Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, August 24, 1999
Commissioners expand alcohol, drug test policy
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Aug. 24, 1999 -- Alcohol and drug tests will be given to Reeves
County employees at random, following a proposal outlined by a company
that already tests some of the employees in the county.
Lennel Roach, with Midland-based Allied Compliance, outlined the policy
and procedures in alcohol and drug testing at the regular Reeves County
Commissioners Court meeting held Monday morning.
Roach and her company already administer the drug tests to Reeves County
Road and Bridge Department employees, and will now extend their services
to include all of the county employees.
Roach told commissioners that her group provides drug testing for other
counties as well.
"We look for five specific drugs, cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines,
methanol, (opium, heroin) and clycocotone," said Roach.
The company goes by federal guidelines and is accredited with the national
Random testing at the different Reeves County facilities will be done
by computer. "In other words the computer is the one who comes up with
the name and this will be done quarterly," she said.
"Each name will be eligible to be tested at any time," she said.
The program picks out a number, a social security number and that's
how we identify it, according to Roach.
She said the county should test 30 percent of their employees annually.
"Doing less than 30 percent doesn't make enough of an impact to deter employees
from using illegal drugs," according to Roach.
"One name might come up four times in a year," in the random testing
procedure, she added.
Employees will have to sign the new drug and alcohol policy upon their
The company will have a list and a report, and the results will come
directly to Reeves County. "Everything will be very confidential and we'll
make sure the testing is done accurately and that it not be tampered with,"
Test for alcohol, similar to those mandated by the U.S. Department of
Transportation, involve a group of less than 30 percent of all workers,
Alcohol testing was suggested to go by the same limits used by other
counties. "Above a 1.02 reading of alcohol, we suggest the employee be
taken off the job for at least 24 hours," said Roach. "If it's 1.04 level,
it's a level to be considered for termination."
This will depend on how the policy is set up, though, she said.
"It needs to be written in your policy and we've got to remember that
alcohol is legal," she said.
The county attorney will assist in drawing up the proper policy on drug
and alcohol testing procedure.
"What they do on their own time is their business, but let's say, if
they've been drinking about four hours prior to coming in to work we might
get some positive results," she said.
Negative results on the tests are in within 24 hours and 72 if the tests
require further observation.
"If it turns up something positive, we test it further and it might
not always be an illegal drug," said Roach. "If we find something, we do
further testing to determine what it is, then it will take up to 72 hours
to get the positive, accurate results back."
Some prescription medication may provide positive readings on a test,
according to Roach.
Also, employees will not be warned when they will be subjected to testing,
according to Roach.
"There are products out on the market that can adulterate the tests,
or the employee might be able to provide another specimen, not their own,"
Random testing will make sure that neither of these situations arises.
"When they come to collect a specimen, the employee has to be ready to
give one," Roach said. "No prior notice will be given," she said.
Coming onto the site will also save some money, according to Roach.
"We prefer that you send in three or four at a time, so that we can
have them in and out fast and back to work," said Roach.
Reeves County Detention Center Warden Rudy Franco said that there are
many reasons for drug testing. "We have in place probable cause in the
employee's manual," said Franco.
In view of some recent events, random drug testing is certainly needed
at the facility, according to Franco.
"The fee schedule looks reasonable and if we have probable cause, it's
important to follow up," said Franco. "Thirty percent randomly is a good
percentage and we're asking that our employees volunteer."
Franco said they are asking the detention center attorney to draft a
sample of the policy to be looked at and agreed upon. "There are many reasons
for this testing and especially since the situation where we deal with
inmates," he said.
"I'm looking forward to putting a policy like this and hope they do
approve it." said Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez. "This is something
that is needed to ensure the safety of everyone."
Trans Pecos Task Force Commander Gary Richards also agreed with the
new drug and alcohol policy and said the members of the task force are
also subject to be tested.
"It will be a great benefit to everyone," said assistant commander Jim
Iraan bank owner buys Security State
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Aug. 24, 1999 -- The Board of Directors of Security State Bank
of Pecos announced today that the bank has entered into an agreement to
be acquired by TransPecos Financial Corporation.
Dudley Montgomery, Chairman of Security State Bank of Pecos said, "We
are extremely pleased to have TransPecos as the buyer. They know banking
and West Texas."
TransPecos Financial Corp. already owns Iraan State Bank. At the announcement
Pat Kennedy, chairman of TransPecos said that, "A new ownership will mean
a continuation of the existing management along with the quality of service
the citizens of Pecos have come to expect.
"We want to do business with families and businesses. We want to actively
participate in the growth of the region by focusing on the needs of our
customers," Kennedy said. "We intend to do this through active lending
to small businesses and agri-businesses, along with personal, auto and
home mortgage loans."
Jim Pattee, member of the board and chairman of the independent board
committee, who led a six-month long search for a buyer for the bank said,
"I am very pleased with the board's choice - which was unanimous. Not only
was Mr. Kennedy the high bidder, but he and his organization have exhibited
integrity and credibility. We welcome them to Security State Bank and this
community. These are good business men who have already made a commitment
to West Texas and its growth."
Montgomery said he will stay with the bank and Kennedy expressed his
enthusiasm about working with him. "We are very fortunate to have the expertise
of Dudley. He has a great reputation for service and trust and has built
a wonderful customer base over the past 40 years with Security State,"
"Security State has one of the few Trust/Investment Departments in West
Texas and I look forward to continue building upon these relationships
in the coming years," said Montgomery.
Kennedy also expressed confidence in the bank's 30-plus employees. "The
people make this bank what it is. We are extremely pleased to have such
a qualified group of employees. It's clear their number one goal is taking
care of the customer."
"Community banking is not just another business; it's a public trust"
Kennedy said. "The community banker has a high duty to the customer and
also a duty to be a leader in promoting the welfare of the community. We
pledge to take these obligations seriously."
Kennedy, a San Antonio lawyer, has specialized in banking throughout
his professional career.
Asked why he chose to buy West Texas banks, Kennedy said that his enormous
interest in Texas history made him aware that this area was once part of
Bexar County (San Antonio). His family has lived in San Antonio since the
"I am still married to my first bride and have four children," Kennedy
said. The only daughter is 17, and the boys' ages range down to 11.
Kennedy and Joe Keese will join the SSB board of directors. Keese has
been in the banking business 25 years, getting his start in Houston. He
has two teenage sons.
Keese said the sale of the bank is subject to shareholder and regulatory
approval. Proxy materials and instructions for all shareholders will be
sent within the next several weeks.
As of June 30, 1999, Security State Bank of Pecos had total assets of
$72 million and stockholders' equity of $9.5 million.
Officials say local 911 still needs help
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Aug. 24, 1999 -- Paula Conner waited for what seemed like forever
early Sunday morning after calling 9-1-1 to summon an ambulance for a cut
and bleeding man standing at her back door.
After explaining who she was and that there was an injured man at her
back door, Conner gave the 9-1-1 dispatcher the address assigned to her
"I was extremely surprised when she told me they didn't have that address
on record, even though the number is posted on a blue and yellow sign at
my front gate," Conner said.
After giving directions to her residence, Conner waited about 30 minutes
before the ambulance arrived, she said.
Police Chief Clay McKinney said that records show the ambulance crew
responded in eight minutes, and it took them six minutes to get to the
"It seems longer when you are waiting," he said.
But he admitted the 9-1-1 system is not complete. Not only are some
rural addresses missing from the database, a map of the county showing
all residences is not yet in the system.
Lack of funding and the death of county road administrator Mack Ham
five years ago have slowed input of rural addresses into the 9-1-1 system's
computer, said Harvey Reeves, Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission
"They got started way back there and the guy (Ham) was doing a real
good job, then he got killed in a wreck and they had to start all over,"
PBRPC gave Reeves County some added funding, and Ham's replacement,
Russ Salcido, has continued to assign addresses and install signs.
Once the addresses are assigned, residents are notified, and they are
to return a card with complete information to be input into the computer,
said Diane Tersero, 9-1-1 supervisor for the Pecos Police Department.
Some cards are returned without complete directions to the residence,
and that information has to be obtained before it can be input by GTE,
which maintains the computers, Tersero said.
Numerous errors have occurred, and it takes time to correct them. The
staff works on 9-1-1 in addition to their regular duties, she said.
Reeves said that GTE has had some computer problems in areas where they
bought out a small telephone company, such as the Contel system in Pecos
"I would imagine that's probably one of the reasons," Reeves said.
Andrews County is about complete, but Reeves County is not, because
they got behind, he said.
"We probably have more errors in Reeves than in any of the other counties,"
Charles Watkins, public relations officer for GTE, said he is not aware
of any problems and has had no such indication from PBRPC.
City budget won't require tax increase
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Aug. 24, 1999 -- Holding expenses to a minimum, the Pecos City
Council on Tuesday made final cuts to the proposed 1999-2000 budget that
will not require a tax rate increase.
"We have to decide if we want to get a balanced budget," said councilman
Johnny Terrazas. "If we aren't willing to cut, we need to consider a tax
increase. It is tough for everybody. One cent isn't going to do us any
"I hate to think about a tax increase," said City Manager Kenneth Neal.
"We promised no tax increase before the sales tax election."
Because voters agreed to divert 1/4 cent of the city sales tax to economic
development, the city lost $127,000 in annual revenue.
Finance officer Steve McCormick said that this year's expenses have
been below projections, and the general fund's budgeted $521,000 deficit
has not materialized.
"We are doing pretty doggone good," he said.
Terrazas said that departments have done a good job cutting back and
have sacrificed new vehicle purchases to make that possible.
"We are going to re-educate ourselves into saving money," said councilman
Ricky Herrera. Employees need to realize that if they don't save money,
their job could be cut, he added.
Although the council cut $147,800 from the already-lean proposed budget,
a deficit of $574,979 remained.
Councilman Danny Rodriguez proposed that City Manager Kenneth Neal approve
all purchase orders in the coming year and that the council evaluate the
progress in six months.
Neal said that approving all the purchase orders would put a burden
on him and slow down the process.
Despite the deep cuts, the council agreed to a 3 percent wage and salary
increase for employees as merited.
McCormick said that payroll is about 45 percent of the budget. However,
since not all salary increases will begin the first month of the fiscal
year, the amount budgeted for salaries will not all be spent.
Armando Gil, director of parks, health and emergency management, said
that utilities would cost less if employees would turn off air conditioning
and lights when a building is not in use.
Some air conditioners are left on around the clock, he said.
Citizens can see a copy of the proposed budget in the office of city
secretary at City Hall.
Suspect jailed in alleged bomb scheme
By RICHARD BENKE
Associated Press Writer
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Canadian man was accused of plotting to bomb the
trans-Alaska oil pipeline on New Year's Day, allegedly devising the scheme
in order to reap windfall profits when oil prices spiked upward.
"The reason he was doing it wasn't for any political or ideological
terrorism. It was in furtherance of a fraudulent scheme," Larry Bettendorf,
an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said Monday.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Alfred Heinz Reumayr on Aug.
18 in British Columbia, and the extradition process to return Reumayr to
the United States has begun, Bettendorf said. The arrest was announced
last week but few details of the accusations were disclosed.
The date the plot was to be carried out, Jan. 1, was selected to coincide
with the expected problems resulting from the Y2K computer bug, authorities
said. The date would provide a "multiplier effect I'm expecting from the
whole millennium effect," the affidavit quoted Reumayr as saying.
The arrest was made possible by an Albuquerque-based informant who met
Reumayr while the suspect was serving time in a Texas prison for mail fraud
and violation of probation.
The ATF said Reumayr, 50, intended to buy up oil futures, then detonate
14 bombs and destroy the pipeline. The informant, whose name was withheld,
was supposed to set the bombs, Bettendorf said.
The arrest warrant charges Reumayr, of New Westminster, near Vancouver,
British Columbia, with attempting to bomb the pipeline and aiding and abetting
in the attempted bombing. Bettendorf said each count carries a possible
20-year prison term.
"We're just glad that the system worked and that the fellow was arrested,"
said Jennifer Ruys, spokeswoman for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.
The informant approached the ATF with word of the alleged plot in May
1998, authorities said. Reumayr said he needed explosives, equipment and
a pilot, the affidavit said. Among items mentioned were fuse igniters,
a Claymore mine, an anti-personnel mine, an impact fragmentation grenade,
35 pounds of military TNT, C-4 explosives, blasting caps, and three machine
guns, it said.
The ATF prepared a photograph of materials that was forwarded to Reumayr.
By June 1999, the informant received a communique identifying three
Trans-Alaska Pipeline targets — Thompson Pass north of Valdez, Tazlina
River and Tanana River.
Suspect enters guilty plea in coke, cash seizure
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Aug. 24, 1999 -- Evigael (Israel) Navarette pleaded guilty this
morning in federal court to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Parras said that he did not offer Navarette
a plea agreement, and he entered a plea to the indictment.
Navarette, 41, of 1035 Rancho Road, was arrested by Pecos Police June
6 on a probation violation. Officers found more than 1/2 ounce of cocaine
in his possession, said investigator Paul Deishler. They also confiscated
$17,500 that was believed to be connected to a drug transaction.
Police suspect Navarette to be one of the organizers of a drug-smuggling
Parras said that a federal agency is assisting the local officers in
"Any time a federal agency is involved, there is a big potential for
federal charges," he said.
Youth commission takes applications
PECOS, Aug. 24, 1999 -- Applications are being taken from students
who would like to become part of the Pecos Youth Advisory Commission for
the fiscal year 1999-2000.
City Secretary Geneva Martinez said that the commission's purpose is
to assist in minimizing community problems relating to youth and to encourage
the positive growth and development of youth by involving them in healthy,
enlightening, empowering, social, cultural and recreational activities
that are drug and alcohol free.
Any student in grades 7-12 may apply by the Sept. 13 deadline. For more
information call Martinez at 445-2421.
AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Cash 5 drawing Monday night: Winning numbers
drawn: 9-17-21-28-30. Number matching five of five: 3. Prize per winner:
$25,878. Winning tickets sold in: Krum, San Antonio, Wortham. Matching
four of five: 276. Prize: $421.
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery,
in order: 6-4-2 (six, four, two)
PECOS, Aug. 24, 1999 -- High Monday 106; low last night 70. Rainfall .07
in SW Pecos, .88 at Texas A&M Research Station. Tonight, mostly cloudy
with a chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low near 70. Southeast wind
5-10 mph. Chance of rain 30 percent. Wednesday, partly cloudy with a slight
chance of showers or thunderstorms. High in the lower 90s. Southeast wind
5-15 mph. chance of rain 20 percent. Extended forecast, Wednesday night,
partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low near
70. Thursday through Saturday, partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers
or thunderstorms. Lows near 70. Highs in the 90s.
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