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Archive 2001

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, September 14, 2001

EMS, council discuss deal on ambulance hall location

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Sept. 14, 2001 -- Members of the Pecos Ambulance Service attended the regular  meeting of the Town of Pecos City Council last night to discuss the  ownership of land located behind Gibson True Value and a possible land swap  for the EMS to build a new local facility.

During a June meeting the council authorized City Manager Carlos Yerena to apply for a grant through the state that would allow the city to build affordable housing. Yerena explained to the council that the city could donate the land located behind Gibson, on Washington and Johnson streets, for the construction of the homes.

Since then questions have been raised as to who the land has been promised to.

The Ambulance Service informed the council last night that the Eisenwein family had sold the land in question to the city for future use by the Ambulance Service.

"It was Mr. Eisenwein's intention for the EMS to build a building on that land," Andy Hannah said.

John Cravey said that he land was donated to the EMS and now the city is using it for its own project.

Hannah said that if Mr. Eisenwein had known that that was the intention of the city, he would not have sold the land at such a cheap price.

"If he had known what it would be used for it would have cost you a whole lot more than $10," he said.

Yerena told the EMS personnel said that the city looked into the records and the deed to the land belongs to the city. He added that there is a chance that the city would not receive the grant, which would then free the land for the EMS.

The ambulance personnel informed the council that they supported the affordable housing project and did not wish to stop the progress of the grant application and development of Pecos.

Cravey said that he believes the objective of the city to bring affordable housing to the area is good and appreciates the city's efforts to develop the city but he wished the city had not taken the land promised to the EMS to do it.

"I think it's great," he said. "I just think you should not have taken our land to do it," he said.

Yerena said that the city had no intentions of upsetting the ambulance personnel.

"Our intent is not to offend you," he said. "Our intent is to improve the quality of life for Pecos."

Councilman Frank Sanchez said that he would like to research the matter further and to look for options of compromise.

Dennis Thorpe, a member of EMS, asked the council if the city would be able to substitute land in the grant application.

Yerena said that in order to apply for the grant, the city had to give tentative layouts of utilities and street designs therefore they would not be able to substitute land.

Thorpe said that he understands that and does not wish for the project to stop but only for the EMS to be able to have a comparable amount of land so they would be able to construct an EMS building.

"We're in favor of it (the project)," he said. "We would like to have been asked before you decided to take the land."

Mayor Ray Ortega said that he and the council are sorry for designating the land in question for the housing project before realizing what the land was to be used for. He said that the council is very willing to work with the EMS to find new land.

"We might have stepped on your toes and we are definitely sorry," he said. "We want to work with the EMS."

Ortega commended the EMS, as well as all the emergency response personnel, for their work to help the city of Pecos and said that the EMS is a part of the city and the council will take care of them.

"You guys have gone beyond the call of duty and that's visible," he said. "We are not going to leave you guys out in the cold."

City Attorney Scott Johnson recommended to the council that the EMS and The council would put together a committee that would look for replacement land and then present it to the council in a future meeting.

The council agreed to look at land to designate for the EMS to construct a building upon the personnel's approval.

Council members also approved the first reading of an ordinance to adopt the city budget for the fiscal year of 2001-02.

The council recently met in budget hearings to go over the budget and the budget they received last night reflected almost all of those decisions made in the hearings.

Yerena said that the only change to the budget is the addition of $160,000 for the city swimming pool.

Yerena said that the $160,000 would be used to "replace the liner (of the pool) because that's the major concern that we've had."

Mayor Pro Tem Danny Rodriguez asked Pecos Police Officer Tony Dawdy if he had any concerns about the budget for the salary of personnel for the new city detention center.

Dawdy expressed his concerns that once the detention center opens the police department would lose some officers because they would choose to become jailers who would be making more.

"You're going to have jailers making more than peace officers," he said.

Dawdy said that officers must go through 10 months of training to get certified and then once certified they must continue to take classes to keep the certification up.

"They can't see why jailers would be making more than them," he said.

Dawdy said that he is afraid of losing many good peace officers because of the salary difference.

Ortega said that the city budget is in the red right now and would not be able to increase officers' salaries right now, but since the detention center in not scheduled to open until next year they would be able to take a look at it again in 2002.

"We have to take this step by step," he said. "We're going to address it, we just can't address it right now."

The council also re-appointed Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney to the Permian Basin Airport Board.

McKinney is the current Pecos representative on the board.

School board given update on CATE building project

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Sept. 14, 2001 -- A report on the progress on the CATE building and a  tentative completion date for the next computer facility was one of the  items discussed during the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board  meeting held Thursday evening in the board room.

Monte Hunter, with Hunter Corral Associates, was on hand for the regular meeting and updated the board on the progress of the construction.

"You can see the progress on the CATE Building, it's coming along good," said Hunter.

Work in progress is drywall finishing, electrical rough-in, mechanical ductwork, finishing masonry, trimming metal roof system, ceiling grid system beginning and installing door frames. Projected completion is early October.

Changes are within project contingency. About $2,833 remains in the contingency allowance and major changes have been the addition of a security system and a concrete ribbon around alley parking area.

"Completion date has been set for early October," said Hunter. "The quality has been good and they have caught up with the work."

"I think it's going really well," he added.

Hunter also updated the group on the repairs at Pecos Kindergarten and Crockett Middle School. "All repairs have been completed at the kindergarten except two minor joint repairs and the project was completed within original budget," said Hunter.

Modifications required from the state inspector at Crockett Middle School are almost complete, according to Hunter. "Two corrections remain, installing the proper toilet and replacing damaged ceramic wall tile, are scheduled for the week of Sept. 17," he said.

All modifications by the contractor will be made without extra expense to the district, according to Hunter.

Hunter said that carpet replacement at Bessie Haynes Library, high school field house and the tax office has been completed. "We are waiting on closeout documents from the contractor to process final payment to the contractor," he said.

Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year, Debbie Flores and Region 18 Education Service Center Elementary Teacher of the Year, Alice Wein were recognized during the meeting.

Flores and Wein both received certificates of recognition during the event.

In addition, Flores will receive a vest and a $500 grant designated for a special project at the school, donated by Wal-Mart.

Wein is the Region 18 ESC's recipient of Elementary Teacher of the Year 2002.

Awards will be presented to the recipients on Wednesday, Nov. 14, during the regular TASA meeting at Region 18 ESC. Southwestern Bell will present the plaques in the early part of the meeting, which will begin at 10 a.m.

"We're very proud of these two individuals," said PBT-ISD Superintendent Don Love.

Board members approved the disposal of a 1996 crew cab pickup that is no longer necessary for the operation of the school district.

"This is property that we feel is no longer of any use to the school district and we felt it would be best if we just sold it," said Love.

Love said that they could advertise it in the paper and see if someone is interested in the vehicle. "The vehicle is a diesel with a gooseneck, which would be ideal for a rancher," said Love.

A bid for vans was awarded local vendor Colt Chevrolet, which was the only bid received. A bid for buses was awarded to ATC Thomas Buses. Both had previously been budgeted.

Courthouse bombing memorial dedication planned

PECOS, Fri., Sept. 14, 2001 -- Pecos High School employee Rosie Carrasco and PHS juvenile officer Hilda Woods are planning a Memorial Dedication in front of the Lucius D. Bunton Federal Building next week, commemorating the tragic events that occurred in New York and the Pentagon on Tuesday.

The ceremony will be held for all Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD students, and the public is invited to attend. It will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 19.

Everyone is asked to wear red, white and blue throughout that day.

The group is also asking the students to take flowers, cards, balloons or any token of gratitude and sympathy.

For more information go to the PIP Office at Pecos High School or call 447-7239 and ask for Carrasco or Woods.

Flight re-creation of Earhart's trip on hold for now

PECOS, Fri., Sept. 14, 2001 -- Dr. Carlene Mendieta's re-creation of the Amelia Earhart's flight has now been postponed until next week.

Mendieta was to have arrived in Pecos on Tuesday, but all flights were grounded following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Her flight was grounded in Hobbs, and several rescheduled dates since then also have been canceled.

Now, Mendieta will be coming in to Pecos sometime next week, at a date an time to be determined after the lifting of the ban on non-commerical air flights by the federal government.

Chamber discusses plans for next month's Fall Fair

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Sept. 14, 2001 -- Reeves County Fall Fair and the Barbecue Cookoff were topics  of discussion at the regular Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce meeting  held Tuesday at noon.

The group discussed the two events that are coming up the first weekend in October.

"We just wanted to let everyone know about the cookoff and plans for the annual fall fair," said chamber of commerce director Tom Rivera.

This year the Reeves County Sheriff's Posse is sponsoring the BBQ Cookoff. It will consist of country style pork ribs and brisket.

Prizes to be awarded will be for Grand Champion, a silver plate, and the group must place in both brisket and ribs. First place barbecue brisket will be $500; 2nd place, $250; 3rd place, $150 and 4 th place, $50.

First place in barbecue pork ribs will be $500; 2nd place, $250; 3rd place, $150 and 4th place $50.

The cookoff is scheduled for Oct. 5-6, at the Reeves County Sheriff's Posse Arena, located just south of the Posse Barn. All entrants must be entered by 5 p.m. on Oct. 5.

For more information contact the chamber of commerce at 445-2406.

Also a trailer mounted barbecue pit will be raffled during the cookoff. Tickets can be purchased at the chamber office or from any sheriff's posse member at $5 each.

The group approved a new company to make new city maps. "They'll be coming in within the next two weeks," said Rivera. "They'll also be contacting individuals by phone to be sponsors."

Walker Publishing of Fort Worth will be working on the new city maps, according to Rivera.

Voting reported going slow for school rollback election

PECOS, Fri., Sept. 14, 2001 -- A total of 117 individuals have cast their ballots during early voting in rollback tax election.

"That is the total for all the eight days that we have been here," said early voting clerk Nora Briceno.

Early voting is still underway for the tax rollback elections for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, an election the district is required to have, following the adoption of the tax rate that will bring in about $2 million in additional revenues to the school district this year.

The rollback election is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22, but voters who would like to take advantage of voting early can do so from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., at the Community Center, located next door to the Pecos Police Department, through next Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Increases in oil and gas valuations between 2000 and 2001 is the reason for the increase in tax revenues, but P-B-T Superintendent Don Love said under Texas' school funding law, the district will lose that $2 million in state revenues beginning with the 2002-2003 school year. As a result, Love asked the P-B-T school board to maintain the current $1.50 per $100 in valuation tax rate, even though to do so automatically forced this month's rollback election.

"They are either voting for what the school board has approved as the tax rate, or they are voting against school board recommendations," said Love.

Voting for the tax rate set will not mean higher taxes for homeowners, according to Love. "They will be paying the same in taxes or maybe a little bit less," he said. "The only ones affected will be the oil companies," he said.

Bush approves call for 50,000 reservist troops

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush on Friday gave the  Pentagon authority to call 50,000 reservists to active duty for "homeland  defense" and other missions in response to  the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

A brief Pentagon announcement said the military services have thus far identified requirements for 35,500 reservists: 13,000 in the Air Force, 10,000 in the Army, 3,000 in the Navy, 7,500 in the Marine Corps and 2,000 in the Coast Guard.

No further breakdown was provided.

The Pentagon did not say exactly when the reservists would be put on active duty.

The reservists will be assigned to the following missions: port operations, medical support, engineer support, general civil support and homeland defense.

The order signed by Bush authorizes what is known as a partial mobilization of the nation's military reserves. That means the Pentagon could put as many as 1 million citizen soldiers on active duty.

"This partial mobilization demonstrates the vital role of reserve forces in our national military strategy," the Pentagon announcement said.

In all, the United States has 1.3 million people in the reserves.

The last time a partial mobilization of the reserves was authorized by the president was on Jan. 18, 1991 at the outset of the Gulf War. In that instance 265,322 members of the National Guard and Reserve were activated.

Bush acted on the recommendation of Donald H. Rumsfeld, who presented the proposal during a Cabinet meeting at the White House Friday.

Bush had planned to announce the move after the Cabinet meeting, but the photo opportunity was canceled at the last minute. Two government officials familiar with the president's plans said he still planned to go forward with the move.

They stressed that the call-up was not part of a military mobilization aimed at the terrorists who struck Washington and New York Tuesday. Instead, Rumsfeld wants the troops, the largest number called up since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, to support air patrols over New York and Washington and remain alert elsewhere in the country.

Congress OKs $40 billion for fight against terrorists

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The Senate Friday approved $40 billion  in emergency aid to help the victims and hunt down the perpetrators  of this week's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. It then  gave its official consent for the president to use force against  those responsible for the attacks.

The House was also voting on the spending bill, but wouldn't announce its final tally until after a noon memorial service for the victims of last Tuesday's attacks.

"This was a bipartisan effort that stretched from one end of the country to the other, and it's going to help New York tremendously," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

The 96-0 Senate vote came just hours before President Bush, accompanied by a contingent of New York lawmakers, was to visit the site in New York where two hijacked jets rammed into the World Trade Center towers, destroying them. Another commandeered airliner was crashed into the Pentagon.

Senators followed with a 98-0 vote on the second measure that authorized the president to use "necessary and appropriate force" in retaliating against the terrorist strikes.

The House is expected to vote Saturday on that measure, crafted to show support for the president while protecting the constitutional role of Congress in overseeing military actions.

Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., lauded the rapid-fire work that brought agreement on both the spending and the separate measure authorizing use of force.

"These are different times," Lott told colleagues. "And we have got to act decisively. The American people expect it of us, and they will accept nothing less."

"It is the down payment on providing the resources necessary to rebuild this nation," said Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. The $40 billion package was double what the White House originally requested from Congress.

The Senate was in an exceptionally somber mood when it approved the spending measure, with most lawmakers taking the unusual step of sitting at their desks during the roll call.

House plans to pass the spending bill Thursday night had to be put off when the White House asked for more control over how and when the money would be spent. "It was a principled debate about the prerogatives of the branches," White House budget chief Mitchell Daniels said shortly after midnight when the two sides finally shook hands on the package.

The bill provides an immediate $10 billion to be used to respond to the attacks, counter domestic and international terrorism, increase transportation security and repair facilities damaged by the facilities.

Another $10 billion would be made available 15 days after the White House informs Congress of a plan for its use. The remaining $20 billion would be included in spending bills for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

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.


Christopher Hodges, 19, was arrested at 9:04 a.m., on August 29 on East Highway 80 on two warrants for no driver's license and a warrant for minor in possession of alcohol.


Maria Florez, 49, and Margarita Munoz, 24, were arrested at 6:31 p.m., on August 30 in the 1700 block of South Alamo Street both for assault under the Family Violence Act.


A male juvenile was arrested at 7:50 p.m., on August 30 in the 1600 block of Missouri Street for possession of marijuana.


Rogelio Rangel, 42, was arrested at 6:43 p.m., on September 1 at the Allsup's on Cedar Street for public intoxication.


Epifanio Hernandez, 45, was arrested at 11:18 p.m., on September 1 in the 2200 block of West `F' Street for Family Violence Act and public intoxication.


Donnie Ray Winfrey, 37, was arrested at 1:28 a.m., on September 2 in the 600 block of East Second Street for aggravated assault-felony two.


Eric F. Baeza, 19, was arrested at 9:31 a.m., on September 1 in the 1900 block of Scott Street on a warrant for assault under the Family Violence Act and failure to adjudicate.


Moises Manuel Castillo, 27, was arrested at 1:05 a.m., on September 1 in the 1300 block of East Second Street for DWI refusal.


Ramiro Lopez, 23, was arrested at 1:31 p.m., on September 4 in the 300 block of North Walnut Street for assault under the Family Violence Act.


Anita U. Lerma, 39, was arrested at 7:18 p.m., on September 6 in the 300 block of West Second Street for public intoxication.


Amado Salazar, 50, was arrested at 12:25 a.m., on September 7 in the 600 block of East Second Street for public intoxication.


Beverly McGrew, 43, was arrested at 8:43 p.m., on September 9 at Fourth and Locust Street on a warrant for parole violation.


Dante Cerna, 22, was arrested at 7:32 p.m., on September 8 in the 100 block of South Mulberry Street for assault causing bodily injury under the Family Violence Act.


Armondo Rodriguez, 47, was arrested at 10:09 p.m., on September 8 in the 1400 block of Washington Street for driving while intoxicated.


Lauro Villalobos, 29, was arrested at 4:43 a.m., on September 9 at Plum and Monroe Streets for evading and terroristic threat under the Family Violence Act.


Diane Mendoza, 37, and Genoveva M. Wright, 33, were arrested at 9:29 p.m., on September 7 in the 800 block of East Second Street. Mendoza was arrested for public intoxication and for a warrant for theft over $50 and under $500 while Wright was arrested for public intoxication.


Senaida M. Mendoza, 26, was arrested at 12:43 a.m., on September 8 in the 600 block of East Second Street on a warrant for assault causing bodily injury.


Norberto Rodriguez, 18, and Roberto M. Rodriguez, 19, were arrested at 5:47 a.m., on September 8 in the 700 block of Cedar Street. Norberto Rodriguez was arrested on a warrant for driving while intoxicated and Roberto Rodriguez was arrested on a Capias Pro Fine warrant and a warrant for criminal mischief.


Amador Salgado, 35, and Marivel Salgado, 27, were arrested at 5:49 a.m., on September 7 at the Pecos Police Department both for Family Violence and public intoxication.


PECOS, Fri., Sept. 14, 2001 -- High Thursday 94. Low this morning 66. Forecast for  tonight: Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 60s. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph.  Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and  thunderstorms. Highs 85 to 90. Southeast winds 5 to  15 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers  and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 60s. Sunday: Partly cloudy with a  20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs 85 to  90. Monday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers  and thunderstorms. Lows 60 to 65. Highs 85 to 90.

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