Author Archives: Tony Vindell

Freelance journalist Tony Vindell has more than 30 years experience as a newspaper reporter. Born in Nicaragua, he studied journalism and political science at the University of Missouri-Columbia and at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. He began his career working for The Pecos Enterprise in West Texas. Vindell also worked for The Laredo News, The Brownsville Herald, Valley Morning Star, Port Isabel News Press and the Raymondville Chronicle/News. Vindell, who lives in Brownsville with his wife Sharon, enjoys hunting, fishing and traveling.

Isla Blanca Park Gets a Facelift

Beachgoers using the new showers at the Sandpiper Pavilion at Isla Blanca Park.

Beachgoers using Isla Blanca Park on South Padre Island are in for a surprise if they have not gotten the shock already. The rusty-looking facility most people have been going to over the years is becoming one of the most modern beach parks now rivaling similar venues found in Florida and California. Gone are the wooden pavilions, messy restroom and shower areas, and the dark net over the picnic sections. Replacing…

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Farmers Market Freshness

Rebecca de la Garza buys a specialty bread from April Kminiak of Frannys' Garden of Bayview at the Brownsville farmers market.

Although the Rio Grande Valley is one of the state and country’s best fertile regions to grow fruits, vegetables and livestock, consumers have not had the opportunity to get the best the land produces unless they go to a grocery store or to a fruit stand. Winter vegetables, for example, usually ship to many places in the United States. Goat cheese isn’t a supermarket staple in this part of the…

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Old Dominion Stays on the Move

Jason Pettigrew, the company regional sales director, stands by the expanded warehouse at the service center.

Freight line companies are in the business of transporting cargoes from Point A to Point B and vice versa. But in the world of this movement of goods not all freight lines are alike. Take for instance, a North Carolina-based company Old Dominion which has been in La Feria for nearly two decades. Founded in 1934, the land carrier is the nation’s second largest such company after Federal Express’s fleet of trucks. Old…

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Weekend Fishing in Port Mansfield

Red fish will be viewed during this weekend tournament.

The 45th annual Port Mansfield Fishing Tournament is this weekend, so head out to this fishing village about 20 miles east of Raymondville. More than 200 anglers are expected to participate in the two-day tourney raising funds for the local chamber of commerce. Registration is Thursday. Fishing takes place Friday and Saturday. The award ceremony is Sunday.  The tourney is the largest such contest here and the one which attracts most…

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Mangoes, Mangoes, Mangoes!

Jason Hess shows one of the many mangoes at the grove in Bayview.

Got mangoes? If not, go this Saturday to Paradise Gardens in Bayview as a fest to celebrate the ever popular tropical fruit. The gardens, previously known as River’s End Nursery, will turn into a celebration of mangoes for people of all ages from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Owners Jason and Lara Hess have one of the largest mango groves in the Rio Grande Valley. It has close to 30 varieties…

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Shrimping Season Begins With a Blessing

The Rev. Mark Watters blessing the trawler at the Brownsville Shrimp Basin

Shrimping in the Gulf of Mexico has been a way of life for thousands from the Brownsville/Port Isabel area to the Texas upper coast.  It’s also been the livelihood for hundreds of others who come from as far as Mexico and Central America. Each new shrimp season usually starts on July 15, or a month and a half after hurricane season begins. But just as the farmers of the land face…

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Downtown Brownsville Comes Alive

A conjunto trio plays in one of the new music venue in the downtown area. (VBR)

For many years, downtown Brownsville looked like a ghost town, particularly during evening hours. The only exception was an H-E-B supermarket on East Elizabeth Street. Here, shoppers from south of the border stopped by to buy goods before going across the Rio Grande into Matamoros. After a group of concerned citizens began looking into how to revive the city’s oldest business district several years ago, the area started coming alive. New…

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Rise of the Food Trucks

Decisions, decisions, decisions! Customers debate the menu selections at the La Discada taco truck.

Although food truck parks aren’t new to some cities in the Lone Star State like Austin, the Rio Grande Valley has literally been jumping on the bandwagon of these mobile facilities that offer food and music for nearly every taste and type. RGV cities with food trucks parks include Brownsville, McAllen and now South Padre Island.  In Los Fresnos, city and economic development officials have been toying with the idea…

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Zipping to Adventure

Adventurers take a ride down The Adventure Park zip-line. The main tower has three 2,500-square-foot levels for zipping and observation. Zippers start at the top level with four parallel zip-lines to zip 500 feet to the return tower. (Courtesy)

Now that summer has officially begun, head out to South Padre Island for some action. Try some different action, not the kind like windsurfing, paddle boarding, buggy riding, off-road driving or hopping on a boat to go after one’s favorite fish. The south and north end of the Island gets the most crowds, there is a facility near the end of Texas Highway 100 that provides plenty of things to…

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CAF Air Show Flies In This Weekend

David Hughston, chairman of the CAF board, stands by a PT-17 scheduled to fly.

The 2019 Commemorative Air Force Air Show will happen this weekend at the Port Isabel/Cameron County Airport. Locals and tourists alike can head out to enjoy aerobatic flybys and war-like aerobatic displays above the wide skies of this part of South Texas. Some 20 vintage aircraft will participate in the two-day event on June 22-23 at the airport located between the Towns of Bayview and Laguna Vista on West FM…

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