Alana Hernandez

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

San Benito RV Resort to host 2021 Shuffleboard World Championship

The Shuffleboard World Championships have been hosted in many places around the world such as Brazil, Canada and most recently Vienna, Austria. And next on their list of playoff tournament locations is South Texas. The Fun-N-Sun RV Resort, located in San Benito, has been selected by the International Shuffleboard Association to host the 40th Shuffleboard World Championships, which will be held in 2021 from Oct. 17 through Oct. 22. Read the full story at

SPI opens Holiday Sandcastle Village

As the holiday season continues to take shape, this coastal city has started to kick off its annual festivities that showcase the area. The city of South Padre Island opened its free second annual Holiday Sandcastle Village this week, which will be open through Jan. 13. Located in a 30 by 60 foot white tent near Louie’s Backyard and Gravity Park, the exhibit has an array of large sand sculptures such as a snowman, Santa’s Christmas throne and an angel. Read the full story at

SPI officials: Electricty on the Island may be out for days

A line of severe thunderstorms that moved across most of Cameron County overnight downed dozens of power lines on South Padre Island leaving thousands...

Port Isabel starts work on coastal park

From its scenic views to its easy access to fishing, the city aims to transform this frequently visited area into its first coastal park.   This week Port Isabel City officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the park, which will be named in honor of the late Arturo Galvan, a former city mayor. “This park is a continuation of his legacy of service to the City of Port Isabel,” City Manager Jared Hockema said during the ceremony. “It’s a great honor that we’re here today with many members of the Galvan family to name this park, which will be a permanent symbol of Mr. Galvan’s service to the city.” Read the full story at

Two charged in Laguna Heights murder

PORT ISABEL — Two suspects have been arrested in the killing of a Laguna Heights man who was found stabbed to death in a...

Sculptors create their best at Sandcastle Days

Heavy clouds loomed over the Laguna Madre area Friday morning pounding some cities with rain while creating scattered power outages. But miraculously, the storm never reached the Island during one of its most visual outdoor events of the year. A dozen master sand sculptors from around the country and world have been competing in the Island’s 32nd Annual Sandcastle Days contest held at Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill this week. Read the full story at

Son showcases father’s achievements in film

From colorful gowns and tiered cakes to tear-jerking father-daughter dances, it’s almost every Latina girl’s dream to have her very own quinceañera on her 15th birthday. However, in order to create these elaborate, traditional celebrations, usually a large sum of money is needed. This is something Gilbert Galvan, Sr. says he noticed was hindering many of his students’ dreams of having their special night. As principal of Veterans Memorial Academy, San Benito CISD’s all-freshman campus, Galvan, Sr. says he’s received many quinceañera invitations. Read the full story at

Art from the heart

Ever since Cristian Escanuela, 29, was a child, he has always been fond of art. For him, seeing his artistic ideas come to fruition makes him feel a great deal of pride. He sees them as a reminder that he has found his sense of worth and purpose. When Cristian was in high school, he felt like working with its type of structure wasn’t right for him and didn’t continue. Read the full story at

Implementing improvements

Beachgoers will have to pay higher fees to visit Cameron County coastal parks starting Oct. 1. The Cameron County Commissioners Court voted to increase beach user fees for coastal park improvements during a meeting held this past week. The new fees will be enacted at all Cameron County coastal parks, which include Isla Blanca Park, Andy Bowie Park, Beach Access No. 3 and Beach Access No. 6 and E.K. Atwood Park, which is also known as Beach Access No. 5. Read the full story at

Honoring survivors and the fallen

A little after 2 a.m., Ed Cyganiewicz received a knock at his door. It was Sept. 15, 2001, a night Cyganiewicz says he will never forget. “I remember it clearly,” said Cyganiewicz, who was mayor at the time. “I didn’t have a peephole and I could hear the crackling of a police radio.” Upon opening the door, he saw South Padre Island Police Department Sgt. James Woodard who told him the bridge collapsed and there were people in the water. Read the full story at