Final destination: Kitty Hawk due to arrive in Brownsville May 31
Five months and 17,000 miles after departing Bremerton, Wash., the former USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) is expected to enter the jetties of the Brazos Santiago Pass off South Padre Island at 10:30 a.m. on May 31, the day after Memorial Day. The Kitty Hawk left the Port of Spain in Trinidad on May 14 before making its way across the Caribbean Sea. Berry was interviewed by phone on May 20, when the Kitty Hawk was off the coast of Jamaica, and said the long trip had gone well so far. ISL has done three of them: the USS Constellation (a Kitty Hawk-class carrier), the USS Independence and USS Ranger. Berry said the Kitty Hawk may draw a larger crowd than any of the previous carrier arrivals.myrgv.com
Harlingen karate program promotes community service
The 12-year-old brown belt joined her martial arts team from Metamorphix Martial Arts in Harlingen for an Earth Day Adopt-a-Beach cleanup. “This was my way, our way, to help our community by keeping our beaches clean,” she said. “Not only does our instructor (Ortiz) teach us martial arts and trains us to improve our techniques and forms, but she helps us all around,” said Escamilla. Metamorphix Martial Arts is located at 114 N. A St. in downtown Harlingen and offers youth martial arts and mentorship programs for children 4-14 years old, including teen girl’s and women’s self-defense and women’s kickboxing classes. For more information on programs offered at Metamorphix Martial Arts call 956-752-8443, email [email protected] or visit them on social media @metamorphixma.myrgv.com
Dune driving warning signs going up on SPI beaches
Cameron County will unveil new signage aimed at preventing people from driving on the delicate dunes on South Padre Island, with warnings including the threat of prosecution. “Driving On The Sand Dunes is Prohibited” signage will go up this week as a reminder that driving up and over the dunes from the beach is banned by law. The effort is part of the county’s continuing dune preservation efforts and is contained in the 2019 Cameron County Erosion Response Plan. In addition, under the Texas Natural Resources Code, a fine of between $50 and $2,000 can be levied for each offense. “The signage will help to deter any driving on the dunes that we all know is detrimental to the ecological system,” said Cameron County Precinct 1 Commissioner Sofia C. Benavides.myrgv.com
Coast Guard rescues woman from water off South Padre Island
Special to the HeraldThe Coast Guard rescued a 24-year-old woman from the water off South Padre Island on Saturday. Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi command center watchstanders received notification at 11 a.m. from Cameron County Beach Patrol stating a woman was swimming approximately 1 mile offshore Beach Access #5 without a life jacket and was possibly in distress. Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi command center personnel issued an urgent marine information broadcast, diverted an underway Coast Guard Station South Padre Island 33-foot Special Purpose Craft–Law Enforcement boat crew, launched a second SPC-LE boat crew, and diverted an airborne MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi. A SPC-LE boat crew located the swimmer, brought her aboard and transported her to awaiting emergency medical services personnel at Station South Padre Island. EMS personnel brought her to Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville, Texas, in stable condition.myrgv.com
Coast Guard hauls in 140 pounds of marijuna
In total, the U.S. Coast Guard hauled in a major catch—three black bundles of pot weighing 140 pounds, seized early Thursday off South Padre Island, according to a press release. The Coast Guard crew transferred the individuals and marijuana to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol personnel in Port Isabel. “It is only through close coordination with our interagency partners that our crews are able to detect and respond swiftly to illegal activities along the border,” Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dan Ippolito, commanding officer, Station South Padre Island, said in the press release. “The Coast Guard remains fiercely committed to stopping individuals from illegally smuggling drugs into U.S. territory, safeguarding our borders and protecting our citizens.”myrgv.com
Coast Guard emergency: 4-year-old hit head on jetty rocks
A 4-year-old boy hit his head on the rocks of the South Padre Island jetties Sunday, requiring emergency medical care, authorities said Monday. The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a 4-year-old child Sunday on South Padre Island. The parents of a 4-year-old boy notified the Coast Guard crew that their son had fallen on the rocks, sustained lacerations on his head and may need medical attention. The boat crew took the 4-year-old aboard, administered first-aid and transferred the child to awaiting emergency medical services personnel at Station South Padre Island. EMS then transported him to the Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville, in reportedly stable condition, Coast Guard officials said Monday.myrgv.com
Island groups prepare for some spring cleaning
Forever Beautiful SPI, the simple beach clean up organization that works with the city of South Padre Island to keep the Island’s beaches clean, will have a spring beach cleanup from 9-11 a.m. April 5 at the Isla Grand Beach Resort, and April 9 at The Courtyard By Marriott SPI.myrgv.com
Cameron County Parks HQ breaks ground
While the parks system it manages has gotten bigger over the last 30 years, Cameron County Parks and Recreation’s South Padre Island headquarters have not, to the point that things have gotten pretty crowded. “The existing office is the registration office and administration office, and sometimes we have up to 13 employees working and it’s very crowded in there. “We’re just celebrating the fruition of all of it.”County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. said he’s enjoyed watching the partnership between the county and South Padre Island blossom. South Padre Island Mayor Patrick McNulty expressed gratitude to the county for projects to improve the Island. “We really do appreciate the investment that Cameron County has been doing the last five, six, seven years on South Padre Island to help South Padre Island become a better place for people to live, work and play,” he said.myrgv.com
Spring Break Jam is about vision, positive vibes
This weekend, as the Spring Break Jam 2022 custom truck and car expo returns to South Padre Island, the longtime owner and president of Heat Wave Inc. will be mixing with car enthusiasts and talking about how their automotive visions came to life. Also, Spring Break Jam sometimes leaves its marks on people in a completely different way—tattoos. That annual streak started with his first show in Texas 33 years ago, and along the way MacDonald said the greatest lesson has been to treat people well. When did MacDonald first hope of creating a positive custom truck and car show that delivers reliably year after year for decades? “When I was 16, I had a mini truck, and I used to go to shows here in Texas,” MacDonald said.myrgv.com
Musk tweets Brownsville-SPI airport could get Starship prototype
SpaceX Founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that he could send one over the airport since it serves the communities of Brownsville and South Padre Island. “If South Padre and or/Brownsville would like a Starship prototype, we can send one over,” Musk tweeted. Airport officials anticipate Musk’s team at Starbase would reach out to them either later Monday or Tuesday and hopefully figure out what details would come next. Partida said sometimes airport officials just observe tweets but because this one included the airport they wanted to let Musk know that they are ready to be home to a Starship prototype. Having a Starship prototype would not only draw tourist to the airport but in addition shows the efforts the city is making to position Brownsville as the new space city, Partida said.myrgv.com
Sea Turtle, Inc. releases cold-stunned turtles
On Tuesday, Sea Turtle, Inc. released 77 cold-stunned Atlantic green sea turtles back into the ocean at Cameron County Beach Access #4. Group by group Sea Turtle, Inc. personnel took turns carrying turtles of all sizes into the ocean’s recurring waves. In total, Sea Turtle, Inc. rescued 80 cold-stunned turtles from the cold temperatures this past weekend. “We got a few on Friday, most of them on Saturday and a few on Sunday,” Sea Turtle, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Wendy Knight said. “We could not do this without you.”Those who see or come across a stranded sea turtle on South Padre Island or Boca Chica beach are asked to call Sea Turtle, Inc.’s 24/7 emergency line at (956) 243-4361.myrgv.com
Adopt-A-Beach to host SPI Winter Beach Cleanup
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Residents and visitors of this coastal city have the chance to do a good deed while enjoying the area’s scenic views. The Texas General Land Office’s Adopt-A-Beach program will have a Winter Beach Cleanup on South Padre Island on Friday, Feb. 4. Macias explained that as part of the Adopt-A-Beach program, beaches around the Texas Coast host cleanups that make a big impact for the environment. “Everybody gathers together to clean the beach.”To register online for South Padre Island’s beach cleanup, visit https://tinyurl.com/2p8an5h6. For more information, contact the Cameron County Parks Department at (956) 761-5494 or the Texas GLO Adopt-A-Beach program at 1 (877) 892-6278.myrgv.com
I Love SPI Campaign begins
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Coinciding with the Valentines holiday, the City of South Padre Island’s annual I Love SPI campaign will operate now through Monday, Feb. 14. As part of the campaign, residents and businesses are able to place brush and bulky items at the front of their property to be collected. The city, in partnership with Republic Services, is promoting the campaign to help residents and businesses by adding an extra brush and bulky item pick-up service to the regular monthly service. Those spotted participating in the campaign will be awarded an “I Love SPI” T-shirt. “Please take advantage and clear your property of debris and unwanted bulky items to get ready for the busy season,” Environmental Health Director Victor Baldovinos said.myrgv.com
Isla Blanca park has plans for new entry booths
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Four years after a reckless driver smashed them to pieces, county officials have announced two new toll booths and a re-entry lane will be built at Isla Blanca Park. The new toll booths will significantly improve the time lag parks visitors now spend passing through the temporary toll booths to enter the park, and things were especially aggravating this past summer. 5, Isla Blanca is the most popular county beach park. During construction, new temporary toll booths will be set up. This area will be the temporary location of the toll booths and entry lanes during construction.myrgv.com
Motion picture begins filming in Brownsville, South Padre Island
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — With scenic coastal views and cities that embody the area’s cultural richness, a production team felt drawn to have their story take place in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. An upcoming movie titled “The Switch Up” began filming this week in Brownsville and on South Padre Island. South Padre Island city officials and personnel held a press conference on Thursday to introduce the film’s cast and crew. “It’s great for South Padre Island because we are showcasing a wonderful place to enjoy while on vacation or a weekend and now, as a film destination,” SPI Senior Marketing and Communications Manager Teresa Rodriguez said. “With this movie, I think people are going to see what South Padre Island has to offer.”The Switch Up is a romantic comedy starring Cristián De La Fuente and Julieth Restrepo.myrgv.com
DA to seek death penalty in South Padre Island triple homicide
The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office has filed a notice that it will seek the death penalty against a Keren, Texas man accused in a triple homicide that occurred on South Padre Island in August. Barthelemy was arraigned Dec. 10 before 357th state District Court Judge Magallanes on one count of capital murder and pleaded not guilty to the charge, Cameron County court documents reflect. The shooting happened on Aug. 7, at the Sunchase Condominiums located at the 1004 Padre Blvd., on South Padre Island. South Padre Island police were dispatched to the area in reference to a disturbance with either a gun or knife, a SPI police report states. He remains jailed at a Cameron County facility on a no bond.myrgv.com
Vaqueros wrap up UTRGV South Padre Island Classic
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — A wave of orange greeted vehicles as they crossed over the Queen Isabella Memorial Bridge onto South Padre Island this weekend. UTRGV flags with “#RallyTheValley” printed on them led up to the famous South Padre Island welcome sign, marking the UTRGV women’s basketball team’s home away from home for the weekend as the South Padre Island Convention Centre hosted the second annual UTRGV South Padre Island Classic on Friday and Saturday. To have all the orange out here at South Padre, it’s something that we hope is going on for years to come,” UTRGV head coach Lane Lord said. We just struggled to make shots.”While the Vaqueros didn’t earn a win on the weekend, they connected with the Lower Valley by bringing Division I women’s basketball to South Padre Island. “We’ve got an awesome university and to come to South Padre and see those kids here, it meant a lot.myrgv.com
No white Christmas for RGV this year
If you’re dreaming of having a white Christmas in the Rio Grande Valley this year, you are out of luck. ACCU Weather on Wednesday released its white Christmas 2021 forecast and states there is a 5% chance that South Texas could see snow on Christmas. The last time the Valley had a white Christmas was on Dec. 24-25, 2004 with 1.5 to 3 inches of the snow recorded throughout the area. Brownsville and Harlingen received 1.5 inches of snow, South Padre Island at 2.5 inches and McAllen received 3.5 inches. ACCU Weather reports La Niña is still in play and it tends to steer storms northward, cutting the southern portion of the U.S. off from moisture.myrgv.com
Art on the beach: SPI to have 33rd annual Sandcastle Days
Several sand sculptors from around the country and world are competing in the Island’s 33rd Annual Sandcastle Days competition that’s being held at Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill this week. Master sand sculptors Walter “Amazin Walter” McDonald and Lucinda “Sandy Feet” Wierenga founded the event 34 years ago. The amateur competition is open to kids, families, groups and individuals. Sandcastle Days will continue on Saturday with amateur registration and free sandcastle lessons beginning at 8 a.m. The Sandcastle Days Mercado will be open from 10 a.m. to close.myrgv.com
These live beach cameras show what it looks like as Tropical Storm Nicholas approaches the Texas coast
Tropical Storm Nicholas is expected to strengthen as it approaches the Texas coast, threatening to bring heavy rain and floods. Tropical storm warnings have been issued for many of the state’s coastal regions.
Some Texas colleges keep spring break while others adapt due to pandemic concerns
People gathered on the beach in front of Clayton’s Beach Bar during spring break on South Padre Island on Wednesday. In the early weeks of the pandemic in March 2020, colleges across the state extended spring break and then moved to online-only classes afterward largely due to initial fears about facilitating the spread of the coronavirus. AdBut spring break for many is now coinciding with Gov. Ad“With spring break, the biggest high risks are going to be people who are young adults,” Cervantes said. “We encourage you to make good decisions during spring break, just as you did during winter break, and follow the university’s public health guidance: wWear a mask (double up!
Space enthusiasts continue to wait for SpaceX’s Starship SN8 41,000-foot flight
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – Space enthusiasts have to wait another few days to potentially see SpaceX’s Mars-bound vehicle pass a now 12.5km flight test. As soon as next week, the Starship SN8 prototype is expected to make a 41,010-foot flight at SpaceX’s launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas. In the latest documents filed with the FAA, there is a temporary flight restriction (TFR) filed with the FAA for a 12.5km flight. “It’s just so cool how those things line up together,” Staci Norton, Bret Norton’s wife, said. Staci Norton said the space program is inspiring the younger generation.
South Padre Island expected to be crowded for SpaceX Starship SN8 test launch
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – The shores at Isla Blanca Park are expected to be the place where hundreds of space enthusiasts and islanders go to watch a test launch across the water at SpaceX’s Starship facility in Boca Chica, Texas. With the Starship SN8 launch teasingly imminent, South Padre Island has found a lot more tourists walking the streets. The view of the SpaceX launch facility just a few miles across the water. “Everybody wants to see it happening,” said James Baxter, a Houston native and South Padre Island transplant. I was so excited!”They don’t think they will leave South Padre Island.
31 photos and videos that show the impact Hurricane Hanna had from Port Aransas to South Padre Island
Hurricane Hanna created problems for Texans in places like Port Mansfield, South Padre Island and Corpus Christi, as strong winds and heavy rain hit those areas. Here is footage from one of our stringers, Max Olson, as it caused damage in Port Mansfield. #HurricaneHanna #txwx pic.twitter.com/eAh7vTc7mm — Stephen Jones (@Tornado_Steejo) July 25, 2020Still ripping in the SW eye wall of Hurricane Hanna over Port Mansfield Texas. #Hurricane Hanna# pic.twitter.com/JrU8pLMJAn — WitchyWitch (@road2liberty) July 26, 2020Prayers for the folks in Port Aransas. #HurricaneHanna pic.twitter.com/yUrP4lZqrW — Travis M. Smith (@Travis5mith) July 25, 2020South Padre IslandPadre Island, Texas a few minutes ago as Hurricane Hanna approaches.
WATCH: These cameras show what it looks like along the Texas coast as Hurricane Hanna approaches
You can see what it looks like along the Texas coast through a variety of beach and city cams as Hurricane Hanna makes landfall. Here are live cameras from Corpus Christi, South Padre Island and Port Aransas:Corpus ChristiHere is the link to see the cams for Corpus Christi beaches, including Whitecap Beach and North Padre Sea Wall. Here is the link to see the North Padre Sea Wall cam. South Padre IslandHere is the link to see the cams for South Padre Island beaches, including north and south beaches. Here is the link to see the South Padre Island Beach cam.
The Daytripper: Top 5 places to visit in Port Isabel
Everyone who goes to South Padre Island passes through Port Isabel, but there are plenty of reasons to make this bay front town your final destination. Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic SiteIn this town, there is no spot more quintessential than the Port Isabel Lighthouse. Port Isabel Historical MuseumThis is the go-to spot for all ship nerds and history buffs. I was amazed to learn that the humble town played a critical role in both the Civil War and the founding of Brownsville, a city 40 minutes southwest of Port Isabel. To view the Port Isabel episode visit thedaytripper.com.Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @chettripper.
If you are caught not wearing a mask in public in this Texas county, you’ll get fined $1,000
All rights reserved)Willacy County, which covers parts of South Padre Island, is enforcing its residents to wear a mask when out in public. Or face a$1,000 fine. The requirement also states surgical masks or N95 respirators should not be worn and should continue to be reserved for medical professionals on the frontline. The order states those found in violation of the order can be fined up to $1,000. “The penalty for violating the Mandatory Cloth Face Covering requirement of the provision shall be punishable by a fine not exceed $1,000.000 per violation,” the order reads.
The odd rules enacted at South Padre in response to COVID-19
The City of South Padre Island is taking action, but it isn’t what most would have in mind. The beach isn’t closed. Any violation of the orders enforced by the City of South Padre Island is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500. Here are some of the odd rules being enforced in South Padre:Gatherings on the beach will be limited to 10 persons on less. Click here for the full list of rules issued by the City of South Padre Island.
PHOTOS: Despite warnings to social distance, spring breakers head to Texas beaches to party
Despite warnings to social distance, Texas spring breakers are still gathering to party in large groups. Pictured below is a group of friends from Dallas who attend Texas A&M University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, University of North Texas and the University of Kansas. It isn’t looking much for different for spring breakers in South Padre Island. pic.twitter.com/YGwOwVxH99 — Marissa🧡 (@Charmed_One_Too) March 18, 2020On Monday, the mayor of South Padre Island declared a local state of emergency. Despite both declarations, spring breakers continued to party in South Padre Island.