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.

Trauma, mockery followed former Sharyland student’s 2013 assault

One word echoed in Danny’s mind through all four years of high school, repeating itself again and again without end. Broomstick. Broomstick. Broomstick. “I couldn’t have a conversation with someone, not just about the incident but about anything, because in the back of my head I just kept hearing: ‘broomstick, broomstick,’” Danny said. “I thought I was going to end up either killing myself or going crazy. I was scared that when I was talking to people the word would just come out. Instead of me saying what I had to say, or meant to say, the word broomstick would come out.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Sharyland school board meeting erupts with public unrest over abuse claims

MISSION — Public unrest over the handling of a hazing incident allegedly involving Pioneer High swimmers in November exploded into full-blown fury at a Sharyland school board meeting Monday evening, when close to a dozen people levied allegations of abuse and administrative cover-ups. Monday’s meeting was filled with community members, students, district staff and parents, many of whom expressed concern over the incident in question and allegations of previous incidents that are similar in nature. Some in the audience were openly hostile to the board, heckling and jeering them. “How dare you,” some yelled. “Shame on you,” others shouted. Speakers commenting in favor of the board were booed. Read more at The Monitor.com.

Mexico expert discusses AMLO administration at McAllen lecture

Though the message was tempered with cautious optimism, a speech from Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute director Duncan Wood on Thursday predicted continued strife in Mexico and along the border under the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Wood is an internationally renowned specialist on North American politics, Mexico and U.S.-Mexican ties who lectures and publishes on hemispheric issues and relationships. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hidalgo ISD addresses video altercation between students

Hidalgo ISD on Friday addressed a video that appears to show a physical altercation between students at Hidalgo Early College High School. The video, which is circulating widely on social media, shows a student standing above a seated student. The standing student smiles before striking the seated student, sending his glasses flying from his face. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

County celebrates completion of structural components of courthouse

Hidalgo County celebrated the completion of the structural components of its new courthouse with a topping off ceremony Tuesday, with representatives from construction manager-at-risk Morganti Texas Inc. noting that the project was 50% complete and on track to be finished on schedule. Construction workers, county officials and guests had the opportunity to sign the final beam for the project before it was hoisted to the top of the building and added to the structure. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Sharyland Pioneer students confront school board over hazing incident

Students and community members speaking at a special meeting of the Sharyland school board Wednesday confronted trustees about a hazing incident allegedly involving the Pioneer High School swim team. One of the speakers who addressed the board was Sharyland Pioneer senior Nancey Ramones, 18, who says she’s close to the victim. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Officials tight-lipped on Sharyland Pioneer hazing incident

A hazing incident last semester involving members of the Sharyland Pioneer High School swim team — which warranted a police investigation into allegations of conduct authorities described as “inappropriate” — prompted a response from the Sharyland school district Tuesday. “The District was recently made aware of an incident that took place off campus during the Fall 2019 Semester,” Sharyland ISD Superintendent Dr. Maria M. Vidaurri wrote in a statement. “Upon learning of the incident, an internal investigation was conducted, and the appropriate local authorities were immediately notified.” The statement was issued in response to The Monitor’s requests to confirm a hazing incident multiple sources reported to the newspaper Tuesday. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Lopez sworn into Agua SUD board

Franco Lopez of Mission was sworn into the Agua Special Utility District by state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa on Monday evening, replacing former District 3 Director Roger Hernandez, who resigned after being elected to the La Joya City Council. Lopez, 35, works in the La Joya ISD transportation department as a computer technician. “I’m just here for the people and hopefully do things right for them,” Lopez said Monday after being sworn in. Read the full story at themonitor.com

McAllen rolls out smart speaker app

The city of McAllen unveiled a new app last week that it says will help disseminate information about the city to a wider audience. The city’s smart speaker app, available on Alexa and Google, currently has a database of approximately 700 questions and answers, which include information on things like city officials, hours for city buildings and details about city services. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

$13M awarded to Head Starts at 10 area school districts

The Hidalgo County Head Start Program will have over $13 million in federal funding at its disposal to help children in the area in 2020, according to a statement released by U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez’s office Thursday. A federal program dedicated to the economic and social well-being of the children and families in the Rio Grande Valley, Head Start programs at several Hidalgo County school districts are expected to benefit from the $13,856,191, specifically by promoting school readiness for pre-school children from low-income families by providing safety, education and healthy development through strong community support. Read the full story at themonitor.com.