Thursday, September 30, 2010

Shooting Death Possibly Cartel Related

Valley Media reports Juan Jose Arellano is being held by the Starr Co. Sheriff's Dept. in connection to a shooting incident which resulted in the death of one man. The incident happened on Rio Grande City's Blanca Rd. on Wednesday night Sept. 29. UPDATE: The victim has been identified as 29-year-old Jose Luis Diaz.
(Source Article 1) (Source Article 2) (Source Article 3)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Local Gym Suddenly Shuts-Down

Although rumors abound, no official reason has been given as to why the business has suddenly closed its doors, however some customers/members tell us a sign posted on the main entrance states the business is not expected to re-open any time soon.
Editor's Note: We will post more information as it becomes available

Congressman Urges FEMA to Get "Back on Track"

Congress passes Cuellar bill on FEMA spending efficiency
Focuses on reducing government waste, increasing transparency
Washington- Congressman Henry Cuellar’s homeland security bill to direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assess the efficiency of homeland security grants passed in the House yesterday, and will now go on to be signed by President Obama.

Once signed into law, the Redundancy Elimination and Enhanced Performance for Preparedness Grants Act would require FEMA to streamline its preparedness funding program, making it more transparent and accountable.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

RGCCISD Schools Enjoyed 16 de Septiembre Events

General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary celebrated Mexico’s Independence Day on September 16th in order to expose students to Mexico’s history and diverse culture.  These cultural lessons are meaningful to students because they were allowed  to dress up, enjoy some Mexican cuisine and participate in hands-on activities.  In addition, mariachi members shared with 1st grade students one of Mexico’s great assets; mariachi music.  They learned about the different instruments and the different genres of music that evolved in Mexico.  This was definitely a rewarding learning experience that encouraged students to value and be proud of their Hispanic heritage.

1st Days of School a Success at GRS

The first days of school stir excitement and fear in many students and parents.  However, these first days, students at General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary exhibit compassion and loyalty towards siblings and friends making first days of school a rewarding memory.  Thank you staff and parents for working together to mold and guide tomorrow’s leaders. (E.Perez)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Manhunt Continues for Hit-and-Run Suspect

Valley Media reports; Authorities continue their search for Bevo Yanez who they believe is responsible for an auto mishap that sent a married couple to the hospital with critical injuries on Friday Sept. 24. Yanez is believed to still be in the Starr Co. area. Anyone with any information about this incident is encouraged to call: the DPS in McAllen at 956-984-5621. (source article)

Local College Stats Show: Desk Jobs Out, Hands-On Labor In?

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South Texas College’s fall 2010 enrollment hit a record 29,054 students, a seven percent increase over the college’s fall 2009 enrollment. The college’s Technology Campus in McAllen saw its biggest enrollment increase in history with an increase of 31 percent over fall 2009. 

“We are seeing heavy demand for those gold collar careers that are essentially high-wage, high-skill jobs,” said Dr. Shirley A. Reed, STC president. “Students are seeking training in welding, precision manufacturing, diesel, building technology, culinary arts, and all fields related to computers and computer systems. These are the jobs of tomorrow that are going to help keep America’s economy strong. Our students are very smart and they are preparing now for the trends of tomorrow.” 

The college also saw a large increase in enrollment at its Mid-Valley Campus in Weslaco, which is expanding hands-on training in welding, manufacturing and other technical professions. Its Dual Enrollment Program saw a nine percent increase, supporting the message that the road to college begins well before high school.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rattler Cheerleaders Show Hometown Pride

RGCCISD Press Release 
The Rio Grande City High School Cheerleaders have been busy this football season cheering at every game and pep rally. The squad also participates in various events throughout the year.The 2010-2011 RGC High School Cheerleaders are under the direction of Hermelinda Ayala. This year's squad consists of; Bottom: Mariela Olvera, Bryanna Garcia, Nohely Alanis, Lizett Garza, Tiffany Guerrero, Larissa Cardoza (Captain), Jennifer Coello (Co-Captain), Jazmin Valladarez, Monica Martinez, Griselda Garza, Clarissa Cantu. Middle:  Mayra Flores, Ingrid Villanueva, Maxine Saenz, Victoria Cantu, Bianca Garza, Ana Alanis, Lori Ann Martinez, Erin Ramirez. Top:  Lisi Valenciana, Josie Ramirez, Kendra Saenz, Maddy Ramirez, Savannah Saenz, Ciara Medrano. RGCCISD photo.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

City of Roma Faces Serious Financial Woes

Valley Media reports on Roma's budget troubles. A report by Katie Lopez highlights how a serious decreases in the amount of traffic across the Roma International Bridge, and other legal issues, has lead to a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue generally granted to the city on a yearly basis. Officials suggest the decrease in traffic crossing the bridge is due to the seemingly endless violence reported along the U.S./Mexican Boarder. Potential side effects to the city's financial woes could range from property tax increases to a jump in the cost of utilities such as water and garbage. (read full report)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Recent Rain a Concern, but Nowhere Near July's Flood Levels

The International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, will increase releases from Falcon Dam, located at Falcon Heights, Texas-Nueva Ciudad Guerrero, Tamaulipas, from 8800 cubic feet per second (250 cubic meters per second) to 11,500 cubic feet per second (325 cubic meters per second) on the morning of September 22.  The reservoir has continued to rise due to precipitation in the Rio Grande basin, requiring increased releases so as to maintain Falcon Reservoir at a safe level during the hurricane season. Nonetheless, releases remain well below peak releases of 60,000 cubic feet per second (1700 cubic meters per second) that occurred in July.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Garcia Sworn in to RGCCISD Police Dept.

 RGCCISD Press Release  
Officer Juvencio Garcia, Jr. was sworn in on September 8, 2010 by RGCCISD School Police Chief Hernan Garza. Officer Garcia brings to the school district extensive experience in Law Enforcement.  He was employed at the Starr County Sheriff"s Office for the past nine (9) years.  He began his law enforcement career in 2001 as a patrol officer and was promoted within two years to Night Supervisor and later became an Investigator.  Officer Garcia is married to Miriam Garcia and they have three children; Nenci (17 yrs.), Nayeli (14 yrs.) and Andres (7 yrs.). Garcia is a dedicated individual who will undoubtedly be an asset to the RGCCISD Police Department. Pictured are Garcia and Chief Garza. (RGCCISD Photo).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Alto Bonito Elem. Remembers 9-11

RGCCISD Press Release
It is difficult to believe that nine years have passed since the September 11th tragedy.

It seems like just yesterday we heard those first mind-boggling reports that the first plane, then a second plane, had crashed into the buildings of the World Trade Center.  The Pentagon was the target of yet another plane and the one headed for the Capitol crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. The anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, offers a time to remember, to reflect about this unforgettable moment in history, and to reconsider the effect that September 11th has had on our country and the world.  On September 10, 2010, Alto Bonito Elementary had their annual 911 Remembrance.  This day was dedicated to the highest act of love one human can show to another. They flew our countries Flag at half mast in honor of the families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and for those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.  We must never forget! 

Pictured above are members of the U.S. Border Patrol, La Casita Fire Department and 5th Grade Students of A.B.E.  They took part in a Flag Raising Ceremony and were treated to breakfast, all in their honor for protecting our freedom.

Friday, September 17, 2010

VMS Mariachi Helps Kick-Start Hispanic Heritage Month

RGCCISD Press Release 
VETERANS MIDDLE SCHOOL – Students and staff at VMS kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month with a breakfast merienda at the library on September 15th.  While everyone enjoyed pan dulce and coffee, the VMS Mariachi entertained them with their musical talents and sang traditional Mexican songs.  Hispanic Heritage Month buttons and informative brochures were also given out to commemorate the festivities at the library.  Pictured above are some of the VMS Mariachi players and staff  who celebrated this event.    

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Police Chase Leads to La Grull HS Close-Off


LGH's FB Photo
Campus police closed off La Grulla's new high school on Wed. Sept. 15, when a suspected drug smuggler, being pursued by Authorities, abandoned his vehicle and approached the school's outer perimeter. The suspect never made it on to school grounds and RGCCISD officially reported that no student was placed in any danger. The school later re-opened on the same day. (Source Article)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Headless Body Retrieved by Starr Co. Authorities

RG River
 Valley Media reports Starr County's Violent Crimes Task Force has initiated an investigation revolving around a male headless body that was found floating in the Rio Grande River on Wednesday, Sept. 14. The body was fully clothed but had no identification of any kind. Authorities suspect foul play, and believe the body has been in the river for weeks.
(Source Article)   

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

DEA Arrest Two Roma Police Officers

Roma Texas' Police Officers Roel Garcia, Jr. and Omar Garcia were placed under arrest by DEA (Drug Enforcement Admin.) Agents on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2010 following indictments issued by a Federal grand jury in Houston. The nature of the charges have not yet been made public. (Source Article)


Local Poverty/Hunger Fighting Agency Needs Help

(File Photo)
By SALO OTERO (South Texas Food Bank Director of Development)
The South Texas Food Bank is on the front line of  the hunger issue along the Texas-Mexican border that stretches  over  eight counties along the Rio Grande from Del Rio to Rio Grande City. And the life line of that front line are agencies and pantries that distribute  food to the needy clients.  And needy  are plentiful,  right in our own backyard.  The poverty level  in the South Texas Food Bank distribution area  averages  30-plus per cent, which is double the state and triple the national average.

Elia Solis is the agency coordinator for the South Texas Food  Bank. She reports that 48 member agencies and 85 pantries are at the ready to serve the eight-county area.  She notes that the average families served monthly is 22,722. Included are 36,508 adults, 19,000 children, producing 66,963 meals. More than 14,000 families per month are served in Laredo-Webb County.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dove Hunt Permits Available for RGV Except in La Grulla

Dove hunt permits are now available at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Visitor Center through Oct. 31, 2010.  The Monte Christo tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) NWR provides 2,700 acres of public lands open to dove hunters for $30. To participate in the public lands hunt, participants must have a permit issued by the LRGV NWR.  They must also have a valid hunting license, proof of hunter’s education certification, and a photo identification on them while in the field.  The La Grulla tract of LRGV NWR is closed to dove hunting this season due to damages from the prolonged flooding.  For more information about hunting opportunities on refuge lands, please call 956-784-7500 or visit

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

Friday, September 10, 2010

UTPA Establishes Permanent Presence in Starr Co.

UTPA Photo
The University of Texas-Pan American at Starr County has a permanent building to call its own.

On Wednesday, Sept. 8, UTPA was joined by local and state dignitaries, as well as representatives from its new neighbor, South Texas College (STC), in dedicating the 17,391-square-foot facility located on Farm-to-Market Road 3167 in Rio Grande City.

"We're here for a great and a marvelous day, a day the people in this area have been waiting for, for a long time," said Dr. Robert S. Nelsen, president of UTPA. "On behalf of UT Pan Am we are proud to be here. ... I have said that if we don't get it right in the Rio Grande Valley we won't get it right in the nation. Today is proof that we are getting it right in the Valley, we are getting it right in the nation."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Estimated $3 Million Drug Bust Made in RGC

Authorities siezed nearly 300 bundles of marijuana at a home East of Rio Grande City on Monday, Sept. 6, 2010. Authorities were told the estimated street value of the seized drugs is almost three million dollars.

Not arrests have been made as of the publishing of the blog post. (source article)

Commission States RG River Levels to Rise Again

File Photo
The United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) has been advised of dam releases in Mexico on the San Juan River, a tributary that flows into the Rio Grande at Rio Grande City, Texas-Ciudad Camargo, Tamaulipas.  Coupled with releases from the Commission’s Falcon Dam on the Rio Grande, water levels in the Lower Rio Grande Valley will be above normal for several days.  The National Weather Service expects the Rio Grande to remain below flood stage at Rio Grande City.   Dam releases are only a tiny fraction of the volumes seen during July 2010 when flooding occurred.

To control Rio Grande flow at Brownsville, Texas-Matamoros, Tamaulipas, the Commission will temporarily hold water in the river between Anzalduas Dam and Retamal Dam; this will cause the river to rise in this reach beginning September 9 and continuing for several days.  This will affect water levels in the Rio Grande between Hidalgo, TX-Reynosa, Tamps. and Donna, TX-Rio Bravo, Tamps.  Area residents should not be alarmed by this controlled increase in the river level.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Flood-way Diversions Not Expected After Hermine

The United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) has closely monitored Tropical Storm Hermine due to concerns over potential impacts to the Commission’s Lower Rio Grande Flood Control Project.  Falcon Reservoir, the major Rio Grande dam upstream from the Lower Rio Grande Valley, has been rising slowly and releases from the dam were increased to 4200 cubic feet per second (120 cubic meters per second) on September 7.  Falcon Reservoir continues to have substantial capacity to store floodwaters and large flood releases are not expected at this time.  The upstream dam releases as well as flow from Mexican tributaries will cause Rio Grande levels in the Lower Rio Grande Valley to rise in the coming days.  Residents should note that releases from Falcon Dam were 14 times greater in July 2010 following Hurricane Alex and Tropical Depression #2. 

No diversions of Rio Grande flow into the U.S. interior floodway system are expected based on current releases from Falcon Dam and flows from Mexican tributaries.  Drainage structures have been opened to allow local stormwater to flow into the Rio Grande and the Banker Floodway, Main Floodway, North Floodway, and Arroyo Colorado in Hidalgo, Cameron, and Willacy Counties, and the USIBWC continues to work with the local community to troubleshoot any problems with these structures.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hermine Leaves RGC Virtually Untouched

Tropical Storm Hermine brought heavy rains, wind damage, and even power outeges across most of the Rio Grande Valley, but left Starr county relatively untouched. The Rio Grande City Fire Dept. reports the official rainfall total for yesterday, Sept. 6, was only about half-an-inch. The Fire Dept. also confirmed that no damage had been reported.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Renowned Artist's Paintings on Display at Local College Campus

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Artist celebrates nostalgia of Rio Grande Valley with new exhibit at STC’s Starr County Campus Library Art Gallery. UPDATE: An exhibit reception will be held on Friday, Oct. 15 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Starr County Campus Library Art Gallery.

“Iconography and Identity,” featuring paintings by Carlos G. Gomez will be on exhibit at the South Texas College’s Starr County Campus Library Art Gallery from Thursday, Sept. 16 through Friday, Oct. 29., 2010. The Starr County Campus Library Art Gallery is located in Bldg. F at 142 FM 3167 in Rio Grande City. Admission is free and open to the public.

Carlos G. Gomez was born in Mexico City, F.D. and raised in Brownsville, TX. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing from Washington State University, and has been professionally painting, teaching, curating and exhibiting for more than 30 years.

Regarding the Rio Grande Valley’s “Tex-Mex” environment that inspired his artwork Gomez said, “Brightly colored buildings and the surreal atmosphere of Mexican border towns gave me the first appreciation of color, line and the generalization that my chosen images would be bold and realistic.”

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Unmanned Aircraft Now Patrolling Texas-Mexico Border

Washington, DC – On August 31, 2010, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced that on Wednesday, (Sept. 1) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will begin operating an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) along the Texas-Mexico border in an effort to help deter illegal activity.

This UAS will be housed out of the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, TX, which Congressman Cuellar visited last week.

“Today marks a critical next step in securing the Texas-Mexico border. By positioning this aircraft in Texas, CBP can further combat illegal activity along our southern border,” said Congressman Cuellar, Chairman of the U.S. House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Update: RGC Shooting Rampage

 Authorities confirm four people dead after a shooting rampage west of Rio Grande City. Police report Francisco Pinal allegedly tracked down, and murdered his wife Lydia Herrera, her mother, and one of Herrera's patients, before taking his own life.
(Read Full Article)