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April 15, 1997

Toyah mayor among those indicted by jury

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Staff Writer

PECOS, April 15, 1997 - Toyah Mayor Charlotte Waight, 76, was one of 15
persons indicted Thursday by the Reeves County Grand Jury. She was
arrested Friday and released on $5,000 bail on the charge of tampering
with government records.

Waight allegedly appropriated by transfer of title Lot 12, Block E of
the Willis Addition in Toyah from Mitchell Alan Budlong on May 23, 1996.
The indictment alleges Waight came into possession and control of the
property by virtue of her status as a public servant.

Gilberto M. Rayos Jr., 29, was indicted on a charge of criminal
conspiracy for his part in the July 21, 1996 beating of Ruben Mendoza.
He allegedly agreed with Gabriel Gonzales that one of them would hit
Mendoza with a bat or shovel. His bail is $15,000.

Gonzales was convicted by a 143rd District Court jury of aggravated
assault in that beating. Rayos had also been indicted on the assault
charge, but that was dismissed.

Gregory Powell Stephens, 45, was indicted for murder in the Jan. 21,
1996 shooting death of David Allan Ross. His bail is $100,000.

Epifanio Bara Reyes, 22, was indicted for the alleged aggravated assault
of Norma Orona on Feb. 9. His bail is $15,000. He allegedly cut Orona's
throat with a knife.

Charged with burglary of a habitation are:

* Abel Sanchez, 27, habitation owned by Maria Martinez, March 20, bail

* Roger Orona, 19, Adam Natividad, 18, and Victor Mendoza, 17,
habitation owned by Armando T. Elias, Feb. 3, bail $15,000.

Maria Valencia, 31, is charged with burglary of a building on Mar. 9,
1996 with the intention of taking cash and jewelry from Justina Salgado.
Bail is $10,000.

Jose Luis Galindo, 36, is charged with possession of cocaine on Jan. 18.
His bail is $10,000.

Steven Ray Natividad, 23, was indicted for alleged possession of cocaine
on March 4. His bail is $25,000.

Charged with possession of heroin are:

* Valdemar Pineda-Romero, 23, Dec. 31, 1996, bail $25,000.

* Pedro Mendoza Jr., 28, March 7, bail $10,000.

* Amy Lee Barbosa, 19, March 7, bail $10,000.

Timothy James Holt, 23, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm
by a felon. His bail is $10,000. Holt was convicted Oct. 21, 1991 of
burglary of a building in Bexar County. He allegedly possessed a firearm
on March 13.

Texas Ranger Jerry Villalobos investigated the charges against Mayor
Waight. In an Enterprise story by Mari Maldonado on Jan. 29,
Waight said she "had no intention of crookedness."

She had borrowed $2,000 from her credit union and loaned it to Budlong
to fix up the house on the property in question. When he left town,
Waight approached the Toyah City Council about deeding the lot to her,
but was advised against it.

However, on May 23, 1996, Waight filed a deed showing the property was
sold to her for $500. She later sold it to a Toyah couple and said she
applied the $500 purchase price to her note with the credit union.

Lively debate lengthens commissioners' meeting

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Enterprise Editor
PECOS, April 15, 1997 - Two major discussions evoked lively debate and
consumed most of the Reeves County Commissioners Court's first regular
session of the month Monday, as an item to be placed on the agenda for a
future meeting was discussed along with how to resolve application for a
housing renovation grant. (See separate story for housing grant

What seemed to be the most important item on the agenda, approving the
design and specification development of Reeves County Detention Center
as presented by representatives of Dailey, Rabke & Gondeck Architects &
Planners, took comparative little time out of the almost six-hour

County Judge Jimmy Galindo skipped over the RCDC expansion item on the
agenda as representatives of the firm had yet to arrive at the 10 a.m.
beginning time and went on to a resolution supporting the Madera Valley
Water Supply's application for a $350,000 waterline grant. After that
was approved, the commissioners quickly dispensed with approving paying
a $2,500 liability insurance premium for the City of Toyah's fire
equipment which is part of the county's interlocal agreement.

Also approved was a rental agreement with Xerox for a copier for the
county judge's office at $120 per month and an agreement with Andrews
County to house juvenile offenders at the Juvenile Detention Center for
a $70 per day rate.

Engineer Frank Spencer addressed a resolution to amend a contract to
include installation of 20 more septic tanks under a grant that provided
a certain amount of money. The original grant was for 90 of which 86
have already been installed or are now in the process of being
installed. Four were not installed as one house burned and three mobile
homes have been moved. The change order and resolution was approved.

There was a discussion about some homes owned by people who don't meet
the low to moderate income guidelines and Spencer said since funds would
be available, a variance to the grant could be sought from the state to
take care of several septic tanks needed at homes of people who miss the
income guidelines.

Another discussion later in the meeting involved homes just outside the
northern limits of the city and the possibility of applying for a grant
for those homes. It would be better, Spencer said, if they could be
included on the city's sewer although they are not in the city limits
but that might not be possible because of the limits on the city's

The first extended conversation that raised eyebrows came during the
line item to discuss and take action on reports from various
departments. Commissioner Bernardo Martinez told Galindo he wanted to
place an item on the next agenda to discuss/action on the legal counsel
at the RCDC.

Galindo told him he couldn't place something on the agenda as it takes
three commissioners. Commissioner Felipe Arredondo said he wanted it on
the agenda and then Commissioner Herman Tarin said he wanted it on there

Galindo asked exactly what Martinez wanted - to talk about the position
- reclassifying it, the person holding the position (former County
Attorney Weinacht) or the salary?

Martinez said he wanted to do just what he said, discuss, take action on
the legal counsel at RCDC.

He and Galindo debated whether or not the county has authority over that
position as Galindo said it would violate the statement of work as
written by the Bureau of Prisons "our $8 million customer." This would
amount to political interference, Galindo said, in reference to previous
problems the county has had with BOP.

Martinez said he had no intent to upset the BOP as they have been too
good to this county. Then the question came up as to whether or not this
should be in an executive session. The Pecos Enterprise was asked, and
Publisher Mac McKinnon responded, there should be one listed on the
agenda in the event such as session was need to comply with the law and
the rights of everyone involved.

Galindo noted that Weinacht was in a contract position which came under
the Chief Executive Officer of the RCDC, Rudy Franco. Martinez
questioned the contract and said he had never seen one.

Galindo fired back by asking if Martinez was accusing him of hiding
something to which Martinez said no. Galindo accused Martinez of not
keeping up with his paperwork and said he wasn't going to do all his
work for him.

Commissioner W. J. Bang said he'd also like to see the item on the
agenda and that he had never seen the contract. He noted that from the
first, he was opposed to creating the position and felt that the matter
should have been discussed at length with the new county attorney,
Walter Holcombe.

After taking office at the first of the year, Holcombe wrote the
commissioners a letter, saying he would not serve as the lawyer for the
commissioners court nor for the RCDC at which time Weinacht was
appointed at a salary of $50,000 per year.

At about this point, Galindo called a recess to discuss the item with
Holcombe, who was not in the meeting, and to consult the open meetings
Martinez, who invited McKinnon, went to Holcombe's office. Galindo came
to Holcome's office. Nothing was resolved at that point.

Galindo later found the law on open meetings and when the meeting was
reconvened 30 minutes later, he read from the portion of the law he
believed referred to the situation. By this time, Weinacht was in

"What are you trying to do?" questioned Commissioner Tarin, to which
Martinez replied he was trying to get something on the agenda. Dr. Bang
said he might not be in town for the next meeting and asked the item be
placed on the agenda for the first meeting in May. After being pressed
for information on exactly what he wanted, Martinez said he couldn't
comment further because Weinacht would sue him.

After finally hashing out the wording with Tarin coming up with the
final wording, the matter was settled and after almost two hours (minus
the 30 minutes for recess), a lunch break was declared.

Weinacht noted at the break that Martinez was mad at him because the
commissioner believes Weinacht had convinced a person to run against
Martinez in next year's Democratic primary.

After lunch, commissioners went back to what was considered the main
topic of the meeting, the expansion of the RCDC. Galindo passed out a
copy of the letter from Jack E. Crump, executive director of the Texas
Commission on Jail Standards, noting that the planned changes to add
beds to the RCDC are consistent with minimum jail standards.

Architects Lorraine Dailey and Wayne Gondeck outlined the plans as
presented to the state commission. Those plans include increasing the
beds in Wings A, B & C by about 100 each, increasing the total capacity
of RCDC to 999 from its present capacity of 697.

All non-sleeping functions such as television and game tables will be
removed from the sleeping wings and placed in a new day room to replace
one that is now in use. In addition, the existing commissary will be
housed with a new building along with the day room. The existing space
for a commissary will be used to house offices for two wardens.

Franco noted that by removing non-sleeping functions from the sleeping
area, friction will be reduced in the environment.

Galindo noted that the expansion will add 30 new jobs at RCDC and
increase revenue from $8 per year to almost $12 million. Tarin said he
liked going through the bills and seeing how much money is being spent
locally with local businesses by the RCDC.

Franco also noted that by hiring some of the new staff needed for the
expansion before the expansion gets underway that the number of
prisoners would not have to be reduced by any sizable amount during the
construction phase of the expansion.

The commissioners voted to hire Dailey, Rabke & Gondeck to proceed with
formalizing the design and budget development of the expansion with
their fee for doing so to be negotiated at a future date.

Regarding personnel and salary changes, commissioners approved:
-Promotion of Pamela Dominguez to shift supervisor at a salary of
$19,000 for the Reeves County jail.

-Hiring of Bonnie Dominguez at the Sheriff's office at a salary of

-Hiring of Cory Davis at $14,000 for the sheriff's office.

-Employment of Ruben Dominguez and Raymond Ortiz as Correctional
Officers One at the RCDC at $16,000.

-Employment of Gilbert Juarez at $5.50 an hour at the juvenile detention

-Adding Christy Rodriguez at $5 per hour in the county judge's office.
In a spread on the minutes, a contract between RCDC and Warden Antonio
Perez was delayed until the next meeting due to Martinez's request to
see a copy of the contract.

In reviewing payment of bills and budget items, it was noted that
revenue for the county is down $108,000 for the first quarter as
compared to the first quarter of last year. Some of that was
anticipated, Galindo said, due to lower tax values.

Part of the drop is due to increase in delinquent tax collections which
prompted Martinez to ask why the old tax collection firm was replaced,
to which Galindo replied that he (Martinez) should talk to the tax
assessor-collector. Dr. Bang noted the new firm needs to be given time
to perform.
It was also noted that the sheriff's office has been doing a good job as
revenue is up by $85,000 over last year. This is due to the increased
number of prisoners being housed for the Marshall's Service. However,
revenue at the transportation department at RCDC is down.

Auditor Lynn Owens noted that a number of departments have been alerted
their spending is exceeding budgeted amounts. The District Attorney's
office has depleted their yearly budget in the first quarter.
However, Galindo noted that the budgeted expenditures are in line with
24 per cent of anticipated revenue has been spent in the first quarter.

PHA to consider options

for spending grant funds

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Staff Writer

PECOS, April 15, 1997 - Pecos Housing Authority directors will consider
options for the maintenance building in their regular meeting at 4 p.m.

The maintenance building is part of the comprehensive improvement
assistance program for which PHA has obtained a grant. Previous
discussions have included rehabilitating the old Airbase administration
building or constructing a new metal building.

Ed Vaughn and Shane Sigrist of Vaughn Architects Plus will meet with the
board for the discussion and update on the 1996 CIAP.

Other agenda items regarding HUD units includes an audience with tenants
about their lease termination notice, approval of a policy to prevent,
detect and report fraud, eviction proceedings on two residents for lease
violation, and sponsorship of W.T. Council of Housing Authorities
training during May.

The board will discuss One Strike training attended by A. Baeza and V.
Hernandez in Fort Worth and hear monthly reports on finances and

In the Farm Labor Housing meeting, the board will consider a letter from
Rural Development regarding handicap accessibility, approve the audit
report for the year ending March 31, 1996, review the end-of-year budget
for Multiple Family Housing Project, approve the proposed budget for the
new year and approve a trip for the project manager to the district
office in Abilene for training.

The board will consider a resolution amending the occupancy policy to
collect total monthly rent upon rental, plus $100 security deposit and
hear monthly reports on finances and rent roll.

One-stop voting ballot offered

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Staff Writer

PECOS, April 15, 1997 - Debra Thomas used a color-coding system to
organize ballots for the joint city, school and hospital district
elections, and that color scheme is carried out in the early-voting
setup at the Pecos Community Center, 508 S. Oak St.

Voters have a one-stop ballot choice for the first time ever in local
elections. Instead of going to the Reeves County Hospital lobby, the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD administration office and Pecos City Hall to
cast an early ballot, they now go to the community center for all three.

And all three entities are listed on one punch-card ballot. You will
find a separate sheet in the booth listing candidates in each race. That
is, one for the city with names of five city council candidates; a
second for the school district with three names; and a third for the
hospital district with one name.

That is, if you live in a commissioner precinct that has a hospital
district ballot this year - either Precinct 2 or Precinct 4.

And if you live outside the Pecos city limits, you won't see a page for
city council candidates.

And if you live in Barstow, you will vote only for P-B-T trustees.

If that sounds confusing, imagine what it must be for the new elections
coordinator to figure all that out. And to set up booths with the
correct ballot pages.

When you enter the community center, which is between the Pecos Police
Department and Reeves County Sheriff's Office, you will be greeted by
three election judges and clerks at the front desk - Nora Briceno, Hilda
Barrera and Brenda Casillas.

They will check your registration card against the printed voter
registration rolls and verify which voting box you are in. Then they
will give you a ballot and direct you to one of the booths designated
for that voting box. All you have to do then is punch a hole in the
ballot next to the name of the candidate you favor.

For those who can't get to the community center to vote early, ballots
by mail are available. To be eligible, you must be disabled, confined in
jail, expected to be absent from the county on election day or age 65
and over.

To apply, telephone 445-7321 or write to Debra Thomas, Box 72, Pecos TX

About two dozen voters took advantage of the one-stop ballot Monday, and
many others are expected to do so before the April 29 deadline.

May 3 is the date for regular voting, and those polling places will be
listed later.

Earhart copycat visits ruins of Carthage

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TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) - Following the footsteps of the ancients and the
flight path of Amelia Earhart, Texas businesswoman Linda Finch visited
the ruins of Carthage on Tuesday and set her sights on Athens.

Finch, 46, of San Antonio, is trying to follow the route of Earhart's
attempted round-the-world trip, a voyage that ended in tragedy 60 years

On Tuesday, the aviation historian wound up her visit to Tunisia, where
she arrived a day earlier, with a sightseeing trip of ancient Carthage.

Finch and her navigator, Peter Cousins, plan to fly to Athens on
Wednesday in their restored Lockheed Electra 10E, a duplicate of
Earhart's twin-engine propeller plane.

Finch left Oakland, Calif., on March 17, the same day Earhart took off
in 1937. Earhart had hoped to be the first woman to circumnavigate the

Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, vanished near Howland Island in
the Pacific Ocean after completing 22,000 miles of the planned
24,557-mile journey.


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PECOS, April 15, 1997 - High Monday 74, low last night 44. Tonight,
partly cloudy. Low around 45. South wind 5-15 mph. Wednesday, partly
cloudy. High 70-75. Wind becoming northeast 10-20 mph.
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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