Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, November 2, 1998
Four sought after escaping from RCDC
By ROSIE FLORES
A full-scale manhunt has been launched and area motorists
have been warned not to pick up any hitchhikers, after four
inmates escaped from the Reeves County Detention Center
early Sunday morning.
RCDC Warden Rudy Franco said that the inmates escaped
between 1 and 3 a.m. Sunday from the dormitory area of the
center. "These individuals scaled four fences," said Franco.
A search was conducted by local law enforcement agencies,
who were aided by federal marshals and the U.S. Border
Patrol, along with a Border Patrol helicopter and a Texas
Department of Criminal Justice dog unit from the TDCJ's Fort
"We had the air patrol out yesterday and will have them out
again today searching the area for these inmates," said
Franco. Sunday's search centered on the area between U.S.
285, Texas 17 and FM 2007 in the south-central section of
"We were tracking them for a while. It rained Saturday night
and crusted over and made tracking very difficult. They were
headed south," said deputy Billy Johnson, U.S. Marshals
"The search continues and marshals are developing
information on family members and associates that may live
in the United States," said Johnson.
It is still not known how the inmates managed to escape, but
they scaled four fences and are possibly injured.
"We know that at least one of them has severe cuts, one of
them is not wearing a shirt and one is not wearing shoes,"
All are dressed in khaki pants and white shirts.
"We believe they are still in the area southeast from here,
between Highway 17 and U.S. 285," said Franco. "We want to
warn everyone not to give any rides at this time and to be
on the lookout for these individuals.
"We followed the footprints yesterday and they all point in
the same direction," said Franco. "We haven't had any
reports of them being spotted yet, but we feel they are
still in the vicinity."
If anyone sees anything suspicious they are to report it to
the Reeves County Sheriff's Department at 445-4901.
The inmates were identified as Milton Alarcon, age 39,
5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and is
a Columbian male; Luis Castillo-Rodriguez is a 31 year old
from the Dominican Republic, 5-0 and 165 pounds with black
hair and brown eyes; Mariano Benavides-Flores, is 24 years
of age, 5-7 and 138 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and
is Hispanic and Jose Jaramillo-Hernandez, 22, is 5-7 and 165
pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and is also Hispanic.
"We haven't received any reports in our office yet," said
Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez.
Gomez said four of his deputies are still out with the
search team and the Pecos Police Department would be sending
some out there today.
"The Bureau of Prisons has been notified, they were notified
immediately," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.
"Our main concern right now is apprehending these
County's early voting brought 1,402 to polls
By ROSIE FLORES
Election Day is just one day away for voters across the
country, and in Reeves County a total of 1,402 people have
already cast their ballots for Tuesday's election.
According to the Reeves County Clerk's office, along with
those who voted by personal appearance there were another
247 who voted by mail. "Those who received a ballot by mail
still have until tomorrow at 7 p.m. to get that in," said
county clerk Dianne Florez.
Florez said that she is also waiting for a ballot from the
military to be mailed in. "We had 454 ballots mailed out and
we still haven't received them all back," she said.
The polls will be open tomorrow from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. and
everyone is encouraged to vote, according to Florez.
One local contested race and two ballot referendums are the
local items on Tuesday's election ballot. The contested race
is for Precinct 2 commissioner, where 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 election.
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
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
Statewide races include Gov. George W. Bush seeking a second
term against Democratic challenger Gary Maruo, 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.
Voting locations for Tuesday are listed below in both
English and in Spanish:
Precinct 1 -- Boxes 2 & 11
Precinct 2 -- Boxes 3, 4, & 12
Precinct 3 -- Boxes 5, 6 & 10
Precinct 4 -- Boxes 1, 7, 8 & 9
Box #1-Pecos Community Center, 505 South Oak Street, Pecos,
Box #2-Pecos Elementary School, 901 S. Willow, Pecos.
Box #3-Pecos High School, 1300 Iowa Street, Pecos
Box #4-Toyah-City Hall
Box #5-Senior Center Hall, Bal~morhea, Texas
Box #6-Saragosa Multi-Purpose Center
Box #7-Reeves County Library, 505 South Park St., Pecos.
Box #8-Lamar Elementary, Corner of Oak and `F' Street, Pecos
Box #9-Orla-Red Bluff Office
Box #10-Reeves County Annex/N. Side, 700 W. Daggett St.,
Box #11-Bessie Haynes Elementary School, 800 E. 11th St.,
Box #12-Texas-New Mexico Power, 1126 Stafford Blvd., Pecos
El N~umero Precincto de Votacion
Box #l-E1 Centro Social de Pecos
Box #2-Escuela Elenental de Pecos
Box #3-En El Gimnasio de La Escuela Secundaria en Pecc~s
Box #4-En el Salon de la Ciduad de Toyah
Box #5-El Centro de los Ciduadanos de major edad
Box #6-El Centro del Multiple de uso, Saragosa
Box #7-La biblioteca publica del Coududo de Reeves
Box #8-Escuela Elemental de Peco~s (Lamar)
Box #9-Edificio de la oficina de la ribera escapata rojo en
Box #lO-E1 Pabellon del Condado de Reeves
Box #ll-Escuels Elemental de Pecos (Bessie Haynes)
Box #12-Edificio del Texas-New Mexico Power
Accident kills pedestrian early Sunday
By ROSIE FLORES
One person is dead, but no charges have been filed yet in a
pedestrian-vehicle accident that happened early Sunday
The accident was one of two investigated by Pecos Police on
Sunday, with the second involving a car that was rammed into
a house as the result of an argument.
The fatality took place about 1 a.m. Sunday, in the 600
block of East Second Street. According to police, a car
driven by Timothy Huffman, 18, hit a pedestrian crossing the
Miguel Luna, 52, was struck by Huffman's 1986 gold Pontiac
Fierro, suffering massive injuries. He was taken by
ambulance to Reeves County Hospital where he was pronounced
dead two hours later.
Police said that Luna was attempting to cross the street
when he was struck by Huffman's vehicle. No charges have
been filed and an investigation is still underway.
The second incident took place late Sunday, when police were
called to the home of Toyah Walker at 501 S. Willow Street,
after a car was driven into the side of the home.
Police said the incident occurred when Jerry Crisp, 32,
allegedly used his 1979 Ford pickup to push another car, a
1996 white Buick, into the house. The Buick belongs to Jay
Mieres, police said.
"Apparently, Criss and Walker were having an argument and
after the argument he did this," said Pecos Police
Investigator Kelly Davis.
There were no injuries in the incident, but Davis said both
the Buick and the house sustained a large amount of damage.
Criss was charged with felony criminal mischief and also had
outstanding DPS warrants, according to the police report.
Storm brings tornadoes near north side
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Downtown offices emptied Friday afternoon when the emergency
management agency siren alerted Pecos that a tornado was
The funnel dropped down out of a wall cloud shortly after 3
p.m. and kicked up debris about five miles northwest of
town, in the area of Acid Delinters, said Armando Gil,
emergency management coordinator.
"I saw it kicking up a lot of debris and headed back into
town and told law enforcement to go around town warning
people," he said. "We set off the warning siren."
Connie Lozano said the sirens caused much excitement at the
Reeves County Courthouse, where a basement is designated as
a storm shelter. Several employees gathered at the basement
steps, but didn't go down, she said.
While no damage was reported in Pecos, golf ball size hail
eight miles north of the city limits devastated the John
Linda Clark, county treasurer, said her husband saw three
funnel clouds; two over the ranch and one closer to Pecos.
High winds tore a tin roof loose on a barn and hail killed a
small penned calf, beat up several tethered dogs and knocked
knots on horses in a corral, Clark said.
Sagebrush and "what little grass we had" was beaten into the
ground in a swathe about one-half mile wide, reaching from
west of U.S. Highway 285 east to the Pecos River, Clark said.
"We don't know how much it rained because all our gauges
were either blown away by the wind or broken by the hail,"
Clark said. "But John estimated it rained three inches."
Draws that cross the ranch were still running at 9 p.m.
Friday, she said.
Debbie Slaughter, who with her husband ranches between Pyote
and Wink, said the wind was high and hail piled up about two
inches on Texas Highway 115, making it slick.
As she drove toward Wink to pick up her daughter from
school, Slaughter could hardly see for the rain, she said.
Their ranch gauges measured 1 1/2 inches of precipitation,
and they could find no damage from wind or hail.
Slaughter said she had been watching the cloud and could see
it forming a funnel, but if it descended, she was unable to
see it for the rain.
Jerry Heflin, chief deputy for the Ward County Sheriff's
office, said he had no damage reports from the storm, which
passed to the north of Monahans. It rained some, but not as
much as a Thursday night storm that also threatened
tornadoes, he said.
Gary Ingram said the gauge at his ranch north of Toyah
caught .50 inch Saturday.
Pecos received .21 inch of rainfall Saturday, bringing the
year-to-date total to 5.78 inches.
Friday's high temperature was 87, dropping to 71 on Saturday
and 66 on Sunday, with an overnight low last night of 43.
Feds may take water from Pecos River farms
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- The federal government has illegally
seized control of the Pecos River to help an endangered
minnow, New Mexico's state engineer says.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's plans to increase Pecos
water flow this winter without first securing new water
rights could shortchange farmers both in New Mexico and in
Texas, Tom Turney said Friday.
The plans also could reduce New Mexico's court-ordered water
deliveries to Texas, Turney explained. The deliveries are
used by the Red Bluff Water Power Control District to
irrigate farms in Reeves, Ward, Pecos and Loving counties in
``What we are seeing here is federal jurisdiction over New
Mexico water,'' Turney said.
Federal water and wildlife managers said Turney's complaints
They also said they fear a new roadblock in a seven-year
campaign to save the Pecos bluntnose shiner without hurting
water users and New Mexico water deliveries to Texas.
``We're busting tail right now to offset that additional
depletion during the winter months,'' said Rob Leutheuser, a
bureau water manager. ``To tell the truth, we think it can
The Pecos bluntnose shiner lives in the Pecos from Fort
Sumner to the Major Johnson Spring in Eddy County.
The shiner's numbers have dwindled because of drought and
dams diverting river water for irrigation. The shiner
population took a nosedive a decade ago when parts of the
Pecos went dry for a week.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists estimate the fish
in winter requires more than 20 million gallons a day of
flowing water at the downstream end of its critical habitat.
That's roughly quadruple the Pecos' typical winter flow in
The bureau must deliver more than 20 million gallons a day
via water releases from Fort Sumner Dam to comply with the
federal Endangered Species Act, the Fish and Wildlife
But releasing all that water in river means a wider river
channel for water to seep into and disappear, as well as
less water stored in reservoirs.
``We want to protect existing water rights holders as well
as endangered species,'' Turney said. ``We also want to
operate on good science. We haven't gotten it yet.''
The U.S. Supreme Court found in 1983 that New Mexico was
shortchanging Texas by 10,000 acre feet a year. An acre foot
is the amount of water needed to cover 1 acre with 1 foot of
New Mexico paid Texas $14 million and spent another $20
million leasing and retiring water rights from Pecos Valley
farmers to ensure sufficient water runs into Texas.
New Mexico now is meeting its obligations to Texas, but
might not be able to with the extra water releases for the
shiner, state water officials said.
``Why would we spend that money if the federal government
can come along and take the water?'' said Norm Gaume,
director of New Mexico's Interstate Stream Commission, which
is responsible for water deliveries to Texas.
Leutheuser two weeks ago asked the Carlsbad Irrigation
District's board to approve release of the extra water from
Fort Sumner, which the district operates under contract with
The board refused.
Bureau officials said they would be forced to resume control
of the dam and make the releases to comply with the
Endangered Species Act.
``They're basically taking control of the Pecos,'' Gaume
said. ``These unilateral efforts by the federal government
without recognizing the impacts on the state are just not
But the Fish and Wildlife Service said the new Pecos River
flows are still being worked out among state and federal
``I think it's a rash and ill-considered statement in view
of the bureau's seven years of commitment in dealing with
all parties,'' said Jennifer Fowler-Propst, a Fish and
Wildlife Service biologist.
The Carlsbad Irrigation District board is not keen on the
extra water releases, said Tom Davis, district director.
But complaints by New Mexico water officials risk scuttling
the compromise on restoring the fish, he said.
``I don't want the bureau made out as the bad guy here
because they're not,'' Davis said. ``The bureau is making
the best effort to make the river whole, and this is not the
time to have inflammatory remarks or inflexible positions.''
Along with the Pecos bluntnose shiner, the Pecos River
pupfish is also being considered for the endangers species
list. The pupfish is being threatened by the sheepshead
minnow, and federal officials could take control of water
releases at Red Bluff Lake if the endangered species
designation is approved.
Red Bluff officials are fighting the designation, and a
hearing on the situation is scheduled within the next few
Miguel Cruz Luna, 52, died Sunday, Nov. 1, 1998, at the
Reeves County Hospital.
A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., today at Martinez
Funeral Home Chapel.
Services will be held at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 3, at Santa
Rosa Catholic Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.
He was born May 17, 1946, in San Carlos, Mexico, was a
carpenter and a longtime Pecos resident.
Survivors include his wife, Maria Elena Luna of Pecos; his
father, Margarito L. Luna of Pecos; six sons, Saul and
Miguel Angel Luna of San Diego, Calif., and Mark, Yoel,
Arnulfo and Jorge Luna of Pecos; three daughters, Cruzelda
Luna of San Diego, Calif., and Ysenia and Ester Luna, both
of Pecos; three sisters, Maria Hernandez of Pecos, Aurelia
L. Hernandez of Midland and Eva L. Pelham of San Diego,
Calif. and five grandchildren.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High Friday 87; Saturday 71; Sunday 66. Lows 58, 47 and 43.
Rainfall .21 inch Saturday. Year-to-date rainfall 5.78
inches. Tonight, fair and cool. Low 40 45. Light southeast
wind. Tuesday, partly cloudy. High around 65. East wind 5-15
Ned Cantwell, 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