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Suspect in 3 homicides is named

Homicide investigators believe 57-year-old Saul Ramon Avila violently killed a 19-year-woman last week because she reported to police that he had been sexually assaulting her for five years. Edinburg Police Chief Cesar Torres said during a press conference Wednesday that Rebecca Lee Cantu made the accusations against Avila, who is believed to be the father of the toddler found unharmed in Apt. 5 at 301 W. Kuhn Drive, just four days before the murder. Rebecca’s mother, Magdalena Cantu, 48, was dating Avila. Magdalena, along with Aaron Cortez, a 30-year-old home healthcare worker who provided care to the toddler, who has 24-hour medical needs, were also killed in the attack. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

COMMENTARY: My constitutional oath

Walking the halls of Congress for the first time as intern in 1996, I never truly grasped the level of responsibility that comes with...

Two arrested after eight-liner robbery, shooting

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two men accused of a robbery rural Edinburg eight-liner where a man was shot in his “pelvic area.” In a news release, authorities said the 33-year-old man, who wasn’t identified, remains in critical but stable condition. The sheriff’s office responded to a call of an aggravated robbery just after 4:30 p.m. Monday north of Monte Cristo Road on Ware Road where the 33-year-old man had been shot by an unknown man, according to the news release. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Rep. Gonzalez announces nearly half-million dollars for McAllen Veterans Nursing Homes

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, on Tuesday announced $488,324 for the McAllen Veterans Nursing Homes to purchase new heating, ventilation and air conditioning units. “Regardless of age or injury, our veterans who have served our country should be taken care of,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “I am grateful McAllen Veterans Nursing Homes will receive this funding which is necessary to provide state-of-the-art and energy efficient heating and cooling for residents and employees of the McAllen Veterans Nursing Homes. The welfare of our veterans and those who care for them will always be one of my highest priorities.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Agua SUD approves new member districts

The way in which customers in western Hidalgo County are represented by the board of directors of the Agua Special Utility District will soon change after the board approved new boundaries for their districts on Monday. The redistricting was done in accordance with Senate Bill 2552, which was voted into law by the state legislature earlier this year. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

McAllen A&M campus graduates first students

Walking across the stage of Reed Arena in College Station the afternoon of Dec. 13, Valeria Quintanilla and Michelle Vargas crossed a major milestone for Texas A&M’s McAllen campus: They officially became the first graduates of the Texas A&M Higher Education Center at McAllen. Quintanilla and Vargas both majored in public health and graduated early due to credits obtained before college. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

La Joya City Council swears in new mayor, commissioners

A new mayor and two new commissioners were sworn into office at a special La Joya City Council meeting Tuesday evening after a runoff election earlier this month. Isidro Casanova, the city’s former police chief, was sworn in as mayor while Roger Hernandez and Laura Mendiola Macias were sworn in as commissioners. Casanova defeated incumbent mayor Jose “Fito” Salinas, while commissioners Hernandez and Macias bested Daniel Flores Jr. and Dalia Arriaga, respectively. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Man who worked at school sentenced on child pornography charges

A man who worked at a Roma school as a maintenance worker has been sentenced to a seven-year prison term. U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Tuesday morning Jesus Amado Garcia of Roma to the 84-month prison sentence in connection with an investigation which led to the discovery of pornography depicting minor children, records show.  In January of this year, federal law enforcement began an investigation into the distribution and sharing of child pornography which eventually led them to a residence in Roma — later identified as Garcia’s home.  Read the full story at themonitor.com.

US, Mexico officials bicker over NAFTA 2.0 

The top trade officials for the United States and Mexico exchanged disagreements over the weekend and into Monday, with Mexico’s top negotiator for the new North American Free Trade Agreement immediately flying to Washington, frustrated by what he characterized as a surprise move by the U.S. Jesus Seade, Mexico’s undersecretary for North America in the Foreign Ministry, accused the U.S. of sending attachés to monitor Mexico’s labor conditions as part of the new trade deal, but the confusion was cooled on Monday by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.  The flare-up, however, was yet another snag in a negotiation that has been full of them since President Trump took office.  Read the full story at themonitor.com

Bond lowered for Mercedes man in brother’s death

A visibly emotional Noel Alvarado cried as he stood before a judge Monday morning as his attorney went over the facts of his case.  Alvarado — standing accused of his own brother’s murder because of the Texas Law of Parties, which states that a person can be held criminally responsible for the actions of another in certain circumstances — had his bond reduced when a court granted a motion his attorney Rogelio Garza made.  On Monday, during a brief hearing, the court granted a $450,000 bond for Alvarado. He was initially given a $1 million bond earlier this month.  Read the full story at themonitor.com