Friday, July 30, 2010

RGC Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison

On July 29, 2010 - A Starr County jury convicted 25-year-old Gerardo Echavarria Jr., of Rio Grande City, to 50 years in prison for the murder of 22-year-old, Juan Raul Requenez which took place on Feb. 28, 2009. (Read full Article)

College Tech Campus sends Invite to Starr Co. "Ladies"

Want to be treated like the queen you are while learning about fabulous career opportunities? Then take advantage of Ladies Night at South Texas College’s Technology Campus located at 3700 West Military Highway in McAllen. On Wednesday, Aug. 4 from 5 to 7 p.m., all Valley ladies are encouraged to attend a special, free evening of live music, fashion, refreshments and career exploration.

“Our Technology Campus is home to some of the most talented women professionals in the Valley and they are going to share insights and information about career paths that some women have never considered, but that can be extremely rewarding,” said Lorena Tijerina, chair of STC’s Plumber Assistant Program “We will have instructors and alumni on hand to talk about careers in business, welding, computer aided drafting, plumbing, HVACR and manufacturing, just to name a few. If you thought these fields were for men only, we can share some eye opening information with you.”

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Commission Reduces Flood Releases From Falcon Dam

The International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, will reduce the release of flood-waters from Falcon Dam, located at Falcon Heights, Texas-Nueva Ciudad Guerrero, Tamaulipas on July 27. Releases will be gradually reduced on July 27 from 60,000 cubic feet per second (1700 cubic meters per second) to56,600 cubic feet per second (1600 cubic meters per second). On July 28, the releases will be further reduced to 53,000 cubic feet per second (1500 cubic-meters per second).

With relatively dry conditions prevailing in most of the Rio Grande basin, inflows to the dam have dropped considerably and the reservoir elevation is declining.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Flooding Aids Agents; Hinders Drug Trafficking

(File Photo)
U.S. Border Patrol agents in Rio Grande City seized an estimated value of $2 million in Marijuana, with one Agent suggesting that the recent flooding "appears to be more a hindrance for the illegal contraband and people trying to cross illegally" (Read Full Article)

Grants Available for Home-Delivered Meal Providers

AUSTIN — After a lifetime of hard work, no elderly Texan should have to look to nursing care as a means of getting meals. In an effort to help deliver nutritious meals to the home of these elderly Texans and our state's disabled citizens, the Texas Department of Agriculture today announced the availability of $10 million in grants available to non-profit groups, faith-based organizations and local governmental agencies through the Texans Feeding Texans: Home-Delivered Meal Grant Program. 

"Texas senior citizens were raised during the Great Depression, they defended our freedoms in World War II and won the Cold War; now it is our turn to protect them," Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Drew DeBerry said. "In Texas today, we have an estimated 270,000 seniors who are food insecure, many of whom are homebound. Through the Texans Feeding Texans program, we are able to help provide nutritious meals on a daily basis to these elderly citizens and disabled residents who are confined to their homes."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ranger Garcia Leads Livestock Rescue Effort in Flooded RGV

(Caption Below)
GARCENO, TEXAS - Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Roland Garcia led a volunteer effort Thursday to rescue 29 head of cattle and one Quarter horse mare from two feet of flood waters close to the Rio Grande River. The livestock had been stranded in the flood waters for 10 days.

"The continued flooding of the Rio Grande Valley has wreaked havoc on livestock throughout the area," Garcia said. "We were lucky that the rescue effort was successful in saving some of these animals. Unfortunately, we weren't able to save them all. The cattle were tired and desperate, and many of them had swollen legs and were unable to fight the currents. Some turned back seeking safety with the rest of the stranded herd."

Garcia was notified of the stranded livestock by a local Rio Grande City veterinarian. Attempts were made to come up with a solution; however, there was no equipment in the disaster area capable of conducting a successful livestock rescue mission.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Sporting Goods Store in RGC Now Open for Business

National sporting goods retailer Hibbett Sporting Goods, Inc. is pleased to announce that its newest Hibbett Sports is now open in Rio Grande City, Texas market (HEB Shopping Center), employing approximately eight full and part-time team members.

Jeff Rosenthal, President and CEO of Hibbett Sports said, “We're thrilled to be opening a new store in Rio Grande City. People in Rio Grande City take their sports seriously, and we plan to give them the sporting goods products and know-how they've been looking for.”

Hibbett Sports is a fast-growing operator of over 750 full-line sporting goods stores in small to mid-sized markets, most of them located in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. The primary store format is a 5,000 square-foot store in dominant strip centers and enclosed malls. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Troops Headed to Texas Border Aug. 1

WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Defense (DOD) announced on July 19, 2010, that National Guard deployments to the Southwest border will begin on Aug. 1 as part of the Obama administration’s unprecedented efforts to combat the transnational criminal organizations that smuggle weapons, cash and people across our Southwest border.

“Over the past year and a half, this Administration has pursued a new border security strategy with an unprecedented sense of urgency, making historic investments in personnel, technology and infrastructure,” said Secretary Napolitano. “These troops will provide direct support to federal law enforcement officers and agents working in high-risk areas to disrupt criminal organizations seeking to move people and goods illegally across the Southwest border.”

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Starr Co. Residents Attending Summer College Courses

(Caption Below)
As the heat continues blazing, South Texas College is showing red hot growth with a 30 percent increase in summer enrollment. Approximately 16,457 students took advantage of summer 2010 classes at STC, an increase of 3,820 students over the summer 2009 enrollment of 12,637 students.

“Students are taking advantage of the summer to get ahead,” said William Serrata, STC vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. “They know that taking summer classes will help them graduate earlier, saving time and money. And the fact that our classes are transferring not only to The University of Texas-Pan American, but to The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Baylor University, and even as far as Yale and Stanford, makes taking summer classes at your hometown community college more attractive than ever.”

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Starr Co. Native to Serve in Guantanamo Bay

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Alejandro Benitez has deployed to the U.S. Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to serve as a member of Joint Task Force-GTMO.
Service members from all branches of the U.S. armed forces are involved in a joint-military operation whose mission is to conduct safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detained enemy combatants.
Benitez is a pharmacy technician with three years of military service.
He is the son of Alejandro and Maria Benitez of Jesus Martin Lane, Rio Grande City, Texas.
His wife, Susana, is the daughter of Jesus and San Juanita Marroquin of Elias Lopez St., Rio Grande City.
The petty officer is a 2003 graduate of Roma High School, Texas.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two Movies to Be Filmed in The RGV

(Caption Below)
Two movies are being filmed in the Rio Grande Valley beginning Today, July 20, the Rio Grande Valley Film Commission announced recently. The films, "Going Hollywood" and "Los Scavengers," are hiring many cast and crew for the productions.

"We have really worked hard to make sure that these films are shot here rather than in LA or in some other location," said Producer David Rice. "We want to help the Valley, and these films bring not only money into the economy, but also give locals experience in the film industry." The first film that will be produced, "Going Hollywood," has been cast. It will feature Mexican film star Fernando Carrillo and local television star Valente Rodriguez, most famous for his role as Ernie on The George Lopez Show.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Farmers, Ranchers Asked to Report Ag. Flood Damage

File Photo
By Rod Santa Ana
RIO GRANDE CITY  --  With no end in sight, flood waters continue to cause serious problems for a three county area downstream from Falcon Dam on the Rio Grande, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel. "Farm and ranch losses here in Starr County will easily climb into the millions," said Omar Montemayor, an AgriLife Extension agent in Rio Grande City.

To get a better handle on agricultural flood damage, Montemayor is asking Starr County farmers and ranchers to call his office to report their losses.

"If you've suffered agricultural losses in Starr County, please call our office at 956-487-2306," he said. "These would include losses to crop, livestock and structural damages, including farming equipment, fences, sheds, stables, pens and so forth."  Floodwaters have covered an estimated 15,000 acres of crop and rangeland in Starr County, according to Ronnie Zamora, an AgriLife Extension agent in Starr County.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Authorities Continue Homicide Investigation in Starr County

Valley Media reports; Starr County authorities are investigating the homicide of 28-year-old Salvador Ramirez who's body was found with a gunshot wound to the chest in Fronton early Saturday morning July 17, 2010.
(Read Full Article)

Starr Co. Students Attend National Conference

(Caption Below)
By: Delicia Ramirez, Coordinator of STC’s Upward Bound Program

Two Upward Bound participants, Jassely Escobar and Eduardo Garza, attended the Council for Opportunity in Education’s National Student Leadership Congress. The event was held from June 5 through 10 at the American University in Washington, D.C.

The National Student Leadership Congress combines elements from model student leadership training activities. It emphasizes leadership through community service. The purpose of the conference is to establish a network of emerging leaders among the population served by TRIO programs. It strives to prepare students to become service-oriented leaders. Workshops and activities at the conference assist students in developing skills to better serve their schools, communities and the nation. Conference activities also enable Upward Bound and Talent Search students to better understand national issues affecting their futures. The event also promotes sensitivity to and appreciation of cultural and racial diversity

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's Official, Falcon Levels at All Time High.

The water level at Falcon Reservoir, located at Falcon Heights, Texas-Nueva Ciudad Guerrero, Tamaulipas, reached its highest level ever early on the morning of July 15.  According to data from the United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC), at approximately 2:00 a.m. CDT, the reservoir elevation surpassed 308.1 feet above mean sea level (93.910 meters), the record established on October 19, 1958 just five years after the dam was constructed.  The reservoir is still rising as floodwaters continue to enter from the Rio Grande and Salado River, a Mexican tributary. Releases from Falcon Dam downstream into the Rio Grande remain at 60,000 cubic feet per second (1700 cubic meters per second).

Residents in the Rio Grande Basin should continue to monitor National Weather Service warnings and forecasts for updated information and river forecasts concerning flood conditions. 

USIBWC flood operations continue in the Lower Rio Grande Flood Control Project and at Amistad Dam, in accordance with previous public statements available online at:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Starr Co. Resident Attends State Award Ceremony

Senator Zaffirini seen here with Texas AgriLife 
Extension agents from throughout her senatorial 
district which expands as far north of San Antonio 
and as far south as Starr County.  Included in the 
group is Starr County Extension agent 
Yolanda Morado.
COLLEGE STATION - State Sen. Judith Zaffirini received the "Extension in the City Award" Saturday in a ceremony at Texas A&M University.

"Receiving the 2010 Extension in the City Award is especially meaningful, because I appreciate the Texas AgriLife Extension Service so much and believe strongly in its mission to serve Texas through community-based education," Zaffirini said. "I am delighted to champion important AgriLife Extension programs that promote healthy families, environmental stewardship and volunteerism."

The honor, created in 2006 to recognize urban leaders who support AgriLife Extension programs, cited Zaffirini's "passion to improve life for families and youth (and her) long record of purpose-driven public service, especially to improve public education, higher education, and health and human services." The award signifies the "highest regard and gratitude" of AgriLife Extension educators, particularly in 21 counties organized under the agency's Urban Program.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Reservoir Levels Likely to Surpass Record High

Rio Grande River, Image Taken July 8, 2010

Due to rapidly rising reservoir levels that could exceed record storage that occurred in 1958, the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, will increase the release of floodwaters from Falcon Dam, located at Falcon Heights, Texas-Nueva Ciudad Guerrero, Tamaulipas at noon on July 14.  Releases into the Rio Grande will increase to 60,000 cubic feet per second (1700 cubic meters per second) up from the current release of 39,700 cubic feet per second (1125 cubic meters per second).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

STC Pecan Campus now a GED testing site

Picture: STC Pecan Campus opens GED Testing Center.
South Texas College is making it easier than ever to take the next step in earning a college education. For those who were not able to complete high school, STC is now an official testing site for General Education Development (GED) Tests.
For just $70, an applicant can take all five tests including reading, writing, math, science and social studies, or pay per test to take individual exams. The tests will be offered at the college’s Pecan Campus Students Service Building (Building K) located at 3201 West Pecan Blvd. in McAllen. STC’s GED Testing Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first GED tests at the center will be given on Monday, July 19, 2010.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Video: Rio Grande River Overflow

 This is a video clip of the Rio Grande River taken from the Int. Bridge in Rio Grande City, Texas, Starr County, on July 8, 2010.

Perry Activates State Resources as Flooding Threatens RGV

(File Photo)
AUSTIN – On July 7, Gov. Rick Perry directed the activation of state search and rescue capabilities, including Texas Military Forces and Texas Task Force 1 (TTF-1) personnel and resources, as heavy rains and flooding continue to threaten the Rio Grande Valley.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Sporting Goods Store to Open in RGC

 National sporting goods retailer Hibbett Sporting Goods, Inc. is pleased to announce that its newest Hibbett Sports store will be opening in the Rio Grande City, Texas market, employing approximately eight full and part-time team members.

Announcing the opening, Jeff Rosenthal, President and CEO of Hibbett Sports said, “We're thrilled to be opening a new store in Rio Grande City. People in Rio Grande City take their sports seriously, and we plan to give them the sporting goods products and know-how they've been looking for.”

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Commissioner Sentenced in Voter Fraud Investigation

Valley Media Reports-Starr County commissioner Raul "Roy" Pena Jr. was sentenced to probation in a voter fraud investigation. Pena pleaded no contest to illegally returning a marked ballot and to improperly mailing another voter's ballot. (Read Full Article)

Friday, July 2, 2010

STC’s free Learning to Lead Program open to high school juniors, seniors

 2009 STC Learning to Lead participants Liana Pesina, Elena Arredondo and 
Crystal Torres enjoy a new friendship formed through their time in the program.

South Texas College is looking for participants for its Learning to Lead Program, which includes a series of free, interactive workshops focused on cultivating the leadership abilities and communication skills of area high schoolers. The program will kick off Thursday, July 8 at 6 p.m. and will run every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the month of July, with a graduation ceremony on August 3.  The workshops will be held at the college’s Pecan Campus located at 3101 West Pecan Blvd. in McAllen. Participants will receive lunch and snacks, as well as a free gift.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Alex Brings Scattered Showers, No Reported Damage


On Thursday morning, July 1, the Rio Grande City Fire Dept. was happy to report that no major damage had been reported due to weather, but crews were still patrolling some areas as a precaution.

Over all the Rio Grande City area received approx. 3.4 in of rain, with some areas reporting closer to 4in.

Hurricane Alex made landfall in Mexico around the evening hours of Wednesday, June 30.