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Rio Grande Herald (Rio Grande City, Tex.), Vol. 88, No. 2, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 11, 2001

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January 11 , 2001
88th Year, No. 02
A Newi paper Serving the People of South Texas
Probe continues into possible RGC homicide
RGC jaycees recognize board members
The Rio Grande City Jaycces recently recognized their board members. Pictured standing left to right are
Alex Gutierrez, Felix Garcia, Ruben Villarreal, Javier Perez, Regional Director David Pratt, <md Rick
Aguirre. Seated arc Elsa Garcia, Leticia Villarreal, Tina Gorcna, Hilma Claike, Lori Peterson Perez and
Monique Palacio.
Customs inspectors seize
53 lbs. of cocaine at RGC port
U.S. Customs Port Director Polo
Reyes announced that Customs
inspectors seized a significant load
of cocaine at the Rio Grande City
Port of Entry on Sunday, Jan. 7.
The seizure occurred Sunday
morning during a routine
inspection. A Customs Inspector
referred a blue 199' Chevy pickup
driven by Francisc t Herrera Reyes,
49, a resident alien from Laredo, for
a secondary examination. The driver
appeared nervous. v
Inspectors probed the gas tank
with a fiber-optic scope, a high-tech
tool resembling a surgical camera,
and noticed discrepancies. A canine
search of the vehicle resulted in a
positive alert by Canine
"DecOhGee" to the gas tank. Upon
further examination. Customs
Inspectors removed a compartment
containing 30 bundles of cocaine.
Inspectors seized a total of 53
pounds \i( cocaine worth an
estimated $2.4 million on U.S.
Customs Inspectors arrested the
driver and.turned him over to
Customs Special Agents, who
secured federal prosecution on an
importation of a controlled
substance charge.
During an initial appearance
Monday in federal court in
McAllen, a U.S. Magistrate ordered
Herrera Reyes held without bond
pending a detention hearing
scheduled for later th. week.
Customs Port I rector Polo
Reyes congratulated his inspectors
tor making the seizure "This is an
excellent seizure lor the Port of Rio
Grande City. Our inspectors made
judicious use of their training,
experience and non-intrusive
inspection technology to find this
cocaine load."
This cocaine find was the latest
in a strhg of significant cocaine
seizures realized by Customs
Inspectors at South Texas ports of
entry. Since last Thursday,
Customs Inspectors in South Texas
have seized more than 165 pounds
of cocaine.
Sen. Zaffirini named to
redisricting, other committees
When the 77th Legislature
convened in Austin at noon on
Tuesday, Jan. 9, Senator Judith
Zaffirini, D-L.aredo, who will rank
si.xtli in seniority in the 31-member
body, began serving as the senator
from District 21 for the eighth
regular session.
She also will serve as the vice
chair of the Senate Committee on
Education and as a member of the
Senate Committee on Finance, the
Senate Committee on Redistricting
and the Senate Committee on
Administration. On Wednesday,
Jan. 3, Lieutenant Governor Bill
Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant,
announced committee assignments
and initially appointed Sen.
Zaffirini to the Senate Committees
on Education, Finance and
Administration. On Jan. 4, he added
Sen. Zaffirini to the Senate
Committee on Rcdistricling.
County visited by coldest
temperatures of season
A cold front that stormed through
Starr County early last week
resulted in the coldest temperatures
of the winter thus far.
The Rio Grande City Fire
Department recorded a low
temperature of 28 degrees on
Thursday morning, Jan. 4. A low
temperature of 24 was recorded at El
Sauz that same day.
Friday morning was also chilly
as a low temperature of 37 was
recorded at the Fire Department.
Temperatures on Tuesday, Jan. 2
did riot climb out of the 30's, but
predictions that Starr County might
experience freezing precipitation did
not become a reality.
Starr County experienced a
soaking general rain on Jan. 2, with
most areas receiving one-third to
one-half inch. The RGC Fire
Department recorded .41 inch in a
36-hour period. Dr. Roberto S.
Margo indicated that .60 inch fell at
his Rio Grande City residence, with
.50 inch falling at his ranch in
northern Starr County.
NRCS District Conservationist
Arturo Ibarra declared, "The rain
provided good moisture for the
spring. Most areas got one-third to
one-half inch. It was a pretty
general rain. I think the northern .
areas got a little more rain. It was a
good, soaking rain.''
About the cold snap's effects,
Ibarra commented. "Most of the
forage grass was already in the
dormant stage. It really didn't hurt
that much. It didn't do lasting
damage. A major concern is dry
grass. A lot of fields have dry
grass...Most of the county is still
in pretty dry condition."
"Redisricting is very important
to South Texas. The Texas/Mexico
border region is home to two of the
fastest growing areas of the state,
Laredo and the McAIlen-Edinburg-
Mission region. By adding me to
the Senate Committee on
Redisricting, Lt. Gov. Ratliff is
assuring the families of South
Texas that they will have a voice in
the decisions that are made in
Austin," said Sen. Zaffirini.
"By appointing me vice chair of
the Senate Committee on Education
and as a member of the Senate
Committee on Finance, Lt. Gov.
Ratliff has helped to further the
agenda of the residents of Senate
District 21," said Sen. Zaffirini.
"Our priorities are the education of
our children and attracting more
resources to South Texas."
Sen. Zaffirini chaired the Senate
Committee on Health and Human
Services from 1993 to 1997 and the
Senate Committee on Human
Services since 1999. She also
served on the Finance Committee
under die late Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock
from 1991 to 1998 and on the
Appropriations Conference
Committee for three sessions.
She has been a member of the
Senate Education Committee since
On the first day the Legislature
convenes, Chief Justice Thomas R.
Phillips is scheduled to swear in
one newly elected and 14 re-elected
senators at a ccrcmony in the
(See COMMITTEES, Page 6)
The Rio Grande City Police
Department is continuing to
investigate the death of a young
woman found inside an abandoned
vehicle Sunday morning, with the
death being considered a homicide at
this point.
Police Chief Guadalupe Marquez
indicated that Veronica Hernandez
Segura, 23 was found seated in the
front scat ui the driver's side of a
gray passenger vehicle. She was
seated, but was slumped to the
right. The deceased had a Roma
address, declared Marquez,
The Rio Grande City Police
Department, said Marquez, was
contacted at approximately 10:20
a.m. Sunday concerning the
discovery of a female in an
abandoned vehicle. The vehicle was
located at the intersection of Garza
and Canales Streets.
Segura was pronounced dead at
11:45 a.m. Sunday by Justice of
the Peace Ramon De La Cruz. An
autopsy was ordered in the case.
"No physical injuries were
visible," stated Marquez on
Monday. "We don't know what the
cause of death was. It is possible
that the death was from natural
causes. We are treating it as a
homicide at this point. No blood
was visible...Preliminary autopsy
results could be available today."
On Tuesday, Marquez said, "The
preliminary autopsy couldn't
determine the cause of death."
Additional examination and
investigation will be rr
determine the cause of dt th
The chief added on Moi '
think she died somewhere
was taken there. Soiii.- p. r
seen running from the ca
have no idea how long
dead. We don't think it
'There were some sigi
attempt was made to set the
fire, but that's not certain
means,' said Marquez
under in vestige inn.' ' >1 ,
the case remain ut r
investigation, he emphas ized
Anyone with inf< in; ,<
the incident is encouia
the RGC PD at 48 " •
information will b
Commissioners told about
planned hotel groundbrea
The County Commissioners were
informed at their regular monthly
meeting Monday morning that a
groundbreaking ceremony was
scheduled Wednesday morning, Jan.
10 for a new hotel in Rio Grande
City that will create dozens of new
Industrial Foundation Execute e
Director Hector Solis indicated,
"We have a groundbreaking
ceremony scheduled on Wednesday,
Jan. 10 at 10:30 a.m. for Best
Western (in Rio Grande City)."
"The commercial prospect is
expected to begin construction in
two weeks," declared Solis. "The
investment for the hotel alone is
SI.8 million. A restaurant is
expected to locate near the hotel.
The hotel and restaurant should
bring 75 to 85 jobs. The final
touches in financing for the
Denny's restaurant should be
finished soon."
Solis told the commissioners tha.
the company will donate a 50-foot
easement to the City of Rio Grande
City and the City will construct a
street from the lift station to the
rear of the property or to the hotel
parking lot. The 52-room Best
Western hotel will be located on
U.S. Highway 83 East between
Wal-Mart and the Shamrock
Convenience Store.
A dual ribboncutting ceremony is
expected when the hotel and
Denny's Restaurant are completed
within the next four months.
Solis added, "We're having an
appraisal done on industrial park
property. Some prospects are eager
to start constructing warehouses."
Solis noted that applications for a
Technical Assistance and Training
Grant and a Rural Business
Enterpr se Grant Revolving Loan
Fund recently received favorable
reviews from the South Texas
Development Council. Each of the
$200,000 grant applications
received a favorable review at the
USDA Rural Development State
Office in Temple. Both applications
are now being considered at the
USDA Rural Development Offices
in Washington, u.C.
Solis indicated, "The Mexican
Consulate has offered an office at
Telemundo in Rio Grande City to
be used once a month." The office
will give Starr County residents the
opportunity to receive needed
documentation services without
being required to uavei
offices outside the county.
Sherifi Reymundo C
commissioners, "We ha
inspection visit in lat
from the Texas Comi.
Jail Standards. We v e ■ r
everything was found i.
Guerra indicated tb.
Detention Center rc\
December were > t •! .•
noted, "We have or.iy in:
beds today (Jan. 8). Ther
paying prisoners and 8
prisoners for a total
"The number to be coi
about is 84 prisoners, su
(See PLANNED, Pat f
RGC aldermen to
meet Thursday nigh
The Rio Grande City Board of
Aldermen will hold their regular
monthly meeting Thursday, Jan. 11
at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, located at
101 South Washington Street.
The regular meeting will recess at
6:45 p.m. for the convening of a
public hearing regarding the
proposed use or uses of the Local
Law Enforcement Grant of $10,500
awarded to the city. After the public
hearing is concluded, the regular
meeting will be reconvened.
The aldermen will consider
accepting the $10,500 Local Law
Enforcement Block Grant awarded
through the U.S. Department of
Justice. Also on the agenda is
possible authorization of a Spccial
Funds Account for grant auditing
The aldermen will consider
possibly take a< tion
reappointment of a Pa
Commission according i
2-211, Code Hook of the City
Rio Grande City. Di ,
also scheduled on the .
abatement of weedy lots
The regular monthly
the Rio Grande City E
Development Corporal
scheduled for Thursday, Ja
p.m. at the same location '-
Villarreal, chairman
Grande City Historic 1're
Commission, wili
presentation about 1 i
■Li-#. •
New Lieutenant Governor assembles transition team
Newly named Texas Lieutenant Govcrnoi Bill Ratliff is pictured above with members of his ...uis.n
team. Pictured left to right arc Don Edmonds of Tyler, Director of Transition; Lt Gov R. . ii \ .
Solomon, Executive Assistant; and Eric Wnghi, Chief of Staff. (See related story in ic)

Roberts, Kenneth. Rio Grande Herald (Rio Grande City, Tex.), Vol. 88, No. 2, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 11, 2001. Edinburg, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed October 6, 2015.