Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, December 29, 2006
All-night party leads to fights, several arrests
An all-night party at an east side apartment led to fights early Tuesday morning that sent two women to Reeves County Hospital and injured the teen-age son of one of the victims, while also resulting in the arrest of two persons on public intoxication charges and a third on a possession of cocaine charge.
Pecos Police Investigator Capt. Kelly Davis said officers received a call at 6 a.m. on Tuesday about an assault that had taken place at 1006 E. 10th St. Davis said the caller, Elizabeth Jimenez, was one of the two women injured, and was taken to Reeves County Hospital by ambulance suffering from a bruise to the back of the head, along with bruises to her back and stomach.
Also taken to the hospital was Redessa Jenkins, 27, 212 W. 14th St., who was found by EMS workers bleeding from the head when they arrived to treat Jimenez. Davis said Jenkins had been hit in the head with a blunt object, causing the bleeding.
“The argument started at another location at a party,” Davis said. “Miss Jimenez said she went to her apartment to avoid a confrontation. Miss Jenkins then went to Miss Jimenez’s apartment and a fight ensued, and during the fight, each person received injuries.”
At the same time they were dealing with the first assault, Adrian Lopez told police that he had been assaulted in a second incident. Lopez, 18, told officers he was asleep inside 1006 E. 10th St., when he heard the fight going on, went outside and was then assaulted by a man identified as Ernesto Perea, 38, 1116 W. Fifth St.
“Perea said he was there because someone cut his tires at the party,” Davis said. “He thought Lopez had, that’s why he assaulted Mr. Lopez.”
Perea was arrested by police on a charge of public intoxication, along with possession of drug paraphernalia, after a crack pipe was found in his possession, according to Davis. He added that another person, identified as Bianca Lujan, 17, 2314 Cothrun St., also was arrested on a public intoxication charge.
“Both subjects ran when officers arrived, and were apprehended,” Davis said. Perea and Lujan were then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
The next arrest in connection with the incident took place about five hours later, after officers had talked with the subjects in the initial incident.
“Through this investigation, we determined there was a cocaine party going on and got a warrant on an apartment across the street,” Davis said. Investigator Olga Lopez said the apartment was at 1005 E. 10th St., catty-cornered from Jimenez’s apartment, and officers then got a warrant to search the home, which they executed at 10:56 a.m. on Tuesday.
“Cocaine was found at the apartment, and the subject was arrested,” Davis said. He identified the subject as Teresa Hood, who was charged with possession of a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school (Bessie Haynes Elementary). She was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Davis said officers are continuing their investigation into the incident. “As far as arrests on the assaults, we are waiting on those people, to see if they want to file charges,” he added.
Roll-over takes life of one brother
A Fort Stockton man was killed and his brother was injured following a one-vehicle rollover that occurred early Wednesday morning near Saragosa.
Efrain Rodriguez, 23, was killed when the 2001 Chevrolet pickup being driven by his brother, Miguel Rodriguez, 24, also of Fort Stockton, rolled over while on Cemetery Road near Saragosa. The Department of Public Safety received notification of the accident at 2:47 a.m. on Wednesday and DPS troopers Greg Reyero and Roy Lytle of Balmorhea were called to investigate.
According to the report filed by Reyero, the pickup was westbound on Cemetery Road when it veered off the right side of the roadway, overcorrected and went off the left side of the road, overturning 2 3/4 times before coming to rest. Efrain Rodriguez , who Reyero said was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the pickup, and was pronounced dead at 3:22 a.m. by Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Rosendo Carrasco. His body was taken to Pecos Funeral Home.
Miguel Rodriguez was transported to Reeves County Hospital following the accident for treatment of his injuries, but they were not said to be serious. There was no indication of whether or not any citations would be issued in connection with the accident.
Roll-over on I-10 sends one man to Odessa hospital
A roll-over on Interstate 10, just past the split with Interstate 20, required the use of the Aerocare helicopter.
The accident occurred at about 2 p.m., Thursday, on Interstate 10 and involved a Chevrolet Tahoe.
The vehicle was eastbound on Interstate 10 at the 187 mile marker, and had just passed the I-10 split, when it left the roadway and overturned on the north side of the highway, about 100 yards past the split with Interstate 20.
There were five people in the vehicle, four women and one man, who was the most seriously injured. He was taken by Aerocare to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, while one woman was transported by Pecos EMS to Reeves County Hospital.
All eastbound traffic was detoured onto Interstate 20, while the helicopter landed to pick up the victim for transport to Odessa.
Department of Public Safety Cpl. Emmittt Moore, of Pecos, said the woman who was driving was unable to say exactly what happened.
The accident is still under investigation and the names of the individuals involved were not available at press time.
Millan crowned Reinita De La Virgen De Guadalupe
A young lady was crowned Reinita De La Virgen De Guadalupe on Dec. 12, at Santa Rosa De Lima Catholic Church.
Ashley Faith Millan, 5 years old and the daughter of Julian and Maria Teresa Millan, was crowned Reinita De La Virgen De Guadalupe.
Millan is a student at Pecos Kindergarten.
She has one brother, Julian Jesus Millan, who is a student at Bessie Haynes. Her grandparents are Julian Sr. and Becky Millan and Emilio T. and Ramona C. Lujan.
Millan was escorted by Victor Martinez, the son of Juan J. and Alma L. Martinez.
His grandparents are Rafael and Carmen Martinez and Emilio T. and Ramona C. Lujan.
Millan was sponsored by her parents.
Local library to provide timely 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.”
Tax rebates rise for both city, economic development
Sales tax rebate money going to the Town of Pecos City and to the Pecos Economic Development Corp. have risen by nearly one third over the past three years, and are over one third higher than the same figures from a decade ago thanks to the area’s energy boom, despite a drop of over 30 percent in the area’s labor force and population.
Figures released earlier this month by Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn’s office showed that Pecos fell just short of $1 million in rebates to its 1 1/2-cent sales tax. The city got back $999,057 from its sales tax, which has remained at its present rate for the past decade.
That’s compared with the totals at the end of 2003, which showed the city had gotten $754,832 back from the state, as its share of the 8 1/4 percent sales tax. And a decade ago, the city’s final sales tax receipt total came in at $723,396.
The increases are even greater for Reeves County Hospital and its 1/2-cent sales tax. The hospital received $476,876 in sales tax rebates for 2006, a total that’s up from the $322,189 it got back from the comptroller’s office for all of 2003, and the $271,733 the hospital receives in sales tax rebates for all of 1996. That’s an increase of over 75 percent in tax rebates in the last decade, and 48 percent over what the hospital was receiving just three years ago.
Inflation over the past decade has averaged around 3 percent annually, which would account for some increase in sales tax collections. But the change over the past three years has come at the same time Pecos lost one of its major employers, the Freeport McMoRan sulphur mine, and saw two others reopen after closing, but at much smaller staffing levels. The Anchor West plant was employing about 700 people when it was bought and then closed by McCain Foods in 2002, two years after Smithers Automotive Testing Center closed down its local facilities and moved operations to Laredo.
Anchor’s plant was bought and has since reopened at TransPecos Foods, but with only about 25 percent of the former labor force, while the Texas Transportation Institute and Applied Research Associates are in he process of reopening the Smither’s facility, but at this time have only one full-time employee on staff.
Meanwhile, the current increase in oil and natural gas drilling in West Texas began in 2004, after a brief jump three years earlier due to higher oil and natural gas prices in the winter of 2000-2001.
The 33 percent rise in sales tax collections for the city, and the 48 percent rise for the hospital district since 2003 comes despite a 10 percent drop in both the total number of jobs in Reeves County and the county’s workforce over that same period of time, based on numbers from the Texas Workforce Commission.
The TWC’s latest numbers, from November of 2006, show the county had 4,143 workers, of which 3,867 had jobs. Three years ago, just before the start of the current oil and gas boom, the TWC said Reeves County had 4,574 workers and 4,109 with jobs, which represents a loss of 431 workers and 242 jobs over the past three years.
The TWC’s numbers also match up with the Texas Comptroller’s office’s list of the total number of businesses collecting taxes within Reeves County in recent years, while the gross sales within the city and county match up with the recent rise in the tax rebates for the area.
Gross sales for the first half of 2006 in Reeves County totaled $93.2 million, up from the $154.3 million in sales for all of 2005. In 2003, just prior to the current surge in drilling operations, total gross sales in the county were only $123.7 million, while 10 years ago, sales were only at $122.4 million for all of 1996.
For the Town of Pecos City, gross sales were only $106.1 million for all of 1996 and $106.5 million for all of 2003. For the first half of 2006, the comptroller’s office said the city’s gross sales came to $78.8 million after rising to $131.1 million in 2005.
Gross sales within the county did spike in 1997 and 1998 to $171.8 and $182.5 million, but then plunged to $121.5 million in 1999. The city’s gross sales for those two years also increased, to $153.4 million in 1997 and $163.5 million in 1998, but then dropped back to $102.6 million in 1999.
At the same time, the total number of businesses reporting sales in Reeves County dipped to 242 in the second quarter of this year. That’s down 18 from the same time period a year ago and from the second quarter of 2003, while a decade ago, Reeves County had 332 businesses reporting sales to the state comptroller’s office. In the city, the number of outlets collecting sales taxes has dropped from 284 in the second quarter of 1996 and 217 from the second quarter of 2003 to just 196 in the second quarter of this year.
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.
Rene Mejia, 24, 1006 E 10th St., Apt. A was arrested by police on Dec. 15 on a warrant out of Brooks County charging him with burglary of a habitation. Police said the arrested was made after officers were called to the 1000 block of East 10th Street in reference to a man beating on a door and making noise, and a records check revealed the outstanding warrant.
Raymond Palomino, Jr., 22, 2122 Missouri St., was arrested by police on Dec. 12 on a warrant charging him with criminal trespass. Police said the arrest was made at his house on the warrant, which was issued out of Monahans.
Arturo Hernandez Rayos, 34, 1512 S. Plum St., was arrested by police on Dec. 11 on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest took place in the 900 block of South Locust Street, and Rayos was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Jimmy Garcia Abila, 35, 111 Clemson St., in Barstow, was arrested by police on Dec. 9 and charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrest was made following a traffic stop at Fourth and Cedar Streets, and Abila was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Daniel Torres Orona, 39, of 2340 S. Eddy St., and Alicia Gomez Patino, 38, 601 S. Oleander St., Apt. B, were arrested on Dec. 19 and charged with public intoxication. According to police, the arrests took place after a vehicle driven by Patino was stopped for a traffic violation in the 1700 block of West Second Street. Both Orona and Patino were then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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