Author Archives: Ricardo Cavazos

Ricardo D. Cavazos is a journalist and business executive who has over 30 years of experience as a reporter, editor and publisher and is currently managing allied health schools in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo. Working for Freedom Communications, Cavazos served as editor of The Monitor for eight years and was publisher of The Brownsville Herald for 14 years. He also served as publisher of the Valley Morning Star for one year and launched two Spanish-language publications - El Nuevo Heraldo and El Extra. He is an Edinburg native currrently living in Harlingen.

Dual Enrollment Celebrates 20 Years

Rebecca Marie De Leon serves as dean of South Texas College's dual enrollment program.

Rebecca Marie De Leon was an aspiring student and high school athlete at Mission Veterans Memorial High School when she enrolled in a dual enrollment program in the early 2000s. The future collegiate golfer was pressed for time in balancing academics and athletics. Dual enrollment, which blends college and high school courses, then grounded her in the need for effective time management.  “It set the foundation for me,” said De…

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Values Are A Natural Fit

J.J. Serrano Jr.

J.J. Serrano Jr. can look out his office windows and see his alma mater across the way on Panther Drive. “It’s crazy,” said Serrano, the facilities leader of H-E-B’s Weslaco Retail Support Center on 1100 Panther Drive. “That’s my high school over there.” Weslaco High School is in his front view, but behind Serrano’s office is a cavernous 408,000-square-foot distribution and transportation center. It serves as the nerve center for…

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Training Partnership Forms Skilled Workforce

Weslaco EDC, STC partnership

A partnership between the Weslaco Economic Development Corp. and South Texas College is leading to better trained workforces for warehousing, distribution and manufacturing companies in both the Mid-Valley and surrounding areas. A $100,000 STC grant is one component of the EDC’s partnership with the college and its Institution for Advanced Manufacturing. The training provided by the grant is initially focusing on occupational health and safety. The first round of training…

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Planting the Banking Seed

A commemorative bill marking launch of First National Bank of Mercedes in 1920.

  A drive into town for Jose Platon Ortega usually meant a stop at the bank. For Ortega there was only one bank – the First National Bank of Mercedes. He was greeted there by friendly tellers, with one in particular knowing his account number by memory. “Veinticinco, cuarenta dos, diecinueve,’” said Saul Ortega, Jose’s son, who grew up knowing his Dad’s account number of 254219.  Jose Platon Ortega was a…

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Regional Unification Expects Greatness

RGV MPO

The decades of political sparring among Rio Grande Valley cities in competing for federal and state funds – and recognition – has long been a source of anguish as to why local leaders could not put aside individual wishes for the greater good. “We’re a unique area in that we don’t have one city that overwhelms all the others in the region,” said Ron Garza, the executive director of the…

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Finding New Life at a Shelter

Lilia Castillo Jones found a new professional life as executive director of the Humane Society of Harlingen. (courtesy)

Lilia Castillo Jones was coming off a 30-plus year career in the newspaper industry where she reached the highest levels of management. It was a work that had subsequently run its course. The Dallas native first came to the Rio Grande Valley in 2012 to become publisher of the Valley Morning Star in Harlingen. She would eventually go from that post to become the president of the El Paso Times. That…

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Mission EDA Scholarship Lightens Load

The Mission EDA scholarship program gives residents from the city access to STC's many programs.

Belinda Knoblach took a three-decade-long break between high school and college. When deciding to return for further education she turned to South Texas College – and discovered a unique scholarship program. As a Mission resident, Knoblach was eligible to receive scholarship funds at STC specifically for students from Mission. Since its inception in 2013, the Mission EDA Scholarship Fund has disbursed more than $700,000 to 400-plus STC students from Mission.…

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Estero Llano Gets Even Better

A Kingfisher perches on a branch at Estero Llano Grande State Park.

The 250-acre Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco is at the heart of the network of nine World Birding Centers in the Rio Grande Valley. It is a popular birding destination for not only local residents, but for birders from around the nation. They all come to the park to view and document more than 300 species of birds at Estero Llano. The park’s infrastructure and facilities recently received…

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Mission is an All-America City

Mission delegation celebrates after gaining All-America City honor in Denver.

Mission earned All-America City recognition for the first time in its history on the same weekend that it lost a local hero, police Cpl. Jose Luis “Speedy” Espericueta.  The weekend of June 22-23 was a joyous one. City leaders were in Denver to compete for and eventually gain the All-America recognition. Earning the award came after months of preparation to go with the years of work that went into the…

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