Edinburg Politics

There are two sides to every story, and then there is the truth.

Two years in the making, Hidalgo County first in Texas to allow e-filing of criminal cases under law passed by Rep. Canales and Sen. Hinojosa

Two years in the making, Hidalgo County first in Texas to allow e-filing of criminal cases under law passed by Rep. Canales and Sen. Hinojosa

Chalk up Hidalgo County as the first region in Texas that allows attorneys in all criminal cases to file pleadings and documents electronically – known as e-filing ­– as a result of a state law passed two years ago by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, which will continue to bring the state’s court system into the paperless generation. Effective Tuesday, September 1, the eyes of the state judicial system began looking at the use of e-filing in criminal cases in Hidalgo County, as the rest of the Texas prepares to follow Hidalgo County’s lead beginning on November 1 in implementing a new system designed to improve justice for all. Canales is confident that his measure – House Bill 349, which was sponsored by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, two years ago – will be a resounding success. HB 349 is designed to improve the delivery of justice in Hidalgo County, reduce costs to county taxpayers, attorneys and litigants, and take advantage of the latest technological advances in the state’s legal system, the House District 40 lawmaker contends. “Courts have long been burdened with processing paper, a problem that continues to grow exponentially and largely unabated,” said Canales. “After more than 167 years of processing traditional filing, Texas Court Clerks are awash in the state’s judicial paper trail. Electronic filing offers a means to stem the paper tide.” Hinojosa, citing data provided by the Office of the Hidalgo County District Clerk, reported that in 2014, there were 5,170 criminal cases filed, in addition to 19,341 civil and family cases. “One of the key advantages of the e-filing system, both in civil...
In meetings with Valley press corps, President Bailey shares his vision for UT-Rio Grande Valley

In meetings with Valley press corps, President Bailey shares his vision for UT-Rio Grande Valley

Guy Bailey, founding president of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, has put more than 37,000 miles on his pickup truck since July 1, 2014, driving from one end of the Valley to the other to ensure a stellar launch for this distributed university on Monday, August 31. For Bailey, the trips across the Valley are worth it, as it all will lead to success for everyone involved in the creation of this new, one-of-a-kind university that will include a School of Medicine – from students to the community in general, he said. “It is also rewarding because we understand that our mission is Valley-wide,” Bailey said. Bailey will be joined at the Edinburg and Brownsville events by numerous state legislators, county and city elected officials, economic development leaders, with William McRaven, the chancellor of the University of Texas System, to be a featured speaker. McRaven, Bailey and other area leaders will be featured leaders during a Flag-Raising Ceremony from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the flagpole on the north side of the Student Services Building at the UT-RGV Edinburg campus on August 31. Those same leaders will then travel to the UT-RGV campus in Brownsville for a Proclamation Ceremony at the Main Building in the Plumeria Courtyard from 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. “We are ready and we are excited about it, too,” Bailey told an audience of South Texas dignitaries and residents on Thursday, August 27, during the kickoff of the second season of The Monitor’s Newsmaker Breakfast Series. The interview format series is a partnership between the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and The Monitor...
Edinburg retail economy continues to prosper, posting 6.21 percent improvement midway through 2015 compared with first half of 2014

Edinburg retail economy continues to prosper, posting 6.21 percent improvement midway through 2015 compared with first half of 2014

Edinburg’s retail economy from January through June 2015 continues to prosper, with a 6.21 percent rate of improvement over the first half of 2014, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Rupert as Members. For the month of June 2015, the city’s retail economy registered a 6.32 percent rate of improvement over the same month last year, the EEDC added, according to data released on Wednesday, August 12, by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. For the first six months of 2015, Edinburg’s retail economy has produced $13,591,448.24 in local sales taxes, compared with $12,795,992.32 for January through June 2014. During June 2015, the city’s retail economy generated $1,843,334.30 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,733,714.45 for June 2014, also according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. EEDC Board President Iglesias noted that Edinburg’s retail economy continues to perform favorably when compared with statewide figures. “Year-to-date, the city economy’s 6.21 percent rate of improvement is ahead of the average for all cities in Texas, which is 5.1 percent for the period of January through June 2015, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts,” said Iglesias. The amount of local sales taxes collected helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends, said Mayor García. “The city’s...
53-acre campus expansion, $37.6 million engineering/academic building for UTRGV in Edinburg set for action by UT System Board of Regents

53-acre campus expansion, $37.6 million engineering/academic building for UTRGV in Edinburg set for action by UT System Board of Regents

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg could expand by 53 acres, and a $37.6 million Interdisciplinary Engineering and Academic Studies Building could grace the existing campus under key items set for action by the UT System Board of Regents when it meets in Austin on Wednesday, August 19, and Thursday, August 20, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Rupert as Members. Those two items, along with the appropriation of $10 million for the UT-RGV School of Medicine and the new proposed official seal for UT-RGV and, are among local interests being monitored by the EEDC and the Edinburg City Council, which championed those measures last spring through the Texas Legislature. The measures relating to UT-RGV are part of the regular board meeting of the UT System Board of Regents, which will be held on the ninth floor of Ashbel Smith Hall, 201 W. 7th Street in downtown Austin. The agenda book and links to the live webcast for the meeting are posted online by logging onto: https://www.utsystem.edu/board-of-regents/meetings/board-meeting-2015-08-19. At the Austin meeting, the regents will be asked to authorize the recommended purchase of unimproved real property, totaling approximately 53 acres, located at the southeast quadrant of North Sugar Road and West Chapin Street, in Edinburg, from Norquest Family Holdings, Ltd., for “future campus expansion”. According to...
To truly serve and protect the innocent, Texas lawmakers should begin work on “The Sandra Bland Justice for All Act”

To truly serve and protect the innocent, Texas lawmakers should begin work on “The Sandra Bland Justice for All Act”

The tragic death of Sandra Bland on Monday, July 13, 2o15, while confined in the Waller County Jail, requires decisive and landmark action by the Texas Legislature to guarantee that every jail cell in Texas is being monitored by a video surveillance system. Bland, 28, a graduate of Prairie View A&M who had come back after accepting a new job at her alma mater, was reportedly alone in a Waller County Jail cell, out-of-sight of a nearby county jail video camera, when she allegedly committed suicide by hanging. Darryl Johnson, a legislative consultant with more than 35 years experience in the Texas Legislature, who resides in Prairie View, is proposing legislation, to be known as “The Sandra Bland Justice for All Act”, be filed when the Texas Legislature begins its regular session in January 2017. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Houston and Speaker of the House Joe Straus of San Antonio should immediately appoint a joint Senate-House legislative committee to come up with ways to require all jails in Texas to maintain an effective video monitoring system so that no one who is being held in a cell is hidden from the protective and unbiased view of a video camera, he recommended. “In light of the terrible controversy and negative worldwide image of Texas that is resulting from this sorrow, now is the time to show the world that we in Waller County will help lead the way on what would be a major improvement of our state’s criminal justice system,” said Johnson. “More important, it is right and just that Sandra Bland, whose life calling courageously revolved around...
Rep. Canales, Edcouch-Elsa Rotary Club join forces for ongoing Delta Area School Supplies Drive that will distribute materials, for free, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 19

Rep. Canales, Edcouch-Elsa Rotary Club join forces for ongoing Delta Area School Supplies Drive that will distribute materials, for free, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 19

The Delta Area School Supplies Drive, which will donate key learning materials, ranging from pens and pencils to paper and erasers to notebooks, is underway and will wrap up on Wednesday, August 19, when the donations will be distributed, while supplies last, to students enrolled in the Edcouch-Elsa Independent School District, Rep. Terry Canales has announced. Canales, who said he has contributed in the past to other school drives, said this is the first time he is helping organize one, serving as host for the event. He also expressed deep appreciation to the Edcouch-Elsa Rotary Club, which is playing a vital role in this event, and to his House 40 constituents in the area. “We have been asking as many people as possible. It is amazing how some companies will pull out their checkbook with a moment’s notice to help with school supplies,” Canales reported. “It is very expensive for all families to prepare their children for the school year. I am just glad to work with the Edcouch-Elsa Rotary Club and other generous leaders to provide help for those who need it.” Any school student is eligible, but each child must be present to receive a backpack. Each child will get a Edcouch-Elsa Independent School District approved backpack, which means it is clear or mesh. In the backpack will be supplies to get a child started out for the year: pencils, folders, notebooks, tissues, glue sticks, erasers, pencil case, rulers, colored pencils and crayons. The backpacks with school supplies will be given away from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Elementary Cafeteria, 500 West...

Subscribe to EP via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to Edinburg Politics and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow us on Facebook