Steve Clark

Steve Clark is a staff writer with the Brownsville Herald. He can be reached at

SpaceX extends deadline, reappraises Boca Chica properties

BROWNSVILLE — SpaceX has extended its buyout offer deadline to Boca Chica Village homeowners and agreed to reappraise the properties after complaints that the original appraisals were too low. Last month, the Hawthorne, Calif.-based rocket company sent property owners a letter dated Sept. 12, offering them three times the value of their homes based on appraisals SpaceX had commissioned. The deadline for accepting the offer was two weeks from the date of the letter and the offer was non-negotiable. SpaceX said it wants to buy the properties due to a greater-than-anticipated disruption to residents and property owners as development of the company’s Mars rocket, Starship, gains steam. Read more at The

Presidential candidate Julian Castro condemns ‘remain-in-Mexico’ approach 

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro crossed the border at the Gateway International Bridge Monday morning to visit a few of the hundreds of asylum-seeking migrants stranded in Matamoros and waiting for immigration court hearings. The migrants, the vast majority from Central America, number around 1,000 in Matamoros and are there because of a Trump administration policy — the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols, or “remain-in-Mexico” policy — that makes asylum seekers wait in Mexico until their hearings. The policy is one way the Trump administration is trying to discourage migrants from coming to the United States and claiming asylum. Before MPP was implemented, asylum-seekers were allowed to wait in the United States, frequently with family members already living here, until their hearing dates. Read more at the

Steel firm sells stake

U.S. Steel, the country’s second largest steel maker, has acquired a 49.9 percent ownership stake in Big River Steel, which is considering building a $1.6 billion steel mill at the Port of Brownsville. The Brownsville facility would be Big River’s second flat-rolled steel mill. The first, in Osceola, Ark., began operations in early 2017. The company’s “Arkansas Flex Mill” is the world’s only LEED-certified steel mill and the newest and most technologically advanced flat-rolled mill in North America, according to BRS. LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.” The Brownsville plant would be the same size as the company’s “Arkansas Flex Mill” but would use even newer technology. The BRS-U.S. Steel deal aligns the two companies for future acquisition by including an option for U.S. Steel to acquire the remaining 50.1 percent of BRS. Read the full story at

Voter registration events taking place today

Tuesday marks National Voter Registration Day and one nonprofit will host two events across the Rio Grande Valley to boost voter turnout. Considering the percentage...

Homeowners reject SpaceX buyout offer

Some homeowners at Boca Chica Village insist they have no intention of accepting a recent offer from SpaceX to purchase their properties. Unlike most of...

Travel plans at risk?

BROWNSVILLE — The IRS is warning those with serious delinquent tax debt, currently defined as $52,000 or more, that their passports are subject to...

Author John Grisham calls for migrant crisis solution

Volunteers with Team Brownsville cross into Matamoros seven days a week to feed the hundreds of migrants stranded there, mostly Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States, including a number of families with young children, the luckier ones with tents for shelter. On Sept. 4, the group of volunteers going over Gateway International Bridge to serve dinner had famous company. Author John Grisham and his wife, Renee, accompanied the volunteers to survey the migrant’s plight themselves and help serve beans, rice and bolillos on paper plates. U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, came along, as did Dorothy McAuliffe, wife of former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe and national policy advisor for Share Our Strength, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit, founded in 1984, whose primary mission is ending childhood hunger in the United States through its No Kid Hungry campaign. Read the full story at

Starhopper completes successful 150-meter flight

At one minute past 5 p.m. on Tuesday, SpaceX flew its Starhopper test vehicle to an altitude of 150 meters, about 500 feet, at the company’s Boca Chica Beach launch/test site. The successful hop came a day after SpaceX aborted the planned launch on Monday with less than one second to go, which SpaceX CEO Elon Musk blamed on ignition issues. Tuesday’s flight, which lasted 57.36 seconds, saw the hopper lift off amid billowing fire and dust, hover atop a column of blue and orange flame from the craft’s single liquid-oxygen and -methane powered Raptor engine, and manuever sideways to a smooth touchdown on a nearby landing pad. About half an hour after the flight, Musk tweeted, "Congrats SpaceX team!!" along with a still shot of Starhopper in flight. The event was live-streamed by SpaceX as well as by Everyday Astronaut and LabPadre on YouTube. Read the full story on

‘Taco Capital’: Southmost tacos spotlighted by Texas Highways

BROWNSVILLE — If José R. Ralat is correct about the effect of tacos on humans, Brownsville’s Southmost neighborhood must be one of the happiest...

Hop scheduled today; County alerts Boca Chica Village residents

SpaceX has been issued a launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct a 150-meter “hop” of the company’s Starhopper test vehicle today...