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Sheriff Deputies honored for bravery and heroism

Sheriff Guerra, deputies, with Commissioners Court.
L-R: Dep. Joseph Trevino, Dep. Oscar Elizando, Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra, Pct. 3 Commissioner Joe M. Flores, County Judge Richard F. Cortez, Pct. 2 Commissioner Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu, Pct. 1 Commissioner David L. Fuentes, Dep. Rick Martinez, Dep. Enrique Amaya, and Dep. Jose Torres were honored for their heroic service.
Deputy and Sheriff
Dep. Oscar Elizondo with Sheriff Eddie Guerra.

Seven deputies received certificates and a resolution honoring their bravery and heroism. Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra, who had previously awarded Life-Saving and Meritorious medals to the deputies, said they had the training and tools that allowed them to do their jobs.

Life-Saving Medals were awarded to Dep. Enrique Amaya for saving a gunshot victim, Dep. Oscar Elizondo for saving a teenage girl who had been in an All-Terrain Vehicle rollover, and Dep. Jayson Rivera, for saving a man who was bleeding from an arterial wound.

"They applied their training and saved individuals. We've got statements from E.R. doctors noting that if these deputies hadn't taken action, the victims would not have survived," said Guerra.

The other four deputies had all responded to a structural fire that ultimately claimed the life of one child and injured two others in rural Mission. Sgt. Jonathan Moody was first to arrive at the scene and administered first aid and triage to victims; Dep. Jose Torres helped search for victims and assisted fire personnel; Dep. Joseph Trevino administered first aid to an unconscious boy who had suffered severe burns and also assisted firefighters battling the blaze; and Dep. Ricky Martinez helped suppress the fire and provided first aid.

County Judge Richard F. Cortez, who sponsored the resolution, said "It's my pleasure to have a resolution to honor excellence in the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office," adding that Hidalgo County strives to recognize excellence among its workforce as well as in the community.

"Every man and woman who wears a badge knows the burdens that come with it. The long hours and stress, the knowledge that any moment could turn into a matter of life or death, and the responsibility to set an example to our citizens," Cortez said. "You carry these burdens so the rest of us don't have to."

Speaking for his peers, Dep. Oscar Elizondo thanked the Sheriff for providing the training and tools necessary to be able to assist victims. 

"First and foremost I want to thank Commissioners Court for recognizing us. This is something that I don't think any of us had ever gone through," said Elizondo, a 15-year veteran with the S.O. "In my incident, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. God put there for a reason and I was able to apply my training."

Sgt. Jonathan Moody and Reserve Dep. Jayson Rivera were not able to attend today's Commissioners Court.

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PSJA senior earns first Women’s Powerlifting State Championship for Wolverines

Victoria Trevino
Texas High School Women's Powerlifting Association champion Victoria Treviño.

Commissioners Court celebrated the accomplishments of PSJA Memorial Early College High School senior Victoria Treviño who received her school's first state championship title, bringing home first place in the 165-pound weight class of the Texas High School Women's Powerlifting Association.

"This is the perfect ending to a high school career," said PSJA Head Coach Miranda Guajardo. "She was iffy about joining powerlifting, but every year she grew stronger and more confident. That's what we wanted."

At the state meet, Treviño also won Outstanding Squat, setting a new record of 445 pounds, and Outstanding Lifter, with a combined total weight of 1,050 pounds.

"We are very proud of all that you've accomplished," said Precinct 1 Commissioner David L. Fuentes, who sponsored the resolution.

In addition to being a top athlete, Treviño is also committed to academics. She will graduate in the top 20 percent of her class and with 60 college hours from South Texas College.

"Thank you for recognizing me," said Treviño. "I appreciate being recognized by Commissioner Fuentes and this court, and by my school for my accomplishments in becoming the first powerlifting champion."

Treviño plans to attend UTRGV and major in Business Accounting and Finance. 

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Weslaco High School students with Commissioners Court
Weslaco High School students witnessed County Government in Action at Tuesday's Commissioners Court. The students will represent Weslaco High at the American Legion Boys State and Auxiliary Bluebonnet Girls State conferences this summer.

Weslaco High School State Delegates recognized as future leaders through exposure in state and local government

Eleven Weslaco High School Juniors, who will participate in the American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Bluebonnet Girls State conferences this summer, were honored at Commissioners Court for their academic achievement and interest in U.S. government.
“Thank you so much for taking the time to recognize our students,” said Head Counselor Christina Rodriguez, adding that they are extremely hard working and talented.

Precinct 1 Commissioner David L. Fuentes, who sponsored the resolution, said the experience will serve them throughout their lives.

“Boys State and Girls State is where our best and our brightest get exposed to state and local government,” said Fuentes. “They go through training, do mock sessions, run through an entire state legislative session, run for positions, and go out there and campaign just like we all do.”
This year, Weslaco High School had a large number of applicants for the Girls and Boys State Delegates. They were each selected based on leadership competencies, GPA, and extracurricular activities.

“We want great people to become great leaders in our community,” said Fuentes.  
The American Legion Boys State was founded 84 years ago and is the most respected and selective educational program of government instruction for U.S. high school students. This year marks the 75th session for the American Legion Auxiliary Bluebonnet Girls State.

Weslaco High School will be represented with five delegates at the Texas Boys State, which will be held June 9-14, at The University of Texas at Austin, and with six delegates at the Texas Bluebonnet Girls State, which will be held June 16-22, at Texas Lutheran College in Seguin.
Speaking first-hand as an alumnus of the program, Fuentes advised the students on what to expect.  
“What you are really going to learn about is how you will serve your community," said Fuentes. "Use your knowledge and skills to learn about your community and bring that back and apply it to your surroundings; improving the quality of life.”
Fuentes congratulated Weslaco ISD Superintendent Dr. Priscilla Canales and Weslaco High School Principal Yvett Morales as well as counselors and Junior-class teachers and other State Delegate alumni for their support of the students.

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Elder Abuse Prevention Month
L-R: Marivel Gonzalez, Ana Vela, Gustavo Salinas, and Julia Sullivan.

Elder Abuse Prevention Month

Last year Adult Protective Services completed nearly 117,000 cases of elderly and disabled persons abuse in Texas, of which 84,439 were confirmed cases of abuse. 

Abuse of the elderly and people with disabilities in domestic and institutional settings is a widespread problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of people across the country, said Community Engagement Specialist Gustavo Salinas. 

"Anyone who suspects wrong-doing or abuse can report it at 800-252-5400. Once we get that report, we initiate the case within 24 hours," said Salinas. "The hotline is open 24/7 and we always have both English and Spanish operators."

Elder abuse is grossly underreported because the elderly find it very difficult to tell anyone and are usually ashamed and sometimes afraid to report it. 

However, everyone working together can help reduce abuse and neglect of people who are elderly or who have disabilities, which is why Hidalgo County Commissioners Court proclaimed the month of May to be Elder Abuse Prevention Month.

"The elderly help preserve customs, convictions, and traditions and are vital and integral members of society," said Hidalgo County Public Affairs Manager Julia Benitez Sullivan. "They enrich our lives by sharing their experiences and wisdom."

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Updates from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

AgriLife representatives
L-R: Dr. Elaine Hernandez, Romeo Ozuna, Dr. Ruben Saldana, Andrea Valdez, Ashley Gregory, Pct. 3 Commissioner Joe M. Flores, County Judge Richard F. Cortez, Pct. 2 Commissioner Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu, Pct. 1 Commissioner David L. Fuentes, Joanne Ureste, Sevana Valero, Stephanie Bowman and Vidal Saenz.

Hidalgo County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service recognized Horticulturist Ashley Gregory for 10 years of service with the department. Gregory was given an award for her superior and dedicated work.

Dr. Elaine Hernandez, on behalf of the Rotary District, presented an Inspirational Service award to the Hidalgo County Extension office for their work in combating hunger in the community through education and programs. 

Newly appointed Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Vidal Saenz was introduced by Dr. Ruben Saldaña. Saenz will begin this role on June 1, 2019.

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Older Americans are encouraged to stay active

Older Americans Month
Older adults attend Commissioners Court to emphasize the importance of staying active. 
The senior citizens pictured are active volunteers at Amigos Del Valle Inc.

Older Americans Month encourages older adults to connect with friends, family, and services that support participation. The 2019 theme: Connect, Create, Contribute motivates older adults to create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.

Commissioners Court unanimously approved a proclamation recognizing that communities who encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger.

One example of a Hidalgo County elder community agency is Amigos Del Valle, Inc., which includes a growing number of older adults who stay active in the community by participating in physical and mental exercises, and programs offered by the agency.

"Thank you for your continued support with CDBG funds," said Executive Director Alex Guerra. "I would like to thank the seniors for being here with us today; without them, a lot of packaging of home delivery meals wouldn't get done."

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. You 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 10 a.m. on your local school district channel 17.

Please note that the next meeting of Commissioners Court is:

Thursday, June 6

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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