More than 5,000 U.S. flights canceled due to weather, including Valley stops
Valley International, McAllen and Brownsville-South Padre Island airports have all had flights canceled over the past two days, with a number of others delayed. American Airlines canceled more than 800 flights Wednesday, 28 percent of its daily flights, and Southwest Airlines canceled 672, about 17 percent of total daily flights. Dallas-Fort Worth, Dallas Love Field and Austin had the most outbound flights canceled nationwide Wednesday, totaling 651, 197 and 176, respectively. Here in the Valley, the Dallas and Austin disruptions have led to more than a dozen cancellations at Valley International Airport. On Tuesday, seven flights were canceled, and on Wednesday another seven flights never made it to VIA.myrgv.com
Bet on it: Island must be included in bill to permit casinos
That money could stay here if casinos were added to the many other tourist attractions Texas has to offer. Previous bills that would allow casino gambling in Texas always have failed. Greg Abbott both have said they’re open to seeing a bill during the current legislative session that would allow casinos in Texas. State Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, has submitted a bill that would offer a constitutional amendment to create a state gaming commission and allow casino gambling as well as sports betting. However, her bill would allow only four casinos in the state, and they would have to be placed in major cities with populations of at least 2 million people.myrgv.com
Volunteers come out to clean SPI beach
In addition to enjoying the fine weather, several visitors chose to lend a hand by cleaning up trash and litter along the beach. SPI Beach Clean Up chose Beach Access #1 and the surrounding area for cleanup due to the types of trash often found there, which benefits from a more-through combing over to remove. “Here, you find small items like beach toys, cigarette butts and other small trash that need picking up. SPI Beach Clean Up will assist RGV Fishing Area And Waterway Cleanups with their cleanup on Jan. 28 starting at 9 a.m., covering Boca Chica Beach and the mouth of the Rio Grande. For more information, visit their Facebook page at SPI Beach Clean Up.myrgv.com
Sea Turtle, Inc. building new 15,000-square-foot hospital
Atlantic green sea turtles face all manner of ailments and injuries, and that’s why Sea Turtle, Inc. is building a new 15,000-square-foot hospital. They stayed in the education building next to the STI temporary hospital that has been erected until the new facility is completed later this year. “The new hospital will be the largest fully enclosed sea turtle hospital in the world. Interestingly, the temporary hospital is more enclosed and protected from the weather than the permanent hospital used to be. “It also has a 1,000-square foot surgical center with a fully-dedicated sea turtle CAT scan machine,” she said.myrgv.com
5 lanchas, 22 crew members apprehended in gulf
The Coast Guard interdicted five lanchas and 22 crew members and seized 590 pounds of illegally caught fish in federal waters off southern Texas on Thursday. Coast Guard Station South Padre Island boat crews and the Coast Guard Cutter Jacob Poroo crew, in coordination with Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders and Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi air crews, located and stopped five lanchas, detaining 22 Mexican fishermen. Coast Guard crews detained the Mexican fishermen and transferred them to border enforcement agents for processing. “Through our great collective efforts, we continue to detect and deter illegal fishing occurring in southern Texas waters,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Ortega, search and rescue coordinator, Sector Corpus Christi. Anyone witnessing suspicious activity on the water within 200 miles of shore is urged to report it to the Coast Guard at 361-939-0450.myrgv.com
Beach Buckets: UTRGV takes down Boise State in South Padre Island Classic opener
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — The UTRGV women’s basketball team tipped off the third annual South Padre Island Classic against Boise State and lost its leading scorer Iyana Dorsey momentarily during the first quarter due to two early fouls, then she exited for good after an injury in the second quarter. The Vaqueros stepped up in her absence to pull out a 72-60 win over the Broncos on Monday at the South Padre Island Convention Center on South Padre Island led by a career-high 16 points from junior guard Jena’ Williams. “I’m not really good at defense, but that means a lot to have that energy from the bench.”The UTRGV South Padre Island Classic continues Tuesday with a 3 p.m. tip-off between Boise State and Texas A&M-Commerce. Both games will be played at the South Padre Island Convention Center. Bowling Green (9-1) defeated Texas A&M-Commerce (2-8) 90-61 in Game 1 of the UTRGV South Padre Island Classic on Monday.myrgv.com
UTRGV basketball set for South Padre Island takeover
EDINBURG — The UTRGV men’s and women’s basketball teams are set to take over South Padre Island for the next three days as the South Padre Island Convention Center hosts five games today through Tuesday. The women’s basketball team (5-4) makes its return to the Island on Monday and Tuesday with the third annual UTRGV South Padre Island Classic. Tickets to catch the UTRGV men’s and women’s basketball teams in action at the South Padre Island Convention Center can be purchased at UTRGVtickets.com. UTRGV SOUTH PADRE ISLAND BATTLE ON THE BEACHThe UTRGV men’s basketball team returns to SPI for a second consecutive season during the second annual UTRGV Battle on the Beach today. We got to win (today) so we have a good taste in our mouths.”UTRGV SOUTH PADRE ISLAND CLASSICThe Vaqueros make their third visit to the Island for the UTRGV South Padre Island Classic, and they’re bringing three teams along with them.myrgv.com
SPI holiday events ramp up this week
South Padre Island will hold its annual tree-lighting ceremony Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall as the Island’s holiday events begin to accelerate. On Friday, the 33rd Annual Christmas Parade will be held beginning at 6 p.m. The parade route runs from Mars to Acapulco on the east side of the medians only. The theme for this year’s holiday events is “Deck the Palms.”“We’re decking the palms this holiday season and creating the ultimate Winter Warmerland paradise in South Texas,” said Blake Henry, South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director. Designated viewing areas throughout the route will offer free public viewing, with judging taking place at Jim’s Pier.myrgv.com
SPI seeks to fill board positions
Officials with the City of South Padre Island are seeking applications from volunteers to fill several open positions on the city’s boards and committees. Positions are available on:– Board of Adjustments and Appeals– Board of Ethics (cannot serve on any other board or committee)– Convention and Visitors Advisory Board (must be in the entertainment, hotel/condo, or technical industries)– Development Standards Review Task Force Economic Development Corp.– Parks and Keep SPI Beautiful Committee– Planning and Zoning Committee– Shoreline Task Force– Special Events Committee (must be in the tourism, hospitality or events industries)“Serving on a committee or a board is an excellent opportunity to make a difference in the community,” said City Manager Randy Smith. “Community service is an investment to our community and the residents who live on the Island.”Those interested in serving on any of the committees must first complete an application and submit the application to City Secretary Angelique Soto at City Hall at 4601 Padre Blvd., email her at [email protected] or submit by fax to 956-761-3888 by 5 p.m. on Dec. 6. Applications are available at City Hall or can be found online at www.myspi.orgmyrgv.com
Island project will add new free boat ramp, the city’s third
City officials are working on the Island’s third free boat ramp with a $600,000 project planned for the bay side at Laguna Boulevard and West Marlin Street. There will be a paved parking lot with limited spaces, the boat ramp, a fish-cleaning station and new lighting at the site. “Through that grant we were awarded funding to purchase land and to help with the construction of the boat ramp in addition with matching funds,” she added. After approval by city departments, the city will hold public meetings about the proposed boat ramp and access point before it goes to the city council. “We’re going to add another amenity to our island, which is something the city is always looking to do, especially right now when we only have two free boat ramps,” Boburka said.myrgv.com
Late night fire destroys portion of Port Isabel condo complex
Authorities in Port Isabel continue to investigate the cause of a fire at a condominium complex that destroyed two buildings that housed 16 condominium units. The fire was large enough that mutual aid from the cities of Brownsville, Los Fresnos, South Padre Island and Laguna Vista were called in to assist the Port Isabel Fire Department. The South Padre Island and Port Isabel police departments also had patrol units patrolling the area around the Port Isabel Fingers and an additional two blocks to make sure there were no secondary fires. Coast Guard Station South Padre Island watchstanders received a call from Port Isabel Fire Department personnel at about 11:20 p.m. Tuesday requesting assistance fighting a fire at Oyster Cove Condominiums in the Port Isabel Fingers, the federal agency stated in a media release. Using the P-6 pumps, firefighters and Station South Padre Island boat crew members worked to extinguish flames in the condo buildings and on surrounding piers.myrgv.com
Community mourns death of Los Fresnos High School student who drowned at SPI
The Los Fresnos school district is providing counseling services to staff, students and friends of a 17-year-old high school senior who was the victim of an apparent drowning. 5 on South Padre Island. The Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District issued the following statement: “Our hearts are heavy today following the loss of a Los Fresnos High School senior who died in a drowning accident that occurred on Wednesday on South Padre Island. District Administration, staff, and the Los Fresnos CISD Board of Trustees extend their deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers to the family and friends of the student. “Los Fresnos CISD is currently providing on-campus counseling services for our students and staff at Los Fresnos High School and will continue to do so as needed.myrgv.com
Authorities recover body of missing swimmer off South Padre Island
Authorities have recovered the body of a 17-year-old Los Fresnos man who went missing in the water off South Padre Island. The body was recovered shortly at around 3 p.m. Thursday, said Chief Deputy Ramiro Garza, with the Cameron County Park Rangers Division. The U.S. Coast Guard, South Padre Island Fire Department, Cameron County Beach Patrol, Cameron County Emergency Management Division and Park Rangers assisted in the search and recovery, Garza said. The man was pronounced dead by Cameron County Justice of the Peace Pct. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crews from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi and a Station South Padre Island 33-foot Special Purpose Craft–Law Enforcement boat crew to search for the missing swimmer, Coast Guard authorities said.myrgv.com
SPI announces attractions for McAllen Holiday Parade
The city of McAllen is highlighting its partnership with South Padre Island as part of the upcoming holiday celebrations. South Padre Island will continue its presence in the McAllen Holiday Parade this year with the return of its giant helium balloon as well as the debut of its own float, the city announced in a joint news conference with McAllen officials. Ridley the Sea Turtle, SPI’s featured balloon, will return to the McAllen parade this year in tribute to the island’s own tradition. “Like the McAllen parade, South Padre Island has a winter tradition also,” said Randy Smith, city manager of South Padre Island. The McAllen parade will also include the SPI Vuelta Zone, a zone along the parade route where the giant helium balloons are twirled as parade goers chant “Vuelta!”“This Dec. 3, we’re taking the McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B, to where it’s never been before when Santa returns to his winter home away from home,” said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez.myrgv.com
Coastal flood warning issued for island areas of Cameron, Willacy and Kenedy counties
With the possibility of flooding on Cameron County beaches, County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. announced Thursday that Boca Chica Beach and access areas No. 3, 4, 5 and 6 at Andy Bowie Park on South Padre Island will be temporarily closed due to Hurricane Ian.myrgv.com
Editor’s Note: Valley Roots
Editor’s Note: Valley RootsThis month’s story on Texas’ only native pepper, the chile pequin, originated from a conversation between our new senior editor, Danielle Lopez, and her father. She started her research by calling her dad, who like many Texans, has been on a lifelong quest to find the perfect salsa. “It’s a very common practice among South Texans. She’s looking forward to exploring more of Texas’ cultural diversity and inimitable variety of food in her role as Plates editor. “In our next issue, we have a story about a restaurant in Lubbock that I’m excited about,” she says.texashighways.com
Cancer patient gets an audience with Allison the sea turtle
Allison, a green sea turtle with a prosthetic fin who lives at Sea Turtle, Inc., seemed to know, as animals so often do, that she and Katelyn Huchin shared a common bond. Katelyn’s trip to see Allison began five years ago, when physicians diagnosed the San Antonio resident with kidney cancer, said Holly Titsworth, public relations manager for AccentCare. The hospice and palliative care provider arranged Katelyn’s trip to Sea Turtle Inc. Sea Turtle Inc. alone works with several species of sea turtle including loggerheads, Kemp’s ridley, hawksbills and green sea turtles. “Sea turtles, I like how many different types of turtles there are and how their personalities are so different,” she said.myrgv.com
Stifled: Let market decide fate of food trucks, businesses
The Institute for Justice has asked the Texas Supreme Court to review the case of three South Padre Island food truck owners who can’t operate because of arbitrary restrictions city officials have placed on the enterprises. We hope the court agrees to take up the matter.myrgv.com
Letters: Mayor blasted
As your reporter noted, there were more than 80 vendors and the event was enjoyed by hundreds of individuals and families. What your reporter failed to report is the regretful actions of the city of McAllen under Mayor Mayor Javier Villalobos, who willfully and surreptitiously canceled McAllen’s contract with Valley AIDS Council/ RGV Pride a mere few weeks before the event was scheduled to occur. We are now discussing making it the permanent home of RGV Pride, and may consider expanding the celebration to a two-day event, and to include a parade. They were discussing weakening and dismantling NATO to give Putin his wish of expanding Russia and creating a new SovietSocialistRepublic. Trump was creating a clear pathway for Putin to have his way and take over the former USSR countries.myrgv.com
Air show to bring thrills to South Padre Island’s skies
Jets will soon be screaming and soaring about South Padre Island’s shoreline. This summer, the Roar by the Shore Air Show and Space Expo will be launching free air shows from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 27 and 28. The event is centered on the beachfront at Beach Resort by Holiday Inn, organizers said. “Headlining this year’s inaugural event is the USAF F-22 Raptor Demo Team who will be accompanied by the US Navy West Coast Rhino Demo Team from VFA-122 – the ‘Flying Eagles’ in the F/A – 18E Super Hornet,” organizers told the Coastal Current. For more information, visit www.sopadre.com.myrgv.com
Boil water notice issued for South Padre Island
Due to a water main break that is causing low pressure to no water on South Padre Island, residents are asked to boil their water before using it. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has required the Laguna Madre Water District public water system to notify all customers that they should boil all water that they use, the water district said in a news release Thursday. Water should be boiled for at least two minutes and then allowed to cool before using it. In lieu of boiling water, customers should purchase bottled water or use water from some other suitable water service. When it is no longer necessary to boil water, the district will inform the public.myrgv.com
Cameron wardens had busy Fourth, made 224 boat inspections
Texas Game Wardens, as usual, were busy over the Fourth of July holiday. Among them were Cameron County wardens, who made 224 boat inspections, issued 35 warnings, wrote 31 citations and made two arrests, one for Boating While Intoxicated and a second for an outstanding Cameron County warrant. “It was way overloaded,” said Cameron County Game Warden Calvin Atkinson, who arrived at the scene after the initial contact by another team of wardens. Willacy County game wardens conducted a boating rescue just outside Port Mansfield Harbor over the holiday weekend. Game wardens rescued four occupants who were in the water without personal floatation devices.myrgv.com
Coast Guard crews rescue 4 people on Island
The Coast Guard crew members rescued four people from an overturned kayak and jet ski near South Padre Island on Friday. Coast Guard Station South Padre Island watchstanders received a call at 3:22 p.m. from the captain of the vessel “Get Away” reporting a kayaker had flipped over and needed assistance. A 24-foot Special Purpose Craft–Shallow Water boat crew launched, arrived on scene, and pulled the kayaker out of the water. At 4:45 p.m., Station South Padre Island watchstanders noticed a capsized jet ski with three people in the water near Brazos Santiago Pass. A 33-foot Special Purpose Craft–Law Enforcement boat crew arrived on scene, rescued the three people in the water, re-righted the jet ski and escorted the individuals to Isla Blanca Marina.myrgv.com
‘A lot to be proud of’
June begins the annual month-long celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community in the United States, known as Pride month. RGV Pride is something that happens 365 days of the year. The event is part of a collaboration between the Valley Aids Council, South Texas Equality Project and AIDS Education and Training Center. So I wanted to show people that we have always been part of the Valley and have a lot to be proud of,” Sanchez said. “It is an even bigger push and reason why we continue to celebrate Pride and carry it to the rest of the year.myrgv.com
About 4,300 cold-stunned turtles survived the Texas freeze
Thousands of Atlantic green sea turtles and Kemp's ridley sea turtles suffering from cold stun are laid out to recover Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 at the South Padre Island Convention Center on South Padre Island, Texas. It's been the largest cold-stunning event for sea turtles recorded in the U.S. since the network was established in 1980. AdWhen water temperatures drop below about 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius), sea turtles become lethargic and are unable to swim. Some of the cold-stunned sea turtles had other problems as well, including hook infections and injuries from boats, Knight said. Almost all of the rescued sea turtles were green turtles, Schroeder said.
Some Texas colleges keep spring break while others adapt due to pandemic concerns
People gathered on the beach in front of Clayton’s Beach Bar during spring break on South Padre Island on Wednesday. In the early weeks of the pandemic in March 2020, colleges across the state extended spring break and then moved to online-only classes afterwards largely due to initial fears about facilitating the spread of the coronavirus. AdBut spring break for many is now coinciding with Gov. Ad“With spring break, the biggest high risks are going to be people who are young adults,” Cervantes said. “We encourage you to make good decisions during spring break, just as you did during winter break, and follow the university’s public health guidance: wWear a mask (double up!
These fishing spots on the South Texas coast will be temporarily closed due to freezing weather
Bob Hall Pier is closed until further notice due to construction. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will temporarily close some saltwater fishing spots along the coast — including some on Padre Island and near Rockport, Fulton and Aransas Pass — due to freezing weather. The 21 fishing sites will close at midnight on Monday and stay closed until 11:59 p.m., TPWD said in a news release on Saturday. During that time, fishing will be off-limits in these areas in an effort to protect the wildlife and resources. You can get the very latest forecast anytime by bookmarking our weather page and downloading the KSAT Weather Authority App - available for both Apple and Android devices.
Padre Island National Seashore to reopen in ‘the next week or two,’ officials say
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TX – Padre Island National Seashore officials announced Friday that crews are rebuilding and replacing materials damaged by Hurricane Hanna and they expect to have the park reopen in the next week or two. Mobi-mats provide traction... Posted by Padre Island National Seashore on Friday, August 7, 2020From July 22- 27, the county reported that Hurricane Hanna brought up to 11 inches of rainfall in some parts of the county. On July 27, seashore officials said that the storm caused damage from the mile 5 post to the mile 20 post. Hurricane Hanna damage picture update Picture 1: South Beach access road Picture 2: South Beach access road Picture 3:... Posted by Padre Island National Seashore on Monday, July 27, 2020All parks and beach accesses were closed across the seashore after large debris blocked off roads and trails. Related: Padre Island National Seashore closed until further notice due to damage from Hurricane Hanna
Beachgoers face sand, surf, social distancing
SAN ANTONIO – At beaches along the Texas coast and across the country, surf’s up and so are restrictions. For example, at South Padre Island, city beaches are open but gatherings are limited to 10 people. As for face coverings, take one along to any beach. Scope out the crowds early with these live videosIf you go for a swim, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises you remove face coverings because it’s difficult to breathe when they’re wet. Live webcams provide a glimpse at several beaches around Texas and the country.
‘They were scared and I don’t blame them’: San Antonio family witnesses South Padre Island condo fire
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – A San Antonio family’s stay at a beach resort in South Padre Island took quite the unexpected turn on Saturday after a massive fire broke out at a nearby condominium complex. Reynaldo Gutierrez, his wife and their 14-year-old daughter were staying at the Beach Resort At South Padre Island when they witnessed the massive fire at the Gulfpoint Condominiums building around 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The resort’s electricity was shut down, storms were rolling in and Gutierrez said his family was struck with fear at the sight of the building being engulfed in flames. “They were scared and I don’t blame them... Report: Massive fire destroys condominium complex on South Padre Island
Report: Massive fire destroys condominium complex on South Padre Island
Published: May 16, 2020, 10:10 am Updated: May 16, 2020, 2:06 pmSOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – A massive fire completely destroyed a condominium complex on South Padre Island Saturday morning, according to a report from KRGV. The Valley Star reported firefighters were working to extinguish the flames by spraying water from a nearby parking garage. Firefighters from South Padre Island, Port Isabel, Los Fresnos and Brownsville were called to the scene to assist in the fire response, per KRGV. Praying it won’t spread 🙏🏼 Posted by Alvaro Costilla on Saturday, May 16, 2020The building was deemed a total loss with damages estimating around $7 million and no injuries were reported, according to KRGV. SAFD: Family of four loses home in massive fire on West Side
As seen on SA Live - Friday, May 15, 2020
Published: May 15, 2020, 11:03 am Updated: May 15, 2020, 11:41 amSAN ANTONIO – Did you know South Padre Island is home to some of the biggest, most powerful best-shaped waves in Texas? That its sand is the best in the world for making sandcastles? SA Live digs up fun for the whole family in a special encore episode of its South Padre Island show on-the-go today at 1 p.m.! For more information, visit sopadre.com. Stream the show anytime from the KSAT TV app on Roku, Fire Stick or your smart TV or watch it now in the video below.
South Padre Island reopens in wake of COVID-19 pandemic
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – The City of South Padre Island has officially reopened with limitations in place in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. “We are so excited that the light at the end of the tunnel continues to brighten and we welcome all of our visitors to return to the Island that they enjoy and love. COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March. The first case confirmed in the U.S. was in mid-January and the first case confirmed in San Antonio was in mid-February.
Couple that vacationed at South Padre Island tests positive for COVID-19
A couple from Michigan who recently spent a few months vacationing in South Padre Island has tested positive for COVID-19 in their home state, according to a press release. A notice on the Cameron County website said the couple spent a few months on the island, and traveled from there to Idaho in February and early March for a wedding, where they were in contact with someone there who later tested positive. After returning to South Padre for a few days after the wedding, they traveled back to Michigan “on or about March 11” and were diagnosed in their home state, where they currently are being monitored. “Fortunately, based on the information we have received thus far, the two individuals to proactive measures and home isolated themselves after their return trip from Idaho until they left for South Padre Island.”COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.
Online petition urges South Padre Island to cancel spring break events due to COVID-19
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – Thousands are calling for South Padre Island to cancel this year’s spring break events in an effort to limit COVID-19 exposure, according to an online petition. According to the online, nonbinding petition on change.org, more than 6,800 people have signed in support of the cancellation, as of Sunday afternoon. As of Sunday, all of the live music events on South Padre Island were still scheduled as planned, according to the PadreU Spring Break Vacations website. The petition asks city officials to cancel this year’s events to keep spring breakers safe and healthy:“Recent news has caused us to panic regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), but more so to take precautions. How do major conferences, concerts, sporting events cancel all public outings and Spring Break still be ON at South Padre Island, Texas, this and all other concert venues and events SHOULD HAVE canceled as well.
VIDEO: SpaceX MK-1 ship blows its top off
BOCA CHICA BEACH, Texas – Check out this video that took place south of San Antonio where a SpaceX ship had its top blown off. The incident occurred at Boca Chica Beach near South Padre Island. According to KRGV, the SpaceX MK-1 ship was undergoing pressure testing when the top blew off. No injuries were reported.