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Monday, August 19, 1996

RCDC guard undertakes riot training in Vermont

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Staff Writer

A Reeves County Detention Center correctional officer underwent "intense
training," 2,000 miles away from Pecos, as part of the center's ongoing
practice for emergency situations.

Tommy Valdez, Jr. is the first RCDC officer to attend the Emergency Riot
Training course, held in Bennington, Vt.

Thomas Archambault was the instructor for the special course. He is an
instructor for the FBI and other correctional facilities, and was in
Pecos working with about 60 of the RCDC's guards in late June.

There are about forty something individuals certified in disturbance
control and 10 certified in chemical munitions.

Valdez is the first individual to undergo cell extraction training,
which is what this training specialized in munitions.

"There were about 12 of us there this time," said Valdez of the
Bennington course.

"It was not only physical, it was mental as well, there were a lot of
things that we had to remember," Valdez said of the week-long session.

The first two days were a little bit mellow, but it got really intense
after that, according to Valdez.

He was chosen as the one from the RCDC facility to attend training by
Archambault himself.

"He was here and he's the one that decided which officer should attend
this school," said Valdez, who is now certified to teach other RCDC
employees and instruct them in riot control.

"This is all part of a team effort," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B.

Everything that has to do with a riot and how to control it was
discussed during the week-long training period, according to Valdez.

"We also were tested on everything they taught us," said Valdez.

"I'll be teaching about 10 or 12 of our top people first and eventually
everybody will get a course on this," he said.

Some of the items covered included defense tactics, cell extractions,
what to do in volatile situations and what not to do, how much force to
use and when to use it.

"They also taught us how to deal with going to court in such
situations," said Valdez. "What they'll be asking us if we ever have to
go to court, how much lateral force to use."

Valdez displayed the special "outfit" made especially for riot
situations, which have occurred several times during the facility's
10-year history.

The outfit consists of gas mask, helmet, elbow and knee pads and several
other accessories vital in this type situation.

All guards are to be equipped with the gear. "Right now we have about 15
of these, but will eventually get more," said Warden Joe Trujillo.

Two other employees will be headed to Dallas for different training, the
warden said. Officers Larry Rodriguez and Ismael Mendoza are the two
that will be attending the Disturbance Control training in November.

Accidents leave four hurt, one jailed

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Staff Writer

An Andrews man was still in Reeves County Jail on a felony DWI charge
and traffic violations as of noon today, after rear-ending a truck
tractor Saturday night.

Pecos police said Alvaro Armendariz, 42, was driving a 1992 Oldsmobile
Achieva southbound on U.S. 285, when he ran into the back of a
semi-trailer, hauled by a 1995 Freightliner, driven by 40-year-old Susan
Diane Griffin, of Bakersfield, Calif., at the corner of Pinehurst and
U.S. 285.

Witnesses told investigating Patrolman Chuck Sutlive that Armendariz was
kicking up so much dust with his vehicle that he could not be seen. He
was traveling at a rate of some 65 or 70 miles per hour, witnesses told

Griffin told officers that she did not see Armendariz approaching as she
turned onto the Interstate 20 overpass from Pinehurst.

Minor damage was sustained by the tire and rim of the semi-trailer,
while Armendariz's vehicle had extensive damage to the right, front side
of the vehicle.

Griffin was towing a 1986, white Fruehauf semi-trailer and the
aforementioned 1985, white trail mobile semi-trailer, both belonging to
GI Trucking of La Mirada, Calif.

The 18-wheeler belonged to Kennedy Simmons and Company, Inc. of
Trussville, Ala.

Armendariz was treated at the scene and charged with Felony DWI by
refusal to submit to breathalizer, no driver's license and traveling at
an unsafe speed.

Armendariz was issued a $5,000 bond for the DWI charge, $200 for unsafe
speed and a $135 fine for the citation issued for not having a driver's

Officials were called out to a second accident this morning about 10:20
a.m., in which Jason McClelland, 20, of Midland, was transported by
private vehicle to Reeves County Hospital from a one-vehicle rollover.

Investigating Department of Public Safety Trooper John Henley stated
that McClelland fell asleep at the wheel while westbound near mile
marker 45 on I-20, ran off the roadway to the right and overcorrected,
running into the median and rolling over _ times.

The late model, GMC pickup came to rest in the eastbound lane, facing

McClelland was driving with a convoy of company trucks belonging to
Reese Albert Inc., a construction company out of San Angelo.

Following an accident Friday morning, 10-year-old Judy Quezada and
6-year-old Ricky Quezada were treated and released from Reeves County
Hospital for injuries incurred during a two-vehicle collision in the 800
block of Daggett Street.

Adrian S. Casias, 19, of Saragosa was southbound on Eddy Street in a
1992 Plymouth Sundance, when he attempted to make a left turn onto
Daggett Street.

Driving a 1986 Dodge van, Enriquetta Ochoa Quezada was northbound on
Eddy when she unsuccessfully attempted to avoid striking Casias.

The two collided and the smaller vehicle wrecked into a fire hydrant in
the northeast corner of Daggett and Eddy and the van directly behind it.

Casias was issued a citation for failing to yield right of way to

Jury selection underway in trial of Red Bluff boss

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Staff Writer

Jury selection began this morning in the 143rd District Court trial of
Jim Ed Miller on a charge of tampering with a government witness.

Miller allegedly attempted on Jan. 12 to influence Ed Armstrong not to
testify in an official proceeding.

District Attorney John Stickels told prospective jurors that the 12
chosen would decide Miller's guilt or innocence, then determine

Punishment can be up to two years in a state jail, but probation is
automatic for a first-time offender, he explained. Judge Bob Parks would
determine the length and terms of probation should he be found guilty.

When Stickels asked if any juror could not serve because they disagree
with the law, one woman said she does not believe a defendant should be
automatically given probation. After a conference with Judge Parks,
Stickels and defense attorney Richard Abalos, she was excused.

An extra-large jury pool was questioned because Miller is well known. He
is general manager for the Red Bluff Water Power Control District.

Stickels intimated that Miller is influential in the community.

But Abalos said that jurors will decide the case on the evidence and not
on what Stickels says.

Miller's conversation with Terry Burkholder that led to the indictment
lasted less than five minutes, Abalos said. The indictment alleges
Miller told Burkholder to tell Brad Bennett to tell Armstrong "to quit
doing that," he said.

Armstrong was instrumental last year in getting charges brought against
the Ward County Water Improvement District No. 1, which is part of the
Red Bluff district.

Abalos said that Miller "accidentally stepped into Terry Burkholder's
office on the way out of the bank...It will be up to you to decide what
his intent was; whether Jim Ed Miller used his power to influence


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Oscar Muniz III

Oscar Muniz III, seven weeks old, died Thursday, Aug. 15 at Reeves
County Hospital.
Services were held today at 10 a.m. at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with
burial at Saragosa Cemetery.
He was born June 27, 1996 in Pecos and was a Catholic.
Survivors include his parents, Oscar Muniz Jr. and Yvonne M. Muniz;
grandparents, Estella Pina of Pecos, Oscar and Eva Muniz of Pecos; three
sisters, Evie, Evane, Elenie Muniz of Pecos.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Tom Osborn

Tom Osborn, 58, of Humble, died Sunday, Aug. 18, in Houston.
Services are incomplete, but will be held in Houston.
He was born in Toyah and had lived in Pecos for a few years.
Survivors include his wife, Jean Osborn of Humble; two daughters, Tommie
Osborn of Oklahoma, Toni Osborn of Michigan; one son, Tom Osborn of
Humble; seven brothers, Charlie, Jim and Joe Osborn of Pecos, John
Osborn of Toyah, Dan Osborn of Huntsville, Jack Osborn of Hamilton and
Jay Walker of Weatherford, one sister, Billie Hughes of Hamilton; five
grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.

Melba Rackler

Melba Gene Rackler, 59, of San Antonio, died Thursday, Aug. 15 in the
Northeast Baptist Hospital in San Antonio.
Graveside funeral services were held Saturday in the Oakwood Cemetery in
She was born Aug. 1, 1937, in San Saba, had lived in the San Antonio
area for the past seven years, had lived in Midland where she was
employed by the Midland ISD in the food service division, was a Baptist
and a member of the Eastern Star. She graduated from Pecos High School
and attended college in Odessa and Midland.
She was preceded in death by one sister, Betty Ann Rushing in 1992 and
one brother, James Rushing in 1989.
Survivors include three daughters, Cynthia Ogden of Houston, Lisa Florez
of San Antonio, Jeanette Florez of San Antonio; one son, James Florez of
Lewisville, one brother, Joe Dan Rushing of Seminole; four grandchildren
and several nieces and nephews.
The family requests that memorials be made to the American Cancer
Society. Memorials may be made to the local chapter, c/o Georgia
Morrison, P.O. Box 46, Pecos, Tx., 79772.

Irene Trowbridge

Irene Trowbridge, 75, of San Angelo, died Saturday, Aug. 17, at her
Service will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at the First Christian
Church with the Rev. Ben Hubert, pastor, officiating.
Graveside services will be at 3 p.m. in Varga Chapel Cemetery.
She was born Oct. 6, 1920 in Maysville, Okla., had been a resident of
San Angelo since 1954 and a member of Baptist Temple. She was a
homemaker and child-care provider at the First Baptist Church Montessori
School from 1974 until 1989.
Survivors include her husband, L.C. Trowbridge of San Angelo; three
sons, Lonnie, Dr. Ben Trowbride and Rob Trowbridge of San Angelo, one
daughter, Sherry Hamilton of Pecos; two brothers, Ross Watkins of
Denison and Lucian Watkins of Shepherd; two sisters, Inez Martin of San
Angelo and Sue Millican of Robert Lee; 12 grandchildren; one
great-grandchild and several nieces and nephews.
Johnson's Funeral Home of San Angelo is in charge of arrangements.


High Sunday 97, low last night 67. Tonight, fair. Low around 70.
Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday, mostly sunny. High in the mid 90s.
South wind 10-20 mph.

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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
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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