Hidalgo County Court Report
Purple Heart recipients
Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with Commissioners Court.
Purple Heart County sign

Hidalgo declared a Purple Heart County as decorated Veterans are recognized for their service

The Military Order of the Purple Heart, Department of Texas presented a proclamation and road sign designating Hidalgo County as a Purple Heart County for the county’s admiration, gratitude and support “for all men and women who have selflessly served their country and this community in the Armed Forces.”

About a dozen Purple Heart Medal recipients from the Vietnam and Iraq wars from the Rio Grande Valley Chapter 1544 attended Commissioners Court to participate in the ceremony.

Chapter Commander Doss Kornegay read the proclamation as Sr. Vice Commander of the Department of Texas Aroldo “A.J.” Garcia unveiled the commemorative road sign.

“It’s an honor to be here today,” said Garcia.  “Thank you for your continued support to Veterans; we are proud to name Hidalgo a Purple Heart County.” 

The county was nominated by several Purple Heart recipients in Hidalgo in honor of celebrating National Purple Heart Day.

The court also approved a proclamation accepting the Purple Heart County designation. The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in present use and was initially created as the Badge of Military Merit by George Washington in 1782.  

"Your services are greatly appreciated, we'd like to thank each and every one of you for being here today," said Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia.

We honor and thank the following Purple Heart recipients for their valor, sacrifice and service: Sr. Vice Commander Dept. of Texas Aroldo “A.J.” Garcia, wounded April 25, 1967, Vietnam; Chapter 1544 Commander Doss Kornegay, wounded August 8, 1970, Vietnam; Past Chapter 5077 Commander Tony Cordova, wounded January 19, 1967, Vietnam; Past Chapter 5077 Commander Joe Vasquez, wounded August 19, 1969, Vietnam; Sgt. of Arms Chapter 1544 Felix Fuentes, wounded May 17, 1970, Vietnam; Patriot David J. De Leon, wounded March 20,1969, Vietnam; Sr. Vice Commander Chapter 1544 David Granado, wounded in 2004, Iraq; Jr. Vice Commander Chapter 1544 Eduardo Granado, wounded July 27, 2004, Iraq; Chapter Trustee Chapter 1544 Jose L. Sauceda, wounded in 1967, Vietnam; Chapter Excutive Commander Chapter 1544 Ignacio Garcia, wounded August 20, 1970, Vietnam; and Sgt. Francisco Barrientes, Chapter 5077, wounded May 5, 1969 and June 20, 1969, Vietnam.

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Commissioners Court emphasizes the importance of mindfulness during Suicide Prevention Month

September is Suicide Prevention Month-group photo with Commissioners Court
Commissioners Court approved a proclamation designating September as Suicide Prevention Month.
Say Yes to Life

In the United States, there are more than 1.7 million deaths by suicide annually – on average one person dies by suicide every three hours.

Commissioners Court approved a proclamation designating September as Suicide Prevention Month, in support of efforts to identify, support and assist people in crisis and their families. 

Yolanda Estrada-Peralez, an accounts payable supervisor in Precinct 1, started the Say Yes to Life campaign with her husband, Francisco, following the death of their 17-year-old son Andrew on December 15, 2015.

“The message is for everyone not to feel that their problems are the end of their story,” Estrada-Peralez said. “There is hope, and you matter; say yes to life.”

Estrada-Peralez was joined by other Hidalgo County residents who have lost a loved one to suicide. A presentation memorializing some of the suicide victims was presented with photos and the date each died. Their ages ranged from 16-year-old Jeremy Isaiah Sandoval, who died in 2012, to 49-year-old Fr. Ricardo Garcia Jr., who died in 2011. The most recent suicide victim memorialized was Javier “Wi” Garcia, who was 17 when he died on May 28, 2017. Also present to support the prevention effort was 449th District Court Judge Renee R. Betancourt, who presides over the juvenile court.

"I'm extremely honored to stand up here beside these individuals," said Betancourt.  "About 80 percent of children that I see suffer from mental health issues; as a community and as a county we should be advocates for awareness and talk about the services we have available.

To raise awareness, the “2nd Hidalgo County Suicide Awareness and Prevention Event,” hosted by Say Yes to Life, the Peralez Family, Chris Ardis, Vivian Velazquez Tamez, and the International Baccalaureate at Lamar Academy Student Council will be held at 6:30 p.m. on September 8, at North San Juan Park on 509 East Earling Road in San Juan.

"It takes a tremendous amount of strength from those who can admit they need help," said Precinct 1 Commissioner David Fuentes. "Mental Illness is a non-age discriminating disease that effects everyone; thank you for bringing awareness of this disease, and showing your strength by further educating the community."

All residents of Hidalgo County are urged to recognize suicide as a significant public health problem, and support the development of accessible behavioral health services.

Please call the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-TALK; and use it when you, a friend, or loved one is experiencing a crisis, so that lives can be saved.

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Commissioners Court

Tribute for Sen. John McCain

Commissioners Court honored Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who passed away Saturday with a moment of silence preceded by the following statement from County Judge Ramon Garcia.

"Late Saturday afternoon, we joined the rest of the country in mourning the death of Sen. John McCain. Today we honor him for the great statesman and true American hero that he was," Garcia said.

"Sen. McCain served our nation for 60 years. A dedicated navy fighter pilot who narrowly escaped death during a fire aboard the USS Forrestal that killed 134 of his shipmates; he narrowly escaped death again a few months later when he was shot down over Hanoi during his twenty-third bombing mission in October 1967.

Seriously injured, he was captured by enemy forces who refused him medical treatment and beat him. He spent five-an-a-half years in a prisoner of war camp nicknamed by U.S. POW's 'the Hanoi Hilton.' Two of those years were spent in solitary confinement; and, although he was offered early release by the North Vietnamese who wanted to exploit the fact that his father was a prominent admiral, Sen. McCain refused, adhering to the military code of 'first in, first out.' 

"During his years in Congress and the Senate, he was known as a 'maverick' because he didn't always follow the party line. Sen. McCain believed in duty, honor, and country first. He was a throwback to an earlier era when political leaders, without betraying their own ideology, were willing to cross partisan lines.

"When asked how he would like to be remembered, Sen. McCain responded: 'He served his country, and not always right – he made a lot of mistakes, made a lot of errors – but served his country, and I hope we could add, honorably.' There is no doubt that Sen. McCain will be remembered for his heroism, bravery, and for serving his country with honor."

First responders, volunteers and community leaders recognized for support efforts during the June flood event

community leaders
Commissioners Court recognized 35 organizations that assisted with the June flood events in Hidalgo County.

Thirty-five agencies and entities were recognized at Commissioners Court for their efforts in rendering aid during the June flood event.

The group included community organizations, first responders, non-profits, cities, churches, and volunteer groups.

"Your efforts can't go unrecognized," said Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios. "Your assistance during our recent flood events made an impact on families who were directly affected by the unforeseen floods Hidalgo County experienced." 

Members representing the different agencies were honored with certificates of appreciation.

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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, September 4, 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 www.hidalgocounty.us.
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