Mexican national charged in fatal accident near Harlingen
A Mexican national accused of causing a fatal accident that left two people dead and several injured near Harlingen remains incarcerated after failing to post bond, Cameron County jail records reflect. Juan Jose Bazaldua Sanchez, 25, is charged with two counts of manslaughter. Under Section 19:04 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits an offense (manslaughter) if he recklessly causes the death of an individual. Three other vehicles crashed into the tractor-trailer rig and two people were killed. According to the news release, the case remains under investigation by the police department’s Highway Enforcement Unit.myrgv.com
Fund resaca restoration
Resacas are mostly abandoned and environmentally neglected and being destroyed by invasive plants like the Brazilian berry bush. The resacas are in dire need of attention by our state and public entities. In October 2022, I took pictures of a main rural resaca, Resaca de Los Cuates, and saw fresh waterfish kills with vultures feasting. The resaca system is routinely dried up during fall off-planting seasons; thus, the natural life cycle is slowly being destroyed. The state legislature should prioritize and fund an additional $10 million grant to CameronCounty for restoration of wet and dry resacas that drain into the Laguna Madre and Gulf of Mexico.myrgv.com
Deadline to pay property taxes without being delinquent fast approaching
Cameron County Tax Assessor-Collector Tony Yzaguirre Jr. is reminding taxpayers that all 2022 taxes are due by Jan. 31, and after that, they become delinquent. Approximately 79.03% of property taxes have already been collected. “It is very important to pay all property taxes because our office will continue with aggressive collection programs this year,” Yzaguirre said. Taxes can be paid over the internet, by mail or in person at one of the nine county taxes located throughout Cameron County. >> Brownsville Tax Office: 835 E. Levee St.>> Harlingen Branch Office: 3302 Wilson Rd.myrgv.com
Man arrested for placing tracking device on woman’s vehicle
Placing a tracking device on the vehicle belonging to the mother of his baby has lead to the arrest of a Brownsville man on a charge of unlawful installation of a tracking device. The mother filed the complaint on Jan. 10 and stated she had found a GPS tracking device on her vehicle, according to the release. According to the news release, the woman became suspicious and “after inspecting her vehicle, the victim found an Apple Airtag tracking device that was placed by Reagan,” the news release stated. After conducting an investigation, it was discovered that the tracking device was registered to Reagan’s phone number. Cameron County sheriff’s investigators were able to make contact with Reagan and obtain a confession, the news release stated.myrgv.com
Hidalgo County COVID hospitalizations see jump this week
A total of 133 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Hidalgo County, officials reported Friday. The hospitalizations were a 24.3% increase from earlier this week when the county reported there were 107 total patients hospitalized with COVID. As hospitalizations in Hidalgo County continue to increase, county health officials also reported 12 additional COVID-related deaths this week. Hidalgo County health officials also reported 1,448 new cases this week, including 576 confirmed and 872 probable cases. In Cameron County, three more of its residents died due to COVID-related complications, county officials reported on Friday.myrgv.com
Man indicted on multiple charges in Porter High School incident
An 18-year-old Brownsville man involved in an Aug. 16, 2022 police chase, officer-involved shooting and stolen car incident near Porter Early College High School has been indicted on multiple charges. Moments later, at 8:48 a.m., Brownsville police received a call for assistance from Brownsville Independent School District police dispatch. “The safety and security of our students there at Porter was never compromised. … Our officers are well trained and this training came into practice today. … I’m thankful that everything we have done to keep our students and staff safe was in practice today.”Rivera remains jailed at a Cameron County facility on a $365,000 bond.myrgv.com
Man sentenced to 25 years in prison for brutal attack on girlfriend
A Brownsville man who severely beat his girlfriend leaving her almost dead has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison after a Cameron County jury found him guilty of the brutal attack. The attack occurred Sept. 15, 2021, and it was so brutal that his 41-year-old girlfriend ended up hospitalized for one week. The attack happened at the couple’s La Brisas apartment at 2426 Barnard Road in Brownsville. The woman told police her boyfriend had severely beaten her, and she didn’t know if he was still inside the apartment, Sandoval said. The woman told police she had let her boyfriend inside her apartment and that the assault occurred shortly after a conversation between the two, Sandoval said.myrgv.com
Cameron County commissioner and pharmacist warns COVID is still very much active
Garza made the comment at Tuesday’s Cameron County Commissioners Court, as the commission welcomed in the new year. Garza operates a San Benito pharmacy and said he has seen the number of COVID-19 related issues occurring. The latest numbers recorded in Cameron County from Dec. 23 to Dec. 30, indicated there were 973 laboratory reports of COVID-19 in the county with 343 confirmed cases based on PCR testing. There was also one COVID-19 related death. Some school districts in other states are asking students and staff to wear face masks when they return to the classroom following winter break.myrgv.com
Bubbling to the surface: Valley counties to share watershed study cost
A regional approach to transportation projects has proven beneficial to the Rio Grande Valley in recent years, and officials with Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties hope to use the same approach to better manage water in terms of flood control and conservation.myrgv.com
HARLINGEN — Area leaders are launching the first part of a $13 million project aimed at draining floodwaters across much of western Cameron County. During a June 2019 storm, as much as 15 inches of rain rushed floodwaters into some area homes, Galvan said. To buy the pumps, District 6 is putting up about 50 percent of the total cost while the city of Harlingen and District 5 are each pitching in about 25 percent, he said. It’s part of the city’s campaign to upgrade drainage, Commissioner Rene Perez, who oversees the city’s District 5, stated. Meanwhile, they’re planning to launch other parts of the big project within three to five years, he said.myrgv.com
Harlingen woman gets seven year prison sentence in fatal hit-and-run accident
A 33-year-old Harlingen woman accused in a fatal hit -and -run accident in 2019 that left a 46-year-old San Benito man dead, has been sentenced to seven years in prison, Cameron County jail records show. Ivonne Guajardo appeared Dec. 6, before 357th state District Judge Juan Magallanes for her sentencing after she entered a cold plea Oct. 28, 2022, to one count of accident involving death, according to Cameron County dockets. Guajardo remained in custody Tuesday at a Cameron County jail. A patrol officer found Williams dead at Interstate 69’s westbound frontage road near Stephanie Lane at about 12:40 a.m. July 21. “He was a good man.myrgv.com
Sales tax numbers are strong for Valley cities
The Texas comptroller will send cities, counties transit systems and special purpose districts $1.1 billion in local sales tax allocations for December, an increase of 12.4 percent over last year. In Cameron County, most of the larger cities posted strong gains based on sales made in October and by businesses that report tax monthly. La Feria led the way, up 14.48 percent year-over-year, followed by San Benito (up 13.92 percent), Port Isabel (up 13.83 percent), South Padre Island (up 13.70 percent), Brownsville (up 10.92 percent), Harlingen (up 7.07 percent), Los Fresnos (up 5.90 percent) and Rio Hondo (up 2.94 percent.) In Willacy County, Raymondville posted a 25 percent gain over last year while Lyford was down 15.53 percent. In Hidalgo County, Mercedes led the way, up 29.13 percent, followed by Mission (up 11.54 percent), McAllen (up 10.95 percent), Weslaco (up 9.50 percent), Edinburg (up 9.00 percent) and Pharr (up 6.37 percent).myrgv.com
Letters: Voters thanked
More than 9 million registered voters in Texas did not vote in the midterms. The CCDW applauds the Rio Grande Valley progressive voting youth and all other Democrats for participating in the election process returning Congressional District 34 to blue. Her response: “They are wrong.”I thank God daily that the synod process is working in the Universal Church. David JacksonEdinburg‘Far right’ tagspurs complaintWill someone please explain what “far right” means? Also, a few examples of “far right” behavior would help.myrgv.com
High court affirms conviction for man who killed off-duty Border Patrol agent
The Texas Court of Criminal Criminal Appeals has affirmed the conviction of a 38-year-old La Villa man who is on death row for killing an off-duty Border Patrol agent in Willacy County in August 2014. The high court issued its opinion on Wednesday affirming Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval’s capital murder and attempted capital murder convictions. Tijerina-Sandoval and Hernandez-Vallejo opened fire on the family during an attempt to steal their vehicle. That person was threatening Tijerina-Sandoval, so he decided to try and steal a vehicle. Hernandez-Vallejo struck a plea deal with the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office and pleaded guilty to murder and attempted capital murder.myrgv.com
Why some Texas cities and counties had to return millions of dollars meant to help renters during the pandemic
For some local relief programs, a lack of staffing, political support and effective community outreach got in the way of spending federal funds to prevent evictions, a new report found. More than $30 million went unspent and had to be returned.
Preliminaries under way in Brownsville ISD recount
The actual hand recount in Victor Caballero’s BISD Board of Trustees race with Denise Garza likely will get underway in earnest Wednesday afternoon, or as soon as Cameron County elections personnel finish sorting the ballots by precinct for tabulating, elections administrator Remi Garza said Tuesday.myrgv.com
Ozanam Center in Brownsville gives away hundreds of Thanksgiving turkeys
The Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center homeless shelter distributed free turkeys and all the makings for a traditional Thanksgiving meal to more than 500 Cameron County families on Wednesday, courtesy of Walmart, H-E-B and other benefactors to its food pantry.myrgv.com
Cameron County jailer arrested on civil rights violations
A Cameron County sergeant at the Carrizales Rucker Detention Center has been arrested on charges of having an improper relationship with an inmate and request for sexual favors of an inmate, the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release.myrgv.com
Cameron County judge ends term as chairman of border coalition
SAN ANTONIO — Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño’s work as chairman of the Texas Border Coalition Chairman was recognized Tuesday after the conclusion of his term, which began in 2019. Treviño was succeeded as chair by El Paso County Commissioner David Stout, who complimented his predecessor on his service in a release. “We want to express our sincere thanks to our outgoing chairman Judge Treviño for his exceptional leadership and service to the coalition,” Stout wrote. The coalition works with the state and federal government to educate, advocate and secure funding for things like transportation, immigration, border security, workforce development, economic development and health care. “When we stand together on priority issues that affect border communities, state and federal officials pay attention.myrgv.com
Six more in RGV die to COVID-19; nearly 500 test positive
This week, county officials reported another six residents died due to COVID-19 while also reporting nearly 500 people tested positive for COVID. Three Hidalgo County residents died due to COVID-19. Hidalgo County reported 371 new cases this week including 99 confirmed cases and 272 probable cases. In Cameron County, three residents died due to COVID-related complications. Cameron County health officials also reported 97 new cases this week including 30 confirmed cases and 67 probable cases.myrgv.com
Harlingen man indicted on murder charge in connection with missing woman case
Three years after a Corpus Christi woman who went missing, and was thought to have been murdered, the man accused of killing her has been indicted on a murder charge. A Cameron County jury on Nov. 4 indicted Anthony Eliff III, 47, of Harlingen, on one count of murder in connection with the death of Elyn Loera, 32, state court documents show. Lorea went missing in October 2019 after telling her mother she was traveling to Harlingen to visit her boyfriend, Anthony Eliff III. Eliff III remains in custody at a Cameron County facility on a $1 million bond. He was already jailed on a separate murder charge for killing a Harlingen man.myrgv.com
Cameron County Republicans challenging Democratic base
HARLINGEN — Cameron County residents are going to the polls in strong numbers for early voting, closing in on 2018’s record mid-term election turnout amid heavily contested races as Republicans challenge Democrats in the Rio Grande Valley’s traditionally Democratic stronghold. Early voting runs through Nov. 4. Early voting demographicsSo far, the election’s early voting list, which includes information on voters who have cast ballots, is offering a snap-shot into voters’ demographics. “For once, people actually have congressional races where people are being courted.”Meanwhile, she pointed to local Republican women challenging the county’s traditional Democratic base. “You see a tremendous amount of money coming from the outside.”Meanwhile, Cisneros Graham pointed to a “grass-roots” movement as drawing more Republican voters.myrgv.com
More miles: Interstate sign unveilings held Friday
Sign unveiling ceremonies in Cameron County and on the Kenedy-Willacy county line on Friday marked the designation of additional miles of interstate in South Texas. Trevino expressed gratitude to county commissioners Sofia Benavides and David Garza, and to former county commissioner and current port commissioner John Wood, for championing the interstate project. The Alliance for I-69 Texas was formed in 1993. Mark Williams, TxDOT executive director, was also on hand for the unveilings and likewise touted the partnerships making the multiple I-69 projects possible. “There are well over 100 miles of interstate now in the (Rio Grande) Valley and more to come.”myrgv.com
Deadline to receive 3% discount for paying property taxes early in Cameron County fast approaching
The Oct. 31 deadline to pay your property taxes early in Cameron County to receive that 3% discount is fast approaching. Tony Yzaguirre Jr., tax assessor and collector for Cameron County, is encouraging property owners to pay their taxes by the end of October to get that discount. There will be a 2% discount in you pay your property taxes in November and a 1% discount if you pay them in December. Taxes can be paid over the internet, by mail or in person at one of the nine county taxes located throughout Cameron County. >>Brownsville Tax Office: 835 E. Levee St.>>Harlingen Branch Office: 3302 Wilson Rd.myrgv.com
Brownsville mayor responds to Elon Musk’s promise of millions in donations
On Tuesday, Elon Musk said on Twitter that he would donate $20 million to Cameron County schools and $10 million to the City of Brownsville for “downtown revitalization.” The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX said he would release more details next week.
Mountain Lion hit, killed by car in Rio Grande Valley over the weekend, Texas wildlife officials say
Mountain lions, like this one pictured on the US Forest Service website, are not known for consuming human flesh. HARLINGEN, Texas – A mountain lion was hit and killed by a car traveling near Highway 77 in Cameron County in the Rio Grande Valley over the weekend, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials said. According to a statement from TPWD provided to KSAT, the mountain lion was killed north of Harlingen. He said when a young mountain lion does that it can go as far as 300 miles from where it was born. And that’s really important to remember.”To date, officials have reported two mountain lion sightings in Cameron County within the last year and 36 across the state.
Tell us how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting you
Cameron County residents line up in the early hours of the morning to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a drive-in distribution site in Los Fresnos. Credit: Eddie Gaspar/The Texas TribuneNeed to stay updated on coronavirus news in Texas? Almost a year into the pandemic, COVID-19 is still rampant across the state. While doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have begun to arrive — and more are coming — it will be months still before it is broadly available to the public. And for the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic, you can sign up for our newsletter here.
Texas county threatened with lawsuit over COVID-19 order
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Efforts by officials in one South Texas county to delay the start of face-to-face classes due to the coronavirus pandemic could face a legal challenge on claims of religious freedom. But attorneys for two private religious schools have told the county that the order is unlawful and goes against Republican Gov. Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. said First Liberty is misconstruing the county’s order regarding schools as an attack on religious freedom. The number of reported coronavirus cases in Texas increased by 3,493 and there were 104 more deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, Texas health officials reported Sunday. State health officials reported 114,391 active cases of the virus and that 451,776 people have recovered.
South Texas prepares for Tropical Storm Hanna amid pandemic
HOUSTON – Officials in South Texas, hit by the coronavirus pandemic in recent weeks, said Friday they’re also prepared to handle any challenges from Tropical Storm Hanna, which was headed their way and expected to strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall this weekend. Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said she understands that the tropical storm would exacerbate already difficult times the county, which has about 362,000 residents, has been experiencing during the pandemic. South Texas officials' plans for any possible rescues, shelters and monitoring of the storm will have the pandemic in mind. In the Mexican city of Matamoros, located across the border from Brownsville, volunteers worried whether the tropical storm would impact a makeshift migrant camp near the Rio Grande River. Greg Abbott has announced that various resources to respond to the tropical storm are on standby across the state, including search-and-rescue teams and aircraft.
Cameron County hospitals struggle to make room for COVID-19 patients after reaching capacity
SAN ANTONIO – Hospitals across the Rio Grande Valley have been at capacity and are making major adjustments to treat COVID-19 patients. Dr. Christopher Romero with Valley Baptist Medical Center said they have to get creative to make space for patients. Romero said EMS units are waiting with COVID-19 patients for a long time because there’s no room in the hospital. “The Rio Grande Valley, we have a lot of obesity. And these are risk factors for having more severe disease and worse outcomes with COVID-19,” Romero said.
County park, boat ramps at Medina Lake closed for July 4th weekend
SAN ANTONIO – Medina Lake Park in Bandera County will be closed this Fourth of July weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic. The park, which is operated by the county, will stay closed until Wednesday, July 8, due to the virus, according to officials. The boat ramp at the park will also be closed to the public. Medina Lake Park is just one of the dozens of recreational areas in Central and South Texas that will not be open during the biggest holiday of the summer due to the virus. Cameron County, which includes South Padre Island, has also announced all county parks and county beaches will be closed over the weekend.
Cameron County closes county-operated parks and beach accesses
Cameron County, Tx – Cameron County announced Monday that effective at 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 30, all County Parks and County Beach access area will be closed. Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. has ordered the closure of county parks and beach access areas until 12:01 a.m. on July 13. The Department of Health and Human Services has reported 2,183 cases in Cameron County as of June 29. The closure of the parks does not affect parks and beach accesses that are owned and operated privately. The following parks and beach access areas will be closed to the public: