Colored Rock Map of Texas at I-20 in Pecos, Click for Travel Guide

Pecos Enterprise

Site Map
Pecos Gab

Pecos Country History
Archive 62
Archive 74
Archive 87
1987 Tornado Photos
Rodeo Photos 88
Archive 95
Archive 96
Archive 97
News Photos 1997
Rodeo Photos 97
Archive 98
News Photos 1998
Rodeo Photos 98
Parade Photos 98
Archive 99
Photos 99
Archive 2000
Photos 2000
Photos 2001
Photos 2002

Archive 2002

Area Newspapers
Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, October 9, 2002

Galindo pushes for construction of new housing

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., October 9, 2002 -- More employees are needed at the Reeves County Detention Center  and finding housing in Pecos seems to be one of the problems.

The issue was a topic of discussion at the regular Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce board luncheon, held Tuesday at the Pecos Senior Center.

The Detention Center will soon be opening its newest wing, which will increase capacity from 2,000 to 2,960 inmates, and Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo told the group that there would be an additional 100-250 new jobs at the facility.

"They're currently working on the construction of RCDC-III, a $50 million project," said Galindo. "It has been in the process of completion and we plan to open it in January of 2003."

Construction is going well, but there are several issues regarding the facility that need to be looked at, he said.

"We need jobs, but now that we have, we need people for those jobs," said Galindo. "We were disheartened to see that in 2001, we had 190 new employees and for one reason or another we only had 150 left.

"There's a number of issues, as to why these individuals left, ranging from termination to them finding a new position elsewhere," he said. "It is in a prison environment, so it calls for a different person.

"A hundred and fifty people were hired this year, and 117 separated from the facility," said Galindo. "Over the last two years, there has been about 250 separations," he said.

Galindo asked chamber members for help in trying to stabilize the prison's workforce. "We'd like you to reference people you think would like to work in a prison environment," he said. "We have to come together as a team."

Galindo said that there was an available work force within the vicinity, but that the lack of decent, affordable housing in the Pecos area seems to be a major problem.

"These are starting positions and these individuals can't afford expensive housing," he said. "We're looking at people who can afford a $250-$350 rent and not more. Some of these are young, single people who at the beginning can't afford very much."

Galindo said that apartments range from $400 plus, way too much for the new employees. "We're also looking at raising the beginning pay for these individuals, to try to help them out," he said.

The county judge also said additional housing could help those attending the Odessa College-Pecos Technical Training Center.

"We really need to come together and make Pecos a college town. Not a big college town, like Alpine, but a college community, where they can go to school and still work full time," said Galindo. "That's another thing we're working on, is scheduling those that want to attend college and still work full-time."

"We want them to look at Pecos as the place to attend college for their first two years and still work," he said.

"We need the housing compound," said Galindo.

Chamber president Kevin Duke told Galindo to talk to Nellie Gomez, about housing possibilities.

Galindo told the group that there were a lot of opportunities at the facility, not just starting level, but at the professional level.

"We can help out and work with you in finding a solution," said Duke.

City, schools ask Chamber to help anti-drug program

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., October 9, 2002 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD counselors and local law  enforcement officials were on hand for the regular Pecos Area Chamber of  Commerce board meeting held at noon Tuesday.

"We wanted to come out and ask for your support in our efforts to fight drugs," said Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler.

Deishler said that the schools and the law enforcement officials are planning several activities for Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 21-25.

"We need all the help we can get to keep the kids off drugs," said Deishler.

"We wanted to let everyone know about the different activities we're planning for Red Ribbon Week and ask for your help," said P-B-T Counselor Rosie Salcido. "We have to have everyone work together."

Deishler told the group that they noticed the great participation that the chamber had expected when they sponsored the recent Hawaiian Luau. "You did such a great job, we wanted to ask your help in putting this on," he said.

The group will be sponsoring the Annual Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD District Drug Free Rally. "We have all the schools there and the law enforcement people and put out a positive message," said Deishler. "Now, we're asking the chamber's help in getting more participation."

The District Drug Free Rally is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 25 at Eagle Stadium.

"Throughout that week, we'll be sponsoring other activities," said Salcido.

Monday, Oct. 21, will be "United We Stand For a Drug Free Land" day and everyone is asked to wear red, white and blue.

Tuesday, Oct. 22, "We're a Team and We CAN Say No To Drugs," wear your jersey and bring a canned good; Wednesday, "Follow Your Dreams. Don't Do Drugs," wear pajamas; Thursday, "Put a Cap On Drugs" _ wear caps and Friday, "Put a Stop To Drugs" _ wear red.

"We want to encourage everyone in the community to participate," said Salcido.

Chamber president Kevin Duke assured the group that the chamber would help out in any way possible.

In other business Tuesday, Cody West, who chaired the Annual Reeves County Fall Fair Barbecue Cook-off, gave the group an update on the event.

"We had 54 entries and it was a great success," said West. "The posse made some money, and I've heard that a while back they had about 100 entries. I would certainly like to see it get back to that."

West said that he had been asked to chair again next year, but hasn't decided yet if he will or not.

Interim Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Director Linda Gholson told the group that there have been many activities going on in Pecos recently.

"We had a great turnout at the fair, the Pecos Army Airfield reunion was held here again and they had a great time," said Gholson. "Also the circus that was here recently helped out the local Shriners and they want to come back again next year."

Gholson said that the only thing missing at the fair this year was the carnival. "We heard from some vendors who said they didn't miss the carnival at all and did better without it," she said.

Gholson said that both the cook-off and the ranch rodeo did really well. "Jason Garduno wants to do the ranch rodeo here again next year and add some events," she said, while adding, "The livestock show needs some work, if anybody wants to volunteer to help them."

Danny Fitzpatrick spoke about the coffeehouse they are currently working on in the 800 block of West Third Street.

"There's a lot of rumors about what we're actually doing over there," said Fitzpatrick. "We have a wonderful school system, but that's one of the positive things Pecos has to offer the youths, and we wanted to do something positive for them."

"There's not a whole lot for them and we need to reach the teenagers," said Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick said that a non-denominational group had gotten together to open He Brews Coffeehouse, which will be located at the old Bozeman Drug Store building.

"It is a Christian thing," said Fitzpatrick. "We'll be asking all the pastors in the community to take turns being guest speakers and have a non-denominational service."

Other things the coffeehouse will feature are games, board games, pool and live music at least once a month.

"We need to support them and help bring more things in for our young people," said Duke.

Assault victim dies, officials charge suspect

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., October 9, 2002 -- An 81-year-old man who was severely beaten in his own home  two weeks ago has died in a Lubbock hospital, and police in a  Panhandle town have arrested a suspect in the attack.

Anastacio Acosta, 81, died Tuesday morning as a result of the head injuries he sustained in the Sept. 28 attack. Acosta was flown to Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock the morning of the attack, and survived for a week after family members had him taken off the life support system because of the severe head injuries he suffered in the beating.

This morning, Pecos Police said Juan Gonzales, 20, had been arrested in Muleshoe, located 40 miles northwest of Lubbock and 240 miles from Pecos. Gonzales was arrested originally on unrelated charges, but was connected by investigators here to the Acosta beating.

"We issued a warrant," Pecos Police Department Lt. Kelly Davis said. "And we have a confession."

Even with the arrest of Gonzales, Davis said that they are still working on the case.

"We may or may not make an additional arrest," he said, but added he hoped that a second arrest could be made in this case.

Gonzales was already in a Muleshoe jail on a charge of aggravated assault on a police officer. Davis said that a warrant was sent to Muleshoe, where Gonzales was arrested on the Pecos charge while in jail.

Gonzales now faces charges of first-degree murder, which is considered a first-degree felony.

According to Davis, Gonzales bond is set at $100,000

The beating of Acosta occurred in the early morning hours of Saturday, September 28, in his own home, located in the 400 block of East Fourth Street, while he was sleeping.

Acosta lived in an area between the Del Rio Bar and a storage area.  Police received a call about the assault and when they arrived found Acosta  severely beaten in the head.

He was transported first to Reeves County Hospital, then airlifted to Lubbock that same night, Davis said.

Police get $50,000 grant for video cameras in cars

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., October 9, 2002 -- By the end of March 2003, Pecos Police Department's marked cars  will all have video cameras installed in them, as part of a statewide  racial profiling policy for law enforcement.

According to Pecos Police Chief, Clay McKinney, the policy provides funds for those applying for grants to be used for the cameras in the police cars., which will be used to document actions by police who might be involved in alleged racial profiling incidents or others involving allegations of use of excessive force.

"We received a grant of about $50,000," McKinney said. "It will provide us with 11 more cameras."

Currently the Pecos Police Department has three marked cars with the video camera system installed.

"We received the funds about a year ago to purchase those cameras," McKinney said.

With the grant money McKinney said that every marked car would be equipped with a video recording system.

"The cameras provide an undisputable account of a police-citizen contact," McKinney said.

McKinney said that aside from the concerns addressed by the state policy, the tapes can also be used by police as evidence in a case.

"For example they could be used in a driving while intoxicated stop," the chief said.

According to McKinney the only other police department within the Pecos area that has all of its marked cars equipped with cameras is Monahans.

"Each police officer is issued a tape," he said. "They are eight hour tapes."

Each tape is activated with video and audio once the overhead lights come on, McKinney said. He also added that the taping equipment has a manual on-off switch.

The use of the tape is used completely, which would have anywhere from 30 to 40 traffic stops

Each tape is filed and stored for six months or 180 days. If an allegation against a police officer is filed the tapes are then pulled and reviewed, McKinney said.

As with any grants, certain criteria have to be met. McKinney said that one of those was that they could not ask for more cameras than the number of marked cars the department had.

"Another criteria is that we are a smaller type of agency and we could not afford it," McKinney said of the equipment itself.

He said he is pleased that the department was able to receive the grant that will help them provide them with the cameras.

"We will be able to outfit the cars without the taxpayers money," McKinney said. "We will outfit the cars with the grant money."

Red Bluff to re-examine position on cloud seeding

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., October 9, 2002 -- After hearing from members of the their sub-district boards over the  past few weeks, Red Bluff Water Power Control Board members said  they would take action next month on discussing support for a cloud  seeding program for the Trans-Pecos region.

However the board also wanted to know why a similar cloud seeding program was just discontinued in the Lubbock area, during a discussion of the subject on Tuesday at the district's monthly meeting in Pecos.

Red Bluff board members have been reluctant in recent months to give formal support to the Trans-Pecos Weather Modification Program, which would seed clouds over Reeves and surrounding counties in an effort to produce more rain and break the area's decade-long drought. The board made their decision despite the protests of Tom Nance, with the Ward County Water Improvement District No. 1 in Barstow.

"My personal opinion is I don't have the foggiest idea if this will work," said board member Dick Slack, who added "The president of the (water improvement) district I'm in is for it … if that's what the district wants, then I'm for it."

There are seven water improvement districts that receive water from the Red Bluff District, and Slack said four of the seven were in favor of the project.

"I've got four letters from the presidents of the districts saying they're for it, so in the interest of good government, I think we should be for it," said Slack, who asked that the item be put on the district's November agenda, along with discussion of a contribution of about $1,000 to the project.

Red Bluff Managing Director Randall Hartman said he wanted to get any agreement down in writing before action is taken, while adding, "I'm skeptical of the program. I've talked to people on both sides of it, and if it works out, great; if not we can pull out of it."

Earlier, Hartman asked Nance and Skeet Jones, a Loving County representative on the Weather Modification Program's board, about the decision last week by the board of the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District to discontinue their cloud seeding plan amid criticism that it wasn't beneficial to all landowners. Other complaints were voiced that the process may have actually broken up clouds and precluded them from forming rain clouds.

The board voted 3-1 to discontinue the program, which began in 1997 and covered all or part of 15 counties across the High Plains district. It is equally funded by the state and taxes from the water district.

Nance said he discussed the problem last week at a Texas Weather Modification meeting in San Antonio. "They said their people seeded for three days and got to the cloud after the half-life of the cloud. If you do it (cloud seeding) after that, it dissipates the cloud," he said.

"There are 15 counties in the district. Did they kill the clouds in 15 counties?" Hartman asked.

"I talked to the man in charge of weather modification, and that's what he said," Nance replied.

Nance also said he was told cotton farmers were the main opponents of the High Plains plan, while Hartman said he was told livestock owners in the area were the ones behind the petition that helped kill the program. He also said the ranchers' rainfall data came in well below the numbers reported by the Weather Modification Program's workers based on radar data.

"They said they'd get 18 inches, but they only got nine inches in their rain gauges," he said. "I'm not against the program, but if you put this program up you've got to put up rain gauges, because if you rely on radar it's going to kill you."

"The intent of the program by the people monitoring it is not to hurt anybody. There are supposed to be hearings on that if somebody feels like it's going to hurt somebody," Jones said.

Along with the discussion on the cloud seeding program, Red Bluff members also discussed the ongoing Malaga Bend salt alleviation project, the Pecos River salt cedar eradication project, and voted too give 10 percent raises to the district's four employees, while changing the district's payroll deduction for the employee retirement plan from 5.87 to 6.95 percent.

The 10 percent raises were approved for Hartman, district secretary Robin Prewit and field employees Tommy Mosley and George Brandenberg, after the board was told the raises would come to about $1,000 a month increase in the district's expenses, with $162,000 currently in Red Bluff's account.

"I was thinking 5 percent, but we haven't done this (raises) for quite a while," said board member Teresa Walker before the vote, which approved the raises retroactive to Oct. 1.

The retirement contribution change was mandated by the state, Prewit said, and brings the district's contribution back near the 7 percent level it was putting into the retirement until two years ago. The change will increase the contribution by about $40 a month.

The district also agreed to increase their auto liability coverage by $75-$100 a year in order to increase coverage on district vehicles from $100,000 in damages and $300,000 in injuries to $500,000 and $1 million respectively.

The salt alleviation project update was given by Hartman, who said Sun West Salt Co. was preparing drill the wells that will be used to divert the Malaga Bend salt spring away from the Pecos River to man-made ponds, where water will be evaporated and salt mined out.

Board member Manuel Lujan noted that Sun West was three months behind on their current salt payments to the district, which total about $15,000.

"What he (Sun West's Albert Wagner) has told me is pretty much what they've been doing," Hartman said. "so I think it will work out OK."

Board members also voted to begin talks with Randy Graham on the district's 2002 audit, and approved accounts payable and cash disbursements. They were also told that water levels at Red Bluff Lake were up only slightly in September, but were still well below normal at just over 42,000 acre/feet.

"We still turn a little water out to keep the river bottom wet," said Hartman, while board member Lloyd Goodrich pointed out earlier in the meeting that the district may face a future costs for removing dead salt cedar trees from along the Pecos River that were killed over the past three years as part of the salt cedar eradication project.

"We'll have to remove those trees before the river gets up, or it will be the highway department's problem," Goodrich said, referring to the possibility that dead trees could be washed downstream towards highway bridges in the event of a major increase in the river's flow.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Council to discuss water field project

PECOS, Wed., October 9, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City will discuss and consider the final change order for the development of the South Worsham Water Field Project during their regularly meeting Thursday at 7 a.m. in the City Council Chambers.

The council members will discuss and consider the final change order for the development of the South Worsham Project Parts B and the final plans and specification for the development of the South Worsham Project Parts C, E and F.

Pecos Main Street Program Director Tom Rivera will also be making a presentation to the council members on the program.

During the meeting, the council will approve the minutes of the regular council meeting of September 26, the accounts payable report and the municipal courts report. A recommendation for trick or treat for Halloween and items for the council's next meeting will also be discussed.


PECOS, Wed., October 9, 2002 -- High Tuesday 75. Low this morning 56. Forecast for tonight:   Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s. Light and variable winds.  Thursday: Patchy low clouds and fog in the morning: Then becoming  mostly sunny. Highs 80 to 85. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph. Thursday  night: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs in  the mid 80s. Saturday: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. Highs near 85.


Anastacio Acosta, Robert Fuentes, Cresencio Machuca and Harry Nagel

Search Entire Site:

Pecos Enterprise
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

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise