Mark Reagan

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Mark Reagan is a reporter for The Monitor. He can be reached at mreagan@themonitor.com or at (956) 683-4437.

Edinburg Police Organization says it has nothing to do with lawsuit filed by other...

The Edinburg Police Organization announced Thursday that it is not associated with the Edinburg United Police Officer Associations' lawsuit against the city and its president further clarified that the organization feels the litigation is detrimental to the department as a whole. "There are two (2) unions in Edinburg. Us (represented by the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas) and EUPOA (represented by the Texas Municipal Police Association)," the Edinburg Police Organization board of directors said in a statement posted on Facebook. "Our three (3) year contract with the city expires this year which means this year the bargaining union (EUPOA) should start negotiating with the city for (the) next contract, instead they chose to sue The City of Edinburg and Chief of Police." EUPOA, the older union of the two, filed a lawsuit on April 9, alleging that Chief Cesar Torres discriminated against officers for participating in union activity and for opposing his proposal to hire an officer outside the department for the job of assistant chief. The city hasn't yet filed a response to the lawsuit. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

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Edinburg police association sues city

The Edinburg United Police Officers Association has sued the city, alleging Chief Cesar Torres discriminated against officers because of their membership and activity in the union. The 11-page lawsuit filed on April 9 alleges Torres removed two unnamed sergeants who are union members, former union treasurer Arnolda Ysquierdo and union secretary Eric Salazar from positions in the Criminal Investigations Department, or CID, because they opposed a request Torres made to the union to open the unexpired collective bargaining agreement to allow Torres to hire outside the Edinburg Police Department for the assignment of assistant chief. On Jan. 21, 2019, Torres requested that then-president Juan Hernandez open the unexpired agreement to allow for these hires, who according to the lawsuit, would be over the age limit and exempt from polygraph examination. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hidalgo Co. cases grow to 217

Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez has a message for the community. "Just bear with us," Cortez said in a video. "The next 10 days are going to be very challenging." That's because health officials now have actual data for modeling in the Rio Grande Valley and because officials are expecting residents who traveled north or visited Mexico recently to arrive back in the county. Cortez also said officials here are expecting for the return of oil workers who have been laid off or furloughed from their jobs. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Sheriff will be looking for emergency order violations over Easter

Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra announced last week that his department would be ramping up enforcement of the COVID-19 emergency order and deputies have issued approximately 75 citations so far. That's not going to change on Easter weekend. "The objective of the order is for people to stay away from each other. That's the only way ... to combat this pandemic," Guerra said Friday. "So I know that it's very difficult, especially in our culture, because during the most holiest of all holidays, families all want to be together. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Hidalgo Co. response rate to Census lagging amid pandemic

For three years, a large coalition in Hidalgo County planned to get out in the community for the 2020 Census. There were events planned across the community. Plans were made to get out into the community in person to make sure people got counted. The U.S. Census Bureau even opened its first office in Hidalgo County, rather than rely on the San Antonio Regional Office. Then the unexpected happened: a pandemic. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Sentencing pushed back for man who shot pregnant common-law wife

A 27-year-old Edinburg man will have to wait to learn what his sentence will be for shooting a pregnant, off-duty McAllen police officer in her stomach in 2018, killing her unborn baby. Jesus Abides Campos was scheduled for sentencing on charges of manslaughter and aggravated assault against a family member with a weapon causing serious bodily injury. But with the Hidalgo County Courthouse all but shutdown because of COVID-19, he's joined many other defendants in having their hearings rescheduled. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hidalgo Co. eyes stricter emergency orders

As health officials on Monday reported the second death from COVID-19 in the Rio Grande Valley, confirmed positive cases in Hidalgo County climbed above the triple-digit mark. In a Monday night release, officials reported 14 new cases here bringing Hidalgo County's total to 113, including 14 who are hospitalized. Of those 14, four are in intensive care units. "We are seeing the number of cases double every four days or so," County Judge Richard F. Cortez said in a news release. "This is in line with what we have expected and I can't emphasize enough that the safest place for everyone is in their homes." Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Federal judge dismisses most of McAllen police shooting lawsuit

A father's search for answers about a shooting between McAllen police and his daughters' stepfather that left one of the girls dead and one seriously injured will continue. But claims of civil rights violations, including excessive force and a violation of due process claims levied in a federal lawsuit against the city of McAllen have been dismissed. Hector Garcia sued the city and three police officers on Feb. 27, 2019, more than two years after the girls' stepfather, Cruz Pinion, shot his daughters, L.L.G., a minor who survived, and 16-year-old Ashley Garcia, who died. Pinon also shot and killed his wife, 42-year-old Santos Verenice Garcia, before he shot and killed himself. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hidalgo County sees 7 more cases, officials look at amending emergency order

As COVID-19 cases in Hidalgo County and the Rio Grande Valley continue to climb on a daily basis, officials here are looking at extending — and beefing up — the emergency order that's shuttered businesses and required residents to stay at home in an effort to stop the virus' spread in the community. And Friday was no different as officials here reported seven new cases, bringing the total tally to 86. Cameron County reported seven news cases Friday as well, bringing its total to 62, while on Friday both Starr and Willacy counties each had five cases apiece, bringing the total number of positive cases in the Rio Grande Valley to 158. Read the full story at themonitor.com.