Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, November 8, 2001
Thigh `high' doesn't get by drug dog on Greyhound bus
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 8, 2001 -- A California man was arrested and over 1½
pounds of cocaine were taken off the streets following a bus interdiction
operation Wednesday night.
About 7 p.m., Wednesday, officers with the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force
bus interdiction team arrested Joseph Jackson, Jr., 30, of Long Beach, Calif.,
for possession of a controlled substance (cocaine).
The team, along with the task force's drug-sniffing dog, Aries, were at
the Pecos Greyhound station doing a bus interdiction operation, when they
found Jackson was body-carrying the illegal drugs while a passenger on a
westbound Greyhound bus, heading for California.
"He had the illegal drugs strapped to his thigh," said Lt. Larry Arredondo.
"He was wearing tight biker shorts and had the cocaine strapped to the inside
of his thigh."
Total amount of the cocaine on Jackson was put at one pound, 10 ounces
and the confiscated drug had an estimated street value of $58,240.
Jackson was also carrying about $899 in what officials said was suspected
"drug money," money used in illegal activities.
He was also wanted on two warrants out of California for felony assault
and attempted kidnapping and making terroristic threats. Bonds for those
had been set at $200,000 in California.
"He'll have to face charges here before he is extradited to California,"
"We have a group of hard working individuals who want to make this community
a safer place to live," said Drug Task Force Commander Gary Richards. "Any
amount of drug we take off the streets helps."
Richards said that the officers are always on the lookout and are dedicated
to their jobs. "We're dedicated to Reeves County to provide the best service
possible," he said.
Church's facelift work almost completed
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 8, 2001 -- First United Methodist Church, at Third
and Elm, is receiving a facelift. James Ross, crew foreman with The Fix It
Company, Brandon Lusk, of Odessa and three helpers, including two men from
Pecos, expect to complete the painting of the 17,000-square-foot of exterior
walls of the church within about three days.
Ross said that the company has been painting the church for about a month,
occasionally being held up because of winds and dust. They also had to await
completion of necessary stucco work, which was performed by Roberts Construction,
a local Pecos company.
Bruce Abbott, pastor of the church, said the renovations have been an
ongoing project for close to a year. The work began with the re-roofing and
was done by Jack Rogers, a church member who died of cancer shortly after
finishing that part of the project. About 40 broken windows were replaced,
and then the building was power-washed before the painting began.
Abbott said the total cost for renovations is in the neighborhood of $70,000,
with paint alone costing over $16,000, an expensive undertaking for a church
with a membership of about 100 people.
Abbott is a graduate of the seminary at Emory, in Atlanta, Georgia, and
this is his third church. Before Pecos, he was in Cimarron, N.M., north of
Taos; and he's been at First United Methodist Church for the last four years.
Sunday morning worship service is at 10:55 a.m.
Council OKs $1.07 million water field bid
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 8, 2001 -- The Town of Pecos City Council awarding the
bid for development of the South Worsham Water Field to West Texas
Well Service of Odessa at a cost of nearly $1.1 million, during their
regular meeting this morning at City Hall
City Finance Director George Bejarano said that West Texas Well Service
bid the lowest at $1,071,816 for development of water wells. Bejarano added
that the bid is almost $130,000 lower than the next bid.
The city council was told be engineers in 1994 that the current Worsham
and Ward County Water Fields only contained enough water to supply Pecos
through the year 2008. Since that time, the council has been involved in
locating and developing a new water well field for the city.
After looking at several sites in the area, the city decided three years
ago to develop the South Worsham Well Field, which is located about 20 miles
southeast of Pecos near U.S. 285.
Along with that item, the council authorized the city to advertise for
bids on the replacement of a ground storage tank in Worsham Well Field.
In other action today, the council approved changing city insurance companies,
after City Manager Carlos Yerena said that changing from the current company,
New Horizons, to Dallas General would be beneficial for the city and its
"It's a good deal for the city and the employees because it gives us more
benefits without adding more liability," he said.
The city has used New Horizons for the past several years, according to
Yerena. However, the liability cost to the city on each incident has gone
up to $40,000.
On the new insurance policy, Yerena said that the cost for liability is
Dennis Burkholder, a representative of Employee Benefit Administrators
(EBA) in San Antonio, assured the council that the city would not see as
many problems with Dallas General as they did with New Horizons.
Burkholder has been the city's insurance administrator for the past ten
years and is familiar the city and the employees.
He said that he knows the city has had trouble with New Horizons not paying
claims quickly and said that with Dallas General, he would be completing
the paperwork on all the claims, making it easier on the city.
"With Dallas General, we process all the claims, even theirs," he said.
Yerena said that the city's insurance committee, made up of city employees,
approved Dallas General as the new insurance provider out of approximately
"This is the one we liked the best, the city and the employees," he said.
Yerena explained that with the new insurance company the employees would
have a $20 co-pay on office visits along with a better prescription plan
and dental plan.
The new insurance plan is scheduled to begin in January, according to
Yerena, but as off now it does not include life insurance.
Yerena said that before the transition from the current insurance provider
to Dallas General is complete he and the city would look into adding life
insurance along with coverage on optical.
Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney, who is a member of the insurance committee,
said that the committee believes that the new insurance would be good for
"This does look best for the employees," he said.
Burkholder told the council that he would work with the city to find what
is best for the employees.
"I don't work for the insurance company, I work for you," he said. "We
won't let you down. We'll give you the best service we can."
Also this morning, the council gave permission to the Rotary Club to use
Maxey Park for the community Christmas lighting at the end of November.
Lighting Chairman Leo Hung informed the council that last year the Rotary
Club used about 120 strings of lights to construct the Christmas tree.
He said that in addition to the 120 original strings of light the Rotary
Club is adding 120 more strings.
The council approved the list of newly elected Pecos Volunteer Fire Department
officers during the meeting as well.
PVFD Fire Chief Roy Pena, who was re-elected by the fire assembly, said
that 32 out of 42 members of the fire department met on Nov. 1 to elect officers.
Those elected that night included:
First Assistant Chief Arturo Granado by acclamation,
Second Assistant Chief Jim Riley by acclamation,
Secretary Javier Contreras by acclamation,
Safety Officer Gabriel Gonzales,
Safety Officer Harvey Gonzales,
Fireman Representative Salvador "Howdy" Carrera,
Training Officer Lynn Foster.
Those eight officers make up the Fire Department's Board of Directors,
according to Pena.
Cesar Zermeno and Noe Ybarra were also elected to the Benevolent Committee
as well as Roque Mata to the Pension Board.
All city offices are scheduled to close on Monday, Nov. 12 in celebration
of Veteran's Day.
The council approved adding Veteran's Day to the list of city holidays
during this morning's meeting.
City misses housing grant, will continue efforts
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 8, 2001 -- Town of Pecos City officials plan to continue
their efforts to bring affordable housing to the community after one
of the city's grant applications was not approved by state officials.
"We'll still be seeking other projects and working on getting affordable
housing for this community," said Town of Pecos City Manager Carlos Yerena.
Town of Pecos City officials had applied back in June for a Home Improvement
Partnership Program grant through the state of Texas that would be used to
help in purchasing affordable housing in Pecos.
Yerena said that the $300,000 grant would be through the Texas Department
of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) and was designed to help subsidize
housing costs for local residents, and could be used toward either new or
existing housing in Pecos.
The $300,000 would have been divided up into $10,000 increments and would
go toward closing or a down payment for families trying to buy a house, but
Yerena said, "It seems like we did not get the grant for the down payment
Yerena said that they have not received word yet on whether they received
a second grant to help with housing construction, "but we'll be pursuing
other ventures," he said.
"We have another grant out there, so we'll wait and see if we get that
one," he said.
Yerena said that the city of Pecos is in need of more affordable housing
now and in the future.
"We need affordable housing because Pecos is on the verge of a growth
spurt," he said.
Yerena said that the city has been working on economic development and
bringing in new businesses.
"With the economic development and brining in new businesses, we need
affordable housing for the employees who will be coming in," he said, while
adding that it would be no use bringing in new businesses if the city could
not house the employees.
"Housing would have to be built on land that the city owns," he said.
Yerena said that the city would donate the land to the program that would
be used for the new homes. Officials have talked about using land located
behind Gibson's True Value south of Washington Street, though questions about
the use of that land have been raised by members of the Pecos Ambulance Service,
who said the land was originally given to them to construct a new ambulance
Yerena said that with the additional labor force coming in with the county's
960-bed prison addition, the city's new 96-bed jail and the U.S. Air Force's
Realistic Bomber Training Initiative manned scoring site, affordable housing
could become a problem. However, for right now, local employers didn't see
a major housing shortage in Pecos.
Anchor Manager Bruce Salcido said that a number of employees for the company
come from Fort Stockton, Monahans and Kermit. "We have employees from the
surrounding area, but I don't know if it's because of lack of housing," said
Salcido. "It's more because of their job, a job they enjoy with good benefits."
Anchor is the city's largest employer, but Salcido said that while some
out-of-towners have found work in Pecos, they are keeping their homes in
"Some don't want to leave their homes and families and just want to commute,"
Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo said that the prison also employs
individuals from surrounding communities. "But we also have a lot of employees
from this community, that have been residents for a long time and want to
stay in Pecos," said Galindo.
Galindo said that the number of individuals who live in the community
is larger. "We have a small number coming in from out of town," he said.
Garage sale planned for Santa Rosa Hall
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 8, 2001 -- A garage sale will be held from 8 a.m.
until 2 p.m., Saturday at the Santa Rosa Church Hall, 600 E. Third St.
A wide variety of inexpensive, second-hand items will be for sale.
Delicious food drinks and games for everyone will also be provided.
Retreat for choirs set for next week
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 8, 2001 -- A Retreat for all choirs is scheduled for
next weekend in Pecos.
The retreat will be held from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17 at
Santa Rosa Hall, 600 E. Third St. Everyone is invited to attend.
PECOS, Thurs., Nov. 8, 2001 -- High Wed. 80. Low this morning 49. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly cloudy. Lows around 40. NE winds 10 to 20 mph.
Fri.: Partly cloudy. Highs near 60. NE winds 10 to 15 mph. Fri. night:
Partly cloudy. Lows around 40. Sat.: Mostly clear. Highs 65 to 70.
Sun. Mostly clear Lows 40 to 45. Highs 70 to 75.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2001 by Pecos Enterprise