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Thursday, October 24, 1996
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Mayor Dot Stafford presented Kathy Painter and Amy Wilson a proclamation
making today "Teacher of the Year Day" in honor of their selection as
teachers of the year in Region 18.
Lydia Prieto submitted the 1996 tax rolls, showing $817,880 billed to
taxpayers on behalf of the city.
Fur flew when the council considered Barstow's dog problem at the
request of the Barstow City Council.
Councilman Danny Rodriguez proposed having the Pecos animal control
officer, Carmen Mendoza, work in Barstow part time. But Mendoza said she
has neither the time nor the space in the animal shelter for Barstow's
Mendoza said that Kevin Coker, who has authority over rabies for the
Texas Department of Health, was in Pecos Wednesday to check the shelter.
He suggested Barstow build their own kennel, she said.
Abram Flores, Barstow mayor, said the city does not have funds to create
their own kennel.
"We need help right now with stray dogs," he said. "The county is
looking into doing something, but I am not sure it will help."
Police Chief Troy Moore said that James Henderson worked part-time for
the city in the past, and he would be willing to help Barstow one
Saturday a month. However, he is not certified and would have to work
under someone who is.
Mendoza said that Barstow is required to have a rabies authority.
"Something already happened; that's why they are here," she said. "Coker
said the people they should be talking to is the county."
Julian Florez, Ward County Commissioner for Precinct 1, said the county
cut the animal control officer from the budget and will not be able to
re-instate it immediately.
"I have been talking to the commissioners and the judge and we are
trying to set up a program, but it can't be implemented until 1998,"
Florez said. "The (county) dog catcher position was done away with, but
now they are seeing a need for it."
In the meantime, Pecos residents are dumping their unwanted pets in
Barstow, and a rabies problem has developed, said Jo Allgood, Barstow
Rodriguez made a motion to hire Henderson part-time until Barstow has
the situation under control.
"Where are you proposing on putting the dogs?" asked Mendoza. "My
shelter is not approved for an observation pen...The person you will be
hiring, you will need money to buy equipment - a truck - it is going to
take money. How do they propose to pay?"
Rodriguez said that Dr. Ronald Box has kennels that could be used for
the overflow, but it will be necessary for Henderson to work under
Mendoza said it only takes three days to get certified.
"The person can be hired for Barstow, and they can take the test right
away. But they will need equipment, and that takes money," she said.
"I think all these other things can be taken care of, but right now they
don't have certification," Rodriguez said. "We have a facility and we
can help out our neighbors. Surely Henderson can borrow a pickup from
the city for one day."
His motion to enter into a local agreement with Barstow passed
unanimously. He and Mayor Florez will meet with City Attorney Scott
Johnson Tuesday to work out the agreement.
In other action, Mac McKinnon objected to a policy that will require
council pre-approval of any advertising not required by law, such as
He said that advertising that has a significant benefit to the general
population is authorized, despite past auditor's opinions to the
"We go through this every year," said McKinnon, «MDUL»Enterprise«MDNM»
publisher. "I have provided information. It is not illegal. Every town
does it. Monahans does it. They advertise the agenda for every meeting.
As a citizen and taxpayer, I think you should have communication with
Citing recent publications honoring firemen, working women and "Pecos at
Work," McKinnon said the city should support their employees by
purchasing space for their photos and other information.
Mayor Dot Stafford said she agrees to some extent, and individual
councilmen have contributed in the past to such publications.
"If we run an ad for the rodeo, do you think that's communicating with
the public?" asked Dr. Elvia Reynolds.
"Yes, it is showing we are behind it," McKinnon said. "It is important
that we all work together."
Ricky Herrera said he agrees, if there is a method for advertising being
done equally and fairly throughout the community. "But we got wrote up
on the audit."
McKinnon said he disagrees with the auditor, Dan Painter, and has told
Reynolds said the policy does not close out advertising, but requires
the council to approve it in advance.
City Manager Harry Nagel requested the policy because he does not want
to make the decisions, he said.
"You have watched over us and are very quick to point out where we are
wrong," said Randy Graham. "We have a auditor doing the same thing. We
are trying to stay in the bounds of the law."
"I think you need to ask for other opinions," McKinnon said. "Talk to
other cities. I have. They don't understand where the auditor is getting
this. They have never been written up. I don't want anyone to do
Rodriguez said the city needs more positive publicity and leaders need
to work as a team in promoting Pecos.
Johnson said there has been increased interest by the district attorney
in expenditures by governmental entities for purposes that either he or
the grand jury have some questions about.
"That's one thing we want to keep a close eye on. We certainly don't
want the D.A. to investigate," he said.
After unanimously adopting the policy, the council agreed to consider a
list of proposed advertising to be submitted by McKinnon for the coming
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That's what Pecos City Council members were told this morning, while
hearing reports about leaks in the city's sewer system and on test water
well drillings at Worsham Field southeast of town.
Engineer Frank Spencer and his assistant, Abidur Khan, reported on their
survey of the sewer system to determine what work needs to be done to
correct an excess of water flowing into the wastewater treatment plant.
After monitoring the water flow, checking manholes and injecting smoke
into sewers to track where it emerges, they determined many of the pipes
have separated and manholes are deteriorated.
Water is flowing into the sewer from rain and possibly from the shallow
water table, Spencer said.
The council approved his recommendation to hire a Houston firm to clean
out a section of sewer running under Third Street and run a television
camera inside the pipe to pinpoint problem areas.
Their charge for one week is $10,260. By having city water department
employees watch the process, the council can determine whether to
purchase additional equipment and let the employees do the remainder of
Octavio Garcia, utilities director, said the city would need to purchase
a vacuum pump, television camera and possibly other equipment at a cost
of $20,000 to $30,000.
After a review of hydrology reports on the Worsham water field, Ward
County water field and a proposed South Worsham field, the council
agreed to seek bids to drill up to four test wells in the eastern
section of the Worsham field.
Spencer said that test holes drilled in the past around a good well in
that area proved to be dry holes. But he did not rule out the
possibility that a good well or wells could be drilled there.
He estimated the cost for four wells at $30,000, which City Finance
Director Steve McCormick said is not budgeted.
Councilman Dr. Elvia Reynolds said he would prefer to look for more
water in the Worsham field than to spend grant money on the pipeline
from the Ward field, which is projected to go dry in four to six years.
Spencer said the council was considering a possible field near Kermit
that would utilize the Ward field line if developed.
He said grant monies to develop the South Worsham field may be available
later, and that field is projected to last 40 years.
The city was told two years ago it needed to find new water fields to
replace the existing Ward and Worsham fields, which are only projected
provide drinkable water through the year 2008.
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With a new local policy now in effect, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD
officials can now avoid admitting other school districts' problem
Board members voted unanimously last week, during their regular monthly
school board meeting, to pass Local Policy FD. It allows school
officials to disallow the admittance of students who have been expelled
by other school districts or were placed in an alternative education
Previously the policy only allowed the denial of admission to minor
students who have been expelled or placed in an alternative education
program and whose parents, guardian or legal custodian reside in
addresses different than that of the student within the district.
Under the new policy, minor students who have been placed on probation
or conditional release for delinquent conduct, or for conduct indicating
a need for supervision or following a criminal offense, can also be
denied admission into a P-B-T ISD school.
The policy also gives the superintendent the right to determine whether
a minor student residing in the district while living apart from a
parent or legal custodian is there for the primary purpose of
participating in extracurricular activities.
His decision can be appealed to the board of trustees under Local
Board President Linda Gholson said today that by law the district can
do what the policy stipulates, but a local policy needed to be in place
so that all district employees can understand that there is one, in
order to check on an incoming student's status.
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The complaint is the latest in an ongoing dispute between the drug task
force and district attorney John Stickels over the handling of drug
cases within the 143rd District.
PBDTF Narcotics Investigator Ernest Vanderleest, who resides in
Saragosa, said yesterday evening that he, "can't," work Reeves County,
which up until late Spring was in his jurisdiction.
Jack Brewer, assistant commander of the PBDTF, said today that under the
PBDTF Commander's instructions, Vanderleest is to only patrol Jeff
Davis, Presidio and Ector Counties, "or wherever we need him," and
restrain from activity within Reeves, Loving and Ward counties, which
make up the 143rd Judicial District.
"The present DA (Stickels) doesn't want us there," Brewer said, saying
Stickels will not prosecute drug cases ranging falling in the three
Stickels said earlier this year a ruling by an El Paso Appeals Court
panel limited the jurisdiction of the PBDTF to its home county (Ector),
and arrests made in other counties were not valid.
Stickels declined to seek a second four-year term as 143rd District
Attorney this past Spring. Randy Reynolds is running unopposed for the
position in the Nov. 5 general election.
Vanderleest said the seizures occurred during three incidents over the
past two weeks. In the first, on Oct. 12, he pulled over a mid-size,
1996 Dodge sedan in Jeff Davis County. Passengers were a black male
driver from Alabama and three black females.
The task force investigator refused to give the location of the arrest
so as not to publicly reveal his patrol route.
The driver gave Vanderleest permission to search his vehicle after the
task force's drug-sniffing dog, Crasch, altered the agent to $35,000 in
cash. The money was stored in plastic bags.
Vanderleest explained that the scent of narcotics can be transferred to
money and detected by a canine unit when there are large amounts of
He said that the man, who was not identified and not processed at the
Presidio County Jail, confessed that the money was, "drug proceeds."
The group was probably headed to El Paso to purchase narcotics, said
The second incident took place last Saturday, when Vanderleest seized
$75,000 in cash discovered in a hidden compartment of a truck camper
shell of a 1988 GMC pickup, which was also confiscated.
Again, Vanderleest's canine partner alerted the agent to the stash.
Name of the Hispanic male and the location of the arrest were not given.
The truck was registered in Illinois, said Vanderleest.
The suspect signed a waiver of interest on the property, which the PBDTF
investigator explained he is stating, "that he doesn't have anything to
do with it." The man was then released, pending an investigation.
On Tuesday, Vanderleest arrested Ezequiel Lorenzo Valencia, 26, of
Odessa, on Department of Public Safety warrants.
Upon an inventory search of his 1985 Buick Riviera the canine unit
directed officials to a hidden compartment which contained $7,000 in
cash. Both the money and vehicle were seized.
Valencia also signed a waiver of interest but was detained on his DPS
Vanderleest said that anytime a hidden compartment is discovered within
a vehicle, authorities have the right to seize it, "because they're
(compartments) are especially constructed for moving narcotics."
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The tour was dubbed the 1996 Texas Democratic Victory Bus Caravan, which
coincides with the first full week of early voting.
The local reception was set up by local Democratic elected officials,
who put together a barbecue luncheon at the Pecos Senior Center for the
early afternoon rally.
The caravan was organized by Francisco Castillo of Brownsville, who
recruited several Cameron County elected officials for the five-day
trek, scheduled to end in Dallas.
Joining the group was Assistant Secretary - Management and Chief
Financial Officer George Munoz of the United States Treasury Department.
Just before boarding the bus, Munoz said he personally met with
President Clinton just before coming to Texas who said, "we need to
reach out and make sure we got the message out."
Munoz said the message, "is that there is a right way and a wrong way
to balance the budget," and the swift manner in which Republicans are
proposing to do this is, "without regard for who it hurts."
In his presentation Munoz addressed Clinton's opposition to making
English the official language.
"It didn't take long for Clinton to see, anything that puts people down
is not good politics," Munoz said.
"I came here," from Washington said Munoz, "to say thank you Texans for
making Texas a great state," and extended greetings from the President
and Vice President Al Gore.
Identifying himself as, "an old friend of local school trustee Frank
Perea," Pharr bondsman and caravan passenger Juan Maldonado said Perea,
"taught me West Texas politics."
He commended West Texas hospitality, which he said was, "de lo mejor
(one of the best)," and introduced other Democratic officials joining
him on the bus tour.
They included Cameron County Clerk Joe Rivera; Rudy Villareal Alamo
Mayor, Cameron County Justice of the Peace Tony Torres; legal council
for Tejano Democrats Raul Rodriguez; President of Democratic Party Club
of Cameron County Connie Sainez; Director of Hispanic Outreach for the
Clinton-Gore campaign Ken Mireles; and Jose Vasquez of the U.S.
Nick Villareal and his conjunto band joined officials for the trip.
"We're now in the fifth (day of early voting); vote today, vote early,"
said Maldonado. He urged attendants to, "punch #12," a straight
Democratic vote, on the ballot for the Nov. 5 general election.
Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo took the podium and recognized county
officials present for the luncheon, along with those responsible for
putting the event together.
Those in attendance were Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez, Treasurer
Linda Clark, Attorney Bill Weinacht, Clerk Diane Florez and Commissioner
Precinct 3 Herman Tarin. Also present was Marfa Sheriff Abe Gonzales and
former Pecosite Dario Prieto of the U.S. Health Service, Galindo pointed
Galindo also recognized Ward County Commissioner Precinct 1 Julian
Florez for his barbecuing efforts at the Senior Citizens Center..
Also part of the caravan was Senator Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville), who
Galindo introduced as, "a strong fighter for small businesses in the
Texas Senate, former teacher of South Texas and staunch advocate for
progress in Texas."
Lucio spoke of his experience in Ozona, Crockett County where his good
friend the county attorney was not allowed to golf the Ozona Country
Club course, which he said is known for its prejudicial policies.
"I was taught to be proud of my culture," said Lucio, "but to be more
proud to be an American," and denounced the Ozona Country Club policies.
"Who wants to golf in that rinky dink, jack rabbit infested golf course
anyway?" he said.
His message to Hispanics is, "to be role models and show by your
examples as Americans."
U.S. House Candidate for District 23, Charlie Jones (D-San Antonio)
urged, "we need to strengthen the bridge of opportunity that we've been
working to build."
A Vietnam veteran and descendant of Irish American and Mexican American
grandparents, Jones disparaged the, "incumbent (U.S.) Congress," for
cutting $100 billion from the Medicare/Medicaid program; $8.3 billion
from nutrition programs; $11 billion from the educational fund; the Head
Start program; $211 million from the veterans health delivery program.
In his native tongue he recalled an old phrase, "tell me who know and
I'll tell you who you are."
"We know who Mr. (Henry) Bonilla and Mr. (Phil) Gramm walk with," he
stated. Jones is challenging Bonilla (R-San Antonio) for the 23rd
District seat, while Gramm is facing Democrat Victor Morales in the Nov.
"I'm a simple fellow," he added, "I was brought up to believe in family,
community and the bread and butter issues," he continued. A vote for
him, he said, is a vote for your, "family, mother, brother, grandchild,
uncle, but most of all, it's for you."
After the reception Jones said, "people are seeing the issues and the
experiment from two years ago is coming to an end," referring to a
national effort to get Hispanic voters out to vote. "South Texas is
seeing a good, good turn out."
"Certainly Pecos is the window to West Pecos," he added, "what happens
in Pecos, happens in West Texas," urging local voters to visit their
In addition to Pecos, the caravan also made stops in Ozona, Fort
Stockton, Odessa and Lubbock on Wednesday.
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Walter Kenneth Oren, 83, died Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Odessa Medical Center
Services are scheduled for Saturday at the Pecos Funeral Home Chapel
with burial at Fairview Cemetery.
He was born Aug. 14, 1913, in Memphis, Tx., was a Baptist and a retired
U.S. Postal employee.
Survivors include one son, Charles Martin Oren of San Angelo; four
daughters, Olyse Whitley and Anna B. Anderson of Alpine, Dolores Powell
of Hampton, Va., Theresa Oren of El Paso; one sister, Lula Faye
Singleton of Ruff Reddy, Calif., eight grandchildren and eight
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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High Wednesday 74, low last night 42. Tonight, mostly clear. Low near
40. Southwest wind 5-15 mph. Friday, mostly sunny. High 80-85. West to
southwest wind increasing to 20-30 mph and gusty.
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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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