Rio Grande Valley | Texas Public Radio

Rio Grande Valley

This week, NPR examines public corruption in South Texas. The FBI has launched a task force to clean up pervasive misconduct by public servants in the Rio Grande Valley. But as NPR's John Burnett and Marisa Penaloza report, the problems are entrenched.

The Rio Grande Valley of Texas is a world apart, isolated by empty ranch land to the north, the Gulf to the east, and Mexico to the south. A million-and-a-half people live there amid dazzling wealth and stark poverty.

Rio Grande Valley Adds To Border Horse Patrol

Apr 30, 2015
Courtesy: U.S. Customs And Border Protection

MISSION, Texas — Jared Barton has ridden horses since he was a toddler.

But rumbling on a Florida cattle ranch isn’t the same as the trails he’ll traverse going forward — the rough terrain of immigrant and drug smuggling trails in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Monitor reports Barton is one of the latest members of the U.S. Border Horse Patrol, a specialty group of agents that work on horseback and have been doing so since the early 1920s.

The 38-year-old agent was one of seven agents who officially completed a six-week training course to join the group in the Rio Grande Valley sector.

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

Welcome to boot camp for the young and unemployed in McAllen, Texas.

"We're going to go ahead and do this," says instructor Marco Lopez, leading a small classroom of millennials through do's and don'ts for job seekers inside a strip mall near McAllen.

The new president for the University of Texas’ Rio Grande Valley campus approved “Vaquero” as the university’s mascot despite a backlash from students, alumni and South Texas lawmakers. 

UT’s Board of Regents set up its Rio Grande Valley campus as a way to grow their South Texas institutions. They merged UT-Brownsville and UT-Pan American, and added a new medical school for the region. Part of that transition involved coming up with a new mascot and school colors.

Erich Schlegel

Fronteras: Tino Duran, publisher of San Antonio bilingual newspaper La Prensa, just went public with his Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Duran’s daughter Nina joins us on Fronteras to talk about her father and the family’s journey with Alzheimer’s. Imagine traveling the entire Rio Grande, just you, a canoe and some paddles. A couple of journalists are doing just that. We check in on the progress of the Disappearing Rio Grande Expedition.

Expedition Tracking the Disappearing Rio Grande

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Mayors from three communities on the Texas border are calling on Congress to pass some type of spending bill to help care for the influx of women and children coming from Central America.

The mayors from McAllen, Edinburg and Brownsville are calling for fewer troops and more compassion.

Mayor Richard Garcia of Edinburg said his city has not seen an increase in crime related to the influx in border crossings.

Michel Marizco / Fronteras

Monday Gov. Rick Perry announced his intention to send up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the border to assist with the surge in illegal migration.

Much attention has been paid to the Rio Grande Valley as a result of the nearly 60,000 unaccompanied minors that have crossed the border in the past nine months. 

The last remaining abortion clinic in the Rio Grande Valley closed its doors this week as a result of House Bill 2, the abortion clinic restriction law passed by the legislature during 2013’s special session.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Texas Matters: More from the hearing in San Antonio Wednesday in the case challenging the Texas ban on same-sex marriage. Arguments have been made and a federal judge is now formulating a decision. If the judge strikes down the ban, the case will be immediately appealed to the conservative U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. A comprehensive look at all the issues leading into the March primary election. Also on this show: How the border region is reacting to political ads.

Same-sex marriage debate hits Texas

RGV Educational Broadcasting, Inc.

The Rio Grande Valley is facing the possibility of losing their only public television outlet. But national public broadcasting leaders are working to find a solution to keep programming on the air in one of the nation’s poorest regions.

KMBH-TV is the PBS station that serves the border communities of Brownsville, McAllen and others – over one and a half million people.

Pages