Dina Arévalo

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Dina Arévalo is the editor of the Mid-Valley Town Crier and covers Weslaco, Donna, Mercedes, Progreso and the Delta area for the Crier and for The Monitor. She can be reached at darevalo@mvtcnews.com or (956) 683-4441.

Hidalgo County slated to get over $58M after June floods

Hidalgo County will soon see more than $58 million in federal disaster recovery funds appropriated by Congress in response to the June 2018 and June 2019 floods. Even more funding will be heading to Cameron County and half a dozen more that also suffered disasters those years. Sen. John Cornyn announced the funding allocation in a news release Tuesday. “Texans have endured relentless storms in the past two years and many are still recovering from the resulting damage,” Cornyn said in the statement. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Challenges remain for private border barrier

Tommy Fisher was affable and welcoming here on Wednesday afternoon as he greeted a group of reporters at the riverside property that has spawned multiple headlines in media outlets across the country. Fisher had reason to celebrate, as behind him, construction crews were well on their way to installing some 3 miles of bollard fencing just feet away from the placid waters of the Rio Grande — a high visibility monument to private enterprise offering one potential solution to the public issue of border security infrastructure. As CEO of Fisher Sand and Gravel Co., the North Dakota company founded by his father and which has positioned itself as an innovator in border wall construction methods, Fisher has become a central figure in national discussions about border security. Read the full story at themonitor.com

La Villa admin quits, mayor takes over duties

The mayor and city secretary are now in charge of the day to day operations here after the abrupt resignation of former City Administrator Arnie Amaro. Amaro resigned at the end of the day on Friday, Jan. 3 just as he and Mayor Alma Morón were going over agenda items ahead of Wednesday’s regular meeting of the board of aldermen. “He told me that he wouldn’t be here for some of the items that were gonna be presented because he was no longer gonna work for the city,” Morón said outside city hall after Wednesday’s meeting. “He had decided to accept a job elsewhere in the private sector.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Black magic suspected motive behind Weslaco doctor’s killing

Police believe black magic is behind a murder plot to kill a Weslaco doctor. Weslaco police have charged two teenagers and a 31-year-old man for the November death of a doctor  Joel Ismael Gonzalez, 17, Josue Benavides Torres, 31, and Luis Antonio Valenzuela Lopez were all arrested between Jan. 3 and 8 and charged with murder. The trio are accused of murdering 59-year-old Dr. John Jesus Dominguez on Nov. 7. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Private border wall construction to resume

Construction on a 3-mile stretch of private border wall along the banks of the Rio Grande south of Mission will resume as early as Sunday after a federal judge denied requests from both the federal government and the National Butterfly Center to halt construction. “The court is not going to grant the preliminary injunction by the government and denies the request for the temporary restraining order (by the butterfly center),” said U.S. District Judge Randy Crane at the conclusion of nearly four hours of testimony Thursday. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Weslaco to revise master plan, re-strategize debt load

City leaders here are looking at making some changes in the coming months with the aim of guiding the continued development of the “city on the grow.” To that end, the entire commission, along with the city’s department heads, gathered for an annual planning workshop Saturday at the Joe V. Sanchez Public Library. Discussions regarding the city’s comprehensive master plan, managing debt flexibility under newly passed tax limitations, sanitation, and funding the new construction of public safety facilities topped the three-hour workshop. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hotelier sticks with lawyer after government alleges conflict

“Give him a chance.” Thus implored McAllen hotelier Sunil Wadhwani of U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa during a status conference held in federal court Friday afternoon. Wadhwani was speaking of Michael Wynne, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney turned defense attorney who has been representing him in a federal bribery case since Wadhwani first became aware of the FBI’s investigation into his Weslaco Motel 6 project last year. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Weslaco commission mulls amending charter

The Weslaco City Commission is considering amending the city charter to add term limits for elected officials, as well as to redefine the makeup of the governing body to once again include at-large seats. The proposed charter amendments were just one of several topics discussed during a workshop between the commission and the city’s department heads Saturday morning at the Mayor Joe V. Sanchez Public Library. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Construction work on private border wall remains halted

Construction efforts on a 3.5 mile stretch of private border wall south of Mission will remain delayed for at least another week after a judge extended a temporary restraining order against the wall builders in federal court Friday. The delay was the latest development in a pair of lawsuits filed against the private wall builders: Fisher Industries, Fisher Sand and Gravel Co., and TGR Construction, as well as property owners Neuhaus & Sons, and the nonprofit fundraising organization We Build the Wall. WBTW’s president, Brian Kolfage, has also been named in the suits. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Sixth La Villa ex-guard arraigned on bribery charge

The indictment against a sixth former employee of the East Hidalgo Detention Center in La Villa was unsealed Thursday in federal court. Domingo Gonzalez Hernandez, 25, of Mercedes, was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker on Friday morning on the sole charge of bribery of a public official. According to the indictment, Hernandez, who worked as a correctional officer at the federal prison, is accused of accepting a Chevrolet pickup truck, a gift card and money in exchange for bringing contraband into the facility and distributing it to inmates there. Federal prosecutors allege Hernandez accepted the bribes between September 2016 and July 28, 2018, the indictment reads. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge. Read the full story at themonitor.com.