The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 139, No. 84, Ed. 1 Saturday, December 19, 1992 Page: 1 of 16
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Cubans in jail;
what can be 'done?
Coming next week
Dripping Springs 56
Lady Bears 26 see Pages m
Vol. 139, No. 84
BESi available COPY
Saturday, December 19,1992
Advertiser Photo/E. Perez Jr.
Holiday spirit open to needs
By E. Perez, Jr.
Special to the Advertiser
Many Bastrop area residents,
who might have had a Christmas
with neither gifts under the tree
nor a feast to grace their table,
are now richer thanks to the
generosity of their neighbors.
Thanks to teachers and staff at
Bastrop’s Mina Elementary,
several families will have a good
dinner on Christmas day.
“We’ve taken care of 16 families
so far,” said Mina Elementary
Principal Rebecca Smith on Fri-
day. “We have one more box to
Smith said the efforts of the
teachers and students were sup-
plemented by a $350 donation
from the Bastrop Kiwanis club.
Notes went home with children
of needy families asking the
parents to come and pick up a box
“We sent notes home in English
and Spanish,” said Smith.
On a different front, Bastrop’s
Pink Santa effort provided 717
Bastrop County residents with
Bastrop County Extension Ser:
vice employee Lula Jones said
the presents were passed out
Thursday at the Pink Santa Head-
quarters on Farm Street.
Jones said 140 families, in-
cluding 514 children and 203
adults, recieved presents this
“We had one and two-parent
families,” she said.
At the same time the Bastrop
County Sheriff’s Association was
also busy providing needy
residents with coats, presents and
According to Lt. Cary Taylor,
Operation Warm-up was a rous-
“We have given out roughly 550
coats,” he said late Friday after-
noon. “We could’ve given out a
few more, but we ran out of some
Taylor expressed thanks to the
employees and volunteers who
helped make the project a
The leftover coats will be pack-
ed away for next year’s effort,
“Last year we gave out 450
coats, so the community has
helped us increase the program,”
See NEEDS, p. 2
Phillip Gouge, 42, of Bastrop was injured seriously in a truck-
auto collision at Texas 21 and FM 182 Friday morning.
Crash leaves 1 injured
A 42-year-old Bastrop man is in
serious condition at Brackenridge
Hospital’s intensive care unit
following a Thursday morning
accident in which his car collid-
ed with a tractor-trailer rig at the
intersection of Texas 21 and FM
According to Texas Depart-
ment of Safety Trooper Terry
Janovsky, Phillip Gouge was
traveling west on FM 812 when his
1986 Mercury Marquis struck a
tractor-trailer rig traveling west
on Texas 21.
Janovsky said Gouge’s car hit
the rear axle of the tractor and
went under the trailer. The car
was dragged 335 feet past the in-
tersection. The truck traveled
another 168 feet past the car.
Gouge was temporarily trap-
ped in the vehicle but managaed
to escape, said authorities.
The car sustained heavy
damage to the right side, pro-
mpting Janovsky to say, “I’m
real glad he didn’t have a
See CRASH, p. 2
Expanded calling may
win February approval
The Texa Public Utilities Com-
mission is expected to make a
decision, possibly by February,
on a Southwestern Bell Telephone
Company request to extend
Austin metropolitan phone ser-
vice to include Bastrop County.
The plan, if approved, would
eliminate long distance charges
for phone customers who call
Austin or any of the cities in
According to PUC spokesper-
son Anne Roussos, Southwestern
Bell filed an application in
September to provide Bastrop
County with extended municipal
According to Roussos, letters
agreeing to the requested rates
from the county commission and
the city council of Bastrop are on
file with the PUC.
Roussos said the PUC staff is
expected to provide a recommen-
dation by January 8.
“The staff is now reviewing the
agreement to see if it is in the
See CALLING, p. 2
Rural area disturbed by signs of gangs
Advertiser Photo/Don Trepagnier
Darrell Porch points to signs of gang activity in his neighborhood along Wilbarger Creek near
Utley. The letters L and K represent the Latin Kings, an Austin group, police say. Crime and gun-
fire are also notably on the increase, according to Porch and his neighbors who hope to form a
Neighborhood Watch program.
Residents of Wilbarger Creek
Estates fear that Austin street
gangs are taking over their rural
subdivision in western Bastrop
County near Utley.
Most of the residents moved in-
to the area over the last 12 years.
The last one moved in two months
They say they moved out of
cities to raise their children in a
rural setting away from crime
They have since seen things in
their neighborhood that they
moved away from such as break-
ins, property destruction and
graffiti, according to homeowner
“We weren’t worried before,
but now when we hear gunfire we
drop to the floor,” one of the
residents told two Bastrop Coun-
ty deputy sheriffs Wednesday
night during a special
Thirty five residents signed in
Wednesday, seeking solutions to
what they see as a new problem
along Wilbarger Creek off Coun-
ty Road 55.
In addition to increased gun-
fire, subdivision streets have been
painted with graffiti, some of it
signed by the Latin Kings and the
Bros Four, two Austin street
gangs. Area houses and signs in
the area have also been painted,
according to residents.
Sheriff’s officers answered a
gunfire complaint December 3,
according to chief investigator
Fred Pacenka who attended the
session along with Lt. Cary
The officers hope to help the
subdivision set up a neighborhood
Pacenka said the officers who
answered the gunfire complaint
found 150 spent shell casings from
a 9 millimeter pistol, 33 casings
form a .380-caliber pistol and 50
shell casings from a .22 pistol.
The casings were found within
See GANG SIGNS, p. 2
Cubans in jail
Sheriff’s urging brings freedom no closer
Stolen goods coming back
,By Don Trepagnier
Special to the Advertiser
“I have served more time in the
Bastrop jail than I served for my
sentence in prison,” said Jose
Valdez. “You don’t have to look
around the world for abuse of
human rights. It’s right here in
Jose Hechavarria-Valdez, 29, is
among the 33 Cubans turned
down for release from jail recent-
ly by the U.S. Department of
Justice’s • Immigration and
Jose was looking forward to
freedom. He never causes trouble
to his Bastrop jailers, according
to a letter from Sheriff Con
Kiersey. His record is mainly a
string of dismissed cases. But
there’s one felony conviction.
He was released from state
prison for good behavior.
The sheriff’s letter to INS of-
ficials, dated July 23,1992, stated
in part,“...it appears Mr.
Hechavarria(-Valdez) has made
a conscientious effort to follow
established rules and regulations
to avoid jeopardizing his potential
“Please consider this (letter)
for favorable review in Mr.
But the INS Cuban Review
Board turned him down.
Valdez turned to religion to help
cope with his indefinite INS in-
carceration in the county jail. To
pass time he has completed four
mail order Bible courses from
Las Esquelas Fuente de Luz in
He is also an advanced student
in Marie Blazek’s English as a se-
cond language class taught one
hour a week in the county jail.
Jose came to the U.S. when he
was 16. His mother left Havana
during the Mariel boat lift in 1980
while he stayed behind. But he
missed his mother, he told the
Advertiser, and applied to follow
her one month after she left.
“I came from a communist
country. You were either with
them or you were a traitor. Those
who left were thought to be
traitors,” Jose says.
“I had to apply for non-political
reasons; I asked to join my
mother. I didn’t know where she
was, or if she drowned in the
ocean. Waves in the Florida
Straits can reach 15 feet.”
Jose left behind two sisters and
a brother. With help from a
Catholic church group, he found
his mother in San Antonio. ”
Jose bused tables, learned auto
mechanics and carpentry and
had several ryn-ins with the law
over the years. Charges, later
dismissed, included unlawful car-
rying of a weapon, possession of
under 28 grams of cocaine,
possession of over four ounces of
marijuanna, aggravated kidnap-
ping and sexual assault.
When he was 24, he got into a
fist fight with a person Jose
claims was a big young man
whom Jose didn’t know was
under 18 years old.
He was sentenced to three
years in state prison for injury to
a child in January of 1989. After
22 months of good behavior, he
was turned over to INS. He was
moved to Bastrop from the
Jasper County jail in March 1991.
See VALDEZ, ft, 2
Authorities announced that
another suspect was arrested
Tuesday in connection with last
Friday night’s arrests of two men
suspected of burglarizing homes
in Bastrop and Lee Counties.
Bastrop County Sheriff’s In-
vestigator Earl Pence said Leona
Whited of Wimberly was arrested
at her home by Hays County
deputies Tuesday afternoon and
is suspected of complicity in
handling stolen property.
Pence said Timmy Whited and
Michael Turman were arrested
last Friday on suspicion of
burglary following a traffic stop
by a Tfexas Department of Public
Safety Trooper near Elgin.
Subsequent investigation by
Bastrop County authorites led
them to believe both men were in-
volved with others.
Pence said Hays County in-
. See LOOT, p. 2
Holidays push deadlines earlier
Because the Bastrop Adver-
tiser will be closed for
Christmas and New Year
holidays, deadlines for
classified and display adver-
tising will be moved ahead for
the editions of Dec. 26 and Jan.
For both those Saturday
papers, advertising copy must
be in hand by noon Wednesday
For the Dec. 26 edition, the
deadline is noon Dec. 23.
For the Jan. 2 edition, the
deadline is noon Dec. 30.
Deadlines for editions dated
Thursday, Dec. 24 and Thurs-
day, Dec. 31 will not change.
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McAuley, Davis. The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 139, No. 84, Ed. 1 Saturday, December 19, 1992, newspaper, December 19, 1992; Bastrop, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth746381/m1/1/: accessed April 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Bastrop Public Library.