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Comal ISD agrees to $5.9 million to settle alleged overbilling
San Antonio Express News
By Zeke MacCormack : February 28, 2014 : Updated: February 28, 2014 2:02pm
The Comal Independent School District is slated receive a $5.9 million refund from its former contractor, Baird/Williams Construction, under a settlement trustees unanimously approved Thursday.
Trustees also evaluated superintendent Andrew Kim's performance in closed session and later voted 7-0 to extend his contract until 2019, district spokesman Steve Stanford said.
Baird/Williams did about $130 million in work as part of the district's $205 million bond package passed in 2008 and had overbilled the district by about $7 million, Stanford said.
He said no other firms hired for the bond projects were found to have overbilled the district in audit results reported Thursday night. MORE
Alamo Area Council of Governments places head staff on leave
San Antonio Express News
By Eva Ruth Moravec : February 26, 2014 :
Updated: February 26, 2014 2:14pm
SAN ANTONIO — The Alamo Area Council of Governments placed its two head staff members on paid administrative leave Wednesday after questions arose among the 30-member board about the organization's relationship with a tenant.
With two “no” votes, the body opted to immediately place Executive Director Dean Danos and deputy executive director Mike Quinn on leave.
Several minutes before, AACOG members voted unanimously to engage a third party to “initiate a fact-finding review of all of our relationships with the TriHM Foundation,” read a motion made by Medina County Judge James Barden.
The agency also unanimously voted to begin legal proceedings to “evict the tenant and take other appropriate legal action regarding the TriHM Foundation or its predecessor, and to attempt to recover any unpaid costs.” MORE
Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil
Name Witheld Upon Request
The current manner of dealing with the County's problems reminds one of the monkeys who Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil.
The monumental money problem of the court seems to all having been relegated to one finite argument with the auditor -the auditor has not answered the question. Is the 2012 audit complete? In the interim no county official bothered to do their job as no one heard nothing,saw nothing,and spoke nothing about the abuse and theft going on under their noses. Would anyone in their right mind believe them?
The feeling that can be perceived is an administration that is in desperation. And in so doing want the audit completed by any means.
Forget that the books do not balance. Just give us an audit so we can get money because we are drowning in debt and we just want to keep afloat. Is the problem the auditor or the officials? If a new auditor was to be hired could or would the new auditor meet their expectations? Or would the figures have to be doctored to make the figures balance. Is this what our county officials want?
One can only draw this conclusion from their questions and arguments of our officials. No wonder they seem to be having a bad dream and think that once they wake up in the morning the dream will be over and all will be well and everyone will be happy.
No! It will not be well and that is why in the next week that remains of early voting the people's voice and vote must be heard. There has been much talk about the need for residents to go out and vote and the citizens apathy. Please show that you do care and that only each and every voter can make a differences.
Thanks to the FBI corrupt officials have been round-up and are being held accountable for their actions. But the FBI cannot do it alone.
Has the greed and corruption in the community made us so insensitive to the actions of a few that we just let big, things just slide? We are bigger than these guys hunger, for power and best thing these guys could do is a public apology to the citizens and admit they have been negligent in carrying out their responsibility's.
Eagle Pass High loses to San Antonio Holmes
NEW BRAUNFELS - Eagle Pass High Softball team traveled to New Braunfels for a 4pm softball game against San Antonio's Holmes High School. Holmes led with three runs during the early innings. Then Eagle Pass took the lead with a 6 to 3 score. Unfortuately, Holmes came alive and managed to surpass the Lady Eagles ending with a Holmes victory of 7 to 6. Game photos available for viewing on FLICKR.
A citizen's plea on the eve of Maverick County's most important election
Name withheld upon request
EAGLE PASS - There has been in the past few weeks an ensuing war of words and accusations leveled at the current County Auditor Fidencio Ortiz who was placed in the post by District Judge Amado Abascal after the long time County Auditor Carlos Perada was terminated from the post. At the core of the matter is the 2012 audit in which Judge appointee Commissioner Roberto Ruiz and Judge David Saucedo claim the Auditor has not provided the necessary information to complete the audit. In a recent interview by the weekly newspaper El LATINO, County Auditor Fidencio Ortiz defended himself by indicating that all of the paperwork to complete the 2012 audit has been provided by his office. In the interview he further adds that neither County Judge Saucedo nor Commissioner Ruiz know about finances and base themselves on Roberto Rodriguez, a financial advisor, to the Court and Milo Martinez, a member of an auditing firm.
The questions that remains in the minds of the citizens is how did the past County Judge Jose Arranda and the present Judge David Saucedo let the County residents and tax payers down by not knowing of the thousands if not millions of dollars missing from the county coffers and paid for fraudulent services,materials and kickbacks to the indicted commissioners. Also how can the current members of the court keep making incongruous decisions and be piling additional debt on the back of its citizens and to a county budget that is already on life support. MORE
20th Annual Eagle Pass Eagles Alumni Baseball Game
1:00 pm Saturday, February 15, 2014
By: Conrado Perez, Jr. – Eagle Pass Sports Central
“Your best and only source for local sports in Eagle Pass”
The tradition rich Eagle Pass Eagles varsity baseball program will be hosting their 20th Annual Alumni Baseball Game at 1:00 PM this coming Saturday, February 15, 2014 at the Eagle Pass ISD Student Activity Center baseball field. The Eagle Pass Eagles varsity baseball program, that has been widely known as one of the premier high school baseball programs in the entire State of Texas, will be welcoming back numerous former players including some of the real true legends in Eagle Pass High School Eagles varsity baseball history. These legends of the past have brought many a memorable and history making thrill playing the grand old game of baseball at the then known Ft, Duncan Baseball Field filling the grandstands to an overflow capacity for one more chance to don their uniforms, gloves, caps, and cleats to attempt to showcase their skills that perhaps might have slowed down a bit throughout the years but certainly not their competitive spirit. Baseball caps will be available to the Alumni at a cost of $25.00 apiece. MORE
See photos being displayed on EPalumni.Com Facebook.
Eagles Baseball team travel to San Antonio
By Robert Castillo
Feb 3, 2014
SAN ANTONIO - The Eagle Pass Eagles Varsity baseball team traveled to San Antonio to compete in a scrimmage game against Burbank High at the SAISD Sports Complex in blistering cold weather.
The meeting of these two teams at the start of the baseball season has become a tradition for both Eagles' Coach Reynol Mendoza and Burbank's Coach Romeo Barrera.
Eagle Pass players took the field with the confidence gained from a successful last season and opened a batting rally from the second ending on. Photos available on FLICKR.
27th Annual Asian Festival
By Robert Castillo
Feb 1, 2014
SAN ANTONIO - The 27th Annual Asian Festival was held on the grounds of the Institue of Texan Cultures in San Antonio, Texas.
The Asian Festival has had many years of great success and has become one event that attracts growing numbers who enjoy the diversity of Asian dances, customs and food.
Their growing success is supported by the record-breaking attendance experienced year after year.
San Antonio City Councilman Ron Nirenberg, representing the City of San Antonio, expressed the sentiments of thousands who attended.
" The 27th Annual Asian Festival was an experience for the eyes, ears and taste buds. For so long San Antonio has been a gateway to the Americas. Underneath the tower of the site of the world's fair of 1968, it is a reminder that our great city is now a gateway to the world," stated Nirenberg.
The crowd was entertained with traditional dances from participating countries. Thousands also enjoyed authentic Asian food from the many vendors, including the Japanese, Korean, Laotians, Philippines, Chinese and others. The event ended at 5 PM. View photos on FLICKR .
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014
EAGLE PASS BROTHERS SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR AMMUNITION
In Del Rio this afternoon, United States District Judge Alia Moses sentenced 34-year-old Richard Hesles, Jr., and his brother, 24-year-old Damien Hesles to 120 months and 110 months in federal prison, respectively, in connection with a scheme to smuggle over 6,000 rounds of ammunition and hundreds of firearm magazines into the Republic of Mexico stated United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent In Charge Janice Ayala and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent In Charge Robert Elder, Houston Division.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Moses ordered that Richard Hesles pay a $7,500 fine and be placed under supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term; Damien Hesles, a $5,000 fine and three years of supervised release following his prison term. Judge Moses also ordered that Richard Hesles, Jr., and Damien Hesles pay monetary judgments in the amount of $54,414 and $42,634, respectively. Those sums represent the value of property involved or used to facilitate the defendants’ scheme.
On October 25, 2013, the defendants pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the smuggling of goods from the United States. According to the factual basis in this case, while under surveillance at the Hesles Gun and Knife Store in Eagle Pass, TX, on February 17, 2012, Damien Hesles unloaded several boxes from his vehicle. Those boxes were subsequently loaded into another vehicle which began traveling towards the U.S.- Mexico border. When the driver of that vehicle noticed he was being followed, he stopped the vehicle and discarded the boxes inside a dumpster, then fled the area. Inside the boxes, surveillance agents discovered U.S. defense articles, namely 100 AR-15 assault rifle rear tactical sights and 100 AR-15 assault rifle front tactical sights.
Investigators were able to determine that Piedras Negras, Mexico residents Oliver Bres-Carranza and Erik Alan Garza had spoken to Richard Hesles, Jr., and placed the order for the AR-15 sights. Damien Hesles received payment from Bres-Carranza and Garza for the sights and then shared the money with his brother. Authorities estimate that the brothers aided and abetted the exportation or attempted exportation of over 6,000 rounds of ammunition designed for use in various firearms, including AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles as well as .50 caliber sniper rifles; over 300 assault rifle magazines and more than 60 magazines for other types of firearms; and, firearm sights.
The factual basis, which the defendants admitted was accurate, stated that the brothers procured ammunition, firearm magazines and firearm sights for individuals in Mexico from 2010 until 2012 and that Richard Hesles, Jr., knew that the items were going to Los Zetas Cartel operatives in Mexico. The brothers, along with the store owner, have entered into an agreement with the Government to surrender their Federal Firearms License and to no longer support or fund, directly or indirectly, any business or venture which deals in any manner with the sale, trade or distribution of firearms, ammunition, magazines and/or components/accessories related to the firearms trade.
“Gun and drug trafficking fuels violence by criminal organizations domestically and abroad,” said Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala, HSI San Antonio. “HSI special agents will continue working jointly with our law enforcement partners and utilize our expertise in export enforcement to keep our citizens safe and secure.” On January 15, 2014, Erik Alan Garza was sentenced to 44 months in federal prison and fined $3,000 for his role in the smuggling scheme. Bres-Carranza, who remains in custody, faces up to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty in October 2013 to his role in the smuggling scheme. Bres-Carranza is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:00am on February 25, 2014, before Judge Moses. A 5th defendant in this case, Rolando Tamayo, was released on bond following his arrest in June 2012, but is now considered a fugitive.
The case was investigated by agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) together with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Galdo prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.
Wendy Davis Campaign Hits Back At 'Desperate' Greg Abbott, Rush Limbaugh
The Huffington Post | By Paige Lavender Posted: 01/25/2014 11:49 am EST | Updated: 01/25/2014 11:59 am EST
The campaign for Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis (D) hit back at her opponent Greg Abbott and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh for attacking her personal life earlier this week.
In an email to supporters titled "They're getting desperate," Davis' campaign manager Karin Johanson said the Texas state senator's opponents would "try anything, including the typical dirty tricks we're all tired of" to bring Davis down.
"I guess Rush Limbaugh just couldn't help himself," Johanson wrote.
Johnason criticized Limbaugh for having "one of his infamous outbursts," referencing a recent show where he called Davis a "fraud."
Huff Post's Laura Bassett reported earlier on the controversy surrounding Davis' personal life: More from Huffington Post.
Kingwood teacher accused of sex with student: ‘I allowed it to go too far’
by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News
Posted on January 24, 2014 at 3:51 PM
Updated yesterday at 10:20 PM
KINGWOOD, Texas -- A popular Kingwood Park High former social studies teacher and football coach has been charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Zachary Harlan, 35, resigned from the school back in November 2013. That’s when the accusations surfaced, and he was placed on administrative leave.
Parents had received a letter informing them about the accusations against Harlan. Harlan has been arrested more than two months later and is now officially charged with the crime.
“He’s innocent until proven guilty,” said parent Amy Hogan. “It doesn’t change my stance until I hear everything. I don’t know what to think.”
Parents and students have been defending Harlan since the allegations surfaced. Harlan is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old senior girl back in October 2013. More from KHOU 11 News.
Barrera wins second place in San Antonio Photography Contest
Professional photographer, Javier Barrera of Eagle Pass took part in a photography contest sponsored by the Professional Photographers Association of San Antonio on Wednesday January 22, and placed second in competition.
Elusive hacker Guccifer arrested in Romania - report
Published time: January 23, 2014 01:13
Romanian authorities arrested on Wednesday a man they suspect is hacker Guccifer, known for infiltrating the email accounts of many international political and public figures, including former US President George W. Bush.
Marcel Lazar Lehel, 40, was arrested and his home in Arad County was searched, according to Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT). Lehel had already been sentenced to three years of supervised release in February 2012 for similar hacks.
Romanian authorities allege that a man they refer to only as LML “accessed, repeatedly and without authorization, by bypassing security measures, email accounts belonging to public figures from Romania, with the purpose of gaining possession of confidential information found in their electronic mailboxes.” Radio Romania first identified the suspect as Lehel.
A Romanian prosecutor told Reuters that the suspect is believed to be hacker Guccifer. MORE.
Thousands brave cold for Cowboy Breakfast
San Antonio Express-News
By Scott Huddleston
January 24, 2014
Updated: January 24, 2014 11:17pm
SAN ANTONIO - "Bill Massey, chairman of the Cowboy Breakfast Foundation, which stages the event, said volunteers began serving food as scheduled at 4:30 a.m. Friday and thousands lined up.
“It's a little bit lighter than normal,” because of the weather, Massey said. “We've slowed our cooking a bit. We don't want to have any unused product.”
The event celebrates the trail riders of the Old West and has become an unofficial kickoff for the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, which will run Feb. 6-23.
Because of the possibility of ice or sleet causing dangerous travel, organizers extended the breakfast for an hour to 9:30 a.m.and promised to keep it going until 10 a.m., if necessary, to give people time to check the latest road conditions and stop by for free food and entertainment. Through the years, the event has seen ice, snow and a heavy deluge, but has never been canceled, organizers said.
The Cowboy Breakfast Foundation, which holds the event, provides scholarships to culinary arts students at St. Philip's College. Students helped cook with coal fire burners, gaining experience in high-volume food preparation." More from San Antonio Express-News
Michigan Seeks Visas to Lure Immigrants to Detroit
By Immigration Prof
Friday, January 24, 2014
ABC News reports that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has announced a plan to ask the Obama administration to set aside thousands of work visas to entice talented immigrants to live and work in bankrupt Detroit. The Republican governor said he is seeking 50,000 work visas solely for the city over five years. The type of visas involved are not currently allocated by region or state, but rather go to legal immigrants who have advanced degrees or show exceptional ability in certain fields. Source
ON FACEBOOK .. Delaine Mathieu
Finally home from witnessing an accident on 281..and trying to process what just happened. I'm thankful I was there to help. To the special ops military guy...you were incredible. You were so composed and calm and soothing to that man. You kept him from going into shock and you set the tone for all of us. To the woman who helped me with the tourniquet, thank you...we could have lost him right there on the highway without it. To the woman who saw exactly what happened and STAYED ON THE SCENE...thank you. I know his family will be grateful. To the paramedics, police and fire rescue - thank you! We were so relieved to see you.
To Paul Sr., I pray your son will be okay. Just know that he was surrounded by people who genuinely cared.
If you see an accident, please stop to help. Even if it's to make sure someone has called 911. It could make the difference between life and death. Facebook.
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Know Your Candidates
County Commissioner Precinct 1,
Gerardo “Jerry” Morales
Mark De Los Santos
County Commissioner Precinct 2,
Yolanda Lopez Mauricio
Marco Antonio Gloria
County Commissioner Precinct 4,
Guadalupe “Lupe” Cardona
Luis Alfonso Ruiz