Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Christian Home volunteers serve 450 Christmas dinners
About 450 individuals enjoyed a delicious meal on Christmas Day, thanks to the many volunteers who helped during the special occasion.
“Everything went smoothly and we had a lot of volunteers,” said Ken Winkles, one of the organizers for the annual event staged by the Pecos Christian Home.
The holiday meal was served at the Reeves County Civic Center, which has been the site of the dinner for several years. The Christian Home annually offers the free turkey dinners on both Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
“We delivered about 165 Meals on Wheels,” said Winkles. The local program doesn’t operate on Christmas or Thanksgiving, and volunteers deliver the meals to those local residents who normally get home delivery.
Winkles said that there had been enough food to feed everyone and that they had enough desserts. Some food that was left over was donated to the Reeves County Sheriff’s Department.
“The inmates had a great meal of turkey, dressing and all the trimmings yesterday evening,” he said.
The number of meals served during Christmas has usually been lower than the total served for Thanksgiving. Last month, Christian Home volunteers served Thanksgiving meals to over 500 people.
Winkles said that everyone at the center was finished preparing and serving the meals by 3 p.m. on Monday.
“We have been very blessed, we had a great group of volunteers during both the Thanksgiving Meal and the Christmas Dinner,” said Winkles.
“We want to thank everyone that participating in our Christmas Dinner,” he said.
Along with the annual holiday meal, this year there were bell ringers for the Salvation Army located at La Tienda and Wal-Mart, from Friday through Sunday.
The Salvation Army helps individuals with bus tickets and also provides services for the Christian Home, according to Winkles. He added that all the money raised here over the three-day drive will stay here in Pecos.
The group was hoping to raise between $3,000 and $3,500 in donations, and Winkles said that they hope to use the funds throughout the year to help families and individuals and not just during the holidays.
“We want to help families during the Easter holiday and possibly at other times,” he said.
Anyone wanting to donate to the Salvation Army can still do so at TransPecos Bank.
“They can donate at the bank, just talk to Libby (Horsburgh),” said Winkles. “Or they can call me at 448-1883, for more information,” he said.
Winkles said that he was grateful that so many individuals donate and help with the projects.
Driver sought after rollover east of Pecos
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers are looking for the driver of a vehicle involved in a Christmas night rollover between Pecos and Barstow in which the vehicle left the road and ended up partially under the bridge the driver was about to cross.
The accident took place on Business Interstate 20, between the long bridge and the Pecos River crossing, about two miles east of Pecos. DPS and Ward County Sheriff’s Department officers were called to the scene at 7:20 p.m. on Monday, and upon arrival discovered a white Ford Escort with its front end stuck beneath the bridge after running off the north side of the highway.
Ward County Chief Deputy Ben Deishler said eyewitnesses said the Escort was traveling at a high rate of speed westbound toward Pecos, when the driver attempted to pass a second vehicle just after crossing the long bridge and lost control. The vehicle came back across the westbound lane and left the highway just before reaching the second bridge, rolling over before coming to rest at a 90-degree angle to the road and partially beneath the bridge.
However, Deishler said the people who saw the car leave the road didn’t see the driver leave the vehicle, and a check of the area later did not find that the driver had been ejected from the car.
DPS trooper Roy Lytle, who investigated the accident, said a records check turned up the owners of the vehicle, but couldn’t say if either was driving at the time the accident occurred.
“We’re looking for Tanja Martinez or Domingo Navarette Ortiz, both of Odessa,” he said. “We’re trying to reach one of the two individuals, or a family member who may live in the Pecos area. “
The accident was one of several reported in the Pecos area over the Christmas holiday weekend. None of the accidents resulted in fatalities.
Galindo says county shouldering DA investigator’s cost
Reeves County Commissioners listened to a request from District Attorney Randy Reynolds for additional funds to pay for one of his department’s two criminal investigators, while County Judge Jimmy Galindo said the county shouldn’t have to shoulder the full cost of the 143rd District position, following the final meeting of the year for the commissioners on Friday.
Reynolds’ request came as commissioners heard reports from various departments, approved payments to several providers and lease payments for the prison facilities during their regular meeting in the third floor courtroom at the courthouse.
Reynolds and commissioners discussed the funding for one of his investigator’s position with the department, but no action was taken since it was not posted on the agenda. The district attorney said that he had noticed in the budget that one of his investigators positions had not been funded.
“I have some money in the pre-trial diversion fund, but don’t like to use that money for salaries, because it’s not always the same, sometimes we don’t have that much in there,” said Reynolds.
He said that now he has been able to put one of his employees in Monahans. The 143rd District covers Reeves, Ward and Loving counties.
“I actually called way before the budget was filed, spoke to Jeffrey (Baeza, one of Reynolds investigators) and didn’t hear back from you. My intentions were to put two staff people in the county judge’s office instead of one, because the new judge is going to need all the help he can get,” said Galindo, who leaves office after 12 years on Sunday.
Galindo said that since Reynolds hadn’t called back, he assumed he would be okay with the forfeiture funds.
“His job is gone if those funds expire, I never try to earmark a salary with that because we don’t always have that amount,” said Reynolds.
He said that he currently has about $100,000-$150,000 in that fund at this time.
“I try to use those funds for things that other officers can always get, that benefit the whole area,” said Reynolds. “I’ve used it to help the city police officers and the sheriff’s department.”
“Reeves County puts in more, while Ward County puts in nothing,” said Galindo, who went on to say that the while the district attorney’s office serves both Reeves and Ward counties, commissioners in Monahans have not voted to contribute any money to the district attorney’s office for an investigator’s salary.
“I appreciate what the commissioners court does, but we do need this second investigator,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds said that he has gone before the Ward County Commissioners and requested funding.
“I go every year and try to get funding from them,” said Reynolds. “At least now they’re carrying an employee, his health benefits.”
“That doesn’t mean they pay him, just his health care,” said Galindo. “They’ll cover his insurance, but they are going to pay any of their salary.”
“His base salary will come out of my forfeiture fund, I’ll have to fund his base salary,” said Reynolds. “I’ll continue to ask them to put money in.”
“We’ve been asking them for five years,” said Galindo.
Galindo said, “Unfortunately, they’ve never helped.”
“They think I’m a Pecos person and employees, and Reeves County should fund it,” said Reynolds.
“The sheriff’s department has three employees that live in Monahans and they don’t fund them,” said Galindo.
Reynolds asked the commissioners court to amend the budget and put that money back in for the investigator’s position.
“We put those funds for another employee at the sheriff’s department,” said Galindo. “Do we go to the sheriff and ask for the position back?” he said.
“I think we should put it back in the budget, he needs his investigators,” said commissioner precinct 4 Hivi Rayos.
In other action, commissioners approved payments to different providers and lease payments for the Reeves County Detention Centers.
A payment to Howard’s Mechanical in the amount of $18,643 was approved; a payment to LMD Architect and a payment to GabeCo in the amount of $9,323 were approved during the regular meeting.
Commissioners also approved the RCDC I&II lease payment in the amount of $495,000; the RCDC III lease payment in the amount of $345,902 and the RCDC III maintenance reserve payment in the amount of $29,166.
Friday’s meeting was the final regular meeting for Galindo, Rayos and Precinct 2 commissioner Norman Hill. Sam Contreras will replace Galindo as Reeves County Judge on Jan. 1, while Gabriel Martinez and Ramiro “Ram” Guerra will take over as Precinct 2 and Precinct 4 commissioners.
Unemployment rate unchanged in latest report
Unemployment for Reeves County held at 6.7 percent in November, according to figures released on Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The jobless number is also the same for the county as in October and November or 2005, though according to the TWC, the county lost workers both from October to November of this year and from November of 2005 to last month.
The TWC said Reeves County had 4,143 workers and 3,867 with jobs last month. That’s a drop of six workers in the local labor force and three jobs from October. Compared to a year ago, the TWC said the county has lost about 2 percent of its jobs and workforce, falling from 4,230 workers and 3,946 jobs in November of 2005.
The numbers for Reeves County were similar to those for other Permian Basin counties in November, as rates were mostly unchanged for October, though on average about 2 percent lower than the county’s 6.7 percent jobless number.
Midland County’s unemployment rate fell by one-tenth of a percent, to 3.3 percent, after rising by that amount in October. The county continued to have the area’s biggest population and workforce, with 71,264 workers and 68.907 jobs. That’s up 52 workers and 94 jobs from the previous month, and by nearly 2,810 workers and 2,746 jobs from a year ago, when the rate also was 3.3 percent. Ector County’s unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent after two moths at 3.9 percent, with an increase of 237 jobs and 215 workers.
Andrews County’s rate held 3.7 percent from October to November, as the number of workers was down 25 while the county lost 23 jobs. Brewster County’s rate went from 3.3 to 3.2 percent, while the county lost 17 workers and 13 jobs. Crane County’s rate dropped two-tenths of a percent, from 5.2 to 5 percent. The county lost three workers and one job.
Culberson County’s rate was up from 3.5 to 3.8 percent, with an loss of 31 workers and 35 jobs from October. Dawson County saw its rate fall from 7 to 6.5 percent, as the county lost 75 workers and 50 jobs, according to the TWC.
Howard County’s unemployment rate remained at 5.2 percent last month. The county saw a drop of 60 workers and 51 jobs from September. Pecos County’s rate also was unchanged, at 5.0 percent, as the county’s workforce was down by 92 workers while the total number of jobs fell by 90. In Ward County, unemployment was down to 4.9 percent after two months at 5.1 percent, with the number of jobs up by five while the workforce was unchanged from October’s total. Winkler County’s unemployment rate was up from 4.5 to 4.6 percent, the same rate it had in September. The county’s workforce up by 20 people while the number of jobs rose by 22.
Presidio County’s jobless rate dropped from 9.4 to 9.3 percent, after a 2.6 percent drop last month. The county’s workforce down by 20 from October, while the number of jobs was down 15 from the previous month. Loving County’s jobless rate fell 1.2 percent in November after a 3 percent jump in October. The nation’s least-populated county saw its rate fall from 13.3 to 12.1 percent, thanks to the addition of three jobs and three workers to its labor force. The TWC said Loving County had 33 people in the workforce in November and 29 with jobs, which is also one less worker and one less job than in November of 2005.
Library has wildfire information
Reeves County Library has teamed up with the Texas Forest Service Community Wildfire Awareness Program to provide timely information on preparing homes for wildfires, as new burn bans go into effect in West Texas and well before next summer’s wildfire season.
“People have the misconception that wildfires don’t destroy homes in Texas,” said Jan Fulkerson, Texas Forest Service. “The truth is we do have devastating fires here as seen in the 2005-2006 fire season, and this area is susceptible because of the vegetation type and the terrain.
Several West Texas counties have reinstated their burn bans with the upcoming fireworks season for New Year’s. The bans were removed after heavy rains hit the area from late July through early September. Little rain has fallen in the past three months, though showers were predicted for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
“Homeowners need to take all the steps they can before wildfire strikes so that their home has a chance to survive,” said Fulkerson. “This information will arm homeowners with the knowledge they need to make their homes more resistant to wildfires,” she said.
The new display at the library contains a poster, brochures, and bookmarks, and bookmarks, as well as resource material available to check out, including, “Wildfire - Preventing Home Ignition” video featuring renowned fire research scientist Jack Cohen.
“We are happy to work with the Texas Forest Service to provide this information to our clientele,” said Reeves County Librarian Sally Perry. “We want to do our part so our friends and neighbors don’t lose their homes to wildfires,” she said.
The information will be at the Reeves County Library indefinitely.
Perry wanted the community to know that the electrical problem in the library building will be repaired the first part of 2007.
“So those who want to use the computers, fax, copy machine, please start visiting the library,” said Perry.
The Friends of the Library have a display of new and popular books (includes high school yearbooks). “These make great Christmas gifts for all ages,” said Perry. “Everyone is encouraged to come in and look and help with this fundraiser.”
Marriages and Divorces
Editor’s Note: Marriage and divorce records are public record and may be accessed by anyone. All marriage records are kept in the Reeves County Clerk’s office, while divorce records can be located in the District Clerk’s Office located on the second floor of the courthouse.
Marriages for September 2006, as filed with the Reeves County Clerk’s Office.
Ronald Lee Seibor and Glenn Gale Thomas.
Hugo R. Gallegos and Maria Rosa De Leon Sosa.
Sergio D. Sanchez and Shirley Ann Abila.
Marriages for October 2006, as filed with the Reeves County Clerk’s Office.
Samuel Valencia Jr. and Jessica Jasso Patino.
Israel John Matta and Roxanne Garcia Nunez.
Timothy W. Shade and Yvonne P. Trowbridge.
Oscar Muela Alvarado and Elizabeth Belen Jasso.
Patrick D. Sparkman and Savannah L. Ewing.
Marriages for November 2006, as filed with the Reeves County Clerk’s Office.
Silvestre N. Ramirez and Marina Garcia Botello.
Oliver Isaac Zermeno and Vanessa Valenzuela Valles.
Martin M. Torres and Vanessa J. Marruffo.
Divorces for September 2006, as filed with the Reeves County District’s Clerk’s Office.
Raul P. Dominguez and Manuela V. Dominguez.
Christopher Morgan and Monica Morgan.
Divorces for October 2006, as filed with the Reeves County District Clerk’s Office.
Robert N. Abila and Sandra Renteria Abila.
Sherry A. Bragg and Mark A. Bragg.
Divorces for November 2006, as filed with the Reeves County District Clerk’s Office.
Yadira E. Roman and Patricia M. Roman Lopez.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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