10 September, 2010

Doing some Texas border news site browsing.

Since I had been sent some links from news stories down in the RGV this week, I thought I would do my own reading and see what would catch my eye and these have- so pay close attention.

Two from the Laredo Morning Times

Report: US must deal with domestic radical problem

Associated Press
Published: Friday, September 10, 2010 8:54 AM CDT

WASHINGTON — The U.S. was slow to take seriously the threat posed by homegrown radicals and the government has failed to put systems in place to deal with the growing phenomenon, according to a new report compiled by the former heads of the Sept. 11 Commission.

The report says U.S. authorities failed to realize that Somali-American youths traveling from Minnesota to Mogadishu in 2008 to join extremists was not an isolated issue. Instead, the movement was one among several instances of a broader, more diverse threat that has surfaced across the country.

"Our long-held belief that homegrown terrorism couldn't happen here has thus created a situation where we are today stumbling blindly through the legal, operational and organizational minefield of countering terrorist radicalization and recruitment occurring in the United States," said the report, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

As a result, there is still no federal agency specifically charged with identifying radicalization or working to prevent terrorist recruitment of U.S. citizens and residents, said the report, slated to be released Friday by the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center's National Security Preparedness Group.
Army responds to shootout in Nuevo Laredo

Published: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:12 PM CDT
City officials confirmed an armed confrontation and an "emergency situation" around 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of Degollado and Venezuela, two blocks from an elementary school in Nuevo Laredo.

The Mexican Army was involved in the shooting, and there was no confirmation on whether anyone was injured or deceased.

Soldiers cordoned off the area by Pedro J. Méndez and Venezuela, a block east of Degollado, and Lincoln and Degollado streets were also closed after Perú and Comonfort.
Two from the Brownsville Herald

Market daze: Mexican buyers among few bright spots in home sales
September 10, 2010 9:42 AM
By STEVE CLARK, The Brownsville Herald

Being a Realtor isn't as fun as it used to be, thanks to a housing market that's barely showing signs of life.

The first-time homebuyers tax credit provided a temporary lift, though home sales have plummeted again now that the program is essentially over.

One of the few glimmers of good news in the Brownsville housing market is the result of bad news south of the border, as increasing numbers of Mexican nationals purchase residences here to escape escalating violence at home.

Keith Cummins of Prudential Cummins & Balli Realtors said the evidence, while anecdotal, points to more Mexican families buying homes in and around Brownsville.

"We had a family locating here from Tampico," Cummins said. "These people were talking about a lot of others who were to follow them. Of course that makes a real estate agent's eyes light up. The talk on the street is that, yes, people from Mexico are looking for a place to refuge. I believe it to be true."

Local, state officials tout colonia redevelopment
September 09, 2010 9:35 PM
By STEVE CLARK, The Brownsville Herald

No doubt Juan Carreon was eager to get back into the air conditioning of his new Cameron Park home, since being outdoors late Wednesday afternoon was like being wrapped in a hot, wet blanket.

But he had guests to entertain, lots of them, in his driveway. Carreon was gracious enough to host state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., officials with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville, and several others who were present for the occasion, meant to demonstrate the impact on real people of housing programs administered by TDHCA and CDCB help.

Carreon's Nannette Avenue home was torn down and a new one built in its place thanks to a program available through the Colonia Self-Help Center, founded and operated by the CDCB to serve four colonias in Cameron County and one in Willacy County.

Two from the Valley Morning Star

Harlingen outside guidelines for free lunch
September 07, 2010 5:00 AM

HARLINGEN — The Harlingen school district remains outside a federal guideline that allows schools to provide free lunch to all students, despite increasing enrollment in the district's free and reduced-price lunch program.

Based on last school year's free-lunch enrollment and participation figures, district staff said it is not financially feasible to provide free lunches to all students.

Provision 2 of U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines requires schools to pay the difference between federal reimbursement and the cost of providing free meals.

About 78 percent of HCISD students now receive free or reduced-priced school lunches, district officials said. Providing lunches for the remaining 22 percent could cost the district more than it would be reimbursed under Provision 2 of the National School Lunch Act.

But some parents say that if other Rio Grande Valley districts can provide free lunches to students, Harlingen CISD should do so.

VIA goes high tech with new guidance system
September 10, 2010 5:00 AM

HARLINGEN — Valley International Airport is a step ahead of other airports in the nation, as it is projected to complete the preliminary test phase of a Federal Aviation Administration program expected to reduce costs and provide precision flight guidance for the nation's airports in the future.

The program is set to transition airports to satellite-based navigation systems to use GPS, instead of the radio equipment many airports now use, as well as electronically map airport layouts.

VIA is "hoping" to finish the program as early as November, Michael Browning, VIA director of aviation, said. The airport is one of seven in the southwest region chosen by the FAA to participate in the A-GIS/eALP pilot program which began in September 2009.

Other airports include Dallas/Fort Worth International, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International and Will Rogers World in Oklahoma City.

Browning said the FAA has paid 95 percent of the program's cost, while the airport paid the remainder, totaling about $500,000.

VIA was chosen for several reasons, Lynn Lunsford, spokesman for the FAA southwest region, said.

"One (reason) was that the people in Harlingen were prepared and VIA is known for having a professional staff," Lunsford said. "They had their act together."

(Lynn, could it also be because VIA is in Harlingen, Texas which is a perfect juncture for flights by Border Patrol along with both US and Mexican Military aircraft into Mexico?)

Two from the El Paso Times

Video: Graffiti warning in Juarez allegedly from La Linea
Posted: 09/10/2010 05:36:12 PM MDT

Graffiti warning allegedly left by La Linea that they would attack families of Sinaloa drug cartel members if a kidnapped child was not returned. The messages were signed with the name Diego.

Indicted school board member Linda Chavez expected to resign
By Gustavo Reveles Acosta \ El Paso Times
Posted: 09/10/2010 05:10:45 PM MDT

Indicted Ysleta school board trustee Linda Chavez will resign her post.

District officials today called a special meeting for 6 p.m. Monday with only two items on the agenda.

The first one is the consideration of the resignation of an unnamed trustee.The second one will allow the trustees to decide how to fill an expected vacancy for the Del Valle seat on the board - the position that Chavez now holds.

Chavez, who is on the first year of her third three-year term, was arrested last week on suspicion of accepting money from Access HealthSource in exchange for her vote on a multi-million dollar contract.

She, along with 10 other people arrested last week, pleaded not guilty in federal court on Thursday. She faces up to 20 years in prison.

And one from The Monitor in McAllen
Mother of fallen soldier escorts body home
September 09, 2010 10:45 PM

Naxiely Lopez
The Monitor

MISSION — Rosie Guerra embarked on the most difficult journey of her life Thursday as she accompanied the body of her son from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to his final resting place in Mission.

Her son, 20-year-old Pfc. Diego Miguel Montoya, was killed in action Sept. 2 while serving as a military policeman in Laghman Province, Afghanistan.

Guerra spoke to The Monitor on Thursday morning while the charter plane she was travelling in stopped to refuel in Alabama.

"That was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do in my life," she said about identifying her son's body. "But I'm so honored and so privileged to have the opportunity to have done that for him because I realize I have been chosen to be the mother of a hero."

Montoya, who was deployed for his first tour five months ago, was killed after insurgents attacked the unit he was in.

No, I have not forgotten what tomorrow is- just been counting our dead.

Oh, you should read the comments at each link too.


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