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Young Hearts Matter Bullying Proclamation
Students from the IB program at Lamar Academy, McAllen ISD officials, law enforcement and representatives from the Criminal District Attorney's Office joined Commissioners Court for an anti-bullying proclamation Tuesday.

Commissioners Court supports anti-bullying efforts 

Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. recounted the calls from traumatized adults who are victims of bullying to emphasize how much harder it is for children and teenagers to cope with it during a presentation by his office of a proclamation declaring October as National Bullying Prevention Month.

"I've had adults come to me about social media bullying, and if it affects adults, it affects our students event more," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez was joined by students from the International Baccalaureate program at McAllen ISD's Lamar Academy, along with school and school district officials and members of the DA's Victims Unit and Civil Juvenile Division.

IB students Valeria Arguelles and Sara Mendez took turns reading passages of the proposed proclamation. Immediately following the reading, Commissioners Court was united in approving the proclamation.

"Various researchers have concluded that bullying is the most common form of violence, affecting millions of American school children," read Mendez.

Following its approval, Arguelles said, on behalf of the students present, that calling attention to the issue outside of school will help spread awareness.

"Being advocates for kindness and empathy is something we take pride in," said Arguelles. "We need to be mindful of how the actions of our words can affect people."

Bullying is physical, verbal, sexual, or emotional harm or intimidation intentionally directed at a person or group of people.

McAllen Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Jose A. Gonzalez thanked Commissioners Court for the opportunity for the student's voices to be heard.

"We appreciate you taking the time for recognizing Lamar Academy, and allowing our students to speak on behalf of bullying prevention," said Gonzalez.  "Our students are caring individuals, and we feel it's important for all of our students to feel loved, nurtured, and, above all, safe in our school environment."

County Judge Ramon Garcia commended the students.

"You are an impressive group of young adults; thank you for all your efforts," said Garcia.

Bullying often occurs in neighborhoods, playgrounds, schools, and through technology, such as the internet and cell phones.

"I applaud these students for being the forefront of spreading the 'Stop the Bullying' message," said Rodriguez.  "I urge these school children to keep up their efforts."

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Director of Planning T.J. Arredondo.

Commissioners Court approves amendments made to subdivision rules

Dozens of members from A Resource in Serving Equality (ARISE), and La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) attended Tuesday's meeting where Commissioners Court approved amendments made to Hidalgo County subdivision rules that addresses street lights, bus stops, 2-inch asphalt pavement thickness, cul-de-sac lengths, filling stations, drainage policies, and relocation of utility facilities in subdivisions across the county. 

"Streetlight infrastructure, including but not limited to poles, lamps and transformers shall be required in all subdivisions that are proposing internal streets and shall be provided by subdivider," said Planning Director T.J. Arredondo.

Streetlights shall be installed at all intersections, at cul-de-sacs and at every 250 feet along the length of all internal streets.

The newly adopted Model Subdivision Rules ensures that no future subdivisions will be built without street lights. 

The street lighting project includes a deposit of an escrow of not less than $180 made by the subdivider per streetlight in order for service to be provided to the subdivision per calendar year.

Colonia subdivisions include: Rosalinda Rosalez, Soledad Gardens, Isabella, Krishnan,
R & E Ranch, Eduardos No 18, and Maravillas Est. 3.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month Proclamation
DHR Administrator of Corporate Affairs Mario Lizcano (far right) with representatives of the Advanced Care Center at Renaissance with Pct. 3 Commissioner Joe M. Flores, County Judge Ramon Garcia, and Pct. 2 Commissioner Eddie Cantu.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer continues to be the most common cause of cancer-related death among Texas women. It is expected that 15,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year.

Commissioners Court passed a proclamation declaring October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in part to promote the importance of prevention and early detection as keys to survival. 

"We'd like to invite our community to become a part of raising awareness against Breast Cancer," said Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Administrator of Corporate Affairs Mario Lizcano. "From our efforts we've seen numbers decrease as we continue to increase awareness through screenings and other educational tools."

While there are factors known to increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, nearly 80 percent of women diagnosed do not exhibit any of the determinant factors.

Early detection of signs and symptoms of breast cancer can increase the survival rare by nearly 95 percent, 
said Public Affairs Director Julia Benitez Sullivan, who read the proclamation.

During this month-long observance, all Hidalgo County residents are encouraged to join in related activities and initiatives that help raise support and awareness of this serious health concern which has claimed too many lives over the years.

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Domestic Violence Awareness Proclamation
Criminal DA Ricardo Rodriguez Jr.
Criminal DA Ricardo Rodriguez Jr.
Awareness + Action = Social Change
Domestic Violence Awareness
"Break the silence."

Break the Silence: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

To raise public awareness about the importance of domestic violence and to encourage the public education about the resources available for victims of domestic violence, Commissioner Court proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office Victims Unit and Hidalgo County Family Violence Task Force, in collaboration with law enforcement, advocacy groups, and agencies, are working to educate the public about the resources available for victims of domestic violence.

The crime of domestic violence violates an individual’s privacy and dignity, security and humanity, due to systematic use of physical, emotional, sexual, psychological and economic control. Domestic violence extends to the abuse of children and the elderly.

Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. said that victims of domestic violence have trouble finding their voice, and often stay silent in fear.

"We've worked up and have built a team within and outside our office, to be the voice for victims who have fought in many instances and are survivors today," said Rodriguez. "This says a lot about our community."  

DA Victims Unit Director Rosie Martinez attributes community involvement to making the silent epidemic of domestic violence a loud message victims can hear.

"Our office works with many internal and external agencies to assist victims of domestic violence," said Martinez.  "We're happy to have the ongoing support from Lamar Academy Young Hearts Matters Teen Ambassadors; Hidalgo County DA Victims Unit; Hidalgo County DA Juvenile Division's Assistant DAs; U.S. Border Patrol; the Edinburg, Weslaco, San Juan, and South Texas College Police Departments; the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office; the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council; the Safe Haven Forensics Program; Constable Gaitan; and Chief of Civil Juvenile Division Maxine Longoria Nash."

The impact of domestic violence is wide-ranging, directly affecting individuals and society as a whole, here in this community, throughout the United States and in the world.

"Domestic Violence does not discriminate," said Rodriguez. "The problems of domestic violence are not confined to any group or groups of people, but cut across all economic, racial and societal barriers, and are supported by societal indifferences."

Hidalgo County urges all citizens to actively participate in scheduled activities and programs to work toward eradicating domestic violence, improving victim safety and holding perpetrators of domestic abuse accountable for their actions against individual victims and our society as a whole.

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Elections Map with legend
Yvonne Ramon
Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramon.

Increase in voter registration and parking updates for voters and electioneers

Hidalgo County Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramon reported that voter registration has been steadily increasing. 

"We have 10,000 more registered voters today than in the the 2018 March Primary," said Ramon.

In addition to voter increase, Elections Analyst Hilda Salinas announced an update to the County Owned Property Electioneering Policy, stating that County parking lots are for public use and to conduct official county business; therefore, use of handicapped or designated parking spaces will not be allowed for electioneering purposes.

A map, and legend was shown detailing where the voter, and electioneer's parking/set up will be. (Please see map and legend above).

"With the construction of the new Hidalgo County Courthouse, certain parking is no longer available for voters and electioneers," said Salinas.

"Early voting begins Oct. 22 and runs through Nov. 2 with a total of 32 early voting locations," said Ramon.

For more information, sample ballots, and poll locations, and parking information, please visit the Elections Department website here.

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Peer Support Proclamation
Commissioners Court (center) with the Hope Family Health Center Peer Support Team.

Peer Support Day is a global celebration that offers mental health recovery support from peer providers

On Peer Support Day, Peer Supporters (also known as peer providers) from across the globe reflect on and celebrate the important role he/she plays in helping those with mental health, addiction, and or trauma-related challenges move along the continuum of recovery. 

Commissioners Court approved a proclamation that lends support to trained providers who use his/her lived experience to encourage, engage with, and support others with mental health, addiction, and or trauma-related challenges.

Hope Family Health Center Executive Director Rebecca E. Stocker thanked Commissioners Court for their support in creating awareness and support to individuals who suffer from mental health issues.

"We appreciate the opportunity to be here and to address the importance of mental health issues in Hidalgo County," said Stocker. "We feel the need to reach out to as many avenues as we can to let people know that the Hope Family Health Center provides services."

Peer support has proven to be a cost-effective treatment for mental health, addiction, and traumatic challenges, reduces inpatient hospital days, recidivism rates, and increases a patient’s ability to access expensive and more restrictive community-based services, said Public Affairs Director Julia Benitez Sullivan, who read the proclamation.

"Our peer team is instrumental in building services for groups and individuals battling depression, anxiety and other challenging mental health issues," said Board Member Mario Lizcano.

The belief that recovery is possible for all who experience mental health, addition, and or trauma-related challenges is fundamental to the practice of peer support.

"We also want to let the community know that we provide one on one recovery support over the phone," said Stocker.

Hidalgo County supports efforts to increase public awareness of peer support services and how they impact the lives of countless seniors, adults, children, and families within the health and human services industry.

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Did you miss Tuesday's meeting? Watch it on the county's YouTube Channel!

If you missed Tuesday'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, October 23

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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