Lacks Furniture Galleria celebrates updates, new collaboration

Lacks Furniture Galleria on Expressway 83 in McAllen commemorated updates to the building’s entryway and a new collaboration between itself and home accent manufacturer Harp & Finial with a ribbon cutting and breakfast Thursday morning. Lacks Chief Marketing Officer Seth Aaronson, whose great-grandfather founded the business in the 1930s, spoke at the event. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Dallas Fed: So. Texas still reaping benefits of retail sales

In forecasting a steady economic outlook for Texas in 2020, Keith Phillips of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas on Friday rehashed what happened over the last year. Phillips hit on tariffs, energy, construction, high employment numbers. And retail. “Retail was flat because of the crisis at the border,” said Phillips, a senior economist at the bank, which held its 2020 Texas economic outlook. “We had a lot less traffic than normal because of the congestion at the border.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

RGV entrepreneur and ‘The Jank’ creator unveils diabetic-friendly sauce

Dozens of local business owners on Thursday sunk their teeth into barbecue meals coated in The Goodness, the name of the new, diabetic- and ketogenic-friendly condiment from the creator of The Jank. If their expressions of satisfaction were not indicative enough of their approval for Lamar Jones’s new sauce, their clean plates did the trick. “The plates are getting empty pretty quick, so that’s a good sign,” said Jones, owner and “Jank Innovator” of The Jank Gourmet BBQ Sauce and Spice Blend. “That’s awesome.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Trump signs new US-Mexico-Canada trade deal

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a new North American Free Trade Agreement, an update to the two-decade old pact that transformed the Rio Grande Valley economy. Trump said renegotiating the North America Free Trade Agreement was “probably the No. 1 reason that I decided to lead this crazy life that I’m leading right now.” “Today, we’re finally ending the NAFTA nightmare,” Trump said in a ceremony on the South Lawn. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

KGBT-TV sold: Nexstar acquisition signals end of an era for local station

After about 67 years, the Rio Grande Valley’s CBS affiliate KGBT-TV is changing its name. Nexstar Media Group, owner of NBC affiliate KVEO-TV, acquired Sinclair Broadcast Group’s local CBS affiliate, along with its 25,000-square-foot Harlingen station as part of a lawsuit settlement. Now, Nexstar is broadcasting its new CBS affiliate as CBS 4 on KVEO-TV Channel 23.2, General Manager William Jorn said Tuesday. However, he said, viewers will continue to find the CBS affiliate on cable and satellite Channel 4. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Border expert endorses Brownsville riverfront redevelopment

Alan Bersin, Bill Clinton’s “border czar” and the person Barack Obama chose to grapple with drug-related violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, stood on the levee south of the border fence in downtown Brownsville, surveying the banks of the Rio Grande below and, just to the east, Gateway International Bridge. The former federal prosecutor was joined by Ramiro Aleman, director of business recruitment for the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation; Cameron County Precinct 2 Commissioner Joey Lopez; attorney and GBIC commissioner Dennis Sanchez; Mark Yates, director of the Cameron County Department of Economic Development and Community Affairs; and Sam Manatt, owner of the levee on which the group stood on the morning of Jan. 17. Bersin is a global fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington D.C., the inaugural North American fellow for the Wilson Center’s Canada and Mexico institutes, and chairman of BorderWorks, a consulting firm specializing in border security and management, including border infrastructure projects. Read the full story at themonitor.com

‘ZOMBIES’ coming to La Plaza, RGV Premium Outlets

McALLEN — The community is invited to a special family friendly event held at La Plaza Mall and the Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets. In...

IBC Bank announces promotions

IBC Bank-Brownsville recently announced the promotions of Lee Reed and Al Villarreal. The promotions were announced during the bank’s annual Bonus Presentation. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

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 themonitor.com.

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 themonitor.com.