Mitchell Ferman

Mitchell Ferman covers the city of McAllen and cross-border trade and politics for The Monitor. He can be reached at or (956) 683-4474.

McAllen takes up more drainage projects

City commissioners on Monday authorized two contracts for the design on multiple drainage projects, joining more than 20 drainage projects that are currently in the works across the city. The projects — one awarded to Halff Associates, the other to Cruz-Hogan Associates — come as the city has had to temporarily close some streets with new road closures beginning as soon as Wednesday for other drainage construction as the city continues a steady pace to attack drainage issues following the implementation of a sweeping drainage improvement plan. Main Street from Daffodil Avenue to Whitewing Avenue will be closed from Wednesday through March 13. Harvey Avenue from 12th Street to 16th Street, including the intersection of Main Street and Harvey Avenue. Read the full story at

Board names interim Hidalgo, Anzalduas bridges director

Juan Olaguibel was named McAllen’s interim superintendent of bridges Monday, a director position that oversees the Anzalduas and Hidalgo bridges. Olaguibel, who has been the deputy director for nearly 10 years, will take over his interim role later this month following Superintendent of Bridges Rigoberto Villarreal submitting his resignation last week. The board of directors overseeing the Anzalduas International Bridge and Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge made the move unanimously Monday at their monthly meeting, and a search is underway for a full-time superintendent of bridges. Read the full story at

McAllen taxpayers funded Iglesias’ lavish requests

McALLEN — Once Enrique Iglesias finished his performance at McAllen High School’s football stadium in 2015, a smattering of sushi and sashimi waited backstage. There...

Anzalduas, Hidalgo international bridge director resigns

McAllen Superintendent of Bridges Rigoberto Villarreal, who runs the Anzalduas International Bridge and the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge, submitted his resignation on Monday after more than nine years with the city. "Roy, the mayor, the bridge board, they've all been great," Villarreal said in a telephone interview on Monday, referring to McAllen City Manager Roel "Roy" Rodriguez. He added: "It's family. I've been contemplating making this decision for the last two years. But the New Year got me thinking, and the passing of my dad in September, and spending a lot of time with my little girls over the holidays. I'm 55, I want to enjoy life and spend time with my kids."  Villarreal said his last day with the city will be Jan. 20. In his resignation letter, Villarreal said 2019 “was not an easy year for me.” He said he finalized his divorce and his father passed away. Read the full story at

Pharr names interim city manager

For the second time in 14 months, Ed Wylie has been appointed Pharr’s interim city manager. Following the departure of city manager Alex Meade, whose final day with the city was Jan. 3, Pharr city commissioners on Monday voted unanimously to appoint Wylie, the deputy city manager, to the interim role after commissioners and Wylie met for nearly an hour in private. After the private session, Wylie sat on the dais next to Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez and city commissioners as they voted to assign Wylie the interim title. Read the full story at

Pharr Bridge to host info session for tomato industry ahead of new inspections

Pharr will host members from the tomato trade industry on Tuesday at the Pharr Research & Development Center for an informational session about new tomato inspections that are expected to begin this spring. Tomato industry stakeholders will receive briefings from a panel of inspection agents from the Texas Cooperative Inspection Program and the United States Department of Agriculture. They will also be allowed to ask questions. Read the full story at

Rep. Canales appointed to Sunset Advisory Commission

State Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, was appointed by Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen to the Sunset Advisory Commission, which conducts rigorous evaluations or each...

Former Second Lady Biden visits Matamoros refugee camp 

  MATAMOROS, Mexico — Hundreds of migrants from the largest refugee camp on the United States-Mexico border lined up for food with mud caked on...

Rep. Gonzalez announces nearly half-million dollars for McAllen Veterans Nursing Homes

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, on Tuesday announced $488,324 for the McAllen Veterans Nursing Homes to purchase new heating, ventilation and air conditioning units. “Regardless of age or injury, our veterans who have served our country should be taken care of,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “I am grateful McAllen Veterans Nursing Homes will receive this funding which is necessary to provide state-of-the-art and energy efficient heating and cooling for residents and employees of the McAllen Veterans Nursing Homes. The welfare of our veterans and those who care for them will always be one of my highest priorities.” Read the full story at

Construction underway on Bicentennial Blvd. extension

Construction began Wednesday on a nearly 3-mile northward extension of Bicentennial Boulevard from Trenton Road to State Highway 107, a $12.6 million road-building project that city officials said they expect to be completed around this time next year. The construction on this new four-lane road is a bit unusual for road projects — there won’t be much traffic interfering with construction crews because no streets currently exist where the construction will be taking place, aside from cross streets such as Auburn Avenue, where the groundbreaking ceremony was held on Wednesday. Read the full story at