Edinburg man admits to having ‘thousands’ of videos, images of child pornography
An Edinburg man was arrested Wednesday after he admitted to investigators that he might have thousands of images of child sex abuse material on his phone across several applications, according to a criminal complaint.myrgv.com
Suspect in 2017 Edinburg kidnapping, murder sentenced to 30 years in prison
EDINBURG – A tense scene unfolded Monday morning during a 26-year-old man’s plea hearing for his involvement in the murder of a 32-year-old Edinburg man in 2017. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison with a little more than five years in jail credit for Martinez’s Nov. 8, 2017, murder. Sanchez was initially charged with capital murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated kidnapping and possession of marijuana. When the judge began to ask of his involvement during the kidnapping and murder, Sanchez became hesitant and refused to speak. As for Salinas, a jury convicted him of capital murder following a trial last April and he was sentenced to life without parole.myrgv.com
Following payment fiasco, Edinburg school HR, payroll directors placed on administrative leave
The Edinburg school board voted Tuesday to propose the termination of Human Resources Director Margarita Oyervides and Payroll Director Zelda Martinez, a decision the women’s attorney says relates to work they performed remedying an over payment fiasco that followed the introduction of a new district payroll system in the summer of 2021.myrgv.com
Edinburg trustees approve A&M partnership for specialized career, technical education training
Edinburg school board trustees Tuesday approved a memorandum of understanding with the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station that the district says will support specialized career and technical education training for its students and staff. Farias said plans are being worked out to develop curriculum this summer and to begin offering courses next school year. Where these kids, they’re going to be in the network of A&M when they participate in these courses,” he said. “It will help develop a tax base that will help out the city and the county and the school district,” he said. Farias called having both partnerships the “best of both worlds” and said the district is currently courting a third well-regarded higher education institution that he declined to name.myrgv.com
At 70% complete, interchange construction inches closer to finish line as motorists grow more impatient
What do the interchange widening project and Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher have in common? “It is as useful as the Cowboys field goal kicker.”This is how Mike Rodriguez described his frustrations with the interchange construction Thursday on Facebook, and he was one of nearly 200 who shared similar sentiments. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer as TxDOT officials say the interchange project is 70% complete. I think some of the more major closures that we’re going to see are associated right now with the direct connectors,” Pedraza said. On Tuesday, The Monitor asked readers to comment on the ongoing construction and whether it has been disruptive.myrgv.com
Edinburg limits posting of political campaign signs in wake of new state law
The city of Edinburg is regulating when political campaign signs can be posted on private property. Such signs — except those officially posted by the city — are also prohibited on public or city property. However, the political signs or materials can only be posted during the event and must be immediately removed when it’s over. “I just hope that all the candidates can agree on helping make the city of Edinburg free of political signs that are just flooding the entire city,” Diaz said. “Hopefully, we can all have the respect for all the citizens and all the candidates and the city to keep it clutter-free of political signs because this could just open up Pandora’s Box everywhere.”myrgv.com
UTRGV women’s basketball to host UT Arlington at Bert Ogden Arena
EDINBURG — The UTRGV women’s basketball team is set to take center stage at Bert Ogden Arena with a Western Athletic Conference game against Texas at Arlington at 6:30 p.m. today in Edinburg. It’ll be the first time the UTRGV women’s basketball team will play its own game at Bert Ogden Arena without a doubleheader also featuring the men’s basketball team. “We’re excited to be back at Bert Ogden Arena,” UTRGV head coach Lane Lord said. Junior guard Mele Kailahi finished with 22 points and Deborah Ogayemi added 12 in the UTRGV win. I think we have the talent to continue to get better and play our best basketball here at the end of the season.”myrgv.com
Edinburg man accused of fatal 2021 Christmas crash set for bond reduction hearing
An Edinburg man held on $800,000 in bonds is asking for a bond reduction after being accused of killing a woman in a wrong-way crash on Christmas in 2021. Edinburg police charged Otis Charles Barron, 30, with intoxicated manslaughter, accident involving death, two counts of intoxicated assault with vehicle and two counts of accident involving serious bodily injury. The probable cause affidavit states that Barron left his vehicle at the scene and proceeded to travel on foot to a hospital to get medical attention. In addition, Barron allegedly confessed to police to being the driver and leaving the scene of the crash. Barron is set to appear before state District Judge Keno Vasquez Tuesday morning for the hearing.myrgv.com
UTRGV women’s basketball falls against Grand Canyon
EDINBURG — The UTRGV women’s basketball team led Grand Canyon for nearly 30 minutes of game time during their Western Athletic Conference matchup Saturday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse. When the clock showed zeroes at the end of the fourth quarter, however, it was Grand Canyon that finished on top 61-52. Grand Canyon improved to 13-5 overall and 5-1 in conference. Grand Canyon’s Olivia Lane converted two timely buckets down low to help keep her team in front. We’ll keep fighting and keep believing.”The UTRGV women’s basketball team is back in action against Texas at Arlington (8-10, 2-4) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse in Edinburg.myrgv.com
Edinburg High tops La Joya High in 31-6A opener
EDINBURG — Topping Edinburg High’s list of priorities in its District 31-6A opener against La Joya High was containing Coyotes senior standout Ethan Moya. Edinburg High improved to 17-8 overall and 1-0 in 31-6A. La Joya High fell to 17-11 on the year and 0-1 in district. They played hard defensively, I thought Edinburg just made a couple more shots than we did, and that hurt us,” La Joya High head coach Eric Montalvo said. On deck for Edinburg High is another high-profile matchup as the Bobcats pay a visit to crosstown rival Edinburg North (15-13, 1-0) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Edinburg North High School.myrgv.com
Annual anti-rabies flights take off to salt Valley with vaccines
The annual anti-rabies campaign along the border began Tuesday with flights out of Edinburg as part of the state’s holding action to keep certain strains of the disease out of Texas. The $2 million annual program aims to prevent coyotes and foxes who consume the vaccine baits from contracting the dog-coyote and fox rabies strains, thus allowing the disease to spread north from Mexico. Rollo said there were no human rabies cases in Texas in 2021, but as is usually the case, about 450 cases were recorded in animals. The skunk variant is not down here around the border,” Rollo said Tuesday. “We believe it’s important to continue to keep the wildlife population immunized along the border,” Rollo said.myrgv.com
Three-vehicle crash east of Edinburg leaves one in coma, another flees on foot
The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating a three-vehicle crash that occurred Sunday and left one person in a coma while another ran from the scene. According to DPS, the crash happened around 8:10 p.m. on Alamo Road, south of Texas Road and east of Edinburg, where one man was traveling northbound in a white 2007 Chevrolet Silverado behind a Toyota Tacoma. “The Toyota veered to the southbound lanes and collided with a Ford Van,” the release said. The driver of the Ford Van didn’t have any injuries, but the driver of the Toyota Tacoma did sustain major injuries, was transported to a local hospital and is in a coma. Police said the driver of the Chevrolet Silverado fled the scene on foot and failed to stop and render aid.myrgv.com
Letters: Take action against crime
Out-of-control crime like the University of Virginia shootings rises as surely as the sun does. Crime exploded after World War II, but get-tough measures failed so badly we gave up on crime. Our un-enlightened justice system mocks our founders’ “speedy justice” mandate and their effective program of hard labor to prevent and rehabilitate crime. Since the holiday season has ensued, there have been numerous festivities including parades, live music, food trucks and more near the new amphitheater in downtown Edinburg. I learned from news sources that Donald Trump was not audited by the IRS; Trump said many, many times that his returns were audited every year.myrgv.com
Edinburg wants to crack down on noise disturbances
Noise complaints within the city of Edinburg might be regulated a little more strongly with the passage of a new noise ordinance. The Edinburg City Council approved an ordinance that lists specific situations and exceptions to what constitutes a loud noise violation, giving police a more solid basis on which to tamp down on loud noises. The ordinance adds a definition for “impulsive sound,” which is “a sound of short duration, usually less than one second, with an abrupt onset and rapid decay,” according to the ordinance. “Having the ability to have the enforcement tool in place would allow us to address some repetitive, continuing noise violations if the ordinance were in place,” Ayala said. However, city officials expect there will still be some difficulty in issuing a citation in response to every noise complaint.myrgv.com
Edinburg lays out priorities for legislative session
Edinburg officials detailed the city’s priorities for the upcoming state legislative session. During a city council meeting this week, Edinburg City Attorney Omar Ochoa laid out a set of priorities that the city has adopted for the Texas legislative session which begins next week. Ochoa presented a draft of those priorities which were put together following feedback from city departments and from the community. The compiled priorities fall into seven categories — community safety, health and medical care, development/infrastructure, education, economic development, quality of life, and local government. The state legislative session, which is held every two years, begins on Tuesday and ends on May 29.myrgv.com
Construction ceremoniously begins on $1.6M North Edinburg park
In partnership with the Edinburg school district, the city broke ground Friday morning on its newest project — De Zavala Park. According to Ramiro Garza Jr., mayor of Edinburg, this project is the first of many in the northern region of the city. “We started talking to the school and they offered this area here in the school to be able to have this park,” Garza said. According to Garza, parks and green space are among the top answers. Although they just broke ground on the park, Farias said they are already working on establishing new locations for another four parks.myrgv.com
These Hidalgo County judges are products of the Valley’s only law school
Cantu was among four Hidalgo County Court-at-Law judges being sworn into office after being reelected in November. They are all products of the Rio Grande Valley’s only and now-defunct law school — Reynaldo G. Garza School of Law. Ramon was a professor at the law school and even taught three of the judges taking the oath. A student who attended the Garza law school later opened a branch of the school in Dallas called the Dallas-Fort Worth School of Law, which quickly saw large enrollment numbers at the time. Years later Wesleyan University merged with the law school creating the Wesleyan School of Law that, as of seven years ago, is now part of the Texas A&M system.myrgv.com
Letters: City offerings garner praise
Bravo to city of Edinburg as its revitalization of downtown continues. Since the holiday season has ensued, there have been numerous festivities including parades, live music, food trucks and more near the new amphitheater in downtown Edinburg. Now, we who live downtown can elect to walk or bike to our dentist, doctor, library, grocery store and more. Thanks to Edinburg and UTRGV for enriching our lives. Making friends is easy if you are concerned about the person and not only about your desires.myrgv.com
UTRGV men’s basketball gearing up for conference play
EDINBURG — Several question marks surrounded the UTRGV men’s basketball team heading into the 2022 season. Early season double-digit losses to Kansas State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Texas added to the uncertainty, sitting at 4-3 midway through nonconference play. “Our confidence should be sky high,” UTRGV head coach Matt Figger said following a victory over Houston Christian on Dec. 18. Johnston has also stepped into the team’s starting point guard role almost seamlessly, commanding the Vaqueros’ offense with the poise of a veteran. “Coach (Figger) and the rest of the coaches did a good job of recruiting good guys off the court as well,” UTRGV forward Justin Johnson said.myrgv.com
Letters: Fortified campuses
In the aftermath of the recent Texas elections, have you noticed that our schoolyards are now becoming fortresses of chain-link fence topped by multiple barbed-wire strands? Such is true at SouthMiddle School in Edinburg, my local public school. Is it any wonder that weaponry has become more frequent among our young people when they can see it now everywhere, starting at school? Diane TeterEdinburgUnfinishedbusinessI do some assessing this time of year of what is going on, mysteries yet to be solved, etc. Marcia RaleyBrownsvilleAttackingThe truthThrowing acidic-words, attacks or insults at truth does not in any way alter the veracity or reality of facts.myrgv.com
Edinburg woman gets 15 years for driving drunk, killing teen who was walking dog
A judge on Monday sentenced a 39-year-old Edinburg resident to 15 years in prison after she admitted to driving drunk in 2020 before hitting and killing a 15-year-old girl and severely injuring her 14-year-old friend, court records indicate.myrgv.com
Photo Gallery: UTRGV introduces Bush as first head football coach
Travis Bush was formally introduced to the public as UTRGV’s first head football coach during a news conference at H-E-B Park in Edinburg. H-E-B Park is where the Vaqueros will play their home games when the team kicks off its inaugural season in 2025.myrgv.com
Edinburg breaks ground on phase 2 of Promenade Park
EDINBURG — City officials and art enthusiasts gathered here on the corner of Eighth and Mclntyre streets to break ground on phase 2 of Promenade Park in Edinburg, a ceremony local leaders repeatedly said was many years in the making. The park will be home to the new Edinburg Arts, Culture, Events Center, or ACE, a multi-purpose facility that has been in the works for 15 years. The $14 million project will enhance the arts complex in Edinburg, which already has an amphitheater and the Edinburg Municipal Auditorium. The cost was split down the middle, with the city paying half and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation paying the other. “We are hoping to bring national art exhibits and programming,” Leija said, adding that they don’t have an exact timeline of events just yet but hope to bring the arts to Edinburg.myrgv.com
UTRGV volleyball ready for National Invitational Volleyball Championship quarterfinals
EDINBURG — The UTRGV women’s volleyball team captured its first two NCAA Division I postseason victories in program history last weekend and will look to keep its run alive in the quarterfinal round of the Women’s National Invitational Volleyball Championship. The Vaqueros (27-6) are slated to take on Davidson (22-10) in the NIVC quarterfinals at 6 tonight at John M. Belk Arena in Davidson, North Carolina. The winner advances to the NIVC semifinals to face the winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal matchup between Drake (28-7) and Pacific (18-13). The Davidson Wildcats defeated North Dakota State in Round 1 and Wake Forest in Round 2, both in five sets. “We’ve watched them a couple times now, and they’re really consistent.myrgv.com
Edinburg politiquero expected to plead guilty to kickback scheme
An Edinburg politiquero accused of bribery is expected to plead guilty to federal charges tied to an alleged kickback scheme. An attorney for Miguel Angel Garza filed a notice of intention to enter a guilty plea on Friday, prompting the cancellation of Garza’s final pretrial hearing that was scheduled for Monday. In May, Garza had pleaded not guilty to a count of federal program bribery and a count of interstate travel in aid. Those charges stemmed from an alleged scheme that spanned from June 2019 to March 2020, according to the federal indictment filed against him. Following his not guilty plea, Garza was released on a $100,000 bond with a $10,000 cash deposit.myrgv.com
Christmas too costly for Edinburg family learning to care for child with diabetes
Jose Angel can only have 45 carbs in each meal which sometimes leaves him hungry for more food. “They say it’s important that every family member learns how to look after Jose Angel,” Alma said. Jose Angel says he sometimes plays catch with his dad but had recently lost his baseball at the park. “I was playing baseball and it went into the sewer,” Jose Angel said. For shirts, the older boys wear a size XL and L, a size M for Elizabeth and Jose Angel wears a size 7.myrgv.com
Mercedes man who fatally knocked out brother-in-law on New Year’s Day pleads guilty
EDINBURG – A 45-year-old Mercedes man pleaded guilty Thursday morning to punching and killing his brother-in-law following an argument on New Year’s Day in 2018. As part of the plea agreement, state prosecutors dropped the first count of aggravated assault against Alfonso Flores Alejandro after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the death of 43-year-old Jose Duran. According to a probable cause affidavit, Alejandro and Duran got into an argument after Alejandro brought his girlfriend to his mother’s home on New Year’s Day. At one point, Alejandro punched Duran, and Duran fell to the ground and hit his head on the roadway and died as a result. Alejandro later called his sister, who was married to Duran, to admit he had hit Duran but didn’t mean to kill him.myrgv.com
Edinburg CISD, UTRGV break ground on $26M collegiate high school
EDINBURG — The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Edinburg CISD broke ground Tuesday morning on the land that will house a new collegiate high school. “Think about this, Edinburg Independent School District right there; UTRGV right over here; UTRGV and Edinburg Independent School District together right here,” Bailey said, motioning the close proximity of the two entities to the new collegiate high school. It is a true partnership in every way.”The school will be the fifth high school for the Edinburg school district. The collegiate high school was announced on March 23. We’re building high school number five at 50% cost — staffing and construction cost.”myrgv.com
UTRGV women’s hoops takes down Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in OT
EDINBURG — Students from elementaries and junior highs across the Rio Grande Valley filled the UTRGV Fieldhouse for UTRGV women’s basketball’s South Texas Showdown against rival Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday afternoon. 2 written in marker on Vaqueros shirts waved them like flags as the UTRGV alma mater played over the Fieldhouse speakers. TAMU-CC made its run during the second half, however, erasing the Vaqueros’ lead. She gets fouled, she makes free throws. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Violeta Verano led the Islanders with 14 points.myrgv.com
Edinburg police arrest man for shooting police unit
EDINBURG — Police here arrested a man who fired two shots at a patrol unit on Thanksgiving Day with the help of a drone. Edinburg Police officers were dispatched to the 500 block of West Owassa Road at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday after several people saw 40-year-old Brett Thomas Martinez walking around with a rifle. After they located him, officers used a drone to detain him and secure the rifle. “Through the course of the investigation, officers discovered that an Edinburg Police Unit was struck by two bullets during the incident,” police said in a news release Thursday afternoon. Martinez was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a public servant, a first-degree felony.myrgv.com
35 family members of Uvalde shooting victims throw their support behind Beto O’Rourke ahead of debate
In a news conference ahead of the only gubernatorial debate, 35 family members of Uvalde school shooting victims said they would support O’Rourke because of Gov. Greg Abbott’s inaction on gun control measures.
More people in Texas are hospitalized for COVID-19 than at any other time during the pandemic
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported Monday a pandemic high 11,351 hospitalizations from COVID-19. This hospital data does not account for people who are hospitalized but have not gotten a positive test, and DSHS says some hospitals may be missing from the daily counts. As of Monday, the state is also reporting 49 deaths from COVID-19, a lagging indicator of the extent of transmission rates, and more than 12,800 new confirmed COVID-19 cases. Earlier this month, Texas' ICU capacity was already the lowest since the start of the pandemic, leaving health care experts worried hospitals could be pushed to the brink as coronavirus cases continue to climb. Across the state, COVID-19 patients occupy 17.8% of the state's hospital beds, and only 745 staffed ICU beds are still available.
Texans who are over 65 or have certain medical conditions are next in line for COVID-19 vaccine
Texans who are 65 years old and older, and those who are at least 16 with certain chronic medical conditions will be next in line for the COVID-19 vaccine, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced on Monday. There are nearly 1.9 million Texans in that group, so it will likely take a few weeks before the state transitions to the next phase, state health officials said. The state expects to receive 1.4 million vaccine doses by the end of the month. A panel — comprised of state lawmakers, state and local health officials, medical experts and researchers — recommended those eligible for the next phase on Dec. 17. More than 42,000 doses of the vaccine had been administered in Texas as of Monday, state data shows.
VIDEO: Texas school district removes football team from playoffs after player tackles referee
HOUSTON – A Texas school district has made the decision to remove the Edinburg High School football team from the playoffs after a player assaulted a referee Thursday night during a game. The incident occurred during a game between Edinburg High School and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Early College High School in Edinburg, Texas. Check out the video from the incident here:The Edinburg CISD released the following statement:“The district has decided to remove the Edinburg High School football team from the playoffs after an unexpected incident involving a student that occurred during a football game on December 3, 2020. On behalf of the Edinburg CISD Board of Trustees and administration, we apologize to the athletes, staff, and our school community. Unfortunately, this type of blind‑sided assault on an official while working on the field is not new to Texas Football.
Texas' count of coronavirus deaths jumps 12% after officials change the way they tally COVID-19 fatalities
After months of undercounting coronavirus deaths, Texas formal tally of COVID-19 fatalities grew by more than 600 on Monday after state health officials changed their method of reporting. The revised count indicates that more than 12% of the states death tally was previously unreported by state health officials before Monday. The Texas Department of State Health Services is now counting deaths marked on death certificates as caused by COVID-19. State health officials said Monday that the policy change would improve the accuracy and timeliness of their data. As of July 26, state officials said about 5,030 people who tested positive for the virus had died.
Five U.S. Navy teams deploy to Rio Grande Valley, other Texas coronavirus hot spots
The U.S. Navy has deployed teams to help deal with coronavirus surges in the Rio Grande Valley and other Texas hot spots. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas TribuneMedical professionals from the U.S. Navy were deployed Sunday to aid hospitals in four cities across southern Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, according to Gov. Early on in the pandemic, hot spots were mainly tied to outbreaks in enclosed spaces, like meatpacking plants and nursing homes. Five U.S. Navy teams were sent to four locations across Texass southern region: Harlingen, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Rio Grande City. Ambulance operators in the Rio Grande Valley area described wait times of up to 10 hours to deliver patients to packed emergency rooms.
Virus cases jump in worst-hit trio of US, Brazil and India
The virus is showing no signs of slowing in the worst-affected countries: the United States, Brazil and India. The U.S. reported nearly 59,000 new daily cases, just short of the record 60,000 cases set a day earlier, as President Donald Trump insisted that schools reopen in the fall. Brazil reported nearly 45,000 new cases. The virus has also been spreading rapidly in South Africa, which reported nearly 9,000 new cases in its latest daily update. He complained that his own public health officials safety guidelines are impractical and too expensive.
Texas bans elective surgeries in more than 100 counties as coronavirus hospitalizations keep climbing
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas TribuneNeed to stay updated on coronavirus news in Texas? With cases of the new coronavirus and related hospitalizations rising at alarming rates, Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday expanded his ban on elective medical procedures to cover more than 100 counties across much of the state. "We are freeing up more resources to address upticks in COVID-19 related cases, Abbott said in a statement. Hospital capacity is currently most taxed around the states biggest cities, as well as most of South Texas.
Nearly 14% of new U.S. COVID-19 cases are recorded in Texas
On Tuesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported more than 10,000 new cases representing nearly 20% of the nations new cases for the day. There has never been a higher risk of getting COVID-19 in Texas, the states public health agency wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. #COVID19TX update: https://t.co/ofycOLqWQZCurrent #COVID19 hospitalizations continue to increase. There has never been a higher risk of getting COVID-19 in #Texas. We are going to be in a situation where we have to seriously consider sheltering in place again, said Dennis Perrotta, a former Texas state epidemiologist.
Ten out of the 12 hospitals in Texas' Rio Grande Valley are now full
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas TribuneHospitals in the Rio Grande Valley sounded the alarm Saturday as their beds filled to capacity with COVID-19 patients and some began transferring patients elsewhere. The local and Valley hospitals are at full capacity and have no more beds available, Starr County Judge Eloy Vera said in a statement. Hospitals in Starr County were also transferring patients, with at least two severely ill patients flown to Dallas and San Antonio, Vera added. As COVID-19 cases have exploded across Texas, health officials in other areas are also expressing concern about hospital capacity. Greg Abbott, who began allowing Texas businesses to reopen on May 1, expanded his June 25 ban on elective surgeries to counties in South Texas on Tuesday to preserve hospital capacity.