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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, July 18, 2008

Trio identified as illegal rodeo ‘ticket-takers’

A New Mexico teen is being sought by Pecos police, after two juveniles were taken into custody in connection with the theft of several thousand dollars worth of West of the Pecos Rodeo tickets sometime after the third of this year’s four performances.

The theft occurred following the June 27 show, and many of the tickets then sold by the thieves to people for the final night of this year’s rodeo on June 28.

Police investigator Paul Deishler said warrants were issued for the two juveniles and the female adult, identified as Keeona S. Cata, 17, of Albuquerque, N.M.

Deishler said Reeves County Juvenile Probation Department officials were handling the juveniles, while they were continuing to search for the 17-year-old. Mary Ann Acosta, supervisor of the county’s Juvenile Detention Center, said that her department has dealt with the teens since the three were identified as suspects by police on July 9.

Following the theft, Police Chief Clay McKinney said, “We have spoken to several people about where they received the tickets when they were trying to utilize them at the ticket booth. We received eight different (ticket) sources, and some of them even indicated they didn’t buy the ticket, they were just handed the ticket.”

Deishler said the interviews did help police eventually identify the three suspects. “During the interviews it was determined that the two juveniles and one adult had committed the burglary of the ticket booth, removing between 450 to 500 rodeo tickets from inside the ticket booth,” he said.

McKinney’s wife, West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee member Brenda McKinney, said two sections of tickets valued at $9 apiece were taken from the box office following the June 27 performance. A number of the tickets turned up in people’s hands on Saturday, as they attempted to use the stolen tickets to get into the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena. “They were coming in with those tickets, and they were telling us they were purchasing them from other people,” Brenda McKinney said.

Both the police and Reeves County sheriff’s deputies were called to investigate the theft, and along with rodeo committee members talked to the people who attempted to get in with the stolen tickets.

“It had to have happened Friday evening (June 27) after we closed,” Brenda McKinney said. “The tickets were in the area where we sell tickets, and the ladies (in the ticket booth) were gone maybe 10-15 minutes, so it wasn’t broke into.”

The committee was able to reproduce the tickets using a different color, and checked for the stolen ticket numbers at the gate on Saturday.

The theft was the second major incident in the past four years at the West of the Pecos Rodeo. In 2004, a box containing between $10,000 and $12,000 in cash and checks was stolen from the press box at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena, also following the Friday night performance of the rodeo.

Commissioners set projects for $40m bond issue

Reeves County Commissioners put the cost of a proposed November bond election to fund improvements and expansions to county facilities at almost $40 million, following a discussion held on Monday as part of the regular Commissioners Court meeting at the Reeves County Courthouse.

The discussion was a continuation from a previous meeting. At that time, Reeves County Judge Sam Contreras said, “There are several projects that we have been looking at and one of the main things we need to do is look at how much all this will cost.

Contreras said at the earlier meeting that county officials were looking to see how much all the projects would cost, and if they would have to scale back some of the plans in order to move on in this bond issue.

On Monday, the group came up with a rough estimate of how much it would cost to complete the projects the county had in mind.

Reeves County Auditor Lynn Owens said that after estimating all the figures the county had come up with the rough figure of $40 million that would be needed. “It was $39 million something, so roughly $40 million and it includes everything the county had on the list,” he said.

While the county is considering a bond election for November, commissioners will still have to vote to place the measure on the ballot. “The deadline to file is Aug. 26, in order for us to get on the November ballot,” said Owens.

Projects included as part of the $40 million bond issue would be construction of a new Reeves County Courthouse Annex. A new annex building has been sought by Reeves County for over a decade, to house some of the employees currently sharing cramped space at the 73-year-old courthouse.

The old Reeves County Hospital, which houses several county offices, is also on the list for renovations. County offices located at the old hospital building, at 700 W. Daggett St., include the office of the county emergency management, county extension agent, Meals on Wheels, adult probation, Justice of the Peace for Precinct 2, Jim Riley, and Precinct 4, Eddie Rodriguez, Health and Human Services; TRACS and West Texas Opportunities. Improvements or building a new Reeves County Library is also being considered.

A sports complex for public use and fixing the current county-maintained sports fields, also are on the list, as is completion of the expansion and relocation of the Reeves County Golf Course. The county sold off three holes along Interstate 20 last year for commercial development and plans to relocate those holes and add four more to create a full 18-hole course on land south of the current 14-hole layout.

Renovation of the currently closed Northside Swimming Pool; improvements to the maintenance building (Road and Bridge); Bessie Haynes Memorial Park Renovation; and work on the Pecos Entry from I-20 and Reeves County Civic Center entry upgrades are also part of the proposed bond issue.

Contreras said that the county officials, along with the architects, did a walk-through of all the buildings, following Monday’s special meeting.

He said that the homeowners will be impacted very little, since most of the taxes come from minerals, 80 percent and 20 percent from residents.

“We will be keeping everyone informed, as we gather more information,” he said. “We are just in the initial stages at this point.”

In other action during Monday’s regular meeting, commissioners heard from Reeves County Sheriff’s Deputy Gary Richards on Border Star Grant.

Richards said that the Reeves County Deputies had been busy doing extra duty with the grant funds.

“We have paid $29,000 in wages; 18, in mileage and had no emergency expenses,” said Richards. “We are still within the $46,000 remaining until Aug. 15,” he said.

Richards said that they had responded to 63 calls, 177 traffic stops; issued 40 citations and 83 warnings.

“In addition, we did make a traffic stop and it was for an individual on the terrorist watch list,” said Richards.

Richards said that he is letting the deputies work as much or as little of this overtime as they want. He added that they plan to submit an estimate and apply for another grant when this one expires.

“The next grant will be for one year,” said Richards.

Commissioners also awarded the bid for courthouse roof replacement to Jeff Eubank of Fort Worth in the amount of $271,400.

“What is the time frame?” said Contreras.

“Their completion date was 30 days, since they are from Fort Worth, they just want to come in and do the job and not have to travel back and forth,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Roy Alvarado.

Personnel and salary changes include: Francisco Hernandes, activities lieutenant and RI&II, at $40,053; Amanda Thetford, part time at $18.15 an hour at R-III; Hortencia Lopez, program director assistant, at the recreation department, $8 an hour, part-time; Ernest Fuentes, temporary, part-time at the golf course, $8 an hour; Glena Sciber, at the pro shop at the golf course, $8 an hour; Oscar Guerrero and Julie Payne, transportation at the juvenile detention department, $10 an hour, subjects to be called, but not on call; Briar Prewit, jailer at the Reeves County Jail, $12 per hour; Yali Garcia, from part-time to full-time, secretary for JP4&1, $9.65 an hour; new hire at RI&II, Mary Jane Olson, correctional officer, $31,179 and Brittany Rodriguez, unit clerk, activities lieutenant, $29,411.

Police seek tips on vandalism, thefts

Information is being sought on several crimes that occurred in the community recently and rewards are being offered to solve these occurrences.

Pecos Valley Crime Stoppers and the Pecos Police Department need help in solving these crimes.

Sometime between 8 p.m., Saturday, June 28 and 8:30 a.m., Sunday, June 29, subject (or subjects) gained entry without consent to the Pecos High School Football field through locked gates. The individuals then rode what appeared to be a bike on the freshly applied track causing several thousands of dollars worth of damage to the track.

On Friday, July 4, at 10:06 a.m., officers were dispatched to the Lone Star Storage complex in reference to a storage unit that was broken in to and the lock replaced with the an unknown lock. Items taken were two chop saws; black diamond plate tool box; two jack stands; welding hood; LT 23585 R16 Firestone Tans Force H/T; one round air sander; one rectangle air sander; chipping hammer; two magnetic squares; two regular squares; two skill saws; two boxes of welding rods; welding gloves; welding vest; set of body dollies; slide hammer; a bucket of tire mounting compound; exhaust system for a 2007 Harley Ultra Classic; 50 feet of black air hose, and a 20-ton air over hydraulic jack. On Wednesday, July 9, at 8:45 a.m., another storage unit at Lone Star Storage was discovered broken in to and the lock replaced on it. Items taken were four Eagle Alloy chrome wheels valued at $400.

If anyone has any information about these crimes or any other crime, call Crime Stoppers at 445-9898 or leave a Secure Web-Tip at

As always the informant will remain anonymous and Crime Stoppers will pay up to a $1,000 cash reward if it leads to the arrest of the person or persons involved in the crimes. There is no caller I.D. on this line and the department tanks everyone for their help.

Sanchez crowned the new Miss Sparkler

Alexia Kariz Sanchez was crowned as the new Miss Sparkler in Monahans recently.

Sanchez is the daughter of Desiree and Johnny Sanchez of Monahans. Grandparents are Ruben and Gloria Tarango of Pecos and Mando and Yvonne Marin of Monahans.

Taylor celebrates eighth birthday

Kellie Kristine Taylor celebrated her 8th birthday on Saturday, July 12, with a party held in her honor at the Pecos Valley Country Club Swimming Pool.

Theme for the special occasion was Hannah Montana.

Her favorite gifts were games for her Wii given to her by her parents, Myra and Kyle Taylor.

Paternal grandparents are Steve and Dawn Taylor of Midland and Dan and Kathy Painter of El Paso.

Christina Bitolas of Pecos is her maternal grandmother.

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

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