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.

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Holiday Village Sets the Scene

A couple of buddies get into the holiday spirit at the village.

Imagine being in a winter wonderland with snow surrounding you. You can also see Christmas characters, homes and businesses with various holiday decorations. Even Santa Claus is waving at passerbys. Better yet – imagine seeing all that without going to the coldest places of the United States or to the North Pole during this time of year. Well, imagine no more. Brownsville’s Dean Porter Park currently has all of that in…

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State Recognition for Willacy EMS Director

Frank Torres is flanked by family relatives. Far left are Manny Vela and Texas Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr.

Frank Torres, director of the Willacy County Emergency Medical Services, has been recognized by the Texas Senate for his exemplary service to the Lone Star State. Torres was chairman of the Texas Emergency Services Retirement System Board of Trustees since 2001. This year, he began a six-year reappointment on the administrative body that oversees 237 department members. He was recognized by the Senate and by Texas Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr.…

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Sample a Tasty Weekend with Cowboy Cook-Off

Ready to cook, taste and compete for the top outdoor chef spots all for a good cause? If so, head to the Los Fresnos Rodeo Grounds this weekend for the annual Cowboy Cook-Off Nov. 15-16. Up to $5,000 in prizes will be up for grabs for the best entries in several categories. This includes fajitas, brisket, pan de campo, chicken, spare ribs and tasty frijoles a la charra. But the best…

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Coming Together to Build the Reef

Red snapper swimming in the artificial reef. (Courtesy)

Gary Glick, president of the nonprofit group Friends of RGV Reef, said recreational red snapper fishing generates several times the economic force of commercial red snapper fishing. People who come to fish also spend money on food and lodging, gas, tackle, charter trips, etc. Glick estimates that Friends of RGV Reef has spent about $400,000 on deploying reef material so far. The group has managed to do it for roughly…

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Expanding Brownsville’s Airport

A look at how the new Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport terminal is shaping up.

It’s often said that Brownsville is the second most historical city in the Lone Star State after San Antonio. It’s also the largest city in the Rio Grande Valley, having a population estimated at more than 200,000 people today. Yet, this city on the border by the sea has the smallest and oldest of the three full-service airports in the entire region. The other two are Valley International Airport in Harlingen and McAllen…

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Building Fish Habitats

Concrete ties at the site of the reef. (Courtesy)

For the past five years, the local non-profit Friends of the RGV Reef has been working to restore and build up the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. They wanted to ensure that there was a habitat to create a thriving population of fish in the area. Due to the efforts, Friends of RGV Reef was named a 2019 Conservation Wrangler by the Texan by Nature conservation. The honor acknowledges…

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