Donna teen sentenced to 50 years in restaurant murder

A man who was 16 when he stabbed 69-year-old Arturo Hermes Hernandez 11 times, killing the man, entered a guilty plea Monday to charges of murder and attempted capital murder. State District Judge Letty Lopez sentenced Pedro Gaspar Rocha, now 17, to 50 years in prison. Rocha, who agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors to avoid a capital murder charge, declined to address the court at sentencing. Rocha broke into Pollos y Costillas Asadas Estilo Veracruz in rural Donna at 3:45 a.m. on Jan. 13. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Hotel bribery case on hold; Attorney might have a conflict of interest

The federal bribery case against a McAllen hotelier is on hold pending concerns that his defense attorney may have a conflict of interest in continuing to represent him. Hotel owner and operator Sunil Wadhwani appeared in federal court Monday afternoon for what should have been a final pretrial conference before jury selection was slated to begin Tuesday; however, the case was temporarily derailed after federal prosecutors raised conflict concerns regarding Wadhwani’s attorney, Michael Wynne. The issue superseded several others that could also have resulted in delays, including motions by the government to declare the case complex and to seek a continuance. Though the government’s motions remain under seal, some of their details came to light via responses Wynne filed Monday morning in opposition to the government’s efforts. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Mercedes activist alleges arrest fueled by political retaliation

A community activist is saying his arrest here Tuesday evening was fueled by political retaliation in response to his criticism of the Mercedes city commission. Israel Coronado — a prominent and vocal fixture of Mercedes meetings — was arrested here shortly after he left city hall and while the commission was still in session. Speaking just hours after he made an initial appearance before a judge and posted bond Wednesday, Coronado said he felt targeted and “hunted down.” “This was definitely a political attack. I have been very vocal against the mayor, the mayor pro-tem, as well as the chief of police, where I have pointed out many of the deficiencies that keep happening left and right in our town,” Coronado said of his arrest. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

HCSO IDs shooting victim as Mercedes man

Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra identified the man who died in what investigators believe was a robbery gone wrong as 32-year-old Mercedes resident Emmanuel Alvarado. Guerra said Tuesday afternoon that the crime scene is in rural Weslaco. The location he provided appears to be a small cluster of homes north of Weslaco at Saltillo Circle. On Tuesday morning, Guerra said his office's Major Crimes Unit was investigating Alvarado's death after he showed up at a hospital with a gunshot wound. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

San Benito RV Resort to host 2021 Shuffleboard World Championship

The Shuffleboard World Championships have been hosted in many places around the world such as Brazil, Canada and most recently Vienna, Austria. And next on their list of playoff tournament locations is South Texas. The Fun-N-Sun RV Resort, located in San Benito, has been selected by the International Shuffleboard Association to host the 40th Shuffleboard World Championships, which will be held in 2021 from Oct. 17 through Oct. 22. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Mercedes honors Espericueta with ‘ghost’ car

The Mercedes police department has not forgotten fallen Mission police officer, Cpl. Jose Luis “Speedy” Espericueta, who died in the line of duty in June. That was the message Mercedes Police Chief Dagoberto “Dago” Chavez wanted to convey as he, along with the Mercedes City Commission, honored Espericueta Tuesday evening with a proclamation and the unveiling of a special police patrol unit. Mission Police Chief Robert Dominguez, and Espericueta’s family — wife Roberta “Bobbie” De Leon Espericueta, and son Joaquin — as well as several Mission police officers were on hand for the ceremony honoring Espericueta Tuesday evening. Read the full story on themonitor.com.

New courts will have to wait

Hidalgo County is not ready to fund two new county courts at law, at least that’s the consensus elected officials have reached as they move forward with the 2020 fiscal year budget. Earlier this year, the 86th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 891, which created County Court at Law No. 9 and County Court at Law No. 10 in Hidalgo County. The new law, which state Rep. Terry Canales helped pass, took effect Sept. 1, leaving county officials two choices: appoint two new judges and establish the courts immediately or wait for the public to elect the judges in 2020 and open the courts Jan. 1, 2021. It’s a decision that comes with a hefty price tag. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Edcouch-Elsa ISD makes changes after data breach

The Edcouch-Elsa school district is taking further action to address the sale of computers with sensitive information through policy changes and efforts in public transparency after failing to do so earlier this year. Administration sent a letter Sept. 5 to all district parents with information about an April 6 auction in which computers with sensitive information, such as names, Social Security numbers, addresses and phone numbers, were sold.  The letter indicated the information on those computers came from two locations: Truan Junior High School and the Transportation Department. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Weslaco man killed in Saturday night wreck

Weslaco resident Horacio Reyes, 27, was killed in a rollover car crash Saturday evening in Weslaco, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety...

Thousands mourn: Family, law enforcement say goodbye to fallen DPS trooper

A murmur echoed through Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg on Friday as Texas Department of Public Safety troopers slowly filed into the venue, forming a sea of Texas tan Stetson hats. As more law enforcement officers found their seats, everyone was soon called to attention. A solemn silence fell upon the arena as troopers, together with law enforcement from across the country, stood to honor one of their own: Trooper Moises Sanchez. The salute came as the Texas DPS Honor Guard slowly carried Sanchez’s casket, draped with the Texas flag, into the arena. This was but the beginning of the nearly two-and-a-half-hour-long funeral service for the fallen trooper, who died on Aug. 24 after undergoing surgery related to gunshot wounds he received in the line of duty in April. Read the full story on TheMonitor.com.