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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, March 15, 1999

Commissioners say phone pact legal

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
PECOS, March 15, 1999 - After much discussion and a lot of dissension, inmate telephone services for the Reeves County Detention Center were awarded to a new local company during the March 8 regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting.

The contract was awarded to the new company without advertising for bids, a change from past procedures, but a move commissioners said was allowed under state law.

Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo made a motion to bid the item out for proposals, but the motion died for a lack of a second.

Commissioners then took up the next item on the agenda "To discuss/take action on contract for inmate telephone service for RCDC and county jail." which was requested by Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 4 Gilberto "Hivi" Rayos.

The contract for telephone services is renewed every year, according to Galindo, who said the fair and official way to handle the item was to bid it out for proposals.

However, all four commissioners opted to vote in favor of the item posted by Rayos, awarding the one-year contract to Teletron based on his recommendation.

"I had requested that this process be open and that it be fair, because this would be more beneficial to the county, in the sense that hopefully we would get the best possible offer that will benefit the county, the RCDC and the sheriff's department," said Galindo.

Commissioners voted to go with the Teletron offer without receiving RFP's and without advertising the item for bid, a move commissioners said was legal.

"If it's for a license it does not have to be bid out," said Commissioner Precinct 3 Herman Tarin.

Tarin said that Rayos had checked with the 143rd District Attorney Randy Reynolds before posting the item on the agenda.

"He said that if it was not a contract, but a license, it does not have to be bid out, we can just do whatever we want to," Tarin said. "We have complete authority to do it this way."

Commissioner Precinct 1 Felipe Arredondo and Commissioner Precinct 2 David Castillo admitted they had met with the Teletron people before last Monday's vote, however both Rayos and Tarin said they had not.

Three company representatives were on hand for the regular meeting, and were allowed to speak on their company's behalf. However, commissioners opted not to request for proposals from the other two companies, one of which is the current provider and the other a local vendor.

Dick Slack spoke on behalf of his company, who was awarded the license, and told the group that he hoped to bring in revenue, by providing more jobs locally. "We're a local company and will hopefully provide more jobs, help the local economy," he said.

His proposal was to provide 45 percent of the profits, but no cash bonus for signing up.

The current provider Evercom, previously named Security Telecom, offered the county 46 percent of the profits and a $50,000 cash signing bonus.

Dick Alligood, of Allcomm Long Distance told the court that he did not know that the group was going to vote for the item on that day. "Therefore, I do not have a proposal ready, but I can provide one, or a license if that's what the court wants to do," he said.

Alligood said that in the past, the item had been advertised in the newspaper and bid out for proposals, giving all vendors a chance to submit their proposals to the county.

"As you can see, the commissioners did not act on proposals, so strictly on licensing proposals," said Galindo.

"I would like to have the opportunity to provide a proposal or license," said Alligood.

"I thought today would be just a discussion on the item and that no action would be taken," said Alligood. "If I have to submit a license I will do so, I have to wait until next year, I just didn't know what you were going to do today."

"Do you remember that last time everybody got a chance to submit a proposal? asked Galindo.

"Yes, I do, and everybody got a chance to be present and submit their proposal," said Alligood.

"That's what I'm used to, in facility type system is to find out number one, the needs of the facility, number two, the needs of the county or city and three to provide a packet with the proposal," said Alligood.

Galindo questioned the urgency of rushing into such an important decision for the two facilities, which would provide long distance phone service for almost 1,100 inmates at both locations.

Rudy Pena, national accounts manager for Evercom, (the current provider) spoke about the benefits his company had provided during the time of service it has been associated with Reeves County.

"When you had the riot out at the RCDC back in 1996, there was a lot of damage done and we replaced everything at no cost to the county," said Pena.

He outlined the many facets the company had to offer. "We offer our services to six states and six department of corrections," said Pena. "We also have a joint venture with INS."

Tarin said that he wanted to vote for the item posted by Rayos, exactly the way it was. "I just want to proceed, because I don't think it's fair to listen to Evercom's proposal after they have heard what Teletron has to offer," said Tarin.

"They had two years to come to us and let us know about their proposal and they haven't done it," he said.

Galindo explained that this might have been his fault because he led all the vendors to believe that this would be a "fair and open process," and that commissioners had not decided on who to award it to yet.

"It's my fault because I led them to believe this would be fair," he said.

"I thought it would be done like the last time," said Pena.

"I still believe that's the way it should be done," said Galindo.

Suit by Stickels against PBDTF begins today

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
MONAHANS, March 15, 1999 - Jury selection began this morning in a 143rd District Court civil trial in Monahans between former District Attorney John Stickels and the now-defunct Permian Basin Drug Task Force.

Stickels sued PBDTF and its commander, Tom Finley, after Finley wrote a letter three years ago calling for Stickels' resignation.

In the letter, Finley calls Stickels a failure as a prosecutor because he did not obtain convictions on many drug arrests made by the task force.

Among those arrested and later placed on deferred-adjudication probation were Daniel Salcido Dutchover of Balmorhea and Hector Brito Pando and Yolando Pando of Pecos.

Hector Pando has since become a fugitive, and Yolanda was sent to prison after allegedly violating terms of their probation.

"I haven't lost a minute of sleep over what the drug task force thinks of me," Stickels told the Enterprise after the letter was made public.

He said he handled the cases presented to him the best way he could with the evidence and reports presented. The letter resulted from Stickels refusal to support the task force's "illegal" bid for funds from counties other than Ector, where they were based, he said.

In his suit for libel, Stickels said the content of Finley's letter was false because the El Paso Court of Appeals ruled in March, 1996, that the task force has no jurisdictional authority outside Ector County.

In light of that ruling, Stickels said he made whatever plea bargains he could on the pending task force cases, and he eventually dismissed the remainder.

Excerpts from the letter were printed in the Enterprise May 31, 1996, in the Monahans News, Odessa American and on television news reports, being repeated on several occasions.

It was also sent to area law enforcement agencies, the State Bar of Texas, District Judge Bob Parks and Randy Reynolds, the current district attorney, Stickels said.

Contents of the letter was libelous, and they exposed Stickels to public contempt and ridicule by impeaching his integrity, honesty and reputation, the suit alleges. Its intent was to cause him substantial injury, Stickels said.

Hal Upchurch, himself a former 143rd District Attorney, represents Stickels. Defense attorneys are Jackson Jones, representing the task force, and Scott Tidwell, for Finley.

The PBDTF went out of business last year after it lost funding from Texas Gov. George W. Bush's office. It has since been replaced by two drug task forces, one operated by the Texas Department of Public Safety and based in Odessa, and the second the Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force, which is based in Pecos.

Local Baptists discuss split within state

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, March 15, 1999 - Southern Baptists in Texas are Southern Baptists first and Texas Baptists second, evangelist Rudy Hernandez told a gathering of Pecos Baptists Sunday night.

Hernandez and his son, evangelist Ruben Hernandez, explained why they feel an alternate to the Baptist General Convention of Texas is needed to serve churches who consider themselves conservative.

Southern Baptists have historically held firmly to a belief in the inerrancy of the Bible, and they feel the BGCT has moved away from that stance and no longer have a strong financial and theological commitment to the Southern Baptist Convention.

Churches who are aligned with the BGCT may either do nothing, switch to the SBT or become dually aligned, said Hernandez.

Each local church is fully autonomous, which means each church has the authority to choose any affiliation with any group as the Holy Spirit leads, he said.

But Hernandez spoke strongly against the BGCT's refusal to discipline an Austin church that has called a woman as senior pastor.

Ordination of women as deacons and pastors is one of the areas where the fundamentalist-conservative element of the Southern Baptist Convention and the moderate-conservative element differ.

Southern Baptists of Texas organized as a convention Nov. 10, 1998 and have opened an office in Irving. Hernandez said that membership and financial support have been greater than anticipated, and revenues have exceeded the projected $903,500 budget.

He expects an overflow crowd for the statewide evangelism conference at First Baptist Church in Dallas during May.

Local churches participating in Sunday's informational meeting at West Park Baptist Church were First Baptist, Calvary, North Temple, Nueva Vida and Primera.

Mac McCormick, North Temple pastor, introduced the speakers, who have held revival meetings here in the past. Rudy Hernandez worked with the BGCT's evangelism division when a "cotton patch crusade" was held here in the early 1950s for the Mexican citizens harvesting cotton under the bracero program.

Ruben Hernandez held a tent revival at Primera last year and has also preached at North Temple. He preached the morning sermon at West Park, while his father preached at North Temple.

Parks modifies teen's probation in drug case

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, March 15, 1999 - District Judge Bob Parks on Friday modified terms of community supervision for Skyler Avery Bechtel, 19, on his conviction for marijuana possession and delivery of cocaine.

Bechtel is serving a 10-year probated sentence, with adjudication deferred.

District Attorney Randy Reynolds had filed a motion for adjudication, alleging Bechtel was arrested Jan. 3 in Pecos and charged with minor in possession of alcoholic beverages, a violation of his probation.
 

In a hearing March 5, Bechtel pleaded "true" to violating terms of probation, but offered testimony from his community service supervisor in Oklahoma, his employer, former employer, the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department and a representative of the Lions Club.

Bob Wilson of the Surrey Hills Lions Club, said he supervised Bechtel as he completed more than the 20 hours of community service each month, and he is "very dependable."

Bechtel also works with children age 5-19 and the homeless at the Pilot Center for the city's recreation department, where the focus is on gang related and racial issues.

His supervisor described Bechtel as a "good candidate for positive mentoring for youth."

"He deserves the opportunity to show others what he has learned and developed in his lifetime," the supervisor said in a written affidavit.

Both his current employer, Hertz Corp. of Oklahoma City and a former employer, the Washita Valley Enterprises Inc., said that Bechtel was required to pass a drug test before he was hired.

His probation supervisor said he has completed 83 hours of community service, is current on fees, and that he notified the probation office of his arrest as required.

Since his sentencing last April, Bechtel has lived with his parents in Yukon, Okla.

Firemen pull puppies from burning home

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
PECOS, March 15, 1999 - Five little puppies were saved Sunday evening by Pecos Volunteer Firefighters after they responded to a fire call.

Fire officials were called out at about 7:25 p.m., to the 2100 block of Cactus street.

The fire, which was contained within 30-40 minutes, was in the kitchen area, but the puppies were in one of the bedrooms.

At this time, the cause of the fire is still being investigated by Pecos Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire, who was also on the scene last evening.

"My understanding is that the people that live in the home were out of town," said Fire Chief Roy Pena.

Pena said that four of the little puppies were in excellent condition, but the fifth had suffered some smoke inhalation and was in critical condition.

"He appeared in bad condition, we just hope he makes it," said Pena.

In addition, one Reeves County Sheriff's Deputy, three Pecos Police Officers and one ambulance reported to the scene of the incident.

Futures Forum set for Tuesday at Civic Center

A Texas Community Futures Forum will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, at the Reeves County Civic Center.

Everyone interested in a better future for themselves, their family and their community is invited to attend.

For more information contact C.W. Roberts at 447-9041.

Lotto

AUSTIN (AP) No ticket correctly matched all six numbers drawn Saturday night for the twice-weekly Lotto Texas game, state lottery officials said. The numbers drawn Saturday night from a field of 50 were: 5-11-28-32-36-45. Wednesday night's drawing will be worth an estimated $10 million.
***

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Friday night: Winning numbers drawn: 10-24-32-37-39. Number matching five of five: 2. Prize per winner: $48,935. Matching four of five: 279. Prize: $527.

***

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Texas Million drawing Friday night: Winning numbers drawn: 22-25-64-99. Number matching four of four in Group One: 0. Number matching four of four in Group Two: 0. Number matching four of four in Group Three: 1. Prize: $10,000. Number matching three of four in any group: 498. Prize: $300.

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Friday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 9-6-1 (nine, six, one)

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Saturday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 4-0-8 (four, zero, eight)

Obituaries

Irene Alba

Irene B. Alba, 70, died Thursday, March 11, 1999 at Sunrise Healthcare and Rehab Center.

Services were held at 10 a.m., today, at the Pecos Funeral Home Chapel with Bishop John Swanson officiating. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery.

She was born April 18, 1928, in Del Rio, was a homemaker, and a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints.

Survivors include four sons, David Alba of El Paso, Humberto Alba of San Diego, Calif., Armando Alba of Sullivan and Mario Alba of Pecos; three daughters, Anna C. Lewis of Amarillo, Gloria Rubio of Midland, Irene Alba of Pecos; 25 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Betty Provenzano

Betty L. Provenzano, 76, died Monday, March 8, 1999 at Reeves County Hospital.

Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday, March 16, with Father Ben Flores officiating at Greenwood Cemetery.

She was born March 20, 1922, in Chicago, Ill., was a homemaker and a Catholic.

Survivors include one son, Eddy Provenzano of Van Horn; one daughter, Tina Provenzano of Meschers, France and one sister, Marilyn Genty of Chicago, Ill.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Weather

PECOS, March 15, 1999 - High Sunday 70; low last night 36. Tonight, partly cloudy. Low in the mid 40s. South wind 10-15 mph. Tuesday, partly cloudy and breezy. High in the upper 70s. South wind 15-25 mph.



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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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