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Tuesday, July 13, 1999

County OKs victims assistance program

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 13, 1999 -- Crime victims will receive assistance through a grant program available through the district attorney, Reeves County Commissioners were told on Monday.

District Attorney Randy Reynolds was on hand at the regular county commissioners meeting to outline his proposal.

"I had come to the court to ask permission back in the spring to apply for this grant, for victim's assistance," said Reynolds, who said there is a great need for a victims assistance program in the area and that funds are currently available through the federal government.

"We don't have the mass personnel to assist the victims," said Reynolds, while his proposal included hiring an individual to handle the situations.

"This person will work directly with the victims. There's so much help available to the offenders, but what about the victims?" he said. "They might need help with a babysitter, a ride, legal advice, loss of job and other things."

"We haven't really concentrated on that in our office, we don't actively go to the victim and they're afraid to go out and ask for help, but we want to change that," said Reynolds.

He told the court about a murder trial that was held in Reeves County recently. "The victim's family were from Washington state and they didn't know anybody here," said Reynolds.

"I have asked for a grant to hire a full-time person to handle all this, provide compassionate services and help them through the legal process," said Reynolds. "That person actually already started working today, with the court's permission of course."

Reynolds said that the person hired, Cynthia Quintana has worked for an attorney before and is very knowledgeable.

"She'll be located in Reeves County, in my office, but will travel to Ward county when necessary," he said.

The employee will also be a liaison with other law enforcement agencies.

"She'll be the first one to look at the cases and look at the victims," said Reynolds. "She'll take it from there and find out what the victim's need."

The complete grant package was for $36,000 and will require matching funds. The program can go on with the current grant for about two years.

"The first match will be for $4,293," said Reynolds.

In conjunction Reeves County Commissioners approved the transfer of general funds to the criminal justice victim assistance grant fund.

"We really needed this in the area," said Reynolds.

In other business, commissioners approved the transfer of general funds to the criminal juvenile accountability grant fund and property and casualty self insurance agreement.

Reeves County Detention Center issues discussed and approved included Transit Mix Concrete and Materials Company plant location be put on the grounds of the facility. Banes General Contractors Request for payment #3 for the RCDC 1,000 bed addition project was also approved, along with the geotechnical professional engineering services contract.

"We'll be compensated for allowing them to have their plant at the location," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

Geotechnical professional services contract was awarded to Trinity Engineering Testing Services of Odessa. "This came as a recommendation from Miss (Lorraine) Dailey," said Galindo. Dailey is the current architect in charge of the project. Dailey, Rabke and Gondeck also worked on the original plans at the RCDC.

"She will negotiate the terms of the contract and bring them before the court at the next meeting," said Galindo.

The county judge also told the court about the Census 2000 Resolution. "The guide lays out the things that will need to be done from now until March 2000," he said.

"The court will need to appoint a liaison to work with this group and in essence, we will be working together," he said. "This is to make sure that everyone in Reeves County is accounted for."

"I think it's very important to get everyone involved in the community, because this is how grant money is allotted," said Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin. "Through the census they determine grants and other help for the community, in other areas."

Commissioners approved concession stand contract bid specifications for the Reeves County Golf Course, but tabled the county greenskeeper-maintenance director job description until the next meeting.

Three computers with specifications for the county's Justices of the Peace were approved in the amount of $13,400. County auditor Lynn Owens suggested purchasing the hardware from another provider. "We've been purchasing our computers from Apollo, but we can look at other vendors for the hardware," said Owens.

He said the JP's computers are so old and outdated that there is a great need for new ones. "It's just time for us to start doing something about this," he said.

New hires at the Reeves County Detention Center included several Correctional Officer 1 positions at the starting pay of $19,000 per year. New hires are Jennifer Cook, Shane Dominguez, Frank Garcia, Arturo Hinojos, Omar Hinojos, Charles Howard, Jimmy Leonard, Edmundo Lozano, Andres Machuca, Maria Madrid, Frank Mendoza, Brandon Northcutt, Rachel Orona, Hector Rodriguez, Brenda Pando, Francisco Ramirez and Vicky Renteria.

Promotions at the facility were Susie Maldonado, promoted to the position of Commissary Manager at $23,000; Mariano Rico promoted to the position of Maintenance Supervisor at $28,500 per year and Christopher O. Rodriguez to the position of Food Service Foreman II at $21,000 per year.

In the Road and Bridges Department, Billy Rodriguez will be working as a part-time employee at an hourly rate of $6 per hour.

Red Bluff deals with water `surplus'

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 13, 1999 -- Here's a problem the Red Bluff Water Power Control District board hasn't had to deal with lately too much water in the Pecos River.

Actually, the problem was how much or even whether to charge downstream water districts for the extra water generated by recent heavy rains in northern Reeves and Loving counties.

Even before this past weekend's rains caused flash flooding problems in the Red Bluff Lake area, the June water report showed the lake's level was up nearly 17,500 acre/feet from the end of May, despite the release 3,500 acre/feet of water during the month.

Water that enters the Pecos River from Screwbean Draw on south is not collected in the lake, and flows through the seven water districts along the river south of Red Bluff, until it reaches the Imperial Reservoir. It was the extra water which board member Manuel Lujan said farmers in the Barstow area were asking him about.

"Say you're sending 100 (feet of water a second) in to get 50 (feet to farmers downstream). Why can't we just take the floodwater from the river?" Lujan asked Red Bluff General Manager Jim Ed Miller, who said it would be unfair to be sending some districts water for a fee while others could collect the excess flood water for free.

"It's a difficult deal," Miller said. "I feel like the only way we can do it if for (the districts) to stop delivery, then I can declare it free water."

Board member Lloyd Goodrich suggested putting in a flood stage gauge on the Pecos River at the State Highway 302 bridge at Mentone and to charge by percentage of flood water in the river. But Miller said that would still be unfair.

"I don't know how we can be charging them (farmers in the Grandfalls area) and let them upstream have free water," Miller said. "When we're releasing out of the lake it's charged and when we're not it's free water. That's the way it's been ever since I've been here."

Because water released from Red Bluff can take over a week to arrive at farms in the Grandfalls-Imperial area, Miller said there was no way to easily adjust for sudden flash floods that fill up the Pecos River.

"Our ditch rider went up to Mentone, and it's full up there," Lujan said, while board member Jay Lee pointed out that the flood waters that come down the river can still be held in the Imperial Reservoir and used by farmers in that area later.

"For every acre (of water) there they have, that's two up there (at Red Bluff) they don't have to use," Lee said.

On the subject of measuring water, the board also discussed replacing a weir in Pecos Water Improvement District No. 3, which was giving inaccurate readings.

"The measuring station little house is sinking," Lee said. "I know we can't get anything done this year, but next year we need to get something done."

Miller said the district would be given credit for the faulty readings, though no final action was taken on replacing the weir and the building.

At the same time, the board also discussed whether or not to offer Reeves County Water Improvement District No. 2 help in moving their weir downstream and replacing its leaky canal system with a pipeline to farms north of Pecos.

"If they have the money they can fund it themselves," board president Randall Hartman said of moving the weir's location.

As for the pipeline, the board was told it could potentially eliminate 15 miles of canals in the district.

"We need to get them to figure out how much it costs and bring us a figure," Miller said, while Hartman added, "If it would be a benefit to one district, it would benefit all of us."

During general discussions, Lujan said he was getting conflicting reports on the permit status for Loving Salt Company's reclamation ponds. Albert Wagner has contracted with Red Bluff to divert salt spring water from the Pecos River to the man-made ponds, and would mine the salt after the water evaporates.

"Mr. Wagner does not have the permits yet," Hartman said. "That's the last word he told us."

Board members also discussed, but took no action, on a salary increase for employee Tommy Mosley, and on a request by Joe Bailey of Tramco Oil Co. of Houston to set up a drilling rig on the upper east shore of the lake.

Miller and other board members had concerns that the rig would be built below the maximum high water level of the lake, and wanted to make sure no heavy equipment would be taken over Red Bluff Dam. "They'll either have to build a platform or a pad," for the rig, Goodrich said, while Miller pointed out that "We've had some other wells up there at times that have been under water.

Tramco offered $5,500 for the permit for the 6,500-foot deep well. Lujan said the board should hold out for $8,000.

Accounts payable and cash disbursements for June were approved by the board during the early portion of the meeting.

State changing vehicle registration laws

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 13, 1999 -- Changes in motor vehicle registration laws may cause some consternation come September 1, but owners have one consolation: finding forms for a transaction is a snap. Or a click.

Fire up the computer, turn on the browser and type in to find applications for certificate of title, certified copy of original title, disabled person placards or license plates, and personalized license plates.

Those same forms and more are also available by fax from the toll-free number 1-888-232-7033. And of course at the county tax office.

Consternation may come when new Texas residents find they have to pay $90 "new resident tax" to register their vehicle. The tax is now $15, said David Jasso, regional office manager for the Texas Department of Transportation.

Jasso, a Pecos native, was in his hometown this morning to explain the changes in state law to employees of the Reeves County tax office.

Disabled drivers will have a longer walk to the grocery store after September 1, Jasso said.

"If you are mobility impaired, you park close in. If you are disabled but not mobility impaired, you will have to park farther away," Jasso said.

Changes will also have to be made in handicap parking designations and signs, Jasso said.

The familiar blue color on handicap parking spaces and signs will be changed. Jasso said he does not know yet what the new color will be.

Placards designating a disabled driver or passenger in a vehicle will also be changed, Jasso said.

One positive change is that disabled veterans will not be required to obtain a placard in addition to their VA tags.

Every vehicle owner will pay at least a dollar more at annual registration time to pay for the new registration and title system, Jasso said.

Forms posted on the TxDOT web site and available by fax will be updated when the changes take effect in September.

`Neighbor' linked to  burglaries

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 13, 1999 -- A burglary was solved within a 16-hour period over the weekend and the suspect is still at the Reeves County Jail on two bonds totalling $35,000.

Jose Romo, 20, of Pecos, was arrested on burglary charges Saturday, Pecos police said Monday.

Two burglaries had been reported to the police department early Saturday morning. One burglary was reported by Cattleman's Restaurant, where money and property was taken. The second burglary was reported by the First United Methodist Church on the other side of West Third Street.

"No property was removed in this burglary," said police investigator Paul Deishler.

At the restaurant burglary, police said Romo allegedly broke out the glass on the front building and he gained entry to the building. Entry into the church was gained by breaking out a window and Romo allegedly climbed through the window to gain entry.

Officer Oscar Machuca began questioning residents surrounding the area where the burglaries had occurred as part of his investigation.

"While he was at Romo's residence he observed property which fit the description of the property taken from Cattleman's," said Deishler.

Romo was then brought to the police station for questioning by Deishler and Police Chief Clay McKinney. Romo provided a confession to chief McKinney in reference to the Cattleman's burglary and later he gave a confession to investigator Deishler in reference to the church burglary.

Also assisting with the investigation were Sgt. Tony Dawdy and officer Kenneth Roberts with the Pecos Police Department.

"It is unknown at this time the amount of property damage done by Romo while gaining entry into the buildings," said Deishler.

Romo is currently in the Reeves County Jail, charged with misdemeanor burglary of a building and theft. Bond on the burglary charge has been set at $20,000 and bond for the theft charge is set at $15,000, for theft over $1,500 and under $20,000.

GTE expands local calling for Balmorhea

Staff Writer

BALMORHEA, July 13, 1999 -- Balmorhea residents will be able to call Alpine, Fort Davis and Toyah next week without paying a toll, and calls from those cities to Balmorhea will also be local calls.

GTE will extend local calling for all customers in the Balmorhea telephone service area beginning July 22.

"Prior to the start of extended local calling, each call between these areas was billed separately as a long-distance call, and customers would see a long-distance charge per call on their monthly bills. Now these calls are equivalent to local calls," said Joe Thornton, area manager - customer operations, Mesa district.

The implementation of this service may require modification to some telecommunications equipment such as fax machines speed calling, PABXs, key system, automatic dialers and other equipment that may restrict or automatically dial long-distance numbers.

Customers are not required to take any action to use the new service. Once extended calling is operational, it will no longer be necessary for customers to dial "1+" before the number when placing calls between these communities, Thornton said.

"Just dial the seven-digit phone number for local and ELC calls," said.

Balmorhea voters approved extended local calling by ballot, under the rules of Senate Bill 632 and the Public Utility Commission Rule 23.49 (c) that allows certain communities to petition for extended toll-free local calling to nearby communities.

A previous ballot brought expanded local calling to Pecos. With the addition of Alpine, Fort Davis and Toyah, residence line charges will remain $3.50 per month, while a business will pay $7.

The charges will be listed as "EXPANDED LOCAL CALLING/SURCHARGE" in the tax portion of the telephone bill. More information will be provided to affected customers in their monthly telephone bill as the service becomes operational.


AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Monday night:

Winning numbers drawn: 1-8-20-21-29. Number matching five of five: 3. Prize per winner: $27,504. Winning tickets sold in: Houston, South Houston, Westworth Village. Matching four of five: 246. Prize: $503.


AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery, in order:

8-5-5 (eight, five, five)


Amador Martinez

Amador Martinez, 70, died Monday, July 12, 1999, at the Pecos Nursing Home.

A rosary is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 15, at Martinez Funeral Home Chapel.

Mass will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, July 16, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery.

He was born April 30, 1929, in Pecos, was a retired yard worker, had lived in Pecos all his life and was a Catholic.

Survivors include one sister, Anita Rayos of Los Angeles, Calif.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Polly Callison

Polly Callison, 72, of San Angelo and formerly of Pecos, died Monday, July 12, 1999, in San Angelo.

Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Fairmount Cemetery in San Angelo, officiated by Milton Langston, associate pastor of Southgate Church of Christ. Johnson's Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Callison was born Oct. 18, 1926 in Porum, Okla. She was a retired office manager for Community Public Service Co. in Pecos.

Survivors include her husband, Hursel C. Callison of San Angelo; one daughter, Linda Peters of Mertzon; four sons, Hursel David Callison of Rocksprings, Geary Dale Callison of San Angelo, Alan Dwayne Callison of Midland and Mark Wayne Callison of Whitney; 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


PECOS, July 13, 1999 -- High Monday 88; low last night 69. Tonight, partly cloudy. Low in the mid 60s. South to southeast
wind 5-10 mph. Wednesday, partly cloudy and breezy. High in the lower 90s. South wind 15-25

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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