Del Rio News Herald (Newspaper) - December 12, 1999, Del Rio, Texas•»r«4JuiiECiw‘Suing for Fun and Profit’ See Page 3A
endergrass Welcomed to Bench
Acuña Extends Invitation to "Celebrate See Below
Queens Coast to Big Mac Title |See Page lOA
1276667 123199 southwest MICWOPULISHING
^62/ YANDEU V)R
I A /^903"3743
DEL RIO, TEXASSUNDAY, DECEMBER 12,1999
Court to address redistricting contract
¿the Del Rio Queens claimed the Big Mac Classic Title Saturday. For complete details see story page 10A
BIANCA A. SANCIC
Val Verde County Commissioner Precinct One. Frank Coronado, requested the court discuss and possibly hire a redis-tricting consultant and authorize the county judge to sign a contract with the company.
In September of this year, Coronado sponsored the law firm of Rolando Rios in its presentation the court.
A partner in the firm, George Korbel, the original lead attorney in a law suit against the county filed by Jovita Casarez involving voting rights, also helped with the presentation.
During the October .session there was a presentation by David Mendez a lawyer for Hick erstaff and Heath, the firm which worked on the redistricting pro Ject during the last census.
Val Verde County Judge Mike L Fernandez issued the court s agenda Friday Dec. 10.
The meeting is to be held at 9 a.m. in the Val Verde County Court-at-l^w courtroom.
Also on the agenda are. an
Seyen Marines lost New technology to help speed up traffic
at sea declared dead
appointment to the Texas Veter-* ans l^nd Board, and an introduction of Carl Pendergrass, the newly appointed 83rd Judicial District Judge, along with renovation of county buildings and purchase of real estate.
There will be .several personnel changes in a number of county offices including the hiring of one new sherilTs deputy, a part time clerk in the county clerk’s ofHce and an equipment operator in preeiiK't four.
There are five promotions within the sheriffs office on the agenda and live lateral transfers in that office.
The reciuest from the sheriffs department will fill the five newly created patrol deputy slots.
There were five requests that the court discontinue issuance of checks. Two from the County Clerk. Maria F'lena Cardenas and three from Sheriff D’Wayne Jernigan.
Also oil the agenda is a request by Coronado to advertise bids on a front end loader and a request to change meeting times
See, COURT, page 3A
SAN DIKGO (AP) The niili-taiy has calk'd off its search for six Marines and one sailor whose helicopter crashed into the Pacific Ocean and sank 15 miles from shore during a training flight.
The military declared the missing servicemen dead late Friday, a day after the CH 46E Sea Knight went down as it Hew from one ship to another. Eleven of the 18 Marines aboard were rescued from the chilly water but craft sank quickly.
hearts and prayers go ^t to the Marines and Sailors of 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, as well as their families and Iriends,” said Lt. Gen, Bruce Knutson Jr. of the Marine Expe-tlilionary Force at Camp Pendle-Jofi- “We are doing everything we j'gn to support them in this time ol' sorrow."
The chopper’s wreckage is submerged in 3.600 feet of water and has not been located. Only a few pieces of the helicopter have been recovered, said Lt. Scott Bowman, a Marine spokesman.
The Coast Guard took to shore two plastic garbage bags containing debris.
Tlie cause of the crash was under investigation.
'Phe Marines were taking part in training maneuvers before their deployment to the Persian Gulf in January.
The helicopter took off from the Bonhomme Richard,’ an amphibious assault ship, and 14 Marines were ready to rappel 30 feet down a rope onto the Pecos, a Navy tanker.
Tlie San Diego Union-Tribune. citing Navy sources, reported that the rope may have snagged an antenna or part of the ship, causing it to crash.
NBC News reported Friday that military officials who saw a Navy videotape of the accident said the helicopter’s left landing gear got caught in a safety net on deck as it approached the ship.
When it tried to lift off, the net pulled down one side of the chop-
See, MARINES, page 3A
The U.S. Customs Service is bringing new' technological tools to Del Rio as it looks to speed up traffic and free inspectors to focus on vehicles and passengers at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border, an agency spokesman said Friday.
The newest tools scheduled to be added at the Del Rio Port of Entry are a Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System (VACIS), equipped with the latest generation gamma ray imaging technology. and an automated license plate reader (LPR). "Customs is expanding a lot of different non-intrusive inspection technology along the Southwest border to speed up inspections." said Del Rio Port Director of Customs Ralph Sinclair. He said the LPR is expected be in place here early in the year 2000 and that the mobile gamma ray imaging system will be installed as early as this spring.
"We will probably have the imaging system in place as early as May," Siiu lair said.
“The VACIS is an innovative.
state ol the art. lull contained system that can produce gamma-ray images of tractors, trailers and passenger vehicles. It is designed to conduct quick and effective inspections, usually in three minutes, w'ithout the time and expense of unloading cargo.” said Rick Pauza of the Customs public affairs office.
He said the gamma ray system is safe and can probe deeper than an X-ray while emitting minimal radiation. Gamma rays employ a natural radiation .souri'c while X-rays use a man made source. A typical gamma-ray scan of a trailer gives off 1 /200th the radiation emitted in a chest X-ray. "Utilized as an cnfon'cment tool, the VACIS will help the U.S. Customs Service intercept narcotics shipments, while allowing the rapid processing of lawful international trade and travel ' Pauza said.
Tlie VACIS is priced at under SI million, according to Pauza.
Sinclair said tlie LPR. which was approved (larlier in the year for the Del Rio port, is designed to automatically read front and rear license plates of vehicles entering and leaving the United
States and to store vehicle inlbr niation.
‘The automated collection of data will enhance enforcement efforts already in use at border ports by allowing Customs and INS inspectors to fully focus their attention on arriving vehicles and passengers."
‘The Department of the Treasury anticipated that LPRs wall enhance enforcement, improve officer and public safety, and reduce border crossing wait times," Pauza added.
LPRs will be installed on the approach to the international bridge toll booths and at inspection booths to monitor all vehicles traveling to and from Mexico at ports of entry. I>ocal Customs officials received approval to install the LPRs during a meeting of the Del Rio City Council earlier this year. The Pharr crossing in the Rio Grande Valley was the first Southwest border port to recei\e the new detection system earlier this month, Sinclair said. He said VACIS units also are scheduled for installation in Laredo. Colombia, Hidalgo. Eagle Pass, lx)s Indios, Roma and Rio Grande City.
N^issed Your Paper?
If you missed your paper, call 775-1551 between 5-7 p.m. Mon-day-Friday 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday-Sunday
Pendergrass welcomed to 83rd bench
(Vol. 71 No. 267)
Church ......... 4A
Special to the News-Herald
Governor George W. Bush swore in Carl Pendergrass, as the new Judge for the 83rd Judicial District Court. On November 16, 1999, the swearing in ceremony took place at the State Capitoi, Austin. Texas. The ceremony was attended by Mr. and Mrs. Carl Pendergrass, Mrs. Gene Matthews, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Medding, Mrs. Carol Petrakos, Mr. Douglas Pendergrass, Mr. and Mrs. John Pendergrass and Mrs. Lisa Rogcnes. Also attending were Mr, and Mrs. Bill Lewis, Jr., Mr. Robert Qualia, Mr. Haygood Gulley. Mr. Hilary B. Doran, Jr.. Mr. and Mrs. Tom Harrison, Dr. Jill Todd, Mr. Melvin Yarborough, arid Mr. Ray Kirkpatrick. Governor George W. Bush appointed Carl Pendergrass to the 83rd Judicial District Bench on October 28, 1999. Judge Pendergrass was appointed to replace retiring Judge Alex Gonzalez of Fort Stockton. Texas.
The 83rd Judicial District was redistricted In the last State Con-
Gov. George W. Bush welcomes newly appointed 83rd District Judge Carl Pendergrass. Pictured are Bush, Carol Pondergrass and Carl Pendergrass at recent wearing-in.
gresslonal Session. The court Includes Val Verde. Pe<X)s. R«'a gan. Terrell and Upton Connies.
Val Verde County now has hvj \2)
Slate Dlstnct Judges. Tlic Judge lor the 63rd Judicial District Court and I he Judge for the 83rd Judicial District Court. The Dis
trict Clerk for the District has already began filling cases in the
The Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Acuña extends invitation to celebrate Patroness' feast day
CIUDAD ACUNA. Coahuila. Mexico Thi: lily is ready to galarity cekiluate llie apparition of Our Uidy ol Gioid.ilupc to the Aztec Indian Juan Diego.
Dances of Mallachincs, floats representing the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe to Juan Diego, ehiklren. young adults and adults will walk by the street in a proi'ession to the church.
Acunas Dor Lady of Guadalupe Church began the novena Dee. .3 with the proccs-; sions.
These piocessions represent various parochial groups. In the today's final procession, the whole «’oniiminity eornes together to show their love and devotion to the Virgin.
The procession will begin today at 4:30 p.m. at the Parque
See, JUDGE, page 3A See, ACUÑA, page 3A25% OFF RED TAG SALE. TAKE AN ADDITIONAL 25% OFF ALL RED TAG CLEARANCE MEÍRCHANDISE JCPenney piazo cei soi