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Surge in motor vehicle accidents seen in statistics released from TxDOT

During 2018 there was an average of 3 motor vehicle accidents per day in Maverick County.

During the year, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported 1,093 Motor Vehicle accidents in Maverick County with 5 fatalities. Of those accidents, there were approximately 326 injuries reported with 15 of the crashes deemed as serious.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety the number of motor vehicle accidents during 2018 increased by 32 % as compared to 2017. The number of injuries reported skyrocketed by 154% as well.

In 2017 there were 831 accidents reported with 7 fatalities, 128 injuries and 14 of the crashes reported as serious.

During 2016 there were 795 car crashes reported in Maverick County with 8 fatalities 136 injuries, and 8 crashes deemed as serious.

In a span of two years from 2016 to 2018 the number of motor vehicle accidents in our community has increased by 37%. Injuries during those crashes have also gone up by 140%.

The increase in motor vehicle accidents in our community can be attributed to an influx of traffic into our region.

To better understand the growth of motor vehicle accidents in our community a review of 2008 statistics was done.

During 2008 there were 453 motor vehicle accidents reported.

In a span of 10 years there has been an 141% increase going from 453 crashes in during 2008 to 1,093 in 2018.

Law enforcement officials continuously ask the community to be careful when driving including no cell phone usage when behind the wheel.

During 2018, 345 or 32 % of the car crashes reported in Maverick County were attributed to distracted driving according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

District Attorney’s office secure 63 indictments

Prosecutors Roberto Serna, Robert Lee Little, Martha Alicia Ponce, and Amanda Riojas reviewed, prepared and/or presented felony-offense cases to members of the Grand Jury of the July 2019 term in Maverick County on August 21st, 2019 and in Dimmit and Zavala County on August 23rd, 2019.

The Grand Jurors returned 18 indictments in Maverick County, 21 indictments in Dimmit County, and 24 indictments in Zavala County, for a total of 63 indictments for all three counties.

The District Attorney’s Office would like to thank the grand jurors of the July 2019 term for their time, effort, dedication and service over the next five months. The District Attorney’s Office would also like to thank all the law enforcement agencies who have investigated and prepared their cases for presentation to the Grand Jury, especially to the District Attorney’s Investigators Eloy Garcia, Mario Santoya, Clemente De Hoyos, Richard Guzman, and Erasmo Ramon.

The District Attorney’s Office will continue to hold Grand Jury in Maverick, Zavala and Dimmit County every month where many felony-offense cases will be presented to members of the Grand Jury

Imposition of State Income Tax among one of many Amendments set to be put up to voters in November

Texas is one of the few places to not impose a State Income Tax.

However, in the upcoming 2019 Amendments election, the voters will decide if all that changes.

Among the 10 proposed amendments, the State is looking for voters to approve a State Income Tax which would open the door for a referendum election in the future.

The voter will ultimately decide if they will prohibit the State from imposing this Income Tax which would be consistent with federal law.

Such imposition could be beneficial to some but detrimental to others.

Allowing for it to pass in November would then give law makers an opportunity to structure a referendum in the future seeking for Texas voters to vote either for or against a State Income Tax imposition.

At this point, Texas is one of seven states without a personal income tax and has never levied a tax on personal income. 43 other states collect an income tax in addition to the federal income tax.

A “yes” vote in November, supports this amendment to prohibit the state from levying an income tax on individuals.

A “no” vote opposes this amendment, thus continuing to allow the state to enact a tax on individuals in the future through a statewide referendum.

As of 2019, the Texas State Constitution requires the state legislature to put legislation enacting an income tax before voters as a statewide referendum, which voters could approve or reject. Referring the referendum to voters requires a simple majority vote (50%+1) in each legislative chamber.

Proposition 4 would replace the referendum requirement with a ban on enacting an income tax on individuals. Removing the ban in the future would require a constitutional amendment, which needs a two-thirds vote in each legislative chamber and voter approval.

Early voting will run through October 21 to November 1 with election day to take place on November 5, 2019.

*Press Release* Border Patrol Agents Rescue Group of 28 from Rio Grande River

Eagle Pass, Texas U.S. Border Patrol agents working with the Eagle Pass South Station marine unit rescued 28 people from the Rio Grande River, Aug. 15. These individuals found themselves in a life-threating situation, which is unfortunate and far too common as smugglers continue to show no empathy for people they attempt to cross illegally into the United States,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “Had our agents not been there to provide rescue efforts, the situation could have ended in tragedy.”

Marine agents rescued 28 Honduran nationals, including 14 children, and to date no Russian Nationals crossing, after the group attempted to cross the Rio Grande River near the Eagle Pass Golf Course. The group entered the river guided by a smuggler who left them stranded in high-current waist-deep water. Marine agents quickly maneuvered their patrol vessel to the group and began assisting people out of the water. While the agents were helping people onto the boat, several people were swept away by the strong current. Marine agents aboard a second vessel were able to safely rescue them and shuttle them to the U.S. riverbank. The children rescued ranged from 8 months to 17 years of age.

The group was evaluated by U.S. Border Patrol EMTs and processed per CBP guidelines.

An increase of water release from Amistad Dam has elevated the river to near flood stage, creating dangerous conditions for anyone attempting to cross the Rio Grande River.

The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity call the Del Rio Sector’s toll free number at 1-866-511-8727.

*Press Release* Seizure of over $600,000 in cocaine and heroin at Eagle Pass Port of Entry

EAGLE PASS, TEXAS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry intercepted a significant load of cocaine and heroin with a combined estimated street value of more than $628,000 in one enforcement action.
“I congratulate our frontline officers for their firm commitment to carry out the CBP mission and protect the public from illegal narcotics,” said Port Director Paul Del Rincon, Eagle Pass Port of Entry.

The seizure occurred on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at International Bridge I, Eagle Pass, Texas when a CBP officer referred a 2018 Toyota Camry driven by a 53-year-old male Mexican citizen traveling from Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico for a secondary examination. During a canine and physical inspection of candy filled bags in trunk of the vehicle, CBP officers discovered 332 supposed candy packages containing 57 lbs. of cocaine worth $440,300 and 30 packages containing almost 7 lbs. of black tar heroin valued at $188,400.

CBP officers seized the narcotics and the vehicle. The driver was arrested and the case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation

Commissioner Roberto Ruiz looking into resolution urging Assault Weapons Ban

In wake of yet another mass shooting and the government’s indecisiveness to do something about it. Governmental entities are urging National and State officials to ban Assault Type Weapons.

Maverick County Commissioner Roberto Ruiz is looking to present the Commissioners Court a resolution calling for government officials in the State and National level to quickly move and do something about the atrocious acts being committed with these weapons.

The resolution would call for a ban on all Assault Type Weapons.

Commissioner Ruiz presented a resolution at a meeting held on Monday, August 12 but it failed to be discussed due to not enough time to review the schematics of the item.

Since 1949, there have been over 27 mass shootings in the United States with fatalities totaling 10 or more. Of those mass shooting with over 10 fatalities, 18 have been in the last 20 years all involving Semi-Automatic weapons.

In 1994, a federal Assault Weapons Ban was implemented by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Ten years later, 2004, the bill expired and was not renewed.

Four years later in 2008, the landmark Supreme Court case of Heller v. DC was decided and held that The Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to possess a hand gun unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. This decision gave the Second Amendment its full legal power and has been the driving force behind controversial arguments regarding Assault Weapons Bans and gun control in this country.

Eagle Pass ISD employees are receiving a pay increase this coming school year

The EPISD Board of Trustees discussed the Superintendent’s annual compensation plan recommendation for 2019/2020 to include salary and wage structures, stipends, benefits, incentives, salary schedules,and salary increases during their meeting held on August 12.

Deputy Superintendent for Business & Finance Ismael Mijares presented the Board with information regarding a proposed salary increase and different scenarios on how to implement it.

The Eagle Pass Independent School District Board of Trustees went into executive session to discuss the different options.

Once back in open session the EPISD voted in favor of increasing Teachers salaries by 6.1 % for educators with 5 years or more in the EPISD and 5.1 % for all other qualified employees. Starting teacher pay will increase from $ 45,000 to $ 48,000.

Eagle Pass Superintendent Ismael Mijares held a Press Conference on Wednesday August 14 to announce the new salary increases for EPISD employees and also announce a decrease in the Ad Valorem Tax Rate.