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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Friday, August 24, 2001

City seeks grant for Washington St. homes

Staff Writer
PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- The Town of Pecos City Council authorized City Manager Carlos Yerena to submit a grant application that would help the city build housing infrastructure for a new housing development during the regular meeting last night at City Hall.

Yerena explained to the council that the grant would allow the city to connect new homes that they are proposing to build in the 700 and 800 block of Washington Street to the city water and sewer system as well as construct sidewalks, streets and curbs for the homes.

The council authorized the application for a State of Texas home improvement partnership program grant that would be used to help in purchasing affordable housing in Pecos during a special meeting in June.

During that meeting, Yerena informed the council that the $300,000 grant would be for affordable housing through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) and could be used toward either new or existing housing in Pecos.

The Pecos Emergency Medical Service has raised questions about whether or not the land, located behind Gibson's, had been given to the service for use of building a new ambulance hall. Pecos EMS currently shares its facility on Cedar Street with the Pecos Volunteer Fire Department.

Yerena repeatedly said that the land is deeded to the city and the council has approved constructing houses on the two blocks.

Yerena said that the proposed 960-bed addition to the Reeves County Detention Center unit and the arrival of personnel to man the new U.S. Air Force bomber training manned scoring site would hopefully bring more families to Pecos.

"We want to attract more housing into the area," he said.

Yerena said that the city is in more need of new housing in a centrally-located area, and that while construction would leaved the EMS without a site for their hall, the city is willing to work with the EMS personnel to give them some different land for the hall or adding onto the current ambulance hall.

"We're working with them to accommodate them," he said.

In other action during Thursday night's meeting, the council also approved city tax assessor-collection Lydia Prieto's calculations for the city's 2001 effective tax rate.

Prieto presented the council with an effective tax rate calculation of .7136, which would allow the city to collect the same amount of tax money as last year.

Prieto also informed the council that if they wished they could raise the taxes to .7350 without publishing a notice for a public hearing.

The council approved Prieto's calculations for the effective tax rate as well as the debt tax rate of .26775, but agreed that they would not raise the taxes.

Mayor Ray Ortega said that the council will not increase the taxes and would stay at the current rate of .6967, which is below the 2001 effective tax rate.

"There will be no tax increase," he said.

The council will set the tax rate at the September 13 meeting.

Council members also approved the revised employee's recognition policy that now states that any employees that are leaving or retiring and have been with the city for more than five years would be recognized and given an award at the time of their departure.

Pecos will now have a city vehicle policy after the council approved the proposal.

The policy states that all city employees that are issued city vehicle would not be able to take them home unless they are department heads, employees on-call or emergency personnel.

The council approved the bid to purchase the building housing the Northside Cafe and the mobile home behind it, which was submitted by Hugh Box.

The council was hesitant to approve Box's request of $6,250 because Sally Gomez, manager of the Northside Cafe, still lives in the mobile home and the cafe is still open. The two sites were being sold to pay for delinquent back property taxes. The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board already has approved a similar bid by Box.

City Attorney Scott Johnson said that Gomez had recently been sick therefore she was unable to open the café and fell behind on her tax payments.

After talking with Gomez, Johnson said that she and Box had worked out an agreement where Gomez would still be able to live in the home and run the cafe.

The council also approved the request of purchase for foreclosed property at 313 South Oak Street by Aida Hernandez for $1,350.

Drugs, cash seized in I-10 interdictions

Staff Writer
PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- Trans Pecos Drug Task Force members, working with the Culberson County Sheriff's Department, the U.S. Border Patrol and other area law enforcement agencies, arrested three people and seized over 5½ pounds of cocaine following a traffic stop just east of Van Horn Thursday morning.

The arrests came were part of a weeklong interdiction effort on Interstate 10 west of Pecos, in which over $50,000 in PCP, along with crack cocaine and over $18,000 in cash believed to be used in drug transactions was also confiscated.

The latest arrests occurred about 1:30 a.m. on Thursday on I-10 in Culberson County, next the eastbound rest area at mile marker 145.

Officers found a total of 5.52 pounds of cocaine and two Hispanic females along with one Hispanic male were arrested. The individuals were residents of Mexico.

The group was traveling from El Paso to the Fort Worth area and the group was riding in an Americano bus.

"This is an ongoing investigation and the subjects were turned over to DEA," said Henri Cruse, Assistant Commander with the Stop Narcotics Task Force from Cleveland, Tx.

"This is the second operation I've worked with here in West Texas," said Cruse.

Task Force Commander Gary Richards said that they had asked the Stop Narcotics Force for some help because the task force has new officers and because of the move of the check point from Sierra Blanca to Van Horn.

Cruse has been in Pecos "helping out" since Monday and today is his last day before returning to Cleveland, which is located northeast of Houston. "We're hoping to confiscate more drugs and put more drug dealers out of business today," he said.

Along with Thursday's stop, Task Force officials said on Wednesday evening about 1.24 pounds of crack cocaine was seized from a black male who was traveling from Sacramento, Calif. to Little Rock, Ark. in a Greyhound Bus. The stop also was made in Culberson County.

"We've been targeting the Culberson County area and the Guadalupe Mountains," said Richards.

"Another black male traveling to Atlanta, Ga., had 1.34 pounds of marijuana," said Cruse. "Both were body carriers, which means the contraband was taped to their bodies."

Prior to these arrests made yesterday, one subject was arrested and $18,670 was seized. "The money was confiscated because it's believed to have been used in drug transactions," said Cruse. "When there's that much cash, we begin to question it."

The money was confiscated from Bobby Eugene Coller of California, who was traveling from Mississippi to California.

"This is the second time this individual has been caught carrying a large amount of currency," said Cruse, who said, "This same subject in the month of March was arrested here in Pecos, carrying $39,840. This time it was in Culberson County; he had already passed Pecos."

Another stop and drug seizure involving a bus passenger occurred about 6:45 p.m. on Monday. Officers searched the bus traveling from Los Angeles to Louisiana and uncovered over 50 ounces of PCP liquid with a street value of $52,000 was confiscated.

"The drugs were found in a canvas bag and one subject claimed it," said Cruse. The suspect, identified as Tarvor Larry Bernard, of Los Angeles, Calif. was arrested.

The liquid drugs were found in bottles of ginger ale, which were emptied and filled with the PCP.

"There was another load that went through to Abilene and the Border Patrol picked it up," said Richards.

"That made the total of the PCP street value to $170,000, with the confiscation," said Cruse. "This is the biggest PCP seizure that I know of."

"All these operations were a success and I really appreciate the cooperation of the Stop Narcotics Force," said Richards.

Richards said that this was also a training program for the new officers that have come on board. "We were shorthanded for a while and now with these new officers, it was a little bit of training for them," he said.

Cruse said this operation was a huge success and expected to make more arrests today, on their last day in Pecos.

"We appreciate all the cooperation and want to thank everyone that helped," said Richards. "Van Horn Sheriff Oscar Carrillo was very instrumental in these operations as well."

County's precinct boundaries redrawn

Staff Writer
PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- Reeves County commissioners had to juggle their boundaries a little on Thursday to reapportion county precincts along federal guidelines, but the result was four districts with less than a full percentage point difference in population.

County Judge Jimmy Galindo said that the next step in the reapportionment process is to submit the plan to the United States Department of Justice for approval.

"Reapportionment is required by the Voter Rights Act every 10 years," he said.

Galindo said that the goal is for all of the precincts in the county to have an equal numbers of people.

A few precinct lines were moved around, with the biggest changes coming along Eddy Street between Precincts 2 and 3 and in West Pecos between Precincts 3 and 4.

With the proposed boundaries Commissioner David Castillo will add an area east of Eddy Street to Cherry Street to his Precinct 2.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Hivi Rayos, will add the south side of West Adams Street and all of West Jackson and West Jefferson Street to his precinct, which previously had been part of Precinct 2.

Galindo said that Reeves County lost about 2,000 people over the last ten years with the official county population being about 13,000 counting the prison population at the time the census.

The prison population at that time was about 1,100, he said.

The deviation in population for the proposed precincts comes to .37 percent or less than one-half a percentage point, Galindo said.

"The law requires a deviation of no more than 10 percent, so we are well within that limit," Galindo said.

Galindo said that he expected the plan to be approved by December, and that the new precincts would be in effect by next year's primary elections.

Council approves proclamation for "Pray for Rain" day Sunday

Staff Writer
PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- Town of Pecos City Mayor Ray Ortega signed a proclamation designating this Sunday, Aug. 26, as "Pray for Rain in Pecos Day" during the regular Council meeting last night at City Hall.

The proclamation states that there is an urgent need for rain in Pecos and the city has confidence that rain would come on the request of the community.

The area around Pecos is supposed to get 10.99 inches of rain a year, according to the National Weather Service. However, rainfall totals have been below that amount for every year since 1992, and total rainfall for the past 3½ years in Pecos is less than 20 inches.

Ortega said that Councilman Gerald Tellez brought the idea to the Council after he read an article in the San Angelo Standard Times.

Tellez said that San Angelo proclaimed a day to pray for rain, which seemed to have worked.

Councilman Johnny Terrazas said that San Angelo did receive a fair amount of rain when he drove through that area not long ago.

The Council requests the help of the community to pray for rain this Sunday.

Band Boosters set concession stand clean-up Monday

PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- Pecos Band Boosters are being asked to help with the clean-up of concession stands at Eagle Stadium Monday evening at 7 p.m.

The Band Boosters help operate the concession stands to help raise funds during Pecos Eagle football games. The first game of the 2001 season is next Friday, Aug. 31, against Kermit.

Pecos range hosts service rifle match Saturday morning

PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- A Service Rifle Match will be held Saturday starting at 8 a.m. at the Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club Range south of Maxey Park.

Competitors will shoot a modified National Match course of fire of 50 shots for record with three sighting shots before each stage. This match will be a qualifying match for purchase of an M-1 rifle from the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

Sign-up begins at 7:45 a.m. and the match is limited to the first 22 shooters.

Burton shows own visual style in 'Planet of the Apes' remake

Staff Writer
PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- Perhaps no one is able to create such exotic beauty than Director Tim Burton, who proves, once again, that he has a very strange and beautiful vision for everything he directs with his latest movie Planet of the Apes.

Many people in Hollywood have said that the latest Ape movie in not a remake of the 1960s phenomenon but a reinvention, which is so true.

After watching this "reinvented" version of the Planet of the Apes, you find yourself wondering what worlds and possibilities are out there in the universe.

Burton is a visual genius who is able to not only dream of but create these different worlds that cross over into your dreams.

Burton has a long list of visual wonders that include Sleepy Hollow (1999), Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Beetlejuice (1988).

Whatever happened in his childhood that caused Burton to become the man he is today should forever be celebrated because now he is able to share his vision with the masses.

It is amazing to be transported into this world of Apes along with Captain Leo Davidson, played by Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights-1997).

Wahlberg, who is better known as Marky Mark (and the Funky Bunch), proves that he is not only a musician but also a wonderful (looking) actor.

Wahlberg becomes the knight in shining honor with his take charge attitude and good looks.

Wahlberg's biggest conflict comes from the leader of the Ape Army, Thade, played by Tim Roth (Pulp Fiction-1994).

Once the Ape suit goes on, Roth becomes on of the most evil and demented characters of late (but so would you after spending numerous hours in the makeup chair).

Roth does, however, show a more vulnerable side for maybe a total of two minutes.

But the fun thing to do while watching this movie is trying to guess which Ape is played by the 1968 Planet of the Apes star Charlton Heston.

Heston, who originally played the part done in this film by Wahlberg, takes a turn at playing an Ape in this reinvented version.

Perhaps this movie will provide the audience with a real-life "Where's Waldo" puzzle but instead it would be called "Where's Heston."

Planet of the Apes is rated PG-13.


PECOS, Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 -- High Thursday 106. Low this morning 71. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low around 70. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy with a less than 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. High around 100. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy with a less than 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Low around 70. Sunday and Monday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 60s and lower 70s. Highs in the 90s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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