Thursday, April 30, 2009

Missouri school awards scholarship to wrestler

Jenny Garza signs the dotted line to attend Lindenwood University on a Wrestling Scholarship. She is set to begin at the university in the Fall of 2009. Garza has been on the Rio Grande City High School Wrestling team for four years and has won numerous awards. She is currently ranked No. 1 in Region 4 and ranked No. 4 in the State. Pictured are Jenny Garza with her family members, the Lindenwood University Representative, Rio Grande City High School Wrestling Coaches, Athletic Director Rey Ramirez and Principal Jorge Recio. Family and RGCCISD personnel congratulate Jenny for her achievements.


A 16-year-old male juvenile from Rio Grande City faces at least two charges in connection with a bomb threat that forced the evacuation of a Rio Grande City hotel for approximately three hours Sunday night.

The telephoned bomb threat also brought about the closure of a nearby convenience store for roughly two and one-half hours.

On Monday morning, Rio Grande City Police Chief B.A. “Dutch” Piper warned, “We intend to deal with such actions very seriously. We intend to prosecute this to the fullest extent of the law.”

Piper noted, “Those involved in the search didn’t find anything suspicious…Each and every square inch (of the hotel) was checked.”

“We got a call at 10:23 p.m. on Sunday, April 26 about a bomb threat at the Holiday Inn Express,” stated the chief. “About 60 guests were evacuated and Tejano Mart (convenience store), located nearby, was shut down for about two and one-half hours. The hotel guests were allowed to return to their rooms at roughly 1:30 a.m.”

Piper indicated that the RGCPD “contacted the McAllen Police Department Bomb Squad. The Starr County Sheriff’s Department provided assistance.” He noted that the Rio Grande City Fire Department responded to the initial call.

Piper added, “We were able to arrest a 16-year-old male subject and charge him with making a terroristic threat and making a false report. More charges are pending.”

“The youth did confess to being responsible,” explained the chief. “…We don’t have a motive right now. Investigation is continuing; from all indications this youth acted alone.”

The RGCPD reported that roughly two and one-half hours into the search, the youth called the Sheriff’s Department via 911 and stated that he was the individual who had made the false bomb threat at the Holiday Inn Express. Sheriff’s deputies then proceeded to the youth’s residence, picked him up, and placed in the custody of the RGCPD.

The Holiday Inn Express hotel is located at 5274 East Highway 83.


As of early this week, local health authorities and public officials were keeping a wary eye on the swine flu problem and getting ready to act quickly in case the illness begins to pop up among Starr County residents.

As of Monday, April 16, cases of the illness had been confirmed in five states, including Texas and New York. The virus has been particularly virulent in central Mexico, with well over 1400 confirmed cases and more than 100 human fatalities in that area.

As of Monday, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) was reporting 40 confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States.

Over the weekend, all schools and two district facilities in the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD, located just northeast of San Antonio, were ordered closed for the time being after two cases of swine flu were confirmed among district students, along with several other possible cases.

As of Monday, no confirmed cases of the illness had been reported in the Rio Grande Valley.

On Monday evening, however, KRGV-Channel Five was reporting that RGCCISD officials and health authorities had made the decision to close Veterans Middle School for the remainder of the week because of two potential swine flu cases among students at that school.

On Monday morning, Starr County Emergency Management Coordinator Gene Falcon emphasized, “We’re trying to focus on screenings and prevention at the hospital, doctor’s clinics, and schools. We’re focusing on basic things like telling people to stay away from large crowds, avoiding contact with sick people, and washing hands with soap and alcohol-based substances.”

Falcon explained, “People should stay home if they’re sick…People should avoid touching their eyes, face, nose, and mouth.”

Falcon indicated that individuals can call 1-888-777-5320 to gain access to more information about swine flu.

Falcon concluded, “If people suspect they are sick and can’t avoid crowds, it is suggested they wear a mask.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Contact Information


Christian Salinas (Editor)
Phone (Call or Text): 956 - 437-4378

Gerald Salinas (Contributer)

Stephanie Brake (Photographer)

Border Perspective (Media Partner)

Thursday, April 23, 2009


By Billy Joe Chapa
On March 26, 2009 in Houston , Texas , 67 teams and their robots joined together at the George Brown Convention Center to compete against each other for 1st place at the Lonestar Regional Event for the F.I.R.S.T. (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) organization. Out of the 67 teams only 23 were rookie teams. We were one of those 23 teams.
The object of the game, named “Lunacy” for the anti-gravity effect on the robots, was to score points by placing as many “moon rocks” in the opposing teams’ trailers. In each match, there were two alliances with three teams on each alliance. These alliances were put together randomly to help make the competition more fair. Each team competed in seven qualifying matches that led up to the finals.
We were ranked 11th as we headed into our final qualifying match. All we had to do was win this match to finish in the top 8 and advance to the finals. Unfortunately, we were not able to win that match. We finished 17th place out of 67 teams that day. We did fairly well considering that only 3 rookie teams finished in the top 20.
Overall, this competition was a great experience. We had a great time competing, strategizing, meeting new people, etc. This first year competing helped us learn a lot more about the competition and how other teams work together to get the advantage over other teams. Our team definitely looks forward to next year and the years to come in F.I.R.S.T.
The So-Called Robotics team (Alvaro, Billy, David, Eden, Eloy, Ernie, and Jose) would like to thank the Bezos Family Foundation; Miss Tina Atkins and Region One ESC GEAR UP; Mr. Jorge Recio, Mr. Arturo Menchaca, and the Rio Grande City High School CATE Department; Mr. Juan Andrade, Ms. Melissa Andrade, Mr. Ricardo L. Lopez, Jr., and Mr. Heriberto Reynoso for their support and guidance throughout the robotics competition season.


The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is continuing to investigate the death of a six-year-girl who died shortly after her bicycle was struck by a pickup truck driven by a 15-year-old male in Alto Bonito in the early evening hours of Thursday, April 2.
Jessica Guadalupe Martinez, 6, was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Ramon De La Cruz at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, slightly less than an hour after the mishap.
Johnny Hernandez, a spokesman with DPS in McAllen, declared on Thursday, April 16, “The case remains under investigation.”
Hernandez indicated that the 2007 Ford F-150 pickup “was traveling west on Medelez Street. Upon crossing Toppenish Street, the F-150 then struck the bicycle.”
Hernandez noted, “The driver of the truck was a 15-year-old male…The teen driver was driving alone even though he had a permit that required a licensed driver at least 21 years old to be in the front seat.”
Hernandez stated that “the vehicle struck the bicycle with its front right area.”
The spokesman declared, “The child was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:15 p.m. EMS personnel responded to the scene and tried to treat the child.”
Hernandez emphasized, “Parents need to realize that permits with restrictions do require another licensed driver, at least 21 years old, in the front seat.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rio Grande City High School Student Stephen Saenz is ranked as one of the nation’s best Discus Thrower


Stephen Saenz who recently signed a national letter of intent with Auburn University, holds the Valley all time records in shot put (71 ½ ) and discus (204 feet). His indoor shot put throw of 71 ½ inch ranks 3rd all-time by a high school athlete. He is a state champion in the shot put, and bronze medalist in the discus, top duel shot put discus thrower in the nation and was a number one recruit.
Stephen has set records in both the shot and discus in every meet he has competed in. He has been named Track and Field MVP for the All Decade Team and currently holds the #1 Shot-Putter in the Nation. His latest accomplishment was winning the discus competition and shot put with a best throw in the District 30-5A Track & Field meet in Donna, TX. Stephen has also been featured in several articles such as “,, ESPN-RISE Athlete of the Week (January 19, 2009).
Saenz has demonstrated that he is a well rounded individual through his various accolades in academics as well. He ranks in the top five percent of his class, is a member of the National Honor Society, Texas Scholar, Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP).
His mild demeanor and great sense of humor together with his humble personality make him a very personable and popular individual. His father was a driving force in introducing him to field events.
Rio Grande City CISD Administration, Board of Trustees, Teachers and Staff are very proud of Stephen and look forward to him breaking even more records in the future. (Submitted by RGCCISD).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

RGCCISD Technology Dept. recognizes Medina Electric

Medina Electric Cooperative Director Hugo Villarreal and his staff worked diligently to assist The Rio Grande City CISD Technology Department in reconnecting technology cables that were damaged during a recent fire at Ringgold Middle School. The students were able to use the computers and internet services very soon after the fire. The Technology Department and the RGCCISD administration and staff would like to thank Medina Electric Cooperative for their support of the district’s students. Pictured above are Ms. Vilma Garza-Technology Director and Mr. Hugo Villarreal-Medina Electric Cooperative, Inc. Director. (RGCCISD photo).


The Sheriff’s Department is continuing to investigate an assault episode in the Salineno area during the early morning hours of March 29, with the focal point being the effort to determine who the initial aggressor was.
Sheriff’s Department Captain Larry Fuentes indicated on Monday, April 13, “Deputies were called out on Sunday, March 29 at 1:15 a.m. in the Salineno area in reference to an aggravated assault. Deputies met with Heriberto Trevino Garcia, who had gauze wrapped around his right arm below his elbow. Deputies noticed another individual named Rafael Hernandez lying on the ground. Hernandez was being attended to by Starr County Memorial Hospital EMS personnel. Blood was seen on his head.”
Fuentes continued, “Heriberto Garcia stated that he got in an argument with Hernandez and that Hernandez cut him with a knife, which was a drywall cutter. Garcia stated that he hit Hernandez on the head with one of his aluminum crutches.”
Fuentes noted, “A neighbor called the Sheriff’s Office.” Garcia, 46, and Hernandez, 42, were then transported to Starr County Memorial Hospital. The captain declared, “Garcia was treated and released. Hernandez was later transported to a McAllen hospital for further medical assistance. After several days in the hospital, Hernandez was released.”
Fuentes indicated that Garcia is disabled. He also stated, “Both weapons (the cutter and the crutch) were recovered at the scene.”
Fuentes concluded on Monday, “The case is being investigated to determine who was the actual aggressor. At this point, it’s somewhat difficult because there were no witnesses. The case will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office in the next couple of days and will probably be presented to a grand jury.”


At their regular monthly meeting on Monday morning, April 13, the County Commissioners received reports on the financial performances of several departments during March.
Tax Assessor/Collector Carmen A. Pena indicated that collections of both current taxes and delinquent taxes showed significant increases in March 2009 compared to the March 2008 figures.
Pena reported that the grand total collected for March 2009 was $751,560.92. The county’s share for the current year, including County and FM/FC entities only, was $293,960.23. The county’s share for delinquent years, including County and FM/FC only, was $178,080.55.
Sheriff Rene Fuentes told the commissioners that Detention Center revenues for March amounted to $108,823.87, with $99,648 coming from the U.S. Marshals Service. On Monday, April 13, there were 79 federal inmates and 107 county inmates for an overall count of 186 inmates.
County Judge Eloy Vera commented, “We should be in good shape as far as our yearly projection is concerned. Have we paid off the jail?” County Auditor Rosalinda G. Guerra answered, “The jail was paid off as of Dec. 31, 2008.”
The commissioners were told that International Bridge revenues for March 2009 totaled $236,701, an increase of $19,985 from the March 2008 figure of $216,716. The March 2009 total showed an increase of $22,541 from the February 2009 amount of $214,160.
After brief discussion, the commissioners approved the South Texas College collection fee contract of $87,886 for the 2009 taxable year. Pena declared, “STC presented it to their board. They wanted to know if it is the same amount as the past two years. It is the same amount.”
The commissioners considered the matter of approving a List of Registered Voters printing fee. Elections Administrator Rafael Montalvo explained, “We’re starting to experience a lot of costs for ink and paper. We’re asking for a small additional charge.”
Judge Vera asked, “Would a nickel per page be sufficient? We can consider putting it on the agenda next Monday.”
The commissioners then approved a printing fee of a nickel per page and $10 per cover. Vera indicated that this applies to other government entities and to any individual who may ask to have a registered voters list printed. He noted that candidates for office frequently ask for such lists.
The commissioners voted to approve a resolution to submit an application to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) for the 2008 Home Program-Owner Occupied Housing Assistance Program for Starr County residents affected by the flooding disaster of Aug. 18, 2008.
Montalvo explained, “This will probably be based on total reconstruction. This is the same flood zone as before. It’s best to provide at least some protection from future flooding events. The past assistance will hurt the chances for this application. I don’t think the application’s chances are real good.”
The commissioners approved the submission of an application for Workforce Solutions-Supportive Employment and Vocational Training Services. Vera commented, “I think this program has been very beneficial.” Precinct Three Commissioner Eloy Garza emphasized, “I think this approach, with substantial training, is the best.”

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Groundbreaking Ceremony held for 1st RGC Neighborhood Park


Groundbreaking Ceremony for Rio Grande City's First Neighborhood Park

On Tuesday March 24, 2009 a ceremony was held at the location of Rio Grande City's first park. Mrs. Sara Cantu PARC Committee Member served as Mistress of Ceremonies. Mrs. Cynthia Garcia Fuentes PARC Chairman welcomed the attendees. The Honorable Ruben Villarreal-Mayor also welcomed everyone to this historic event. Mr. Juan Zuniga City Manager gave a brief history of the procedures in acquiring the funds and thanked all of the persons who were instrumental in ensuring that all requirements for the application were met. Heritage Park will be located directly north of the Rio Grande City High School on San Roberto St. on Alta Vista Subdivision. Children from the surrounding area were invited to attend the event and take part in the ceremony. The land was part of the park ordinance in which developers set aside land for park use. The developer Heritage Development set aside 4.5 acres. Heritage Park is set to be completed by the Summer 2009.
The city applied for a grant from the Parks and Wildlife Department. The Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission, a committee appointed by the City Council to assist in planning and to serve in an advisory capacity worked with city leaders to design a park which would include activities for all ages. This Park will feature a Soccer Field, Basketball Court, Walking Trails, Kiddie Area, Restroom and a Pavilion for family gatherings. The Parks and Wildlife Commission approved the concept and granted Rio Grande City $50,000 for the project. Additional cost will come from the collection of Park Fees that have been accumulated. Park fees are assessed through new construction of buildings and homes. (Pictured with the children are: Mr. Juan Zuniga-City Manager, The Honorable Ruben Villarreal, Mr. Hernan Garza-Councilman, Mr. Rey Ramirez-Councilman, Bonnie Amador-Main Street Program Coordinator, Valerie Brown Garza-EDC Coordinator, Juan Perez-EDC, Cynthia Garcia Fuentes-PARC Chairman, Sara Cantu-PARC Member, Jessie Pena-PARC Member, Yolanda Mirelez-PARC Member, Manuel Muniz-Fire Department, R.J. Ramirez-Starr County Sheriff's Department, Trini Lopez-RGC Police Department, Elisa Beas-Planning Department Director, Cindy Alanis-Planning Dept.,Tony Cantu-Planning Dept., Gilbert Millan-Planning Dept., Eddie Dougherty-Parks Coordinator, Juan Lozano-Planning Dept., Linda Davila-Heritage Development, Blanca Juarez and other city and county citizens and leaders.

RGCCISD Holds Brunch to Honor Firefighters of RMS Fire


Rio Grande City CISD Honors the Heroic efforts of Firefighters and Law Enforcement Personnel
A brunch was held on Monday, March 30, 2009 to honor the organizations that provided services during the Ringgold Middle School fire. The program which was held at the Holiday Inn Express was conducted by students who spoke of their gratitude to all of the heroes who came to the aid of their school. Aisa Nicole Ramiez-Ringgold Middle School Student Council President served as Mistress of Ceremonies thanked the firefighters, medical servicemen, and policemen from throughout the Rio Grande Valley for helping during the school's time of need.
"Today the kids of R.M.S. are standing strong and being patient and glad that you firefighters and policemen were there to save the rest of our school,” said Aisa. "Three-fourths of the building was affected, and yet our spirits were not," she continued.
Jacqueline A. Pena, Ringgold Middle School Student Council Parliamentarian gave the invocation while Ashley Nicole Rocha, RMS Student Council Representative lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and Texas Pledge. The Presentation of Colors was conducted by the High School J ROTC Cadets and Jose Alaffa, III, RMS Student Council Historian read the special remarks on behalf of the RMS Students.
Alaffa spoke in a soft voice to the heroes in attendace the history of his school. He talked about a 30 year old building that has been part of Rio Grande City’s rich history and how on January 13, 2009 a piece of that history was partially burned. “This building represented to me, history, memories, happiness, and a place where I would spend my eighth grade year. He continued to tell them that he had received the news through phone calls and various text messages by other students and felt disbelief, shock, anger and disappointment.
“The 7th and 8th grade students were excited and eager to move in to the new remodeled building this spring,” said Alaffa. Tragedy struck, emotions ran high and witnessing the collapse of the building right in front of them and being unable to comprehend why something like this could occur was too much for students to digest.
"Mr. Peña, our principal, spoke to us and lifted our spirits," said Alaffa. This has been a lesson that life presents us and brings many challenges. The building was not just a building with classrooms but a group of people who are willing to work together to pick up the broken pieces and do what needs to be done. He feels that perseverance, hard work, dedication and pulling together in spite of difficulties is the lesson that he will carry and cherish his entire life.
Mr. Roel Gonzalez thanked the Heroes for coming to our rescue and praised them for their efforts. “You fought so gallantly and boldly and for that you will always be remembered," said Gonzalez.
Mr. Basilio Villarreal, Jr. Rio Grande City Board of Trustees President who was joined by his fellow colleagues, Mr. Francisco “Paco” Zarate, Mr. Noe Ricardo Gonzalez, Mr. Cesar Gonzalez and Mr. Roberto “Bobby” Gutierrez also expressed appreciation for the aid and courtesies provided.
Ms. Cynthia Ybarra, Rio Grande City CISD Public Relations Officer, recognized city and county leaders along with district administrators for attending this function. She then proceeded to present plaques while the Board of Trustees, Superintendent, Assistant Superitendents and RMS principal congratulated the honorees. The honorees are as follows; Edinburg Fire Department, La Casita Fire Department, La Rosita Fire Department, McAllen Fire Department, Mission Fire Department, Palmview Fire Department, Rio Grande City Fire Department, Roma Fire Department, Salineño Fire Department, San Isidro Fire Department, Weslaco Emergency Services, Rio Grande City Police Department and Starr County Sheriff's Department.
In closing, Mr. Adolfo Peña thanked the entities that assisted in containing the fire on behalf of himself, the students, the RMS Staff and RGCCISD Administration and Board of Trustees by saying “We would like to most graciously thank you for your courageous and heroic effort demonstrated during our tragic incident”. He continued by saying that on behalf of the students we feel very grateful that people like you whom we can call our heroes came to our community’s aid. “A true hero is one who does an act of kindness for someone else and you ladies and gentlemen are our heroes,” said Peña. He also talked about how coming to assist demonstrated not only great heroism but they became role models to the students.
Mr. Peña quoted Eleanor Roosevelt as she once said, "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face”. He concluded his speech by asking for higher guidance to continue to give strength, courage and confidence to everyone present to continue to aid people through difficult times.
At the end of the program honorees were asked to stay and visit with colleagues and members of the school district while their brunch was served. Rio Grande City CISD Food Services Department prepared the delicious meal.

Pictured are Ringgold Middle School students and Principal, Board Members and District Central Administrators with the honorees. Honorees include members from the following organizations; Edinburg Fire Department, La Casita Fire Department, La Rosita Fire Department, McAllen Fire Department, Mission Fire Department, Palmview Fire Department, Rio Grande City Fire Department, Roma Fire Department, Salineño Fire Department, San Isidro Fire Department, Weslaco Emergency Services, Rio Grande City Police Department and Starr County Sheriff's Department.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Longtime STC Founding Trustee Benavidez Passes Away


Video credit:

La Grulla, Texas - Manuel Benavidez, Jr., a life time resident and proponent of Starr County, entered into eternal rest at his home in La Grulla, Texas, March 28, after a two-year battle with Merkel Cell Cancer. He was 57. A former migrant farm worker, he was driven by his personal trials and experiences to improve the quality of life for his community by providing access to higher education and enhancing local services.

He began his advocacy by facilitating numerous presentations and taking an active leadership role in the local, state, and national Migrant Council Conferences. In 1993, Texas Governor Ann Richards appointed him as a founding member of the South Texas College (STC) Board of Trustees to represent Starr County in the development of a new community college district, legislatively created to serve the needs of over 600,000 people in Hidalgo and Starr counties previously not served by a community college. He was elected to a six-year term in May 2000 and re-elected in May 2006. As a Trustee, he served as Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary of the Board of Trustees.

Benavidez was instrumental in helping galvanize a successful campaign to encourage voters to approve a taxing district and authorization to issue $20 million in bonds for the initial construction of five campuses/centers for STC. During his term as Chair, he played a critical role in helping the College pass a $98.7 million bond election for the construction and expansion of the College’s five campuses/centers and an additional tax increase to fund the operating costs of the College.

His community work and efforts in bringing higher education to the region were recognized when the Starr County Commissioners’ Court declared November 2002 as “Manuel Benavidez, Jr. Month” in Starr County. State representatives and local officials joined the college in honoring him by recognizing his many contributions to increase access to higher education and a better quality of life in Starr County.

Benavidez was a passionate advocate for community colleges and maintained close communication with members of the Texas Legislature to promote for expanded access to higher education and additional higher education funding for STC and the communities it serves.

He was always on the forefront of championing many innovative programs for STC and the deep South Texas region of the state. His testimony before the Texas Legislature was instrumental to passing House Bill 415 (HB 415), which allows eligible high school students to dually enroll in college level technical courses while attending high school. Through the dual enrollment program, students receive both high school and college credit for their coursework. This opportunity was not previously available to Texas high school students prior to the passage of HB 415. Texas families have benefited significantly and saved millions in tuition because the tuition costs are waived for students in dual enrollment programs.

Because of his leadership in the passage of HB 415, STC was able to implement a Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy (DEMSA) in Fall 2005 to serve high school students in Starr County and which was expanded to include a Dual Enrollment Engineering Academy (DEEA) for high school students in McAllen and Weslaco. Students in these programs will earn both a high school diploma and an Associate of Science degree.

Benavidez was involved since the genesis and was an articulate advocate before the Texas Legislature to represent STC in its successful bid to become one of three Texas community colleges selected by the Texas Legislature to pilot offering the bachelor’s of applied technology.

His vision of a Rural Technology Center for Starr County became a reality with the passage of HB 2235 authored by Representative Ryan Guillen. The grant program under the office of Rural Community Affairs funded the $3.5 million construction and equipping of a state-of-the-art rural technology center for the residents of Starr County, a project he championed throughout the preceding three legislative sessions before it became a reality. Last week, South Texas College, paid tribute to his commitment by naming the facility in his honor.

Additionally during a recent special legislative session, he was successful in helping the Legislature appropriate $6 million in funding for the University of Texas-Pan American to construct an upper level university center in Starr County. This new facility will open the door for numerous partnerships between the community college and the university.

Mr. Benavidez’s leadership for community colleges extended to the state, regional and national levels. In 2005, he was recognized at the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Annual Congress as the recipient of the Lifetime Membership Award for his exemplary leadership and strong support in the areas of diversity and equal opportunity. His service to the nation’s community colleges extends well beyond serving the citizens of Starr County and the students of STC. He served on the ACCT Board of Directors from 2003 to 2005 and served as the chair of the ACCT Diversity Committee from 2003 to 2005. He was also the Western Region representative for the Association of Latino Community College Trustees. His efforts on behalf of STC received national acclaim and in 2006 he earned the Western Region Trustee Leadership Award, given by the ACCT. He was one of five regional award winners selected from nominees located across three countries, including the United States, Canada and England.

Benavidez had a long tenure as an active participant in local and state public education and community service. He had served on the board of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Workforce Development Board and also served as President of the Association of Texas Professional Educators in Rio Grande City; as area V Director for the Texas Association of Pupil Transportation and President for the South Texas Association for Pupil Transportation. He served as the Board Chair of the Starr County Housing Authority and continued to be actively involved making affordable housing available in the community. He also served as the past Chair for the Starr County Democratic Party.

Born in La Grulla in 1952, Benavidez graduated from high school in Rio Grande City, he received a bachelor's degree from Pan American University in 1986, completing a major in bilingual education. After beginning as an educator, in 1994 he was named Transportation Director for the RGCCISD, where he remained for the rest of his professional life.

In addition to his wife, Rosario, he is survived by five children, including Rosie, Manuel IV, Sofia, Ande and Ben and two grand children, Dominique Marie and Manuel V.

The funeral arrangements are as follows:

Location: Sanchez Funeral Home, 301 E. 2nd St., Rio Grande City, TX 78582

(956) 487-2525

Viewing: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 12:00 p.m. followed by a rosary at 7:00 p.m. Viewing will also be available on Wednesday, April 1, 2009 from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass: Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 2:00 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church

107 W. Private Lazaro Solis St., La Grulla, TX, (956) 487-3365 c

Memorial Service: A memorial service celebrating the life of Mr. Benavidez will follow the mass service at the Golden Hill Ballroom (Rd. 2360 & Hwy. 83), Alto Bonito, TX , (956) 487-4273, at approximately 4:00 p.m.‎

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Manuel Benavidez, Jr. Migrant Student Memorial Scholarship that will be available for Starr County students.

Cuellar talks Mexico violence with Clinton


Congressman Henry Cuellar, standing front right next to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other representatives from the U.S.-Mexico Border, poses with the secretary Tuesday in Washington, D.C. During the meeting, the legislators discussed with Sec. Clinton the current drug violence in Mexico and ways to mitigate it from spilling over to the United States.