Law enforcement agencies hold procession in support of fallen McAllen police officers

Law enforcement from most of the cities in Hidalgo County gathered here at McAllen Medical Saturday evening to pay their respects to officers Edelmiro Garza and Ismael Chavez, who were shot and killed in the line of duty earlier that day. Over 50 police cars made up a procession escorting the bodies of the officers, who were transported to Hidalgo County pathology for autopsy. Officers from McAllen, Edinburg, Donna, Peñitas, Weslaco, Alton, Mission, Pharr, Hidalgo, Palmhurst, La Joya, San Juan, Alamo and Mercedes took part in the procession, along with county constables and sheriff’s deputies. Read the full story at

New coalition for improving highways debuts in Valley

State business leaders, alarmed by falling tax revenues dedicated to highway infrastructure, on Wednesday unveiled a new organization to advocate for innovative public-private partnerships to help fund highway construction projects. The Keep Texas Moving coalition, unveiled in McAllen, is the brainchild of the Texas Association of Business, which serves as a state chamber of commerce. The impetus behind the new organization is alarm raised by the global economic turndown accompanying COVID-19, which has been a factor in disruptions in the usual funding tools for highways, such as the oil severance tax, motor vehicle sales tax and gasoline taxes. Read the full story at

As RGV COVID-19 crisis worsens, Cornyn promises more help

As the COVID-19 crisis in the Rio Grande Valley continues to worsen — with hospitals and mortuaries running out of space as more people become critically ill from the disease — Sen. John Cornyn says additional help is on the way. Cornyn spoke with The Monitor Thursday to discuss the accelerating pandemic just as state and federal officials began to marshal more resources here, including the deployment of more than 630 healthcare workers from around the country to the Valley’s 12 hospitals. “The staff are exhausted because of the endless number of cases they’ve had to handle without a day off,” Cornyn said. Read the full story at

First organ donations from McAllen to San Antonio occur in spite of pandemic

As local hospitals focus on alleviating the current surge of COVID-19 cases in the region, they have not neglected the need to facilitate organ donations.  In March, the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, a federally designated organ procurement organization, coordinated 109 organ donations — two from the Rio Grande Valley. The organs were transported to the Center of Life at the University of San Antonio, and it was the first time a donor from the region had been sent to that facility.  Read the full story at

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

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

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

Ruling: False assassination hoax of fed judge no reason for re-sentencing

In early 2019, the U.S. Marshals briefed U.S. District Judge Randy Crane on what it initially appeared to be terrifying news. People in Mexico were planning to assassinate the judge. Thankfully, a cooperating defendant in a cocaine case named Ismael Lechuga, who was facing up to life in the Bureau of Prisons for drug trafficking, decided to warn the U.S. Marshals of the alleged plot in an effort to see his sentence reduced. Read the full story at

School board votes to start school year with remote instruction

The Point Isabel Independent School District Board of Trustees has voted to keep the district’s schools closed for on campus and face -to- face instruction during the 2020-2021 school year until it is deemed safe for students, teachers and staff to return. The district will engage in remote instruction instead. The PIISD school board held an Emergency Meeting on Friday evening via zoom to discuss the plans for opening the schools for the fall of 2020 in wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full story at