Consultant says La Joya ISD is ‘extremely overpaying’ for health insurance

The La Joya Independent School District is “extremely overpaying” for health insurance, according to a consultant who briefed the school board last month. La Joya ISD asked Fort Worth-based Higginbotham, which provides insurance and financial services, to review the school district’s contract with Ruth Villarreal Insurance. “Based on what we see in the marketplace, it…

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Former Border Patrol agent charged with threatening ICE agent

This article originally appeared in the Friday Oct. 18, 2019 issue of the Progress Times. A former U.S. Border Patrol agent found himself in court Tuesday, shackled and seated with the smugglers he once arrested. Wearing gray athletic pants and a black t-shirt emblazoned with the words “Shots Fired,” former Border Patrol Agent Daniel Polanco,…

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Mission drug trafficker pleads guilty to bank fraud

When she wasn’t busy stealing cocaine from drug traffickers, Carmen Saldaña Meyer apparently dabbled in bank fraud. Saldaña, 63, of Mission — who is awaiting sentencing in a federal drug trafficking case — pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit fraud, a federal felony punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison. Wearing khaki…

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Palmview finance director abruptly resigns

Palmview Finance Director Rachel Chapa abruptly resigned last month. The City Council accepted her resignation Monday, when the meeting agenda included “Discussion and Possible Action in regard to the Finance Director position.” Basic details about her resignation — including the date and reason — remain unclear. “She was a good person,” said Mayor Rick Villarreal.…

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Judge may send former sheriff’s office commander back to prison

A federal judge may send former Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Jose Padilla back to prison. U.S. District Judge Randy Crane ruled Wednesday that Padilla — who pleaded guilty to bribery in April 2014 and served a 38-month prison sentence — violated the conditions of his supervised release by stealing money and associating with a…

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Palmview City Council approves $11,000 raise for city manager

This article originally appeared in the Friday Sept. 27, 2019 issue of the Progress Times. The Palmview City Council approved an $11,000 raise for City Manager Michael Leo last week. Mayor Rick Villarreal and the City Council approved the raise, which bumped the city manager’s salary from $94,000 to $105,000, on Sept. 17. “When we…

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