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Monday, September 16, 1996

CCRC looking at service cuts in 1997 budget

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 16, 1996 - A preliminary budget proposal for the
Community Council of Reeves County was heard during this morning's
community council meeting, and officials say the amount given to the
local organization will require some cuts be made.

"I spoke to Jesse Mitchell, the regional director, and he did say that
we should be getting about five or six percent more than what is noted
here," CCRC Director of Special Services Bertha Meierhoff said the
budget presented today.

Meierhoff and Olga Contreras worked on the budget and have come up with
a preliminary figure of $95,996 for fiscal 1997. This total comes from
the community services block grant for the 1997 planning budget.

"This is the money we've been allotted to work with," said Meierhoff.

Meierhoff told the group that a lot of cutbacks were needed in order to
work with this figure.

"This comes from the expenses. Expenses are up this year and because of
the cost of living," said Meierhoff. "Everything is just getting more
expensive," she said.

"We had planned for five percent raises for everyone, but that won't
happen because we are having to cut back on everything," said Meierhoff.

In personnel, $67,385 was allotted, with another $8,155 for fringe
benefits. Travel expenses were put at $2,800, supplies, $1,000, and
contractual fees at $12,776.

"We had wanted to purchase a new computer, but we had to put zero on
that item," said Meierhoff.

"Will you be able to live with this amount?" asked council member Linda

"Well, we'll just have to, unless they give us a little bit more," said

She also outlined the many programs the council provides throughout the
year, including the commodity distributions, the latest of which was
held last Friday.

"We're providing commodities for about 400 right now," she said. "This
program has really grown, and we're doing really well with it."

The CCRC's Kermit services currently provide commodities for about 200,
a figure up from 140, while in Monahans the CCRC serves about 200, a
number up from 150, according to Meierhoff.

"The guidelines have gone up, which is the reason we providing for more
families, because of the (rising) cost of living," she added.

Meierhoff also said, "The summer meals program went really well also,
and the children really enjoy it."

"We're hoping to open a program like this in Wink and hopefully
Barstow," said Yvonne Martin. "It's a really good program."

Midland drug ring boss gets 41-year prison term

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 16, 1996 - Citing "morals of an alley cat," Senior
Judge Lucius Bunton on Friday sentenced convicted drug lord Pablo
Salinas Brito of Midland to 41 years in federal prison.

"We don't need people like Pablo Brito free to run gangs to bring this
horrible controlled substance into our towns and cities and foist it off
on young people so they can feel a little bit better," Judge Bunton told
Brito as he handed down a 492-month sentence for continuing criminal
enterprise and conspiracy to import marijuana.

Punishment for subsequent counts of the 15-count indictment is to run
concurrently with the first two counts.

They are 480 months for three counts of possessing marijuana with intent
to distribute; 250 months for money laundering and 60 months for one
count of possessing with intent to distribute marijuana.

When released from prison, Brito will be on supervised release for five

While Judge Bunton imposed no fine due to statements that Mrs. Brito and
her three children are destitute, he said, "Where the money went that
you made, God only knows. I am quite certain your wife saw very little
of this because of your lifestyle. You certainly weren't thinking of
your kids when you had marijuana at your house."

Brito had nothing to say for himself before sentencing, but asked his
attorney, Tom Morgan, to speak for him.

Morgan quoted from several letters written to the court by Brito family
members asking for leniency, including one from the defendant's
12-year-old daughter, who was present in the courtroom along with her
mother and two younger brothers.

She said the 6-year-old "cries a lot for my Dad."

"He has numerous family, friends and in-laws," Morgan said. "...He is a
hard worker, good roofer. The beautiful thing, he has such a superb
relationship with family."

Brito, four of his brothers and several other men were convicted of
operating a drug ring that smuggled tons of marijuana into the United
States from Mexico in 1995.

He was the only one sentenced Friday. One of his brothers was to be
sentenced at noon today, and three others and a co-defendant at noon

Ex-Head Start teacher aides settle suit

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Staff Writer
PECOS, September 16, 1996 - Four former teacher aides for the Pecos Head
Start program operated by the Community Council of Reeves County won an
out-of-court settlement for their alleged wrongful discharge.

Susie Mendoza Saenz, Teresa Carreon, Sylvia Vasquez Mendoza and Gloria
Lujan Jones agreed to accept $12,000 each from the community council's
liability insurance company, said Linda Clark, CCRC president.

Steve Hershberger, attorney for the four plaintiffs, confirmed today
that a settlement was reached, but said he has not yet received a check
in payment of the claim.

The suit was removed from 143rd District Court to the Pecos Division of
federal court on motion by defendants.

Plaintiffs claimed their employment with CCRC was terminated in 1995
because they filed for unemployment compensation when laid off for the

Executive Director Yvonne Martin had told the aides they would be
re-hired when the new school term began, the petition alleges. But after
they filed for unemplyment compensation, she fired them in retaliation,
they said.

Martin declined to return telephone calls to her office regarding the

Area's new U.S. magistrate

pays first official local visit

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 16, 1996 - Stewart Platt made his first visit to Pecos
today after taking the oath of office Wednesday as U.S. Magistrate Judge
for the Pecos and Midland-Odessa divisions.

With his secretary, Dwendy Huff, Judge Platt attended jury selection for
three civil trials in Senior Judge Lucius Bunton's court. Huff is
working with an interior decorator to choose furnishings for the
magistrate chamber's outer office, he said.

"We will make a list of furniture we need," said Judge Platt. "The
administrative office lets us buy things when we first take office. We
have some real nice furniture, but can use additional chairs."

The clerk's office is providing computer equipment for his chambers, so
the staff will be able to accompany him to Pecos each week and work on
cases while they are here.

Most of his work in Pecos will be initial appearances for suspects
recently arrested, detention and preliminary hearings on criminal felony
cases, as well as trials in misdemeanor cases.

While the magistrate judge may handle civil pre-trial matters referred
by the district judge and may try civil cases with consent of all
parties, Judge Platt expects to have few such cases in Pecos.

"Judge Bunton is pretty much `hands on,'" Platt said. "He indicated he
will only delegate discovery issues. He moves his docket rapidly."

Criminal matters can be delegated to the magistrate for recommendations,
but the district judge makes the final decision.

"A lot of them are starting to delegate, but it is up to the individual
district judge," Platt said. "Some delegate jury selection. I doubt I
would do that, because you get the feel for the case during jury

Platt knows both criminal and civil procedure, with a background of
seven years in private practice and 10 as a prosecutor.

He held his first initial appearance as magistrate in Midland Thursday,
and another suspect was arrested Friday evening, he said.

District Judge Royal Furgeson has tentatively set formal investiture
ceremonies for Judge Platt for Oct. 18 in both Pecos and Midland.

In the meantime, the Pecos Division's own assistant U.S. attorney is
expected to move into his new position Oct. 1.

Jim Blankenship, an AUSA in Austin who formerly worked out of the
Midland office, plans to move to Alpine, where many of the Pecos cases
originate. He is well known and liked in this area.

Sunday fire destoys home in SW Pecos

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Staff Writer

Pecos fire units have made three trips in the past 24 hours to the site
of a fire that completely destroyed a Lindsay Addition house.

A 911 call reported the fire in the vacant building, located in the
5400 block of Chinati Road, of the subdivision on the southwest side of
Pecos, about 3:15 p.m. Sunday.

Firefighters were unable to save the home, and units were dispatched to
the site exactly three hours later when flames rekindled from hot spots
underneath the rubble, said Fire Chief Doug Cox.

The last trip out to the site was made earlier today, just before 10
a.m. Cox said the small fire erupted from more heated areas of the
burned building.

A neighborhood resident said the house was not occupied by anyone.


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A study of bass by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department that was in
part responsible for the plan to restock Balmorhea Lake was conducted to
gain an understanding of why some bass are harder to catch than others.
A story in Thursday's Enterprise incorrectly stated that the
theory was derived from the study.
The study did reveal that the native Texas Large Mouth Bass provided for
the highest catch rates, while its Florida cousin can grow larger and
are much harder to catch.
The department is beginning a program that will provide both types of
bass in one location, but keep them from breeding with each other. A
hybrid of the two was not developed, as stated in last week's story.
In this way fishermen will have two types of bass with two different
desirable traits.
TPWD Fisheries Research Biologist Gary P. Garrett said Balmorhea Lake
could be the premiere lake for this program and gain state and national
attention for this improved fishing opportunity.


Aletta Nunnally

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Aletta Mae Koerner Nunnally, 72, died Thursday, Sept. 12 at the Pecos
Nursing Home.
A chapel service is scheduled for Tuesday at Huber-Benson Funeral Home
Chapel in El Reno, Okla. at 2 p.m. with burial at El Reno Cemetery.
She was born Nov. 7, 1923 in El Reno, Okla., was a housewife and a
Methodist. She had lived in Pecos for four years and was a lifetime
resident of El Reno.
Survivors include four sons, Herman Steen of Pecos, Kenneth Steen of
Covina, Calif., Donald Nunnally of Alto Loma, Calif., Danny Nunnally of
Fort Worth; one brother, Robert Koerner of Torrance, Calif.; one sister,
Dorothy Shaffer of Oklahoma City, Okla. and 18 grandchildren.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Estella Rodriguez

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Services are incomplete for Estella Rodriguez, 52, of Pecos, who died
Sunday, Sept. 15 at St. Mary's Hospital in Lubbock.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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PECOS, September 16, 1996 - High Sunday 84, low last night 54. Weekend
rainfall .62 inch. September rainfall 2.09 inches. Year-to-date 10.03
inches. Tonight, clear. Low in the upper 50s. Light wind. Tuesday,
partly cloudy. High 85-90. South wind 5-15 mph.
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
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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