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Hidalgo County Court Report for 4-18-2017

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Hats off to Texas counties, celebrated in April!

County Gov -lightened.jpg
L to R: Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios, Precinct 3 Commissioner Joseph M. Flores, County Judge Ramon Garcia, Precinct 2 Commissioner Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu, and Precinct 1 Commissioner David L. Fuentes wore hats in honor of County Government Month.

Hidalgo County celebrated County Government Month at Tuesday's meeting by posing with their "Texas Counties Deliver" caps, provided by the Texas Association of Counties.

Counties are an essential part of what makes Texas great.

Learn about county government and all it provides by getting involved, attending Commissioners Court meetings, and getting to know your Commissioner.


April declared Sexual Assault Awareness Month

sexual assault awareness.JPG
Mujeres Unidas Executive Director Estella De Anda speaks to the court surrounded by advocates for the rights and protections of sexual assault victims during the proclamation.

The Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office shares a critical concern for victims of sexual violence and a desire to support their needs for justice and healing. During Tuesday's Commissioners Court meeting, Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr., joined by Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra, HCDA Victims Unit staff and community partners, accepted a proclamation declaring April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month to encourage community involvement.

Sexual violence is widespread and impacts every person in this community. The statistics are staggering; one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives; one in six boys and one in four girls will experience a sexual assault before the age of 18; youth ages 12 to 17 are 2.5 times as likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault; and, during their time in college, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted.

"Victims are likely to disclose a sexual assault to a friend or family member, and when the loved one responds with doubt, shame, or blame, victims suffer additional negative effects on their physical and psychological well-being," said Victims Unit Director Rosie Martinez.

Prior to the Commissioners Court meeting, Rodriguez had hosted a news conference and informational fair on the courthouse lawn to raise awarenss of the issue and of services and programs available to victims.

"In our office we've noticed we've had more cases of sexual assaults coming in through our agencies," Rodriguez said. "People are not afraid to come out. We are all working to protect them."

This year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign theme is “Engaging New Voices.” As part of an effort to join communities across the country in taking action to prevent sexual violence and to provide prevention awareness of this terrible crime.

"Thank you for your continued support. You hear us talk about victims not being afraid to speak out. We should also not be afriad to speak out and not be afraid to tell people that there is support," Rodriguez said.

sexual assault awareness1_thumb.jpgDistrict Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr and Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra stand with community partners and Commissioners Court to raise awareness.

Elections Department requests approval to implement Voting Centers for the Nov. 7 election
Vote here.JPG
Poll Centers will allow registered voters to go to any location to cast their votes on Election Day as well as during early voting.

Hidalgo County voters are one step closer to receiving countywide polling locations on Election Day. Commissioners Court approved the Elections Department's request to send a notice of intent to participate in a countywide election day polling precincts program to be piloted during the November 7 Constitutional Election.

In 2011, there were approximately five counties that were participating in the program. Today, that number has risen to 44 counties. Currently, only six counties with a population of over 100,000 may apply to participate in the pilot program. Once a county is designated as successful in the pilot program, that county may continue to use the program for subsequent elections without the need to reapply.

In Hidalgo County, voters may cast their ballots at any location during early voting, but are required to go to their individual polling location on Election Day. That will change in November, if the county's request is approved by the Secretary of State.

Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramon explained to the court that during the 2015 November Constitutional Election, Hidalgo County opened 37 polling sites. She said the same number of sites will be available in November.

"That will give us a better opportunity to keep statistics and historical data that can later be used to better plan which countywide locations should be kept," said Ramon.

View Photos >>

A new District Court will help ease the caseload in 2021
new district court.JPG

Judge Mario Ramirez addresses the court in support of adding another District Court. 

Commissioners Court signed a resolution in support of the creation of a new District Court to provide the citizens of Hidalgo County with an adequate number of judicial officers. Judge Mario Ramirez, who presides over the 332nd District Court, said an additional court will help make the county’s judiciary more efficient.

“Although it’s needed, we don’t want the court right now, we are asking for it to be in the future when we have adequate space,” Ramirez said, alluding to the new county Courthouse.

The county presently has 11 District Courts and two Master Courts. A study based on 2016 court filings, reported to the Office of Court Administration, estimated total full time employees needed for Hidalgo County is 17.25. The actual FTEs is 13.78 to handle all the cases coming before the Courts in a timely, efficient and fair manner. The study also reported the Clearance rate in Hidalgo County was 83.2 percent, compared to the 96.8 statewide District clearance rate.

Ramirez said part of the difference in the clearance rate is that each Hidalgo County District Judge hears more cases than the state average.

 “We have a bigger docket per judge,” Ramirez said. “We hear so many more cases.”


View Photos >>


Sheriff's Lieutenant Fidel Jasso recognized for 35 years of service to Hidalgo County
fidel jasso plaque.JPGLt. Fidel Jasso holds a plaque of appreciation he received from Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra for 35 years of dedicated service to the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the court signed a resolution to recognize Lieutenant Fidel Jasso for his strong dedication in serving as a Sheriff’s deputy for 35 years.

“Lt. Jasso has provided exceptional work and dedication in serving the citizens of Hidalgo County,” said Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra.  “As an Edinburg resident, Jasso exemplified leadership throughout his career beginning in October of 1981 when he began his career path in law enforcement with the county.”

In 2016, Jasso was selected through the nomination of his peers to serve as the 2016 Deputy of the Year by the Hidalgo County Crime Stoppers.

Since then, Jasso has worked in all the divisions in the County Sheriff’s Office that includes Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Academy, and Civil and Warrants, Guerra said.

 “Thirty-five years is a long time, and I’d like to thank the county for allowing me to give back to the community by doing what I love to do,” Jasso said. “Right now I feel it’s important for me to concentrate on my family because without their support I wouldn’t be here. Serving the people of Hidalgo County for this duration of time is something I’d gladly do again if I could.”

In addition to the resolution, Jasso was given a plaque from the Sheriff’s Office for his outstanding service to the county. The county wishes him a joyful retirement and commends him on his service.

fidel jasso group_thumb.jpg
Lt. Fidel Jasso, pictured just left of Commissioner Joseph Palacios, holding the plaque, was joined by the court and his peers.

View Photos >>

Resolution in honor of Sheriff's Detention Center Sergeant Oscar Martinezoscar martinez group_thumb.jpgSgt. Oscar Martinez, holding a plaque, is surrounded by Commissioners Court and his peers after being honored in court.

Hidalgo County Commissioners Court honored Sgt. Oscar Martinez for his outstanding service, dedication and commitment during 32 years of service with the Sheriff’s Office Adult Detention Center. 
A resolution and plaque were presented by Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra.

“Sgt. Martinez is a man of few words, but his work speaks volumes,” Guerra said. “It has been my honor to work with Sgt. Martinez; he has served as an excellent role model and represents the county well.” 

The county wishes him a long, healthy and fruitful retirement.

Oscar Martinez plaque.JPG
Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra presents Sgt. Oscar Martinez with a plaque of appreciation at Tuesday's meeting.

View Photos >>

Urban County celebrates CDBG Week and Fair Housing Month

cdbg week 2013.jpg

The Fair Housing Act protects the rights of all Americans to access housing regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, family status or disability. 

Commissioners Court proclaimed the month of April as Fair Housing Month. The Act, Title VIII of the Civil Right Act of 1968, has been in effect since April 11, 1968.  Since then, the Act has been amended to include the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development continues to enforce the Fair Housing Act to ensure that every American retains the fundamental right to choose where he or she lives, raises a family, or owns a home. 

Adding to the important role the Act plays in our community is the National Community Development Association, which designates the week of April 17 – 22 as National Community Development Week. 

April declared as Autism Awareness Month

NAAM_Banner_NAAM2015_white_background.jpg
 
Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder affecting the social, communication and behavioral skills of those affected by it.

While there is no cure for autism, it is well-documented that if individuals with autism receive early and intensive treatment throughout their lives, they lead significantly improved lives. Individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) may suffer from neurological and developmental disabilities, which cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.
Nearly a quarter century ago, the Autism Society began a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the court proclaimed April as Autism Awareness Month and recognizes the importance in promoting autism awareness and acceptance for everyone affected by autism.

Did you miss today's meeting? Watch it at 9 p.m. Thursday on KMBH Ch. 10 or on the county's YouTube Channel!
If you missed today's meeting, you can view it on our county website or YouTube Channel by clicking here. You can also watch today's Commissioners Court and Drainage District meetings on KMBH TV, cable channel 10, on Thursday at 9 p.m.
______________________________________________________

THE NEXT REGULAR MEETING OF COMMISSIONERS COURT WILL BE HELD AT 9:30 A.M. ON TUESDAY, MAY 2. 

The Drainage District #1 Board of Directors and Commissioners Court meetings will be held at 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., respectively, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 in the Commissioners Courtroom located on the first floor of the Courthouse Annex at 100 E. Cano in Edinburg.

Watch our meetings live here.

View meetings and find other news and events videos on our Hidalgo County YouTube Channel. 
 
To view a copy of the agenda and related backup documentation for this meeting, visit the county website at www.co.hidalgo.tx.us. 

Stay informed and updated on county news, programs, activities, and services through the use of our website and social media outlets. Please share this information with your colleagues, employees, family, friends and all residents of Hidalgo County.

Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Watch videos on Youtube! View our photos! Stay informed via our county website! Sign up to receive important notifications from Hidalgo County via email! For more information on Court Report or other Hidalgo County news, contact the Public Affairs Division at 956-292-7026 or via email at public.info@co.hidalgo.tx.us.   

 

* * * * * * *
This complimentary message is being sent to opt-in subscribers who might be interested in its content. If you do not wish to continue receiving these messages, please accept our apologies, and unsubscribe by visiting our website at:
http://www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/list.asp?mode=del

Please note, we will not sell or give your e-mail address to any organization without your explicit permission.


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Urban County celebrates CDBG week and Fair Housing Month
cdbg week 2013.jpg
Urban County celebrates CDBG week and Fair Housing Month
cdbg week 2013.jpg

Plain text message

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Hats off to Texas counties, celebrated in April!

L to R: Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios, Precinct 3 Commissioner Joseph M. Flores, County Judge Ramon Garcia, Precinct 2 Commissioner Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu, and Precinct 1 Commissioner David L. Fuentes wore hats in honor of County Government Month.

Hidalgo County celebrated County Government Month at Tuesday's meeting by posing with their "Texas Counties Deliver" caps, provided by the Texas Association of Counties.

Counties are an essential part of what makes Texas great.

Learn about county government and all it provides by getting involved, attending Commissioners Court meetings, and getting to know your Commissioner.

April declared Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Mujeres Unidas Executive Director Estella De Anda speaks to the court surrounded by advocates for the rights and protections of sexual assault victims during the proclamation.


The Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office shares a critical concern for victims of sexual violence and a desire to support their needs for justice and healing. During Tuesday's Commissioners Court meeting, Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr., joined by Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra, HCDA Victims Unit staff and community partners, accepted a proclamation declaring April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month to encourage community involvement.

Sexual violence is widespread and impacts every person in this community. The statistics are staggering; one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives; one in six boys and one in four girls will experience a sexual assault before the age of 18; youth ages 12 to 17 are 2.5 times as likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault; and, during their time in college, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted.

"Victims are likely to disclose a sexual assault to a friend or family member, and when the loved one responds with doubt, shame, or blame, victims suffer additional negative effects on their physical and psychological well-being," said Victims Unit Director Rosie Martinez.

Prior to the Commissioners Court meeting, Rodriguez had hosted a news conference and informational fair on the courthouse lawn to raise awarenss of the issue and of services and programs available to victims.

"In our office we've noticed we've had more cases of sexual assaults coming in through our agencies," Rodriguez said. "People are not afraid to come out. We are all working to protect them."

This year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign theme is “Engaging New Voices.” As part of an effort to join communities across the country in taking action to prevent sexual violence and to provide prevention awareness of this terrible crime.

"Thank you for your continued support. You hear us talk about victims not being afraid to speak out. We should also not be afriad to speak out and not be afraid to tell people that there is support," Rodriguez said.

District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr and Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra stand with community partners and Commissioners Court to raise awareness.

View Photos >> [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPZcdyTkCSzXtR2vkufhJIFufm3rs6pnwaZ5lrCpi3c13Yjj3pyf_m0BPqBwg0qgQ?key=d2VpTU11ZEJuZW1Oc3Y5RjhrYkFFYm5hQzFWdGJB]

Elections Department requests approval to implement Voting Centers for the Nov. 7 election

Poll Centers will allow registered voters to go to any location to cast their votes on Election Day as well as during early voting.

Hidalgo County voters are one step closer to receiving countywide polling locations on Election Day. Commissioners Court approved the Elections Department's request to send a notice of intent to participate in a countywide election day polling precincts program to be piloted during the November 7 Constitutional Election.

In 2011, there were approximately five counties that were participating in the program. Today, that number has risen to 44 counties. Currently, only six counties with a population of over 100,000 may apply to participate in the pilot program. Once a county is designated as successful in the pilot program, that county may continue to use the program for subsequent elections without the need to reapply.

In Hidalgo County, voters may cast their ballots at any location during early voting, but are required to go to their individual polling location on Election Day. That will change in November, if the county's request is approved by the Secretary of State.

Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramon explained to the court that during the 2015 November Constitutional Election, Hidalgo County opened 37 polling sites. She said the same number of sites will be available in November.

"That will give us a better opportunity to keep statistics and historical data that can later be used to better plan which countywide locations should be kept," said Ramon.

View Photos >> [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPZcdyTkCSzXtR2vkufhJIFufm3rs6pnwaZ5lrCpi3c13Yjj3pyf_m0BPqBwg0qgQ?key=d2VpTU11ZEJuZW1Oc3Y5RjhrYkFFYm5hQzFWdGJB]

A new District Court will help ease the caseload in 2021


Judge Mario Ramirez addresses the court in support of adding another District Court.

Commissioners Court signed a resolution in support of the creation of a new District Court to provide the citizens of Hidalgo County with an adequate number of judicial officers. Judge Mario Ramirez, who presides over the 332nd District Court, said an additional court will help make the county’s judiciary more efficient.

“Although it’s needed, we don’t want the court right now, we are asking for it to be in the future when we have adequate space,” Ramirez said, alluding to the new county Courthouse.

The county presently has 11 District Courts and two Master Courts. A study based on 2016 court filings, reported to the Office of Court Administration, estimated total full time employees needed for Hidalgo County is 17.25. The actual FTEs is 13.78 to handle all the cases coming before the Courts in a timely, efficient and fair manner. The study also reported the Clearance rate in Hidalgo County was 83.2 percent, compared to the 96.8 statewide District clearance rate.

Ramirez said part of the difference in the clearance rate is that each Hidalgo County District Judge hears more cases than the state average.

“We have a bigger docket per judge,” Ramirez said. “We hear so many more cases.”

View Photos >> [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPZcdyTkCSzXtR2vkufhJIFufm3rs6pnwaZ5lrCpi3c13Yjj3pyf_m0BPqBwg0qgQ?key=d2VpTU11ZEJuZW1Oc3Y5RjhrYkFFYm5hQzFWdGJB]

Sheriff's Lieutenant Fidel Jasso recognized for 35 years of service to Hidalgo CountyLt. Fidel Jasso holds a plaque of appreciation he received from Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra for 35 years of dedicated service to the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the court signed a resolution to recognize Lieutenant Fidel Jasso for his strong dedication in serving as a Sheriff’s deputy for 35 years.

“Lt. Jasso has provided exceptional work and dedication in serving the citizens of Hidalgo County,” said Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra. “As an Edinburg resident, Jasso exemplified leadership throughout his career beginning in October of 1981 when he began his career path in law enforcement with the county.”

In 2016, Jasso was selected through the nomination of his peers to serve as the 2016 Deputy of the Year by the Hidalgo County Crime Stoppers.

Since then, Jasso has worked in all the divisions in the County Sheriff’s Office that includes Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Academy, and Civil and Warrants, Guerra said.

“Thirty-five years is a long time, and I’d like to thank the county for allowing me to give back to the community by doing what I love to do,” Jasso said. “Right now I feel it’s important for me to concentrate on my family because without their support I wouldn’t be here. Serving the people of Hidalgo County for this duration of time is something I’d gladly do again if I could.”

In addition to the resolution, Jasso was given a plaque from the Sheriff’s Office for his outstanding service to the county. The county wishes him a joyful retirement and commends him on his service.

Lt. Fidel Jasso, pictured just left of Commissioner Joseph Palacios, holding the plaque, was joined by the court and his peers.

View Photos >> [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPZcdyTkCSzXtR2vkufhJIFufm3rs6pnwaZ5lrCpi3c13Yjj3pyf_m0BPqBwg0qgQ?key=d2VpTU11ZEJuZW1Oc3Y5RjhrYkFFYm5hQzFWdGJB]

Resolution in honor of Sheriff's Detention Center Sergeant Oscar MartinezSgt. Oscar Martinez, holding a plaque, is surrounded by Commissioners Court and his peers after being honored in court.

Hidalgo County Commissioners Court honored Sgt. Oscar Martinez for his outstanding service, dedication and commitment during 32 years of service with the Sheriff’s Office Adult Detention Center.

A resolution and plaque were presented by Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra.

“Sgt. Martinez is a man of few words, but his work speaks volumes,” Guerra said. “It has been my honor to work with Sgt. Martinez; he has served as an excellent role model and represents the county well.”

The county wishes him a long, healthy and fruitful retirement.


Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra presents Sgt. Oscar Martinez with a plaque of appreciation at Tuesday's meeting.

View Photos >> [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPZcdyTkCSzXtR2vkufhJIFufm3rs6pnwaZ5lrCpi3c13Yjj3pyf_m0BPqBwg0qgQ?key=d2VpTU11ZEJuZW1Oc3Y5RjhrYkFFYm5hQzFWdGJB]

Urban County celebrates CDBG Week and Fair Housing Month


The Fair Housing Act protects the rights of all Americans to access housing regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, family status or disability.

Commissioners Court proclaimed the month of April as Fair Housing Month. The Act, Title VIII of the Civil Right Act of 1968, has been in effect since April 11, 1968. Since then, the Act has been amended to include the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development continues to enforce the Fair Housing Act to ensure that every American retains the fundamental right to choose where he or she lives, raises a family, or owns a home.

Adding to the important role the Act plays in our community is the National Community Development Association, which designates the week of April 17 – 22 as National Community Development Week.

April declared as Autism Awareness Month


Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder affecting the social, communication and behavioral skills of those affected by it.
While there is no cure for autism, it is well-documented that if individuals with autism receive early and intensive treatment throughout their lives, they lead significantly improved lives. Individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) may suffer from neurological and developmental disabilities, which cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.

Nearly a quarter century ago, the Autism Society began a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the court proclaimed April as Autism Awareness Month and recognizes the importance in promoting autism awareness and acceptance for everyone affected by autism.

Did you miss today's meeting? Watch it at 9 p.m. Thursday on KMBH Ch. 10 or on the county's YouTube Channel!


If you missed today's meeting, you can view it on our county website [https://hidalgocountytx.swagit.com/play/12062016-662] or YouTube Channel by clicking here [https://youtu.be/VojSGetSaY0] . You can also watch today's Commissioners Court and Drainage District meetings on KMBH TV, cable channel 10, on Thursday at 9 p.m.

______________________________________________________

THE NEXT REGULAR MEETING OF COMMISSIONERS COURT WILL BE HELD AT 9:30 A.M. ON TUESDAY, MAY 2.

The Drainage District #1 Board of Directors and Commissioners Court meetings will be held at 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., respectively, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 in the Commissioners Courtroom located on the first floor of the Courthouse Annex at 100 E. Cano in Edinburg.


Watch our meetings live here [http://www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/index.aspx?NID=1939] .

View meetings and find other news and events videos on our Hidalgo County YouTube Channel [https://www.youtube.com/user/HidalgoCountyTx] .

To view a copy of the agenda and related backup documentation for this meeting, visit the county website at www.co.hidalgo.tx.us.

Stay informed and updated on county news, programs, activities, and services through the use of our website and social media outlets. Please share this information with your colleagues, employees, family, friends and all residents of Hidalgo County.

Like us on Facebook! [http://www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/Admin/www.facebook.com/hidalgocounty] Follow us on Twitter! [http://www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/Admin/www.twitter.com/hidalgocounty] Watch videos on Youtube! [http://www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/Admin/www.youtube.com/hidalgocountytx] View our photos! [https://picasaweb.google.com/hidalgocounty] Stay informed via our county website! [http://www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/Admin/www.co.hidalgo.tx.us] Sign up to receive important notifications from Hidalgo County via email! [http://www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/Admin/www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/notifyme] For more information on Court Report or other Hidalgo County news, contact the Public Affairs Division at 956-292-7026 [tel:956.292.7026] or via email at public.info@co.hidalgo.tx.us.

* * * * * * *

This complimentary message is being sent to opt-in subscribers who might be interested in its content. If you do not wish to continue receiving these messages, please accept our apologies, and unsubscribe by visiting our website at:

http://www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/list.asp?mode=del [http://www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/list.asp?mode=del]

Please note, we will not sell or give your e-mail address to any organization without your explicit permission.

* * * * * * *

Urban County celebrates CDBG week and Fair Housing Month


Urban County celebrates CDBG week and Fair Housing Month

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Court Report for April 18, 2017