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August 22, 1997

County proposes one cent tax cut

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 22, 1997 - Reeves County Commissioners hope to follow last
year's two cent tax rate reduction with another one cent reduction this
year, according to County Judge Jimmy Galindo.

Earlier this week Galindo filed a proposed 1997-98 budget for the county
that will allow the tax reduction while adding benefits for county
employees and the public.

The proposed budget includes a general fund total of $4,067,742. The
general fund total for this year is $3,926,271 and for 1996 was

On top of the tax rate reduction, commissioners propose to slash the
county fee for license plate renewal in half, from $10 to $5.

Cutting costs and increasing revenues without raising taxes have brought
benefits and lowered expenses in the county, according to Galindo.

"We've really focused on streamlining the cost of government," Galindo
said. "And we've taken a hard look at revenue producing projects.

The proposed 1997-98 Reeves County budget includes a $500 pay raise for
all county employees for the year. Salaries for the Reeves County
Detention Center will be negotiated separately, Galindo said.

"One of the biggest changes in the county has been the increase in
revenues from the sheriff's department," Galindo said.

The Reeves County Sheriff's Department oversees the county jail.
Revenues earned from housing federal inmates in the jail have increased
from a projected $400,000 at the beginning of the current fiscal year to
a projected $700,000 for the coming year.

New vehicles for Reeves County Sheriff's Department Deputies and the
Sheriff are included in the budget, as well as, $9,600 in travel
expenses for Sheriff Arnulfo Gomez and Galindo. And a new greens mower
is included for the golf course.

If the proposed budget is approved, each commissioner will be given an
additional $1,500 per year for travel expenses.

Things look favorable for the county to participate in the economic
development initiative being promoted by the Town of Pecos City Council
and the Pecos Chamber of Commerce. Galindo said the county sought advice
from the Texas Attorney General's office on the legality of
participating in the funding of an economic development director for the
county. The Attorney General's office gave the county the go-ahead,
according to Galindo.

The next Reeves County Commissioners' Court meeting will be at 5:30 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 25, on the third floor of the Reeves County Courthouse.
Commissioners will meet later in the week to consider the proposed 1997-98 county budget.

Council makes positive change

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 22, 1997 - Members of the Community Council of Reeves
County took several positive steps forward during the board meeting last

However, the meeting began with a step backwards when board chairman
Linda Clark announced her resignation from the board.

Clark, who is the Reeves County Treasurer, explained that her staff in
the treasurer's office had been cut this year and the demands of her
position as treasurer left her with too little time to devote to the
Community Council.

"I have an obligation to the voters of Reeves County to carry out the
duties of my office to the best of my ability," she said. "It would be
in the best interest of the Community Council to find a replacement for

After the board accepted Clark's resignation, Vice Chairman Bill Windt
took charge of the meeting.

Positive steps taken by the council last night include: taking action to
remove members that don't attend meetings, examining qualifications of
members and seeking to clarify the rules governing the council and its
relationship with the local Head Start program.

The local Head Start program has come under the watchful eye of state
health officials that oversee the program. The program has until early
November to correct deficiencies found in the program. Lack of action by
the Community Council and the policy council which operate the local
Head Start program and petty bickering by local Head Start
administrators, personnel and parents of children in the program has
hindered the operation.

"We are going to have to put our feelings aside," said Councilwoman Mary
Garcia. "If we don't learn to work together we are going to lose the

Council members agreed to notify two members that they have been removed
from the board because of failure to attend meetings. Elections will be
held in the near future to fill as many as four vacant positions on the

A recent dispute between the policy council and the Community Council
Board over who will be the director of the program was discussed in the
meeting. Windt said he will seek clarification from the state as to
whether the policy council or the Community Council Board has final say
in such matters.

Area Head Start programs were originally scheduled to begin Aug. 25. The
starting date for the program has been moved back to Sept. 2.

The Community Council will meet again at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 26.

Pecos unemployment rate takes

slight drop compared to last year

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 22, 1997 - Unemployment in Pecos fell by over 1 percent in
July compared to a year ago, according to statistics released by the
Texas Workforce Commission this week.

The drop came despite an increase of nearly 100 people in the local
labor force, as there were 153 more jobs within the city this July than
at the same time in 1996, according to the TWC.

Unemployment numbers for Reeves County as a whole also improved, with
the county's rate falling below the 9 percent level for July.

There were 5,563 people employed in Pecos last month, out of a labor
force of 6,191, the TWC said, for an unemployment rate of 10.1 percent.

That compares with July of 1996, when 5,410 people were working out of
6,093 in the local workforce, leaving 11.2 percent of that group without

July's rate also represented a 1 percent drop from June's 11.1 percent
figure, though it was only down one-tenth of a percent from the city's
May unemployment rate.

Reeves County's rate in July stood at 8.9 percent, with 7,210 people
working out of a labor force of 7,912. Although still above the state
and area averages, the number was closer than in previous months to
counties such as Ward (7.4 percent), Winkler (8.3) and Ector (7.2).

Across the area, the unemployment numbers were mixed. The Permian
Basin's 5.7 percent figure was the same as for Texas as a whole, but
while Fort Stockton, Lamesa and Midland joined Pecos in recording large
drops in their jobless numbers from a year ago, Andrews, Big Spring,
Monahans and Kermit had higher unemployment rates than in July of 1996.

Fort Stockton gained nearly 75 new jobs in a 4,231-person labor force,
dropping its jobless rate from 7.4 to 6.4 percent.

Lamesa had 18 fewer jobs, but its labor force also dropped by 105, which
cut the unemployment rate from 8.8 to 7.3 percent while Midland, with
the area's largest workforce at 51,100, added nearly 1,500 new jobs,
cutting the jobless rate there from 5.1 to 4.2 percent.

Andrews lost over 100 jobs from July of last year, offsetting a small
cut in its labor force and raising its rate from 5.5 to 6.4 percent.
Both the labor force and the number of jobs in Big Spring fell by about
200, upping its rate from 5.1 to 5.3 percent, while Kermit lost 99 jobs
and Monahans 29, and saw their July, 1996 unemployment rates climb from
7.5 and 6.9 percent respectively to 9.0 and 7.7 percent.

Among the state's metropolitan areas, Midland-Odessa's 5.7 percent
figure was about average.

Bryan-College Station continued to have Texas' lowest unemployment rate,
at 2.5 percent, while McAllen-Edinburg-Mission had the highest, at 17.6
percent. Dallas' jobless rate for July was 4.1 percent, Houston was 5.5 percent, San Angelo was at 6 percent and El Paso was at 11.7 percent.

Guilty verdict given in

"date rape" drug case

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 22, 1997 - Michael Matta knew that illegal drugs were in
his car when he crossed the Rio Grande at Presidio in May, U.S. District
Judge Royal Furgeson found Thursday in returning a verdict of "guilty"
to importing and possessing flunitrazepam.

Rejecting an argument by Matta's attorney that the prescription drugs
purchased in Ojinaga, Mex. belonged to his traveling companion, a minor,
Judge Furgeson set sentencing for October 21.

Flunitrazepam is the controlled ingredient in Rohypnal, commonly known
as the "date rape drug", said government prosecutor Kelly Loving.

DEA Agent Wes Hearon testified in the bench trial that Matta admitted he
had been taking the Rohypnal and Valium over several days preceding his
arrest in Big Bend National Park May 19.

Although he initially denied possessing the drugs, Matta confessed
rather than take a urinalysis test, Hearon said.

"He said he and (the minor) had purchased the tablets in Ojinaga and
brought them through the port of entry at Presidio," Hearon said.
"During the two or three days he used a portion of the Valium and

Defense Attorney Adrian Chavez argued that the drugs were not in Matta's
car, but on the person of his companion during three searches of the
vehicle that turned up nothing more than a marijuana cigarette.

Recalling testimony from Friday's hearing on motion to suppress
evidence, Judge Furgeson said that a drug-sniffing dog alerted to
marijuana residue in the car at the port of entry. Later, a search was
conducted at Hot Springs because of an alert to park rangers on the car.

Officers served an arrest warrant on Matta at Panther Junction and again
searched the car, finding nothing. Then, while Matta was in Brewster
County Jail, Border Patrol officers with a drug-sniffing dog search the
car while it was parked at the Panther Junction Visitors Center and
found the drugs and $211 in a sack underneath the back seat, Furgeson

He said the money came from an earlier post office burglary.

Matta's companion, Christopher Davis, 17, of 1310 S. Plum St., was
arrested May 20 and charged in state court with possession of marijuana.
He was not charged in federal court because he a minor under federal law.

A story in Monday's Enterprise incorrectly stated Matta was charged with
possessing with intent to distribute flunitrazepam. However, the charge
was simple possession.

Matta, 25, of 1419 S. Plum St., said that story also implied that he had
been using drugs, and that is not true. He said he has had three "clean" urinalysis tests while awaiting trial.

Bean, brisket cookoff

in Balmorhea festival

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BALMORHEA, August 22, 1997 - The 1997 Oasis of West Texas Frijole Bean
and Brisket Cookoff will be held Saturday, Aug. 30, in Balmorhea. The
cookoff will be the featured event during the 22nd Annual Oasis of West
Texas Labor Day Festival.

The cookoff location will be the RV park across from West Texas
Utilities, and sites will be assigned on a first-come, first-served
basis. Beans and briskets, which will be provided, will be available by
6 a.m. and will be picked up for judging at 6 p.m. Both foods will be
judged on taste, appearance, aroma and tenderness.

Entry fee for the bean cookoff only is $20, $30 for the brisket cookoff
only, and $40 for entry into both contests.

First, second and third place trophies will be awarded. Prize money for
first place will be 50 percent of entry fees. There will also be a
trophy and money awarded for the best camp. Also, the winner of the bean
cookoff will be allowed to enter the 1998 cookoff for free, and the
winner of the brisket cookoff will be allowed to enter the BBQ Beef
Cookoff in Pecos on Oct. 3 and 4 for free.

For more information on entering, or for an entry form, contact the
Balmorhea Area Chamber of Commerce at P.O. Box 251, Balmorhea, TX 79718,
or call 915-375-2272.

Other events will take place in Balmorhea during the day-long festival
as well. There will be games, a washer pitching tournament, free face
painting, a watermelon eating contest, a giant jumping balloon, arts,
crafts, and food vendors, plus music provided by DJ David Matta.

There will be men's and women's divisions in the washer pitching
tournament, and there will be team trophies awarded for first, second
and third place. Entry fee is $10 per team. Sign-up will begin at 8 a.m.
and end at 10 a.m. on Saturday. For more information, call Pat Brijalba
at 915-375-2272 or 915-375-2323.

To put the finishing touches on the festivities, there will be a free
street dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. featuring "Little Joe Davila and the
Jetliners." For more information, contact Pat Brijalba at one of the numbers listed above, or Norman Roman at 915-375-2400.

New regional manager for Classic Cable TV

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PECOS, August 22, 1997 - Classic Cable has acquired a new Regional
Manager for their Southern Region which includes Texas and New Mexico.

Robert Versace will replace Rowdy Whittington, who has transferred to a
new position and will be relocating to Missouri.

Versace has had considerable experience in the cable and broadcasting
business, having worked for Capital Cities Communications, Rifken and
Associates, and with PrimeStar contract sales for TCI. In addition, he
has been in broadcasting and owned a radio station.

He began working with Classic Cable on July 28. His office is in
Classic's Southern Regional office located in Brady. "With all of the
competition in the cable industry, the only thing we have to sell is
service...customer service is our number one priority," Versace said.

"We are extremely pleased to have Bob join Classic Cable," said Gil
Nichols, Vice President of Operations for Classic. "His vast knowledge
and experience in the business will be a tremendous asset to the company
and to our subscribers."

Classic Cable services about 175,000 subscribers and is one of the top 40 cable operators in the United States.

Editor to speak at Toyah Baptist

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TOYAH, August 22, 1997 - The Toyah Baptist Church will have a special
speaker at its morning and evening services this Sunday.

Sam Peak, managing editor of the Prophetic Roundup magazine of Biblical
Faith Ministries in Abilene, will be the featured speaker. Morning
service is at 10:45, and evening service takes place at 6 p.m.


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PECOS, August 22, 1997

- EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the
Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police
Department, Reeves County Sheriff's Office, Texas Department of Public
Safety, or other officers of those agencies. The serving of warrants by
an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal
control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will
be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such
instances we will indicate payment and release.


Between 7:22 a.m. on August 12 and 6:34 a.m. on August 13, there were 18
alarm activations at various locations around the city. Reports indicate
that most buildings were secure and a few of the activations were
attributed to key holder error. Pecos Police Chief said that a recent
storm set off most of the alarms.


Donovan Rodriguez was arrested for driving while intoxicated on the 100
block of Pecan at 11:32 p.m. on August 13. A $500 bond was set.


Maria Guadalupe Valenzuela was arrested at 2:52 p.m. on August 14 during
a traffic stop on the 200 block of S. Sycamore on violate promise to
appear and theft under $50 warrants.


At 2 p.m. on August 12, a report of criminal mischief was reported. The
window of a car belonging to a customer was broken at Alan's Auto
Repair, 1305 W. 3rd St. No property was reported missing.


Juan R. Morales was arrested at 4:10 p.m. on August 10 in Balmorhea on
outstanding warrants from Pecos.


Fidel Gomez Salazar, 28, Fort Stockton, was arrested in 1400 block alley
between Oak and Cypress at 11:10 a.m. on August 15 for theft and
outstanding warrants.


Adam Michael Natividad was arrested at 4:45 p.m. on August 15 on a
warrant for assault causing bodily injury. He posted a $500 bond.


Julio A. Palencia was arrested at 1:20 a.m. August 16 for public
intoxication at the Illusions bar.


Daniel Armendariz was arrested at 8:50 p.m. August 16 on the 400 block
of S. Cypress on a capias pro fine warrant.


Enrique Lujan was arrested at 1:10 on August 17 for public intoxication.


Leo Pettit was arrested at 2:34 a.m. August 17 under the Family Violence
Act at 700 Stafford.


Jose Manuel Garcia was arrested at 10:46 a.m. August 17 on a warrant for
parole violation and theft under $50. A $5,000 bond was set.


Jose Prieto was arrested at 1:02 p.m. on August 17 on the 800 block of
S. Peach for assault under the Family Violence Act.


Chris Rodriguez was arrested on a capias pro fine warrant at 7:40 p.m.
on August 18, paid the fine, and was released.


John Ameida II was arrested August 18 on a warrant for assault causing
bodily injury. He posted a $500 bond.


Ignacio Chavez was arrested August 18 on a warrant for deadly conduct. A
$500 bond was set.


A male juvenile was arrested on the 300 block of N. Pecan at 6:08 p.m.
on August 18 for assault causing bodily injury.


Jose Samaguey was arrested on the 100 block of N. Elm at 10:48 p.m. on
August 19 for public intoxication.


Jose Zacarias Chacon, 66, Toyah, was arrested at the Toyah Texaco at 1
p.m. on August 16 on a warrant for theft.


James Jordan, 44, of Pasadena, California, was arrested on Interstate 20
at 10:30 a.m. on August 19 for no driver's license, no liability
insurance, and speeding.


Victor Cano Nieto, 36, was arrested at 3:05 p.m. on August 3 for theft under $50.


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PECOS, August 22, 1997 - High Thursday, 99, low this morning, 71. An
upper level disturbance moving southeastward out of the central Plains
was expected to bring showers and thunderstorms to most areas of the
state tonight and Saturday. In West Texas, there was chance of
thunderstorms through tonight over the South Plains, Permian Basin,
Concho Valley and Big Country. And there is a chance of thunderstorms
over the low rolling plains and from extreme West Texas into the Big
Bend area through Saturday. Lows tonight will be in the 60s and 70s.
Highs Saturday will be in the 90s over most of West Texas, ranging from
the 80s in the mountains of Southwest Texas to near 108 in the Big Bend

State News
San Angelo Standard Times
Abilene Reporter News
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Dallas Morning News
Texas Press Association

National News
USA Today
York (Pa.) Daily Record, Sister Paper to Pecos Enterprise

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, 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. Neither these AP Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.

Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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