Bond set for man wielding chainsaw at protesters

A man who was seen shouting and brandishing a chainsaw at Black Lives Matter protesters downtown McAllen on Friday was arraigned Saturday and is being held on bonds totaling $17,000. The individual, Daniel Peña, 44, was charged with four counts of deadly conduct and one count of assault — class A misdemeanors. Peña was arrested by McAllen police after the incident occurred Friday afternoon. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Valley community unites for peaceful protest

More than 30 people could be counted chanting with force. “No justice, no peace,” and “Say his name, George Floyd,” could be heard as a crowd gathered at Harrison and Third streets Tuesday morning to express support and solidarity to the black community in Harlingen. Posters had messages such as, “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention” and “together we rise” as cars passed by and honked to show support. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Compromise struck on virus relief money for cities, county

Hidalgo County Commissioners went back to the drawing board Tuesday and split more coronavirus relief money with municipalities after weeks of criticism from more than a dozen mayors from across the county.   On Tuesday, commissioners voted to reimburse all cities — regardless of their populations — at a rate of $132 per capita, which eliminated the funding disparity that had drawn the ire of smaller cities and increased the overall funding for all municipalities.  Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said commissioners came up with the $132 rate after calculating some of the countywide expenses that are necessary to fight the disease and keep countywide facilities, like the county courthouse, up and running.  Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Sea Turtle, Inc. to reopen today

Individuals, groups and families are now able to visit this local nonprofit’s residents and patients again. After being closed since late March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sea Turtle, Inc. will reopen its facility today. The facility opens Tuesdays through Sundays at 10 a.m. and ticket sales end at 4:15 p.m. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Federal jury trials suspended until July

In the wake of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, civil and criminal jury trials have been suspended in federal court until at least July 3. The news came after the three federal judges who preside over the McAllen Division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas jointly handed down a special order Monday. "All jury trials (criminal and civil) scheduled to begin from this date through July 3. 2020, are continued, to a date to be reset by each presiding judge,” read the June 1 order handed down by U.S. District Judges Ricardo H. Hinojosa, Randy Crane and Micaela Alvarez. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
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Nation, Valley demonstrators protest George Floyd death

In response to George Floyd's death on May 25, protests sparked across U.S. cities in the following days. These protests prompted a peaceful and...

COVID Confessions: Different responses, different results observed from Vietnam

When I stepped into the taxi, the driver shook his head and adjusted his mask a little more tightly. “American?” he asked. “You have more deaths than anywhere in the world! You are lucky to be safe in Vietnam.” I was lucky. As I write, Vietnam has reported no deaths from COVID-19 and only 326 infections in a country of almost 100 million. In January, Hanoians celebrating Lunar New Year gathered along the shores of Hoan Kiem Lake, taking pictures in traditional dress and carrying blooming pink peach blossom trees on the back of motorbikes as they hurried to join family celebrations. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Valley demonstrators protest George Floyd death

Protests surrounding the death of George Floyd and police brutality spread to the Rio Grande Valley on Saturday as well over 100 people gathered in front of city hall along University Drive here to voice their displeasure with law enforcement’s treatment of minorities nationwide and call for change. Floyd’s death after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest has sparked protests and riots nationwide. Protestors bore banners and signs calling for law enforcement reform and voicing solidarity with Floyd and other high-profile deaths of minority individuals in police custody. Read the full story at themonitor.com
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Report, footage reveal new details in religious vandalism case

A police report from McAllen Police Department and surveillance video from San Juan police revealed new details surrounding the investigation of vandalism to two different,...

Health officials hopeful of faster turnaround for COVID-19 test results

As laboratories continue to deal with backlogs in COVID-19 testing, state health officials said they expect wait times for test results to decrease with the help of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. A lab at the Edinburg campus of UTRGV began processing COVID-19 tests as early as April but — through a partnership with the state — testing there will help improve the turnaround time, according to officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services. "We're phenomenally improving our testing turnaround time," said Dr. Elizabeth Cuevas, the health emergency preparedness and response manager for Public Health Region 11. "We've brought on UTRGV as a local lab and so, as of yesterday, all of the lab specimens that were collected from our mobile testing sites were delivered to UTRGV in Edinburg." Read the full story at themonitor.com