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Livestock Show celebrates 80th Anniversary.  Three members with Commissioners Court
L-R RGV Livestock Show Board Members First VP Horacio "Lacho" Garza Jr., President Mike Risica and General Manager D.J. Wernecke with Commissioners Court following a resolution in honor of the show's 80th anniversary.

Resolution in honor of the 80th Anniversary of the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show


Commissioners Court unanimously approved a Resolution in honor of the 80th Anniversary of the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show. 
 
The Livestock Show started as a means for students to show their animals and earn prizes and has since evolved into an arena for teaching and community involvement.
 
“As the largest event in the valley for 80 years, 300,000 people went through our gates last year and we gave $1.8 million in scholarships and prizes back to our youth," said  Board President Mike Risica.

The non-profit educational organization is run through a Board of Directors representing all of the four south-most counties of Texas.

 
The community event provides safe, family fun and helps promote South Texas youth through leadership development and agricultural education, Risica said.

“It's a great honor being recognized by the county for one of the largest events south of San Antonio," said General Manager D.J. Wernecke.

Wernecke also invited the community to the event happening March 7 through 17 in Mercedes, click here for more information.

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L-R: 332nd District Court Judge Mario E. Ramirez,  Juvenile Justice Center Director & Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Maryanne Denner and Commissioners Court.
L-R: 332nd District Court Judge Mario E. Ramirez, Juvenile Justice Center Director & Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Maryanne Denner, Ellie Torres, Joe M. Flores, Richard F. Cortez, Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu, and David L. Fuentes.

County welcomes Juvenile Justice Center Director and Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Maryanne Denner


Hidalgo County 332nd District Court Judge Mario Ramirez introduced the new Director and Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Maryanne Denner for the Juvenile Justice Center at today's meeting.

Denner is known nationwide as an authority on prison and street gangs. She received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Texas-Pan American and her Master of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati.

"We are so proud to have Denner as a part of our team," said Ramirez. "She is a valley native and juvenile probation is something she is very familiar with; her experience will assist our facility in what is lacking."

Fluent in Spanish, Denner also teaches on subjects relating to time management, how to adapt to changes in the workplace, and improved communications through the Correctional Management Institute of Texas. 

"In agreement with Judge Ramirez, I have already seen where the valley needs help in juvenile probation," said Denner. "The youth programs offered have a current 90-bed facility in this area which is small, so this is one thing we are looking into.” 

Ramirez said Denner was selected from a field of 59 applicants.

"Congratulations, we look forward to your progress with juvenile probation," said County Judge Richard F. Cortez.

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Young Hearts Matter with County DA reads a Resolution in support of Teen Dating Violence Awareness.
Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr., members of the Crime Victims Unit, representatives from law enforcement, community agencies, and students from the Lamar Academy IB Student Council all gathered at Commissioners Court to accept a proclamation declaring February as Young Hearts Matter Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month.

"Love doesn't have to hurt," says DA in raising awareness of teen dating violence


Teen dating abuse is a significant health issue with nearly 20 percent of youth reporting physical or sexual violence from a dating partner and one in four teens experiencing abuse or harassment online or through text messaging.

Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr., members of the Crime Victims Unit, representatives from law enforcement, community agencies, and students from the Lamar Academy IB Student Council all gathered at Commissioners Court to accept a proclamation declaring February as Young Hearts Matter: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Lamar Academy IB Student Council representatives and Young Hearts Matter Teen Ambassadors Karina Garcia and Samantha Almaraz read the proclamation.

"Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year and approximately 50 percent of students experience dating violence on school grounds," said Garcia.

High school students who experience physical violence in a dating relationship are more likely to use drugs and alcohol, are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, more frequently develop self-esteem and body image issues, are at greater risk of suicide, and are much more likely to carry patterns of abuse into future relationships

"We are proud of our students for recognizing the importance of this issue and tackling it in order to create a safer atmosphere for teens at school and at home," said Rodriguez.

The DA's office has had several awareness and prevention activities throughout the month.

"We keep saying that love doesn't have to hurt," Rodriguez said. "It's a conversation we started four years ago and it's a conversation that we need to continue."

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County Court at Law Judge No. 5 and No. 6 at podium.
County Court at Law Judges Arnoldo Cantu (left) and Albert Garcia urge Commissioners Court to ask the legislature for two new courts.

County approves a resolution supporting legislation to create two new County Courts at Law


A resolution was approved requesting the Texas State Legislature to consider submitting a bill to create two additional County Courts at Law, No. 9 and No.10.

Hidalgo County Court at Law Judges Arnoldo Cantu and Albert Garcia said the additional courts are needed to administer the existing caseload.

"We have a backlog of about two thousand cases," said Garcia.  "We need more courts, and realize space is an issue, but as our population increases so does crime."

Cantu agreed that more courts are needed to keep up with the county's growing population.

These Courts play a very significant role in the County," Cantu said.  "We need additional courts to handle these heavy caseloads."

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Hidalgo County Courthouse construction.
Construction of the new Hidalgo County Courthouse begins to take shape.

Pardon our dust: Construction of new courthouse takes shape


Courthouse Project Manager Oscar Garcia, with Jacobs, reported that progress on the courthouse construction is on track.

In his monthly report, Garcia said a lot of the work being done is structural construction which includes slab on grade pour, creating main elevator pits and other work.

The next 60 days of construction includes Tower Crane Installation, Site Utilities, Temp Power, Trenching & Conduit for AEP, Elevator Pit, Escalator Pit, Level 2 elevated slab and Level 2 columns. 

"We continue to have good progress," said Garcia. 

For new courthouse construction updates please click here.

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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 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 is scheduled for
Tuesday, March 12
The Drainage District Board of Directors meets at 9:30 a.m. followed by Commissioners Court at 10:00 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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