Assurances sought on safety of Mexican highway

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez on Tuesday asked that he receive assurances from the Mexican government that a highway safety program, which includes the stretch of road from Reynosa to Monterrey, is to be implemented before he will vote on the revised North American Free Trade Agreement. Gonzalez said he’s concerned about the security of commercial and passenger vehicle traffic traveling between the Mexican states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, where no security restrictions have been in place. This highway safety program, which Gonzalez said he discussed with Mexican officials during a trip to Mexico City this year, would help increase safety measures for this traveling between Reynosa and Monterrey, a busy road frequented by commercial trucks, which has made the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge one of the busiest international bridges in the country. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Attempted murder arraignment delayed by fed’s arrest

A 25-year-old man Palmview police believe shot another man in the leg three times and may be tied to two kidnappings didn’t show up to court Thursday morning to be arraigned on a charge of attempted murder. That’s because two weeks after Ricardo Serna’s May 6 arrest, federal authorities intervened and took the man into custody for being a felon in possession of an AK-47 rifle, the weapon used in the disturbance that left a man shot. Serna remained in federal custody since May 20 and is being held without bond pending trial after Palmview Police Department detectives told a senior special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives about the shooting. The ATF agent determined Serna had a drug and a weapon conviction out of Michigan, according to a criminal complaint. He’s entered a not guilty plea to the federal charge. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Dogs have their day during fundraising music festival Saturday in Mission

Alyssa Cerroni thought about her love for Pupperoni, her 6-year-old mixed breed dog who used to live on the streets of Mission, while planning the second annual Woofstock music festival. Cerroni, the vice chair of Yaqui Animal Shelter, the nonprofit which hosts the event, said she did not grow up around dogs. But, after Pupperoni came into her life, her heart has sought to help as many stray animals as she can find homes. Woofstock will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Allysa’s Acres, a ranch at 1711 E. Mile 2 Road in Mission. The event is a take on Woodstock, the historical 1969 music festival which drew more than 400,000 people. Read the full story on themonitor.com.

Unique issues raised during North McAllen town hall

The fastest growing part of McAllen — including the 2,500-acre Tres Lagos community at the northern edge of the city — over the last two years has seen the construction of new streets, schools and hundreds of homes. During that time, North McAllen voters have also ushered in a new city commissioner, and for the first time since his March 2018 election, District 1 Commissioner Javier Villalobos on Thursday night held a town hall with residents in the vertical sliver of the city that makes up Villalobos’ district. His district winds and stretches from Nolana Avenue all the way north to the area around Monte Cristo Road, and beyond. City department directors — police, engineering, traffic and parks and recreation — spoke to residents about the states of their department and fielded unique questions specific to only this section of the city. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

New courts not funded in proposed county budget

Hidalgo County is not ready to fund two new county courts at law, at least that’s the consensus elected officials have reached as they move forward with the 2020 fiscal year budget. Earlier this year, the 86th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 891, which created County Court at Law No. 9 and County Court at Law No. 10 in Hidalgo County. The new law, which state Rep. Terry Canales helped pass, took effect Sept. 1, leaving county officials two choices: appoint two new judges and establish the courts immediately or wait for the public to elect the judges in 2020 and open the courts Jan. 1, 2021. It’s a decision that comes with a hefty price tag. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Weather advisory issued for Hidalgo County

The National Weather Service in Brownsville has issued a significant weather advisory for all of Hidalgo County with regards to thunderstorms and the possibility of hail.  Meteorologists with the NWS in Brownsville are monitoring a storm system as it heads northwest across Hidalgo County. They are warning of gusty winds, frequent lightning as well as small hail.  Half-inch hail and wind gusts up to 50 mph will be possible with this storm, according to the special weather statement.  The statement also warns of torrential rainfall with the possibility of flooding. Motorists are advised to avoid driving through any flooded roadways.

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.

Hidalgo County’s proposed budget has $3.3M shortfall

The Hidalgo County Commissioners Court continues to refine its 2020 fiscal year budget, which may require more than $3 million from the rainy day fund to balance. But it’s not all gloom and doom, county officials said, as the budget office is working with conservative figures and expects an additional $7.5 million to trickle in during the upcoming fiscal year. The county began its budgeting process in late July and has since held six workshops. In early August, commissioners initially projected a budget need of almost $223 million. But with only projected revenue of about $212 million, commissioners were anticipating an $11 million shortfall. Those figures have since changed because the county tightened its fiduciary belt and the auditor’s office updated its projected revenue information. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Edinburg announces road closures ahead of trooper’s procession

Local law enforcement agencies are urging the public to remain patient and plan accordingly as they announced the road closures for Trooper Moises Sanchez’ funeral procession.  At a news conference on Thursday morning at the Edinburg Police Department, EPD Investigator and Public Information Officer Sarah Rodriguez informed the media that the roads leading from Legacy Chappels to the Bert Ogden Arena would be closed off for at least an hour. “We are advising the citizens of Edinburg and visitors that there will be complete road closures as we help escort State Trooper Moises Sanchez from the Legacy funeral home, which is located on 4610 South Jackson Road to the Bert Ogden Arena,” said Rodriguez. “The escort will commence at 11:15 a.m. and will run about an hour long, and will end at about 12:15 p.m.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Mercedes official faces potential censure

Simmering political discord on the Mercedes City Commission resurfaced after a member of the voting minority opted to face two complaints lodged against him in open session rather than behind closed doors Tuesday evening. Place 2 Commissioner Leonel Benavides, who was elected for the first time in May, chose to discuss the complaints — filed by both a current and a former city employee — before the public, saying he was not surprised by the complaints. Benavides argued that his actions and conversations with the two complainants were being misconstrued and falsified in an effort to target him politically. Read the full story on themonitor.com.