Outburst delays arraignment for religious vandalism suspect

A woman accused of vandalizing religious sites in Hidalgo County interrupted her arraignment in McAllen with incoherent outbursts Wednesday afternoon. McAllen police arrested Erica Yme Garza, 38, on Monday in connection with the vandalizing of the Temple Emanuel synagogue in McAllen. Lt. Joel Morales of the McAllen Police Department said he believes she’s also connected to two other similar cases involving the Hindu temple in Edinburg, the Shri Nanak Center & Shiv Shakti Temple. San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez said the woman is suspected in the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle vandalism case, which was also reported Monday. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Nonprofit continues to support students to, and through, college

The transition from high school to college can be a daunting step as it is. Now, as students also face unprecedented obstacles that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to education systems, nonprofit College Scholarship Leadership Access Program, or CSLAP, has been working to support local seniors through the process of college admissions.  Through workshops and mentorship with university students, the Rio Grande Valley-based organization works with high school juniors and seniors to  prepare them for college. Workshops cover a range of topics, including professionalism, campus policy, and budgeting.  The last several months of a school year are integral for seniors to get assistance in getting ready for university life, so CSLAP has been hosting several virtual panels to answer questions they may have. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Woman in custody after houses of worship vandalized

The Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle was vandalized at some point late Monday evening or early Tuesday morning with several references of the occult and with anti-Semitic imagery. The front doors of the national shrine were defaced with spray-painted words including “WITCH,” “HADES,” “RAPEST,” “NEW YORK KILLER” and other random phrases and words, and a swastika. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Mayors critical of virus relief allocations

Nearly a dozen mayors from small cities across Hidalgo County descended on Tuesday’s commissioners court meeting to air their concerns about the allocation of coronavirus relief funds — a week after county commissioners decided their cities would receive less money because of their populations. The mayors of Palmview, Peñitas, Alton, Granjeno, Palmhurst, Edcouch, Donna, Elsa, Mercedes, Alamo and Edinburg attended the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court meeting to try to convince commissioners to treat them “fairly.” Last week, a majority of the county governing body voted to use $63 million — out of the $151 million in relief funds the county received — to reimburse cities for COVID-19 related expenses. The rates at which the 22 municipalities will be reimbursed, however, differ according to populations. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Records: Used car salesman charged with theft

McAllen police arrested a 49-year-old used car salesman late last week who they accuse of defrauding Burns Motors out of payment of $154,840 for the sale of six vehicles. Authorities arrested Carlos Rodriguez, owner of Charlie's Used Cars, on May 21 on a charge of theft of property, more than $150,000 but less than $300,000. Investigators allege in a probable cause affidavit that the theft began on Aug. 12, 2019, when Rodriguez attended a vehicle auction at Burns Motors where he took custody of a black 2017 Nissan Maxima, a black Ford F-250 pickup, a brown 2015 Jeep Wrangler, a red Jeep Wrangler, a black Mercedes Benz and a silver Dodge Ram. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Local expert says young COVID-19 patients more prone to suffer a stroke

If you’re a young person infected with COVID-19, you’re more prone to have a stroke, experts say. Young COVID-19 patients who begin experiencing the customary stroke signs of numbness or vision problems should get to the hospital immediately, according to experts. Now more than ever it’s imperative you do so, says Dr. Ameer Hassan, head of the neuroscience department at Valley Baptist Medical Center. May is National Stroke Awareness Month. While Valley Baptist has had to cancel many of its events in observance of this, the hospital is emphasizing the importance of stroke patients to seek treatment at the first sign of trouble. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Man dies in fatal wreck after multi-city chase

A police chase Monday evening from Sullivan City to La Joya ended in a fatality after the driver of the fleeing vehicle lost control and hit a palm tree. The chase started at 10:31 p.m. when Sullivan City police officers stopped a car on FM 886 north of Military Road, according to Sullivan City interim police chief Joseph Cordova. Cordova says three to five people fled the vehicle into nearby brush and officers pursued on foot. As officers chased the individuals, they heard the vehicle start back up, prompting them to return to their patrol car and follow the vehicle. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Edinburg man accused of killing DPS trooper scheduled for court

A 25-year-old man accused of shooting a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who died from his injuries months later is scheduled for a Wednesday afternoon pre-trial hearing. Victor Godinez, who has remained jailed on $3 million in bonds since his April 6, 2019, arrest, is charged with capital murder of a peace officer for the shooting death of 48-year-old Moises Sanchez after a traffic stop. Sanchez died in Houston following surgery on Aug. 24, 2019. Godinez is also accused of shooting at two Edinburg police officers. He faces two counts of attempted capital murder of a peace officer for those allegations. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

‘You never move on’ – Three years later, Valley widow reflects on loss of...

There’s a room in Dora Hernandez’s home here that she calls her travel room. It’s easy to see why she calls it that. The room is filled with mementos from across the globe, pins from Hard Rock Cafes, books from different countries, maps, figurines, keychains.  Dora and her husband, Noe, collected most of the stuff while he was in the Navy. “Our goal was always, ‘Let’s get five souvenirs, because if something breaks, we’re not going back,’” Dora recalled. Read the full story at themonitor.com.