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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

County to seek juvenile grants from governor

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Dec. 23, 2003 -- Reeves County Commissioners approved a resolution for a grant application certification form from the Office of the Governor-Criminal Justice Division for just under $20,000 in grants and set the holidays for county employees for 2004 during their regular meeting on Monday

Commissioners approved the submission of an application to the Criminal Justice Division Office of the Governor for a Juvenile Probation Detention Services Grant, in the amount of $12,000, with no percentage to match.

In addition, the commissioners approved the submission of an application to the Criminal Justice Division Office of the Governor for a Juvenile Probation Counseling Services Grant in the amount of $7,760 with no percentage to match.

Mary Ann Acosta with the juvenile probation office was on hand and thanked the commissioners for approving the grant submission.

"Anything we can do to help and applying for grants is a good way," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

Commissioners approved holidays for the county for 2004 and included: New Year's Day, Thursday, Jan. 1; Martin Luther King, Monday, Jan. 19; Good Friday, April 9; Memorial Day, Monday, May 31; Independence Day, Actual Sunday, observe Monday, July 5; Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6; Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11; Thanksgiving, Thursday and Friday, Nov. 25-26; Christmas, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 23-24, although court day for the 27th will be changed to the Tuesday, Dec. 28.

LMD Architect request for payment invoice No. 312 was approved in the amount of $761.73, along with the 2004 TCDRS Retirement Plan, which was approved with no changes.

Personnel and salary changes included: Isaac Diaz as a deputy sheriff with the Reeves County Sheriff's Department and Amy Rodriguez as a part-time employee at the Reeves County Library.

Sheriff's probing burglary of liquor store overnight

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Dec. 23, 2003 -- Sheriff's Department are investigating the burglary of a west side liquor store which occurred sometime early this morning.

The Western Package Store, 2115 W. Third St., was broken into last night between 12:30 and 7:30 a.m. today. According to Lieutenant Mike Dominguez, the thieves broke in through the drive through window and climbed in.

Dominguez said between the damage and the items stolen, the store's total loss was put at about $1,500.

"We are reviewing the video tape, and have lifted several fingerprints off of the items left behind by the thieves. It is too early to say much, due to the investigation still being in the beginning stages. We have multiple leads and some strong clues, so we should know much more by tomorrow," Dominguez said.

The thieves tried to damage the video surveillance system, but failed to get the tape, according to the report.

They mostly stole liquor and beer, but the majority of the monetary loss resulted from the damage done to the video system and to the neon signs, Dominguez added.

Christian Home seeks Christmas desserts, helpers

PECOS, Tues., Dec. 23, 2003 -- The Pecos Christian Home is ready for Thursday's annual Christmas dinner at the Reeves County Civic Center as far as the main course is concerned, but pies, cakes, and volunteers to deliver the meals are still needed by Christmas morning.

According to Mark Polzin, director of the home, the supply of food itself is plentiful enough, thanks to the generous donations of local residents. However, the home is in need of pies and cakes, and volunteers to travel to the homes of Meals-on-Wheels customers with dinners. Help is also needed in serving those eating at the Civic Center or picking up their meals to take home on Thursday.

The Christian Home has been serving meals on Christmas day and Thanksgiving for the past 12 years, according to Polzin. "We expect a better turnout this year, we had 250 last Christmas, but at Thanksgiving we fed over 360 hungry citizens."

"We are still looking for volunteers to help with the event. We need drivers for the home meal delivery, as well as servers and cooks for the second half of the meal," Polzin said. Interested parties need to show up at the Christian Home on Christmas morning by 8 a.m.

"I would just like to thank all of the Town of Pecos for their support for the home and its activities. The community has help us greatly in making this a better year for those in need," Polzin said.

The meal is offered free of charge, with Meals-on-Wheels delivery from 8 a.m. until 10a.m. and the meal open to the public from 10 a.m. until about 2 p.m.

The home is always looking for donations of food and money to allow the home to stay open and aid people year round. For more information the home can be reached at 445-2049. The home is located at 1201 S. Elm St.

Tarin withdraws from commissioner's race

Staff Writers

PECOS, Tues., Dec. 23, 2003 -- Reeves County Commissioner Herman Tarin has withdrawn his bid for a fourth term in office, county party chairman Bobby Dean announced today.

"Reeves County Commissioner Herman Tarin has withdrawn his application for a place on the Democratic Party ballot and will not be a candidate for the March Democratic Party election," Dean said in a faxed release to the Enterprise at noon today.

Tarin, who was first elected as Precinct 3 Commissioner for Reeves County in 1992, was not available for comment on his decision as of press time.

Tarin's withdrawal from the Precinct 3 race still leaves three candidates, Lisa Lopez Boicourt, Rosendo C. Galindo, and Bailey Wheeless, who have filed for the four-term term. A fourth candidate, Manuel "Manny" D. Lopez has filed a treasurer's designation with Reeves County Clerk Diane Florez, but has not yet filed with Dean.

To file officially, candidates must file a petition with 50 names or pay the filing fee by Jan. 2.

The other incumbent commissioner seeking a fourth term in office is Felipe Arredondo. He and one challenger, Robert C. Natividad, have filed with Dean, while two others, Armando "Mondie" Granado and Elizer "Chel" Flores have filed their treasurer's designations.

Arredondo filed his treasurer's designation in September, and named himself as treasurer. Granado Luzema E. Olivas as his campaign treasurer, while Flores named himself treasurer for his possible run for the Precinct 1 seat.

Natividad is the newest candidate to enter the Precinct 1 race, while Galindo is the latest to enter the Precinct 3 commissioner's race. Natividad named his wife Bertha as treasurer, while Galindo designated himself as treasurer for his campaign.

The high number of candidates already in the two races comes after commissioners have spent the past six months dealing with budget problems related to the Reeves County Detention Center III project.

RCDC III was built at a cost of $40 million, in the wake of the successful expansion of RCDC I and the construction of RCDC II during the past decade. After its opening in March, the county was unable to find inmates to fill RCDC III and meet bond payments, and in late October agreed to contract with Wackenhut Correctional Corp. to manage the prison, an agreement which included the loss of 31 jobs.

The deadline to file for the March primary ballot in both the Democratic and Republican elections is Jan. 2, but almost all candidates in Reeves County run in the Democratic primary.

Outside of the two races for commissioner, only incumbents have filed for the other Reeves County primary election races. Dean is posting the list of candidates who have either paid the filing fee or returned a filing petition to his office.

In the other local races, the incumbents who have officially filed with Dean include: for Reeves County Sheriff, Arnulfo "Andy" Gomez; Tax Assessor-Collector, Elfida Zuniga; for constable, precinct #2 Jerry Matta and for constable, precinct #3, Tomas "Tommy" Martinez.

Along with the county positions, other local offices that will be up for election on March 9, are Reeves County Attorney; 143rd District Attorney and 143rd District Court Judge.

Judge Bob Parks filed in Austin to retain his position as 143rd District Court Judge, while former 143rd District Attorney Hal Upchurch announced in November he planned to run for that seat again, after a 12-year absence. Pecos attorney Randall W. Reynolds currently holds the position, and was first elected to office in 1996.

Upchurch has already filed in Austin for the District Attorney's position. He had stated that he will keep his office in Monahans if elected to the post.

The District Attorney and District Judge positions cover Reeves, Ward and Loving Counties.

Both the District Attorney and the District Judge candidates will file their petitions or pay a filing fee in Austin.

Filing for the Reeves County primary elections in March will continue through Friday, Jan. 2.

Lawsuits delay N.M. purchases of water rights

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - State Engineer John D'Antonio says the state has agreed to about $25 million worth of land and water rights purchases along the Pecos River, but can't close on them until a long-running water rights lawsuit is resolved.

The state, federal water managers and several Pecos irrigation districts announced early this year they had reached a settlement agreement on a 50-year-old water rights adjudication case that focuses on the Carlsbad area.

However, a few parties have filed notice that they intend to protest the proposed settlement.

State government last year put up $70 million to buy 18,000 acres of land and associated water rights around Roswell and Carlsbad to increase water flowing down the Pecos to meet obligations to deliver water downstream to Texas.

The Legislature specified no money could be spent to buy water rights while the adjudication case was pending.

The purchase program is an effort to avoid a "priority call" on the river, which would cut off those whose water rights on the river were obtained most recently so as to be able to send water to Texas.

Attorney Paul Bloom, who represents two protesting parties, said this week he expects it could take many months for the district court to rule on his clients' claims. He also said appeals after that are always a possibility.

His clients, Carlsbad farmers Louise and Francis Tracy and the Hope Community Ditch near Artesia, argue that the proposed settlement would violate the Pecos River Compact, which specifies that New Mexico manage the river through priority administration. They also contend the settlement is outside the authority of the district court.

D'Antonio and his predecessors have warned that the consequences of failing to meet water obligations to Texas could be catastrophic.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered New Mexico not to fall behind in its deliveries. A violation could result in a federal water master taking over management of the Pecos.

State officials have estimated a priority call on the Pecos that interrupted agriculture would cost about $250 million.

Tom Davis, manager of the Carlsbad Irrigation District, said he was disappointed by the protests.

"We worked so long, a couple of years to put this agreement together," he said. "And we tried so hard during that period of time to include everyone."

Catholic churches plan services

PECOS, Tues., Dec. 23, 2003 -- Catholic Churches in the area have planned their Christmas Mass schedule.

Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, a mass will be held at 7 p.m., at Christ the King Catholic Church in Balmorhea; 7 p.m., at Santa Rosa De Lima in Pecos; 8:30 p.m., at Our Lady of Refuge in Barstow; 10 p.m., at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Pecos and midnight at Santa Rosa.

On Christmas Day, a mass will be held at 10 a.m., at Santa Rosa De Lima in Pecos; 10:30 at St. Catherine's and 12:30 p.m., at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Saragosa.


PECOS, Tues., Dec. 23, 2003 -- High Monday 72. Low this morning 31. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows near 30. South winds near 10 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 65. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Christmas Day: Partly cloudy. Highs near 70. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s to the lower 40s. Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower to mid 70s. Friday night: Mostly clear. Lows near 40.

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Pecos Enterprise
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