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

San Benito shops ready to reopen for ‘retail-to-go’

SAN BENITO — Like David Garcia, business owners are gearing up to partially reopen their shops as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to...

Election offices wait for runoff election guidance

A state district judge last week issued a temporary injunction that will likely expand the number of vote-by-mail ballots cast statewide during this summer’s...

HCISD coaches develop a way to keep kids active

Jaime Davalos is enjoying P.E. class. “ The P.E. coaches are very fun and they bring a lot of enthusiasm,” said Jaime, 10, a fourth grader...

7 now dead from COVID-19 in Cameron Co.

Fatalities for COVID-19 patients in the Rio Grande Valley grew to 10 Monday with Cameron County reporting an additional fatality, a 51-year-old woman from Windsor Atrium in Harlingen.  A release from Cameron County says the woman died at Valley Baptist Medical center and was a previously reported case. “With each passing of a loved one, it reminds us of the seriousness of the impact this virus can have on individuals,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino, Jr. wrote in the statement. “Our most sincere condolences go to the family.” Read the full story at

Photo Gallery: Walk-on’s gives meals to furloughed workers

Karissa Rodriguez hands out meals to furloughed workers and others at Walk-on’s Sports Bistreaux and Bar on Saturday, April 18, 2020, in Edinburg. (Joel...

Willacy County coronavirus cases up to 10

RAYMONDVILLE — Texas Department of State Health Services announced two new cases of COVID-19 in Willacy County on Monday, bringing the total here to...

DHS: Restricted travel extended 30 days

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf announced Monday a 30-day extension of the currently in place restricted travel advisement for Canada and Mexico. The announcement comes on the day the restriction was set to expire at midnight, 30 days after it was put in place following President Trump’s announcement on March 20 that the U.S.-Mexico southern border would be closed off to “non-essential” travelers. “In close collaboration, the US, Mexico, and Canada have each agreed to extend restrictions on non-essential travel across their shared borders for 30 additional days. As President Trump stated last week, border control, travel restrictions and other limitations remain critical to slowing the spread and allowing the phased opening of the country,” Wolf said in a prepared statement. Read the full story at

Harlingen, Food Bank to distribute food to residents

The City of Harlingen and the Food Bank RGV have joined forces to distribute food to the community. Mayor Chris Boswell says many people...

Records show Crime Stopper tips lead to drug, cash seizure

A probable cause affidavit reveals how multiple tips to McAllen Crime Stoppers resulted in at least three arrests and the seizure of more than a pound of cocaine, nearly 3 pounds of marijuana, almost 200 THC cartridges and more than $61,000 in alleged drug proceeds. The charging document for 21-year-old Mission resident Carlos Manuel Ruiz on allegations of money laundering between $30,000 and $150,000 credits the anonymous tipline for initiating the investigation into a residence at 208 Walnut Ave. in McAllen where police made the seizure on March 26. McAllen police say they initiated surveillance at the house after receiving multiple tips and, according to the probable affidavit, investigators observed suspicious activity. Read the full story at

Pandemic clouds future for Valley agriculture industry

PHARR — There’s an onion patch here, just on the edge of the city. Off in the distance to one side there’s a hospital. On...

Grocery stores on the frontline

Disposed gloves and face masks on the parking lot and little children touching everything are some of the things grocery workers have to deal...

CARES Act aims $20 million at Valley International Airport

HARLINGEN — Valley International Airport anticipates a $20 million financial boost from Washington to help it weather travel turbulence and the subsequent financial downturn...

Former McAllen officer shot in San Marcos

A former McAllen police officer was one of three officers shot during a violent incident in San Marcos Saturday night. Former McAllen police officer Franco...

UTRGV AD: Athletics play large role in return to normalcy

Chasse Conque was a high school senior when the devastation of 9/11 occurred. He remembers the wide-ranging disruption it caused, leaving no person or business untouched. He also recalls where a lot of the healing began — and expects much of that healing to return the same way once regulations from the COVID-19 virus are eased and the world can return to what can only be described as a new normal. Read the full story at

LUPE talks jail reform; details of first inmate case emerge 

When the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office released nearly 400 low-level inmates in late March in an effort to keep COVID-19 out of the jail, John-Michael Torres noticed. Torres is the Rio Grande Valley communications director for La Unión del Pueblo Entero, or LUPE, a community union founded by labor activists César Chávez and Dolores Huerta. He said LUPE has spent the last two years asking Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra to keep people accused of low-level crimes — like Class C and certain Class B and A misdemeanors — out of jail to keep families together and promote public health. Read the full story at

6 more test positive in Hidalgo County

Hidalgo County health officials announced an additional 6 COVID-19 cases Sunday.  The new cases include one Mission man in his 30s, two Edinburg men — one in his 30s and the other 50s — two Weslaco women — one her her 20s and the other in her 50s — and a man in his 20s whose location was not disclosed.  Read the full story at

Weslaco firefighters lob more safety concerns

Just a few days after the Weslaco Firefighters Association went public with concerns about the city’s handling of its COVID-19 response, the union has raised additional concerns related to the pandemic and the safety of those fighting on the front lines. In a news release issued Friday, the union alleges the city has not provided firefighters or paramedics with sufficient training for responding to potential COVID-19 calls, nor did they take union concerns seriously until after those concerns were shared with local media via an initial statement April 14. “New fire department protocols were not issued until after our concerns were made public. The public disclosure followed weeks of attempted communications with the fire chief,” the union’s Friday statement reads, in part. Read the full story at

Edinburg Walk-On’s serves over 900 plates to community

Although the event was supposed to end by 5 p.m., the Walk-On’s staff here continued serving free meals to the community. At that point, they had given out 900 meals Saturday evening. The event, known as the Furlough Kitchen, aimed to provide more than 1,000 meals to furloughed workers. “It was a great success,” Walk-On’s Director of Operations Isaac Garza said. “I feel very honored and privileged to be a part of this event that was sponsored by Walk-On’s.” Read the full story at

Sentencing hearing reset for Mission woman in drug conspiracy

The sentencing hearing for a Mission woman accused of playing a role in a drug conspiracy has been reset, records show. The court reset the sentencing hearing for Alejandra Dianey Mendoza Garcia who pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge on Jan. 31 for her role in a plot to move a large quantity of cocaine, records show. Mendoza was originally set to be sentenced April 14. According to the criminal complaint filed against her in May 2019, the government alleged Mendoza, 31, of Mission, was in possession of bundles of cocaine when federal agents searched her apartment. Read the full story at

Former McAllen officer shot in San Marcos

A former McAllen police officer was one of three officers shot during a violent incident in San Marcos Saturday night. Former McAllen police officer Franco Stewart and two others were reportedly shot while responding to a domestic violence call, KVUE reported Sunday. The attack left 31-year-old Officer Justin Putnam dead and two other officers — Stewart and Justin Mueller — in critical but stable condition, the city's interim police chief, Bob Klett, said at a news conference Sunday. Read the full story at

A tuberculosis survivor’s advice for getting through COVID-19 isolation

Rene Wallace remembers the prayer she recited one night as a patient at Harlingen State Tuberculosis Hospital in 1964. “Lord, I know I am sick, and if this is the way you want me, I will try to make those around me happy. But if it is your will, please heal me. I need to be with my children,” she said. The Edinburg resident was 32 years old at the time, and it was Christmas morning when her husband Jack Wallace, founder of Jack Wallace Farms, told her that he had to take her to the hospital. She was still in her pajamas, wrapping gifts in bed for their five children. Read the full story at

DACA recipients labor on front lines; Medical workers in limbo

Approximately 27,000 frontline healthcare workers’ lives are in limbo as the Supreme Court determines whether to uphold the Trump administration’s 2018 decision to end...

SPI city council to discuss 2020 census, fire hydrant enhancements

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — As communities continue to carry on through this time of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, city officials and leaders...

Students, educators react to Abbott’s school closures

HARLINGEN — Last year, Camryn Hale had looked forward to visiting Disney World. That’s when Camryn, 17, and her fellow musicians at Harlingen High School...

Local HS coaches discuss UIL cancellation of spring sports

Note: Throughout the next few weeks, we'll hear from student-athletes from different sports whose seasons were cut short due to COVID-19. McALLEN — On March 16,...

As local companies spiral down, economic agencies leap in to help

HARLINGEN — For Mario Lozoya and his Greater Brownsville Incentives Corp., focus and effort usually involves supporting businesses straddling the border, working to enhance...

COVID-19 robs proud Valley veteran of the burial he earned

About four weeks ago, David Amador dropped by the Alfredo Gonzalez Texas State Veterans Home in McAllen to visit his father Robert, a U.S. Army veteran who suffered from dementia. David visited his father several times a week. When Robert’s health was better, they would go for long drives, sometimes out to South Padre Island or Boca Chica Beach, or maybe just down the road to Applebee’s. One time they went all the way up to Martindale. David kept visiting his father as his health declined. He’d bring him some food and a newspaper. Read the full story at

Lawsuit filed against “El Centro” for price gouging

The Cameron County District Attorney's Office announced Friday that a lawsuit has been filed against El Centro Foods in La Feria for engaging in...