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.

Brownsville Hosts Paella for Prosperity

A meal like this one from two Brownsville firefighters will be the main dish at this Saturday's Paella for Prosperity in Brownsville.

Ready to have one of Spain’s ancient-styled dishes cooked by some of the best Rio Grande Valley chefs? If so, head out this Saturday, Oct. 19, to Brownsville’s Historical Market Square for the first annual Paella for Prosperity. The food extravaganza will take place for a good cause. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Close to 20 cooking teams will be doing their best to come out with the best entries…

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Free Latin Jazz Festival This Weekend

This weekend’s Latin Jazz Festival will bring the reverberating sounds of congas, drums, guitars, saxophones and other musical instruments to Brownsville. From today, Oct. 10, through Oct. 12, the 23rd annual music and dance spectacle will feature three well-known groups hailing from this part of South Texas. They are The Clay Moore Group, The Brew and Del Castillo. The Brownsville Society for the Performing Arts hosts the festival which saw its beginnings 23…

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Hanging out at Cobbleheads

Los Bluzanos has been playing every Sunday on the deck of Cobbleheads for the last 10 years.

It has been more than 30 years since the opening of Cobbleheads in Brownsville and the local establishment keeps on providing a place to eat, to hold gatherings and to listen to music. The local bar and grill introduced the Philly steak sandwich to this part of the country thanks to Philadelphian Joe Kenney. It has weathered the storm from other locally- and franchise-owned businesses throughout those years. Keeping it…

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Wind Farms Empower Communities

A turbine from a wind farm near Bayview.

Willacy County has a reputation as a farming region of the state. Thousands of acres of land contain sugarcane and sorghum, cotton, corn and sesame seeds. One can drive for miles and miles and see nothing but fields covered with crops during the growing season. But in the last 10 years, one thing has drastically been changing the rural landscape in Willacy and parts of Cameron County. It is the proliferation…

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Golf Carting the Island

Two slingshot vehicles for rent on SPI.

The sound-blasting golf carts seen along the streets of South Padre Island are as popular as they can be. The half dozen or so businesses that have the “rent me” signs have been adding newer and fancier rental vehicles to their fleet. Some of these vehicles look like fancy racing cars, called slingshots. Others resemble the smart cars seen on some roads these days. The demand for such vehicles decrease…

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Local Company is Construction Heavyweight

J.J. Vela supervises the IBST plant operation.

Although the Rio Grande Valley is not as much of a manufacturing region as some other places in the state and the country, a local company continues to be a leader in the construction industry. It’s Innovative Block of South Texas. The La Feria business opened its doors in 2006 and is a major supplier of construction and solid blocks, as well as patio and walkway pavers. In addition, the company also…

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Second Chance Leads to Careers

Students stand by one of their instructors in the welding shop at the Bayview center.

AMIkids Rio Grande Valley is a one-of-a-kind program rehabilitating young felons. At the same time, it gives them the chance to become certified welders. The program has been in operation in eastern Cameron County for quite some time. AMIkids Rio Grande Valley is the only one in the Lone Star State and one of 44 AMIkids programs nationally. The organization works with at-risk youngsters ages 15 through 18. With roots in…

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TIFT Volunteers Reel In Scholarships

TIFT volunteers wait for fishing boats to arrive at the dock at the Port Isabel Marina.

The 80th Texas International Fishing Tournament is now in the books. This annual event is much more than going after shallow or deep-water fish. In fact, it’s a family event in which everyone from toddlers to grandparents in their 90s get together for a weekend of fun. Rewarding volunteers TIFT gives out tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to students from throughout the Rio Grande Valley and the state as well. This…

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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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