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Officer involved shooting in Brownsville leaves one man dead

The Texas Rangers have been called in to investigate an officer involved shooting involving a Brownsville police officer that left one man dead. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Suspects in deadly Weslaco home invasion seek lower bonds

Two of three men charged with murder for allegedly attempting to rob a rural Weslaco man during a home invasion that ended with one of their crew being shot and killed are asking for lower bonds. Noel Alvarado, a 23-year-old Mercedes resident, is facing a murder charge in the fatal shooting death of his older brother, 32-year-old Mercedes resident Emanuel Alvarado. He was arrested after driving Emanuel to Knapp Medical Center, where the man died. In the last two weeks, investigators with the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office also arrested 21-year-old Mercedes resident Juan Jesus Hernandez and 23-year-old Weslaco resident Martin Torres Perez Jr., who are also charged with murder. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Precinct 1, Weslaco field concerns over drainage progress

Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1, Hidalgo County and the city of Weslaco fielded concerns at a drainage project meeting Saturday morning. The meeting was held at the Las Brisas project site in what will soon be a dry detention pond. Hidalgo County Pct. 1 Commissioner David L. Fuentes, Drainage District Manager Raul E. Sesin and Weslaco city officials, including Mayor David Suarez and Commissioner Josh Pedraza, were on hand to provide information about the projects and address the concerns of their constituents. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Sporting goods store gifts 100 bikes; Edinburg PD provides training

After receiving a free bicycle and matching helmet, dozens of children at the Academy Sports + Outdoors here Saturday morning paired with an Edinburg police officer, who guided them through safety training. Passing the training, which was dubbed the “Safety Rodeo,” was the only requirement for the free bicycle. Children had to make their way through a maze of miniature traffic cones and perform a couple of steering drills. Officers walked beside each child, making sure they didn’t fall as some attempted to balance on their bikes. The older recipients who already knew how to ride were making rounds around the parking lot, showing off their new wheels and wide smiles. Some of them were donning pajamas because the line started to form at 6 a.m., store director Bea Flores said. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Two counts of capital murder dismissed against Pharr man

The 13th Court of Appeals dismissed two capital murder convictions against a 28-year-old Pharr man, but he will still remain in prison for the rest of his life for the brutal murder of two men found in a burning car more than four years ago. A Hidalgo County jury convicted Hector Javier Rodriguez Alvarado of two counts of capital murder and a count of capital murder of multiple persons in June 2018 in what the state called the "horrific, brutal and excessively violent destruction of two human beings." Last week, the high court vacated his capital murder convictions based on double jeopardy while upholding his most serious conviction, capital murder of multiple persons to which he was sentenced to life without parole. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

STC awards degrees to almost 3,000 graduates

Almost 3,000 scholars received their degrees at South Texas College’s commencement ceremonies Saturday at the Payne Arena in Hidalgo. The 2,969 graduates strode across the stage one by one in three separate ceremonies, cheered by family and friends as they officially closed the chapter in their education career.  STC awarded 321 bachelor’s degrees and 691 degrees from the Business, Public Safety, and Technology Division during the morning ceremony. In the afternoon, the college conferred 1,155 degrees from the Division of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, 547 degrees from the Nursing and Allied Health Division and 255 graduates from the Division of Math and Sciences. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Senior volleyball players show off skills at showcase

On a day when the senior high school volleyball stars from across the Rio Grande Valley shined bright, it was only fitting that one of the most brilliant of those stars ended the day with her patented modus operandi, a kill. McAllen High senior Lexi Gonzalez helped lead the three-game sweep by the Class 6A West All Stars with an exclamation point, blasting away a kill that ended the match, concluded the day and wrapped up her illustrious career Sunday, at the 18th annual RGV Volleyball Showcase at McAllen Memorial High School. “My career with McHi under the leadership of coach (Paula) Dodge has been one of the most incredible experiences of my lifetime,” Gonzalez said. “She is so much more than a coach; she is a mentor to us all. There is no coach that is more loving and caring of her players and pushes us to believe in ourselves.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Valley cities post strong sales tax numbers for October

The city of Harlingen’s lackluster numbers in sales tax reimbursements this year continued to sag in October, the only major city in Cameron County to post negative numbers in an otherwise strong Rio Grande Valley showing. Harlingen showed a drop of 2.75% for the month, but remained in positive numbers for the year at plus 1.27%. Elsewhere double-digit increases in October over the previous year were reported by Rio Hondo (up 26.75%), South Padre Island (up 24.44%), Los Fresnos (up 22.88%), San Benito (up 28.83%), La Feria (up 16.45%), Port Isabel (up 15.89%) and Brownsville (up 6.42%). Read the full story at themonitor.com

Organ donors’ families mark Christmas season with memories of their loved ones

A single Christmas tree, lightly decorated with white and silver ornaments, wrapped with light blue ribbons and white Christmas lights, topped with a glittery silver star stood in the middle of a bustling La Plaza Mall. Surrounding the tree were the families of recently deceased organ donors, who were creating custom-made ornaments to honor their lost loved ones. The children and toddlers, some of who were offspring of the deceased, were having a blast filling the ornaments with artificial snowflakes and decorating the outside of the crystal clear orbs. All the while, the parents, grandparents and event runners helped them out as they mingled over coffee and chocolate chip cookies provided by Donate Life Texas. The celebration is part of a partnership with Simon Malls and Donate Life Texas. La Plaza Mall welcomed the organization in their mission to have more people register as organ donors in order to save lives in the future. Read the full story at themonitor.com