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.

New RV Park Draws in Winter Texans

Residents at Tropical Trail enjoy the park's swimming pool

Nearly 260 recreational parks are listed in a directory of a Rio Grande Mobile Home & RV publication. The vast majority of these facilities are located in Hidalgo County, followed by Cameron, Zapata and Starr counties. Some parks have been there for decades, catering to the Winter Texans industry, which appears to be booming this year. In Brownsville, one of the newest and largest such facilities opened its doors recently and…

Read More

Some Of The Freshest Seafood in the U.S.

A variety of seafood is available at the Quik Stop in Port Isabel.

Seafood consumption has been on the rise locally and nationally and even more so this time of year during Lent. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that the average American consumes 16 pounds of seafood a year. Consumers in the Rio Grande Valley have excellent options when buying fish and shrimp. Many local businesses sell seafood caught in the Gulf of Mexico and take pride in having fresh products.…

Read More

Love’s Truck Stop Keeps Rolling

Truckers make a stop at Love's fuel pumps.

The Rio Grande Valley truck stop industry took a leap recently as Love’s Truck Stop recently opened for business away from the Interstate Highway System. Part of the Oklahoma-based company‘s move into the area can be attributed to an increase in business activity at the Port of Brownsville. Love’s Truck Stop, just off FM 511, is just a stone’s throw from the deep-water facility. “Love’s generally has its truck stops along…

Read More

Not Just Members Only

The Rancho Viejo Resort and County Club Spanish-looking facade.

Long known as a place for members only, the Rancho Viejo Resort and Country Club has been trying to change its image by adding some events that are open to a more general audience. About a half dozen concerts and comedy shows are some of the activities the club started having for a number of years that are open to the public. Staffers Jenika Gonzales and Jorge Lopez said the goal…

Read More

This Home is Where the Art Is

A young student takes a violin lesson from Georgette Garcia.

The old house at East Madison and 15th street in Brownsville might look like a building in stages of decay. Some of the letters on the east side of the building are fading away. It reads “Carlotta K. Petrina.” Petrina was an artist from New York who moved to this part of South Texas many years ago. But inside the brick structure that served as her home until she died in 1997…

Read More

SPI Entertainment Tides Coming In

Party goers dance the night away at Laguna BOB.

Many of the country’s beach resorts have a place where the locals and visitors alike like to hang out. South Padre Island has its Entertainment District as well. It’s a place with about a dozen businesses that cater to families and to those who enjoy dancing, dining, fishing or who simply like to watch the many beautiful sunsets over the usually tranquil waters of the Laguna Madre. There are also rides for…

Read More

Los Fresnos Makes Donations to Matamoros Firefighters

Gene Daniels talks about the equipment Los Fresnos FD/EMS donated to the Matamoros FD.

The Los Fresnos Volunteer Fire Department made history this week by donating thousands of dollars in equipment to their counterparts from Matamoros, Mexico. Representatives of the two departments met Thursday night in the year-old LFFD/Emergency Medical Services. Here, all witnessed the generosity from a department that has 35 volunteer firefighters. Chief Gene Daniels estimated the equipment at some $40,000. It includes a brush truck, the jaws of life, boots, tanks…

Read More

Rosca de Reyes Lends Sweet Celebration

An employee at Ayala's Bakery in Brownsville shows a Rosca de Reyes panaderias.

While the holiday season is over for most people, another traditional celebration took place among some Rio Grande Valley residents. Such was the case for those who celebrated Three Kings Day with the traditional Rosca de Reyes, a round-shaped pastry consumed by people who follow the customs each Jan. 6. Bakeries throughout the region prepared the item by the hundreds, decorating the rings with dried fruit, cherries and other ingredients. Spanish-speaking…

Read More

Los Fresnos Builds for the Future

The new City Hall in Los Fresnos, complete after a year of construction.

Passing through or going through Los Fresnos isn’t what it used to be for this bedroom community along Texas Highway 100. This year alone, Los Fresnos, which brands itself as “A Community with Opportunity,” has taken some big steps when it comes to the way of providing better services to both its residents and those looking to relocate. Two major projects are now complete in the city. One is for…

Read More

Let’s Go Fly a Kite

Bill Doan flies kites on the beach all year around.

Colorful objects flying above the sandy beaches often greet South Padre Island visitors and residents. Some look rather weird like a giant pink octopus with undulated tentacles. Others are of fish species, medusas, turtles, purple frogs and even patriotic themes. The potpourri of these flying objects are actually kites people enjoy and fly as a hobby practically all year around. Remember the boxed- or diamond-shaped kites of yesterday flown with…

Read More