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Lady Spartans celebrate championship

South Texas Preparatory Academy girls volleyball team with Commissioners Court.
South Texas Preparatory Academy Lady Spartans volleyball team (pictured with Commissioners Joseph Palacios, Eddie Cantu, and David Fuentes) bring great pride to South Texas ISD and the entire region.

Commissioners Court honored the Lady Spartans volleyball team for bringing home the state championship trophy, a first for South Texas Preparatory Academy.

The 7th- and 8th-grade girls were joined by school officials STPA Principal Ana Castro, South Texas ISD Superintendent Marco Antonio Lara Jr., Ed.D., and coaches Jacqueline Rodriguez and Raheem Muhammad.

"They play hard, they listen to instruction, and they are a pleasure to coach," Muhammad said as he accepted a copy of the resolution on behalf of the team.

The Lady Spartans earned the state champion title at the 2018 Texas Charter School Academic and Athletic League volleyball competition on Saturday, Nov. 10 in Georgetown. The win marked the first time this honor has been bestowed upon a South Texas Independent School District team, said Lizbeth Gonzalez, who presented the resolution on behalf of Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios.

"I want to congratulate the team and not just because my niece Vivianna is a member," Palacios said. 

Team members include Raven Cabasag, Daniella Cedillo, Aliyah Cerda, Mariam Daghestani, Sofia De La Garza, Katia Garza, Amare Hernandez, Isabella Morales, Viviana Palacios, Rylei Ripley, Maddy Volpe, and Katherine Williamson 

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Judge Juan R. Partida set to retire from bench

275th District Court Judge Juan R. Partida.
275th District Court Judge
Juan R. Partida.
Judge Juan R. Partida, who will retire at the end of December after 32 years on the bench, was honored for his integrity, fairness, and leadership at Commissioners Court. 

"We share a special bond," said County Court at Law No. 8 Judge Omar Maldonado. "Thank you for teaching me what it takes to wear this robe."

Judges Renee R. Betancourt, 449th District Court, and Albert Garcia, County Court at Law No. 6, described Partida as a great role model and mentor at Commissioners Court.

Partida was honored with a resolution for his distinguished service. He was first elected to the County Court at Law No. 1 in 1986 and two years later he won the first of seven consecutive elections to the 275th District Court.
Retiring Judge Partida and fellow judges pose with Commissioners Court.
Celebrating a distinguished career. L-R: County Court at Law No. 8 Omar Maldonado; 275th District Court Judge Juan R. Partida (holding the resolution in his honor); Commissioners Joseph Palacios, Pct. 4, Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu, Pct. 2, and David L. Fuentes, Pct. 1; 449th District Court Judge Renee R. Betancourt; and County Court at Law No. 6 Albert Garcia.

"My goal as judge has been to strive to be fair, just, and impartial in each case which comes before me, because the decisions I make as a judge affect people's lives, liberty, and property," Partida said. "To serve you as Judge of the 275th District Court is a privilege and an honor."
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Commissioner Palacios honored for 8 years of service

Commissioner Joseph Palacios surrounded by friends, family and colleagues.
More than 40 people were at Commissioners Court to honor Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios on Tuesday.
Sen. Juan Hinojosa
State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa
State Representative Armando "Mando" Martinez
Rep. Armando "Mando" Martinez
Joseph and Misti Palacios.
Commissioner with wife Misti Palacios
Federal, state, and local elected officials, community representatives, county department heads, current and former staff, family, and Commissioners Court surprised Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios with a celebration of his eight years of service to the residents of his precinct and Hidalgo County with messages of love, support and best wishes.

"I am extremely humbled to be honored by such great individuals today," Palacios said. "I am thankful for the public service I have been able to provide to the constituents of Hidalgo County. As I see my mother and family in the audience I must also thank them for instilling in me the need to serve."

Palacios also thanked his staff.

"I couldn’t do all that I’ve done without the assistance of my staff that allow for my plans to reach the end goal. I am grateful for my time and look forward to what the future may bring."

Commissioners Court presented Palacios with a clock plaque and a video highlighting his two consecutive terms in office. 
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Commissioners Cantu and Fuentes

In Brief ...

Hidalgo County Commissioners approved the 2019 service agreement with Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement (VIDA) to administer the Hidalgo County Advancing Career Education Initiative (ACE).  This program aims to assist economically disadvantaged, underemployed & unemployed Hidalgo County residents with barriers to employment to gain employment through skill development programs that allow them to achieve long-term sufficiency and upward mobility.


The contract called for VIDA to service 37 residents of Hidalgo County.  As it stands now, VIDA will be able to serve 120 residents thanks to additional grants. 

Rosie Martinez at the podium.


The District Attorney's office received approval to submit an agreement proposed to the Arizona State University Foundation for a New American University through the Buffett-McCain Institute for funding to assist in the DA's efforts and activities that combat human trafficking.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu congratulated Rosie Martinez, head of the DA's Victims Unit. 

"We continue to be proud of the work you do for victims," said Cantu.


The Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone for the Tres Lagos development in McAllen has exceeded expectations. As of 2018, there has been over $100M in new market valuation and almost $80M in newly assessed taxable values. The next phase includes the development of commercial and multifamily development. Hidalgo County agreed to participate in the Tres Lagos TIRZ in 2016. The county was eager to assist the City of McAllen and the McAllen TIRZ with the creation of the master-planned community that included quality of life projects and educational facilities such as the Texas A&M RGV Campus.

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, December 11
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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