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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Akins touts help for Rural Texas on visit to Pecos

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., July 18, 2001 -- A gubernatorial candidate is on a West Texas tour, which he said is  an effort to help out area ranchers and farmers.

Marty Akins told local residents that this year's Democratic primary is a battle for the "heart and soul" of the party.

Akins was at the Reeves County Courthouse Tuesday afternoon at a small reception held in his honor.

He had an opportunity to meet with city leaders and interested community members and talk about several issues that will be coming up during the 2002 primary and general elections.

"This is an area that I think needs a lot of help," said Akins. "Rural Texas has been left behind and I'm dedicated to doing the best that I can to help these ranchers and farmers out," he said. "The farmers and ranchers deserve some help," he said.

Akins, a former All-American quarterback at the University of Texas and a successful lawyer and rancher for more than two decades, stressed that he is the only candidate who can defeat Republican Gov. Rick Perry in November 2002.

"His leadership during the legislative session was so weak I called it the `Carry Perry' session because legislators had to do the heavy lifting. Then Perry vetoed their good work on Bloody Sunday," said Akins.

Akins was referring to the Sunday last month when Perry vetoed 78 bills, a move criticized by his own party. But Akins primarily stressed issue differences in the primary race.

"There's a choice, a big difference, between what I stand for and what Mr. Sanchez stands for," said Akins, referring to Tony Sanchez, a multimillionaire from Laredo, who is considering a bid in the Democratic primary. Sanchez is an oilman and banker who supported George W. Bush in his 1998 re-election bid.

"I fought the industrial polluters and via, the justice system made them compensate people they harmed and pay for the environmental damage they caused," he said.

Akins charged that Sanchez is a polluter. "He sits on the board of major oil companies and even drilled a gas well in Falcon State Park, in total disregard for an environmental treasure. My first environmental action will instead be to reverse the grandfather clauses that George W. Bush implemented to allow polluters to police themselves," said Akins.

"That is like asking each of us to write ourselves a speeding ticket if we exceed the speed limit when we leave here," said Akins. "I doubt many of us would."

Akins also said he would fight to enhance salaries and benefits for school teachers, nurses and law enforcement officers.

"There are no jobs more important, and Texas can do better and Texas will do better if we get our priorities aligned with the people rather than the Austin political establishment," he said.

Akins Pecos visit was part of a tour of half a dozen West Texas towns. He was in Alpine earlier this week, will be going on to Amarillo, Lubbock, Plainview, before heading back to Mexia, in Central Texas.

Tuesday's stop in Pecos came at the end of a busy week for Akins, who released his financial statement for the first half of 2001, had a plane door open on him and his staff during a takeoff from Horseshoe Bay last Saturday, and had to defend a statement he made about meeting with former President Lyndon B. Johnson while a member of the UT football team.

The report released on Monday showed Akins had raised $2.69 million in the first six months of the year, including $2.6 million of his own money. So far, Akins has spent $182,711.89 on the campaign, while Perry, who took over for Bush following his election as president and has announced plans to run in 2002, has spent $796,959.57.

The plane door incident came when Akins and his aides were on their way to Houston to attend a meeting of the Harris County Heights Democratic Club. About a minute after takeoff, the main cabin door behind the copilot's seat flew open. The Beech Bearon plane, which was being leased by the campaign, was approximately 500 feet off the ground when the incident occurred.

Akins, who was sitting behind the copilot's seat, reached over and held the door closed until the plane circled back and landed at the airport several minutes later at 7:45 a.m. Horseshoe Bay airport is located along Lake LBJ.

LBJ's name came up five days earlier, when the Houston Chronicle reported on July 10 that there are no specific records to back up or disprove claims by Akins met with Johnson "on many occasions."

"I was lucky enough to sit down and meet with President Johnson on many occasions," Akins said during a June 8 speech to supporters at his Marble Falls ranch.

Akins, a former University of Texas quarterback, has said he met with the president, who was an avid UT football fan, at Johnson's presidential library in Austin. However, Johnson died in January 1973, just months after Akins joined the Longhorn football team. Akins played from 1972-75.

"For a story to imply that it was somehow impossible for Marty to visit with LBJ before his death in January of 1973 is absurd and belies logic," said Billy Horton, Akins' campaign manager.

"All that has occurred is another example of `gotcha' journalism _ while little is written about issues important to Texans," Horton said.

Akins told the Houston Chronicle that he met Johnson "probably five or six times." Akins said the meetings always occurred at the Johnson library, sometimes after football practice.

Archivists at the Johnson presidential library spent more than two weeks researching the question of Akins' meetings with Johnson for the newspaper.

The archives show Johnson attended most home games and was close friends with then coach Darrell Royal, but there are no specific records of a meeting between Akins and Johnson. Archivists noted, however, that Johnson's post-presidential record keeping was incomplete.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Guard charged with giving pot to inmate

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., July 18, 2001 -- A former Reeves County Detention Center  employee was indicted last Thursday by United States  District Court grand jurors meeting in Pecos.

Kimberly Dawn Orona, 24, was charged with two counts in the indictment, the first for providing or possessing of contraband in prison and the second for bribery of a public official.

In the indictment, the grand jury said on or about June 1, 1999 and May 26, 2000, Orona knowingly did possess with the intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of marijuana, a controlled substance, and provided an inmate, Juan Olivarez, who was then imprisoned within the Reeves County Detention Center, a prohibited substance, marijuana.

The second indictment charged that Orona did knowingly, directly and indirectly, corruptly demand, seek, receive, accept and agreed to accept and receive something of value, $300 in U.S. currency while serving as a public official at the detention center.

This is in violation of the official duty of such official and person, the indictment stated.

"The Reeves County Detention Center employs 448 staff in its 2,000-bed facility," said RCDC Warden Rudy Franco. "Over 99 percent of the staff are honorable, hard working and do an excellent job for Reeves County."

Franco said that the efforts that the honest staff produce should not be dishonored by the criminal actions of a very few dishonest individuals.

"Our internal investigative unit in conjunction with Sheriff Andy Gomez, the Drug Task Force and the Office of the Inspector General, have done a tremendous job identifying these staff," said Franco. "We will continue our efforts to prosecute these individuals to the full extent possible."

Franco said that the officials were going to try to prosecute the inmates involved in illegal activities as much as they do the staff.

The maximum sentence on count one of Orona's indictment is five years; $250,000; supervised release of minimum of two years and a maximum of three years and $100 special assessment. The maximum sentence on count two is up to 15 years, $900; supervised release of minimum of three years and maximum of three years and a $100 special assessment.

Board to study budget, tax rate during meeting

PECOS, Wed., July 18, 2001 -- Certified appraisal values at Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD  and certification of anticipated collection rate by the tax collector are to  be discussed during a special meeting of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah  ISD board Thursday evening.

Board members will meet at 6 p.m., Thursday, to discuss several issues and the public is invited to attend.

The board will discuss the 2001-2002 budget, possible effect of tax rate on 2002-2003 budget, proposed tax rate and pay raise scenarios and salary and compensation plan for administrators, professional and auxiliary employees for the 2001-2002 school year.

Increases in oil and gas valuations in the past year raised the P-B-T ISD property values by almost $140 million, which would translate into an increase of over $2 million in tax collections under the current $1.50 per $100 in valuations tax rate. However, P-B-T Superintendent Don Love said the district will lose state funds in 2002-2003 equal to the gains made this year, and the tax collection increase could be wiped out by lower property valuations next year if oil and gas prices decline.

The board will discuss and approve calculation of rollback tax rate and tax rate adoption planning calendar and a public meeting date to discuss and hear public comment for budget and proposed tax rate.

Board members will meet behind closed doors in executive session to discuss personnel or hear complaints against personnel and a private consultation with the board's attorney concerning pending litigation and action #PO1CA1O Bauer vs. P-B-T ISD.

The group will return to open session and take action, if any, on items discussed in closed session.

Board members will discuss and approve professional personnel: resignations, retirements, appointments, reassignments and change of contracts.

PEDC given Smithers land donation offer

PECOS, Wed., July 18, 2001 -- The donation by Smithers' Automotive Testing Service of its former testing facility in Reeves County will be the main topic on the agenda for the Pecos Economic Development Corp. when they meet at 10 a.m. on Thursday at the Security State Bank, at the Second Floor snack bar.

The meeting will be called to order by chairman, Oscar Saenz.

The first item on the agenda will be to approve agreement for contribution of Smithers' property, located in eastern Reeves County. Smithers closed the facility last month after entering into an agreement with DaimlerChrsyler to conduct testing at a facility in Laredo

The board will them give PEDC President Gari J. Ward approval to negotiate final contribution of property.

The final item on the agenda will be to approve the purchase of P.C.S. Phosphate Property - $5,000- legal description AB 417, Block 4, section 73 H&GN.

Rec department youth football sign-ups start

PECOS, Wed., July 18, 2001 -- Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department is now enrolling children for its PeeWee Football League.

Parents of children who are in Grades 3-6 who want to participate can pick up enrollment forms at the recreation office, located in the old Pecos High School gym, during regular hours.

Entry deadline is Aug. 20 and individuals need to bring the child's birth certificate and both parent's signature. Cost is $25 per child.

For more information call 447-9776.

Police Report

EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report  is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department,  Reeves County Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those agencies.

The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instanced we will indicate payment and release.


Arbon Ramirez, 80, was arrested at 8:50 p.m., on July 12 at the Circle M Bar for public intoxication-enhanced, Class B Misdemeanor.


Rigoberto Perez, 24, was arrested at 9:11 p.m., on July 13 at Third and Park streets for warrants and theft over $50 but under $500 and for evading arrest or detention.


Christopher Michael Celaya, 22, was arrested at 12:27 a.m., on July 14 in the 200 block of Walnut Street for DPS warrants.


Jose Luis Lujan, 39, was arrested 9:24 p.m., on July 13 in the on Third and Cedar streets for public intoxication.


Rosalinda Munoz, 53, was arrested at 9:41 p.m., on July 14 in the 1200 block of S. Cedar Street for public intoxication-enhanced, Class B Misdemeanor.


Pedro Mendoza, Jr, 32, was arrested at 1:37 p.m., on July 16 in the 400 block of S. Pecan Street for possession of a controlled substance.


Delma C. Hernandez, 33, and Gilbert Vasquez, 31, were arrested at 7:37 p.m., on July 16 in the 300 block of Mesquite Street for possession of heroin with the intent to distribute.


Jesus M. Arevalo, 22, was arrested at 10:15 p.m., on July 17 on Hillcrest and Pecos Street for assault and evading in a vehicle.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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