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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Tuesday, May 4, 1999

Furgeson deals with pot smuggling

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, May 4, 1999 -- U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson on Monday denied a motion to suppress evidence in a marijuana smuggling case, but gave the defendant's lawyer time to file a habeas corpus petition before his client pleads guilty.

Attorney Rahul Malhotra argued that the rights of his client, Angel Gandara-Gonzalez, were violated when he was questioned without understanding his rights.

Gandara, a citizen of Mexico, does not speak English, Malhotra said, and he did not understand his rights under the U.S. Constitution to have a lawyer present when questioned; to not answer questions; and to have a lawyer appointed for him if he could not afford to pay.

In an unrelated case, Judge Furgeson found Saul Martinez-Sanchez guilty of marijuana importation and possession and set sentencing for July 14.

Martinez was arrested Jan. 29 after a Border Patrol agent spotted an old van with Illinois license plates near the Rio Grande. Because the van was smoking, the agent suspected it had crossed the Rio Grande and the water shorted out something in the electrical system, causing the smoke.

He turned and followed the van as it turned onto U.S. Highway 385 toward Marathon. When it stopped, the agent questioned the driver, Martinez, who could not speak English.

Noticing muddy sediment on the running board, wet carpet and muddy floor boards, the agent suspected the van crossed the Rio Grande illegally at the San Vicente crossing.

Martinez said he crossed at a bridge, but could not give the location. He gave consent to search the van, and the agent found 211.3 pounds of marijuana in a secret compartment underneath the floor of the van.

Judge Furgeson sentenced Cesar Hernandez, 41, to 70 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Others sentenced for marijuana possession were:

* Jose Angel Herrera-Carrillo, 34, 18 months;

* Richard Macias, 20, of Odessa, 24 months;

* Theodore Diaz, 26, of Midland, five years probation;

* Jesus M. Franco-Vasquez, 21, of Presidio, 12 months and 1 day.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stuart Platt accepted a number of guilty pleas on Tuesday and set arraignments, pleas and hearings on new indictments for today.

Site decision on post office due Monday

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, May 4, 1999 -- Six proposed sites for the Pecos Post Office will be on the table Monday when a group meets in Dallas to decide which one to choose.

"Hopefully they will make a decision," said Ramona Sterling, Pecos Postmaster.

One of the six sites proposed is the entire 300 block of Oak/Cedar Street, where the old First National Bank, Back-Door T-Shirt Shop, Tony's Carpets (Formerly Pecos Furniture) and other buildings would be demolished to make room for the one-story building and large parking lot.

Location of the other five sites have not been released.

The new building will replace a three-story building at Fourth and Oak Streets that was built in 1935.

The new Post Office is one of two planned for Reeves County by the U.S. Postal Service. It is also taking proposals for a new post office building in Toyahvale, near the Balmorhea State Park.

Herrera freed after posting $25,000 bond

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, May 4, 1999 -- With an agreed order between District Attorney Randy Reynolds and Defense Attorney Roddy Harrison, Thomas Herrera, 55, was released on $25,000 bail Monday.

District Judge Bob Parks signed the order lowering the bail from $100,000 as set by Municipal Judge Phyllis Salyer when Herrera was arrested last week on a marijuana possession charge.

Herrera had posted bail, then returned to jail seeking the lowered amount.

He is charged with possession of 720 pounds of marijuana seized by Pecos Police and Reeves County Sheriff's deputies from an underground bunker at a vacant house north of Pecos.

Police said they have warrants for additional suspects.

Ex-Pecos officer Montgomery named chief

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, May 4, 1999 -- Former Pecos Police officer David Montgomery's 20-year quest for a Chief of Police title ended in the small town of Firestone, Colo., near Denver, two months ago.

Montgomery and his wife, Peggy, moved from Pecos to nearby Aurora, Colo. in 1996 to be near her family. He has worked for the Aurora and Commerce City police departments.

The 41-year-old Pecos native was one of 15 applicants for the chief's job.

"I've been looking for this town for twenty years," Montgomery told the Firestone Town Board in his final interview in February. The board voted unanimously to offer him the job, The Daily Times-Call reported.

Starting as a patrolman with the Pecos Police Department, Montgomery had worked his way up through the ranks to become assistant chief while serving the department as criminal investigator.

When he left Pecos, Montgomery told this reporter that he knew he would have to move to realize his dream of being chief of police. His years in a small community prepared him well for the new job.

"I've been looking for a place like the Tri-Towns," Montgomery told the Daily Times-Call..."I enjoy the small-town atmosphere. I'm not what you would call a big-city person."

During one interview with the town board, Montgomery was told: "In a small town you may issue someone a ticket this morning and sit next to him tonight at a basketball game. Do you have a problem with that?"

Montgomery assured the board that his experience in Texas prepared him for such an eventuality.

PEDC board to discuss plan for OC campus

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, May 4, 1999 -- Directors for the Pecos Economic Development Corporation will discuss several matters related to the Odessa College Pecos campus in their regular meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Odessa College has agreed to establish a campus in the old White's building in the Parker Heights Addition on South Eddy Street if PEDC can come up with funding to refurbish the interior.

The board will consider a floor plan and blue prints, discuss the estimated cost to refit 25,000 square feet and "strategize ways and means to pay for it."

Asbestos certification, contract bid letting and other business concerning the OC campus round out the agenda.

An item labeled "other business" is also on the posted agenda. Chairman Oscar Saenz said the board will discuss "other things in the making."

The board meets in the conference room of the Security State Bank.

County's first district clerk dies at 104

SHERMAN, May 4, 1999 -- Reeves County's first district clerk, Vannie Ingle Hester died April 26, at Sherman Nursing Home in Sherman, at the age of 104.

Hester was born April 6, 1895. She was buried here in Pecos at Fairview Cemetery on April 28.

She served as the first district clerk of Reeves County beginning on Feb. 10, 1941, and held the position for 22 years, until Dec. 31, 1962, after being defeated by Jane Ross in that year's election.

Hester served Reeves County as both county and district clerk for 10 years from Jan. 13, 1925 until Dec. 31, 1934. At that time, Reeves County was part of the 109th Judicial District, created in 1929 and composed of Reeves, Loving, Ward, Winkler, Andrews and Crane Counties.

The 143rd Judicial District was not created until September 1955, when Reeves, Ward and Loving counties were given their own district.

The Texas Constitution requires that in counties with less than 8,000 population the office of county and district clerk shall be filled by one person. The offices were to be separated when the county reaches a population of 8,000.

In the primary election of 1940 the results of the 1940 census where not available before time for candidates to file for a place on the ballot. W.E. Reeder and Hollis Smith filed for county and district clerk on the Democratic party ticket in the August primary, there being no filings on any other party. Reeder won the nomination and his name was placed on the general election ticket as county and district clerk.

But before the general election on Nov. 5, 1940 the census figures were announced and Reeves County showed a population of 8,006. As as result, the office of District Clerk was placed on the general election ballot with Hester winning election over a filed that included Smith and five other candidates E.G. Doty, Estelle Clinton, Viola Howry, Mary Caroline, and Mrs. H.P. Davis as candidates.

Even after the election, there was still a legal controversy between Hester and Reeder as to who was to be district clerk. Reeder was qualified as Reeves County Clerk on Jan. 13, 1941, and four weeks later, on Feb. 10, 1941 Hester was qualified as 109th District Court Clerk for Reeves County.

Despite being more than 100 years old, Hester was said to have been still alert and competent. She remained in her own home until she was 96, and had been a resident of the nursing home for the past eight years.

She had been honored on her 101st birthday with a party hosted by the Sherman Nursing Center where she was a resident. Among those attending the special occasion was Sherman Mayor Julie Ellis Starr who presented Hester with a certificate.

Sports banquet set for Thursday at Bessie Haynes

PECOS, May 4, 1999 -- Dr. Chet Sample of Sul Ross State University will be the guest speaker on Thursday, at the annual Pecos High School All Sports Banquet.

The banquet will be held starting at 7 p.m. in the Bessie Haynes Elementary cafeteria. Along with Sample, all-district certificates will be presented to Pecos High School students, along with the Doc Lunday, Craig Woods, Joe Shoemaker and Joe Bob Kelton awards.

Tickets to the banquet for the general public are $8 apiece, and are available at Pecos High School, Gibson True Value, Dan's Music and Video and at KIUN.

Lotto

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Monday night:

Winning numbers drawn: 8-13-26-28-34. Number matching five of five: 1. Prize per winner: $90,073. Winning ticket sold in: San Antonio. Matching four of five: 251. Prize: $538.

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 1-4-2 (one, four, two).

Weather

PECOS, May 4, 1999 -- High Monday 89; low last night 65. Wind advisory through early evening. Tonight, mostly clear. Low around 50. Northwest wind decreasing to 10-20 mph. Wednesday, mostly sunny. High 80-85. Northwest wind 10-20 mph.



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