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DA Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. with supporters of drug take-back efforts and Commissioners Court.
DA Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. (front row, center left) with supporters of prescription drug take back and Commissioners Court.
take back day

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day set for Saturday, Oct. 27

Behavioral health experts, law enforcement officials, and county prosecutors all joined together to bring awareness to the dangers that prescription drugs pose and to encourage residents to dispose of old prescription medication at free disposal sites at Commissioners Court.

"We're here to bring awareness and prevention to the abuse of prescription drugs," said Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr, during a reading of a proclamation declaring October 27 as National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. "We want the community to be informed of the potential harm unwanted prescription medications can do when left undisposed."

Eight years ago, the Drug Enforcement Agency launched its prescription drug take back program when both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration declared this a public safety and health hazard issue. Local DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Rudy Maldonado said 72,000 people died of drug overdoses last year.
“There is no outrage,” Maldonado said, adding that 200 Americans die daily of drug overdose. “The majority of the people who overdose on these drugs get them from their own families.”

Helping people to dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way local law enforcement agencies are working to reduce opioid addiction and overdose deaths.

Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas UNIDAD Coalition Program Coordinator Melissa Alviar encouraged residents to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
"As a part of UNIDAD Coalition, we focus on raising awareness on the risk and consequences of misuse and abuse of prescription drugs," said Alviar.

Residents can drop off their unwanted pills on Saturday, October 27 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the following collection sites:

Mission Fire Station #3, the Edinburg, La Joya, Weslaco, Alamo, Donna, Palmview, Alton, Raymondville, Edinburg, and McAllen ISD Police Departments, Hidalgo County Constable Precinct #4, Office Depot in McAllen, Peter Piper Pizza in Pharr, Junior's Grocery Store in San Juan, Lacks in Rio Grande City, Valle Vista Mall in Harlingen, and Sunrise Mall in Brownsville.

The service is free and anonymous.

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Commissioners Court honors Texas State Representative Oscar Longoria for outstanding achievement

Texas State Representative Oscar Longoria
State Representative Oscar Longoria his wife, Jennifer, and daughters Camilla and Madison with Commissioners Court.

Commissioners Court honored State Representative Oscar Longoria (D-35) for his leadership and service to the community and congratulated him on being named Outstanding Young Alumnus by the University of Texas Law Alumni Association.
Before the resolution was read, Public Affairs Director Julia Benitez Sullivan introduced Longoria's family to Commissioners Court and the audience.  

Longoria was born and raised in Mission and is a product of La Joya ISD. He attended South Texas College for one year before transferring to the University of Texas, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Communications in 2003 and a Juris Doctorate in 2007 from the School of Law. He owns and operates the Law Office of Oscar Longoria in Mission.

He was named Outstanding Young Alumnus by the Texas Law Alumni Association on October 12, during a ceremony in Austin. This prestigious award is presented to a graduate aged 40 or younger, who has made significant achievements in his or her career and service to the University of Texas and/or the School of Law.

Longoria was joined by his wife, Jennifer Ruiz-Longoria, and two daughters, Camilla, 7, and Madison, 3.

"Thank you Judge for honoring my dad today; he's hard working and we love him very much," said Camilla.

With his family by his side, Longoria thanked Commissioners Court for their support throughout the years.

"I'm truly honored and humbled to be here today," said Longoria. "Thank you for this resolution; I am very proud of being from this area, and representing my home in the work that I do.  A lot of my appreciation goes to my family; I'm grateful for all of their continuous support."

Currently, Longoria is serving his third term in office, representing House District 35, which encompasses both Hidalgo and Cameron counties.

"Congratulations on all your accomplishments, and the work you're doing in Austin representing our County," said Judge Ramon Garcia.  "We appreciate your service, and congratulate you on receiving the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award."

Elections Yvonne Ramon
Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramon.

First day of early voting totals more than double from 2014 Gubernatorial Election

Hidalgo County Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramon reported that Hidalgo County voter turnout for the first day of early voting more than doubled compared to four years ago.

"In the 2014, during the gubernatorial election we had 7,098 actual cast ballots, and as of 7 p.m. yesterday we've had 14,709 ballots; that's double, and we're very proud of that," said Ramon.   

Ramon attributed the county's use of social media as a great marketing tool for getting the word out on voting.

"We encourage all voters to continue following us on social media," said Elections Analyst Hilda Salinas.

Residents can vote at any of the 32 polling locations in the county. Early voting runs through Nov. 2 and Election Day is on Nov. 6.

View voting locations, sample ballots and more >>

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, October 30
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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