Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Pooles careful on Weatherby remodeling job
Mary Poole isn’t crazy, but she does live in a house with padded walls.
“This is the first time I have ever vacuumed the wall,” said the artistic animal lover. Two cats and two dogs in the house make vacuuming a daily necessity.
Poole and her husband, Gene, removed carpeting from the foyer, kitchen and bathrooms in the historic “Weatherby House” that they bought from the West of the Pecos Museum. Gene laid tile and sanded beautiful wood floors to give the home a more modern look. But intricate drapes still grace the dining room windows, and delicate silky fabric covers the living-room walls.
All the walls were covered in fabric, Poole said. Water stains are visible around the bathtub.
“I’m glad we don’t have little children,” said Poole, whose only daughter operates a photo studio in Manhatten.
Lumberman T.B. Pruett built the house in the early 1900s, but it was Ivy Weatherby who installed the elaborate decorations.
“Sometimes I sit and look and think how long it must have taken,” said Poole.
Her own variations have taken two years, and she feels they have just gotten started.
“We hadn’t done anything like this before,” said Poole. “We had always lived in apartments until we bought a house in Kyle and lived there three years. It was fairly new, so there wasn’t much to do. We are learning with this house as we go along.”
Since both work and pursue artistic hobbies, there is little time for remodeling. Gene teaches at West Texas State School, and Mary does monogramming for Needleworks two days a week.
Although she majored in art and has done some painting, Poole said she has turned more to crafts. She and Gene have several bottle-cap snakes under construction on the art table.
“People don’t want to pay what you want for your art,” she said. “I usually just share it with friends and family.”
Having moved around the world with a military family and lived in big cities, Poole said she enjoys the slow pace in Pecos.
“There is almost no traffic. The people here are so nice. We still have time to chat and talk over the back fence. We don’t miss the big city,” she said.
She spent most of her working years in restaurants, as manager, waitress, bartender – “everything but cooking. Then I had a catering business.”
For relaxation, both Mary and Gene like to go driving around the countryside, and have made numerous trips to Fort Davis, Marfa and Alpine.
“I like to garden and read. I have a hard time learning the names of cactus, trees and shrubs that grow well here. There wasn’t a blade of grass in the backyard when we moved in.”
Poole said the outside stairway on the north side of the house was added during World War II for access to the second story, which was made into an apartment.
She would have felt right at home with the servicemen stationed at Pecos Army Air Field, because her grandfather graduated from West Point in 1915 with the “class the stars fell on,” including Generals Ike Eisenhower and Omar Bradley. His son also went to West Point.
Her great-grandfather on her mother’s side was in the class of 1886.
“They were very stern folks to grow up with,” Poole said. “That might be where I got some of the interest in history.”
Poole’s father was stationed in Japan and then moved to Germany, where she was born. They also spent three years in Holland.
“I would love to go to Ireland and Scotland,” she said.
Mostly, she and Gene travel to Cozumel, Mex. because they love the beach and snorkeling in the clear waters of the Caribbean. “If it is not a beach, it is not a vacation to Gene,” she said.
Group demands council address shelter problems
Town of Pecos City Council and members of the newly created Pecos Humane Society will hold their second meeting in five days on Tuesday to discuss problems at the city’s animal shelter and other animal control issues, following a long discussion during the council’s regular meeting on Thursday at City Hall.
Three members of the city’s animal control board announced they had resigned their positions during the hour-long discussion, and voiced their complaints about a lack of cooperation on the animal control issue by city officials. As a result, Mayor Dick Alligood said the council would hold a special meeting on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the problems.
“This is not an update, this is a resignation,” said Teeny Crider, who served as spokeswoman for the Animal Control Board members. City manager Joseph Torres asked the women to reconsider, but Crider said they had formed a Human Society chapter in Pecos, and that under its rules could not serve on the board with city officials.
“We feel the due to the lack of cooperation and consideration by city officials, we have resigned,” she said.
Crider said that since an April meeting with the council, the city had not provided the board with revised plans for the new shelter. She also said they had not been provided the revised animal enforcement codes or municipal court case dispositions, and said that animals at the shelter were only being provided hot water for their drinking bowls.
“The cold water is found outside the building. It’s not connected to the hose inside,” said Ruth Luster, while Crider added, “You know in the summertime, that water never cools down.”
Torres said the hose and the hot water inside the building was used to clean the pens. Crider said former Animal Control Officer Daniel Dominguez told her that the animals were getting water from the hot water faucet when he was in charge of the facility.
On Tuesday, Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney said animal control officer Billy Jack Brookshire had looked into the problem, which has been corrected.
“It was a line that came from a hot water heater, but the water wasn’t very hot,” McKinney said. “He (Brookshire) said it was an old hot water heater and the water was coming out at only slightly above room temperature, but we went back in and installed a separate line for the dogs’ drinking water.”
Lori Hughes told the council that aside from the problems with the shelter, the city needed to improve the enforcement of its animal code ordinances.
“People are responsible for their animals. Why are we punishing those animals when the people are responsible?” Hughes said. “I think it’s wrong when you have animals dying in the pound.”
McKinney said he knew of only one animal death at the pound, when a small dog was put into a pen with a larger one due to overcrowding.
Alligood said the city was in the process of updating its ordinance codes, and was told by Luster she had a three-year-old copy of the animal control ordinances.
“I’m saying your asking for copies on the books, but I don’t know why we can’t do that,” said councilman Danny Rodriguez.
“They’re not just in one bunch. We’re trying to gather them up,” Alligood said.
“I say you can copy five or 10 and give it to them,” said Rodriguez, who promised to personally go through every code book the city has to get the ordiances for Humane Society members.
The women also asked about coverage at the shelter during the weekend, when Brookshire is off-duty. McKinney said Juan Vasquez from the police department checks on the animals on Saturday and leaves enough food and water to last until Monday.
However, Christina Spivey said she saw bowls tipped over and no food and water for the animals when she got into the pound area one weekend. “It looked like the pound had not been cleaned,” she said.
Other issues covered by the group included a lack of dipping for fleas and ticks or de-worming at the shelter.
“People, we aren’t barbaric. Can’t you do something?” Luster said. She later added that the city and local residents weren’t doing enough to vaccinate their animals from rabies.
“Dr. (Ronald) Box ordered 1,500 rabies vaccinations and only 300 were used,” she said.
“Since I’ve been here for eight years, I’ve been trying to get you to listen. You’re hearing me, but I don’t know if you’re listening,” said Luster, who has set up her own home as a shelter due to overcrowding and other problems at the city pound.
On the building, the group asked why the city couldn’t speed up the process by using a metal building for the new shelter. “We need to get Ruth some relief, and get those animals out of her house,” Crider said.
City public works director Edgardo Madrid said due to the heavy water use for cleaning the pens, a metal building would be subject to rust, while state rules require proper pen watering and drainage facilities, which will require plumbing be installed with the foundation.
Torres noted that the council on Wednesday had approved an additional $75,000 in the upcoming 2008-09 budget to go along with $50,00 already budgeted for the facility. He added that city finance director John Phillip has secured bank funding for the remaining construction cost, which is estimated at $260,000, but Madrid added the next hurdle will be finding a building contractor.
“I talked to contractors from Denver City, El Paso and Seminole, but we haven’t gotten a bid yet,” he said. One of the contractors, Antonio Briones, is already in Pecos building single-family homes, and Madrid said Briones told them he would present the city with a bid shortly.
Alligood also told the Humane Society group that the city was also limited on any mass roundup of stray and loose animals due to the area’s rabies problem.
“We talked with (state zoologist) Cathy Parker,” Alligood said. “She said if we do any mass roundups the state will not allow any (pet) adoptions out of the county.”
The Humane Society members also asked the council if they could have access to the pound, and were told the city would have to look into liability issues there before making any final decision.
PEDC director, venue tax board update council
Town of Pecos City Council members heard updates from two groups involved with economic development on Thursday, and also set a preliminary tax rate for the upcoming year, during their regular meeting at City Hall.
Council members adopted a proposed tax rate for the 2008-09 year at .73460 cents per $100 in valuation, the same as last year. That’s above the effective tax rate of .65978, which would raise the same amount of money as last year, but just below the rollback rate of .73513 per $100 in valuations. The council will have to hold two public hearings in September, before finalizing the new tax rate at the end of the month.
The updates were from the Pecos Economic Development Corp. and the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena and Reeves County Civic Center Venue Tax Board.
Council members also approved the budgets for the 4A and 4B PEDC divisions during the meeting, and were told by executive director Robert Tobias that the 4A PEDC still has $63,000 in the bank, though it has received no funds since the 4B PEDC began operations in October of last year.
He said 4A contracts with Badger BMB, Anchor Drilling and TransPecos Foods could be closed out and turned over to the 4B PEDC soon. “I think we’re at the point of doing that, but the test track is still an issue,” said city attorney Scott Johnson.
On the 4B, Tobias said it received $278,000 in operating revenues, most of that from its share of the city’s sales tax, while expenditures were $122,000. “We have lots of money in the bank. We need to figure out what to do with it.”
Tobias said both revenues and expenditures for the 4B PEDC should increase in the 2008-09 budget year. He said the corporation is still looking at establishing a small business center with Sul Ross State University in Pecos, and will have a mixer at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 18 in the courtyard of the West of the Pecos Museum to help promote the programs available through the PEDC and other local community groups and organizations.
He also told the council the PEDC is looking at leasing office space in the building owned by former State Rep. Dick Slack at Fifth and Cypress streets.
Council members also agreed to put Tobias on the city’s retirement and health plans while he serves as executive director of the 4B PEDC.
The venue tax update was provided by mayor Dick Alligood, who along with councilman Frank Sanchez and city manager Joseph Torres are members of the venue tax board formed earlier this year to plan for remodling of both the rodeo arena and civic center with the new 2 percent hotel/motel tax approved by voters in 2005. Both the city and Reeves County have four representatives on the board, and County Judge Sam Contreras is currently serving as the board’s president.
“We’re beginning to put together a plan where we’re going to take the civic center and Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena,” said Alligood, who told the council a public hearing on the issue as tentatively been set for Oct. 15 to discuss options for both facilities.
“From that we’re hoping with the information we’ll assimilate a pretty good idea of what we want to do,” he said. “We have a 30-year time period (with the venue tax) and hopefully we can get it done.”
Torres said the venue tax collected so far has totally $63,000, but the venue tax authority has not yet moved to assume maintenance and operation of the two facilities from Reeves County and the Pecos Chamber of Commerce.
Alligood also said Sanchez has asked to be replaced on the board, and that councilman Cody West would be nominated as his replacement. The change must also be approved by Reeves County Commissioners.
In other action, councilman were presented with plans for the city’s next phase of its sewer repair and installation project, which will cover Third Street from Ash to Orange streets, and a one-block section of Seventh, from Cedar to Ash streets. City public works director Edgardo Madrid said that due to other projects currently using city workers, the new project would contract out for labor once the council approves the final plans.
He said the project currently is behind the schedule initially given to the Office of Rural Community Affairs, which provided funding for the sewer repairs, but added, “We have one year to do all the construction.”
“We’ve already spent $40,000-$60,000 for administration and engineering, which will be reimbursed,” Madrid said. “The total cost of the project is at $250,000-$260,000, and is is to be on next year’s budget.”
He said the city is holding off on doing repairs on some streets until the water and sewer projects are completed, and that the city may look at upgrading some sewer collection lines on the southeast side of town to handle the new motels being planned along Cedar Street and Interstate 20.
The council approved the sale of all but two pieces of property as part of the local taxing entites’ sale of forclosed land. Two pieces of land, at 1105 W. Third St., and at Fourth and Irene streets, were turned over to the Pecos Economic Development Corp. for review, because both border commercial areas in town.
Council members also looked at reacquiring 15.57 acres of land from the Texas Department of Transportation sold by the city to the state agency a decade ago for a new yard. The land is located on the south side of Interstate 20 between Colt Chevrolet and the planned site for a new Hampton Inn.
“We have a chance to repurchase that from the state for economic development,” said Alligood, who said TxDOT has cut back on its new building construction and is unlikely to need the land, which the city hopes to use for economic development.
“Once this land is sold, the council will have to decide what to do with it,” said Torres. He said the city would offer TxDOT fair market value for the land, but it would have to be declared surplus by the agency before it can be sold.
Roberts gets national honor for 2 1/2-ton marijuana bust
A local deputy was honored at the national level during a conference he attended along with several law enforcement officers from throughout the United States.
Captain Kevin Roberts of the Reeves County Sheriff’s Department attended an EPIC/DEA conference from Aug. 25-29, in Kansas City. Roberts said that he was contacted in June that he was being invited to the conference and was also informed that during the conference that he would be given an award for the largest marijuana seizure in the United States for 2007, coming in at just under 2 1/2 tons.
The conference was attended by approximately 1,000 narcotic investigators from all over the United States and Canada.
“When I was first contacted I was in Federal court in Dallas, on a case where we apprehended a person for an armored car heist,” said Roberts. “The armored care heist was one of the largest ever in Texas and was the largest heist in Dallas history. It was pretty ironic we also held the record for the largest marijuana seizure in the United States.”
“I was honestly speechless, it took several days to sink in,” said Roberts.
Roberts said that the remembers when they got the load.
“Officer Malissa Roberts and myself investigated the case. The marijuana seizure was just under 5,000 pounds and took six officers, 14 hours to process the load,” he said.
Roberts said that they actually spent days interviewing the driver and chasing down leads across the country.
“The load was destined for Missouri, and through our investigation were able to assist the DEA in Alpine and El Paso, along with the DEA in Missouri in dismantling the trafficking organization. This drug organization was a very large operation,” said Roberts. “This case is a classic example of agencies working together with the same goal in mind.”
“We are very dedicated in our mission and always strive for excellence which in this case has paid off,” said Roberts. “We have an excellent team from the officers on the highway to our support staff that oversees all daily operations of the Narcotics Division,” he said.
So far this year, the Reeves County Narcotics Division has seized approximately 60 pounds of cocaine; 1,000 pounds of marijuana and 25 pounds of crystal methamphetamines with a total street value of approximately $3.8 million dollars.
“We have also seized approximately $212,000 in United States currency, which is utilized to keep the Reeves County Narcotics Division in operation,” said Roberts. “We are very proud of our achievements and it is all accomplished at no expense to the taxpayers of this county.”
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.
Patricia Grado, 35, of Fort Stockton, was arrested by police on Aug. 24 on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. Police said the arrested occurred following a traffic stop at 12:47 a.m. in the 2500 block of the Balmorhea Highway. Grado was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Joe Alexander Montoya, 32, of Odessa, was arrested by police on Aug. 24 on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest occurred at 4:40 a.m., when he was found lying in a grass in front of Pecos High School, 1200 S. Park St. Montoya was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Shaun Michael Thompson, 28, 605 S. Hickory St., was arrested by police on Aug. 24 on a charge of driving while intoxicated (refusal) a Class A misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made following a traffic stop, while police were investigating a report of gunshots in the 500 block of South Hackberry Street. Thompson was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Hugo Natividad Rodriguez, 51, 2365 W. Sandia Rd., was arrested by police on Aug. 24 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made after they were called to the Town & Country Food Store, 800 W. Palmer St., on a report of a suspicious vehicle. Rodriguez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Enrique Romero Jr., 37, 311 E. 14th St., was arrested by police on a warrant for an unspecified Class C misdemeanor violation. Police said the arrest was made at 13th and Cedar streets and Romero was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Jose Alejandro Morales, 39, 332 N. Cypress St., was arrested by police on Aug. 25 on a warrant for an unspecified incident. Police said the arrest was made at 6:50 p.m. in the 100 block of East 13th Street, and Morales was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Jose Luis Garcia, 44, 611 S. Pine St., was arrested by police on Aug. 25 on a warrant for default payment on an earlier charge of theft under $50, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made at Sixth and Peach streets, and Garcia was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Timothy Allen Harris, 23, of Jonesville, La., was arrest on Aug. 27 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made after officers were called to Reeves County Hospital in response to a disturbance. Harris was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Manuela Leos Hernandez, 28, 207 S. Walnut St., was arrested by police on Aug. 29 on a warrant for forgery, a third degree felony. Police said the arrest was made at 7:51 p.m. at her home, and Hernandez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Joshua Vela, 19, 816 W. Second St., was arrested by police on Aug. 20 on a charge of evading arrest or detention, a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made at 1005 S. Ash St., and Vela was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Joe Daniel Rubio, 22, 1113 S. Orange St., was arrested by police on Aug. 16 on a charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor, a Class A misdemeanor, and a warrant for an unspecified charge issued out of the Midland County’s Sheriff’s Office. The arrest was made in the 500 block of South Mulberry Street, and Rubio was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Gerald Saenz, 18, of Odessa, was arrested by police on Aug. 16 on charges of minor driving under the influence and minor in possession of an alcoholic beverage, both Class C misdemeanors. Police said the arrest took place in the 500 block of South Mulberry Street, and Saenz was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Bianca Christine Ortega, 20, 2210 Limpia Rd., and Ernest Matthew Herrera, 17, 1507 Johnson St., were arrested on Aug. 16 on charges of minor in possession of alcoholic beverage, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest occurred following a traffic stop at 1:20 a.m. in the 500 block of South Mulberry Street, and Ortega and Herrera were both then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
A 16-year-old male juvenile was arrested by police on Aug. 16 on a charge of failure to identify, a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made at 1:20 a.m. following a traffic stop in the 500 block of South Mulberry Street, and the teen was then turned over to the Reeves County Juvenile Probation Department.
Elida Munoz, 39, 1101 S. Elm St., Nelson McGrew, 44, 811 E. 11th St., and Francisco Menchaca, 35, 1110 S. Orange St., were arrested by police on Aug. 15 on charges of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrests were made at 11th and Elm streets, and Munoz, McGrew and Menchaca were then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
William Moe Bautista, 35, 101 S. Locust St., was arrested by police on Aug. 17 on a charge of driving while intoxicated, a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place following a traffic stop at 11th and Locust streets, and Bautista was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Raymond Olivas, 59, of Wink, was arrested by police on Aug. 166 on a charge of drivng while intoxicated (refusal) a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made following a traffic stop in the 700 block of East Fifth Street, and Olivas was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Tony Ray Olivas, 42, 2236 Wyoming St., was arrested by police on Aug. 16 on charges of assault under the Family Violence Act, a Class C misdemeanor, and resisting arrest, search or transportation, a Class A misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made after officers were called to Olivas’ home on a report of a disturbance. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Isabel Baeza Jr., 17, 2321 Country Club Dr., and Angel Apodaca, 17, 1622 Cowan St., were arrested by police on Aug. 17 on charges of possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), and minor in possession charges. Baeza was also charged with no driver’s license and no insurance following a traffic stop at 1:10 a.m. in the 600 block of South Peach Street. Baeza and Apodaca were then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Rashad Emmanuel Terry, 21, 1120 Mesquite St., was arrested on Aug. 17 on a warrant for an unspecified offense. Police said the arrest was made following a traffic stop for a defective tail light in the 100 block of East Pinehurst Street, when a records check revealed the outstanding warrant. Terry was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Michelle Carrera, 22, 1104 E Seventh St., was arrested by police on Aug. 13 on a warrant for an unspecified Class A misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made at Allsup’s 708 S. Cedar St., and Carrera was 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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