Travis Whitehead

Travis Whitehead is a Reporter for the Valley Morning Star. He can be reached at or (956) 421-9876.

Kids going global: Local students on path to world view

HARLINGEN — “You like frijoles?” Elvia Gonzalez took her young Spanish students through yet another cultural experience as part of the International Baccalaureate program at...

Honoring the heroes of Iwo Jima

Walter Fleming remembers only too well his five days on Iwo Jima. “I was in a Higgins vehicle evacuating wounded off the beach,” said Fleming, 91, who will attend the 75th Anniversary Iwo Jima Memorial Parade on Wednesday at Marine Military Academy. Read the full story at

$38 million grant going to UTRGV School of Medicine

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley announced Tuesday it has received a $38 million gift for the School of Medicine. The university received the gift from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation, and it’s the largest single donation in the history of higher education in South Texas. Read the full story at

New virus puts medical community on the alert

Physicians are concerned about a new virus that has just arrived in China. One of those physicians is Dr. Jose Campo Maldonado, infectious disease specialist at Valley Baptist Medical Center. He and other health professionals are keeping a close eye on a new strain of Corona virus known as 2019-nCoV. As of Saturday morning it had killed more than 40 people. Just a day earlier, that toll was at 26, with more than 900 confirmed cases in all. Saturday that number had risen to almost 1,300 cases in China alone. Most of those have occurred in Wuhan, China where officials first reported the virus earlier this month. Read the full story at

Girls join in for winter retreat at Camp Perry

The scouts had plunged into the fresh meat and vegetables to wrap them in foil. The aspiring young cooks at Camp Perry’s Winter Camp placed their “foil wraps” on the ash-covered coals which simmered as if anticipating some new cuisine to savor and sear. But it was the scouts Saturday who tried out their culinary curiosities by eating the sizzling contents a few minutes later. Read the full story at

Commencement ceremonies held for jubilant UTRGV grads

“My sister!” “My daughter!” interjected Lucy Cascos. Cascos and her son, Dr. Sergio Martinez, had come to see his sister — and her daughter — Alexa Cascos graduate from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. The winter commencement ceremonies at the Harlingen Convention Center began at 9 a.m. Friday for the 180 students in the College of Liberal Arts. Alexa, age 20, was graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Read the full story at

Local student makes All-State

He was speechless. Jacob Moreno was in class when he learned he’d been selected as a Texas All-State Musician by the Texas Music Educators Association. “I literally didn’t talk the entire period,” said Jacob, a senior trumpet player at Harlingen High School. Read the full story at

Early childhood program receives boost from Gates Foundation

HARLINGEN — They don’t know the details yet, but it’s all good. The Harlingen school district has just learned it’s been awarded a $200,000 grant...

Iron kids: Children to show their powers at triathlon

The best time to get in the fitness habit is in your youth, and that’s why Bicycle World RGV is holding its third annual...

Health Center seeks to curb rise in diabetes

HARLINGEN — It was such an eye opener. Although Mary Menegay has had to manage her diabetes for years, she gained a great deal of...