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Thursday, December 31, 1998

Court bids bye bye to Bernardo and Bang

Staff Writer
After two decades and a legacy filled with stormy meetings and with controversial issues, Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 4 Bernardo "Chaquen" Martinez bid a quiet farewell Wednesday during a special commissioners court meeting.

Martinez lost his bid for re-election to Gilbert "Hivi" Rayos in the Democratic Primary runoff election.

"I think I've accomplished everything I wanted to," said Martinez.

After the RCDC was constructed, Martinez said that his goals were to have another built.

"All this is coming true, and I'm glad, because that's just what I wanted, to create more jobs, bring in more revenue to the community and have higher paying jobs," he said.

"I think the higher salaries will help families, to support them, educate them and help them further themselves," he said.

Martinez said that he will still "be around" to help, but will not interfere in political actions.

"That's what we have these elected officials for, and I know they will do the best they can," Martinez said. "We should make room for the young and educated in politics."

"I've learned a lot, took courses in computers and other things and I think everyone should take a turn at being in office," said Martinez.

"There appears to be a trend that people are being elected by popularity instead of their knowledge, but that's not to mean they won't do a good job," he said.

Martinez was referring to the recent election in the Minnesota gubernatorial race of a former pro wrestler and the election of a former boxer and baseball player to other official positions. "It's just a trend," he said.

Martinez might run for office again some day. "I don't know yet, but if the circumstances require it, I just might," he said.

County commissioner Precinct 2 W.J. Bang also bid farewell Wednesday, his last meeting. Bang will be replaced by David Castillo, who was the only contestant in the primary election. Castillo was challenged by write-in candidate Marlow Summitt in the November elections.

"I think that I've probably accomplished a lot of the items I set out to," Bang said. "I appreciate the people giving me the opportunity to serve them in this capacity for the last eight years."

Bang said that he is taking a break from politics because of his professional demands. He is a local doctor who specializes in surgery.

"Things are looking more positive for now," said Bang. "I wish good luck to the other commissioners and hope the court will be successful in their endeavors.

"Most of what I wanted to do has been accomplished, in my opinion. I'll be around to help with anything if I am asked to," he said.

Both were recipients of a special plaque, and Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo praised them for their outstanding public service.

"I've really enjoyed working with these two individuals. It was rocky at times, but we worked through it," said Galindo. "We'll miss you both and hope you come in and still keep in touch with what the county is doing."

"I've enjoyed working with these two and have learned a lot from both of them," said commissioner Precinct 3 Herman Tarin. "I wish them the best of luck."

"It's been a learning experience and we grew together and learned how to work out problems together," said Tarin. "I'm really going to miss them."

Commissioners held the special meeting to accommodate various departments for end-of-year purchases and to amend the budget for these items.

Another $500 was added in the Department of Public Safety account to enable them to rent radar units.

Reeves County Detention Center's budget received an added $65,000 to purchase three new vehicles. Two transport vans will be purchased, along with a perimeter vehicle, Galindo said.

New year fireworks OK says county fire marshal

Staff Writer
`Shoot `em up!

Tonight's the night for fireworks, and it's O.K. to shoot them in Reeves County, said Jack Brookshire, fire marshal.

Reeves County Commissioners had set a ban on fireworks or any type of fire in the county, due to the drought and tinder-dry brush. However, Brookshire lifted the ban about a month ago and gave the go-ahead for fireworks.

Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney cautioned that shooting fireworks inside the city limits is unlawful.

Lisa Rodriguez, who operates the U.S. Fireworks stand on South Cedar Street, said that Brookshire came by Wednesday to remove signs warning of the burn ban.

"He said that, as long as they have permission from the landowner, they can pop them anywhere in the county," Rodriguez said.

Martinez Field, located south of the county barn and 4-H animal pens, and the Northside Park on North Cedar are popular areas for shooting fireworks. Both are owned by the county.

Rodriguez, who with her husband, Danny, has operated the fireworks stand for 10 years, said she has a wide variety of fireworks, including some that are new this year.

On the shelves are aerials, fountains, novelties, firecrackers, bottle rockets, artillery shells and family packs, ranging in price from 8 cents on up.

"We will be open until midnight on New Year's Eve, and if we don't sell out, we will be here Friday packing up," Rodriguez said.

The Rodriguez family is the only one operating a fireworks stand this year. Their son, Rene, and his friend, Suzanne Williams, are helping out.

Council seeks bank loan

Staff Writer
Twelve employees of the Community Council of Reeves County are depending on a bank loan for their January and February paychecks.

In an emergency meeting Tuesday, the CCRC board voted to seek a loan to cover payroll until their $114,000 grant from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs comes through, said Julian Florez, board chairman.

"We have to turn in the budget in January, and we probably won't get the money until February," Florez said Wednesday. "We went to the bank this morning and they are supposed to let us know something this afternoon."

Florez said the council normally borrows to tide them over. The board should have handled the matter in their regular meeting Dec. 16, but it was not put on the agenda, he said.

Five Meals on Wheels employees, five full-time administrators and case workers and two part-time workers in Kermit and Monahans comprise the CCRC staff, since the council closed the day care center. They gave up Head Start last year.

Donation to aid youth

Reeves County Juvenile officer Hilda Woods received a pleasant surprise recently in the form of a donation.

"I was just really surprised when they called and told me about it," said Woods.

The donation came from the local Wal-Mart store in the amount of $446.

"They give a certain percentage of what they make on a certain day to a worthy local organization geared towards helping the youth," said Woods. "And this year, I was lucky enough to be the recipient," she said.

Every year, Wal-Mart chooses an organization in the community who is need of funds for their program and donates funds. Last year, Wal-Mart donated funds to the Toys for Tots Christmas project.

Woods stated that she plans to put the funds into a special account and has named her organization "Save Our Youth."

"I don't know exactly what we're going to do with it, but we certainly plan to use it wisely," she said.

Woods is one of the organizers of the annual Drug Free Rally and sponsors other youth-oriented events.

"During the drug rally they helped us out also in the form of items that we gave out, and they have also helped a lot of other organizations in town," Woods said.

"I'm very excited and appreciative about this and want to thank them for it," she said. "They had also donated a bike for the a raffle held for the swim team, so I know they care about the youth in the community," she said.


High Wednesday 66; low last night 38. Tonight, becoming cloudy. Low 40 45. South wind 10-20 mph. New Year's Day, mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of showers. High 60 65. Southwest to west wind 10-20 mph and gusty. Remainder of the new year's weekend, partly cloudy and colder. Lows in the 20s. Highs in the 40s.

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