The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino closed its doors back on March 19 due to the outbreak of Covid-19, and have remained closed since, except for curbside food sales from their restaurants.
During that time, they have worked diligently to ensure that they can provide a safe gaming and entertainment experience for their guests the day they re-open.
Up to now, an opening date has not been set, but 6 months into the Covid-19 Pandemic, they remain closed for one simple but very important reason, the welfare of their team members, community, and visitors to the main tourist destination along the U.S./ Mexico Border.
The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas is enriched in culture, family values and treats every one of their team members and customers as such, family. That has been an important factor in their decision to remain closed.
Since day one of closure on March 19, they have been committed to ensuring that everyone in the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino family has been taken care of by providing salaries and health coverage even while the doors of one of the largest employers in our region have been closed.
Due to the ever-changing Covid 19 situation, they have had to re-adjust and look at the economics during this unprecedented time.
Unfortunately, that included the laying off 260 employees on August 31, as there was no reopening date known. Some of those team members were in positions that due to Covid-19 restrictions, are not going to be viable until the risks of close contact are no longer an imminent threat.
Director of Marketing Jeffery Pletcher states that the decision to do so has been one of the hardest decisions KLEC has ever had to make.
“That decision has been hard on the KLEC, administration and Board. It was held off for close to 6 months and our team members were taken care of throughout that period,” said Pletcher. “ Many of those individuals are going to have the opportunity to be rehired in other positions that are going to be needed for us to reopen, whenever that may be.”
“We have been working closely with state officials to ensure that all measures are set in place for the reopening day, which will include temperature checks for all guests and team members as they enter the property, taken with noninvasive thermal cameras. We will also have plexiglass barriers at locations with frequent guest-team member interaction areas,” stated Pletcher. “ This is in addition to numerous hand sanitizing and hand wipe stations throughout the building. All the protocols will be in place, so we can ensure everyone’s well-being.”
“We have and continue monitoring the situation and are cognizant that in the past two months, July and August, the state of Texas and Maverick County have had the largest number of positive cases since the pandemic began. This has ultimately been taken into consideration in our decision to remain closed to the public until it’s safe for all of us,”added Pletcher.
Mr. Pletcher also stated that they continue monitoring the number of Covid-19 cases in Texas and in the cities where the majority of their guests live. At a press conference on September 17, Governor Abbott announced a further loosening of restrictions within the state.
“ All of that is being considered and will be a determining factor as to when we reopen. We consider our team members and guests as part of our family, and we look forward to the day we all can once again experience the joy we bring to one another, together in a safe and healthy manner,” concluded Pletcher.
Mexico’s foreign ministry has reported that they requested another month-long extension on land-crossing restrictions at the U.S./Mexico border.
The restrictions, first implemented last March, would be in place until October 21.
On September 21st it will be exactly 6 months (180) days that President Donald J. Trump ordered through the USCBP Department to close down international crossings for non-essential travelers.
This in turn has significantly impacted businesses in the community and across the border.
The City of Eagle Pass has been negatively impacted significantly by the restrictionary measures. The City is losing a significant amount of money due to decreases in crossings. It is also affecting the revenue they receive from Sale Taxes.
On September 15, 2020 the Eagle Pass ISD Board of Trustees approved to extend remote learning for 4 more weeks and also approved an asynchronous plan to allow parents to keep children under remote learning for the rest of the year if they request to.
80-year-old Maverick County resident Juan Sanchez who was struck by an automobile in the downtown area of the community back on August 26 succumbed to his injuries after numerous surgeries to save his life.
Mr. Sanchez was buried in Eagle Pass on Saturday, September 12 surrounded by his loved ones and friends. Mr. Sanchez is preceded in death by his wife.
Back on August 26, Mr. Sanchez was struck by a red pickup truck near a crossing lane on Garrison St near international Bridge No. 1.
The Eagle Pass Police and Fire Department responded to the scene and provided medical attention and care.
He was quickly rushed to the Fort Duncan Regional Medical Centers Emergency Room for further treatment and evaluation.
Sanchez had been hospitalized in a San Antonio TX hospital since the unfortunate accident and had undergone several surgeries to repair a punctured lung, broken pelvis, broken elbow, and a possible broken femur as well.
The Eagle Pass Independent School District through Superintendent Samuel Mijares reported that out of 13,175 registered students only 540 are attending in person classes.
This signifies that only 4 percent of all students are in a school setting throughout any given day.
This certainly helps, EPISD manage their structured plans to keep everyone including students, teachers, administration, and staff as safe as possible.
Many students are not attending classes in an abundance of caution to prevent spread of Covid-19, however the difficulty may be among teachers who are reporting to campus in order to offer the District’s Safe 2 Learn program.
Superintendent Mijares and Administration continue working through many obstacles in what has been an unprecedented school year altered by the continued threat of Covid-19 infections.
Mijares provided information on the number of students attending in person by school campus.
At the High School level there are 57 students with 23 at EPHS, and 34 attending at CC Winn.
Up to now, there have been 4 Teachers at the Eagle Pass High School who have tested positive for Covid-19.
There are 62 students attending both Jr. Highs with 38 at EPJH and 24 at MJH.
One student at Memorial Jr High School has tested positive for Covid-19.
At the Elementary level there are a total of 421 students attending in person.
The breakdown is as follows; 30 at
Ray Darr Elementary, 31 at the Language Development Center, 36 at Glass Elementary, 17 at Graves Elementary, 21 at Robert E. Lee Elementary, 21at Kirchner Elementary, 5 at San Luis Elementary, 18 at Rosita Valley Elementary, 16 at Benavides Elementary, 20 at the Early Childhood Center, 6 at Seco Mines Elementary, 21 at Sam Houston Elementary, 11 at Rosita Valley Literacy Academy, 19 at Pete Gallego Elementary, and 20 at Henry B. Gonzalez Elementary, 25 at Kennedy Elementary, 32 at Liberty Elementary, 55 at Armando Cerna Elementary, and 17 at Perfecto Mancha Elementary.
The number of students not attending in person classes is a 96 percent reduction for all EPISD campuses.
The Eagle Pass Waterworks System will be delaying an increase in rates for this coming fiscal year.
EPWWS General Manager Jorge Barrera presented an item seeking City Council’s approval to delay the EPWWS
effective date of the fifth-year increase of the Water and Wastewater Utility Service Rates.
Barrera stated that the Eagle Pass Waterworks System Board of Trustees had moved to delay the increase for this year due to the many problems associated with the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“We are seeking to delay this increase until next year as we do not want to burden our residents further,” said Barrera.
Barrera explained that the increase is part of a packet that had been passed back in 2016 under the EPWWS Capital Improvement Projects planning that would have an increase to fees for five years until 2020.
The delay will allow for the EPWWS to skip the increase in 2020 and revisit it the following year.
The Eagle Pass City Council voted in favor of the resolution request.
Back in 2016 at the recommendation of the EPWWS Board of Trustees, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2016-24 which approved increasing the water and wastewater utility service rates each year from October 1, 2016, through October 31, 2020. Those revenues would be used for numerous capital improvement projects including the downtown waterline replacement project and others.
EPWWS and the City of Eagle Pass recognize that the local community and ratepayers of EPWWS are having difficulty paying their water and wastewater utility service bills.
EPWWS and the City of Eagle Pass desire to delay the effective date of the fifth-year increase of the water and wastewater utility service rates as a way of assisting the local community and its ratepayers during this Covid-19 pandemic.
Today is the 6-year anniversary of the death of United States Border patrol agent Tyler R. Robledo.
United States Border Patrol agent Agent Tyler R. Robledo lost his life on September 12, 2014, after he was involved in a two-vehicle accident in between Carrizo Springs, Texas and Maverick County.
Agent Robledo died of his injuries at the hospital shortly after the accident. The driver of the other vehicle also died. Agent Robledo was 34 years old at the time of his death and left behind his wife and two children.
Another teacher at the EPHS has tested positive totaling 4.
As per Superintendent Mijares, all four teachers were infected at home, outside of the classroom. However, they continued to attend in person classes and congregated with fellow teacher and staff until their results were released.
Bringing in to question that students are being urged to disclose information relating to exposure to COVID-19.
The question which remains is are teachers and staff equally being held accountable to the same standards.
It has been reported that 3 Eagle Pass High School Teachers are reported to have tested positive for the deadly Covid-19 Virus.
Sources with extensive knowledge into the matter reported that the three teachers who are within the same wing and have been sent home.
EPISD Superintendent Samuel Mijares confirmed the situation on Thursday morning.
“ We have closed down the wing and all the Teachers have been sent home to work from home. Our Rapid Response Team has disinfected the area, and we’re currently working with the proper authorities to remediate the situation,” said Mijares.
This type of situations are more than likely bound to happen as Maverick County continues being a hotspot for the virus that has already killed 100 Maverick Countians.
The Teachers sent home are likely going to quarantine.
It’s unknown at this time if the infected teachers actually had any contact with students.
In recent days, would be thieves have been caught by security cameras at several residences across the community.
Many of those, have been caught in the Loma Bonita Sector of the community, a hot spot for crimes in the past several years.
Residents across the community continue placing security devices at their homes to be able to secure their belongings.
Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber and Eagle Pass Police Chief Albert Guajardo warn any Individuals that are out stealing or are thinking of committing such crime that they will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
This past week another resident uploaded two videos where it showed that two male subjects walking into her property and snooping around. The homeowner confronted them, and they pretended that they were there looking for someone. She then went on to advise them that no such person by the name they gave lived at that household.
The subjects then proceeded to leave the premises.
This could have turned dangerous for the resident and officials ask for you to call law enforcement at either (830)773-2321 MCSO or (830) 773-9044 EPPD.