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Womens Veterans

Women Veterans thanked for their service and sacrifices

Hidalgo County joined forces with numerous local and state agencies across Texas to honor women veterans. Commissioners Court recognized the role of women in the military by proclaiming June 12, 2019 as Women Veterans Day in Texas.

"On behalf of Commissioners Court and the Hidalgo County Veterans Service Office, we wanted to recognize Women Veterans Day," said Assistant Veteran Service Officer Samuel Perez Jr., prior to the reading of the proclamation.

President Harry S. Truman signed into law the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, enabling women to serve as regular members of the military, in 1948, however women have served in support positions and spies since the Revolutionary War.

Among the dozens of women veterans present in support of the proclamation were four Hidalgo County employees: Dr. Marta Kang, United States Army, Director of Clinical Services at the Supervision and Corrections Department; Crystal Ortiz, United States Army, Legal Assistant in the District Attorney's Office; Norma Harlow, United States Navy, Senior Deputy Clerk at the County Clerk's Office; and JoAnna Oranday, United States Army, a Licensed Vocational Nurse at the Sheriff's Office.

"I think it's amazing that we are being honored today. I've learned a lot of different skills serving in the military that I still use today," said Ortiz.  "One of those skills is imperative to my job with the county, and that is team work, which allows me to work well with others."

During World War I, more than 400 women were killed in action. In World War II approximately 400,000 women served in noncombat roles, including as mechanics, pilots, clerks, nurses, ambulance drivers, and field intelligence agents in the OSS, with 88 women taken prisoner of war and 16 killed in action.

"We're among some very accomplished women," said Perez.  "A lot of these women have deployed in the Gulf War, the Iraq War and the Afghan War; some of them with numerous deployments."

The women received a standing ovation as Commissioners Court approved the proclamation. Each veteran also received a Women Veterans Challenge Coin provided by the Texas Veterans Commission and presented by each member of Commissioners Court.

Click here to see more on today's proclamation in honor of Women Veterans Day.

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Dr. Marta Kang
Marta Kang

D-Day commemorated and a new tradition at Commissioners Court 

After calling Commissioners Court to order, County Judge Richard F. Cortez took a moment to commemorate D-Day and introduced a new tradition. Here is his statement:

"On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, France for what would be known as D-Day. 

"Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. More than 9,000 soldiers lost their lives, but their sacrifice allowed the U.S. and its allies to move forward and win World War II. 

"Less than four percent of WWII veterans are still alive to witness this anniversary...

"Today we honor the soldiers who changed the course of World War II for their heroism and bravery.

"As part of Hidalgo County’s efforts to recognize and honor all veterans, we have begun a new tradition of having our Pledge of Allegiance led by a veteran. Today, we are honored to have Dr. Marta Kang, a veteran of the United States Army, lead us in our Pledge of Allegiance."

Kang is Director of Clinical Services at the county's Supervision and Corrections Department and is a key partner in the county's Veterans Court.

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Resolutions honored nine outstanding Hidalgo County residents

Cruz Gomez
Diego Trevino
Lee Roy Perez

Pictured above from L-R: Cruz Gomez, Diego Trevino, and Lee Roy Perez.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu honored two PSJA students and a coach who will retire after 40-years.

PSJA Senior Cruz Gomez achieved statewide and national recognition in Track and Field. He holds the 1st place title for several local and state races including the TX UIL 35A State Championship.

PSJA Senior Diego Trevino has achieved statewide and national recognition in Track and Field and ranks 1st in Division 5A Shot Put in the State of Texas. Diego excels in the classroom as well and ended his senior year with a 4.0 GPA and will continue his education at the University of Oklahoma to pursue Petroleum Engineering.

PSJA Coach Lee Roy Perez, started his career in 1979 as the head Track and Field Coach.  He has been an invaluable educator and coach to many students during his 40 year tenure. Perez was honored in Commissioners Court for his dedication to his students. 

Jimmy Lee
Miss Texas

L-R: Corina Yanez, Arrianna Guerra, Jimmy Lee, and Yesenia Guerrero.

Precinct 1 Commissioner David L. Fuentes honored Donna High School weightlifting champions Corina Yanez, left, and Arrianna Guerra for bringing home championship titles in powerlifting for the past two years. The student athletes were joined by Donna High Principal Dr. Nancy Castillo, Athletic Director Ramiro Leal, Head Girls Powerlifting Coach Luis Navarro, Assistant Coach Marivel Olivo, as well as the girls' families, Josie and Hector Cardoza, parents of Arrianna Guerra, and Elpido Yanez III and Elpido Yanez Jr., father and brother of Corina Yanez.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Joe M. Flores honored Sharyland High School phenom golfer Jimmy Lee. Lee recently captured the UIL Class 5A state golf championship and is widely regarded as the best golfer in South Texas. The All District MVP has a busy tournament schedule, including attempting to qualify for the U.S. Golf Association Junior Amateur Championship this summer. The recent graduate was joined by Sharyland School Board Secretary Julio Cerda, PE, Athletic Coordinator Ron Adame, Executive Director of Maintenance Mark Dougherty, and Head Golf Coach Ashley Garza.

La Joya native Yesenia Guerrero was honored by Commissioners Court on being crowned Miss Texas United States 2019. Guerrero, who is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology at UTRGV will compete in the Miss United States Pageant, which will be held July 31 to August 3 in Las Vegas.

"This is something I have been working towards since I was one-month-old," Guerrero said.

Rev. Msgr. Louis L. Brum
Rev. Msgr. Louis L. Brum.

County Judge Richard F. Cortez presented a resolution in honor of Rev. Msgr. Louis L. Brum, pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in McAllen.

Brum will retire on June 16 after 45 years in the priesthood. He was ordained on May 11, 1974 by The Most Reverend John J. Fitzpatrick, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, and was named Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI on Sept. 23, 2005.  

Brum was honored for a lifetime of service to the church and for dedicating himself to the spiritual education and enrichment of others.

Rev. Msgr. Louis L. Brum
Rev. Msgr. Louis L. Brum was honored for 45-years of priesthood.
Friends of Victor Sanchez.
Friends of Victor Sanchez accepted the resolution on his behalf.

District Clerk  Laura Hinojosa honored longtime staff member Victor Sanchez.

A supportive group of friends gathered at Commissioners Court to accept a resolution in honor of Victor Sanchez for his 28 years of dedicated service to the Hidalgo County District Clerk's Office.

"We've all been close friends since the first grade, and wanted to be here in support of Victor," said Jose Cantu.

The resolution was read by Chief of Administration Ricardo Contreras.

"Mr. Sanchez has a son by the name of Victor Sanchez Jr.," Contreras said. "As a Deputy District Clerk in and for the County of Hidalgo, State of Texas, Mr. Sanchez solely worked in the Tax Division and has demonstrated leadership in training other clerks in the Tax Division serving as the subject matter expert for several administrations."

Ensuring no child goes hungry

Summer Meals Program

Healthy meals are not easily attainable to all children, especially when school is out for summer. There are some children who depend on school meals to meet their daily nutritional needs.

"We have an army of local organizations here to make sure that no child goes hungry," said Texas Hunger Initiative Regional Director Dr. Elaine Hernandez.

Dozens of community organizations showed up in support of the resolution. The programs offer children the opportunity to have access to free nutritious meals during the summer months to keep them healthy and active while school is out.

"Although the resolution reads that one in four Texas children face food insecurity, in Hidalgo County it's one in three," said Community Service Agency Executive Director Jaime Longoria.

Increasing awareness of free summer meals through community outreach, adding new meal sites, expanding existing sites in underserved areas, and investing in summer programming to attract more kids to meal sites, can help ensure that children receive the proper nutrition needed for healthy and active lives.

Participating agencies this year include the Health & Human Services Department, WIC Office, Head Start Program, Food Bank of the RGV, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Baylor University's Texas Hunger Initiative, Catholic Charities, South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association, Feed & Read, Projecto Desarrollo Humano, Buckner Children and Family Services, Boys and Girls Clubs, Region 1, the UTRGV Food Pantry, and the STC Food Pantry.

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Diana Serna
Urban County Director Diana Serna.

Home Ownership Month raises awareness to county residents

June was proclaimed National Home Ownership Month in Hidalgo County to help raise awareness that owning a home not only enhances the lives of county residents, but also contributes to thriving communities. 

Raising awareness about the importance of home ownership will assist more Americans in realizing the benefits of owning their own home. 

"Home ownership plays an important role in our community and remains as one of the cornerstones of the American Dream," said Urban County Director Diana Serna.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development continues to enforce the Fair Housing Act, to ensure that every American retains the fundamental right to choose where he or she lives, raises a family or owns a home, Serna added.

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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, tonight 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 scheduled for
Tuesday, June 18 
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
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