Binational meeting highlights ideas, issues on border

Traffic has been backing up at the international bridges on the border for months; border towns and non-governmental agencies have racked up immigration costs for years, with hardly any reimbursement from the federal governments; and thousands of migrants seeking asylum in the United States have recently been sent back to Mexico. These are but three of the major issues discussed Friday by dozens of officials from Mexico and Texas inside a McAllen hotel ballroom where those in attendance hoped to join in a united voice to better display the issues in the border region for the leaders in Mexico City and Washington, D.C. “Coming together and having conversation is important,” said Steve Ahlenius, McAllen Chamber of Commerce president, kicking off the two-hour session at the Double Tree Hotel in McAllen, with chambers of commerce leaders from the Mexican states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Chihuahua and San Luis Potosi, the Tamaulipas Secretary of Tourism, Mexico’s National President of the Federation for Chambers of Commerce, and mayors from Tamaulipas and South Texas. Visit themonitor.com for the full story.

More than 70 cases of foodborne illness reported in Hidalgo County

Hidalgo County health officials are warning residents about the growing number of parasites found in leafy vegetables that could cause medical concerns for vulnerable populations. More than 70 cases of cyclosporiasis have been reported to the Hidalgo County Health and Human Services office, chief administrative officer Eddie Olivarez said Monday. “It’s a public health concern we not only have in the Rio Grande Valley, but in the state of Texas, and even throughout the nation,” Olivarez said. “We’ve had over 70 cases in Hidalgo County; over 300 cases in the state of Texas and there’s over 1,200 cases in the United States. So much so, that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is concerned about it and putting out alerts in reference to this particular parasite.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Once a common sight at McAllen airport, MD-80s to depart for final time

When American Airlines Flight 2338 departs McAllen Miller International Airport this morning it will mark the end of an aviation era at the airport as an iconic aircraft type becomes rarer in the sky. American Airlines will retire the last remaining MD-80 aircraft from its fleet, a type that has been an almost daily visitor to MFE for the last 40 years. Allegiant Airlines, which frequently utilized the aircraft for its flights from McAllen to Las Vegas and Florida, retired their last MD-80s last November. A statement provided by American Airlines said the MD-80, also known at the airline as the Super 80, has been “providing customers and team members with heartfelt memories on adventures ranging from family vacations to key business trips. It’s a bittersweet but well-earned retirement as American celebrates the aircraft’s history while modernizing its fleet.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Elizabeth Warren endorses Cisneros, Rep. Cuellar’s primary challenger

Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday endorsed progressive immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros in her primary campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo. Cisneros, who is 26 years old and a Laredo native, said Warren’s support “proves we have the momentum” to bring new representation to the Congressional district that stretches from Laredo to Mission. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Honoring survivors and the fallen

A little after 2 a.m., Ed Cyganiewicz received a knock at his door. It was Sept. 15, 2001, a night Cyganiewicz says he will never forget. “I remember it clearly,” said Cyganiewicz, who was mayor at the time. “I didn’t have a peephole and I could hear the crackling of a police radio.” Upon opening the door, he saw South Padre Island Police Department Sgt. James Woodard who told him the bridge collapsed and there were people in the water. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Edinburg, Pharr men arraigned on Medicaid fraud charges

Two men accused of defrauding Texas Medicaid nearly a decade ago entered not guilty pleas to charges of fraud Monday morning. Edinburg resident Osama Bachir Nahas, 64, faces four charges of Medicaid fraud while Pharr resident Gerardo Javier Jackson, 51, is charged with a single count. The Texas Attorney General’s office alleges the pair defrauded Texas Medicaid from Jan. 1, 2011, to Jan. 31, 2012. An indictment issued against the men on Aug. 22 alleges that they conspired to defraud Texas Medicaid by obtaining unauthorized payments from the program. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

In wake of mass shootings, sheriff’s office trains civilians to ‘run, fight, hide’

EDINBURG — The crowd looked tense. Some wincing. Many with visible expressions of shock as cellphone video taken by students from inside the classrooms...

Former RGC mayor to lead La Joya housing authority

The La Joya Housing Authority board appointed a new permanent executive director Wednesday, selecting former Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal for the position. The board of commissioners voted 2 to 1 in favor of Villarreal after interviewing the four job applicants one by one during executive session. Board Commissioner Jorge Bazan made the motion to hire Villarreal which was seconded by Board Chairman John Peña. Board Commissioner Jose Armando Salinas was the only vote against hiring Villarreal while Board Commissioner German Reyna abstained. With just enough votes, Villarreal was approved as the new executive director to be effective immediately. Read the full story on themonitor.com.

RGC police clerk faces improper relationship charge

A clerk with the Rio Grande City Police Department is accused of having sex with a high school student in 2015 while she worked as an aide for a high school. Rio Grande City Police Chief Noe Castillo said that Triva Solis Flores, an administrative clerk with the police department, was present at work Monday and that he heard about her arrest. Solis’ appearance at work may come as a surprise, but Castillo said she would continue to be employed at the department despite her recent arrest and indictment, unless there was a violation to the city employee policy. Castillo said Solis notified the proper officials about her arrest Friday. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Man gets 9 years in La Plaza Mall robbery case

Five of the seven La Plaza Mall robbery defendants have been sentenced to state prison. On Thursday morning, state District Judge Israel Ramon Jr. sentenced 33-year-old Alberto Rafael Barrera to nine years in prison, court records show. The group of men caused panic in McAllen in July of 2018 when they rushed into the Deutsch & Deutsch jewelry store and smashed glass cases with “mini sledge hammers” as they tried to make off with designer watches worth millions. Read the full story at themonitor.com.