Rio Grande Herald (Rio Grande City, Tex.), Vol. 88, No. 31, Ed. 1 Thursday, August 16, 2001 Page: 1 of 6
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August 16, 2001
ikmc; book uindi;ry
127 RAIL R( )AD
SI'RINGPOK I. Ml 49204
A Newspaper Serving the People of South Texas
Courtly ok's resolution supporting two STCC bond propositions
School supplies donated to children in RGC
The Rio Grande City Police Department, the Rio Grande City Fire Department, the Starr County Housing
Authority and several other entities worked together in a joint effort to distribute school supplies to more
. than 100 children residing in local housing projects. The supplies were distributed on Wednesday afternoon,
Aug. 8 at the Nixon Apartment® in Rio Grande City. Supplies such as paper, pencils, crayons, rulers and
glue were donated.
RGCPD, Fire Dept. join with other
entities to donate school supplies
The Rio Grande City Police
Department and Rio Grande City
Fire Department combined with
sevuai ouiei unities on Vvednesuav
afternoon, Aug. 8 to donate school
supplies to more than 100 chiliK n
® housed under the auspices oi the
Starr County Housing Authority.
The distribution of many types of
iiool supplies took place at the
N<xon Apartments, located near the
Rio Grande City Post Office.
Youngs rs from the Garcias
Hou g Project also received
s .oi supplies. The donation of
iiool supplies began at 5:30 p.m.
and continued for almost three
RGCPD Sergeant Roberto
* tV i • . /. ii JUXi, • c - c iltitl iCi-Lii
80 kid.' so far (as of 6 p.m.). There
will probably be more."
Ramirez noted that the RGCPD
and Rio Grande City Police
Department spearheaded the effort.
The undertaking was also sponsored
by H-E-B, U.S. Customs, the
District Attorney's Office, the Starr
County Housing Authority and
Wal-Mart. Israel Rios was the
sponsoring disc jockey.
On Monday, Aug. 6, RGCPD
Police Chief Guadalupe Marquez
indicated that school supplies such
as paper, rulers, pencils, crayons,
coloring folders and glue. He added
at that time, 'We expect to serve
130 kids ages five through 10."
Marquez noted that the donation
of school supplies was "part of our
community policing effort."
Ramirez indicated on Aug. 8, "A
drawing will be held for sporting
goods such as boxing glows. There
is also a drawing for backpacks and
Hot dogs and soft drinks were
provided to the children and others
County receives $72,130 grant
for colonia improvements
Starr County is receiving a
$72,130 community development
grant announced Monday by the
Texas Department of Housing and
Community Affairs (TDHCA).
The funds, awarded b> TDHCA
through the Texas Community
Development Program, are
earmarked to help bring wastewater
service to residents living in an
unincorporated area of the county
that lies within the city of Roma's
State Senator Judith Zaffirini,
who represents Starr County,
applauded the grant. "Water
development grants to lower
income areas are an excellent
example of how state government
funds local priorities," she said.
"My hope is that we continue to
work together to increase
development opportunities in Starr
"Thesa funds will help Starr
County provide one of the most
basic of public services to these
residents, a necessity many of us
take too much for granted," said
Daisy Stiner, TDHCA Executive
Director. "A reliable wastewater
system is a fundamental building
block for any community.
Unfortunately, these building
blocks are absent in far too many
colonias. It is a priority of this
Department to bring these services
to Texas communities most in
Colonias are substandard housing
developments typically lacking
adequate water, wastewater and
drainage systems, paved roads, and
other infrastructure. According to
the Texas Water Development
Board, approximately 400,000
Texans live in an estimated 1500
colonias, the vast majority of
Free Health Fair set
for Saturday, Aug. 18
( The Community Action Council
ot South Texas will be hosting a
1'iee Community Health Fair on
Saturday, August 18, at the C'ACST
Community Health Center, 510
Hast Eisenhower in Rio Grande
City, located next to the U.S. Post
Office. It will run starting at 8:00
a.m. to 12:00 noon.
The health fair will offer a
variety of services for the
community. Services will include
hemoglobin and diabetic checks,
immunizations for, school, and
weight ;.nd blood pressure checks,
niere will also be Healthy Start
and CSAT counseling, which offer
health care and transportation
services for pregnant women. The
WIC office will also be open WIC
is a nutritional program for women,
infants, and children.
Parents seeking immunizations
for their children should remember
to take their immunization cards to
By KENNETH ROBERTS
At their regular monthly meeting
Monday morning, the County
Commissioners voted by a 2-1
margin to adopt a resolution
supporting the South Texas
Community College (STCC) bond
issue which will be considered by
voters in Starr and Hidalgo
Counties on Sept. 29.
The resolution was opposed by
Precinct One Commissioner Jaime
Alvarez, who indicated that he
opposed in principle any tax
increase. He also contended that the
commissioners should not take any
public stand on the bond issue and
leave the decision up to voters.
The two commissioners who
voted to support the STCC issue,
Raul "Roy" Pena, Jr., and Abel N.
Gonzalez, Jr., insisted that approval
of the bond issue will mean
increased educational opportunities
for students from Starr County.
They commented that improved
facilities made possible by the bond
issue would decrease travel and
housing expenses for students.
Precinct Three Commissioner
Eloy Garza, who presided over the
meeting in the absence of County
Judge Eloy Vera, expressed strong
support for the resolution and said
the STCC propositions would have
his wholehearted support.
As discussion began, Alvarez
expressed his belief that the
commissioners should not take any
action on the resolution. He
expressed opposition to any tax
tifcic<i.tc for iiaul-prc.iscd Stan
Alvarez later explained to The
Rio Grande Herald, "The issue is
not questioning whether to support
STCC; I support STCC. I felt the
bond issue was a political issue that
the Commissioners Court shouldn't
take a stand on. 1 feci it's up to the
voters to decide."
"I will always vote against more
taxes," insisted Alvarez. "Our
people cannot afford to absorb more
taxes. I feel they (STCC) can grow
slowly and work with the revenues
they now have. I support STCC,
but I don't support a tax increase. 1
feel government entities should
have to tighten their belts and work
with what they have."
Manuel Benavides, Jr., who
represents Starr County on the
STCC Board of Trustees, advocated
the college's case to the
commissioners. He contended that
passage of the issues will mean
better educational facilities,
increased convenience, and greater
educational opportunities for Stan-
Commissioner Pena expressed
concern about the tax increase, but
offered his opinion that educational
advancement is the only lasting
solution to the county's economic
problems. He insisted that the
amount of tax would be
considerably less than the benefits
that would be realized.
Gar/a contended that education is
the ultimate source of growth for
young people Starr County.
Gonzalez expressed his belief that
students in Starr County will
benefit from approval of the bond
issue. He contended that costs for
travel and room & board will be
significantly decreased. On Tuesday,
he predicted to The Herald that the
STCC improvements should mean
significant educational advancement
for the entire Starr County student
The motion supporting the
resolution was approved 2 1, with
Pena and Gonzalez voting yes and
Alvarez voting no.
Alvarez later commented to The
Herald, "I began by questioning
why the resolution was on the
agenda...1 was going to vote against
any kind of tax increase. I support
STCC. I hope they grow, but I
hope they grow with the resources
they now have. They get money
trom the state, from tuition fees,
and from other sources."
STCC is asking voters in the
two counties to approve two
propositions on Sept. 29.
Proposition One calls for the
issuance of 598,700,000 in
construction bonds. The bonds
would be used to fund new
construction, renovation and
(See RESOLUTION, Page 6)
Customs agents at Roma
seize marijuana in bus
U.S. Customs Inspectors on the
evening of Tuesday, Aug. 7
discovered a large cache of
marijuana hidden in a commercial
bus at the Roma porl of entry, the
third narcotics load to be found in a
bus in die last few months.
During a routine inspection of a
1984 TMC bus. Canine "Whipit"
alerted his human enforcement
partner to the rear of the bus. Use
of a density meter indicated
discrepancies in the floor area. A
scan of the bus with the Vehicie
and Cargo Inspection System
(VACIS) confirmed marijuana
bundles in a floor compartment.
U.S. Customs Inspectors removed a
total of 333 pounds of marijuana.
The marijuana has an estimated
street value of 5333,000. The bus
also was seized.
NO ai'iOSti Vv. v j:iauc. 1 I C
"Our Inspectors lately have been
seizing significant quantities of
narcotics hidden in commercial
buses," said Cris Cantu, Customs
Port Director, Roma. "In June we
seized 150 pounds of cocaine in a
bus and arrested the driver. In the
same month, our Inspectors
discovered a 342-pound load of
marijuana behind the bathroom wall
of a bus," Cantu said.
RGC voters approve
change to 4B tax status
which are located within 150 miles
of the Texas-Mexico border.
Stiner explained that the award
TDHCA announced Monday was
made through the Texas
Areas Program Fund. Starr
County will use the grant to close
existing septic tanks and to install
sewer yard lines and connections,
allowing 92 households access to
facilities installed through funds
from the Texas Water Development
Distressed Areas Program.
Funds from the Colonias
Economically Distressed Areas
Program Fund, one of seven
funding categories within the Texas
Community Development Program
(TCDP), arc distributed to eligible
activities that must principally
benefit low- and moderate-income
persons and are limited to
unincorporated areas of counties
within 150 miles of the Texas-
TCDP provides financial
assistance to cities under 50,000 in
population and counties under
200,000 m population for public
works, housing, economic
development, planning projects, and
activities improving the living
conditions in the state's colonias.
*The U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development (HUD) is
the funding source for this program.
The Texas Department of
Housing and Community Affairs is
(See COLONIA, Page 5)
A light turnout of Rio Grande
City voters gave almost unanimous
approval Saturday to a proposal to
change the status of the city's
economic development tax from 4A
Voters supported the change to
4B status by a margin of 206-1,
with one "overvote" taking place.
The change, which abolishes the
half-cent 4A economic development
sales tax and changes that tax to 4B
status, was proposed by the Rio
Grande City Economic
Development Corporation. The
change will NOT involve new
taxes, but will merely be a change
in the use of the existing half-cent
Prior to the election, EDC
President David Porras declared,
"We feel 4B better suits the
community's needs. This will
provide better flexibility...This will
enable more to be done for the
community...We feel this is a win-
win situation for the city."
Porras added at that time, "(The)
4A, what we are now, focuses more
on industrial and manufacturing
projects. We're trying to reinvest
back in the community and focus
on domestic needs."
City Administrator Leonardo
Olivares indicated Tuesday, "It does
give the EDC greater leeway in the
types of projects that can be
developed, funded and pursued."
Subway helps Upper Bound Program
Subway at South Texas Community College (STCC) has provided excellent customer service once agair.
Subway catered to 'lie Upper Bound Program for the second summer. High school students participated five
to six weeks in the Upper Bound Program with much enthusiasm. Subway invites everyone to visit them
at the STCC Campus in Rio Grande City (student service center). Subway's hours at STCC are Monday-
Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
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Roberts, Kenneth. Rio Grande Herald (Rio Grande City, Tex.), Vol. 88, No. 31, Ed. 1 Thursday, August 16, 2001, newspaper, August 16, 2001; Edinburg, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth195934/m1/1/: accessed June 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Rio Grande City Public Library.