A fighting heart: RGC mom describes daughter’s fearlessness facing rare condition

A. COLLEEN DeGUZMAN | SPECIAL TO THE MONITOR While listening to her mother discuss the struggles of raising a special-needs child, including having to give up...

Willacy County loosens some COVID-19 restrictions

RAYMONDVILLE — Like many counties across the country, Willacy County is loosening its restrictions on orders aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. County...

Photo Gallery: Public food distribution at the Food Bank of the RGV

Members of the Texas Nation Guard help to distribute food as lines of cars form at the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley...

COVID-19 cases continue to rise at Port Isabel Detention Center

COVID-19 cases among detainees at the Port Isabel Detention Center in Los Fresnos continue to rise. On Wednesday, ICE updated its published numbers indicating...

Volunteer group makes headway in renovations of Rio Grande City fort

New life has been breathed into part of the historic Fort Ringgold in Rio Grande City, with the renovation of one of its buildings which opened last week just in time to host a traveling exhibition. In just seven days, the west wing of the old post hospital in Fort Ringgold, which houses the administrative offices for the Rio Grande City school district, was completely redone with the help of school district employees, according to Ross Barrera, a member of the Fort Ringgold 175th Anniversary Commission, a volunteer group formerly known as Revive Fort Ringgold. That hospital wing used to be the recovery area for the soldiers stationed at the fort, Barrera said, who added that when the committee viewed the building in December, they knew it was going to need a lot of work. Find the full story at themonitor.com.

Valley unemployment claims drop in first week of April

Overall unemployment claims dropped in the first week of April in the Rio Grande Valley, showing signs the numbers may be stabilizing as many businesses remain shuttered amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Among the individual counties in the Valley, the numbers decreased in two counties and increased in the other two, though the increases were slight compared to spikes seen in March. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Nearly $2 billion recommended to help fund unemployment benefits

A budget working group is recommending that the state issue $1.9 billion in bonds to replenish the dwindling funds through which they pay out unemployment benefits. State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa said the work group made the recommendation to Gov. Greg Abbott’s office last week as an alternative to obtaining more funds through what’s called a Title XII loan from the federal government. "The recommendation’s already been done to go the bond route and this will have to be done like this month," said Hinojosa, D-McAllen. Read the full story at themonitor.com

McAllen Medical pulmonologist’s advice for battling COVID-19

Since Hidalgo County reported its first case of COVID-19 in March, physicians have learned much more about how the disease attacks the body, and most importantly how people could defend themselves from it. Dr. Juan Pablo Sarmiento, a pulmonologist at McAllen Medical Center, has been treating patients with the coronavirus since the pandemic hit the county. He said he is more confident treating COVID-19 cases now than a couple months ago, when the fight against the disease was a blind battle. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Education Secretary rejects part-time reopening for schools amid pandemic

By COLLIN BINKLEY The Associated Press Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday assailed plans by some local districts to offer in-person instruction only a few days...

No visitors allowed at Valley Baptist, Valley Regional hospitals

The city's two largest hospitals will no longer allow visitors to either facility. According to a news release issued by both hospitals, Valley Regional Medical...

BISD student athlete tests positive for COVID-19

The Brownsville Independent School District is postponing its Strength and Conditioning Program after a student athlete at one of its high schools tested positive...

Starbucks temporarily closed after employee tests positive for COVID-19

By LAURA B. MARTINEZ Staff Writer The Starbucks at 4247 N. Expressway 77 in Brownsville has been temporarily closed after one of its employees tested positive...

Valley’s COVID-19 cases explode by 570

The Rio Grande Valley saw a record increase in COVID-19 cases Wednesday as new positives across four counties raised the tally to 570. Hidalgo County confirmed Wednesday afternoon that four more residents died from complications of COVID-19 and 373 more cases have been confirmed, bringing the total number of fatalities to 29 and cases to 2,503. The new fatalities and confirmed cases represent record numbers for the county. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Wireless carriers experiencing widespread outages

If your phone isn’t working, you’re not alone. Users of major wireless carriers including Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have reported widespread outages. Reports of outages have...

Brownsville Catholic Diocese suspends Masses

The Catholic Diocese of Brownsville has announced that all Masses in the diocese will be suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus or...

As pandemic policies soften, Valley restaurants reopen to an abnormal normal

The first customer to eat a ribeye at Santa Fe Steakhouse on 10th Street in the past six weeks and six days sliced into their steak at 6:06 p.m. Friday evening. Like restaurants across Texas, Santa Fe Steakhouse was allowed to open its dining room Friday for the first time since Gov. Greg Abbott shuttered eateries across the state on March 19 due to the coronavirus pandemic Earlier this week the governor announced that restaurants, along with malls, retailers and movie theaters, would be allowed to reopen to the public, contingent on keeping their occupancy to a quarter of capacity. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Doctors not part of DHS review of migrant children’s deaths

By NOMAAN MERCHANT Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — A government auditor did not employ medical professionals when his office cleared U.S. border agents of wrongdoing...

Now a doctor, former Memorial athlete and musician helping fight COVID-19

Ryan Huebinger found enjoyment in being part of a team while he was in high school. The former McAllen Memorial football player and cellist said that was one of the reasons he is now an emergency room doctor at two different hospitals in Houston. “I enjoy the team-based approach to treating people now,” Huebinger said. “That concept really translates over to emergency medicine. You can’t take care of a trauma person without surgeons, nurses, techs and others. It takes a lot of hands to save a life.” The recent COVID-19 pandemic, however, has shaken the medical and healthcare community to its core. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

City mulls drive-thru test site; Commissioners to consider Brownsville agreement

HARLINGEN — For weeks, many residents here have called for a site to test for the coronavirus. Soon, they might have testing options. On Tuesday, the...

ULA layoffs: Company trying to compete with SpaceX, Blue Origin

HARLINGEN — United Launch Alliance yesterday announced layoffs of 110 employees nationwide, including some believed to be employed at its operation here.Employees who were...

Man planning Trump rally at Selena statue faces legal action

Selena's family is threatening to sue a man who put a Make America Great Again hat on the late singer's statue in Texas and is planning to hold a rally there this weekend, alleging that he is illegally using Selena's image for profit. Joe Michael Perez announced on his Facebook page that he was organizing a Trump assembly at the statue in Corpus Christi on July 11, encouraging supporters to bring their flags and “Trump gear.” The family's letter states the “infringing” event is an unauthorized use and commercial exploitation of Selena Quintanilla's name, image and likeness. The Quintanilla family is the exclusive owner of all rights of publicity. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Virus infections trending younger; Study points to mask effectiveness

Younger people are contracting COVID-19 in much greater numbers in Cameron County, though it’s older residents and those with underlying conditions who are winding...

Willacy County COVID-19 jail outbreak leads more jailers, inmates testing positive

RAYMONDVILLE — The Willacy County Jail’s coronavirus outbreak has infected at least 21 jailers and inmates as officials try to stop the virus from...

UTRGV to hold virtual Spring 2020 commencement on Saturday

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will celebrate more than 3,000 prospective graduates with the first-ever Virtual Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 30,...

H-E-B to limit sale of toilet paper, sanitizers, briskets

H-E-B has been forced once again to place a limit on certain products due to customers panic buying toilet paper, food items and over-the-counter...

City considers expanding operating days for COVID-19 drive-thru testing

During a regular Brownsville City Commission meeting earlier this week, Brownsville Fire Department Chief Jarrett Sheldon, who is overseeing the emergency management operations, said...

Barbers, customers abuzz as salons, shops reopen

Barbershops and salons across the Rio Grande Valley opened to the public for the first time in more than a month Friday after the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread closures in March. The reopenings were part of Gov. Greg Abbott's phased plan to restart the Texas economy. According to local barbers, patrons were eager to get a haircut. Adan Gonzalez — a barber at Lupe’s Barber Shop at the Echo Hotel in Edinburg who’s been cutting hair since 1963 — says he was ready to get back to work. Judging by the number of customers he saw Friday, Gonzalez’s customers were ready to see a barber. Some of them tried to cut their own hair while Lupe’s was closed, and Gonzalez wasn’t impressed by their efforts. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Fifth COVID-19 related death reported in Cameron County; seven new cases in Hidalgo Co.

A fifth person died due to COVID-19 related complications, Cameron County reported Friday. The death of 77-year old man from Los Fresnos is the first death from a community transmission, according to a news release issued by the county. “It saddens me that we have lost another individual from our community to this deadly virus and, unfortunately, this individual is our first community transmission death and not related to the nursing home cases,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. stated in the release. “Our deepest sympathies to his family and friends. Our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.” Read the full story at themonitor.com

Point Isabel School District police chief passes away

Officials in Port Isabel are mourning the loss of a local leader and friend who passed away late last week. Point Isabel Independent School District...

Sheriff’s office partners with UTRGV to test employees

The Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office reports that 46 of its employees have tested positive for coronavirus since April 1 with about half that number learning they've fallen ill with the virus in the last two weeks. And as cases of COVID-19 surge here, Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra said his office has partnered with the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley for a mobile testing site for deputies and staff at the sheriff's office. "So, we partnered with UTRGV and now we have the medical staff from the detention side, RNs (registered nurses) and LVNs (licensed vocational nurses) that are capable of taking the swabs, so now we're doing it ourselves," Guerra said. "So now any Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office employee who has symptoms or comes in direct contact with someone who is COVID positive, we now have the ability to test them here and get the samples over to the lab and get the results back in 24 hours." Read the full story at themonitor.com