A 34-year-old Alamo man has been accused of shooting and attempting to kill a woman more than four years ago. Jose Antonio Bautista Lopez was scheduled to be arraigned on a charge of attempt to commit murder stemming from an Aug. 22 indictment Tuesday morning. However, Lopez is in federal custody and was not brought to the Hidalgo County Courthouse. According to the indictment, he attempted to murder a woman on March 18, 2015. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Walking through a warehouse in Weslaco on Monday, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn turned to McAllen Mayor Jim Darling and asked the same question officials at city hall have been asking for years: When will the city receive its federal reimbursement? McAllen officials submitted a request last month to the federal government in hopes of receiving reimbursement for a chunk of the money the city has spent to assist Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in caring for asylum-seeking migrants who are dropped off by federal authorities in downtown McAllen. After all, Catholic Charities has already received $601,557.88, which Cornyn praised on Friday. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Burdened by the cost of a recent capital murder case, Starr County will be partnering with Lubbock County which will represent Starr County’s indigent defendants in capital murder cases. For the defense of Jesus Angel Rebollar, who was convicted on two counts of capital murder earlier this month, the county spent an estimated $200,000 — about $50,000 in attorney’s fees and $150,000 that the county had to deposit in an escrow account. “Capital murders are very expensive,” Starr County Judge Eloy Vera said during Commissioners Court on Tuesday, pointing out the county had two other capital murder cases that are expected to go to trial. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office deputies led a shackled 20-year-old Mission man who clutched an indictment out of a courtroom Wednesday morning as the grieving family of his alleged victim hugged and cried just feet away. Alfredo Huerta was scheduled to be arraigned on a charge of capital murder for his alleged role in the July 24 kidnapping and killing of 23-year-old Fernando Garza Jr. Instead of entering an expected not guilty plea to the charge, state District Judge Letty Lopez reset the arraignment at the request of defense attorney Daniel R. Reyes because Huerta was served his indictment in open court. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
A third man has yet to be arraigned on a charge of attempted capital murder stemming from a May shooting because he is in federal custody. Jose Mario Cardeñas, 29, was scheduled to appear before state District Judge Bobby Flores to enter a plea Tuesday, but that didn’t happen. Cardeñas, along with Yamil Garza Villarreal, 32, and Francisco Gilberto Garcia Mayo, 25, have yet to be arraigned on the Aug. 22 indictment because they all remain in federal custody. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Inspired by cultural themes, New York ballet company’s performance strikes chord with local students
Dance students from three high schools and eight middle schools in La Joya ISD were treated to a performance Tuesday by Ballet Nepantla, a New York-based dance company founded and directed by Edinburg native Andrea Guajardo. Guajardo and the members of her company are classically trained ballet dancers, but their performance Tuesday, “Valentina,” only resembles ballet in its poise and finesse. Instead of tights and tutus, the dancers wear flowing skirts and serapes. Heeled leather boots often take the place of slippers during the performance. The only props most of Ballet Nepantla’s ballerinas use during the show are rifles and bandoliers. “Valentina” tells the story of women during the Mexican Revolution, melding together characters and styles that have long had a place in Mexican folklorico with ballet and contemporary dance to tell a tale of struggle and strife during a time of war. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Ahead of the November city elections, the La Joya city commissioners approved an ordinance regulating political signs. The new regulations are meant to “alleviate traffic control and maintain an undisruptive election environment at city hall,” according to the ordinance which was approved during a special meeting Tuesday afternoon. Addressing the commissioners, City Administrator Jacqueline Bazan referred to the provision in the Texas Election Code which prohibits electioneering within 100 feet of the entrance to a polling location. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
A judge granted a request to delay a detention hearing for a former U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of threatening a federal agent during a court hearing earlier this month. Daniel Polanco stood before U.S. Magistrate Juan F. Alanis on Tuesday afternoon for a detention hearing related to a recently filed federal charge accusing the former Border Patrol agent of gesturing and threatening a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations agent earlier his month. Polanco’s attorney, Marco De Luna, asked the court to allow Polanco to have his detention hearing in Houston, where he faces the possibility of having his current release in a drug conspiracy case revoked due to the current charge he faces. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
A former Border Patrol agent accused of holding his 1-year-old child while shooting his girlfriend may seek to have his $1.05 million bond reduced. Ricardo Cepeda Jr., 33, is charged with aggravated assault against a family member, attempted murder, abandoning a child without intent to return and abandoning or endangering child with criminal negligence. Edinburg police arrested Cepeda on March 3 after responding to reports that Edinburg resident Brenda Hernandez, 34, had been found inside a vehicle with gunshot wounds to her back and upper torso outside a residence at 3322 Zoe St. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
As the 2017 and 2019 Texas State Legislatures were in session, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling called both an “assault on cities.” Former Mission Mayor Norbeto “Beto” Salinas asked why state leaders were “making life so difficult for us?” On Tuesday, those concerns were bluntly confirmed in secretly recorded audio released by hardline conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan, who met with Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, in June at the state capitol. “Let me tell you something,” Bonnen said, according to the audio. “In this office, and in the conference room on that end, any mayor or county judge who’s dumbass enough to come meet with me, I told them with great clarity, my goal is for this to be the worst session in the history of the legislature for cities and counties.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.