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Border Wall: the hidden costs

The border wall along the Southwest United States continues being a topic of controversial proportions and is considered the primary reason for the current U.S. government shutdown.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) is looking for the federal government (taxpayer) to fund approximately 654 miles of fencing along the U.S./ Mexico border with an estimated cost of $24,721,200,000 or($12.3 billion) in labor and ($12.3 billion) in supplies.

Locally in Maverick County, there are 80 miles of land along the U.S/ Mexico border. But only three miles of border fence has been built in the past 10 years.

At this point in time, a border wall just alone in Maverick County according to government estimates would cost the taxpayer approximately $ 2,759,400,000 or with it being split down the middle at $ 1,379,700,000 in supplies and labor to finish 77 miles of Maverick County border left between the U.S and Mexico.

This does not cover any other cost that could be incurred due to legal procedures to take over land and other issues that may arise for the government and land owners.

The United States House of Representatives has passed a bill to fund the government which does not include money to build a border wall.

It’s now up to the U.S Senate to approve the funding bill and send it to the U.S. President’s desk to be signed which more than likely will hit a wall thus continuing the government shutdown.

Increase in Emergency Calls in 2018 to Eagle Pass Fire Department

The Eagle Pass Fire Department had a 15% increase in emergency calls in 2018 as compared to 2017.

EPFD reports show that at the end of the year they had 7,758 emergency calls from both the county and city limits combined. While in 2017 there were 6,748 calls reported a difference of 1,011 more emergency calls which include Fire and Emergency Medical Service calls.

This increase represents an average of approximately 21 calls per day in 2018 while in 2017 there were approximately 18 calls per day recorded.

The newest emergency calls statistics reflects growth in our community and most importantly the need for reinforcement of emergency services within our county as well.

Often times the daily strain of the increase in calls can be seen as emergency crews have changed their approach to emergency responses this past year.

One of the protocols that were changed was the way that fire units respond to calls. With every call that comes in for EMS services, an accompanying fire engine is taken along to be able to be prepared if any other call comes into the units responding area.

They say that with growth comes changes and the way that the Eagle Pass Fire Department is now handling their work is a true picture of that growth and change of approach.

The City of Eagle Pass is increasing the amount of fire department personnel they have on board and are contracting.

Currently, the City is negotiating with Maverick County to possibly increase the number of funds the County pays on a yearly basis for City of Eagle Pass Fire services.

This increase is being sought mainly because of the increase in calls being seen on a yearly basis.

Three injured and one deceased in single vehicle rollover

A one-vehicle rollover accident on Garrison St. resulted in the tragic death of a male individual and injury of three others on Monday, January 14, 2019 at approximately 7:35 pm.

The accident involved a 2008 Pontiac G6 that was traveling on the Garrison St. overpass when its reported to have lost control, traversing across the center lane and impacting a city hall monument.

The G6 then rolled over and an individual ended up ejected and trapped under the vehicle. This individual was declared deceased at the scene of the accident while three other males were transported to the Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center emergency room for treatment.

Eyewitnesses at the scene state that the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when it lost control and ended up rolling over, feet away from the Eagle Pass City Hall building.

Law enforcement officials are currently investigating the accident and it’s cause.

Update: according to police reports the ages of the individuals range from 17-20

Crystal City resident shot in Carrizo Springs by juvenile suspects

Law Enforcement Officials have reported that the individual who was tragically shot in Crystal City has been identified as Elian Grimaldo from Carrizo Springs, Texas.

Grimaldo was shot once in the cranial area and found by authorities in the early morning hours of Thursday, January 10, 2019 after a 16-year-old reported the incident and led them to the gruesome crime scene.

At this point in time, at least two 16-year-old juveniles are reported to have been detained by the Zavala County Sheriff Department, pending an investigation could face charges in Grimaldo’s death.

The crime continues being investigated by Zavala County Law Enforcement Authorities with the Assistance of the Texas Rangers department.

City of Del Rio hit by ransomware attack

The City of Del Rio Municipal Computer System was attacked by RANSOMWARE on Thursday, January 10, 2019, which led to servers at City Hall being disabled announced the governmental entity.

The first step in addressing the issue, was for the City’s M.I.S. (Management Information Services) Department to isolate the ransomware which necessitated turning off the internet connection for all city departments and not allowing employees to log into the system. Due to this, transactions at City Hall are currently being done manually with paper.

The second step the City took was to go to the FBI to report the ransomware, after which the City was referred to the Secret Service.

“The City is diligently working on finding the best solution to resolve this situation and restore the system,” a press release stated. “It is uncertain whether anyone’s personal data has been compromised. This is uncertain as to both employee data and customer data. The City will provide further information as it becomes available.”

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid by the victim.

Internet attacks can come from different sources and manners which ultimately are aimed at stealing funds, personal information, and other malicious acts.

Back in 2017, the Eagle Pass Waterworks System (EPWWS) had a cyber-attack which breached one of the EPWWS main servers. This put sensitive personal information in the database at the time of the breach, including customer social security numbers, home addresses, payment information as well as employee information, telephone numbers, and payroll information in jeopardy.

Congressman Will Hurd adamantly against border wall, draws anger from GOP constitutes

Republican United States Representative Will Hurd is being criticized for his stand on the border wall and is one of the most vocal critics against U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to try to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Hurd represents Texas 23rd Congressional District which spans approximately 820 miles including Maverick County and has on numerous occasions stated he is against Trump’s plan for his idea of a border wall.

Hurd has stated that building such barrier between both countries is the least effective way of enforcing border security. “I think building a concrete structure sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security,” Hurd told CNN.

One of the main reasons Hurd is against the border wall construction is due to geographical/ terrain complications and a large portion of the land needed is privately owned.

Back in 2017, Hurd emphasized many of his arguments against the plan on the importance of property rights. “ Most of the property along our border has been privately held for generations,” Hurd stated to media outlets bask in 2017.

Hurd has pushed for what he calls a smart technology -based border wall that would involve drones and other forms of surveillance to help stop people from crossing into the Country illegally through Mexico.

Congressman Hurd has faced harsh criticism from government officials and constituents for his stand against the proposed border wall plan. But he remains steadfast that the President’s idea is not the best solution to a problem that the nation must solve

Eighteen year old found dead in Crystal City

Zavala County Law enforcement officials are investigating the murder of an 18-year-old Hispanic male from Carrizo Springs who was found in Crystal City, Texas in the early morning hours of Thursday.

Zavala County Police officials received a phone call from a 16-year-old male juvenile reporting an incident where he stated had shot another individual.

Authorities were led to an area along a farm market road where the 18-year-old victim was found inside of a truck.

The victim was deceased and is reported to have a gunshot wound to the head area.

Law Enforcement officials detained the 16-year-old male to possibly face murder charges.

Texas Ranger Joe Sanchez is investigating the crime to determine what occurred and gather evidence in the case.

The name of the victim has not yet been disclosed.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 11, states: “Everyone charged with a penal offense has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense.