Starr officials break ground on long-awaited RGC development project

Nearly 10 years ago, three Starr County officials met at a McAllen restaurant to discuss the economic future of their county on the west end of the Rio Grande Valley. Rose Benavidez, the president of the Starr County Industrial Foundation met with Sam Vale, the president of the Starr-Camargo Bridge Company and then-Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben O. Villarreal that day and talked about how to utilize a large piece of land in Rio Grande City that sits right off U.S. Highway 83, the city’s main artery. “We had a map of this aerial shot and we started to say, ‘Well, here we could do this, we could do that, but this has to happen and that has to happen,’” Benavidez said of that meeting, “and it was just one of those things that we knew we were going to make it and it was going to get done, it was just that we didn’t know how long it was going to take and we never anticipated it was going to take a decade, almost.” Read the full story at

Sam Houston Elementary’s fictional town comes to life for students

For a fictional town, Houstonville was awfully busy Wednesday morning. Held at Sam Houston Elementary in South McAllen, Houstonville is part of McAllen ISD’s Minitropolis program, which partners elementary schools with local businesses to provide students realistic financial and civic experience in a creative setting. Minitropolis is now in its 23rd year at Sam Houston and is held in six McAllen ISD schools. For about an hour a week for the rest of the school year, classrooms in Houston Elementary will put up signs and stock their shelves with wares. Students will work as store clerks and postal carriers and bank tellers, city councilmembers and newspaper hawkers and police officers, exchanging faux currency for stuff donated by local businesses and parents. Read the full story at

RGV locations growing, pumpkin patches prove popular as autumn attractions

Attached to the only building here at Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch is an area to lounge with shade from the heat. This was the idea for little Matty, who was accompanied by his parents, Jessica Jones and Ozzy Garcia, in looking for a little fun at the pumpkin patch on Monday. Matty and Ozzy wore matching red and black plaid shirts while Jessica made sure her son stayed hydrated. And although it’s Jessica and Ozzy’s second year at Maddie’s, their young boy has the parents beat by already attending three times. “It’s usually really packed. It’s just that we came during the week so it could be (less people),” Ozzy said. Ozzy has the right idea about Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch. The attraction has become such a big hit for owner Rick Vega that he invested in two more locations throughout the Valley: one in Weslaco and the other in Mission. Read the full story at

Edinburg getting e-scooters; pilot program on tap

Electric scooters are coming to Edinburg. The city will host a community forum Wednesday to hear from the public about Edinburg’s partnership with the company that’s bringing them here: Blue Duck. Blue Duck will be the first scooter-transportation company to come to the Lower Rio Grande Valley, at least according to a company news release. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Sports & Wellness Center, located at 315 E. Palm Drive in Edinburg. Read the full story at

Travel plans at risk?

BROWNSVILLE — The IRS is warning those with serious delinquent tax debt, currently defined as $52,000 or more, that their passports are subject to...

Cornyn, Cuellar offer trade insights at forum

A forum in Pharr on Friday headlined by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar provided insights to the recently negotiated North American Free Trade Agreement, its potential positive impact to the Rio Grande Valley and the prospects of the agreement’s passage in Congress. “I believe it will be taken up for a vote this fall,” said Cuellar, the Democrat of Laredo whose district stretches along the Rio Grande to Mission. It was a prediction of a vote that has eluded Congress and what officials have said needs to happen this fall for any chance at a passage. The United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement was approved last year by the three countries during a summit in South America. But only the Congress in Mexico has approved the trade pact. Read the full story on

TEDxMcAllen unveils speakers for November event

South Texas native astronaut Michael Fossum, Olympian German Madrazo and McAllen High School’s reigning teacher of the year, Melina Recio, are but three of the 15 speakers that will participate in the inaugural series of TEDxMcAllen, a subsidiary of TED, the popular events that are often presented in the form of short talks “delivered by leading thinkers and doers.” Also participating in the series on Nov. 12 at the Arts Village in McAllen will be Sister Norma Pimentel of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley; violinist Diana Seitz; bilingual advocate Karina Chapa; disabilities advocate Evelyn Cano; border advocate Sydney Ramon; entrepreneur Pilar Gonzalez; photojournalist Veronica Cardenas; professor Andres Bernal; author Shaw Elliot Russell; HIV/AIDS health advocate Leo Benavidez; and an agricultural blockchain founder Alex Macias. Read the full story on

Venture X coming to McAllen

After opening locations in Brownsville and Harlingen, VentureX has set its sights on McAllen for its next set of rentable workspaces. According to a news...

As mass shooting anxiety mounts, McAllen braces for busy sales tax weekend

McALLEN — Shoppers are expected to flock to La Plaza Mall for the annual sales tax holiday this weekend, and most stores are hoping...

New RGV MPO taking shape

The Rio Grande Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization is taking shape, with an interim director in place and a board of directors overseeing the transition...