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Area Newspaper and Travel Guide for Reeves County, Ward County, Trans-Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


December 19, 1997

Eagles volleyballer on All-State 4A 2nd team

Sports Editor

Pecos Eagles middle hitter Lori Marquez was named to the second team
All-State Class 4A volleyball team on Thursday by the Texas Sports
Writers Association, the second year in a row the senior was selected to
the squad.

The choice was actually a slight step down for Marquez, after she took a
step up last month, when the All-District 4-4A team was announced.
Marquez earned Most Valuable Player honors there, after missing out a
year ago, while earning first team honors from the TSWA last season.

She was the Eagles' team leader in both kills and blocks for the past
three seasons, with Pecos earning playoff berths each of the past two
years. Marquez had 225 kills and 71 blocks in 1997, as the Eagles
finished with a 17-12 record.

Andrews' Ali Bane and Holly Fields and San Angelo Lake View's Hillary
Lee were honorable mentions on the Class 4A squad.

Other area picks were Greenwood's Karen Gasch on the first team,
teammate Mandy Choate and Alpine's Adrienne Reyes on the second team and
Monahans' Tracie Jasso honorable mention in Class 3A, while the
Balmorhea Bears' district rivals Wink and Marathon each placed one
player on the Class A first team. The Wildcats were represented by Jess
Anne Fernandes while the Mustangs put Toni Aguilar on the squad.

Another district rival, Grandfalls' Laura Porras, was an honorable
mention in Class A, while Fort Davis had Adrana Martinez on the second
team and Jessica Whitely as honorable mention.

Drug bust in Ward County

MONHANS, December 19, 1997 - Four men are being held at the Ward County
Jail in Monahans since being caught Tuesday evening with about 115
pounds of what is suspected to be marijuana in their car.

The four were stopped by a Permian Basin Task Force Criminal
Interdiction/K-9 Unit to be issued a traffic citation when duffle bags
in the vehicle were found to contain what officers suspect to be
marijuana with a street value of $138,000.

Ward County Sheriff's office assisted the Task Force in the arrest of
William Dunivan and Steve Cox of Odessa, Tx., and Arnulfo Corales and
Hermino Carrasco of Ojinaga, Mexico.

Holidays don't slow down federal court

Staff Writer

PECOS, December 19, 1997 - Christmas and New Years holidays barely slow
down the work in the Pecos Division of federal court, which just
celebrated its second year in a new courthouse.

District Judge Royal Furgeson handled several guilty pleas and
sentencings this week, then set another docket for Monday on pre-trial
motions and sentencings.

Magistrate Judge Stuart Platt held two preliminary exams, arraignments
and detention hearings today in felony cases assigned by Judge Furgeson.

Fred Brigman III, assistant U.S. attorney, said the docket is the
busiest he has seen in Pecos. He formerly worked with Senior Judge
Lucius Bunton, who has handled Pecos cases since his appointment in 1979.

"I don't know if this is the most they have ever had or not," Brigman
said of the 234 indictments in 1997 that name 311 defendants on felony
charges - most drug smuggling and/or possession.

Brigman joined the AUSA staff in August to work alongside Jim
Blankinship. In the year since Blankinship moved from Austin, he has
accepted for prosecution all those defendants arrested by the Border
Patrol and DEA.

For several years, prosecutors assigned to Pecos out of the Midland
office had refused so many cases that indictments fell below 100. In
fact, one month not a single indictment was returned in Pecos, while the
Midland criminal docket ballooned.

Now that trend is reversed. Pecos had more criminal cases filed this
year than any other division in the Western District except for Del Rio
and El Paso.

El Paso reported 99 cases filed in October, while Del Rio had 48 and
Pecos had 25.

Contrast that with Midland-Odessa, 9; Waco, 10; Austin 19; and San
Antonio, 23.

At the end of October, Pecos had 129 defendants awaiting trial, while
Midland had 81.

Deputy Marshal Billy Johnson said that he has to call in help from El
Paso to handle prisoner transfers and court security when the judges are
in town.

"We have all the jails full," he said. "I have 120 pre-trial prisoners.
I can't remember when it wasn't busy, now."

So busy is the Pecos Division that the probation department is adding
two probation officers and a secretary to the staff. At present, Jamie
Reed is the sole probation officer in Pecos, and he has one secretary.

The pre-trial office is also shorthanded, with one officer and one

Judge Platt said his work was "spotty" in Pecos when he took office 15
months ago. "We were really busier in Midland last fall," he said. "The
civil docket takes more time in Midland, but the felony cases take a lot
more time in Pecos."

Platt accepts indictments from the grand jury, who usually meets one day
each month. The past two months, they were in session two days,
returning 20-plus indictments and investigating a civil rights case
arising out of a shooting along the border with Mexico.

Judge Furgeson assigns most pre-trial matters to Platt, who can hold
hearings, accept pleas and try jury cases with consent of the parties.
His recommendations may be accepted or rejected by Furgeson, who is
required to handle sentencings.

Half the criminal cases for Pecos are assigned to Judge Bunton, who
handles all pre-trial matters as well as trials and sentencing. Both
judges also serve Midland and El Paso courts, and Bunton often is
invited to try cases in other districts. As a senior judge, he can
accept or reject any case he is assigned.

With both the magistrate and district courts busy constantly, the large
courthouse completed in 1995 has served its purpose well. Prosectors and
defense attorneys have private offices to interview witnesses; jurors
are kept isolated from all parties; judges and their staffs have
adequate quarters; and support staff are all housed in first-floor
offices that are convenient for the public.

Security staff mans closed-circuit television monitors that scan
hallways, courtrooms and other secure areas constantly.

Donated gifts bring happiness to children

Staff Writer

PECOS, December 19, 1997 - Children's eyes lit up at the sight that
greeted them yesterday afternoon as Christmas for the Kids volunteers
made their trek to deliver gifts to the children.

Reeves County Sheriff's Deputies and one Department of Public Safety
Trooper, Melinda Lowery, volunteered to deliver the "goodies" yesterday

"We delivered a lot of them yesterday and will be delivering today and
Monday," said Christmas for the Kids coordinator Sofia Baeza.

About 126 families were originally on the list, but more applications
have been turned in since then, according to Baeza.

"We're going to do our best to get something for all the families, even
though application deadline was Dec. 5," she said.

The group also collected an assortment of toys donated by the Reeves
County Detention Center crew and employees at the sheriff's department.

"These toys we're also handing out, and giving some of them to other
children we meet along the way," said Baeza.

Along with the volunteers, Santa Claus, was also on hand for the

"He attracted a lot of attention and other children, who we greeted and
gave some of the extra toys to," said Baeza.

About 412 children will benefit from this very important project this
year, according to Baeza.

Not only does the group provide clothing, shoes and jackets, they also
strive to help with school supplies and other necessities the children
might not have, according to Baeza. Keeping children warm and in school
is the main objective of Christmas for the Kids.

"We want to provide a happy holiday for as many children in the
community as we can," said Baeza.

"The Austin Elementary School principal and counselor just gave us a
list yesterday of children they feel can benefit from our program, and
right now we're doing our best to fulfill it," said Baeza.

"I just want to thank the community for coming through for us," said
Baeza. "I'm only the coordinator. We are only as strong as my
supporters," she said. "We're just very excited we got the chance to
help so many children, and that our goal was met. But again, I want to
say that it's thanks to community involvement, they really pulled


PECOS, December 19, 1997 - High Thursday, 78, low this morning, 27.
Tonight there is a 50 percent chance of rain with a low in the mid 30s
and northeast winds at 10-20 mph and gusty. Saturday there will be rain
or freezing rain early, changing to sleet during the day. Temperatures
will be falling into the lower 30s with a northeast wind at 10-20 mph.

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