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**Breaking** Another stabbing reported in downtown area

Police officials are currently searching the downtown area for a suspect involved in a stabbing. More information will be provided as it develops.

Update: (8:40pm)

Two male subjects have been detained for questioning. Two more being searched for as persons of interest.

Eagle Pass Main Street will revise guidelines to facade improvement program

The Eagle Pass Main Street program and City Council approved a resolution to improve and change certain guidelines in the facade improvement grant program that will allow the city an ability to lure growth into the city’s downtown area.

EP Main Street Director Joe Cruz presented information before the council during their meeting held on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, in which he detailed what changes were being sought by the programs advisory board.

The Main Street Program was created to assist communities in establishing historic preservation districts and assist small cities to revitalize historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts by developing a public/private effort and utilizing preservation and economic development strategies.

Cruz explained that some of the changes being sought to change in the existing program were to increase the chances of luring businesses and other types of important growth into the heart of downtown.

“The section that I added is other eligibility’s. How do we bring more businesses to the vacancies that we have right now in the downtown area. And how do we increase residency also. We have been talking to people who want to move into the downtown area specifically in the second-floor areas. But yet sometimes to fix those areas is a challenge. When it comes to cost it can discourage the owner of the building to go through the process of creating that living space.” said Cruz.

Cruz explained that one of the changes being sought in the program’s guidelines is to be able to increase matching funds from $10,000 where it currently stands to $15,000 if you create residences in the specified areas.

Cruz also pointed out other issues and challenges that often are costly to property owners which may discourage them from improving their building spaces.

US Border Patrol have rescued approximately 35 people from Rio Grande since Feb 4

United States Border Patrol agents from the Del Rio Sector’s Special Operations Detachment and Marine Units from the Eagle Pass Station rescued 17 Central American migrants from the Rio Grande River in three incidents on Thursday.

“As the number of migrants crossing the dangerous Rio Grande River has risen over the past several weeks, so too have our number of rescues,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak. “No loss of life or injury took place during these operations thanks to the quick actions taken by our agents, of whom I’m extremely proud.”

At approximately 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 14, Border Patrol agents from the Eagle Pass Station reported hearing cries coming from the Rio Grande River. A Customs and Border Protection helicopter in the area responded and confirmed that a group of eight appeared to be stranded on a small island in the middle of the river. Agents assigned to the elite BORSTAR (Border Search, Trauma and Rescue) unit, part of Del Rio Sector’s Special Operations Detachment, were in the area and deployed to assist. BORSTAR agents successfully reached the group and brought them to the United States riverbank.

Later in the day, at approximately 12:15 p.m., another group of six migrants entered the river and attempted to cross to the United States side, only to become overwhelmed by high water levels and the swift current. Border Patrol marine units quickly responded, pulled the group on board their vessel and transported them to the U.S. shore.

The third water rescue of the day occurred at around 3:40 p.m., when agents from the Eagle Pass Station again spotted a group of people in the river, apparently in distress, near Bridge No.2. Marine units deployed and pulled the group of three to safety. An ambulance transported the group to Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center in Eagle Pass for further treatment and observation. All have since been released from the hospital.

Of the 17 migrants rescued during these attempts to cross the Rio Grande, 16 were from Honduras (including six children ranging in age from 1 to 17 years old) and one Guatemalan child, age 3. All were processed in accordance with CBP guidelines.

Since Feb. 4, Border Patrol agents in Del Rio Sector have rescued 35 people from the Rio Grande River.

Sales Tax Allocation History shows loss of sales

Local Sales Tax Allocation History reports from the Texas Comptroller of Public accounts show how the Government Shutdown for 34 days potentially affected our local economy.

The Government shutdown went on for 34 days beginning on December 22, 2018, and ended on January 25, 2019. During this time federal employees who have high purchasing power into the local economy did not receive pay.

Records for local sales tax allocation for Eagle Pass shows a decrease in sales during this time.

During the month of December 2018, the City of Eagle Pass received $ 224,970.10 in sales tax allocation funds. In the month of January when the shutdown was at its long stretch sales tax allocation for the city decreased by -6 % to $ 210,064.11.

Interestingly in the first 10 days of February 2019, the City of Eagle Pass Sales Tax allocation has increased by 69 % as compared to the month of January.

The first 10 days of the month of February has yielded $355,422.41 for the City of Eagle Pass in sales tax revenues. During the shutdown period, The city of Eagle Pass experienced a net loss of approximately $1.9million dollars in sales from our local economy.

Reminder, for every one cent that’s accounted in sales tax allocation, figures $100 are spent into the local economy.

This loss could be a consequence of numerous factors of which one could be including the ill effects of the shutdown.

With close to 1,000 federal employees in the community you can clearly see the negative impact that was created by the government shutdown and their withholding of pay.

Government Shutdown looms as hightened presence of Law enforcement and Federal agents continues

With another potential Government shutdown looming by February 15 concerns continue throughout the country including in Maverick County.

As of this weekend, Government officials walked away from the table without being able to reach any type of deal that would keep the government open.

Basically, they continue agreeing to disagree.

As of today, they have until Friday to come to a consensus to reach an agreement if not once again the Government will shut down and affect millions of people including thousands of Federal employees.

Locally, agencies such as the Eagle Pass Housing Authority, Eagle Pass Independent School District Lunch Program, SNAP assistance and including federal employees are in jeopardy of being negatively impacted by by-partisan discord.

Democratic Chairperson Luis A. Ruiz is concerned over the current situation that has thousands of Homeland Security officials and military personnel deployed all over the world and country including in Maverick County, away from their families,

Ruiz states that a shutdown could negatively affect these agents by lowering their morale.

“While the issues and concerns of our local homeland security agency are protecting the United States, now they must add how to keep their families fed and how to pay their bills through all their hard work that could potentially not be paid for. This issue is not factored into the political posturing currently going on in Washington D.C. Our local Homeland Security officials and military must be treated with respect and dignity they deserve and not be used as pawns of this political argument,” said Democratic Chair Ruiz.

Another family of undocumented immigrants attempts to cross Rio Grande

Another group of undocumented immigrants were rescued from the Rio Grande river at around noon on Tuesday February,12,2019.

The group consisted of an adult female, an adolescent female, two infants, and a toddler.

The United States Border Patrol was observed rescuing the family in an area under the Camino Real International Bridge No. 2.

The group was transported in a U.S. Border Patrol Van Unit to their Eagle Pass Station and will then be taken to a federal detention Center in Del Rio, Texas.

Family of undocumented immigrants rescued after failed attempt to cross Rio Grande

A family of undocumented immigrants including a newborn infant was rescued from the Rio Grande River on Sunday, February 10, 2019, after they attempted to cross illegally into the United States but were trapped in the middle of the river.

The family of five attempted to cross the river at approximately 6:00 pm and were stuck in the middle refusing to be rescued by Mexican immigration officials.

The heartbreaking and dangerous situation went on for two hours as the family endured 40-degree weather hoping to be rescued by U. S. Border Patrol.

Everyone involved in the rescue and hundreds of spectators could hear the agonizing cries from the children who were completely wet and freezing due to the low temperatures.

The sounds of anguish were too much for one female Piedras Negras resident who went into the river and approached the family and began to try to convince the mother to allow for Grupo Beta to rescue her and the children.

After pleading with the adult female for close to 30 minutes the female undocumented immigrant agreed to be picked up by boat and be taken back on Mexico soil.

Grupo Beta then began the rescue efforts as they approached the family who was standing on a large boulder in the middle of the River,

The children were the first to be rescued and quickly put inside an ambulance where they were treated for signs of hypothermia.

The newborn child was visibly in distress as EMS personnel tended to him. The mother was the last one to be rescued and they were then transported to a Piedras Negras hospital.

U.S. Border Patrol and Law Enforcement officials on the United States side of the river kept a close watch as the rescue took place.

There have been approximately 25 individuals who have been rescued from the Rio Grande River in the past week in an area along both ports of entries.

The number is expected to increase as desperation to be detained and processed by U.S. Immigration is leading so many to risk their lives in attempts to hopefully be rescued and be brought on to U.S. Soil where they will end up in federal custody