Garden cleanup held to honor historic black church’s impact in McAllen

Hector Vargas said he can still hear the worship songs here at the Little Bethel Baptist Church more than 60 years later. The choir voice used to serenade his whole neighborhood. The church, the first African-American church in the city and a historic landmark recognized by the state, was torn down about 20 years ago. Bethel Garden now occupies the land in honor of it. On Saturday morning, more than a dozen people came together to clean up the garden to commemorate Juneteenth, which is Friday. Community members from across the Rio Grande Valley, some as young as 10-years-old, were seen planting flowers, repainting benches and pulling weeds.  Read the full story at themonitor.com.

PART 16: Let’s Write a Story!

PART 16 “DE JA VU” | BY MADHAVI REDDY Mary rubbed her temples, trying to make sense of recent events: the freak fatal accident involving Sylvia, followed by the mystery of the Golden Sassafras, Michael, Forest, the nefarious scheme she witnessed at Cine El Rey, the Old Man, and the intriguing nature spirits. Overwhelmed, she had returned home after extracting a promise from Twix and Forest to come to her rescue whenever she needed them. “Maybe I can somehow save Sylvia, or perhaps the whole world, from COVID19, if I can just clear my head,” she thought. “I need a good night’s rest and someone I trust to talk to about all this.” She knew who that person was—Twix had reminded her with the question, “Do you have a boyfriend?” Read the full story at themonitor.com

Invisible Project lends visibility to disabled, hungry, homeless

Pablo Ramirez’s idea of starting The Invisible Project Inc., a nonprofit that carries the mission of supporting students with disabilities, stemmed from a conversation he had with a young girl he met while volunteering at a camp two years ago. Ramirez was 14 then, and said that he will never forget what Bertha Jones, a camper that summer who suffers from cerebral palsy, told him. The camp is referred to as CAMP, or the Children’s Association for Maximum Potential. “We talked about how a lot of times, people underestimate her intellectual capacity just because she is in a wheelchair, and that people won’t go down to her level and talk to her face,” Ramirez, who is now 16, recalled. “People won’t look into her eyes and have meaningful conversations with her. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Heartstrings: From South Texas to Juilliard, local violist’s performances move

A hum emanated from somewhere in the distance, and though faint, the sound was enough to reach the trained ears of Alejandro Romero in...

Garden View: Start planning your fall vegetable garden

We are halfway through summer and the hotter the days get the less I want to work in my yard. While you may not...

TFA educator at IDEA challenges her students with higher standards

Teach for America (TFA) is the national nonprofit organization committed to the idea that one day, all children will attain an excellent education. To...

IDEA Quest High School counselor encourages local youth to invest in RGV

IDEA Quest College Preparatory counselor Marcos Silva remembers a survey revealing 97% of his students would rather live somewhere other than the Rio Grande...

Weslaco pitmaster changed careers to pursue passion

Smokin’ Moon & Beer Garden pitmaster Joel Garcia said his passion for barbecue blossomed while traveling around Texas, crossing off his list of the...

Más vida: Local bridal-wear designer jumps into the world of ready-to-wear designs

Más vida The Monitor's vida section brings you local news on food, education, art, people and outdoors. Sometimes there is more to the story. JAN. 27,...

Judge-elect Richard Cortez to bring fiscal conservatism to county politics, policies

A $190 million drainage bond; a $150 million courthouse; and a population that is growing more than twice as fast as the national average...