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Traditional Embrace of Friendship between the cities of Rio Grande City and Camargo

On Sunday April 6, 2014 Mayor Ruben O. Villarreal along with the Rio Grande City Greater Chamber of Commerce and Citizens of Rio Grande City celebrated the Traditional Embrace of Friendship between the cities of Rio Grande City, Texas and Ciudad Camargo, Tamaulipas at the Starr-Camargo International Bridge. Delegations from both cities met in the middle of the bridge where they reaffirmed the bonds of friendship.

Frederick Gavin Garcia Awarded for Art Work

Frederick Gavin Garcia, a 5th grade, recently won an award for an art contest and was honored at a ceremony by State Rep Eddie Lucio during the 2014 RGV Water Summit. Frederick was one of thirteen winners for this calendar contest about water conservancy. He represented General Sanchez Elementary and Starr County at this event and also won a framed certificate, a gift card to Best Buy, and his drawing will be featured in a calendar.


VMS UIL District Champions Six Years In A Row!!!

Congratulations to Veterans Middle School for winning the UIL District Championship for the 6th year in a row!!! The VMS UIL students and their coaches are to be commended for retaining this prestigious title year after year for six years! The UIL District Meet was held on Saturday, March 29th at Roma Middle School where VMS students participated in what proved to be a very intense competition among other middle schools from Rio Grande City CISD and Roma ISD.  After much commitment and hard work, VMS students brought home a 1st Place Sweepstakes Trophy in 6th grade and a 1st Place Sweepstakes Trophy in 7th and 8th grades also. Congratulations once again for being UIL District Champs for 6 years in a row!!! A special thank you goes out to the parents for their support and to ALL U.I.L. students and coaches for all their hard work and for representing Veterans Middle School with so much pride and honor! Also, a very special THANK YOU to Mrs. Lorena Trevino, UIL Coordinator, for all her efforts in making sure our UIL students’ needs are met throughout the year! Pictured above are the VMS UIL students, coaches, Mrs. Lorena Trevino (Asst. Principal/UIL Coordinator), and Mrs. Maricela O. Garcia (VMS Principal).


Roma Little League Challenger Division Ceremonial First Pitch

Roma Little League Challenger Division baseball player Alejandra Lopez was chosen to throw out first pitch before Tuesday’s Varsity Softball game between Roma & Rio Grande City at Roma High School.  Alejandra is a freshmen at Roma High School and has played challenger division baseball for 2 years.



Dr. Jose Vazquez and Dr. Mario Rodriguez 

announce their candidacy for SCMH Board

Jose Vazquez, MD

Mario A. Rodriguez, MD

Doctors Jose Vazquez, MD and Mario A. Rodriguez, MD recently declared their candidacy and launched a collaborative campaign for their place on the five-member board.

Dr. Vazquez and Dr. Rodriguez are board certified physicians with a combined 31 years experience in medicine.  They own independent and successful practices where they provide quality care to adults and children of Starr County.  Dr. Rodriguez, a family medicine physician owns an operates his own practice in Rio Grande City.  Dr. Vazquez is an internist and works alongside his wife, Dr. Gauri Kanhere, MD and colleague Dr. Luis Valencia, MD at Family Medical & Specialty Clinic.

Dr. Vazquez and Dr. Rodriguez’s  medical expertise and business acumen make them well poised for the board positions amid the complex challenges of implementing the Affordable Care Act. Their commitment to provide Starr County families access to the highest standards of care and enhanced services, also allow them to put patients first as they support effective and efficient policies at Starr County Memorial Hospital.

“We are going to face enormous challenges and will have to make critical decisions with respect to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, its ramifications and its impact in everyones lives,” said Dr. Vazquez. “I’m fully committed to providing the necessary skills and knowledge to guide our community hospital though the uncharted waters of our healthcare system’s complex

and rapidly changing future.”

Dr. Rodriguez brings years of progressive healthcare experience to the position and  first-hand knowledge of the hospital’s opportunities for growth and improvement.

Both Dr. Rodriguez and Dr. Vazquez have served as Chief of Staff at Starr County Memorial Hospital. Dr. Rodriguez has also served as  medical director of the emergency and pharmacy at the hospital and this year, he has been named General Physician of the Year, by the McAllen Hispanic Chamber. 

“I understand the challenges of rural healthcare and I’m committed to help grow access to care for Starr County by helping to bring more specialists and services into the community,”  he said. Dr. Rodriguez has been instrumental in recruiting medical specialists to Rio Grande City.  One of those specialists performed the first total knee replacement at Starr County Memorial Hospital.  

Dr. Vazquez and Dr. Rodriguez’s substantial business background offer another dimension to their credentials. Dr. Vazquez served four years on the board of directors at Lone Star National Bank while Dr. Rodriguez  brings years of real estate development and management experience. 

“My extensive business experience will allow me to make sound financial decisions,” Dr. Rodriguez explained. “These two combined qualities (medicine and business) are what I believe will be instrumental to effectively run our hospital.”

In addition to serving others through the practice of medicine, the two doctors also give back by supporting local causes and volunteerism.

Their record of teamwork for a common cause is evidenced by  their level of community service.

Dr. Vazquez currently serves as the Chairman of the Starr County Health Committee, a network panel composed of local law enforcement officials, EMS

providers, pharmacists, hospital nurse directors, city fire chief, representatives of the Texas Department of Health and religious organizations.

He also served on the Starr County Health Authority for the last 10 years and as the President of the Bi-National Health Committee for Starr County and Tamaulipas from 2011 to 2013.

Dr. Rodriguez has been an associate professor for the Mcallen Family Residency Program of the University of Texas - San Antonio Health Science Center.

He has also been a preceptor for the Physician Assistant program at the University of Texas Pan American.  Dr Rodriguez’s practice has also served as a clinical rotation site for both family medicine residents and physician assistants thus helping to attract much needed health care providers to Starr County.

Dr. Vazquez and Dr. Rodriguez are graduates from Caracas, Venezuela and The University of Texas at Galveston, respectively. Dr. Vazquez attained his residency at Lincoln Hospital in New York and Dr. Rodriguez is a graduate of the McAllen Family Medicine Residency Program.

Dr. Vazquez is married to Dr. Gauri Kanhere, MD and have  three young sons, Alec, Ryan and Evan.

Dr. Rodriguez is married to Zamira Correa of Miguel Aleman and have three children, Zamira, Mario Cesar and Luis Esteban. 

The Vazquez and Rodriguez families reside in Rio Grande City.

Together, they are inviting voters to learn more about them and their plans to improve the community hospital at two events set for: Saturday, April  12 from 11 a.m to 2 p.m.  at Riverview Family Center in Roma and Wednesday, April 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Dr. Rodriguez’s clinic located at Marza’s Plaza in Rio Grande City.

For more information visit their Facebook page at : Starr County Doctors_____. Early voting begins April 28 and ends on May 6. Election day is May 10.


Rio Team Brings Home Championship Trophy

Rio Team wins First Place in a J.V. Division Competition in Mission Texas on March 15, 2014. The team is composed of players from the community who are willing to work hard both on the court and in school. The team competed against 3 other valley teams and brought home the championship trophy. They played against teams consisting of at least 10 to 12 players each but Rio Team took the lead with only five players in attendance. “They demonstrated determination and perseverance as seen by their championship status” said Rudy Montalvo (County of Starr Director for Human Resources) who volunteers to coach the team. Pictured left to right; Coach Rudy Montalvo with players Mark Montalvo, Ray Rios, Leroy Lund, Luis Reyes and Kevin Garcia. 


Veterans Middle School Received 1st Place Trophy at the UIL One Act Play District Competition

Congratulations to the Veterans Middle School One Act Play Cast for receiving the 1st Place Trophy at the UIL One Act Play District Competition! VMS students performed Her Senior Year by Cody Moree at the Roma High School Performing Arts Center on February 15, 2014.  VMS students also received the following individual awards:  All Star Cast – Laisa Garcia, Jesus Cantu, and Brianna Bazan;  Best Actress – Kasey Escamilla. A special thanks goes out to the One Act Play Coach, Mrs. Veronica Santos Garcia, for doing a great job with the students!  Aside from these achievements, the VMS One Act Play Cast also put on 2 public performances in order to raise $1400 for Victor Martin Gonzalez, a child in our community who is battling leukemia. VMS sends their best wishes and support to Victor and his family. Pictured above is the VMS One Act Play Cast: (l-r) standing – Jesus Cantu, Felix Garcia, Monico Fernandez, Daniela Guerra, Sayan De Leon, Akiza Ortiz, Kimberly Trevino, Bianca Salinas, Veronica Aguilar, Ismael Talamante, Raul Rios, Andrew Salinas (l-r) kneeling – Emily Perez, Laisa Garcia, Brianna Bazan, Kasey Escamilla, Kayla Barrera.



A huge Thank You to Commissioner Roy Pena, Sergio Hinojosa, all the staff at Salineno Softball field, and all teams from the softball league for their invitation and hospitality given to the Roma Little League Challenger Division baseball teams on their exhibition game on Saturday March 29th, in Salineno, Texas. The Challenger Division league will continue at Roma Municipal Park on Mondays and Wednesdays 6-7pm.




Rio Grande City Police Department Launches Two-Wheel Patrol Program

Members of the City of Rio Grande City Staff and Commission, Police Department,  Bicycle Patrol and Motorcycle Patrol.


The Rio Grande City Police Department recently created a Two-Wheel Patrol Program with the addition of two motorcycle patrol units and a bicycle patrol team. “The patrols are an effort to provide better safety and police protection to our community and improve our community policing efforts. The goal for the units is to improve police protection on and off road, and also to allow for better interaction between our police officers and our residents.” said Rio Grande City Manager Matt Z. Ruszczak.

The new units will also help during large special events held within Rio Grande City. The program had its first successful field test during the Starr County Youth Fair in Rio Grande City in February.

One of the Police Department’s recently acquired motorcycles is a ‘Zero’ brand unit. According  the ‘Zero’ website, the vehicle features a 100% electric powertrain that is nearly silent, exhaust free, produces minimal heat, has instant torque from 0/RPM and is highly maneuverable on and off road. With a range of 121 miles and a‘fuel’ cost of a penny per mile and a maintenance-free powertrain, a Zero Motorcycles patrol fleet offers the ability to save any Police Department money while also offering a tactical advantage.


Alexa Posas “La Guerita” Performed at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Go Tejano Committee and Arena Theater held the 23rd Annual Mariachi Invitational this past weekend.  Alexa Posas “La Guerita,” a Freshman from Rio Grande City High School and a member of Mariachi Cascabel, was invited to perform as a special guest at this two day event.  She performed Saturday, March 15th pre-show and during intermission at the Arena Theater for a sold out crowd of 3,000 on its revolving stage and on Sunday, March 16th during the semi-finals round at The Hideout located on the Rodeo Houston grounds. Alexa is the daughter of Maggie Rodriguez of Rio Grande City, TX.


Faithful Celebrated Their Annual Pilgrimage At La Santa Cruz

On March 15, 2014 a congregation of faithful gathered at the base of La Santa Cruz in Rio Grande City to celebrate their annual pilgrimage. This was the first time this such pilgrimage has been celebrated since the new cross was put in place after vandals destroyed the previous one. In attendance were members of The Peña Family as well as the faithful from Rio Grande City, Roma, La Grulla and visitors from as far away as San Antonio.

Michael G. Moya Completed U.S. Marine Basic Training

Michael G. Moya completed his U.S. Marine basic training. He completed his training at M.R.C.D. in San Diego, CA. Michael is the son of Guadalupe Moya, Jr., brother of Eric and Cassandra Moya from Hermiston, OR. Great-grandson of Ernestina A. Trillayes. Grandson of Guadalupe Moya Sr. and Gloria Trillayes Moya and nephew of Sylvia Moya of La Grulla, TX. Michael graduated from Hermiston High School in 2013. “We’re all so proud of you” from all of your family that love you very much!



Starr County Commissioners Court Approve second Wind Farm –More Jobs for Starr County


Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and Starr County Commissioners support the creation of a second Reinvestment Zone by approving an abatement agreement for EDP Renewable Company for the construction of the second wind farm in Starr County.  The County continues to evolve in the alternative energy industry and approving the second wind farm project during Starr County Commissioner Court on February 10, 2014 will ensure that our community continues to advance in this emerging industry.  Starr County officials together with the Starr County Industrial Foundation are working to develop more alternative energy projects in Starr County, thus creating job opportunities for residents.  Judge Eloy Vera stated that they are working diligently to create a business friendly environment in order to attract more industry and ensure growth in the community.  Pictured: County Clerk Dennis Gonzalez, Commissioner Ruben Saenz, Commissioner Abel Cantu, Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Mr. Kristofer Cheney-Representative of EDP Renewables, Commissioner Eloy Garza, Miss Nilda Elizondo-Industrial Foundation, and Commissioner Roy Pena. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).



George V. Diaz is the recipient of the 2014 Spirit Award for Immaculate Conception School


Mr. George Diaz is a native of New Braunfels, Texas. He is married to Aissa Garza-Diaz and is the proud father of two daughters Araceli M Diaz and Anaissa Georgette Diaz. He is a strong believer in Catholic Education as a foundation to success having attended St. Peter & Paul Catholic School in New Braunfels, Texas. He has many wonderful memories of his Catholic Education including being an altar server and he is often heard saying, “I learned it at St. Peter & Paul”.

After 25 years of administrative service in the natural gas industry, Mr. Diaz retired to begin a new adventure of moving to Rio Grande City and entering a new chapter in his life! He jumped right into the family business of Garza Insurance Agency andproudly began working side by side with his wife Aissa and mother-in-law Lydia Garza Saenz.

On his daughter Anaissa’s first day of school in January 2007, his devotion to Immaculate Conception School began. It did not take very long for Mr. Diaz to become an officer for the PTO.  He began his service as treasurer and then moved on to become president where he continues to serve proudly. Mr. Diaz is always thinking of ways to help improve the school and is very involved especially in the “Box Top for Education Program”. Students refer to him as “Mr. Box Top Man”. On any given day you will find Mr. Diaz at Immaculate Conception School, whether its speaking to students, helping cross the children to the Montessori Building or to Immaculate Conception Church on Fridays. He can even be found on the playground during basketball season where he assists in coaching the Lady Antelopes Basketball Team. His most important goal every school year is to make sure the “Fall Jamaica” is a huge success! He spends countless hours on the planning and preparation of the event. He gives his heart and soul to Immaculate Conception School and its children. He is often mistaken for a staff member of Immaculate Conception School and he can very often be heard saying, “No I don’t work here, but I am very much a part of the school”!

Through support of Catholic schools, recipients of this award share in the work of the Spirit by providing an opportunity and environment in which the teachings of Jesus can be passed on to the next generation. The word SPIRIT is symbolic of the energy, enthusiasm and sense of service that each honoree has exhibited in support of Catholic Schools.


Arturo Lopez announces his candidacy for Starr County Commissioner Pct. 4

I, Arturo Lopez, a businessman and resident of this community all my life, am running for Starr County Commissioner-Precinct 4.   As a proud veteran of this country, it is my duty to serve this great country and especially our community.  After observing the conditions of Precinct 4, I concluded that Precinct 4 is in dire need of improvements, and  decided to run for this position.  As your commissioner, I will work tirelessly to serve you, the citizens.   My immediate goals include attracting new businesses to provide jobs,  the lowering of property taxes, obtaining modern and better equipment for the precinct, clear and transparent accountability,  initiating a precinct collection center for recycled materials and maintaining county cemeteries.         Our county needs more and better jobs for our community.  I will work to bring these by working with the private and public sectors to attract these to our community.  In the last ten years, property taxes have skyrocketed,  I will work hard to lower these as the taxes make it hard for families and businesses to achieve success.  I will work with the taxing districts to lower taxes.     

I will maintain all transactions with honesty and  respect  for all county employees and residents.  I will not fire any employee due to politics, as I value working people that work hard to support their families.  It is my observation that the precinct equipment is outdated and in need of repairs.  The equipment yard in town is too small and crowded, a more ample and convenient location will be obtained.  I will work hard to fix and maintain the equipment and to obtain modern equipment in order to keep the roads safe, the alleys clean and cemeteries respectful.  All these services are needed so that families can go about their days with assurance of safety.     

Together will can make our community a better and safer place for all families to make a living and reach their goals.  I am willing to work to obtain these goals and with your vote on March 4, 2014, this is possible.  Your vote can make a difference in our community.  Your vote for an honest hardworking business man will be a vote for a safer community.

The last one shall be the first. Watch me on my political platform on and Live.

Political Ad Pd. By Candidate




Roma Gladiator football player, senior Ovidio Hernández signed a national letter of intent to play football for the Buccaneers of Blinn College. Hernández was offered a full athletic scholarship from Blinn based in Brenham, Texas. The Blinn Buccaneers football program has won NJCAA Championships in 1995, 1996, 2006, and 2009. Ovidio is the third Roma football player to go on to play college ball in the past four years. Ovidio has been selected to the 1st Team All District Offensive Line team the past 3 years, 2 time All District Defensive Line, 1st Team All South Texas, 1st Team RGV Sports, and 1st Team 956 Sports. Ovidio Hernández (sitting 2nd from right) is pictured with family members and coaching staff and administration. (standing from right to left) offensive line Coach Brandon Avants, RHS Principal Noé Muñiz, Athletic Director Jaime Escobar, and Head Coach Max Habecker.



Grulla Middle School Band Students Excel at TMEA All-Region Concert


Pictured above from left to right: Diego Montes (Percussion) 6th Chair Honor Band, Itzhak Corona (Tuba) 4th Chair Symphonic Band, Karina Garza (Clarinet) 11th Chair Honor Band, Damaris Flores (Trumpet) 3rd Chair Honor Band, Thaleah Guzman (Clarinet) 6th Chair Honor Band, and Mario Rodriguez (Euphonium) 3rd Chair Honor Band.

GMS is proud to announce that six band students participated at the Region XV TMEA All-Valley Clinic and Concert held at the La Joya Fine Arts Auditorium. These talented musicians were chosen after competing against other students from throughout Roma to Alamo. Their daily determination and dedication to their instrument and their studies helped them achieve this honor.  GMS administration and their band teachers congratulate them and commend them for their outstanding achievement!   



2014 Starr County Youth Fair Lighted Parade

This Thursday, February 13, at 7:00 p.m

Wild Game Dinner

This Saturday, February 15.  Doors open at 6:00

Cook Off

This Saturday, February 15th



Maria Elena, Chito Olivarez to Serve As Starr County Fair Parade Marshals

Mr. Gustavo (Chito) and wife Maria Elena Olivarez have been selected by the Starr County Fair Association to serve as 2014 Parade Marshals for the annual parade set for Thursday, February 13, at 7:00 p.m. on Main Street, Rio Grande City.

They have both dedicated much time and effort to the Starr County Fair through the years. Mrs. Olivarez states, “In 2002, as Principal of RGC High School, I joined the Starr County Fair.  Since then I have had the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of people. I feel that we are a family of hard-working people who strive to provide an opportunity for youth to participate in activities that contribute to their growth, both social and educational. It has been a wonderful opportunity for both me and my husband to give back to our community. I hope that more of our community members will join our efforts to continue to provide the best Starr County Fair for all our youth.”

During the time that Mr. and Mrs. Olivarez have served as volunteers with the Starr County Fair, she has been Rabbit Superintendent, Chairperson for the Youth Scrambles, Closing Ceremony Chair, and is presently serving as Secretary of the Starr County Youth Fair Board. She also assists with office duties during the fair.

Mrs. Olivarez praised her husband by saying, “Gustavo has always helped and assisted me with the different assignments that I have been given. He has always endorsed the fair and has been a Sponsor. He has always been willing to help in any way he could.  He always volunteered to work in the beer garden. In addition, he is always willing to help anyone who needs help.”

Gustavo and Maria Elena are active members of Immaculate Conception Church. She is a member of the Church Council and assists with Jamaicas and other Church activities. She enjoys teaching CCE and received her 10 years of service pin in 2013. She is also a member of the SERRA Club and member of the Lions Club.

The honorees have seen many changes in the Starr County Fair over the years. She states, “As a member of the Fair and later as a Board Member I have seen the Fair grow in the number of participants and the increase in the number of volunteers. Everyone is striving to make improvements in what we

have to better serve the youth in our community. It’s always about how can we make it better, how can we improve and what is the quality of what we are offering to our youth.”

The couple is very proud and grateful for the honor of leading the 2014 parade as marshals.  Mrs. Olivarez said, “My husband and I feel elated and honored by being selected to serve as Parade Marshals. A countless number of people throughout the community have congratulated us for being selected as Parade Marshals. We never thought our service would be so highly recognized. We thank the members of the Starr County Fair, and we will continue to serve as members of such a wonderful family of volunteers.”



Starr County Fair Queen and Court Crowned

The 2014 Starr County Fair Queen and court were crowned at the annual Youth Fair Pageant held Sunday evening in the San Isidro ISD Auditorium. Hilary Whitaker is the 2014 Queen. A junior at San Isidro High School, Hilary is the daughter of Sara A. Alvarado and Dale Whitaker. The Queen, pictured fourth from left, is pictured with her Court, l-r, Precious Princess Sarah Lee Barrera, daughter of Jorge Luis Barrera and Graciela Ochoa and a prekindergarten student at La Casita Headstart; Petite Princess Hailey Alaniz, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Heron Alaniz and a second grader at General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary; Starr County Cowboy Rene Peña, Jr., son of Rene and Estrella Peña and a third grader at Roque Guerra Jr. Elementary; 2014 Queen Hilary Whitaker; Teen Princess Natalie Anderson, daughter of Douglas and Jeannie Anderson and a sixth grader at Ac2E Veterans Middle School; and Pre-Teen Princess Mia Nicole Gutierrez, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Felix Gutierrez and a fourth grader at Ac2E. Alejandra Vargas, 2013 Starr County Fair Queen, was on hand for her final walk, to help present awards, and to assist throughout the pageant. The pageant was sponsored by Starr County 4-H Council, and 4-Hers volunteered throughout the event. 4-H Club Sweethearts and Beaus were also presented.


Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held for New Starr County Pct. 2 Memorial Cemetery

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and Pct. 2 Commissioner Roy Pena hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Starr County Memorial Cemetery in Fronton Texas.  The cemetery was built in land donated by Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and was designed overlooking a breath taking view of Roma.  The event was attended by more than 200 representatives of the business community, City of Roma, City of Rio Grande, City of Escobares, County of Starr, Roma ISD, City of Miguel Aleman, law enforcement, community members, veterans, media outlets and many other organizations. The ceremony began with an opening prayer and the Presentation of Colors by the Starr County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard Unit. 

Starr County Pct. 2 Commissioner Raul “Roy” Pena welcomed everyone to the historic event and said “today I am proud to unveil the first Starr County Cemetery which was built to serve the entire county. This land which will be blessed today will be the final resting place for the hard working individuals who are part of this great community.”

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera commended Commissioner Pena for his perseverance in accomplishing this tremendous feat. “Cemeteries are the historical hub of all communities because for many generations to come people will walk through this cemetery to study their ancestry. “This will place of comfort where we will be able to visit and feel close to our loved ones that have passed on” said Judge Vera.  Special presentations were made to Commissioner Pena by the Offices of Congressman Henry Cuellar and Representative Ryan Guillen. Deacon Amando Pena, Jr. blessed the land which will be the final resting place and a sanctuary for a multitude of families for many years to come. The audience enjoyed musical selections by the Nationally Acclaimed Mariachi Nuevo Santander from Roma High School directed by Mr. Eloy Garza.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office).




Humberto C. González Sr. anuncia su candidatura para el puesto de secretario del condado Starr

Humberto C. González se presento el cinco de Diciembre del 2013 con la directora del partido demócrata de Starr County, Judy Solís para lanzarse para el puesto de secretario del condado de Starr (Starr County Clerk)

“Estoy anunciando mi candidatura para el puesto de secretario. Humildemente les pido su apoyo,” declaro González.

“Nací y crecí en Rio Grande City. Mis padres son Abel N. González, Sr. y Maria Elia González.  Gradué de Rio Grande City High School en 1973 y después atendí TSTI en Harlingen donde adquirí el certificado en mis estudios de agricultura. Estoy casado con Cynthia Gallardo González y tengo 4 hijos: Humberto “Bert” Jr. (Jessica Román González); Iris (Esteban Martínez); Victor (Julia Peña-González) y Luis González. Tengo siete nietos.

En 1982 empecé a trabajar con Valley Appraisals. Después obtuve una posición con la oficina de Starr County Appraisal District, donde he trabajado por 31 años.

Soy miembro activo de la parroquia Inmaculada Concepción y del Serra Club. Tuve el privilegio de ser parte del comité para adoptar el city charter (documento para la ciudad) en 1996.

Mi familia ha sido muy activa en el servicio público toda mi vida. Mi hermano, Abel N. González fue comisionado por varios años y de él aprendí mucho, principalmente hacer todo lo posible para servir al público con honestidad e integridad.  Siempre se me inculco que el servicio a la comunidad es muy importante y un privilegio y por eso decidí postularme para este puesto. Tengo toda confianza que puedo desempeñar las responsabilidades que este puesto requiere. Tengo la experiencia en mi trabajo y familiaridad con la oficina de secretario.

Les pido su apoyo y voto y deseo traer una nueva imagen a la oficina de secretario de Starr County.

¡Dios los bendiga y muchas gracias!

Humildemente, Su servidor, HUMBERTO C. GONZALEZ





Pol Adv Pd By Humberto Gonzalez Jr. Treasure


Jorge Bazan announces his candidacy for Justice of the Peace Pct. 6

I am running for this position to bring respect and responsibility back to the office, be a full-time judge, and will understand the needs of the community.

I was born and raised in La Casita, Tx. by my parents, Lydia C. Bazan and the late Pedro Bazan. I graduated from Rio Grande City High School in 1986 and obtained a certificate of computerized bookkeeping after attending TSTI in Harligen, Tx.

I am married to Maria De Jesus Bazan and have one son Jorge Bazan Jr. I began working in 1989 at the Starr County Sheriff’s Office for 7 years, in 1996 I was the manager of a convenience store in Peñitas, Tx. for 2 years then went on a partnership with a new convenience store in Roma, Tx. Currently I am employed with the R.G.C.C.I.S.D. and owner of Gator Pit Catering.


Vote For


Justice of the Peace Pct. #6



Pol. Ad Paid by Candidate Jorge Bazan






Ringgold Elementary congratulates all UIL Participants and Coaches for obtaining the most coveted 1st PLACE SWEEPSTAKES RGCCISD UIL DISTRICT ELEMENTARY TITLE for 2013-2014.  The UIL Meet started on January 16th and ended with a victorious win on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at North Grammar Elementary.   We extend our ultimate appreciation to all parents, contestants, and UIL coaches for their outstanding hard work and committed dedication that led Team Ringgold in bringing home a 1st place district trophy.  WAY TO GO RAIDERS FOR THE BACK TO BACK UIL DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!


Roma Middle School Cross Country Team Wins District Championship

Roma Middle School 8th grade boys Cross Country Team won the Championship District title for the 2013-2014 season. Congratulations to the team for their dedication and hard work during their running season. Showcasing the district championship trophy is (back row) Coach Jose Roberto Garcia, Jose Luera, Cesar Cabrera, RMS Principal Abraham Gonzalez III, (front row) Juan Felipe Hinojosa, Luis Dario Gonzalez, Juan Vidal, Joe Henry Doria, and Octavio Canales.


Celebrate National Wear Red Day with Go Red For Women on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014

The Rio Grande City CISD Food and Nutrition Program wants to bring attention to heart disease which is the number one killer in women in the United States, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. The staff members recently wore red and made a formation of a heart to emphasize the importance of this event.

Celebrate National Wear Red Day with Go Red For Women on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 to help fight women’s number one killer—heart disease. Join the movement nationwide and learn how you can honor women like you on this important day at .



Big Bands, Wrestlers to Entertain

at Starr County Fair Feb. 20-22


Get out your boots, hats and best jeans as you round up your entire family for this year’s fair, with the theme “A Country Salute to our American Heroes.”  The fair will pay special tribute to those currently or previously serving in the Armed Services of the U.S.A.

This year’s Starr County Fair will feature top entertainment for dancing and pleasure in the evenings, including the Vulture Club, the Tony Martin Band, and Joe Vega and Midnight Run, all on Saturday night, February 22.

On Friday, February 21, NEXXO, Albert Zamora and Los Garcia Bros will all take the stage.

Atrapado and Tropical Panama will perform on Thursday, February 20.

Various stage performances will take place during the day, Thursday through Saturday, by dance and music groups.  The dancing, singing, and instrumental talents of Starr County students will be showcased.

The Laredo Wrestling Alliance is set to perform at 1:00, 3:00, and 6:00 on Friday and Saturday.  Featured wrestlers will include “Coven” of Rio Grande City and “Bandana Joe” of Roma.

The pageant to select the Starr County Fair Queen, Princesses, and Cowboy will be the first official event of the 2014 Fair.  The pageant is set for this Sunday, February 9, at the auditorium of the San Isidro ISD.  Contact the Starr County Extension Office, 487-2306 for more information.

The Fair’s first-ever night lighted parade will be held on Thursday evening, February 13 at 7:00 p.m. with lineup beginning at 5:00 on South Britton Avenue and Water Street, facing east.  Call Tissa Peterson at 500-1430 for info.

The annual Cook Off and the Wild Game Dinner are planned for Saturday, February 15. 

The Cook Off will be in the morning at the Starr County Sheriff’s Posse Arena.  For more information, call Ronnie at 956-534-4911.

Wild Game Dinner advance tickets are available for $15 per person at Citizens State Bank from Chairman Celinda Salinas in Rio, at Rio Motor Co. from Co-Chairman Billy Canales, at the Starr County Teachers Federal Credit Union, and from members of the Fair Association.  Admission will be $20 per person at the door.

Serjio and Ropin’ the Wind will provide music for the Wild Game Dinner.  The dinner begins at 6:00, and the dance will follow the auction.  For details about this scholarship fundraiser event, call Celinda at 500-2337.

 Mark your calendars with these important dates!  Be sure to “like” StarrCounty Fair on Facebook, where you will see details about upcoming events, and check out our webpage at for rules, forms and other information.

Livestock, baking, youth and adult art, youth and adult arts and crafts, educational posters and farm shop competitions will be held throughout the three-day event February 20-22, with exhibits to be viewed.

The carnival will be in full swing starting Wednesday evening.

Chick and duck, rabbit, and pig scrambles will continue to be an open event for any youngster attending the fair.  Sponsored by H.E.B., the scrambles will be on Friday and Saturday evenings.

At 6:00 p.m. on Thursday will be the official Opening Ceremony of the Fair, at which the winners of the Queen’s pageant and the scholarship winners will be introduced, as well as all of the volunteers that make the fair possible.


National School Counseling Week

National School Counseling Week 2014: School Counseling: Building Magical Futures.  

Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District will be celebrating School Counseling Week from Feb. 3-7, 2014. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District started their School Counseling Week with a Proclamation and breakfast that was held at the Multipurpose Center on Monday, February 3, 2014. We would like to THANK all Counselors who MAKE A DIFFERENCE in children’s lives every day. Your hard work and dedication is truly appreciated and does not go unnoticed. Counselors, may your week be filled with great memories.


RGC High Rattler Fans Prove Some Of Best In Texas

It was something the Rio Grande City High School Football Team couldn’t do alone; it was only the fans that could make it possible and they came through – they helped the team and school win a $10,000 donation from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North American Business Unit.

“There was never any doubt that we have some of the best fans in the entire state of Texas,” said RGC High Principal and RGCCISD Interim Assistant Superintendent –South Adolfo Pena Jr. “We are extremely grateful to our fans for making this possible through their undying support.”

The road to the big win started in October 2013 with a simple challenge from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America – buy eligible products and enter the product UPC’s on the challenge Web site, Five schools from across the state, one from each divisional class, were selected as winners based on points earned from entered product UPC’s. When RGC High came out on top in its division, representatives from PepsiCo and Frito-Lay presented a $10,000 check to the school and students.

“We salute PepsiCo and Frito-Lay North America for showing that big companies do care about our students,” concluded Pena. “It was wonderful for them to come out and see first-hand how much our Rattlers mean to our community. There is no doubt that these monies will help our program continue to stay strong.”


Wild Game Fundraiser Set For February 15th

The Starr County Fair Association invites the public to attend its annual scholarship fundraiser for the Starr County Fair scholarship recipients of 2014.  The annual Wild Game Dinner is set for Saturday, February 15.  Doors open at 6:00 at the James Peterson Memorial Building at the Starr County Fairgrounds, and serving begins at 6:30 p.m.

Advance tickets for $15 per person are available at Citizens State Bank from Chairman Celinda Salinas in Rio, at Rio Motor Co. from Co-Chairman Billy Canales, at the Starr County Teachers Federal Credit Union, and from members of the Fair Association.  Admission will be $20 per person at the door.

A silent auction and live auction will be held to raise funds for youth scholarships.

The variety of food will be even better than ever.   HEB will be serving their popular shrimp and catfish from their expanded Seafood Market. There will be 16 Booths with a great variety of wild game to choose from prepared in various ways.  All food and drink sponsors are generous donors of their talents and resources for the sake of the scholarship recipients.

A treat is in store after the dinner and auctions, as Serjio and Ropin’ the Wind will provide music for dancing. 

Individuals and businesses may make donations of items for the auctions.  These may be brought to Rio Motor Company and Citizens State Bank in Rio for this event that benefits Starr County youth from all four high schools.  The event will officially kick off the 49th annual fair.  Honored guests will be 2014 Starr County Fair Parade Marshals, Gustavo and Maria Elena Olivarez, and Volunteers of the Year, Xavier & Lori Perez.


Dynamic Diamondbacks Back to Back Champions

Dr. Mario E. Ramirez Elementary hosted a UIL meet on January 11th for all elementary schools in RGCCISD. The Mighty Diamondbacks sauntered away with the overall Championship trophy. This is the second RGCCISD invitational meet that Dr. Mario E. Ramirez Elementary captured the first place title.  Congratulations to all Diamondback UIL participants and coaches on your academic victories.


Ringgold Middle School 7th Grade basketball team were victorious over Zapata Middle School. Students from different academic settings have come together and helped each other both on and off the court. Their drive to success and their dedication to their team is evident in their support for each other’s academic success. They acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses and each uses their own skill set to improve on others. On behalf of your parents, administration, coaches, teachers and fellow student, we are proud of your teamwork and wish continued success. The next home game is scheduled for Monday, February 4, 2014 against Zapata. Come out and support your Ringgold Middle School Basketball teams! 








Dear Friends and Families of Starr County,

I would like to announce that I am seeking re-election as your Commissioner for Precinct 2.  I have worked diligently for the past 15 years as your commissioner and am proud to announce that I have accomplished and exceeded all of the tasks that I had set during my first campaign platform. My leadership is based on ACTIONS NOT PROMISES!



I have built 2 Fire Department, Justice of the Peace Office, Library, Tax office to facilitate meeting the needs of the residents so that they do not have to drive all the way to Rio Grande City to pay their taxes, worked on projects to improve infrastructure to ensure better residential business communities, continuously work with local and state officials to provide free home owners grant programs, numerous parks, Food Pantry, Warehouses, Athens Avenue, Efren Ramirez Rd and numerous other rural roads, A County Cemetery and currently developing a Starr County Veterans Cemetery to honor soldier and their spouses.


I have built drainage channels to divert water, worked with the Falcon Rural Water Supply to provide safe water, paved numerous roads including Athens Avenue, Efren Ramirez Rd.  Also streets in Salineno, Fronton, Falcon, Chele Rd., La Victoria and Mi Ranchito areas. Also I installed storm drainage systems in rural areas, I am currently working on a drainage system for the Salineno area.  I have re-constructed all county road bridges on Loma Blanca Rd. Alvaro’s Rd., Chapeno Rd. Ebony Rd., Sanchez Rd. and Menudo Rd.



I have endorsed higher educational programs at STC and UTPA to provide opportunities for a more educated community and prepared workforce, I have outfitted the Library with an ample amount of books for research and reading, endorsed adult educational programs and provided state of the art computers, to meet the needs of the residents.



I have built Fire Departments, purchase Fire Trucks, I continuously work with the Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement entities to provide safety to the residents.


We have two community centers and provide elderly nutrition programs to ensure that our valued citizens have a place to go have a nice nutritional meal and activities for an active and healthy life.  We also have a program that provides transportation to and from medical appointments in the McAllen and Rio Grande City areas.



I built recreational parks, including a baseball park in Salineno. Also I have upgraded our County Swimming pool, including a roof so that the children can swim in a shaded area!



Pct. 2 has upgraded the county equipment to include new motor graders, dump trucks, backhoes, small trucks and new vans to transport our elderly also tractors to clean our County Roads.


This Friends is what I call


Sincerely your Commissioner for Precinct 2

Raul “Roy” Peña


Starr County Fair Association Volunteers Plan 2014 Fair Events

Starr County Fair Events Scheduled for February

Starr County volunteers are busy planning the 49th annual Starr County Youth Fair, set for Thursday-Saturday, February 20-22. The event will feature events for the entire family. Get out your boots, hats and best jeans as you round up your entire family for this year’s fair, with the theme “A Country Salute to our American Heroes.”

The fair will pay special tribute to those currently or previously serving in the Armed Services of the U.S.A.

The pageant to select the Starr County Fair Queen, Princesses, and Cowboy will be the first official event of the 2014 Fair.  The pageant is set for Sunday, February 9, at the auditorium of the San Isidro ISD.  Contact the Starr County Extension Office, 487-2306 for more information and an entry form. The Fair’s first-ever night lighted parade will be held on Thursday evening, February 13 at 7:00 p.m. with lineup beginning at 5:00 on South Britton Avenue and Water Street, facing east.

The annual Cook Off and the Wild Game Dinner are planned for Saturday, February 15. The Cook Off will be in the morning at the Starr County Sheriff’s Posse Arena. For more information, call Ronnie at 956-534-4911.

Serjio and Ropin’ the Wind will provide music for the Wild Game Dinner.  The dinner begins at 6:00, the dance will follow the auction.  For details about this scholarship  fundraiser event, call Celinda at 500-2337.

Mark your calendars with these important dates! Be sure to “like” StarrCounty Fair on Facebook, where you will see details about upcoming events, and check out our webpage at for rules, forms and other information.

Get your dancing boots dusted off. This year’s fair will feature top entertainment for dancing and pleasure in the evenings, including the Vulture Club, the Tony Martin Band, and Joe Vega and Midnight Run, all on Saturday night.  Atrapado and Tropical Panama will perform on Thursday, February 20th. On Friday, February 21st, NEXXO, Albert Zamora and Los Garcia Bros will all take the stage.

Various stage performances will take place during the day by dance and music groups. The dancing, singing, and instrumental talents of Starr County students will be showcased.

Livestock, baking, youth and adult art, youth and adult arts and crafts, educational posters and farm shop competitions will be held throughout the three-day event February 20-22, with exhibits to be viewed.

The carnival will be in full swing starting Wednesday evening.

Chick and duck, rabbit, and pig scrambles will continue to be an open event for any youngster attending the fair.  Sponsored by H.E.B., the scrambles will be on Friday and Saturday evenings.

At 6:00 p.m. on Thursday will be the official Opening Ceremony of the Fair, at which the winners of the Queen’s pageant and the scholarship winners will be introduced, as well as all of the volunteers that make the fair possible.



2014 Youth Fair Pageant- “A Country Salute to our American Heroes”

On Sunday, February 9, 2014, Alejandra Vargas, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. David Vargas from Rio Grande City, Texas will be turning over her crown to a new Queen who will reign over the Youth Fair which is scheduled to start on Thursday, February 20, 2014.

This year’s pageant will be held at San Isidro High School Auditorium.  The pageant rotates throughout the county to bring the enthusiasm and excitement to the community for the largest county event the Starr County Youth Fair that brings together students from every school district in the county.

We want to invite the youth of the county to get involved in the pageant and became part of this excellent character building experience that heightens confidence and self esteem for our participating youngsters of all ages.

Girls can enter one of 5 categories according to their school grade:

Precious Fair Princess – Pre-kinder

Petite Fair Princess – Kinder through 2nd grade

Pre-teen Fair Princess – 3rd through 5th grade

Teen Princess – 6th through 8th grade

County Fair Queen – Starr County High School students

For the fourth time we have opened a category for boys – 5th grade and under – the Cowboy Category

Rehearsal for the pageant this year will be on Wednesday, February 5th starting at 3:00 p.m. in San Isidro. For more information you can call the County Extension office 487-2306.  Applications for the pageant are available at all school principal’s office and from 4H Club Managers and at the County Extension office located at 500 N. Britton Rio Grande City, TX.






Ringgold Middle School Band Members Achieve Top Honors in Region


RMS had 20 students participate in the Region XV All-Valley Clinic and Concert held at the La Joya Fine Arts Auditorium on December 14, 2013.  These select few were chosen after they competed against other students from Roma to Alamo.  The students achieved this honor through their hard work and dedication.  The RMS Band would like to thank Mr. Jorge E. Peña and his administration for their continued support of our music program.


1st Row (L-R): Jennifer Rios (Bb Clarinet) 2nd Chair Honor Band, Viviana Gonzalez (Bb Clarinet) 12th chair Symphonic Band, Rocio Flores (Bb Clarinet) 3rd Chair Honor Band, Ruby Bazan (Alto Saxophone) 1st Chair Concert Band, Araitxa Negrete (Alto Saxophone) 1st Chair Symphonic Band, Stephanie Garza (Bb Clarinet) 16th Chair Concert Band    2nd Row: Sydney Saenz (French Horn) 8th Chair Honor Band, Liliana Chacon (Alto Saxophone) 1st  Chair Honor Band, Erin Solis (Flute) 1st Chair Concert Band, Miranda Garcia (Flute) 6th  Chair Symphonic Band, Joanny Garcia (Bass Clarinet) 3rd Chair Concert Band, Karrel Miana (Flute) 4th Chair Concert Band, Noe Morin (Baritone Saxophone) 1st Chair Honor Band    3rd Row:  Adrian Martinez (Cornet) 8th Chair Honor Band, Victor Silva (Euphonium) 3rd Chair Concert Band, Christopher Garza (Tenor Trombone) 6th Chair Symphonic, Joan Alvarez (Tuba) 2nd Chair Symphonic Band, Raul Lopez (Cornet) 9th Chair Symphonic Band, Juan Rodriguez (Cornet) 1st Chair Concert Band    Not pictured:  Juan D. Barajas (Tenor Trombone) 6th Chair Concert Band



Humberto C. Gonzalez Sr. announces his candidacy for the office of Starr County Clerk

Humberto C. Gonzalez Sr. filed on December 5, 2013 with Starr County Democratic Chair Judy Solis to run for Starr County Clerk.

“I’m announcing my candidacy for the office of Starr County Clerk. I humbly ask for your support in electing me for this office.” says Gonzalez.

I was born and raised here in Rio Grande City, by my parents, the late Abel N. Gonzalez Sr. & Maria Elia Gonzalez. I graduated from Rio Grande City High School in 1973 and obtained a certificate of completion after attending TSTI in Harlingen for two and a half years studying livestock and ranching operations. I am married to Cynthia Gallardo Gonzalez and have four children; Humberto “Bert” Jr. (Jessica Roman Gonzalez), Iris (Esteban) Martinez, Victor (Julia Peña Gonzalez), and Luis. I have six grandchildren and one on the way. I began working in 1980 for Valley Appraisals until 1982.  I then began employment with the Starr County Appraisal District, where I have been working to this date.

I am an active member of Immaculate Conception Church and the Serra Club. I also had the privilege of serving on the committee for adopting a city charter in 1996.

My family has been involved in politics my whole life, and my late brother Abel Gonzalez Jr. was Starr County Commissioner of Precinct 4 for many years. From my parents and my brother, I have learned that public service is a noble undertaking and that is why I’ve decided to seek this office.  I feel very confident that I can carry out the duties required of the office of County Clerk based on my experience working with the Starr County Appraisal District as a title search clerk and with my familiarity of that office. I hope to gain your support and vote, and bring a new image to the office of Starr County Clerk. May God bless you, and I thank you in advance for all your support.  ELECT HUMBERTO GONZALEZ FOR STARR COUNTY CLERK!!  “COMMITTED TO WORK”

Pol Adv Pd By Humberto Gonzalez Jr. Treasure


H.E.B. Plus Celebrates 2nd Annual “Dia De Los Reyes”

On January 06, 2014 H.E.B Plus Celebrated their 2nd Annual “Dia De Los Reyes” with a huge rosca that measured 180ft. long. Priest Artemio from the Escobares Church participated by blessing the bread that was shared with many of customers during the day.


Ayeli Solis placed 2nd in the 5th grade Ready Writing Event

Ayeli Solis, a 5th grade student with Ac2E, represented Roque Guerra, Jr. Elementary at the La Union UIL Meet on Saturday, December 7th.  Ayeli brought home a 2nd place trophy for her participation in the 5th grade Ready Writing Event.  






Dear Friends and Families of Starr County,

I am honored to serve you, our families, our neighbors and our community.  As your County Judge, I took an oath “to faithfully execute my duties and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States so help me God.” You entrusted me to preserve and protect the interests of Starr County.  I promised to work as the chief administrator of the County. I promised to preside over the Commissioners’ Court, which at times is judicial, legislative and executive in function. I promised you that I would treat everyone with humility, fairness, and respect.

I promised you that I would serve as County Judge with honor and dignity.  I HAVE KEPT MY PROMISES! With the same faith and beliefs that have guided me throughout my life, it is with great excitement that I formally announce my candidacy to continue as your Starr County Judge. 

I, Judge Eloy Vera, am a graduate of Roma High School. Thereafter, I attended the University of Texas A & M-Kingsville (then Texas A& I), where I received my degree in Civil Engineering.  After working for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) throughout the state for many years, I returned to my beloved Starr County to raise my family and open my own engineering and land development firm, Vera Enterprises, Inc. My success is attributed to hard-work and the thousands of homesteads my business developed for the people of Starr County.  My background in civil engineering and proven business skills have been critical in the development and business of county roads, projects, bridges, drainage, waste collection and other services provided throughout the precincts. As your County Judge, I have shown responsibility to my community through Bi-annual County Addresses and fiscal growth. When I took office, Starr County’s fund balance was in a one million-dollar deficit and I am proud to report that with my strong business sense, the reserve funds are in excess of five million!  But, I have not stopped working for you. For the past three years, I have been working tirelessly to bring wind-powered farms into Starr County.  I am extremely proud to report this project is about to come to life; bringing alternative clean energy, many jobs and an additional tax base to the County of Starr.  

With an estimated first phase investment of $430 million dollars by the company, this will be the largest, most prosperous project in Starr County, ever!  In fact, it allowed for salary increases for all county employees this year. MY GOAL IS TO MOVE STARR COUNTY INTO A NEW ERA.  As a rancher, I know the hardships farmers and ranchers go through. As a business owner, I know the success and challenges that come unannounced. As a father and husband, I know that families want a better quality of life in Starr County. Today is not only about doing more; it’s about doing what is right! I am not stepping down…I am stepping up to a better tomorrow!

We must unite. I cannot do this alone. I need your help, your support and your  vote of confidence. I am committed to running this government with respect, honesty, transparency, humility, and the integrity to provide the fiscal accountability that has been entrusted to me throughout the years.  Together we can improve our communities. My wife, Yvonne Vera, my children, Jessica (Luis) and Eloy Jr (Peggy) and my six grandchildren support me whole-heartedly. Please stand with me to move Starr County forward March 4th, 2014.  I PLEDGE TO BRING LEADERSHIP WITH RESULTS!  Gracias y que Dios los bendiga.

Sincerely yours,

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera

                           Political Ad Pd. By Candidate



Rose Marie “ROSIE” J. Lopez announces her candidacy for Starr County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 6.

Rose Marie “ROSIE” J. Lopez has announced her candidacy for the democratic primary election position of Starr County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 6. The election is to be held on March 4, 2014.  The jurisdictional boundaries for Precinct 6 are east of Ramirez Ford (N. Garza Road and Santa Rosa Road) to El Mileño (North Chapa Boulevard and South Produce Road (CO-OP).  She is seeking the position of Justice of the Peace, Precinct 6 because she believes that it is time for CHANGE.

Rose Marie “Rosie” was born in Chicago, IL, but has lived in Starr County since 1971.   Rose Marie is the daughter of Ms. Maria L. Jones and Mr. Dewitt M. and Rafaela Jones.  She is a sister to Dewitt, Alicia, Robert, MaryAnn, Dave, Knox, Edward, Lillian, Carlos, Rebekah, and +Baby Rafaela.  She graduated from Rio Grande City High School in 1981 and completed her studies at The National Education Center, in Dallas, Texas with a certificate as a Medical Assistant in 1991.  In 2011, Rose Marie received from the South Texas College a Bachelor of Applied Technology in Computer and Information Technology.  

Rose Marie “Rosie” has been married for 32 years to Manuel Lopez of La Casita, Texas.  Although, she was not blessed with children; she was blessed to have a good relationship with her husband Manuel’s three children which she respectfully consider her daughters, Thelma L. Perez, Cynthia A. Lopez and Marissa L. McCray for which she has three beautiful grandchildren, Mark Anthony Seabrooks, Gia Perez and Anissa McCray.

In the last sixteen years, Rose Marie “Rosie” J. Lopez has been very active in the community through her volunteer work.  She volunteered within the Community Action Council of South Texas (CACST) in the Headstart program as a Parent Policy Council President for three years. She was also La Casita Headstart President for three years and was the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) President at La Union Elementary for three years. She also sponsored and coached a softball team “The Angeles” with La Union Little League for six years. But what she takes great pride in most, is being the current President of the “Guadalupanas” and being the youth choir leader at “Our Lady of Peace” Church in Garciasville-La Casita, Texas. 

Rose Marie “Rosie” has been employed for the past seven years as a Computer Technician in the Special Education Department with the Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District. She is also a Notary Public. And is currently Starr County Precinct 8, Chairwoman.

She comes from a long line of politicians. Her grandfather Dewitt Jones was a Justice of the Peace for many years, grandmother, Trinidad “Bonnie” Jones, was very involved in politics. Her father, Dewitt M. Jones served as Justice of the Peace in Precinct 6 for eighteen years. Her brother, Dave “Chachi” Jones, is currently a City Commissioner in Rio Grande City. Rose Marie “Rosie” is seeking the position of Justice of the Peace Precinct 6, because she believes it is time to restore PRIDE and JUSTICE back into our community. She believes that a justice of the peace needs to be aware of the community’s needs and must be able to serve and meet these needs. She also understands that these needs might have to be served after hours. She knows that she will be a servant to the people and to her community. Therefore, she humbly asks for your support in the upcoming election. CHANGE! PRIDE!  JUSTICE!

Political Ad Pd. By Candidate



Jose Tedraza (Coy) Garza, IV

Jose Tedraza Garza, IV completed his basic and job training at Fort Sill, Ok. He will be stationed at El Paso, Tx. Jose is the son of Jose T. & Irma Garza brother of Ravel A. Garza and grandson of Amando & Irma Perez and Jose T. & Minerva Garza. He is  from Garceño Tx. He’s a graduate from Roma High School. One more soldier to keep in our prayers and to be proud of.


Dr. Mario E. Ramirez and Ac2E Dominate the Free Throw Competition

Students from Dr. Mario E. Ramirez and Ac2E Elementariesexcel at the District Free Throw competition. The 4thgradedivision championships went to the boys and girls from Ramirez and Ac2E. The 5th grade girls were also crowned district champions. We would like to recognize the following students for their individual performances 3rd grade: Champion KiarbelGarza, 3rd place-Damion Garcia, 4th grade: 2nd place-Roxy Estrada, 5th Grade: 3rd place-Fatima de la Torre, 3rd place- Daryl Diaz. We are very proud in the manner in which our students and their coaches represented themselves and their school.




229th Judicial District Attorney’s Office Donates More than $2K in Toys To CPS

229th Judicial District Attorney’s Office Staff join CPS staff to make Christmas a happier time for Starr County children in foster care. From left are: Omar Escobar, 229th Judicial District Attorney, Belinda Trevino & Mariza Barrera, Starr County Crime Victim’s Coordinators, Martie Garcia Vela, Assistant District Attorney, Santa - Querubin Guerra, CPS Starr County and Hon. Carlos Villalon, CPS Judge.                      CPS, page 13


Roma City Council Members hand delivered blankets to over 200 clients

The City of Roma City Council Members hand delivered blankets to over 200 clients from three different Adult Day Care Centers in the area for Christmas; Ensenada Adult Day Care, Vida Linda Adult Day Care and Nueva Esperanza Adult Day Care. The blankets were purchased and sponsored through a donation from United Way and City of Roma employee’s donations. Ensenada Director, John Cantu said he was very happy to see the council members and city employees do something for the elderly population. “My clients and I are very grateful to the city commission and city employees for the blankets they provided.”

J & O Hinojosa Elem. Grulla Cook-Off Grand Champions

John & Olive Hinojosa Elementary participated in the 2nd Annual Grulla High School Battle of the District Cook-Off on Novemebr 25, 2013. J & O brought back 1st place carne guisada, 1st place open division, 2nd place ribs, 2nd place beans, and 2nd place pan de campo and the OVERALL GRAND CHAMPION TROPHY. This is the 2nd consecutive win for the J & O Hinojosa Elementary Cook-Off team. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

San Isidro Tiger Tournament Stand Outs

Sammy Sanchez, Junior at San Isidro High School, was named Most Valuable Player of the San Isidro Tiger Tournament. Junior, Marcos Garcia, and Senior, Ryan Melton were selected All-Tournament.

JROTC Grulla Gators crushed all opposing competitors

The chomping JROTC Grulla Gators crushed all opposing competitors at the December 2013-2014 JROTC Skills Competition in Zapata. Coming home with the victory of having received first place overall, the Mighty Gator Battalion truly represents great Gator Pride.





Veterans Middle School Mariachi Juvenil de America DEFENDS ITS TITLE!!!

Congratulations to Veterans Middle School Mariachi Juvenil de America for their outstanding performance at the 19th annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza that took place on December 6th at San Antonio. Their performance earned them 1st Place National Champions in the Middle School Category for the fourth consecutive year. In the conclusion of their performance, the audience gave them a standing ovation.  Members of the mariachi include Jesus H. Cantu, Jacob B. Clark, Kasey J. Escamilla, Monico U. Fernandez, Damian D. Figueroa, Arjelio Garza, Dellanira Garza, Wendy Lagunes Mendez, Marian Meraz, Oscar D. Soto, Gonzalo Tamez, and Abigail Trevino. They opened the concert for Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, which took place on December 7th at the Lila Cockrell Theatre.  Again congratulations to Mariachi Juvenil de America for a job well done and keep representing the City of Rio Grande, which is proud of your accomplishments. Veterans Middle School Mariachi is under the direction of Mr. Daniel E. Renteria and on behalf of the VMS Mariachi, we would like to thank our Principal Mrs. M. Garcia, Superintendent Roel A. Gonzalez, School Board Members and VMS family for their continuous support.


Alexa Posas wins 2nd place at Mariachi Vargas Vocal Competition!!!

On Saturday December 7th, the city of San Antonio, TX held the 19th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Vocal Competition.  Out of hundreds of entries from all over the nation, fifteen finalists were selected in the grades 9-12 category to compete on stage and

be judged by members of World Famous Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan. Alexa Michelle Posas, a Freshman from Rio Grande City High School and first year member of award winning Mariachi Cascabel, was selected as the 2nd place winner in the High School Category. This competition is part of the largest and longest running mariachi music festival of its kind and is one of the most competitive mariachi vocal competitions in the United States. This is Alexa’s first time competing in a vocal competition.  CONGRATULATIONS! Alexa is the 15 year old daughter of Ms. Maggie Rodriguez. A special thanks to our RGC High School Principal - Mr. Adolfo Peña, Jr., Superintendent - Mr. Roel A. Gonzalez, School Board Members and our School Community for their never ending support!                                                         


ICS Joins the Rio Grande City Police Department in the Holiday Gift Giving Program

One of the major goals of Immaculate Conception School especially during this season of the year is to reach out to those that are in need through giving.  ICS does this through bringing toys and blankets. Each family is assigned to bring toys and blankets that would later be distributed to the community. ICS was overwhelmed by the number of toys and blankets that came in. ICS is grateful to the RGC Police Department for assisting in the distribution of gifts in the community. Pictured are the policemen of RGC Police Department, students and Mrs. Maria Elena Olivarez, ICS Principal. ICS would like to thank the parents, students, faculty and staff who generously shared their blessings. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Starr County Self Help Center Receives $10,000 Donation

Pictured above are (left to right): Joel Correa, Blanca Ruiz, Hugo Villarreal, State Representative Ryan Guillen, Janie Zarate Grigsby, Officer Nelson Martinez, Anna Villareal, MEC CEO Mark Rollans, Bobby Waid, Commissioner Eloy Garza, Ken Gajdos, Mayor Ruben Villarreal.


Medina Electric Cooperative and CoBank presented the Starr County Self Help Center with a $10,000 donation on Thursday, December 12.

The donation was made possible through the members of Medina Electric Cooperative and CoBank’s “Sharing Success” charitable contribution program. CoBank, a

national cooperative bank, is one of Medina EC’s financial partners. Through the program, CoBank matches a donation of up to $5,000 that Medina EC makes to a nonprofit organization. Each year, Medina EC selects an organization located in a different part of their 17-county service area that meets the qualifications set forth by CoBank.

SELF HELP, page 6




9th Annual Rio Grande City Crime Stoppers Thadnksgiving Turkey Dinners Giveaway

On November 27, 2013 The Rio Grande City Crime Stoppers along with Mayor Ruben O. Villarreal and City Of Rio Grande City personnel delivered Thanksgiving Turkey Dinners to 17 under privileged families in Rio Grande City. For additional information on the City of Rio Grande City, please contact (956) 487-0672, or visit Pictured above are: Rio Grande City Crime Stoppers, City Manager Matt Z. Ruszczak, Mayor Ruben O. Villarreal, Rio Grande City Family.



Starr County Pct. #4 Food Pantry Assists almost 1000 Families per month

The employees at the Starr County Pct. 4 Food pantry keep busy throughout the month stocking the pantry and filling bags with food to feed over 1000 families in Rio Grande City, Las Lomas area and neighboring communities. The distribution of provisions is made every month to ensure that the residents receive the much needed goods.  Commissioner Ruben D. Saenz and his staff are happy to assist residents of Starr County with this service and are always eager to lend a helping hand to Precinct 4 residents.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office)



The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Grande Garbage Office was a huge success

Family, friend  and public officials joined Patricio and Estela Hernandez and their family for a ribbon cutting ceremony at their new office located in downtown Rio Grande City on Friday December 13, 2013. Their business has transcended through time and will continue to stand proud for generations to come. The building sits in front of a beautiful courtyard and a 2 apartment complex. Pat and Estela did an outstanding job in preserving the integrity of the building façade. They refurbished every brick from the existing building and created a beautiful landscape around an existing cistern in the property. The office is located in beautiful and charming Vicinity in the heart of Rio Grande City. The ceremony concluded with a delicious meal of tamales and menudo and the delightful sounds of conjunto Music.


Miss Starr County and Miss RGC 2014 Dual Pageant

The Miss Starr County and Miss RGC 2014 Dual Pageant was held on Sunday, December 1st at the RGCCISD Auditorium. Several young beauties participated in this event as sponsored by the Preceptor Pi Beta chapter of Beta Sigma Phi. The former Miss Rio Grande Valley and Miss South Texas, Amanda Garcia, served as the Mistress of Ceremonies. The winners crowned are as follows: Karina Barrera – Miss Starr County, Alejandra Vargas – Miss Rio Grande City, Carolina Garcia – Jr. Miss Starr County, Emma Garcia – Little Miss Starr County and Alma Ruby Pena – Tiny Miss Starr County. Preceptor Pi Beta thanks all volunteers and sponsors for their assistance in organizing this event. 


5th Annual Silpada Fundraiser for The Rio Grande City Public Library

The City of Rio Grande City Public Library held its 5th Annual Silpada Fundraiser on November 21, 2013. Patrons were able to purchase jewelry via Independent Distributors Mary Rodriguez and Esther Salinas who donated 100% of their proceeds to the library. The donations help contribute the library’s work towards the advocacy of literacy in the community for people of all ages. For additional information on the City of Rio Grande City, please contact (956) 487-4389,  (956) 487-0672,  visit or . Pictured above are (L-R): Mary Rodriguez, Esther Salinas, Norma Gomez-Fultz and Rosa Elia Gonzalez.


The Mighty Roma High School Tennis Team ended the 2013 team tennis season on a very good note

Gladiators won their ninth consecutive district championship; this extended their dominance in District 32-4A in the world of tennis. Enroute to winning their ninth district title, the Gladiator tennis team has won 68 district match-ups in a row.  This year, the Roma High School tennis team qualified as “Area Finalists” in Corpus Christi, Texas and got a second- place finish. They were also “Quarter Finalists” in in the regional tournament on that was held in San Antonio, Texas. Job well done, Gladiators! You represented your school, your community, and your parents very well. Keep up the good work as you head into the 2014 tennis season.


229th Judicial District Attorney’s Office Makes Holidays Happier For Crime Victims

229th Judicial District Attorney Omar Escobar and his staff delivered a turkey and trimmings to The Garza Family to bring cheer to their Thanksgiving holiday.

Staff members from the 229th Judicial District Attorney’s Office distributed turkeys with all the trimmings to 21 families in Starr County ahead of Thanksgiving to help make the holiday a little happier and brighter.

“When you are talking about victims of crime, you are talking about people that have been violated in some way; they have had some sense of their personal well-being and security stripped from them and for many of these people and their loved ones, their lives have been drastically altered,” explained 229th Judicial District Attorney Omar Escobar. “We are just doing what we can to show them that although things will never be the same, they can be ok.”

“As attorneys and professionals representing the victims and the state in these cases, we get to know these families and we decided to bring them a little holiday cheer to brighten the season,” he continued. “We want them to know that the community supports them and as we seek justice for them, we are also seeking healing of their trust in society. I’m very proud of my staff for pitching in to make these donations a reality for the benefit of others.”

Rio Viejo Plaza Celebrates Ground Breaking Ceremony

On November 26, 2013 family and community members joined Rosa and Roel Gonzalez for their new plaza ground breaking. The 6,050 sq. ft. plaza will house Subway and 4 commercial spaces to be leased. Project is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2014.



Exploring Food Developing Life Skills

Junior 4H’ers displaying their well earned top blue awards at the Starr County Food Show. L-R Kris Garza, Mia Alvarado, Kaleb Garza, Emma Garcia, Roma Elizondo, and Nicole Delgado.


4H Foods and Nutrition projects do not only provide fun learning experiences, but it teaches some basic life skill that 4H’ers will build on for years to come reports Yolanda Morado, Starr County Extension Agent FCS.

4H’ers at the County Food Show/Food Challenge met in San Isidro on November 3, 2013 and prepared and presented recipes that provided them with the opportunity to learn about food ingredients, food characteristics, nutrition and food safety. In this project 4H’ers do not only learn about food science but acquire skills in planning, purchasing, preparing and serving tasty and nutritious meals.

4H’ers gain valuable skills evaluating nutrition information and gain a better understanding

of the connection between what you eat, how you feel and staying healthy. One senior 4Her Janay Rocha put it in a very special way “I am very grateful to those who have taken the time to teach me in 4H how to cook. These life skills will ensure that I will not be living on a diet of ramen noodles and frozen pizza once I leave home. I am now able to prepare basic healthy meals with minimal amount of effort thanks to 4H”.

Ten 4H’ers will advance to district food show and twenty 4H’ers will compete at district food challenge. The district competitions will be held in Three Rivers on December 7th.

4H project work is made possible through the dedicated effort of 4H leaders, club managers and parents. 



2013 TMEA All-Region HS Band Auditions

Just when we thought we had heard the last of the Mighty Rattler Band, think again! On Saturday, November 23, 2013 69 Rattler band members traveled to Edinburg High School to audition at the TMEA Region 15 High School All-Region band tryouts. Just a week removed from the TMEA Orchestra Auditions, these students set their sites on advancing individually towards TMEA All-State Band recognition! Marching band is only one component in these young musicians’ talents. Individual competitions are coming to a head, and we are extremely proud of their individual work-ethic which could very well lead to college scholarships and more! Students audition on their individual instrument for a chair position “mano a mano” against other students from Roma to Pharr Juan Alamo Memorial and parts in between. Students go up against 4A, and 5A students on their particular instrument to earn a spot in three All-Region Bands: Honors, Symphonic and Concert bands. These are the equivalent to District All-Star teams!                                                                               Band, page 4



San Isidro Tigers Win Tiger Shootout Tournament

The San Isidro High School Tigers cruised to a tournament championship during the November 21st-23rd Tiger Tournament. The Tigers beat Santa Maria in the title game, 51 – 46. Coach Rolando Garza was very proud of his team and their efforts during the championship game. Garza stated, “They played hard and maintained their composure throughout a closely fought game. The boys showed their desire to win and did what played a tight defense to come up with the victory.”



Mariachi Cascabel Member, Sasha Guerra, Graces Cover of San Antonio Magazine

Rio Grande City High School Mariachi Cascabel member, Sasha Guerra, recently was selected as the San Antonio 2013 Fall/Winter Magazine Guide Cover Girl. This magazine has a circulation of 100,000 copies in San Antonio which is considered the 7th largest city in the United States. The magazine guide specializes in information on events, dining, shops, theme parks, coupons, attractions and much more. The Alamo City has been hosting the National Mariachi Competition for 18 seasons and the magazine executives thought it was fitting to feature Guerra which captured their attention during the competition.

“It feels amazing to be the face of the magazine and what it represents not only among the mariachi groups but to the whole community. It lets me know that everyone can see what we as a group have accomplished in San Antonio. This is the city where all the great mariachi groups compete for the recognition of the Best High School Mariachi in the nation,” said Guerra.  She has dedicated five years to her craft by playing the violin and lends her voice as an Alto for the group. When Guerra was selected for this honor, she was extremely surprised and says that words could not even begin to describe how she felt.

“We are proud of her for having been selected for the cover of this magazine. It is such a great honor not only for her and her family but also for our school district, community and county,” said Alex Rodriguez, Mariachi Director.

Congratulations to Rio Grande City High School Mariachi Cascabel for having earned three consecutive wins as the National Best High School Mariachi Group at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio and to Sasha Guerra for being selected for the cover of the magazine.

The 19th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza will be held in San Antonio on December 1-8, 2013. The Vocal and group competitions will be December 6th and 7th at the Lila Cockrell Theater. Mariachi Cascabel would like to extend a special thanks to the parents, administration and members of the school board for their continued support. Tradition of Excellence!


Little Champ Earns Championship Buckle

On Monday morning, the smile said it all! And that only meant one thing for San Isidro Elementary 2nd grade student Jeorgina Rivas. Jeorgina won the Championship PeeWee Showmanship Division at the Kingsville Series Prospect Show on September 21, 2013.

“All I wanted to do was win a buckle. And I finally won a buckle!” Jeorgina exclaimed as she proudly displayed her buckle.

In the showmanship portion of the prospect show, the lambs are merely the sideshow and the primary focus is on the person showing the animal. It was very evident to the judges that Jeorgina diligently works with her lamb on a daily basis.


Sheriff Rene Fuentes announces that the Starr County Detention Center passes inspection

The Starr County Detention Center’s annual inspection was held on October 30, 2013 and was certified to be in compliance by The Texas Commission of Jail Standards. The certification is based on an inspection on cleanliness, functionality and review of operational records. “The Certificate of Compliance demonstrates your outstanding leadership and the diligent work of your staff. In addition, this achievement is a direct result of your office’s commitment to excellence and is an example of dedication and professionalism in maintaining a safe, secure and sanitary facility” said Mr. B.Wood-Executive Director for Texas Commission on Jail Standards in a letter addressed to Sheriff Rene Fuentes. Mr. Woods also writes “The citizens of Starr County should be proud of your combined efforts, as is the Texas Commission on Jail Standards”. “This certified rating is a testament to the dedication and pride in the daily assignments by detention officers, maintenance personnel, cooks, infirmary personnel, and all other support staff” said Fuentes. Sheriff Fuentes commends all of the Detention Center staff for a job well done! The Center is under the direction Sheriff Fuentes, Captain Hector Doria and Chief Deputy Guillermo “Willie” Pena.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


Starr County Judge Eloy Vera presents proclamation at Red Ribbon Kick-Off Ceremony

A ceremony to Kick- Off Red Ribbon Week was held at Rio Grande City High School on Monday October 28, 2013. Starr County Judge Eloy Vera presented the student body with a proclamation approved  by The Starr County Commissioners Court declaring October 28 thru November 1 as” Starr County Drug Prevention Week”.  Judge Vera commended the RGCCISD Administration and staff for their diligent work in educating the students in a well-rounded education. Vera praised the students for all of the accomplishments that have been achieved and spoke to them briefly on consequences of using drugs and alcohol. The ceremony began with a welcome by Mr. Adolfo Pena who also complimented the students for the great feats that have been accomplished. The keynote speaker for the event was Coach Carlos A. Longoria who gave a compelling speech that left students mesmerized. The Annual Assembly is geared at educating the students of the dangers of alcohol and drug use and the casualties caused by the drug cartels.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


Veterans Day Ceremony

The Veterans of Foreign Wars-Henry Clay Davis Post held it annual Veterans Day ceremony at the City Cemetery.  This event is held every November 11th at 11:00 a.m. to remember all U.S. soldiers.  Every year this group of soldiers remember comrades with prayer, speeches, flowers and taps. Mr. Noe Olivarez, VFW officer presented the soldiers of the different wars and expressed gratitude for their service.



Rio Grande City 2013 Christmas Parade Marshal

B.A. “Dutch” Piper

Rio Grande City Chief of Police B.A. “Dutch” Piper named Rio Grande City 2013 Christmas Parade Marshal by Rio Grande City Greater Chamber of Commerce at a dinner held in his honor at newly opened Casa De Adobe Restaurant located at 101 N. Avaloso St. in Rio Grande City Texas on November 7, 2013. Chief Piper was presented with a certificate by the Chamber. Present at the dinner were City of RGC Mayor and City Staff, Starr County Judge and Starr County Staff as well as his  respective family and friends.



RGC High Rattlers Dazzle in Homecoming Display

It wasn’t just a typical “win” for the Rio Grande City High School Mighty Rattler Football Team, it was a display of their dazzling might during their homecoming game against Valley View High School. The rattlers brought home the victory 42 to 13.

 “I’m very proud of the kids because they showed us everything they had during the game,” expressed RGC High Head Football Coach Carlos Longoria. “We had a tremendous win earlier in the season against Roma High and that helped us keep up the momentum.”

 Following a review of the game statistics and plays, the coach named #10, Cesar Martinez, as the offensive player of the week. During the game Martinez had four receptions for 72 yards and two touch downs. There were several defensive players of the week including #13, Abel Ortiz, who had eight tackles; #20, Andrew Lopez, with four tackles; and #52, Aaron Reyna, with seven tackles.

 “These gentlemen were stands out this week, but we’ve had stellar performances by the whole team throughout the season,” Longoria commented. “I also have to thank my coaches for dedicating so much time and effort into getting the players ready. I would like to thank the faculty and staff at the high school for ensuring our students are staying up with their studies. I would also like to thank the marching band, cheerleaders, drill team, JROTC and all those directors and coaches because they helped make homecoming especially memorable for us this year.”

 During the game’s half time show, the RGC High School homecoming court was announced.


RGC High player rushes for a touchdown during the school’s 2013-2014 homecoming game.

RGC High School’s 2013-2014 homecoming king and queen are Jose Quintanilla and Lori Ann Martinez.



Dr.   Mario   E.    Ramirez/   Ac2E    Elementary

Diamondback   Kickball    Teams

Congratulations to Dr. Mario E. Ramirez/ Ac2E Elementary Diamondback kickball teams for winning two district Championships along with a third place finish. The 3rd grade Diamondback kickball team put together a four game win streak to claim the Championship, while the 4th graders won all 3 of their games for the 4th grade championship. The 5th grade girls were almost perfect, lost one game and walked away with the 3rd place trophy. We would like to extend our gratitude to all our teachers Administration and our parents for all their support. We are also very proud of all our student athletes and their coaches for a very successful season. Go Diamondbacks!



New Walking Trail Reinforces RGCCISD’s Commitment To A Healthy Community

In late September, RGCCISD’s Dr. Mario E. Ramirez Elementary hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open a new walking trail for use by students and the community at large.

The ceremony, which was led by the school’s Student Council officers, featured special guest Dr. Mario E. Ramirez, who actually cut the ceremonial ribbon.

“It was a great honor to have Dr. Ramirez in attendance because through his life’s work he is such an icon for keeping our community healthy,” expressed Ramirez Elementary School Principal Ricardo Saenz. “For many years, our Superintendent, Roel A. Gonzalez, has focused on promoting health and wellness among our students, faculty and staff and this trail is just another great venue that will make it easier for those in our community to work toward fitness while enjoying the beauty of our beloved Valley.”

 Funding for the trail was made possible through a three-year grant to provide opportunities for community health and wellness. RGCCISD worked in conjunction with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Coalition to plan and execute the project.

 “We have to thank our peers with Texas A&M Agrilife for their commitment to our community,” added Saenz. “We also need to thank our district School Board and administration for their unconditional support of the project, Jorge Falcon and Sixto Flores for their support and coordination, and the district’s Maintenance Department for helping bring the trail from concept to creation. We know trail will positively impact many lives for years to come.”

 The Dr. Mario Ramirez Elementary School Walking Trail will be open to the public from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.


North Grammar Elementary Teacher and Para-Educator of the Month

North Grammar Elementary would like to CONGRATULATE Mrs. Adriana Lopez and Ms. Helen Gonzalez for being named Teacher of the Month and Para-Educator of the Month for the month of September. This monthly award, initiated by Interim Principal, Mr. Jesus Martinez, and Assistant Principal, Mrs. Gloria Alvarez, honors those staff members who demonstrate a high caliber of professionalism and dedication towards our school and students. These ladies were called before the entire staff and student body and presented with a special certificate as well as the use of a special parking spot for the rest of the month. Again, Congratulations! (Pictured L-R, Adriana Lopez, and Helen Gonzalez).



Roma Middle School Volleyball Teams Win District Championships

Roma Middle School 8th grade Volleyball A Team wins back-to-back district championships. This group had a stellar performance going undefeated for two years finishing with a 20-0 record. Pictured (l-r back row) Coach Gina Ramos, Isabella Gonzalez, Diamantina Ramirez, Lesvia Celedon, and Alexia Rios. (front row) Andrea Munoz, Alexa Sanchez, Victoria Moreno, and Marianna Canales.



Roma Middle School 8th Grade Volleyball  B Team had an outstanding year winning back-to-back district championships. Their undefeated seasons earned them a 20-0 record. Pictured (l-r back row) Coach Gina Ramos, Evelyn Barron, Daniela Garza, Karyme Pena, and Daniela Urbano. (front row) Yaritza Teran, Angela Escobar, Rosie Hinojosa, and Natalie Nicole Gonzalez.



Miss Enedelia Rios HESTEC Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Miss Enedelia Rios for being selected as the Hispanic, Engineering, Science, and Technology (HESTEC) Teacher of the Year. She was asked to attend HESTEC Educator Day to receive the award. HESTEC is an event organized by the University of Texas-Pan American to promote science literacy, encourage careers in STEM and to promote higher education among young students.



Ribbon   Cutting   Ceremony      for      Fina’s      Cafe   was    a    huge   success

Mrs. Fina Obregon and her family held a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Fina’s Cafe located on South Britton Avenue in Rio Grande City, TX.  Mrs. Obregon operated Che’s Restaurant located at Historical La Borde for the past 18 years.  The new restaurant is located in Historical Britton Avenue overlooking the Starr County Courthouse.  The Cafe was designed to accommodate larger parties and has a private room that can be booked for special occasions or parties.  Fina and her family would like to invite everyone to the new location where the service is friendly and everyone is treated like family.  The restaurant also has a living area which is suitable for friends to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee and engage in conversation with a breathtaking view of Britton Avenue which is one of the most beautiful and charming Vicinities in Rio Grande City.  The ceremony was attended by many customers who frequented Che’s restaurant regularly, City and County Leaders and friends who came to celebrate with Fina and her family.  The ceremony concluded with a delicious meal and great Mariachi Music.


Second Street Fashions  held their annual  Shop for the Cause Event

On October 3, 2013, Second Street Fashions held its  annual Shop for the Cause Event.  Every year the Perez family chooses one day in October to promote breast cancer awareness and fundraise for the  American Cancer Society.  During the Shop for the Cause, a portion of the day’s proceeds from the Second Street Fashions shop is donated to the Starr County Relay for Life which helps fund local programs for cancer survivors as well as national research aimed at finding a cure for cancer.  This year, with the generous participation from the community, the store raised over $1500.00 for the cause!  Pictured are: Maria Teresa Ramirez, Andrea Salazar, Elia O. Perez (owner of Second Street Fashions), Adriana Perez Salazar, and Ariella Perez.


Roma ISD students audition for All Region Orchestra

Pictured (l-r):  Samantha Mayne, Sheila Mayne, and Victor Mayne

Ramiro Barrera Middle School students and siblings, Sheila and Victor Mayne auditioned for the Middle School All-Region Orchestra.  The auditions were held on the campus of Kennedy Middle School at PSJA ISD on October 12, 2013.We are happy to announce that both Sheila and Victor Mayne received 1st Chair Concertmaster in the violin section. 

Samantha Mayne from Roma High School, auditioned on October 15, 2013 and also made it to the High School All-Region Orchestra in the Violin II section.

These students will be performing in the All-Region Orchestra Concert on November 16, 2013 at the La Joya Performing Arts Center.

Victor and Samantha Mayne are private students of Mr. Efrain Flores and Sheila Mayne is a private student of Efrain Mungia.

Congratulations to these students and to their Roma ISD Orchestra director, Mr. Noé Sánchez.



All Rattler Band Alumni who were in attendance at Friday Night’s Homecoming Game were invited down to the track to join the current band students in a brief but joyful ‘meet and greet’ session.  Approximately 60 Rattler Band Exes gathered for the special occasion, exchanging warm greetings and heartfelt well wishes with past directors and current band members. Each was recognized with a commemorative “Ratter Band Alumni Button”.  Rattler Band Exes from the graduating classes of 1964 thru 2012 were present.

2013 marks ‘the 81st year of music’ for The Rio Grande City High School band program. Mr. Roque Guerra, Jr. began Rio Grande City’s first music program in 1932 and our school and community have been blessed with a rich musical heritage since then.

We are very proud of our band’s tradition of musical excellence and are most grateful for all of the fine directors, past and present who lead and have led our bands to success! The Rattler Band Alumni would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Mighty Marching Rattler Band and their excellent staff for an outstanding Marching Band Season.

Search for us on our facebook group@ RGC Mighty Rattler Band Alumni  and “join the RATTLER band wagon!”


Starr County Fair Sets - Theme/Logo Contest

 The Starr County Fair Association is announcing its annual theme / logo contest for students!  They are now accepting entries for the theme and logo contests for the 2014 fair. Students from 1st through 12th grades who are from Starr County can enter in either (or both) categories.  The basic theme this year will center around a salute to our military.  A winner will be chosen in each category and will receive a $100 cash prize, along with two 3-day passes to the fair.  The entry can have both a theme and a logo incorporated together (and will be competing in both categories) or can be just a theme or just a logo.  We look forward to seeing the creativity of our local students! Please submit entries to, inbox them on facebook to the StarrCounty Fair page (don’t forget to “like” us), or drop them off at the Starr County Extension Office or the law office of Lori Peterson Perez. Entries are due no later than 5 p.m. on Veterans Day, November 11, 2014.


Rio All-Stars Competed In The Annual Cancer Benefit Tournament

On Ocotber 13, 2013 the Rio Allstars competed in the annual cancer benefit tournament in Weslaco, Texas. In the Hoops for Hope Tournament the girls competed against schools from the Valley and Monterrey, NL. The girls placed 1st place all around being honored with medals. The girls are under the training of Edgar Marroquin and Rene Barron and compete all year long through out the Valley and the State. The team members are as follows Sayan De Leon, Britney Lemming, Yareli Alaniz, Jacqueline A. Garcia, Adriana Cruz, Tracy Villarreal, Gaby Reyes, Andrea Barron, Jocelyn Amaya not pictured are Esikeila Garcia and Gina Villarreal.



Orly Solis Awarded the “Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of The Week” Trophy

On October 17, 2013 Mark Payne, General Manager of Rio Grande City Payne Ford awarded the trophy to  Orly Solis, Sr., Running Back for Roma Gladiators during the pep rally. When Weslaco’s Mishak Rivas set the Rio Grande Valley single-game rushing record (431 yards) back in 2007, his performance earned him the Built Ford Tough Player of the Week award. Now that record is history. Orly Solis carried 42 times for a whopping 460 yards and five touchdowns in last week’s 49-20 Gladiator victory over Laredo Cigarroa. And that too earns him the Built Ford Tough weekly honor. Only a year ago, a 140-pound Solis rushed for more than 2,055 yards (25 TDs) and won second-team all-state recognition. Determined to be even better this time around, he added 20 pounds through improved nutrition and endless work in the weight room. That’s not good news for upcoming Gladiators’ opponents, though it’s drawing some attention from college recruiters. A three-time district qualifier in track (long jump, sprints), Orly also owns a 3.28 GPA in the classroom. With all of these accomplishments, he still manages to serve as a volunteer firefighter for the La Rosita Fire Department. “Orly is simply a tremendous athlete with an equally tremendous work ethic,” says Coach Max Habegger, Jr. “His dream is to play football at the FBS level. That’s why he spent so much time and effort adding much needed weight during the off-season. He’s quick, explosive and strong, and those attributes can take you a long way.”



North Grammar Elementary CHEER DIVAS

EVERYBODY CHEER–  North Grammar Elementary proudly presents this year’s cheer squad for 2013-2014. North Grammar Elementary CHEER DIVAS, under the direction of Norma Montalvo, have already performed at several school activities and at other functions throughout the district. This group of young ladies is always ready to energize, motivate, and thrill crowds with every performance. Thank you CHEER DIVAS! You make our school PROUD!



The Mighty Gladiator Marching Band

Congratulations to The Mighty Gladiator Marching Band for their success this year at UIL “Pigskin Jubilee” and all their Pre-UIL Marching Competitions. Pictured above are the drum majors: Jorge Moya, Jose G Garza, and Albert Guerra. They proudly display the bands trophies and awards from this marching season. Good luck to The Mighty Gladiator Band as they prepare for UIL Area G Marching Contest to be held on Saturday, October 26 in Calallen. GOOD LUCK!


Dennis David Gonzalez Announces for Re-Election

On October 10, 2013, Dennis David Gonzalez, Starr County Clerk, announced his bid for re-election. With his family, friends, and supporters present, Dennis kicked off his campaign by stating to the crowd “Today I start my re-election campaign for Starr County Clerk.”

Dennis spoke for approximately twenty-five minutes, where he highlighted his accomplishments while serving as Starr County Clerk. He elaborated on matters such as records management and preservation, digitizing of records, new election equipment for voting, establishing the Election Administrator’s Department, and the creation of the Compliance and Collections Department.

Dennis has continued to work on improving the image and performance of the County Clerk’s office; and in doing so, Dennis

recently remodeled the downtown office. “We added new work stations, along with needed shelving in the office,” he stated. Dennis also spoke about the importance of efficiency in the County Clerk office and the implementation of technology in the office that will improve service by expediting the time spent searching and retrieving documents. An added new feature will be available in December of this year, which will allow the public to go online to obtain the records they need.

Dennis is married to Mary Ann Gonzalez, daughter of Roel and Norma Garza. They have three

children: Daniel, Dana, and Dennis Jr. (D.J.). Dennis is the son of Uvaldo David† and Edna Gonzalez and has a sister, Maricela Gonzalez.

Dennis David Gonzalez, brings experience, knowledge and accountability to the office of Starr County Clerk. Dennis is a member of the County and District Clerk’s Association of Texas, where he served as Director for the Association from 2005-2009. Dennis continues to work hard for the people of Starr County, and would like the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of Starr County.



Okashi Celebrates Grand Opening

Surrounded by friends, family and distinguished guests, the Garza family celebrated the grand opening of “Okashi Sushi Bar & Seafood”  last October 5th. of 2013. Representatives of the Rio Grande chamber of commerce and city personnel assisted to the ribbon cutting ceremony. The City Mayor Mr. Ruben Villarreal wished the best to the owners and said that small business are the backbone of the economy and welcomed Okashi to the local business community. Please visit them Sunday – Thursday at 4761 E. Hwy 83, Ste D. In Rio Grande City from 11a.m. to 10p.m. or Friday – Saturday from 11a.m. to 2 a.m. and indulge in this unique Sushi experience.



Roma High School Mighty Gladiator Marching Band

The only band from South Texas to advance 6 consecutive times to the UIL 4A State Marching Contest. The Roma High School Mighty Gladiator Marching Band was the 2013 4A Champion at: the Valley View Golden Tiger Marching Contest, the PSJA Bear Band Marching Competition, the Donna “Music on the Reservation” Marching Contest, McAllen City of Palms PreUIL Marching Contest, and San Benito Tournament of Champions.They will be attending Pigskin Jubilee on October 19, 2013.



County of Starr Kicks- Off Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign

October is designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Starr County Victims of Domestic Violence Assistance Program headed by Starr County Attorney Mr. Victor Canales and his staff have kicked off this year’s campaign. The Starr County Attorney’s Office Staff have placed silhouettes of victims at different sites in the community in an effort to generate awareness of the crimes against women in the region. The Advocates of Victims of Domestic Violence work diligently to inform the community of the effects of these types of crimes and promote awareness to encourage victims to seek assistance. Starr County Attorney Mr. Victor Canales, Jr. and his assistants, Mrs. Lori Perez Peterson, Mrs. Delia Perez and Mrs.  Ventura Hinojosa invite everyone to attend the two Candlelight Vigils that will take place in October. The first will be held October 16, 2013 at the Roma Community Center in Roma, Texas and the second will take place October 23, 2013 at the Multi-Purpose Center in Fort Ringgold, Rio Grande City.  Both vigils will take place at 6:30 p.m. If additional information is needed you may call the County Attorney’s office at (956) 716-4800 Ext. 8629.  Pictured:  Mrs. Delia Perez and Mrs. Ventura Hinojosa–Starr County Attorney’s Office and Starr County Judge Eloy Vera. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


Mrs. Cleotilde R. Peña Roma Fest Parade Marshal

The City of Roma is proud to introduce this years’ Roma Fest Parade Marshal, Mrs. Cleotilde R. Peña.

Mrs. Cleotilde R. Peña was born in 1934 and was raised in Roma, Texas. She is the daughter of Gilberto Ramirez Sr. and Maria Guadalupe Martinez de Ramirez.

She is a graduate of Roma High School Class of 1953.  She is the wife of the late Amando Peña Sr., a war veteran, public servant, and a charter member of the Roma Chamber of Commerce, Inc. of 1957.

She is the proud mother of Leticia Garza, Iliana Peña, Lilia Muñiz, Amando Peña Jr. and Fernando Peña. She has a total of 15 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Peña has continuously been in business for the past 57 years. She has worked long hours as co-owner and operator of Amando’s Gulf Service Station and Amando’s Wrecker Service. She later became Cosmetic Department Manager of Valley Mart Family Center, Jewelry Department Manager of True Value Home Center, Fashions etc and Casa de Jeans. Currently, she is the Board Chair of eleven (11) entities of Peña Riverview Family Businesses.

Mrs. Peña was an active citizen as she volunteered her time during natural disasters from Hurricane Beulah. She assisted in preparing and notarizing disaster relief application documents free of charge as well as contributing funds, food and other resources to families in need.

Mrs. Peña is the Board Chair of the largest private employer and tax payer in Roma, Texas. She has been, and continues to be an active business leader and a member of the “Growing Roma Project” of the Peña Riverview Family Council.

She is an active member of various community organizations including being one of the Founders of the Roma Catholic Daughters and member of the Pan American Round Table. She is a true pioneer in family, business and the community.


Congratulations Dr. Melanie Denice Silva

Dr. Melanie Denice Silva Graduated from The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio on May 25th 2013 and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

 She is currently working in the State of Tennessee as a pediatric physical therapist for Concentra Physical Therapy.

Melanie is a proud graduate of Rio Grande City High School Class of 2008. She graduated from South Texas College with her Associates of Art in Interdisciplinary Studies in August 2009 Magna Cum Laude with a 3.93 GPA. She continued studying at The University of Texas Pan American and was then accepted to UTHSCSA in the fall of 2010.

Melanie is the daughter of Danny and Monica S. Silva and the sister of Megan Rae and Abel Justin Silva and the granddaughter of Abel and Ramona R. Saenz. We are very proud of you, we love you Mel!!!


Gators Chomp Down On Hidalgo In Homecoming Victory

Grulla High 2013 Homecoming King Heriberto Diaz and Queen Veronica Escott.

Grulla Gators chomp Hidalgo Pirates in homecoming victory.

In a sweeping 33 to 9 victory, the RGCCISD Grulla High School Football team put together a stellar homecoming performance against the Hidalgo High School Pirates.

 “Despite the short week and the buildup to homecoming, as well as the fact that we only had two days of practice, I really liked the way the kids came out, worked hard and we were able to get the win,” said Gator Football Head Coach Abel Gonzalez.

Senior quarterback Reymond “Rey” Penablanca led the team as he passed for 10 completions for 106 yards and three touchdowns. He was also a leading rusher with 14 carries for 123 yards.

 Troy Trillayes had four receptions for 27 yards, and had five carries for 69 yards. Robert Camarillo had two receptions for 20 yards and a touchdown, as well as having nine carries for 90 yards. 

 Also working hard during the game was Nathan Salinas, who had one reception for 20 yards and a touchdown; Noe Vera with two receptions for 29 yards; Joel Villarreal with one reception for five yards that resulted in a touchdown; and Eddie Anzaldua with one carry for 18 yards.

 “In terms of the season so far, the kids have worked hard,” continued Coach Gonzalez. “We have great leaders and its showing in our record. We’ve had a successful season, but the real season begins when we start district play. The kids will continue to try their best and work their hardest. We have to stay focused and take it one week at a time and keep our eyes on the prize for the playoffs.” 

 During halftime, the GHS Homecoming Court was announced with the naming of the Queen, Veronica Escott and King, Heriberto Diaz.


Citizens      State     Bank     Employees       Receive      Fire        Safety   Training      By   The        Roma    Fire       Dept.

ROMA, TEXAS – Employees at Citizens State Bank in Roma received fire safety training on the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013. The training was conducted by Firefighters and volunteers from the Roma Fire Department. Bank employees viewed a video presentation along with a lecture by the firemen on the different types of fires and extinguishers. Afterwards, the bank staff and firefighters went outside the bank for hands on practice in the proper use of fire extinguishers on fires set by the firemen. Citizens State Bank wishes to thank the Roma Fire Department and Asst. Fire Chief Alfredo Garza, firefighters Nereo Garza, Anibal Rodriguez, Bryan Garcia and Volunteers Jose Moreno and Mauricio Morales.

Starr County “Has no Liability and is Not Liable for Any Money”

To Starr County:

 It is my sincere belief, and that of the Commissioners’ Court, that we must keep the citizens of Starr County informed and that we must maintain complete transparency in all county matters.  It is for this reason that I wish to make the following statement.

Fourteen months ago, Starr County Attorney- Mr. Victor Canales, saw fit to terminate Mrs. Hilda Gonzalez Garza’s Employment from his office.  Shortly thereafter Mrs. Gonzalez Garza filed a lawsuit against the

County of Starr, Mr. Canales in his official capacity, and Mr. Canales individually.

About a month ago, the court found it proper to drop Starr County and Mr. Canales (in his official capacity) from the lawsuit, leaving Mr. Canales individually in the lawsuit.

On Tuesday September 25, 2013 the court awarded Mrs. Gonzalez Garza approximately 1.5 million dollars as a result of said lawsuit.  The case can still go to appeal or other options.  However, the

County of Starr has no liability and is not liable for any money since it had already been dropped from the case.

The case is not over, I am not at liberty to give more details, however I can assure you that the taxpayers money is safe and the Commissioners’ Court will continue to protect and be frugal with the money that been entrusted to us.


Your friend

Eloy Vera Starr County Judge


Veterans Middle School Students Named Duke TIP Honorees

RGCCISD Assistant Superintendent Vilma Garza, VMS students and honorees Oscar D. Soto and Armando Pena, with RGCCISD Superintendent Roel A. Gonzalez at the September 2013 RGCCISD School Board Meeting.

Veterans Middle School seventh graders Armando Pena and Oscar D. Soto are making big names for themselves in the academic world. At the September 2013 Board Meeting, both students were honored by the Rio Grande City CISD School Board and administration for their outstanding performance in the Duke University Talent Identification Program’s (Duke TIP) 2013 Seventh Grade Talent Search.

Soto and Pena both took the SAT test, normally taken by upper-level high school students, and their SAT scores qualified them for recognition at the Texas Recognition Ceremony at Trinity University in May 2013. From the state of Texas, 20,669 students participated in the Duke University Talent Search this year and of that number, only 5,546 students qualified for state recognition in Texas.

 “We are very impressed by your performance and we know that this is just the start of many great things in store for you both,” expressed RGCCISD School Board President Basilio D. Villarreal. “You are the future of our community and we look forward to seeing you grow into role models and leaders among your peers.”


Rattler 4H Club Adopt-a-Highway

The original Adopt-a-Highway program began right here in Texas in 1985. Since then, it’s grown into a nationally and internationally recognized litter-prevention effort, saving taxpayers’ dollars and keeping our rights of way clean.

It’s our volunteers who keep this Texas-born program going strong, and your help is needed now more than ever. Participation is simple:

•You adopt a two-mile stretch of highway for a minimum of two years.

•You agree to pick up litter four times per year (more in some areas due to heavy traffic).

•Adopt-a-Highway signs will be posted with your group’s name at your adopted section.

•Adopt-a-Highway will provide your volunteers with safety vests, litterbags and safety training.

•You bask in the glory of claiming a piece of Texas pride.

Rattler 4-H   adopted a highway inside Falcon State Park. With the help and collaboration of all these wonderful people: Jesse Lara, Supervisor, Dago Salinas, Asst. Supervisor and Irma Villarreal office manager of the Texas Dept of Transportation, they  helped complete and process the  paper work and forwarded it to TX DOT in Austin, Texas. “Since the Texas Game Wardens are always protecting the State Parks and Wildlife, I thought it would be nice to have them around the 4-Hers” said Rattler 4H Club Manager Emiliana Guerra. Kudos to the families that took a chance to go out there and clean-up even though it had been raining the night before.  Rattler 4-Hers and their parents are the BEST. Congratulations for their hard work and dedication to “Keeping TEXAS beautiful”.


Starr County Pct. 2 Commissioner Roy Peña assists Roma Resident in building a new home

Commissioner Pct. 2 Raul “Roy” Pena and his staff have been instrumental in assisting with all of the preliminary arrangements for Ms. Ramona Reyna who received a home assistance grant in which a new home will be built for her.  Her current home located on Rachel St in Roma TX was built in a flood prone area and had incurred extensive damage and repairing it would not have been feasible.  Commissioner Pena and his staff are currently providing the demolition to prepare her land for the construction of the new home which will be built taking all of the measures necessary to elevate it so that it will no longer flood in case of rain. “I am very pleased with the work that my staff has provided to ensure that Ms. Reyna’s plans for her new home run smoothly” said Commissioner Pena.  Construction for the home is projected to begin by the later part of September 2013. County of Starr Public Relations Office.


Texas Tropical Trail Region Visits Roma, Texas

The Texas Tropical Trail Region visited Roma Texas on Tuesday September 17, 2013 for its 96th Monthly Partner Event. Visitors from all over the South Texas Region gathered at the Roma Bluffs World Birding Center for welcome and refreshments. The visitors enjoyed a guided walking tour of the Roma Historical District buildings led by historian Noel Benavidez Sr. A complimentary lunch was provided for them at a 19th Century renovated buliding known as Casa del Rio overlooking the Rio Grande River. Their afternoon plans included a guest speaker; Jesus Correa, Starr County Public Relations Officer and author of of book “Theas well as their monthly Tropical Trail Region board and business meeting. For more information on the Texas Traopical Trail please visit



Starr County Fire Fighters receive training in Life Saving Techniques

The training took place in La Casita Fire Department where Starr County Fire Chief Tony Moreno was joined by Air Evac Lifeteam to train personnel from the various Starr County Fire Departments on emergency life saving techniques. The team worked on emergency scenarios utilizing the air ambulance to transport victims to hospitals. Pictured; Carlos Cuellar, Pedro Garcia, Albert Garza, Felipe Ozuna, Jessy Palmer, Juan Ramirez, Santiago Garza, Chief Tony Moreno, Luis Melendez, Isaac Perez, Asst. Chief Pedro Morin, Bryan Villareal, Ben Garza. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


Region One ESC Board of Directors Elects Executive Board Starr County Businessman Named Chairperson

The Region One Education Service Center Board of Directors reorganized its officers for the 2013-2014 school year electing Starr County businessman, Ricardo Gutierrez to serve as Chairperson for the 2013-2014 school year.

Gutierrez holds the Place 2 position representing the public school districts in Jim Hogg, Starr, and Zapata Counties. Gutierrez has served on the Board since 2010.

Other members of the Board of Directors Executive Board include Rubén Cortez, Jr., (Place 5) representing the public school districts of Cameron County who was elected to the Vice-Chairperson position. Cortez has served on the Board of Directors since 2011. Dr. Manuel Gomez, Jr., (Place 6) was elected to serve as Secretary to the Board of Directors; he has served on the Region One Board since 2001 and also represents the public school districts of Cameron County. 

Members of the Region One Board of Directors include Raul Roberto “Bobby” Chapa, Place 7 (Willacy County), Gilbert Enriquez, Place 4 (Hidalgo County), Linda LaMantia, Place 3 (Webb County), Alicia E. Requenez, Place 1 (Hidalgo County), and Crissy Urias, Charter Schools Representative.

Region One Education Service Center serves over 419,000 students and educators in seven counties in south Texas including Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata counties. Region One works to assist school districts in improving student performance, assist districts to operate more efficiently and economically, and implement initiatives assigned by the legislature or the Commissioner of Education. ESC Board members are elected to a three (3) year term by school board members of the 37 school districts within Region One.


RGC High School FFA Officers 2013-2014

Six students from the Rio Grande City High School have been chosen by their peers to help lead and shape the Rio Grande City FFA Organization as FFA officers for 2013-14. As RGC High School FFA officers, it will be our mission to activate change and growth in the FFA Organization. The RGC High School FFA plans to develop strong relationships and seek new ways to strengthen student experiences within FFA. The team will help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.

As an FFA officer, the lives of these six individuals will be non-stop, hard work with never-ending commitments where every moment counts.

 The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 557,318 student members in the 7th - 12th grades who belong to one of 7,498 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

 Congratulations go out to the 2013 - 2014 Rio Grande City FFA Officers. FFA Officers consist of (from left to right) Eloy Cantu - Sentinel, Justin Cody Salinas - Reporter, Hilary Garcia - Treasurer, Mrs. Randy Lee Martin - FFA Advisor, Haulen Garcia - Vice-President, Beto Garza Jr. - President, Jimmy Garza - Secretary.


Mrs. Rosalva Guerra takes the helm as Chief Appraiser for Starr County Appraisal District  

Mrs. Rosalva Guerra was sworn in as Starr County Chief Appraiser by State Representative Ryan Guillen on Tuesday September 3, 2013. Mrs. Rosalva Guerra has worn many hats throughout her Career and Chief Appraiser for Starr County can now be added to her repertoire.  Guerra worked in various capacities in the Zapata Appraisal District for 22 years and ending her long career there as Chief Appraiser. She was elected as the Zapata County Judge in 2007 and she stayed there till the end of her term in 2010.  She brings a wealth of experience to the job which will undoubtedly be an asset for the Appraisal Office. Mrs. Guerra’s job as Chief Appraiser entails the responsibility of appraisal of taxable values of properties, directing all personnel and insuring that data is reported accurately to facilitate proper collections. Mrs. Guerra is married to Mr. Roberto Ruben Guerra and they have five children; Clauidia Villarreal, Odyssa Villarreal, Roberto Ruben III, Kara Guerra and Max Guerra. Mrs. Guerra welcomes county residents who need information on property values to visit the Starr County Appraisal District which is located adjacent to the Starr County Courthouse Annex or call the office at (956) 487-5613. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).

General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary 

On September 7, 2013, General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary library celebrated reading with a special guest, Rocky the dinosaur, who came to give students a special message on the importance of reading.  Students received bookmarks and pencils and enjoyed a read-aloud by the librarian.


First United Methodist Church Recognizes First Responders

Several Starr County First Responders occupied the front pews at the First United Methodist Church on Sunday, September 8, 2013.  In remembrance of 9/11, the church was honored with their presence. The church also used the occasion to express its appreciation to the first responders for what they have done in the past, what they are presently doing, and what they will do in the future to keep Starr County communities and residents safe.  After the church service church members provided a delicious lunch for them. The congregation of the First United Methodist Church expresses its appreciation and gratitude to members Norma Garza, Evangelism Chairperson, and to Becky Falcon, Family Ministries Chairperson, for all their efforts in making this event possible. Pictured on the front row, left to right:  Roel Villarreal, Hernan Garza III, Byron “Dutch” Piper, Juan Guerra, Esmeralda Muniz, Urbano Ramirez, Rolando Gonzalez, George Gonzalez, and Raymond Munsell. Second row: Rodolfo Hinojosa, Erasmo Rios, Jr., Jose Albico, Oziel Garcia, and Jake Rodriguez.


City of Roma Supports South Texas College’s Bond & Maintenance Election


Members of the Roma City Council show their support of STC’s Bond & Maintenance Election (l-r): Councilman Jaime Escobar Jr., Mayor Jose Alfredo Guerra, Jr., STC Chair Rose Benavidez, Councilwoman Mary Lou G. Cruz, STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed, Councilman Roberto A. Salinas, Councilman Jose Edgar Rodriguez Jr. and Councilman Ruben R. Gonzalez.


Support for South Texas College’s (STC) Bond & Maintenance Election continues to grow in Starr County as the City of Roma officially announced its endorsement of the $159 million bond that will provide for the growth and maintenance of the College. Starting with early voting on October 21, Starr and Hidalgo county residents will be able to vote for supporting the bond. Election Day is Tuesday, November 5.

Registration numbers from fall 2012 included 421 traditional students and 219 dual enrollment students from Roma enrolled at STC.  Dual enrollment is a program that allows high school students to simultaneously earn academic college or career and technology credit towards a post- secondary certificate or degree at STC that will also count as credit toward a high school diploma.  STC waives tuition for all students participating in the dual enrollment program.

“The City of Roma has demonstrated great leadership and continues to support the value of investing in Higher Education and South Texas College.  Together with them and our residents we will work hard to secure a dynamic combination of new buildings and programs for Starr County,” stated Rose Benavidez, STC Chair and Starr County Representative.”

Visit South Texas College’s Bond & Maintenance Election website at for more information.


Representing Starr County In The University Of Texas Longhorn Drumline

One of our very own, JAKOV BARRIENTOS, auditioned for the Longhorn Drumline on August 20th, and earned his spot as a tenor with the Longhorn Band. Jakov is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Juan and Araceli Barrientos of Rio Grande City, Texas. Jakov is currently a sophomore at The University of Texas at Austin pursuing a degree in Music Performance. With motivation, extra hours of practice, and determination, Jakov is living his dream and striving to accomplish his goal as a musician . WE ARE EXTREMELY PROUD OF YOU, JAKOV!!


Esco Spa & Salon

Celebrates Grand Opening

Esco Spa & Salon, located on 701 Avasolo Street in Rio Grande City, Texas held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, August 17, 2013. Owners Alberto & Nora Escobedo expressed their excitement and gratitude to all in attendance as the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication granted the opportunity to finally be able to see the doors of Esco’s Spa & Salon open for business. Alberto’s love for the beauty industry comes from a family business, Elvia’s Beauty & Barber Shop. Elvia’s was first open for business by Alberto’s mom, Elvia Escobedo in 1967. Alongside with Alberto, the former staff of Elvia’s and new staff are currently servicing clients at Esco Spa & Salon.  Also joining the staff is Anissa Ramirez, massage therapist and Dr. Jose Vazquez for cosmetic services. Alberto is a Rio Grande City graduate and his extensive educational background including diplomas from the Vidal Sassoon Academy in London, Advanced Barber College and UTPA.  His is also an ABCH MasterColorist and an International educator which helps him provide his clients with a more extensive consultation.

Services being provided at Esco Spa & Salon include Spa treatments & massages, packages with optional sauna, hydro-therapy, facials, microdermabrasion, full body wax, pedicure with massage chair and manicure to mention a few. With Dr. Jose Vasquez on staff, we are now able to offer Botox and Juviderm. Laser hair removal and LipoLaser are two services that will soon be added to our growing list of specialties. The Escobedo family pride themselves in providing premier and state of the art services to all their customers.  Come by Esco Spa & Salon to treat yourself to some well deserved pampering.



Starr   County     Officials   sign    resolution supporting   STC     growth     plans

During the August Meeting of the Starr County Commissioners Court, Dr. Shirley A.  Reed-STC President and Board Members Rose Benavidez and Paul R. Rodriguez presented on the proposals for expansion for the college and addition of courses for future growth at STC Starr County Campus. They plan to add additional Dual Enrollment  and Concurrent Enrollment Courses as well as higher level courses such as  nursing and engineering to their curriculum, therefore providing more opportunities for high school students to receive college certifications and degrees right out of high school and give residents a venue to obtain a degree right here in Starr County.  “These are hard times so providing more educational opportunities is always a good thing for our residents” said Judge Vera. He also indicated that a more prepared person has a better possibility of providing a better life for themselves as well as for their families.  Starr County Commissioners echoed the sentiments of Judge Vera and agreed that STC has had a tremendous impact in the community and commend the efforts of STC administration, teachers, staff and board members for providing venues for a more prepared workforce.  Starr County Officials are always working towards providing residents with options for growth and better living conditions. Having more college campuses accessible in Starr County is a dream come true for all of them.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office)



On August 23 & 24, 2013, Roma Lady Gladiators once again came out victorious after yet another exciting volley ball tournament. The Lady Gladiators defeated Laredo Alexander for the championship title after four tight fought games. Kassandra Kay Rocha was awarded M.V.P. for the tournament. Congratulations Lady Gladiators! Best wishes on the upcoming season.


Stampeding Towards Success!!!

North Grammar Elementary, along with 3,600 schools across the state of Texas, achieved the rating of Met Standard under the state’s accountability system which rates schools according to three potential areas: Top 25 Percent Student Progress, Academic Achievement in Reading/Language Arts, and Academic Achievement in Mathematics. Of those 3600, 759 schools across the state, including approximately 54 schools from the valley, earned designations in all THREE potential areas.  North Grammar Elementary has the distinct honor of ranking among those 759 schools, as well as being the only school in the RGCCISD to achieve such a feat.

North Grammar Elementary would like to THANK Mr. Ricardo Saenz, former principal, for his thirteen years of hard work and dedication to the students of our school. On behalf of Mr. Jesus Martinez, Interim Principal, North Grammar Elementary, CONGRATULATIONS LONGHORNS on yet another JOB WELL DONE!!!


RGCCISD Registration Still Open For 2013/2014 School Year

Director of Bilingual Education and ESL Mike Villarreal (left) helped the Garcia Family complete the registration process early so their daughter is set to learn with RGCCISD during the 2013/2014 school year.


Although the new school year has already started, there is still time to enroll new students and pre-kindergarten students with Rio Grande City CISD. “We encourage parents and guardians to come and bring in the required documents for student registration because the process can be lengthy, especially if your student requires special documentation or testing,” explained Dr. Aracadio Salinas III, RGCCISD interim assistant superintendent for student services and human resources. “We want to ensure that this is a smooth and seamless process, so coming into our office early and bringing proper documents is important.” When enrolling a new student at RGCCISD, parents should visit the Student Services Building located at Fort Ringgold in Rio Grande City. Parents or guardians are encouraged to provide a birth certificate, social security card and immunization record for each student they plan to enroll. Parents or guardians must also provide their own photo ID at time of registration. It is also recommended to bring documents regarding special circumstances including divorce decrees outlining custody arrangements or guardianship papers. The Student Services Office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Service is available to families in both English and Spanish. For additional information or questions call 956-716-6784 or 956-716-6786.



Pink Couture

Celebrates Grand Opening

Pink Couture  located at 2546 Central Palm Dr. Ste110 in Rio Grande City, TX , held a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Owner Elsa Alarcon, expressed “my dream of opening a boutique came true. It has been a project of mine for many years. After alot of hard work and dedication Pink Couture’s Grand opening was a success.” Attending the ceremony were Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal, RGC Greater Chamber, family, friends and members of the community.



Starr County Sheriff and Officers receive commendation

Starr County Sheriff and staff receive commendation from the office of Attorney General Greg Abbot for their participation in “Operation Starr” which was an operation to round up delinquent parents who have failed to pay child support. In a letter dated July 23, 2013, the office acknowledges the efforts by law enforcement personnel who invested many hours of careful planning, which resulted in a successful operation. Sheriff Fuentes and Officers Erasmo Rios, Lizandro Trevino, Chris Saenz, Urbano Ramirez, Rene Garza (Not pictured) and Cindy Ramirez were awarded a certificate which reads “With sincere appreciation for your Outstanding Service to the Child Support Division of the Office of the Attorney General during the Starr County Warrant Roundup.” (Starr County Public Relations Office).


Department of Homeland Security Announces State and Local Preparedness Grant Funding for Starr County

Funds will go to programs that enhance border security cooperation, confront terrorist threats

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced over $107 million in federal funding for state and local preparedness programs for Fiscal Year 2013 for the State of Texas. Of these funds, $1,084,189 are dedicated solely to the County of Starr, an increase of 54% from Fiscal Year 2012.  These funds will provide resources for assessment, response, recovery from acts of terrorism and threats to urban areas, as well as to enhance border security cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico and general emergency preparedness.

“As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee for Homeland Security I want to thank Chairman John Carter

and Ranking Member David Price for working with the Texas Delegation to secure this critical funding. I applaud the Department of Homeland Security for demonstrating once again their commitment to Texas, a state that is key to the national effort to keep our homeland safe and secure,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX28). “I encourage State and local governments to ensure that these funds are used where they are needed most, in the 14 Texas counties that are situated along the Rio Grande River and the border with Mexico.  I urge each border county and city to call Austin and request that the majority of these funds be sent to our border communities, which are on the frontline of security issues that affect the State of

Texas and the rest of the country.”

The awarded funding for Texas breaks down as follows:

Homeland Security Grant Program

·State Homeland Security Program – Texas: $18,650,481

·Urban Areas Security Initiative – Texas: $38,559,207

Operation Stonegarden – Texas: $19,422,318.  St


arr: $1,084,189

·Emergency Management Performance Grants Program – Texas: $18,833,958

·Urban Area Security Initiative Nonprofit Security Grant Program – Texas: $67,960

·Transit Security Grant Program – Texas: $160,000

Port Security Grant Program – Texas: $11,228,503

Transit Security Grant Program – Texas: $160,000


Pct. 1 Commissioner Abel Cantu receives grant for a new fire fighting vehicle

Commissioner Cantu is pleased to announce that La Rosita Fire Department has received a grant of $155K from Texas A & M Forest Service to purchase a new Fire Truck.  Cantu was elated when Fire Chief Martin Galvan announced that the grant had been approved.  Cantu who will have to supplement the grant with 10% of his budget is glad to be able to purchase a new vehicle to protect the residents of Pct. 1.  The truck must meet the requirements mandated by the grant stipulations which also requires for all department personnel to be trained in the proper operation and maintenance of the firefighting vehicle.  La Rosita Fire Department currently employs eight (8) full time firefighters, one fire chief and about ten volunteer firemen.  The department has struggled to maintain its vehicles operational and this new vehicle will be a great asset for them.  La Rosita Fire Department under the direction of Chief Martin Galvan has also received various grants which have aided the department to provide training for the staff.  Commissioner Cantu who has been in office for a little over half a year and Chief Galvan have been working towards applying for grants and gathering information to acquire additional funds  for much needed equipment and training. (Pictured Fire Chief Galvan and Commissioner Cantu).  (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


Rio Grande City CISD Welcomes New Teachers

Rio Grande City CISD holds New Teacher Orientation Breakfast for all new teachers on Thursday, August 15, 2013. This year’s theme RGCCISD Teachers are Superheroes was a big hit with all the educators. The district’s Superintendent, Roel A. Gonzalez, welcomed the new teachers and challenged them to fly with him like superheroes for the wonderful kids in the district. The Rio Grande City CISD welcomes all the new superheroes to the district and wishes them a fantastic year.

Rio Grande City CISD District Teachers of the Year

Rio Grande City CISD District Teachers of the Year were recently recognized during a Region One ESC District Teacher of the Banquet. District Elementary Teacher of the Year Belinda Nunez Pena and District Secondary Teacher of the Year Juan Andrade were both in attendance. Region One ESC recognized teachers within the region for the hard work and dedication. All of the honorees received a golden apple for being selected as District Teachers of the Year. Congratulations to Belinda Nunez Pena and Juan Andrade for their accomplishments!




 Starr County Commissioners’ Court Supports STC’s Bond & Maintenance Election


Rose Benavidez and Commissioners: (left to right) Precinct 2 Commissioner Raul Peña Jr., Precinct 1 Commissioner Abel Cantu, STC Board Chair Rose Benavidez, Precinct 3 Commissioner Eloy Garza, Judge Eloy Vera and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ruben D. Saenz support STC’s Bond & Maintenance Election.




On Monday, August 12, the Starr County Commissioners’ Court unanimously voted to support South Texas College’s upcoming Bond & Maintenance Election. Starting with early voting on October 21, Starr and Hidalgo county residents will be able to vote for supporting the $159 million bond which will provide for the growth and maintenance of STC. Election Day is Tuesday, November 5.

Construction projects planned for Starr County will nearly double the size of the current campus and significantly increase program offerings. Development will include but is not limited to a health professions and science building with classrooms and labs to offer nursing and allied health programs, expanded technical workforce training facilities for high-wage, high-demand employment opportunities, a new library and renovation of the existing library area into a Cultural Arts Center, expansion of facilities for direct services to students and expanded space for student activities.

 “We are very pleased that the County of Starr leadership continues to support Higher Education and recognizes the value it brings to our community. We strive to provide the best service to our residents and will need their help to bring a dynamic combination of new buildings and programs to Starr County that are designed to ensure we become leaders in innovation and success,” stated Rose Benavidez, STC Chair and Starr County Representative.

Two propositions will be on the ballot consisting of the following

Prop. 1: The issuance of $159,028,940 in bonds for construction and equipping of college buildings.  This will cost an additional ½ cent in the tax rate and will be used for a 20 year debt payment on the construction bonds.

Prop. 2: An additional 3 cents maximum increase in the tax rate for the maintenance and operation of the college to accommodate increased student enrolment and expanded facilities.

In total, tax payers will be asked to approve an additional 3 and ½ cents increase to the tax rate per assessed valuation.  For example, if the value of a taxable property is $50,000, the additional tax per year would amount to $1.46 per month or $17.50 per year.  It is important to note that Senior Citizens (65 years of age or older) and the Disabled who have filed the proper tax exemptions will be exempt from the property tax increase as a result of this election.

“Starr County residents and county leadership have an unwavering commitment to providing expanded opportunities for access to higher education and workforce training. I applaud their commitment and realization that the path out of poverty is a job, and a job requires appropriate preparation. South Texas College serves to improve the prosperity and quality of life for the region,” said Dr. Shirley Reed, President of STC.

Visit South Texas College’s dedicated Bond & Maintenance Election website at for more information.


Three RHS Students Receive Lone Star FFA Degrees

Rio Grande City FFA members who received their Lone Star FFA Degree: From left to right Billy R. Melton, Hilary R. Garcia, Elijah H. Lopez and RGC FFA Advisor Mrs. Randy L. Martin.




The Rio Grande City FFA had three students who worked tirelessly to receive their Lone Star FFA Degrees at the 85th annual Texas FFA State Convention held July 8th - 12th. The Lone Star FFA Degree is the highest degree bestowed by the Texas FFA.

The Lone Star FFA Degree recognizes FFA members who have received the Chapter degree, been active FFA members for at least two years, completed at least four semesters of agricultural science at or above the ninth grade level, maintain a supervised agriculture experience (SAE) program, demonstrate their leadership skills and show a commitment to the FFA through involvement at the chapter level and above.

The 85th annual Texas FFA State Convention recorded more than 11,000 members and guests. Members of the agricultural youth leadership organization spent the week attending leadership workshops, participating in events and activities, being recognized for their achievements and serving as the legislative body for the Texas FFA Association.

The Texas FFA has evolved from an organization focusing primarily on production agriculture, to a broader-based encompassing organization that addresses the needs and interests of students in urban and suburban schools in addition to lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

 The Texas FFA is the nation’s largest state FFA association with a membership of more than 95,000 members and 1,000 local FFA chapters. FFA gives students the opportunity to apply practical classroom knowledge to real world experiences through local, state and national competitions.


Team Rio Wins 4 Championship Basketball Tournaments

Congradulations to Team Rio JV Basketball players that set aside their summer to participate in this summer of basketball tournaments. This Summer Team Rio won 4 championship tournaments in Weslaco, Mission, Hidalgo, and Harlingen. they also Played a total of 13 tournaments  46 games. These kids are gearing up to show their talents in this year up coming Rio Grande City 2013-14 basketball Season. Picture above bottom row left to right is Manny Soto, Ivan Garcia, Mario Saenz, Andrew Moreno, Top row Coach Dave “Chachi” Jones, Alex Castaneda, Joel Alaniz, Jose Pulido, Jacob Canales, Victor Saenz, Derek Jones, Coach Javier Alaniz. Not Pictured Jaime Hinojosa, Estevan Sepulveda, Anniel Garcia, and Daniel Garza. Follow us at



Ms. Leticia Garcia-Veterans Service Officer Attends Training

Ms. Leticia Garcia-Starr County Veterans Service Officer attended a training conference in San Antonio, TX. Ms. Garcia attended sessions to obtain information on Veterans Laws, Claims Compensation, Legislative Updates, Pensions, Death Benefits and much more. The Veterans Service Office located at the Starr County Courthouse is open daily Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. to serve all veterans.  Ms. Garcia has been receiving training that will help her assist Veterans in filling requests, and other pertinent information on Veterans Affairs. The Veterans Service Office is a service provided for all Veterans by the County of Starr to insure that all Veterans needs are met. For additional information you may call Ms. Garcia at (956) 716-4800. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


Smile & Shine To Provide Additional Services To Its Patients

Keeping its tradition of providing unmatched customer service and quality dental treatment to its patients,Smile & Shine is now providing additional services for the benefit of its patients. Smile & Shine caters to the needs of Adults as well as children of all age groups. Their group of  doctors consist of general dentists as well as specialist for little children (pediatric dentist). Recently they added the services of Sedation and General Anaesthesia to their office. As per Dr. Nanva the office and its staff is now able to provide state of the art services in Rio Grande City itself and patients will immensely benefit from these services. Another addition is Cosmetic dental procedures and  in office teeth whitening. As per their commitment to improve the oral health of our community ,the dedicated staff at Smile & Shine is always trying to educate patients and their parents for the prevention of dental caries and other oral diseases. For any further questions please contact Smile & Shine at 956-263-1222


Selina Saenz-Nanna Graduates as  a  Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

On May 26, 2013 Selina Saenz -Nanna graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center receiving her Masters of Science in Nursing - Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She is currently employed by Christus Home Care in San Antonio. Selina received her BA in Biology from Saint Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. She continued her education and received her BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Selina is a 2001 graduate of Rio Grande City High School and was a proud member of the mighty Rattler Band. Selina is the daughter of Ismael and Maria Saenz of Rio Grande City.  Congratulations Selina we are proud of you, love Mom, Dad, Grandma Cantu, Tio Pepe, Danny, Carmen and Devon.


RGCCISD FFA Program gets New Trucks to Transport Animal Projects

Starr County students enrolled in the R.G.C.C.I.S.D. FFA program (Future Farmers of America) under the CTE program will be delighted to hear that as the association celebrates its 65th year, the RGCCISD, CTE program director and school board has recently purchased (2) F-350 loaded trucks with silver Feather-lite trailers designed by Mrs. Randy Martin. One blue and one red to compliment their respective high school colors. The trucks will be utilized by the high school campuses’ agriculture teachers to endure, promote and transport the students animal projects to valley and state competitions and marketing conferences. Both the FFA and the CTE promote a strong constituency and the administration  is looking forward to a  strong “Ag” program to contribute to the showcase for the upcoming  Starr County Youth Fair. Pictured l to r are: Beatriz Barrera, Martha Barrera, Adelina Villarreal (CTE Director), Basilio D. Villarreal,Jr. (Board President), Salvador Hernandez, and Juan Garcia (Transportation Director).



Valedictorian of Rio Grande City High School, Amanda Guerra, was invited to the Capitol on July 12, 2013 by Representative Ryan Guillen (D-31) for the “Future Leaders of South Texas Luncheon” celebrating the top students from the district. Amanda was presented with a House Resolution honoring her academic achievements and a House of Representatives Certificate recognizing her as a future leader. Representative Guillen had this to say, “Having the chance to host these promising scholars in the Capitol was an honor and a privilege. Amanda is a talented young woman, I look forward to seeing her lead South Texas into a brighter future.”



 Operation Lone Star 2013 was held at Ringgold Middle School in Rio Grande City the week of July 29 – Aug 2, 2013

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and Sheriff Rene Fuentes who were among the sponsors of Operation Lone Star 2013 visited Ringgold Middle School to meet with organizers and volunteers to express their gratitude for their services. The operation which is spearheaded by State Representative Ryan Guillen, State Health and Human Services, Texas Military Servies, County Health Services and other local and state entities is an operation to bring medical services to under-served communities along the Texas Border. The operation also serves to prepare all of the above entities in cases of disasters or medical emergencies. Services provided free of charge to participants included medical exams, immunizations, vision tests, hearing tests, mental health services, sport physicals, diabetic screening and much more. This operation also serves to disseminate information on other health related issues and resources available to the community. Judge Vera and Sheriff Fuentes would like to thank all of the volunteers and organizers who made this operation a great success. Pictured Sheriff Rene Fuentes, Ms. Angela Solis-Office of State Representative Ryan Guillen, Ms. Natalia Boutwell-Deputy Incidence Commander with DSHS, Mrs. Hilda Guerra-U.T. Health Services and Judge Eloy Vera. (County of Starr Public Relations Office)




Dillon Bartlett McGuffin Wins Gold at  TAAF State Competition

In early July, Dillon participated and competed with the AUU (Amateur Athletic Union), a National Qualifier in Converse, Texas, he earned 2 silver medals in shot put and discus and was invited to participate in Junior Olympics held in Detroit, Michigan. He is currently a member of TAAF (Texas Amateur Athletic Federation) with Rio Grande City’s RIO Track. Under the direction of Pat Saenz and Jesse Salinas, Dillon won Regional Gold medal for shot put and discus. He qualified to participate at TAAF Summer Games competition in Corpus Christi July 26, 2013. He won 2 gold medals in both shot put and discus. There were over 40 participants: it was the best in the state competition. Dillon is scheduled to compete in the 2015 State Games of America in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Son of Mr.  & Mrs. Patrick McGuffin, Dillon is a 14 year old incoming freshman at Rio Grande City High School representing Rio Grande City. He was the 2nd highest ranking student in 8th grade, elected student council president, voted best all-round student and best athlete by his peers, and achieved commended status in all tested areas in STARR test. Dillon has always been very athletic,

participating in all sports during his middle school years at VMS: Football, Basketball, Golf, Track and Little League baseball. He is passionate about competing in shot put. He prevailed at Regional’s in shot put, advanced to state under TAAF Summer Games and won the Gold Medal. Continuing with constant practicing, Dillon became District champ and won in both shot put and discus throughout the school district’s track meets and summer track competitions all over the Rio Grande Valley.  

Dillon has tremendous faith and believes in giving more than 100% to everything that he does. He would like to acknowledge Mrs. Maricela Garcia, Principal at Veterans Middle School for continuously instilling the idea that: “You are simply the best!” He thinks about this phrase every time he is going to compete and believes it has gotten him through a lot.

His goals are to continue to strive in all his high school classes and practicing hard for track and field events, ultimately being the best that he can be.

A special thanks to Rio High School coach E. Bermudez and Cecilio Navarro RGV Throwers for their constant support and believing in him.




RGC High Mighty Rattler Band Shows Off New Uniforms, Thanks Board

Members of the Rio Grande City High School Mighty Rattler Band attended a recent RGCCISD School Board Meeting to make some noise. They thanked the board, and school and district administrators, for working to find the funds to provide students with new band uniforms for the 2013-2014 school year.

“We want to show you our sincere appreciation for your support in securing the funding for these uniforms,” said Alfredo Prado, drum major. “Thank you for the selfless job you do for our district. We know it wasn’t easy to find this extra money, but we will do everything in our power to make you proud of our performances in the coming years. We will wear these uniforms with pride as they build on the tradition of excellence we have worked to create.” 

“In band students don’t just learn to play and instrument,” said RGC High Band Director Rudy Barrera. “We teach crucial skills like the pursuit of excellence, attention to detail and teamwork that are essential to success in life. So, this is not just an investment in the band for the short term, this is an investment in our students’ future as productive citizens.”

“We know that the performances you put together require a lot of hard work and we have seen how much you have accomplished. That’s why the decision to purchase these uniforms was an easy one for the board and administration,” commented Board President Basilio D. Villarreal. “You students look so sharp and we wish you the best of luck as you continue your work, but we know you don’t need luck with all your pure talent and a great staff guiding you.”


Jeorge Velasquez has accepted a scholarship to attend Lindenwood University

Rio Grande City High School’s outstanding student, Jeorge Velasquez, has accepted a scholarship to attend Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. Lindenwood is a four year liberal arts institution and participates in NCCA-Division II. “We are very happy to have a talented student like Jeorge who has earned every right to attend Lindenwood due to his determination to continue his education,” said Ben Lopez, Lindenwood Admission Counselor.  He continues by wishing him the very best in in his next journey in his life.


Starr County’s first Alternative Energy Project being planned

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and Starr County Commissioners approved the creation of a Reinvestment Zone and are working to develop an alternative energy project in Starr County.  During a scheduled Commissioners Court Meeting on July 26, an abatement was approved allowing DEGS Wind I, LLC to move a step closer to finalizing the development.  Judge Eloy Vera stated that they are working diligently to create a business friendly environment in order to attract more industry and ensure growth in the community.  The project is expected bring about $460 million of investment and create hundreds of jobs during its construction phase which will have a vital impact on our local economy.  Pictured; Commissioner Pct. 2- Raul “Roy” Pena, Commissioner Pct. 1- Abel Cantu, Miss Rose Benavidez- President, Industrial Foundation, Commissioner Pct. 3- Eloy Garza, Judge Eloy Vera, Commissioner Pct. 4-Ruben D. Saenz and Representatives from DEGS Wind I, LLC and Duke Energy.   For more information please contact the Starr County Industrial Foundation at 956.487.2709. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


Starr County 911 Specialist  Ramiro Sarabia Receives Recognition

Ramiro Sarabia 911 Specialist receives recognition from the City of Laredo Regional Administration Office for his work and dedication in updating Starr County’s Database. Ramiro heads the Office of Starr County Rural Community Addressing System (911) and works diligently to update all information necessary to bring all of the rural area homes updated with a physical address. He is also the contact person to issue addresses for new homes.  For additional information you may contact Mr. Sarabia at (956) 716-4800 or visit his office situated at the Starr County Courthouse Annex. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).



Grulla Summer Track 20 State Qualifiers 13

These athletes competed in the State Meet at Corpus Christi, TX. Top Row: Merary Garza, Stephanie Hasbun, Karina Cantu, Larissa Martinez, Emily Cahue, Edith Hasbun, Rolando Ramirez, Eveline Saenz. Bottom Row: Dewitt Jones, Abigail Flores, Naitssa Ramirez, Maysie Cantu, Ailyn Saenz. Coaches: Jayne Gomez, Yadira Lopez, Enedelia Rios, Kassandra Ramirez. Sponsors: Anabel Tax Refund, Heritage Development, Super Starr Storage, State Farm(La Joya). Special thanks to all sponsors, coaches, and our community of Starr County for their Annual support toward our athletes.



Marcos F. Lujano placed 3rd at the Marble Falls, Tx. Triathlon 2013

On July 21, 2013 in a field of 400 participants, Marcos F. Lujano (19yr.) from Roma, as a member of the The Incarnate Word University triathlon team placed 3rd in the 20-24 yr. old age group with a time of 2:45.37. Parents and Team mates are very proud of Marcos first triathlon participation.


Roma AAU Swimmers Qualify For Junior Olympic Games

Roma’s AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) swimming team coached by Calvin Snyder, Anna Snyder, Ray Castillo, and Silviano Moreno has qualified and will attend the Junior Olympic Games to be held in Detroit, Michigan from July 26 – 29, 2013. Additionally, 19 members of the team will also attend an event at the University of Michigan’s Canham Natatorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Swimmers pictured are Omar Barrera, Sergio Barrera, Marianna Canales, Rebecca Canales, Robin Castillo, Litzy Contreras, Isidro García, Isabella González, Alonso Guerra, Paola Guerra, Max Maldonado, AnaMariella Pérez, Daniella Pérez, Gabriella Pérez, Ediel Ramos, Estevan Ramos, Abby Rodríguez, Elí Rodríguez, Jasmin Rodríguez, Jesús Rodríguez, Amador Saldaña, Briseida Saldaña, Ahren Treviño, and Leanza Treviño.



Grulla High School Varsity Cheerleading Squad Go To The National Cheerleading Association Camp

The Grulla High School Varsity Cheerleading Squad recently raised $7,000.00 to go to the National Cheerleading Association camp in Dallas, Texas June 18-23rd. The girls had a lot of fun getting to compete in numerous competitions, as well as associate with other high school squads from around the nation. For individual awards, there were 5 girls from the squad that were nominated All American by the NCA Staff: Junior’s Sarah Ramos, Kennia Teran, and Melissa Garza, Sophomore Jennifer Lopez, Freshman Giselle Garza. Our Mighty Gator mascot Madeline Silguero was nominated All American Mascot as well.

The Team won a National Championship Bid, Coach’s Award, Stunt Safe Award, 18 superior blue ribbons (first place), and 2 excellent red ribbons (second place). The Grulla Varsity squad won a few major awards: NCA Herkie Team Award ( an award for a team at camp that has shown the best unity, teamwork, and spirit as a squad voted by all NCA Staff). Also, they were the only squad at camp to be a three time spirit stick winner. The squad received a trophy for most overall improved team amongst all  at camp.

Lastly, they competed in the champion chant competition against every squad at camp. There was fierce competition but our Mighty Varsity Squad came out on top with a first place trophy! Our Mighty Gator mascot not only won the leadership award at camp, but also 3 superior blue ribbons (first place), and two excellent red ribbons (second place). The girls were excited to bring home these accomplishments to their school and to share amongst all students. The squad and coach would like to thank the community for coming together and helping these girls create a once and a lifetime opportunity. 

Lead by Captain Junior Monique Garza and Co-Captain Sophomore Jennifer Lopez the squad is made of Senior: Claudia Torres; Juniors: Kennia Teran, Sarah Ramos, Melissa Garza, Itzi Rodriguez, Denise Morin, Destiny Flores, and (Mascot) Madeline Silguero; Freshmen: Elise Solis, Joanna Villarreal, Giselle Garza, Gavrielle Gonzales, Paola Reyes, Kayla Montalvo, and Alejandra Alonso. Coached by Rachel Sims


Pvt. Noel Garcia Completes Basic Training At Fort Leonard Wood Mo.

Pvt. Noel Garcia just completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood MO. He is off to Arizona to start his new ARMY life. He is the son of Celinda /Oscar Castillo & Noel Garcia Jr. The grandson of Noel/Veronica Garcia & Odilia Alvarez and the big brother of Julian & Sebastian. We are all extremely proud of you. Stay strong and stay safe. 



Leticia Aide Guadalupe Garza-Galvan

I am honored to be the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Rising Star. The trajectory of this Rising Star hasn’t been a solitary one. I have been supported and helped by many here … and by many other “stars” already in heaven – my only brother Heraldo Jr., my first husband Julio Cesar Rosa and my grandfather, Amando Pena Sr., in particular.

I am a tenth-generation Roma–Los Saenz resident.

I was born at at 12:12 pm on December 12, 1980, on El Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe who has always been a significant source of strength and guidance to me. I have been a life-long member of Our Lady of Refuge Church and have taught CCE and First Holy Communion classes for the past 7 years.

I was the 3rd child born to Heraldo Garza, Sr. and Leticia Pena Garza. I am the grand-daughter of the late Amando Pena, Sr. and Clotilde Ramirez Pena and Jose Thelmo Garza and the late Angelica Garza Garza. They instilled in me the importance of family values as well as the value of hard work and dedication. Some of my earliest memories are of working in the family business – Riverview Family Center – standing on milk crates to be able to reach the cash register.

My family believed in the importance of education. I began my early childhood studies at Bethel Christian School, then attended Roma ISD from 1st grade until graduation in 1999. I excelled in all subjects as well as athletics and graduated in the top 10 percent of my class.

I was also active in student government, from being 6th-grade class secretary to being class president in the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades. I was nominated and inducted into the National Honors Society as a freshman. I attended STCC immediately after graduating high school and then transferred and commuted every day to the University of Texas-Pan American until completing my B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May 2003.

Immediately upon graduating, I entered the very competitive Master’s Program at UTPA. While working full time, commuting to Edinburg and raising a young son at home, I earned my Master’s Degree in December 2004. In January 2005, I became a certified Speech Language Pathologist. After completing my internship, I became a Fellow of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).

Family support, hard work and education provided a strong foundation for my professional career and helped me overcome the pain of becoming a widow while eight months pregnant with my second child.

 I was hired by Roma ISD as a Speech Language Pathologist and contracted my professional services to most rehabilitation facilities in Starr and Hidalgo counties. I saw a need in our community for a quality pediatric speech therapy facility. I began researching the possibilities and with the support of my family, friends and the local community, I fulfilled my lifelong dream of having my own business – Bright Star Therapy, PLLC.

We have become one of the most well-known and reputable pediatric rehabilitation facilities in all of Starr County. Bright Star Therapy and its employees are always visible at volunteer community functions, events and healthcare awareness forums. We also award over 20 scholarships each year to Starr County schools and donate to numerous entities including religious congregations, athletic organizations, health events and schools. I am a member of both TSHA (Texas Speech/Language Hearing Association) and APA (Advocates for Patient Access.)

I was also honored in December 2011 at the age of 31 to be appointed as Roma ISD’s newest Board of Trustees member – one of the youngest in Roma ISD history. I intend to continue to serve our community as a member of the School Board and will run alongside some extremely competent and dedicated members of our community in the November elections.

The “stars” have aligned – Starr County, Bright Star Therapy and now your Rising Star!

Synonyms to describe a Rising Star include VIP, achiever, catalyst, doer, dynamo, enterprising person, entrepreneur, generator, go-getter, leader, lightning rod, person of influence, mover, palpable presence, pathfinder, producer and trailblazer.

I would like to add two more to complete who I really am – wife and mother. My husband Ramon Galvan Jr. and I are parents to a blended family of five children – Heraldo Jesus, Victoria Isabelle Rosa, Ronika Faye and Robert Ivan Galvan and Ramon Galvan III. They manage to keep this Rising Star firmly grounded!


Rio Rehab Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Rio Rehab located at 5346 E. US HWY 83, Ste. 2, Bldg. A, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this past Friday. Owners Ediel, Barrera, Veronica Barrera, and Griselda Trevino expressed their excitement as the culmination of years of hard work and dedication yielded an opportunity to come back to their community and open their own business.  The three pride themselves in providing premier and state of the art rehabilitation services to Starr County residents. Attending the ceremony were Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal, Starr County Industrial Foundation President Rose Benavidez, RGC Greater Chamber, clients, family, friends and members of the community.  The event served as a ceremonial grand opening of the establishment and included honorary guests Gilberto Falcon and Alexander Barrera presiding over the cutting of the ribbon. The clinic offers rehabilitation services for children and adults. For a list of their services or more information please visit them or call 956.317.1285.



Andrew Eloy Vera was invited to attend National Young Scholars Program in Denver Colorado

Pictured Back Row; Mrs. Yvonne Vera, Mrs. Jessica Vera-Rios, Katherine Vera, Mrs. Peggy Vera, Mr. Eloy Vera Jr., Judge Eloy Vera.  Front Row; Cadence Vera and Andrew Eloy Vera.


 Andrew Eloy Vera a 4th Grade student at F.J. Scott Elementary School in Roma, TX was invited to participate in the National Young Scholars Program (NYSP) in Denver Colorado. Andrew  will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on interactive learning, while being challenged  in an intellectually stimulating environment outside of the regular classroom.  The program is designed to provide an array of course studies designed to provide high achieving elementary school students with the tools to gain insights into career pathways of their choice according to Dr. Marguerite C. Regan, Dean of Academic Affairs for the Program.  Students are able to choose a specific area of study such as engineering, forensic science, or medicine.  In addition to these Discovery Strands, all students participate in a Leadership Stand.  Throughout the Program, young scholars engage in challenging course work and gain a greater sense of independence by experiencing a renaissance of learning.  The program culminates with student-created projects tying leadership skills to the discoveries made in their specific area of study.  Andrew will embark on a fascinating journey in the human body and solving a “whodunit” through work in a model forensics lab.  The innovative curriculum encourages the scholars to develop leadership skills through interaction and teamwork allowing the students to learn the concepts in team building, problem solving, public speaking and goal setting. “NYSP taps into the natural curiosity that students at this young age already have,” said Dr. Regan. “This program will help them continue down a path toward a lifelong love of learning.”  Andrew is the son of Peggy and Eloy Vera, Jr. and the grandson of Judge Eloy and Yvonne Vera of Rio Grande City and Saul and Norma Gonzalez of Roma, TX. Andrew’s parents and his two sisters Katherine and Cadence will join him in Colorado in which will undoubtedly be a journey of a lifetime.  Andrew will begin his 5th grade in the fall with a greater understanding of career choices and the marvels that education can provide.

Roma Junior All Stars District 24 Champs, Back to Back

Roma Junior All Stars district 24 Champs, proud to name all players Andrae Barrera, Alex Garza, Alex Mascorro, Jon Michael Robinson, Jesus Zapata, Eduardo Garza, Andy Maroquin, Noberto Ibarra, Abraham Salinas, Felix Gomez, Jose Luis Barron, Jesse Guerra,  Angel Gomez, Head Coach Ariel Barrera, assistant Noe Marroquin. We are very proud of our players, coaches and parents for their support. We would like to thank Mayor Freddy Guerra and commissioners, Parks and Recreations for financial support, and sponsors for their support for Roma Little League. On behalf  of our Roma Little League Board Members congratulations.



Retired School Employees Receive Annuity Increase

Cause to Celebrate: Pictured above are three members of the Starr County Retired School Employees Association, (SCRSEA), who were involved in promoting Senate Bill 1458 to members of the Texas Legislature. Left to Right: Ruben Saenz, Member of the TRTA Legislative Committee and Chair of the TRTA District 1 Legislative Committee, Romeo Lopez, Chair of the SCRSEA Legislative Committee, and Enrique Gonzalez, President, of the SCRSEA.

 Nearly 200,000 Texas retired school employees will receive an annuity increase thanks to Senate Bill 1458 (SB 1458) the “TRS Actuarial Soundness Bill” passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature. SB 1458 will become effective on September 1, 2013 and will provide a 3% cost-of-living increase to retirees who retired as of August 31, 2004 or before. The annuity increase is capped at $100 per month.  SB 1458 also increases the state contribution to the Teachers Retirement System

of Texas (TRS) to its highest level since 1995, bringing it to 6.8% in both 2014 and 2015. This places the state contribution to TRS at approximately $1.6 Billion for each of the next two years. The active teacher contribution will increase over time, remaining at 6.4% in 2014, rising to 6.7% in 2015, then to 7.2% in 2016 and finally capping at 7.7% in 2017. Retirees should expect to receive their annuity increases beginning this fall.

In addition, SB 1458 also requires, for the first time, that school districts contribute 1.5% to the TRS beginning in 2015.  This would be 1.5% of the total amount of yearly salaries paid to their employees. Texas school districts will contribute an estimated $280 Million per year to the TRS.

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas, with a currently estimated fund balance of $117 Billion, is recognized as one of the soundest retirement systems in the entire United States. The

new added contributions by the state, active teachers and school districts will ensure that the TRS will remain actuarially sound for generations to come. To be actuarially sound the TRS should have sufficient funds on hand to be able to pay all its obligations to present and future retirees for 33 years into the future.

Numerous members of the Starr County Retired School Employees Association were in constant communication with Senator Judith Zaffirini and Representative Ryan Guillen concerning SB 1458 during the just concluded session of the 83rd Texas Legislature. The Starr County Retired School Employees Association expresses its appreciation to Senator Zaffirini and Representative Guillen for their strong support

for SB 1458.

Texas retired school employees, through the annuities received from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, play a significant factor in the economy of Texas. According to the TRS, in 2011 annuity payment benefits paid to all retirees in Texas totaled $6.7 Billion. The amount of annuity payment benefits received by Starr County retirees totaled $15.1 Million in 2011.

Besides having an impact in the economies of their respective communities, a great number of Texas retired school personnel continue serving their communities by active voluntarism in civic, service, religious, charitable and educational organizations. Over 80,000 retirees are members of the Texas Retired Teachers

Association (TRTA), the only association in Texas that represents the interest of retired school personnel.  The TRTA members played a significant role in advocating the passage of SB 1458. The TRTA counts with 250 local units throughout Texas. The Starr County Retired School Employees Association is proud to be one of those units.

The TRTA will continue to advocate for a cost of living increase for all retirees, including those who retired after August 1, 2004, as well as for increased state contributions to the Health Care Program of retirees.

By: Ruben Saenz

Member of TRTA Legislative Committee

TRTA District 1 Legislative Chair


AEP Makes $6K Donation to RGC High Robotics Team

The Rio Grande City High School Robotics Team is going to have a little extra cash in the bank to help fund them in a special robotics competition next year thanks to a very generous donation from AEP.

“We are supporting the RGC High School Robotics Team with a $6,000 donation from the AEP Foundation because we are focused on developing young engineering talent and supporting all the STEM study areas; it’s very important to our industry to develop that talent,” said Lee Jones, community affairs manager for AEP Texas. “This year we are sponsoring six teams in the Valley and RGC High is one of them. What all the schools are doing is very impressive and we wish the team the best of luck next year at the competition.”

The team, which is mentored by RGC High’s Robotics and Pre-Engineering Teacher Delfino Garza, has already competed in several competitions, including winning UTPA’s HESTEC Competition SeaPerch Challenge in the fall 2012 semester. Now they hope to take home the gold at the prestigious FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition during the 2013-2014 academic year.

 “The students performed well at the FIRST competition last year with our Frisbee-throwing robot, but they know they can do better and with more money to work with, they will be able to improve their design and function of the robot for next year’s challenge, whatever it may be,” explained Garza.

The annual competition, which touts itself as “the varsity sport for the mind,” brings together high school teams from across North America, including Canada, the United States and Mexico, to compete in a test that challenges students’ science and technology wits and team work. The competition lays out very strict rules that include limited resources and time limits for teams of up to 25 students each to build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.

 “We have some truly brilliant students here at RGC High and the work they have done in engineering design is highly impressive,” added Garza. “We couldn’t be more thankful to AEP for giving them the opportunity to continue excelling in the field. They are very excited about the opportunities and possibilities for next year.”




Veterans of Foreign Wars (V.F.W. Post #8526) visited Ringgold Elementary on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 and donated patriotic educational coloring and activity lessons on American Heroes and Patriotism.  Titles of items were, Citizenship Education Activity Sheets, Pledge of Allegiance Pencils, Patriotic Coloring Books and rulers. We thank V.F.W. Post #8526 for your continued support.



RGC Little League All Stars named District 24 Champs

RGC Little League (10 year old) All Stars were named District 24 Champs on June 25, 2013 at Pendleton Park in Harlingen, Texas. The road to their title began with a 15-5 win against Edinburg Red All Stars, followed by wins against Roma (12-2), Donna (10-0), and Edinburg Red (13-0) to take the West Championship title.  These sluggers proved to be formidable competition for the Brownsville West All Stars, which they edged out by one run (5-4) in their previous matchup with a spectacular pitching spree by Mason Loreen, and the winning RBI by Carlos Rivas.  This second run-in proved to be more favorable for RGC as they showcased two more elite pitchers in their lineup, Fidel Garcia and Mark Perez.  Mikey Ramos started the batting rally early with a triple, followed by a double by Eduardo Garza.   Ismael Salinas, JJ Bocanegra, Alan Garcia, Arnold Solis, Eden Barrera and Emmanuel Garza have all contributed with impressive hits and defensive plays at every game in the post season. The team has demonstrated a coordinated effort and every member has contributed significantly to the attainment of this elusive accomplishment.  It has been nearly two decades since a team in this age division brought home the title. Excitement is in the air as they head embark on their quest for the Regional title on Friday, July 5, 2013 at Garcia-Vela Field in Laredo, Texas.



Ramiro Sarabia was appointed to the hasc Board

Ramiro Sarabia was appointed to serve on the board of the Housing Authority of Starr County (HASC).  The appointment was announced in June at a regular board meeting.  Sarabia was elated and stated that he is ready to roll up his sleeves and work to help the residents of Starr County.  Ramiro is no stranger to the Housing Authority Board since he served as a board member for the Roma Housing Authority from 2001 - 2005.  He is humbled by the opportunity of serving others because he knows the needs in the Starr County Communities. He believes in the services that the entity provides as he himself benefited from the housing as a child.  His large family came to Starr County from Conroe Texas when he was just a child and was blessed with a home until they were able to get on their feet.  He credits his humble beginnings for giving him the drive to educate himself and work to provide for his family.  Ramiro is married to Nicolasa Sarabia who is an educator and they are the proud parents of Ramiro Sarabia, Jr. who is a freshman at Tufts University in Boston Massachusetts.  Sarabia currently works as a 911 Addressing Supervisor for the County of Starr.  Ramiro was sworn in by Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and joins Board Members Rose Benavidez, Juan Garcia, Homero Garcia and Manuela Rios to the Starr County Housing Authority Board of Directors.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office).

Roma Little League 2013 Coach Pitch Champions RANGERS

Standing: Davian Clarke, Ricardo Muniz, Ricardo A. Moreno, Eduardo Alaniz, Mario Garcia, Heribert Mireles. Kneeling: Raul Lopez Jr., Emiliano Villarreal, Nancy Ramirez, Victoria Rosa, Andres Garza, Adan Gonzalez. Not Pictured: Arianney Barrera. Coaches: Rosbel Clarke, Juan Alaniz, Raul Moreno Jr., Gloria Moreno.


RGC High School Recognized for Yearbook Excellence

The Rio Grande City High School yearbook staff has been recognized by Balfour Yearbooks with an Honorable Mention Certificate of Recognition for its outstanding contribution to scholastic journalism. The Rio Grande City High School yearbook is recognized in the 2013 Yearbook Yearbook. The yearbook adviser is Omar Riojas.

“Congratulations to every school receiving Honorable Mention Recognition in this 27th edition of Yearbook Yearbook. I have been privileged to edit this inspiration piece for the past seven years. As yearbooks were collected and judging began, the Rio Grande City High School 2012 yearbook was selected for Honorable Mention Recognition,” Marilyn Scoggins said. “The hours you have invested will reap great dividends for your school community both now and for years to come. Balfour applauds your work and thanks you for preserving your school’s memories.”

Yearbooks published by Balfour for the 2012 school year were evaluated in one or more of the following areas: theme development, layout design, photo content, secondary packages and cover design. For their outstanding yearbook achievement, Balfour honors approximately twelve percent of yearbook staffs with Honorable Mention recognition in Yearbook Yearbook.

“The competition gets tougher year after year. Balfour staffs are doing an outstanding job of creating great, student-oriented yearbooks,” director of marketing Mike Cobb said. “Balfour proudly includes the best in Yearbook Yearbook.

Balfour Yearbooks, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is major publisher of yearbooks nationwide and the industry’s leader in digital technology, education and curriculum. Balfour provides training, technical support and printing services to elementary school, middle school, high school and college yearbook staffs.


Hon. John A. Pope, III Joins 229th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Omar Escobar, the District Attorney for the 229th Judicial District covering Duval, Jim Hogg and Starr counties, has selected Hon. John A. Pope III to serve as his First Assistant District Attorney.

Pope brings close to six decades of legal experience to the office.  Pope was elected as Starr County Attorney in 1969 where he served until 1973. Pope was elected trustee for the Rio Grande City CISD School Board from 1973 to 1977. 

In 1995 he was appointed as the first 381st Judicial District Judge by Gov. George Bush, an appointmentbased on Pope’s numerous professional accoladesand accomplishments. Judge Pope presided over the bench until 2006.

“I am honored to have a man like Judge Pope, with such a distinguished record of service to the legal profession, join my staff,” expressed Escobar. “His more than 50 years of experience as a lawyer and judge will greatly benefit our office. With his expertise in litigation, Pope will lead our trial preparation team and help ensure we are providing the state and victims with the best possible preparation and legal execution in the trials we have pending.”

“Since I took office in January 2013, we have built a solid reputation for trial work and have

seen indictments resulting in some of the stiffest criminal punishments in the district to date,” continued Escobar. “We are not afraid to take cases to jury, and with Judge Pope on our team, we intend to build on that reputation and seek justice for all citizens of the 229thJudicial District.”

Most recently, from August 2006 to June 2013, Pope served as a Partner with the McAllen-based firm Atlas, Hall and Rodriguez. 

He specialized in civil litigation and arbitration for cases based out of Starr County.  During his tenure as a lawyer, Pope served as the regional vice-president for the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct Committee. 

Pope earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University at College Station and his Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio. He was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1955.

For additional information about the 229th Judicial District Attorney’s Office call Maricela Ibarra at 956-716-4800 x 8635 or email at


Rio Grande City Student To Attend “People To People World Leadership Forum”


Anaissa Georgette Diaz, a student at Immaculate Conception School, will travel to Washington, DC to participate in a People to People World Leadership Forum.  Diaz, along with fellow students from around the world will take part in the leadership program on June 30, 2013 through July 6, 2013.  Throughout the course of the program, Diaz will learn about leadership and how iconic leaders throughout history have handled world events.  Various hands-on activities, relevant professional speakers, small-group workshops, and visits to significant memorials, museums, and monuments will provide Anaissa with insights on the importance and essential need for informed and inspired world leaders.

The People to People World Leadership Forum offers students a unique blend of specialized educational, leadership, and cultural exposure through a variety of programs, as well as an itinerary filled with the highlights of the hosting community.  While in Washington, DC, Anaissa will have the opportunity to create lifelong memories and form lasting friendships with other Leadership Ambassadors from around the world. Anaissa is the daughter of George and Aissa Diaz and the granddaughter of Lydia Garza Saenz.



Starr County  Officials Host Historic Groundbreaking Ceremony for Starr County Veterans Cemetery and Starr County Memorial Cemetery

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and Pct. 2 Commissioner Raul “Roy” Pena, Jr. hosted a Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Starr County Veterans Cemetery and Starr County Pct. 2 Memorial Cemetery on Thursday June 20, 2013.  Commissioner Pena acquired the donation of 29.5 acres of prime land to Starr County by Chevron Oil Company.  The ceremony began with the a musical selection by Starr County’s very own award winner Yomara Jessel Cortez and then was followed by a welcome by Commissioner Pena and Judge Eloy Vera.  Several community leaders addressed the audience thanking Commissioner Pena for his vision to improve the community and his dedication and perseverance.  Father James Erwin OMI from Our Lady of Refuge in Roma Texas blessed the land in preparation of the development to come. Commissioner Pena addressed the audience and said “This land will be blessed today and will be the final resting place of many war heroes and pillars of this grand community.  I am proud to present to you this marvelous land which was a generous gift from Chevron Oil Company.  Starr County is in the process of adding a jewel to its crown.  Thank you for taking the time to be here today to share in this momentous occasion”. Judge Vera commended the effortsof Commissioner Pena who was determined to bring a much needed Veterans and County Cemetery to the people of Starr County.  The memorial cemetery will be developed with 5,000 plots which will be available for the entire county and the Veterans Cemetery will have over 1,100 plots for  Starr County Veterans and their spouses.  Many local veterans, public officials, community members, civic leaders, law enforcement officers and firemen were present at this historic event.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office).






A Dedication Ceremony was held for the Basilio Villarreal, Sr. Municipal Park

A Dedication Ceremony for the Basilio Villarreal Sr. Municipal Park was held on Wednesday June 12, 2013 in Rio Grande City. The park was named after the first Mayor of Rio Grande City, Mr. Basilio Villarreal, Sr., who was a visionary and worked diligently for the City of Rio Grande. Villarreal was a business leader, a member of the Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce Member and a Volunteer Firefighter.  He spearheaded many projects geared at improving the quality of life for people in the community. Villarreal was always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed it. The park which was recently constructed was made possible through an $800,000 Outdoor Recreation Grant from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission. The grant called for the city to match the funds in order to receive the monies. The City Council saw an opportunity to provide a state of the art facility that could be enjoyed by all families in the community for many generations to come. It was planned taking into consideration that it would be a facility that can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of age. The park is ADA Compliant and it will soon have a water feature. It is equipped with seven plays capes, three baseball fields, soccer fields, and a walking trail. “Growing up as an athlete, this park is a dream come true for me” said Bonny Amador Rio Grande City Parks and Recreation Director. She is proud to say that the park is beautiful and ready for families to enjoy and create memories. The guest speaker for the event was State Representative Ryan Guillen who was instrumental in securing funds for the project. Naming the park after my father is homage to the memory of a great man, relayed Mayor Ruben O. Villarreal. Basilio Villarreal, Jr., was present to speak on behalf of the Villarreal family and acknowledge his mother Mrs. Socorro R. Villarreal for always supporting the efforts of his father. The event was attended by many children as well as community and business leaders.



RGCCISD District Teachers of the Year 2013

Rio Grande City CISD recently held their 16th Annual Recognition Banquet for Outstanding Service and Performance to acknowledge Retirees, Campus Teachers of the Year, and Para-Educators of the Year. During this special event the naming of the District Teachers of the Year were announced. They were then asked to share their thoughts with the audience of what it means to them to be an educator. Pictured left to right are Roel A. Gonzalez (Superintendent), Juan Andrade (District Secondary Teacher of the Year), Belinda Nunez Pena (District Elementary Teacher of the Year), Thelma Ramey (Assistant Superintendent), and  Vilma Garza (Assistant Superintendent).



Roma Class of 1963 Celebrates Its 50th Class Reunion

The class of 1963 held its 50th class reunion on May 25, 2013. Out of forty-five who graduated that year (seven are now deceased), approximately twenty, plus their spouses, attended. The festivities started with the 6:00 o’clock mass at Our Lady of Refuge Church in Roma celebrated by Father James Erving. Seven lit candles were placed at the altar in memory of each deceased class member.

Dinner, a slide presentation of the high school days, a lot of reminiscing such as how much our world has changed in the last 50 years because of technology (most families did not even have a phone back then), and music followed at Buena Vista Casa del Rio until midnight. The next morning they met for breakfast at Denny’s in Rio Grande City before returning to their homes. Members came from Seattle, Washington, El Paso, Arlington, Kerrville, San Antonio, Harlingen, Weslaco, McAllen, Edinburg, Rio Grande City and Escobares. The rest live here in Roma. Everyone had a great time and are already looking forward to their next reunion.


Congratulations to Rio Grande City Team Venom on placing 2nd place out of 14 teams at the regional qualifying Aloha Classic tournament in Brownsville. Team Venom qualified to play at nationals in Lake Charles, Louisiana June 28th, 2013. Special thanks to Noe Rodriguez and to our Sponsors Leo Lopez, Ruben Saenz Sr., Dr. Norberto Cantu, The Shoe Department, and Eddie Ramirez. (Top row, left to right) Oscar Montalvo, Rodrigo Nunez, Hiram Rivera, and coach Danny Porras. (Bottom row, left to right) Chris Garza, Danny Saenz Jr., Ismael Cantu. Not pictured Andy Garcia and Hendrick Palacios.



  26th Annual South Texas Cattlemen’s Roundup to benefit Driscoll ChildrensHospital of South Texas.  Will be held on Friday, July 19, 2013 at 10:00am, R Y Livestock Sales, Inc., Rio Grande City, Texas. We greatly appreciate all volunteers and donors that have a kind heart towards helping children in need of medical attention. Donation of any auction items are welcome. Baked good, home decor, restaurant gift cards, lawn chairs, horse tack, horse feed, jewelry, hair products, womens accessories, BBQ essentials, and much more... The auction will be conducted by Mr. Raul Hinojosa, San Isidro ISD Agriculture Teacher.  It is scheduled to begin at 10:00a.m.  Any questions, please call: 956-534-4911.


Ringgold Middle School Beginner Band Setting the Bar for a Tradition of Excellence…

On Friday, May 24, 2013, the Ringgold Middle School Beginner Band traveled to Schlitterbahn South Padre Island to participate in the South Texas Music Festival. The competition consisted of other 6th grade bands, middle school varsity bands, high school bands, choirs, and mariachi groups across the Valley from Roma to Brownsville and as far as the Corpus Christi area. After a day of sun and fun, the RMS Beginner Band proved that hard work pays off when they were awarded with a Division 1 rating, Best in Class Award and Overall Grand Champions! The RMS Band staff would like to congratulate all RMS Beginner Band members on a job well done, their parents for their continues support and thank our principal, Olga Smedley, and her administration for their continued support. The RMS Band staff consists of Eric Garza, Gumaro Barrera, Alfredo Cortinas, Guillermo De La Cruz III, Alberto Diaz, and Angela Solis.


RGCCISD Transportation Team’s First Place Finish Paves the Way to Nationals

Rio Grande City CISD Transportation Department sends two of their employees to compete in the Special Education Safety Rodeo. This competition not only tests their knowledge and skills but also their ability to think on their feet. The team is given a time limit to maneuver through an obstacle course in which they must apply their problem solving skills to a particular scenario.

Sergio Rodriguez (bus driver) and Ninfa Rivas (bus aide) train extensively to participate in this competition. There were many Saturdays in which this team trained, practiced and reviewed their procedures in order to fair well in at the Transportation Safety Rodeo.

In the Regional competition the team placed 1st allowing them to qualify to State and their 2nd place finish at State set them on their path to compete in the National Competition. That competition was held in Frisco, Texas and allowed them to compete against the best of the best from all over the nation that included school districts from New York City, Wisconsin, and Texas.

“I’m extremely honored and proud of these guys and to some extent it is a competition but to us it is an opportunity for continued education because we bring back lots of information that we can then apply here in our district,” said Mr. Juan Garcia, Director of Transportation.

Both Rodriguez and Rivas did exceptionally well and earned plaques and trophies for the various competitions. They have set their sights on next year’s competition and they are not afraid to put in the extra hours on the days they don’t work in order to succeed.  Congratulations on your accomplishment!

Mariachi Juvenile Cascabel Ends the Year on a High Note

Rio Grande High School Mariachi Juvenile Cascabel recently competed at the Culturas Unidas Mariachi Festival on May 4th 2013. The event was held in Laredo, Texas and sponsored by the United Independent School District.  After going head to head with other talented ensembles from around the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo, Mariachi Juvenil Cascabel brought home 1st PLACE as well as caption awards for BEST VOCALISTS and BEST VIOLINS. The Award-Winning Ensemble competed in three competitions this school year, coming out victorious at the Roma Festival, San Diego, Tx Mariachi Fest and the Culturas Unidas festival to end the year. Mariachi Juvenil Cascabel is under the direction of Mrs. Diana Laura Degollado. The RGCCISD Mariachi program and staff would like to express their gratitude to all the teachers, administrators and parents for their never ending support. Their director would also like to thank the students for always showing complete dedication and perseverance. Mariachi Juvenil Cascabel members include Violins: Luis Villarreal, Noemy Vela, Stacy Mireles, Janette Garza, Jessica Garza, Kimberly Lopez, Ivvon Ruvalcaba, Trumpets: Javier Saenz, Juan Islas, Jose Hernandez, Guitarron: Alexis Rosas, Javier Garza, Vihuela: Manuela Aguirre, Guitar: Marylin Davila.

Rio Grande City Rotary Club donates to the Moore City tornado victims

Rio Grande City Rotary Club, headed by President Sergio Trevino got together and made a charitable donation to help out the Moore City tornado victims. All Rotarians made a contribution as well as the club. Front Row from Left to right are: Dora Lisa Saenz, Patricio Hernandez, Emma Gonzalez, Sergio Trevino and Romeo Lopez. Back Row from Lt to Rt:  Billy Canales, Danny Ortiz, Mario Lopez, Balde Garza, Richard Gutierrez and Juan Flores. Other Rotarians not in picture include. Rafael Berlanga, Larry Gonzalez, Gemma Lopez, Linda Gonzalez, Ruben Chapa, Joel Salinas and Lauro Lopez.


Rio Grande City Lions Club hosted a Tree Planting Ceremony

Rio Grande City Lions Club Members and their Governor Mr. Montelongo who joined them from Donna, TX hosted a Tree Planting Ceremony at Basilio Villarreal Municipal Park which bears the name of Rio Grande City’s first mayor and pillar of the community. The Lions Club organized the ceremony honoring their long time Lions Club Member Late Mayor Basilio Villarreal Sr. for his many years of contribution and dedication to the Rio Grande City Lions Club. Present at the ceremony were present and former City Council members as well as the Late Mayor’s sons RGCCISD School Board President Basilio Villarreal Jr. and Mayor Ruben O. Villarreal who spoke of their father’s many accomplishments and community service spirit which he instilled in them. They were presented with a plaque commemorating the event and together with all present helped plant the donated Cedar Elm tree.



Rio Grande City High School Powerlifting Champions!

RIO GRANDE CITY HIGH SCHOOL – Congratulations to Rio Grande City High School Powerlifter Abram Guerra for becoming a Two Time State Champion at the Texas High School Powerlifting Association State Championship in Abilene, Texas! RGC High School Powerlifters Abram Guerra and Erasmo Canales qualified and competed at the Powerlifting State Championship after competing at the Powerlifting Regional Meet in Weslaco, Texas. At the State Meet, Erasmo Canales finished with the Outstanding Bench Press and Abram Guerra became the Two Time State Champion by finishing 1st Place in the 181 lb. class! Abram Guerra returned home to Rio Grande City as a Two Time State Champion after finishing in 1st Place in the 165 lb. class in 2012 and also finishing in 1st Place in the 181 lb. class in 2013. Congratulations to both of these strong young men for their dedication and commitment! Pictured left to right are Abram Guerra (State Champion), Coach Al Mendez, and Erasmo Canales (State Qualifier). Great Job!



RGC High School Basketball J.V. Light District Champions

Congratulations Rattlers on winning this year’s J.V Light Boys Basketball District Championship for the 2012-2013 season and finishing the season 11-0. The talent you showed in basketball proved to be no fluke, and you winning this district championship proves it. The improvements you consistently made over the past few months proves that hard work is the real key to success. Just to let you know, the expectations for making J.V Dark or Varsity have been raised, and we expect to be congratulating you on making the team next year…Go Rioooo!!” Pictured left to right Carlos Lopez, Alex Lopez, Jesus Carrillo, Hernan Reyes, Carlos Eligio, Coach Noe Rodriguez III, Humberto Salinas, Gilbert Guerrero, Julian Garza, Mario Medrano. Not pictured Jesus Carmona.



Roque Guerra, Jr. Elementary School  Teacher and Teacher Aide of the Year

Roque Guerra, Jr. Elementary administration, staff, and students would like to congratulate Mrs. Enedelia Solis, pre-kindergarten teacher, and Mrs. Lizeth Garza, (para-professional) for being selected as the 2012-2013 Teacher and Teacher Aide of the Year! Mrs. E. Solis has a passion for teaching and it reflects in her classroom as her students are always motivated to learn. Mrs. L. Garza is a high-spirited, energetic person that loves helping both students and teachers. Thank you ladies for making a difference at Roque Guerra, Jr. Elementary. You are simply the best. Pictured above is Mrs. E. Solis, pre-kindergarten teacher (left), Mrs. G. Gonzalez, school principal (center), and Mrs. L. Garza, paraprofessional (right).


Starr County Veterans Hold Memorial Day Ceremonies




Roma Memorial Post 9175 (Roma VFW)





Henry Clay Davis Post 8526 (Rio Grande City VFW)



Rio Grande City VFW “Henry Clay Davis Post 8526 honored their deceased comrades with a ceremony at the City Cemetery.  The ceremony which was conducted by VFW Commander Noe Olivarez was a somber reminder of the lives that have been lost through war casualties.  Commander Olivarez directed the battalion to dispatch the 21gun salute as an homage to all fallen heroes on this Memorial Day. During the ceremony, Olivarez placed a wreath on the tomb of a solder as a reminder that they may be gone, but never forgotten.

A ceremony was held at Roma VFW to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Roma Memorial Post 9175. The Post was established in 1953 after a group of war veterans united to organize a local VFW Post to continue their mission of serving their country and the community.  Their perseverance paid off and on March 22, 1953 the Veterans of Foreign Wars of America granted and authorized the formation of the post.  VFW members and their Commander-

Mr. Rafael Aguirre celebrated the efforts of the pioneers who made it possible to pass the torch of service to future veterans. The ceremony also served to honor the heroes who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

Starr County is home to many heroes and the two ceremonies served to remind us of the

sacrifices that many have made for our freedom. Those brave men and women who perished in the fight for freedom, never got to see the great nation that we have become. Let us pay reverence to all heroes and may the torch of freedom continue to be carried for generations to come. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).




City of La Grulla Announces the Elected Municipal Officials

The City of La Grulla announces the official nomination of elected municipal officials, as a result of the election day May 11, 2013.

Mayor Mr. Pedro Flores, Commissioners Ms. Angelina S. Cantu, and Mr. Merardo Banda Jr.

Thank you to all the residents who gave their support and also thank you for the confidence in the new administration.

La Ciudad de la Grulla anuncia la nominación oficial de los funcionarios municipales electos como resultados de las votaciones realizadas el día 11 de Mayo, 2013. Mayor al Sr. Pedro Flores, Comisionados la Sra. Angelina S. Cantu y el Sr. Merardo Banda, Jr. Gracias a todos los residentes que brindaron su apoyo y también por la confianza depositada en esta nueva administración.


Judith A. Solis Opened Her New Law Office

Pictured are Judy with her biggest supporters, her mother Amanda J. Solis and brothers Jesus A. Solis and attorney Juan A. Solis.

On May 3, 2013, Judith A. Solis officially opened her new law office and had it blessed by close family friend Father Francisco Solis. Judith A. Solis has been a licensed attorney for over ten years. Most of her professional career was as Assistant County Attorney for Starr County. During her years as a prosecutor she prosecuted misdemeanors, all juvenile cases and helped battered women secure orders of protection. In January of 2013, Judy decided to venture out into private practice.

Her office is located at 110 W. 5th Street, Rio Grande City, Texas (right next to the courthouse). The phone number is (956) 487 3500. She is ready to help you with CRIMINAL CASES (STATE/FEDERAL), DIVORCES, CHILD CUSTODY DISPUTES, WILLS and ESTATE PLANNING.


Grulla High School Summer “Fun”Damental Camp

Grulla High School invites all potential Rio Grande City CISD future athletes to the Lady Gator Volleyball and Basketball “Fun”damental Camp will be held June 3 - June 6, 2013 from 7:45 AM - 12:15 PM at Grulla High School Gymnasium.

Breakfast and Lunch will be provided.  The fee for this camp is $30.00 and includes a Camp T-shirt. Preregistration before May 28, 2013. You can register on site but no T-shirt guarantee: Monday

June 3, 2013 at 7:30A.M - 8:30A.M. at Grulla High School Gym.

Grulla High School Volleyball will be hosting a RGV Juniors & UTPA Coaches --- positional Setter, Hitter, Libero Volleyball Camp to be held on June 7 & 8, 2013 at Grulla High School Gymnasium. There will be 2 different sessions held by Grulla.

The High school (incoming 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th grade) session from 9:00AM - 11:30AM, break

for lunch, 1:30 PM - 4:00PM.  The fee is $40.00 for high school.

The Middle school (incoming 6th, 7th & 8th grade) session from 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM and the fee is $25.00.

Please Contact Head Volleyball Coach Cita Jimenez at (956)451-8743 or Head Basketball Coach Crystal Franz at (956)929-3424 for more information.




Army promotes Rio Grande City Native to Colonel

Rio Grande City native Rosbell “Ross” Barrera was promoted to the Rank of Colonel in the United States Army Fort McNair, Washington, DC on May 2, 2013. The Director of the Inter-American Defense College Rear Admiral Jeffrey A. Lemmons hosted the promotion ceremony.

The promotion ceremony included the reading of the Oath of Office read by Rear Admiral (RADM) Lemmons and the Eagle rank insignia was pinned on by COL Barrera’s friends former Captain and Desert Storm buddy Steve J. Russak (Former Army Captain) from Charlotte, North Carolina, and Mr. Barry Russak from Houston, Texas (former Army first Lieutenant 1959), and his high school friend Rio Grande City High Class of 1985 Master Sergeant (Retired) Elva Garcia-Sanborn. In his speech, COL Barrera thanked his parents, family and friends for their continued support through his 29 years of continued

military service and expressed his gratitude and pride of his beloved hometown Rio Grande City. He mentioned that military service was always around him as he was growing up in Rio. He mentioned that his family military service and his veteran teachers all influence him to serve. He strongly mentioned that Rio Grande City is a proud city and proud of its veterans from

all times. He also mentioned that the COLONEL rank represents not only his accomplishments but it also represents those who came before him and paved a path to achieve access. After the short speech COL Barrera invited his quests to join him in a “LUAU” theme reception in honor of his forth-coming assignment in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Colonel Barrera is a native of Rio Grande City, Texas and a 1984 graduate of Rio Grande City High School. While still in high school Colonel Barrera started his Army career in 1984 as an enlisted soldier in the United States Army Reserve and entered active duty after graduating from the University of Texas – Pan American (UTPA) Edinburg, Texas. He was an Army ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate from UTPA, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant (2LT) and entered Active duty on September 1988.

COL Barrera has held key numerous assignments throughout his Army career of 29 years. He is a combat veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Storm (DS/DS) Saudi Arabia Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan Operation Iraqi Freedom – Iraq (OIF).

COL Barrera is presently attending the Senior Service College a the Inter-American Defense College (IADC), Fort McNair, Washington, DC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) in History from UTPA Edinburg, TX and a Masters degree in Public Administration (MPA) Degree from Troy University, Troy, Alabama.Upon graduating from the Inter-American Defense College (IADC), Colonel Barrera’s next assignment will take him to US Pacific Command (PACOM) in Honolulu, Hawaii where he will serve as Deputy Chief Staff for Operations at US ARMY PACOM.

COL Barrera is the son of Mr. Guadalupe “Lupito” E. Barrera(†) and Maria Del Rosario “Chayito” G. Barrera of Rio Grande City. Congratulations to COL Barrera, best wishes on your new assignment in Hawaii and thank you for making Rio Proud.



Members of the Roma and Ramiro Barrera Middle School Choirs Qualify for The All-Region Choir

Members of the Roma Middle School and Ramiro Barrera Middle School Choirs participated in the Region XV TMEA All-Region Choir auditions at De Leon Middle School in McAllen, Texas. The choir members competed against students from throughout the Rio Grande Valley to qualify for a spot in the All-Region Choir. The top 30 students were chosen from each voice section for this choir. Overall, 4 Roma Middle School Choir members and 3 Ramiro Barrera Middle School Choir members were chosen for this choir. These students also participated in an all-day clinic and a concert at the PSJA Fine Arts Auditorium. We are extremely proud of these choir members and their instructors, Mrs. Alicia Peña and Mr. Miguel A. Martinez. Ramiro Barrera Middle School: Noe Muñiz - 3rd Chair - 8th grade; Anthony Lazusky - 14th Chair - 8th grade; and Ann J. Peña - 13th Chair - 7th grade. Roma Middle School: Joe Henry Doria - 8th Chair - 7th grade; Jesus Saenz - 6th Chair - 7th grade; Rayza Benitez - 7th Chair - 7th grade; and Rubyd Reyna - 14th Chair - 8th grade.


2012-2013 Military Ball Court for the Grulla Gator Battalion

Rio Grande City High School conducted a Military Ball conjoined with Grulla High School. The picture above shows the winners for this year of 2012-2013 Military Ball Court for the Grulla Gator Battalion. From left to right on the top row we have Command Sergeant Major Richard S. Clem, Knight in Waiting PVT Erick Medelez, Prince PFC Milburgo Salinas, Duke MSG Ivan Castillo, Captain Jose M. Sanchez. Bottom row we have Lady in Waiting PVT Gabriela Sarinana, Princess 2LT Julissa Zarate, Dutchess PVT Jocelyne Gonzalez. We would like to congratulate all of the winners for this years Military Ball!!! 


ICS Cheerleaders participate in Cheer Power Championship

Congratulations to the Immaculate Conception School Cheerleaders for placing 4th at their first time competition in American Cheer Power Six Flags Championship at San Antonio, Texas. I.C.S. Cheerleaders competed against 12 other elementary squads from all around Texas. The I.C.S. community is extremely proud of our cheerleaders. Our Cheerleaders are: BRLR: Sofia Salinas, Kasandra Galvan, Jessica Barrera, Natalee Gonzalez, and Ayelen Saenz. 4th row LR: Elaina Gonzalez, Gianna Garcia, Samantha Guerrero, and Bonnie Marino. 3rd Row LR: Vicky Rosas, John Caro, and Karely Garcia. 2nd row LR: Jennie Alvarez and Kaitlyn Ramirez. Front: Daniela Garza.  Special thanks to Mrs. Maria Elena Olivarez, Immaculate Conception School Principal, all I.C.S. Staff & students and parents for their tremendous support. The I.C.S. Cheerleaders are under direction of Mrs. Debbie Guerra-Martinez.  Congratulations I.C.S. Cheerleaders for an outstanding job.




Veterans Middle School Mariachi UNDEFEATED for the 3rd consecutive year!!!

Picture: VMS Mariachi Juvenil de America and FAMILY! VMS Mariachi members: Alexa Posas, Mariana Tamez, Oscar Soto, Dellanira Garza, Kasey Escamilla, Monico Fernandez, Jacob Clark, Luis Donaldo Cantu, Gonzalo Tamez, Argelio Garza, Jesus Cantu, Dante Figueroa. Under the musical direction of Eloy GarzaVeterans Middle School Mariachi Juvenil de América makes history! Congratulations to Mariachi Juvenil de América for their outstanding performance at the Culturas Unidas Competition in LaredoTX  held Saturday, May 4, 2013. VMS Mariachi received the Grand Champion Award in the Middle School Category and All Best Section Awards: Best Violins, Best Trumpets, Best Rhythm and Best Vocals. Saturday’s victory makes it their 7th consecutive victory for the year and still undefeated for three consecutive years, with a total of 20-- 1st place wins and grand champion awards, the longest winning streak in the history in a mariachi program!! Among those twenty 1st place victories, Juvenil de America has earned two Overall Grand Champion Awards as the best mariachi group in both Middle School and High School categories, surpassing all other middle school and high school groups, the only middle school mariachi in history that has been able to accomplish such victory!

After numerous victories and 5 CD releases, Veterans Middle School Mariachi program continues to prove and live by their motto: “Tradition of Excellence” with great pride, dedication, and commitment raising the bar of performance and musicianship year-after-year. Thanks to this extraordinary mariachi program, our community and district is now on the map, and is nationally recognized as the nation’s bestmariachi program. We are extremely proud to say that we have the best-of-the-best talent our nation has to offer! What drives this mariachi students and the program? It is living by their motto, keeping the tradition of mariachi music alive with heart, pride, and passion. Additionally, their goal is not just to learn and play mariachi music but through its music learn to be productive citizens, be disciplined, and acquire values and qualities that are essential in life. Through this foundation, VMS Mariachi continues to unite a whole community, school, friends, family members, and parents and this is accomplished through their competitions and community events.

Mr. Eloy Garza - VMS Mariachi director, and mariachi students would like to extend a most sincere thank you to the district, board members, administrators, and Superintendent – Mr. Roel González, and all the VMS family for their support.  Furthermore, we would also like to thank VMS Principal – Mrs. Maricela O. García, for her loving, caring, and unyielding support all year long. Last but not least, to all family/friends, and VMS Mariachi parents who have being there from the very beginning, always supporting and attending every event and competition all year long! Thank you parents, you are the best! Congratulations again to Mariachi Juvenil de América! Keep up the extraordinary work! You are the pride of our community!


RMS Student Selected for TMEA Regional Choir

Ringgold Middle School choir students presented themselves with pride and determination at the TMEA Region Middle School Choir auditions on April 20, 2013 at De Leon Middle School in McAllen, Texas.  Over 600 middle school choir students from Roma to PSJA initially entered the competitive all-region audition process, but only approximately 300 students were selected to perform.  Jessenia Reyna, soprano voice, is a member of the Ringgold Middle School Choir who was selected to perform with the TMEA Region Choir on April 27, 2013 at San Juan Middle School.  Jessenia’s success is attributed to great parental support and her dedicated choir director, Mr. Josue Alanis.  Mr. Alanis would like to express his most sincere thanks to the RMS administration and teachers for their full support.



2013 State Play-Offs Umpire Selected

Local high-school umpire selected for baseball state play-offs. Left to right, Oscar E. Lujano - Roma, Richard Treviño - C-C, Andy Villareal -C-C and Damion Carranza - Edinburg.



Rio Grande City High School Rattler Varsity Basketball Players Selected to The All-District Team

Congratulations to the following Rattler Varsity Basketball Players from Rio Grande City High School for being recognized and selected to The All-District Team for the 2012-2013 Varsity Basketball Season! These athletes earned this honor through hard work and dedication. On behalf of Coach Contreras and the entire Coaching Staff, congratulations to all of this year’s Basketball Athletes for their effort and hard work throughout the season. “Try not to be better than someone else, but never cease to be the best that you can be.” – John Wooden. Pictured left to right are:  #32 Alex Castaneda (Honorable Mention), #10 Aaron Diaz (2nd Team All District), #14 Justin Rangel (Newcomer of the Year), #11 David Garza (Honorable Mention), #5 Jose A. Hinojosa (Honorable Mention), #23 Omar Contreras (1st Team All District)  Great Job Boys!!!



Starr County Sheriff’s Office Communications Officer Jo Ella Gomez-Lara Receives Regional Recognition

Jo Ella Gomez-Lara –Starr County Sheriff’s Office Communications Officer was recognized at a 9-1-1 Regional Dispatchers Awards Luncheon in Laredo, TX. Pictured Chief Deputy Guillermo “Willie” Pena, Captain Larry Fuentes, Jo Ella Gomez-Lara, Sheriff Fuentes, and Lt. Carlos Delgado.    The award reads “Special Recognitions for Your Outstanding Performance and Token of Appreciation and Dedication to public Safety Telecommunications. The recognition came from a case where she was instrumental in the intervention of a suicide attempt where she had to maneuver her way through different police stations in two (2) counties in order to send the correct responders to the scene. Her persistence and ingenuity was credited in saving a life on that occasion.

This was only one case that was highlighted, but dispatchers go through numerous cases just like this one on a daily basis.

Starr County Sheriff Rene Fuentes commended Jo Ella for her dedication to Starr County residents during a luncheon that he hosted to honer the Communications Officers (Dispatchers). (County of Starr Public Relations Office).                     




Starr County Soil and Water Conservation District #332 Holds Awards Banquet

Starr County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) held an awards banquet on March 14th, 2013 to honor conservation partners in Starr County. Five awards were presented during the banquet; Resident Conservation Rancher of the Year, Absentee Conservation Rancher of the Year, Business of the Year, and two Appreciation of Service awards. 

The Starr County Town Crier was recognized as the Business of the Year for being a long term business and devoted conservation partner with the Starr County Soil and Water Conservation District. The Town Crier has assisted the SWCD many times over the year through publishing outreach articles and announcements that service the people of Starr County. The Town Crier’s founders are Lino Canales, Jr. and his wife Becky.

An award was also presented to Maria Socorro Garcia for 19 Years of Outstanding Service to the Starr County SWCD. Ms. Garcia worked for the district for 19 years getting to know each and every producer that has walked through the door.             

Maria G Salinas received the award for Resident Conservation Rancher of the Year for her continued efforts towards natural resource conservation in her ranching operation; Ms. Salinas grew up in the “El Puerto Ranch” and worked alongside her mother and father learning the everyday responsibilities of living off the land. She manages cattle and wildlife and her skills spurred her interest in conservation. She has worked with the Starr County SWCD and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for many years to achieve many accomplishments in the conservation of soil, water, and  other Natural Resources on El Puerto Ranch. When interviewed, she said “Es mi Vida el Rancho”, that is how she describes her passion for the ranch. Mrs. Salinas’s history and memories run deep throughout the property that was built on hard work, true family values, and dedication.

Mr. Leroy Jackson received the award for Absentee Conservation Rancher of the Year. Mr. Jackson has worked with the SWCD and NRCS for many years in order to continue his conservation efforts on his “La Providencia Ranch” despite not living in Starr County. Through these efforts Mr. Jackson has improved his forage in the pastures to help him get though these hard times. Mr. Jackson and his family have enjoyed owning the ranch and have a deep appreciation for the land and animals. Ultimately, he dreams of being able to pass a sustainable, healthy, profitable and organized ranch to his children.



The Starr County Town Crier was recognized as the Business of the Year. Pictured above left to right: Lino Canales, Rebecca G. Canales, and Ruperto B. Escobar Jr.



Maria Socorro Garcia was presented with an award for 19 Years of Outstanding Service to the Starr County SWCD. Pictured above left to right are: Gilberto Resendez, Socorro Garcia, Omar Garza, and Ruperto B. Escobar.


Maria G. Salinas received the award for Resident Conservation Rancher of the Year. Pictured above left to right: Gilberto Resendez, Maria G. Salinas and Ruperto B. Escobar.


Mr. Leroy Jackson received the award for Absentee Conservation Rancher of the Year. Pictured above left to right are: Gilberto Resendez, Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Jackson and Ruperto B. Escobar.




Daniel J. Garcia 2013 Texas Rising Star

Super Lawyers Magazine has distinguished Daniel J. Garcia of Garciasville, Texas as a Rising Star. Super Lawyers is the magazine that showcases attorneys who exemplify excellence in the practice of law. Daniel J. Garcia has risen to the peak of an already competitive group of accomplished professionals by being named a 2013 Rising Star.

The selection process for the Rising Star list consists of 3 steps (1) nomination through firsthand courtroom observation by opposing counsel or co-counsel (2) point assignment based on a set of defined evaluation criteria and (3) ranking of lawyers by total points. No more than 3% of the lawyers of the state of Texas are named to the list.

Daniel is a 1996 graduate of Rio Grande City High School and a South Texas College of Law alum. Upon passing the bar, Danny “hung his shingle” and started Daniel J. Garcia Law Center, PLLC. He has achieved success in civil and criminal matters in both state and federal courts. He loves time with his son Donovan Daniel, playing golf and involvement in support of school and community activities.


Rio Grande City High School Mariachi Cascabel Grand Champions!!!

Mariachi Cascabel earned Grand Champion for all mariachi group categories, Best Overall Violins, Best Overall Vocals, Best Overall Trumpets, and Best Overall Armonia at the 2013 Culturas Unidas Mariachi Competition on May 4, 2013 in Laredo, TX.  Mariachi Cascabel members are: Brigido Lagunes, Maria T. Hernandez, Mario Gutierrez, Martin Guerra, Leslie Saenz, Carolina Cantu, Leslie Marroquin, Arlet Villarreal, Juan Martinez, Sasha Guerra, Emmanuel Pena, Ruben Nunez, Gladys Marroquin, Jorge Velasquez, Eli Roy Gonzalez, Luis Barrera, and Jose R. Garcia. The Rio Grande City High School Mariachi Cascabel is under the direction of Mr. Alex Rodriguez. On behalf of Mariachi Cascabel, we would like to thank administration, Rio Grande City High School Principal: Mr. Adolfo Peña, Superintendent of Schools: Mr. Roel Gonzalez, Asst. Superintendent for Finance and Operations: Mrs. Thelma Ramey, Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction: Mrs. Vilma Garza,  School Board Members, and Mariachi Cascabel Parents for their unselfish support. Mariachi Cascabel…thank you for your commitment, dedication and passion. Congratulations and keep up the Rattler tradition of excellence!


ICS Elects the 2013-2014 PTO Officers

The Immaculate Conception School is pleased to announce the newly elected 2013-2014 Parent Teacher Organization Officers: George Diaz – President, Lori Perez - Vice-President, Jessica Rios – Secretary, Derrick Treviño – Treasurer, David Pratt – Parliamentarian, and Joe Hinojosa – Reporter. The PTO Officers are working hard to become more active and involved with teachers, staff, parents and students of Immaculate Conception School. They are always there to help the school with various projects such as the Jamaica, Box Tops Project and many more. They are there to make ICS a better place for everyone. ICS would like to thank the officers and its members for continued support of ICS. God Bless You All!


Roma High School Receives First National Student Council Award

For its exemplary record of leadership, service, and activities that serve to improve the school and community, Roma High School has been awarded a 2013 National Gold Council of Excellence Award by the National Association of Student Councils (NASC). Roma High School is one of only 163 high school councils nationwide to receive this highly-esteemed honor and one of two Rio Grande Valley High Schools to receive this honor.

To meet the requirements for the NASC National Councils of Excellence Award, a student council must demonstrate basic requirements such as a written constitution, regular meetings, a democratic election process, and membership in NASC. Schools must also exceed the basic requirements by offering leadership training for council members, teacher/staff appreciation activities, student

recognition programs, school and community service projects, spirit activities, goal setting, financial planning, and active participation in their state and national student council associations.

“Receiving an NASC National Gold Council of Excellence Award reflects the highest dedication on the part of the local school to providing a strong, well-rounded student council program,” says Jeff Sherrill, associate director of NASC. “NASC applauds the work of the National Gold Councils of Excellence and challenges them to continue their leadership and service to their schools and communities.”

Roma High School has also been awarded with the TexasAssociation of Student Councils (TASC) Sweepstakes Award for the 7th consecutive year. This award is given to schools in Texas who demonstrate commitment to community service, pride and patriotism, energy and environmental education, and drug, alcohol, safety, and health education. Roma High School is currently recognized at both the state and national level for their excellence and hard work.

“It is an honor to be recognized for our hard work,” said President Vanessa Magaña, “but we do it because we want to make a difference in our school, community, and to make the world a better place.”



Historical Season for the Lady Gators Golf Team

Congratulations to the Grulla Lady Gators Varsity Golf Team for their performance at the Region IV- 3A golf tournament held on April 15th & 16th at Oso Beach Golf Club, Corpus Christi, TX. The 2012-2013 Lady Gators Golf Team has the distinguished honor of becoming the first in the history of Grulla Golf to advance as a team to the Region IV-3A golf tournament.Throughout the season the Lady Gators demonstrated dedication, commitment, team unity, resiliency, excellence, and a can-do, no task is too large, play the ball as it lies attitude. The Lady Gators are committed to setting high expectations as evident by next year’s goal of advancing to the 2013-2014 state golf tournament.  Team members are from left to right: Melissa Castillo, Ashley Lopez, Nichole Perez, Emma De La Garza, and Maria Montalvo. The Lady Gators are coached by Mr. Joel Villarreal. (Not pictured).



Attention Residents of Rio Grande City:

The Rio Grande City Commission approved Ordinance No. 2013-2 amending Chapter 9, Art. IV, Public Peace and Conduct, Curfew Hours for Juveniles.

Whereas any juvenile 15 years of age or younger may not be in public while unaccompanied by their parent or legal guardian after 10:00pm through 5:00am Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

In addition any juvenile 16 years of age can not be in public while unaccompanied by their parent or legal guardian after 10:00pm through 5:00am Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; Midnight through 5:00am on Friday and Saturday.

Any juvenile found in violation is subject to lawful discipline. 



San Isidro High School Basketball Players Win Top District Awards

The San Isidro High School Tiger varsity basketball team took top individual honors and landed six players on the 2012 – 2013 All District 32-A Division II All District Basketball Team. Sophomores Marcos Garcia and  Sammy Sanchez were awarded Co MVP respectively. Junior Aaron Alvarado joined team members on the All District 32-A Division II First Team. Seniors Omar Montalvo and Freddy Garcia made the Second Team All District and Junior Ramiro Valdez earned Honorable Mention. Freshman, Luis Garcia was recognized as New Comer of the Year. Coach Rolando Garza, with a total of 21 years as the San Isidro Tigers’ Basketball Coach was awarded with Coach of the Year Honors. The Tigers finished 21-10 overall and went 7-1 in district play.



VETERANS  MIDDLE  SCHOOL – Congratulations to Dillon McGuffin, an 8th grader from Veterans Middle School,  for winning the local competition of the 2013 Patriot’s Pen Essay sponsored by VFW Post #8526. Dillon is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Patrick McGuffin. He was presented with a $200 check by VFW Post #8526 Commander Mr. Noe Olivarez for earning 1st Place on the essay entitled, “What I Would Tell America’s Founding Fathers”. Pictured above is Lamar McGuffin (Dillon’s mother), Dillon McGuffin, Mr. Noe Olivarez (VFW Post #8526 Commander), and Maricela Garcia (VMS Principal).



Guerra Family Dentistry

Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony


Guerra Family Dentistry hosted their grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony on April 19, 2013.  Mayor Ruben Villarreal began the celebration with a brief introduction and Father Thomas Sepulveda gave a blessing.  Dr. Juan Carlos Guerra has been serving the Starr County community for the past 7 years and we are extremely appreciative of the support demonstrated from the community, family and friends.  We are also grateful to have such a hard working and committed staff. We would like to thank all those who attended the event!



The National Society Of Collegiate Scholars Welcomes Cristen Denise Gonzalez As A New Member

Cristen Denise Gonzalez daughter of Gracie and Jerry Gonzalez of Rio Grande City, Texas who is attending the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas has accepted membership in The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) .

“NSCS is more than just a symbol of academic achievement. Membership gives students access to a number of amazing benefits including career and networking resources,

scholarships, travel, and service

projects both on campus and in the community,” says Stephen E. Loflin, NSCS Founder & Chief Executive Officer.

NSCS is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is the nation’s only interdisciplinary honors organization for first-year and second-year college students. Membership is by invitation only, based on grade point average and class standing. NSCS has nearly one million lifetime members and 300 chapters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

For more information about The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, please call 202.265.9000, visit NSCS’ website


Grulla High School Mariachi Earns Highest Honors At Three Consecutive Competitions!!!

RGCCISD Grulla High School Mariachi Grulla De Plata has had an extraordinary school year! This group of fine musicians continues to excel and have achieved highest honors for the past three mariachi competitions! The buildings and halls at GHS are radiating with Gator Pride! The following are the results of their accomplishments for the past three competitions:

March 02, 2013, Roma ISD 7th Annual Mariachi Competition held at the Fine Arts Auditorium in Roma, Texas *1st Place in division 3A - 5A. They also earned Best Overall Vocals, Best Trumpet Section, Best Rhythm Section. 

April 6, 2013, El Dia De Mariachi Competition held at Texas A&M University Kingsville Auditorium, Kingsville, Texas. *1st Place in division 3A and the Overall High School Mariachi Grand Champion in all categories 1A - 5A. In addition they earned Best Vocals, Best Trumpet Section, Best Rhythm Section, Best Violin Section.

April 13, 2013, 5th Annual San Diego ISD Mariachi Competition held at San Diego High School Auditorium, San Diego, Texas

*1st Place in division 5A. GHS Mariachi Grulla de Plata moved up from 3A to compete in the 5A Category. They earned Division I, Best Violin Section, Best Trumpet Section, Best Rhythm Section, Best Vocals, Best Showmanship.

We would like to thank the Mighty Grulla De Plata Mariachi Students, RGCCISD School Board of Trustees, Mr. Roel A. Gonzalez, Superintendent, Mr. Joel Trigo, Jr., Grulla High School Principal, Mr. Alfonso Rodriguez, Grulla High School Mariachi Director, Grulla High School administration, faculty, staff, parents and all the mariachi supporters! The tradition of excellence continues as the Back-to-Back State Champions, Mariachi Grulla De Plata, perform at exceptional levels throughout the state of Texas!!! The Grulla High School Mariachi is under the direction of Mr. Alfonso Rodriguez. Go Gators!!!



Pct. 2 Commissioner Raul “Roy” Peña

Announces Plan to develop the first Starr County Veterans Cemetery, a County Cemetery and a Community Center


Commissioner Raul “Roy” Pena was elated with the news that Chevron came through with a donation of 29.5 acres of prime property on Fronton Street. Commissioner Pena has been in constant contact with Chevron Officials trying to obtain the land donation and finally his perseverance paid off. Officials from Chevron were present at the Commissioners Court Meeting held on April 8, 2013. The Officials commended Commissioner Pena for his persistence in seeking the donation and applauded his plans to develop a much needed Starr County Cemetery (Will be available for anyone within the county) and the first Veterans Cemetery in Starr County. He also plans to build a Community Center and much needed county offices. Pena works diligently to provide his community with services to promote growth and better living conditions.

Several Starr County Veterans attended the meeting and congratulated Commissioner Pena for his efforts.  Veteran Samuel Ramos took the stand and thanked the Chevron Officials on behalf of all Starr County Veterans for their donation. “A lot of companies want to help very few do it, your company is one of the very few that has done this, we appreciate it and commend you for doing it” said Ramos.

After the meeting the representatives from Chevron were greeted by local Veterans Mr. Gilberto Trejo, Mr. Samuel Ramos and Mr. Arturo Garza as well as other community members to express gratitude for investing in Starr County.

Commissioner Pena has rolled up his sleeves and is ready to take action.  He plans to begin developing the land immediately and has dispatched his personnel to begin clearing the land. Commission Raul “Roy” Pena prides himself in being a man of conviction and action and acquiring this property is a testament of his commitment to Starr County Residents. Pictured Chevron Representatives Robert Nunmaker, Ruben Rivera and Brennan Guldner and Commissioner Pct. 2 Raul “Roy” Pena.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office).

Rio Grande City High School Mariachi Cascabel Overall Champs!!!

Mariachi Cascabel continues the tradition of excellence!!! Mariachi Cascabel earned Best Overall Group for all mariachi group categories, 1st place in 4A, and best overall violins at the 2013 San Diego ISD Mariachi Competition on April 13, 2013.  Mariachi Cascabel members are: Brigido Lagunes, Maria T. Hernandez, Mario Gutierrez, Martin Guerra, Leslie Saenz, Carolina Cantu, Leslie Marroquin, Arlet Villarreal, Juan Martinez, Sasha Guerra, Emmanuel Pena, Ruben Nunez, Gladys Marroquin, Jorge Velasquez, Eli Roy Gonzalez, Luis Barrera, and Jose R. Garcia.  The Rio Grande City High School Mariachi Cascabel is under the direction of Mr. Alex Rodriguez. On behalf of Mariachi Cascabel, we would like to thank administration, Rio Grande City High School Principal: Mr. Adolfo Peña, Superintendent of Schools: Mr. Roel Gonzalez, Asst. Superintendent for Finance and Operations: Mrs. Thelma Ramey, Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction: Mrs. Vilma Garza,  School Board Members, and Mariachi Cascabel Parents for their unselfish support. Mariachi Cascabel…thank you for your commitment, dedication and passion. Congratulations and keep up the Rattler tradition of excellence!



April 14-20 Designated as 9-1-1 National Public Safety Telecommunications Week

The week of  April 14-20 is designated as 9-1-1 National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. 9-1-1 Communications Officers (Dispatchers) play a big role in the safety of the community as well as the officers on call. It is the duty of these dedicated individuals to ensure that the correct information is logged in and that they stay in constant communication with officers on patrol. These men and women respond to emergency calls and dispatch emergency professionals and equipment during times of crisis. They maintain radio and emergency phone systems across the South Texas Region and work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to assist during emergencies. City of Laredo 9-1-1 Regional Administration, who is the entity responsible for training to ensure that all communications officers are in compliance with state guidelines will be hosting a luncheon to honor this men and women on April 17, 2013 in Laredo, Texas. Starr County Sheriff’s Communications Officers, Rio Grande City Police Department Communications Officers and Roma Police Department Communications Officers are among the honorees being recognized at the luncheon. The Communications Officers are commended for their dedication to the safety of everyone in Starr County. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


VMS Mariachi  On a WINNING STREAK!!!

Veterans Middle School – VMS Mariachi “Tradition of Excellence” continues with their WINNING STREAK making it their 6th consecutive 1st place victory of the year!! Mariachi Juvenil de America attended their 6th competition in San Diego, TX on Saturday, April 13th of 2013 where they competed against other 20 middle school groups from around San Antonio, Laredo, Corpus Christi, and the Rio Grande Valley. Mariachi Juvenil de America captivated not just the audience but all three judges with their impressive & passionate performance earning a Division I superior, best violins, best trumpets, best vocals, 1st place award in class 3C, and the Overall Grand Champion Award in 2C & 3C middle school as the highest scoring group of the competition! VMS Mariachi keeps resonating and captivating others everywhere they go with their love & passion for mariachi music, proving their motto: “Tradition of Excellence” multiple times! Congratulations to the mariachi students, parents, school, and their director - Mr. Eloy Garza for a job well done and for ALWAYS representing Veterans Middle School, our district, and our community in a very positive manner! GO VMS!! GO RIO!!





April designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Starr County


Pictured with Starr County Commissioner Ruben Saenz, Commissioner Abel Cantu, Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Commissioner Raul “Roy”Pena, and Commissioner Eloy Garza are the members of the Child Welfare Board, employees of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), County Attorney Victor Canales and DFPS Prosecutor Lori P. Perez.



Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and Starr County Commissioners designated April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. “Child abuse and neglect can be reduced my making sure each family has the needed support to raise their children in a healthy environment”, said Judge Vera.

The proclamation indicates

that child neglect and abuse is a problem which can affect the community.

“Effective child abuse prevention programs succeed because of partnerships created among state and local government agencies, schools, faith communities, civic organizations, law enforcement agencies, and the business community”, said Vera. He also commended the efforts of the Starr County Child Welfare Board Members and the employees of the Texas Department of Family and

Protective Services for providing guidance and programs designed to aid children in need. Vera thanked them on behalf of the Commissioners Court and Starr County citizens for their tireless work.

The community is invited to attend the 5th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Candlelight Vigil “A Community Keeping Our Children Safe” that will be held on April 11, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. at the Multi-Purpose Center in Rio Grande City. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).



Wal Mart Foundation donated $1,000.00 to STEWC

Cesar Briales, Arturo Hernandez, and Deena Garza, Wal Mart Rio Grande City Staff Members with Sister Jeannine Spain, Board Member and Sister Rosalia Fink, Executive Director of South Texas Empowerment of Women Center (STEWC). Deena Garza presented a Wal Mart Foundation $1,000.00 check to Sister Rosalia Fink. This generous donation is intended to advance the construction of a Crisis Shelter in Starr County for Women and Children who experience domestic abuse or violence.



Starr County Judge Eloy seeking funds to build new Juvenile Detention Center

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera has been meeting with lawmakers in Austin in hopes of securing funds for a new Juvenile Detention Center.  The present center is located in the basement of the Starr County Courthouse and is in dire need of repair.  The proposed new center which will have 32 to 34 beds is proposed to be constructed on

north 3167.  The new center will be built with proper facilities for boys and girls and will have a courtroom to facilitate the process of detention.  The center will also have enough beds that can be utilized by the neighboring counties which will provide operational monies for the center as well. The center is estimated to cost approximately 5 million dollars and Judge Vera is seeking Federal and State Grants so that Starr County Residents will not have to foot the bill.  Juvenile delinquency

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Aaliyah Chanel “Miss Glamour Girl Toddler”

Two year old Aaliyah Chanel de la Rosa, daughter of Jose Angel, Jr. & Vereniz de la Rosa, represented Rio Grande City in the “Miss Glamour Girl” pageant at Harlingen, Texas. Bringing home the crown. She is now “Miss Glamour Girl Toddler” for 2013-2014. Keep bringing home those crowns. She was sponsored by Prestige Home Care Services.



Rgc High School Grade A Musicians Show Off Their Skills

Rio Grande High School Mariachi Juvenil Cascabel recently competed at the 7th Annual Mariachi Festival in Roma, Texas. Mariachi Juvenil Cascabel competed with other groups from around the valley and came out victorious earning 1st Place. Their hard work and dedication also earned them Best Violin Section, Best Armonia Section and Best Vocalists. Mariachi Juvenil Cascabel is under the direction of Mrs. Diana Degollado and Mr. Alejandro Rodriguez and principal-ship of Mr. Adolfo Pena. They would like to give a special thanks to their parents, teachers and administrators for their never-ending support to the Rio Grande High School Mariachi program.  Members include:Kimberly Lopez, Jessica Garza, Ivonn Ruvalcaba, Stacy Mireles, Alexis Rosas, Javier Garza Jr.,Janette Garza, Juan Islas, Jose Hernandez, Luis Villarreal, Manuela Aguirre, Marylin Davila and Noemy Vela.



New Korean War Marker will be dedicated to Korean War POW Mr. Gilberto Trejo


Pictured front row; Starr County Historical Commissioner Chairman Alonzo Alvarez and members Elia Ramos and Sam Ramos, back row; Commissioner Ruben D. Saenz, Commissioner Abel Cantu, Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Commissioner Raul “Roy” Pena and Commissioner Eloy Garza.

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and Commissioners passed a resolution to approve a request from Sam Ramos and his wife Elia (members of the historical commission), to place a Korean War Memorial Marker in front of the Starr County Courthouse Annex Building.

The Commissioners Court was presented with extensive research by the Ramos’ on the effects that the Korean War had in our nation but especially in Starr County who saw seven (7) young men parish (names are memorialized in the Veterans Monument located on Britton Avenue in downtown Rio Grande City) and one (1) prisoner of war.

In the words of  Mr. and Mrs. Ramos, “The Korean War lasted only 3 years from 1950 to 1953 and was remembered by few and forgotten by many”.

The marker will be dedicated to Mr. Gilberto Trejo who was captured in 1952 shortly after enlisting in the U.S. Army. Mr.

Trejo was commissioned to the Battle of White Horse in Korea and on October 6, 1952 was captured by the enemy. After more than two (2) months of captivity, he was freed by U.S. forces. He returned to Rio Grande City, married Ernestina

Hernandez and they have six (6)  children.

Mr. Trejo has been a lifetime resident of Starr County where he retired from Rio Grande City CISD as an Educator after a long successful career.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office).

Grulla Middle School 8th Grade “A” Basketball Team Won Tournament Championship Trophy

Grulla Middle School congratulates the 8th Grade “A” basketball team for earning the tournament championship trophy. The tournament was held at Veterans Middle School. Facing tough competition throughout the tournament, the Cranes managed to control the tempo of each game by defeating Veterans Middle School, Roma Middle School and in the championship round defeating Zapata Middle School.  Awesome job Cranes! Pictured L-R: Coach Sandor Lopez, Eluid Flores, Alex Alaniz, Jesse Solis, Jose Gonzalez, Hiram Solis, and Dustin Zarate. Bottom Row: Omar Martinez, Pedro Barrera, Fabian Anzaldua, Aaron Mendez, and Luis Martinez.



ICS Excels at the PSIA

Immaculate Conception School competed in the Private Schools Interscholastic Association (PSIA) District Meet on March 1 and 2 at Calvary Christian School in Harlingen, TX.

ICS joined in 11 events and very proud to say that they placed in all of them. Out of those 14 students who placed, 9 of them will advance to the PSIA STATE Competition Meet to be held in Forth Worth, TX on April 27, 2013.  

Approximately 2,800 students from across Texas will be attending the 2013 PSIA Academic State Meets. Contests include a wide spectrum of advanced curricula in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Listening, Reading, Vocabulary, Speaking, Writing, Art, Music and Drama.

The 9 students that will represent Immaculate   Conception School with their respective events are Alec Vazquez in 2nd Grade Spelling and Storytelling, David Pratt in 3rd Grade Ready Writing, Alonso Guerra in 4th Grade Maps, Graphs and Charts, Cedric Santos in 4th Grade Spelling,       

ICS, page 6



Cantu Beefmasters win “Grand Champion” at 2013 Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show

Cantu Beefmasters Showmen, Victoria Alicia Cantu, Norberto Cantu III, Nicolas Cantu and Adalberto Garza, Jr. participated at the 2013 Rio Grande Valley Livestock show that was held at Mercedes, Texas on March 8-10. Victoria A. Cantu won “Grand Champion Beefmaster Female” in the Open Show and “Reserve Grand Champion” in the Jr. Show with her heifer “Pistol Annie” & bull calf at side “Jimmy”.

Norberto Cantu, III won both “Grand Champion Beefmaster Bull” and “Jr. Class Champion Beefmaster Bull” in the Open Show with his bull “Secret Weapon”. Nicolas Cantu won “Reserve Champion Bull” (Intermediate Class) with his bull “Golden Bear” and Adalberto Garza, Jr. won”Grand Champion Bull” (Intermediate Class) and “Reserve Grand Champion Bull” with his bull “Patrick” at the 1st annual Rio Grande Valley Beefmaster Futurity Show.  

Cantu Beefmasters also won championships in the “Produce of Dam” and “Get of Sire” classes. They all received numerous awards which included plaques, belt buckles and ribbons.

The Cantu children are members of Rattler 4-H and  Junior Beefmasters Breeders Association. Adalberto Garza, Jr. is a member of RGC High School FFA where he is currently serving as the organizations Treasurer.

Cantu Beefmasters are owned by Dr. Norberto and Mrs. Sara Cantu and are located at 6Cantu’s Ranch in Rio Grande City.

Richard Garza is appointed for Constable Pct. 5

Starr County Commissioners Court Appointed Richard Garza as Constable for Pct. 5 San Isidro Area. The position was previously held by Constable Leonel “Leo” Laurel who retired at the end of the year. Richard recently retired from the Starr County Sheriff’s Office after a long career in law enforcement. His extensive training will be a great asset to the San Isidro area residents. Richard was sworn in by  Justice of the Peace Antonia Trevino. Congratulations to Constable Garza! Pictured; Commissioner Ruben Saenz, Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Justice of the Peace Antonia Trevino, Commissioner Abel Cantu, Commissioner Raul “Roy” Pena, Commissioner Eloy Garza and Constable Richard Garza. (County of Starr Public Relations Office)


VMS Mariachi Back-to Back 1st place Victories!!!

Congratulations to Veterans Middle School Mariachi for earning a 1st place victory at the 7th Annual Mariachi Festival held in Roma, TX Saturday March 2nd. They were also awarded “Best” in all individual sections as Best Trumpets, Best Violins, Best Rhythm, Best Vocals and 1st place in the middle school category!

Back Row (L to R) - Dante Figueroa (Guitar), Jacob Clark (violin), Mr. Eloy Garza (VMS Mariachi Director), Arjelio Garza (Guitarron), and Jesus Humberto Cantu (Vihuela) Front Row (L to R)- Oscar Soto (Violin), Gonzalo Tamez (Trumpet), Kasey Escamilla (Violin), Dellanira Garza (Violin), Alexa Posas (Violin), Mariana Sosa (Violin), Monico Fernandez (Violin), Luis Donaldo Cantu (Trumpet)

Furthermore, VMS Mariachi earned their second 1st place victory at the FESTIBA Mariachi competition held Saturday, March 22nd at the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, TX for the fourth consecutive time. VMS Mariachi also earned “Best” in the following sections: Best Violins, Best Trumpets and Best Rhythm. In addition, Mariachi Juenil de America had the distinct honor to open the evening’s concert for the renowned, Grammy Nominated Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez for the 2nd time in a row. Congratulations to the Veterans Middle School Mariachi students, their director, school, and parents. The VMS Mariachi director, Mr. Eloy Garza, would like to thank their principal Mrs. Maricela O. Garcia & administration, teachers/staff, community, family members and all the proud mariachi parents for their continuous support. Keep up the Tradition of Excellence”!!! GO VMS!!!


San Isidro Tigers Make Regional Quarterfinal Playoffs with Dedication and Team Concept

Pictured above:  Ramiro Valdez, Federico Garcia, Marcos Garcia, Luis Garcia, Aaron Alvarado, Omar Montalvo and Samuel Sanchez.

The San Isidro High School Tiger basketball team finished the season by advancing to the Regional Quarterfinal Playoffs. The Tigers finished the season as the District Champs, Area Champs and Regional Quarterfinal Finalists.

The team attributes their success to practicing hard, playing together, and not having any fear on the court. “The Tiger Basketball team accomplished so much this season and has so much to be proud of,” stated Coach Rolando Garza. “This was a team with desire, a dream, and a vision. I am very proud of each player on that varsity team.”

Congratulations to the San Isidro Tigers for an outstanding basketball season:

•District 32A Champs •Area Champs •Regional Quarterfinal Finalist •Overall Record 21 – 10


Y. B. Escobar Elementary students placed at the Regional UIL meet

These are the students that placed from Y. B. Escobar Elementary at the Regional UIL meet at Sharyland, Texas. Roma ISD had 6 participants in each of the different events, and as a district, Roma placed 2nd! We feel very proud of all YBE students and coaches. Mr. Ruben R. Gonzalez also congratulates all the parents for their continuous support, and Mrs. C. Cantu for directing the event. Everyone is very pleased with the results! 1st Place 4th Art Smart Yaritza Gonzalez, Fernanda Lovato, and Eliud Alaniz - Mrs. A. Juarez. 2nd Place 5th Art Smart Julian Delgado and Juan Salinas - Mrs. A. Juarez. 2nd Place Sp. Storytelling Daileen Flores 2nd Grade - Mrs. L. Flores. 2nd Place Spanish Poetry Yackbeli Hinojosa 5th Grade - Mrs. N. Cordova. 3rd Place Sp. Storytelling Aly Ceballos 3rd Grade - Mrs. L. Olivares. 4th Place Spanish Poetry Sofia Ramirez 2nd Grade - Mrs. A. Guerrero. 4th Place Oral Reading Melanie Guerra 4th Grade - Mrs. B. Gonzalez. 6th Place Oral Reading Giselle Guerra 5th Grade - Mrs. N. Cordova. 6th Place Ready Writing Joselyn Rodriguez 5th Grade - Mrs. P. Falcon. 6th Place Spanish Poetry Samantha Lopez 5th Grade - Mrs. N. Cordova.


State of the County Address

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera delivered the State of Starr County Address to a large audience on Wednesday March 6, 2013 at STC Campus. “Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to tell you, that in spite of enduring many challenges, the state of our County IS STRONG AND OUR FUTURE CONTINUES TO BE BRIGHT” said Judge Vera as he began his speech. The county has been able to maintain a healthy fund balance amidst severe loss of revenues due in part to the declining natural gas prices in the past two (2) years, but the nnecessary cuts in the budget have been made to ensure that services to the county continue. The county has seen an increase of job opportunities, attracted new businesses and constructed new roads and public facilities, seen an increase in upper level education and housing opportunities said Judge Vera. 

A video depicting many of the projects that have been undertaken by county commissioners and staff was was also presented. ‘Starr County is still the land of opportunities where people can dream of becoming an entrepreneur and having that dream come true’ said Judge Vera. A moment of silence was observed to honor the memory of Commissioner Abel N. Gonzalez,

Jr. who passed away in September of 2011. “He left us too soon, but his legacy will live on in every one of the projects he brought to the residents of his precinct” said Vera. Judge Eloy Vera praised the work of the county officials and county staff for working diligently for the progress of Starr County. The county officials work closely with local municipalities and the Industrial foundation to seek opportunities for better living conditions for the residents.

Judge Vera was extremely pleased with the number of people present and would like to thank everyone for taking time from their busy schedule to attend the 2013 State of the County Address. He would also like to thank Lone Star National Bank for sponsoring the event.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office)


Perez Renteria PLLC Celebrates Their Grand Opening

Congratulations to Mr. Lionel Perez and Mrs. Cynthia Renteria, attorneys at the law firm Perez Renteria, PLLC on their grand opening of their newest office in Rio Grande City. Their immigration expertise will be a welcome asset to our community.  Their staff which consist of Dufray Rodas, Lita Quintanilha, Lourdes Lopez, Elizabeth Delgado, Gladys Sandoval, Max Robles and Rosalinda Velasquez. Perez Renteria, PLLC will be readily available to answer any questions regarding the Immigration law.


Justin Palacios won 4th Place at the Regional Spelling Bee

Veterans Middle School is celebrating Justin Palacios’ achievement for becoming the 2012-2013 District Spelling Bee Champ! Justin is the son of Ms. Leticia Cantu and is an 8th grader at Veterans Middle School. Despite being a first time participant in the District Spelling Bee, he beat out all the other participants and earned the honor of competing at the 25th Annual Rio Grande Valley Regional Spelling Bee at STC in Weslaco. It was at the Regional Spelling Bee where Justin competed against 56 other contestants who represented schools from Roma to Brownsville and he earned a 4th Place at this competition! VMS is very proud of Justin and his coach, Ms. Esther Cruz, for working diligently to earn these titles and accomplishments.  Additionally, Veterans Middle School has had the distinct honor of coaching the 1st Place winner of the District Spelling Bee Champ for the 5th consecutive year! Pictured is Justin Palacios with some of his trophies. Congratulations Justin for all of your hard work and dedication!



 Roma Middle School Tennis District Champions

Congratulations to the Roma Middle School 8th Grade Tennis Team winning the DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP. Pictured Standing from left to right.  Diana Gonzalez, Abigail Falcon, Victoria Hinojosa, Victoria Toscano, Chantal Lozano, Marina Martinez, Leslie Hinojosa, Dana Garcia, Anitza Alaniz, Jazmine Garcia, Melissa Samperio,and Maria Avila. Kneeling from left to right, Jesus Saenz, Samuel Cantu, Raul Ramirez, Joel Flores, Mario Saenz, Erik Cavazos, Julian Gonzalez, Erik Alaniz, Milton Barrera, and Juan Luis Gonzalez. Not pictured Kayla Gomez, Brizel Moreno, Joe Henry Doria.  JOB WELL DONE GLADIATORS!!!


Congratulations to the Veterans Middle School 8th graders who competed at the Science Bowl Competition at the University of Texas-Pan American on February. The VMS team received a 1st Place award in the Electric Car Competition and a 3rd Place award in the Academic Category!  They competed against 20 other middle schools from the Rio Grande Valley and Corpus Christi area at this competition. In the Academic Category, the 1st and 2nd Place winners were won by two private schools from Corpus Christi; therefore, VMS was the best performing middle school from all the Rio Grande Valley schools that competed in the Science Bowl Competition. We are extremely proud of our students and their sponsors! A special thank you is extended to Mrs. Aime Alvarado, Mr. Roberto Cantu, and Mr. Juan Andrade for preparing our students for this competiton and to Ms. Geneva Bermudez for sponsoring these 8th grade Gear-Up students from VMS. Pictured above with the above  mentioned  coaches are the 8th graders from VMS who earned these achievements at the Science Bowl Competition.  They are Guillermo Ali Garcia, Dillon McGuffin, Dayla Trillayes, Mario Lopez, and Claudia Vanessa Saldivar.



RGCCISD Celebrated District Counselors for National School Counseling Week

Rio Grande City CISD celebrated district counselors for National School Counseling Week that took place from February 4-8, 2013. They kicked off their celebration with a Proclamation Ceremony read by Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal. The counselors were provided a delicious breakfast and entertainment by both high school mariachi groups. A special presentation was made to Noelia Vasquez, Ringgold Middle School Counselor, for her service and dedication to the counseling profession. The counselors are under the direction of Elsa Lopez and along with her staff organized the event. A special thanks to Rio Grande City High School Mariachi along with their Director Alex Rodriguez and Grulla High School Mariachi along with their Director Alfonso Rodriguez. Pictured are the  Rio Grande City CISD Counselors and Elsa Lopez.


Stephen Saenz wins SEC Indoor Shot Put Title

Already an outdoor champion on two occasions, Junior thrower Stephen Saenz claims the men’s shot put title on Sunday to highlight performances at the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships hosted by the University of Arkansas.

Saenz stood in fourth place overall with one throw remaining in the first round of competition.  Knowing he needed a big mark to jump ahead, Stephen recorded a topthrow of 64-7.75 (19.70m) to grab a lead that would hold through three more throws.

“I know there would be good competition from Georgia coming in,” Saenz said.  “My season average wasn’t the best, it was low 19s.  I know AI needed a big throw to win and my third throw I came around on it, hit it solid and got the win.  I’m happy because I haven’t gotten it (indoor champion) in my first two years and now I finally have it.”

The mark is a season high for the now three-time SEC champion and it ranks fourth in the NCAA this season.  His throw was nearly two feet ahead of second place Caleb Whitener from Georgia (62-9.25)

“I’m real proud of Stephen,” Head Coach Spry said, “He did agreat job.  He’s an All-American and he showed why today.  I’m glad to see Stephen get rewarded with the SEC title today and I expect him to continue his success at NCAAs.

Stephen is only the second Auburn man to win the SEC

indoor shot put title, joining Edis Elkasivic in 2005.

You can follow Stephen as he continues on to Nationals via Twitter: @Stephen_Saenz




San Isidro Tigers Make Regional Quarterfinal Playoffs with Dedication and Team Concept

The San Isidro High School Tiger basketball team finished the season by advancing to the Regional Quarterfinal Playoffs. The Tigers finished the season as the District Champs, Area Champs and Regional Quarterfinal Finalists. The team attributes their success to practicing hard, playing together, and not having any fear on the court. “The Tiger Basketball team accomplished so much this season and has so much to be proud of,” stated Coach Rolando Garza. “This was a team with desire, a dream, and a vision. I am very proud of each player on that varsity team.” Congratulations to the San Isidro Tigers for an outstanding basketball season: •District 32A Champs •Area Champs •Regional Quarterfinal Finalist •Overall Record 21 – 10.



9 Roma High School Mighty Gladiator Band students earn Texas All State Band Honors

 Pictured from left from to right are: Vanessa Garcia, 5A French horn, Bianca Barrera, 4A Eb Clarinet, Leonel Garza, Jr., 4A Trumpet, Jorge Canales, Jr., 5A Bass Clarinet, Mario Molina, 5A Percussion, Robert Gonzalez III, 5A French horn, Jorge Moya, 4A Trumpet, Jose Villarreal III, 4A Percussion, Ivan Moreno, 4A Tuba.



Less than 2% of the 50,000+ of the music students that began the TMEA process were on stage at the Lila Crockrell Theater on Saturday, February 16th  for the Grand Concerts. What an honor it is to earn a position on a Texas All-State Band, Orchestra or Choir!  This competition is the equivalent to individual UIL State academics contests and UIL sports all-state team selections.

Most school districts boast of having one student representing them with honor and dignity.

Roma High School had 9 students in an All-State organization. What a thrill for these young ladies and gentlemen who settle for nothing less than to be among “The best of the best in the state of Texas.”

To earn a position of TMEA All-State, requires endless hours of dedication and sacrifice. Our students were up to the challenge. Apart from the level of musicianship these students displayed, some statistics were available with regards to theconnection of music and learning. The SAT score average for the nation is 1509, the SAT average for Texas is 1462, the SAT average

score for the TMEA All-State groups for 2013 was 1805. What a commentary on the effect music has on our children not to mention the social skills and discipline acquired.

On behalf of the Roma ISD band staff we congratulate our dedicated students and parents for their supreme achievements. We extend our heartfelt thanks to our Roma ISD board of trustees and administration for their confidence and support for our band program!



VETERANS  MIDDLE  SCHOOL – Congratulations to the Veterans Middle School Rattlerettes for earning the Sweepstakes Gussie Nell Davis Award of Excellence at the American Dance/Drill Team Competition! The VMS Rattlerettes worked hard to compete at this South Padre Island event on January 26, 2013. The drill team consisted of 18 girls and received scores of 90’s and above from each judge in every category including military, hip-hop, and pom. Another reason to celebrate is that the VMS Rattlerettes also received 1st Place in the American Academic Champions Award for having the highest grades in the Middle School Category! VMS is extremely proud of their drill team and would like to thank the parents and sponsor for all their dedication and support to the VMS Rattlerettes.  Pictured above are the girls on the team who participated in the competition. They are: Yaritza Marroquin, Kaila Flores, Samantha Santos, Destiny Garza, Aaliya Navarro, Kishah Pena, Jarelly Gomez, Samantha Rodriguez, Itznel Frausto, Grace Perez, Yelitza Bazan, Hunter Pena, Glendy Saenz, Alyssa Martinez, Kossett Garza, Anai Quiroz, Jaylynn Gomez, and Yaretzy Tanguma. The VMS Rattlerettes Sponsor is Ana Lisa Solis.


Mr. Leonel Laurel retires after 11 years of service as Pct. 4 Starr County Constable

Commissioner Pct. 4 Ruben Saenz and Sheriff Rene Fuentes presented Mr.Leonel (Leo) Laurel with a plaque in appreciation of his dedication to the residents of Starr County.   Mr. Leo Laurel retires after more than 11 years of service as Constable for Pct. 4.  He is a pillar of the community who has been instrumental in many civic projects that have taken place. Mr. Laurel and his wife Antonia plan to spend time enjoying their grandchildren, traveling, and working in their ranch. Congratulations Mr. Laurel and best wishes for a happy retirement. (County of Starr Public Relations Office)


Mariachi Cascabel State Champs!!!

Mariachi Cascabel continues the tradition of excellence by setting up a higher standard every time they compete. Mariachi Cascabel earned 1st place at the MASBA State competition and are now the 2013 4A State Champs. They competed on February 9, 2013 in San Antonio, TX at the Edgewood ISD-Center of Performing Arts. Mariachi Cascabel members are: Brigido Lagunes, Maria T. Hernandez, Mario Gutierrez, Martin Guerra, Leslie Saenz, Carolina Cantu, Leslie Marroquin, Arlet Villarreal, Juan Martinez, Sasha Guerra, Emmanuel Pena, Ruben Nunez, Gladys Marroquin, Jorge Velasquez, Eli Roy Gonzalez, Luis Barrera, and Jose R. Garcia.  The Rio Grande City High School Mariachi Cascabel is under the direction of Mr. Alex Rodriguez. On behalf of Mariachi Cascabel, we would like to thank administration, Rio Grande City High School Principal- Mr. Adolfo Peña, Superintendent of Schools- Mr. Roel Gonzalez, Asst. Superintendent for Finance and Operations- Mrs. Thelma Ramey, School Board Members, and Mariachi Cascabel Parents for their continuous support. Mariachi Cascabel…thank you for your commitment, dedication and passion. Congratulations and keep up the Rattler tradition of excellence!


Starr County Elections Office purchase computerized Voter Identification System

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Elections Director Mr. Rafael Montalvo, and Tony Montes-Voter Registrar inspect the newly purchased voter identification computers which will replace the old paper poll books. The 20 computers purchased are equipped with software to aid in the voter identification process. This systems which scans the voter’s identification will alert the elections officers of any issues that need to be addressed. Each voting site will be outfitted with  computers to facilitate the process. “We are very exited with the new system which will allow voters to cast their vote without having to wait in long lines to do so “ Said Judge Vera. The voter registration personnel will receive training to prepare them to fully operate the system. Montalvo and his staff procured a grant to purchase the  computers at no cost to Starr County residents.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office).

Immaculate Conception School Basketball Wins Championship

The Immaculate Conception School Boys Basketball varsity captured the Championship of the 2013th Annual San Isidro Junior High Basketball Tournament against the Our Lady of Sorrows School Cougars with the score of 33-23. It was a great tournament from beginning to end with some exciting games throughout the tournament. This is ICS 3rd Championship of the said tournament in 4 years. ICS played a fantastic team offense and defense throughout the match. Jason Perez and Fernando Ibarra made it to the All Tourney Team and Hector Lopez as the Tournament MVP. With their dedication and hard work the ICS Boys Varsity is doing great this season with a very impressive 11-1 record. Keep up the good work and God Bless! Congratulations Antelopes!  

The Best Spellers in Roma !

On Friday, February 8, 2013, Roma ISD held its 6th annual district-wide spelling bee to determine who would represent the district in the Rio Grande Valley Regional Spelling Bee in Weslaco in March. The winners were 1st place: Victor Mayne, RBMS, 2nd place: Aaron Sepulveda, RBMS, 3rd place, Justin Gonzalez, Ema Vera Elementary, and 4th place: Miguel Guillen, Ema Vera Elementary. Great job, Victor, Aaron, Justin, Miguel, and all the participants in the Roma ISD bee! Big thanks to Lone Star National Bank and Barnes and Noble Bookstore, Nolana, for your generous sponsorship of this event. 

Congratulations VMS Tennis Team

On Saturday, February 2nd 2013, the Veterans Middle School tennis team competed in the 4A District Tennis  tournament inRoma,Texas.  The VMS middle school tennis team excelled bringing back a total of 11 medals.  The 7th grade boys and girls team came out in 2nd place overall.  Leading the 7th grade team were: Rogelio Pena – District Champ,  Ashley Marquez 3rdplace, Aransa Almeda and Briyseda Moreno 4th place, Odette Garcia and Luis Garcia District Champs, William Calderon and Brandy Briones 2nd place.  In the 8th grade: Tamara Ramirez 2ndPlace, Selena Guerrero and Amy Trevino 4th place and Vicente Gomez and Noel Garcia 2nd place.



Gregorio Barrera Plaza Unveiling and Re-dedication Ceremony

Starr County is the proud home to many heroes and leaders and on Monday February 4, 2013 an unveiling and re-dedication of Gregorio Barrera Plaza took place to honor Mr. Gregorio Barrera-WW II Veteran and local hero. Mr. Barrera is a survivor of the Bataan Death March and 3 ½ years as a prisoner of war during WW II. The Plaza is located on Britton Avenue across from the Starr County Courthouse and is a tribute of the gratitude for the sacrifices made by Mr. Barrera to secure our freedom. The Gregorio Barrera Plaza will stand proud as a testament of the sacrifices made by Mr. Barrera to protect our country.



Mariachi Grulla De Plata Back to Back State Champions 2012 & 2013

The R.G.C.C.I.S.D. Grulla High School Mariachi excels at the state level once again! This outstanding team comprised of committed and dedicated students participated at the MASBA State Mariachi Finals on Saturday, February 9, 2013 and earned the 3A Mariachi State Championship Title, earning the distinct honor of being “BACK TO BACK STATE CHAMPIONS”! The MASBA State Mariachi Competition was held at the Edgewood ISD Center for Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas. The Grulla High School members are the following: Back row- (l to r) Ashmad Garza, Noel Saenz, Jr., and Jonathan Aguas; Middle row- Samuel Alvarado, Hugo Garcia, Francisco Hernandez, Jr., Rolando Lopez, Miguel Flores, Adrian Rubalcava, and Jesus Rodriguez; Front row - Jeniffer Garcia, Adelynn Garza, Valerie Manzano, Abigail Acevedo, Darlene Gonzalez and Audrey Estrada. We would like to thank the parents, all members of the GHS educational community, Mr. Joel Trigo, Jr., Grulla High School Principal, Grulla High School Administration, Mr. Roel A. Gonzalez, Superintendent of Schools, Central Office Administration, and the R.G.C.C.I.S.D. School Board Members for their continual generous support. Continue to radiate that Gator pride!  The Grulla High School Mariachi is under the direction of Mr. Alfonso Rodriguez.


Rosa Elia, Roel A. Gonzalez to Serve As Starr County Fair Parade Marshals

Rosa Elia Garza Gonzalez and Roel A. Gonzalez have been selected by the Starr County Fair Association to serve as 2013 Parade

Marshals for the annual parade set for Saturday, February 16, at 9:00 a.m. on Main Street, Rio Grande City.

They have both dedicated much time and effort to the Starr County Fair through the years.  Roel, born in California, came to Starr County as a boy and was educated in Roma schools, graduating from RHS and going on to Pan American.  After teaching, coaching, and counseling in Roma, Rio Grande City, and Edinburg Schools, he served as principal at Economedes High School for twelve years from the time it was built. Ten years ago, he returned to Starr County to serve as superintendent at the Rio Grande City CISD, a position he currently holds.  Throughout this time, he and his wife, Rosa Elia, resided in Starr County.

Rosa and daughter Terri came to visit in 1983 and never left.  She met Roel here, where he was teaching at the middle school, and they have been married for twenty years.  She worked at First National Bank and immediately got involved with volunteering at the Fair, charging at the gate, working in the booths, “wherever I was needed.” She has served on the Parade Committee and judged

Parade Marshals, page 10


Guerra Family Dentistry To Open In Rio Grande City

Dr. Juan Carlos Guerra, who has practiced dentistry in Roma and Rio Grande City for the past seven years as an associate with Dr. Norberto Cantu, Jr. is now moving to a new location. 

Guerra Family Dentistry will be located at 201 N. FM 3167 Suite 11-12 in Marza’s Plaza across Starr County Memorial Hospital. Guerra Family Dentistry will utilize the latest, state of the art, digital dental equipment and will be easily accessible to all residents of Starr County. 

Dr. Guerra is a 1997 Graduate of Roma High School and 2005 Graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School in San Antonio. Dr. Juan Carlos Guerra is the son of Roberto and Edna C. Guerra of Fronton, and is happily married to Iris Laurel Guerra, daughter of Alfredo and Nelda Laurel of Rio Grande City.  

Services provided by Dr. Guerra will include, Digital X-ray’s, which reduce radiation exposure, cleanings, fillings, root canals, professional tooth whitening, tooth straightening with braces, tooth extractions, porcelain crowns and bridges, partial and full dentures. 

At Guerra Family Dentistry, Dr. Guerra will provide the highest quality dental care in a comfortable and friendly environment. His experienced staff will treat you with sincere compassion and true professionalism to give you the best dental visit experience possible.

Guerra Family Dentistry will be conveniently open Tuesday thru Friday from 8:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and on Saturdays 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.



Starr County Fair Queen and Court Crowned

The 2013 Starr County Fair Queen and court were crowned at the annual Youth Fair Pageant held Sunday evening in the Rio Grande City CISD Auditorium. Alejandra Vargas is the 2013 Queen. A sophomore at Rio Grande City High School, Alejandra is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Vargas. Teen Princess is Celeste Emie Cantu, daughter of Emilio and Sally Cantu, an eighth grader at Veterans Middle School. Sydney Lyann Garcia, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rogelio and Joelda Garcia, is the Pre-Teen Princess. She is in fifth grade at General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary. Petite Princess is Alma Ruby Peña, daughter of Rene and Estrella Peña.  She is in kindergarten at Roque Guerra Jr. Elementary. Lluvia Li Aldape, daughter of Juan and Mayela Aldape, is the Precious Princess.  She is in pre-K at John and Olive Hinojosa Elementary.  Starr County Cowboy is Jaime Mendoza III, a third grader at San Isidro Elementary. Jaime is the son of Patricia Cruz and Jaime Mendoza, Jr.  The pageant was sponsored by Starr County 4-H Council, and 4-Hers volunteered throughout the event. 4-H Club Sweethearts and Beaus were also presented.



GMS Cheerleaders win 2nd place at the Annual Texas Cheerleader Magazine Competition

Grulla Middle School Cheerleaders win 2nd place at the Annual Texas Cheerleader Magazine Competition on Sunday, January 13, 2013.  GMS Cheer Coach, Mrs. Yesenia Rodriguez, expresses that the girls’ dedication and determination is the drive behind this great honor.  This is the first time GMS participates in this competition.  Go Mighty Cranes!!!







Ringgold Elementary congratulates all UIL Participants and Coaches for obtaining 1st PLACE SWEEPSTAKES in our 2012-2013 UIL DISTRICT MEET that took place on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at North Grammar Elementary.   We extend our ultimate appreciation to all parents, contestants, and UIL coaches for their outstanding hard work and committed dedication that leads Team Ringgold in bringing home GOLD!!!



Starr County Officials Attend Ceremony to Honor Ruben Saenz

(Pictured Abel Cantu-Commissioner Pct. 1, Jaime Maldonado-Treasurer, Mr. Saenz and Starr County Judge Eloy Vera)

Starr County Officials attend a ceremony to honor  Educational Icon Mr. Ruben Saenz-STC Starr Campus Administrator for his years of service and contributions. The ceremony was held on January 29th at South Texas College. Saenz who announced his retirement early this month has been in the educational field for over 50 years. Mr. Saenz’ extraordinary leadership has left an unprecedented legacy. “He has educated, encouraged and mentored thousands of young people” said Judge Eloy Vera. Vera also thanked Mr. Saenz on behalf of himself and the Commissioners Court and wished him a happy retirement. (County of Starr Public Relations Office)


Ringgold Middle School Band Members Achieve Top Honors in Region

(L-R) Daisy Hernandez (Flute) 11th Chair Symphonic Band, Maira Chacon (Flute) 4th Chair Honor Band, Emmanuel Lopez (Euphonium) 3rd Chair Honor Band, Marlen Alfaro (Bb Clarinet)12th Chair Honor Band, Ricardo Mendez (Alto Saxophone) 6th Chair Concert Band, Meagan Canales (Bb Clarinet) 3rd Chair Concert Band, Kevin Medina (Tuba) 5TH Symphonic Band, Liliana Chacon (Alto Saxophone) 2nd Chair Concert Band, Jessenia Reyna (Cornet) 6th Chair Symphonic Band, Laisha De La Garza (Alto Saxophone) 3rd Chair Honor Band.

RMS had eleven students participate in the Region XV All-Valley Clinic and Concert held at the La Joya Fine Arts Auditorium on December 15, 2012.  These select few were chosen after they competed against other students from Roma to Alamo.  The students achieved this honor through their hard work and dedication.  The RMS Band would like to thank Mrs. Olga Smedley and her administration for their continued support of our music program.

Six Grulla High School Band Students Selected To All State Band

Grulla High School - Congratulations! On January 12, 2013 at the TMEA/ATSSB Area Tryouts held at Orange Grove High School, six members of the Grulla High School Band were selected as members of the Texas All-State Band. This tryout was the last individual tryout for the year and the results were extremely positive. Being selected as an All State player is the highest individual honor that a band student in our great state can achieve.

On December 1, 2012, The TMEA/ATSSB Tryouts were held at Rio Hondo High School. Grulla High school led the way and placed 42 Band members in the TMEA/ATSSB All-Region Band. This number was far more than any other high school at the competition and is a testament to the dedication and commitment on the part of students and staff. Twenty-seven of these students placed high enough in their section to qualify for the afore-mentioned TMEA/ATSSB Area Tryouts. The number of students that qualified for Area was more than any other high school in our Area. The area extends from Brownsville to Fredericksburg to Laredo and part of San Antonio and to the areas near Victoria and includesall 3A, 2A, and singles A schools in this large expansive region. What a tremendous accomplishment by  the wonderful and hard-working students and staff of The Grulla High School Band!

Grulla High School Band students earning All-State Honors at the TMEA/ATSSB Area Tryouts were Marcelo Lopez, Jose Antonio Guzman, Jr., Hugo Garcia, Alejandro Manzano, Edgar Lopez, and Adrian Rubalcava. This is another great and noteworthy accomplishment by the students and staff. These students and their directors will be participating at The TMEA Clinic/Convention in San Antonio from February 13 through February 16, 2013 at The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Their concert is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Saturday February 16, 2013 at The Lila Cockrell Auditorium. Grulla Band Staff consists of Oscar Gonzalez, Nazario Trevino, Hector Corona, Leydiana Corona, Jose Antonio Flores, Gilbert Garcia, and Monique R. Olivarez. The staff would like to thank the students for their fantastic work ethic and dedication, the parents for their great support, and Mr. Joel Trigo, Jr., GHS Principal and our Campus Administration for their steadfast and unwavering support of all our musical endeavors. A special thank you also to our School Board, our Superintendent, Mr. Roel A. Gonzalez, and our Central Administration for all that they do for our students and our program.

This year has been a truly positive and historic year for our band and these results merely add to the tremendous accomplishments and honors already earned.

Great Job Gator Band!!!


Rio High Baseball Star Makes Local History


Rio Grande City High School junior Jorge Marroquin (center) proudly shows his First-Team All-State Second Base Player certificate. From left back are RGC High Coach Joseph Seale, RGC High Head Baseball Coach Salvador Hernandez Jr., RGC High Principle Adolfo Pena Jr., and RGC High coaches Francisco Eguia and Kevin J. Whaley. From bottom left are RGC High coaches Santiago Carrion and Reynaldo Alvarez.


 For just the third time in the history of Rio Grande City CISD, Rio Grande City High School junior Jorge Marroquin has been named First-Team All-State Second Base Player by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association.

“I was pretty excited and proud of myself when I found out about this award,” said the 16-year-old. “My dad got me interested in the sport and I’ve played since I was around four years old. From being a student at North Grammar Elementary, to my time at Veterans Middle School and now with Rio High, baseball has always been a big part of my life. I haven’t looked at too many colleges yet, so my options are open, but I hope to go to college and maybe get a baseball scholarship.”

“I am really focused on this season though,” he expressed. “I love pitching and I think it’s something I’m pretty good at and I want to build on. Last year my batting average was above 400 and I think I can improve that this year. My goal is for the team to win district this year and go far into the playoffs. In the mean time, my message to other students who want to be good at this sport it that you have to practice a lot, try hard and never give up. You have to maintain good grades and behave in school.”

 Marroquin’s coaches are clearly proud of his accomplishment and hope he will be a role model to others as he progresses with his athletics. 

 “Jorge is a real humble kid. He’s very respectful and he stays up with his grades; that’s what we tell all our students, but he follows that advice closely,” said Rio Grande High School Assistant Coach Joseph Seale. “We haven’t had an all-star in baseball in so long and this is a real honor for him. It’s a very big accomplishment and I think one day he will be playing for a university. He has a long, successful career ahead.”



Starr County Delegation attend Homage to Veterans in Hebbronville, Texas

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Sheriff Rene Fuentes, Representative Ryan Guillen, Mr. Chito Guerra (Starr County WW II Veteran), Mr. Jorge Garza and Mr. Juan Cantu joined veterans and residents of Hebbronville, Texas  at a ceremony on Friday January 11, 2013 in honor of local veterans. The ceremony was held to rename the Hebbronville Plaza as the Jim Hogg County Veterans Memorial Plaza to honor the sacrifices made by men and women who have earned the distinction of becoming veterans by fighting for our freedom. The keynote speaker for this historic event was Starr County’s very own Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez who acknowledged the tremendous challenges that the veterans encounter and the sacrifices soldiers across the country have made to preserve our liberty. Pictured Representative Ryan Guillen,  Sheriff Rene Fuentes,  Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez,  Mr.  Chito Guerra-WW II Veteran,  Judge Eloy Vera and Jim Hog Commissioner and former Sheriff  Mr.  Juan Lino Ramirez. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).



Mariachi Grulla de Plata to perform at the Texas State Capital in Austin, Texas

Congratulations to the Grulla High School Mariachi for earning 3rd Place at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Competition in San Antonio, Texas on November 30, 2012. This dynamic group also earned a Division I rating at the South Area Mariachi Competition. They were one of the top 3A performing mariachi groups in our area and therefore qualified once again to participate in the State Mariachi Competition to be held on February 9, 2013 at the Edgewood I.S.D. Performing Arts Center in San Antonio, Texas. We are proud to announce that our Mariachi Grulla de Plata will be performing at the Texas State Capital in Austin, Texas on January 31, 2013.



Wild Game Fundraiser Set For February 16

The Starr County Fair Association invites the public to attend its annual scholarship fundraiser for the Starr County Fair scholarship recipients of 2013. The annual Wild Game Dinner is set for Saturday, February 16. Doors open at 6:00 at the James Peterson Memorial Building at the Starr County Fairgrounds, and serving begins at 6:30 p.m.

Advance tickets for $15 per person are available at Rio Motor Co. from Event Chairman Billy Canales, from Co-Chair Celinda Salinas at Citizens State Bank in Rio, at the Starr County Teachers Federal Credit Union, and from members of the Fair Association. Admission will be $20 per person at the door.

A silent auction and live auction will be held to raise funds for youth scholarships.

The variety of food will be even better than ever. HEB will be serving their popular shrimp

and catfish from their expanded Seafood Market. There will be 16 Booths with a great variety of wild game to choose from prepared in various ways.  All food and drink sponsors are generous donors of their talents and resources for the sake of the scholarship recipients.

A treat is in store after the dinner and auctions, as Sons of the Rio Grande will provide music for dancing. 

Individuals and businesses may make donations of items for the auctions.  These may be brought to Rio Motor Company and Citizens State Bank in Rio for this event that benefits Starr County youth from all three high schools.  The event will officially kick off the 48th annual fair. Honored guests will be 2013 Starr County Fair Parade Marshals, Rosa and Roel Gonzalez, Volunteer of the Year, Tissa Peterson, and Volunteer Group of the Year, HEB.


Elite Tutoring Unmarked Industries LLC Celebrates Grand Opening

On Saturday January 12, 2013, Melissa Yvonne Hernandez and Priscilla Ann Requenez proudly announced the opening of their business. Close family and friends were invited to come and share in their joyous occasion. A special guest was Pastor Donicio Garza Jr. from Templo Cristiano of Los Saenz, Texas. He led the ribbon cutting ceremony with a special blessing and a message from the word of God. Our heart goes out to both our families and good friends whom supported us through the process and to God for allowing this to take place. Our doors are opened to the public. We offer tutoring on Reading, Writing, Grammar, Math, & Science for pre-k to 12th grade, adult ESL classes, & in the weekend we have Discovery Camps, Math Camps, Arts & Crafts, and Reading & Writing Workshops. This will be a place where children and adults can come and gain knowledge through hard working individuals. Our mission is to provide “Elite Tutoring” to children and adults for success in their classrooms and everyday lives. Our location is 420 E. Main St. Rio Grande City, TX inside D’Valentino Photography.


The New Starr County Commissioners Court

First Starr County Commissioners Court Meeting of the 2013 was held on January 14th and was a new beginning for newly elected Pct. 1 Commissioner Abel Cantu. Cantu, who is not a novice when it comes to county affairs having served as Justice of the peace for 13 years prior to winning his seat as commissioner, was very excited to take on his new role. He joins a commission of leaders that have lead Starr County for many years and have established themselves through great leadership and knowledge. Abel joins trailblazers Commissioner Pct. 2 Roy Pena, Commissioner Pct. 3 Eloy Garza and Commissioner Pct. 4 Ruben Saenz (who has been at the reigns in Pct. 4 for over a year). They have spearheaded and initiated many programs to benefit their communities and together have implemented many changes in infrastructure to ensure better living conditions for residents. The Commissioners Court is headed by Starr County Judge Eloy Vera who has been instrumental in bringing the county to a solvent status. His diligence in county affairs is evident through a very healthy general fund that has been procured to ensure that the county is in good financial standing. Judge Vera heads Starr County with a firm hand in finances and an impeccable rein in county court. Pictured Commissioner Cantu, Commissioner Saenz, Judge Vera, Commissioner Pena and Commissioner Garza. (County of Starr Public Relations Office)



Rio Grande City HS Band Area Students Selected as Texas All-State Musicians



 On January 12, 2013 at Alice High School in Alice, Texas area students were selected to perform in Texas All-State Music Ensemble. Over 60,000 students initially entered the All-State competitive process 840 are selected to perform with All-State Concert and Jazz Bands 220 are selected to perform with All-State Orchestras 500 are selected to perform with All-State Choirs All-State performances will be held as part of the annual TMEA Clinic/Convention, Feb. 13–16, 2013. Over 26,000 people from Texas and beyond will attend over 300 workshops, 60 performances and visit over 1,100 exhibit booths at this nation’s largest music educators’ convention.

Aritza Ortiz-Bb Clarinet; Lizbeth Barrera-French Horn; and Alfredo Prado-Cornet are members of the Rio Grande City HS Mighty Rattler Band will perform with the Texas All-State 4A Band in San Antonio, Saturday, February 16, 2013 at the Henry B. Gonzalez

Convention Center as part of the 2013 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention. They were chosen for this honor through a competitive process held this year across the state at District, Region and Area levels. Aritza Ortiz is a student of Ms. Angela Solis and Mr. Roel Elizondo; Lizbeth Barrera is a student of Mr. Rudy Barrera; Alfredo Prado is a student of Mr. Guillermo Dela Cruz, who are all members of the Texas Music Educators Association, an 11,000+ member organization headquartered in Austin.

This is Artiza Ortiz’s first time to

perform as a member of a TMEA All-State organization. Aritza Ortiz is the daughter of Mr. Daniel and Mrs. Alda Ortiz; This is also Lizbeth Barrera’s first time to perform as a member of a TMEA All-State organization. Lizbeth Barrera is the daughter of Mr. Rudy and Dora N. Barrera.  It is Alfredo Prado’s 2nd time to perform as a member of a TMEA All-State organization.  Alfredo Prado is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Prado.

High school students selected to perform in the All-State concerts have competed through several levels of auditions beginning in

the fall of 2012 to arrive at the state level.  All-State is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive. Over 1,500 students are selected through a process that began with over 60,000 students from around the state vying for this honor to perform in one of 13 ensembles (bands, orchestras and choirs). Texas Music Educators Association sponsors the Texas All-State competition. This competitive process begins throughout the state in auditions hosted by 28 TMEA Regions. Individual musicians perform selected music for a panel of judges

who rank each instrument or voice part. From this ranking, a select group of musicians advances from their Region to compete against musicians from other areas in seven TMEA Area competitions.

The highest-ranking musicians judged at the TMEA Area competitions qualify to perform in a TMEA All-State music group. These All-State students participate in three days of rehearsals directed by nationally - recognized conductors during the TMEA Clinic/Convention. Their performances for thousands of attendees bring this extraordinary event to a close.

For more information or for the All-State concert schedule and conductor go to:

The Texas Music Educators Association is an association of over 11,000 school music educators dedicated to promoting excellence in music education. STRIKE UP THE BAND!!!


Miss Starr County & Miss Rio Grande City dual pageant

Preceptor Pi  Beta hosted the annual Miss Starr County & Miss Rio Grande City dual pageant at the RGCCISD Auditorium. Miss Judy Solis served as Mistress of Ceremonies. Preceptor Pi Beta thanks the community for their generous support of this endeavor. The winners will represent their County and the City of RGC in various community events. Standing from Left - Right are:  Miss Rio Grande City, Karina Barrera, Little Miss Starr County, Jayda Garcia, Tiny Miss Starr County, Mia Dali Cantu, Jr. Miss Starr County, Hunter Pena & Miss Starr County, Tanya Rodriguez.


2013 Youth Fair Pageant

“Building On Our Traditions”

On Sunday, February 10, 2013, Annika Caren Nunez, daughter of Mr.  & Mrs. Julio Nunez from Rio Grande City, Texas will be turning over her crown to a new Queen who will reign over the Youth Fair which is scheduled to start on Thursday, February 21, 2013.

This year’s pageant will be held at Fort Ringgold Campus Auditorium.  The pageant rotates throughout the county to bring the enthusiasm and excitement to the community for the largest county event the Starr County Youth Fair that brings together students from every school in the county.

We want to invite the youth of the county to get involved in the pageant and became part of this excellent character building experience that heightens confidence and self esteem for our participating youngsters of all ages.

Girls can enter one of 5 categories according to their school grade:

Precious Fair Princess – Pre-kinder

Petite Fair Princess – Kinder through 2nd grade

Pre-teen Fair Princess – 3rd through 5th grade

Teen Princess – 6th through 8th grade

County Fair Queen – Starr County High School students

For the third time we have opened a category for boys – 5th grade and under – the Cowboy Category

Rehearsal for the pageant this year will be on Thursday, February 7th starting at 3:00 p.m.

For more information you can call the County Extension office 487-2306.  Applications for the pageant are available at all school principal’s office and from 4H Club Managers and at the  County Extension office located at 500 N. Britton Rio Grande City, TX.


County Fair Event Schedule Announced

Several Changes will be Featured


The 48th annual Starr County Fair, set for Thursday-Saturday, February 21-23, will feature events for the entire family.  Get out your boots, hats and best jeans as you round up your entire family for this year’s fair, with the theme “Building on our Traditions.”

The weekend before will kick off a full week of activities for families, with four big events scheduled for Saturday, February 16.  They are the annual Cookoff, which is usually held on Sunday after the Fair, a Trail Ride, the Western Parade held downtown at 9:00 a.m., and the Wild Game Dinner.

The pageant to select the Starr County Fair Queen, Princesses, and Cowboy will also be held earlier this year, on Sunday, February 10, at the auditorium of the Rio Grande City CISD.  Contact the Starr County Extension Office, 487-2306.

Mark your calendars with these important dates!  The new Starr County Fair website is up and running and almost complete.  Check it out:

Get your dancing boots dusted off.  This year’s fair will feature top entertainment for dancing and pleasure in the evenings, including Ricky Naranjo and Los Chamacos on Friday and Buck N Crazy and Tony Perez Band on Saturday.

Various stage performances will take place during the day by dance and music groups. The dancing, singing, and instrumental talents of Starr County students will be showcased.

Livestock, baking, youth and adult art, youth and adult arts and crafts, educational posters and farm shop competitions will be held throughout the three-day event February 21-23, with exhibits to be viewed.

The carnival will be in full swing starting Wednesday evening.

Chick and duck, rabbit, and pig scrambles will continue to be an open event for any youngster attending the fair. Sponsored by H.E.B., the scrambles will be on Friday and Saturday evenings.

At 6:00 p.m. on Thursday will be the official Opening Ceremony of the Fair, at which the winners of the Queen’s pageant and the scholarship winners will be introduced, as well as all of the volunteers that make the fair possible.

Schools, day care centers, and businesses are encouraged to enter the annual Starr County Fair parade on Saturday morning, February 16, at 9:00. Entry registration is on-site at the end of South Britton Avenue. Fee is $25 per entry, payable at that time.  Lineup is on Water Street, facing east. The parade will end in Fort Ringgold.  For more information, call Tissa Peterson at 500-1430 or Monica at 488-0122 during business hours.


General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary Students Receive Fruit Bags

Mr. Jorge Garza and his family conducted a presentation at General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary. This presentation exposed students to proper nutrition and twenty students were selected to receive a bag filled with healthy and organic fruits to enjoy with families during their Christmas break. On behalf of our students and staff members, we would like to thank The Farmer’s Wife for donating their crops and time for our students.


Senator Judith Zaffirini Sworn In for New Term,

Marks Beginning of 83rd Texas Legislative Session


SENATOR JUDITH ZAFFIRINI (center) and other members of the Texas Senate are sworn in during ceremonies at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday. Senator Zaffirini represents Senate District 21, including all or part of 18 counties. The highest ranking Hispanic and second-highest ranking senator in Texas, she was first elected in 1986.


Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, the second highest-ranking Texas state senator, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 was sworn in for a new term representing Senatorial District 21, which includes all or part of 18 counties and stretches from the Rio Grande to the Colorado River and to the Port of Corpus Christi. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst presided during Opening Day Ceremonies, officially gaveling to order the 83rd Texas Legislative Session.

“The new legislative session provides countless opportunities to make a difference in the lives of SD 21 families,” Senator Zaffirini said. “I welcome the exciting challenges of representing them in the Texas Senate and especially look forward to prioritizing their needs and interests. These include higher and public education and health and human services, especially for the very young, the very old and persons with disabilities.”

Senate District 21 has changed dramatically. It includes the majority of the rigs, the majority of production and the highest producing counties in the Eagle Ford Shale and the Circuit of the Americas in southeast Travis County.

“The changes in our district mean that new issues must be addressed,” Senator Zaffirini said. “We must collaborate to reap the benefits of these economic development treasures and to resolve their related problems and challenges.”

First elected in 1986, the senator has received more than 670 awards and honors for her legislative, public service and professional work, including more than 160 awards for excellence in communications.

Her legendary work ethic is reflected in her 100 percent voting record in the Texas Senate, where she has cast more than 47,580 consecutive votes since 1987. She has sponsored and passed 725 bills and 52 substantive resolutions and co-sponsored and passed another 384 bills. A member of the Energy Council since 2009, she is particularly active in addressing opportunities and challenges presented by the Eagle Ford Shale.

Senator Zaffirini pre-filed 31 bills before the 2013 session began, including many relating to higher education, public education, health and human services and public safety.

“I look forward to working with my legislative colleagues this session to pass meaningful legislation that strengthens our state’s economy, prioritizes families and improves the quality of life for all Texans,” she said.

Her legislative accomplish-ments during the 2011 legislative session include sponsoring and passing legislation prohibiting the use of dangerous restraints in State Supported Living Centers; eliminating the use of the hurtful slur “retarded” in state statutes; reforming the TEXAS Grant program to prioritize grants for high achieving, low-income students; enhancing

academic advising and financial aid programs; and protecting children with food allergies.

The lieutenant governor is expected to appoint new Senate committees this month. Senator Zaffirini currently serves as Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency; Chair of the Senate Government Organization Committee; and a member of the Legislative Budget Board and the Senate Finance, Health and Human Services, Administration and Economic Development committees.


Grulla High School JROTC

TC cadets from 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade obtained 1st place overall. The cadets also took 1st place in four team events, three second place team trophies, and one third place team trophy. Grulla High School students and staff are extremely proud of the cadets and instructors. GHS JROTC would like to thank the parents for their unwavering support. Picture above are the proud cadets from Grulla High School. GO GATORS!

Congratulations to the cadets for an explosive performance at Zapata Skills Competition on Saturday, December 1, 2012. GHS JRO



Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and Starr County Commissioners proclaimed December 20, 2012 as Jaime M. Alvarez Day. Commissioner Alvarez was commended for his service to the community as Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace and Commissioner. “Jaime seeking to continue his service of community, secured his Texas Peace Officer’s License in 2006” said Judge Vera in the proclamation.  Alvarez was humbled by this gesture and thanked everyone for bestowing this honor on him. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).




Henry Cuellar sworn into 5th term in Congress

South Texan to be member of House Appropriations Committee, Democratic leadership team in the 113th Congress 




Speaker of the U.S. House John Boehner, left, administers the oath of office to U.S. Rep Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) during a ceremony Thursday in Washington, DC. Thursday’s swearing-in marked Cuellar’s fifth term in Congress.


Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) on Thursday was sworn into a fifth term as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

He was elected to Congress in 2004 and was first sworn into office in January 2005.

“First and foremost, I thank God for giving me the opportunity to return to our nation’s capitol and continue working for the things that matter most to the 28th Congressional District of Texas,” said Congressman Cuellar. “There are many important pending issues that we are going to have to tackle this Congress, but I am a firm believer that by working together with members of both parties, we will work in the best interest of those we represent and complete our tasks at hand.”

During the 113th Congress, which started at noon on Thursday, Congressman Cuellar will be a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Vice-Chairman of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

The main purpose of the Committee on Appropriations is to oversee the Federal budget, review proposed expenditures and craft the legislation that outlines annual spending for government agencies. For Congressman Cuellar, as a fiscally conservative member of Congress, having been assigned to this committee speaks of his continuous efforts to maintain a balanced budget and reduce the nation’s deficit when allocating federal funds.

Congressman Cuellar is the only Democratic member from Texas on the Appropriations Committee.

The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee’s purpose is to select fellow members for committee assignments and to advise party leaders on policy. The committee is also charged with promoting the Democratic Caucus message.

“I look forward to continue working with my fellow members in the committee and the rest of the House Democrats,” said Congressman Cuellar, who is also a Senior Whip. “This leadership position will give me the opportunity to carry on with my commitment of advocating for the middle class, small businesses, and our seniors.”



Starr County Fair Dates Set --- Plans are underway for the 2013 Starr County Fair, set for the last weekend of February, with projects being brought to the fairgrounds on Wednesday, February 20, and many exciting events Thursday through Saturday, concluding with the Parade of Champions and Auction on Saturday, February 23. This year, the annual Parade and Cookoff will be held the week before, on Saturday, February 16, on the same day as the Wild Game Dinner. The Starr County Fair Queen and court will be selected at a pageant to be held in Rio Grande City on Sunday, February 10. The fair is successful because of the efforts of many volunteers throughout the county. The Association welcomes new volunteers, and now is a great time to get on board for 2013.  Please feel free to contact Fair officers Kenny Anderson, president; Lori Perez, vice-president; Emiliana Guerra, vice-president for facilities; Maria Elena Olivarez, secretary; and Xavier Perez, treasurer, or any Fair department chairman. The RGCCISD Grulla High School and Rio Grande City High School JROTC representatives are pictured at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Fair.  The talents of youth from throughout the county are highlighted in a wide variety of ways throughout the Fair.


23 Roma ISD Mariachi Musicians Selected To TMEA Region 15 All-Region Mariachi

Following a rigorous audition process held at Grulla High School, twenty-three Roma ISD students were selected as members of one of the Texas Music Educator’s Association (TMEA) Region 15 Middle School All-Region Mariachi groups. They were selected as the very best performers in the region, which includes Roma, Rio Grande City CISD, Edinburg, Hidalgo, and Valley View school districts. 

Mariachi students from Ramiro Barrera Middle School participating were Ailyn Barrera (2nd Chair, Vihuela, Group B), Homer Flores (1st Chair, Harp, Group A), Héctor García (2nd Chair, Guitar, Group B), Marco Guillén (Alternate, Guitar), Felipe Hinojosa (3rd Chair, Guitarrón, Group B), John Victor Mayne (2nd Chair, Violin, Group A), Javier Méndez (2nd Chair, Violin, Group B), Noé Muñiz (Alternate, Trumpet), Oriana Reyes (8th Chair, Violin, Group A), Luis Rosález (1st Chair, Trumpet, Group B), Cindy Salinas (7th Chair, Violin, Group B), and Valeria Salinas (1st Chair, Alto, Group B).

Mariachi students from Roma Middle School participating were Joe Henry Doria (4th Chair, Violin, Group B), Julián Fernández (7th Chair, Violin, Group A), Ediel González (1st Chair, Tenor, Group A), Juan Luis González (3rd Chair, Vihuela, Group B), Luis Darío González (5th Chair, Guitar,

Group A), Margil Guerra (4th Chair, Trumpet, Group A), Yaquelín Infante (1st Chair, Harp, Group B), Dulce María López (4th Chair, Guitar, Group A), Jorge Lozano (2nd Chair, Guitarrón, Group A), Ashely Mandujano (5th Chair, Violin, Group B), and Mario Sáenz (5th Chair, Guitar, Group B).

These students will perform in the All Region Mariachi concert to be held February 23, 2013 at the Edinburg North High School Auditorium. The Roma ISD Mariachi Program is under the direction of Mr. Noé Sánchez, Mr. Daniel Rentería, and Ms. Corine García.

The Starr County Rattler 4-H Club recently honored their 4-H club manager, Emiliana Guerra with a plaque. The plaque was given to Mrs. Guerra for her hard work and dedication to the 4-H program.  Mrs. Guerra has served the 4-H program for more than ten years. She also serves as the 4-H representative and 2nd Vice-President on the Starr County Fair Association.



Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez visits General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary students!

Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez surprised 5th grade students with a visit and interacted with them in their daily learning. During his visit, he spoke to the students about setting and reaching goals and how determination and education is the key to reaching such goals. It was such an honor for many students to finally meet Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez after learning about his many accomplishments and service towards our nation. On behalf of the students, staff and administration at General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary we would like to thank Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez and his wife for investing their time in our students.




General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary receives 2nd Place at U.I.L. Meet Sweepstakes!

On December 8, 2012, General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary students participated in their first UIL meet at Raquel Cavazos Elementary in Mission.  Students received awards in different categories and General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary’s U.I.L. Team scored 2nd Place overall in this sweepstake.  Congratulations students and UIL Coaches and keep up the good work!


41 Veterans MS Band Members selected to TMEA Region 15 All-Region Band

Many would say that band or music education in the public schools is just a “feel good” and “do your best job” type of endeavor, but band is much more than this. It is “heart wrenching” competition that drives students to perform at their absolute “best” and helps mold students into productive citizens for our community. Preparation for such competitive life changing events is such the case in middle school All-Region competitions.  This is what drives our Veterans

MS Band program! Striving for EXCELLENCE, and NEVER settling for less! 

On Saturday, December 8, 2012 after having marched at a parade, the night before, and having to get up and be at the band hall by 5:15 am, our Veterans MS band students presented themselves with pride and determination at the TMEA Region Middle School Band Auditions in Edinburg, Texas at Edinburg HS. They would not be denied! Out of 52 students participating 41

earned a chair position in the highly contested and tremendously competitive audition! Over 40 middle schools from Pharr San Juan Alamo to Roma participated at this most competitive event. Over 1,100 students participated and attempted to earn the distinguished honor of TMEA Region 15 Middle School All-Region Band Member! We are ecstatic to announce our Veterans MS TMEA All-Region MS Band members.

FluteAlexis Saenz -2nd Chair, Dayla Trillayes-3rd Chair, Illean Reyes -8th Chair, and Stephanie Garza- 10th Chair Honors Band; Sarina Salmon- 1st Chair Symphonic Band and Arriana Guerra- 2nd Chair Concert Band

Bb ClarinetLizbeth Alaniz -12th Chair Honors Band, Javier Muniz- 1st Chair Symphonic Band, and Victoria Montalvo- 12th Chair Symphonic BandClarissa Garcia- 2nd Chair Concert Band, and Jacqueline Olivarez- 15th Chair Concert Band

Alto Saxophone: Juan Martinez- 2nd Chair Honors Band, and Brianna Gonzalez- 4th Chair Honors BandVictoria Carrera- 1st Chair Concert Band

Tenor Saxophone: Oscar Ortiz- 1st Chair Honors Band

Baritone SaxophoneKevin Gonzalez- 1st Chair Symphonic Band

Cornet:  Christopher Cavazos- 1st Chair Honors Band, Sarai Sanchez- 2nd Chair Honors Band, Brandon Guerra- 6th Chair Honors Band, and Omar Del Angel Avila- 7th Chair Honors Band, Daniel Trejo- 1st Chair Symphonic Band, and Abel Olivarez- 9th

Chair Symphonic Band, and Marcos Eros Flores- 1st Chair Concert Band

French HornPaulina Martinez- 1st Chair  Honors Band, and Aylin Aguilar- 7th Chair Honors BandPaola Martinez- 3rd Chair Symphonic BandMaria Gonzalez- 4th Chair Concert Band, and Aurora Garza- 8th Chair Concert Band. 

Tenor TromboneJosie Chapa- 1st Chair Honors Band, and Marlissa Marquez- 3rd Chair Honors Band.  

Euphonium:  Anthony Gonzalez- 2nd Chair Honors Band, Homero Salinas- 2nd Chair Symphonic Band, Gabriel Garza- 1st Chair Concert Band and Carlos Cano- 3rd Chair Concert Band

TubaRicardo Gonzalez- 2nd Chair Honors Band and Armando Pena- 3rd Chair Honors Band, Jesus Negrete- 4th Chair Symphonic Band

PercussionJorge Garza- 4th Chair Honors Band, Isaac Ortiz- 1st Chair Symphonic Band, and Jacob Falcon- 2nd Chair Symphonic Band, and Luis Leal- 4th Chair Concert Band

Stike Up the Band!


Roma High School Musicians Selected To All-Region Mariachi

Roma High School Mariachi students auditioned at La Joya Palmview High School, for the opportunity to be selected to the TMEA (Texas Music Educator’s Association) Region 15 All-Region Mariachi group. Musicians competing for a spot in the All-Region Mariachi included musicians from Rio Grande City CISD, La Joya ISD, Mission ISD, McAllen ISD, Edinburg ISD, PSJA ISD, Hidalgo ISD, and Valley View ISD. These students will perform in concert February 23, 2013 at the Edinburg North High School Auditorium. Pictured are: Back Row, l-r: Juan Moya (Harp), Charlie González (Guitarrón), and Alex García (Vihuela). Middle Row, l-r: César Pérez (Guitar), Juan Mireles (Guitar), Jazmín Alaniz (Violin), Yahir Garza (Voice), and Clyde M. Guerra (Violin). Front kneeling, l-r: Leonel Garza (Trumpet) and Erik Moreno (Trumpet).



Grulla Boys Basketball Team competed in the “Tiger Basketball Shootout”

The Grulla Boys Basketball Team traveled to San Isidro to compete in the “Tiger Basketball Shootout” Tournament Thursday, November 29th to Saturday, December 1st. During the tournament, the Gators averaged about 49 points a game. Senior Gator, Juan Hernandez was named theTournament MVP (Most Valuable Player) with an average of 21 points per game. David Mendiola, Senior, and Eduardo Anzaldua, Sophomore, were both chosen for the All Tournament Selection. The Gators first opponent in the tournament was the San Perlita Trojans in which the Gators came out on top, beating the Trojans 53 to 38. Then they went on to the Semifinals and competed against Santa Maria and the Gators won the game with a final score 50 to 42. The Gators then advanced to the Championship game against the home team, the San Isidro Tigers and outscored them. The Gators won the championship with a score of 45 to 25 against the Tigers. The Grulla JV team participated in the Raymondville tournament and placed 2nd. Congratulations to both teams. Go Gators!



Congressman Henry Cuellar is Appointed to the Powerful House Appropriations Committee

Leadership position makes Cuellar the only

Democratic Member from Texas

Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) was appointed to serve on the powerful House Ap-propriations Committee, making him the only Texas Democrat and the only Laredoan to receive such leadership position on the committee in recent years. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Steering and Policy Committee made the announcement.

The main purpose of the Committee on Appropriations is to oversee the Federal budget, review proposed expenditures and craft the legislation that outlines annual spending for government agencies. For Congressman Cuellar, as a fiscally conservative member of

Congress, having been assigned to this committee speaks of his continuous efforts to maintain a balanced budget and reduce the nation’s deficit when allocating federal funds.

“I thank Leader Pelosi and the Democratic Leadership for the trust they have invested in me to become part of the Appropriations Committee. I am honored to be the only Democratic member from Texas to be appointed to the committee,” said Congressman Cuellar, who was also renamed Vice-Chairman of the Steering and Policy Committee last week. “This position will allow me to have a stronger voice to advocate in favor of our middle class and small businesses. I am confident we can work together, Democrats and Republicans, to improve this economy and keep it moving forward.”




Sacred Heart Church from Escobares, Texas Mariachi Group

Sacred Heart Church from Escobares, Texas would like to present their Mariachi Group. This group has been active for one year; more so, these talented young men and women have won the community over, spreading their angelic mariachi music. Thus, they would like to extend their most sincere gratitude to all the people involved in making this dream a reality and the entire Community for their endless support! The Mariachi group would like to thank their Mariachi Director, Mr. Yamil Yunes and his wife Amalia Yunis for their volunteer services and endless hospitality – “We Love You!”  Father Francisco had a dream a year ago and began looking for young talent in our community now; we invite everyone to join the angels on earth sing so that the heavens above can rejoice! May God Bless all the Mariachi Group, their parents, and their supporting community. Pictured left to right: Javier Martinez, Vicente Gomez, Daniella Barrera, Yaritzy Escobar, Father Francisco Solis, Jackie Alaniz, Oliva Perez, Valentin Gomez Jr., TOP Left to Right: Cesar Perez, Alex Garcia, Maria Cavazos, Luis Rosalez, Jose Guerrero, Christian Alaniz, Virgilio Gomez.



RMS Mariachi Nuevo Cascabel Vocalist Competes for “Best in the U.S.” Stiffest Competition

Kassandra Juarez, 8th grade student at Ringgold Middle School, went head to head in a vocal competition with other singers from throughout Texas and the U.S.  Kassandra competed in the largest and most competitive mariachi vocal competition of its kind in the country. This competition was judged by members of the world renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan. Kassandra competed along with thirty-six other vocal finalists as part of the 18th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. Hundreds of students sent in vocal demos, but only the finest were chosen to compete live. Kassandra was selected as a finalist to participate in San Antonio, Texas on December 1, 2012. Those selected competed in one of four categories: Elementary, Middle School, High School, and College/University level. Kassandra Juarez is the daughter of Mr. Abel  Juarez and Mrs. Ida Juarez and is a member of the Ringgold Middle School Mariachi Nuevo Cascabel, under the direction of Mrs. Diana Laura Degollado.


VETERANS  MIDDLE  SCHOOL – Congratulations to the UIL Students from Veterans Middle School for a magnificent performance at the Ringgold Middle School Invitational Meet on Saturday, November 17, 2012. VMS students from 6th, 7th, and 8th grades obtained 1st Place overall and won the sweepstakes in each grade level. The 6th graders won in their grade level category with a total of 331 points, the 7th graders obtained a total of 281 points and the 8th graders earned 445 points. When combined, the 7th and 8th graders obtained a total of 726 points earning them the 1st Place Sweepstakes in that category as well. Additionally, VMS students received individual trophies for earning 1st through 3rd Place and ribbons for 4th Place and higher. VMS is extremely proud of the UIL students and coaches and would like to thank the parents for their unwavering support and the coaches for their time and dedication to these students as well. Pictured above are UIL students from VMS with their Principal, Mrs. Maricela O. Garcia.


TMEA District/Region/Pre-Area Choir Auditions

Several members of the Roma High School Choir participated in the TMEA Region XV District and Region Choir Auditions on Saturday, September 29, 2012, at Juarez-Lincoln High School. Each participant competed in his/her own voice part against students from within the Upper Rio Grande Valley. For the first round, the top 20 participants were selected as members of the District Choir. In the second

round of auditions, the top 10 participants were selected for the Region Choir.The third round of auditions was held on Saturday, November 10, 2012, at Nikki Rowe High School. The top 5 singers from each voice section were chosen for the Pre-Area Choir. These students will now be advancing to the Area Choir Auditions on January 12, 2013, at Rockport-Fulton High School. 

District/Region/Pre-Area Choir Audition Results:

Alexia Barrera– Soprano 1– District (5th chair); Region (6th chair)

Bora Villarreal Soprano 2– District (19th chair)

Rebeca Garcia– Alto 1– District (Alternate)

Yahir   Garza– Tenor 1–                  District (11th chair); Region (9th chair); Pre-Area (4th chair)

Jesus Cantu– Tenor 1–    District (12th chair)

Ulysses Guerra– Tenor 2– District (19th chair)

Oliver Ramirez– Bass 1– District (8th chair); Region (6th chair); Pre-Area (5th chair)

Christian Garza– Bass 1– District (14th chair)

Steven Hernandez– Bass 1– District (20th chair)


Joey Cortez– Bass 1– District (Alternate)   


Housing Authority Of Starr County Celebrates Grand Opening And Dedication Ceremony of First New Housing Complex in Over Forty Years

Just four years ago a forecast of heavy rain, made Housing Authority of Starr County (HASC) Executive Director, Elmo Moreno frown with concern, he knew what was coming - flooding and disappointment. There was no doubt that 34 of the hundreds of families HASC works diligently to put under a roof would again be severely affected. “It was troubling, we are here to help these families and instead when rains were heavy, we knew we would undoubtedly face hardship,” said Moreno.  The images of children walking in knee deep puddles and units submerged in up to four feet of water collected from a flood in 2007 tell the story.

The HASC board was determined to resolve the situation, even though previous attempts and requests for HUD funds had gone unheeded. “Giving many of these families a safe and reliable place to live encourages them, dignifies them, elevates their spirit and our goal is to stimulate their desire to stay in  school, find employment and break the cycle,” said HASC Board Chair Juan Garcia. “It was imperative that we kept trying to fix the problem.”

“Our board as a whole is remarkable, always vigilant and ready to work, but we chose to name this complex in honor of one of our organization’s great leaders,

Meme,” expressed Moreno. He is referring to Manuel “Meme” Benavidez, Jr., who passed away in 2009 after a three year battle with cancer and had served as HASC Board Chair since 2000. Benavidez led the final and successful appeal to HUD for the funding of the new $5.2 million complex. “He saw this before many of us did, even after he was very ill he traveled with us to San Antonio to visit with HUD and was a constant voice in Congressman Henry Cuellar’s ear, whose support was crucial in the

funding of this project, together they helped us make this a reality.”  

Rose Benavidez, daughter of Manuel who serves on the HASC board and is the president of the Starr County Industrial Foundation (SCIF) the organization that assisted HASC in the preparation of the grant application said, “my father believed he could change the world and felt it needed to start with the people of his beloved Starr County.”

December 5, 2012  at 10:30 a.m.

1988 N. Charco Blanco Rd., Rio Grande City, Texas

Join HASC for the Grand Opening and Dedication Ceremony of their new complex.


RGC Public Library Director Ms. Norma Gomez Fultz was named 2012 Christmas Parade Marshal

Pictured Parade Marchal 2012 Ms. Norma Gomez Fultz and Ms. Cecilia Olivarez-Greater Rio Grande City Chamber President

Rio Grande City Greater Chamber of Commerce hosted a dinner in her honor to celebrate Norma Gomez Fultz and highlight her numerous accomplishments. Norma was also recognized for her volunteer work in the community. Ms. Cecilia Olivarez-RGC Chamber President presented

Ms. Fultz with a certificate to commemorate the event. 

“Norma has worked for the city for about 20 years and in that time has brought the public library to various national and state recognitions” said Mayor Ruben Villarreal as he highlighted

some of Norma’s accolades. The Rio Grande City Public library is outfitted with an extensive book collection and computers

and other resources. Under her direction the library staff worked with Workforce Solutions to get three computers dedicated to assist residents in seeking job opportunities and completing applications for unemployment. She is in the process of acquiring e-books, hot spot printing, and a mobile library unit to ensure higher functionality of the library. Norma is an avid supporter of local writers and strives to highlight and support local talent. The library partners with the Rio Grande City Chamber and other city andcommunity organization in organizing the city’s Art Walk, Children Holiday Activities and Summer Reading and many other literacy programs throughout the year.  

Norma is very humbled by this recognition and wishes to acknowledge the dedicated staff that has been instrumental in the success of the library. Norma is the mother of Adam and Frank Fultz. She is the daughter of Francisco “Paco” and Dolores “Lolita” Gomez.

Ms. Fultz will lead the Christmas Parade which will take place Friday December 7, 2012 on Main Street in Rio Grande City. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


San Isidro Community Gathers for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for The Community Garden

A Ribbon Cutting and Thanksgiving Ceremony was held at Abel N. Gonzalez, Jr. Community Center in San Isidro Texas. The event also served to unveil the fresh picked vegetables from the garden after a blessing by Father Rene Angel. Starr County Pct. 4 Commissioner Ruben Saenz and Mrs. Elva Yolanda Morado thanked everyone for their participation in making this garden a reality. “This garden is for you” said Mrs. Morado who commended the volunteers who have labored many hours to make this project a success. Commissioner Saenz, his staff and the Starr County Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Office Staff Directed by Mrs. Morado have worked with the San Isidro Community to plant the vegetables and fruits in an effort to promote healthy eating habits. (County of Starr Public Relations Office)


Starr County Elections Office purchasing computerized Voter Identification System

Mr. Rudy Montalvo presents the HAVA system’s capabilities to Starr County Commissioners Eloy Garza, Roy Pena, Ruben D. Saenz and Jaime Alvarez. Starr County Elections Office is in the process of acquiring an electronic poll book system which is a computerized program to facilitate the election process. The software is programed to aid in the voter identification process and account-ability and save on overtime expenditures. This systems which scans the voter’s identification will allert the elections officers of any issues that need to be addressed. Voters are given every opportuity possible to cast their vote and this new systems will ensure a more effective and faster process. Mr. Rafael “Rudy” Montalvo-Elections Director has procured a grant from Help America Vote Act for the full price of this purchase. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


Repeat Champion Adrianna Cruz

Veterans Middle School Cross Country Meet Champion - Congratulations to Adrianna Cruz for her performance at the Middle School U.I.L. Cross Country District meet. Adrianna was the 1st Place finisher in the 8th Grade Girls Division. Coupled with her 1st place finish in 2011, she becomes the first female in the short history of Veterans Middle School to win back to back district titles. Adrianna is the daughter of proud parents Gustavo Cruz and Elizabeth Villarreal.




Rio Grande City High School Mighty Rattler Band Members Continue Extraordinary Year!!


Pictured above:  Top to Bottom -Left to Right: 1st Row:  Victor Beltran, Fransisco Chacon Jr., Edgar Davila, and Reynaldo Garza. 2nd Row from top:  Ervey Garcia, Alexandria Garcia, Christian Olivarez, Jefferson Cadavez, Albert Olivarez, Eufrosino (Earl) Veloso, Victor Gonzalez. 3rd Row from top:  Indira Dominguez, Rhonda D’Lorm, Lizbeth Barrera, Fernanda Benavidez, Javier Adame, Basilio Lopez, Gerardo Gundran, Viviana Garcia, and Abigail Vasquez. 4th Row from top:  Andrea Lopez, Dina Gonzalez, Alyssa Garza, Jocelyn Ramirez, Hector Alaniz, Jacquelynn Hernandez, Jacqueline Pena, and Aritza Ortiz. Not pictured, above but also members of the All-Region Band:  Madeline Ramirez, Victoria McGuffin, Ramiro Cantu III, Juan Briceno, Juan E. Garcia, Secilia Martinez, and Alfredo Prado


Just when we thought we had heard the last of the Mighty Rattler Band, think again! This past Saturday, November 17, 2012 fifty-nine Rattler band members traveled to Edinburg High School to audition at the TMEA Region 15 High School All-Region band tryouts. Just a week removed from the TMEA Orchestra Auditions, these students set their sites on advancing individually towards TMEA All-State Band recognition! Marching band is only one component in these young musicians’ talents. Individual competitions are coming to a head, and it is time to show their dedication and expertise on their instrument. Their success could very well lead to college scholarships and more! Students audition on their individual instrument for a chair position “mano a mano” against other students from Roma to Pharr San Juan Alamo Memorial and parts in between. Students go up against 4A, and 5A students on their particular instrument to earn a spot in three All-Region Bands: Honors, Symphonic and Concert bands. These are the equivalent to District All-Star teams!


We are proud to announce that thirty-five students earned a chair position in the ultra competitive Region 15 audition.

Flute: Victoria McGuffin; 1st chair Symphonic Band, advancing to 4A Pre Area, Dina Gonzalez; 2nd chair Symphonic Band, advancing to 4A Pre Area, and Andrea Lopez, 6th Chair Concert Band; Eb Clarinet: Carolina Sanchez advancing to 4A Pre Area; Bb Clarinet: Madeline Ramirez; 1st Chair Honors and 1st Chair Region Orchestra, advancing to Pre Area and Area, Aritza Ortiz, 5th Chair

Honors, advancing to 4A Pre Area, Jacqueline Pena, 15th  Chair Honors, advancing to 4A Pre Area, Jaquilynn Hernandez, 21st Chair Honors, advancing to 4A Pre Area, Hector Alaniz, 19th Chair Symphonic, advancing to 4A Pre Area, Jocelynn Ramirez 11th chair Concert, and Alyssa Garza, 21st chair Concert; Alto Clarinet: Abigail Vasquez, 2nd Chair Honors, advancing to 4A Pre Area, Alto Saxophone: Fernanda Benavidez; 2nd Chair Honors, advancing to Pre 4A Area, Secilia Martinez; 4th Chair Symphonic, advancing to 4A

Pre Area, Javier Adame 5th Chair, advancing to 4A Pre Area, Basilio Lopez, 8th Chair Symphonic, and Gerardo Gundran, 4th Chair Concert; Tenor Saxophone: Viviana Garcia, 4th Chair Concert; Baritone SaxophoneJuan Briceno Jr., 1st Chair Honors, advancing to Pre Area; French HornLizbeth Barrera; 2nd Chair Honors and 2nd Chair Region Orchestra, advancing to 4A Pre Area; Rhonda D’Lorm, 10th Chair Honors, advancing to 4A Pre Area, Alexandria Garcia, 2nd Chair Symphonic, advancing to 4A Pre Area, Ervey Garcia 8th Chair Symphonic, advancing to 4A Pre Area, and Indira Dominguez, 10th Chair Symphonic, advancing to 4A Pre Area; Cornet/Trumpet:  Alfredo Prado, 1st Chair Honors, Advancing to 4A Pre Area, Earl Veloso, 3rd Chair Symphonic and Region Orchestra, advancing to 4A Pre Area, Albert Olivarez, 5th Chair Symphonic, advancing to 4A Pre Area, Victor Gonzalez, 1st Chair Concert, advancing to 4A Pre Area, Jefferson Cadavez, 7th Chair Concert, and Christian Olivarez 10th Chair Concert; Euphonium:  Fransisco Chacon Jr. 6th Chair Honors, advancing to 4A Pre Area, Edgar Davila 3rd chair Concert, advancing to 4A Pre Area, and Juan E. Garcia 6th Chair Concert; Tuba: Victor Beltran, 4th Chair

Honors, advancing to 4A Pre Area;  Percussion:  Reynaldo Garza 9th Chair Honors, advancing to 4A Pre Area, and Ramiro Cantu III, 10th Chair Concert.

The TMEA  All-Region Clinic/Concert will be held at La Joya HS on Thursday, and Friday, January 17th and the Grand Concert on Friday, January 18, 2013 respectively. The public is cordially invited to this prestigious event free of charge! Needless to say we are extremely “Proud” of these young ladies and gentlemen and their supportive parents. On behalf of the Rio Grande City HS Band staff and Administration we wish them success in their upcoming Pre Area Audition in La Joya on Tuesday night November 27, 2012, and hopefully beyond to Area auditions to be held on January 12, 2013 in Alice Texas at Alice HS.

Upcoming events for Rattler band members include the Annual Feast of Sharing Parade on Friday evening December 7, 2012 and the Annual Rio Grande City HS Christmas Concert on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at the Paco Zarate Fine Art Auditorium.  We anxiously look forward to sharing in your child’s successes at these events!

Strike Up the Mighty Rattler Band!


Roma High School Band Places Highest Number of Students In All Valley Orchestra

Saturday, November 10, All Valley Orchestra auditions were held at Edinburg North High School for all wind and percussion band students across region 15. These blind auditions are held for high school musicians from Roma to Pharr – San Juan – Alamo regardless of 4A or 5A high school classifications. Competition to perform with the all region orchestra is very demanding given the fact that the auditions are held early the morning after these students have marched at a football game. To make things even more challenging, there were more than 300 students competing for only 25 open chairs in the orchestra. Roma High School band is proud to present the following students for earning a chair in the 2012 All Valley Orchestra:

Trumpet: Erik Moreno, 1st Chair, student of Mr. Olegario Lopez. Horn: Robert Gonzalez, 1st chair and Ruby Gonzalez 3rd chair, students of Mrs. Dena Laurel. Trombone: Daniel Santos, 1st Chair Tenor Trombone and Horacio Longoria, 1st Chair Bass Trombone, students of Mr. John Mireles. Percussion: Mario Molina, 2nd Chair, student of Mr. Moses Simon. These students will be performing at the All Valley Orchestra Concert Saturday, December 1 at McAllen High School. Congratulations to these students and their families!


Rio Grande City High School Mariachi Cascabel

Mariachi Cascabel earned 1st Place at the Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco ISD Mariachi Competition on November 17, 2012. In addition, they earned best overall violins, best overall trumpets, best overall armonia, best overall showmanship and best overall vocals. Great way to start the year… Mariachi Cascabel members are: Brigido Lagunes, Maria T. Hernandez, Mario Gutierrez, Martin Guerra, Leslie Saenz, Carolina Cantu, Leslie Marroquin, Arlet Villarreal, Juan Martinez, Sasha Guerra, Emmanuel Pena, Ruben Nunez, Gladys Marroquin, Jorge Velasquez, Eli Roy Gonzalez, Luis Barrera, and Jose R. Garcia.  The Rio Grande City High School Mariachi Cascabel is under the direction of Mr. Alex Rodriguez. On behalf of Mariachi Cascabel, we would like to thank administration, Rio Grande City High School Principal: Mr. Adolfo Pena, Superintendent of Schools: Mr. Roel Gonzalez, Asst. Superintendent for Finance and Operations: Mrs. Thelma Ramey, School Board Members, and Mariachi Cascabel Parents for their unselfish support. Congratulations and keep up the Rattler tradition of excellence!


Veterans Middle School Mariachi Excels at the TMEA All-Region Mariachi Tryouts!

Congratulations to the VMS mariachi students who attended the 2012-2013 TMEA All-Region Mariachi tryouts held November 12, 2012 at La Grulla High School. VMS Mariachi students competed individually against other students from ten different schools from the region. Students were ranked individually by a panel of 5 judges on their musical and technique ability on their designated instrument. VMS was the only school that had ALL 12 of its talented musicians earned the top chairs in the 2012-2013 TMEA All-Region Mariachi, for the 4th consecutive year!! These students will now be preparing for their upcoming Mariachi Clinic & Concert held at Edinburg North H.S on Saturday, February 23, 2013 along with the rest of the All Region Mariachi members. Congratulations again to the VMS students and their director Mr. Eloy Garza for an outstanding job and for your endless dedication to the program. Keep up the outstanding job!!!  VMS 2012-2013 TMEA All-Region Mariachi Members: Voice/Soprano: Alexa Posas – 1st chair; Violin: Monico Fernandez – 3rd chair, Mariana Sosa– 4th chair, Kasey Escamilla – 5th chair, Dellanira Garza – 9th chair, Oscar Soto – 12th chair, Jacob Clark – 17th chair; Trumpet: Luis Donaldo Cantu – 1st chair, Gonzalo Tamez – 2nd chair Guitarron: Arjelio Garza – 1st chair; Vihuela: Jesus Humberto Cantu – 1st chair; Guitar: Dante Figueroa – 3rd chair.


Swearing In Ceremony for Justice of the Peace Jesse Barrera, Jr.

On Wednesday November 14, 2012 Jesse Barrera, Jr. took the oath as the newly elected Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1(One) in a ceremony officiated by Escobares Judge Abel Cantu. Judge Barrera surrounded by his wife-Isaela, his parents Maricela and Jesse Barrera, friends, and extended family promised to honor the oath of Justice of the Peace. Father Francisco Solis was present to bless Jesse as he embarks in his new career. Barrera thanked his family, friends and community for supporting him in making his dream become a reality. “I would like to thank the citizens of Starr County for their confidence in me and allowing me the opportunity to serve the community” said Judge Barrera. Everyone present was treated to a delicious breakfast hosted by his wife and parents. Judge Jesse Barrera, Jr. took office immediately after the ceremony. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


Veterans Day Assembly At San Isidro ISD

San Isidro High School FCCLA hosted a Veterans Day ceremony on Monday, November 12, 2012. The students and staff at San Isidro Elementary honored the Veterans and service men and women of the community with a patriotic program and were also thanked for their dedication while serving their country. The tribute included performances by students in Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade.

After the program, the Veterans were treated to an early Thanksgiving Luncheon sponsored by the FCCLA under the guidance of Mrs. Celinda Alvarado. Mrs. Alvarado commented, “Our annual program is a time for our Veterans to share their experiences from the military with one another.”

According to District Principal, Anna Garcia, it was the teachers’ and students’ hard work and efforts that made the event rewarding and successful. “It’s a wonderful community outreach program,” said Garcia. “Our students are great and always make us proud. They’re an integral part of the event.”





Ringgold Elementary honors Starr County Veterans with a “United We Stand” Program and Brunch on Friday November 9, 2012. To Our Veterans ─Ringgold Elementary Thanks You for your sacrifices and dedication to this country.


Sorority Has Autumn Service Project

Texas Delta Theta Master of Beta Sigma Phi had as its autumn service project the donation of $100 each for school uniform shirts to Ramiro Barrera Elementary School in Roma and Ringgold Elementary of the RGCCISD. Shown at the Ringgold Elementary check presentation are, l-r, member Becky Canales, Ringgold Elementary Principal Dr. Erica Guerra Canales, member Rosie Garcia, Assistant Principal Idani S. Salinas, and member Tissa Peterson.


A Groundbreaking Ceremony was held for the new Rio Grande City DPS Office

A Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Office was held on Wednesday October 31, 2012 on north 3167 just north of intersection of Eisenhower and 3167 in Rio Grande City. Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal joined Jose Rodriguez, III- DPS Commander and DPS Chairwoman Cynthia Leon in welcoming the community to this historic event. The Office will house all the DPS Offices in one convenient location. The building is expected to be fully operational in approximately one (1) year. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


Roma Gladiator Junior Varsity Football Team 2012 District 32-4A Champions

Roma ISD congratulates the Gladiator Junior Varsity Football Team on a very successful season. The Gladiator JV went 6-4 overall and 6-1 in District 32-4A.  With their victory Thursday night at Valley View High School against the Tigers, 32-0, the Gladiator Junior Varsity football team are the 2012 District 32-4A Champions.



At the UIL District Cross Country meet held at Fort Ringgold on October 13th, Grulla Middle School 8th Grade runner Edward Barrera placed 1st individually and led his team to the 1st place team trophy. Edward is the son of proud parents Ruth and Samuel Barrera from Alto Bonito. His commitment, dedication and sacrifice to the program paid off. Congratulations Edward on a job well done.



Damaris Flores will perform in the Nutcracker ballet

Damaris Flores, Grulla Middle School Student Council Vice-President, Honor Band trumpet player and ballet dancer for The Royal Dance Studio will play various roles in the Nutcracker ballet performance which will be available for valley-wide students to attend. Performances will take place at the McAllen Civic Center on November 30, 2012. GMS Principal, Mr. Serapio Trillayes says, “Damaris is a great role model for her peers.  She is an active participant in an array of extracurricular activities in and out of school. We, at GMS, are extremely proud of Damaris’s many accomplishments!”



Starr County Sheriff and staff participated in Relay for Life 2012

Sheriff Rene Fuentes and staff joined the Starr County Community in support of cancer survivors and their families at the Relay for Life held on Saturday October 27, 2012. The event was a huge success with many residents braving the cold weather to relay for loved ones that have lost their lives to cancer and in support of survivors. The event raised over $70,000 for the American Cancer Society. (Starr County Public Relations Office)


VMS Mariachi Juvenil de America Begins the year with a 1ST PLACE!

Veterans Middle School - Congratulations to the VMS Mariachi Juveníl de América for their outstanding performance at the 3rd Annual Vaquero Fest Mariachi Competition in Hebbronville this last Saturday, November 3rd of 2012.  Our mariachi students proved once again their motto “Tradition of Excellence” by winning 1st place and All Best Section Awards in Trumpets, Violins, Rhythm Section, and Vocals. Again, congratulations to the mariachi and their director for all their hard work and dedication and for always representing Rio Grande City and Veterans Middle School in a very positive way! Best of luck to the Mariachi Juvenil de America who will now be preparing for their upcoming national mariachi competition in San Antonio, November 30 for the 18th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Mariachi Competition, at the Lila Cockrell Theater (for more information go to: Best wishes on all their upcoming events & competitions this year! Keep up the great work!  You have all the support from your school, district, and community!

Members of the 2012-2013 VMS Mariachi Juvenil de America: Violins –Alexa Posas, Mariana Sosa, Oscar Soto, Dellanira Garza, Kasey Escamilla, Monico Fernandez, Jacob Clark; Trumpets –Luis Donaldo Cantu, Gonzalo Tamez; Guitarron – Arjelio Garza; Vihuela – Jesus Humberto Cantu; Guitar –Dante Figueroa; Mariachi Mariachi Director – Mr. Eloy Garza


Participants of the Abel N. Gonzalez, Jr. Community Center Celebrate Mrs. Elva Vela’s Birthday

The participants of the nutrition center in San Isidro’s Abel N. Gonzalez, Jr. Community Center organized a birthday bash for Mrs. Elva Vela. Commissioner Ruben Saenz (Pct. 4) and his staff are elated to help out during activities such as this one which demonstrates the unity of residents in the area. The participants of the center are very active members of the community and are always happy to lend a helping hand to their neighbors.  “It is so nice to see everyone enjoying activities at the center and celebrating together the milestones in their lives” said Commissioner Saenz. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).



2012 Roma District 32-4A Freshmen Boys Cross Country Champions

Roma High School congratulates the Freshmen Boys Cross Country Team for capturing the 2012 District 32-4A Freshmen Boys Cross Country Championship held in Mission, Texas on Saturday, October 27, 2012. Pictured in front, l-r are Rafael Yanez and Even Hinojosa.  Pictured in back, l-r are Abel Escobar, Carlo Montalvo, Guadalupe Alaniz, Jr., and Luis García.



On November 5, 2012 Dairy Queen staff and customers celebrated Charles Chistenson 86th Birthday.



Principal Saenz Pleased With North Grammar’s Progress, Confident About Future

By Kenneth Roberts, Freelance Writer

North Grammar Elementary Principal Ricardo Saenz declares that he is very pleased with the school’s progress in recent years and predicts that achievements, especially academically, will be even more substantial in the near future.

Saenz, starting his 13th year as North Grammar principal,

stressed, “We have a very experienced staff that is very good at what they do. We have a very stable teaching and administrative environment. Although there are many obstacles, our students perform very well and very competitively…Over the years, the school has achieved Exemplary status in three years and Recognized status seven other times.”

In evaluating key ingredients for academic success, he emphasized, “I try to approve teachers that I would feel comfortable placing my own children with. We need to build a student’s self-esteem to the point that they believe they can achieve. Once a child reaches that point, there’s no limit to what he or she can achieve. I firmly believe that teachers need to be excellent motivators.”

A crucial advantage, commented Saenz, is that “the group of teachers at this campus has remained basically intact in recent years. I consider this stability a definite advantage. We have a very active and involved PTO that is very consistent in attending meetings and supports our after-school functions.”

Before becoming North Grammar principal in the fall of 2000, Saenz served as an assistant principal at Rio Grande City High School from 1996-2000. Earlier, he was an English teacher at the high school and middle school levels for 14 years, and also held coaching positions in several sports, including football. As his career began, Saenz taught for one year each in Roma and La Joya and then served as a classroom teacher at RGC High for 10 years.

Saenz earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1984 with a major in Theater Arts and a second major in Spanish from Stephen F. Austin University. Saenz went on to earn a Master’s degree in Education with a principal certification in 1998 from UT-Pan American. He also has an English minor with an ESL endorsement from UT-PA.

“Our enrollment at this time (Sept. 10) is 586 students,” noted the educator. “We have been growing at a slow pace over the last few years. Our peak enrollment is normally in February, and it’s likely that this year’s peak will be a little higher than 600 students. For this time of year, our enrollment is higher than it’s ever been…When the new high school is completed, we should see a faster pace of growth at North Grammar.”

Concerning the increased demands of student testing, Saenz explained, “The new state assessment is requiring a lot of adjustment…The standards for achievement have been toughened tremendously over the years. Our teachers have been able to keep

pace with these new standards, and student achievement has continued at a high level.”

“The new state assessment is pushing our students to be more creative and independent thinkers and to be better problem solvers,” he commented. “The testing has created a better prepared student for the middle school and high school levels. We’re happy with the readiness level of our students, their academic preparation, and their standards of behavior. Many of our students have gone on to hold leadership positions at the middle school and high school.”

The principal stated, “It’s a different world for students than in the past. They’re much more technologically experienced and savvy than previous generations. The kids at the elementary level can do things that students 20 years ago couldn’t achieve until later grades. With technology advances, students today are more oriented toward indoor than outdoor activities.”

“Schools will have to adapt to the technological changes in society because changes in the workplace will demand that,” insisted Saenz. “Verbal communication is essential as always.”

Pointing to North Grammar’s wide range of successes, Saenz emphasized, “We have very good extracurricular activities; we are very competitive in U.I.L. and have registered many outstanding academic and athletic achievements. We have done tremendously well in extracurricular activities such as cheerleading.”

Saenz concluded that the campus staff, as well as the community, should feel satisfaction about North Grammar’s progress in recent years, but predicted that the school will continually climb to even higher levels of academic success in the future.




The Grulla Middle School Cranttes “Danced for a Cure” on Saturday, October 27, 2012 during the Relay For Life at Joe R. Sanchez Stadium. The girls have been working diligently everyday afterschool putting in long hours to create a crowd pleasing performance. The Cranettes will be working on their next routine for their up coming performance at the RGV Vipers Basketball game on November 24, 2012 at State Farm Arena. GMS Cranttes Drill Team (Bottom Row L-R) Melanie Turner (Jr. Co-Captain), Amberlee Barrera (Captain), Amer Huerta (Co-Captain). (Middle Row L-R) Daisy Monsivais, Kassandra Carrera, Monique Garcia, Karina Cantu, Jackie DeAnda. (Top Row L-R) Patricia Solis, Alejandra  Alonzo, Alessandra Rivera, Cindy Trevino, and Kayla Montalvo. Team is being directed by Kristina Villarreal.



Ringgold Elementary proudly announces the 5th grade Student Council for the 2012-2013 school year. The Student Council is involved in various school related activities throughout the school year. Pictured are Carlos Barrera- President, Danica Peña- Vice President, Orlando Gomez- Secretary and Jered Gonzalez- Treasurer.



Sheriff Rene Fuentes announces that the Starr County Detention Center passes inspection

The Starr County Detention Center’s annual inspection was held recently and was certified to be in compliance by The Texas Commission of Jail Standards. The certification is based on an inspection on cleanliness, functionality and review of operational records. “The Certificate of Compliance demonstrates your outstanding leadership and the diligent work of your staff” said Mr. B.Wood-Executive Director for Texas Commission on Jail Standards in a letter addressed to Sheriff Rene Fuentes. “This certified rating is a testament to the professionalism, dedication and pride in the daily assignments by detention officers, maintenance personnel, cooks, infirmary personnel, and all other support staff” said Fuentes.  The Detention Center is under the direction Sheriff Fuentes, Captain Romeo Ramirez and Chief Deputy Guillermo “Willie” Pena. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


ICS Students Excel at Jr. Olympics

Immaculate Conception School is happy to congratulate its students that participated in this year’s 2012 AAU Junior Olympic Games held in Houston, Texas on July 28-30. These students spent countless hours practicing and preparing to qualify for this International Swim Meet. These ICS Students are members of South Texas All Region Swimmers (STARS), a team comprised of swimmers from Rio Grande City, Roma, Weslaco, and Harlingen. Other teams that participated in this international competition were from London, Canada, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South America, Hawaii, and the rest of the United States. This competition allowed our students the opportunity to strengthen their skills as swimmers and to grow socially as they met other like-minded students from around the world. We are especially proud of the fact that these students demonstrated their dedication to excellence by not only qualifying for this competition, but by also earning medals and ribbons for their performances, and together accomplishing an overall second place team ranking. Congratulations!


Last Week in October Named GFWC Advocates for Children Week

GFWC Advocates Well-being of Children --- The week of October 21-27 has been proclaimed as GFWC Advocates for Children Week in Rio Grande City.  The Florence J. Scott Study Club and all GFWC clubs are encouraging everyone to focus on being advocates for children.  Lori Perez of the Starr County Attorney’s Office and South Texas District Chairman for the Juniors’ Special Project, Advocates for Children, GFWC Texas, second from left, is pictured with, l-r, Starr County Attorney Victor Canales, Judy Solis of the County Attorney’s Office, Mayor Ruben O. Villarreal, and Starr County Judge Eloy Vera.

 The Florence J. Scott Study Club and all members of GFWC clubs throughout our state and nation are encouraging everyone to focus on being advocates for children during the week of October 21-27, and every week throughout the year.

The proclamation, signed by Mayor Ruben O. Villarreal of Rio Grande City, states “Whereas, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) is dedicated to strengthening communities and

enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service; and, Whereas, GFWC members have played an intricate role in advocating for the health and well-being of children sincethe early 1900s with prominent clubwomen such as Jane Addams and Julia Lathrop paving the way for the implementation of improved child labor and juvenile court laws, respectively; and, Whereas, GFWC members actively educate, advocate, and engage in projects concerning the well-being of children via health, social, and safety programs, by working to ensure children are protected from harmful situations and encourage healthy physical and emotional lifestyles; and, Whereas, the Florence J. Scott Study Club works diligently in volunteer services related to advocacy for children; and, Whereas, during the fourth week of October, GFWC and its affiliated local clubs in

Rio Grande City, stand with parents, grandparents, educators, community leaders and others, in recognizing the important role children play in our lives and raising awareness about issues that directly impact the lives of children everywhere;

Now, therefore, I, Ruben O. Villarreal, Mayor of Rio Grande City, Texas, do hereby proclaim October 21-27, 2012, as GFWC Advocates for Children Week in Rio Grande City, and recognize that by educating ourselves, we will improve the quality of life for all children in our city.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of Rio Grande City to be affixed this 17th day of October, two thousand twelve.”


Grulla Middle School 8th grade teacher, Daniel Lopez won 2012 HESTEC Math Teacher of the year. His nomination by GMS Principal, Serapio Trillayes and GEAR UP Facilitator, Mary Lou Garcia was based upon Mr. Lopez’s aspiring efforts to help his GEAR UP students succeed. “At Grulla Middle School we strive to assist our students to soar high and mighty and it is teachers like Mr. Daniel Lopez that get our cranes to reach their highest potential,” said Mary Lou Garcia. He has been a math teacher at Grulla Middle School for seven years and this year he has moved to the 8th grade to continue helping his GEAR UP students. Eventually, Mr. Lopez plans to utilize his Master’s degree in Mathematics to continue mentoring and teaching his students at the high school and college level. “Grulla Middle School faculty and staff are very proud of Mr. Daniel Lopez’s honorable accomplishments. He truly deserves this prestigious award for his commitment and dedication to our Mighty Cranes,” said Mr. Serapio Trillayes. Pictured  left to right are Norma McCormick- GEAR UP Coordinator, Serapio Trillayes- GMS Principal, Daniel Lopez, Mary Lou Garcia- GEAR UP Facilitator, and Ms. Tina Atkins- GEAR UP Director. Photo by: Sandor Lopez.




The Vipers T-Ball team won First Place on the 2012 USSSA Baseball Summer League Tournament and First Place in T-Ball. Coaches: Eddie, Rolando, Sonia, Robert, Fidel. Team Members Standing: Hugo Cruz, Hector Martinez, Aaron Benavides, PJ Rodriguez, Julio Saenz, Santiago Perez. Sitting: Bryan Vasquez, Anthony L. Gaytan, Alejandro Chapa, Felix Barrera, Mario Herrera.



UTPA-Edinburg Tennis Player from Roma Julia F. Perez

Coach Eddie Marquez Head Tennis Coach and Julia Perez at a Roma I.S.D. Board Meeting.

Julia F. Perez daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Arturo and Velma Perez from Roma has committed to play Division 1 college tennis for the University of Texas-Pan American. Julia is a 2012 graduate from Roma High School and a former member of the Roma High School Varsity Tennis team, where she reigned as the 4-time MVP, and finished her high school years with a record of 72-0 in district play.  Julia is the first tennis player from Roma that never lost a district match in her 4 years as a varsity player.  Julia’s tennis game contributed in Roma Tennis Team being STATE RANKED 3 years in a row. The tennis team was ranked as high as 12th in the state with tremendous victories over state ranked teams.  She was a 4 time District Champion in Team Tennis and 4-time Individual District Champion in the Spring Season. She captured 3 District Championships in singles and 1 in doubles.

Coach Eddie Marquez was excited to hear about Julia’s accomplishment. “Julia will be a great fit for their program. She has excelled on court and in class,” said head coach Eddie Marquez. “She understands the high expectation level of UTPA tennis program and is excited about the challenge.

Julia joins a number of top international tennis players who have chosen to play collegiate for UTPA.


Meet the Rio Grande City FFA 2012 – 2013 Officers

Congratulations go out to the 2012–2013 Rio Grande City High School FFA Officers. FFA Officers consist of (from left to right) Mrs. Randy Martin – FFA Advisor, Cecilia Garza – Chaplain, Justin Cody Salinas – Sentinel, Eli Lopez – Vice-President, Ryan Melton – President, Garrett Gonzalez – Secretary, Beto Garza – Treasurer, Haulen Garcia – Reporter.



October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and A.S. Canavan Elementary Staff and students honor those who’s lifes have been touched through the disease and have come together to support a good cause by wearing pink. Because Pink is not just a color it’s the Strength, Hope, Faith, Courage for those who are Survivors.




2yr. old Aaliyah Chanel de la Rosa daughter of Jose Angel Jr. and Vereniz de la Rosa participated at the natural “TCP Rio Grande Valley” pageant in South Padre Island, TX. Bringing home a 2-3 yr old divisional title of “Wee Princess”, overall best portfolio, and best dressed. We are proud to say she earned her free ticket to a state pageant, which will be held in San Marcos, TX on June 2013.


GHS Homecoming King & Queen

Grulla High School Gators dominated the field with a score of 27 to 7 against PSJA Southwest during their Homecoming game. The student council were busily working to assure that the naming of Homecoming announcements went off without a hitch as they prepared the Homecoming Court sashes. The 2012-2013 Homecoming King- Isaiah Flores and Homecoming Queen-Ruby Martinez were crowned during the halftime festivities. Congratulations to the GHS Gators on their win and also to the newly crowned King and Queen. 



Roberto (Bobby) Gutierrez announces his candidacy for the RGCCISD School Board Trustee, Place 1

Bobby Gutierrez,

I was born in Rio Grande City to Alberto & Guadalupe Gutierrez. I went to the local Catholic School from 1st.  grade thru 3rd  grade. I  went to the R.G.C.C.I.S.D. from 4th  grade thru 12th & I graduated in 1963 from Rio Grande City High School after I graduated from high school I enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a degree in pharmacy in 1968,  married Adriana Figueroa from Falfurrias Texas and we have 3 daughters. I was a member of Rotary Club and past president; I am a member of the Knights of Columbus here in RGC. I’ve been a member of the R.G.C.C.I.S.D. School Board for 20 plus years and I’m currently the Vice-President. My hobbies are hunting, fishing and golf. I appreciate your past and present support for the school board. I will always strive to keep the interest of our students first.


Noe R. “Dickie” Gonzalez announces his candidacy for the

RGCCISD School Board Trustee, Place 2

My name Is Noe R. “Dickie” Gonzalez and I want to thank all the people for their continuous support in my candidacy for school board place #2. I am a long life resident of RGC and my parents are Jesus “Chucho” and Emma T. Gonzalez. I attended R.G.C.C.I.S.D. public school and graduated in 1974 and later obtained a B.S. in criminal justice from the University of Houston. I have worked in the Starr County Probation Dept. since 1984 and currently the director of operation for Starr County, Jim Hogg and Duval Counties. My philosophy is simple; that children come first, education is our future and when it all said and done children are truly the ones we work for.


Daniel J. Garcia announces his candidacy for the RGCCISD School Board Trustee, Place 4

Daniel Garcia,

I thank all the people that have demonstrated support for my candidacy. I am a product of this community. I was raised in Garciasville and am a proud graduate of Rio Grande High School, class of 1996. I am the proud son of Sylvia and Javier Garcia and have a sister Martie Yvette Vela Attorney at Law, one brother Cesar Garcia and a precious son Donavan Garcia. My parents, Sylvia and Javier Garcia have always demonstrated to me what it means to serve unselfishly.

Since the day I was able to, I have committed myself to support school and community organizations. I provide scholarships and internships to students and support on and off season athletic activities. My philosophy is simple, to strengthen and improve all five foundations of education- students, parents, educators, community and board. This is not a vision, it is a commitment. If any one to these foundations is weak, education suffers. I know that education is the engine that make children’s dream come true. It would be an honor to serve all of you and fortify the foundations for our future. I value education, I value your vote. Go Gators ! Go Rattlers!


Ruben Klein announces his candidacy for the RGCCISD School Board Trustee, Place 5

Ruben Klein is announcing his candidacy for position five in the school board election on November 6, 2012. Ruben Klein was born and educated in Rio Grande City. He graduated from Rio Grande City High School in 1973 and was later employed by the Starr County Water District. Ruben Klein is currently employed by the City of Rio Grande as Public Utility Director. Ruben has worked for the water district for 37 years, which enabled him to receive a class B license, and customer service inspector certification at TCQ. He has also been in the board of the Housing Authority for 16 years and was the Vice-Chairman. Ruben is married to Adriana Berlanga Klein and they have three wonderful daughters Betsy, Tracey and Denise. He is the son of the late Aristeo and the late Esperanza Klein, and has two brothers, Aristeo Jr. and Adrian and two sisters Pauline and Irene. Ruben believes that the greatest gift we can give our children is an education and declares not one child shall be left behind.




The Grulla High School “Mighty” Gator Band students have been diligently working in preparation for their annual UIL Marching Contest which will be held on October 20, 2012 at McAllen Stadium. The band has attended two Pre-UIL Festivals and the results have been very positive at both competitions.  On September 29, 2012, the band competed at the first annual PSJA Marching Band Classic. There were 21 area high school bands participating at this inaugural festival. There were eleven 5A bands, five 4A bands, and five 3A bands competing. The Gator Band represented Grulla High School and The Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District in a most exemplary manner.

The Grulla High School Band was selected as the top band in the 3A division at the festival.  In addition to earning 1st Place amongst the 3A schools, the band also garnered all of the division caption awards. They earned the “Best Brass Line”, “Best Woodwind Line”, “Best Percussion Line”, and the “Best Color Guard” awards and swept their classification. Additionally, all of the competing bands were ranked in order and The Grulla High School band placed 4th overall among all the competing bands beating out nine 5A bands, four 4A bands, as well as all of the 3A bands at the festival.

On October 6, 2012, The Grulla High School Band participated at The Ninth Annual La Joya Coyote Marching Festival. They were one of 24 bands from the South Texas Area. This contest had bands from all across the valley as well as Laredo. This festival had a Prelims and Finals format. After all 24 bands performed, the top 7 were selected to march and compete in finals. Among the competing bands were sixteen in the 5A classification, four in the 4A classification and four in the 3A classification. The Gator Band once again impressed the judges and was selected as one of the finalists for this demanding competition. They were the only 3A band to make the finals along with one 4A Band (fellow district band Rio Grande City High School) and five 5A bands. Just like the prior week, the Gator Band came out ahead of eleven 5A bands as well as four 4A bands. The judges were impressed with their attention to musical detail as well as marching fundamentals.

These results serve as validation for the hard work and dedication on the part of the students and staff. Competitions such as these give the students the opportunity to prepare for UIL Marching Contest and also serve as benchmarks to evaluate the collaborative work of the students and staff. The feedback received from the various judges helps a great deal as they continue preparing for their competitions.

The Gator Band Staff would like to thank the students for their hard work and dedication, the parents for their understanding and support, as well as Mr. Trigo and his campus administration for their steadfast and unwavering support.  A very special and heartfelt thank you also goes out to our School Board, Mr. Roel A. Gonzalez, Superintendent, along with our central administration for all of their help and support.  Directors for the Gator Band are Oscar Gonzalez, Gilbert Garcia, Monique Olivarez, Nazario Trevino, Tony Flores, Hector Corona, Leydiana Corona, Johnny Trillayes, and Emiliano Molina.

The Gator Band performance time for the annual Pigskin Jubilee on Saturday October 20th is 4:15 p.m. The Band would like to thank the Grulla area community as well as The Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District community for all of their support.


Roque Guerra Student Council

Roque Guerra, Jr. Elementary is proud to announce the Student Council Officers for the 2012-2013 school year. Pictured above are Treasurer Tommy Garcia, President Caitlyn Flores, Secretary Rosa Ortiz, and Vice-President Christian Cantu. Librarian Mrs. Nydia I Benitez will be this year Student Council Sponsor.



Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new Efrain A. Duran Water Treatment plant in R.G.C.

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Efrain A. Duran Water Treatment plant in Rio Grande City was held on Sept. 27, 2012. Mr. Duran worked tirelessly to ensure that people were provided good clean water into their homes during his years as manager of the Starr County Water District No. 2, M.U.D. which eventually became the RGC Public Utility Department. On behalf of the City Commission, Mayor Ruben Villarreal presented the matriarch of the Duran family, Mrs. Dina Duran, with a street sign that bears her name as homage for her support of her husband the late Mr. Efrain A. Duran. The street leading to the plant was renamed after her because “every great man has a great woman who stands behind  him’ said Mayor Villarreal. The plant will provide water for approximately 30,000 people, but has the infrastructure necessary to ensure the future growth of this region. (Cynthia Fuentes)



San Isidro High School Student Council Officers 2012 - 2013

Each year, a group of students are chosen to lead the school’s activities and to ensure that students’ ideas, interests, and concerns are heard by teachers and administrators. The San Isidro High School Student Council Officers for 2012 – 2013 are: President – Lisa A. Saenz, Vice-President – Ramiro Valdez, Recording Secretary – Marcos E. Garcia, Corresponding Secretary – Pedro A. Trevino, Treasurer – Erika Colunga, Historian – Hilary Whitaker, and Reporter – Jesenia Beltran.  Seated, from left to right: Hilary Whitaker, Lisa Saenz, Erika Colunga, and Jesenia Beltran; standing, from left to right: Ramiro Valdez, Pedro A. Trevino and Marcos Garcia.



Domestic Violence Kick Off

Pictured left to right: Elia Solis-Starr County Attorney’s Office, Becky Venecia-Starr County Judge Secretary, Judith Solis-Assistant County Attorney, Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Reyna Guerra-Assistant to Starr County Judge and Ventura Hinojosa-Starr County Attorney’s Office.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office).



October is designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Starr County Victims of Domestic Violence Assistance Program headed by Starr County Attorney and his staff have kicked off this year’s campaign. 

The Starr County Attorney’s Office have placed silhouettes of victims with information of the crime committed against them at different sites in the community in an effort to generate awareness of the crimes against women in this region. 

The Office and its Victims of Domestic Violence advocates work diligently to inform the community of the effect of the se types of crimes and promote awareness to encourage victims to seek assistance. 

Starr County Attorney Victor Canales, Jr. and his assistants, Miss Judith Solis and Mrs. Lori Perez Peterson and their staff invite everyone to attend the  two Candlelight Vigils that will take place in October.

The first will be held  October 11, 2012 at the Roma Community Center in Roma, Texas and the second will take place October 25, 2012 at the Multi-Purpose Center in Fort Ringgold, Rio Grande City. Both vigils will take place at 6:30 p.m. If additional information is needed  you may

call the County Attorney’s office at  (956) 716-4800 Ext. 8629.



RGCCISD Receives Project Lead The Way Certification for STEM Education Program

Students from certified PLTW schools may receive college admissions preference, college credit, and scholarships at PLTW affiliate universities


Mrs. Adelina G. Villarreal CATE Director, announced that it has received national certification for its Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program that has been offered since 2006. This is the second time the school has gone through the national certification process to validate its program. PLTW, a nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education programs, offers a

rigorous world-class curriculum that allows students to apply what they are learning in math and science class to real-life engineering and technology projects. PLTW also prides itself on high-quality professional development of its teachers and an engaged network of business, community and university partners to give students the fullest experience.

The national PLTW recognition program distinguishes schools for to engineering and technology courses and gets them thinking about college and their careers. We are extremely proud to be PLTW certified and ecstatic that our students are eligible for college-level recognition, which may include college credit for select PLTW courses, scholarships and admissions preference.”

As part of the recognition process, Mr. Joel Trigo, Jr., Principal of Grulla High School, and a team composed of teachers, staff, students, and members of the community submitted a self-assessment of the school’s implementation of PLTW’s Pathway To Engineering (PTE) program. A site visit by a PLTW trained team followed. PLTW’s team met with teachers, school administrators, counselors, students, and members of the school’s Partnership Team. A PLTW school’s Partnership Team (sometimes referred to as an Advisory Council) is comprised of teachers, counselors, administrators, post-secondary representatives, business and industry professionals, and other

community members who actively support the PLTW program within a school.

“Both High Schools should be congratulated for demonstrating once again its commitment to PLTW’s quality standards,” said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “The real winners here, however, are the students. Students benefit from PLTW’s innovative, project-based curriculum that encourages creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking. We look forward to many more years of working together to prepare RGCCISD students to become the most innovative and productive in the world.”

PLTW electronics engineer / teacher, Ana Cavazos added, “The beauty of PLTW courses is that our kids get to experience how a concept they learned in science applies to real-world projects, including robotics. Rather than sit passively and listen to a lecture, kids are building, developing, and creating.

PLTW Manufacturing engineer/ teacher, Juan Andrade, Jr. stated,  “It’s the kind of hands-on experience that will engage more students in science, technology, engineering and math—fields that they might otherwise never have considered.”

RGCCISD sets policy by having any student enrolled in the pre-engineering classes in Grulla Middle School, Ringgold Middle School or Veterans Middle School receive high school credit when graduating to High School. Students enrolled in the CATE classes with the career cluster for engineering receive articulated credit @ UT, Tyler, Texas. 

For more information on PLTW, you may also contact Jennifer Cahill at the national office at (317) 669-0871 or successfully demonstrating a commitment to PLTW’s national standards. Additionally, certification as a PLTW school provides students with the opportunity to apply for college credit or receive college-level recognition at PLTW affiliate universities when they successfully complete select PLTW courses in high school. PLTW has more than 40 affiliate college and university partners including Rio Grande City High School and now Grulla High School. 

In order to remain competitive in the global economy, America needs approximately 400,000 STEM college graduates annually, according to a National Business Roundtable report. Currently, the U.S. is graduating only 265,000 annually. PLTW is providing students with the skills, foundation, and proven path to college and career success in STEM areas to increase the number of STEM graduates.

Mr. Adolfo Pena, Jr., principal of Rio Grande City High School said, “We’ve seen how the PLTW program draws more students


Flor E. Flores announces candidacy for RGCCISD School Board of Trustees, Place 4

My name is Flor E. Flores and many of you know me personally, many of you are my family and friends, and many of you are my clients. All of you are my cherished community! I come to you from a place in my heart to ask for your support because at last we confront a new beginning and a new opportunity to transform our District into a better District with a “New Vision, New Voice, and New Direction!” In this great transformation, we must unite and stand up for our students, our teachers, and our community. This election is about you! We must lift our voices for our children in this District. We must transcend our School District into a new era where high standards prevail and new measures of accountability are expected and implemented.

I am announcing my candidacy for RGCCISD School Board of Trustees, Place 4 because I believe that I can be instrumental in leading our District into a new era. Let us unite and together we can win this election. I utter these words with deepest conviction and from the bottom of my heart. Unite with me and rally for my cause, because my cause is the battle cry for change the community deserves. Rise and rally around our students and teachers who deserve that their School Board makes them its top priority.

Among my top priorities include the restructuring of the District’s Annual Budget so that more money is invested in the classrooms.  Our greatest investment in our community is the education of our children, our future leaders.  The success of the students is dependent on availability of all the necessary resources to aid in the learning process and to stimulate young, impressionable minds.  No classroom should lack the most essential materials that the students need to succeed on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic

Readiness (STAAR) and no teacher should lack the necessary resources needed to ensure the students’ academic success.  The District’s students are facing a very difficult challenge with the STAAR and they must be prepared to face this challenge. We must also make it easier for our teachers to meet this challenge by providing them with adequate resources.  Education should be our District’s top priority if we are to see our students grow into the leaders of tomorrow.      

Also among my top priorities is to carefully review the growth of the District to determine the need for future construction and expenditures that could be instead allocated to the classrooms and to competitive teacher salaries.  The District has an obligation to reduce unnecessary expenditures and to provide full disclosure of its expenditures to the community.  If elected, I would be instrumental in redesigning the District’s website to provide to the community full disclosure of the District’s expenditures before expenditures are made.  The District’s School Board has a duty to inform the community of how the District’s money is spent.  New measures of accountability must be implemented.      

A critical group of members in the community that are often overlooked are our local vendors.  Every vendor in the community should be allowed an opportunity to engage in competitive bidding process for the District’s contracts.

Our local economy benefits when its local vendors are allowed to contract with the District for services because monies earned in the community are invested in the community.  The District’s School Board has a duty to disclose to the community which local vendors are receiving the District’s contracts and the monies paid to each vendor.

My goal is also to give members of the community who have invested their time and money to become educated and certified the opportunity for employment.  There are many teachers in our community who cannot get a job in the District, despite their qualifications.  If elected, I intend to be instrumental in implementing and/or aggressively enforcing and improving the District’s Anti-Nepotism policy so that jobs with the school district and advancement will be based solely on merit, qualifications, and experience.  

I am also concerned about the

high health insurance premiums teachers currently pay.  Many Districts provide the same health insurance to its teachers at a competitive rate and with substantial savings to the teachers and to the District.  Teachers should not be required to pay more for the same health insurance coverage.  I will involve teachers in the selection process of health insurance companies. 

I believe that my life and work experience, and my experience as a mother, a volunteer worker, and as an attorney qualify me to undertake the responsibilities of a School Board member.  I have no doubt that I can win this election with your support, but as a movement, we must unite and make change happen. My purpose is to unite and to serve my community. Your confidence in me and your support has been my inspiration and motivation in this campaign. Your support must be action and deed on November 6, 2012. You are the tremendous force that can shake the community for the change it has been demanding. We must rise and vote for our students and our teachers. With your support we will finish worthily and triumphantly. Your vote is your voice. Let your voice be heard this November 6, 2012. Elect Flor E. Flores for RGGCISD School Board of Trustees, Place 4.

Paid Pol. AD by Candidate



Mrs. Rosalina Munoz Willman Parade Marshal for Roma Fest 2012

It is with great pleasure that the Roma Chamber of Commerce announces their Parade Marshal for Roma Fest 2012, Mrs. Rosalina Munoz Willman. Rosita is the owner of Rancho Cafe, a local restaurant she has owned for 37 years.

Since 1975, Rosita has been passionately running Rancho Cafe, an establishment that has become a staple for many in Roma. She began her restaurant career working for Mr. Homero Ramirez, the original owner of Rancho Cafe. Later that year she took ownership of the Restaurant and the rest is history.

Rancho Café still offers the same great food and now has Karaoke Fridays, a new local favorite. 

As a true business leader in Roma, Rosita has always been active in community activities. Whether it’s a cook off, a parade, or a fundraiser, you can always find Rosita and her family actively involved and giving back to the community she loves so much. Her business motto revolves around building long lasting relationships with customers, contributing to her community, and all this while managing to serve great food at great prices.

With much love and enthusiasm Rosita says her greatest

accomplishment in life has been, without hesitation, raising her children and Rancho Café. Rosita is very grateful to her loyal customers, to her friends, her family, and the community of Roma for helping make her business a huge success.

The Parade Marshall will lead off the parade on Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. beginning at Citizens State Bank and ending at River View Shopping Center. The lining up for the parade will start at 1:00 p.m. We encourage everyone to participate in Roma Fest 2012.

Congratulations to Mrs. Rosita Munoz for her role as the Roma Fest 2012 Parade Marshall and for continued service to our community.






Racks-N-Tusks, along with the hunting community, are excited to announce the first Rio Grande City recipients of their scholarship, Kristina E. Villareal and Aldo Medina Jr. Thank you to all the hunters who entered our buck and hog contest and helped raise the funds needed for these scholarships. Left to right: Smiley Martinez, Principal Joel Trigo, Gabe Lozano, Kristina E. Villareal, Aldo Medina and Roy Peña. We are proud to be a part of their academic success and future endeavors. Another thanks goes out to our only Rio Grande City sponsor, Double A Welding and Hunting Equipment.



Hilda González Garza Seeks Election For R.G.C.C.I.S.D. School Board Trustee, Place 2


I formally announce my intention to seek election for the office of Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District, School Board Trustee of Place 2. I humbly ask for your support and your vote on November 6, 2012. 

I am the daughter of Pedro H. González and Herlinda G. González. I was the Salutatorian for The Rio Grande City High School Class of 1988, and I graduated from Texas A&M University at College Station in 1991. In 1991, I worked as a sixth grade social studies teacher at Ringgold Middle School. The following year I chose to further my education in law; therefore, I enrolled at Texas Southern University-Thurgood Marshall School of Law and graduated in 1995. 

I have been practicing law since November 1, 1996. From 1996 to 1998, I worked at two local firms as an associate attorney. In December of 1998, I became an assistant district attorney for the 229th Judicial District until 2008. In 2008, up until July 2012, I was an assistant county attorney for the County of Starr. Currently, I am a solo-practitioner in my law office. 

I am happily married to Jose Luis Garza, Jr. We have two beautiful children, Gabriella and Luis Gabriel Garza, who currently attend North Grammar Elementary.

My ideology, if elected as your board member, is to bring back the concept of: “Service to My Community.” My community consists of all the students, all the teachers, all the employees and all the parents of this school district. As a board member, one must encourage expressions of different opinions and listen with an open mind to others’ ideas. This “service to my community” will continuously be guided by what is best for all students of the district. In other words, I want to serve you the community as a whole.

Of course, my primary focus and goal is the education of our students. Like any mother, I want what is best for my children. Every mother wants their child to feel that they are successful in whatever challenges they may face. This year, our children must face a new academic challenge-----a new standardized test that the state of

Texas has implemented, STAAR (the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness). As a board member, one must adopt priorities and policies that will benefit all our students in achieving the necessary scores to pass the STAAR test.

My other focus would be on our teachers. When I had the privilege to serve as a teacher in our community, I was abruptly awakened by the overwhelming issues that our teachers faced to empower our children. If elected as your board member, I would persistently try to resolve and tackle the academic and professional obstacles that our teachers still stumble upon to meet their daily goals.  By providing them with the necessary teaching materials, resources, and staff development trainings, our teachers can not only achieve their purpose in the classroom, but also go beyond their objectives. Furthermore, I would ensure that the district provide the necessary means to continuously improve our students’ performance.

My final focus would be on our school budget. If elected, I seek to be fiscally responsible by ensuring prudent and accountable use of district monies and resources. 

If elected, I pledge to adamantly focus on these goals. Keep in mind that these goals can only be achieved when they are passed by the majority of the board. An individual board member does not have the authority to act on behalf of the district.  If chosen as your elected official, I promise to regularly attend meetings, and thoroughly analyze issues that are pertinent to the future of our children and community. I promise to take my role as a trustee seriously, and do what’s best for the education of all of our students. Please vote Hilda González Garza for Board Trustee, Place 2 on November 6, 2012, and have your voice be heard. Thank you.

Paid Pol. AD by Candidate





Mother, Teacher, Wife, Social Worker,     I am Maria Elia Ramos, and I am running for RGCISD school board place five

Originally from Edinburg, Texas I moved to Rio Grande City in 1970 and later married Samuel Ramos (retired CPL) and we have two sons. Sammy is a history teacher in Seguin, Texas and Stevan is a Texas Game Warden. I graduated from Pan American (B.A.) in 1970 and later Texas A & I-Kingsville (M.Ed.) (Public School Counselor).

Arriving to Starr County in 1970, I first worked for the Department of Public Welfare for 11 years. Then I moved on to my first passion, Education. My teaching career began at the Immaculate Conception School before joining the Ringgold Middle School as an 8th grade American History teacher in 1982. In 1997, I went to La Union Elementary and later to Alto Bonito Elementary to serve as counselor.  In 2007, I retired and have continued with community service and substitute teaching.

Through the years while working as a social worker, teacher, counselor, volunteer, or as a parent, I met thousands of great people from La Grulla, Alto Bonito, Garciasville, La Casita, Las Lomas and the areas around Rio Grande City.  The people that know me will say above all, that I am honest and committed to doing the best job possible. Whether dealing with a student, parent, co-worker, friend or neighbor, in many difficult situations I did it fairly and with respect for the individual. I believe that my experience, education and desire to serve our community will be an asset to our school district. Vamos con Mrs. Ramos. 

Paid Pol. AD by Candidate


GRSE Students Participate in Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer


Chili’s and General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary fourth and fifth grade students joined efforts to raise funds for children fighting cancer at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. This competition promoted citizenship skills, but best of all enabled students to realize that they have the power to make a difference in another person’s life even at a young age. We would like to thank all staff members, parents and students who made donations.  The fourth grade winning class was Mrs. Enedina Figueroa’s class; the winning class in fifth grade was Mr. Elias Saenz’ class. The winning classes were rewarded with pepper-pal meals.




NADB and Starr County sign US$450,000 grant agreement to support solid waste facility

The North American Development Bank (NADB) signed a US $450,000 grant agreement with Starr County, Texas, to finance part of its recently built solid waste transfer station, as well as to fund an Operations and Maintenance Reserve Fund and a Repair and Replacement Reserve Fund.

The station is designed to accept up to 300 tons per day of solid waste, with an estimated disposal rate of 80,000 tons annually and a useful life of at least 15 years. Waste deposited at the transfer station is trucked approximately 52 miles to the landfill in the city of Edinburg.

U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar was present to witness the signing of the grant agreement by NADB Deputy Managing Director Alex Hinojosa and Starr County Judge Eloy Vera.

“It is through partnerships like these that we can help improve the daily lives of the residents in Starr County,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar.

“Making sure that communities in my district are safe and healthy is something I take very seriously and, for this reason, I worked with the North American Development Bank and Starr County to make sure these funds made their way to this region.”

“With the grant from NADB, the project and solid waste operations will be more affordable and sustainable for the community,” noted Mr. Hinojosa. “We applaud the County’s efforts to continue providing safe and reliable sanitation services to its residents in compliance with federal and state regulations for solid waste management and disposal.”


RGCCISD Security Officer Juan Jose Gonzalez Retired After 15 Years of Service

After 15 years of service to the Rio Grande City CISD as a Security Officer, Gonzalez has officially retired. Chief Hernan Garza presented Gonzalez with plaque for his hard work and devotion to his job. He has been married to Angelica for 44 years and has four children; Olga, Lilia, Edna and Jose Israel. With some free time on his hands Gonzalez plans to do some traveling. One of his first stops will be at South Padre Island with his brothers and sisters. He also enjoys hunting and plans to spend some time doing just that on his ranch.



Grulla Community Shows Gator Pride at Homecoming Parade, Rally

Well more than 1,000 students and community members came out to support the Grulla High School Gator Varsity Football Team ahead of its homecoming game with PSJA Southwest. Those in attendance waited an hour in anticipation of a parade that included students from

elementary through high school levels.

 “I am looking forward to cheering on the team at the game tomorrow, as well as my fellow cosmetology students who are in the parade,” said Grulla High junior Jocelin Escobedo. “I think it’s great we have a high school in  our hometown and that makes it even better to be here taking part in these activities.”

More than 50 parade entries got the crowd going in advance of the evening’s highlight - a pep rally and bonfire at the Grulla Middle School Football Field. Grulla High put on a spectacular show to get the varsity players pumped before the game including performances by the drill team, cheerleaders, mascots, band and mariachis. Coach Abel Gonzalez recognized his senior team captains who were ready to lead their peers in a fierce football battle.

“It’s very exciting and it’s an opportunity for the entire community

to get together and have a good time,” said Bryan Martinez, a senior at Grulla High who is a captain on the football team and a nominee for homecoming court. “It’s awesome that people like me who grew up in Grulla are able to go to school in our backyard and play for our hometown; it makes us very proud. Being a Gator it’s the most exciting thing I can think of.”


ICS Elects 2012-2013 Student Council

In an election that took place September 3, 2012, the Immaculate Conception School students elected the 2012-2013 Student Council Officers. The officers will serve as the voice of the student body and at the same time the role model of the school. The winners: Ana Mariella Perez – President, Raul Soriano – Vice-President, Valeria Valdez – Secretary, Daniela Salinas – Treasurer, Vicente Montalvo – Parliamentarian, and Kelsey Silva – Reporter. Non-winners will become members and still part of the ICS Student Council. A great number of students participated in this year’s election. ICS would like to thank all the candidates who ran for Student Council positions. Congratulations to the all new 2012-2013 Student Council Officers. Thank you very much sponsors!


Rattler Homecoming Parade

Line-up starts @ 4:45 p.m.

in front of Veterans Middle School

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bonfire and Jamaica (food, fun and games)

will follow parade.

For more information contact Cynthia Alaniz

or Ana Liza Garcia @ 488-6000.


Rio Water Supply Corporation held their Ground Breaking Ceremony of their New 2.0 MGD Fresh Water Plant Facility

Rio Water Supply Corporation begins work on new 7.6 million dollar plant. The plant is expected to be in operation by June of 2013.  It is expected that the plant will infuse the community with many jobs during the construction phase and later for operation purposes as well as create a better system to accommodate growth. The RWSC Board President Oscar Guerra and board members Eduardo Chapa, Jr., Carlos Delgado, Leonel Cantu Jr. and Adalberto Garza together with past board members and the office staff directed by Mrs. Lourdes G. Bermea have worked diligently to make this project a reality.  The ceremony was held on Friday August 31, 2012 and began with the beautiful sounds of the Award Winning Mariachi Cascabel from Rio Grande City High School. Mr. George E. Lazaro RWSC Engineer acknowledged the different individuals and entities responsible for bringing this project to fruition, among them were Roel Gomez-USDA Rural Develoment, State Representative Ryan Guillen, Congressman Henry Cuellar and Judge Eloy Vera and the Starr County Commissioners Court. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).



Longtime biology instructor Tom Patterson says goodbye to STC

South Texas College Biology Instructor Tom Patterson, left, is recognized by Starr County Campus Site Administrator Ruben Saenz during the Staff and Faculty Appreciation Breakfast held on Aug. 1, 2012 at the Starr County Campus in Rio Grande City.

Making a subject engaging to students and having an impact on their lives is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have in the teaching profession. Retiring South Texas College Biology Instructor Tom Patterson was recognized at the Starr County Campus Faculty and Staff Appreciation Breakfast on Aug. 1, and leaves the college with the satisfaction of having achieved the ultimate reward by having made an impact in students’ lives.

Patterson, who earned his bachelor’s degree at Sul Ross State University and his master’s at The University of Texas-Austin, taught 16 years at STC, one as an adjunct and 15 as an instructor in the biology department at the college, and is one of the founding instructors at the Starr County Campus.

“I’ve really enjoyed teaching 15 out of those 16 years out at Starr County and I’m happy that the work I’ve done has improved  the lives of the people there,” said Patterson, an avid botanist. “The students I’ve taught have really done well. It’s been a joy working for the college, and I really love working with the students I had.”

 STC Starr County Campus Site Administrator Ruben Saenz recognized Patterson at the appreciation breakfast and presented him with a plaque for his 16 years of service to the students of the college and the Starr County Campus.

“Tom Patterson is an outstanding biology instructor at the Starr County Campus of South Texas College, and he will be missed,” said Saenz. “Not only

did he inspire his students in the classroom, but he also expanded their instructional experiences to the outdoors, taking students on educational field trips to South Padre Island and nature habitats, including those along the Rio Grande.”

During his tenure at STC, Patterson was the recipient of the Jaguar Award, the Distinguished Teaching and Learning Award (DLA), and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award.

As a founding instructor in Starr County, he witnessed the increased enrollment that led to the construction of the Starr County Campus.

“I remember that people would say that classes out in Starr County wouldn’t make it,” said Patterson. “They couldn’t have been more wrong. Enrollment increased and we were able to build a new campus.”

Outside of the college, Patterson was one of the founders of the Rio Grande Wilderness Society, a group that educates the public about animal and plant life in the Rio Grande Valley, particularly in Starr County.

Although he is leaving STC, Patterson plans to pursue his passion as a botanist while in retirement by concentrating on the flora of South Texas and as a research affiliate with UT-Austin’s arboretum.

“What’s so unique about Mr. Patterson is that he is a natural to field biology, and those types of biologists are becoming extinct,” said STC Biology Instructor Luci Simpson. “He would include that in his class and made it more interesting to the students by taking them out into the field. He knows all the common names of all the plants and trees in the area, and he would have his class do real field work. Students are really going to miss him. He was a great asset to the college, and I feel very fortunate to have worked with him.”


Rio Grande City Public Library works with Workforce Solutions

Standing (l to r): Juan Zuniga, City of RGC City Manager; Sandra Garcia, Library Advisory Board Member, Bonnie Gonzalez, Workforce Solutions CEO, Norma Gomez Fultz, Library Director, Rose Benavidez, Workforce Solutions Board Member, City of RGC Mayor Ruben O. Villarreal, Judith A Solis, Library Advisory Board Chair, Maricela Gutierrez, Library Advisory Board Member. Sitting (l to r): Rosa E Gonzalez, Library Advisory Board Member, Dalinda Guillen, Workforce Solutions Board Chair.


RGC Public Library and Workforce Solutions have teamed up to assist Job Seekers. We are very excited to be the first library Workforce has provided computers and trained library staff to better assist our patrons. It is now easier to find a job, apply for unemployment benefits, access career building tools, learn about childcare assistance and prepare & print resumes at the library!

Norma Gomez Fultz of Rio Grande City Public Library was among library staff members representing 45 states and the District of Columbia who met in Washington, D.C., for the Project Compass National Convening, an opportunity for 215 participants in the project to share ideas in support of public libraries’ efforts to meet the urgent and growing needs of unemployed and job- seeking patrons. As a result for this commitment RGC Public Library joined forces with Workforce Solutions.


Rio Grande City CISD Security and Police department recently recognized Fermin “Frank” Alcazar for his15 years of service to the district as he retires from his post. Chief Hernan Garza presented Alcazar with a plaque for his hard work and dedication as a Security Officer. He has been married with Thelma for 16 years and has a son named Frankie that lives in Houston, Texas. Savannah who is 13 years old is his granddaughter who he is extremely proud of and who brings him much joy. When asked what he would like to do now that he is retired he states,” I have a lot of work to do around the house.” Alcazar will have plenty of time not only to do that work around the house but also to dedicate time to his family and the hobbies he truly enjoys such as hunting and fishing.



Local Band Director Inducted into Texas Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame


Local resident, Alfredo “Al” Cortinas, has been named to the Bandmaster’s Hall of Fame by the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, an international school bandmaster fraternity. He was honored at the Texas Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on July 22 in San Antonio.

He is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Selso and Beatriz Cortinas from Taft, Texas. He comes from a family of four sisters and two brothers. He was educated in the town’s school system where he graduated from Taft High School in 1965. Al’s father loved music and played guitar with local groups. This love of music was transferred to his family and Al joined the band in the sixth grade. His beginning band director was Mr. Fred Rotzler who taught him to play saxophone.

Al continued in the band and by the eighth grade he was marching with the Greyhound High School band. This experience continued throughout high school. His high school band director, Mr. Sherry Albritton was a big influence in Al’s life. He encouraged him to pursue music education. During the summer of 1965, Al began his undergraduate work at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, the University of Houston and concluded at Texas A& I University in Kingsville where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degree in music education.

While attending college he worked his way through school by being in the work study programs and played professionally with various dance bands and Tejano groups. Mr. Cortinas has been a successful band director for the past forty-one years, having directed bands in Corpus Christi, Crystal City, Rio Grande City, Roma, and La Joya. He is back in Rio Grande City serving the high school as a band director.

Through the years, his bands have received numerous awards. They range from Sweepstakes awards and representing Region XV at the state marching contest to Honor Band. His band have also competed at the Carlsbad, New Mexico, Six Flags over Texas in Dallas, Buc Days Music Festival in Copus Christi, Six Flags over Mid-America in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Contraband Music Festival in Lake Charles, Louisiana, as well as other music festivals in Texas. This past year the Rio Grande City High School band was named Outstanding Varsity Band and Outstanding Band of the La Joya Band Festival while also receiving the UIL Sweepstakes award.

Mr. Cortinas has served in region and state capacities as Region Band Chairman and in several committees for TBA, Phi Beta Mu, UIL and TMEA. He has also served as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the state. He is a member of TBA, TMEA, Phi Beta Mu and Phi Mu Alpha. He serves on the Hall of Fame Committee for Phi Beta Mu and was instrumental in starting the Rio Grande Valley Band Director Hall of Fame which honors Valley band directors each year. In 2011, Al received the Lifetime Meritorious Achievement Award from the Texas Bandmasters Association.

Countless people have been instrumental in helping Al throughout his career. These people have taken the time to offer their kindness and invaluable experience with him. One of the most influential people in his professional life has been Mr. Richard Floyd, Director of UIL activities for the State of Texas. He was one of the first clinicians to go to Rio Grande City and work with Al’s bands.

“The many different techniques that Mr. Floyd taught the staff and students in Rio and Roma are still being taught to this day,” said Al Cortinas. “I will forever be grateful to Mr. Floyd for all he taught and shared with us.”

Other people whom have had an influence are Mr. Roel Elizondo, Mr. Nick Gonzalez, Mr. Robert Botello, the late Mr. Eddie Galvan, Mr. Bob Blanton, Mr. Art Guajardo, Mr. Richard Kole, Mr. Marion Busby, Mr. Edward Zamora, Mr. Bruce Taylor and all the directors in the Rio Grande Valley who have always been willing to share their musical expertise.

He is married to Sonja Smith-Cortinas and they have two beautiful daughters, Abbygail Nicole Cortinas, salutatorian of Immaculate Conception School (I.C.S.) 8th grade class and Ella Renee Cortinas, who just completed her first year in the Montessori program at I.C.S. Active parents in the school, Al and Sonja, have served on the school council and both have served as president of this organization. He and his family are all active at I.C.S. of Rio Grande City where he serves as Eucharistic Minister.

Mr. Cortinas would like to thank the Texas Bandmasters Association and Phi Beta Mu for this opportunity of being inducted into the Hall of Fame. This is a great honor for him and his family. Al extends a special thanks to Ben Gollehon and all the members of the Hall of Fame Committee.


Rogerio “Chief” Alvarado was recently presented a plaque for his 26 years of service to the Rio Grande City CISD as a Security Officer. Chief Hernan Garza conducted the presentation and gave Alvarado a plaque in appreciation of his loyalty to his job. He has been married to Bertha for 19 years and has two sons; Feliciano and Roberto. After his retirement, Alvarado plans to take it easy for a while but then he plans to look for a part-time job. He also has a love of sports and hopes to attend more sports events. Alvarado enjoys hunting and fishing and will have some free time to enjoy his hobbies.



Pct. 4 Commissioner Ruben Saenz and Staff Host Breakfast for San Isidro ISD Teachers and Staff

Commissioner Ruben D. Saenz hosted a delicious breakfast to welcome all San Isidro Teachers and staff to the new school year. Commissioner Saenz thanked the San Isidro ISD staff for their commitment to the students. Mrs. Antonia (Toni) Trevino-Pct 4 Justice of the Peace also commended the staff and encouraged them to call or visit her office if they need her assistance. Mr. Mike Garcia-Superintendent presented two staff members who retired commemoration plaques. The retirees  Mrs. Araceli Garza who dedicated 35 years to education and Mr. David Munoz who dedicated 30 years to the students of the community were commended by the Superintendent for dedicating a lifetime to education and imparting wisdom to so many students. Mr. Leo Laurel-Constable -Pct. 4, Mrs. Toni Trevino-Justice of the Peace, Mrs. Anita Hammond-Pct 4 Secretary, Mr. Herbie Villarreal-Pct 4,  Mr.Leo Olivarez and Mr. David Garza- San Isidro ISD Board members were among the guests at the breakfast. Pictured left to right Mr. David Garza-Board Member, Mr. Mario A. Alvarado-High School Principal, Mr. Leo Olivarez-Board Member, Commission Ruben D. Saenz, Toni Trevino-Justice of the Peace, Herbie Villarreal-Pct. 4, Mr. Garcia-Superintendent, Mrs. Anita Hammond-Pct. 4 Secretary and Ruben Beltran-Pct 4.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office)



Starr County and City of Rio Grande personnel assist students on back to school shopping spree provided by the United Way of South Texas

Mary Barrera-City of Rio Grande, Cynthia Garcia Fuentes and Judy Solis-County of Starr, Sandra Garcia and Holly Douglass Guerrero-City of Rio Grande were among the volunteers who assisted students to purchase back to school clothing and supplies. The United Way of South Texas awarded 120 middle school students from all over the valley with $150.00 each for back to school clothing and supplies thanks to employee contributions of many individuals including employees in the County of Starr and the City of Rio Grande. Volunteers from all over the Rio Grande Valley gathered at the Target on North Tenth on Wednesday August 15th to assist the students in making proper selection of clothing and supplies. Students were also given free haircuts by volunteers from Vogue College. The students were very excited and eager to buy the much needed items and are now prepared to begin the new school year. (Starr County Public Relations Office)


New Teachers get Pinned to District

“It is part of an old tradition,” said Rio Grande City CISD Personnel Administrator Esmeralda Lopez. “Take out the district pin and put it on. Now your pinned and are part of the RGCCISD family.”

Lopez was speaking to a packed room of more than 70 new teachers just beginning the adventure of a lifetime with the district. The theme of the event, and subsequently for the year at

the district was the Olympics.

“Together we are all team RGCCISD and we all are going for the gold,” she added, alluding to the district’s high academic standards. The new teachers had a chance to meet each other, as well as those from other campuses. They heard from district leaders who welcome their new colleagues.

“It’s so nice to see so many bright, cheery faces. This reminds child is that day to teach them and get them from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’.”

“Everyone asks me what I do for a living and I say I am a teacher, not a superintendent. I happened to stumble into a superintendency, but I am a teacher. Once a teacher, always a teacher. Be proud of that,” he continued. “I welcome you to our fine school district. We try very hard. We might be poor, but we are overachievers. We might be on the border, but all our kids have an equal opportunity to learn and we don’t give up on kids in this district. This is a district of high achievers.”

The attendees also heard from the district’s Board of Trustees.

“On behalf of the entire board and community, I welcome all you new teachers to the RGCCISD family,” said Board President Basilio Villarreal Jr. “We expect nothing but excellence here and I know you will all do a great job.”

A Starr County style breakfast of sweet bread was enjoyed as the new teachers visited with administrators from their home schools. The excitement was in the air as attendees smiled and expressed their enthusiasm for the impending school year.

“I heard a lot of good things about the school and principal and I was really looking forward

me of Jan. 4, 1976 when I showed up to a school district to work,” explained RGCCISD Superintendent Roel Gonzalez Jr. “No one welcomed me, but a principal took me into a classroom with 42 kids and those kids taught me so much. They taught me about life and how sometimes kids bring their lives to school. Sometimes we have to understand where a child is that day to teach them and get them from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’.”

“Everyone asks me what I do for a living and I say I am a teacher, not a superintendent. I happened to stumble into a superintendency, but I am a teacher. Once a teacher, always a teacher. Be proud of that,” he continued. “I welcome you to our fine school district. We try very hard. We might be poor, but we are overachievers. We might be on the border, but all our kids have an equal opportunity to learn and we don’t give up on kids in this district. This is a district of high achievers.”

The attendees also heard from the district’s Board of Trustees.

“On behalf of the entire board and community, I welcome all you new teachers to the RGCCISD family,” said Board President Basilio Villarreal Jr. “We expect nothing but excellence here and I know you will all do a great job.”

A Starr County style breakfast of sweet bread was enjoyed as the new teachers visited with administrators from their home schools. The excitement was in the air as attendees smiled and expressed their enthusiasm for the impending school year.

“I heard a lot of good things about the school and principal and I was really looking forward

to coming out here,” said Emily Serna, who is originally from Edinburg and will be teaching at Grulla High School. “I know this is a great community and I’ve always felt the Valley has a lot of untapped potential and I think that the kids just need to learn what they are really capable of and I’m most excited about that.”

Rio Grande City High School alum Yahida Moreno is overjoyed about the chance to teach pre-kindergarten at General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary and give back to her community.” I’m excited to be back teaching in my hometown and I am excited to make a difference in every child’s life,” she expressed. “ I am full of enthusiasm and ready to get involved. I love teaching pre-kinder because they are always full of surprises. I’m eager to get in the classroom and actually learn from them.”

Teacher inservice and work days begin Aug. 20, 2012 with the 2012-2013 school year starting Aug. 27, 2012.


El alcalde de Roma dará clases en la High School

Por Oscar Sánchez

El Alcalde José Alfredo Guerra dara clases de historia en la High School de Roma, cargo que iniciara a desempeñar a partir del próximo ciclo escolar.

El propio Alcalde Freddy Guerra informó que aunque trabajara ahora como profesor en Roma ISD, seguirá dando su mejor esfuerzo al cargo político de Mayor de Roma para sacar adelante los proyectos en los cuales se trabaja, ya que dijo que para él ha sido un honor servir a la ciudad de Roma.

“Los políticos sirven a su

comunidad sin recibir salario alguno y por ello tuve que buscar un ingreso estable para el sustento de mi familia”, dijo el Alcalde José Alfredo Guerra.

Indicando que tiene preparación académica y certificación, por lo cual al ser invitado a dar la cátedra de historia en la High School decidió de inmediato aceptar la oferta.

De hecho varios ex alcaldes

de Roma también han trabajado en el Distrito escolar cuando desempeñaban el cargo de Mayor, dado que según explico el Mayor Freddy Guerra, la constitución de la ciudad establece que se debe contratar a un administrador para que dirija los trabajos de la ciudad. Aunque afirmó el Alcalde Guerra que el Concilio es quien establece metas y el City Manager es quien se encarga de darles cumplimiento.



Starr County Historical Society working on plans to build a museum

The Starr County Historical Society members are working diligently on a plan to acquire land to build a museum. Starr County is situated in an area with enormous historical wealth and the museum will serve as an  informational venue for future generations to learn about their ancestors and their traditions and much more.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


Student Life Technician Honored

Luis Banda, Student Life Technician at the Starr County Campus, was presented a plaque in recognition for providing outstanding leadership to the varied spring 2012 activities held at the Starr County Campus, including the Starr County Campus Festival.  Ruben Saenz, Starr County Campus Administrator presented the plaque to Banda at a recent faculty/staff breakfast.  Saenz stated; “Luis Banda works tirelessly to provide educational and entertaining activities for the students and community.”


Pct. 2 Commissioner Roy Peña gives homeowners key to brand new home

Commissioner Roy Pena and Judge Eloy Vera presented homeowners Max and San Juanita Gutierrez with the keys to their brand new home. The Gutierrez family was eligible to receive Disaster Relief Owner-Occupied Housing Assistance Program funds. Commissioner Pena and his staff worked diligently  to bring the property up to par so that the construction could take place. Commissioner Pena and his staff take great pride in the completion of all of their projects. Pictured left to right; Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Commissioner Pct. 2-Roy Pena, Homeowners Max and San Juanita Gutierrez, Olga Bazan -Starr County Federal Programs Office, Connie Cantu-Starr County Federal Programs Office, David Reyna-Reyna Construction,  (Starr County Public Relations Office). 


Elias Villarreal retires from Starr County Detention Center after 22 years

Starr County Sheriff Rene Fuentes and staff presented Elias Villarreal with a plaque in commemoration of his 22 years of service at the Starr County Detention Center. Sheriff Fuentes commended Elias for his hard work and dedication and for assisting Captain Romeo Ramirez to insure that the detention center be in compliance with Texas Jail Certification Standards. His professionalism and attention to detail have earned him the respect and admiration of his peers. “We wish you a happy retirement” said Sheriff Fuentes as he presented the plaque to him during a reception held to honor him. Elias has been married to Becky Villarreal for 40 years and they have two sons Elias Villarreal Jr., and Luis Carlos (Liza). Elias’ pride and joy are his grandchildren Isaac Jacob, Luis Carlos Jr., and Lexis Briana Villarreal. Mr. Villarreal will now have more time to enjoy his hobby of riding his horse and spending time in his ranch surrounded by his family. Starr County Judge Eloy Vera was at hand to thank Elias for a job well done. Pictured Left to right Guillermo (Willie) Pena-Chief Deputy, Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Elias Villarreal, Starr County Sheriff Rene Fuentes and Starr County Detention Center Captain Romeo Ramirez, Jr. (Starr County Public Relations Office)


Maria Elia Ramos announces her candidacy for place 5 for RGCCISD School Board

I am a candidate for Place 5 on the RGCCISD school board. This election will be on November 6. I would appreciate it if you help spread the word.I am an independent candidate running to better our education system.

My three primary goals are:

• Assist our students in gaining the best possible education.

• Work for transparency in school business, this will    include public announcements for meetings, publication of official minutes of meetings as well as school business bids and awards.

• Work for accountability at all levels.

No matter the outcome, this will be positive campaign with a focus on my 25 years experience in education, 11 years as a social worker and 40+ years as volunteer in our community.


Your support will be greatly appreciated. I realize that it is a tall order, however my idealism in our American system in elections and the belief that our students and teachers deserve the very best are the reasons that I decided to run and make a difference. This time, lets put students on the top of our priority list.

Vamos Con Mrs. Ramos!

Political ad paid by candidate


Grulla Summer Track State Qualifiers

Grulla Summer Track State Qualifiers State Meet at Corpus Christi, TX. Pictured: Top Row: Serena Alaniz, Edward Barrera, Stephanie Flores, Erika Salinas. Middle Row: Alyssa Huerta, Larissa Martinez, Diana Puente, Bottom Row: Luis Cantu Jr., Citlali Rodriguez, Dewitt Jones, Emmanuel Jones. Not Pictured: J.J. Solis, Elvira Alamillo, Jay Lee Solis. Coaches: Jayne Gomez, Yadira Lopez, Enedelia Rios. Sponsors: STAT EMS, Anabel Tax Refund, Chino’s Quick Stop, Therapy Zone, La Grulla Police Dept., Grulla Middle School, Grulla High School, Circle 7 Express LLC, Los Girasoles Adult Day Care, T & R Store. Special thanks to all sponsors, coaches and the community of La Grulla for their Annual support towards our athletes. Remember, “DREAMS do come TRUE”: Following the Footsteps of our own Olympian: Stephen Saenz.



The first ever Starr County Job Fair, held this past Wednesday, not only hits the mark, but exceeds everyone’s expectations. By the end of the event, 2,200 job seekers had passed through the doors of the South Texas College (STC) Starr County Campus Auditorium. The fair organized by the office of Congressman Henry Cuellar, Starr County Industrial Foundation (SCIF) and Workforce Solutions (WFS) served as a platform for employers to recognize that Starr County and its surrounding areas have the population and qualified workforce to meet any of their needs.

There were 25 employers present with over 750 job openings, along with several non- profit organizations who were at hand to provide information on resources available to the attendees. WFS personnel and STC computer labs were made available to assist those that did not have a resume and Community Action Council provided free transportation to the venue.

Rose Benavidez, SCIF president said, “while this type of job fairs have happened in other counties, we wanted to host one in our community that allowed

for employers to recognize the potential of our workforce and ensure that these opportunities are available to Starr County.”

A program opening the event included a welcome by Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal comments from

SCIF, WFS representatives and Congressman Cuellar, which was then followed by a breakfast sponsored by the County of Starr.

For more information please visit or call 956.487.2709.

Big Starr County Welcome for Olympian Stephen Saenz

The sound of Rio High School and Grulla High School  Bands, a lit scoreboard with video and live images playing, cheerleaders dancing, the angelic sound of Stephanie Rodriguez as she sang the National Anthem, about 1300 fans and volunteers cheering added to the excitement of the event honoring Olympian Stephen Saenz on Thursday night. An awe from the audience

could be heard as Stephen walked in with grandeur and poise to filled stadium.  The memory of this night will forever be embedded in the minds of all who attended. “What an honor to be standing next to him” said a mother to her children as she waited for him to autograph their program. Indeed what an honor to see this young man who has accomplished what most just dream. To witness his humility

said “there’s always that someone out and pride in talking to each and every person that wanted to take a picture with him and get his autograph. Stephen spoke from his heart as he encouraged the young children and teens to dream big and work hard to achieve it because nothing worthwhile comes easy was the message he relayed. Stephen

there working harder than everyone else...I want to be that person”. 

Athletic Director Rey Ramirez beamed with pride as he spoke of Stephen’s accomplishments as he introduced him. 

Stephen was given a copy of the County of Starr Proclamation of the Week of July 29th - August 4th 2012 as “Stephen Saenz Week” by Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, the very first key to the City of Rio Grande and the sign of the street that will be named after him from Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal and Commissioner Rey Ramirez, a flag from State Representative Ryan Guillen’s Office, a plaque

from the city of Escobares presented by Council Members Gloria Alvarez, Olga Garza and Roberto Naranjo. 

A reception and Press Conference was held earlier in his honor at the Starr County Courthouse Annex where he was received with the beautiful sounds of Rio Grande City High School and Grulla High School Mariachi Bands, and a lobby full of fans exited to meet him.  Refreshments were provided by Rio Grande City H.E.B. 

“Stephen is a young man with a sound mind and an exceptional will to succeed and he has left a lasting impression in all the

young children who will forever look up to him as an inspiration and role model” said Judge Vera as he spoke to guests at the reception.

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera  would like to thank all of the residents for coming out to honor Stephen in a grand way. 

Judge Vera would also like to thank RGCCISD Administrators and Staff, Mr. Basilio Villarreal Jr-Board President, Mayor Ruben Villarreal and City of Rio Grande, City of Escobares, City of Roma, City of Grulla, South Texas College, HEB, Starr County Industrial Foundation, Socialife Starr Magazine, Elsa State Bank, Bema Ice, Roma and Rio Grande City Chamber of Commerce, Zarsky Lumber Company and the Rally Steering Committee for working together to make the event a great success.  Pictured with Stephen left to right- his cousin Ruben Saenz III grandparents Ruben and Olga Saenz, his parents Ricardo and Ofie Saenz, Claudia Trujillo Hernandez-Mexican Consulate Representative, his sister Kendra and Starr County Judge Eloy Vera.  (County of Starr Public Relations Office).


Instalan en Roma oficina de atención a la comunidad del U.S. Border Patrol

Por Oscar Sánchez

El Alcalde de Roma José Alfredo Guerra y el alcalde de RGC Rubén Villarreal, acompañaron al jefe de sector del U.S. Border Patrol Rosendo Hinojosa en la instalación de una oficina de atención a la comunidad en Roma. Con ellos los Concejales Jaime Escobar Jr y Rubén R. González, así como el jefe de área del Border Patrol Felix Cantú y el jefe de policía de Roma José H. García.                                             

El Alcalde José Alfredo Guerra y los miembros del Concilio, Concejales Jaime Escobar Jr, Rubén R. González y Juan Saenz, acompañaron al director de sector del U.S. Border Patrol, Rosendo Hinojosa en la instalación de la oficina de atención a la comunidad que busca acercar a oficiales que salvaguardan la seguridad en la frontera con su comunidad.

A la ceremonia de apertura de la oficina del Communit Partnership Storefront acudió el Juez del Condado Starr Eloy Vera, el Alcalde de RGC Rubén Villarreal, el Secretario del Condado Dennis González, el subjefe de la Oficina del Sheriff Guilermo “Willie” Pena, el director del U.S Custom Service de Roma Cresencio Cantú, el jefe de policía de Roma José H. García, el Capitan Francisco García, el Teniente Rafael Aguirre y oficiales tanto de la policía de Roma y del Sheriff.

El jefe de sector del U. S. Border Patrol, Rosendo Hinojosa, llego acompañado de Felix Cantú, jefe de área de la Patrulla Fronteriza en la base de Alto Bonito así como de oficiales de la misma corporación.

Tras poner en marcha el programa de acercamiento con  la

comunidad el jefe del sector Rio Grande Valley del U.S. Border Patrol, Rosendo Hinojosa, afirmó que el programa operara en Roma por un largo tiempo, en la oficina instalada a un costado del Community Center en Roma.

El director de la Patrulla Fronteriza dijo que se enorgullece de asociarse con Office of Field Operations, el Departamento de Policía de Roma, la ciudad de Roma y la Oficina del Sheriff de Starr para instalar el Community Partnership Storefront, un programa de alcance comunitario que busca dar apoyo a todos los texanos tanto contestando sus preguntas como recibiendo información de actividades

sospechosas para fortalecer la seguridad en la frontera.

“Queremos dar más fuerza a la unidad y confianza con los residentes para que vengan a la oficina de atención a la comunidad que estará siendo atendida en Roma Texas por el oficial del U.S. Border Patrol Mateo Garza”, dijo Hinojosa al ser entrevistado.

Oficinas similares del programa Communit Partnership Storefront, ya fueron instaladas en El Cenizo, Rio Bravo, Los Indios, La Joya y ahora en la ciudad de Roma. Habiendo iniciado hace 3 años en Laredo Texas donde tuvo gran éxito, señalo el jefe del U.S. Border Patrol Rosendo Hinojosa.


Team Grulla High

                                              Going For The Gold!


Mr. Joel Trigo, Jr., Grulla High School Principal plans to lead his winning team to the finish line and claim the gold in 2013.  Grulla High School had a phenomenal school year in 2011-2012 and plans to surpass its great accomplishments with even greater ones this school year.  Mr. Trigo, together with his administration, shared the campus vision and initiatives for 2012-2013 with department leaders and discussed plans to “reach for the gold” in all educational and social endeavors. Administrators and department leaders were awarded gold medals by Mr. Trigo to honor their commitment and success in establishing and maintaining a safe and conducive learning environment for all students. In honor of the 2012 Olympics, Grulla High School has chosen to embrace the “Going for the Gold” theme for this school year and will encourage every staff member and student to set their sights on greater heights. The Grulla High School administration, faculty, staff, and students wish all of the RGCCISD family and community a superb and memorable school year.



Four Starr County Employees Graduate from the LRGVDC Police Academy

In a ceremony held at Mario’s Banquet Hall in Mission Texas, on August 2, 2012, Four (4) Starr County Employees graduated from the the LRGVDC Police Academy Class #155 Pictured with Sheriff Rene Fuents left to right are Justin Falcon-Starr County Detention Center, Carla Lozano-Starr County Detention Center, Maida Garza-Starr County Human Resources Office, Leonel Garza-Starr County Federal Programs Office.  All of them are employed full time and attended the police academy in the evenings. Several other Starr County Residents also received their Peace Officers Certificate that night. They are all commended for their accomplishments and for demonstrating that a dream can become a reality with hard work and dedication. (Starr County Public Relations Office).



Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and Sheriff Rene Fuentes met with organizers of Operation Lone Star

Judge Eloy Vera and Sheriff Rene Fuentes visited with Operation Lone Star Organizers and were very pleased to see that many residents participated in this event. Operation Lone Star was held on July July 23 - 27, 2012 at the Ringgold Middle School and served over 800 persons. The Operation is a joint exercise of State Health and Human service agencies, Texas Military Forces, County Health and Human Services and other entities to prepare for disasters. All organizations work together to bring free medical services to under-served communities along the Texas border. Some of the services provided free of charge were immunizations for children, diabetic screenings, blood pressure screening, hearing and vision exams, sports physicals and much more. The operation is made possible with the help of hundreds of local service groups and volunteers. Judge Vera would like to thank everyone who volunteered in this very worthwhile cause and also commends all of the organizers for a job well done. (Starr County Public Relations Office)



Starr County Welcome Rally For Olympian Stephen Saenz

Every four years we are treated with a wonderful spectacle that is the Olympics. For two weeks we watch and marvel at the talent displayed by an elite few. We know the feats they perform are daunting, yet these athletes manage to master their sport so gracefully that they make them appear effortless. 

For Starr County these London 2012 Olympics are even more thrilling, because they can claim one Olympian as their own.  Stephen Saenz is a product of Starr County and a 2009 graduate of Rio Grande City High School. His accomplishments in the sport

of shot put at the high school, collegiate and international level have provided him with countless achievements. His dominance in the sport earned him a spot in the 2012 Mexico Olympic Team where he competed today. His love for the sport has seen no boundaries and he proudly represented a nation that has such close and deep founded roots in Starr County.

In recognition of his achievements and those yet to come, please join Starr County for a Welcome Rally in honor of Olympian Stephen Saenz

this Thursday, August 9, 2012. There will be a press conference at 4:00 pm at the Starr County Courthouse Annex followed by the Welcome Rally at the Rio Grande City High School Joe R. Sanchez Stadium at 7:00 pm where Stephen will be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans.

Celebrating London 2012 Olympian Stephen Saenz

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Starr County Courthouse Annex 100 FM 3167, Rio Grande City (Press Conference)

4:00 pm (press conference)

Welcome Rally for Starr County Olympian Stephen Saenz

Rio Grande City High School Joe R. Sanchez Stadium                                                                

7:00 pm (stadium rally)

About Stephen Saenz



Drum Majors for 2012-13

The Mighty Rio Grande City Rattler Band is proud to announce the start of a new and exciting fall campaign. Incredibly devoted band members auditioned for an opportunity to lead the Mighty Rattler band on the field on Thursday, and Friday night Rattler Football games. The Mighty Rattler Band will be under the field direction of Mr. Alfredo Prado son of Mr. and Mrs. Victor and Olga Prado; Ms. Aritza Ortiz daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel and Alda Ortiz, and Ms. Victoria McGuffin daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Melissa McGuffin. These talented but humble Drum Majors will lead the

Mighty Rattler band in the production of this years’ show entitled “Letters Home”. The show is based on and scripted from letters left behind by fallen heroes in past and recent United States’ War campaigns. We invite community members that know of “Letters” written by fallen soldiers in battle from our community to send in “Letters” to the Rio Grande City HS band hall or call our band office and or contact 735-1621

Initially, the show begins with a wonderful arrangement of Arron Copland’s Letters from Home, and immediately explodes into a chaotic arrangement by Bela

Bartok of his String Quartet and Piano Concerto depicting the chaos, and violence caused by war. Following this the band will perform a beautiful arrangement of Amazing Grace to Salute our fallen heroes with reverence and respect. The show comes to an energetic and exhilarating conclusion with a “Salute to our Country” and a rendition of Star Spangled Banner Overture by Morton Gould.

Our band students, and

community would like to invite everyone to go out and support our athletes as well as our band members on Thursday and Friday nights at Joe R. Sanchez Stadium.

Rattler band members are hard at work in summer band camp preparing for an exciting and revolutionary fallen season. 

Above you can view your child preparing during early morning hours in order to put on a tremendous production for you!

Strike Up the Band!!


Samuel Garza From Roma, Texas Wins Boxing Tornament in his Catagory

Fort Ringgold Boxing Club and Roma Boxing Club participated in Mercedes, Texas on July 14, 2012. Samuel Garza from Roma, Texas won the tournament in his category. The next boxing tournament will be on August 11, 2012 at the Almodome in San Antonio, Texas where other boxers of the club will also participate. Pictured above is Coach Jose Eloy Alejandro, Samuel Garza and his family.

County of Starr Officials designate July 29, 2012-August 4, 2012 as “Stephen Saenz Week”

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and the Starr County Commissioners Court have designated the week of July 29, 2012 - August 4, 2012 as Stephen Saenz Week on a proclamation presented to his parents Ricardo and Ofelia Saenz on Monday July 23, 2012. Stephen is a graduate of Rio Grande City High School and will be participating in the 2012 Olympics in the Shot Put Competition in London on August 3. He is currently attending Auburn University where he is classified as a junior. Stephen has demonstrated outstanding athletic abilities throughout his life, has won many titles and continues to excel through perseverance, hard work and dedication. Stephen is a great role model not only as an athlete, but as a student taking a full load of courses in pursuit of a college degree. “We are extremely proud of Stephen and wish him the best of luck” said Judge Vera as he presented Mr. and Mrs. Saenz with a plaque in commemoration of this historic event. Pictured: Starr County Judge Eloy Vera Presenting the plaque to Mr. Ricardo Saenz and Mrs. Ofelia Saenz who accepted the plaque on behalf of Stephen( who was on his way to London), Commissioner Pct. 1-Jaime Alvarez Commissioner Pct. 4-Ruben D. Saenz, Commissioner Pct. 2-Roy Pena and Commissioner Pct. 3-Eloy Garza. (County of Starr Public Relations Office)



Rio Grande City Judge Hon. Ana L. Garza Honored By Texas Bar Foundation

Hon. Ana L .Garza with the 229th Judicial District Court has been elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation. Fellows of the Foundation are selected for their outstanding professional achievements and their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the justice system throughout the state of Texas. Election is a mark of distinction and recognition of Judge Garza’s contributions to the legal profession.

Selection as a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation is restricted to members of the State Bar of Texas. Each year one-third of one percent of State Bar members are invited to become Fellows. Once nominees are selected, they must be elected by the

Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees. Membership has grown from an initial 254 Charter Fellows in 1965 to more than 7,500 Fellows throughout Texas today. The Texas Bar Foundation is the largest charitably-funded bar foundation in the country. Founded in 1965 by lawyers determined to assist the public and improve the profession of law, the Texas Bar Foundation has maintained its mission of using the financial contributions of its membership to build a strong justice system for all Texans. To date, the Texas Bar Foundation has distributed more than $13 million throughout Texas to assist nonprofit organizations with a wide range of justice-related programs and services. For more information, contact the Texas Bar Foundation at     




County of Starr Gas Office Staff Training

The County of Starr Gas Office personnel receive monthly trainings on regulations, procedures and techniques as a basis of updating their skills. The technicians are trained to be first responders in securing the safety of home owners in cases of gas leaks or other related problems. The meetings are interactive and the personnel are encouraged to research and present on pertinent topics on safety and accountability.  The office receives numerous requests on a daily basis by residents and technicians are dispatched to asses the situation and determine the repairs needed. Public safety is of the utmost importance so the technicians sometimes have to  shut down valves and evacuate dwellings, call the police or fire departments for assistance until the leak is repaired. The technicians also work with street paving crews to insure that gas lines are operational before paving to avoid leakages that could occur in the future. The office personnel are trained to receive calls and request detailed information from the caller in order to advise technicians on the extent of the situation so that they can quickly handle the situation. The office is equipped with various instruments which are utilized to make determination on extent of leakage and the gravity of the situation. One such tool is the Combustible Gas Indicator (CGI) which alerts to the level of hazard in a building or dwelling. Once that a situation is accessed and a solution has been determined and repairs done, the City of Rio Grande may be called to inspect and certify that the situation has been contained. The Starr County Gas Office employees take great pride in their work in providing safety for the citizens of Starr County.  The office is directed by Mr. Chema Alvarez, Jr.-Starr County Gas System/Landfill Manager and Mrs. Reyna Guerra-Starr County Assistant to Judge Eloy Vera. Please direct any gas leak concerns to the Starr County Gas Office located at 413 East Main St. in Rio Grande City, Texas or call (956) 487-2400. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).



RGCCISD Scores Big with New State of the Art Scoreboard

The Rio Grande City CISD Athletic Department is thrilled to announce that they have installed a new state of the art scoreboard at Joe R. Sanchez stadium. The district along with the Athletic Department worked diligently in order to assure that the installation was completed before the new football season.

This new scoreboard is not only the largest in Rio Grande Valley but also the third largest in Texas measuring 73 feet wide and 42 feet tall and has several spaces for advertising for any interested business. The scoreboard also features a digital screen that will allow for instant replays and to

feature commercials. The four full color ad displays for advertisements (2-6x8 and 2- 4x12) are located on the sides and lower part of the digital screen.

The proceeds collected from the sponsorships will generate the revenue to pay all expenses of the scoreboard. If there is any business that is interested in advertising during the football games this is your opportunity to participate. We thank our sponsors in advance for their commitment to the Rio Grande City CISD! Come out to the Joe R. Sanchez stadium during the 2012-2013 football season to support the Rio Rattlers and the Grulla Gators at all of the home games. Season tickets go on sale August 6 through August 10 at the Athletic Department. Tickets that are not picked up before 3:00 p.m. on August 10, 2012 will become available for sale to the general public on Monday, August 13, 2012.

For more information on advertising or game tickets contact the Athletic Department at (956) 716-6720.





The Rio Grande City High School Sup-Varsity and Varsity teams bring home several victories at the district meet. The Sub-Varsity track team brought home first place and the varsity team brought home a strong second place. Senior Alex Garza brought home top honors by winning first place at UIL State Competition in Shot Put. Rio Grande City High School Administration and Coaches would like to thank everyone for the continuous support for the students.  RGCCISD Public Relations




STC Starr County Campus Psych Club awards first scholarship

By: STC Starr County Campus Psychology Club


At the May 4 STC Starr County Campus Graduation Convocation are STC District 1 Board of Trustees Representative Rose Benavidez; Ruben Saenz, Alex Sarabia, scholarship recipient Ruby Rivera, Eli Sarabia and STC President Shirley A. Reed.


South Texas College’s Starr County Campus Psychology Club has been in existence for three years with STC psychology instructors Eli Sarabia and Alex Sarabia as the advisors. During this time, the club has performed community service including participating in Relay for Life and the Manuel Benavidez Walk-a-Thon and donating of clothes to Starr County Community

Closet. Club members have also coordinated educational events like the first “Starr County Role Models Get Inspired Conference” and fun events like “Starr County’s Got Talent.”  Most importantly, the club has engaged in numerous fundraisers including car washes and holiday basket raffles, all with the hopes of raising scholarship money.

This spring semester, because of the support received from across the community, the club awarded its first scholarship at the Starr County Campus to a club member who graduated from STC in May 2012. The $1,000 STC Starr County Campus Psychology Club Scholarship recipient was Ruby Rivera, who graduated from an associate’s degree in psychology. Rivera was presented as the first recipient of the scholarship at the STC Starr Campus Graduation Convocation on May 4, 2012.

Rivera, who is a Rio Grande City High School 2010 graduate, will transfer to The University of Texas-Pan American this fall to continue her studies toward a bachelor’s degree. She aspires to teach at the high school level andsimultaneously attend graduate school to earn a master’s degree in counseling. 

“Ruby is a highly-motivated and goal-oriented person who strives for excellence,” said Eli Sarabia. “We were pleased to award her this scholarship and hope it will be the motivation to keep her working hard toward all her goals.”

The Starr Campus Psychology Club will grant a $1,000 scholarship every spring semester to an STC graduate to incentivize students to continue their studies beyond earning their associate degrees. To be eligible to apply for the scholarship, applicants must meet some criteria including being an active club member, maintaining a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0, and submitting an official school transcript, resume, and essay about future academic and professional goals. 

Aside from Eli and Alex Sarabia, the scholarship selection committee was composed of Ruben Saenz, STC Starr County Campus coordinator; Auristela Lung, STC college success and Spanish instructor; Rosa Gutierrez-Sarabia, STC mathematics instructor; James Blair, STC criminal justice instructor; Veronica Trevino, STC financial aid specialist; and Elizabeth Lopez, STC Starr County Campus student activities specialist.

For additional information about the club and its activities call 956-872-6724 or 956-488-5898. 


Starr County Pct. 4 Nutrition Center provides nutritional meals for senior citizens

The Nutrition Center located in San Benito Street next to the Starr County Fairgrounds serves nutritious meals for  senior citizens who reside in Pct. 4. The center also provides several types of educational and entertainment activities geared at providing the attendees with a place to go and feel right at home. Commissioner Ruben D. Saenz, Judge Eloy Vera, Center Director Tina Saenz and the center staff invite other senior citizens in Pct. 4 to visit the center at anytime. Persons wishing to attend the center please contact Pct. 4 personnel at 500 N. Britton Avenue or call (956) 487-2922 for details on how to enroll.  (Starr County Public Relations Office)


Rio Grande City High School is Awarded $10,000

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division announced the winners of its spring 2012 “Score for Your School” promotion that allowed consumers throughout the state of Texas to help raise funds for their school. Thanks to the Rio Grande City High School student council that spear headed this initiative, Rio Grande City High School a division 4A school was awarded $10,000 by the Frito-Lay company. As part of Frito-Lay’s Score for Your School promotion, thousands of fans entered a nine-digit product code from their favorite Frito-Lay snacks on the website to earn points for the high school of their choice. Each high school was grouped according to its listing in Texas’ six divisional classes (5A, 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A and Private). First-place ($10,000), second-place ($4,000) and third-place ($1,000) prizes were awarded to the top-three schools in each division that collected the most points from their fans. A total of $90,000 in prize money was awarded to 18 schools from around the state – three from each of Texas’ six divisional classes. Six of the winning schools each earned the promotion’s top prize amount of $10,000.  Students were rewarded with an end-of-year “Party Bash.” Congratulations to student council and all other students that participated in making this happen.



Starr County EMC meets New Emergency Personnel at the Red Cross

The American Red Cross – South Texas Chapter is proud to introduce Steve Cook, Emergency Services Manager and Janet Martinez, Emergency Services Specialist as part of their Disaster Services Team. Welcoming them onboard is Starr County Emergency Services Manager Mr. Eugene Falcon, who recently met with members of the Red Cross to discuss Hurricane Preparedness for Starr County. “We are so excited to have Steve and Janet join the Red Cross Disaster Services Team” said Cynthia Guerra, Executive Director. The Red Cross has been serving the Rio Grande Valley for over 95 years and will continue to do so because of the staff, volunteers and donors that make up the American Red Cross – South Texas Chapter. All disaster services are provided free of charge thanks to the generosity of donors in the community and the many volunteers that are trained to help in case of a disaster. Pictured above are Steve Cook, Emergency Services Manager,  Janet Martinez, Emergency Services Specialist, Gene Falcon, Starr County EMC, Cynthia Guerra, Executive Director, American Red Cross – South Texas Chapter, and David Vera, Red Cross Lead Volunteer in Starr County. To donate to the Red Cross visit us at or call Cynthia Guerra at 956-423-0523 ext. 100 to learn how you can make a difference in other people’s lives.




Starr County Sheriff’ receives three (3) emergency rescue vehicles from the United States Military to be used for special operations. The vehicles were given free of charge to the sheriff’s office as they became available as surplus military equipment. The vehicles will also be utilized to assist officers to rescue residents in case of flooding or other emergencies. Officers will receive training to operate this vehicles in order to prepare in case of disasters or other emergencies. Pictured left to right:  Officer Ismael Guerra, Jr., Sheriff Rene Fuentes and Sgt. Roberto Molina. (County of Starr Public Relations Office)



County of Starr Employees Assist  United Way of South Texas to prepare care packages

Project Fresh Start is a project started by the United Way of south Texas to help students start the school year with basic school supplies. Volunteers gathered recently to prepare the packages that will be distributed to 900 9th grade students at the beginning of the school year. This project is possible by monthly monetary contributions of Starr County employees and Elected Officials as well as other participating entities and sponsors of the United Way. Pictured left to right: Cynthia Garcia Fuentes-Public Relations Director, Ventura Hinojosa and Delia Perez-County Attorney’s Office, Judith Solis-Assistant County Attorney and Tiffany Alaniz, Nikki Cantu and Dominique Villarreal Starr County Attorney’s Office Assistants. (Starr County Public Relations Office).

Roma High School Students and Gladiator Television Network team up with American Red Cross – South Texas Chapter

Roma High School students are leading the way in Starr County by forming the first Red Cross Club in the county. “This is a great opportunity for our students to gain community service experience and hours that will benefit them in the future” said Mr. Jesus O. Guerra, Jr., Roma ISD Superintendent. With the leadership of Mr. Jaime Escobar, Jr., GTN Station Manager, the newly formed Red Cross Club will be on Gladiator Television Network with news in English and Spanish on how to prepare for Hurricane Season. It’s important that everyone has a kit of basic items together, an evacuation plan if needed, and be aware of the weather conditions. In addition, the students will be asking the people in the community to become Red Cross Volunteers and to donate to the American Red Cross – South Texas Chapter. At the Red Cross, all disaster services are provided free of charge to people suffering from a natural disasters. This is due to the generosity of the people in the Rio Grande Valley. Pictured above are students Humberto Trevino, Alexia Barrera, Deborah Cantu, Jose H. Cortez, Rebecca Barrera with Cynthia Guerra, Executive Director, American Red Cross – South Texas Chapter, David Vera, Red Cross Volunteer and Jaime Escobar, Jr., GTN Station Manager. To learn more about how you can get involved in the Red Cross call Cynthia Guerra at (956) 423-0523 ext. 100 or or visit us at



Congressman Cuellar Announces $700K To Enhance Starr Border Security

Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded Starr County $700,000 under Operation Stonegarden, an initiative to fund the enhancement of localized law enforcement border security operations. The funds will be used to support equipment, fuel and operational and maintenance costs toward the goal of enhancing cooperation and coordination between the Starr

County Sherriff’s Office and other entities and law enforcement agencies.

 “As Ranking Member of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security’s subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security and a lifelong resident of a border community, ensuring that border communities receive the tools they need to ensure continued border security is one of my top priorities,” said Cuellar. 

“Especially during this era of budget cuts, grants like these are crucial investments in our region and its future. These Operation Stonegarden funds will help our local law enforcement members continue their good work to keep our border strong and maintain the safety of our border communities.  I thank Sheriff Rene Fuentes and congratulate him on receiving these well-deserved funds.”   

In fiscal year 2012, DHS awarded $46,600,000 in grants nationally, including $15,688,632 in grants to Texas.  Starr County began receiving Operation Stonegarden funds in 2008, and since that time has received a total of $5,673,079 in Operation Stonegarden funds. 

 DHS’s Operation Stonegarden (OPSG) focuses on providing law enforcement with the funds necessary for preparedness and operational readiness along the border. OPSG provides funding to certain local governments to enhance cooperation and coordination among local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies to secure the United States’ land borders.  These awards were allocated to qualified applicants based on risk analysis and the anticipated feasibility and effectiveness of proposed investments by the applicants.


RGCCISD Board of Trustees recognizes Abram Guerra for his outstanding performance in Powerlifting. Abram Guerra a  Junior attending Rio Grande City High School won the title of Texas High School Powerlifting Association Powerlifting Regional  Champion 165lb. class in Weslaco and the Texas THSPA High School State Champion Title of 165lb. class in Abilene. Pictured: Al Mendez-Powerlifting Coach, Mr. Adolfo Pena-Rio Grande City High School Principal, Abram Guerra, Mr. Roel A. Gonzalez-School Superintendent and Mr. Rey Ramirez-Athletic Director.  RGCCISD Public Relations.



Veterans MS Band Students Excel at Baylor University School of Music

Middle School Band and Orchestra Camp 2012 Summer Music Program

During the summer break, students relax and enjoy summer activities with family and friends. For a few band students from Veterans Middle School band, the week of June 17-23, 2012 proved to be a challenging but

rewarding time. Three students from Veterans Middle school attended the prestigious Baylor University School of Music 2012 Middle School Band and Orchestra Camp. 

Students auditioned on scales, a prepared solo/etude and sight read music in order to be placed

in band that would measure their ability level. Over 259 students attended this camp which were divided into five performing ensembles or bands, we are excited to announce that three students from Veterans MS were able to attend and represent our community with pride and excellence. 

The following students participated: Ms. Lizbeth Barrera on French Horn earned 1st Chair honors and performed with the Baylor Band, Ms. Carlene Garza on French Horn earned 4th Chair honors and performed with the Baylor Band, and Mr. Alexis Saenz on Flute earned 2nd Chair honors and performed with the Baylor Band.

The Baylor Band was the Honor group of the camp. Students were able to reside on campus at Baylor University in Waco, Texas and spend a week on campus. The students experienced college life residing on campus and attending music classes throughout the week.  They were able to experience college life for a week. By week’s end on Saturday, June 23, 2012 a Grand Concert was held and all 5 summer groups performed admirably at Jones Concert Hall on campus. 

A hearty “Congratulations” goes out to our outstanding Veterans MS band students and their parents for their participation, and a salute and “Thanks!” to all of the businesses that donated money in order to make this dream possible for these band students!

Strike Up the Band!




 Summer School Program Hosting Campus―Ringgold Elementary celebrated Fun Day on June 28, 2012.  Thanks to all parents, community and staff for all the support in servicing RGCCISD students.  


Memorial Plaque was Presented to the Family of Maria Imelda Ramon in Her Honor

The Texas School Nurses Organization from Region One presented a memorial plaque to the family of Maria Imelda Ramon in her honor. The Plaque states “In memory of Maria Imelda Ramon for her leadership, professionalism and eagerness to serve and was a living example to others. Her devotion and dedication will be missed by all”.

Ms. Ramon began her nursing career in 1964 and joined the Air Force in 1968 and was deployed overseas to the Vietnam War. There she helped to care for many injured soldiers. She returned to Rio Grande City and became the Health Services Director.  She dedicated the rest of her life to school nursing.  Ms. Ramon’s passion was helping children and their families in promoting better health. 

She was an active member of numerous local and state organizations and served as an officer at both regional and state level of the Texas School Nurse Organization. Pictured:  Mr. Roel Gonzalez-RGCCISD Superintendent, Her Health Services Staff, Ms Rosanne Olson, RN-President of Texas School Nursing Organization, and her sisters Yolanda Alvarez and Delia Olivarez. RGCCISD Public Relations.


Local Cadet Graduates From  West Point Military Academy

Francisco “Frankie” Javier Barrera, son of Mr. & Mrs. Guadalupe E. Barrera Jr. of Rio Grande City, Texas, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy on May 26, 2012.

Barrera graduated from Rio Grande City High School in 2007. While at West Point, 2LT Barrera received a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Latin American Studies with a minor in Nuclear Engineering. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant (2LT) in the U.S. Army within the Armored branch. He will initiate his army officer career at Fort  Benning, GA  and  attend the Armored Officer Basic course and the he will proceed to his follow on assignment with the 3rd BCT (Brigade Combat Team) at Fort Bliss, TX.

Frankie continues his family lineage of military service to our country and who have served in every major conflict our country has endured. His father and his four uncles have served in both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. Two of his uncles are officers in the US Army and hold the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and both served  in the Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. One of his uncles also served in Operation Desert Shield/Storm. His has one great-grand uncle who served in WWII in the pacific theater, two great uncles who served in the Korean conflict and numerous uncles who served during the Vietnam Era conflict.

Frankie is the first Rio Grande City High School graduate (Rattler) to attend and graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point, New York. Frankie’s attendance to West Point has opened the door and inspired other RGC students to attend the academy. Best wishes to 2LT Barrera as he enters military service.

The U.S. Military Academy is a four-year co-educational federal undergraduate liberal arts college located 50 miles north of New York City. Founded in 1802 as America’s first college of engineering, it consistently ranks as one of the top colleges in the nation. A pre-eminent leader development institution, its mission remains constant - to educate, train and inspire cadets for careers of professional service to the Army and the nation. For more information go to



The following Office Procedure students placed 1st in Career Promotion category in the Skills USA district competition held in Harlingen, Texas. Pictured left to right are; Nataly Garcia, Mario Rodriguez, Mrs. Jazmin Fuentes (sponsor), Verenice Zertuche, and Zamira Rodriguez.



Roma ISD R.T. Barrera Elementary Students Excel at UIL Meet

Pictured above are students from R.T. Barrera Elementary school. Congratulations to all the students, teachers, and parents.



Rio Grande City High School Career and Technology Hosts Fair

The RGCCISD Career and Technology Department hosted a Career Fair recently to educate students on employment opportunities. The Fair brings the employers, colleges and universities  to the students so that they may gain information on career choices. The students are able to ask questions, take brochures and sometimes they are given the opportunity to participate in hands on training maneuvers or engage in actual scenarios to explore occupational responsibilities. This program is sponsored by Mrs. Adelina Villarreal -Director for Career and Technology and her staff. RGCCISD Public Relations


Family of Narciso A. Guerra Donates portrait to RGCCISD Grulla High School

The family of Narciso A. Guerra, a long time resident and educational contributor to the Grulla area, presented a portrait to Mr. Joel Trigo-RGCCISD Grulla High School Principal. Mr. Trigo thanked Mr. Eli Guerra and his sister for this fine gesture and said that he will assign a section of the library as a Wall of Fame to place this portrait to honor Mr. Guerra and hopes that many other portraits of people who have impacted the education of our students will also be displayed. The portrait is of Mr. Guerra accompanied by his son Eli Guerra, Mrs. Silvina Hinojosa-RGCCISD Board of Trustees Member, Dr. Pablo Martinez-Principal and Mr. Roel Gonzalez-Superintendent and was taken during the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony  for the new RGCCISD Grulla High School. 

 Mr. Narciso A. Guerra was an educational catalyst who broke many barriers to achieve a college education.  He became an educator and later a principal. His quest for knowledge was the contributing factor that led him to motivate others to seek opportunities to better themselves by attaining a high school diploma, GED and/or college degree. He was instrumental in bringing adult education, college and university courses to Starr County.  He had a love of art and wanted others to enjoy it as well. Mr. Guerra credited his mother for instilling in him the love and passion for education.  He once said that in memory of her great faith in education, he wished to see as many educational opportunities made available to all those who otherwise might not have had the chance. Mr. Narcisco Guerra’s legacy will live through all who he impacted in his long and fruitful life. RGCCISD Public Relations.


Rose Benavidez sworn in for second term on STC Board

Rosario Gonzalez (middle) bears witness as her daughter, Rose Benavidez (left) is sworn in to a second term as the STC Board of Trustees District 1 Representative by Starr County Judge Eloy Vera (right).


 Starr County native Rose Benavidez was recently sworn in to serve a second term on South Texas College’s Board of Trustees. Benavidez, who serves as the District 1 representative on the board representing the constituents of Starr County, first ran in Nov. 2009 to serve the unexpired term of her belated father, Manuel Benavidez Jr. She currently serves as the vice chair of the board, as well as a member of the board’s Facilities Committee and Finance and Human Resources Committee.

“On a night much like this in November 2009 I stood before you privileged to be elected to serve the remainder of my father’s term,” Benavidez said at her swearing in ceremony. “It was a difficult time and words were hard to come by, but your support allowed me to ensure that his legacy endures. I was proud to be the person chosen to continue his fight of providing and expanding access to education in this community.

“I continue my service with a commitment to the students and residents of the South Texas College District to guarantee that prosperity is within everyone’s reach,” she continued. “Today STC serves more than 30,000 students, with nearly 2,500 Starr County residents attending classes at one of our six campuses - a clear testament that STC is not a backup plan, but a forefront choice to an affordable and quality education. The responsibility of affording access comes with many challenges, so our work must continue. While so much has changed on these old cantaloupe fields that STC’s Starr County Campus now sits on, they continue to be harvested only today - they cultivate success.”

During the swearing in ceremony, Starr County leaders gathered to recognize Benavidez, who is also the president of the Starr County Industrial Foundation. Speeches were made by Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Starr County Commissioner Eloy Garza, Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal and businessman Sam Vale, to name a few. Student Joel Correa, representing STC’s Starr County Campus Student Government Association, took the opportunity to express his appreciation on behalf of students.

“On behalf of STC’s Starr County Campus Student Government Association and all Starr County students, I would like to congratulate you on your election,” said Correa. “We couldn’t have asked for a better trustee who supports us in all we do. Thank you for your continued support and belief in us.”

During her three year tenure on the college’s board, Benavidez has served on the Facilities Committee and the Finance and Human Resources Committee. Additionally, she has served as the vice chair of the Board of Trustees since her election to that office by her peer trustees in May 2010.

She participated in the adoption of North Grammar Elementary into STC’s “Operation College Bound Program” to ensure students continuously receive messages about college preparation from an early age. She helped launch the college’s Dual Enrollment Computer Science Academy in Starr County in partnership with local high schools. The program witnessed its first three graduates this May; all three earned associate degrees in computer science from STC weeks before earning their high school diplomas.

Also during her time on the board, Benavidez helped adopt a balanced $136 million dollar budget, despite nearly a 20 percent decrease in state funding. She advocated for the launch of the college’s sixth campus, the e-STC Virtual Campus, which serves nearly 6,000 students, of which more than 500 are Starr County residents. She helped lobby and win approval in Austin for the college’s third Bachelor of Applied Technology Degree, which was first offered in fall 2011.

“Whether you know it or not, Rose has been part of STC from the very beginning,” said Sam Vale. “Many years ago, when STC was just an idea, she helped her father gather Starr County support for our region to have access to a community college. Then, when it came time for a local campus in the county, she campaigned to get a bond passed that provided the funds to build this lovely campus we have today. It’s true that without Rose we would not be where we are and so many Starr County families would not have better lives and opportunities. We look forward to many more years of fighting hard alongside Rose to provide opportunities and access for our Starr County students.”

Benavidez’s term begins May 2012 and expires in May 2018. For additional information about STC’s Board of Trustees visit or call 956-872-3555.


Roma Volunteer Fire Department raises money for the American Red Cross


Roma Volunteer Fire Department recently held a Fill the Boot Event and raised $800 to benefit the American Red Cross – South Texas Chapter. The Red Cross has been serving the Rio Grande Valley for 95 years and continues to do so, especially as we prepare for Hurricane Season. All disaster services are provided free of charge to people that experience a house fire, flood or other natural disaster. Pictured above are Nelson Martinez, Public Information Officer, Asst. Fire Chief Alfredo Garza, Cynthia Guerra, Executive Director at the American Red Cross South Texas Chapter, Police and Fire Chief Jose H. Garcia, and Mayor Jose Alfredo Guerra. To learn more about how you can make a difference in other people’s lives by volunteering or donating to the American Red Cross, visit us at or call 1-800-785-7851 or 956-423-0523 ext. 100.



On Wednesday, May 30, 2012 La Union Elementary held a sock hop to raise money for the American Heart Association, and the Lourdes D. Lifeline Foundation. The Lourdes D. Lifeline Foundation would like to thank La Union Elementary students and staff for their generous donation. Sitting: (l-r) Coach Maria, Veronica Reyna, Assistant Principal Mrs. Olivarez. Back row: (l-r) Principal Mr. Doyno, Counselor Mrs. Ramirez, and Coach Ramos.


Memorial Day 2012


This Memorial Day 2012, members of  the Veterans of Foreign Wars, community members, and students from Roque Guerra, Jr. Elementary School united at the city cemetery to honor the fallen soldiers of our community. Cristina Hernandez, student, read a poem in honor of Pvt. Diego Montoya from Mission, who died in  Afghanistan. “The Boy in 34G”, is a moving poem written by Diego’s mother. After the ceremony, the students delivered flags to veteran grave sites. Special  thanks to Mrs. G. Gonzalez, principal and Mrs. A. Flores, librarian for participating in the ceremony. Giving children experiences like this will make them model citizens of our country.


Mario Benavides selected in the All State All Star Baseball Game

Mario Benavides senior from Rio Grande City High School was selected to play in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All State All Star Baseball Game.  The game will be played in June at Dell Diamond in Round Rock Texas.  Mario will be representing the South as an outfielder.  Mario is the first player ever from Rio Grande City to receive this honor.  This year Mario played outfield for the Rattlers and finished the season with a .360 Batting average.  Thanks, Rick Lopez Head Baseball Coach

Roma Little League 2012 Coach Pitch Champions RANGERS!

Coaches: Raul Moreno Jr., Roberto Muniz Jr. , Rosbel Clarke, Not Pictured: Gloria Moreno (Scorekeeper) Standing L-R:  David Pena Jr., German Hinojosa, Ricardo A. Moreno, Noe Salinas Jr., Emanuel Garcia, Heribert Mireles Jr.  Daniel Lopez, Adan Gonzalez, Roberto Muniz III, Eduardo Alaniz, Ricardo Muniz, Davian Clarke A Special Thank You to the sponsors, Citizens State Bank and Pueblo Express, Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Parents, and Fans!

Ringgold Elementary participated in the Rio High School 2nd Annual Cook Off

Congratulation to Ringgold Elementary for participating in the Rio High School 2nd Annual Cook Off and earned a 2nd place plaque for the Carne Guisada Division. Thanks to all supporters that helped make this a wonderful experience.  Left to right: Blanca Salmon, Lynette Figueroa, Amy de La Garza, Dr. E. G. Canales (Principal), Jessica Saenz, Adriana Gonzalez, Antonio Gutierrez, Marcus Canales and Omar Treviño.

Rio Grande City High School Students Participated in the Annual SkillsUSA District

Mrs. Adelina G. Villarreal Career and Technology Director and Mr. Adolfo Pena, Jr. Rio Grande City High School Principal would like to congratulate  the following Rio Grande City High School students who participated in the Annual Skills USA District 13 (TSTC Harlingen Texas) and Texas State Leadership Conference (American Bank Center@ Corpus Christi). The students competed in various demonstration, technical and leadership contest where their talents and skills in their respective career program were showcased. CATE Education where we foster being College and Career Ready!

Teacher Mr. Emilio Martinez- Auto Body Collision Repair- District and State Winners: Raul Lopez and Oscar Garza.

Teacher Miss Grace Manglicmot- A/V Production- District and State Winners: Fernanda Benavides, Daniela Botello, David De Luna, Jose Dela Garza, Rames Garcia, Richard Garza, Roel Garza, Noemi Gomez, Jassel Gonzalez, Yolanda Gonzalez, Jacqueline Leal, Mayda Ortega, Maria Trevino, and Minerva Zapata.

District Winners: Kevin Alaniz, Desiree Elizondo, Alexandria Garcia, Luis Sanchez, Erika Serna, and Victoria Trigo.

Teacher Mr. Rene Garza- Building Trades- District and State Winners: Humberto Rodriguez, Robert Alaniz, and Eduardo Elizondo.

Teacher Mr. Jesus Villarreal- Computer Maintenance- District  Winners: Rury Pena, Andy Garza, Michael Aguilar, Brian Perez, and Jairo Cantu.

District and State Winners: Victor Montalvo, Amber Pratt, Paul Perry, Fernando Santos, and Robey Garza.

Teacher Mrs. Melissa Limas- Cosmetology- District and State Winners: Judith Salinas, Cindy Lopez, Yarexi Saenz, and Judith Salinas.

District Winner: Itzel Lopez, Alejandra Garza, Amy Alaniz, and Belen Romo.

Teacher Pete Castillo- Criminal Justice- District and State Winners: Mayra Flores, Jocelyn Resendez, Luis Lopez, Kimberly Solis, Lucero Salinas, Caitlin Gonzalez, Carolina Sanchez , Alejo Clarke, Erik Larralde, Miranda Delano, Joshua Patino, and Jessica Rodriguez.

Teacher Mr. Robert Aberin- Engineering and Drafting- Disrict and State Winners: Francisco Guerra, Rene Leal, Luis Enrique Reyes, Rodolfo de Leon, Michael Villarreal, Leanne Martinez, Robert Moya, Brandon Jaramillo, Manuel Zavala, Jose Rubalcava, Jorge Salmon, and Eduardo Lara.

Teacher Miss Jazmin Fuentes- Enterpreneur- District Winners: Verenice Zertuche and Mario Rodriguez.

Teacher Mr. Erasmo Trevino- Small Engine Repair- District and State Winners: Jose Carrillio, Ernesto Garza, Lee Garcia, Jesus Ernesto Villarreal, Ruben Barrera, Heber Guerrero, Deigo Ortiz, Jesus Alejandro, and Juan Alaniz.


GMS Principal Trillayes Predicts Continued, Even Greater Progress For School

By Kenneth Roberts, Freelance Writer


Grulla Middle School Principal Serapio Trillayes expresses deep pride in the school’s many achievements in recent years and is confident that even greater successes will be fulfilled in the near future.

“I’m extremely pleased with the school’s progress, academic and otherwise, over the past few years,” emphasized Trillayes, “I feel our students, teachers and staff are awesome, second to none. Academics have progressed well in all areas in recent years, and we are committed to further improvement in student performance…From 2007 to 2011, the rate of students passing Science has increased from 74 to 90 percent.”

About the school’s history, Trillayes noted, “Several buildings of this campus opened in 1976. Grulla Elementary was located on this campus for many years until they moved to their own facility some years back.” Trillayes, close to completing his second year as GMS principal, began his educational career in October 1997 as a Pre-K teacher at Ringgold Elementary and served in that capacity for three years. He was a kindergarten teacher at Ringgold Elementary from 2001-2003, taught Pre-K and kinder students over a 1 1/2 year period at North Grammar Elementary, and became Reading Coach at North Grammar in January 2004, serving in that position for 3 1/2 years. He then served as a GMS assistant principal from 2007-2010.

Trillayes earned a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from UT-Pan American, a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from UT-PA, and a principal’s certificate in educational leadership, also from UT-PA. Since 2007, Trillayes has also served as an instructor for UT-PA at the Starr County Upper Level Center.

An essential factor in the school’s success, commented the principal, is that “we have created a culture here that is family oriented; we go out of our way to greet students. The culture here is very inviting; teachers go out of their way to help students and each other. Our goal is to make students feel at home here...Our students are very respectful and caring; students feel very confident and comfortable dealing with teachers and administrators.”

Trillayes continued, “Teachers go above and beyond to do what can be done to help students be successful. The campus buildings are situated in a way where sixth graders will be with sixth graders, especially in core subjects.”

Concerning enrollment, Trillayes stated, “Roughly 18 percent of our campus is comprised of migrant students…When I first came here in 2007, our enrollment was at 700…Right now our enrollment is 757 students. Our peak enrollment this year was 775 students and that was in February. We serviced 829 students this year; many of these students were here just a few days or a few weeks.”

He added, “We think our typical enrollment next year will be around 800 students. We’re seeing an increase in students coming in from Mexico due to the situation there.”

Trillayes stressed that “testing is more intense and demanding than in the past; there is more accountability for students, teachers and administrators. The district provides a lot of essential training for teachers and administrators, especially in the transition from TAKS to STAAR.”

About education’s dramatic changes in recent years, the principal explained, “Technology has completely transformed the educational field. For students and teachers, knowledge of the latest technology is getting to be indispensable. Students have the latest technology in their hands and can find out anything in seconds.”

Trillayes proudly noted, “We have been very successful in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, even achieving honors at the state level in the Band program and other endeavors. We’re made very good progress in UIL competition…The GMS eighth grade football team was district champions in 2011 for the first time in many years.”

In February 2012, the GMS Band received state honors at the Texas Music Educators Association convention in San Antonio for earning first place at the state level and having two songs recorded in the Outstanding Performance Series 2011 ATSSB compact disk. The GMS Mariachi also earned first place at the fourth annual Mariachi Fest in San Diego, Texas in April 2012.

In the last two years, both male and female seventh and eighth grade GMS athletes have won numerous district championships in basketball, track and field, and cross country.

Trillayes declares that he is extremely proud of the school’s many recent successes, but stresses that everyone at GMS will work fervently to achieve at an even higher level in the future.


Congratulations to Dr. Mario Ramirez Elementary/ ACE2E 4th and 5th grade boys’ basketball team for winning this year’s championship. It was through their commitment, determination and humbleness that this team maintained a 12-0 record.  A special thanks to our coach Daniel Saenz, parents, Parks and Recreation of Rio Grande, and everyone else who supported and sacrificed their time to make their success possible. "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships." Michael Jordan


2012 Kennie Alaniz Alvarez Memorial Scholarship

The 2012 Kennie Alaniz Alvarez Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Savannah Saenz, a graduating senior from Rio Grande City High School. The scholarship is given in honor of Kennie Alaniz Alvarez who was a teacher at North Grammar Elementary. Savannah was in the first class that Kennie taught at NGE and will be attending Texas A&M University-Kingsville where Kennie graduated from in 2002.  Pictured above are Sylvia Vela (Savannah’s mom), Savannah Saenz (scholarship recipient), Jennie Karlene Alvarez (Daughter of Kennie Alaniz Alvarez), and Roxanne Garza (College & Career Advisor).



Grulla Gator Baseball 12-0 Undefeated Record 2012 District Champs!!

Grulla High School - Congratulations to the Grulla Gator Baseball Team for completing a phenomenal 2012 season! The Gators ended their regular season as 32-3A District Champions with a remarkable undefeated 12-0 record in only their second year in existence. The Gators are also Bi-District Champions by drawing a first seed bye towards the State Playoffs. The community is very proud of the team and can’t wait for next year’s season. We would like to thank the players, coaches, administration and all the Mighty Gator fans for their commitment to this sport.


RMS Principal Smedley Pleased About School’s Progress; Predicts Bright Future

By Kenneth Roberts, Freelance Writer


Ringgold Middle School Principal Olga L. Smedley declares that she is very pleased with the school’s progress and achievements in recent years, and predicts that even greater accomplishments are on the horizon in the near future.

Smedley, who became RMS Principal in July 2010, commented, “We’re doing exceptionally well in academics…Our students and teachers both work very hard and have been doing extremely well…Our teachers are wonderful; I admire them tremendously…We have a lot of experienced and dedicated administrators, faculty and staff members. Their experience helps bring about a safe and productive learning environment.”

“Our student body is very diverse with unique personalities and learning styles,” she emphasized. “We try to teach our students not just academics, but to respect others and themselves and to take responsibility for their behavior.”

About maximizing academic success, Smedley stressed, “I believe that the main purpose of education is to prepare our young people to be functional, contributing members of society. In today’s world, that means keeping them motivated with academics which are relevant and interesting, as well as meeting the needs of a diverse population by also making them feel connected in a safe, nurturing, and secure learning environment. Teachers, students, parents, and community members have to be active partners in making this happen.”