Staff Report

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Cameron County confirms 358 more COVID-19 cases; 2 deaths

Cameron County announced two additional deaths related to COVID-19 on Saturday as well as its biggest single-day jump in cases. The individuals who died were 63-year-old men from Harlingen and La Feria. Their deaths raise Cameron County’s COVID-19 death toll to 79. The county has also confirmed an additional 358 cases of COVID-19, raising the total number of cases to 3,854 in Cameron County. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Two McAllen police officers die in ambush shooting

Standing down the street where two McAllen police officers were shot and killed, a visibly distraught Police Chief Victor Rodriguez was pained Saturday in disclosing the details of two of his officers who died responding to a domestic disturbance earlier that day. Speaking during a news conference held at the scene of the shooting, Rodriguez identified the fallen policemen as officers Edelmiro Garza, 35, and Ismael Chavez, 39. Garza had more than eight years of experience as an officer with the McAllen Police Department, while Chavez had more than two. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Two McAllen police officers killed in line of duty

Two McAllen police officers were shot and killed Saturday, Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said. “We have lost two brave public servants who sought only to keep peace in our City,” Rodriguez said via text message Saturday. The officers were reportedly ambushed while responding to a call in the vicinity of Queta Avenue and 34th Street. Read the full story at themonitor.com

25 more people die in Valley due to COVID-19

Nineteen more Hidalgo County residents died due to COVID-19 and an additional 393 cases of the disease were confirmed, county officials reported Friday. Among those who died were residents of Mission, San Juan, McAllen, Edinburg, Pharr and Alamo. Several were in their 70s, two were in their 30s and one in their 40s. “Each day we are losing more of our fellow county residents to this deadly virus,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez stated in the release. “I send my deepest condolences to the families of these victims. Please remember to take personal responsibility for you and family by continuing to use proper hygiene, social distancing, and, most importantly, wearing a mask.” Read the full story at themonitor.com

Sullivan City man accused of trying to run wife off roadway after argument

Authorities accuse a 19-year-old Sullivan City man of trying to run his wife and her four children off of the road as she drove to the police department. Sullivan City police arrested Enrique Sandoval on July 1 and charged him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and four counts of abandoning or endangering a child. Part of the alleged assault was captured on surveillance camera in the police department's parking lot as dispatch watched as Sandoval was hitting his wife's parked vehicle, according to a probable cause affidavit. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Lawmakers request more funds, field hospital from federal government

Federal lawmakers are requesting more resources for the Rio Grande Valley from the U.S. Department of Health and Human services to fight COVID-19 in the region. U.S. Reps. Vicente Gonzalez, Henry Cuellar and Filemon Vela — Democrats from McAllen, Laredo and Brownsville, respectively — joined U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in penning a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar requesting a federal medical station and more funding for COVID-19 hot spots like the Valley. "Unfortunately, with recent surges in COVID-19 cases over the past several weeks, our health systems have been pushed to their limits," the letter stated. "Even with retrofitting facilities, implementing new delivery methods for health services and expending resources to increase capacity — additional financial and personnel support are needed from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)." Read the full story at themonitor.com

27 new cases confirmed in Starr County 

Starr County reported 27 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, raising its total to 1,032 and their active cases to 738. In addition to the confirmed positive cases, the county is reporting five COVID-19 related deaths, according to information provided by Dr. Jose Vazquez, the county health authority. However, there are 26 more deaths that are pending confirmation. Read the full story at themonitor.com

COVID-19 death toll sees sharp rise as 20 more people die in Hidalgo County

Hidalgo County confirmed 20 deaths due to the coronavirus on Thursday, hitting a new milestone and setting a new single-day increase as 1,274 new cases were also confirmed. The county has now seen a total of 7,334 cases of COVID-19 with its death toll currently at 123.  “Several months ago, I warned of a potential tsunami if we did not take this more seriously,” county Judge Richard F. Cortez said during a social media briefing involving top county officials. “The tsunami is here.” Read the full story at themonitor.com

126 new cases of COVID-19 in Cameron County

Cameron County confirmed 126 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, according to a county news release, raising the total numbers of cases seen there to 3,246.  Among the new cases, the youngest is a 9-month-old girl from Port Isabel, and the oldest is a 98-year-old man from Brownsville.  Read the full story at themonitor.com

Hidalgo Co. prepares for possible field hospital, convalescent center   

Hidalgo County is in negotiations with contractors to possibly open a convalescent center and a field hospital to help relieve the overburdened local hospitals, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said Thursday. “We're working with the federal government to possibly bring a field hospital here or work it ourselves to see if we can develop one with some additional contractors,” Cortez said during a Facebook Live news conference Thursday afternoon.  Negotiations are expected to continue over the course of a few days, but these facilities can be developed rather quickly, Cortez said, adding the county has already identified three possible sites. Read the full story at themonitor.com