Francisco E. Jimenez

Francisco E. Jimenez is a multimedia and general assignments reporter for The Monitor. He can be reached at (956)683-4433, or at

Three arraigned in Edinburg stabbing, shooting incident

The Edinburg Police Department has arrested the final suspect involved in a stabbing and shooting incident that took place at a motel in Edinburg Wednesday. All three men made their initial appearances in court this afternoon.  Cornelio Mata Jr., 26, is facing one count of capital murder and was assessed a bond of $1 million. He sustained no injuries during the incident and was arrested Thursday in Pharr.   Read the full story at

Report reveals new details in religious vandalism case

A police report from the McAllen Police Department is shedding light on the new details surrounding the investigation of vandalism to the Temple Emanuel synagogue here and similar activity at other religious locations. Erica Yme Garza, 38, of McAllen was arrested Tuesday and charged with criminal mischief for her suspected role in the spray painting of the Jewish temple, for which she received a $15,000 bond. According to the police report, investigators first learned of the vandalism when the synagogue’s president, Aladar Deustch, called to report the graffiti, which included several references of the occult and anti-Semitic imagery on the front door and part of a wall on Tuesday morning.  Read the full story at

Charge, bond set for suspect in religious vandalism attack

A woman accused in the high-profile vandalizing of religious sites in Hidalgo County was arraigned here Wednesday afternoon. Erica Yme Garza, 38, of McAllen was brought before municipal court Judge Kathleen Henley just before 2 p.m. As she entered the arraignment room, Garza appeared to be upset and shouted at someone outside of the room. Then, as Henley attempted to read the accused her rights, a visibly agitated Garza pointed her finger at the judge while shouting at her. Garza was then escorted out of the room, temporarily interrupting the proceeding. At 2:24 p.m., a much calmer Garza was brought back into the room, and Henley was able to continue with the proceeding. Read the full story at

Outburst delays arraignment for religious vandalism suspect

A woman accused of vandalizing religious sites in Hidalgo County interrupted her arraignment in McAllen with incoherent outbursts Wednesday afternoon. McAllen police arrested Erica Yme Garza, 38, on Monday in connection with the vandalizing of the Temple Emanuel synagogue in McAllen. Lt. Joel Morales of the McAllen Police Department said he believes she’s also connected to two other similar cases involving the Hindu temple in Edinburg, the Shri Nanak Center & Shiv Shakti Temple. San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez said the woman is suspected in the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle vandalism case, which was also reported Monday. Read the full story at

Bingo halls open, see slow flow return

PHARR — The hall of Golden Valley Bingo here is sparsely populated with some 20 players. While the number of players would normally be much...

Bingo halls open, see slow flow return

The hall of Golden Valley Bingo here is sparsely populated with some 20 players. While the number of players would normally be much higher on any regular Friday evening, the mask-wearing Bingo players is a small step back toward normalcy. Friday marked that step back following an order by Governor Greg Abbott which allowed for Bingo halls to reopen with a limited capacity. Read the full story at

Pharr pandemic recovery center now open to businesses, residents

The Pharr COVID-19 Recovery Center is up and running as of Wednesday. The center, which is based out of the Pharr Events Center, 3000 N. Cage Blvd., is intended to provide a variety of assistance to local businesses, from financial advice and workforce help, to tips on navigating state guidelines on business reopenings. Among the services the center will provide are: financial assistance for businesses, details on state and federal funding opportunities, work safe plans, workforce opportunities, reopen Texas guidelines, services to help connect with customers, answers to business operations in Pharr, and access to no-cost business consulting for Pharr residents and businesses. Read the full story at

Hidalgo Co. deciding use of $151M in CARES Act funds

Hidalgo County leaders have begun talks to determine how to disburse more than $151 million in CARES Act funds in response to the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on local communities. According to a news release from U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez’s office Tuesday, the county will specifically be receiving $151,582,672.50. The federal funding — acquired through the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act — is required to be used for expenses incurred due to the public health emergency from the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full story at

Cortez to Musk: Move Tesla to Hidalgo Co.

EDINBURG — Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez has written a letter to Tesla co-founder, CEO and Product Architect Elon Musk following his threat to...

Pharr police chief on 3-day unpaid suspension

The city of Pharr has confirmed that Police Chief Jose A. Luengo has been suspended without pay for three days. Assistant City Manager Anali Alanis confirmed the suspension during a telephone interview Monday afternoon. Read the full story at