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Friday, May 25, 2001

Council approves deal for prisoners to fill jail facility

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, May 25, 2001 -- Town of Pecos City Council approved the interlocal  agreement with the U.S. Marshal's Service that would allow the Service to  house federal prisoners in the Pecos Municipal Criminal Justice  Center, during their regular meeting Thursday evening at City Hall.

City Manager Carlos Yerena said that the contract with the Service sets the per diem rate to $42 per day for each prisoner to be housed at the jail, which is being built just north of Interstate 20 near Reeves County Hospital. Currently, most Marshal's Service prisoners awaiting trial or hearings in U.S. District Court in Pecos are kept at out-of-town facilities.

Yerena explained to the Council that after one year, the Marshal's Service would look at the history of the facility to determine whether the per diem rate should go up or down.

"Now it can go up but it has the potential to go down," he said.

Yerena said that the service has already approved the contract.

City Attorney Scott Johnson said that this per diem rate is slightly above average for West Texas.

"The per diem is pretty good for facilities in this area," he said.

Johnson said that he would approve the agreement and that he believes that the facility would be beneficial to Pecos.

"I feel that we can do very well at that rate," he said.

In other action, local environmental activist Clark Lindley updated the council on the radioactive waste bill that went before the state legislature this month.

Lindley said that the Texas Senate passed the bill that would allow private companies to store radioactive waste above ground in West Texas, but the House Calendars Committee voted 5-3 against sending the bill to the House of Representatives, which "killed the bill."

"As far as this session goes, we've been able to kill the bill," he said.

If passed, the proposed waste dump was expected to be located on land owned by Waste Control Specialists near Eunice, N.M. in far western Andrews County. WCS also was seeking to house federal radioactive waste at an adjoining site, which was cited as the main reason the bill died in committee.

Aside from their Andrews County location, WCS would have had an option of a site near Barstow that Envirocare of Texas had sought for the dump, before ending their Texas operations earlier this year, but a provision in the bill would have banned any radioactive waste dumps from counties along the Pecos River.

The Council also approved a resolution for an automated weather observation system (AWOS) that would be installed at the Pecos Municipal Airport.

Yerena told the Council that they had submitted an application for a state AWOS grant through the Texas Department of Transportation Aviation Department.

The grant is federally funded, with the state paying 75 percent of the total cost and the city contributing 25 percent, which would be a total of over $21,000, according to the resolution.

Yerena said that having the system would provide pilots better information as to what the weather is like at the airport and also put Pecos on the map with the National Weather Service.

"This system would allow us to be included in statewide weather service," he said.

The Council discussed and approved an employee recognition policy in which employees of the city would receive recognition for outstanding performance each five years of service.

In other business, the Council approved a bid of $4,250 by Robert Franco for property at 1320 West Fifth Street, and the tax collectors and accounts payable reports were approved.

Memorial Day local closings are announced

PECOS, Friday, May 25, 2001 -- Most businesses, along with both local banks, area  utility companies and city, state and federal offices will be  observing Memorial Day with a long weekend.

The Pecos Post Office will be closed on Monday to observe the holiday, but mail will be delivered to the boxes. The United States Federal Courthouse will be closed along with the Reeves County Courthouse.

Reeves County Commissioners, who would normally hold their second regularly-scheduled meeting of the month on Monday, instead will hold their meeting Tuesday morning at the courthouse. No agenda for the meeting had been released as of press time.

Town of Pecos City offices will also be closed for the special holiday, along with other utility companies.

The Pecos Enterprise will be closed and no paper will be printed on that day. Regular office hours will resume on Tuesday for all the business offices.

Holland top grad, Reynolds No. 2 on recount

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, May 25, 2001 -- Grant Wade Owen Holland will be giving the valedictorian's speech  at this year's Pecos High School graduation, while a re-check of  final grade point averages ranked Randall Reynolds at the salutatorian for  the Class of 2001, which will graduate tonight at Eagle Stadium.

Reynolds' GPA ended up one one-thousandth of a point ahead of fellow senior JoAnn Wein, who originally was announced as salutatorian on Thursday before the re-check resulted in the change this morning. Reynolds' final local GPA was 4.02333, while Wein's GPA was 4.02203.

Reynolds will give the salutatorian's speech tonight prior to Holland's valedictory address. The guest speaker for tonight's 8 p.m. graduation ceremony will be Angelo State University President Dr. James Himan.

Holland completed his four years at PHS with an overall GPA of 3.9875 and a local GPA of 4.1875. He has been a student in Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD schools throughout his education.

Holland has been a member of several athletic and co-curricular organizations during his years at Pecos High School. He has been a varsity swimmer for four years, receiving many honors and awards during his swim career. He has been an All-District Swimmer for four years, an All-Region Swimmer for three years, and an All-State Swimmer for two years. He served as co-captain of the boys swim team for two years. He was named as an Academic All-American Swimmer this year.

He was a member of the percussion section of the Mighty Eagle Band for four years, serving as co-captain during his senior year. He was selected by the band members as Band Beau this year.

This year's Valedictorian was selected as Outstanding Student for Art II, Latin I, Band III and Government during his four years at PHS.

As a sophomore, he was the recipient of the Kodak Young Leader Award. He has served as a swimming instructor and a lifeguard for children during the summers, and completed his scuba diving certification as a junior.

After graduation, Holland plans to attend Texas A&M University to study psychology.

He is the son of Judy and Walter Holland and has one sister, Leia. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. W.O. Terry of Amarillo and Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Holland of Denver City.

Reynolds was named Student of the Year by the Pecos Chamber of Commerce, and was an academic All-American swimmer. As a sophomore, he won international contest held by Microsoft in 1999 to design a logo for their web site.

He is a member of the Pecos Youth Advisory Commission and was a Co-Captain of the Pecos Eagle Swim Team that finished fifth and sixth at the state finals the past two seasons. Reynolds was part of the relay that set a new district record during district competition this year.

Among his many accomplishments and volunteerism include: the Youth Advisory Commission which serves meals to the needy on Christmas and Thanksgiving; the commission has held clothing drives to give to the needy and to the Christian Home; the commission has participated in Adopt-A-Block programs; participated in the annual Toys for Tots; in the cancer walks such as Relay for Life; helped repaint the gazebo at Maxey Park with the Youth Advisory Commission in 1997; goes Christmas Caroling with the Latin Club where they carol in Latin; caroling at the nursing home with his church group and every summer he teaches swimming lessons through the American Red Cross as a Water Safety Instructor.

Reynolds is the son of Lisa and Randy Reynolds. Grandparents are Norma Jean and Elvia Reynolds and Marcia Metler

Wein has been a member of the National Honor Society for three years and public relations reporter for the 2000-2001 school year.

She was a member of the Latin Club for four years and served as treasurer in the 1999-2000 school year.

Wein played volleyball in 1997-1998 and was on the swim team for four years where she served as team captain from 1999-2001.

She is a certified swim instructor and certified lifeguard.

Wein was also a Peer Mediator and received the Outstanding Student Achievement: Pre AP Biology Award in 1997-1998; the English II (1998-1999); Computer Science (1999-2000); AP Biology (2000-2001) and the Voice of Democracy Winner in 2000-2001.

Wein is a member of the First Baptist Church and Youth Group Mission Trip to Laredo; a participant in 2000 Rodeo Review-Entertainment at Nursing Home and has volunteered for Meals on Wheels, Police Youth Bike Safety Program and Community Trash-Off.

She is the daughter of Raynell and Charlie Wein.

Pecos Elementary in need of boxes to move supplies

PECOS, Friday, May 25, 2001 -- Boxes are needed at Pecos Elementary School in order  to transfer supplies for the third grade students over to  Austin Elementary.  

Thursday was the last day the school will be open, and third grade classes will be moved to Austin Elementary starting in August. As a result, the teachers are packing up all the supplies and moving them to their new classrooms at Austin Elementary.

If anyone has any boxes they'd like to donate please call the school at 447-7212.

McLaren group ordered held for trial on weapons charges

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, May 25, 2001 -- After listening for an extended period on Thursday to former Republic  of Texas leader Richard McLaren and several of his associates declare  themselves prisoners of war, U.S. Magistrate Durwood Edwards ordered McLaren  and four others detained pending their August trial on federal weapons  charges, stemming from the 1997 standoff with Texas Rangers and other state  law enforcement officials near Fort Davis.

A bond hearing was held on the Republic of Texas members on Thursday at the Lucius D. Bunton Federal Courthouse in Pecos. It was the same site where McLaren's run-in with Judge Bunton five years ago over illegally filed liens on property in the Davis Mountains helped spark the week-long standoff at McLaren's compound southwest of Fort Davis between April 27 and May 3, 1997.

A trial on charges of violating the National Firearms Act against McLaren, his assistant, Robert "White Eagle" Otto, and three other Republic members, Richard Frank Keyes, Greg Paulson and Karen Simon Paulson is scheduled to begin before U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson in Midland on Aug. 6. The federal weapons charges are separate from the state charges that McLaren and the others were later convicted of following the standoff.

During the hearing, McLaren and the other defendants' arguments centered around a lack of jurisdiction by the federal court claiming that they were prisoners of war and as such were due a hearing under an international court as provided for by the Geneva Convention.

The detention hearing is required by federal court rules once a person is taken into federal custody. Until recently the defendants were in state custody, either serving sentences from state convictions arising from the 1997 standoff in the Davis Mountains, some of which are pending appeal.

McLaren was ordered arrested by Bunton in April 1996 after failing to respond to a judgment against him for filling $1.8 billion in false property liens. When he failed to abide by the terms of his agreement with Bunton that allowed his release in June of 1996, a second arrest warrant was issued in December 1996. McLaren remained at his compound for the next four months, until neighbors Joe and M.A. Rowe were kidnapped on April 27, 1997, leading to the standoff with law enforcement officials.

Kidnapping convictions against McLaren and Otto were overturned by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in El Paso, and are pending an appeal by the state in Austin, while the Eighth Circuit's judges upheld the kidnapping conviction of Keyes.


High Thursday 99. Low this morning 66. Forecast for  tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers  or thunderstorms. Low around 60. Southeast wind 5 to 15  mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy. High around 100. Saturday night:  Partly cloudy. Low in the mid 60s. Sunday: Partly cloudy. High in the upper  90s. Memorial Day: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 60s. Highs in the mid  to upper 90s.


Ismael V. Rodriguez

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