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Tuesday, April 11, 2000

County voters set to decide commissioners' races

Staff Writer
PECOS, April 11, 2000 - Reeves County voters were going to the polls today to decide two commissioners' races and to help decide the Democratic Party's nominee for U.S. Senate in November.

Incumbents Felipe Arredondo and Herman Tarin are seeking to win nomination to their third four-year terms on the commissioners court, and are being challenged in today's runoff elections by Jesse Baeza and David Patillo.

All 12 election boxes in Reeves County are open today, but voting was expected to be heaviest in the five boxes that make up Precincts 1 and 3, where voters will be able to cast ballots in one of the two commissioner's races. Early voting for the runoff election ended on Friday, with 807 persons having cast ballots at the Reeves County Courthouse. Another 261 votes were received by mail, according to the Reeves County Clerk's office.

Arredondo, who won as a write-in candidate four years ago after serving as Precinct 1 commissioner from 1985-88, collected 385 votes in the March 14 primary election, while Baeza won a close race for second place and a spot in next month's runoff. He collected 226 votes; three more than Anita Baeza, while the fourth candidate, Roy Pena, received 202 votes.

In Precinct 3, Tarin, who was first elected in 1992, finished second to Pattillo in the voting, collecting 376 votes to Pattillo's 387. The other two candidates, Jimmy Gallego and James H. Thomas, picked up 204 and 45 votes respectively.

Voters in Boxes 2 and 11 will cast ballots in the Precinct 1 commissioner's race today, while voters in Boxes 5, 6 and 10 will be voting for commissioner in Precinct 3. County Democratic voters can cast ballots in the runoff for U.S. Senate, where Gene Kelly and Charles Gandy.

The winners in Tuesday's runoff will be unopposed in the November general election, unless a write-in candidate files following the April 11 primary. Arredondo defeated Lupe Garcia as a write-in candidate in 1996 and is looking to become the first candidate since Marcos Martinez Jr. in 1980 to win consecutive terms as Precinct 1 commissioner.

Polls will be open until 7 p.m. tonight at the 12 election boxes in Reeves County. The boxes are:

Box 1 _ Pecos Community Center; Box 2 _ Pecos Elementary; Box 3 _ Pecos High School new gym; Box 4 _ Toyah; Box 5 _ Balmorhea; Box 6 _ Saragosa; Box 7 _ Reeves County Library; Box 8 _ Lamar Middle School; Box 9 _ Orla; Box 10 _ Reeves County Annex; Box 11 _ Bessie Haynes Elementary; Box 12 _ Texas New Mexico Power Co. Reddy Room.

Red Bluff board briefed on cloud-seeding project

Staff Writer
PECOS, April 11, 2000 - Getting water out of both trees and clouds were two of the topics for the Red Bluff Water Power Control Board, during their monthly meeting on Monday.

The board talked about Friday's scheduled tour of the salt cedar eradication project along the Pecos River, which will involve Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs and other state and federal officials. They also were briefed by Brad Newton of the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission about the possibility of resuming cloud seeding over the Pecos Valley, similar to an effort being undertaken around Big Spring.

The salt cedars were put in along western rivers 90 years ago as a way to control soil erosion. Since then, they have spread out along the banks of the Pecos and other western rivers, and are believed to use as much as 40 percent of the water in the river, while at the same time leaching salt from their leaves onto the nearby ground, making it unusable for agricultural purposes.

Under a test project, the herbicide Arsenal was applied to salt cedar trees along the river last September, from south of Red Bluff Dam to the Highway 302 bridge west of Mentone. On Friday, the tour will travel to the bridge to see the difference between the sprayed side on the north, and the unsprayed sections to the south.

"There's no question that Arsenal kills cedars. It killed them dead as a hammer," said general manager Jim Ed Miller, who credited Barney Lee with the Soil Conservation Service for getting the long-delayed project going last year.

"I've worked a lot to get them to use that chemical in Texas, and I'm glad they did," said Newton, who formerly served as Pecos River Compact Commissioner. He added that the current project on the Pecos is being looked at by officials for use on other rivers throughout the southwest.

"There are over a million acres of salt cedar on every river in Texas," he said, while board member Lloyd Goodrich brought up the question of what will be done in the future about removing all those dead trees along the river, for which there was no answer at this time.

On the cloud seeding plan, Newton said the Upper Colorado River Municipal Water District in Big Spring has been spraying silver iodide into clouds for the past 25 years. "They've been having very good success," he said, with an average cost of nine cents per acre.

"It works, but you've got to have acceptable clouds to do it," said board president Randall Hartman. "We used to do it, but it got too expensive."

Newton said John Grant, Chairman of the Region F Water Planning Group and general manager of the Upper Colorado River Water District, was big supporter of the cloud seeding plan, and that George Bowmar of the TNRCC had talked with officials in New Mexico about joining in the project.

Board member Dick Slack said when the original cloud seeding was done, there were concerns it would increase the amount of hail in the area. "Before it got far along all the ranchers were all for it and the farmers were all against it," he said. "They filed a lawsuit, and that's as far along as it got."

"Cloud seeding actually discourages hail," Newton said. "There was a time when that was believed, but it's been discouraged."

Board members took no action on a resolution dealing with the Malaga Bend salt alleviation project. Miller said the latest problem with New Mexico involves the name on the drilling permit Red Bluff needs to begin work on a well to divert salt water from Malaga Bend away from the Pecos River.

"The permit for the well is in the Interstate Stream Commission's Name. New Mexico says it must be in Red Bluff's name," Miller said. He added that officials told the district to put the Interstate Stream Commission's name of the permit request when it was first filled out in Roswell, N.M.

Hartman said Red Bluff couldn't get a drilling company to work on the project without a valid permit.

Board members also approved water reports for the first three months of 2000, along with cash disbursements and accounts payable for March. They were also given an update by board member Jay Lee on the status of weir repairs along the river in Pecos County, and discussed setting up boxes for May 6 elections in the two water districts where contested elections will be held. All other water district elections set for May 6 were canceled, since those races are uncontested.

RCDC project gets good report from auditor

Staff Writer
PECOS, April 11, 2000 - Several routine items were dealt with during the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting on Monday, including payments for on-going construction at the Reeves County Detention Center and a report from the independent auditor.

Commissioners approved payments to DRG Architect and Banes General Contractors.

Independent auditors, Smith, Wilson, Reeves and Company submitted their audit report and stated that everything "looked very good."

"We have everything, except some information that we need from Carlisle," said a representative from the auditors, referring to the company that helped finance the 1,000 bed addition to the detention center.

The auditor gave a brief report to the court and told commissioners a final version would be available soon.

"Do you feel good about what saw?" asked Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

"Yes, everything looks really good, and we appreciate all the hard work that was put into getting things ready for the report," he said.

Commissioners approved a new copier for the Reeves County Sheriff's Office with the a lease purchase with option to buy, for $149 per month.

During the meeting the group approved payment for an accident involving a Trans Pecos Drug Task Force employee.

"Apparently he had an accident in Odessa and told our insurance not to pay the claims, because it wasn't his fault," said county auditor Lynn Owens.

There were two other vehicles involved in the accident, according to Owens.

"We're probably at risk if we don't agree to pay them," said Owens.

The court agreed to let the insurance pay the claims as submitted.

A resolution for Madera Valley Water Grant and the Criminal Justice Department Juvenile Accountability Grant were approved.

The Madera Valley Water Grant required two signatures, since the two submitted earlier were not county employees.

"The names submitted were not acceptable, so I agreed to put my signature along with Lupe Montoya's, who works for the county treasurer, on here," said Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin.

The two will sign forms for funds received through the grant.

The Criminal Justice Department Juvenile Accountability Grant is not a competitive grant, funds have already been awarded, according to Galindo.

A veteran service officer for this area is needed, commissioners were also told by Chamber of Commerce Director Tom Rivera, who has been providing this service to the community, but said his job prevents him from continuing to do so.

"I think we need this position, to provide these services to the veterans," said Rivera. "But I think I need to be replaced, because I just don't have the time."

Commissioners approved paying Rivera for his services and trying to find someone to replace him.

Reeves County Library Board and representative terms were approved.

Commissioners approved the membership for the 143rd Judicial District Staff in the recreation department.

"Their list of employees isn't that long and I think they should go ahead and be included," said Galindo. "There's a lot of different programs that they can be involved in through the recreation department."

Galindo stated that so far, the recreation department has about 80 private memberships. "Our original projection was 100, that's what we were shooting for," said Galindo. "So, we're pretty close."

New hires included at the Reeves County Detention Center, Homero Pando, Moses Martinez and Josephine Granado, as Correctional Officers 1 at an annual salary of $19,000; at the recreation department, Julio Torres, as a partime golf shop employee, at $8 per hour; in the recreation department, Tijuana Sims, as a part-time program coordinator at $8 per hour and Maria Consuelo Herrera, as an aerobics instructor at $8 for high-impact and $6 for low-impact.


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Cash Five numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery: 6-10-11-15-30 (six, ten, eleven, fifteen, thirty)


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 3-5-7 (three, five, seven)


Bonifacia Galindo

Bonifacia C. Galindo, 83, died Monday, April 10, 2000, at the Pecos Nursing Home.

A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., today at the Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.

Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Wednesday, April 12, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.

She was born June 5, 1916, in Ruidosa, Tx., was a lifelong Pecos resident, a homemaker and a Catholic.

Survivors include three sons, Eusebio Galindo of Hereford, Robert Galindo of Pecos and David Galindo of Austin; one step-son, Jesus Galindo of Sheffield; two daughters, Andrea Olmos of Ojinaga, Mexico and Consuelo G. Garcia of Pecos; one step-daughter, Nieves Uribe of Houston; two brothers, Felipe and David Corrales of McCamey; one sister, Celia Aguilar of McCamey; 17 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, April 11, 2000 - High Monday 92. Low this morning 56. Forecast for tonight: Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low 40-45. Northeast wind 10-20 mph. Wednesday: A slight chance of morning rain: Otherwise decreasing clouds. High near 70. Chance of rain 20 percent. East to northeast wind 10-15 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low near 40.

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