First COVID-19 death confirmed in RGV

Willacy County reported a fatality from the coronavirus late Saturday night, the first in the Rio Grande Valley. The man who died was in his...

DSHS: Majority of RGV cases are young people

Just one day after local officials announced that community spread of COVID-19 has begun in earnest in the Rio Grande Valley, state health officials...

New case of COVID-19 reported in Starr County

Starr County officials reported one new case of COVID-19 Saturday. The new case brings the county's total to six. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Federal courthouse closed to the public until further notice

The federal courthouse in McAllen will be closed to the public, according to an order signed Friday by U.S. District Judges Ricardo H. Hinojosa, Randy Crane and Micaela Alvarez. Beginning April 6, “The United States Courthouse in McAllen, Texas (Bentsen Tower) will be closed to the public,” the order states. “ In an effort to protect the health and safety of the public, staff, and judicial officers from exposure to or spread” of the COVID-19 virus, the order states the courthouse will be closed to the public until further notice. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Local distillery, restaurant team up to distribute hand sanitizer

With the ever increasing demand for hand sanitizer amid the COVID-19 outbreak, local business owners have teamed up to help provide the much needed product to the community. To that end, McAllen restaurant Salomé on Main will be hosting Rio Grande Distillery and Magic Valley Moonshine out of Los Fresnos on Saturday afternoon. The Lower Valley distillery has recently begun using its resources to help brew up batches of hand sanitizer, which will be available in the parking lot of the restaurant. “We’re just allowing this gentleman that’s — he distills whiskey, and he’s changing skills to make hand sanitizer,” explained Chef Larry Delgado, who owns Salomé on Main, SALT, and house. wine. & bistro. “He’s going to be in our parking lot offering up the sanitizer.” Read the full story at themonitor.com

Rio Grande City issues 15 citations for emergency order violations

The Rio Grande City Police Department issued 15 citations for violations of emergency orders issued by Starr County and the city. Rio Grande City Municipal Judge Basilio "Bacho" Villarreal wrote in a post on social media that 14 of the citations were issued for violations of the city's curfew, which is in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. One citation was issued for non-compliance to a business that had remained open despite not falling into the category of an essential business exempted from the order. Read the full story at the monitor.com

State board suspends McAllen doctor after sex assault allegations

A McAllen physician has been suspended from practicing for allegedly sexually assaulting two employees and three patients, according to the Texas Medical Board. On Thursday, the disciplinary panel of the Texas Medical Board temporarily suspended the medical license of Dr. Jimmi Rios-Perez “...after determining his continuation in the practice of medicine poses a continuing threat to public welfare,” a Texas Medical Board news release stated. The panel learned Rios-Perez is a subject of several criminal complaints made to the McAllen Police Department by five alleged victims who allege inappropriate conduct and sexual assault.  Read the full story at themonitor.com

Edinburg mandates nose, mouth coverings in amended stay-at-home order

On Friday afternoon, city council members here approved tightening the city’s stay-at-home order for all Edinburg residents. The amended restrictions — which include requiring residents to use face coverings — will go into effect Monday. After a unanimous vote, city officials held a brief question and answer session with the public, who submitted questions online and via phone. The order — the fifth order handed down by the city amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic — will go into effect on the morning of April 6 and will require people to stay home at all times, with the exception of essential activities and work. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hidalgo County mulling face mask requirement

Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez announced during a Facebook Live talk Friday afternoon that officials are looking at requiring residents to wear face masks in a mandate similar to one in the city of Laredo that went into effect Thursday. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Texas Democrats want ‘no-excuse vote-by-mail program’ for all elections

The Rio Grande Valley delegation to Washington D.C. sent a letter Thursday to Gov. Greg Abbott urging him to implement a "no-excuse vote-by-mail program" for all elections through 2020. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, announced the effort in a news release Friday, saying the letter also calls for preserving in-person voting for those who need it as long as voting sites are structured in a way that allows officials to respond to any health concerns. "Currently, many Texans are unable to vote-by-mail due to strict eligibility guidelines and varying laws across different municipalities, which causes confusion among the electorate and reduces voter turnout," the legislators said in the joint letter. "This is particularly true as we continue to navigate the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus outbreak." Read the full story at themonitor.com