Matthew Wilson

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Matthew Wilson is a multimedia and general assignments reporter for The Monitor. He can be reached at (956) 683-4425 or at mwilson@themonitor.com.

$1M bond for Edinburg woman accused of killing husband

A woman accused of shooting and killing her 46-year-old husband Sunday received a million dollar bond during a hearing Tuesday afternoon. Karla Marlen De Leon, 47, was charged with the murder of her husband, Hector Raisel De Leon, and arraigned before alternate Municipal Judge Carlos Ortegon. Punishment for the first-degree felony offense ranges from no less than five years to 99 years in prison, Ortegon said at the arraignment Tuesday. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Shelter announces name change, strides toward no-kill status

The Palm Valley Animal Center announced this week that it’s changing its name to the Palm Valley Animal Society, along with other updates on the nonprofit organization’s efforts to achieve a no-kill shelter designation. Luis Quintanilla, shelter manager, said the organization’s two locations will now be known as PVAS Trenton Center and PVAS LPA Center, which both fall under the umbrella of the Palm Valley Animal Society. According to Quintanilla, the change is being made primarily to end confusion in the public about the organization’s two locations. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Mother, 6 children struggle to recover after losing home to fire

It was 11:30 a.m. Sept. 26 and Viridiana Silva was changing her newborn son. Silva, 31, was still recovering from delivering her son two weeks prior, and was at home in Mercedes when her 4-year-old sprinted into the room. “He just came running and told me the house was burning down,” Silva said. Silva grabbed her newborn and her 4-year-old and took them from the home as the flames spread through the attic. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

RGC schools mum on future of embattled board member’s post

The school district here and its attorney were vague this week when asked about the future of Daniel J. Garcia’s position on the school board following his temporary removal from the governing body by a state district judge. Visiting Judge David Stith decided to temporarily remove Garcia from the board last month after removal proceedings stemming from a petition filed in May alleged Garcia orchestrated a bribery attempt and requested bribes from school district employees in exchange for pay raises or promotions. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

UTRGV receives grants for rural economic aid, research

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley received close to $400,000 in federal funding for programs that research and aid rural businesses throughout South Texas at an event in Mission Monday. Two U.S. Department of Agriculture grants were presented by U.S. Reps. Henry Cuellar, D-Mission, and Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen. The $174,856 grant will provide targeted technical assistance to socially disadvantaged groups throughout the area, specifically small-scale Latina agricultural producers, while the $199,724 grant will support the Texas Rural Cooperative Center, which guides rural businesses and cooperatives in South Texas with startup, expansion and operational improvements. Speaking at the event, Cuellar stressed the importance of the grants because of the large swaths of rural areas in South Texas. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Starting from scratch: Burden of rebuilding home puts strain on Mid-Valley family

The front lawn of Fatima Vento’s Mid-Valley home is strewn with bits of debris. Chunks of plywood, scraps of linoleum tile and shards of glass mingled with sun-beaten VHS tapes and the metal poles of a derelict TV antenna are scattered about the lawn. The detritus surrounds the footings of a trailer home that was, until recently, part of her family’s living space. The trailer had begun to tilt over; due to that and its dilapidated state, Fatima made the decision to tear down the trailer and open up the space with the help of her children, of which she has five. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

PSJA ISD students learn Arabic language, Egyptian customs

“How many Arabic countries are in the world?” Nermeen Aboughoneim, PSJA ISD’s sole Arabic teacher, asked a room full of students at Zeferino Farias Elementary School in Alamo earlier this month. The answers were varied, students asking more than declaring their responses. Three? Five? Ten? A 120? “A 120, that’s very precise,” Aboughoneim laughed. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Black Friday draws crowds

Despite competition from the internet and the increasing popularity of longer sales around Thanksgiving, Upper Valley retailers say Black Friday shopping was busy this year and crowds were consistent with previous years. Arthur Aviles, assistant store manager at the Home Depot on Trenton in McAllen, says there were about 300 people waiting outside when the store opened at 6 a.m. “I’ve worked here for 10 years, and people just like to come to Home Depot on Friday. I think a lot of it is driven by the plants, poinsettias and stuff,” he said. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

McAllen program delivers 400 meals on Thanksgiving Day

Steve Salas loaded the last stack of styrofoam boxes into his truck Thursday and hit the road.  The boxes, filled with stuffing and turkey and all the other Thanksgiving essentials, would tremble precariously as Salas made his way through downtown McAllen. When he stopped for red lights or hit a bump, Salas would cautiously place a hand on the boxes to keep them from careening into the back seat. Salas was delivering the food as part of Thanksgiving Meals for the Underprivileged, an event organized by the Inter-City Christian Youth Program and other local organizations that prepare and deliver meals to families and individuals in need on Thanksgiving Day. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

64 years later, Donna High songsmith recognized

oe Caceres Boghs, Donna High class of 1955, has, potentially, touched more lives at his old school than any other individual. Boghs did not touch all those lives as a teacher at the school, nor as an administrator or a parent or a board member. He didn’t touch them through his professional accomplishments as an adult, or through philanthropy after he retired. Noe Boghs became, in a way, the most sung unsung alum of the school by a fluke: He won a songwriting competition in his senior year, writing the alma mater that’s been sung by students and staff at the school ever since. Read the full story at themonitor.com