Author Archives: Ricardo Cavazos, VBR content editor

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.

Customs Revises Traffic Hours At Anzalduas Bridge 

The Anzalduas Bridge (photo U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

A McAllen/Mission-area bridge is reducing hours of operations for southbound traffic as traffic volume from Mexico has declined with restrictions imposed during the coronavirus crisis.  Beginning Monday, April 6, the Anzalduas Bridge will see hours reduced for incoming traffic from Mexico. Northbound traffic on Anzalduas will operate from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hours of operation for southbound traffic will remain unchanged and be open for traffic from 6 a.m.…

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Traffic Volumes Dropping

Social distance practices and shelter in place directives from county judges appear to be having the effect intended. At least one Rio Grande Valley city reports significant declines in vehicular traffic. The City of McAllen reports a nearly 70 percent drop in normal vehicular traffic at two of its busiest intersections. Those locations are 2nd Street and Nolana Avenue and Ware Road and Nolana. Both intersections as of March 28…

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Wing Barn Gains Recognition Amid Growth

Bobby Saenz and Daniel Pompa are the owners of the fast-growing Wing Barn restaurants in the Valley.

Down-home Rio Grande Valley cooking is gaining statewide accolades for the Brownsville-based Wing Barn. The growing regional restaurant chain was recently named one of the “Top 25 Best Places for Chicken Wings in Texas” by Big 7 Travel. The widely-read and well-sourced social media site offers recommendations on the best destinations, hotels and restaurants around the country and world for travelers to visit and enjoy. The accolade comes at a…

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Magnet Schools Adapt to Changing Times

Simulation Lab Facilitator Linda Valdez shows the variety of equipment in her lab at Med High

Engineering students are at work inside a new innovation lab building on the Mercedes campus of the South Texas Independent School District campus. They peer over laptops and move from table to table, conferring over projects and looking over numerical formulas that offer solutions.  “These kids know they’re not on an island,” said Gabe Valdez, an instructor at the school. “They collaborate. They look for opportunities to teach each other.”…

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Harlingen Farm Grows Green Sensibilities 

Diana Padilla looks over rows of organically grown crops at her farm in Harlingen.

Diana Padilla describes it as seeing a piece of land and knowing it’s where she wanted to be. The Chicago native and retired federal government employee chanced upon the farmland near the corner of Rangerville and Morris roads in Harlingen and had a good feel for it. She and her husband Saul purchased a 15-acre plot, including the old farmhouse where they live, and then began farming. It was 2004…

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McAllen Goes Green With Unique Facility

Grinding and processing brush at the McAllen Composting Facility.

Robert Treviño winds his city-issued truck through 20-foot-plus high piles of brush – grinded and raw – at the McAllen Composting Facility.  The city’s renewable resource manager oversees a facility that annually sells 25,000 bags of compost and mulch, and also hauls and delivers products all over South Texas. It’s a valuable commodity among growers and gardeners for the nutrients and microbial activity it provides to soils for plant use…

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Pointing a Business Skyward

Esteban Mejia Jr., founder and owner of Sky I.T. Solutions

Esteban Mejia Jr. has the restless energy of an Air Force veteran who once worked long shifts as a nuclear cruise technician. Returning home, the Mercedes native built an information technology business from scratch. He’s now working to extend his brand. “My dad would tell me, growing up, ‘Never back down from work,’’ he said. “So I’m always thinking, ‘what else, what else can I do?’” Mejia is the founder…

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Same Vibe, New Move for Hardknox

The Hardknox facility at night.

The new place still feels like the old place. That’s the vibe Rodney McClanahan was going for when he transplanted his Hardknox Strength & Performance Club across town in Brownsville. It looks like he succeeded. The new 10,000-square-foot facility just off Pablo Kisel Blvd. near Sunrise Mall is over twice the size of the old club on the Military Highway in the west Brownsville neighborhoods where McClanahan grew up. The…

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Local Businesses Adapt to Thrive

Hardknox owner Rodney McClanahan

Small businesses across the Rio Grande Valley are moving quickly to adapt to a new and shocking environment they were thrown into by the coronavirus crisis. New days, new paths Linda’s Cakes & Desserts in Brownsville is now selling essential items such as eggs, milk, potatoes and beans in addition to their usual assortment of sweets. Hardknox Strength & Performance, also of Brownsville, is using its social media outlets to…

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Local Drive-Through Coronavirus Testing Begins

coronavirus

Starr County began offering drive-through coronavirus testing on Sunday while Cameron and Hidalgo counties saw their number of COVID-19 cases grow over the weekend. The first coronavirus-confirmed patient in Hidalgo County is from McAllen. The second also resides in the county, but health officials did not state in which city the patient lives. Both patients were infected away from the Rio Grande Valley before returning home and showing symptoms. Cameron…

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