Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, April 13, 1999
OC campus plans set, funds still needed
By ROSIE FLORES
A campus of Odessa College in Pecos is closer to becoming a
reality. But how repairs and remodeling work on the
college's Eddy Street building will be funded remains up in
"I received a message that Gari Ward, with the Economic
Development Corporation wanted to meet with me and the mayor
and we'll get together this afternoon to discuss this," said
Town of Pecos City Manager Kenneth Neal about the project.
Odessa College agreed last month to accept the old White's
building in the Airlawn Shopping Center, donated by Dr.
Norman Harris, for use as a satellite campus. A layout for
the building was done under the direction of Odessa
OC gave the floor plan for the building to the Pecos
Economic Development Corporation, which then had Frank
Spencer and Associates turn it into an engineering drawing
for re-submission to the college for their review,
modifications and acceptance.
Under the plan, the White's building would include three
classrooms on the south side, a computer lab, science lab
and lounge in the center area, and vocational work and
classroom areas in the north section, where the auto service
bays currently are located.
While OC officials said they are very excited about
establishing a branch in Pecos, under the agreement the PEDC
and the Town of Pecos City will fund the remodeling work,
while OC pays for the plans and for ongoing maintenance
after the work is completed.
The cost of remodeling the building won't be known until
bids are submitted, but earlier discussions between the city
and PEDC officials estimated the cost at between $100,000
When OC accepts the engineering drawings, Spencer, who
serves as city engineer and is a member of the PEDC board,
will coordinate the full engineering plans to use for bids
to make the necessary modifications.
Once the bids are in, they will be reviewed and submitted to
the Pecos City Council for their review and further action.
The college is hoping to start classes in the fall semester
of this year. OC plans to hold day and night classes for 400
Under the proposal, one of the classrooms will also be used
as a community meeting room, and the building will also
contain two study rooms, five administration offices, and a
If all goes well, Odessa College officials want to start a
financial aid and registration office in the building in
June, according to OC President Vance Gipson.
The preliminary work to accomplish this project has been
done. "Now we must start working on the funding for the
remodeling of the building, these costs will be known after
the remodeling bids are in," said Ward, the PEDC executive
"We sincerely hope that the citizens of Pecos will support
Odessa College's campus in Pecos," said Ward.
Commissioners offered help with gang problems
By ROSIE FLORES
Bringing with him his expertise in dealing with gangs and an
impressive portfolio, the newest assistant warden for the
Reeves County Detention Center was introduced to Reeves
County commissioners during their Monday afternoon meeting.
RCDC Warden Rudy Franco introduced Leonard Lopez, who has
joined the Pecos facility. Lopez has worked for the
intelligence unit for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and has
dealt with gang problems in the past.
"He'll be bringing with him his expertise in this area and
will be working with other agencies in the community in
addressing this problem," said Franco.
He said Lopez will be living in Pecos and will be
cooperating with other agencies in trying to deal with
gangs, not only at the RCDC, but in the community. "It has
been brought to our attention, that this problem is growing
in the community and Len, is willing to work with the other
law enforcement agencies and helping them in any way he can
in addressing this problem," said Franco.
Lopez will begin at the RCDC with a starting salary of
"This is a fascinating subject," said Franco, about the gang
problem, adding, "Some of these gangs are very organized,
more organized than some county governments."
"It's a tremendous thing, that we were able to get him to
come to Pecos, because of his national stature," said
Franco. "His value will become apparent as time goes by."
In other business during the afternoon portion of their
meeting, commissioners went into a lengthy discussion on
maintenance and custodial personnel duties, responsibilities
All four commissioners voted to let Commissioner Precinct 1
Felipe Arredondo stay in charge of overseeing these
operations and assessing the duties of the four personnel in
this department. Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo voted,
"no" on this item.
Galindo told Arredondo that he felt there was a tremendous
amount of rivalry between him and one of the employees, and
felt it best if he was not the one in charge of their
Arredondo assured Galindo that he could keep personal
problems from affecting the way the crew did their job.
"We had one individual who had a large amount of comp time,"
said Galindo, who said that particular individual had to
stay home for two months, because the excessive comp time he
"You couldn't keep up with that person," said Galindo.
"It wasn't that I couldn't keep up with him, it's just that
he was very elusive," said Arredondo.
"That's just unacceptable for one employee to have so much
comp time," said Galindo.
Arredondo assured the judge that he would oversee this crew
and use them to the advantage of the county. "I assure that
they will do their job and do it right," he said.
Commissioners voted to advertise with the American Guide
Services, Inc. and voted for an interlocal cooperative
agreement with State of Texas Voters Registration/Jury
Selection Online System.
County Auditor Lynn Owens told the group that the computers
are compatible to use the online system and will eliminate
some problems that had occurred in the past.
"It still has to be approved by Judge (Bob) Parks, but I
heard that he agreed to it," said Owens.
According to Owens, this will also save the county some
"It's a more streamlined method and the equipment has
already been tested out, at both the district clerk's and
county clerk's offices," he said.
New hires for Reeves County include at the Reeves County
Detention Center, Martha Chacon, medical health care
assistant, at $28,5000 per year; Nancy Mosby as a
correctional officer I, at $19,000 per year; George Perkins,
correctional officer I, $19,000 per year; Salvador Carrera,
correctional officer I, $19,000 per year; at the Reeves
County Judge's office, Anthony Casillas, temporary,
part-time at $5.15 per hour; at the Reeves County Sheriff's
Office, Gilberto Rayos as a reserve officer; Luis Fernando
Valenzuela, from $18,500 to $20,200 and Bob Jenkins, to
$23,500, to replace Jeffrey Baeza, who is now employed with
the Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force.
At the recreation department, Juan Prieto has been hired as
a maintenance worker on a part-time basis, at $8 per hour.
Commissioners also approved bond and oath and deputation of
assistant county auditor Aida Baeza; minutes from previous
meetings and reports from various departments.
Regional foes of bomber flights offer support
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Steve Uslan, southwest region vice president of the American
Pilot's Association, flew into Pecos on Friday to join the
opposition to an expansion of realistic bomber training over
"I have been fighting this all over the country. I am a
pilot and airplane owner," Uslan said, prior to Friday's
public hearing on the flights by the U.S. Air Force, held at
the Pecos High School cafeteria. "The government has a
policy of grabbing up air space all over the country and
they never get done with it.
"We in New Mexico have two major Air Force bases that
support fighter aircraft. Holloman at Alamogordo is home of
the Stealth bomber and German Luftwaffe. The U.S. Air Force
is training them. They are extremely loud and obnoxious.
The German planes and others from Holloman will fly a
training route in the Davis Mountains and along the Rio
Grande if a lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court ends in
Uslan said the military training routes are depicted on
pilots' schedule charts. "We have a right to be in the same
space," he said.
The problem is, when a B-1 descends from 10,000 to 1,000
feet to 100 feet he's coming fast through my air space. He's
on me before I have a chance to not only see him but get
thought from eye to brain to identify them. They are
supposed to be flying under instrument flight rules on low
"The purpose of the low-level routes is to mask the bombers'
approach to a target with terrain to hide from radar. If
anyone else is flying in the area, they won't know if
bombers are coming through and that's outright dangerous,"
It is most dangerous the closer to the ground you get, and
wake from large plane can travel miles before it finally
settles to the ground, Uslan said.
"When the wind is blowing, the wake can move 10-12 miles
over the ground."
The real problem is damage to the environment and peace and
tranquility of the people underneath, he said.
"You can't imagine the noise a B-1 will make at 100 feet at
full power. One thing the AF will not do is they will not
demonstrate fairly in a controlled situation what kind of
noise these planes would generate.
"Put sound monitoring equipment on the airport and let them
fly over at 500 mph. It will take the roof off the hangars."
Rich Anderson, Borden County rancher from Gail, said his
ranch is in the current flight path from Dyess Air Force
Planes fly along the Borden County line, he said.
"I was riding a horse one day and the horse sensed the plane
coming before I did. He was nervous. I thought it was a
rattlesnake. In a minute it flew over and nearly scared me
to death and he nearly bucked me off. It will frighten
horses and cattle to death.
"We don't know the exact effect on livestock," he said.
The Air Force doesn't want all the air space, Anderson said.
"They just want what joins them. They are so arrogant about
"I own minerals under the ranch, Anderson said. "If I lease
and an oil company drills to 50,000 feet, I own it. How much
air space do I own above that ranch? I will let the Supreme
Court decide whose air space that is."
Brian Kelley of Alpine makes a profession of fighting the
Air Force's expansion of low-level bomber training flights.
"The heart of the National Environmental Protection Act is
the environmental impact statement objective," Kelley said.
"Any time you propose to change the human environment, then
you have to set out if there is environmental impact to this
A lot of times, the impact can be positive, he said, but
"What the Air Force does is never positive impact. They are
in the profession of death and destruction."
Kelley, a resident of Alpine, said the Air Force's draft EIS
for the route circling Pecos is not accurate, in that it
shows Instrument Route 178 already exists when only part of
"They show 178 to curve around Pecos but it does not," he
said. It crosses I-10, Saragosa and Balmorhea. The
aeronautical chart that civilians use does not show it.
"They are showing IR178 so they can create that loop around
Pecos by default. This is what we have run across the past 2
Kelley is president of the Trans-Pecos Protection Group
Inc., which has a core of seven people, including his wife,
Kay; an aeronautical engineer, accountants, attorneys and
"Most moved to this country for peace and quiet and clean
air. Not for a bunch of stupid Air Force people flying
through our carports with a 44,000 pound jet fighter," he
"They can do it on existing federal land. That's our only
Karre Remme pilots his own plane to ranches in Reeves, Jeff
Davis and Pecos counties from his home in San Marcos. He is
concerned about the Air Force's plan to increase low-level
training flights over his ranches.
He is one of six plaintiffs suing the Air Force and the
Department of Defense to stop such training flights over
West Texas and New Mexico involving the German Air Force.
Remme was also in Pecos Friday to support opponents of the
proposed extension of training flights over Reeves and
Loving counties and the addition of an electronic scoring
site near Pecos.
Because the flights from Holloman AFB in New Mexico,
involving German Luftwaffe warplanes, will be over the same
bomber training routes proposed by Dyess AFB at Abilene and
Barksdale AFB, Remme said it would have a "horrendous
impact" on the environment.
"If they say there is no significant impact, they don't have
to do an environmental impact study," Remme said. "They
decided jets flying at 549 knots won't have a significant
Combined flights already number 1,094, he said.
"It is against NEPA law for them to fail to connect these
bomber training actions (in the impact statement)," Remme
His federal court suit is scheduled for trial before Judge
Lucius Bunton III in U.S. District Court in Pecos in early
Red Bluff board defends plans for surplus funds
By JON FULBRIGHT
Free water for farmers along the Pecos River?
That's the subject the Red Bluff Water Power Control Board
kicked around for over 45 minutes on Monday, during their
regular monthly meeting.
At issue was surplus funds built up by the water district
from interest received under the $14 million Pecos River
Compact settlement with New Mexico in 1989.
Ward County farmer Tom Nance said that under the settlement
contract, the district was not allowed to build up a surplus
and should return the money to farmers by cutting the $2.50
per acre/foot fee Red Bluff charges for its water.
However, board members said the surplus funds would be
needed for several projects, including the upcoming gate
replacement work at Red Bluff Dam, scheduled to be completed
over the next two years.
"Basically, what it boils down to is you set a budget every
year, and have a set amount of dollars from the (compact)
settlement with New Mexico," Nance said. "If there's any
surplus there should be no charge for water at all. That's
what the contract says."
Board president Randall Hartman pointed out the district has
two other projects -- the Malaga Bend desalination project
and the Pecos River salt cedar eradication project -- on
their "wish list," along with legal expenses to fight the
designation of the Pecos River pupfish as an endangered
species. Designation would allow the federal government to
determine Pecos River water releases during the year.
"The money needs to go somewhere," Hartman said, though
board members conceded that better reporting in the annual
audit would help show where the district's share of the
interest from the settlement is going.
"We don't borrow money if we don't have to. I'd rather save
millions for the project instead of borrowing," said board
member Lloyd Goodrich. "The only thing we should do is
designate the amount of money for each specific project."
Red Bluff General Manager Jim Ed Miller said, "We should set
up a reserve account for these projects," to which Hartman
chimed in, "And that would take care of the surplus."
Miller said he would recommend setting up the reserve
account beginning with the start of the 2000 fiscal year in
Nance and the board failed to come to an agreement on the
exact wording of the contract and how and where money can be
spent. Board members said the original agreement was
modified by the Texas Legislature, while Nance disagreed
with the board's interpretation.
"My honest opinion is we're living by it. We have to change
what we're doing, but we're living by it," Hartman said,
referring to the reserve account. "The reason we haven't
been doing it is we haven't had a surplus until the last
couple of years."
After buying water from Red Bluff, the local irrigation
districts add on another $2.50 to $3 per acre/foot charge to
the farmers. Hartman said the difference was due to the cost
of maintaining irrigation canals and gates in some of the
"Grandfalls is more expensive than Barstow, and Imperial has
got gates all the way to Girvin," he said.
The districts are responsible for maintaining their own
gates and canals that carry water away from the Pecos River.
Goodrich said the Loving County Water Irrigation District is
building up funds to put pipelines in its canals to conserve
water, and Nance told the board that the Ward County
Irrigation District No. 1, which serves the Barstow area,
has $3.8 million in the bank.
Hartman said the rate Red Bluff charges for its water
doesn't sit well with officials in New Mexico, which is
mandated under the compact to release a specific amount of
water down river to Texas.
"New Mexico hit us real hard a couple of times on what we
charge. They say we're giving it away," he said. "There are
several articles floating around and they say the amount we
charge is a joke."
"When we started getting interest money (from the 1989
settlement) we were 20 years behind on what we should have
been doing," said Goodrich, adding that funds also are
needed to re-grout the bottom of the dam and stop water
He also told Nance that Pecos River water rates are about
$15 higher in the Carlsbad area, and water rates in some
areas or Arizona are over $100 an acre/foot.
Carlsbad's higher water rates are due in part to better
water quality, as indicated by the district's monthly water
report. The salt content of the Pecos River was 80 percent
higher below Malaga Bend than above the salt spring,
according to the latest readings Red Bluff members were
The salt problem was touched on briefly in the middle of the
water rate discussion, at the request of Rusty Carpenter,
who told the board, "I've got a couple of projects, but they
need good water."
Carpenter said that Loving Salt Co. president Albert Wagner
had received the permits he needed for his part of the
project. Wagner is seeking to build three man-made lakes, to
which Malaga Bend water would be pumped. Salt would then be
mined from the lakes as the water evaporates.
However, Miller said approval is still needed from the
Interstate Stream Commission for Red Bluff to move some of
its freshwater rights upriver to Loving Salt's plant, to be
used for cleaning equipment.
"Albert tells me everything (permits) is go with Carlsbad.
The Interstate Stream Commission is supposed to send
somebody up to OK permits for Santa Fe, but they haven't
done anything yet."
"Everybody says they're all for it, but they don't want to
sign off on it," Goodrich added.
Prior to the discussions with Nance and Carpenter, the board
approved March cash disbursements totalling $36,089 and
accounts payable totaling $20,524. Also approved was the
water report, which showed this year's allotment to the
districts was 23,165 acre/feet, and that Red Bluff Lake
contained 72,084 acre/feet at the end of March, up slightly
Goodrich told Carpenter at least 20,000 acre/feet has to be
kept in the lake to maintain the structural integrity of the
earthen dam, and because of the salt from Malaga Bend, "We
can't store water from one year to the next. You keep water
in the lake and Malaga Bend makes wastewater out of it by
AUSTIN (AP) -- Results of the Cash 5 drawing Monday night:
Winning numbers drawn: 9-10-27-29-37. Number matching five
of five: 3. Prize per winner: $29,056. Winning tickets sold
in: Amarillo, Burnet, Houston. Matching four of five: 210.
AUSTIN (AP) -- The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by
the Texas Lottery, in order: 7-0-3 (seven, zero, three)
Angel Grajeda, 83, of Pecos, died Friday, April 9, 1999, at
Odessa Regional Hospital.
Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m., today at
He was born Oct. 2, 1909, in Viadiamas, Chihuahua, Mexico,
was retired and a Catholic.
Survivors include several nephews, nieces and friends.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Tomas Granado, 83, died Friday, April 9, 1999, at Columbia
Medical Center East in El Paso.
Mass was held at 10 a.m., Monday, April 12, at Christ The
King Catholic Church in Balmorhea with burial in Balmorhea
He was born Feb. 10, 1916, in Fort Davis, had served in the
United States Army World War II, had received the Purple
Heart. He was retired, a lifetime Pecos resident and a
Survivors include three sons, Richard Granado of El Paso,
Ray Granado of Fredericksburg and Tomas Granado, Jr. of El
Paso; four daughters, Ana Polanco and Connie Granado of El
Paso, Aida Garcia of Balmorhea and Teresa Garcia of Odessa;
one brother, Antonio Granado of Odessa; 17 grandchildren and
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High Monday 84. Low this morning 62. Rainfall last 24 hours
.02 inch. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy. A 30 percent
chance of thunderstorms, some possibly severe. Low upper
40s. South to southwest wind 10-20 mph. Wednesday, mostly
cloudy and cooler. High 65 70. West wind 15-25 mph, shifting
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, 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 1999 by Pecos Enterprise