Cash-strapped La Joya Housing Authority misses payday, can’t afford to pay employees

The cash-strapped La Joya Housing Authority couldn’t muster enough money to pay employees Friday. Without enough money in the bank to cover payroll, Executive Director Ruben Villarreal said he made the difficult decision to send all three employees home empty-handed. “It’s tough for everybody,” Villarreal said. “Everybody needs money to pay their bills.” Paying the…

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Prosecutors: former La Joya Housing Authority director participated in illegal scheme to win public relations contract

Federal prosecutors revealed new details Thursday about the arrest of Frances Salinas, the former interim executive director of the La Joya Housing Authority. Frances Salinas — the daughter of former La Joya Mayor Jose A. “Fito” Salinas and City Commissioner Mary Salinas — participated in an illegal scheme to secure a public relations contract, according…

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La Joya City Commission replaces city attorney, accepts resignation letter from municipal judge

The La Joya City Commission replaced the city attorney and accepted the municipal judge’s resignation Saturday. Mayor Isidro Casanova, City Commissioner Roger Hernandez and City Commissioner Laura Mendiola Macias — who defeated former Mayor Jose A. “Fito” Salinas and his supporters in the Dec. 10 runoff election — started making changes during a special meeting…

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Agua SUD approves map of single-member districts

The Agua Special Utility District board will switch from city- and county-based seats to single-member districts on Dec. 31. Members of the utility board, who spent months planning for the switch, approved the new single-member districts on Monday night. “I think it’s something good,” said utility board President Lloyd Loya. “Something positive.” The utility district…

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Texas Supreme Court will not review 2018 Mission mayoral election

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday rejected a petition to review the 2018 Mission mayoral election. Armando “Doc” O’caña, a school district administrator, defeated Norberto “Beto” Salinas, a land developer who served as mayor of Mission for two decades, in June 2018. After the election, Beto Salinas claimed the O’caña campaign bribed voters and manipulated…

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San Juan police sergeant pleads not guilty to civil rights violation

In December 2015, police Officer Juan Pablo “J.P.” Galindo struck a handcuffed man in the groin. The man screamed. His knees buckled. Officers pushed the man into a police SUV and slammed the door. After conducting an internal investigation, San Juan police Chief Juan Gonzalez fired Galindo for using excessive force. An arbitrator reversed the…

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Government attorneys say private border wall project irreparably damaged the riverbank

The federal government on Thursday said Fisher Industries, a construction company that wants to build a privately owned border wall near Mission, had irreparably damaged the riverbank — despite a court order designed to prevent any permanent damage. U.S. District Judge Randy Crane signed a temporary restraining order against Fisher Industries on Dec. 5, prohibiting…

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