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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, January 20, 2006

Hernandez seeks Pct. 4 spot in primary election

Conchita Hernandez has announced her candidacy for the office of Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 4 in the March 7 Democratic primary election.

She is married to Jorge Hernandez and the couple have two children, Jacqueline, 8 and Jorge Daniel, six years old.

Her parents are Oscar and Eva Muniz.

“I currently work at CellularOne and have for the past eight years,” said Hernandez. “I have always worked with the public and enjoy doing so,” she said.

Hernandez has a degree in Political Science and plans to attain her law degree in the future.

“I am seeking the county commissioner precinct 4 position and I plan to enter with an open mind, find out what can be done with what’s out there and find a solution to the existing problems,” said Hernandez.

Pecos is in need of so much that it is impossible to come right in already knowing what to do, according to Hernandez.

“I have always lived here, with the exception of the time I spent in college, and would like to see the economy as a whole improve,” said Hernandez.

Stock show participants down

The number of participants was down, but the total amount this year’s Reeves County Junior Livestock Show sale brought in was up from 2005 totals, bringing in about $68,000 from Saturday night’s auction, along with added money.

Cookie Canon, who compiled the sale list for the show, said the Saturday show by itself brought in $61,730, with the added money lifting the total to $68,000, about $6,000 above last year’s total.

“Every year it starts out we do the Grand Champion animal, but they don’t bring in what they should, because we don’t know how much money is out there,” Canon said. “So we bump them up to what they should be getting.”

“More kids made the sale last year than this year, but we were up in our sale total,” she added. “The community never ceases to come out for us.”

Canon added that since contestants can only have one animal at auction, some of the animals who were shown on Friday and earlier Saturday by multiple ribbon winners could not be part of the auction.

The Grand Champion lamb, shown by Mayle McElroy, sold for $1,200 to Cisco Ford, while the Grand Champion hog, shown by Mateo Tarango, was sold for $1,300 to Miller Steel and Pecos Animal Clinic. Chris Martinez’s Grand Champion goat sold for $500, to Al Gomez and J.J. Exum, while Zack Morton, who won Grand Champion in the commercial cattle division, opted to sell his Reserve Champion lamb instead on Saturday night, and it sold for $1,500 to a group of buyers, made up of Jake Morton and Wendy Griffin, Underwood Electric, Strickland Pump & Supply, Warren and Mary Smith, Don Huey Backhoe Service, Danny Rasberry, Sutton Pump & Supply, Midland Roustabout, Kenneth Felts, Pecos Physicians Network Associates and Pecos Feed and Supply.

The other Reserve Champions sales were in the goat division, where Adrienne Bagley received $700 from TransPecos Banks, and Marissa Tarango received the same amount from Miller Steel and Pecos Animal Clinic for her second place hog in Saturday’s show.

The other sale results are listed below:

Clay Teague, Duroc Hog Breed Champion, $650 by TransPecos Banks; Justin Hannsz, Yorkshire Hog Breed Champion, $600 by West Texas National Bank; Matt Martinez, Dark OPB Hog Breed Champion, $500 by Mike Harrison and Anderson Ranches; John Paul Gonzales, Duroc Hog Reserve Breed Champion, $700 by Clayton Williams Energy, Bevins Pump & Repair and Moore Trucking; Lauren Elliott, White OPB Hog Reserve Breed Champion, $550 by Bill & Betty Allen and Al Gomez; Mysela Alvarez, Cross Hog Reserve Breed Champion, $600 by Randy Graham & Family.

Derek Teague, 1st Light Commercial Beef, $1,500 by Billy Mac Jobe; Christopher Lease, 1st Class 1 Goat, $700 by Mrs. Loring Box, Costal Chemical, Pecos Animal Clinic and Armstrong Labs; Grabiel Salcido, 1st Class IV Goat, $600 by West Texas National Bank; Miranda Alvarez, 1st Light Hampshire Hog, $500 by TransPecos Banks; Brittany Quintana, 1st Light Yorkshire Hog, $500 by McCoy Building & Supply; Phillip Workman, 1st Light Cross Hog, $900 by West Texas National Bank; Matt Elliott 1st Medium Cross Hog, $600 by Colt Chevrolet; Rayann Box, 2nd Light Commercial Beef, $2,200 by Mrs. Loring Box and Louise Taylor; Michael Lee, 2nd Mediumwool Lamb, $600 by TransPecos Banks; Kelly Lease, 2nd Medium Mediumwool Lamb, $700 by Trans Pecos Dairy; Heath Armstrong, 2nd Class I Goat, $1,300 by Loyd & Carol Carson; Kendra Villanueva, 2nd Class V Goat, $600 by Reef Chemical and Donald and Cheryl Bippes; Joe Abel Rodriguez, 2nd Class VII Goat, $500 by Alamo-Kerley Gin, Lippe Air Conditioning and James Feed Store; Nathan Box, 2nd Light Hampshire Hog, $850 by Walker Wells Ranch; Josh Elliott, 2nd Medium Hampshire Hog, $550 by TransPecos Banks; Sterling Hannsz, 2nd Heavy Hampshire Hog, $650 by Pecos Cantaloupe; Haley Kington, 2nd Light Yorkshire Hog, $700 by TransPecos Banks; Bill Moody, 2nd Light Cross Hog, $1,200 by Pecos Insurance, Jim Ed Miller and Haynes Plumbing; Harlee Lozano, 2nd Medium Cross Hog, $600 by TransPecos Banks; Joel Madrid, 2nd Heavy-heavy Cross Hog, $900 by West Texas National Bank and Balmorhea Ranches.

Amber Cook, 3rd, Commercial Beef, $1,850 by Walker Wells Ranch and Pecos Animal Clinic; Trey Graham, 3rd Medium Mediumwool Lamb, $650 by A.B. Foster; Kebbeh Darpolar, 3rd Class I Goat, $700 by Linda Gholson; Teg Lozano, 3rd Class II Goat, $600 by TransPecos Banks; Marcus Muniz, 3rd Class IV Goat, $500 by Roddy Harrison; Adrian Muniz, 3rd Class VI Goat, $450 by TransPecos Banks; Imari Ornelas, 3rd Light Duroc Hog, $500 by Northside Café, Bell U-Storage and Hugh & Gail Box; Nathan McCormick, 3rd Dark OPB Hog, $600 by Wild Horse Pecan Farm; Ryan Woodruff, 3rd Light Cross Hog, $700 by Hollye Kington, Baeza Feed, Teri Barragan and Mary Lou Carrasco; Savannah Ewing, 3rd Medium Cross Hog, $550 by Kruse Energy Auctioneers and Steve & Dawn Taylor; Montgomery Miller, 3rd Heavy Cross Hog, $1,500 by Patty Montgomery. Mia Roman, 4th Heavy Cross Lamb, $600 by Victor’s Convenience Store, M/M Jack Hoffman, Joe & Ida Garcia and Barmore Plumbing; Anastasia Contreras, 4th Medium Mediumwool Lamb, $600 by Crider Dairy, M/M Richard Villanueva, Joy Lewis, Tara Williams, Ruben Fuentes and West Texas Gas-Alpine; Aeon Rayos, 4th Class I Goat, $700 by Rediger’s Pharmacy, Morman Feed, Bob & Peggy Walker, Bob Parks, Lois Roach and Candace Roach; Avery Weatherman, 4th Class IV Goat, $800 by West Texas Gas and Fisher Construction; Dakota Hegar, 4th Class V Goat, $700 by Roswell Livestock Auction; Victoria Salcido, 4th Class VI Goat, $650 by Duncan Disposal, Alpine, Marilyn Moore, Fred & Marsha Pierce and Capital Aggregates; Matt Lindemann, 4th Duroc Hog, $600 by Reeves County Feed & Supply and Pecos Co. Feed & Supply; Stephanie Lucas, 4th Medium Hampshire Hog, $650 by TransPecos Banks and Dudley Montgomery; Emily Rodriguez, 4th Dark OPB Hog, $700 by Taylor Farms; Justin Workman, 4th Light Cross Hog, $900 by West Texas National Bank; Ashley Lucas, 4th Medium Cross Hog, $800 by Colt Chevrolet; Bryce Deitiker, 4th Heavy Cross Hog, $650 by Trey & Ann Miller.

Ryan Mondragon, 5th Heavy Cross Lamb, $650 by Duke Outdoor Advertising; Jose Rodriguez, 5th Class II Goat, $550 by H Q Supply, Wildcat Production, Latson Parts & Equipment and NAPA-Pecos; Tye Hagar, 5th Class IV Goat, $700 by Pecos Well Service and Kyle Taylor; Josh Aguilar, 5th Class V Goat, $700 by TransPecos Banks; Brittany Alligood 5th Class VI Goat, $600 by Miller Steel; Maribel Rodriguez, 5th Class VII Goat, $600 by Robert d. Boyd and Luke Kenley; Casey Dutchover, 5th Duroc Hog, $675 by Crews Adams, Crider Dairy, Bob & Carol Bagley, Tres & Jody McElroy and Sheild-Cherry Canyon Ranch; Kenya Valenzuela, 5th Light Hampshire Hog, $600 by Ramona Cook Memorial Fund; Joshua Matta, 5th Medium Hampshire Hog, $700 by Jerry Moore, I-10 Station and Crider Dairy; Alexander Mendoza, 5th Light Yorkshire Hog, $700 by Desert Distributors, Jess Anthony, Dick Slack, Western Abstract, United Country-Paul and Jarrel Ward and Jennifer Ward; Joseph Rodriguez, 5th Dark OPB Hog, $750 by 2-T Cattle; Jason Martinez, 5th Medium Cross Hog, $1,200 by American Home Health, Pecos Nursing Home and Professional Pharmacy; Russell Garlick, 5th Heavy Cross Hog, $950 by Clay Taylor and Brad Whitfield.

Zackery Renshaw, 6th Class V Goat, $800 by KIUN-KPTX; Dailynn Mondragon, 6th Class VI Goat, $1,000 by West Texas National Bank and Miller Steel; Joseph Dutchover, 6th Light Yorkshire Hog, $750 by Balmorhea Ag Boosters; Curtis James, 6th Medium Cross Hog, $700 by Steve & Barbara Armstrong and Fisher Construction.

Dillon Garcia, 7th Class II Goat, $650 by TransPecos Banks; Ryan Salcido 7th Class IV Goat, $900 by TransPecos Banks; Daniel Estrada, 7th Class VI Goat, $850 by M/M Doug Miller, Fisher Construction, Cee Sales and Metco; Ariel Garcia, 7th Light Cross Hog, $750 by 2-T Cattle and Pecos Well Service; Anabel Rodriguez, 7th Heavy Cross Hog, $875 by McCoy Building & Supply.

County eyes new BOP deal, RCDC expansion

A proposal to increase the number of beds at the Reeves County Detention Center III facility was discussed, and a lawsuit involving the county was settled by agreement, during two separate meetings held by the Reeves County Commissioners Court this week.

Commissioners met Tuesday to discuss increasing the number of beds at the RCDC III facility, a plan that would also involve housing U.S. Bureau of Prison inmates for the first time at the site, while the lawsuit discussion was held in executive session on Wednesday morning at the Reeves County Courthouse.

“A proposal was approved to be submitted, which would increase the number of beds at that facility to 1,356,” said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

Galindo said that the Bureau of Prisons had requested 1,200 beds.

The county, along with prison management company GEO have submitted a proposal to the Federal Bureau of Prisons in response to a competitive solicitation issued by the FBOP for the housing of up to 1,356 FBOP prisoners.

In the proposal, RCDC III will require structural modifications and additions in order to accommodate additional prisoners beyond its current capacity of 960.

The estimated total coast of the improvements is approximately $3 million.

GEO has agreed to pay $1.5 and the county agreed an amount not to exceed $1.5, which will come out of the bond proceeds for the RCDC III bond issue, according to Galindo.

“The addition of 452 beds will improve the economics of operations of RCDC III,” said Galindo. “This will also create another 20 positions at the facility, mainly medical services personnel,” he said.

Galindo said that the improvements were mostly adding bunks to existing space and doing plumbing. “Modifications that will add necessary showers and toilets to be able to occupy 452 more inmates,” said Galindo.

RCDC III was built in 2002, after completion of RCDC II. Both that unit and RCDC I house over 2,100 inmates under a contract with the BOP, but when RCDC III was completed in the spring of 2003, the county was unable to reach an agreement with federal officials for housing additional prisoners there.

The lack of a contract forced the county to dip into its general fund to meet bond payments on the $40 million facility, and in November of 2003 the county entered into a contract with GEO both to manage the prison and to help find inmates for the new facility.

In February of 2004, the county reached an agreement with the State of Arizona to house up to 864 inmates at RCDC III. The contract was renewed for a full year in July of 2004, and another year extension was added in July of 2005. However, Arizona officials were hoping to return all their inmates being kept in out-of-state facilities once new prison bed space was added in their state.

The commissioners met again on Wednesday morning in closed session to discuss a lawsuit filed by Anita Baeza against Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo and Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez. Baeza filed the suit, charging violation of her constitutional rights of freedom of speech by the county officials.

In the open session of the meeting, the attorney for both parties, Jim Allison, with Allison, Bass and Associates, L.L.P. of Austin, recommended that they accept an offer made by the plaintiff.

“We had an offer from the plaintiff to settle any and all claims against the county,” said Allison.

He said that the agreement called for a $22,000 settlement total sum, full and complete payment, including attorney fees and any other fees incurred.

“In this agreement, she agrees to not appeal and it will be a full and complete dismissal of the case and the county is not acknowledging or admitting wrongdoing and continue to deny all claims,” said Allison.

He added that he recommended commissioners settle and not incur any more costs to the county.

“My recommendation is to accept this, to settle this and finally put this to rest,” said Allison.

“In the agreement, it calls for a payment of seven percent to the Texas Retirement System and to state that the date she left employment was eight years,” said Allison. “The funds for this will be taken out of the settlement.”

“It will come out of her total cost and no additional cost to the county,” said Allison. “I always have second thoughts at recommending settling, because we like to try cases and we usually win,” said Allison. “There’s always a possibility that the jury will return a verdict in favor of the plaintiff.”

Allison said that he thought this was a fair settlement and recommended that the commissioners accept it.

All commissioners agreed to the settlement, with the county judge abstaining from voting, since the lawsuit named him.

“She will give up any claims to this settlement, all claims against the county and all the officers, this will be in regard to the sheriff as well,” said Allison.

Baeza is the mother of Jeffrey Baeza, a former Reeves County Sheriff’s deputy who unsuccessfully ran for sheriff against Gomez in the 2004 Democratic Party primary election. Last week, a 143rd District Court grand jury indicted Anita Baeza and another woman, Trini Villalobos, on charges of voter fraud in connection with the 2004 primary election. The charges were Class B misdemeanors, and both women were later released from jail on $10 bonds.

New building given to Toyah by Methodists

Members of the Toyah United Methodist Church and city residents saw a long awaited dream become a reality this past Sunday, with dedication of a new building that will serve as the new home for the Toyah Senior Center.

"A church group built a building and gave it away,” said David Weyatt, former Methodist District Superintendent of the Odessa District, about the construction of the metal building by the Toyah United Methodist Church, which then donated it to the Toyah Community Club for use as a senior center.

The building was paid for by donations to the “Building Fund” and has been ongoing for the past four years.

The project started when Reverend Bruce Abbott was pastor about seven years ago and became a partial reality in 2002 when Paul Armstrong erected the metal building. It was just a shell, but it was a big start. Members then began to search for someone to finish the interior, but kept running into the lack of available and affordable labor. No one wanted to come to Toyah to even give an estimate. Finally the members drew up their own plans and Dickie Morelan of Pecos Air Conditioning gave them a price for the electric work and the cost of heating and cooling units.

The next step was plumbing, framing and flooring. No contractors or workers were available to take on the task, until in answer to a plea for assistance posted on the Methodist Church website, the habitat and VIM mission teams from Alamogordo, N.M. volunteered to come and take on the task.

In August, 2005 the first team of volunteers, consisting of Bob and Shirley Foster, Curtis and Jean Wilkinson, Don Omey, Ed Cole, Jack and Ellen Moffet, Helen Menefee, and Leighton O’Quinn, arrived and started to work. In September the second and third teams, consisting of the Fosters, the Wilkinsons, Bobby and Jan Richardson, Dan and Eloisa Schwebke, Dick and Terry Kondo, Jack and Marcie Mareck and Joy Garrett, came in to finish the building.

O’Quinn, Omey and Paul Chisum took on the plumbing while the others framed and completed the building. Bobby Richardson and Don Carlton came down a week later to build and install the serving bar. Bob and Shirley Foster came one more time and completed the flooring.

On Sunday the building was dedicated to the service for which it was intended and was used for a gathering of about 70 people. The Barstow Presbyterian, the Toyah Baptist Church and two members of the Toyah Catholic Church, and the “Alamo Angels” worshipped together with Rev. Bruce Abbott bringing the message and Jenny Abbott playing special songs for the group.

A feast was then served to all attendees and Raymond Hornberger, Bruce Abbott, David Weyatt, Karen Hornberger, Virginia Gibson, Susan Renz, and Paul and Sylvia Chisum led in a special dedication ceremony and presented the ownership of the building to The Community Club for community use and the new home of the Toyah Senior Center. Lunch is served to all who desire fellowship and good food Mondays through Thursdays each week.

The initial construction and final completion of the new Senior Center came before and after the April 2004 flood that hit the small Reeves County community, causing severe damage to about two dozen homes. On Monday, groundbreaking is scheduled for construction of the first new homes under funds received through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Groundbreaking is set for 11 a.m. for the TDHCA and U.S. Housing and Urban Development project, which was delayed due to a land dispute last year.

New system mandates Ids for farm animals, premises

A new federal law will mandate identification tags be placed on all farm animals, and Texas Cooperative Extension Service agents are distributing information to both owners of the animals and landowners who lease property for animal grazing and housing on what the new rules will require.

The proposed National Animal Identification System (NAIS) will involve both premises identification and individual animal identification, and is being developed in Texas by the state Animal Health Commission. Definitions of premises and requirements for registration may vary from state to state, and Reeves County Extension Agent Tommy Dominguez said those who have animals on premises near the New Mexico state line will have to get identification permits from both states.

The Premises ID is a number that uniquely identifies a location where livestock are handled or commingled. Once the NAIS system is fully implemented the Individual Animal ID number will provide information on which animals are or were present at a location, and the Premises ID will provide information on where the animals are currently location, or where they were located in the past.

The system is being implemented in order to better track animals that have possibly been exposed to a disease and may have affected other animals on the same premises. The problem of tracking animals came up last year, when a reported case of mad cow disease occurred at a site in the Texas Panhandle, and the new system was announced on Dec. 6, with a compulsory date of implementation of July 1, 2006 in Texas. Nationally, all animals and premises must be registered by 2008.

Registrations will cost $20 and will be valid for a 24 month time period. The ID will be a seven character alphanumeric combination; while the exact location of the premises will be determined by Global Positioning System coordinates. GPS coordinates are available by providing 911 addresses to the registration system for listing in the USDA database

Any location where livestock are handled or commingled, including yards, reproductive service labs, auction barns, livestock shows, veterinary clinics or custom processing plants, will have to obtain a premises ID. Families with 4-H/FFA projects at their homes will also need to apply, while a ruling is pending on landowners who lease their land for only temporary or seasonal livestock, depending on the type of animal involved.

Applications are available at id/index.shtml or by e-mail, postal mail or fax through the Texas Animal Health Commission office. For further information, contact the Kenny Edgar Texas Animal Health Commission National Animal Identification System Program Coordinator, or Rick Smathers, TAHC Director of Program Records, at 1-800-550-8242 or Dr. Ted McCollum, Texas Cooperative Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, at (806) 667-5600.

Morales’ poem to appear in anthology

Ailina Morales, a sixth grader at Bessie Haynes Elementary School, recently learned that one of her poems will be published.

Morales entered her poem, “Puppet Girl” in a poetry contest last fall. The contest was sponsored by Creative Communications, Inc.

The poem will be published in a poetry anthology, “A Celebration of Young Poets,” which will be released in June or July.

Morales will be eligible to receive an award as a “Top Ten Poet.”

Over 3,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to young poets from all over the nation.

She is the granddaughter of Dora Zaragoza of Pecos.

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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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