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With proclamation, Abbott urges local election delay

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is urging local government entities to delay their upcoming May 2 elections until November in response to the mounting public health threat posed by the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. The governor made the urgent plea via a proclamation issued Wednesday that announced the waiver of certain statutes of the Texas Election Code and Texas Water Code. “I strongly encourage local election officials to take advantage of these waivers and postpone their elections until November,” Abbott said via a news release. “Right now, the state’s focus is responding to COVID-19 — including social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. By delaying this election, our local election officials can assist in that effort,” he said. Read the full story at

US Census Bureau suspends field operations on virus concerns

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A week after starting its 2020 count, the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday suspended field operations for two weeks out...

Docs: Mother identified son who died, murder suspect at crime scene

San Juan detectives believe a 38-year-old man shot and killed a 27-year-old man last Thursday after becoming upset when he saw the man hug the suspect's ex-girlfriend. The allegation is levied in probable cause affidavits for the arrest of San Juan resident Jacob Arroyo, who is charged with murder and aggravated assault. He remains jailed on $1 million in bonds, according to jail records. Read the full story at

Murder suspect said he was ‘sorry’ for killing uncle

A 32-year-old man told Hidalgo County sheriff's investigators that he stabbed his uncle three to four times after an argument last Thursday. Authorities arrested Manuel Martinez III last Saturday on accusations he killed Reynaldo Menchaca Villarreal, who would have turned 55 next Wednesday. Weslaco police initiated the investigation after responding to a traffic accident in which the driver, Villarreal, appeared to have stab wounds, according to a probable cause affidavit. The man used his dying words to tell investigators his nephew had stabbed him, according to authorities. Read the full story at

Congressmen implore Gov. Abbott to provide more virus testing at hospitals, drive-thrus

In a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, U.S. Reps. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville; Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo; and Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, urged the Texas Governor to make more diagnostic testing available in South Texas.  The U.S. Representatives implored Abbott to provide COVID-19 testing kits at South Texas hospitals, medical centers and drive-thru testing sites in “South Texas communities,” according to a news release.  Vela acknowledged the disaster declaration Abbott made late last week allowing for emergency mechanisms to kick in, but he and the other congressmen are asking for more action from the governor.   Read the full story at

COMMENTARY: The importance of free press and transparency in government

Every year the American press celebrates Sunshine Week, which is a time to not only inform the public but also stress the importance of...

Gov. Abbott waives expiration dates for driver’s licenses

Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Monday that the Department of Public Safety will be temporarily waiving expiration dates for driver’s licenses. According to a news release issued Wednesday, Abbott directed the DPS to waive the expiration dates for Class A driver’s licenses, commercial driver’s licenses and other identification forms. The move falls within the governor’s state of disaster declaration and is part of the ongoing effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Read the full story at

Edinburg’s new city manager: All hands on deck

The new city manager’s vision remains the same, but his priorities have shifted as he prepares to take on a new role amid a national crisis. Ron Garza, former executive director of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, will officially begin working next week, but he’s already very much involved, he said Tuesday. Garza has been in daily conference calls with interim City Manager Richard Hinojosa, Hidalgo County officials and the rest of the city’s leadership team as they work their way through the rapidly-evolving coronavirus pandemic. Read the full story at

Drive-thru testing to be available in Starr County

Starr County will have a centralized testing station for people suspected of having contracted COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. During a health summit held Tuesday at the Starr County Memorial Hospital, Dr. Jose Vazquez, the county health authority, announced the drive-thru station will be installed in the next few days. The tentative location is the parking lot of South Texas College in Rio Grande City. The county will be working with a private lab to conduct the tests for the Starr County community. Read the full story at

Workforce officials brace for job cuts

HARLINGEN — As more cities and schools shut down public buildings, some businesses are closing amid the coronavirus outbreak, prompting Rio Grande Valley Workforce...