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Monday, July 26, 1999

Census officials ask for help from county

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
PECOS, July 26, 1999 -- Census 2000 was the topic at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting and a representative was on hand to explain the procedure and talk about what is needed in Reeves County.

"Just in looking at the figures from the Census 1990, we missed about 250,000 Texans," said Charlene Romero Wertz.

Wertz told the group that Texas missed out on $1 billion a year in funding because of this.

"We need to take a closer look in 2000 and find out what it is we can do to make things better," she said.

Counties along the border and those with large low income populations have complained in the past about being under-counted in the census, which has been taken by the U.S. government every 10 years for the past two centuries. Wertz said that funding from the government is obtained from the census.

"Our job is to make sure everyone is accounted for and I will be working in this county to make sure that they are," said Wertz.

Wertz told the court that the Census Bureau need the help of the entire county in order to make sure the figures were right and that the county would receive the funding that they were entitled to.

Schools, city and hospital officials will be involved in making sure the Census count is up to date, according to Wertz.

Commissioners approved forming a committee to form a partnership with the Census. "The committee will then meet once a month, and maybe starting in February twice a month," said Wertz.

Forms will be available in different languages.

"You as an individual need to make sure you fill out this form, there will be a short form and a long form," said Wertz.

The appointments to the committee will be made next month and an orientation will be scheduled.

In other action, a Reeves County Library Advisory Board was approved during the morning session and a resolution was drawn up. "This is just to approve to form the board," said Reeves County Librarian Sally Perry.

The board will be appointed at the next meeting.

A vocation instructional services contract between Odessa College and the Reeves County Detention Center were approved. RCDC Warden Rudy Franco told the court that the program was installed with the phone systems revenues.

"We have training in horticulture, building trades and auto mechanics and it has been working out great," Franco said. "They've done an excellent job," he said.

"It has enhanced the RCDC and offered better opportunities," said Franco.

The court approved new pay for the three instructors in the amount of $23,000 a year.

"The money comes from the special projects fund, so it doesn't come out of the RCDC funds," said Franco.

In conjunction, commissioners agreed to have a Western Union agent at the facility. "We will receive a fee from each transaction, will save money and trips to the Western Union to pick up money for the prisoners," said Franco.

Franco told the court that it would be self-sustaining and sees no problem in getting it put in. "Our attorney has already looked it over and he sees no problem with it either," he said.

An agreement with West Texas Center for Mental Health Mental Retardation was approved along with an agreement with the American Cancer Society Texas Golf Pass contract.

Feds tout rise in border prosecutions

HOUSTON, July 26, 1999 (AP) Justice Department initiatives to close U.S.-Mexico smuggling routes spurred huge increases last year in the number of criminal cases filed in South Texas and across the Southwest.

Statistics from the U.S. Attorney's office for fiscal 1998 showed the prosecution of immigration crime in the Southern District of Texas climbed 93 percent over the previous year, the Houston Chronicle reported today.

And the trend extended across the Southwest, according to a study by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University which showed the number of immigration prosecutions jumping to 14,616 in fiscal 1998 nearly twice the number six years earlier.

Most of the 1,093 cases filed in South Texas fell into three categories: illegal entry into the United States from Mexico, illegal re-entry and immigrant smuggling, Mariela Melero, spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. But the prosecutions also included a sizable number of document and labor fraud cases, she said.

"What we're seeing is the result of our national border management strategy," Ms. Melero said. "We combined increased personnel and technology with an increased cooperation with other agencies to get control of our borders."
 
 

Pecos' cases rose after attorneys arrived

PECOS, July 26, 1999 -- An increase in manned patrols and electronic surveillance along the Texas-Mexico border has raised the number of criminal cases not only in the Southern District of Texas, but in the Western District as well, especially in the Pecos Division over the past four years.

But as much as anything involving equipment or manpower along the border, the increase in federal court personnel in Pecos has helped spur the sharp jump in cases, after neglect by federal officials in the mid-1990s led to a major dropoff in cases.

By the time the new Lucius D. Bunton III Federal Courthouse opened in December of 1995 prosecutions had fallen to the point that in April of that year not a single criminal case was filed in the Pecos Division, the largest geographic division in the United States. The division includes four border counties - Hudspeth, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Presidio and Brewster, covering over 300 miles along the Rio Grande from near Fort Hancock through the Big Bend area.

Reeves, Pecos, Ward and Winkler counties make up the rest of the division.

A report prepared by the U.S. District Clerk's office said only 54 criminal cases were filed in the Pecos Division for all of 1995, at the same time the new U.S. District Courthouse was being built to replace the 60-year-old structure two blocks to the west. The report also showed there was no U.S. Attorney assigned to the Pecos Division in 1994, even though the division had averaged 150 felony cases in previous years.

The low caseload both for 1994 when just 75 defendants were prosecuted and 1995, led to national news reports on both ABC and NBC questioning the need for both a new courthouse and a full-time judge and magistrate in the Pecos Division.

However, in the four years since the new $4 million building was opened, the division has been assigned three U.S. attorneys to handle criminal cases. The report said the number of defendants prosecuted here tripled from 1995 to 1996, and doubled again in 1997 to 328.

Last year, 421 defendants in 239 were prosecuted, and those numbers have almost been reached seven months into 1999. As of July 20, as the Pecos Division has handled 234 cases involving 324 defendants.

The report points out that the lack of any U.S. attorneys assigned to Pecos was a major reason for the drop in 1994 and 1995. Cases at that time were remanded to state court, where the caseload on the 83rd District grew to the point that a new jail had to be built in Presidio County and a new 394th District Court was created by the Texas Legislature to handle the case overload in the counties along the border.

Pecos, Balmorhea  requests review

PECOS, July 26, 1999 -- Pecos and Balmorhea will be among 17 area cities and counties seeking Texas Community Development funds on Thursday, when the Permian Basin Regional Review Committee meets to view applications for the 1999-2000 Texas Community Development Program.

The committee will meet starting at 9:30 a.m. in the conference room of the Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission, located at 2910 LaForce Blvd., next to Midland International Airport. The two cities will join the others, including Monahans, Wickett and Pecos County, in seeking a share of the $1,814,758 allocated to the local TCDP by the State of Texas.
 

LOTTO

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Saturday night:

Winning numbers drawn: 49-45-47-16-38-30. Estimated jackpot: $7 million. Number matching six of six: 0 Matching five of six: 73. Prize: $1,838. Matching four of six: 3,895. Prize: $124.

***

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Texas Million drawing Friday night:
Winning numbers drawn: 16-09-44-64. Number matching four of four in Group One: Zero. Number matching four of four in Group Two: Zero. Prize: $25,000. Number matching four of four in Group Three: Two. Prize: $10,000. Number matching three of four in any group: 407. Prize: $300.

***

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Friday night:
Winning numbers drawn: 8-26-28-30-38. Number matching five of five: 5. Prize per winner: $17,725. Matching four of five: 250. Prize: $532.

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Friday by the Texas Lottery, in order:
5-6-0 (five, six, zero)

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Saturday by the Texas Lottery, in order:
2-9-3 (two, nine, three)

Obituaries

Harry Clinton Jr.

PECOS, July 26, 1999 -- Harry Clinton Jr., 74, died Saturday, July 24, 1999, at Odessa Medical Center.

Services are scheduled for 10 a.m., Tuesday, July 27, at First Christian Church with Rev. Ernie Waggoner officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.

He was born April 23, 1925, in Marfa, was an Army veteran, who had served in World War II, a retired engineer assistant for Texas-New Mexico Power Co., a lifelong Pecos resident, a member of the First Christian Church and a member of the Masonic Lodge #736 and Elks Lodge #2036.

He was preceded in death by one daughter, Kimberly Clinton in 1957.

Survivors include his wife, Frances Clinton of Pecos; two sons, Robert Clinton of Roswell, N.M., and Steve Clinton of Midland; one sister, Stella Tinkler of Brownwood and three grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions be made to First Christian Church of Pecos or the Masonic Lodge #736.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
 

Jose Mata

PECOS, July 26, 1999 -- Jose "Maton" Mata, 59, died July 3, 1999, in Fresno, Calif.

Services were held July 7, at Clovis Cemetery.

He was born Feb. 18, 1940, in Pecos and had been employed by Sears and Roebuck for 30 years.

Mata was preceded in death by his parents, Andres and Micaela D. Mata and a sister, Norma C. Mata.

Survivors include his wife, Simona B. Mata of Clovis, Calif.; three daughters, Lorina M. Napoles of Fresno, Calif, Diane Mata and Marina M. Stuttle of Clovis, Calif.; his stepmother, Maria C. Mata of Pecos; eight brothers, Cruz D. Mata of San Jose, Calif, Julio D. Mata of Fresno, Ruben Carrasco of San Angelo, Ismael C. Mata of Odessa, Andres C. Mata, Jr. of Midland, Abel C. Mata of Grand Prairie, Tx., David C. Mata of Grand Prairie, Ruben C. Mata of Midland; six sisters, Ernestina N. Blurt of Amarillo, Maria M. Nevarez of Fresno, Candelaria M. Ornelas of Pecos, Eva Hernandez of Odessa, Rosalinda M. Payen of Pecos and Irene M. McClanahan of Burleson; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild and numerous nieces and nephews.
 

Weather

High Sunday 104, Low this morning 69. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low around 70. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday, partly cloudy. A less than 20 percent chance of afternoon showers or thunderstorms. High in the mid 90s. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Extended forecast, Tuesday night, partly cloudy with a chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low around 70. Wednesday through Friday, partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows around 70. Highs in the mid 90s.



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