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Archive 2002

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, July 12, 2002

New principals picked for three P-B-T schools

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, July 12, 2002 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board members assigned two  current principals to new campuses and appointed a new principal to a  third campus Thursday evening, during their regular monthly meeting in  the Technology Center.

Cindy Duke, who was principal at Pecos Kindergarten during the past school year 2001-2002, was appointed as principal at Austin Elementary School, which houses the district's 1st through 3rd grade classes. She replaces Victor Tarin, who was named last month as the new principal at Crockett Middle School, replacing Juanita Davila.

Also changing campuses will be Zavala Middle School principal Benny Hernandez, who will move across the street to handle the same job at Bessie Haynes Elementary, following the resignation of longtime principal Mary Lou. Hernandez was principal at the Zavala sixth grade campus last year and before that had served as assistant principal at Pecos High School.

Newcomer Robert Garrett will take over as principal at Zavala Middle School. He comes from Utopia ISD, west of San Antonio, where he had been teaching 4th-6th grades.

Garrett received his Master of Education from Sul Ross Rio Grande University in Uvalde and his Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City.

His accomplishments include 90 to 100 percent TAAS Scores at his school; Recognized campus (1998-2000); Exemplary campus (2000-2001), TAAS Scores; (2001-2002) 4th, reading-92 percent; writing 91 percent and math 100 percent.

Garrett had also taught at Natalia ISD as an elementary teacher in grades 3-4

Davila is now working at the Technology Center, where she moved following the retirement of longtime P-B-T technology coordinator Larry Sloan, who retired at the end of the past school year.

In other action Thursday, board members discussed 2002-2003 budget and possible tax rate and tabled the elimination of two administrative positions.

P-B-T ISD Superintendent Don Love proposed several budget cuts to the board including the elimination of the two assistant principal positions, at Austin Elementary and Crockett Middle School, which are currently vacant. The elimination of those two positions would be a savings of $99,394.

"Every cut that we've made has been through attrition," said Love. "We're losing lots of money in state aid next year and there's nothing that can be done."

Increases in valuations within P-B-T ISD last year that brought the school district an additional $2 million in tax revenues will be offset this year with a cut in state aid, based on that increase.

"I'd hate for two new principals to come in and then be overwhelmed, to take to much on," said board member Crissy Martinez.

"Well, have you spoken to these principals and asked how they feel," said board member David Flores. "We need to ask them if they feel they can handle the position without an assistant."

Love said he had spoken to Tarin and Duke, and that they said that they felt they could handle the job.

"I think it's a lot for one person," said Martinez.

"He feels like he can do it," said Love, referring to Tarin.

Davila said that the first year she was principal at Crockett she didn't have an assistant. "I did it by myself, but it was only one grade at that time," she said. "I think it's possible, but that individual will be stretched."

Davila said that the most time-consuming and hardest part would be supervising the many games that take place and the extracurricular activities.

"The counselor and other teachers helped me supervise at the games, because a lot of the times there would be both boys and girls games at different areas," she said. "But we always worked it out."

"It's hard, but I think it can be done," said Davila.

"We can always come back in December and get them an assistant, if it proves to be too much," said Personnel Director Gome Olibas.

"From now until Aug. 29, we hope to approve the budget and set a tax rate," said Love, who added that there will be a budget meeting next Thursday and the item can be discussed and approved at that time.

Turnout good at blood drive to help  Moore

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, July 12, 2002 -- Turnout was higher than officials expected Thursday at  Reeves County Hospital, where local residents spent six hours  donating blood to help Texas Department of Public Safety's Corporal  Emmit Moore, who underwent heart transplant surgery earlier this  week in Dallas.

"United Blood Services was surprised because there were a lot of first time donors that were just doing it because it was for Emmit," said Nancy Ontiveros, Director of Program Development and Community Services at Reeves County Hospital. "There were also some people who had not donated blood in 25 years and again they were just doing it because it was for Emmit."

Ontiveros said she talked to Moore's wife Louise on the phone, and told her about the support the blood drive received. United Blood Services had only expected about thirty donors but then had to ask for more supplies from Midland due to the huge turnout.

According to Ontiveros, the theme for this blood drive was `You can be a hero, too'.

"We had 70 people come in yesterday to donate blood," Ontiveros said. "But only 52 were able to donate blood. Twelve people were deferred because of medical reasons and six others came in at closing time."

"We appreciate everything," Mrs. Moore said. "People have asked us if we are now going to move to Dallas. We tell them that we are not going to leave Pecos and our friends."

Moore underwent the transplant surgery on Sunday, and Louise Moore said her husband was put into a regular room as of Wednesday afternoon and should be out of the hospital and into his apartment a week from now.

The apartment in which Cpl Moore will be staying in is only located a block from the hospital.

"Before the girls came up here I told them that I would walk at least three mile everyday. Walking to the hospital and then around the hospital," Mrs. Moore said. "I think they believe me know."

She said Cpl. Moore has walked six laps already as part of his recovery rehab.

Currently, he is still connected to one intervenious (IV) tube, and that at 11 p.m. tonight they will be taking out more of his chest tubes.

"We are very happy and moved by the reaction of the people of Pecos," Mrs. Moore said.

District Attorney Randy Reynolds was one of the donors, and said that he encourages everyone become a donor.

"Twenty-five years ago I was a regular donor," Reynolds said. "My wife and I decided to donate blood when we hear about Emmit."

Reynolds said that donating blood was not as painful as he thought it would be.

"I encourage everyone to do it," Reynolds said. "The process was a lot less painful then I thought it would be. The United Blood Service people and the hospital staff were very tender with the whole process."

Reynolds added that he enjoyed the whole process, especially the part in which is wife became dizzy.

Wanting to make a donation, Judge Lee Green was not able to make a donation.

"I arrived late from a doctors appointment in Odessa," Green said. "I wish I could have been a part of it."

He added that if a second blood drive were to be held today he would be sure to donate blood.

According to Ontiveros, though Pecos may not have reached its goal of 80 units of blood, she did say that the surrounding areas of Monahans, Alpine, Ft. Stockton and Kermit had also held blood drives in honor of Moore.

People wanting to send letter to the DPS officer may do so at:

Twice Blessed Apartments
2732 Gaston Ave
Dallas, TX 75226.

Overnight blaze destroys carport, vehicles

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, July 12, 2002 -- Pecos Volunteer Fire Department members were called out early  this morning to battle a carport fire.

The fire call came in at 3:32 a.m., on a house on 1800 Washington Street was reported on fire.

According to the Fire Department report, the blaze began in the carport, where a 1994 Ford Thunderbird, a 1993 Chevy Suburban and a 1991 GMC Sonoma pickup were parked.

Fire Marshall, Jack Brookshire said that the fire is believed to have started in the Thunderbird but is unsure of what could have caused it.

The house, which is owned by Victor and Cindy Alonzo, suffered fire damage in the attic. Brookshire also said that there was smoke damage and major water damage with in the house.

The carport, which is located on the east side of the house, was totally destroyed, along with both the Thunderbird and the Suburban. The pickup only suffered minor damages on the paint.

The fire is still under investigation.

Former RCDC guard indicted on sex charge

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, July 12, 2002 -- A Reeves County Detention Center correctional officer has  been charged with having sex with an inmate and was arraigned in  the United States District Court, Western District on Tuesday.

Anthony Baeza, a former Reeves County Detention Center employee, appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Durwood Edwards and was assessed a $30,000 unsecured bond.

The indictment stated that Baeza did knowingly engage in a sexual act, as defined in Title 18 United States Code, Section 2246 (2)(B), with Roberto Nava-Bejarano, a federal inmate at the detention center.

"There were some allegations that were brought forth against him, about inappropriate conduct with an inmate," said RCDC Assistant Warden Tony Perez. "An investigation showed that there was inappropriate conduct and based on policy, rules and regulations, we terminated his employment."

Perez said that the Office of Inspection Agency that oversees the facility and individuals that work with federal inmates investigated the incident.

"They did the investigation and made the indictment," said Perez. "Once the internal investigation showed that the allegations were sustained, the Office of Inspection is the one that took over and did authorize the indictment."

Perez said that this was an isolated incident. "We have excellent employees and when it comes to actions like this, what can we do? Humans are humans," he said.

In the indictment, Ronald Holland, Special Agent with the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, with the authority to investigate violations of Federal laws, said, "On May 7, 2002, Correctional Officer Anthony Baeza reported to officials at the Reeves County Detention Center (RCDC) that inmate Roberto Nava-Bejarano had forcibly grabbed Baeza's hand and placed it on Nava-Bejarano's crotch. Baeza was an officer assigned to the Booking Department at the RCDC, while Nava-Bejarano worked as an inmate orderly in the same area.

"On May 9, 2002, this same information was reported by Baeza to the Reeves County Sheriff's Department in an effort to have state charges filed against inmate Nava-Bejarano. Baeza signed an affidavit regarding the alleged incident.

"On May 30, 2002, investigators at the RCDC interviewed Baeza regarding his allegations concerning inmate Nava-Bejarano. At that time, Baeza changed his initial allegation and told RCDC investigators that inmate Nava-Bejarano forced Baeza to perform oral sex on him (Nava-Bejarano). In addition, Baeza admitted that he had been involved in a sexual relationship with another RCDC inmate, Carlos Guzman-Ruiz. Baeza admitted that he had performed oral sex on this inmate on several occasions.

"On May 31, 2002, Holland interviewed inmate Roberto Nava-Bejarano regarding Baeza's allegations. Nava-Bejarano related that it was Baeza who initiated the sexual activity. Nava-Bejarano claimed he informed the officer that he did not want to do anything that could jeopardize his imminent release from custody. Further, Nava-Bejarano claimed that he told the officer that he did not want to participate in any type of sexual activity. According to the inmate, Baeza made oral threats and psychologically coerced Nava-Bejarano. Based on Baeza's actions and words, Nava-Bejarano stated that he submitted and allowed Baeza to perform oral sex on him (Nava-Bejarano).

"On May 31, 2002, Holland interviewed Baeza who related that he began working at the RCDC approximately six years ago and was assigned as a Correctional Officer in the Booking Department. Baeza admitted that on May 5, 2002, while on duty in the Booking Department, he performed oral sex on inmate Nava-Bejarano.

"Baeza admitted that he had earlier made false statements to RCDC investigators and other law enforcement officials (Reeves County Sheriff's Investigators) regarding the facts of this incident. Baeza admitted that he had falsely stated that the inmate had coerced him into a sexual act.

"Baeza also admitted that he had engaged in a long-term sexual relationship with former RCDC inmate Carlos Guzman-Ruiz. Baeza stated that he performed oral sex on this inmate on approximately four occasions. Baeza said that he also smuggled contraband, to include tattoo ink, into the RCDC for inmate Guzman-Ruiz."

Baeza provided a written affidavit in which he acknowledged that he had sexual contact with two separate wards (inmates).

State Supreme Court hopeful touts W.Texas background

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, July 12, 2002 -- The time has come for the western portion of Texas to be  represented in the top positions in state government, according to one of  the Democratic candidates for the Texas Supreme Court.

Judge William Moody of El Paso stopped by Pecos yesterday to talk about his plans if elected to the State Supreme Court in the November 5 election.

Moody hopes he'll be the first person from El Paso, to be elected to a state government position as well as the only representative of the state west of Interstate 35.

Moody, who has lived in El Paso since he was six-years-old, explained that it has been 25 years since a person has been elected to a state office directly out of West Texas.

"That's a very long time as far as elected representation," he said.

Currently there are 29 statewide offices in the Texas government and out of all of them, Moody said, there is not one of them that lists their residence as being west of I-35. Several West Texans, including current Gov. Rick Perry, have moved up to higher office, but only after first being sent to Austin in lower-level positions.

Moody said that 20 percent of Texans live west of I-35, all of whom he said needs representation as well.

In the November election there are 16 positions open with a Democratic and Republican candidate for each making 32 people running for office.

"I'm the only one (of the 32) that lives west of I-35," he said. "West Texas deserves at least one seat."

Moody said that he believes that West Texas should be represented so other members of the Texas government would understand what the people of this area need.

"It's important that we have somebody who understands our problems and our strengths," he said.

Any West Texan would know that one of the biggest problems in this area is water, or lack there of.

Moody said he believes that the Rule of Capture would soon come up before the Court and he said is "headed to a big decision."

Currently, the Rule of Capture law states that anyone in control of a body of water and who captures the water owns it. For West Texas, that can mean the draining of area aquifers in rural areas by larger cities in need of additional water supplies, who would buy land in the area only for the purpose of pumping out the water underneath.

Moody explained that a case went before the Court in 1994 with the Ozarka Water Company, who bought a piece of land near Brady and wanted to pump all the water out of that aquifer leaving no water left for surrounding farmers.

T. Boone Pickens, an oilman in the Panhandle, is currently trying to do the same thing in the Lubbock and Amarillo area, which is causing some controversy.

Moody said that when the Rule of Capture comes before the Court it would be important and beneficial to have a West Texan seated on the Court to give some perspective of how much water is needed in this area.

"They don't understand what a precious and scarce resource it is," he said.

That issue is driving Moody's campaign along with others dealing with various relationships such as employee to employer and patients to HMOs.

Moody graduated with honors from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history. He then moved on to receiving a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech University in 1975.

As a child, Moody said his fifth grade teacher was the one who got him interested in government.

Then while in high school he decided he was also interested in the legal profession.

"In high school I figured I wanted to be an attorney," he said.

When he took the oath of office as a 34th Judicial District Court Judge, Moody invited that same teacher who inspired him to go into government to the swearing in ceremony.

Moody said that his he is elected to the Supreme Court he plans to invite that teacher to witness that swearing in.

As a district judge, Moody has tried over 400 cases including two capital murder cases.

Moody's opponent in the November election is Republican Wallace Jefferson, who was appointed to the Supreme Court one year ago.

Moody said that he has been a judge longer than Jefferson has been a lawyer.

He said that the "experience factor" is an important thing to have on the Supreme Court.

Moody said that although Jefferson is a worthy opponent he has not ever been a judge, which Moody thinks is important for being on the Supreme Court.

"It's so important to have trial experience," he said.

Moody is taking a few weeks vacation off from his position as the judge for the 34th Judicial District Court in El Paso, a position he's held since 1986, to travel across Texas to meet with community members in numerous counties.

He and his wife of 26 years, Maggie, are traveling through approximately 100 counties in Texas with their two daughters Melissa, 24, and Emily, 16.

His two sons James, 23, and Joseph, 21, are unable to travel with them because they are currently attending college.

Moody said that his family has backed his decision to run for office since he announced his candidacy in July of last year.

"They've been very supportive," he said.

With the election coming closer, Moody hopes the citizens of Texas would also be supportive of his race, whether they vote for him or his opponent.

Youth volleyball registration starts for 3-6 graders

PECOS, Friday, July 12, 2002 -- The Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department is signing up third through sixth grade girls and boys now through Aug. 23 for its fall volleyball program.

Enrollment is $10 per child and forms can be picked up at the recreation department office in the old Pecos High School gym.

A birth certificate must be provided and both parents must sign the registration form for the child to participate. For further information, call the recreation department at 447-9776.


PECOS, Friday, July 12, 2002 -- High Thursday 92. Low this morning 70. Forecast for  tonight: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows in  the upper 60s. East winds 5 to 10 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy with a  20 percent chance of thunderstorms Highs in the lower 90s.  Northeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy with a 20  percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 60s. Sunday: Partly cloudy  with isolated thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 90s. Monday: Partly  cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms. Lows in the  upper 60s. Highs 90 to 95.


W.C. Doggett and Joe Ray Lara

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