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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Tuesday, April 20, 1999

Anchor expansion to add 100 jobs

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, April 20, 1999 -- That odor of cooking onions wafting over Pecos may soon be joined by the smell of frying zucchini, mushrooms and okra. It all spells jobs for Pecos.

Anchor West Inc. is looking for 100 "really cool people" to man a new fry line to be installed in a 50-foot by 175- foot space under construction inside the north wall of the large building on the south service road of Interstate 20.

Steve Cordova, plant manager, said that Anchor already has two onion fry lines and two raw breaded onion lines employing 560 people. With the new line, total employment will jump to 660, and work will continue around the clock.

In addition to the processing line that requires inspectors, packers and separators, the plant is adding to support areas in warehouse and maintenance, Cordova said.

Referring to machinery moving dirt along the north side of the building, Cordova said, "They are tearing up our front yard, but they will put it back together."

All of the new space is inside the old building, where a freezer was removed and a larger and better one will be installed. Much of the new equipment is already on hand, Cordova said.

While construction is underway, four lines continue to process onions on the other side of a temporary wall constructed to keep dust from the construction area out of the product.

Concrete flooring was ripped out of the new area, and drains have been installed.

"Next we will compact everything and pour the cement," Cordova said.

Construction is on schedule and going well, he said.

"We are trying to have the new line up and running by June 22. The new line will allow us to produce different types of vegetables: mushrooms, zucchini and okra, along with beer battered onions, batter dipped onions and the new onion petal," Cordova said.

Letty Ruiz, human resources manager, is taking applications for the new line.

Youth council planning graffiti clean-up

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
PECOS, April 20, 1999 -- Graffiti artists once again have been hard at work in the community, but other youngsters will be doing something next week to help clean up several buildings around Pecos.

Town of Pecos City's Youth Advisory Council, a group of Pecos High School students who are sponsored by the city, will be doing graffiti cleanup beginning next Monday.

The group is taking suggestions on which buildings and areas need to be addressed first. If anyone has a suggestion they can contact Geneva Martinez at Pecos City Hall (445-2421, extension 103) or leave a voice message at 839-9255.

This clean-up project is one the group voted on during their April meeting held on Monday.

In addition, the group is planning another project in May and will also participate in next month's Relay for Life at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena.

Graffiti artists have been extremely busy in Pecos over the past few months. On Monday graffiti was reported at Bessie Haynes Elementary School, as well as on a wall of Zavala Middle School. Both schools are located in the same area, between Ninth and 12th streets on the east side of town.

A third report of graffiti were given to police on Monday, this one on the south side of town, after buildings at Daggett and Olive streets were spray painted.

Along with the graffiti, a criminal mischief report was filed on Friday at Bessie Haynes Elementary School.

Other reports of criminal mischief came in on Monday in the 100-300 blocks of South Oak Street, just north of the Pecos Police Department. Vandalism was reported at the State Theater, which is currently unused, and a close patrol was requested in that area, along with the area around Martinez Funeral Home. The funeral home, in the same block as the State Theater, also reported an incident of criminal mischief.

Dentist drilled over firing faces suit

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, April 20, 1999 -- Korah Gallagher's four-month stint as a dental assistant could pay off handsomely if she wins a federal court lawsuit she filed against the dentist, Dr. Bernie Cox of Monahans.

Cox fired Gallagher Sept. 14, 1998 after she told him she was chosen to serve on a petit jury in the Pecos Division of federal court.

That's a no-no, said District Judge Royal Furgeson, and appointed Midland attorney Steve Hershberger to represent Gallagher in a civil damage suit against Cox.

Hershberger seeks $1.27 million in actual damages and $1.25 million in exemplary damages, plus $25,000 attorney fees for what he terms wrongful termination.

Gallagher's loss of income totals $7,000, and the remainder of actual damages is for mental anguish and physical or mental impairment, both past and future.

In the September hearing on Gallagher's dismissal, Judge Furgeson gave Dr. Cox a civics lesson on the importance of jury service.

Gallagher, 21, was the second alternate on the 14-member jury chosen for the drug smuggling trial of Patricia Martinez of Petersburg. When she told Dr. Cox that she would have to serve on the jury, he hired a replacement, then fired her.

When Judge Furgeson learned of the dentist's actions he summoned Dr. Cox for a hearing and suggested he bring an attorney.

Dr. Cox and his attorney, Hoot Gibson, appeared that afternoon. Not impressed by Dr. Cox's explanation for firing Gallagher because of chronic absences, Judge Furgeson gave him a lecture on the importance of jury service and appointed Hershberger to represent her.

Pecosites among 26 named in federal indictments

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, April 20, 1999 -- Two Pecos residents are among 26 defendants indicted Thursday by the federal grand jury.

David Richard Gomez, 19, of 2209 S. Hackberry St., is charged with importing and possessing with intent to distribute 37.12 pounds of marijuana on April 1.

Kristi Ann Rodriguez, 21, of 1705 Adams, is charged with importing and possessing with intent to distribute 18.5 pounds of marijuana on April 11.

Billy Burl Hobbs Jr., 43, of Fort Stockton, is charged with possession with intent to distribute 40.30 pounds of marijuana on March 25.

A Mexican citizen who entered the United States illegally made his second escape from an area county jail while awaiting trial.

Raymundo Calderon-Gaytan, 33, of Fabens, is charged with escaping from the Winkler County Jail on March 24 while awaiting trial on a charge of escaping from the Presidio County Jail on Jan. 10.

Calderon is a large, athletic man with long, strong arms, said Steve Clark, deputy U.S. Marshal. He escaped from the Winkler County Jail by climbing a 25-foot wall and kicking loose a chain link fence that covered the top of the recreation yard.

Clark said that Calderon is believed to have hidden on the roof of the jail until dark and then jumped off to make his escape. He remains a fugitive.

"We put lookouts on all the ports of entry and checkpoints and with law enforcement between here and the border," Clark said. "We don't think he had a ride, but took off across country."

When Calderon escaped from the Presidio County Jail, he headed west. Officers tracked him to Valentine, where he was captured on Jan. 14.

Nine of the defendants indicted by the grand jury are charged with importing and possessing marijuana for distribution. Eight are charged with possession with intent to distribute, and one is charged with conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

One is charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, one with making a false claim to citizenship and four with illegal entry after deportation.

April drug busts keep border agents busy

April showers bring marijuana flowers, the U.S. Border Patrol found the first two weeks of this month when record amounts were seized.

Between April 1 and April 15, agents seized 5,050 pounds of marijuana worth more than $4 million. They also seized almost $85,000 worth of cocaine, said Marfa Sector Chief Patrol Agent Simon Garza Jr.

"With these seizures we are sending a strong message to the drug smugglers in our area that we will detect and confiscate your narcotics and arrest you," Garza said.

The largest seizure so far this month was 2,866 pounds of marijuana found in the rear of a tractor/trailer at the Sierra Blanca checkpoint April 7.

The marijuana was concealed in 55-gallon drums mixed in with legitimate cargo. The driver was arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration in El Paso.

The second-largest load was detected in a 1992 Oldsmobile minivan, just south of Marathon. Agents from the Alpine station seized 870 pounds of marijuana and arrested two individuals.

Undocumented alien apprehensions are on the rise as well, as Marfa Sector is up over 40 percent from the same time last year, Garza said. So far this month, Marfa Sector has apprehended 1,065 aliens.

Chief Garza also expects this number to increase as a result of Operation Rio Grande being conducted in the McAllen/Brownsville area. Operation Rio Grande is part of the U.S. Border Patrol's national strategy aimed at stopping the flow of illegal immigration and narcotics smugglers.

Questions or comments may be directed to the Border Patrol intelligence unit at 915-729-5200.

Rec department taking sign-ups

PECOS, April 20, 1999 -- The Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Center is registering for four aerobics classes, and taking team entries for men's softball league play.

The aerobic classes are low impact, high impact, step and tae bo, with Aida Contreras as instructor. Classes are scheduled to start May 1.

For further information on either the aerobics classes or men's softball, call 447-9776.

Lotto

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Monday night: Winning numbers drawn: 11-12-23-25-39. Number matching five of five: 3. Prize per winner: $28,622. Winning tickets sold in: Corpus Christi, Houston and Stafford Matching four of five: 230. Prize: $560.

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 7-8-3 (seven, eight, three)

Obituary

John Fonville

Services are incomplete for John Fonville, 90, who died Monday, April 19, in Denton.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Weather

PECOS, April 20, 1999 - High Monday 92; low last night 48. Tonight, mostly clear. Low around 60. South wind 10-20 mph. Wednesday, mostly sunny and windy. High in the mid 90s. southwest wind 20-30 mph and gusty.



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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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