Elsa orders use of masks

The city of Elsa is ordering the use of masks, or facial and nose coverings, starting at 5 a.m. Monday. All persons over the age of 3 will be required to cover their nose and mouth when entering into any building that is not their dwelling, in a business' parking lot and when pumping gas. "For clarity, medical grade coverings, such as N95 and surgical masks are not required," the order states, "and the public is encouraged to use other forms of covering so not to disrupt the supply of medical grade coverings for health care facilities and professionals and first responders." Read the full story at themonitor.com

Mission orders use of masks effective immediately

Mission Mayor Armando O'Caña signed an order Sunday requiring the use of masks while out in public effective immediately. "Residents are to wear cloth like material, medical grade masks are not required," the city stated in a Facebook post. "A handkerchief, scarf, fishing gaiter or a homemade mask will suffice." "We are doing what we can to protect our residents and stop the spread of COVID-19, based on CDC regulations," the city added. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Valley farmers hard hit by virus crisis

The Rio Grande Valley’s farmers and their contracted workers are some of the hardest-hit in the community as cities and counties issue shelter in place orders to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, among residents. Cameron County’s shelter in place order has meant the closure of farmer’s markets, farm workers afraid to go to work, and a barrage of extra labor for local farmers who must harvest and sell much-needed produce underneath a broken supply chain. Ernesto and Irma Martinez, who run Laura’s Grapefruit and the Martinez Citrus Farm in Bayview with their daughter Laura, said farmers in the area have been devastated by a series of setbacks this year. “The coronavirus came in at the wrong time. It’s a time when you want to sell your product. People can’t get out,” said Ernesto. Read the full story at themonitor.com

First COVID-19 death confirmed in RGV

Willacy County reported a fatality from the coronavirus late Saturday night, the first in the Rio Grande Valley. The man who died was in his...

High school seniors lament loss of graduation customs to pandemic

Jaedynn Alaniz won’t remember putting on her prom dress, or getting her hair and makeup done in a salon with her friend. She won’t remember wearing that dress with a corsage around her wrist, or her parents taking photos to capture the memory. She won’t remember what music the DJ plays for her first dance in that dress; she’ll never hear it. Jaedynn’s dress is a soft taupe color, and while posing for a newspaper photojournalist, the afternoon sun behind her made its flowy skirt glow. In the light wind, the tulle hem of the dress caught a few leaves while she strutted across her front yard. That afternoon may be the only time she gets to wear it. “Of course I have been dreaming of prom since I was a kid,” the 17-year-old Peñitas native said. “I would watch movies and dream of my prom. When my sister went to hers, I couldn’t wait to go to mine.” Read the full story at themonitor.com

Students, teachers adjust to distance learning

Not your typical day. With COVID-19 now in control of everything, there are no more typical days for parents, children, teachers, and certainly not for Camryn Hale, a junior at Harlingen High School. “I wake up when my first Zoom session starts, usually around 8:30 in the morning,” said Camryn, 17, one of more than 18,000 Harlingen students now attending School@Home. Read the full story at themonitor.com

McAllen man faces federal charge in rifle straw purchase

A man here faces federal straw purchase charges after prosecutors allege he lied when he said he was the intended owner of a 50-caliber rifle he purchased in the spring of 2018, records show. John Michael Herston was scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez Thursday related to his indictment on one count of lying on a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives firearm 4473 form, records show. According to the unsealed indictment, Herston, 40, allegedly made a false statement on the aforementioned ATF form on April 5, 2018, at a local licensed firearm dealer in Edinburg when he purchased a .50 caliber Bushmaster rifle. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Mercedes company fights COVID-19 on industrial scale

Over the course of two weeks, one Rio Grande Valley has completely recalibrated its business models in order to fight the coronavirus pandemic on an industrial scale. Mercedes-based Reybotics, which specializes in robot design and development for education, began producing affordable, disposable face shields for the medical community this week. The masks are fairly simple, essentially a white plastic headband with a foam cushion and a transparent plastic visor. There’s a little blue cross in the center of the headband. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Starr County releases details on coronavirus cases

Following confirmation of their sixth positive case, Starr County officials on Saturday released details about the individuals who tested positive. One of the individuals was recently hospitalized while the other five remain at home, in isolation. Five of the cases consist of individuals who live in Rio Grande City, including two females — 37 and 16 years old — and three males who are 46, 34, and 35 years old. Read the full story at themonitor.com