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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, June 14, 1999

Added staff allows security fence cut

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
PECOS, June,14, 1999--Cost saving measures and additional employees at the Reeves County Detention Center will help with the construction of the 1,000-bed addition, said Warden Rudy Franco this morning.

Commissioners were updated on the construction of the facility at this morning's regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting.

Plans had been to build a second fence in the middle of the compound, to allow construction workers to have access to the facility, according to RCDC Warden Rudy Franco.

"At the last meeting we had discussed the fencing costs and I went back to talk to my staff and get their input," said Franco.

Franco told the court that they had decided that with the additional personnel to provide added security during the construction and the elimination of a second fence, adequate security would be provided while saving money.

"We were needing the second fence to provide added security to the faculty while providing unfettered access to the construction workers to the facility," said Franco.

The elimination of this second fence, however, would save money and the personnel were going to be hired anyway, according to Franco.

"We'll go with the single fence and still save money," he said.

About 40 individuals are on the list for employment, and 60-70 more need to be interviewed.

"There won't be a problem with security and it will still allow construction workers access to the facility as needed," said Franco.

"We were going to have to provide the staff anyway. It was already budgeted, but we're doing it now," said Franco.

"I think this will be good for the entire county, for the economy," said Tarin.

Tarin was talking about the 1,000 bed addition that will provide new jobs and offer more opportunities to those already employed.

"About 181 new employees will be hired before the new facility is finished," said Franco.

"The elimination of the second fence will save money," said Mark Schumacher, with Banes General Contractors, noting that $450,000 is budgeted for construction of two fences.

Franco said he estimated the prison will accommodate 1,040-1,050 inmates per day when the addition has been completed. "We're estimating that as the average daily population," he said.

Commissioners also discussed salary changes for the RCDC, including salary increases for the warden, assistant warden and other staff members. Correctional officers will also receive a pay boost.

Tarin praised the efforts of Franco and his staff. "If we didn't have this great management team, we wouldn't be discussing this 1,000 bed addition," he said.

"Well, it didn't happen by accident."They don't stop working and that's where that access money comes in," said Commissioner Precinct 1 Felipe Arredondo.

Cost for building the 1,000 bed addition has been estimated at $40 million, according to Franco.

County Judge Jimmy Galindo was not present for the meeting, at which Tarin presided.

Greg Travland named top national officer

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, June,14, 1999--Greg Travland dropped out of college his freshman year 20 years ago because all he really wanted to do was be a policeman, said his father, J.E. Travland.

Since joining the Odessa Police Department as a police cadet even before he was old enough to serve on the regular force, Travland has garnered several honors, including the most outstanding homicide detective.

Now Travland has moved into the national spotlight, earning the 1999 VFW J. Edgar Hoover Award.

"This award is presented annually to an individual in recognition of outstanding service, abilities, compassion, integrity, honor and public service," said Thomas A. Pouliot, commander-in-chief for the national VFW.

Travland will travel to Kansas City, Mo. at VFW expense to attend the national convention Aug. 14-20, when the veterans organization celebrates the centennial anniversary of the national organization.

"Through presentation of this award to you, the VFW wishes to acknowledge your exemplary service, performance and professionalism while serving as a law enforcement officer with the Odessa Police Department," Pouliot said.

Travland is only the second Texan to receive the award. Col Wilson E. Speir, former commander of the Texas Department of Public Safety, was honored in 1971.

"I am real proud of him," said his father. "I had no idea he would get anything like that. He won first in Odessa, then went to state and they sent it to national," he said.

"He always wanted to work in law enforcement. When he was going to school at Tarleton, after the first semester, he said he was wasting his time and my money because he wanted to go into law enforcement," said J.E. Travland.

Steve Balog, a deputy U.S. Marshal at the time, said he was with J.E. when Greg made his feelings known.

"We took him to the Odessa Police Department, and deputy chief Wendell Walker interviewed him. He was very pleased and wanted him to go to work immediately," Balog said.

"He was too young yet, so they put him on the cadet program, then put him through the academy," he said.

Travland has worked patrol, homicide and with the K-9 unit. Long a narcotics investigator, he was assigned last year to the newly-organized West Texas Narcotics Task Force.

He plans to stay with the Odessa Police Department until retirement in five years, then move to New Mexico and resume the education he interrupted in 1979.

Lt. David Bradshaw, who commands the task force, said that Travland is among the best officers he knows.

J.C. White, who retired from the U.S. Border Patrol when Travland and his son, Jack White, were high school buddies, remembers him as a "good lad, very deserving. A very hard-working officer."

"Odessa PD has a lot of Pecos kids," said White. Included are his son, Jack, and Victor Sikes.

Travland credited much of his success to his fellow officers in the police department. And to his dad, a retired postmaster who Greg says never took a vacation.

Inmate death triggers prison grumble

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
PECOS, June,14, 1999--Prison inmates who became agitated after the Sunday morning death of a fellow prisoner staged a demonstration in the recreation yard Sunday afternoon.

Operations were interrupted for close to an hour before a memorial service for the deceased inmate restored the peace, said Warden Rudy Franco.

"An inmate died yesterday, of natural causes and we're waiting for the autopsy results," said Franco this morning.

Franco said that the 32-year-old inmate had collapsed, an ambulance was summoned and he was pronounced dead about 8 a.m. at the Reeves county Hospital.

"Nobody did anything to him. It wasn't a homicide, or from results of injuries or anything like that; however, we still have to wait for autopsty results," said Franco.

As a result of the death, other inmates became agitated and created a demonstration in the recreation yard later that afternoon.

"The inmates got very upset over the death and refused to come in from the rec yard," said Franco.

Franco said about 1,000 inmates refused to come in.

"They felt he shouldn't have died, and while they were there decided to bring up several other complaints," said Franco.

Franco and his staff prepared a tactical response and enlisted the help of the Reeves County Sheriff's Department and the Pecos Police Department.

"They sent over some crews who set up a response patrol, stationing their vehicles on the perimiter, and we set up an internal tactical response," said Franco.

The altercation lasted 45 minutes to an hour, and operations at the prison were stopped. All the inmates later came in and things returned to normal, Franco said.

The incident began about 4:15 p.m. and was resolved by 5 p.m., or a little after, he said.

Assistant Warden Tony Perez and other members of the executive staff spoke to the inmates about their complaints and the incident was resolved without altercations, issues, damage to the facility or any other problems, Franco said.

"They basically spoke to them about what was bothering them and everything was resolved and returned to normal," he said.

Franco said St. Catherine's Catholic Church Deacon George Vasquez went to the facility and performed a memorial service for the dead inmate.

"This really helped. It was a very positive thing, and we want to thank him for devoting his time to this," said Franco.

The name of the deceased is not being released pending notification of next of kin.

Stars and stripes wave for freedom

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, June,14, 1999--Red, white and blue flags waving in the breeze this morning remind citizens of the United States that their flag was designed on June 14, 1777.

That's when the continental congress resolved that "The flag of the United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, with a union of thirteen stars of white on a blue field, representing a new constellation."

Red stands for for heartiness and valor, white for purity and innocence, and blue for vigilance, perseverance and justice.

There was no change in the number of stars or stripes from the adoption of the design until Jan. 13, 1794, when congress, in recognition of the admission of Vermont and Kentucky, voted to add two stipes and two stars, one for each of the new states.

The next change was in 1818, when there were 20 states in the union. Congress voted that the flag should contain 13 alternate red and white stripes, representing the original 13 states, and that a star for each new state should be added on the July 4 following its admission to the union.

Since July 4, 1960, the union has contained 50 five-pointed stars, arranged in nine horzontal rows of, alternately, six and five stars.

President Harry Truman made Flag Day official in 1949, signing legislation that made it a nationally observed holiday.

Rains cool hot June temperatures

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, June,14, 1999--Spotty rains that began last week continued through the weekend and into today. When the light sprinkle stopped at mid-morning, KIUN radio had recorded .05 inches downtown.

Texas A&M Research Station reported .52 inch fell six miles west of Pecos on Friday afternoon when a brief shower hit between 4 and 5 p.m. At the same time .11 inch was recorded in Pecos, bringing the month's total to .26 inch and the year-to-date rainfall to 1.50 inches.

Temperatures dropped from a high of 103 on Friday to 82 on Saturday, then rose to 85 Sunday. Cooling rains began about 8 a.m. and held temperatures in downtown Pecos to 68 degrees at mid-morning, after an overnight low of 66.

Last June, the high temperature dropped below 90 only once, and 22 days had temperatures over 100. The hottest day was June 27, when mercury climbed to 113 degrees.

June is traditionally a hot month, with an average high temperature of 99 degrees on June 14. The high for this date was in 1939, when 109 was recorded. The average minimum temperature for June 14 is 66. The highest minimum for this date is 80, recorded in 1953, and the low was 49 in 1979.

Much of the persistent cloud cover that has brought showers and thunderstorms to Texas over the weekend has dissipated, with a weak cool front moving in behind, the Associated Press reported today.

Humidity remains high across many sections of the state following rains, which totaled more than an inch in many areas.

Winds are light and northerly.

Remnants of thunderstorm activity in Central Texas have brought considerable cloudiness to northern sections of the state.

Early-morning temperatures today were generally in the upper 50s and lower 70s. It was 56 degrees at Amarillo, 60 at Lubbock, 64 at Midland and 68 at San Angelo.

Moisture overrunning air to the north of the front brought rainfall and thunderstorm activity to Northeast Texas on Sunday evening. But the precipitation subsided before midnight.

Daytime highs through Tuesday should range from the 80s to 90s, with readings in the century mark along the Rio Grande and in far South Texas.

The National Weather Service posted an advisory for wind gusts on area lakes.
 

Hospital board to hear annual audit report


PECOS, June,14, 1999--Reeves County Hospital District directors will consider the annual audit in their regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the hospital classroom.

They will also appoint board members to committees, hear the monthly tax collector's report and consider a memo on policies, procedures and protocol.

Financial matters and removal of Pankaj Patel, M.D. from the medical staff completes the agenda.

LOTTO

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Saturday night: Winning numbers drawn: 11-16-47-14-03-26. Estimated jackpot: $7 million. Number matching six of six: O Matching five of six: 84. Prize: $1,509. Matching four of six: 4,634. Prize: $98. Matching three of six: 90,322. Prize: $3. Next Lotto Texas game: Wednesday night. Estimated jackpot: $10 million.

Obituaries

Billie Dearing

Billie Dearing, 77, died Saturday, June 12, 1999, at his residence in Pecos.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, which are incomplete.

Kendall Osborn

Kendall Osborn, 70, died Wednesday, June 9, 1999, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. Catherine Catholic Church, with burial in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery, directed by Martinez Funeral Home.

Rosary will be at 7 p.m. today in Martinez Funeral Home chapel.

Mr. Osborn was born July 6, 1928, in Idalou and had lived in Pecos 30 years. He worked for the Texas Highway Department for 30 years, was World War II Navy veteran and a Catholic.

Survivors include two daughters, Ann Suttee of Moore, Okla., and Jean Osborn Holcomb of Oklahoma City; one brother, Glen Osborn of Midland; one sister, Russellyn Gideon of Midland; six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.

WEATHER

PECOS, June,14, 1999--High Sunday 85; low last night 66. Rainfall .11 inch Friday .05 today. June rainfall .26 inch. Year-to-date 1.50 inches. Weekend high temperatures, 103 Friday, 82 Saturday. Lows 69 and 63. Record high for this date, 109 in 1939. Record low 49 in 1979. Precipitation .46 in 1944. Forecast for tonight, partly cloudy. Low 55-60. East wind 5-10 mph. Tuesday, partly cloudy. High 80 85. Southeast wind 5 15 mph.



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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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