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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Top Stories

April 25, 2001

New RCDC job OKed to prevent prison problems

Staff Writer

PECOS, April 25, 2001 - Reeves County Commissioners approved a regional special investigative unit director's position for the Reeves County Detention Center in an effort to head off any potential disturbances at the 2,000-bed prison.

Commissioners also approved a contract for a new Xerox copy machine for the county clerk's office at their regular Monday meeting.

"Over the last year we've been very concerned about the circumstances and disturbances that are happening at other detention centers," said RCDC Warden Rudy Franco, who listed a couple of problems that occurred in different facilities and said that he wanted to prevent any of this happening at the RCDC.

"These inmates have been known to be fairly easily handled," said Franco. "It's a great concern because they haven't been hard to manage."

The RCDC had several disturbances in the early 1990s, including one in which guards were assaulted and another in which a recreation facility at the prison was set on fire. However, there have been no major problems at the prison in recent years.

Franco said that sometimes disturbances spread due to the gangs that are formed inside the facility.

"If they (prisoners) have one grievance it can spread, mostly by the culture of gangs," he said, and recommended to commissioners that Lennie Lopez be hired for the new position, which would attempt to deal with those types of problems.

"He was asked to start giving training sessions on gangs, which is what he used to do," said Franco. "In talking to other people, they said there has been no one that does that."

Lopez will provide SIS Intelligence, provide liaison contact and still be employed at the RCDC.

"They believe it will be an excellent asset to limit gang activity at the centers," said Franco, who added that other detention facilities and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons are very, very supportive of this. "I believe this position will keep somebody from getting hurt," said Franco.

Lopez will travel to the other facilities as needed and the only cost they will incur will be for lodging and meals. "He'll still work out of RCDC," said Franco.

"I think this is something we need to do, because the population is getting harder to deal with," he said. "Anything we can do to keep our staff safe."

In conjunction, commissioners approved a contract between Reeves County and Onfre Fernandez, who will take over as associate warden of programs position.

Fernandez is retired from BOP, with 27 years experience in the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

He was currently employed at the La Tuna prison in Anthony, where he worked in several capacities the more recent as Acting Camp Administrator.

Fernandez was the coordinator, for United States/Mexico Treaty Transfer Program. He was responsible for the United States/Mexico Treaty Transfer program involving the exchange of convicted felons.

In his resume, Fernandez said, "I work closely with Mexican Officials from the U.S. State Department, Office of Enforcement Operations, U.S. Embassy in Mexican and Office of Enforcement Operations."

His duties were to ensure that both the U.S. and the Mexican Government complete all necessary paperwork prior to each inmate Treaty Transfer.

As part of his job, Fernandez frequently traveled to Mexico and served as a representative of the United States. "I utilize my bilingual skills during court hearings to inmates during Verification Hearings with the U.S. Magistrate in Monterey, Mexico," he said.

He also served as a consultant with the directors in two of the prisons in Mexico regarding the enhancement of their security proceedings. He creates the original treaty for signature by both the Mexican and U.S. Government.

Franco said that the addition of Fernandez to the staff at RCDC would be a big asset and provide more security.

Students get to `work' at government jobs

Staff Writer

PECOS, April 25, 2001 - High school students from Pecos and Balmorhea had a chance to experience county government this morning, in celebration of County Government Week at the Reeves County Courthouse.

High schoolers from both schools were able to be a part of county government by acting out a County Commissioners Court meeting.

The group of Pecos students conducted the commissioners meeting first with different students acting as County Judge, County Commissioners for the four precincts, County Attorney, County Auditor and County Clerk.

The Pecos students discussed various items on their agenda including proposals for taxation on alcoholic beverages in bottles, improvements to the Northside Pool and elimination of salt cedars along the Pecos River.

The students discussed the agenda items amongst themselves with an opportunity for audience members to ask questions.

During the next meeting, the Balmorhea students discussed proposals for building a golf course in Balmorhea, the elimination of plastic bags in the city of Balmorhea and building a "skate park" for skateboarding.

Both groups of students acted as audience members during the separate meetings.

Joan Capshaw, a government teacher at Pecos High School, said that she believed the experience of acting in county government is good for the students.

"I think it's a really good experience where the students actually have a chance to take part in `passing laws'," she said.

Capshaw said that she believes that this experience makes the students realize all that go into county government.

"They realize that it takes organization and money to pass an idea," she said. "It's not an easy process."

Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin, who represents Balmorhea, was on hand to explain county government and all that is put into it.

Tarin encouraged the students to finish their education and once that is done they would be able to get involved in government if they choose to.

"You've got to secure your future by getting your education," he said.

While there, the students were able to tour the various areas in the courthouse.

Community members were also invited to tour the courthouse as well as enjoy in a free hamburger lunch in front of the building while listening to Mariachi Agulia.

County Government Week is celebrated nation wide from April 22-28.

Recent health fair at hospital was success, RCH board told

Staff Writer

PECOS, April 25, 2001 - All three candidates for the Reeves County Hospital Board of Directors attended the last regular meeting of the current Board Tuesday night, in the classroom at Reeves County Hospital.

Clark Lindley and Linda Gholson are running against each other for Precinct 2 while the third candidate Hugh Box is running unopposed for Precinct 4 in the May 5 general election.

Gholson also was at the meeting to report to the Board that the recent Reeves County Health Fair was a success with approximately 1,000 people from the community and surrounding areas visiting the booths.

Gholson said that there were 62 exhibitors invited to join in the health fair and only three did not show up.

She told the Board that this was the 14th year that the hospital has hosted the health fair.

Gholson said that the hospital was originally chosen to host the fair "so it could expose the hospital facilities to the people."

This year's fair proved to be beneficial to community members with cheaper prices on various tests including cholesterol and diabetes screening, balance testing and EKGs. Gholson said that the most popular booths at this year's fair were the Free Child Seats and the Immunization booth.

Board Chairman Marcella Lovett said that the annual health fair has become a big part of the community.

"It has become very important in our community," she said.

Lovett said that this fair has become the highlight of some peoples' year because it gives community members the opportunity to have tests they need done for cheaper rates.

In other business, RCH Administrator Richard Murphy discussed an upcoming meeting for the Texas Hospital Trustees and the Texas Hospital Association convention during the first week of June.

Murphy said that the meeting and convention would be good for the Board members to attend especially the new members that will be coming in after the upcoming election.

He said that the meeting and convention would give all the Board members a chance to learn more about hospital procedures and business as well as give them the opportunity to view upcoming hospital technology.

"I encourage any of you that can work it into your schedule to attend," he said.

Murphy asked the Board members to talk to him if they are willing to attend the meetings.

The Board approved the sale of property located at 1503 East Second Street to Criselda Navarrette for $200 and 495 acres of land to Albert Brooks for $9,900.

During the Medical Staff Report agenda item, Dr. W.J. Bang informed the Board that they have not gathered all the information needed for appointing active staff and clinical privileges to two doctors, Akbar Ali and Michael Woollends.

Bang asked the Board if they would table the item until a later meeting.

Also on Tuesday, the Board approved the monthly tax report, financial statements and payment of bills.

Job/Career Fair going on today at OC's Center

PECOS, April 25, 2001 - Odessa College is showcasing several educational program areas at the Reeves County Career/Job Fair & Trade Expo today at the OC Pecos Technical Training Center.

High school students toured the facility this morning, and the Career Fair was scheduled to run until 3 p.m., while the Job Fair and Trade Expo began at 12 noon and was scheduled to run through 6 p.m.

Program areas include: Clinical Lab Sciences, EMT/Paramedic, Radiologic Tech., Respiratory Care, Surgical Tech., Physical Therapy Assistant, Nursing, Phlebotomy, Automotive, Diesel, Child/Parent Development, Computer Information Systems, Computer Networking Information Technology, Computer Science, Cosmetology, Law Enforcement, and Truck Driver Training. These majors require 1 or 2 years of study. OC officials urged those attending the Fair to stop and ask questions to school representatives, who can offer guidance to get started in program areas.

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree are welcomed to take any of their general (basic) courses with Odessa College before transferring on to their chosen university, school officials said. OC has transfer guides from various universities that indicate which course work from the college will transfer to your destined university. For more information, stop by the admissions booth.

Students attending Odessa College this fall are also encouraged to stop by the financial aid booth, where personnel will assist students in completing the financial aid application and submit it on the Internet to speed up the process. Students eligible for grant money, whose paperwork is completed with their college financial aid office before May 1st, are eligible to use this money to help cover tuition, fees, or books for fall registration this August 2001.

Those whose grant money is not available upon registration, you will be required to make a 10 percent or 50 percent down payment when you register. For more information, stop by our Odessa College financial aid booth.

College students interested in a work-study part-time position at the Pecos Technical Training Center will also have applications available for part-time employment. Center director Michelle Workman will be available to take applications for summer college work-study positions.

These positions are only available to college students who have been notified in writing by the OC financial aid office. The financial aid office also determines how many hours a student may work.

P-B-T to decide on building bid, band director job

PECOS, April 25, 2001 - Competitive sealed proposals for the basic scope of work and any and all alternates for the CATE technology building will be discussed at a special meeting of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board.

The group will also discuss selection of the new band director for Pecos High School during their meeting at noon Thursday, in the board room, 1304 S. Park. The public is invited to attend the open session of the meeting.

During the meeting PBT-ISD Superintendent Don Love will present plaques to board members and the board will discuss/approve employee recognition and awards policy/plan.

Board members will discuss hiring the new PHS head band director, along with a signing bonus, and will study an amendment to Enhanced Curriculum Guildelines.

The group will meet behind closed doors to discuss personnel or hear complaints against personnel. They will return to open session and take action, if any, on items discussed in closed session.

Board members will discuss/approve professional personnel: resignations, retirements, appointments, reassignments, changes of contract.

Barstow holding clean-up for city

PECOS, April 25, 2001 - Barstow will be having a city-wide cleanup today, Thursday and Friday.

If you would like to participate, or for more information, contact any city or county employee.

Registration set for kindergarten, Pre-K students

PECOS, April 25, 2001 - Kindergarten and Pre-Kinder Registration for the 2001-2002 school year beginning next Monday, April 30.

Registration will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., on Monday; from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., on Tuesday, May 1; from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., on Wednesday, May 2 and from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., on Thursday, May 3.

Parents or guardians need to bring birth certificate, immunization record and social security card.

Requirements for kindergarten: the child must be five years old on or before Sept. 1.

For pre-kinder, the child must be four years on or before Sept. 1, and is: unable to speak or comprehend the English language; be educationally disadvantaged, or homeless, as defined by federal law.

The child's parent, guardian or other person with legal control under a court order must enroll the child.

The parent is asked to bring the enrolling child to school when enrolling in order to tour the school and visit the classrooms.

Come and see the campus and visit the classrooms.

For more information call 447-7258.


Joe Dominguez and Alfonso Granado


PECOS, April 25, 2001 - High Tuesday 79. Low this morning 45. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Low in the upper 40s. Southeast wind around 10 mph. Thursday: Mostly sunny. High in the mid 80s. Southeast wind 10 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Mostly clear. Low around 50. Friday: Mostly clear. High in the mid 80s to near 90. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the 50s. Highs in the 80s to near 90.

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