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  • Smugglers Operate in Plain Sight Across the River from Roma Play Video

    July 16, 2014 7:32 PM

    ROMA - Smugglers are operating in plain view and during the day along the Mexican side of the Rio Grande across the border from Roma. A CHANNEL 5 NEWS crew watched as the smugglers blew up rafts, took payments and sent men floating across the river. The smugglers... more »
  • Suspects Use Metal Spikes During Chase Play Video

    July 14, 2014 4:25 PM

    SAN JUAN - Suspects fleeing from authorities used metal spikes in an attempt to avoid capture. The metal spikes, also called caltrops, were used against Border Patrol agents during a weekend chase from Pharr to Weslaco. San Juan police said the spikes are usually seen in areas known... more »
  • President Requests More Funds for Immigration Crisis Play Video

    July 8, 2014 5:30 PM

    WESLACO - President Obama is nearly doubling the amount of money he's requesting from Congress to help in the humanitarian crisis caused by the surge in illegal immigration. The request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding comes as the president travels to Texas on a fund-raising trip. Obama agreed... more »
  • Brush Fire Threatens Homes near Fronton Play Video

    July 1, 2014 10:41 PM

    STARR COUNTY - Fire crews were putting out hot spots Tuesday night after a large grass fire near Fronton. The fire scorched more than 80 acres of brush. Several homes had to be evacuated as the flames spread. "Some people weren't even home," Ulises Garcia said. He owns... more »
  • Park Experience Different with Increased DPS Patrols Play Video

    June 25, 2014 7:45 PM

    MISSION - DPS troopers are changing Anzalduas Park in Mission into a border security stronghold. Families at the park who used to visit to barbecue, fish and relax said it's not the same. Monica Tatum returned to the park with her son. It's been 20 years since her last visit.... more »
  • Authorities Plan for Water Contingencies Play Video

    June 19, 2014 10:46 PM

    WESLACO - A massive fish kill in a Rio Grande tributary in Mexico caused panic for communities reliant on the river for potable water. Almost two months later, there are few answers as to what caused the incident. The fish kill happened in the Rio Salado, about 90 miles... more »
  • Immigrants Use Social Media to Contact Relatives Play Video

    June 18, 2014 10:49 PM

    BROWNSVILLE - An illegal immigrant from Honduras is using social media to reach out to family in the United States for help. "My motivation has always been to get to a country like this one, where my brothers have bettered themselves and for my son to study," the man... more »
  • Man Drives Vehicle Into the Rio Grande Play Video

    May 18, 2014 8:53 PM

    RIO GRANDE CITY- A man who drove a drug load into the Rio Grande managed to escape into Mexico. Sergeant Johnny Hernandez with the Department of Public Safety says the driver refused to stop during an attempted traffic stop. The car was driven over the river bank and into... more »
  • Officials Report Spike in Bacteria Levels in the Rio Grande Play Video

    May 14, 2014 10:44 PM

    WESLACO - Federal water officials say they don't know the source of increasing bacteria in the Rio Grande. They said the levels have been increasing for years. The International Boundary and Water Commission met with state and local officials Wednesday in Weslaco address the issue. Officials stressed that... more »
  • Part 1: The Face of the Undocumented Child Play Video

    May 8, 2014 10:14 PM

    WESLACO - Federal authorities say there has been an uptick in the number of children entering the country illegally. The coastal region of Texas is one of the top entry points. The Rio Grande Valley has seen a 280 percent increase in the number of children and juveniles apprehended... more »
  • Congressman Wants Better Monitoring of Rio Grande Water Play Video

    May 7, 2014 7:11 PM

    WESLACO - Congressional leaders are asking Mexican officials to provide more information, on a timely basis, about any cases of contamination impacting the Rio Grande. U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) spoke with CHANNEL 5 NEWS about a recent case involving a fish kill in a Rio Grande tributary. Water... more »
  • Breakdown in Communication After Fish Kill in Mexican River Play Video

    May 5, 2014 7:21 PM

    McALLEN - Mexican water officials did not notify their American counterparts about a fish kill at a Rio Grande tributary. The water eventually flows into Falcon International Reservoir. The International Boundary and Water Commission found out about the incident through media reports. Those reports blamed Mexico's state-owned oil company... more »
  • Part 2: Breaking the Cycle of Despair Play Video

    May 1, 2014 10:56 PM

    EDINBURG - Mental health patients often end up on the streets or jails. Families of the mentally ill agonize over how to deal with their loved ones. They know the one suffering the condition rarely accepts it and refuses help. "It is difficult when someone is in denial,... more »
  • Experts Explain Dangers of Water Contamination Play Video

    May 1, 2014 7:45 PM

    McALLEN - Some contaminants cannot be filtered out of the water, experts said. The statement comes as state environmental officials test the water at Falcon Lake for possible contaminants. Officials launched the probe after a massive fish kill at a Rio Grande tributary in Mexico. Experts say hydrocarbon-based... more »
  • Water Districts on Alert after Possible Contamination in Mexico Play Video

    May 1, 2014 7:33 PM

    WESLACO - Rio Grande Valley water districts are on alert as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality works to find out if a potential contamination in Mexico will affect the Rio Grande. TCEQ officials said a massive fish kill in the Rio Salado prompted the probe into the possibility... more »
  • TCEQ Investigates Fish Kill at Rio Grande Tributary Play Video

    April 30, 2014 11:56 PM

    FALCON LAKE - The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality released new details into a possible contamination at a Rio Grande tributary. TCEQ workers took water samples at Falcon Lake to check for contamination. The preliminary results show that the samples tested negative for contaminants. The agency still is... more »
  • Bike Ride Honors Cavalry of Christ Play Video

    April 17, 2014 4:40 PM

    MISSION - A group of young Oblate priests traveled on horseback from Brownsville to Roma 167 years ago. For the past 10 years, a group of Rio Grande Valley residents have retraced the path with the Historic Oblate Bicycle Trail Ride. The young Oblates were known as the... more »
  • Officials Report Fewer Flu Cases Play Video

    March 6, 2014 5:35 PM

    WESLACO - Health officials say the flu season is winding down. They said this season was one of the worst in years. The number of flu cases reported in the state dropped drastically in February. The number of cases peaked in December and January, officials said. The season... more »
  • Picked by Hand Play Video

    February 20, 2014 10:28 PM

    Part 1 WESLACO - Dreams grow, become reality and often die in the farm fields of the Rio Grande Valley. Countless anonymous people toil from sunup to sundown picking the season's crops. It's backbreaking work that pays just enough money to cover a family's mere necessities. Still, many... more »
  • River Statue Stirs Controversy Play Video

    February 20, 2014 8:18 PM

    MISSION - A statuette of the Virgen de San Juan de Los Lagos is stirring up controversy among visitors at Anzalduas Park south of Mission. The effigy of the Virgin Mary was erected atop a rectangular structure in the middle of the Rio Grande. It serves as a symbol... more »
  • Immigrants Rescued from the Rio Grande

    November 19, 2013 4:13 PM

    MISSION - Fire crews on Tuesday rescued two women and two toddlers from the Rio Grande near Anzalduas Dam. The women and children were trying to enter the country illegally, officials said. Emergency crews transported the four immigrants to Mission Regional Medical Center for treatment. Officials said a... more »
  • Starr County Ranchers Say Ponds Ideal for Water Conservation Play Video

    September 27, 2013 8:41 PM

    RIO GRANDE CITY - A Starr County rancher said Hidalgo and Cameron counties could learn from local cattlemen about water conservation. Ruperto Escobar said Starr County ranchers for decades have relied on ponds to store and conserve water. "We're very lucky here that the soils are green and... more »
  • Smugglers Hiding Vehicles Near the River Play Video

    September 9, 2013 7:56 PM

    WESLACO - Smugglers are hiding vehicles near the Rio Grande to facilitate their escape, officials said. "They remove some of the seats and they're leaving the keys in there," Hidalgo County Precinct 1 Constable Celestino Avila said. Avila said his deputies have found several vehicles near the river.... more »
  • Officials Concerned about Spike in Illegal Immigration Play Video

    August 21, 2013 8:30 PM

    WESLACO - The countries of origin of illegal immigrants crossing through the Rio Grande Valley have changed considerably in recent months, officials said. Border Patrol officials said there has been a 91 percent increase in apprehensions of immigrants from countries other than Mexico. Agents arrest an average of 250... more »
  • DPS Boats Patrol Rio Grande Play Video

    July 14, 2013 10:41 PM

    MISSION - Johnny Hart owns a local restaurant on the Rio Grande. He's owner of the Riverside Club in Mission. He worries about the gunfire coming from across the river. Hart says he's noticed an increase in boat patrols. He welcomes the added security. "When you see... more »
  • Water Level Rising at Falcon Lake Play Video

    June 24, 2013 7:23 PM

    ZAPATA - Higher levels at Falcon Lake will not necessarily result in additional water for the Rio Grande Valley, officials said. Heavy rains in northern Mexico and the Eagle Pass region are credited for the increase in water levels. State and federal water officials said it will take... more »
  • National Agency Sends Inspectors to Local Food Bank Play Video

    June 13, 2013 11:03 PM

    PHARR - Officials with Feeding America recently visited the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley to address safety concerns. The visit comes after the Texas Department of State Health Services stopped the food bank from shipping food out because of a rat infestation at its warehouse in Pharr.... more »
  • Mexican Farmers Pumping Water Illegally Play Video

    May 29, 2013 8:16 PM

    HIDALGO COUNTY - Water authorities say Mexican farmers often pump water illegally from the Rio Grande. They said federal authorities need to do something about the problem. Donna Irrigation District pump house worker Jose Gonzalez said the river must provide water for irrigation on both sides of the border.... more »
  • Border Fence Affecting Land Sales Near the River Play Video

    May 29, 2013 7:57 PM

    HIDALGO COUNTY - The border fence is hurting the sale of farmland near the Rio Grande, some landowners said. Terry Urdal said he has tried to sell a property near the river for more than two years. He said the land would be a great investment for a farmer... more »
  • Body Found in Starr County Play Video

    April 22, 2013 8:26 PM

    FRONTON - Authorities recovered the body of a missing man in Starr County. Sheriff's deputies said the man was shot in the back. Investigators had been searching for the man since Thursday when his brother's boat washed up near Fronton. The two men fled to the U.S. for... more »
  • Amistad Dam water releases increased

    April 20, 2013 10:00 AM

    EL PASO, Texas (AP) - The international commission in charge of administering U.S. and Mexico rights to Rio Grande water says it'll begin releasing more water from the Amistad Dam near Del Rio. In a statement Friday, the International Boundary and Water Commission said the increased water releases this month... more »
  • Mexico's Release of Water into the Rio Grande

    April 6, 2013 10:59 PM

    SOUTH TEXAS - Mexico has agreed to release a small amount of water into the Rio Grande River for U.S. consumption. U.S. officials have been calling on our neighbor to the south due to the worsening drought situation. Officials from the U.S. side of the border agree that the water... more »
  • Body Found Near Golf Course in Brownsville

    March 12, 2013 4:08 PM

    BROWNSVILLE - Police are investigating the death of a man found floating in the Rio Grande. Brownsville firefighters were called to the river near the Fort Brown Golf Course at about 10:30 a.m. It took them an hour to locate the corpse. A justice of the peace ordered... more »
  • New DA, New Rules for Starr County

    January 7, 2013 7:11 PM

    RIO GRANDE CITY - Starr County's new district attorney said crimes against people will become top priority for his office. Omar Escobar took over the 229th district office one week ago and began making changes immediately. He said it's just the beginning. Escobar said one of the priorities... more »
  • BP Agents rescue teen from Rio Grande

    January 6, 2013 10:06 AM

    DEL RIO, TEXAS - A Honduran teen is safe after she tried swimming across the border. Agents say she was stranded on an island in the middle of the Rio Grande. Eagle Pass Border Patrol agents rushed to the scene after receiving a call for help from Mexican authorities. ... more »
  • Voter Fraud Prompts Changes in Starr County

    November 28, 2012 7:21 PM

    RIO GRANDE CITY - Evidence of voter fraud in Starr County will change the way they conduct elections, officials said. Starr County Elections Administrator Rudy Montalvo said someone voted twice in the recent general election. The county will now rely on electronic poll books to prevent voter fraud. ... more »
  • Man Files Motion to Change Guilty Plea in Manslaughter Case

    November 27, 2012 7:35 PM

    RIO GRANDE CITY - A Starr County man on Tuesday filed a motion to change his guilty plea in an intoxicated manslaughter case. Jose Elias Vasquez told a judge he wants his guilty plea withdrawn. He said he wants to enter a not-guilty plea. Prosecutors said Vasquez was... more »
  • School Officials Plan to Expel Stabbing Suspect

    November 15, 2012 5:46 PM

    STARR COUNTY - Rio Grande City school officials said they will expel an eighth-grader accused of stabbing a classmate. The Grulla Middle School student on Thursday was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The boy is accused of stabbing another student in the back Tuesday inside the... more »
  • Fire Rages Near Rio Grande City

    October 18, 2012 5:28 PM

    STARR COUNTY - A blaze has scorched at least 90 acres near Rio Grande City. Firefighters from Roma, Rio Grande City and La Rosita converged on the scene near the Rio Grande and Expressway 83 to control the rapidly spreading flames. They are trying to prevent the fire... more »
  • Border Patrol: Several Factors Behind Increase in Illegal Crossings

    October 9, 2012 10:21 PM

    WESLACO - Border Patrol officials said they are trying to determine what is causing a spike in illegal crossings in the Rio Grande Valley. "There are a lot of variables that go into play when we start talking about human trafficking and human smuggling," Border Patrol Spokesman Enrique Mendiola... more »
  • Sand Helping Control Access to the River

    September 27, 2012 10:26 PM

    MISSION - Border Patrol agents are getting a little help from Mother Nature in their fight against smugglers. Sand left over from recent floods is being used to block smuggling and escape routes near the Rio Grande, agents said. "We observed people trying to use this path as... more »
  • Gunmen Shoot at Border Patrol Agents Patrolling River

    September 3, 2012 2:10 PM

    Near Hidalgo- A Border Patrol spokesperson says armed men fired nearly a dozen shots at two border patrol boats last night around nine-thirty. The bullets came from the Mexican side of the border. The gunmen are believed to be human smugglers. The shooting happened on the Rio Grande River near... more »
  • Border Patrol Agents Fired on During Patrol

    September 3, 2012 12:11 AM

    HIDALGO - Federal agents are investigating after Border Patrol Agents came under fire from the Mexican side of the river. The incident happened around 9:30 Sunday night just east of the Hidalgo Port of Entry. Border Patrol Spokesman Henry Mendiola tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS agents in a boat and on... more »
  • Ex-DEA Supervisor: Drug Tunnels Possible in RGV

    July 19, 2012 7:32 PM

    WESLACO - A former DEA supervisor said undiscovered drug tunnels could be operating all over the Rio Grande Valley. "It's going to be expensive, but money would never be a problem for the cartels," said Phil Jordan. Drug cartels use tunnels to cross drugs and smuggle people. Authorities... more »
  • Border Patrol: Agents Fired Shots after Rock Attack

    July 8, 2012 10:46 AM

    BROWNSVILLE (AP) - The U.S. Border Patrol says agents opened fire along the Rio Grande after being pelted by rocks and having a gun pointed in their direction. Border Patrol spokesman Henry Mendiola says no agents were injured in the incident Saturday near Brownsville. He did not know if anyone... more »
  • Deputies Identify Body Found Near Rio Grande

    June 11, 2012 5:19 PM

    HIDALGO COUNTY - Sheriff deputies now know the identity of a body recovered Saturday near the Rio Grande, but will not release the name until the victim's relatives are notified. Officers said Border Patrol agents spotted the body Saturday afternoon near Bentsen Park Road, close to where road ends... more »
  • Special Report: Troubled Waters

    April 30, 2012 11:59 PM

    MERCEDES - CHANNEL 5 NEWS is exposing new threats to the Rio Grande Valley's water supply. We're asking questions about the safety and security along the Rio Grande. The river is the Valley's primary source of water. Cities and water corporations count on powerful pumps to push thousands of... more »
  • Volunteers Clearing Out Invasive Plants

    April 25, 2012 4:55 PM

    MISSION - A team of volunteers is clearing out invasive plants along the banks of the Rio Grande. The AmeriCorps volunteers went to work pulling salt cedar and guinea grass. The plants, which moved in after Hurricane Alex in 2010, soak up lots of water and deposit salt along the... more »
  • Cause of Bacteria in River Could Take Years to Find

    April 19, 2012 7:51 PM

    MCALLEN - Federal authorities say they don't know why dangerous bacteria may be growing in the Rio Grande. It could take two years to pinpoint the cause. "There is some data that show there may be problems, particularly in the McAllen area and in the Rio Grande City area,"... more »
  • Body Of Drowning Victim Not Found

    April 10, 2012 6:15 PM

    PROGRESO - A man who went underwater in the Rio Grande has not resurfaced. Agents saw the man go under water while swimming in the river on sunday. This happened east of the Progreso International Bridge. A Border Patrol spokeswoman says due to the agent's distance from the... more »
  • Authorities Looking for Drowning Victim

    April 9, 2012 4:35 PM

    PROGESO - Border patrol officials say they have not found the man who disappeared under water in the Rio Grande. Agents saw a man in river go under. He didn't resurface. It happened around 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The man was near the Mexican side of the river, just east... more »
  • DPS Unveils Boat Named for Cameron County Trooper Killed in 1981

    March 1, 2012 7:31 PM

    AUSTIN - The legacy of a fallen Cameron County state trooper will soon be alive in the waters of the Rio Grande. The Department of Public Safety unveiled its newest boat in Austin on Thursday. It's the latest in a fleet of six boats being used by the newly... more »
  • Border Patrol Catches Group of Illegal Immigrants Crossing River

    March 1, 2012 12:18 AM

    PENITAS - Nearly a dozen illegal immigrants are in custody tonight after being caught trying to cross the river near Penitas. Border Patrol agents caught the group as they tried to cross. They detained 11 people and say two got away. It happened around 6 p.m. Wednesday. The... more »
  • Man's Body Found Floating in River

    February 23, 2012 12:25 AM

    NEAR PENITAS - Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies are working to identify a man whose body was found floating in the Rio Grande Wednesday afternoon. Border Patrol agents discovered the body. The La Joya Fire Department recovered the remains. Investigators say the man, who was more than six feet tall... more »
  • Mexican Authorities Getting Involved in Investigation of Shooting Near Los Ebanos

    February 3, 2012 1:08 PM

    LOS EBANOS - Mexican authorities are getting involved in the investigation into a border shooting near the town of Los Ebanos. It happened late Thursday along the river. There were reports of a gunbattle on the Mexican side, but that hasn't been confirmed. The Mexican military in Reynosa... more »
  • Gates Reducing Number of Splashdowns From Drug Smugglers

    January 26, 2012 6:45 PM

    Drug smugglers are finding it harder to save their loads. Border Patrol says it's because they've cut off prime smuggling routes back to the river. Smugglers had been turning roads into runways, a last resort to save their cargo. "What we had started seeing were these splashdowns where the... more »
  • DPS Shows Off New Boat in Rio Grande

    January 25, 2012 6:40 PM

    MISSION - The new DPS armored boats are getting their sea legs. DPS staff got a live demonstration on the Rio Grande Wednesday. One of the DPS boats put on a show Wednesday afternoon. It took several laps up and down the river. The boat went into the water... more »
  • Santa Maria ISD Police Given New Tool to Help Fight Crime

    January 23, 2012 6:58 PM

    SANTA MARIA - A small community in Cameron County is getting some much needed help. Pressed against the border fence sits Santa Maria ISD. It's a town and school district with no city police. Less then a mile from the Rio Grande, these people fear what may be on... more »
  • Authorities Say They Are Unable to Touch Cartel Safe Zone Near Border

    January 5, 2012 7:22 PM

    A cartel staging area sits just a few feet away from U.S. soil. Law enforcement says it can't do anything about the illegal activity. A quick paddle south to escape the law, a cartel safe zone isn't in Mexico. If you go by the boundaries, it's on U.S. soil,... more »
  • Abundance of Salt Cedars Threatening Water Supply

    December 20, 2011 7:50 PM

    A threat to our water supply lies next to our main water source. The feds are stepping in to take control. This is the beginning of a major problem. A tree growth is taking over our lands and threatening our water and food supply. The tree is not more... more »

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