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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Clean-up starts on Rodeo Hall for July events

Staff Writer

Members of the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame Committee, along with local teens doing community service, were working at the old Missouri Pacific railroad depot building on Saturday, taking steps to get the facility ready to host its first Hall of Fame event in July.

“We’re just trying to fix it up and do as much as we can with our limited budget, so that people can see we’ve done something,” said committee member John Rediger, who came up with the idea of converting the unused depot at First and Oak Streets as the site for the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame.

The Town of Pecos City was able to get Union Pacific Railroad to donate the building three years ago, and since then some preliminary work has been done on the building, which is nearly 100 years old.

For the past two years, the Hall has held its inaugural induction ceremonies on the final day of the West of the Pecos Rodeo, but the events have been held in the courtyard of the nearby West of the Pecos Museum. Rediger said the work being done on the building is to fix up at least part of the structure by the end of June.

“We’re going to have an induction ceremony on July 1, and we’re going to have it inside the depot,” he said. “Richard Creider is getting the windows in shape, so it looks presentable on the front side, and some of the other committee members are inside painting.”

Committee members were doing the building work, while teens doing community service for the Reeves County Juvenile Probation Department were working on the outside of the depot, clearing out paths both to the sidewalk on First Street and for a walkway between the new Hall of Fame and the museum, half a block to the east.

The first day of work did have one mishap, when one of the teens stepped in a hole near the curb and had to be taken to Reeves County Hospital for precautionary X-rays. The teens were using shovels to dig out the pathway from First Street to the front of the depot.

The east end of the building, including the large room on the trackside of the building, was where the work was being done on Saturday. Committee members Peggy Walker, Dot Stafford and Brenda McKinney were doing the painting inside, while Rediger, Crider and Clay McKinney were among those working on the First Street side of the building.

Work on the west end of the depot will be done at a later date.

“We want people to know that things are going to happen,” Rediger said. “Some people thought it never was going to happen, but now we’re to the money part. All the other things have been done; homework, paperwork. Now we’re just in the phase of getting the money to finish it.”

He said as part of the group’s effort to raise restoration funds, the Hall of Fame Committee would hold a fundraising barbeque lunch on April 11, which is also election day for the Reeves County primary runoff elections. The Reeves County Sheriff’s Posse will be selling barbeque from about 12 noon until 2 p.m., with money going towards the Rodeo Hall of Fame.

Rediger said between now and July 1, the committee plans to do weekend work on the depot.

“We’ve got one planned next Saturday, and we’ll just keep planning through until we get to where we need to,” he said. “We’d love to have people who want to help out come down, especially if they have some experience in carpentry.”

Council eyes hiring attorney in water dispute with county

Town of Pecos City Council members will consider retaining an attorney to handle the city’s dispute with Reeves County over increased water rates, during the council’s Thursday evening meeting at City Hall.

The item is one of several on the city’s second regular meeting in a week, which also includes an update on the Maxey Park Zoo and consideration of the proposal for the city to assume full operation of its landfill at the end of the year.

The council will consider hiring Bill Dugat of Bickerstaff, Heath, Smiley, Pollan & Kever, an Austin-based law firm that specializes in water-related and other environmental issues. The city is facing legal action by Reeves County over its sharp increases in water and sewer rates, which were enacted by the council last year.

Council members in December voted to increase rates to customers, in order to pay both for state-mandated improvements in the city’s water and sewer lines and to prepare for the assumption of the annual $400,000 payment to the Texas Water Development Board of the loan the city received to build its new South Worsham Water Field. As part of a deal to provide increased amounts of water to the expanded Reeves County Detention Center, the county agreed to assume payments through 2011. The city then will make the final 10-years of payments to the state.

During the discussion on the water rate increases, County Judge Jimmy Galindo said the 2001 deal between the city and county on the South Worsham project had been ignored in the report presented to the council, and he objected to the city’s transfer of water and sewer funds into the General Fund, in order to make up for recent budget deficits.

Galindo objected to the council’s decision on the current budget to transfer $600,000 from the water and sewer fund to the General Fund, in order to balance the 2006 budget. He said by spending the money on regular city operations, the council was taking away funds that should be used on the upcoming water and sewer projects.

The landfill proposal was discussed by the council last month, and would involve the city taking over operations from Duncan Disposal in December. City sanitation supervisor Martin Arreguy told the council if the city takes over operations, it would save about $95,000 over the first three years of operations compared with the current contract, and $155,000 a year after that, when debt service for the purchase of new equipment is factored out.

Council members asked for the update on the zoo from Parks Department supervisor Tom Rivera during last week’s council meeting. Rivera told the council earlier this year they were looking to acquire new animals to fill some of the vacant cages at the zoo.

In other action, the council will also get an update on the performance of the new water meters put in by Johnson Controls in 2004; discuss the sale of two properties, on Martinez and North Ash streets; and go over accounts payable and the monthly tax collection report.

Board approves PHS band trip, new travel buses

Staff Writer

Two new activity buses for Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD students were approved, along with a spring trip for the Pecos High School Eagle Band, during the district’s regular board meeting held last Thursday.

Board members approved the purchase of the two new buses from Blue Bird Corp., at a combined cost of $290,600, including a five-year warranty for $1,800.

PBT-ISD Interim Superintendent Bob McCall had broached the subject of purchasing new activity buses for the district at the last school board meeting. No action was taken at that time.

“We had talked about possibly purchasing four buses, but my recommendation is to purchase two and get them here by the fall,” said McCall.

McCall said that if the board approved the purchasing of the new buses, they could put in next year’s budget.

“This will probably allow us to roll two of the activity buses into the route buses,” said McCall.

“One for sure,” said transportation director Jimmy Dutchover. “There’s a lot of high mileage on many of these activity buses,” he said.

“By doing this, you can maintain your fleet and not end up with a lot of older buses,” said McCall.

P-B-T ISD students will use the buses for extracurricular travel. Pecos will be moving into a new football district this fall that will include two trips to the El Paso area for games each of the next two seasons. The district’s current fleet of MCI and Silver Eagle travel buses are between 20 and 25 years old.

“There’s no question that we need new buses,” said board president Lila Cerna.

Total cost for the new buses was assessed at $145,300 per bus, with the warranty.

Board members also approved a spring trip for the PHS Band to the San Antonio area, and viewed a PowerPoint presentation on new uniforms for the band and practice areas, provided by band director Bill Goff.

“For the past few years, the band has been taking a spring trip,” said Goff. “This helps the students experience something different.”

Goff said that the band students start the year off first and are the last to leave. “They kids put 100 percent and they deserve a little reward for their efforts,” he said.

Goff said that the group has some funds put aside and will be using the money raised at the auction in April.

“We will need two buses, one for the boys and one for the girls, and are asking the school to pay for the transportation,” said Goff.

Goff said that sponsors would be up all night taking turns and that canine dogs will be going through the luggage before the trip.

“We want to head off any problems before we start the trip,” said Goff.

Goff said that the band would need about $4,900 from the school district for the trip.

Financial director Cookie Canon said that they would need to do a budget amendment and that all the funds provided by the Band Booster Club would have to turn in the money to the school, to pay for this.

Goff presented a power points presentation on the band, some of the problems they are facing and some solutions going into 2006, which is the year Class 3A bands can advance to state competition. Pecos has failed to advance past the area round of competition since 2000.

“We looked at what we had and the problems that we are facing,” said Goff.

Some of the problems that Goff listed included old, outdated uniforms, lack of practice space, lack of space for students to store their things and old band instruments.

Goff said that they had been looking at some uniforms that were wash and wear and were lighter to wear.

“The ones we have now are heavy and have the cape, that is something the judges don’t want to see anymore,” said Goff.

Goff said that the uniforms were nine years old.

“Maintenance on this uniforms is also expensive, which is why we’re looking at the wash and wear style,” said Goff.

Goff had a list of inadequacies and possible solutions, while also listing some of the problems the band has in practicing and in storing their instruments and other things.

He suggested an area for storage lockers and rooms for small groups to practice in.

“Is that something Goff should put in his budget, like a wish list?” asked board member David Flores.

“What you might find more practical, is to select a budget to work, possibly by a committee, so that you can address this in a more focuses and leisurely way,” said McCall. “Everyone can bring their needs to Mr. (incoming superintendent Manny) Espino or Cookie,” he said.

Suit to dump Open Meetings law set for Pecos trial

The Big Bend Sentinel

PECOS -- U.S.. District Judge Robert Junell refused to dismiss a case filed by two Alpine City Council members that that seeks to declare the Texas Open Meetings Act unconstitutional during a hearing held on March 14 in Pecos federal court Instead. he set the case for bench trial on July 25 in Pecos.

The case was filed on September 26. 2005, on behalf of Alpine City Council members Avinash Rangra and Anna Monclova by attorneys Dick DeGuerin and Rod Ponton.

The suit alleges that the open meetings law, originally passed in the 1960s, violates the free speech rights of public officials by making them fearful of prosecution for talking among themselves in private or through an exchange of e-mails.

"The judge denied the motion to dismiss," DcGuerin told the Big Bend Sentinel for its March 16 edition. "Granting it would have ended the case with no chance to succeed." DcGuerin, the well-known Houston attorney who has handled many high-profile cases over the years, said that he is seeking to have the entire Open Meetings law declared unconstitutional, both on its face and as applied specifically in this instance.

"There are U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have held that if part of a statute is unconstitutional, then the whole statute is bad," DcGuerin said.

Ponton said that the Open Meetings law can have a "chilling effect" on the speech of public officials, making them fearful of prosecution.

"We believe that public officials have a First Amendment right to receive information and discuss matters of public importance among themselves,” he said.

The case arose when 83rd District Attorney Frank Brown in February 2005 sought indictments against Rangra and former council member Katie Elms-Lawrence based on an exchange of e-mails between council members.

A grand jury returned indictments against both Rangra and Lawrence, charging them with having used electronic e-mail correspondence to discuss matters before the city council in violation of the open meetings law.

The Open Meetings Law prohibits a voting majority of members of any elective body from discussing issues dealt with by that body outside of formally announced meetings. In the case of a five-person city council, no more than two members can communicate at one time without being in violation of the Open Meetings Law.

The indictments against both Rangra and Elms-Lawrence were ultimately dismissed by Brown on May 5, 2005.

The current suit - filed against Brown, the Texas Attorney General's Office and the State of Texas - argues that the criminal provisions of the open meetings law are "overbroad and vague" and give the district attorney too much discretionary power in deciding when to prosecute.

The suit claims that such language provides a "chilling effect" on the public and private discourse of public officials, keeping them in fear of prosecution.

The Texas Attorney General's office has issued a statement that defends the constitutionality of the Open Meetings Law,

claiming that the restrictions in the criminal provisions of the statute are merely "time place and manner" restrictions - the kind of restrictions permitted. according to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"To suggest that the law infringes upon the free speech of city officials because it forbids them to have secret discussions about the public's business as used quorum seems tenuous at best and, in practice would shortchange the citizens of the state." the attorney general’s office said in a written statement.

"If the plaintiffs' argument didn't have merit," Ponton said last Wednesday. The case would have been dismissed yesterday.”

Tesillos announce birth of daughter

Margie and Jerry Tesillo announce the birth of their new baby daughter, Megan Jo Grace Tesillo.

Little Megan was born Feb. 17.

She is the granddaughter of Grace Lopez of Pecos.

Regelman completes basic training

Army Pvt. Candice P. Regelman has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

She is the daughter of Alexa Gallego of Pecos.

The private is a 2005 graduate of Pecos High School.

Clements, Duncan to wed in September

Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Clements announce the engagement if their daughter, Trisha LeAnn, to John Zachary Duncan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Duncan of Goldthwaite.

The bride-elect is a 2005 graduate of Monahans High School. She attends Angelo State University majoring in elementary education. The prospective groom is a 2005 graduate of Goldthwaite High School and also attends Angelo State University with a major in kinesiology.

The couple will exchange vows at 6 pm on September 2, 2006 at Southside Baptist Church in Monahans. They will make their home at San Angelo.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Louis and Pearline Lively of Monahans, formerly of Pecos. Paternal grandparents are Robert and Mary Clements of Arlington.

The groom’s grandparents are John and Mary Lee Truitt of Moffat. Paternal grandparents are Sharon Duncan of Brownwood and the late Johnny Duncan.

Lamb, Willis announce April wedding

Misty Ann Lamb and Devon “Trey” Willis III, both of Krum, will marry at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 22, at Grand Traditions in Corinth with the reception to follow at North Texas State Fair Grounds, Fair Hall.

Bobby and Becky Smart of Krum and Johnny and Trish Lamb of Carlsbad, N.M., are the parents of the bride-to-be. Grandparents are Velda Mahan, of Sanger, Lillian Lamb of Carlsbad, N.M., Mary Cottingham of Odessa and Bud and Anita Smart of Greenville. She is a 1994 graduate of Monahans High School and is employed by Denton Municipal Electric.

Devon and Priscilla Willis of Thackerville, Okla., are the parents of the prospective groom. Grandparents are Gene and Todie Willis of Irving. He is a 2002 graduate of Baylor University and is employed by Anytime Logistics.

After returning from the honeymoon, the couple will reside in Krum with daughter, Tori Lamb.

Book, bake sale to benefit library

Friends of the Reeves County Library will be hosting a Book and Bake Sale, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, March 25, at the library 505 Park Street.

Everyone is invited to come out and browse.

Relay for Life sets rally for March 28

A Relay for Life Survivor Rally will be held between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 28, at the First United Methodist Church, 301 S. Elm.

All cancer survivors are invited to attend. This is a good time to register as a survivors and also let the committee know their T-shirt size for the Relay for Life Event on May 19-20. The survivors will also be informed of what has been planned for the May event.

If anyone cannot make it at this time, call and provide information and T-shirt size.

For more information call Raymond and Karen Hornberger at 432-940-9170 or Rosemary Varela at 445-2449.

Police Report

EDITOR’S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff’s Office, or other officers of those agencies. The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instances we will indicate payment and release.


Genovera Mendoza Wright, 38, 108 S. Pecan St. was arrested by police on March 11 and charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrest took place after they were called to the Del Rio Bar, 504 E. Fourth St., at 10:16 p.m. when Wright allegedly refused to leave the building. She was placed under arrest and transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Daniel Ivan Villegas, 25, of Gridley, Calif., was arrested by police on March 11 and charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrest took place after they received a call at 4:49 a.m. at the Budget Inn motel in the 2500 block of West Third Street, about a hit-and-run accident. Officers said they located the vehicle and its owner, Villegas, who refused to cooperate and was then placed under arrest. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


A.C. Williams, Jr., 26, of Fort Drum, N.Y., and Nicola Gena Bertley, 25, of El Paso, were arrested by police on March 10 and charged with possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the arrests took place at mile marker 38 on Interstate 20 at 2:35 p.m. following a traffic stop. Williams and Bertley were then transported to the Pecos

Criminal Justice Center. ***

Alex Prescott Berns, 24, of Dallas, was arrested on March 11 on a charge of possession of a controlled substance (heroin), a second-degree felony. Police said they were called to the Budget Inn motel in the 2500 block of West Third Street at 11:15 p.m. along with Pecos EMS personnel in response to a possible drug overdose and found Berns, along with the heroin and other drug paraphernalia, in the room. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Jesus Manuel Martinez, 28, 1410 S. Plum St., was arrested by police on March 2 and charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrest took place at 6:49 a.m. at Eighth and Peach streets. Martinez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Freddy Martinez, 45, 552 Martinez St., was arrested by police on March 5 on warrants charging him with failure to appear in reference to action on a public nuisance (two junked vehicles). Police said the arrest took place at 8:51 p.m. at the Sonic Drive Inn at 505 W. Third St. Martinez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Fredrick Lee Gomez, 36, 514 Ross Blvd., was arrested by police on March 5 at his home on a warrant for failure to appear on a charge of failure to stop at a stop sign. Police made the arrest after being called to Gomez’s home in connection with a family disturbance. Gomez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Oscar R. Rubio, 40, 221 N. Cedar St., was arrested by police on March 3 on a warrant for motion to revoke on a charge of assault. Police said the arrest occurred when they were called to Rubio’s home in connection with a fight in progress. Rubio was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Denise Marie Valeriano, 24, 2401 Cactus St., was arrested by police on March 5 on a warrant charging her with fraud (insufficient funds). Police said the arrest took place about 6:15 p.m., after officers were called in reference to a disturbance at Maxey Park. Valeriano was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Quanstasha Lanette Barton, 27, of Midland, was arrested by police on March 4 on warrants charging her with possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place at the Suvacito Club, 900 S. Cedar St., during a walk-through, when a records check confirmed the warrants. Barton was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.


Ben Dominguez Barrera, 17, 1109 S. Ash St., was arrested by police on March 1 and charged with evading detention. Police said the arrest took place in the 1300 block of Yucca Street., following a short chase which began in the 2200 block of South Eddy Street. Barrera was also cited for no driver’s license, and then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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