Rio Grande Herald (Rio Grande City, Tex.), Vol. 81, No. 6, Ed. 1 Thursday, February 11, 1993 Page: 1 of 12
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The R«> £tande Herald
/? ^ . /ery Thursday by The Rio Grande Publishing Co.
Thursday, February 11,1993
Dog confirmed rabid
near El Sauz
Rattler Matthew Miller is pictured above being tightly defended by a La Joya
Coyote in Saturday night's game between the Rattlers and Coyotes on the road. The
Rattlers used a strong second half to win a solid 61-47 victory, fhe Rattlers defeated
the Coyotes by 14 points in Rio Grande City in another district game several weeks
Rio trustees hear report on
exit-level test results
The rabies epidemic that has
troubled Starr County for almost
four and one-half years continued to
worsen last week as a dog north of
El Sauz was confirmed to have been
a carrier of the deadly virus.
Veterinarian Dr. Roberto S.
Margo noted that there have already
been four confirmed cases of rabies
in Starr County in 1993.
Margo indicated that the rabid dog
was a family pet living north of El
Sauz near I-as Escobas Ranch. The
animal was first brought in on
Sunday, Jan. 31, with state
authorities providing confirmation
on Wednesday, Feb. 3 that the
animal had indeed been rabid.
Margo stated, "The dog had been
vaccinatcd in October. He was
apparently exposed to rabies by a
coyote in November. ..Wo
re-vaccinated the dog in November,
which was not enough time to
The veterinarian added, "The dog
got into a fight with a coyote back
in November. We told them (the
owners of the dog) to re-vaccinate
the dog and keep him in quarantine
for 45 days, as the state requires."
Margo declared, "They called Jan.
31 that the animal was behaving
abnormally, mainly frothing at the
mouth and barking excessively."
He said, "Other dogs were around
this dog at the time ot the fight
with the coyote, but none were
bitten, to the owner's knowledge.
The owner said no humans were
The veterinarian indicated that the
rabid animal was an adult dog, at
least two or three years old.
There have been 96 confirmed
cases of rabies in Starr County
since the outbreak began in
September 1988 An El Sauz
woman died in August 1991 after
exposure to the virus, apparently
through the saliva of a family pet.
There have been 16 confirmed
cases of rabies in Starr County in
the last five months alone. There
were 13 confirmed cases in 1992,
11 cases in 1991 and 37 cases in
Margo, noting that the rabies
problem continues to worsen and
shows no signs of fading away,
stressed that Starr County residents
must continue to keep their pets'
vaccinations up to date on an
annual basis. He added that people
must humanely dispose of
unwanted animals and completely
avoid strange animals, especially
from the wild.
At their regular monthly meeting
on Wednesday night, Feb. 3, the
Rio Grande City CTSD board of
trustees heard a report on the TAAS
Exit-Level test results for high
school juniors and seniors this past
October, as well as an update on the
rebuilding of Roque Guerra
Superintendent Ruben Saenz
noted that 428 11 th grade students
took the Exit-Level test in October.
Twenty five percent of these
students passed all three tests-
Writing, Reading and Mathematics.
Saenz indicated that 53 percent of
the juniors tested passed Writing,
46 percent passed Reading and 37
percent passed Mathematics.
Saenz indicated that 333 students'
test results have been compared
with their scores on the ninth grade
TAAS test two years ago. He
declared, "Evidence and figures
indicate that these same students
have shown significant
improvements over what their
TAAS scores were as freshmen."
Of these 333 students, 38 percent
passed the Writing test as freshmen
and 57 percent passed the Writing
test as juniors. The percentage
passing Reading increased from 35
percent in the ninth grade to 50
percent in the 11th grade. The
percentage passing Mathematics
rose from 21 percent two years to
41 percent on the most recent test.
A total of 181 seniors were tested
for the third time in October, noted
Saenz. A total of 53 students, or 29
percent, passed all tests taken.
Thirty three percent of the seniors
tested passed Writing, 44 pcrccnt
passed Reading and 35 percent
Saenz stated, "We still have 128
(senior) students who need to pass
one, two or three areas of the
TAAS for graduation."
The superintendent pointed out,
"In Texas, over 28,(XX) seniors still
need to pass one, two or three areas
of the test for graduation."
To help seniors and/or juniors
still needing to pass TAAS, Saenz
indicated that "we are having TAAS
preparation classes during the
school day for seniors. We're
holding tutorial sessions after
school and on Saturday for both
seniors and juniors."
Saenz declared, "We will start the
same tiling for ophomoref- who
will take the Writing test in March
and the Reading and Math tests in
May. We have conducted a scries of
meetings with parents of
sophomores to explain the
significance of TAAS and what
they can do to help."
In other action, the trustees voted
to change the lime of the regular
monthly board meeting to the
second Tuesday of each month at 7
p.m. The March meeting is
scheduled to take place at La Union
Architect Dclfino Garza of I.aredo
gave a report to the trustees on the
construction progress at Roque
Guerra Elementary . Saenz told The
Rio Grande Herald, "The work is
progressing very well. We have lost
12 days, due to delays in receiving
(See TEST, Page 6)
Counselor charged with
indecency; 3 face assault charges
A counselor in the Rio Grande
City CISD has been arrested on
charges of sexually abusing one and
possibly five female juveniles,
while three high school students
face charges of aggravated robbery
in the knifing of the counselor and
the theft of his vehicle on Feb. 1.
Sheriff Gene Falcon indicated that
Richard Bunker, 62, was arrested
Mondav afternoon at 4:18 p.m. at
the residence of a female friend in
Rio Grande City.
Later on Monday, Bunker was
arraigned before Justice of the Peace
RGCCISD observes School
Board Recognition Month
By TISSA PETERSON
February has been declared School
Board Recognition Month in Texas
by Governor Ann Richards. It is a
time for educators and citizens
across the state to salute these
unpaid volunteers who serve public
education on behalf of their
At the regular monthly meeting
of the Board of Trustees of the Rio
Grande City CISD on Wednesday.
February 3, the board members
were recognized with a surprise
Judith Solis, president of the
Student Council of Rio Grande
City High School, announced
School Board Recognition Month
and its purpose, stating, "School
board members are charged with
policymaking, planning, goal
setting, care of facilities, and
budgeting. They are elected locally
to volunteer public service
positions; and they are pledged to
keeping the public school system
strong and effective.'
She continued, "Democracy in
action..That's what you see at
school board meetings throughout
the state of Texas. In more than
1,050 districts, month alter month,
more than 7,(XX) volunteer citizens
study, debate, and decide important
educational issues, which,
ultimately, affect the quality of life
for each of us. These dedicated men
and women contribute countless
hours ot service as public officials
and as trustees ot America's unique
system of public education. During
the month of February, we take
lime to say thanks and offer our
support to those who participate in
school board service...an American
She introduced Early Childhood
Center students who presented
framed certificates of appreciation to
Eloy R. Garcia, president of the
Board; Jaime M. Ramirez, vice-
president; Arnulfo Garcia, secretary;
Juan M. Cantu, Jose Adan "Coche"
Garcia, Dr. Roberto M. Gonzalez,
and Francisco G. Zaratc,
ECC students making the
presentations were Ross Gillette,
Mark Garcia, Antonio Garza, Leigh
Ann Schilling, Melissa Estrada,
Yadira Garcia, David Valdez, Angie
Cortez, Ruby Wiley, Rene
Ramirez, Jennifer Guerrero, and
Following the presentation, she
added, "The service ol' these school
board members ensures that
decisions about our schools arc
made with the needs of the children
of our community in mind. Every
day, school board members face
(See MONTH, Page 3)
Arnoldo Gonzalez, Jr., and charged
with one count of indecency with a
child. Gonzalez set bond at
5100,000 for Bunker and he
remained in custody Tuesday
Bunker was charged with one
count of indecency, with this count
and four other possible counts
pending presentation lo the Starr
County grand jury.
Bunker is a counselor for Spccial
Education for both Ringgold Jr.
High School and Rio Grande City
High School. He is originally a
native of Iowa and has been
employed with the RGCCISD since
Jose Luis Casarez, 17, and Roy
Armando Rodriguez, 18, both of
Rio Grande City, were arrested in
Omaha, Nebraska on Thursday and
returned to Starr County on Friday.
The two were arraigned Monday
before J.P. Gonzalez and each was
charged with one count of
aggravated robbery in the assault
against Bunker that took place on
Monday evening, Feb. 1. The
charge of aggravated robbery was
levied against the two because of
the theft of Bunker's vehicle, a
Bond was set at $100,000 for
both individuals. A female juv^iiie
has also been charged in die assault
on Bunker, with Falcon indicating
that she is currently serving 10 days
in Juvenile Detention.
Sheriff Falcon indicated that
"we've had five different
complaints" alleging sexual abuse
of female juveniles by Bunker. All
of the complaints involve girls ages
14 or 15.
Falcon declared, "The statements
given to us and the corroborating
(See CHARGED, Page 5)
Suspect in 1989
A 22-year-old resident alien from
Mexico suspected of involvement
in the slaying of a 20-year-old La
Grulla resident turned himself in to
the Sheriffs Department
Sheriff Gene Falcon indicated that
Eloy Tanguma Garza surrended to
the Sheriffs Department at
approximately 3 p.m. Thursday.
Falcon noted, "We had spoken to
him the day before in Miguel
Garza is charged with murder in
die slaying of Javier Solis of La
Grulla on April 30, 1989. Garza
was arraigned Monday before
Justice of the Peace Arnoldo
Gonzalez, Jr., who set bond at
Solis was fatally shot on April
30 while standing on a Grulla
street. A Sheriff's Department
investigator stated at the time that
the suspect was allegedly inside a
Pontiac Phoenix when Solis
approached from the passenger side.
A brief discussion allegedly took
place, followed by the shooting.
Three-month-old baby dies
in auto mishap
A three-month-old baby was
killed in a three-vehicle mishap
several miles east of Rio Grande
City Sunday evening, with the
driver of a large "18-whcclcr"
involved in die accident fleeing the
A DPS trooper indicated that
Alfonso Ibarra, Jr., of Rio Grande
City, just three months old, was
pronounced dead at Starr County
Memorial Hospital by a Justice of
the Peace later in the evening.
The accident occurred at
approximately 6:45 p.m. Sunday
about six miles cast of Rio Grande
City on U.S. Highway 83.
The infant that died was a
passenger in a blue Oldsmobile.
The two other passengers in the
Oldsmobile, as well as the driver of
a white Mercury, were injured in
The trooper said, "A blue
Oldsmobile was headed cast (on
Highway 83). The 18-whceler was
attempting to get on the road and
head cast. The blue Oldsmobile
struck the 18-wheeler, which (die
impact) threw the Oldsmobile into
the westbound lane, where the
Oldsmobile struck a white Mercury
The trooper indicated that the
18-whcclcr left the scene of the
accident. He added, "We're looking
for an 18-whceler trailer that could
be two-tone red and white or gray.
The vehicle is carrying two tanks
strapped on a flat-bed trailer." This
18-whceler was last seen traveling
eastbound on U.S. 83.
Also injured in the accident were
the parents of the infant, Mr. and
Mrs. Alfonso Ibarra of Rio Grande
City, who were riding in the
Oldsmobile, and Gloria Salinas, the
driver of the white Mercury.
Ibarra was hospitalized and later
released, while Salinas remained
hospitalized in Mission and Mrs.
Ibarra was hospitalized in McAllcn
as of Tuesday morning. Both Ibarra
and Salinas were in fair condition.
The trooper indicated that both
Sa'inas and Ibarra sustained several
broken bones and lacerations.
I hc trooper declared that the
investigation into the accident is
continuing, with the focus of the
probe on locating the 18 wheeler.
Hie infant became the first traffic
fatality victim of 1993 in Starr
' ; , ■ I
SCHOOL BOARD RECOGNITION—RGCHS Student Council President Judith Solis,
at left, announced School Board Recognition Month at a regular meeting of the Rio
Grande City CISD Board of Trustees on Wednesday February 3. The Early
Childhood Center students pictured presented certificates of appreciation to (l-r)
Eloy R. Garcia, president of the Board- Jaime M. Ramirez, *ice-presidcnt; Arnulfo
Garcia, secretary; Jose Adan "Coche" Garcia, and Dr. Roberto M. Gonzalez. Not
present were Juan M. Cantu and Francisco G. Zarate. (RGCCISD Photo)
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Roberts, Kenneth. Rio Grande Herald (Rio Grande City, Tex.), Vol. 81, No. 6, Ed. 1 Thursday, February 11, 1993, newspaper, February 11, 1993; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth195379/m1/1/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Rio Grande City Public Library.