPS group, and on
Monday Midland County Commissioners voted to join them,
though sheriff Painter said in a news release that he will
bring the subject up again in January when new commissioners
take office.

"He did say he would go back again in January and talk to
them about joining the Permian Basin Force and if he does,
great, but we will still go with our original plans," said

The sheriff said that the grant money to start up the task
force will be less because of the Midland commissioners'

"It will just mean less money that we apply for, because we
apply for the funds according to how many counties," Gomez
said. "For example, he (Painter) was asking for two officers
and a car and those are some things we won't need to

Gomez stated that this would not be a drawback in the plans
that he, Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney and 143rd District
Attorney Randall Reynolds have set out to accomplish.

The task force would still cover eight counties in the
Permian Basin-Trans Pecos region and would be headquartered
in Pecos, with Gomez named as the project director.

A board of directors made up of sheriffs and police chiefs
of participating agencies will be formed and another
committee made up of community members and leaders will be
on an advisory board, according to police chief Clay

Through a grant the force is fully funded until May 31, 1999
and will serve over 80,000 people. There will be 13 officers
on the force in the eight counties, if Midland does not

Other counties involved include Ward, Loving, Winkler, Jeff
Davis, Presidio, Culberson and Andrews.

The primary goal of the force is to fill in the gap in
curtailing the flow of drugs on the interstate highways
traveling through the areas served by the task force and to
provide undercover operations to the local agencies
participating in the new group.

The task force will actively pursue forfeiture of the drug
dealer's assets, but primarily as a tool to reduce the drug
dealers' assets.

County gets tree growing grant from state

Staff Writer
Reeves County may be seeing a few more trees in the future
thanks to a grant from the Texas Forestry Service.

County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo told commissioners the county
received notification of a grant award of $4,000 from the
Texas Forest Service. Commissioners met Monday moring at
Reeves County Courthouse.

The grant is for a proposal to establish a tree farm in
Reeves County, to plant trees in public right of ways, parks
and other public areas.

"The prison is also going to offer a horticulture program,"
said Galindo, explaining that the horticulture program at
the Reeves County Detention Center will be sponsored by
Odessa College and would help the county beautify public
right of ways.

Areas that will be targeted first include the Exit 39 off
Interstate 20, to Highway 17 and Reeves County Hospital, and
the area to the east on I-20, across from Colt Chevrolet.
There is a five-year limit on the grant, according to

During the section of Monday's meeting where reports were
heard from various offices, Clark Lindley thanked the judge
and the commissioners for their efforts to stop the nuclear
waste dump in Sierra Blanca.

Clark outlined the conflict, which began in 1993 and which
ended last Thursday with a decision by the Texas Natural
Resources Conservation Commission not to grant a permit to
dispose nuclear waste materials at the site southeast of
Sierra Blanca.

Camilla Blum, with the county adult probation department
reported that Reeves Loving and Ward counties, which make up
the 143rd Judicial District, have collected a large amount
of revenue from Sept. 1, 1997 and Aug. 31, 1998.

Blum briefly recapped the good work the probation department
has been doing in Reeves County.

During 1998, the department has and will continue to strive
to provide necessary punishment and rehabilitation for
individuals placed on community supervision by the courts of
this district, according to Blum. Services include levels of
supervision, drug/alcohol evaluation and education, literacy
classes, GED Testing, urinalysis testing, electronic
monitoring program, surveillance supervision and community
service restitution.

"Fiscal year (1998) was a very positive year for the
department," said Blum.

Provided with generous facilities by the local counties,
officers were able to supervise offenders and provide each
community with a more productive staff. However, the
declining number of individuals being placed on community
supervision in one of the counties caused funds to be short
from TDCJ-CJAD. Also, the expected amount of revenue to the
county as not as great as it had been in the past few years,
according to Blum's report.

Goals for the fiscal year 1999 include the introduction of a
Program Center in Reeves County, more efficient use of
community service manpower, in-house life skills program,
increased counseling, victim's liaison and increased use of
all sanctions to provide the community with diligent
supervision of offenders placed on community supervision.

Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 1 Felipe Arredondo
suggested that more individuals wanting to do community
service be sent to the Meals on Wheels Program, a vital
program for the community that provides hot meals to the
elderly and shut-ins.

Blum assured the commissioner that they send a good number
of individuals to serve in that capacity and earn community
hours through that program.

A bond and oath for Reeves County Sheriff Deputy William
Wayne Price was approved, along with new hires at the Reeves
County Detention Center and Reeves County Sheriff's Office.

New hires at RCDC include Anthony Lozano, Cesario Urias, Amy
Romero, Pearl Ramos, Kim Orona and Cara Alligood. At the
sheriff's office new hires were Price as a deputy; Valerie
Lazcano, jailer and Salomon Quintana, jailer.

Sheriffs and constable fees will remain the same and a
contract between Texas Department of Health and Reeves
County EMS Funds was approved. "We'll be receiving some
grant funds in the amount of $11,628 from the Texas
Department of Health," said Galindo.

"This is in addition to current county EMS funds and must be
spent by Aug. 31," he said.

Another contract was signed earlier in the year for $6,000,
according to county auditor Lynn Owens.

Mail ballot applications due by today

Reeves County voters have only until 5 p.m. today to request
mail ballots for next Tuesday's general election.

Voting by personal appearance at the Reeves County
Courthouse will run through this Friday, and polls will be
open at 12 locations in the County on Nov. 3, from 7 a.m. to
7 p.m.

As of today, the Reeves County Clerk's office had gotten
back 114 of the 262 ballots it had mailed out, while as of
10:30 a.m. today, a total of 631 people had voted by
personal appearance at the courthouse.

Early voting clerk Nora Briceno said 22 people voted today,
after 82 cast ballots on Monday. The largest number of
voters so far turned out on the first day of early voting,
Oct. 19, and 44 others took advantage of the courthouse
being open to vote on Saturday.

The only contested local race is for Precinct 2
commissioner. Democratic nominee David Castillo is being
challenged by write-in candidate Marlow Summitt to replace
two-term commissioner Dr. W.J. Bang, who did not run for
re-election. Castillo was unopposed in the March primary

All voters in Reeves County can cast ballots to decide the
fate of Reeves County's eight-year-old unit road system. A
`no' vote would eliminate the current system and return the
one used before 1990, when each of the four commissioners
would run their own road department.

Voters in Pecos will cast their ballots for the 4A sales tax
proposal, which would take one-quarter cent of the city's
current 1 1/2 cent sales tax for use in economic development.

Both items have been the topic of discussion for some time
and the 4A tax plan has been debated in several recent Town
Hall meetings.

City and county voters will also help decide the race for
the 23rd Congressional District, where three-term Republican
incumbent Henry Bonilla is challenged by Democrat Charlie
Urbina Jones. Statewide races include Gov. George W. Bush
seeking a second term against Democratic challenger Gary
Mauro, and the race for lieutenant governor, where Texas
Comptroller John Sharp is running on the Democratic line to
replace Bob Bullock, and is in a close race with Republican
Rick Perry, currently Texas Agriculture Commissioner.

For more information call the Reeves County Clerk's office
at 445-5467.

Judge delivers 20-year term in heroin case

Staff Writer
District Judge Bob Parks on Friday placed three defendants
on deferred-adjudication probation, sentenced one to 20
years in prison and revoked community supervision for

Reyes Jose Rodriguez was sentenced to 20 years in prison for
possession of heroin on Jan. 23. He was ordered to pay
$266.25 court costs.

Javier Castillo Navarette pleaded guilty to possession of
marijuana on Dec. 4, 1997 and was placed on four years
deferred-adjudication probation, with an added $1,500 fine,
$314.50 court costs and $140 restitution to the Department
of Public Safety.

Jesus Puertas pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana on
June 26 and was placed on four years deferred-adjudication
probation, fined $1,500, assessed $416.25 court costs and
$140 restitution to the Pecos Police Department, with 121
days jail credit.

Jerry R. Dominguez pleaded guilty to injury to a child and
was sentenced to three years deferred-adjudication
probation, a $1,500 fine and $416.25 court costs.

Rafael Medina was sentenced to 18 months in state jail with
113 days jail credit for violating terms of his community
supervision by testing positive for cocaine, failure to
report and to pay probation fees.

Judge Parks denied a request by Israel Matta to re-open the
judgment of Steve Allen Pitts on an assault conviction. He
was placed on community supervision for two years and
assessed $5,305.95 in restitution to Reeves County Hospital
and $11,064 to Odessa Regional Hospital.

Matta, who was injured in the assault on Feb. 7, claims his
medical bills were more than that. However, Judge Parks
based his judgment on amounts presented as evidence during
the jury trial.

Tax rate questions at center of `4A' debate

Staff Writer
Sales tax or property tax, it all comes out of the same
pocket, some local citizens believe. And a vote for the 4A
sales tax proposition on the Nov. 3 ballot may be a vote for
a property tax increase.

And maybe not.

Pecos City Councilmen who voted to hold the election on
diverting one-fourth cent of the city sales tax to economic
development, say the loss of about $127,000 a year from
their budget won't force an increase in the property tax

Others are not so sure. In an informal survey of business
places this morning, we got three negative responses to four

Valera Gatewood said she opposes the 4A sales tax.

"I feel like you take it away from one, we will have to
increase the tax to put the base back where we need it,"
Gatewood said. "It looks like it is going to be a tax

Fred Dominguez disagrees.

"I am for it," he said. "All these years, we have had people
here that didn't want to progress; didn't want anything to
come in. I remember that from my Leader times. They didn't
want Safeway.

"I can see it from the businessman's point of view.
Competition is good, but sometimes it puts them out of
business," he said.

But Dominguez believes that the town that wants to progress
needs people, and "if you are going to have people, you need

He said taxes may have to be raised eventually, "but it
won't be the property tax like they think. All we have to do
is take another bite off the existing taxes. There's a lot
of money out there not being utilized," he said, referring
to a reserve fund held by the city.

Mary Ward said she is against the sales tax if it is going
to raise taxes.

"I don't think it is a good thing," she said. "I think our
property taxes are high enough anyway. I don't know why they
would do economic development. All this stuff they are
building is going to waste. People are moving."

"I'm all for it," said J.E. Travland. "It is not going to
cost us any additional revenue, and it is possible it will
help us have economic development."

Two businessmen who asked not to be named gave opposing
viewpoints. One said that $127,000 per year won't be enough
to subsidize new companies moving in. The other said he is
all for the measure because we need economic development.

Former county commissioner Lupe Garcia said he believes the
tax will help.

"We have needed that for a long time," he said. "It seems
like everyone who implemented (the 4A sales tax) has been
successful with it.

"I don't think it will create any problems for the city," he
said. "Nobody wants to get rid of money they have had in the
past, but I think it will all work out.

"They have a stipulation that if it doesn't work out, the
money will go back to the city. I feel like they need to
try. I'm really excited about it. I think it is a good thing
for Pecos," he said.

The sales tax issue is on the ballot as Proposition 2:

"The adoption of a sales and use tax within the City for the
promotion and development of new and expanded business
enterprises at the rate of one-fourth of one percent and
adoption of an additional sales and use tax within the City
at the rate of one-fourth of one percent to be used to
reduce the property tax rate."

Other area cities, including Fort Stockton and Monahans,
have adopted similar 4A economic development tax plans in
recent years.

Missing whooping crane located

Associated Press Writer
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- An endangered whooping crane that
dropped out of sight for more than three weeks on its trip
south for the winter was spotted in northwest New Mexico
having breakfast in a farmer's field.

The crane seen Monday by a Bloomfield bird watcher is one of
two remaining whoopers in a group of four that followed
pilot Kent Clegg in an ultralight airplane from Idaho to the
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge last year.

This time, the whoopers are trying to make the trip on their
own. ``We're happy to find it alive,'' Clegg said from his
home in Grace, Idaho.

Longtime birdwatcher John Rees first saw the 5-foot tall
white bird Sunday morning in a field about 25 miles south of
Farmington. ``It's hard to mistake,'' Rees said. ``We saw it
feeding and resting.''

The bird was alone and looked healthy, he said.

The whooping crane is flying near the route Clegg used as he
tried to teach the young whooping cranes to migrate to the
wildlife refuge in central New Mexico, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife spokesman Hans Stuart said. A bobcat and a coyote
killed the two other whoopers last winter at the refuge.

The other ultralight whooping crane is in Colorado's San
Luis Valley where an older whooping crane, sandhill cranes
and other birds rest before continuing their southern

Clegg said the ultralight whooper in Colorado has paired
with the older whooping crane. ``They are recognizing their
own kind, that's another positive sign,'' he said.

There is some concern that the whooper spotted near
Farmington is traveling alone, but Clegg said it isn't
unusual for a young whooping crane to keep to itself once it
reaches the wintering ground.

``We'll be interested to see where it goes,'' Clegg said.
``The fact that it's in New Mexico is a big plus. It's only
a day's flight out of the bosque if it chooses to go that

Clegg said the whooper probably is waiting for better
weather -- which normally would provide a tail wind for the
journey south.

The ultralight program was created to study reintroduction
techniques. Researchers hope the whoopers will follow the
follow the set routes and stay together. ``The whole
objective is to see if we can manipulate where they
winter,'' Clegg said.

Some states along the migration route have opposed
reintroduction, citing fears about federal interference
stemming from Endangered Species Act regulations. Wildlife
managers in the western states also have questioned the
biological basis of the program, which they say puts the
cranes at the outer limits of their historical range.


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.

Simon Olague, 36, was arrested at 9:50 a.m., on October 17,
in the 1900 block of Scott Street, for assault under the
Family Violence Act. He was transported to Reeves County
Ricardo Martinez, 49, was arrested at 10:20 a.m., on October
17, on the South I-20 Service Road, for driving while
license suspended. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Arnulfo Miranda Jr., 33, and Celestina Cerna, 44, were
arrested at 12:45 a.m., on October 18, for public
intoxication. They were transported to Reeves County Jail.
Jill Franco, 18, was arrested at 9:40 p.m., on October 21,
at the corner of Yucca and Eddy streets, on a warrant for
criminal trespass. She was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Teresa Meininger, 24, was arrested at 7:05 p.m., on October
21, in the 300 block of West County Road, on a warrant for
theft. She was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Delma Gabaldon was arrested at 4:21 p.m., on October 22, at
Pecos Municipal Court, on capias pro fine warrants. She paid
the fines and was released.
Eric Baeza, 17, and Peter Moralez, 17, were arrested at
11:04 p.m., on October 22, at the corner of Seventh and Eddy
streets, for possession of marijuana (under two ounces).
They were transported to Reeves County Jail.
Irma Rodriguez, 32, and Elias Sosa, 36, were arrested at
12:56 a.m. on October 24 at the Offecina Club for public
intoxication. They were transported to Reeves County Jail.
Uriel Barrera, 22, was arrested at 5:05 a.m., on October 24,
in the 1600 block of South Plum Street, for fleeing/deadly
conduct/leaving scene of accident. He was transported to
Reeves County Jail.
Christopher Ephriam, 26, was arrested at 7:32 p.m., on
October 24, in the 2200 block of South Plum Street, for
driving while intoxicated. He was transported to Reeves
County Jail.
Oscar Hernandez, 27, was arrested at 8:49 p.m., on October
24, for driving while intoxicated. He was transported to
Reeves County Jail.
Jeffrey Ephriam, 26, was arrested at 1:29 a.m., on October
25, in the 2300 block of Sage Street, for public
intoxication. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Jack Fuentes, 18, was arrested at 1:57 a.m., on October 25,
in the 600 block of South Cedar Street, for public
intoxication. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Hector Aguilar, 30, and Manuel Florez, 56, were arrested at
2:29 a.m., on October 26, in the 400 block of South Pecan
Street. Aguilar was charged with driving while license
suspended and Florez was charged with public intoxication.
They were transported to Reeves County Jail.


High Monday 83, low last night 60. Tonight, mostly cloudy
with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low in
the mid 50s. South wind 10-20 mph. Wednesday, partly cloudy.
High near 80. Southwest to west wind 5-15 mph.

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Pecos Enterprise
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