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Government Shutdown will not affect Income Tax refunds

Over 25,000 Federal Income Tax returns filed in Maverick County will not be delayed by the partial government shutdown.

The delay issue was a possibility until Monday afternoon when the Federal Government announced that there wouldn’t be any delays to the Internal Revenue Services issuance of refunds.

The sheer consequences of such delay would affect the community in so many ways including local government entities who usually receive a bulk of their property taxes payments around this time.

Luckily that won’t be the case and people will be able to submit and receive their returns on a timely basis this year.

The Federal Government has stated that the IRS will issue refunds to taxpayers even if the U.S. government shutdown extends into the filing season.

White House Office of Management and Budget acting director Russell Vought stated that no matter what happens,“Tax refunds will go out.”

The decision announcement came as a relief to millions of taxpayers who file as soon as the tax filing period opens up.

The tax filing season start date has not been announced but should open up in late January or early February.

The tax refund delay could have caused a severe economic setback throughout the nation which is accustomed to the spending boost around this time of the year.

District Judge announces public hearing for appointment of County Auditor

365th Judicial District Judge Amado Abascal announced that a public hearing will be held for the appointment of the vacated position of Maverick County Auditor which is scheduled to be held on January 18, 2018 at 8:45 am.

The purpose of the hearing is to name an Assistant County Auditor and to set the compensation of the Maverick County Auditor and the newly appointed assistant County Auditor and to adjust the compensation of a current Assistant County Auditor.

The position was left vacant after Maverick County Auditor Sandra Watkins tendered her letter of resignation on Friday, October 20, 2018, after serving in the position of auditor since 2015.

District Judge Amado Abascal and newly appointed 293rd District Judge Maribel Flores are expected to appoint and set compensation changes to their salaries during the public hearing /meeting.

The County Auditors Department is currently h being handled by the current staff.

Sandra Wartkins had replaced then-County Auditor Fidencio Ortiz in a controversial fashion after problems came to a boil between Ortiz and the County Commissioners Court.

Watkins was appointed in a controversial split vote between the two District Judges and a third party Judge who was called in to break a stalemate decision to continue with Ortiz or hire someone else.

Back then District Judge Amado Abascal voted to keep Ortiz as County Auditor.

Recent windstorms affect hundreds of Maverick County homes

Hundreds if not thousands of homes in Maverick County were recently damaged by a High Wind Storm that swept our region.

A majority of those homes have no homeowners insurance which becomes a burden on the owner to fix their homes and avoid further deterioration from other inclement weather events.

One homeowner had most of his home’s roof damaged as the high winds reached up to 45 MPH and tore off the majority of its shingles.

“We have to fix it ourselves. We have no insurance due to skyrocketing prices over the years. But we were able to scrap up the money and begin to patch it up,” said the homeowner. “ I can imagine that there are thousands of homeowners in the area that are dealing with this issue as well.”

Ascertaining a true figure of how many homes were affected by the high wind storm is next to impossible. But the chances that numerous homes, businesses and other property was damaged, catching many of those homeowners without insurance to cover the costs of damages is highly likely.

“The cost of homeowners insurance has increased beyond being reasonable. Often times people from the community cannot afford to get the coverage,” said a local insurance agent.

Reports from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners show that average home insurance rates have risen in every state in the last decade and will more than likely continue to increase. Insurance companies point to the frequency and severity of natural disasters as one of the main reasons for those increase.

Although homeowners insurance is essential to protect the property owner in the event of damage from severe weather certain situations have caused companies to increase rates. Issues such as lawsuits relating to property damage claims have added to increases in costs often making homeowners insurance too expensive, or not offered at all, for consumers in some areas.

For now, many local homeowners have no other choice but to repair the damages to their homes. properties on their own at some point in time.

“Let’s just hope that we don’t have any more severe weather, storms that will add to our problem and we are able to fix our roof before they do.” added the homeowner.

Individual struck by truck at the intersection of Main and Bibb St.

The Eagle Pass and Fire department responded to an emergency call on Sunday, January 7, 2019 at approximately 6:54 pm. in regard to a motor vehicle accident with a pedestrian in the intersection area of Main and Bibb Street.

Upon arrival at the scene, Eagle Pass Police Department officials made contact with an individual who had been struck by a Ford Truck and was in need of medical assistance.

The Eagle Pass Fire Department Services personnel arrived at the scene and quickly triaged the patient and proceeded to transported him to the Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center emergency room for further evaluation and treatment.

The driver of the Ford truck was detained and turned over to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

While at the hospital it was determined that the individual a known local attorney needed to be transported to a San Antonio Hospital for further treatment and possible surgery for the injuries he sustained which include multiple fractures

Border Patrol Sees 43% Increase of Individuals Claiming Credible Fear (ICCF) Along the Southwest Border

The United States Border Patrol reported that there was a 43% increase of apprehensions of individuals claiming credible fear along the Southwest Border during 2018 as compared to 2017.

During 2018 there were 54,690 undocumented immigrants apprehended along the Southwest Border who were categorized under the (ICCF) category as compared to 2017 which had 38,300 individuals.

Reports show that there was a 31% increase of (ICCF’s) along the Del Rio Border Sector which includes Maverick County. During 2018 BP with 3,087 people detained who ended up being placed in the (ICCF) category. In 2017 there were 2,355 reported.

It’s important to note that all cases reported under (ICCF) are referred to Asylum Officers of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Those who are apprehended between Ports of Entry and claim credible fear are processed for expedited removal by U.S. Border Patrol. Those who arrive at Ports of Entry, are found inadmissible, and claim credible fear are processed for expedited removal by the Office of Field Operations.

Under the Expedited Removal Provisions, an agent or officer takes the applicant’s sworn statement, including asking four questions regarding any fear the alien may have of returning to his or her home country and the potential of being harmed. During Expedited Removal proceedings, detainees are questioned regarding any fear they may have of returning to their country of origin, to ensure that each detainee is afforded the ability to articulate claims of fear. Those questions are: Why did you leave your home or country of last residence?
Do you have any fear or concern about being returned to your home country or being removed from the United States? Would you be harmed if you are returned to your home country or country of last residence? Do you have any questions or is there anything else you would like to add?

CBP Agents and Officers have no discretion as to whether or not to refer an alien for a credible fear interview. CBP Agents and Officers do not make any determination on the validity of such claims and refer the person for an interview with a USCIS Asylum Officer.

Maverick County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to multiple car fire

Maverick County Sheriff Deputies and personnel from the Eagle Pass Fire Department responded to an emergency call regarding a three-vehicle fire in the Pueblo Nuevo sector of the community at around 2:00 am on Tuesday, December 25, 2018.

Sheriff deputies were called to respond to an area in Pueblo Nuevo where there were at least three vehicles that were on fire.

Maverick County Sheriff Department Chief Deputy Roberto de Leon reported that deputies arrived at the scene and found a vehicle fully engulfed in flames with two other vehicles parked next to it also catching fire.

De Leon states that EPFD personnel began to battle the blaze and eventually extinguished the vehicles.

The incident is being investigated to determine the cause of the fire.

Adult Male flees apprehension for reckless driving, warrant

A male adult reported fleeing apprehension from the Eagle Pass Police Department resulted injured after crashing his motorcycle into a truck on Monday December 24.

Eagle Pass Police Department officials responded to an emergency call regarding a reckless driver in a motorcycle.

While searching for a subject officers found an individual matching the description who had crashed into a truck in an area along Laredo St.

Elements from the Eagle Pass Fire Department responded to the scene and transported the individual to the Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center Emergency Room for evaluation and treatment.

It’s reported that the subject refused medical attention and was released to the custody of the Police Department.

The individual was taken back to the Police Department where he began feeling ill.

A decision was then taken to have the subject re-evaluated.

He was then transported by EMT’s back to the hospital and Air- Evacuated to a San Antonio Hospital for treatment of internal injuries.

The subject did turn out to have an arrest warrant out of Bexar County for an aggravated sexual assault charge.