McAllen FD awarded $404,550 grant

The McAllen Fire Department has been awarded a federal grant to increase the number of firefighters. In a news release, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn announced Wednesday that the MFD was awarded $404,550.60.  The funding was made possible through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. SAFER provides direct funding to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations in order to help increase the number of trained firefighters.  Read the full story at

$150M in USDA grants announced for rural communities affected by natural disasters

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide $150 million in grants to rural communities affected by natural disasters, including those in Hidalgo County. In a new release, U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, announced that the grants may be used for relief in areas affected by natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding. “I thank the Administration and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue for making this aid available for our rural communities who were affected by devastating flooding in the recent past,” Gonzalez said. “I encourage those in Hidalgo County who were affected by these natural disasters to take full advantage of these resources.” Read the full story at

Sexually explicit Snapchat messages lead to former Donna educator’s arrest

A mother’s discovery of sexually explicit photos and videos sent on her daughter’s phone resulted in the arrest of a coaching assistant at a Donna elementary school. The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office arrested 29-year-old Mark Aguirre on Tuesday and charged the man with one count of improper relationship between an educator and a student and three counts of sexual assault of a child. Aguirre, who according to the Donna school district resigned as a teacher’s aid last month, is currently being held on $325,000 in bonds. Read the full story at

Longtime Edinburg EDC employee resigns

A longtime employee who oversaw the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation during major transitions for almost two decades is no longer employed at the nonprofit. Nelda Ramirez, who most recently served as the director of finance and contract administration, left her post Friday, according to multiple sources close to the entity. It’s unclear why Ramirez resigned, and interim Executive Director Ruben Ramirez refused to give any details about her departure. Read the full story at

Flags to fly at half-staff for Patriot Day

A proclamation from the White House has ordered flags to fly at half-staff all day Wednesday in recognition of Patriot Day. Patriot Day was created...

Roma council begins talks with police force

The first round of talks between the Roma city council and the city’s police officers were held Tuesday evening as part of an investigation into the city manager and the police chief. The council spent about three and a half hours in closed session during Tuesday’s special meeting of the city council, calling in four police officers, one by one, to discuss complaints lodged against Police Chief Jose H. Garcia and City Manager Crisanto Salinas in letter sent in July. In the letter, dated July 15, several officers detailed their grievances which largely dealt with lack of resources within their department that Garcia and Salinas allegedly failed to address. Read the full story at

Valley woman killed in crash near San Benito

A Mission woman was killed in a car accident Tuesday afternoon in Cameron County, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety news release. DPS...

In local classrooms, post-Sept. 11 generation developing nuanced understanding

When Sharyland High School senior Chase Gerlach graduates this spring, he and the rest of the class of 2020 will have a particular distinction: they will be the first American adults born after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the first whose knowledge of the tragedy comes strictly from their parents and teachers, from museums and documentaries, and even from YouTube videos. Read the full story on

2-vehicle car crash claims Mission woman’s life

A Mission woman was killed in a car accident Tuesday afternoon in Cameron County, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety news release. DPS is investigating a two-vehicle crash that occurred at about 12:34 p.m. on FM 510 west of Casey Road, according to the release. Read the full story at

Hidalgo County promises half-cent tax rate cut

Hidalgo County commissioners agreed to cut the tax rate by a half cent Tuesday during budget workshop No. 7. Precinct 2 Commissioner Eddie Cantu had been pushing the commissioners court to decrease the tax rate by 1 cent, but losing about $3.5 million in revenue did not seem like something his colleagues wanted to do. Read the full story at