Fernando Del Valle

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Fernando del Valle is a Reporter for the Valley Morning Star. He can be reached at fdelvalle@valleystar.com or (956) 430-6278.

Willacy County confirms second case

Officials have confirmed a second case of COVID-19 in Willacy County. The state health department confirmed Sunday an adult had contracted the COVID-19 virus, officials said Monday. “They’re following up with the particular family and any contacts they have had,” said Frank Torres, the county’s emergency management coordinator. An adult became the county’s second case, said Ben Clinton, deputy superintendent of the Raymondville school district. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

4-year-old becomes first COVID-19 case confirmed in Willacy County

A 4-year-old has become the first case of coronavirus confirmed in Willacy County. On Thursday, Mayor Gilbert Gonzales said health officials were not releasing the child’s sex or home town in this sparsely populated farming area. However, he said the child’s infection was not related to travel. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Isolation tent, screenings help hospital avoid COVID-19 spread

In a long, blue tent popping out of Valley Baptist Medical Center, Dr. Christopher Romero helps screen residents for the coronavirus. Long before COVID-19 made its way to the United States, Romero was planning the hospital’s local response. As part of its plan, Valley Baptist set up the air-conditioned isolation tent to screen residents before they enter the hospital to prevent spreading the virus to patients and staff. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Workforce officials brace for job cuts

HARLINGEN — As more cities and schools shut down public buildings, some businesses are closing amid the coronavirus outbreak, prompting Rio Grande Valley Workforce...

Boswell declares state of disaster

HARLINGEN — Mayor Chris Boswell on Tuesday declared a state of disaster stemming from the outbreak of coronavirus. Boswell joined several Rio Grande Valley mayors...

Former Raymondville band director facing felony charges

The school district’s former band director is facing a felony charge of sexual performance by a child as a result of an ongoing criminal investigation. Savas Ramirez, 39, of Harlingen posted $50,000 bail for his release Saturday from the Willacy County Jail following Friday’s arrest stemming from an allegation of an incident with a student. On Tuesday, the school district’s investigation continued into Ramirez, who served as the Bearkats’ band director since 2016, district Police Chief Oscar Gutierrez said. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Harlingen police work to connect suspect to human remains

SAN BENITO — Behind Joe Martinez’s backyard, Harlingen police are investigating whether his cousin Anthony Eliff might have buried human remains a Corpus Christi woman prays aren’t those of her missing daughter. Earlier this month, a tip led investigators to skeletal remains found in a wooden area behind Martinez’s home and business in the 1200 block of Business 77, where he says he doesn’t want his cousin to return. In Corpus Christi, Rosie Loera says she last saw her daughter Elyn Loera, 32, after she boarded a bus for Harlingen to visit Eliff in September. Read more at The Monitor.com.

Woman fears human remains in Harlingen are missing daughter

A Corpus Christi woman wants to know whether a person who tipped her off about a murder suspect’s arrest can give her information that could lead to her missing daughter. Rosie Loera says she received an anonymous tip with details about the Feb. 7 arrest of Anthony Eliff III, 44, before police found human remains last Tuesday in a brush-covered area off the 1200 block of Business 77 in San Benito. Loera said the tip didn’t include information about the partially exposed skeletal remains investigators believe could be about three to four months old. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Police probe leads to human remains in San Benito

A Corpus Christi woman is praying remains found in a brush-covered area aren’t those of her daughter reported missing five months ago. Police are investigating whether remains found here Tuesday could be those of Elyn Loera, 32, of Corpus Christi, Harlingen police Commander David Osborne said Wednesday. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

San Benito, museum leaders dispute contract terms

Days after finalizing their contract, city officials and community leaders are disputing the key clause specifying whether two local museums will move into the new $1.7 million San Benito Cultural Heritage Museum. For years, organizers of the San Benito History Museum and the Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame and Museum pushed for the $1 million federal grant used to help fund the new building’s construction while exhibiting their collections in a cramped room in the city’s Community Center since 2007. Read the full story at themonitor.com.