Commentary: The verdict is in on the Kate Steinle murder


by Debi Deason

The verdict is in regarding the Kate Steinle murder.

An illegal alien with seven criminal convictions, who had been deported five times previously and was still on probation in Texas for a drug conviction picked up a gun he “found” and fired it onto a crowded pier in San Francisco, ultimately striking Kate. Continue reading “Commentary: The verdict is in on the Kate Steinle murder”

Commentary: The Cost of Criminal Illegal Immigrants in the US and Texas

by Debi Deason, Guest Contributor

According to an article in  “The Hill newspaper in April 2017 written by Ron Martinelli, in 2014 50% of all federal crimes committed in the United States were committed near the US/Mexico border.

In total, 27,436 of the 61,529 total federal crimes were committed in states that border Mexico.  The Western District of Texas had the most with 6,300 followed by the southern district of Texas at over 6,000. California Arizona and New Mexico or third fourth and fifth respectively.” Continue reading “Commentary: The Cost of Criminal Illegal Immigrants in the US and Texas”

SPI Residents Petition for a Spring Break-Up

South Padre Island – Spring Break, the annual week-long booze induced excursion from the rigid confines of academia, may be coming to an end if (some) concerned citizens of South Padre Island convince the city council that breaking from Spring Break would be best for the city’s reputation. Continue reading “SPI Residents Petition for a Spring Break-Up”

Lack of Confidence for Hidalgo County Judge Race Leaves Door Open For Wildcard Candidates

Edinburg – After being elected three times as Hidalgo County Judge, Ramon Garcia has finally decided to give up the gavel.  Garcia had cited interest in returning to law full time as primary reason to not seek a re-election bid. Despite Garcia’s intent on whether to run, a slew of established challengers hovered from above, seeking their own bid on a highly coveted position. Continue reading “Lack of Confidence for Hidalgo County Judge Race Leaves Door Open For Wildcard Candidates”

UTRGV Medical School Funds Slashed – The Monitor Blames the Voters


Edinburg – The UTRGV School of Medicine may see it’s funds slashed, if the State Senate votes on reducing “special item”appropriations.  The University has suggested a $60 to 70 Million dollar operating budget, however the State may only be able to provide a bit short of $25 million over two-years.

Local representatives, including a delegation from UTRGV are in Austin to contest the budget slash and appeal for additional funding.  Meanwhile, now faced with reduced funding for the Medical School, the McAllen Monitor has sought to play the blame game, and took particular aim and local voters. Continue reading “UTRGV Medical School Funds Slashed – The Monitor Blames the Voters”

Trump’s Budget Cuts May Force Hidalgo County Agencies to Trim the Fat.

This week, U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar (D) revealed that President Donald Trumps proposed budget cuts would greatly affect government assistance in the Rio Grande Valley, specifically within Hidalgo County.  The McAllen Monitor, which picked up on the budget cuts, provided a list of agencies affected, placing emphasis on Community Development Block Grants, and funds made available to Hidalgo County Community Service Agency to provide job assistance and other forms of aid to the community.  With these cuts came the enduring narrative that Trump is an out of touch oppressor of the poor and vulnerable.

Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia, in a quote provided to the The Monitor said of the budget cuts:

“It will hurt the poorest of the poor.”

Garcia continued by demonstrating his concern for the poor and elderly, who he believed these cuts are specifically targeting.  However, Garcia showed little concern for the 2016 disastrous Health Care Tax Proposal, which if passed, would have greatly affected the county’s most vulnerable from paying more on their property tax, and potentially losing their homes.

It’s ironic that Hidalgo County, which has historically demonstrated to operate on a policy of crony dealing and wasteful and in effective spending, suddenly is the moral authority on government spending. Trump’s proposed cuts allows us to reevaluate the operations of the agencies that receive them, and hold these agencies accountable for how these funds are being used. Continue reading “Trump’s Budget Cuts May Force Hidalgo County Agencies to Trim the Fat.”

TIRZ: 100 Percent for 40 years

Guest Columnist: Fern McClaugherty & Richard Montesdeoca

Hidalgo County has approved an economic incentive plan that would return all property tax for forty years. The plan is referred to as a TIRZ (Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone) and is typically used by local governments to encourage a business to locate in a community. Its intent is to assist in reducing the start-up costs experienced by a new business especially if it will be located in a deteriorated area. This plan also requires the city in which the new business is located to continue providing public services such as police and fire protection for the entire period that it is not paying taxes. It will include the Bert Ogden Sports Arena financed by the City of Edinburg. The financing of this facility is for 30 million and for thirty years. Based on the interest rate of 4.5%, the total cost of the facility will be 65 million dollars. The sports arena is already under construction. Continue reading “TIRZ: 100 Percent for 40 years”

State Agency Accused of Monitoring Coverup at Hidalgo County Agency

Edinburg – Last December, an anonymous email circulated through the network of the Texas Association of Community Action Agenices (TACAA) informing representatives of the Association of an alleged cover up involving The Texas Department of Community Affairs (TDHCA), and its involvement with the 2015 administrative transition of County of Hidalgo Community Service Agency (CSA), which primarily administers special need assistance to low-income and elderly citizens in Hidalgo County.

The letter, written below in its entirety, accuses TDHCA, which dispatched 3 representatives to assist in the new administrative transition, of erroneously guiding management of Community Service Agency to offer less assistance to clients than what they were really eligible to be awarded, in addition, the letter compells the Association to launch an investigation into the Monitoring Report that initially included the reduced assistance as a monitoring “finding”, but was subsequently scrubbed from the final Monitoring Report by high level TDHCA Administrators. Continue reading “State Agency Accused of Monitoring Coverup at Hidalgo County Agency”

McAllen Mayor Grandstands Trump, but re-election uncertain

Shortly after the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, with the approval of his Commissioners, formally invited the new President to visit the City of McAllen.  The purpose for President Trumps visit would be for Mr. Trump to personally see the impact his policies would have on the border region, specifically when it comes to Trumps strong illegal immigration and trade positions.

Despite appeals from Mayor Darling, aswell as local congressmen, it’s very unlikely Mr. Trump will accept the invitation to visit the Rio Grande Valley, especially within the first 100 days of his administration.  Meanwhile, Jim Darling shouldn’t keep the light on for Mr. Trump.  What is also uncertain would undoubtedly be Jim Darlings re-election hopes.  Since 2013, Jim Darling has served as Mayor of McAllen.  And in these few years, the City of McAllen has been faced questions regarding its transparency of city operations, and concerns on whether he, along with City Commissioners have been fiscally responsible with city funds.  Despite these troubles, Darling has remained confident in his re-election bid.  However, to those that seek to unseat him as mayor, there is no doubt that Darlings performance has made him vulnerable. Continue reading “McAllen Mayor Grandstands Trump, but re-election uncertain”

Prop 1- Hospital District. What could have been!


Let this serve as a reminder that although the Hidalgo County Hospital District was obliterated at the polls. There is always that chance that 50 signatures will once again be gathered, placed before Hidalgo Commissioners, and back on the ballot in future elections. Continue reading “Prop 1- Hospital District. What could have been!”