Alana Hernandez

Alana Hernandez is a Reporter for the Valley Morning Star. She can be reached at or (956) 430-6239.

SPI debuts sixth sea turtle in art trail

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Residents and visitors venturing to this coastal city will spot many works of art that showcase local artists’ creativity and...

Sea Turtle, Inc. receives interactive virtual learning program award

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — From educating about different threats these marine animals face to explaining the nesting and hatching process, Sea Turtle, Inc. provides...

TxDOT launches game to combat distracted driving

HARLINGEN — From texting and talking on the phone to eating and drinking, these everyday actions could cause serious distractions for motorists who do...

VIA hopeful numbers continue to trend upward

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to create hardships, communities and businesses are faced with the task of recovering from and adapting to these trying times. During a meeting held Friday, the City of Harlingen Valley International Airport (VIA) Board discussed June reports and safety measures they’ve implemented. According to director of aviation Marvin “Marv” Esterly, the amount of airline passengers is way off compared to where it was. Read the full story at

San Benito Museum features “Preoccupations” exhibit

From food such as tacos and burritos to a variety of text and depictions of people, art enthusiasts will be able to witness a variety of pieces that showcase a unique twist and flair. The San Benito Cultural Heritage Museum’s latest exhibit “Preoccupations” features an assortment of acrylic paintings by Edinburg resident Paul Valadez. Originally from California, Valadez moved to the Rio Grande Valley in 2004 and works as a full-time lecturer in the Arts Department at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. Read the full story at

Sunny Glen continues preparations for new Transitional Living Center

Young adults who have experienced neglect or abandonment as a child and are in need of a little extra help as they transition into adulthood will soon have a place to call home while they find their footing. Sunny Glen Children’s Home, a nonprofit organization that provides a home for abused and neglected children, is gearing up to open its Sunny Glen Transitional Living Center. The center will be located on Jackson Street in downtown Harlingen and will provide housing for Sunny Glen graduates as they age out of the nonprofit’s campus in San Benito. Read the full story at

South Padre to have hospital, medical center

Residents and visitors of this coastal area will soon have closer access to hospital and medical center health care. During a City Council meeting Wednesday, South Padre Island EMS medical director Dr. Joe Ybarra gave an update regarding future medical provisions for the city. Ybarra, along with Chris Adams, an associate of Sam Wilkinson, announced that a hospital and medical center will be built on the Island and is estimated to open in March of 2021. Read the full story at

Fourth of July event to be held on South Padre

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, entertainment performances have been on hold for a few months. However, the state’s easing of restrictions has enabled entertainment venues to host performances again if they follow certain health protocols. During a press conference held Wednesday afternoon, Cameron County officials, along with event organizers and sponsors announced they will host a Red, White and Beach Fest on July 3 and 4 at the Cameron County Amphitheater and Event Center on South Padre Island. Read the full story at

Vandals damage South Padre Island’s Sandcastle Village

The scattered remains of engraved sand sculptured hearts and large, themed sand sculptures can be found spread throughout this once festive, tourist attraction. Several sand sculptures in the Holiday Sandcastle Village on South Padre Island suffered significant damage this weekend by vandals.   “It’s terrible,” sandcastle village founder and business owner Lucinda “Sandy Feet” Wierenga said with a sigh. “It made me so sad." Read the full story at

Sea Turtle, Inc. to reopen today

Individuals, groups and families are now able to visit this local nonprofit’s residents and patients again. After being closed since late March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sea Turtle, Inc. will reopen its facility today. The facility opens Tuesdays through Sundays at 10 a.m. and ticket sales end at 4:15 p.m. Read the full story at