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DPS aims to deter crime on river

20140801 DPS Gunboat-Ride Immigration-Overload-DPS-Surge TXEG140 featureArmed with six .30-caliber machine guns, each capable of producing 1,000 rounds of ammunition a minute, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s patrol boats are meant to be threatening.

“And a lot of people ask us, ‘Don’t you think that’s a little bit of overkill?’ And our answer is ‘Yes, it is, by design.’ The more threatening we can be to the cartel, the less chance of them engaging us,” said DPS Lt. Charlie Goble.

Goble and Capt. James Dunks, game warden with Texas Parks and Wildlife, toured the Rio Grande with Associated Press reporter Christopher Sherman last week as state leaders push for more border security on the Texas-Mexico border because of an influx of people, mostly from Central America coming into the country illegally.

Read more: DPS aims to deter crime on river

   

Human trafficking at issue in hearing

20140724 LA-JOYA Human-trafficking-panel 0063LA JOYA—Victims of human trafficking are reluctant to make an outcry because of the life of crime to which they have been accustomed, Capt. Ron Swenson, of the TABC Special Investigation Unit, said at a hearing last week on human trafficking.

During a Texas Joint House/Senate committee hearing held at the La Joya ISD boardroom, Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, said La Joya and other cities lining the border are currently home to the trafficking of women and minors.

“My particular focus is to make sure there is not one child that ends up in the commercial sex trade industry,” Huffman said. “I think we need to stay focused today about why we are here and that is to address the interim charges that we have been given as a committee to study. Hearing testimony on how to combat sex trafficking along the Texas border and to discuss services available to victims. ”

Read more: Human trafficking at issue in hearing

   

Mayor opposes hospital district tax burden

betosalinasA new tax could soon be imposed on all Hidalgo County taxpayers and Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas is blaming the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court and the Valley’s state legislators. Those officials have pushed for the formation of a county hospital district with a potential ad valorem tax rate of 75 cents.

If a tax rate of just 25 cents is imposed on local taxpayers, that will cost $100 million per year, Salinas says.

Hidalgo County is expected to hold a referendum for voters to authorize formation of a county hospital district this fall. The hospital district would not just be for indigent care, but would also create a new tax to fund the proposed RGV medical school. When the formation of a RGV medical school was proposed, many people asked, “How will you pay for it?” But very few specifics were provided the media concerning funding.

Read more: Mayor opposes hospital district tax burden

   

Mission readies for National Night Out

2014 National-Night-Out-LogoMission Crime Stoppers and Police Department are hosting one of the largest crime prevention events in Western Hidalgo County on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

The event will be held at Leo Peña Park, across from the H-E-B on Conway and Business 83, from 6-10 p.m.

The event will feature food, entertainment and information from local nonprofit organizations

to deter crime. Mission Crime Stoppers and the police department's victim assistance representatives also will be at the event.

Read more: Mission readies for National Night Out

   

Cornyn, Cuellar call for action, propose HUMANE Act

20140718 HUMANE-Act-news-conference 2508It's time for solutions, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar emphasized while discussing their proposed HUMANE Act with local leaders in the Rio Grande Valley at Mission City Hall last Friday.

"We need to act," Cornyn said. "We can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We’re more than happy to work with you to try to improve this, but you can’t just say no. Washington is so polarizing these days that many people think they can just say no and feel satisfied they have done their jobs."

The HUMANE (Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency) Act would amend the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. If passed, it would treat all migrant children the same no matter their native country. Currently, children from Mexico are given an immigration hearing and can be deported within seven days. Meanwhile, Central American children are given a notice to appear in immigration court and often don't have a hearing for three to five years, Cuellar said.

Read more: Cornyn, Cuellar call for action, propose HUMANE Act

   

Glenn Beck’s Mercury One visits Palmview

20140719 Iglesia Del Pueblo lg-10It was Christmas in July for thousands of lower-income Valley children Saturday when radio talk show host Glenn Beck’s Mercury One charitable organization rolled into the parking lot at Iglesia Del Pueblo church in Palmview complete with tractor trailer-full loads of food, water, stuffed toys and soccer balls.

As volunteers worked to prepare and serve the kids and their parents breakfast, others handed each child their brand new stuffed toy or soccer ball. Iglesia Del Pueblo pastor Juan De La Garza explained how Mercury One came to be involved with the event meant to help the needy right here in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Some weeks back I got in contact with Glenn Beck through a friend of mine and as a result of our conversation Glenn decided he wanted to do what he could to help those being affected by the border crisis,” said De La Garza. “While Glenn was well aware of the border crisis, I explained that we actually have two issues we’re dealing with down here. We have the issue of the unaccompanied illegal immigrant children and we have the issue of the colonia residents who need help as well. What we came up with, and what we’re doing here today, is a way of dealing with both issues at the same time.”

Read more: Glenn Beck’s Mercury One visits Palmview

   

Northern sheriffs get close-up look at border crisis

20140717 Sheriffs Border Tour lg-08The tens of thousands unaccompanied immigrant children who have been caught this year at the border are being bused and flown to facilities across the country where they will be housed and cared for in make-shift camps until they are released to family. As a result, many officials in northern states are taking a sudden interest in this crisis and are demanding to know what is being done to deter future waves of children from coming to America illegally.

Last week six sheriffs from across the country were given the opportunity to take a ride on two of the Texas Highway Patrol speed and gun boats that have been patrolling the Rio Grande south of Mission since this crisis began.

Susan Tully, as the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR’s) National Field director, helped organize the tour. Tully said FAIR is a nonprofit public policy organization out of Washington, D.C., that has been in place 35 years. Supporters of FAIR believe immigration policies should benefit America and Americans first and foremost, she said.

Read more: Northern sheriffs get close-up look at border crisis

   

Sharyland school board, administration actions questioned

sharyland-logo-copy-1MISSION—Former Sharyland ISD Board Member, Virginia Townsend said it has been 21 years since she has listened in on a Sharyland ISD regular meeting. During the public comments portion of this month’s regular meeting, Townsend told board members she did not like the way discussions were being conducted.

A group of community members came to show support for Townsend and three other citizens participating in the public comments portion of the regular meeting.

Townsend is an active member of the Objective Watchers of the Legal System (OWLS), a non-partisan public watchdog group based in Hidalgo County.

Read more: Sharyland school board, administration actions questioned

   

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