Matthew Wilson

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Matthew Wilson is a multimedia and general assignments reporter for The Monitor. He can be reached at (956) 683-4425 or at mwilson@themonitor.com.

Edinburg police respond to reports of armed man near UTRGV

Police here responded to several reports of an armed individual carrying a shotgun and an American flag down University Drive near the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Monday afternoon.  Although many individuals who contacted law enforcement described the man as wearing a bulletproof vest, Arielle Benedict with Edinburg police said that wasn’t actually the case. “It was actually an ammo carrying tactical vest,” she said. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Boys & Girls Clubs’ activities to return this summer

The Boys & Girls Clubs of McAllen will soon be welcoming back kids to their facilities, but not without a few stipulations. The club has begun registration for its eight-week summer program, which is scheduled to kickoff on Monday, June 8. According to Dalinda Gonzalez-Alcantar, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of McAllen, staff were forced to close their doors on March 23 due to COVID-19. Since then, they’ve utilized their resources to assist those in need. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Valley demonstrators protest George Floyd death

Protests surrounding the death of George Floyd and police brutality spread to the Rio Grande Valley on Saturday as well over 100 people gathered in front of city hall along University Drive here to voice their displeasure with law enforcement’s treatment of minorities nationwide and call for change. Floyd’s death after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest has sparked protests and riots nationwide. Protestors bore banners and signs calling for law enforcement reform and voicing solidarity with Floyd and other high-profile deaths of minority individuals in police custody.

Edinburg councilman alleges discrimination in 2018 police demotion

Edinburg City Councilman David White has filed a lawsuit claiming the city discriminated against him on the basis of his race or age when he was demoted from his position as police chief in 2018, according to documents filed earlier last week. White, 53, was demoted in November 2018 by Edinburg City Manager Juan Guerra, who determined White’s performance was “unsatisfactory” based on public safety rankings found on websites like wallethub.com. Guerra has since left the city. “Mr. White’s demotion was based on false reasons. According to City Manager Juan Guerra, Mr. White was demoted due to low public safety rankings. These rankings were published on questionable websites,” court documents filed last week say. “Mr. Guerra also demoted Mr. White based on a “disconnect between leadership and staff as well as management’s ineffective use of resources to motivate and develop a functioning team.” Read the full story at themonitor.com

‘You never move on’ – Three years later, Valley widow reflects on loss of...

There’s a room in Dora Hernandez’s home here that she calls her travel room. It’s easy to see why she calls it that. The room is filled with mementos from across the globe, pins from Hard Rock Cafes, books from different countries, maps, figurines, keychains.  Dora and her husband, Noe, collected most of the stuff while he was in the Navy. “Our goal was always, ‘Let’s get five souvenirs, because if something breaks, we’re not going back,’” Dora recalled. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

As school year ends, local districts grapple with graduation plans

Weslaco ISD hosted the Rio Grande Valley’s first virtual graduation Friday evening. The ceremony had all the hallmarks of a traditional graduation: speeches from Weslaco High School graduates and members of the administration, a roll call of all the graduates and their achievements, and even shouts and congratulations from friends and family members in the audience, if you count comments on Facebook and YouTube. There was a musical number and a slideshow of graduates from earlier in the year. Like every other American graduation, “Pomp and Circumstance” played for an almost unbearably long time. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Local gyms anxious to get back on track 

HAMMER: Working it out  BY MATT WILSON STAFF WRITER McALLEN — Texans are getting back to work, and as of Monday, they’ll be getting back to working...

Two Valley priests bicycled for rain, and it poured

Revs. Juan Manual Salazar and Greg Labus hopped on their bikes around 8 a.m. Friday morning, intending to ride from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church here to San Isidro Catholic Church as a pilgrimage made in prayer for rain. At a glance, two priests pedaling through the countryside doesn’t have anything to do with the weather. One might even consider it a laughable thought that the men really intended to bring in a stormfront by biking 21 miles. When Saturday morning rolled around, however, the priests’ mission seemed much less laughable. Whether divine intervention or sheer coincidence, the morning after the priests rode for rain, a deluge of near Old Testament proportions with thunder and lightning swept across the Rio Grande Valley, filling rain gauges, watering crops and greening browned lawns. Read the full story at themonitor.com

STC announces resumption of some in-person classes

In-person class is back in session for some students at South Texas College and will be throughout the summer. STC announced Tuesday that some classes were beginning to gradually resume on campus with new anti-coronavirus measures in place and would continue through the summer sessions, which begin June 1. Police and fire academies, welding courses and Nursing and Allied Health courses are all expected to operate on campus when necessary. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Hidalgo County child adopted via video conference

Quite possibly the most momentous decision of 2-year-old Jose Alejandro Sanchez’s life was decided through a Zoom call Wednesday afternoon. Jose was adopted Wednesday, through a ceremony held entirely online as a result of COVID-19 distancing. Jose’s adoptive parents, Marcos and Veronica Sanchez, were in one panel, balloons and a banner in the background with their kids between them. The judge was in another, berobed and in front of a state seal. There were lawyers in some boxes, CPS representatives in others, a stenographer casually clacking away in one; the whole court was there. The ceremony went fairly smoothly — a couple of screens froze, sometimes people had a hard time hearing each other, but altogether it wasn’t so different from a regular courtroom proceeding. And just around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Marcos and Veronica officially became Jose’s new parents. Read the full story at themonitor.com