Pecos Country History
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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
January 7, 1999
State sending tobacco deal check to RCH
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Reeves County Hospital's $279,963 share of the tobacco settlement is
on the way to the bank, said Carole Keeton Rylander, the new state comptroller.
That money is reimbursement for indigent care the hospital district
has expended in past years, said Jeannette Alligood, hospital board chairman.
It will be deposited in the general fund and used for hospital operations.
Rylander said in a press release that checks totaling $300 million are
in the mail to Texas cities, counties and hospital districts across the
state to help them recoup some of the costs of providing health care to
the indigent patients with tobacco related illnesses.
"The funds being distributed today amount to `found money' for Texas
cities, counties and hospital districts," Rylander said. "The money is
the result of a clause in the Texas tobacco settlement increasing payments
from the tobacco companies as a result of the `Most Favored Nation' provision."
Texas entities will receive just under $2.3 billion over the next five
years. The checks mailed out Wednesday are the first down payment, Rylander
said. That's in addition to the $15 billion amount negotiated by the State
of Texas with the tobacco industry, she said.
Recipients of the largest checks include health care providers in the
Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso and Austin areas.
Harris County Hospital District received nearly $50 million.
Area entities receiving checks are:
Andrews County, $253,224; Culberson County Hospital District, $60,171;
Jeff Davis County, $34,368; Loving County, $1,890; Pecos County, $259,176;
Big Bend Regional Hospital District (Alpine), $117,217; Ward County, $231,625;
and Winkler County, $152,344.
Construction to disable left-turn signals
By ROSIE FLORES
Motorists are being cautioned to be extra careful at intersections on
Oak and Third and Cedar streets over the next several weeks, because of
changes in traffic signals due to the city's sewer repair project.
"We're putting the loop detectors on recall while the city works on
their project along Third Street," said Larry Levario, Maintenance Section
Supervisor for the Texas Department of Transportation.
Levario said the "loop detectors" have already been put on recall beginning
today, even though the project won't start until Monday. "We want to warn
all motorists that there won't be a left-turn arrow at these intersections,
while the loop recall is on," he said.
The loop detectors are underneath the road and detects when a vehicle
is in the turning lane. "That's when the arrow comes on, the loop detects
the vehicle, but because of the construction that will start soon, we have
put them on recall," he explained.
The left-turn arrow will be out of commission the entire length of the
After the city has completed their project, TxDOT will begin their Third
Street project. "We're going to install curb and gutters and resurface
the highway," said Levario.
The project will run the length of Third Street, from the city limits
on the east side all the way to the Balmorhea Highway.
"When we do our project, we'll install new loops," said Levario.
"We just want to warn all motorists to be extra cautious at both these
intersections throughout the construction period," he said.
Van thief, RCDC escapees enter guilty pleas
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
A Pennsylvania couple who have been guests of area jails the past few
weeks have pleaded guilty in federal court to charges resulting from traveling
in a stolen vehicle.
James McCann, 21, of Reading, Pa., admitted possessing a van that was
stolen from Cape Hatteras National Seashore Park. His companion, Heather
McGuire, 18, pleaded guilty to aiding McCann, with the stipulation that
the value of the property was under $1,000.
McGuire faces a removal hearing to Pennsylvania to answer charges of
transporting in interstate commerce a stolen 1994 Ford Thunderbird and
the Chevrolet van they were driving when arrested in Texas.
Also pleading guilty before Senior Judge Lucius Bunton this week were
three of four inmates who escaped from the Reeves County Law Enforcement
Center Nov. 1, 1998. Mariano Flores-Benavides, Luis Catillo-Rodriguez and
Milton Alarcon admitted the escape, and related charges are to be dismissed
at sentencing March 1.
Others pleading guilty were:
* Angel Ramon Arenivas-Saldana, Mexico City, illegal entry after deportation;
* Reyes Reyna Jr., 30, Fort Hancock, possession with intent to distribute
* Robert Herrera Jr., possession with intent to distribute marijuana;
* Victor Solis-Torres, import marijuana;
* Guadalupe Ibarra Sandoval, 29, of Carlsbad, N.M., import marijuana;
* Juan Jose Padilla-Reyes, import and possess marijuana;
* Mark John Dubray, possess with intent to distribute marijuana;
* Juan Garcia-Aceves, import methamphetamine;
* Marco Octavio Ramirez, possess marijuana;
* Alvin Jay King, possess marijuana;
Heriberto Roque pleaded guilty to transporting illegal aliens, but told
Judge Bunton that he didn't know the people he picked up in Van Horn were
illegal aliens. Judge Bunton allowed Roque to withdraw his plea and set
trial for Feb. 1.
Three juries were selected for trials next week before Judge Sam Sparks
of Austin. Defendants are Stephanie Ann Carrasco, 32, of Amarillo, possession
with intent to distribute 91.84 pounds of marijuana on Nov. 2, 1998; Emma
Torres Sandoval, 35, of Carlsbad, N.M., possession with intent to distribute
143.8 pounds of marijuana on Nov. 8, 1998; and Mark Anthony Davis, 25,
of Macon, Ga., possession with intent to distribute 35.7 pounds of marijuana
on Oct. 17, 1998.
Judge Bunton sentenced Carla Ann Warren to 48 months in prison for possession
with intent to distribute marijuana and recommended counseling and psychological
Others sentenced were:
* Reynaldo Ramirez-Guzman, illegal re-entry after deportation, 41 months;
* Abelardo Flores-Balderama, possession of marijuana, 24 months;
* Carlos Samaniego-Sandarte, possession of marijuana, 37 months;
* Jose Luis Serna-Martinez, possession of marijuana, 24 months;
* Juan Jesus Vasquez-Rey, possession of cocaine, 48 months;
* Javier Reed-Soto, import marijuana, 18 months;
* Carlos Lorenzo-Renteria, possession of marijuana, 44 months and $3,000
* Enrique Vasquez, possession of marijuana, 24 months;
* Selene Gandara-Ramos, possession of marijuana, 20 months;
* Adrian Dominguez, possession of marijuana, 46 months.
Cedar Street water line breaks repaired
By ROSIE FLORES
Businesses on South Cedar Street had plenty of water by noon Wednesday,
after having done without for 18 hours due to a cut water line Tuesday
"Everything is running smoothly right now and we're hoping it will stay
that way," said Town of Pecos City Water Superintendent Octavio Garcia
about the problem that began Tuesday when employees with a contract construction
company laying out cable for GTE struck water lines running on the west
side of Cedar Street.
The lines were broken at least five times and employees with the Town
of Pecos City water and sewer department were out all night and into Wednesday
morning repairing them.
"They're fixing to cross some of our other water lines, but I've got
our employees digging for them," said Garcia. "I don't want them to damage
any more of our lines and to make sure they don't we're using our employees
in digging up the trench for them."
The cable-layers are currently working on the corner of Walthall and
Cedar streets and will be moving on down towards Interstate 20 laying out
Businesses on that street, including Quality Inn, Motel 6, Wal-Mart
and several gas stations had to do without water all night Tuesday and
early Wednesday morning.
"I feel bad that those people had to do without water, while we repaired
the water lines, but it was out of our control, the damage was done by
someone else," said Garcia.
He said city employees worked around the clock in fixing the problem
and tried to restore the water to the businesses as soon as possible.
"I apologize for them not having water, but I want them to know we worked
as fast as we could," he said.
Bush recognizes school boards
Governor George W. Bush has proclaimed January as School Board Recognition
Month and districts across the state will use this opportunity to bolster
understanding of the crucial role elected boards of education play in their
communities and schools.
"Education is our number one priority in Texas. It is the most important
thing we will ever do as a state, and we must get it right. Helping to
achieve this goal are the dedicated and hardworking members of more than
1,000 local school boards across the Lone Star State," he said.
"I encourage all Texans to recognize with appreciation the dedication
and diligence of school board members and to work together with teachers
and local school boards to help our children achieve their highest potential,"
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report
is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County
Sheriff's Office, 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.
Guillermo Gabaldon Jr. was arrested at 4:22 p.m., on December 29, in
the 300 block of South Cedar Street, on Capias Pro Fine warrants. He paid
the fines and was released.
Eusebio Lujan Tarin Jr. was arrested at 4:44 p.m., on December 29,
in the 900 block of Walthall Street, on a Capias Pro Fine warrant. He paid
the fine and was released.
Isela Matta, 34, was arrested at 3:42 a.m., on December 30, in the
700 block of Walthall Street, on Capias Pro Fine warrants. She paid the
fines and was released.
Jeanette Mendoza, 25, was arrested at 3:55 p.m., on December 31, at
the corner of Fifth and Houston streets in Balmorhea, on a warrant for
criminal trespass in a habitation. He was transported to Reeves County
Benjamin Valeriano, 18, was arrested at 9:28 p.m., on December 31,
at the Riverside Ballroom, on Capias Pro Fine warrants. He was transported
to Reeves County Jail.
Ysabel Lara, 40, was arrested at 1:17 a.m., on January 1, at 2130 Missouri
St., for simple assault under the Family Violence Act. He was transported
to Reeves County Jail.
Gerardo Navarette Gabaldon, 26, was arrested at 1:18 a.m., on January
1, in the 1200 block of east Second Street, for public intoxication. He
was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Manny Rayos, 39, was arrested on January 2, at 604 W. Third St., for
public intoxication. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Skyler Avery Bechtel, 19, and Jack Fuentes, 18, were arrested at 2:44
a.m., on January 3, in the 300 block of South Cedar Street, as minors in
possession. They were transported to Reeves County Jail.
Eric Lopez, 26, was arrested at 10:22 a.m., on January 3, in the 1900
block of Missouri Street, for assault under the Family Violence Act under
Class A. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Eluterio Perez, 32, was arrested at 12:42 p.m., on January 5, at the
corner of Eleventh and Oak streets, for driving without a license/having
a fictitious license plate. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Jacob Rodriguez, 18, was arrested at 2:31 p.m., on January 5, on Capias
Pro Fine warrants. He was transported to Reeves County Jail.
Jesus Madrid, 18, was arrested at 2:37 p.m., on January 5, at Pecos
Municipal Court, on Capias Pro Fine warrants for failing to attend school
and driving without a license. He paid the fines and was released.
Robert Smart, 38, was arrested at 7:07 p.m., on January 5, near Reeves
County Hospital, for public intoxication. He was transported to Reeves
Arnulfo Miranda Jr., 33, was arrested at 7:19 p.m., on January 5, in
the 500 block of Walnut Street, for public intoxication. He was transported
to Reeves County Jail.
Lester Solon Bankhead, 45, was arrested at 3:07 a.m., on January 7,
on U.S. 285, for driving while intoxicated. They were transported to Reeves
Services are incomplete for Felipe Delarosa Flores, 66, who died Jan. 6,
1999, at Reeves County Hospital.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Thurman "Jack" O'Neil Ephriam, 83, died Jan. 2, 1999 at the Veterans Hospital
Services are scheduled for 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 9, at the St. James
Baptist Church, 324 S. Peach, Pecos with superintendent, William Ephriam,
(nephew) of Colorado Springs, Colo. officiating.
He was born Oct. 16, 1915 in Egypt, Tx.
Survivors include four sons, Danny, Benny and Bobby Ephriam of Pecos,
Edward Lewis of Albuquerque, N.M.; one sister, Marjorie Horton of Pecos;
13 grandchildren, eight great-great grandchildren and a host of nieces
Bill Claire Funeral Home of Houston is in charge of arrangements.
High Wednesday 74; low last night 30. Tonight, fair. Low 35-40. West to
southwest wind 10-15 mph. Friday, partly cloudy and turning cooler. High
in the mid 60s. Wind becoming north 15-20 mph during the afternoon.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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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Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise