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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Gholson says rodeo may lose use of stands

Staff Writer

The West of the Pecos Rodeo may be without use of a third of its available stands this year, Reeves County Commissioners were told during their meeting on Monday.

During a discussion on departmental reports Pecos Chamber of Commerce President Linda Gholson asked commissioners whether they were aware of damage to the Reeves County Civic Center caused by Sunday’s storm. Gholson then asked if the court had heard that the County Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire had condemned the south side stands at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena due to structural problems.

Reeves County Judge Jimmy B Galindo said that he had not “been made aware of that. Do you know what led up to that decision?” Gholson said that she had heard that the damage was due to termites, but was not sure of that fact.

Brookshire could not be reached to either confirm or deny the stands had been condemned either on Monday or as of early this afternoon.

The south stands involved are the main section closest to the chutes, and directly behind the Civic Center. They are the smaller of the two main stands, and do not include the auxiliary south stands at the east end of the arena.

If the stands are condemned, they would be unavailable for use during the annual rodeo, which is only seven weeks away. Commissioners were not told of any problems involving the larger north stands at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena.

Gholson’s comments about the rodeo arena’s problems were among several issues covered by commissioners, including a discussion of the county’s long distance service and approval of the most recent staffing changes at all three units of the Reeves County Detention Center.

During the department reports, County Auditor Lynn Owens brought up the fact that in December the Sheriff’s Department had experienced a loss of long distance service. Owens did not say why the service was lost, but he did add that during that time the department had switched to Allcomm instead of the county’s current long distance provider, MCI.

“The service provided by Allcom is costing about three or four times the cost of MCI,” Owens said. “The contract we have with MCI is costing us around six cents a minute.”

“I will see that it gets done,” County Judge Jimmy Galindo said. “There is no reason that MCI cannot provide the service. There is a process you have to go through, but MCI has been very good about billing.”

Commissioner Herman Tarin asked if the Sheriff’s department had the extra funding to cover the cost of the Allcomm bill up to this point, to which Owens replied that the Sheriff did not have “sufficient funds for service as it is now.”

In other business, the court approved the new hires at the RCD. For RCDC I and II the hires included eight new correctional officers at a salary of $31,000 and a case manager at $32,000. For the newly staffed RCDC III, the court approved 17 new correctional officers at a salary of $22,000, a food service clerk, a booking clerk and a educational clerk all at a salary of $18,000, two maintenance technicians at a salary of $20,000, a substance abuse councilor at a salary of $37,000, a case manager at a salary of $30,000, a warehouse manager at a salary of $32,000, a second substance abuse councilor at a salary of $30,000 and a captain at a salary of $38,000.

The court also approved the hiring of two retired county employees. They will be brought back to the Road and Bridge Department as part-time heavy equipment operators at $12 an hour.

Galindo said that Road and Bridge Supervisor Russ Salcido was opting to fill an open full time position with two part-timers who had experience with the equipment rather than hiring a full-time employee who would need training.

Owens pointed out that it was acceptable to do that, but the part-timers must be careful not to exceed 17.5 hours per week, or else they would not be eligible for their retirement benefits.

The commissioners also approved three architect requests regarding the newly installed fence running between phase III and phases II and I. The fence was necessary to establish RCDC III as a stand-alone facility, a move necessary to fill the facility via a separate contract than the BOP contract governing phases I and II. RCDC I and II house BOP inmates while RCDC III houses inmates under a contract with the State of Arizona.

Police investigating car burglaries

Pecos police are currently investigating a series of car burglaries and criminal mischief cases which occurred between Friday night and Saturday morning.

Police reports indicated that an estimated eight vehicles were broken into over the weekend. During the burglaries thieves stole assorted item, such as wallets, Game Boys, stereos, speakers, cell phones, and a .22 rifle, among other things.

Pecos Police Criminal Investigations Division Captain Kelly Davis said that no signs of forced entry were visible on the vehicles. He added that no subjects were in custody yet, but the investigation was continuing.

Police officials are asking citizens to be sure and lock their vehicles, and to remove valuables before leaving their vehicles unattended. Anyone with information regarding this weekend’s events is asked to call the police department at 445-4911.

Work on gym in Balmorhea nearly finished

Staff Writer

Balmorhea ISD officials are preparing to give preliminary approval to construction of the district’s new gymnasium facility this week, but graduation ceremonies for 2004 seniors later this month will still take place in the old gym.

The new gym, built as part of a $1.6 million bond issue passed by Balmorhea voters three years ago, has been under construction since the end of the last school year. It was to have been completed by this month, but work is running slightly behind schedule.

“We’ll receive a certificate of substantial completion on Thursday, but the graduation ceremony will still be held in the old gym,” said Balmorhea School Superintendent Mary Lou Carrasco.

Balmorhea students traditionally have held their graduation ceremony in the new gym, since that facility was partially rebuilt following a 1984 fire. The current gym is part of the main Balmorhea ISD building, while the new gym will be a stand-alone facility on the west side of the Balmorhea football field.

Carrasco said that work in the gym is progressing and that it will be completed by June. “We’ll have a big inauguration then,” said Carrasco.

“We’re really looking forward to it, it’s really beautiful,” said Carrasco. “When it is completed, we’ll invite everyone out to see it.”

The gym is the last in a series of campus improvements financed with the 2001 bond issue. Work was completed last year on the district’s cafeteria, which included construction of new bathrooms, additional dinning area, a walk in freezer, new air conditioning, a new roof and extra storage space. Prior to that, the district’s new ag building was completed, and during last summer the former high school wing of the campus building was turned into a technology center.

Museum holding fundraiser event

A West of the Pecos Museum fundraiser luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., Friday, in the museum courtyard.

The luncheon will cost $6 for advance tickets and $7 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the museum or from any museum member.

The group will deliver to businesses on three orders or more.

There will also be a “Silent Auction” with a selection of fun affordable items. To order or for more information call 445-5076.


High Monday 87. Low this morning 59. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows near 60. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday: Mostly sunny. Highs near 100. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 60. South winds 10 to 20 mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy in the morning then clearing. Highs in the mid 90s. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 90. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 60.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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Copyright 2003 by Pecos Enterprise