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A Mexican man faces serious federal smuggling charges after he was found with more than 20 kilos of meth at a port of entry, records show. Jorge Alfonso Estrada Marroquin stood before U.S. Magistrate J. Scott Hacker on Tuesday for his initial hearing related to his Feb. 14 arrest at the Anzalduas port of entry, Estrada was arrested after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered a controlled substance hidden within the vehicle Estrada was driving, according to court notes. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Mercedes City Manager Sergio Zavala earned some job security after the Mercedes City Commission approved a two-year employment contract Tuesday evening; however, not everyone on the commission was on board with the agreement. Zavala’s contract was approved by a 3-2 vote of the commission, and came after the governing body spent two hours behind closed doors discussing the city manager’s performance evaluation. The city manager, who also serves as Mercedes’ planning director, has worked for the city as an at-will employee since 2017. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
It remains to be seen whether McAllen and dozens of other cities across the state will lose upward of $800 million from telecom companies. On Wednesday, a state district judge in Travis County heard testimony challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 1152, which cuts the fees telecommunication companies pay cities for using their rights-of-way. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Hidalgo County Community Services Agency Advisory Board President Julian Martinez recalled an early morning phone call he made in late May in 2016 as terrible straight-line winds barreled into Granjeno, ripping apart houses and leaving the community without power for days. That call was to Jaime Longoria, executive director of the CSA, who had been on the job for a little more than a year. “So I said, what are we going to do,” Longoria said from the Hidalgo County Precinct 4 Endowment Community Resource Center Wednesday morning. Read the full story at themonitor.com
The city of Edinburg honored one of its own Tuesday evening. Musician and actor Bobby Pulido was recognized with a proclamation that declared Feb. 18, 2020, as “Bobby Pulido Day” in Edinburg, citing Pulido’s impact on Tejano music, his representation of the city as a celebrity and his work with charity. “I think this is long overdue,” Mayor Richard Molina said before reading the proclamation. After growing up in Edinburg and taking part in the first mariachi band at Edinburg High, Pulido gained recognition in the mid-1990s as a Tejano star and teen idol with hits like “Desvelado” and “Se Murió De Amor.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Edinburg is under new management once again. The council met for five hours Tuesday evening to discuss a number of issues, including an offer they made last week to Ron Garza, the lone finalist for the city manager post and executive director of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council. And after nearly three hours behind closed doors, the council emerged at about 10:50 p.m. to take one final vote. Mayor Pro Tem Gilbert Enriquez made a motion to approve an employment agreement with Garza “based on the items discussed in executive session.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Hidalgo County held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning in which the third and final phase of a 13-colonia drainage project was kicked off. Community leaders along with some of the project engineers, representatives of the drainage district and the Texas General Land Office gathered near Wisconsin Road, between Cesar Chavez Road and Alamo Road for the event hosted by Hidalgo County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ellie Torres and the Hidalgo County Urban County Program. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villarreal will be facing two challengers this time as he runs for re-election in May. Rosbell “Ross” Barrera, a retired Army colonel who now serves as the Starr County Republican Party chair, and Jay Peña, an attorney and business owner who unsuccessfully ran against Villarreal twice, are both vying for the mayoral post. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
Local Boy Scout operations are unlikely to be affected by the bankruptcy filing of Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday, according to a representative for the Rio Grande Council BSA. BSA made the filing while facing hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits; because of the bankruptcy filing, civil litigation against the organization is suspended. Local council President Manny Guerra III says that local Boy Scout activities should continue as normal despite the filing. Read the full story at themonitor.com
A 46-year-old man accused of driving drunk and causing an accident in 2018 that killed his 11-year-old son will have to wait until early March for his day in court. Read the full story at themonitor.com