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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, October 25, 2002

Board keeps First Choice as school power provider

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 25, 2002 -- First Choice Power will be providing electricity to all the  local schools for the next year, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board  members decided at a special meeting held at noon on Thursday.

The group met in a special session to discuss the contract with First Choice, which provided the district's power last year, the first under the state electricity deregulation plan.

"We received RFP's from a couple of providers," said superintendent Don Love, who recommended staying with First Choice, a subsidiary of Texas-New Mexico Power Co. "I think this is a good agreement, compared with the prices I've checked."

Until last year, T-NMP was the only company the school district could buy electricity from. In approving last year's agreement, which was higher than a bid submitted by Energy for Schools, Love said T-NMP might cut local jobs if the district selected an out-of-town provider, because P-B-T provides the utility with 20 percent of its local business.

Love said on Thursday that the new contract did reflect an increase, which was expected. "It will be about $46,000 more this year, but we have the money in the budget to cover the cost," said Love.

"But we really don't know where we'll stand, with the new air conditioners, until we run them for a year?" said board member Paul Deishler.

"It will take about that long to see how much more we'll be spending," said Love. "We do have a lot of new air conditioning units and it will make a difference," he said.

Love said he recommended going into an agreement with First Choice for one year, at the contract price of 4.95 cents.

Council awards $344,000 housing bid

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 25, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City's City Council awarded a Midland  company a bid for nearly $350,000 to construct affordable housing in the 800 and  900 blocks of West Washington Street, during their regular meeting  on Thursday at City Hall.

The council awarded the Town of Pecos City Subdivision Housing Infrastructure construction contract after hearing from Frank Spencer & Associates employee Edgardo Madrid, that a bid was received as of Sept. 17 from Reece Albert of Midland for $344,198.

Up to 20 homes are projected to be built in the subdivision, to help solve the city's ongoing problem of a lack of affordable housing in good condition.

Madrid, speaking for Spencer & Associates, the city's engineering consultant on the project, said the references that Reece Albert provided were good and he really wanted to work with them. He also told the council that the contractor knew that some changes would be made.

Madrid said that some of the changes for the infrastructure included that some of the streets would no longer be paved in trying to stay with in their budget.

"We want everything to come from the budget," City Manager, Carlos Yerena said.

In discussing the changes for the infrastructure, Madrid also informed the council that Texas-New Mexico Power Company would be charging them somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000, after which councilman Frank Sanchez, told the council members that they should look into other options regarding the electricity providers they use.

"We need to start shopping around," Sanchez said.

He told the other council members that the deregulation process is more of an advantage for the companies and a disadvantage to its customers.

Sanchez said that they should look into other electricity providers such as West Texas Utilities (WTU) or Texas Utilities (TXU).

According to Yerena the cost of providing electricity for one corner house would be around $2,700.

After discussing the changes and their electricity provider, Sanchez made a motion to award the construction for the Town of Pecos City Subdivision Housing Infrastructure to Reece Albert with Councilman Johnny Terrazas seconding the motion.

Madrid also told that council that due to the weather conditions the inspection of the construction work under development of South Worsham water field project was put off, therefore the council's approval would be rescheduled for November 21.

A video has also been set to look inside both water wells of which everything seems to look fine according to Mardid.

Council members also voted to ratify the contract with Lindsay Western Construction Company for the new city landfill project. Terrazas made the motion and Mayor Pro-Tem Gerald Tellez seconded it.

A motion was made by Sanchez to accept the offer by Larry Coomer for the purchase of property located at 906 S. Plum St., which Tellez seconding it.

After reviewing the Errors and Corrections for 2001 and prior tax rolls, Sanchez made a motion for acceptance with Councilman Michael Benavides seconding it.

Benavides then made a motion to accept the 2002 tax rolls with Terrazas seconding it.

In discussing the monthly tax collection report for September 2002, Sanchez asked Octavio Garcia if the city ever was ever paid for the cleaning of the lot across from Austin Elementary.

Garcia informed Sanchez that the property must be purchased before receiving any payment.

Several council members then suggested that the land be donated or purchased by the school district and made into a parking lot for Austin Elementary.

According to Yerena the lot is about the size of two half-city blocks.

With that said, Benavides then added that he did not want to wait until the landfills are build before deciding which areas would be cleaned up.

"Jack (Brookshire) has a list already," Yerena said. "Jack is pretty good about going around and looking at places."

Terrazas made the motion to accept the report with Tellez seconding it.

In other action, Sanchez made a motion to approve the monthly juvenile report with Terrazas seconding it, while Tellez made a motion to accept the accounts payable report with Sanchez seconding it. Tellez also made a motion to accept the minutes from the council's October meeting.

Local residents Emily Fernandes and Yvonna Johnson, wife of City Attorney Scott Johnson, attended the meeting to voice their opinion about the date set by council members for Halloween.

The council set Saturday for Trick-or-Treating, but Fernandes said Halloween should be on its original date and that she would have treats next Thursday for anyone wanting to go by her home.

Johnson shared Fernandes' views and stated that the children are involved in other things that they would be too tired to go trick-o-treating.

She also stated she also would have candy at her home on Halloween Night.

Council members took no action was taken on request.

Grand jury returns indictments after acquittal, deadlocked trials

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 25, 2002 -- Reeves County grand jurors returned several indictments in on Thursday, including some for drug possession and aggravated assault, while two jury trials ended with no convictions in 143rd District Court earlier this week.

District county jurors deadlocked in the trial of Billy Ray Box, who had been indicted for aggravated assault. Box was charged with threatening Donald William Shields on May 30, with a deadly weapon, a handgun. Box had pleaded "not guilty", but the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision in the case.

On Tuesday, Jose Angel Diaz was found not guilty by a 143rd District Court jury on drug possession charges. Diaz had been indicted for possession of a controlled substance, cocaine. The indictment stated that on May 12, Diaz, did intentionally and knowingly possess a controlled substance, cocaine, in the amount of less than one gram.

Indictments returned on Thursday included: Diana Munoz Rodriguez, 38, for possession of a controlled substance. Bond was set at $10,000. The indictment stated that on Aug. 5, she did knowingly and intentionally possess a controlled substance, cocaine.

Glen Ford Cameron, 48, for possession of a controlled substance. Bond was set at $10,000. On Sept. 4, grand jurors said Cameron did knowingly and intentionally possess a controlled substance, cocaine.

Nancy Gonzales Carrasco, 37, possession of a controlled substance. Bond set at $10,000. On Aug. 5, she did knowingly and intentionally possess a controlled substance, cocaine.

Joe Roman Fuentes, 36, forgery. Bond set at $5,000. The indictment stated that, with intent to defraud, passed to Cecil Lee, a forged writing, belonging to Roberto Ornelas.

Maria Guadalupe Mendoza, 31, forgery. Bond set at $3,500. On Aug. 19, she did intentionally knowingly pass a forged writing (a Western Union Money Order) in the amount of $250 to Gina Lujan, when she knew the writing belonged to Aurora Aragon, according to the indictment.

Patricia Soto, 38, delivery of a controlled substance. Bond set at $15,000. On April 2, the grand jury indictment stated Soto did knowingly deliver by actual transfer a controlled substance, cocaine, in the amount of one gram, but less than four grams, to Rick Ornelas Ortiz.

Soto, was also indicted for delivery of a controlled substance on May 3, while Ortiz, 20, was indicted on the same charge, with both allegedly delivering a controlled substance, cocaine, by actual transfer to Jonathan Rider in the amount of one gram or more, but less than four grams. Bond on both Soto and Ortiz was set at $15,000.

Raul Pando, 36, possession of a controlled substance, cocaine less than one gram. Bond was set at $10,000.

Paul Hernandez Juarez, 18, aggravated assault. Bond set at $25,000. The indictment stated that Juarez did knowingly and intentionally cause bodily injury and by stabbing, Fabian Orona, with a knife, make the charge aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, on May 26.

Also indicted for the same incident were: Tito Gabaldon and Sebastian Cerna, 18, charged with aggravated assault by stabbing Fabian Orona with a knife on May 26. Bond was set at $25,000 for both individuals.

Rafael Dominguez Lazos, 23, possession of a controlled substance. On Aug. 30, the grand jury said he did knowingly and intentionally possess a controlled substance, marijuana, in the amount of 2,000 pounds, or less, but more than 50 pounds. Bond was set at $50,000.

Steven Perez, 32, escape. Perez escaped from the Reeves County Jail on March 8. He was being held at the local facility for burglary and was recaptured in Odessa last month. Bond was set at $25,000.

Rudolfo Lopez Guebara, 20, sexual assault. Guebara was indicted for having sex with a child younger than 17 years of age. Bond was set at $5,000.

Trick-or-Treat events planned Saturday night

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 25, 2002 -- Austin Elementary School will be sponsoring a Harvest Carnival  on Saturday for all the youngsters in the community.

The carnival is being held the same night that the Town of Pecos City Council has officially designated for Trick-or-Treating for all youngsters in the community. Parents are urged to bring their children around to local homes on Saturday, because Halloween, Oct. 31, falls on a weeknight this year.

Children are encouraged to visit homes of people that they know or that are properly lighted. No candy should be eaten before inspected by a parent or guardian.

Every year, the Pecos Police Department and the Reeves County Sheriff's Office has extra officers out on the streets to make sure the children in the community enjoy a safe and happy Halloween.

The Austin Elementary Carnival will kick off with an enchilada plate dinner set to begin at 5 p.m., at the Reeves County Civic Center. Tickets for the dinner are $4.

Game booths will be set up inside the center, and will run from 6-8 p.m. All games will be 25 cents.

Children will also have the opportunity to go through the Spooky Safari House, from 6-8 p.m., for $1.

Daylight Savings ending on Sunday, as clocks fall back

WASHINGTON (AP) - With the backyard barbecue season winding to a close, it's time to say goodbye to daylight-saving time.

Clocks shift back to standard time at 2 a.m. Sunday, local time, giving an extra hour of sleep to most people Saturday night - an extra hour of work to those who work the overnight.

The time change affects most of the nation, but not Arizona, Hawaii, the part of Indiana in the Eastern time zone, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa. Those regions do not observe daylight-saving time, so they don't have to switch back.

Daylight-saving time returns for the rest of the country on April 6.

Girls Scouts host 'Tea' on Sunday

PECOS, Fri., Oct. 25, 2002 -- The Girl Scouts of Pecos are inviting all Girl Scouts, past, present and future, to a special "Tea" scheduled for 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Pecos Girl Scout Hut, 715 S. Park.

Everyone is invited to come celebrate 90 years of Girl Scouting in America.


PECOS, Fri., Oct. 25, 2002 -- High Thurs. 62. Low this morning 51. Rainfall last 24 hours at Texas  A&M Experiment Station .13 inch. Forecast for tonight: Cloudy with a 20  percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows 50 to 55. East winds 10 to 20  mph. Sat.: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and  thunderstorms. Highs around 70. East winds 10 to  20 mph. Sat. night: Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers  and thunderstorms. Lows 50 to 55. Sun.: Decreasing clouds with a 20  percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs 65 to 70. Mon.: Partly cloudy with   chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows around 50. Highs around 70.


Alfred Carrasco, Joe Osborn, Michael Rodriguez and Teodoro SiFuentes

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