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Forensic pathologist testifies in day 3 of intox manslaughter trial

Testimony Friday during the intoxication manslaughter trial of a 21-year-old Edinburg man revealed dislocated necks caused the deaths of three family members, including a 3-year-old. The testimony came from Dr. Norma Jean Farley, a forensic pathologist, who conducted the autopsies of 3-year-old Joshua Powell, his mother, 33-year-old Marci Lou Powell, and his grandmother, 55-year-old Maria Isabel De La Garza. Marci Lou and De La Garza also suffered fatal blunt force trauma to the head. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Sheriff’s deputy on paid leave following assault arrest

A deputy with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office has been placed on leave with pay after he was arrested Friday morning on assault allegations. According to a news release, Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra was informed of an incident involving deputy Bernardo Garcia Mata of Peñitas on Saturday, Feb. 22, allegedly involving a family violence assault. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Two women plead guilty to attempting to smuggle meth

Two women are facing life sentences for conspiring to import meth from Mexico. According to a news release, Helen Garza, 43, of Rio Grande City, and Herminia Cantu-Garcia, 43, of Roma pleaded guilty today and Feb. 26, respectively. The women admitted to planning to import the narcotics Dec. 4, 2019. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Father of man acquitted in Chayse Olivarez murder under drug trafficking probe

The father of a Rio Grande City man acquitted of capital murder was the subject of a drug trafficking investigation and now part of a federal lawsuit in which the government is attempting to seize money found on his property, alleging it was used for drug trafficking purposes. Jose Luis Garcia is the father of Jose Luis Garcia Jr., the man who in November was acquitted in the murder of Rio Grande City teen Chayse Olivarez. Read the full story at themonitor.com.
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Vietnam veterans share memories at FESTIBA panel

Powerful memories were shared by a panel of three Valley Vietnam War Veterans at the Festival of International Books and Arts held at the...

Longtime IBC banker celebrates 50 years in industry this year

This week IBC Bank announced the retirement of Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Dora Brown. She has been employed with IBC Bank for 30 years, overseeing the advertising, public relations, community outreach, and financial education efforts for IBC Bank-McAllen. In 1996, Brown was the leading force behind the creation of Minitropolis, IBC Bank’s signature financial literacy program that provides students an opportunity to experience how a community operates by giving them a variety of real-world positions in mini stores and mini-city government. “Dora has been a dedicated and trusted executive of our company. Her institutional knowledge and dedication to IBC Bank’s mission of ‘doing more’ has been invaluable to our employees, customers and the entire community,” said IBC Bank Chairman and CEO Dennis E. Nixon. “The passion that Dora has exhibited for financial literacy and community service is truly inspiring.” Read the full story at themonitor.com

More voting early in Hidalgo County than in 2016

There has been an increase of Hidalgo County early voters casting their ballots between the 2016 and 2020 primary elections, according to unofficial daily and cumulative early voting statistics. The early voting tally in Hidalgo County as of Wednesday, the ninth day of early voting in the March primary, reached 39,494 early votes. In comparison, 36,852 early votes were cast during the same stretch of time in the 2016 primary election — a difference of 2,642, or roughly 7%. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Tearful testimony in second day of intox manslaughter trial

The night of Aug. 9, 2018, was one like thousands South Texas families enjoy frequently on warm summer nights. Jeanna Guajardo, then 31, her sister, 33-year-old Marci Lou Powell, her mother, 55-year-old Maria Isabel De La Garza and her 3-year-old nephew, Joshua Devin Powell, went out to eat tacos before watching the Dallas Cowboys play during Thursday Night Football at her mom’s house. They never got see the game. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Former RGC school district employee arrested for bribery sues district

A former employee of the Rio Grande City school district filed a federal lawsuit against three school board trustees alleging his termination from the district was political retaliation. Ricardo “Rick” Lopez, a former truancy officer with the school district, filed the lawsuit earlier on Tuesday against board trustees Daniel J. Garcia, Eleazar Velasquez and Daria “Dr. B.” Babineaux, claiming a violation of his rights to freedom of expression and due process. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Donna Lakes murder suspect bond further reduced

A 17-year-old man accused of gunning down a 19-year-old man on Jan. 14 had his bond lowered again, court records reflect. Carlos Julian Contreras, who is charged with murder over accusations he shot and killed Genaro Isaiah "Izzy" Castillo near a sugar cane field in the Donna Lakes area, is now being held on a $200,000 bond, according to court records. Read the full story at themonitor.com.