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Top Stories

Wednesday, December 8, 1999

Rail replacement to shut U.S. 285 crossing

Staff Writer
PECOS, Dec. 8, 1999 - Traffic along U.S. 285 through Pecos will be detoured next Tuesday, while Union Pacific work crews replace the railroad tracks at the Cedar Street crossing.

The track replacement is part of the current project Union Pacific is working on over a 30-mile stretch of track, from east of Barstow to Toyah. "They're installing high speed rail, and it takes time to install the long joints," said Larry Levario of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Levario said Union Pacific would be handling the traffic control and detours around the work area. Drivers headed north on U.S. 285 will either have to detour along Second Street to the west, and cross at Elm Street before returning to Cedar along `C' Street, or go east on Second to the Locust Street crossing, and from there back to Cedar along `A' Street.

Southbound traffic would have to turn off Cedar either at `A' or `C' streets to get around the track work.

Crews closed the FM 516 cross at Barstow two weeks ago, and other crossings in Pecos will also be closed over the next several days while new high speed rails are put in place.

Ferguson sentences three for smuggling

PECOS, Dec. 8, 1999 - Concurrent sentences were handed down on three men during Tuesday's federal court session by U.S. District Judge Royal Ferguson.

Ferguson sentences Alfredo Tejada-Ornelas to 51 months in prison on counts of possession of marijuana over 50 kilograms and under 100 kg. A jury convicted tejada-Ornelas on Oct. 4 of attempting to smuggle the marijuana in truck-tractor tires through the Presidio border crossing on June 10, 1999. It was recommended he serve the concurrent sentences at the federal correctional institution in Big Spring.

Incarceration in Big Spring was also recommended for Jesus Ortiz-Ortiz, who pled guilty on Oct. 13 to counts of importation of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute and was sentenced to 15 months in prison by Judge Ferguson. Ortiz-Ortiz and a second suspect were stopped at the Presidio checkpoint on March 27, where customs officials found 27.3 kilograms of marijuana in their vehicle's tires.

Isaias Govez-Florez received concurrent six-month terms from Judge Ferguson, after being found guilty by a jury on Oct. 6 of two counts of transporting illegal aliens into the United States on July 2. It was recommended Govez-Florez be sent to the federal prison in Seagoville to serve out his term.

School board to study Jr. high consolidation

PECOS, Dec. 8, 1999 - Design documents for consolidation of seventh and eighth grade campuses, along with Monte Hunter's report on input from Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD personnel concerning consolidation of the campuses will be the topic of discussion at the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board meeting scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday.

The group will meet in the boardroom, 1304 S. Park St., and the public is invited to attend.

The school board wants to consolidate both grades at Crockett Middle School, while moving sixth grade classes currently at Lamar Middle School to the seventh grade campus at Zavala. In conjunction, board members will discuss and approve solicitation of competitive sealed proposals for middle school lab and physical education additions to Crockett Middle School.

In other business, board members will discuss and approve a letter to parents concerning implementation of uniforms; discuss and take possible action on Level III grievance of Brenilda Bauer and hold a public hearing on AEIS report/School Report Card for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD.

The group will discuss and approve audit for 1998-1999; Xerox copier contracts; Crisis Management Plan; renting up to 10 classrooms to Odessa College for spring 2000 semester; elementary/secondary administrators' evaluation document or amend current evaluation document and budget amendments.

Other items for discussion and approval include:

· Y2K report.

· Professional personnel: resignations, assignments, reassignments, change of contract.

· Community Recreation Department report.

· Tax report.

· Depository securities report.

· Cafeteria report.

· Commodities received report.

· Current bills and financial reports.

· Investment transaction report.

· Reconciled bank statement report.

· Date and time next regular meeting

· Calendar of events

· Request for items for next agenda.

Board members will meet in closed session to discuss personnel and hear complaints of personnel; private consultation with the board's attorney and discuss extending superintendent's contract.

Council to vote on closing alley for Post Office

PECOS, Dec. 8, 1999 - Town of Pecos City County members will have the second reading of an ordinance to close the alley between Lots 1 and 2, Blocks 23 and 24, College Addition, Town of Pecos, where the new U.S. Post Office will be located, at their regular meeting scheduled for 7:30 a.m., Thursday.

The Postal Service announced this summer it planned to built a new facility in the 800 block of South Cedar Street. The new site would cover the full block, allowing more public parking than is available at the current 63-year-old building at Fourth and Oak streets. The resolution would close off the alley between Cedar and Ash streets, and construction of the post office is scheduled to begin early next year.

Council members will also discuss and consider contingency drought ordinance; 2000 Census; setting next council meeting date and setting Christmas and New Year's holidays for city employees.

The council will consider employee recognition and items to be placed on the next agenda.

The group will meet in closed session to discuss/consider purchase, exchange of and/or lease of real property-Rifle Range and additional sections in South Worsham for water field; possible litigation with Reeves County over the Reeves County Detention Center Water Rate case and evaluation of city employees, including the fire chief and the city secretary.

The items will be discussed in Open Session in the council chambers at City Hall.

Tarin files to retain Precinct 3 seat

PECOS, Dec. 8, 1999 - One of two Reeves County Commissioner up for re-election next year has filed to retain his seat on the commissioners court in next March's Democratic primary.

Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 3 Herman Tarin has filed his treasurer's designation with Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez and filed his candidate petition Monday with Democratic Chairman Bobby Dean.

Tarin is seeking his third term on the court and hopes to continue in that capacity. "One of my main goals is to provide the best services for our citizens," said Tarin.

He said he represents everyone equally with respect and integrity.

"I would also like in the future to try to establish a good relationship, better than what we have, with the other entities to work towards the better of our community," said Tarin. "I believe that Reeves County can move forward with the dedicated commissioners court and the future looks good for Reeves County."

Tarin stated that he would like to thank everyone for giving him the opportunity to serve as Reeves County Commissioner for the last seven years.

"One of the most important responsibilities I was given when I became a commissioner in 1993 was serving on the Reeves County Detention center expansion committee," said Tarin. "We began our plans to expand the prison immediately and the first expansion was completed in 1995."

Tarin stated that Reeves County will have increased the number of jobs at the prison from 130 when he began serving, to 411 by the end of the year 2000. "Gross revenue projections will have increased from $6 million when I began serving to $32 million dollars a year when the expansion is complete," he said.

"Even though we have had great success at the prison, our local economy has been struggling," said Tarin. "We have done our best to help by cutting our budget and lowering property taxes three years in a row."

Some of the achievements commissioner Tarin has worked to bring about include the expansion of the prison, lowering property taxes in 1996, 1997 and 1998, the creation of a recreation program for Pecos and Balmorhea, and most recently Tarin secured $150,000 in funding to build a community center in Balmorhea.

During the time Tarin has served as commissioner, the court has been successful in opposing environmental threats to the community like sludge and hazardous waste dumping in Reeves County, according to Tarin.

"I believe we can make Reeves County a better place to live and raise a family," said Tarin.

If re-elected, Tarin said, "I would like to help the prison continue to grow and make sure that the recreation programs we have already started in Pecos and Balmorhea are completed.

"I would like to begin construction on the community center in Balmorhea as soon as a site is selected," he said.

Tarin resides in Balmorhea, where he has lived for the past 31 years, with his wife, Diana and their five children, Cynthia, 27, Kimberly, 21, Duane 16, Aaron, 14 and James, 12.

Men's basketball league being set up

PECOS, Dec. 8, 1999 - The Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department is forming a men's basketball league, which will begin play early next year.

Registration forms can be picked up at the RCCRD office in the old Pecos High School gym weekdays between 5 and 9 p.m. Registration will continue through January 7, 2000.

For further information, call the recreation department at 447-9776.


AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Tuesday night: Winning numbers drawn: 39-05-27-16-24. Number matching five of five: 1. Prize per winner: $78,650. Winning ticket(s) sold in: San Antonio. Matching four of five: 214. Prize: $552.


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 3-0-4 (three, zero, four)


James Exum

Services are incomplete for James B. Exum, 80, of Ruidoso, N.M., who died Tuesday, Dec. 7 in Lubbock.

Exum had been a longtime Pecos resident.

LaGrone Funeral Home in Ruidoso, N.M., is in charge of arrangements.


High Tuesday 76. Low this morning 30. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear and breezy. Low near 30. West wind 15-25 mph and gusty: Becoming northwest and decreasing to 10-20 mph. Thursday: Sunny and cooler. High 50-55. North wind 10-20 mph. Thursday night: Clear and cold. Low in the mid 20s.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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