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Thursday, November 4, 1999

RCDC officials say construction is under budget

Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 4, 1999 - Construction on the $40 million expansion of the Reeves County Detention Center is on schedule, and the project is under budget, officials said on Thursday.

"Everything is just going fabulously," said RCDC Warden Rudy Franco about the 1,000-bed addition, which is due to be completed by Sept. 1 next year.

Franco said different phases of construction have been going on, since Reeves County Commissioners approved the project earlier this year.

Banes General Contractors have been hiring different skilled individuals to help with the project, according to Franco.

"There are a lot of local individuals working out here in different areas, such as concrete laying and plumbing," Franco said.

"About 70 percent of the workers out here are local," said Silver Talavera, vice president of Banes General Contractors of El Paso.

"We have found some excellent quality of employees," said Pat Gunning, project foreman. "I wish I had more of them," he said.

"The project is going really, really well," Talavera added.

About 75 to 100 local residents are working at the facility on different parts of the project. "We're just very pleased with the quality of help we have found locally," said Talavera.

The detention center first opened in 1986 and held fewer than 500 prisoners in the early 1990s, before two stages of expansion raised the capacity to 1,000 inmates. The latest stage of construction will double that total.

"The project is going really well, and under budget," said Franco. "This is the second biggest operation under one fence associated with the Bureau of Prisons."

Currently there are 258 employees at the RCDC and upon completion there will be 411, according to Franco.

"We're very fortunate to be able to expand this facility and provide additional services to the Bureau of Prisons," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "At this point everything is on schedule and under budget and we're looking forward to staying in that condition for the next year."

Galindo said that this was also in part due to the team effort with the employees at the Reeves County Detention Center. "We're glad everything has gone real well," he said.

Galindo said once completed, the prison will bring in an estimated $26 to $30 million to the community annually.

Border Patrol agents find 1¼ tons of cocaine

U.S. Border Patrol agents made one of the area's largest cocaine seizures in recent years, when they discovered over 1¼ tons of cocaine in a tractor-trailer rig at the Sierra Blanca checkpoint on Interstate 10 Tuesday.

According to a press release from the Marfa Section Border Patrol headquarters, the truck was searched at the checkpoint, located 125 miles southwest of Pecos, after agents became suspicious of the driver, a naturalized United States citizen, and a K-9 unit was utilized to perform a secondary inspection of the truck and trailer.

The drug-sniffing dog alerted agents to the trailer section, and upon further inspection, 2,620 pounds of cocaine was found hidden in boxes mixed in with a cargo of produce.

The driver, who was not identified, along with the cocaine and the truck and trailer were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration in El Paso for prosecution in federal court there. According to the Border Patrol, the cocaine seized had a value in excess of $83 million.

The seizure is the second largest this decade involving a truck traveling through the area. Pecos police stopped a Chicago-bound truck-tractor in July of 1993 and discovered over 3½ tons of cocaine hidden inside. Agents in the El Paso area have made larger cocaine seizures in recent years, though they have involved drugs stored in buildings in El Paso.

Marijuana, stolen school item found  in raid

PECOS, Nov. 4, 1999 - An undetermined amount of marijuana, along with an item believed to have been stolen from the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school district, were found during a narcotics search conducted by the Pecos Police Department and the Reeves County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday.

Officers executed the search warrant at about 6:45 p.m., Wednesday, at 904 E. Eighth St.

"Once all subjects inside and outside the residence we proceeded to search the residence," said Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler.

During the search of one of the bedrooms, an undetermined quantity of a substance believed to be marijuana was found, according to Deishler, along with bags that are commonly used in the packaging of marijuana.

"We also found within the bedroom paraphernalia commonly used in the smoking of marijuana," said Deishler. Other paraphernalia was also found, according to the police report.

During the search of the premises, officers also recovered a wireless microphone, which they believe had been taken from a P-B-T ISD building. "It was found hidden in one of the bedrooms," said Deishler.

All evidence found was taken in as evidence and released to Investigator Olga Lopez.

No arrests have been made as of yet though marijuana and possession of stolen property charges are pending at this time, according to Deishler.

Terlingua hosting chili cookoff this weekend

The 33rd Annual Original Terlingua International, Frank X. Tolbert _ Wick Fowler Memorial, Championship Chili Cookoff will be held this Friday and Saturday in Terlingua.

Activities planned include the barbecue cookoff, bean and pea cookoffs, golf shoot-out and many more events that will be held throughout the weekend, which attracts cooks from across the nation to the small tourist town on the edge of Big Bend National Park, 180 miles south of Pecos.

Along with the different activities, music will also be a part of the weekend's events.

The Chili Cookoff began with "The Great Chili Confrontation of 1967." The first one was held on Oct. 21 of that year, and as the result of disputes between various groups involved with the event over the years, there are now two chili championships in Terlingua each year, along with a world championship in Las Vegas, Nev.

It was H. Allen Smith versus Wick Fowler in the original confrontation in 1967.

Smith, a northerner, was an author and self-proclaimed chili expert, while Fowler was a legendary Texas chili cook who marketed his own brand of chili fixings.

Smith, accompanied by Hallie Stillwell, had come to Terlingua from Alpine. Stillwell was a longtime Brewster County Rancher and Justice of the Peace in Alpine.

Smith participated twice more after the first confrontation in Terlingua, but never won the chili prize. But through his writing, both before and after the cookoff, he contributed as much to the lore of chili as anyone.

For several more years, the cookoff continued in the Terlingua ghost town. But in 1974 Carroll Shelby registered the name "World Championship Chili Cookoff" and announced it would be held in California. The international championship cookoffs continued at Terlingua, even though Shelby was having an event out west. Today, Shelby's ICS (International Chili Society) holds its event in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The granddaddy of all chili cookoffs, the international chili event, is still held in Terlingua though for the past 16 years, the number of cookoffs increased from one to two each year.

As chilidom grew, the competitors began to disagree over ways and means, and rules and regulations, and by 1983, Dallas Morning News writer and Texas historian Francis X. Tolbert applied for federal trademark registration of the Chili Appreciation Society International as a service mark. That was also the first year there were two international chili cookoffs.

Pharmacy to offer info about diabetes

PECOS, Nov. 4, 1999 - Diabetic care doesn't have to be tedious and frustrating, with one local pharmacy taking steps towards making diabetic care an easier way to live.

"There are 16 million diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. costing $90 billion a year, that's one of seven health care dollars," said Landa Rediger of Rediger's Pharmacy.

Complications from diabetes can affect the eyes, kidneys, nerves, or increase the risk for heart disease, strokes and amputations, Rediger said, and the pharmacy at Eighth and Eddy streets has positioned itself to provide for diabetic needs.

"We have expanded our diabetic shop to be the largest in West Texas," said Rediger. "For the technical needs of the diabetic, we have a large variety of supplies, some of which are unusual and hard to find items."

Rediger's Pharmacy will have special sessions on Friday and Saturday to show their wide array of diabetic supplies and information. Available will be free diabetes screening, free meters with strip purchase, free diabetic food samples, free quarterly newsletter, free nurse consultation and complete product training.

Rediger's also carries an extensive supply of cookies, candies and other food items. "We also provide free educational materials to help the diabetic with diet plans and to understand the disease and it's complications," said Rediger.

Rediger's Pharmacy has added a Diabetic Counseling Room. "This will provide the privacy to discuss all phases of diabetes," said Rediger.

Diabetes is a disease that is complicated and the diabetic will experience changes, according to Rediger.

John T. Rediger, pharmacist, has had extensive training and is specializing in diabetes. "Diabetics are taking advantage of his knowledge and they are coming in for counseling regularly," said Rediger.

This year, he had over 130 hours of continued education in diabetes and last year, he had 139. "He's very meticulous about it," said Rediger.

"John works closely with the doctors and with the patients," said Rediger. "The better the control, the less chance for complications over a period of time," she said.

At Rediger's Diabetes Shoppe offers cholesterol checks, along with HB AIC blood pressure and blood sugar checks. "We can put you data in the computer and print or fax the results to your doctor," said Rediger.

Rediger will bill Medicare and Medicaid for diabetic supplies and inhalation therapy (which includes breathing machine with medications put into the nebulizer).

"Working closely with the doctors makes it easier on the patient, also," Rediger said. "Rediger's Pharmacy Shoppe, is your partner in diabetes care," she said.

About 70 percent of the population in West Texas is Hispanic and out of those many are diabetic, according to Rediger.

Glucometers, lens sets and test strips are also available, according to Rediger.

"Gift baskets during the holidays for diabetics are also available," she said.

The baskets contain an assortment of diabetic "goodies" for the recipient. "We also have a special lotion for diabetics, that seals in moisture, along with some special socks that provide comfort for the diabetic," she said.

Everyone is encouraged to drop by the pharmacy either Friday or Saturday. "We're here everyday, so if they can't make it on those days, they can come in and visit with us some other time," Rediger said.


AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Wednesday night: Winning numbers drawn: 3-20-22-40-43-45. Estimated jackpot: $10 million. Number matching six of six: 0. Matching five of six: 66. Prize: $2,062. Matching four of six: 4,244. Prize: $115.


AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Wednesday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 9-8-8 (nine, eight, eight)


PECOS, Nov. 4, 1999 - High Wednesday 83. Low this morning 44. Forecast for tonight: Fair. Low around 40. Southwest wind 5-15 mph. .Friday: Mostly sunny. High in the mid 80s. South wind 10-20 mph. Friday night: Fair. Low around 40.

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Pecos Enterprise
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