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Archive 2002

Area Newspapers
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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, September 23, 2002

Former Valley Motors owner guilty of fraud

PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- A former Pecos auto dealer is awaiting sentencing on a fraud conviction.

Ben Frank Meek Jr., 71, of Pecos, longtime owner of Valley Motor Co. in Pecos and Alpine, pleaded guilty last week in federal court to bank fraud and is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 19.

According to a story broadcast last Thursday by KOSA-Ch. 7, Meek is working with the bank to provide as much restitution as he can. Meek had owned the Pecos Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Cadillac and GMC dealership for over 30 years, but closed up shop five months ago, citing economic conditions. The local Cadillac and GMC franchises have since been acquired by Colt Chevrolet, while Meek's Alpine dealership, which opened in the early 1990s, closed its doors in July.

Federal prosecutors said the fraud involved 31 vehicles and was worth a total of $700,000. The incidents had been occurring since January of 1998, according to the plea agreement.

Under terms of the plea deal, Meek admitted using the Internet to get vehicle information on cars from other dealers and entering them as his own inventory. He would then borrow money from State National Bank in Odessa to pay for the non-existent cars.

Meek is a former Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board president, and served for many years as director of the Golden Girl of the Old West Pageant, held in conjunction with Fourth of July and West of the Pecos Rodeo activities.

Circus to set up quickly for tonight's performance

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- The Carden Shrine Circus will be in Pecos tonight at the  Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena with shows for everyone to enjoy.

Though the Circus had not set up for tonight's show as of late this morning, Linda Gholson, Chamber of Commerce manager, said the circus crew will be here this afternoon and will have the grounds set up in time for this evening's performance

"They will be readying for their 7 p.m. performance," Gholson said. "I have already been out there and one group was out there this morning."

The rest of the circus is coming from El Paso to Pecos later today, Gholson said.

Children 12 years of age and under will be admitted for free, with tickets available in local offices. However the tickets only are good when an adult accompanies the child. The tickets also limit two children per paid adult.

"They (Carden Circus) are excited about coming to Pecos," Gholson said. "I hope everyone comes out."

Doors open an hour before the show begins.

Gholson saidd that the Chamber welcomes any suggestions about upcoming events, specifically the Fall Fair, which will be held on Oct. 3-5 at the Reeves County Civic Center and the Reeves County Sheriff's Posse arena.

Council holds public hearing on budget, taxes

PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- A special meeting of the Town of Pecos City Council to discuss the city's new budget and tax rates is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Council Chambers in City Hall

The council will be holding a public hearing for the 2002-2003 budget as well as discuss and consider an ordinance making appropriations for the support of the town of Pecos City, for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2002 and ending September 30, 2003.

The money will then be appropriated to a sinking fund to pay interest and principal due on the city's bonded indebtness and the annual operating budget the 2002-2003 fiscal year.

An ordinance levying taxes for the use of and support of the municipal government of the Town of Pecos City; providing for the interest and sinking fund for the year 2002-2003, and apportioning each levy for its specific purpose will also be discussed and considered by the council.

This will be the first reading for both ordinances.

He-Brews coffee house in construction stage

PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- More than a year since Danny Fitzpatrick saw an empty building that would be perfect for a youth ministry, the He-brews coffee house is fast becoming a reality.

Though not the building that first inspired him, Fitzpatrick said the former Bozeman Drug at 800 W. Third St. is being transformed to his specifications. He and other adults who conceived the project plan to clean the building Saturday and lay out the kitchen design.

Fitzpatrick, who is associate pastor and youth minister at First Baptist Church, said the building will also be available for other Christian groups. God's Army, a marching Bible club for elementary and middle school students, will meet each Wednesday after school, beginning Oct. 2.

Youth meetings will be primarily on weekends, but he does hope to have a week-night intensive Bible study for youth, Fitzpatrick said.

First Baptist, West Park, Calvary, Nueva Vida, St. James, First Assembly of God , Assemblea de Dios and North Temple Baptist churches are represented on the youth committee. Michael Benavides, a community leader, and musician Eddie Vasquez are also working with the group.

Some of the churches have voted to financially support the para-church ministry, and many others have donated time, materials and money. Texas Baptists' church starting agency matches monetary donations two to one.

"We will need tables and chairs, ping pong, fooz ball and pool tables, video and sound system and board games," Fitzpatrick said. Furnishings will also be welcomed in the lounge area.

Fitzpatrick has supplied a detailed list of equipment and furnishings needed to each participating church. Members may make donations through their own church to receive an income tax deduction while he is obtaining tax-free status for the ministry.

"We have been planning community youth activities," Fitzpatrick said of the 24/7 ministry. The name 24/7 was chosen from Jer. 24:7, and it also describes the round-the-clock concern the group is committed to.

Fitzpatrick said the idea for the coffee house came to him in August 2001, when David Crain came to Pecos for a youth event at the State Theater, owned by Richard Creasy.

"Richard had some stuff in the Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber building, and I went with him to pick it up. When I saw the stage, I thought, `This is perfect,' for youth activities," Fitzpatrick said.

Eventually, Creasy offered to donate the building for a coffee house, and the 24/7 committee began to clean it up. In the meantime, Fitzpatrick talked with the director of youth work for the Baptist General Convention of Texas and learned that financial support is available through the church starting foundation..

After taking bids to replace the roof on the old lumber company building and learning it could cost up to $50,000, the group turned down the gift and began looking at other possibilities.

Tom Rivera, the city's main street program director, helped out, as did members of the Downtown Lions Club, where Fitzpatrick spoke.

"We chose the Bozeman building because it is in the best condition of any building we looked at," he said. "We have begun to work on that. We will be building in a kitchen and the facilities we need. It has two existing bathrooms in good condition."

Coffee, fountain drinks, milk shakes and hot chocolate are among the refreshments to be offered.

"On Sunday nights, we will have an inter-denominational worship service on the students' level," Fitzpatrick said.

Unity among the churches has brought the dream to fruition, and Fitzpatrick expects the unity to grow as additional churches join the effort.

"Even though we have theological differences, we have chosen to work together to spread the message of Christ," he said.

Open House set for sixth graders on Tuesday

PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- Zavala Elementary would like to remind everyone that they would be having their annual Open House on Tuesday, September 24, from 6 p.m. till 7:30 p.m. All sixth grade students and parents are invited to attend.

Pecos teen listed as critical after Friday I-20 rollover

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- A Pecos teen was flown to Lubbock by air ambulance  Friday night, after he and another teen were involved in a one-vehicle rollover  on Interstate 20 at the Business I-20 exit east of Barstow.

Jaime Herrera sustained head injuries that required treatment at Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock, while the other teen, identified as Jae Ewing, sustained some bruises and lacerations.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Amanda Hellinger, the vehicle in which Herrera and Ewing were traveling west, rolled over as they exited off I-20.

Hellinger said that Ewing was driving the vehicle when it exited I-20 on Exit 52 at an unsafe speed causing it to go off south side of the road.

At that point Ewing then overcorrected causing the vehicle to roll over and ejecting both Herrera and him from the vehicle.

Both were transported first to Reeves County Hospital, from where Herrera was then airlifted to Lubbock with head injuries. Ewing was released from the hospital on Saturday with several stitches and bruises.

Herrera is in the Intensive Care Unit at Covenant Medical Center Hospital in Lubbock where he is unresponsive and on a ventilator.

Herrera's father, former Pecos City Councilman Ricky Herrera, said that his son is in critical condition but stable.

He said that doctors are very happy with the condition of his son because, though he is in critical condition and unresponsive, the fact that Herrera is stable is good news.

"We just want to thank everyone for their support and their prayers," Herrera said.

Though Herrera said that they are praying for their, son he would like for everyone else to pray for him as well.

Madera Valley lifts water warnings

PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- Water restrictions for Madera Valley Water Co. customers north of Verhalen have been lifted, following last week's problems due to power outages in the Pecos area.

Customers were told to boil water after storms last Wednesday night knocked out power to pumping and filtration systems for the water district, which serves areas to the south and west of Pecos. Texas-New Mexico Power Co. crews were able to restore electricity to all customers over the weekend, and the restrictions requiring Madera Valley customers to boil their water to prevent infection has been lifted, the company said.


PECOS, Mon., Sept. 23, 2002 -- High Sunday 96. Low this morning 70. Forecast for tonight:   Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday: Mostly  sunny. Highs in the mid 80s. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday night:  Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. Wednesday: Mostly sunny. Highs  in the upper 80s. Thursday:  Mostly clear. Lows near 60. Highs 85 to 90.

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 instances we will indicate payment  and release.
Florestin Torres Flores, 48, was arrested at 8:04 a.m., on Sept. 18,  in the 400 block of South Cedar, for 2 warrants, theft by repetition  violation of bond and theft by repetition grand jury indictment (Midland  County Sheriff's warrants).
Toribio Rodriguez, 19, was arrested at 7:08 p.m., Sept.  20, in the 2300  block of Sage Street, for warrant capias for default payment of minor  in possession of alcohol.
Leroy Chavez, 21, and Miguel Chavez, 44, were arrested at  11:05 p.m., on Sept. 20 in the 800 block of Hickory street. Leroy Chavez  was arrested for Warrant capias default payment of minor in  possession, warrant capias default payment no set bail, and warrant capias  un-restraint child under the age of 2 yrs, warrant violation promise to appear  payment ran a stop sign and warrant for default payment un-restraint child under  the age of 2 yrs. Miguel Chavez was arrested for assault under the  family act.
Eduardo Garay, 23, was arrested at 11 p.m., on Sept.  20, at the  police department for a warrant for no driver's license and a warrant  for violation promise to appear.
Jacob Herrera, 52, was arrested at 12:18 a.m., on Sept.  21 at the  Oasis Bar for a warrant capias default payment ran a stop sign.
Amilcar Florez, 39, was arrested at 2:10 a.m., on Sept.  21 at Fourth  and Plum streets for warrant probation violation out of Laredo County and  2 warrants for resisting arrest (Class A felony).
Rigoberto Perez, 25, was arrested at 7:24 p.m., in the 1200 block of  Cedar Street for 3 warrants for theft by check (Class A felony) out of Ector County.
Chris Sims, 28, was arrested at 10:12 p.m., on Sept. 22 at Eighth  and Plum streets for possession of marijuana.


Cresencio Belos

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