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Tuesday, March 28, 2000

Commissioners put off decision on RCDC name

Staff Writer
PECOS, Mar. 28, 2000 - A proposal to name the new 1000-bed addition at the Reeves County Detention Center in honor of former Reeves County Sheriff Raul Florez was tabled at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting held Monday morning.

"I just wanted to put this on the agenda, to see if there was a way we could honor Raul by doing this," said Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 1 Felipe Arredondo.

Florez, who died in 1995, served four terms as Reeves County Sheriff, from 1977 to 1992, and was instrumental in getting the first section of the detention center built in 1986.

Arredondo told the court that the newspaper had invited people to the open meeting and was disappointed that more people didn't show up.

Manuel Corrales, a member of the community, told the court that he thought this was a great idea and that it was only fair to name that institution for him.

"We need to talk to Mr. Franco about this, we don't want to upset the cart that's doing so well," said Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 2 David Castillo. "We could maybe do a bronze plaque and put it there, or something else to honor him," he said.

Castillo stated that people in the community he had spoken with over the weekend had approved of the idea.

"I don't think there would be any contractual problems, but maybe some problems with the printed material," said county auditor Lynn Owens. "There's a lot of printed material with the name of the facility."

"You all changed the name three years ago and it didn't seem to pose any problems," said Corrales, referring to the name change from Reeves County Law Enforcement Center to the Reeves County Detention Center, which took place in April of 1996.

"It's definitely something commendable, but we need to discuss it with the people who will be affected by this," said Castillo.

Commissioners opted to table the item and bring it up at the next regular meeting. "I hope we get more response from the public," said Arredondo.

In other action Monday, commissioners discussed celebrating county government week again this year, as was done last year.

"Last year, we had hamburgers, students from government classes come in here and pretend to be in commissioners court and music," said Commissioner Precinct 3 Herman Tarin.

He said he thought this was a good way to educate the public on government issues and promote a better relationship with the community.

"I think it's very important to educate the students on county government," said Tarin.

County Government Week is celebrated the week of April 9-15.

"I think this is something that we can do to promote county business and get everybody's interest in what we do in county government," said Tarin.

Tarin stated that a lot of people showed up last year and enjoyed it and he hoped the same could be done this year.

The item will be discussed again at the next meeting and a definite date set for the celebration.

Commissioners approved a golf tournament, which will be sponsored by the Pecos Little League Organization, in an effort to raise funds for all the leagues.

"This year is the first time that I got involved with little league," said Pecos High School Assistant Principal Benny Hernandez.

Hernandez told the court that in the past there had been a lot of discrepancies in the funds raised by the little league, including some $2,800 that was gone. "We've got a new group working together that wants to see this set straight."

He said in the past equipment has been lost, money raised with nothing to show for it and as a result, sponsors don't want to donate anymore, because they didn't know where the funds were going to.

"We want to change all that, have some accountability," he said.

Now four signatures will be required on the checks made by the organization and sponsors will receive a financial statement, showing exactly where the funds are going and how much was raised.

Hernandez stated that they would also like to host the District 4 Little League tournament.

"But the fields have got to meet all the specs and we want to work on that too," he said.

The golf tournament will be a four-man scramble, with 10 teams. "We've already heard from 10 teams that want to participate," said Hernandez.

Hernandez asked the court to waive the greens fees and set the golf cart rentals at $5 instead of $9.

The court approved waiving the fees, but kept the cart rentals at the regular fee of $9.

"We hope to make this an annual event," said Hernandez. "We're trying to get back on our feet and we will send financial statements to all the merchants," he said.

Hernandez told the group that coach Jason Hewitt, from the high school would be helping out, along with other coaches and individuals.

"We'll be having a contest for the longest drive, we want to make it a fun day, and we would like to see it grow," he said.

A golf course ad to be printed in the TraPark RV Park brochure was once again approved.

"We done this for the past two years," said Owens. "The judge (county judge Jimmy Galindo, who was absent on Monday) thought we did get quite a bit of activity from this."

Commissioners approve applications for grants from the Texas Community Development Program Septic Tank and the Tobacco Initiative Community.

"As a result from the visit from those two ladies from Austin last week, we need to reapply, and use the same paper work as we did last year," said Tarin. "I think we can receive some funds for the septic tanks and I think it's something that we need."

Jimmy Dutchover, who is working on both these grants, stated that he would be in Austin soon, to personally deliver the paper work for the grants.

Bunton hands down terms in drug, illegal alien cases

Staff Writer
PECOS, Mar. 28, 2000 - U.S. District Court Judge Lucius D. Bunton handed down a series of sentences as part of plea agreements in Pecos federal court on Monday, including five people involved in a marijuana smuggling attempt last November.

Bunton sentenced four of the five, Abel Valenzuela-Villa, Robert Zubia-Carrasco, Apolinar Galindo-Bernal and Dolores Suchil-Rodriguez, to 24 months in prison after they pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana over 50 kilograms and under 100 kg. with intent to distribute, for an incident which occurred on Nov. 22, 1999. All four were from Manuel Benavides, Chih., Mex., and terms for all but Villa were recommended for the Federal Correctional Institution in Big Spring.

The fifth person, Michael Paul Medina of San Angelo, was given a 27-month term at a boot camp facility by Judge Bunton. All also were fined $100 as part of their sentence.

Bunton handed down a 60-month sentence and $100 fine to Vale Contreras-Salazar on a separate charge of possession of marijuana over 100 kg. and under 1000 kg. with intent to distribute, for an incident that occurred on Dec. 13, 1999. Salazar also was recommended to spend his prison time at the FCI in Big Spring.

Jorge Jacquez-Munoz was given a term of one year plus one day at the FCI in Fort Worth or Seagoville after he pled guilty to a charge of importation of marijuana. He was also fined $100 for the incident, which occurred on Dec. 10, 1999.

Joshua Simonvitz McCourt received a concurrent 96-month terms after pleading guilty to two counts of transporting illegal aliens, following his arrest on Dec. 1, 1999. He was fined $200 and ordered to serve time at the FCI in Las Vegas, Nev.

Three-year probated terms were given to four others _ Marco Saucedo-Torres, Felipe Angeles Saucedo-Torres, Octavio Saucedo-Torres and Pedro Tercero Dominguez _ who pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony in connection with illegal entry, which occurred on Nov. 2, 1999.

Bail of $40,000 and $10,000 was forfeited on two other defendants, Jose Hernandez-Vega and Mitchell Thomas Grimm, after they failed to appear in federal court, while a warrant for probation violation was issued for Johnny Lee Espinoza. He was accused on violating his June 11, 1999 probation by testing positive for cocaine on March 11 and 12 of this year, and from being terminated from a halfway house last Thursday for continued drug and alcohol abuse.

Pot in fuel doesn't fool drug dog in I-20 seizure

Staff Writer
PECOS, Mar. 28, 2000 - A crafty drug carrier wasn't crafty enough for the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force Thursday morning, after he was arrested following a routine traffic stop with about 34 pounds of marijuana.

Trans Pecos Drug Task Force Sergeant Investigator Billy Hull pulled the 1984 Jeep Cherokee over at mile marker 36, just west of Pecos on a routine traffic stop about 9:40 a.m., Thursday.

"Leo alerted to the gas tank and to the floorboard of the vehicle," said Hull.

Leo is the canine drug dog, used by the task force and who accompanies Hull on assignments.

"Based on that, we took the vehicle to the shop, where I took the gas tank apart," said Hull.

Inside the gas tank there were about 25 PVC Pipes filled with marijuana. "We sawed off the pipes and found the marijuana inside the pipes," said Hull. "He only had about four gallons of gas and the rest was PVC pipes," he said.

Javier Ortega, 37, of Juarez, Mexico was arrested and transported to the Reeves County Jail. He is charged with possession of marijuana over five pounds and under 50 pounds, a third degree felony.

"The border patrol will be putting a hold on him, since he is a Mexican National," said Hull.

Task force officials found about 34 pounds of marijuana in the PVC pipes, according to Hull.

"He had passed the checkpoints and had come through Sierra Blanca," said Hull, who credited his good fortune in finding the drugs, on his trusty friend Leo.

"They don't have a drug dog like we do and they're always very busy, which is why they probably didn't realize he was carrying a load," he said.

Early voting starts Saturday for runoff election

Staff Writer
PECOS, Mar. 28, 2000 - Voters who would like to cast their ballots early for the April 11 Democratic primary runoff elections will have a chance to do so beginning on Saturday.

Early voting will be held from 12-6 p.m., Saturday, at the Reeves County Courthouse, and will continue from Monday, April 3 until Friday, April 7, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., at the courthouse, according to Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez.

"This will be the only Saturday, that they will have a chance to vote early though," said Florez.

Voters in Precinct 1 will decided between incumbent Felipe Villalobos and challenger Jesse Baeza in the race Reeves County Commissioner, while voters in Precinct 3 will decide between incumbent Herman Tarin and challenger David Pattillo in the commissioner's election.

"We will have statewide runoff elections as well," said Florez. All county voters can cast ballots in the runoff election for Senate, where Charles Gandy and Gene Kelly are seeking the Democratic nomination to face Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison in November.

Florez stated that they are also taking applications by mail. "If they didn't mark it on their application for ballot by mail, that if there was a runoff they wanted one, they can contact us," she said.

Election day will be held from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., April 11.

Toyah hooks up to new water plant

Staff Writer
TOYAH, Mar. 28, 2000 - Fresh, clean water is flowing into Toyah and will be for decades to come thanks to a new water filtration plant that went on line today.

"There wasn't anything wrong with the water Toyah was getting in the past, but the old plant was not going to be able to keep up with changes in state regulations in the future," said Lindsey Buckner, an environmental investigator with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, the state agency that oversees the states water supplies.

"This new facility is fantastic. This is a needed asset for the area and will supply good water for decades," he said.

Diana Tollett, mayor pro tem of Toyah and the city's licensed water operator, was on hand for the dedication and to give a tour of the new facility.

According to Tollett, the new facility consists of a new filtration station and a new water tank.

"The old station and tanks were built in 1930 so we really needed some new equipment," she said.

"All of our (Toyah's) water comes from the springs in Aguja Canyon about 40 miles southwest of Toyah," she said. "The water is naturally clean so we don't have the problems many towns have."

Tollett explained that the new station primarily reduces the turbidity of the water to well below state required levels.

"Turbidity," she said, "is a measure of particles, either organic or inorganic, that are suspended in the water. The new station makes the water clear. Then it is treated chemically to kill any possibility of remaining bacteria."

In September, the state will require turbidity to be below .3 milligrams per liter, Toyah City Engineer David Bradshaw said.

"This plant will normally produce water well below that level. On average water leaving here will measure .065 turbidity, well below the new state requirements."

Bradshaw said that the new facility cost about $400,000.

"The money came from a Texas Community Development Program block grant," he said.

The new station should supply Toyah with fresh water well into the feature.

"The station has a capacity to process 175 gallons of water per minute," Tollett said. "That is more than Toyah uses. We also sell water to Madera Valley."

Tollett said the new tank would also improve water pressure in Toyah.

"Water pressure has been a problem in Toyah for a long time. The new tank is taller and will produce better pressure. I think folks are going to be pleased," she said.

"The best thing though is that the water is good. It is clean and it tastes good - better than before and we had good water then," she said.


AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Monday night: Winning numbers drawn: 3-14-21-24-37. Number matching five of five: 0. Matching four of five: 193. Prize: $990.


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 0-0-1 (zero, zero, one)


Cecelio C. Mendoza

Cecelio C. Mendoza, 73, died Sunday, March 26, 2000, at SCCI Hospital in San Angelo.

Services will be held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 29, at Iglesia Emmanuel Asamblea De Dios Church, with Carlos Porras officiating. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery.

He was born May 22, 1926, in San Antonio De Bravo, Mexico, was a lifelong Pecos resident and a member of the Church of Christ.

Survivors include two sons, Jose Alfredo Mendoza and Jose Manuel Mendoza of Pecos; two daughters, Mary Gonzales and Mary Martinez of Pecos; two brothers, Domingo Mendoza of Amarillo and Cornelio Mendoza of Denver, Colo.; two sisters, Belem Baeza of Ojinaga, Mexico and Isabel Muniz of Saragosa; 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Ben Moseley

Ben Moseley, 74, died Thursday, March 23, 2000, at the Reeves County Hospital.

Services will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, March 30, at St. James Baptist Church with burial in the Eastside Cemetery.

He was born March 20, 1926, in Holly Springs, Miss., was a groundskeeper, a longtime Pecos resident and a Baptist.

Survivors include his wife, Patricia Ann Moseley of Pecos; two sons, Benny Earie Moseley of Blytheville, Ark., Anthony Wilson of Abilene; four daughters, Sandy Marie Moseley Kuria of Savannah, Ga., Norma Dominguez and Sonia Rayos of Pecos, Debra Scott of St. Louis, Mo., two brothers, Marshall Moseley Jr., of Detroit, Mich., James Henry Moseley of Memphis, Tx.; two sisters, Bessie Duncan of Luxory, Ark., Loraine Williams of Ft. Worth and several nieces and nephews.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Charlcie Teague

Charlcie M. Teague, 88, of Pecos, died Monday, March 27, 2000, at Reeves County Hospital.

Services will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, at the Church of Christ, 4th and Bois D'Arc with Monty Huffman and Gary Taylor officiating. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery.

She was born Sept. 26, 1911, in Davidson, Okla., had lived in Pecos since 1932, was a homemaker and a member of the Church of Christ. The Teagues moved to Pecos in May of 1932, where they had numerous business interests through the years. She was a member of the Church of Christ, where she taught Bible Class, was a lifelong member of the PTA and a Cub Scout Volunteer.

She was preceded in death by her husband, W.W. "Bill" Teague on May 25, 1981.

Survivors include one daughter, VaLera T. Gatewood of Pecos; one son, John F. Teague of Pecos; one sister, Peggie G. Scott of San Antonio; seven grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mary Louise Van Horn

Services are scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday for Mary Louis Van Horn, 87, who died Monday at her home in Lubbock. Services will be at the First United Methodist Church, with Rev. Bill Heggemeier officiating, with burial at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Odessa.

She was born on Jan 7, 1913 in Grandview and married Gage Van Horn on July 14, 1935 in Grandview. She was a graduate of Texas Christian University and taught at Pecos High School until moving to Odessa in 1957. She then taught at Burleson Elementary in Odessa for 20 years before moving to Lubbock. She was a past member of the Medical Center Hospital Auxiliary and was a Methodist.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gage Van Horn.

Survivors include a daughter, Beth Furgeson of Lubbock; a son, Dr. Gage Van Horn III of Houston; three sisters, Betty Rentfro of Waco, Sarah Casstevens of Lillian and Rose Lee Williamson of Grandview; and four grandchildren.

The family suggests memorials be sent to the Louise Van Horn Scholarship Endowment Fund, Office of Development, Texas Tech University, P.O. Box 41081, Lubbock Tx., 79409.


PECOS, Mar. 28, 2000 - High Monday 86. Low this morning 54. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low 45 to 50. West wind 10 to 20 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy and a little cooler. High in the upper 70s. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Fair skies. Low in the mid 40s. Thursday: Partly cloudy days and fair nights.

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