Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
City Manager candidates whittled to ten - interviews next week
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., Dec. 31, 2003 -- Ten individuals will be interviewed next
week for the position of Town of Pecos City Manager, which includes
five people from Pecos.
"We had 26 applicants and they narrowed it down to 10," said Town of
Pecos City secretary Connie Levario.
Levario said that the 10 applicants would be interviewed on Tuesday
and Friday of next week.
Applicants include Dennis Bleier, of Corpus Christi; Jess L.
Cortese, of Monroe City, Mo.; Sam Contreras of Pecos; Jimmy Dutchover,
Pecos; Robert Ewart of Dayton; Aubrey Hobson of Kermit; Tom Rivera of
Pecos; Oscar Saenz of Pecos; Joseph Torres of Pecos and Georgina Vines
of Devine, Texas.
The following is a summary of each applicant's qualifications as
taken from the resumes submitted to the city.
Dennis C. Bleier was the director of finance for two years for the
City of Alice and financial manager for eight years for the City of
Austin; administrative aide for Austin for five years and aquatics
supervisor for three years. He attended Texas A&M University-Corpus
Christi and has 21 semester hours towards a master's degree.
Bleier also attended The University of Texas in Austin where he
earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics with 12 semester hours in
Accounting and nine hours in economics.
He coordinated the development and monitoring of city and department
operating budget and managed operations of 24 municipal swimming pools
and the 200 employees assigned to these pools.
Sam Contreras is currently the finance director for the Town of
Pecos City. He served as accountant from April 2002 through February of
2003. He served as Case Manager for the Reeves County Detention Center
from November 2001 through March 2002 and was a correctional officer
from September 2001 through November 2001.
While he lived in Dallas he was self-employed as a securities trader
and sold financial products.
Contreras attended the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and
received a bachelor's degree in business administration degree in May
1995, with a major in finance.
He served in the U.S. Navy. He currently has his insurance license,
held several securities licenses, and needs six more classes to take
certified public accountant (CPA) exam, and is also working on his
charted financial analyst (CFA) designation.
Jess L. Cortese is currently city administrator for the City of
Monroe City; was corporate director of human resources; worked for
Charter Medical Company in Corona, California. where he was group
director of human resources and worked for the Agency on Aging in
Brentwood and Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Cortese holds a bachelor of arts degree in social relations and
business management from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles.
James T. Dutchover is currently an employee with the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD as the administrator for Alternative Education
Program and transportation coordinator.
He graduated from Sul Ross State University in Alpine with bachelor
in science with a major in chemistry and a minor in business
Dutchover worked as area supervisor for the Texas Department of
Human Services and as program administrator for Rockhouse of Midland.
He is currently chief executive officer for the Reeves County
Robert F. Ewart is currently city manager for the City of Dayton
where his responsibilities include all aspects of city operations
including water, wastewater, solid waste, municipal court, parks,
streets, personnel and employee benefits, purchasing, and budget
He had been city manager for the City of Sour Lake (pop. 1,500); was
public works director for the City of Vidor; building official for the
Vidor; assistant street supervisor for the Vidor; executive director
for Vidor Chamber of Commerce; vice president for GI Surplus in
Beaumont; and accounting clerk for the International Harvester in
He graduated from Lamar University in Beaumont where he received a
bachelor's degree with a major in government and received his M.P.A.
from Lamar University in Beaumont.
Aubrey R. Hobson is currently Finance Director for the City of
Kermit; has been self-employed where he operated his own company,
TxnuMX Records, and was clerk/treasurer in Jal.
He received his bachelor's degree in general studies from the
College of the Southwest, Hobbs, New Mexico, and holds licenses in New
Mexico including Water IV, Wastewater III, certified municipal clerk
Thomas "Tom" N. Rivera is currently main street manager for the City
of Pecos and has served as executive director for the Pecos Chamber of
Commerce. He was parks superintendent for City of Pecos and programs
manager for Reeves County, L.E.C. and served in the United States Army.
He is a Vietnam Veteran who retired as a Chief Warrant Officer from
the U.S. Army and is a certified Veterans Service Officer.
Oscar Saenz is currently self-employed and also CEO of the Pecos
Economic Development Corporation Board and a consultant for SureBeam
Corporation in Brazil, TransPecos Foods in Pecos, Gomax Foods in
Dimmitt, and Direct Labor Training Corporation in Nevada.
Saenz was director of plant operations for Pecos and Chihuahua for
Mexico Anchor Foods Company from 1990-2001.
He has been Director of Operations for State Fair Foods in Dallas;
Director of Operations for the Quaker Oats Company, Columbia, South
America Plants; Plant Manger for Wolf Brand Chili Plant in Corsicana;
Director of Operations for the Quaker Oats Company, Brazilian
Operations; Production Manger for the Quaker Oats Company at its Cali,
Colombia Plant; Quaker Oats International Operations Trainee and
Production Supervisor at the St. Joseph, Mo. plant and served in the
U.S. Marine Corps as a regular officer. He served in the Cuban crises,
in the Santo Domingo conflict, and in Vietnam; was Aide de Camp to a
Marine Corps Lt. General and attained the rank of Captain.
Saenz received a bachelor's degree in dairy science from Texas
Joseph G. Torres is Workforce Development WIA Program Manager and is
the principal owner in Cantor Computer Consultants.
He served in the U.S. Army as a non-commissioned officer and
received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the
University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
He had served as executive director for Rescar, Inc., in Downers
Grove, Il., and was superintendent for Freeport-Pennzoil Plant in
Pecos. He started with the company as a technician, was promoted to
shop supervisor, foreman, quality assurance manager, general foreman,
and finally to superintendent prior to plant shutdown.
Georgia A. Vines is currently city administrator for the City of
Devine; was city administrator and chief financial officer for the City
of Granjeno; director of human resources, and vice president of
operations/director of human resources for AAA Industrial Supply.
She received a juris doctor from Texas Wesleyan University School of
Law a master's degree in public administration from Texas A&M
Corpus Christi and a bachelor of science in criminal justice, from
Texas A&M Corpus Christi and a bachelor of arts in s ociology, from
Corpus Christi State University.
She currently serves as chief administrator and executive officer of
Sheriff gets challenger, more file for county offices
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., Dec. 31, 2003 -- Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo "Andy"
Gomez will face a challenger in the March Primary Elections, while one
more person has joined the race for commissioner of Precinct 3.
Gomez will face challenger Jeffrey Baeza in the March Democratic
primary election. Baeza filed with both the county clerk and Bob Dean
for the position. Baeza named himself as treasurer for his campaign.
Baeza currently works for the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force and had
been employed with the Reeves County Sheriff's Department as a deputy.
Filing with Reeves County Clerk Diane Florez is only one of two
steps required to run in the March primary. In order to officially
enter the race, the candidates must file with the county party chairmen
by this Friday, Jan. 2. All local candidates who have officially filed
so far have done so on the Democratic Party line.
In the Precinct 3 commissioner's race, Abel Baeza has filed his
treasurer's designation and named himself as treasurer.
James Molinar Gallegos also filed his treasurer's designation as the
first step in seeking election as commissioner for Precinct 3. Gallegos
named Linda G. Briceno as his treasurer.
Gallegos' action comes after Joseph "Peter" Rodriguez and Saul
Herrera filed their treasurer's designation for Precinct 3 Commissioner
following the Christmas holiday. Rodriguez named Nancy Ontiveros as
treasurer and Herrera named himself as treasurer.
Current Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin announced last week he
would not seek a fourth term in office, after originally deciding to
enter his name into the March Democratic primary election race. His
withdrawal was announced on Dec. 23 by Reeves County Democratic Party
chairman Robert C. Dean.
Lisa Lopez Boicourt, Rosendo C. Galindo, Bailey Wheeless, Manuel
"Manny" D. Lopez and Joseph "Peter" Rodriguez, have officially filed
with Dean to run for the four-year term as Precinct 3 commissioner.
Joel Madrid, said last Friday he planned to enter the race before
the deadline a week from today, but was in California for the Christmas
The field is a little less crowded in the Precinct 1 race, but
incumbent Felipe Arredondo will face challengers in his bid for a
fourth term in office.
Arredondo and Robert C. Natividad were the first to file with Dean
to officially enter in the race. The others are Armando "Mondie"
Granado, Elizer "Chel" Flores and Rojelio "Roy" V. Alvarado.
The heavy interest in the two commissioners court races comes after
six months of publicity about financial problems surrounding the $40
million Reeves County Detention Center III project. However, outside of
those races, only incumbents have filed for the other Reeves County
primary election races.
In the other local races, the incumbents who have officially filed
with Dean include: for Reeves County Sheriff, Arnulfo "Andy" Gomez; Tax
Assessor-Collector, Elfida Zuniga; for constable, Precinct 2 Jerry
Matta and for constable, Precinct 3, Tomas "Tommy" Martinez.
One other incumbent, Heriberto "Eddy" Rodriguez has filed his
campaign treasurer's designation to retain the Precinct 4 constable's
Along with the county positions, other local offices that will be up
for election on March 9, are Reeves County Attorney; 143rd District
Attorney and 143rd District Court Judge.
Local attorney and current 143rd District Attorney Randall "Randy"
Reynolds has filed to retain his post. He was first elected to office
Judge Bob Parks filed in Austin to retain his position as 143rd
District Court Judge, while former 143rd District Attorney Hal Upchurch
announced in November he planned to run for that seat again, after a
Upchurch has already filed in Austin for the District Attorney's
position. He had stated that he would keep his office in Monahans if
elected to the post.
The District Attorney and District Judge positions cover Reeves,
Ward and Loving Counties.
Both the District Attorney and the District Judge candidates will
file their petitions or pay a filing fee in Austin.
Filing for the Reeves County primary elections in March began on
Dec. 3 and will continue through Friday.
Year In Review
Second suspect arrested in connection to beating
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the third in a series of stories
recapping major news events in the Pecos area during 2003. Today's
story covers the month of March.
PECOS, Mon., March 3, 2003 - Pecos police have arrested a second
suspect in connection with the beating death of an 81-year old man in
an east side building back in September of 2002.
Police arrested a 15-year old male juvenile in the 1200 block of
East Fourth Street on Sunday morning, following a warrant service in
connection with the September 28, 2002 beating of Anastacio Acosta, who
died in a Lubbock hospital following the attack. The day after Acosta's
death, police announced they had charged Juan Gonzales, 20, in
connection with the murder.
PECOS, Wed., March 5, 2003 - Local law enforcement officials and
Trans Pecos Drug Task Force officers are hoping state lawmakers reject
a proposed bill that would end funding for task force operations across
"We're hoping it won't go through," said Reeves County Sheriff Andy
Gomez of the bill, proposed by an Austin lawmaker, which would
eliminate Task Force funding as part of an effort to cut into the
state's budget deficit.
PECOS, Thurs., March 6, 2003 - Dedication ceremonies were held this
morning for the Flat Top Dairy's go-around milking machine, the focal
point of the county's newest dairy, located 21 miles southeast of
Town of Pecos City and Reeves County officials, along with other
local residents, attended the 9 a.m. ceremonies, along with the dairy's
owner, E. Eugene Norwood of Goldwaithe and his wife Jeannie. Norwood
built the facility to handle as many as 6,000 cows at one time and to
milk about 3,000 at a time, though currently the dairy only has a
quarter of the maximum number of cows it's licensed to handle.
PECOS, Fri., March 7, 2003 - Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board
members approved one school consolidation in an effort to save money
during their meeting Thursday night, but are still studying what to do
about the district's Alternative Education Program and disciplinary AEP
Board members approved moving sixth grade classes from Zavala to
Bessie Haynes Elementary School. Bessie Haynes currently houses all
fourth and fifth graders and with the board's approval will now include
all sixth graders. The two schools are located next to each other on
the east side of Pecos.
PECOS, Mon., March 10, 2003 - Arson is suspected in a structure fire
that Pecos Volunteer Fire Department responded to Sunday evening, and
which caused a portion of highway 17 to be closed for over an hour.
Town of Pecos City Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire said that they
received a call at 7:03 p.m. of a building on fire on the Balmorhea
highway. The abandoned Equipment Service Building has two separate
parts. The front portion is a total loss, but the back portion suffered
no damages, Brookshire said.
PECOS, Mon., March 10, 2003 - An interim man-day rate for the Reeves
County Detention Center was approved during the regular Reeves County
Commissioners Court held this morning.
Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo told the court that the new
man-day rate with BOP was set at $47.47 in an intergovernmental
agreement. "This is just interim pending the outcome of the audit on
operations at the Reeves County Detention Center," said Galindo, who
added the former rate was $41.48 per day.
PECOS, Thurs., March 13, 2003 - The Town of Pecos City Council
approved the authorization by Frank X. Spencer & Associates to
prepare the plans and specifications to replace the 250,000-gallon
ground storage tank at the Ward County Well Field, during their regular
meeting this morning, and also approved the refurbishment of two
existing three million gallon tanks at the city yard.
The preparing of the plans and specifications for the project will
cost the city $104,993, which is money that the Texas Water Development
Board appropriated for other water and sewer projects.
PECOS, Tues., March 18, 2003 - Pecos police are investigating the
death of a man who reportedly was shot by a homeowner while trying to
break into a north side house early this morning.
Police officers were dispatched to a 325 N. Pecan St. in reference
to a burglary of a residence at 2:14 a.m. today, and found the body of
the suspect about two blocks away from the home.
Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney said that the complainant stated
that he had been awakened by two individuals who had gained entry into
his residence. The names of the homeowner and victim were not released
PECOS, Wed., March 19, 2003 - Pecos Police have released the names
of both the victim and the shooter in an alleged burglary incident
early Tuesday morning in which officers found a man dead in an alleyway
on the north side of town from a gunshot wound to the back.
Police Lt. Kelly Davis identified the victim as Ronald Keith Leigh,
21, of 515 W. Fifth St., and the shooter as Reuben Mills, 21, of 325 N.
Davis added that they now know that there were two subjects involved
in the incident and identified the second subject as Chris Hodges, 20,
of 711 North Faye in Barstow.
PECOS, Thurs., March 20, 2003 - One of the three U.S. Marshal
Service inmates who were mistakenly released late last week was
arrested by the Pecos Police Department Wednesday in Midland.
Criminal Justice Center Jail Administrator, Tony Dawdy said that
Juan Gabriel Leyva Valdez had been arrested and turned over to the
custody of the U.S. Border Patrol after he cashed a check he received
at the time of his release last Friday from the CJC.
PECOS, Fri., March 21, 2003 - A man who Pecos Police initially said
had fired at a suspected house burglar early Tuesday morning, killing
the 21-year-old man, has now been charged with the man's murder,
following an investigation of the incident.
Reuben Mills, 22, was arrested by police Thursday afternoon and
charged in the shooting death of 21-year old Keith Leigh, who was found
dead by officers in an alleyway two blocks south of Mills' house with a
gunshot wound to the back early Tuesday morning.
Mills, 21, of 325 N. Pecan St., was charged with murder by police,
who were originally called to the home at 2:14 a.m. on Tuesday on a
report of a house burglary.
PECOS, Tues., March 25, 2003 - A local motel that has been closed
since the late 1980s will re-open its doors beginning tomorrow.
The Pecos Inn, which was last open for regular business in 1987,
will open its doors early Wednesday to accept it's first customers.
"Right now, I just have 15 rooms available," said Richard Hayes,
general supervisor for the motel, located at 2207 W. Third St., which
first opened over 40 years ago as part of the Ramada Inn chain of
motels on what then was U.S. 80 through Pecos.
PECOS, Wed., March 26, 2003 - A Pecos High School graduate has
formally been added to the names of those missing in the war in Iraq.
Army Chief Warrant Officer Johnny Villareal Mata, 35, who is
assigned to the 507th Maintenance Company out of Fort Bliss in El Paso,
was officially added to the list of those missing by the U.S.
Department of Defense in its latest report, which was released early
this afternoon. It was one of five new names added to the list of those
missing as part of a group of soldiers from the 507th Maintenance
Company who were involved in a fight with Iraqi troops last Sunday.
A spokesman at Fort Bliss said late Wednesday morning that the post
wasn't planning on providing any additional information.
PECOS, Thurs., March 27, 2003 - Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo
and his wife Michelle could be facing court costs and possibly further
legal action, after an incident that occurred in December led the
couple to withhold their child from school for the past three months.
"In mid-December we found out from school staff that they had been
abusive towards my son, John," said Galindo. The couple's son is
autistic and was attending a self-contained class at Austin Elementary
when the December incident occurred.
Galindo said that he and his wife found out about the school staff
had been putting ice inside his son's pants and spraying him in the
face with a water bottle.
PECOS, Mon., March 31, 2003 - The Pecos Police Department has
arrested a 19-year old Pecos man in connection with a robbery of an
Eddy Street convenience store that happened back in November.
Lt. Kelly Davis said Lee O. Varela was arrested at the Reeves County
Jail for aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony on Friday. According
to the report by police, Varela, along with Albert Contreras Jr., 20,
Alex Plasencia, 19, and Jose Sauceda, 19, were all arrested at 7:19
p.m., on March 22 at the corner of Yucca and Eddy Street after being
stopped on a traffic violation.
The robbery occurred on November 11, at 12:44 a.m., at the Allsup's
in the 2200 block of South Eddy Street, where a clerk advised that a
male suspect entered the store with a chrome semi-automatic pistol
wanting the money in the cash register.
Local offices, banks closed, grocery stores open New Year's Day
PECOS, Wed., Dec. 31, 2003 -- Most government facilities and both banks
will be closed tomorrow to celebrate New Year's Day while local grocery
stores will be open to take care of residents' holiday dinner needs.
The Town of Pecos City will be open regular hours today and on
Friday but will be closed tomorrow. Reeves County employees will also
work regular hours Wednesday and Friday but will take tomorrow off.
The Pecos Post Office closed today at noon, will remain closed
Thursday and no mail will be delivered to residences or in boxes. The
post office will resume its usual hours Friday with counter service
from 8:30 to 4:30 and normal delivery service. The post office is also
open on Saturday's from 10:00 to 11:00.
Security State Bank will close today at 3:00 and will be closed
Thursday but will work regular hours Friday when it will be open until
West Texas National Bank will be open regular hours Wednesday and
Friday with the lobby open until 3:00 and the drive-through window open
until 6:00, but will close Thursday as well.
Bob's Thriftway and LaTienda will both be open regular hours on New
The Pecos Enterprise will close today at 5:00, will be closed
Thursday and will not publish an edition that day. Normal publication
will resume with the Friday, Jan. 2 edition.
Bake sale Friday
PECOS, Wed., Dec. 31, 2003 -- A Bake Sale will be held beginning at
9 a.m., Friday, January 2, at West Texas National Bank.
The sale will benefit the Cancer Society Relay for Life.
PECOS, Wed., Dec. 31, 2003 -- Tuesday's high 64, last night's low
32. Today mostly cloudy. Highs near 70. South winds 10 to 15 mph.
Tonight mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain. Lows near 40.
South winds 10 to 15 mph. New years day mostly cloudy with isolated
showers in the morning then partly cloudy in the afternoon. Highs near
65. West winds 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night partly cloudy. Lows near
40. West winds near 10 mph. Friday partly cloudy. Highs near 70. West
winds 10 to 15 mph. Friday night partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s to
the lower 40s.
Earl Moore and Angel Fuentes
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 2003 by Pecos Enterprise