PHARR — Hundreds of police departments across the country have formed video-sharing partnerships with the doorbell-camera company Ring, hoping to enhance what the company has called the nation’s “new neighborhood watch.” The partnerships permit police to request video recorded by homeowners’ cameras pertaining to a specific incident or case. Officers do not receive live video feeds and homeowners can decline the requests. This summer, the Washington Post revealed Ring’s partnership with 400 police departments across the nation, leading to questions about privacy and surveillance, as giant technology companies continue various methods of collecting user data. Read more at The Monitor.com.
Rio Reforestation celebrates its 28th year on Oct. 19 with 17 acres ready to plant with native trees and shrubs at the La Sal del Rey site in northeast Cameron County. Over the course of its history, the volunteer effort coordinated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has restored 775 acres of the Valley’s wild areas to a pre-agricultural state. “We have people come to Rio Reforestation every year, so we have our regulars,” said Gisela Chapa, refuge manager at the USFWS’s Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. “And we also have new people that haven’t been to Rio Reforestation. I think that it gives people in the community an opportunity to see that there are areas set aside for conservation that still don’t have the habitat needed for conservation, and that we’re trying to catch up in losing all that habitat many, many years ago. We’re trying to bring it back.” Read more at The Monitor.com.
A court set a January trial date for an Alamo man accused of murder. During what was expected to be the final pre-trial hearing in Peter Isiah Uvalle’s murder case before it was set to begin for trial Oct. 7, Uvalle’s attorneys, Savannah Gonzalez and Lucia Regalado, argued they needed more time as they were still going over several pieces of evidence and video recordings that they had recently received from the state. “...This Saturday, on the eve of trial, we get a co-defendant’s statement, that has over an hour and 15 minutes, that we never otherwise received. That’s huge, judge,” Gonzalez said. “This is potentially two dealers, two buyers, one of the buyers, who we never ever received his statement. All of a sudden we get a statement that’s completely different from the written summary that was in the report, for the first time ever, we get that on Saturday. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
More than 60 days after a federal judge granted her release, Meisy Zamora remains in custody after facing difficulty in meeting the conditions of her release. Zamora is facing charges of healthcare fraud for her alleged participation in a scheme to defraud health insurers by misdiagnosing and over-treating patients. Her husband, Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada, and two of their employees, were also charged for their alleged role in the scheme. Zamora, who earned a medical degree in Mexico, worked in her husband’s clinic and is accused of pressuring employees to keep the clinic filled with patients and to alter medical records. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
A man has died after attempting to cross the expressway just outside of Sullivan City early Saturday morning. According to Sullivan City Police Chief Richard Ozuna, the man was killed when he was struck by a black truck driven by a Starr County man, traveling westbound on Expressway 83. “At approximately 6:30, early morning, we received a call in regards to an auto-pedestrian accident,” Ozuna said. “The officers responded to the location. We called for the ambulance, and unfortunately the individual that got struck by the vehicle did not make it. Our local justice of the peace, JJ Peña, came out and did the inquest.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.
A Brownsville man pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, records show. U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez accepted the plea to one count of illegally being in possession of a firearm from Alberto De Leon during a hearing Monday morning, records show. De Leon, 26, was arrested in May in connection with a federal investigation into the purchase of multiple firearms in what was believed to be a straw-purchase scheme. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
A 22-year-old man accused of hitting and killing a college student who was working his car on the side of the highway entered a not guilty plea Thursday to accident involving death. Mauro Esparza made his first appearance since his Sept. 5 indictment in Auxiliary Court, authorities confirmed. Mission police say Mauro fatally struck 22-year-old Jesus Eduardo Zamudio in the 900 block of West Interstate 2 on July 27 after a night of drinking in downtown McAllen with his cousin, Ruby Esparza, who is also charged in the case. Read the full story at themonitor.com.