Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, January 4, 2008
Local residents come up with 2008 resolutions
Pecos residents began the New Year on Tuesday the way others across the nation did – by coming up with resolutions to make and goals to meet for 2008.
Bernadine Muela — “lose about five pounds and work at being a better person.” Muela is a billing clerk with American Home Health Care.
Anita Balog – “No resolutions this year.” Balog works at American Home Health Care.
Gregorio Pena — “Stay out of trouble.” Pena is a 2000 graduate of Pecos High and is employed at Brownlee Hardware.
Mary Ann Gomez — “I don’t make them since I never keep them. I should vow to be better organized but it would only last about three weeks and then things would be back to normal.” Gomez owns Alfredo’s restaurant.
Juan Flores — “I’m going to lose some weight. I’ve gained about 30 pounds since I went to work here at Alfredos.” Florez is a cook at Alfredos.
Rey Guzman — “I’m going to stop picking on Tim Flannigan. But it will probably only last a month or so.” Guzman works at Gibson’s.
Delilah Soto — “Diet.” Soto works at Bealls.
Michael Lyles — “Do better in school.” Lyles is a senior at Pecos High School and a sacker at La Tienda.
Jake Lopez — “Do good in school.” Lopez is a sophomore and a sacker at La Tienda.
Martha Leonard — “Get closer to my family.” Leonard works at Dairy Mart.
California man killed in crash near Balmorhea
A California man died and the driver of the vehicle he was in was injured in a one-vehicle rollover that occurred last Friday on Interstate 10 near Balmorhea.
According to a report by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Cristian Raul Viejobueno, 22, of San Clemente, Calif., was pronounced dead at the scene following the accident, which occurred on I-10 about 6.7 miles west of Balmorhea at 10:45 a.m. on Dec. 28. Viejobueno was a passenger in a 2006 Toyota Tundra pick-up, driven by 18-year-old Katharine Nicole Robbins of Mission Viejo, Calif., which was eastbound on the interstate when the accident occurred.
DPS Trooper Roy Lytle, who investigated the crash, said that due to the load on the vehicle and the crosswinds in the area, Robbins lost control of the pickup and veered right into the south side barrow ditch. She then overcorrected to the left, causing the pickup to spin and enter a right side skid across the eastbound lanes and into the center median.
Little said Viejobueno, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead by Reeves County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Rosendo Carrasco at 11:10 a.m., and his body was taken to Peaceful Gardens Funeral Home. Robbins, who was wearing a seat belt, suffered only minor lacerations, but was transported by EMS to Reeves County Hospital for treatment.
The death was one of five highway fatalities in Reeves County over the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Four persons died last Saturday in a noontime head-on collision on U.S. 285, about five miles south of the Texas-New Mexico state line.
Officials still seeking cause of fire that destroyed home
Pecos Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire is still investigating the cause of a house fire early last Saturday that destroyed the home of a north side couple.
Pecos Volunteer Fire Department crews were called out at 2:55 a.m. on Dec. 29 to the fire at 315 N. Walnut St., but were unable to save the home.
“The house was completely destroyed, and the cause of the fire is undetermined,” Brookshire said. “The house was occupied by two people, and both got out safely, so there were no injuries.”
The house was owned by Justo Dominguez. Both he and his wife were in the home when the fire broke out, but were able to escape safely.
All seven fire units were called out to the blaze and spent several hours at the scene. Brookshire said that due to the heavy damage, it would be tough to determine the exact location where the fire started.
“It’s completely burnt up. There’s nothing really to look at,” Brookshire said.
Acker, Reynolds to face off in March for 143rd DA’s job
A Monahans attorney who unsuccessfully sought to remove 143rd District Attorney Randy Reynolds from office last spring following revelation of abuses at the West Texas State School in Pyote has filed to run against Reynolds for the district attorney position in the March 4 Democratic Party primary.
Kevin Acker, who currently serves as Ward County Attorney, entered the race on Wednesday, the final day to file for the position. He’ll face Reynolds, who filed for a fourth four-year term in December, with the winner advancing to the November general election.
“It didn’t surprise me,” Reynolds said Thursday. “I always thought he was interested in the job, and this shows he was.”
Acker was reportedly involved with business at the Ward County Courthouse in Monahans on Thursday, and could not be reached for comment at presstime.
In April of 2007 Acker announced plans to file a petition for a district court hearing to remove Reynolds from his office, over his failure to action of charges of sexual abuse of teen inmates at the West Texas State School.
Reynolds was accused of failing to act on the allegations that at least two administrators at the state school had sexually abused male inmates at the facility. The charges were first reported to Reynolds office in early 2005, but no action was taken by the DA’s office or other state or federal officials until details about the allegations surfaced in February in the Texas Observer and the Dallas Morning News.
Reynolds was accused by Texas Ranger Bryan Burzynski of declining to act on his information. , Burzynski first investigated the allegations of sexual abuse of inmates at the WTSS in 2005, and the Associated Press said, e-mails from TYC officials at the time show that Reynolds had the case as early as March 4, 2005, and asked TYC officials to direct all media questions to his office.
Acker announced his challenge to remove Reynolds from office first in the Austin American-Statesman back in April. He told the paper he made his decision after meeting with state officials, and being contacted by State Sen. Carlos Uresti’s office.
The Houston Chronicle said at the time the petition was announced thatAcker described Reynolds a "good lawyer" who in recent years appeared beset by personal problems, including his wife's poor health.
"He was not being as proactive," Acker said. "We have to pay for big mistakes."
Acker later told the Monahans News, “They (state officials) recommended I explore the possibilities of investigating Reynolds’ prosecution record to see whether there was enough evidence to file a petition to have him removed from office.”
He also told the News last April that, at the time, he was not interested in the district attorney’s position.
Acker said he planned to produce a list of witnesses as part of his effort to remove Reynolds as district attorney. But before that petition could be filed, Reynolds filed a counter petition seeking Acker’s removal from office. Reynolds hired the man he defeated for district attorney in 2004, Hal Upchurch, to be his lawyer. Upchurch was among the names listed by Acker on his witness list, but said he was not contacted by the attorney before being placed on the list and planned to testify against Reynolds’ removal.
Acker told the Chronicle at the time he announced the filing that he was in touch Upchurch, and said he was led to believe that Reynolds might resign.
At the time he filed his counter petition, Reynolds said he and Acker have had problems in the past, including a dispute over a case in Ward County involving a Monahans school teacher.
In the end both sides agreed on April 27 to drop their counter petitions.
“Mr. Acker’s contacted my attorney and at his request, suggested that perhaps all matters should be dismissed and that the voters should decide in an upcoming election,” said Reynolds at the time the petitions were dropped.
Reynolds was first elected as 143rd District Attorney in 1996, and was reelected in 2000 and 2004. He ran unopposed for election in 1996 and 2000 before defeating Upchurch in the Democratic primary four years ago. The 143rd District covers Reeves, Ward and Loving counties.
Commissioners get last-minute challengers in primary
Both incumbents for Reeves County Commissioners and the county’s Democratic Party Chairman will face opponents in the March 4 Reeves County Democratic primary, following final day filings on Wednesday.
Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 1 incumbent Roy Alvarado will be challenged by Samuel Urias, while Commissioner Precinct 3 Saul Herrera will be challenged by former commissioner Herman Tarin.
Tarin held the position of Precinct 3 commissioner for 12 years before being defeated for re-election by Herrera in 2004.
Longtime Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Dean will also have a challenger, after former Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo filed for the job. Galindo opted not to seek a fourth term as Reeves County Commissioner in 2006.
Those three races, and the race for 143rd District Attorney, will be the only local contested elections for Reeves County voters on the March primary ballot. Incumbents were the only ones to file in the other races, with the exception of Reeves County Tax Assessor-Collector, a position currently held by Elfida Zuniga. Rosemary Chabarria has filed for the position, after Zuniga opted not to run for re-election.
All four constables filed in Reeves County to beat the deadline. In Precinct 1, Arturo Granado has filed for that position; precinct 2, Jerry Matta; precinct 3, Thomas Martinez and precinct 4 John Armstrong. All four are incumbents, with Armstrong filling an unexpired term.
Also filing for re-election is the current Reeves County Attorney Alva Alvarez and Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez.
Gomez, Alvarado and Herrera were elected to four-year terms in 2004, while Alvarez had was appointed to the position in 2006 after Richard C. Slack announced his retirement.
Alvarez served as Slack’s assistant, after he was appointed in an emergency basis in 2005, following the resignation of County Attorney Luis Carrasco. Alvarado and Herrera were first elected to the commissioners’ court in 2004, while Gomez has served four terms as Reeves County sheriff, having first been elected in 1992.
The three, along with other local candidates were elected following wins in the Democratic primary races in either 2004 or 2006, and almost all area candidates have filed on the Democratic side for the 2008 election.
Also unopposed for a new term is 143rd District Court Judge Bob Parks, while 143rd District Attorney Randall Reynolds will face Ward County Attorney Kevin Acker in the March 4 election.
U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez and State Rep. Pete Gallego, both Democrats, also have filed with the state party in Austin for re-election, and are unopposed in their primary races.
Rodriguez will have face a Republican challenger in November in either attorney Quico Canseco, or Bexar County Commissioner Lyle Larson, both from San Antonio, who have filed to run in the March 4 Republican primary for the 23rd District seat Rodriguez won from Henry Bonilla in 2006. Gallego will be opposed in November by Fort Stockton rancher Thomas C. Kincaid Jr., who is unopposed in the March Republican primary race for the 74th District seat.
Rodriguez home on leave from U.S. Army
Friends and family welcomed home PFC Barney Rodriguez, who had been stationed in Afghanistan with the United States Army.
Rodriguez is a graduate of Pecos High School and the son of Eddie and Gloria Rodriguez.
Also welcoming him home was his aunt Mary Martinez.
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.
Hermando Losoya, 35, 1607 Morris St., was arrested on Jan. 1 on charges of assault under the Family Violence Act, and resisting arrest. Police said the arrest was made at Losoya’s home, after officers were called in response to a family disturbance. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
JoeRay Sosa Millan, 34, 211 S. Plum St., was arrested by police on Dec. 25 on a charge of driving while intoxicated, a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made in the 500 block of West Second Street, and Millan was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Ramon Hernandez Jr., 22,1004 E. Second St., Robert Daniel Spivey, 20, 3007 Stanford St., and Joe Luis Hernandez, 18, 1004 E. Second St., were arrested by police on Dec. 29 on charges of theft under $50, a Class C misdemeanor, and public intoxication, after they reportedly left Allsup’s, 2232 S. Eddy St., without paying for 50 beers. Police said Ramon Hernandez also was charged with assault causing bodily injury, a Class A misdemeanor, after attacking the store’s clerk as the three tried to leave with the 20- and 30-packs of beer. The three were then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Eric Brown, 27, 721 S. Locust St., was arrested by police on Dec. 29 on warrants for public intoxication out of the Pecos Police Department, and a probation violation out of the Reeves County Sheriff’s Department for a charge of possession of a firearm. Police said the arrest was made at 5 p.m. at Sixth and Orange streets, and Brown 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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