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.

Applications to open for migrant aid reimbursements

Following a first round last year, another round of applications are expected to become available on Feb. 17 for governments and nonprofit organizations to...

McAllen, other Texas cities hoping to benefit from new sales tax policy interpretation

It’s not in-person shopping that leaders in McAllen have been unsure about. They know consumers spend money at La Plaza Mall and other brick-and-mortar...

McAllen, other Texas cities hoping to benefit from new sales tax policy interpretation

It’s not in-person shopping that leaders in McAllen have been unsure about. They know consumers spend money at La Plaza Mall and other brick-and-mortar stores across the city. But online sales have been tricky to quantify, they said, and following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Texas regulators are now working to tweak the interpretation of the sales tax revenue law that could allow hundreds of cities across the state like McAllen to receive some new revenues and be able to quantify online sales. “Once these rules are implemented, you’ll have an idea,” McAllen Chamber of Commerce President Steve Ahlenius said of measuring online sales in municipalities. Read the full story at

Texas Comptroller proposing tweak to online sales tax revenues

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is proposing a change in state sales tax policy that would tweak who receives sales tax revenues from online sales,...

McAllen Expressway construction to finish in October

Three days before Christmas, the Texas Department of Transportation announced what many motorists were waiting for. “As of this late afternoon, the Bicentennial/I-2 intersection has been opened to the public,” the state agency wrote on Twitter. The state demolished the Bicentennial Boulevard overpass as part of a 3-mile construction project on Expressway 83, which officials said would be a necessary headache for drivers that would result in smoother traffic flow. After a brief opening in December, the intersection then closed, with more construction needing to be completed. It remains so. Read the full story at

McAllen approves paid day of leave for city employees

Full time city employees in McAllen will now have one day of paid leave for the birth of a child or the adoption of a child, city commissioners voted on Monday.  City employees have had to use accrued time off, such as vacation days, for the birth or adoption of a child, city officials said. Now, they will have one day of paid leave specifically for the birth or adoption of a child. If an employee gives birth to or adopts twins, they will receive two days of paid leave. Mayor Jim Darling said the younger generation now “wants more days off.” Darling added: “This is about making sure everyone is taken care of instead of them having to take a sick day.” Read the full story at

Legislature candidates push messages in forum as election season ramps up

Candidates seeking two state representative seats anchored in Hidalgo County displayed their cases on Thursday at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, where they discussed medical marijuana, health care and transportation issues in the area. Challenging incumbent state Rep. Bobby Guerra, D-McAllen, were Democrat Richard Gonzales, a municipal judge in Edcouch, who is hoping to defeat Guerra in the March 3 primary election. The other candidate, Republican John Guerra, is an OB-GYN. Read the full story at

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...