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Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. with representatives from Women Together-Mujeres Unidas, law enforcement, and victim advocates with Commissioners Court in honor of the agency's 40th anniversary.
DA Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. reads resolution in honor of Mujeres Unidas
D.A. Ricardo Rodriguez Jr.

Women Together-Mujeres Unidas honored for 40 years of assisting victims of domestic abuse

A sea of purple stood out in today's meeting as Women Together Foundation, Inc., also known as Mujeres Unidas, was honored at Commissioners Court with a resolution to commemorate its 40th anniversary sponsored by Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr.

Staff, board members, crime victim advocates and staff wore purple, which is the signature color for domestic violence awareness and prevention. In addition to Rodriguez and staff who work with the DA's Crime Victims Unit, the group was joined by Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra, area police chiefs, constables, and other law enforcement officials.

"We are extremely grateful for the relationship we have with this agency," said Rodriguez.  "They not only dedicate their services to victims, but to Hidalgo County and the entire Rio Grande Valley; we want to stop domestic violence and want victims to know that there are many resources available to them."

Mujeres Unidas was established in 1978 by a group of women who came together to address the issue of domestic violence in Hidalgo County. Since its inception the non-profit agency has evolved to provide emergency shelter, food, clothing, counseling, legal advocacy, and transitional housing programs for domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking victims.

Executive Director Estella De Anda, who was also recognized for her 33-year-career with the agency thanked the DA and Commissioners Court for the county's ongoing support.

"We appreciate you recognizing our efforts and 40 years of continued service," said De Anda. "We are thankful for our partners and all those who support our mission."  

If you, or someone you know, is in a dangerous situation or is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking, please call the Mujeres Unidas hotline at 1-800-580-4879 or the national domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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Boot Camp inspires growth and second chances.
Graduating cadets honored at Commissioners Court

Cadets from the Mario E. Ramirez Bootcamp in Weslaco are recognized for their academic and disiplinary efforts to graduate.

A group of smiling parents and proud cadets gathered in Commissioners Court for 
 a resolution unanimously approved honoring the boot camp cadets from the Judge Mario E. Ramirez Jr. Juvenile Justice Center located in Precinct 1 in Weslaco.

The cadets were adjudicated by the judges Mario E. Ramirez Jr., 332nd District Court; Israel Ramon, 430th District Court; and Renee Rodriguez-Betancourt, 449th District Court and were taught at by dedicated teachers at Weslaco Independent School District. In addition to completing the program, the cadets have also earned enough credits to receive a High School Diploma from Weslaco ISD and two have earned college credits from South Texas College.

"They all understand the hard work they had to undergo in order to graduate from the program and to earn their degrees," said Rodriguez-Betancourt. "But it takes a village, including the boot camp staff, and the administration who has been extremely supportive."    

Following the resolution, which was presented by Pct. 1 Commissioner David L. Fuentes, cadets were presented with medals for completion of credits from their teachers.

"Today is a special day not just for me, but for all of us standing before you," said Cadet Christian Reyes Aldana. "We are very grateful to be given a second chance and to successfully obtain our high-school degrees."

Reyes is one of the nine graduating cadets from cities throughout the county who will graduate from the program in a ceremony held Thursday, May 25 at the boot-camp. The other graduates are Erik Alvarez, Dominic Valenzuela Juarez, Chris Sauceda, Ernesto Cortez, Pedro Alvarez-Martinez, Leeroy Cavazos, Brian Flores, and Eduardo Valdez Jr.

The Boot Camp Facility serves up to 40 non-violent, at-risk boys between the ages of 13- to 17-years-old over a nine month time span. The facility empowers every individual with the time-honored values of honor, courage, integrity, and commitment and in turn provides disciplined structure, a quality substance abuse recovery curriculum, and a superior educational setting in a secure environment.

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L - R: Juneteenth Committee members Valerie Ramirez and Sharon Smith.

Proclamation for Juneteenth Jubilee Day in recognition of the naming of Restlawn Cemetery

Commissioners Court approved a proclamation declaring June 16 as Juneteenth Jubilee Day.

Juneteenth is an official Texas State Holiday to honor the legacy of African Americans past and present.

Juneteenth Jubilee Day will be celebrated in recognition of the 25th Anniversary of the naming of Restlawn Cemetery in Hidalgo and has been celebrated in Texas since 1980 and in Hidalgo County since the early 1900s.

 Hillcrest Memorial Park and the former Skinner-Silva Funeral Home assisted in the establishment, ninety years ago, of what has become known as the Restlawn Cemetery.
Edinburg’s Restlawn Cemetery received a historic cemetery designation in 2004 and a state historical marker in 2007 which was dedicated in 2008.

In honor of the proclamation, the City of Edinburg Library and Cultural Arts is hosting the Juneteenth Jubilee on Saturday, June 16
th in Edinburg with a 25th Anniversary Memorial Observance from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Restlawn Cemetery on 1701 E Richardson Rd., an Annual Reception from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Sekula Memorial Library on 1906 S. Closner Blvd., and the 1st Annual Juneteenth Festival from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Edinburg City Hall Courtyard at 415 W. University Drive.

The Hidalgo County Historical Commission has worked diligently since 1993 to promote and sustain the observance of this holiday which has been attended and supported by various county representatives throughout the years. Hidalgo County encourages all residents to come together in celebration of the freedom legacy of African Americans and to reaffirm their important contributions to the betterment of Texas life.

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Did you miss today's meeting? Watch it at 9 p.m. Thursday on KMBH Ch. 10 or on the county's YouTube Channel!

If you missetoday's meeting, you can view it on our county website or YouTube Channel by clicking hereYou can also watch today's Commissioners Court and Drainage District meetings on KMBH TV, cable channel 10, on Thursday at 9 p.m. Or watch it on Friday morning at 9 a.m. on your local school district channel 17.

The next regular meeting of Commissioners Court  will be on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. 
The Drainage District Board of Directors meets at 9 a.m. followed by Commissioners Court  at 9:30 a.m.

Meetings are held in the Commissioners Courtroom, located on the first floor of the Courthouse Annex III at 100 E. Cano St. in Edinburg.  

View meetings and find other news and events videos on our
Hidalgo County YouTube Channel.
To view a copy of the agenda and related backup documentation for this meeting, visit the county website at
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