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UTRGV recognizes
 Representatives and students from UTRGV School of Medicine visit Commissioners Court to thank them for their support.
Judge Garcia receives gift
Hidalgo County Pct. 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios and Judge Ramon Garcia both receive gifts of appreciation.

UTRGV thanks Commissioners Court for ongoing support

UTRGV President Guy Bailey, School of Medicine Dean Dr. John H. Krouse, Vice President for Governmental and Community Relations Veronica Gonzales and eight future physicians thanked Commissioners Court for its steadfast support of the University and, specifically its School of Medicine.

In addition, they honored Court members Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios and County Judge Ramon Garcia for the work they've done through the years.

Speaking to the medical students, Judge Ramon Garcia said, “You truly represent the future of our county.”

“It’s through your support and shared vision that we were able to accomplish this,” said Krouse, pointing to the eight students in their white coats.

The county has pledged to support the medical school with annual contributions of $1 million for 10 years, beginning in 2014, which is pursuant to the Interlocal Agreement between Hidalgo County and the U.T. System.  

“A lot of people got together and felt a medical school was needed, and here we are today” said Garcia. 

Palacios said he is a product of the university.

"The court has been supportive in every effort that we've had and we have done some amazing things; it's been my honor," Palacios said.

Addressing the students, Garcia said: “It all starts with you; good luck.”

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Moment of Silence for 911
Commissioners Court bow their heads for a moment of silence in remembrance for all those who lost their lives on 911.

Moment of Silence for 9/11

Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia began Commissioners Court by reflecting on the 17th anniversary of 9/11 and ending with a moment of silence.

"Today our flags are at half-staff in honor of Patriot Day.

"On September 11, 2001, 19 al-Queda militants hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against U.S. targets.

"Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and a fourth attack was thwarted by the brave passengers who fought the hijackers.

"At the twin towers 2,763 people died, including 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers, and about 10,000 others were injured.

"At the Pentagon, 189 people were killed, including the 64 passengers on the plane; and all 44 passengers were killed when the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

"In total, 2,996 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks. We will never forget the heroes of 9/11, people who rushed into harm’s way to try to rescue those who were trapped, and those who fought off the terrorists on United Flight 93 to avert another attack.

"We will never forget how people came together in unity and support and in patriotism, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since World War II. We will never forget the families whose loved-ones were taken from them.

"As Americans, we have turned that day of unspeakable evil into a national day of service and remembrance. One of the ways we can honor those we lost and give thanks to the first responders is to donate our time and talents in service or by simply doing a good deed," Garcia said, before asking for a moment of silence.

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Hunger Action Awareness Month
Food Bank RGV Manager of Communications and Advocacy Omar I. Rodriguez, Interim-CEO & COO DeAnne Economedes, Director of Development & Donor Services Jackie Flores, and CPO Libby Salinas (front row) with Commissioners Court.

Commissioners Court encourages residents to raise awareness of issues caused by hunger

Hunger Action Month calls attention to the obstacles that hunger creates for people in need and recognizes the important role of the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley and other food banks in addressing hunger and raising awareness.

Commissioners Court approved a proclamation designating September as Hunger Action Awareness Month.  

Food Bank RGV Manager of Communications and Advocacy Omar I. Rodriguez stated that Hunger Action Month provides fun and educational activities and education for the citizens of the County of Hidalgo and communities in the Mid-Valley.

"Hunger Action Month is hosted at the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc. and works to educate families from the County of Hidalgo on self-sustainability by learning to grow their own food and providing a market place to sell fruits and vegetables," said Rodriguez.

The Food Bank RGV is home of the Pharrmers Market, providing healthy options for the community and educating families via its Community Garden.

The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc. is the 4th largest food bank in the state of Texas feeding up to 64,000 individuals per week via 275 Partner Agencies.

Operating in the County of Hidalgo, it contributes to the health, well-being and quality of life of the community.

"The annual Empty Bowls Luncheon will be held at the Pharr Events Center on September 18th and all are invited," said Rodriguez.

Hidalgo County Commissioners Court encourages residents to raise awareness of the issues caused by hunger and to consider donating canned goods, time, and money to the Food Bank RGV.

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Ricardo Saldana
Ricardo Saldaña.

County prepares for possible heavy rains

Emergency Management Coordinator Ricardo Saldaña said the county is prepared and ready to respond as needed.

"Since Sunday, the RGV has received over 15 inches of rain," said Saldaña.

Significant efforts are being made to keep the roadways and drainage ditches clear. In addition, the precincts are distributing sandbags and have prepared for all contingencies.

"Precincts have begun to mobilize pumps and are being manned 24 hours," said Saldaña.  "We have also reached out to local EMC's and will be deploying state pumps depending on what happens between now and Thursday."

Saldaña reported that the county has already reached out to the state to get rescue boats and vehicles prepared in case the county experiences another torrential rain event, as it did in June.

"It's an unfortunate series of weather events, but we have all precincts working tremendously with the drainage district combating standing water, and keeping ditches clear," said Chief Executive Officer Valde Guerra.

Valde Guerra
Chief Executive Officer Valde Guerra.

County continues to work to accommodate Spanish-speaking constituents

Constituents attending today's meetings were provided with Drainage District and Commissioners Court agendas in their choice of English or Spanish, said Chief Executive Officer Valde Guerra.

In addition, the county website has a Spanish language option and the county is working on offering audio translation services.

"We're currently working with two different vendors for audio translation; we just need to make sure that those offering the translation services are certified," said Guerra.

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Brian McIntyre and Oscar Garcia.

It may not be immediately visible, but construction has begun on the new courthouse

Courthouse Project Manager Brian McIntyer, with Jacobs, reported that the area across the street from the current courthouse is an active construction site.

In his monthly report, McIntyre said a lot of the work is being done below ground, so it's not immediately visible to passersby.

"What you don't see is there are a lot of things going on," McIntyre said, adding the need for fencing in the area.

In addition, Closner Blvd. will be closed, maybe as early as September 18 because the new building will go across it," McIntyre said.

McIntyre spoke at length about the need for an Early Site Package and what the package entails. This package includes putting up the fencing around the courthouse square, closing Closner between Cano and McIntyre, demolition, starting the underground utilities, installing temporary power and starting underground foundation work. 

In the coming months, the final phase of design is expected to be completed, Morganti will submit Structural Plans to City of Edinburg and the county will hold the groundbreaking ceremony on October 12.

Click here for new courthouse updates.

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Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Last Week Commissioners Court declared September as National Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Today, staff from Doctor's Hospital at Renaissance visited the court as a reminder to encourage all county residents to join in national observances that fight childhood cancer.  

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 missed today'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 18
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 Court house 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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