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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

January 20, 1999

Galindo offers county plan on Post Office

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
A meeting tonight will focus on ideas about where a new United States Post Office should be located in Pecos, and the public is invited to come out and share their views.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., at the Pecos Community Center, 510 S. Oak St., located next to the Pecos Police Department.

The U.S. Postal Service announced plans last week for expansion of the Pecos Post Office, and are searching for a site or building to replace the current 63-year-old structure.

The current Post Office, at 106 W. Fourth St., has limited parking outside and is no longer adequate to serve the needs of postal customers in our community, according to Pecos Postmaster Ramona Sterling.

"The Postal Service will seek to lease or purchase an existing building or a suitable site to build a new Post Office for Pecos," she said.

Sterling added that the Postal Service wants input from the community and will consider all recommendations and other comments received within the next 45 days.

One of the proposals will come from Reeves County, which County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo said would essentially benefit the community.

Galindo said under his proposal that the county would build the new Post Office and look at the locating it on a site south of the Reeves County Civic Center, across the street from Wal-Mart.

The positive aspects of the proposal would be that the county would not have any land acquisition costs, the building would be along a major thoroughfare, and in a section that is developing and gaining more businesses. A new Town and Country convenience store is set to be built in the area and the Post Office will be closer to Interstate 20, giving visitors an opportunity to utilize the facility if the need arises, according to Galindo.

Galindo said that the county would look the current post office on a cost-basis and would try to set up an inter-governmental agreement on the purchase of the Postal Service's current facility.

"Instead of looking at this as for-profit it would be at a lower cost, from that perspective," said Galindo, who added the proposal would ulitimately benefit the whole community if it could be arranged.

The Post Office building was also formerly home to Pecos' Federal Court, and is a sister building to the Reeves County Courthouse across the street, which was also built in 1935. The federal offices on the second and third floors have been empty since the new courthouse on Cedar Street was completed in 1995.

The county would look at uses for the old Post Office, and possibly relocate some staff to that building, according to Galindo.

The building remains one of the largest in Pecos in terms of office space, and extra parking would available in the rear area, where postal vehicles currently are parked, once the new Post Office is built.

County officials have talked in the past about expansion of the Reeves County Library, and community leaders have also been seeking a building to house a proposed Pecos campus for Odessa College.

Working against the county's proposal is that the land offered is outside the area preferred by the Postal Service. The area is bounded on the north by Third Street and on the south by Walthall and 14th streets, while its east and west boundaries are Cedar and Eddy streets. The county site would fall about five blocks south of that area.

The site size needed is about 1.5 acres, and the facility should contain at least 6,500 square feet of usable area.

Trio jailed after searches by S.W.A.T. team

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
Reeves County Sheriff's Department and Pecos Police Department S.W.A.T. teams were busy again Tuesday and this morning, executing several narcotics search warrants.

Three narcotics search warrants were executed by the team and as a result three people were arrested and charges on two more are pending.

Police said the first search warrant was executed about 9:33 p.m., Tuesday, at 1604 Johnson St. Investigator Ernest Lazcano said items seized from the residence included 15 individual bags of marijuana ready for sale; two marijuana cigarettes; one homemade marijuana pipe; U.S. currency and drug paraphernalia.

Arrested at the house was Petere Moralez, 17, who was charged with possession of marijuana over two ounces and under four ounces, a Class A misdemeanor.

"Charges are pending for another subject who was also in control of the drugs, but who was not present during the narcotics search warrant," said Lazcano.

Moralez is currently in the Reeves County Jail awaiting arraignment.

The second search warrant was executed at about 12:26 a.m. today at 105 S. Plum St. Police said items seized from this residence included one metal canister containing marijuana and paraphernalia; one canister containing marijuana residue; one gas mask used to smoke marijuana; one 12-guage shotgun and one 22 caliber pistol.

Arrested at this residence was Pam Dixon, 30, who was charged with possession of marijuana under two ounces, a Class B misdemeanor. Charging are pending on another subject who was also in control of the drugs, but who was not present during the narcotics search warrant, according to Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler.

She is currently at Reeves County Jail awaiting arraignment.

At about 1:27 a.m. today the third search warrant was executed, at 513 S. Walnut.

"There were no drugs found at this residence, but a Sony stereo with the serial number removed (and) believed to be stolen was recovered," said Deishler.

Arrested was Damian Orona, 20, who was charged with tampering with identification numbers, a Class A misdemeanor.

Two minors at the resident were also given citations. One for possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor, and the other for curfew violation because he arrived at his residence at about 2 a.m, also a Class C misdemeanor.

Orona is currently in Reeves County Jail awaiting arraignment.

Smuggling suspect held after highway chase

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
U.S. Magistrate Stuart Platt on Tuesday ordered a suspected marijuana smuggler held without bail for a hearing on Thursday.

Oscar Ortiz-Venegas was arrested Sunday night by Border Patrol agents following a highway chase in Jeff Davis County. They found 14 bundles of suspected marijuana weighing 352.98 pounds in the extended cab portion of the pickup Ortiz was driving.

Agents first spotted the white Chevolet pickup and a tan/red pickup crossing the Rio Grande at the Paso del Cubano crossing and turning onto Chispa Road about 11 p.m. Sunday. The trucks then turned onto U.S. 90 toward Valentine.

Jeff Davis County Sheriff's Deputy Tom Roberts was notified, and he attempted to stop the Chevrolet near Valentine for an expired registration. The truck stopped, then made a U-turn and headed north on U.S. 90.

During the pursuit, the truck forced Roberts off the road before Border Patrol agents intercepted and stopped it, reported FBI special Agent Michael J. LaPlante in an affidavit accompanying the complaint filed Tuesday with Judge Platt.

Platt and District Judge Royal Furgeson accepted a number of guilty pleas and sentenced five defendants Tuesday.

Sentenced were:

* Baltazar Pasqual-Juan, 46, of Monterey, Tenn., 18 months for transporting an illegal alien;

* Adelita Valenzuela-Reyna, 40, of Big Spring, 30 months for possession with intent to distribute marijuana;

* Bobby Joe Leos of Alpine, 12 months for importing cocaine;

* Julian Baeza-Islas, 42, of Aldama, Chih., Mex., 24 months for possession with intent to distribute marijuana;

* Humberto Saenz-Torres, 27, of Cuauhtemoc, Mex., 18 months for possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Pleading guilty were:

Martha P. Esquivel-Garcia, possession with intent to distribute 512.66 pounds of mrijuana;

* Betty Jo Hernandez, 21, of Amarillo, transporting an illegal alien;

* Irene Anita Rodriguez, possessing marijuana with intent to distribute;

* Pedro Cisneros-Bouche, 44, and Rosalio Villa, 45, both of Juarez, Mex., possession with intent to distribute cocaine;

* Martha Gutierrez-Quintana, 29, of Chihuahua, Mex., possession with intent to distribute 354.06 pounds of marijuana.

School board candidates offered workshop class

Area school board candidates and interested citizens can learn more about the demands and rewards of school board service at a candidate workshop, Thursday, Feb. 25, 7-9 p.m. at the Region 18 Education Service Center, 2811 LaForce Blvd. at Midland International Airport.

The workshop will provide interested community members and individuals thinking about running for the board with a better understanding of what is involved in being elected and serving as a trustee. Experience school board members will explain board members' key responsibilities and outline the qualities necessary for effective service.

Topics to be covered include the school board's duties and responsibilities, important ethical practices during board service, how board members are accountable for the education of students, and keys to responsible campaigns. Participants will also view "A Call to Service," a Texas Association of School Boards' video highlighting many aspects of board service and featuring several experienced school trustees.

The workshop is open to anyone. Admission is free. For more information, call Lisa Carothers at TASB, 512-467-0222 or 1-800-580-8272, extension 6161.

WIPP foes seek to block `pre-permit' shipments

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) The federal government shouldn't be allowed to open its radioactive waste storage site in southeastern New Mexico without a state permit and if it does, the state should shut it down, opponents argue.

The U.S. Department of Energy contends it can ship purely radioactive waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant before it receives a state permit to bury mixed waste which contains hazardous chemicals as well as radioactive elements.

WIPP opponents disagree.

"You put any waste into WIPP, and the permit is over," said Don Hancock of the Southwest Research and Information Center.

His Albuquerque-based group and the Santa Fe-based Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety filed comments on the state's draft permit Tuesday, the last day for written comments to be filed.

The groups argue that any permit issued after waste has been shipped to WIPP would be invalid because the presence of the waste would hamper the state's ability to regulate it.

DOE spokeswoman Anne Elliott in Washington, D.C., said the department doesn't agree.

"The shipment would have no impact on (WIPP) or the permit," she said.

The state has jurisdiction over mixed waste, but not over waste that contains no hazardous chemicals.

The DOE wants to ship a limited number of drums of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory to the $2 billion repository near Carlsbad as soon as a federal judge lifts an order that has prevented waste from going to WIPP. The site is located 75 miles north of Pecos.

No court date has been set, but the DOE hopes to get the order lifted next month.

The state Environmental Department plans to issue the mixed waste permit between July and September.

Hancock said the final state permit should prohibit disposal in WIPP's Panel 1, a complex of seven football-field size rooms excavated in a vast salt bed 2,150 feet underground. Those rooms, excavated about a decade ago, are unstable and unsafe, Hancock argues.

Once the DOE moves waste into Panel 1, the state permit no longer will be able to prevent disposal there, he said.

Thus, any permit issued after waste is buried in WIPP would be invalid and WIPP should be closed, Hancock said.

Kent Hunter, WIPP's assistant manager for operations, said Panel 1 is safe.

"It's stable. We can continue to make it stable for the indefinite future," Hunter said.

If Panel 1 could not be used, it would take between 10 months and a year to excavate a new complex of disposal rooms, he said.

Public hearings on the state permit are to begin Feb. 22 in Santa Fe. Hearings are set to begin in Carlsbad March 8. Hearings are expected to last several days each.

Obituaries

Christina Tarin

Services for Christina Tarin, 58, of Fort Stockton, are set for 2 p.m. Thursday in Christ the King Catholic Church in Balmorhea. She died Monday, Jan. 18, 1999, in Memorial Hospital, Midland.

Burial will be in Balmorhea Cemetery, directed by Martinez Funeral Home.

Rosary will be at 7 p.m. today in Christ the King Catholic Church.

Mrs. Tarin was born July 24, 1940, Balmorhea and was a cook for the Fort Stockton ISD cafeteria. She was Catholic.

Survivors include her husband, Ramon Tarin of Fort Stockton; one daughter, Joann Tarin of Fort Stockton; her mother, Tomasa Contreras of Saragosa; two brothers, Carlos Contreras of Fort Stockton and Inez Contreras Jr. of Monahans; three sisters, Olivia Perez, Natalia Ramirez and Elvira Ontiveros, all of Saragosa; and four grandchildren.

Eulalia Ramos Vasquez

Eulalia Ramos Vasquez, 73, of San Antonio, died Monday, Jan. 18, 1999, at Providence Health Center in Waco. Services will be at 12:30 p.m. Friday in Good Shepard Catholic Church in Schertz. Burial will be in Fort Sam Houston in Universal City.
Mrs. Vasquez was born Feb. 12, 1925, in Barstow and was a longtime Monahans resident before moving to San Antonio.
Survivors include five sons, Erasmo Vasquez, Alfredo Vasquez, Ernesto Vasquez and Raul Vasquez, all of San Antonio, and Robert Vasquez of Odessa; two daughters, Luisa Pena of Monahans and Elfida Terrazas of San Antonio; 27 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.

Weather

High Tuesday 82; low last night 44. High wind watch for Thursday, Tonight, partly cloudy. Low in the mid to upper 40s. West wind 10-20 mph. Thursday, partly cloudy and very windy.



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Pecos Enterprise
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