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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, September 29, 2006

County seeks Toyah ordinance for vehicle use

Reeves County Commissioners asked Toyah city officials to draw up an ordinance that will allow the county to legally loan the city equipment to use in a clean-up project, during a Tuesday morning meeting of the commissioners court at the Reeves County Courthouse. Commissioners also approved juvenile detention contracts with several counties, along with new hires and promotions at the Reeves County Detention Center. They also voted to relocate Box 11 for the Nov. 7 election to the Reeves County Civic Center, after deciding it was too late to move the box to a location closer to the current site on the east side of Pecos. Commissioners discussed a letter from Bart F. Sanchez asking for use of county equipment for clean-up work. But County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo was concerned about the use of county vehicles to clean up private property.

Commissioners were asked to loan Toyah a dump truck after hours or on weekend to do a city cleanup, in order to avoid the cost of having to rent vehicles to conduct the clean-up effort.

“As long as they don’t take the dump truck onto private property, I don’t see the problem,” said county auditor Lynn Owens.

“Toyah needs to adopt an ordnance,” Galindo said. “It would be great if you could get copies of the City of Pecos’ ordinance to show the city council over there what they can do, and what is out-of-bounds, and then we’ll adopt it.”

Commissioners then tabled any action until Toyah’s council could draw up an ordinance for the clean up.

Commissioners approved all but one of the contracts for housing juveniles in out-of-county facilities. The contracts are with Ector County, the Gulf Coast Trade Center, Bowie County, Midland County and Hays County, for a variety of detention services, according to the information provided by Louise Moore, head of the county’s juvenile probation department. The contract tabled was with the Texas Adjudication Placement Service.

“There are two contracts, and there are no past contracts with this company,” said Owens, and commissioners tabled the action until they could receive more information about the service.

The decision to move Box 11 from the Sadler-Haynes Community Center to the Civic Center was made due to repair work being done by the city at the community center, county clerk Diane Florez told commissioners. Galindo suggested instead moving the box to the Zavala Junior High gymnasium, a block north of the community center, but Florez said there would not be time to add that to the county’s next agenda and get the information filed in time to meet federal Voting Rights Act rules.

Commissioners also approved a central counting station for the Nov. 7 election, and were told testing of the county’s new computerized voting equipment would take place at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 1 at the county clerk’s office.

Bond and maintenance payments were also approved for the RCDC I and II units, totaling $524,167, and for RCDC III, totaling $376,911. Also approved were department reports, which included a notice from the city that they plan to tear down the old Lone Star Motel in the 1200 block of West Third Street. The county is a trustee in the property on which back taxes are owed to the four local taxing entities.

Commissioners agreed to hold a special meeting on Monday at the courthouse, to take care of a couple of leftover items, including adding one RCDC hire to the county’s payroll. “This guy just started working yesterday (Monday), and if we don’t do it, he’ll be working four weeks without a paycheck,” said county treasurer Linda Clark, who told commissioners the name was accidentally left off the list of new hires.

“The only way to properly do it is to post a special meeting and act on that one item,” said Galindo.

At the request of Florez, appointment of alternate election judges was also added to Monday’s special meeting agenda.

KMID urging satellite hookup to view channel

KMID-TV in Midland Odessa has a suggestion for cable TV subscribers in the western Permian Basin and Trans-Pecos area:

Get a satellite dish.

Actually, it’s get a specific satellite dish, the one offered by Dish Network, if you want a clear picture from the Basin’s ABC affiliate. As for cable TV customers in the area, officials with Suddenlink aren’t sure if they will be able to improve the KMID signal any time in the near future.

KMID general manager Chris Pruitt sent out a news release on Monday announcing that his station, along with several other Permian Basin TV stations, are now available to customers subscribing to Dish Network. Dish began offering its are customers KMID, along with KWES (NBC), KOSA (CBS), KPEJ (Fox), KUPB (Univision), KTLE (Telemundo) and KPBT (PBS) as of Sept. 21, making the area the latest in which the company’s customers can receive local channels via satellite.

The problems with KMID’s signal have been an ongoing concern for Suddenlink cable subscribers in Pecos since 2000, when the station lost the ability to sent its signal into the area via microwave relay from its tower north of Midland International Airport. Problems with poor or non-existent images on KMID led Suddenlink, formerly Cebridge Connections, to add satellite ABC signals to the local system out of Nashville, then New York, and currently Denver, Colo., over the past two years to replace KMID, which was relocated to Ch. 95 from its previous Ch. 12 location.

“With all of the local stations now being offered on Dish Network, consumers have a choice whether to continue with traditional wired cable or switch to digital satellite.”

Pruitt said in his press release. “This really impacts the people outside of Midland and Odessa who have received poor signals from their local cable providers for years. The areas to the West and South like Monahans, Wink, Kermit, Pecos, Fort Stockton, Marfa, Presidio and Alpine can now receive the local Midland Odessa stations crystal clear.” KMID ironically has an ad for Suddenlink on their home webpage (). The company has operated the Pecos and Barstow cable systems for the past four years, and recently bought the cable systems in Midland and several other West Texas cities from Cox Communications.

KPEJ, which has an antenna location near KMID, set up a UHF translator station in the mid-1990s to get its over-the-air signal into the Pecos area. But KMID has balked at a similar solution, with Pruitt telling Town of Pecos City Council members last year that Suddenlink should enter talks with Dish Network about getting rights to their signal for retransmission, once the station was available via satellite.

Last November, Cebridge officials met with the city council and discussed the problem, including the Dish Network option. However, Manuel Gonzales, the company’s area engineer, told the council that plan fell through earlier in 2005.

On Wednesday, Suddenlink spokesperson Josh Holland said, “We’re continuing to review our options and hope to improve the signal as soon as we can,” but added he couldn’t say whether or not the company would be able to use the Dish Network signal as proposed last year by Pruitt.

“I don’t have anything I can give you at this time, but hopefully it will happen sooner than later,” he said.

Along with KPEJ, Pecos cable customers receive four other stations from Midland-Odessa on their local system - KOSA, KWES, KUPB and KWWT, which is the CW Network affiliate for the Permian Basin. Aside from KMID, the signals from KTLE and KPBT also are too weak to reach the Pecos area, and neither station has ever been seen on the local cable system. Local cable subscribers receive their PBS shows via satellite from KRMA out of Denver, while Telemudo also has been available locally on cable via satellite for the past 20 years.

Drugs, gun found in raid near kindergarten

Drugs, a weapon and drug paraphernalia were confiscated Wednesday evening when officers executed a narcotics search warrant at a home located just across the street from the Pecos Kindergarten.

Pecos Police Department officers said three people were arrested as a result of the narcotics search warrant on a home located at 1101 S. Elm St.

“Once all the occupants of the residence had been secured by the SWAT team, the officers proceeded to search the premises,” said Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler.

Deishler said that during the search of the premises, the officers located a large amount of a substance believed to be marijuana.

“The suspected marijuana was located in two separate bedrooms of the residence,” said Deishler.

He added that materials, which are commonly used with the packaging of marijuana and with the smoking of marijuana, were found along with the marijuana.

“Also found hidden in one of the bedrooms where some of the suspected marijuana was located, was a small handgun,” said Deishler.

Officers completed their search of the premises and Joel Escontrias Alvarado, 20, David Lee Duran, 17, and one juvenile were placed under arrest.

They were charged with possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) within 1,000 feet of a school and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The three defendants were then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center and released to the jail staff for booking.

Garcia to serve in Iraq for a year

Private First Class Salvador Garcia, 19 years old, was sent overseas to Iraq on Sept. 24.

He has been in the Army for one year and is enlisted in Special Forces.

The family requests prayers for him and all the troops that are currently overseas.

Garcia will be in Iraq for a year.

He is the son of Alice Martinez of Pecos and Ernesto Muniz of Monahans.

Grant given more responsibilities at bank

Keith Moore, President and CEO of West Texas National Bank announced the expansion of the current responsibilities of John Grant, President of West Texas National Bank in Pecos.

In addition to his present and continuing duties as President, Mr. Grant will become involved in the Regional Business Development for all of West Texas in the areas of Commercial Leasing, Commercial Lending, and Correspondent Banking.

Mr. Moore said, “We are very pleased to make this announcement, and are appreciative of John’s willingness to accept these additional duties. These changes will allow West Texas National Bank to better utilize John’s strong commercial banking and credit background, and expand the importance of the Pecos Bank in its group of nine banks across West Texas. We are also very grateful to John for his strong commitment to the Pecos community over the last six years or more.”

Two jailed on meth charges after traffic stop

A routine traffic stop led officers to place two people under arrest on Tuesday on charges of drug possession.

The arrest occurred after Pecos Police Sgt. Olga Lopez and Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler stopped a vehicle in the 500 block of S. Hickory Street for a traffic offense.

The driver of the vehicle, Philip Ray Moon, 48, was placed under arrest for the offense of operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway without a valid driver’s license.

Officers then proceeded to inventory the defendant’s vehicle.

“During the inventory of the vehicle, a substance believed to be methamphetamine was found inside the vehicle,” said Deishler.

Also found inside the vehicle was paraphernalia, which is commonly used with the injecting and smoking of methamphetamine.

Moon and Kathy Gale Jaramillo, 43, were then placed under arrest for the offenses of possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Moon was also charged with the offense of operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway without a valid driver’s license.

Moon and Jaramillo were then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center where they were released to the jail staff for booking.

Williamson honored with showers

Jennifer Maryann Williamson of Katy, bride-elect of Nathan Craig Garner of Kingwood, was honored with two bridal courtesies and a lingerie shower in Katy, Kingwood and Houston, in the Spring.

Linda Orlando of Katy, joined by Leigh Ann Burn, Barbie Butera, Emma Lee Troutman and Wilda Bayless, were the hostesses for the Katy shower in her home from 2-4 p.m., on Saturday, March 4. Forty five guests registered for the shower and the honoree was the recipient of many of the couple’s selections.

Ann Wade of Kingwood, joined by Glenda Jeane, Mina Wood, Peggy Kirkpatrick, Janice Ivy and Diana Hancock, were the hostesses for the Kingwood shower in her home, from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 8.

Over 40 guests registered for the afternoon courtesy for the bride-elect and another array of gifts were received with few duplications, from the selections of the couple.

Jennifer was also honored with a lingerie shower-dinner on Sunday, May 28, at La Madeleine’s in Houston. Hostesses were Jessica Clark, Jessica Williamson, Kara Conley, Kara Frank and Lauren Burn.

The honoree received a wide array of lovely lingerie.

There were 20 friends and family in attendance included the mother of honoree, Sarah Harrell Williamson, the mother of the groom-to-be, Bobbie Garner, the honoree’s sister, Jessica M’Lynn Williamson and Kristi Curtis Williamson, aunt of the bride-to-be.

The couple became officially engaged on Jennifer’s 22nd birthday, Dec. 5, 2005, when Nathan presented his bride-to-be with a custom designed engagement ring.

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