Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Proposed Tax/Spending Increase in RGC

Rio Grande City leaders have proposed a small increase in revenue for the next fiscal year to cover general city operations, as well as a $500 raise to all city employees. (Read Full Article)
(See Proposal)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Groundbreaking held for New RGC Park

State Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Starr) stands with Socorro Villarreal, widow of Rio Grande City's first mayor, Basilio Villarreal, and Basilio Villarreal, Jr., School Board President of Rio Grande City CISD, during a groundbreaking ceremony on Aug. 17 commemorating the city's new Basilio Villarreal Municipal Park. The creation of the park is being made possible through an $800,000 Outdoor Recreation Grant from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department awarded to Rio Grande City in late 2009. Rep. Guillen worked to provide this funding through a rider in the state appropriations bill as Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee. The 18-acre park will feature concession stands, pavilions, a walking trail, Wi-Fi hotspots, and fully-lit baseball diamonds. (From left to right: Ryan Guillen, Socorro Villarreal, and Basilio Villarreal, Jr.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Valley Clinic Awarded Grant Funds

State Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Starr) stood alongside Rio Grande Valley legislators Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, State Representatives Veronica Gonzales and Sergio Muñoz, Jr., William Gimson, Executive Director of the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), and James Mansour, Chairman of the CPRIT Foundation and Oversight Committee, during a check presentation ceremony Aug. 17 at El Milagro Clinic in McAllen. The agency presented the check to mark the more than $7 million in grant funds that it has awarded to organizations across the state that have implemented cancer prevention programs benefitting South Texans since the creation of CPRIT in 2007. Rep. Guillen coauthored HB 14 during the 80th Legislature which established the agency. Its goals include expediting innovation in the area of cancer research and enhancing access to prevention programs and services throughout Texas.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

RGC Sex Traffickers Convicted

Valley media reports three Rio Grande City men; Juan Antonio Garcia Garay, Juan Chavarria Ontiveros, and Antonio "Tono" Martinez, have been sentenced to a combined prison terms of over 40 years, for importing young teenage girls from Mexico to work as prostitutes. (Read Full Story)

Starr County Receives Infrastructure Improvement Funds

Starr County is reported to receive over $1 million in federal grants to repair infrastructure damaged by recent hurricanes. Improvements include street paving and gutter improvements. Other related grants will go to improvements in sewer systems for Rio Grande City Colonials.
(Read Full Story)

Nuns, D.A. to Open RGC Shelters

Starr County District Attorney Heriberto Silva stated in a Channel 5 report that he's plans to use money from drug seizures and grants to help build a shelter for abuse victims in Rio Grande City. Local nun Sister Fink hopes that the shelter will be under development by the end of the year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

RGCCISD Announces 'Teachers of the Year'

RGCCISD Press Release
Rio Grande City CISD District Teachers of the Year were recently recognized by Region One Education Service Center in Edinburg, Texas. Pedro Omar Pena teaches at Ringgold Elementary and was selected as District Elementary Teacher of the Year. Enedelia Rios is a teacher at Grulla Middle School and was selected as the District Secondary Teacher of the Year. They were both invited to attend a banquet where they were presented with an award in recognition of their accomplishments. Pictured left to right are Jack Damron (Region One Executive Director), Serapio Trillayes (Grulla Middle School Principal), Enedelia Rios, Pedro O. Pena, Erica Canales (Ringgold Elementary Principal), and Richard Gutierrez (Region One Board Member). RGCCISD photo.

Guillen Speaks at Roma ISD Ceremony

State Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Starr) stands with Roma ISD Superintendent Jesse O. Guerra, Jr., School Board President Arturo S. Perez, School Board Vice President Dr. Raymond P. Mussett, School Board Secretary Roque Rosales, and school board members Nicolas Garza, Jr., and John Clyde Guerra at the Roma Performing Arts Center for the school district's General Meeting on Aug. 15. Rep. Guillen spoke to a group of approximately 500 people at the event, which was comprised of teachers, counselors, nurses, librarians, and administrators. The Representative's speech at this opening ceremony emphasized the importance of investing in public education and the need to provide students with greater educational opportunity. (From left to right: Jesse O. Guerra, Jr., Roque Rosales, Arturo S. Perez, Ryan Guillen, Nicolas Garza, Jr., Dr. Raymond P. Mussett, and John Clyde Guerra)

Starr County Mom Making Nursing Dreams a Reality

Starr County native Crystal Mireles says she knows she is not alone; that there are many more college students just like her. But to talk to her is to know that is simply not true. Her drive and determination to make a better life for herself and her six-year-old son make her truly unique.

“I am a full time student, a single parent and I substitute teach to make money for us to live, and it’s really hard sometimes to manage it all,” she said. “I have help, but I have had to figure a lot out on my own. I am just one of many students in the same position that want to get ahead in life, but I am absolutely determined to make our lives better and the way to do that is education.”

Earning her high school diploma in 2004, Mireles decided to go back to school in 2006 and registered at South Texas College. She had to leave school for two years to earn money for school, but was able to return in 2008.

“I earned my associate’s in psychology in 2011, but after some soul searching, I decided that what I really want to do is become a nurse,” Mireles explained. “Right now I am still working to apply to the college’s Associate Degree Nursing Program for the spring 2012 semester.”

Friday, August 19, 2011

Local College Holds Virtual Ribbon Cutting; New High-Tech Campus

A virtual ribbon was cut by South Texas College administrators, officially launching the college’s sixth state-of-the art campus in early August. Although the new virtual campus doesn’t feature beautiful green spaces or ambitious new architecture, what it does offer is something equally exciting and fitting for a new digital age. STC’s newest campus is one of the edgiest of its kind because it is an online virtual campus

STC’s new eSTC Virtual Campus went live August 9, allowing the college’s over 30,000 students to enroll in one of more than 500 course sections toward earning one of 15 degrees and five certificates - available to earn all online.

“The dawn of the Internet in daily life more than two decades ago meant the advent of a new era in the way we live and work; it has transformed every facet of our lives,” explained STC President Shirley A. Reed. “In a brave move that few colleges have dared to take, we are offering every service available to our traditional campus students - all online.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Arrests Made in Alto Bonito Shootout

Valley Media reports; Four men in an SUV opened fire on a home in Alto Bonito late Tuesday evening. Two of the men have been arrested leaving two still being sought by authorities. No one was killed in the incident, but one of the suspects was hospitalized with injuries. The report does point out that someone in the home did fire back at the shooters with fully automatic weapons. (Read Source Article 1, Source Article 2)

Cruz Gets 33 Years

Jose Arturo Santa Cruz has been convicted, and sentenced to 33 years in prison for the murder of Lauro Gonzalez of Roma. (Read Full Article)

Testimony Begins in Alvarez Trial

Valley media reports; testimony has begun in the murder trial for Adrian Alvarez Jr. Alvarez is the prime suspect for the 2008 murder of Leonel Cazares. (Read Full Article)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hurricane Beulah Photo Exhibit on Display at RGC Library


Hurricane Beulah is still recognized as one of the most significant storms to make landfall in South Texas on September 21, 1967. ‘Community Response to the Hurricane Beulah Crisis in the Rio Grande Valley’ is a project that highlights the effect of Hurricane Beulah on healthcare in South Texas. This traveling exhibit will be available at the Rio Grande City Public Library during library hours Monday –Thursday from 8:30am – 7:00pm and Friday from 8:30am – 5:30pm, located at 591 E. Canales Bros Street.  Please join us for a reception and exhibition hosted by the library at 6:00pm on August 18, 2011.  We encourage you to attend and if you have a story to share, please contact Norma Gomez Fultz, director at 956-487-4389.

Hurricane Beulah caused extensive flooding on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. To escape the rising floodwaters, over 14,000 refugees from Camargo, Tamaulipas crossed the border into the small towns of Roma and Rio Grande City, Texas. The refugees were in desperate need of food, shelter, and medical care. It was in there that Dr. Mario E. Ramirez, the only physician in town and Starr County’s Public Health Service Director, rose to action in the face of a crisis. A packaged disaster hospital was set up on the grounds of Fort Ringgold by the U.S. Public Health Service to care for victims of Hurricane Beulah. For several weeks, Dr. Ramirez along with volunteers from the local community, UT Medical Branch in Galveston, Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio as well as the U.S. Army worked to help the hurricane victims.

Youth Coalition Hosts Family Fun Event

This year Starr County Community Coalition held the annual Family Fun at Colonias Unidas.   Children received a backpack with school supplies.  Families were also information on the dangers of tobacco and secondhand smoke.  Special thanks to Rio Grande Valley Council for providing the school backpacks and Pediatric Practice Association, BFG Laboratory Services, STCADA, Border Region MHMR, TMC Headstart, DSHS Immunization Department, SCAN, Inc. for donating the much needed school supplies.  Thanks to Daisy Elizondo for providing us with refreshments.   Last of all, I would like to express gratitude to all of you that gave time and effort to make this event possible.

Sandra Garza-Starr County Community Coalition, SCAN, Inc.

Youth Coalition Visits Corpus

Starr County Youth Coalition of SCAN, Inc.  attended end of year field trip to Corpus Christi.  Youth first visited USS Lexington in the morning then the Texas State Aquarium in the afternoon.  Special thanks to Rainbow Bus Transportation.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Over 12,000 lbs of Marijuana Confiscated

During the first week of August, Border Patrol agents reportedly seized over 12,000 pounds of marijuana in a sting of busts starting in the Escobores area. (Read Full Article)

RGCPD Officer Helps Rescue Drowning Suspect

Police Officer Robert Trevino, and an unnamed Border Patrol Agent jumped into river waters to rescue the very man they were chasing. The suspect was an alleged drug smuggler who was reportedly carrying 400 lbs of marijuana in a vehicle. (Read the Full Story)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

RGC Native Pursues Masters, Thanks Local College


Former South Texas College student and Rio Grande City native Monique Estelle De Pau earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University College of Human Sciences in May 2011. She is currently pursuing a master’s in occupational therapy at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. But she believes she would not be where she is today without the academic boost she received from STC and her own hard work and determination.

“South Texas College was the catalyst I needed to get on the road to achieving my dream of becoming a pediatric occupational therapist,” Monique explained. “I was able to get a head start on college by taking advantage of STC’s Dual Enrollment Program, where I earned 28 college hours prior to my 2007 high school graduation.”

Monique also took advantage of STC’s summer courses to get ahead when she came home from school to spend time with family and friends.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Deported Convicted Murderer Resurfaces Near Rio

Authorities report Juan Gilberto Hinojosa Gonzalez, a man convicted of the murder of four men almost two decades ago, resurfaced near Rio Grande City. Gonzalez had served 20 years of his 35 year sentence before being deported back to Mexico. (Read Full Article)

Roma, Escobares' 1st Fire Stations Now Open

Starr County welcomed two new Fire Stations last week. Roma opened it's new station on August 1, followed by Escobares' FS opening on Aug 2. (Read Full Article)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rio Grande City Hosts Coveted BP Academy

Rio Grande City hosted the U.S. Border Patrol's Explorer program recently in which teenagers from across South Texas participated in an intensive training session intended to allow participants to experience firs-hand the work of the U.S.B.P. (Read Full Article)

No Rain, No Hunting?

Las Islas Wildlife Ranch manager Steve Scott has expressed concerns that the ongoing drought conditions in the Valley could hinder the success of this year's hunting season. (Read Full Article)

Sheriff Dept. Investigates Senseless Goat Killings

Local Starr County Rancher, Terry Lynch Believes his free-roaming goats were used for target practice. Lynch found five dead bullet-ridden goats on his land, with no signs of attempted theft. (Read Full Article)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Walmart & H-E-B Turkey Recall


Local Valley media reports on a Recall of several turkey products at local grocery stores due to possible salmonella contamination. Local stores have reportedly already pulled most merchandise off their shelves and encourage customers to return recently purchased turkey products for a full refund (See full list of Recalled Products)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Local Teen Kidnapped, Returned

Valley Media Reports on the Kidnapping of 15-year-old Christina Gonzalez. Gonzalez was reportedly kidnapped from the front yard of her home in Rio Grande City, and Later found in Escobares. Authorities are being cautious about releasing more info, and the investigation of the incident continues. (Read Source Article 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Local Org. to Host Webinar; Conducting a Deer Survey


Rio Grande City, Tx - Good deer management doesn’t just happen. It requires a basic understanding of how deer live and how they fit into the range management programs on ranches devoted to livestock-wildlife production. The nutritional requirements of deer must be understood and applied to the types of vegetation on the range. For this reason, the number of deer present must be accurately estimated so that populations can be balanced with food supply and livestock which compete for the food supply.

Texas AgriLife Extension, and Cooperative Extension Program (PVAMU) will be having a webinar entitled “Conducting a Deer Survey” on August 18, 2011. The programs will begin at 11:30 a.m. and conclude at 1:00 p.m. The program will be held at the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) meeting room held at the Tijerina complex on 101 S. Washington Street next to the Rio Grande City Police Station. Parking will be at the old El Patio Restaurant on the south side. The programs will be broadcasted live through the internet. Omar Montemayor & Rolando Zamora will be on hand to answer and facilitate any questions that may arise. All you will need to do is make your reservations and the rest will be taken care of. The program fee will be $10 and include a sandwich (Subway) lunch.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Starr County Sheriff's Dept. Arrest Wanted Fugitive

The Starr County Sheriff's Dept. have arrested a man in a Rio Grande City whom, who is reportedly wanted by the Nueces County Sheriff's Dept. (Reade Full Story)