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anti-bullying proclamation
Commissioners Court declares October as National Bullying Prevention Month and takes a stand against bullying.

County takes a stand against bullying

Commissioners Court is taking a stand against bullying by helping bring awareness with a proclamation declaring October as National Bullying Prevention Month.

The proclamation was sponsored by the Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr., along with Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra, Angels of Love, McAllen & Weslaco ISD officials, the DA’s Victims Unit,  law enforcement, and others.

Rodriguez emphasized how much harder it is for children and teenagers to cope with bullying, however many adults are affected as well.

"School-aged children are widely affected by bullying," said Rodriguez.  "We want students across the county to know that we stand by them."

Bullying can encompass physical, verbal, sexual, or emotional harm or intimidation that is intentionally directed at a person or group of people.

"Bullying is a big issue in schools that teens face daily," said Genesis Garza the current Miss Teen Texas World, representing Angels of Love.  "I am glad we are doing something to end it."

464th District Court Judge Ysmael D. Fonseca agrees that bullying is a county wide issue that should be addressed.

"I am so glad this important issue is being brought to the forefront and is being addressed by the county and all these agencies here today," said Fonseca.

McAllen ISD Superintendent Dr. J.A. Gonzalez, and Weslaco ISD Superintendent Dr. Priscilla Canales were among school officials at court.
“In our district, like all districts across the state of Texas, we're teaching our children not just about academics but how to be winners in life and how to be kind," said Canales.  "We want to ensure that kindness is everywhere."

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October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Members of the RGV Down Syndrome Assoc. were on hand to accept the proclamation unanimously approved by the Court.
Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu
Oct. is Down Syndrome Awareness.

During Tuesday’s meeting Commissioners Court unanimously approved a proclamation declaring October as National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, inspired by the spirit and exuberant joy with which these treasured Americans live each day.

Each year, approximately 6,000 babies are born in the United States with Down syndrome. Though these newborns will experience many challenges, American innovation and research is helping these beautiful souls lead independent, full, and happy lives.

Members of the Rio Grande Valley Down Syndrome Association were on hand to accept the proclamation. Together they are working to educate and support parents and individuals with Down syndrome here in Hidalgo County.

The court commends the Rio Grande Valley Down Syndrome Association for the work they do with families, schools, healthcare professionals, and government to help create opportunities, raise awareness, and facilitate solutions for these valued members of our community. 

Pct. 2 Commissioner Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu, who sponsored the proclamation, invited individuals from the community to participate in a raffle to help support the Rio Grande Valley Down Syndrome Association and the Capable Kids Foundation.  For more information on the raffle, please call Pct. 2 at 956-787-1891.

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Veteran leads Commissioners Court in Pledge of Allegiance

Alma C. Martinez
United States Navy Veteran leads court in pledge
Alma C. Martinez leads the Pledge.

Assistant Veterans Service Officer, Personnel Specialist 2nd Class Alma C. Martinez United States Navy, led the Pledge of Allegiance at Commissioners Court.

Martinez served in the U.S. Navy from September 17, 2001, until her honorable discharge on December 31, 2010.
Thank you for your service.

Wellness Update
Diana Huallpa.

Hidalgo County Wellness achieving healthy goals 

Precinct 2 Commissioner Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu and Wellness Program Coordinator Diana Huallpa presented  an update on the Hidalgo County Employee Wellness Program, which began in April.

"The mission of the program is to improve the quality of life for employees by providing them with the necessary resources and tools to achieve that goal," said Huallpa.

In recent months, Huallpa and Indoor Sports Complex Manager Carlos Bracamontes have conducted 24 presentations focusing on general nutrition, the benefits available to them through Aetna, including $0 co-pay for a wellness exam, and an overview about the fitness classes taking place at the Precinct 2 Indoor Sports Complex located at 3600 Athol Street in Pharr. The exercise classes are available Monday through Friday at 5 a.m., 6 a.m., and 12 p.m., and Saturday's at 8:30 a.m.

"Every first Saturday of the month, we will be hosting the Community Wellness Expo that is open to all Hidalgo County residents," said Cantu. "We will have vendors providing samples of products such as protein shakes and healthy meals."

Hidalgo County employees are encouraged to join the Hidalgo County Employee Wellness Facebook group. This group is only for county employees and is closed to the public.

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Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is October 26

Take Back Prescription
L - R: Unidad Coalition of Behavioral Health Solutions Chair Eddie Quintanilla and county DA Ricardo Rodriguez Jr.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a day for every American, in every community across the country, to do his or her part to fight the opioid crisis by disposing of unwanted prescription medications from their medicine cabinets.

Commissioners Court passed a resolution encouraging Hidalgo County residents to attend scheduled awareness and educational events in regards to National Prescription Take-Back Day on October 26 and urges individuals to properly dispose of their unused prescription drugs.

“Helping people to dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way our local law enforcement agencies are working to reduce the addiction and overdose deaths plaguing this country due to opioid medications,” said Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr.

Edinburg PD, Edinburg CISD PD, McAllen ISD PD, Pharr PD, San Juan PD, Palmview PD, Hidalgo County Constable Pct. 4, Mission PD, Weslaco PD, Donna PD, Peñitas Public Library, Alton PD, and La Joya PD each have a disposal box for public use. In the last four years, the boxes have collected over 9,636.98 pounds of unused prescription medication.

"This is not a one-person task but a community effort," said Unidad Coalition of Behavioral Health Solutions Chair Eddie Quintanilla.  "We are committed to mobilize our community, improve people's quality of life, and prevent drug addiction by bringing resources to the county."

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Hilda A. Salinas
Asst. Elections Admin. Hilda A. Salinas.

Still time to early vote 

Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramon reminded residents that early voting for the 2019 Constitutional Amendment and Local Cities election is currently underway. 

"As of today, Hidalgo County has 370,320 registered voters," stated Ramon. "The first day of early voting saw more than 1,937 votes by personal appearance."

In 2017, there were 2,431 ballots cast during the first day of early voting. Ramon explained that the candidates and amendments on the ballot are a big factor in what drives voters to the polls. In 2017, there were two additional races on the ballot contributing to the higher voter turn out.

Assistant Elections Administrator Hilda A. Salinas presented a copy of the Election Notice that was printed in The Monitor this past Sunday. The notice provides detailed information on polling locations and schedules. Click here to print a copy.

Ramon reminded residents that they can vote at any polling location in Hidalgo County during early voting and on election day. The polls are open from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. through Friday, Nov. 1st,  and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. 

For more on polling locations, ballots and the amendments, you can visit the Elections Department website.

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Tu Salud program activities will promote healthy living

Pepe, Jennifer, Alicia Rodriguez, Endowment Center Site Supervisor. Alma Ochoa Del Toro,UT Heath Science Center Research Coordinator. Lorena Arevalo, Pct 4 Community Health Worker, Maricela Gonzalez, Pct 1 Community Health Worker. Tu Salud Si Cuenta Program
L-R: Pct. 1 Assistant Chief of Staff Pepe Cabeza de Vaca, Pct 4  Chief of Staff Dr. Jennifer Culbertson, Pct. 4 Endowment Center Site Supervisor Alicia Rodriguez, Commissioners Court, UT Health Science Center Research Coordinator Alma Ochoa Del Toro, and Pct. 4 Community Health Workers Lorena Arevalo, and Maricela Gonzalez.

Commissioners Court approved an Interlocal Agreement between Hidalgo County and the University of Health Science Center At Houston on behalf of its Department of Brownsville Regional Campus to provide Tu Salud/Si Cuenta Program activities to county residents promoting health, safety, and quality of life.
Precinct 1 Commissioner David L. Fuentes and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ellie Torres will collaborate outreach efforts with the University from now up until September encouraging county residents to be more physically active while also making healthy food choices.

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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 Commissioners Court meeting is scheduled for

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at 10 a.m. 
However, there will be a workshop held on Tuesday, October 29, 2019.
Workshop details will be posted on the website by 6 p.m. on Friday.

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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