McAllen proposes “Drainage Utility Fee” to address drainage concerns

McAllen – The City of McAllen is proposing a creation of a “Drainage Utility Fee” ordinance in order to fund drainage related improvements.  The city held a public informational to address citizens questions and concerns on Monday, December 18 and will hold an other informational tonight at Palmview Community Center.

Citizens have acknowledged the need for drainage improvements, but question why households are expected to foot the bill, considering alternative funding methods may already be available. Continue reading “McAllen proposes “Drainage Utility Fee” to address drainage concerns”

Deadline looming, still no GOP challenger for Dist 41

December 11th is fast approaching, and the Republican Party has yet to field a candidate to challenge Robert “Bobby” Guerra for his Texas House of Representatives District 41 seat. Guerra, the incumbent, has irked out two victories against GOP opponents, one in 2014, the other in 2016.

Many political observers have determined that District 41 to be one of the most competitive offices for Republicans in the otherwise dominant Democratic Rio Grande Valley.  Continue reading “Deadline looming, still no GOP challenger for Dist 41”

Local businessman wants McAllen taxpayers to pay for Mexico security

McAllen – A McAllen businessman would like to see city administration, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, and the McAllen Economic Development Corp, scrap the $300,000 allocation for “Amigos Always” marketing campaign, and use those funds to hire a security team to protect areas of Mexico, particularly the highway between the border and Monterrey that’s become riddled with crime and violence.

Jesus Gonzalez, owner of NIU Urban Living, expressed this need at a FUTERO McAllen forum discussing McAllen’s retail decline from Mexican Nationals. According to Gonzalez, via Rio Grande Guardian, McAllen’s sales tax revenue has dropped 5 million dollars, with experts citing border violence as the cause. Gonzalez even went further with the need for funding by requesting that McAllen double what’s already being spent on Amigo’s Always, which would make the request around $600,000.

Continue reading “Local businessman wants McAllen taxpayers to pay for Mexico security”

Richard Cortez officially kicks-off campaign, local leaders still unsure of electability

McAllen – Former McAllen Mayor and former District 1 Commissioner Richard Cortez officially kicked-off his bid to become the next Hidalgo County Judge. Speaking in front of supporters, Cortez assured them that he’ll work to become a County Judge that citizens would be proud of.  Current Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia will not be seeking re-election.

Speaking with the Rio Grande Guardian, Cortez offered his plans on dealing with county-wide issues, one which includes his support of a highly unpopular proposal.  For the much maligned courthouse project, Cortez assures that he’ll see that it’s built on time and on budget. In speaking about the UT-RGV School of Medicine, Cortez would like to see the school fully funded. Currently, legislation in Austin have left the UTRGV Medical School with reduced funding. Proposition 1, which sought to establish a health care taxing district, would have offered additional financial support to the medical school. At this time, Cortez hasn’t made it clear whether he would support a new health care proposition.

Despite the fanfare, there are some local leaders that are still un-sold on Cortez’s appeal in a county-wide race, one official being current County Judge Ramon Garcia.

Continue reading “Richard Cortez officially kicks-off campaign, local leaders still unsure of electability”

Health Care District back on Hidalgo County Agenda

Prior attempts at establishing a healthcare taxing district have failed twice with Hidalgo County voters.

EDINBURG – A highly controversial subject is expected to be discussed once more if agenda items hold true at Tuesdays Commissioners Court meeting.  Item 8-A on the Hidalgo County agenda calls for a discussion over a “Health Care Funding District.” Previous attempts at creating at Healthcare (Hospital) District have failed twice with Hidalgo County voters, with the most recent 2016 Proposition 1 being rejected by 72% of voters. Continue reading “Health Care District back on Hidalgo County Agenda”

Local film challenging man-made climate change causes local snowflakes to melt

McAllen – A locally produced film challenging man-made climate change is scheduled to be screened today at McAllen’s Cinemark Hollywood USA theater. The film titled “The Hoax: A Documentary on the Man-Made Myth on Global Warming” was developed by Dr. Lawrence Gelman, a local anesthesiologist and former administrator of Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.  Though the plot of the film is quite clear, the points addressed are expected to be based on Gelman’s conclusions on man-made C02 emissions, and the effects or lack thereof it has on climate change.

Continue reading “Local film challenging man-made climate change causes local snowflakes to melt”

2017 McAllen mayoral race had a 42 percent drop in turnout since 1997

Othal Brand Sr’s 1997 runner-up vote totals were greater than Jim Darling’s winning totals in 2013 and 2017.

McAllen – Around 88 percent of eligible registered McAllen voters were not moved to vote in last Saturdays mayoral election, according to the unofficial election results provided by the City Secretaries Office.  Ultimately, their passiveness proved costly to challenger Othal Brand Jr, who had spent nearly two times as much as the Darling campaign, in effort to convince McAllen voters to elect him over incumbent Jim Darling.  Darling was declared the winner of the highly contested race with a comfortable margin of 4,409 votes to Brand’s 3061 tally.  While other traditional media outlets were quick to congratulate voters that turned out, a lingering question remained.  How could a city of over 134,000, with approximately 66,000 registered voters, have a major election decided by a very few?  Since 1997, the City of McAllen as seen a sharp decline in voter turnout for local races.

Continue reading “2017 McAllen mayoral race had a 42 percent drop in turnout since 1997”

Hidalgo Co Officials Received Political Contributions from FBI Raided Engineering Firm

Contributions amounted to over $25,000 with Hidalgo Co Judge Ramon Garcia, and Commissioner Joseph Palacios as primary benefactors.

Edinburg – Yesterday, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FB) raided the McAllen office of a Houston based engineering firm. Around noon, agents stormed the Dannenbaum Engineering office, located on 1109 W. Nolan Ave.  Agents were seen retrieving dozens of retention boxes from the building and loading them up in FBI vehicles. Information as to what specifically they were looking for was limited.  Dannenbaum Engineering was involved with some high profile projects in Hidalgo County, specifically with the planning of the border-wall levee project in Granjeno, and were front-runners to secure the construction job for the proposed new courthouse in Edinburg.  Since 2009, representatives of Dannenbaum Engineering have contributed approximately $25,000 to Hidalgo County officials, with Hidalgo Co Judge Ramon Garcia, and Commissioner Joseph Palacios as primary benefactors.


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Early Voting: McAllen mayoral race turns ugly

McAllen – The race for mayor is reaching a fever pitch, and neither side is showing signs of relaxing as each candidate trades last minute barbs in hopes of convincing undecided voters to swing their way.  Local races, including the mayoral race are heading into day 4 of early voting.

Continue reading “Early Voting: McAllen mayoral race turns ugly”

McAllen Engineering firm raided by FBI is leading contender for proposed Courthouse project.

McAllen – The local offices of Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation was raided by the FBI today, however the FBI is remaining silent as to what they’re looking for.  The office, located on 1109 Nolana Loop was one of several offices raided by the FBI throughout the state.  When pressed by CBS 4 News, FBI Spokesperson, Michelle Lee released this statement:

Per your request, I can confirm the FBI is lawfully present at the location you referenced (Nolana Loop in McAllen) conducting a law enforcement activity. While we can’t discuss the nature of the work we are doing, there is no public safety threat.

No arrests have been made. I can’t comment any further since it remains an ongoing matter.

Continue reading “McAllen Engineering firm raided by FBI is leading contender for proposed Courthouse project.”