As Mercedes residents are arraigned, others begin recall petition

More than 48 hours after their arrest at a raucous Mercedes City Commission meeting Tuesday night, four local residents were finally brought before a judge for arraignment Thursday. The timing of the court proceedings was something Mercedes Municipal Judge Juan Alvarez went out of his way to note as he sat before the man and three women at the Weslaco Municipal Court, where the arraignments took place. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Edinburg PD introduces new lifesaving 911 program

The Edinburg Police Department unveiled a new trial program which they predict will help save lives during a news conference Friday afternoon. The new program is called the Critical Response Group 911 Eye Emergency Streaming Software, and is currently in use by only two other police departments in the United States, according to a news release. The new program allows a dispatcher to send a link to the cellphone of the 911 caller, who can then send a live video stream back to the dispatcher with the exact location of the caller. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

McAllen taking preventive measures to combat mosquitos

The city’s health and code enforcement department announced that they will begin spraying for mosquitos early Saturday morning. According to a news release, the city will continue to spray for mosquitos as weather permits, depending on factors such as rain and wind speeds. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

PSJA students join global climate event

Chanting “climate change now, don’t let us down,” students of various ages marched toward city hall holding signs pertaining to climate change issues as part of a global effort on the issue. Students from across the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district took part in the Global Climate event, promoting sustainability and environmental awareness in a worldwide movement on Friday morning. Groups of students marched from both Thomas Jefferson T-STEM Early College High School and Buell Central campuses to Pharr City Hall. Elementary and high school students across five district campuses were all present for the march, gathering at the two campuses before marching and converging at city hall. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Valley death row inmate granted stay of execution

A Court granted a death row inmate’s request for a stay of execution, court records show. In a Sept. 17 order filed in the Southern District of Texas, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez granted Juan Raul Navarro-Ramirez’s motion for a stay — adopting, in its entirety, the “Report and Recommendation,” order from Magistrate Judge Peter E. Ormsby filed in July, the record states. Navarro-Ramirez, 35, who has been sitting on death row in Livingston, Texas, for nearly 15 years, was convicted of two counts of murder in December 2004 and given a sentence of death in connection with a failed drug rip against rival gangmembers that left six men dead in January of 2003. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Grand Jury indicts man for capital murder in shooting of state trooper

A Hidalgo County Grand Jury returned a capital murder indictment on the man who fatally shot a Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper earlier this year, District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. confirmed Friday afternoon. Nearly a month after Trooper Moises Sanchez died following complications from surgery for gunshot wounds, Rodriguez, who declined to provide a comment, or elaborate further, said the jurors handed down the indictment on 24-year-old Victor Alejandro Godinez, late Thursday afternoon. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Mexican man sentenced on firearms charge

A Mexican national without legal authorization to be in the country found with firearms, ammunition, drugs and body armor during a traffic stop last November will serve a 70-month prison sentence, court records show.  U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Juan Carlos Del Angel-Zamora to the more than 5-year prison term Wednesday, roughly six months after the man agreed to plead guilty to one of two federal firearms charges, the record shows.  Del Angel-Zamora was arrested Nov. 26, 2018, after a traffic stop in Mission by a Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office deputy led to the discovery of guns, ammunition, body armor, marijuana, cocaine and meth inside the man’s vehicle.  Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Pharr increases property tax rate

Pharr City Commissioners on Thursday voted to raise property taxes by about 11% in order to pay for infrastructure upgrades across the city, specifically for drainage improvements. Pharr City Manager Alex Meade said the average home in Pharr costs roughly $88,000, which would cost that median homeowner about $48 more annually. “If we don’t raise the taxes, we will not be able to address the infrastructure needs that we have,” Commissioner Ramiro Caballero said. “Us coming together as a community,” Commissioner Itza Flores said. “Less than a Netflix account,” Meade said of the average Pharr homeowner paying around $50 annually after the 11% property tax bump. “People spend more on hot Cheetos.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Despite injunction, Edcouch candidate’s place on ballot uncertain

Though a court granted an Edcouch political hopeful’s request for an injunction against the city, whether or not her name will appear on the November ballot remains uncertain. Two weeks after receiving a certified letter notifying her that the city had rejected her candidate application and disqualified her from the Nov. 5 municipal election, Alicia Segura filed for a temporary restraining order to halt the city from taking any action against her candidacy. The TRO was signed by County Court at Law No. 8 Judge Omar Maldonado just hours before a Sept. 5 Edcouch City Council meeting; however, the city was not officially served with the order until the following Monday. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Penitas man arraigned on two counts of indecency with a child

A 37-year-old Penitas man was arraigned on Thursday afternoon after he admitted to exposing himself to two teenage girls. David Garza, who is not a U.S. citizen, was arraigned at the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Facility on two counts of indecency with a child by exposure, a third-degree felony. Garza rarely made eye contact with Judge Jason Peña as he read his charges, for which he received two $125,000 bonds. Read the full story at themonitor.com.