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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, June 12, 2000

Pecos residents march for Jesus

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 12, 2000 - Approximately 150 people gathered together to participate in the March for Jesus on Saturday.

Tom Pelton, of Austin, founded the March for Jesus in 1991. Pelton has worked 20 years in pastoral ministry in churches ranging from Baptist, Episcopal, to non-denominational. Pelton also developed the vision for Jesus Day, a day on earth as it is in heaven. June 10, 2000 marked the first Jesus Day.

About 150 nations participated in Jesus Day as well as over 450 cities across the United States.

Greer Willis, local pastor for the First Baptist Church, said this is the third year Pecos has participated in the march. Willis said participation has varied over the years.

"It's varied anywhere from 175 to what we had this year," he said.

Willis said the March was led and organized by Pastor Matt Williamson of the First Assembly of God Church.

Participants marched from West Park Baptist Church on 7th and Eddy Streets to Maxey Park. Willis said people brought canned food as a part of the march, which was given to a local food bank.

He said participants carried signs, listened to music and sang. There was a meal following the march at Maxey Park prepared by Williamson's wife, Jody.

Willis said the march involved about 8-10 local churches.

"It involved any Christian group or church in the community who wanted to participate," he said.

Willis said even though the number of participants was down he felt the march went well.

"We felt a real sense of unity," Willis said.

A few testimonials were given and several pastors gave challenges at the end according to Willis.

Willis said the local churches plan to continue the march each year.

"It's something people seem to enjoy," Willis said. "Whenever we have it again, anyone is welcome to join."

Officer's nab one, ID another at bust

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 12, 2000 - A narcotics investigation by local law enforcement ended Friday with the arrest of Luis Armando Armendariz for possession of 18 grams of black tar heroin with intent to distribute, Pecos police narcotics investigator Paul Deishler said.

Deishler said that the charge was a first-degree felony based on the amount of drugs confiscated and the intent to distribute.

"We can prove they intended to distribute the heroin based on the way it was packaged in 18 separate packages," he said.

According to Deishler, Armendariz was arrested when he and another suspect attempted to pick up drugs from a rural cache under surveillance by local officers.

The second subject managed to escape but a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

"The second suspect was in a van that drove off from the scene," Deishler said. "By the time we pulled it over the second suspect had apparently bailed out."

Deishler said the man was positively identified by officers at the scene.

"We also had a camera in the bushes as part of the surveillance and have him on tape," he said.

Deishler identified the second suspect as Anival Pando.

Armendariz possessed 18 grams of black tar heroin with an estimated street value of between five and six thousand dollars when he was arrested, Deishler said.

Deishler said that police were tipped off that the men were hiding the drugs in rural areas of the county and would pickup small amounts during the day before distributing the contraband to Pecos residents.

"I feel really good about this arrest," Deishler said. "When you get that much heroin off the streets you have done some good."

Deishler said that heroin use was a continuing problem in Pecos and that the bust would slow down the heroin trade.

Kelly Davis and Oscar Machuca of the police department, and Richard Natividad of the sheriff's office were on the scene when the arrest was made.

Deishler said that the investigation and surveillance were conducted jointly by the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force, Reeves County Sheriff's Office, and the Pecos Police Department.

Commissioners accept task force grant

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 12, 2000 - The Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force has once again received funding for their continued drug interdiction efforts.

The task force was awarded a total of $735,797 for their fight against drugs and the grant was formally accepted at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting held this morning.

A local match of $175,000 is required and each of the entities that signed up to join the task force provides a portion of the matching funds.

"We have seven partners now and they all have put the money up front," said Task Force Commander Gary Richards.

Richards stated that the Town of Pecos City, Andrews City, Andrews County, Midland City, Midland County, Reagan Sheriff Department and Jeff Davis County have all entered into an agreement with the Task Force.

"As part of the agreement, we required that they provide the money up front, as a line-item in their budgets," said Richard.

The grant funding comes from the U.S. Department of Justice's Edward Byrne Memorial Formula Grant program and is distributed by the Texas Narcotics Control Program. A total of $34.6 million in funding was approved for 60 cities and counties in Texas. A further $1.9 million was approved for statewide programs.

"These funds will go a long way towards making our streets safer," U.S. Senator Phil Gramm said in a press release. "I support effective partnerships involving federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and am confident this program will continue to deter drug trafficking and violent crime throughout Texas," he said.

Task forces funded under the Byrne program are primarily multi-jurisdictional networks of state, federal and local law enforcement agencies that coordinate activities to combat the spread of illegal drugs and violent crime in their region.

Law enforcement agencies involved in the task force typically combine personnel, equipment, and other resources to create a comprehensive approach to combating drugs.

In other business commissioners approved funding for the Balmorhea Cemetery to be set aside in the Road and Bridge Department budget.

Commissioner for Precinct 3 Herman Tarin told the court that the plants and trees at the cemetery are in dire need of water. "They're dying for lack of water," said Tarin.

"There's a lot of people that want water out there," said Tarin. "I think it's time we do something about it," he said.

The court agreed to direct county auditor Lynn Owens to secure $300 per month for the Balmorhea Cemetery and to make the money available to the Road and Bridge Department to improve the Balmorhea Cemetery water system.

Tarin told the group that there is already a tank full of water at the site and improvements would be made to use the water at the cemetery.

Commissioners also approved a wastewater rate and wastewater reuse study, by GSG, Inc., at this morning's meeting.

"I think we should begin to look at this issue now," said County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

Barry Sarma of GSG, Inc., was on hand to explain the wastewater study and told the commissioners that it might be feasible to reuse about 20 percent of the water.

"I think it's worth looking into, when you're looking at 20 percent of the water that might be reused," said Galindo.

Galindo stated that it was a very proactive project that the county needed to look into.

"Until we do the numbers it's hard to determine if this is possible or not, or how much of the water can be reused," said Galindo.

The water would ultimately be used to irrigate the local parks and golf course, according to Galindo.

Sarma is currently doing this for the city of Austin, Galindo said.

Commissioners authorized the study costs in the amount of $13,000 to come out of the prison fund, the maintenance line-item, since the RCDC will be affected.

"We'll come back and render a decision in the next few months in regard to our parks and golf course," said Galindo.

The court also approved paying Speer and Murray, for professional services and approved payment number 14 to Banes General Contractors in the amount of $1.9 million.

A payment to DRG in the amount of $10,650 for work at the Reeves County Sheriff's Office was also approved.

PHA installs new commissioners

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 12, 2000 - New Pecos Housing Authority Commissioners attended their first meeting at last Friday's meeting of the Pecos Housing Authority and the Pecos Farm Labor Housing Board.

Sandra Lira, Juanita Davila, and Albert Alvarez were officially appointed and installed as new commissioners by Mayor Ray Ortega at the City Council meeting on May 25.

This monthly meeting of the PHA/FLH was a sort of orientation for the new commissioners, executive director Nellie Gomez said.

Gomez introduced the new commissioners to her staff and Chairman Frank Perea explained to them the meeting policies.

Perea explained the new Commissioners will serve from May 25, 2000 to May 25 of 2001 or 2002. He also said three of the Commissioners, Perea, Davila and Commissioner Ray Golden, will serve for a two-year term and two of the Commissioners, Alvarez and Lira, will serve a one-year terms.

The commissioners acknowledged the resignation of Commissioner Ken Winkles and the commissioners who served with him showed their appreciation to him.

"It was an honor to serve with him and he will be missed," Perea said.

The commissioners also discussed the presentation ceremony Golden, Davila and Gomez attended to accept the Successful Performance Award by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Andrew Crome in Washington, D.C.

Gomez said to receive this award is an honor because of the number of nominees all over the country.

"This is the second time to get this award," Gomez said

The Commissioners also discussed the inspection reports of the housing units by the community development specialist for the USDA Rural Development in Fort Stockton, John Perkins. They also discussed the reports from Quincy Berlin of USDA Rural Development in Temple.

The reports showed many things that need to be done, Gomez said. Gomez agreed with the report's suggestions.

"The apartments are in bad shape," Gomez said.

Gomez said that with the condition the apartments are in presently there is no chance of receiving help from HUD and eventually PHA will have to try and borrow money to work on the units.

Gomez said the agency has never needed to borrow money. She explained that there is a reserve account that the PHA puts money into each month and that is where money has been borrowed from before.

"But we just borrowed money from ourselves," Perea said.

Gomez explained to the new Commissioners that the rent payments are the only source of funding. She also explains that inspections are done when each family moves in and out.

Gomez said there are 81 units and about 25 of the units are rented to local families with the other going to migrant workers and their families.

"This time of the year the units are mostly full," Perea said. "When the migrant workers are gone we rent to local families."

The Commissioners also discussed budgets and capital funding as well as monthly reports for the months of April and May.

School board to address "publicity" Tuesday night

PECOS, June 12, 2000 - A special meeting has been set up for 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 13, for a press release by the board on recent publicity involving the school district.

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board members will meet at 1304 S. Park, to discuss the issue and others during the special meeting. The public is invited to attend the open portion of the meeting.

Board members will discuss/approve the creation of an additional assistant principal position; ratify/approve the settlement agreement from Cause No. 99-06-16339-CVR and discuss/approve professional personnel: assignments, resignations, retirements, reassignments and change of contracts.

The group will meet behind closed doors in closed session _ as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Section 551.101 et. Seq., Section 551.074; discussing personnel including reassignment of principals and/or assistant principals or hear complaints against personnel.

Vacation Bible School set

PECOS, June 12, 2000 - Vacation Bible School will be held beginning today until June 16, at the First Baptist Church, 5th and Hickory Streets.

Bible school will be held from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

VBS Director is Nell Maddux and pastor is Greer Willis.

All children ages 3 years through sixth grade are welcome to attend.


PECOS, June 12, 2000 - Today increasing cloudiness with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms high 85-90. Southeast wind 10-20 mph. Tonight mostly cloudy a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low 65-70. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday partly cloudy a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms. High in the upper 80s. South wind 10-20 mph. Tuesday night mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. Low In the upper 60s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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