Francisco E. Jimenez

Francisco E. Jimenez is a multimedia and general assignments reporter for The Monitor. He can be reached at (956)683-4433, or at

Celebration of Citrus: Parade of Oranges, Fiesta on Saturday

The 83rd Texas Citrus Fiesta is shaping up to be out of this world. The annual event, which is taking on the theme of “Space Odyssey Adventure” is set to kick off on Saturday with the Fun Fair, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m at the Leo Peña Placita Park in Mission. “We have live music entertainment, we have vendors, food vendors, craft vendors, information booths and so forth,” said Lisa Rivera, the executive director for Texas Citrus Fiesta. Read the full story at

Becky G, Midland among entertainers for Borderfest 2020

Becky G, Midland and Ramon Ayala were announced Wednesday as the lineup for this year’s Borderfest, of which Japan will be the host country, according to city leaders here who made the announcement together with Payne Arena. Becky G, whose real name is Rebecca Marie Gomez, is known for her two number one hits on the Billboard Latin Airplay Charts, “Mayores” and "Sin Pijama,” as well as starring in the films “Power Rangers” and “A.X.L.” Read the full story at

Museum, brewery, others combine Empty Barrels benefit efforts

The International Museum of Art & Science kicked off its Empty Barrels campaign, which will help collect donations for the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, with a small ceremony here at the 5x5 Brewing Co. on Tuesday. The campaign consists of empty barrels donated by 5x5 Brewing Company in Mission and Hilmy Cellars out of Fredericksburg being decorated by local artists to help promote IMAS and the Food Bank RGV. Read the full story at

Kids Marathon Final Mile on tap Saturday

Organizers of the McAllen Kids Marathon on Thursday unveiled the event medal and T-shirts to be given to participants of the final mile Saturday morning. The announcement came at a news conference at Ben Milam Elementary, where city of McAllen and McAllen ISD officials were greeted in the library by Mustang cheerleaders and orange-clad students who are part of the running club. The final mile is slated for 9 a.m. Saturday at the McAllen Convention Center. Read the full story at

High school baseball player charged with Donna teen’s murder

A high school baseball player at PSJA Memorial faces a charge of murder following an investigation into the shooting death of a Donna teenager. Carlos Julian Contreras, the 17-year-old suspect in the death of 19-year-old Genaro Isaiah “Izzy” Castillo, remains jailed on a $1 million bond handed down during his arraignment Thursday afternoon at the Hidalgo County jail. Public records indicate that the suspect is the son of Alamo Fire Chief Roy Contreras, who declined to take questions Thursday when reached by telephone. Read the full story at

Man’s body found near Donna field with gunshot wounds

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a homicide here after a man’s body was discovered in a field.  According to Sheriff Eddie Guerra, the sheriff’s office received a 9-1-1 call at around 5:47 p.m. from a farmer who said his field worker found a body in a sugarcane field off of Valley View Road. The sheriff’s office is estimating that the victim died 10 to 15 minutes before being found by the field worker, and may have been shot multiple times where he was found.  Read the full story at

Community shares in tradition at annual pan de campo cook off

The community gathered Saturday at the American Legion Post 408 for the 41st annual pan de campo cook off. The cook off is a competition in which participants compete in five categories: fajitas, carne guisada, charro beans, pork ribs and, of course, pan de campo. Each category is judged on taste, appearance and tenderness. For Commander Rene Rodriguez, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War, this is his first time hosting the yearly cook off since being elected commander of the post. Read the full story at

RGV Hockey Fest spreads enthusiasm for sport locally

Dozens gathered at the McAllen Sports Park Hockey Pavilion on Saturday afternoon to play a little hockey. Dubbed RGV Hockey Fest 2020, the event was organized by RGV Roller, a new organization aiming to promote hockey in the Valley. Some participants wore rollerblades as they took shots at goals set at each end of the skating rink. Others without skates ran with hockey sticks in their hands. Many of these individuals wore their favorite hockey jerseys. Read the full story at

DWIs make up 33% of arrests over holidays

Local law enforcement agencies have been cracking down on intoxicated drivers over the holidays with one-third of the arrests over a recent, four-day span being for driving while intoxicated charges. From Dec. 30 through Jan. 2, Hidalgo County agencies made 181 arrests, and 59 of those, or 33% of the total, were for DWI. Read the full story at

New chamber seeks to foster job opportunities for people with disabilities

With the start of a new year and decade, a nonprofit organization designed to create job opportunities for people with disabilities is planning to launch in the Rio Grande Valley. Announced in December by Precinct 2 Hidalgo County Commissioner Eduardo “Eddie” Cantu at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the inclusive park in Hidalgo, the Disability Chamber of Commerce Rio Grande Valley hopes to foster these job opportunities and spread resources and awareness for businesses throughout the Valley. This chamber is the brainchild of cofounders Evelyn Cano, president, Esmeralda Leal, board member, and Stephanie Wilson, who each have children with autism. According to Cano, the new chamber will be only the fourth such organization in the entire United States. Read the full story at