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TO 4,000 HOMES





Fishing to win

2 women sentenced on drug charges

Tourney set for Saturday




Zapata County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the Bass Champs Fishing tournament this weekend. Organized by Bass Champs, the event will take place at Zapata County public boat ramp in Falcon Lake. The event is set to run Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. “We encourage locals to participate and attend the event as a spectator. It is very nice and it’s always good to have a good crowd at Falcon Lake,” said Paco Mendoza, Zapata County Chamber of Commerce executive director.


File photo by Cuate Santos | The Zapata Times

Anglers take a moment for the National Anthem in Zapata on Friday morning as they prepare to check in for the second day of the FLW-Stern Series Fishing Tournament at Falcon Lake in 2009.



Photo by Victor Strife | The Zapata Times

Damaris R. Chapa, center, is joined by Mayor Raul Salinas and Webb County Sherrif’s Office Chief Federico Garza as she is presented with the 2014 911 Telecommunicator of the Year award on Thursday morning during the 911 Telecommunicators Appreciation Luncheon at the Embassy Suites.

As part of National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, the 911 Regional Administration for South Texas, which includes Zapata, recently held an appreciation event to recognize the operators who respond to emergency calls during times of crisis. Horacio De Leon Jr., City of Laredo assistant city manager, said the event provided an opportunity to recognize the work by the groups that make up the southern region. “I’m going to quote the former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger when he said, ‘The first duty of government and its highest obligation is public safety.’ “He said it because if there is no security there is no quality of life. We must recognize the honest and ethical work done by first responders.” The South Texas region is made up of 911 departments

See 911 PAGE 6A

Two women arrested near Zapata in May were sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Laredo for their involvement in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana on behalf of a drug trafficking organization based in Rio Grande City and Roma. San Juana Flores, 33, and Vanessa Barrera, 26, were arrested May 21 and charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana. As part of their plea agreements, Flores will serve five years in prison and Barrera will serve two years. Barrera confessed to U.S. District Court Judge George P. Kazen before her sentencing that she wasn’t very involved in the operation, saying she did it mostly for the money. Barrera was to be paid $1,500 to act as a “jumper,” responsible for delivering the vehicle that was to be loaded with pot, the criminal complaint states. Flores allegedly took on more responsibilities. On May 19, U.S. Border Patrol agents noticed four vehicles driving in tandem east on Highway 16 from Zapata. One vehicle was a gray GMC/Chevrolet pickup, the second was a gray jeep Cherokee and a third was a silver Chevrolet Malibu. As agents drove up behind the rear vehicle, the Malibu, the jeep swerved off the road and its occupants fled into the brush. The jeep was loaded with 109.89 kilograms of marijuana, the complaint states. Agents pulled over the Malibu and identified the occupants as Flores and Barrera. The two were detained and taken to the Border Patrol Zapata station for processing. In a short interview with Drug Enforcement Administration special agents, Barrera initially began answering questions and then asked to speak to a lawyer, the complaint states. In an interview with Flores, she told them she was responsible for communication between the load vehicle, the jeep and the scout vehicles, identifying law enforcement threats and the various routes the drug trafficking organization would use to deliver the marijuana to Houston, according to the complaint. Flores was to be paid $2,000 for her services. She also stated that she and Barrera were hired by the same drug trafficking organization and that this was the second time the two worked together on a marijuana run to Houston. (Philip Balli may be reached at 7282528 or


Removal of illegal immigrants could be limited Individuals who meet certain criteria could be safe from deportations under a possible policy change By ERICA WERNER ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally but don’t have serious criminal records could be shielded from deportation under a policy change being weighed by senior American officials. The change, if adopted following a review ordered by President Barack Obama, could limit removals of people who have little or no criminal record but have committed repeat immigration violations such as re-entering the country il-

legally after having been deported, or failing to comply with a deportation order. The possible move, confirmed by two people with knowledge of the review, would fall short of the sweeping changes sought by activists. They want Obama to expand a two-year-old program that grants work permits to certain immigrants brought here illegally as children to include other groups, such as the parents of any children born in the U.S. John Sandweg, who until February served as acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs

Enforcement, said he had promoted the policy change for immigrants without serious criminal records before his departure and said it was being weighed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. An immigration advocate who has discussed the review with the administration also confirmed the change was under consideration. The advocate spoke on condition of anonymity because the proceedings are confidential. “Any report of specific considerations at this time would be premature,” Clark Stevens, a spokesman for the Homeland Security

Department, said Monday. Stevens said Johnson “has undergone a very rigorous and inclusive process to best inform the review,” including seeking input from people within DHS as well as lawmakers of both parties and other stakeholders. The approach outlined by Sandweg and the immigration advocate would change the existing priority categories that now include immigrants who have re-entered the country after having been deported previously, and those who are fugitives from immigration proceedings. Such people would be

taken off the priority list. The remaining priority categories focus on recent border-crossers and immigrants who pose a danger to national security or public safety or who have been convicted of crimes. Some of those categories might also be refined or changed, and others could be added. “The time had come to focus ICE’s efforts exclusively on public safety and national security,” Sandweg said in explaining why he pushed for the change. He esti-



Zin brief CALENDAR




Wednesday, April 23


STAAR testing at Zapata County ISD schools. Volunteer Services Council for the Border Region Behavioral Health Center presents 22nd annual Administrative Professional Day Luncheon and Fashion Show. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Laredo Country Club. For tickets call Laura Kim at 794-3130. Meeting of board of trustees for Zapata County ISD. 6 p.m. Professional Development Center, 702 E. 17th Ave.

Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On April 23, 1914, Chicago’s Wrigley Field, then called Weeghman Park, hosted its first major league game as the Chicago Federals defeated the Kansas City Packers 9-1. On this date: In 1014, the Battle of Clontarf took place near Dublin as forces loyal to Brian Boru, High King of the Irish, defeated an army led by the King of Leinster with heavy losses on both sides, including Brian, who was killed. In 1616, English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare, 52, died on what has been traditionally regarded as the anniversary of his birth in 1564. In 1789, President-elect George Washington and his wife, Martha, moved into the first executive mansion, the Franklin House, in New York. In 1910, former President Theodore Roosevelt delivered his famous “Man in the Arena” speech at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1940, about 200 people died in the Rhythm Night Club Fire in Natchez, Miss. In 1943, U.S. Navy Lt. (jg) John F. Kennedy assumed command of PT-109, a motor torpedo boat, in the Solomon Islands during World War II. (On Aug. 2, 1943, PT-109 was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, killing two crew members; Kennedy and 10 others survived.) In 1969, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. (The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.) In 1988, a federal ban on smoking during domestic airline flights of two hours or less went into effect. In 1993, labor leader Cesar Chavez died in San Luis, Ariz., at age 66. In 2007, Boris Yeltsin, the first freely elected Russian president, died in Moscow at age 76. Ten years ago: President George W. Bush eased Reaganera sanctions against Libya in return for Moammar Gadhafi’s giving up weapons of mass destruction. Five years ago: President Barack Obama met privately with leading executives of credit-card issuing companies; afterward, the president said he was determined to get a credit-card law passed that eliminated the tricky fine print, sudden rate increases and late fees. One year ago: France legalized same-sex marriage after a wrenching national debate that exposed deep conservatism in the nation’s heartland and triggered huge demonstrations. Today’s Birthdays: Actor Alan Oppenheimer is 84. Actor David Birney is 75. Actor Lee Majors is 75. Hockey Hall of Famer Tony Esposito is 71. Irish nationalist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey is 67. Actress Blair Brown is 66. Writer-director Paul Brickman is 65. Actress Joyce DeWitt is 65. Actor James Russo is 61. Filmmaker-author Michael Moore is 60. Actress Judy Davis is 59. Actress Jan Hooks is 57. Actress Valerie Bertinelli is 54. Actor Craig Sheffer is 54. Thought for Today: “Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form.” — Vladimir Nabokov, Russian-born author (1899-1977).

Thursday, April 24 STAAR testing at Zapata County ISD schools. Villa San Agustin de Laredo Genealogical Society meeting. 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. St. John Newmann Catholic Church. Guest speaker is Dr. Gabriela Mendoza Garcia with “Jarabe Tapatio: Race and Nation in 20th Century Mexico and 21st Century United States” as topic. New members welcome. Call Sanjuanita Martinez-Hunter at 7223497. IBC Keynote Speaker Series presentation, “Mexico Under the ‘New’ PRI: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” by Dr. Denise Dresser, professor of political science at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. TAMIU Student Center Ballroom, SC 203. Free and open to public. Translation services will be available. Contact 326-2820 or

Friday, April 25 Bass Champs Fishing Tournament. 8 a.m. Zapata County Public Boat Ramp. STAAR testing at Zapata County ISD schools. TAMIU Planetarium shows. “Secrets of the Sun” 6 p.m. and “Destination Saturn” 7 p.m. General admission $4 children and $5 adults. Premium shows $1 more. Call 326-3663.

Saturday, April 26 Bass Champs Fishing Tournament. 8 a.m. Zapata County Public Boat Ramp.

Monday, April 28 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920.

Saturday, May 3 Villa San Agustin de Laredo Genealogical Society fundraiser. 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Picnic tour to San Ygnacio, Texas. New members welcome. Call Sanjuanita Martinez-Hunter at 7223497. Viva Laredo Festival. LIFE Grounds. 11 a.m. trail ride registration, at La Sita Rose VIP Trailriders rest area on Hwy 59. Ride out at noon, ends at LIFE Grounds. $20 per rider, with all proceeds benefiting local and area students’ scholarship fund. Free meal for trail riders. Door prizes. Special prize to best Mexican dressed trail riding team. Other activities include charreada; mutton bustin (ages 3 to 8, $20 entry fee); tamales tasting cook-off; salsa cook-off; grito contest; Li’l Miss Viva Laredo contest (ages 10 and under); and dance music. Contact Rosy at 744-7505, Alicia at 286-5398, Lilly at 237-2208, or Letty at 763-1299.

Wednesday, May 7 New parent orientation for those interested in fostering. 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. 102 E. Calton Road, Suite No. 4, in Laredo. English. Provides details about the process of becoming a foster parent. Contact Linda Mendiola at 7914909 or

Monday, May 12 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920.

Monday, May 26 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920.

Sunday, June 8 Mexico Lindo 2014. 3 p.m. Laredo Little Theatre. Gabriela Mendoza-Garcia Ballet Folklorico to perform folkloric dances of Mexico. Children and adult company members to perform from states of Nuevo Leon, Jalisco, Veracruz and Sinaloa. $10 admission adults and $5 children 12 and under. Tickets purchased at door or by calling 725-1832.

Photo by Ahn Young-joon | AP

A weeping relative of a passenger aboard the sunken Sewol ferry prays as she awaits news on her missing loved one at a port in Jindo, South Korea, on Tuesday. As divers continue to search the interior of the sunken ferry, the number of confirmed deaths has risen.


JINDO, South Korea — For a moment there is silence in the tent where bodies from the ferry disaster are brought for identification. Then the anguished cries begin. The families who line up here to view the decomposing bodies have not known for nearly a week whether they should grieve or not. Now that they know, they sound like they’re being torn apart. “How do I live without you? How will your mother live without you?” a woman cried out Tuesday. The confirmed death toll from the April 16 disaster off South Korea’s southern coast reached 113 on Tuesday, officials said, and about 190 people were still missing. Four crew members accused of abandoning the ship and failing to protect the passengers

Ukraine orders new ‘anti-terror’ operation KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s acting president ordered security forces to resume “anti-terror” operations in the country’s east Tuesday after the bodies of two people allegedly abducted by proRussia insurgents were found and a military aircraft was reported to be hit by gunfire. The twin developments — which came just hours after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden left Kiev, the Ukrainian capital — raised fears that last week’s international agreement on easing Ukraine’s crisis was failing. The agreement calls for all sides to refrain from violence and for demonstrators to vacate public buildings. It does not specifically prohibit security operations, but Ukraine suspended its so-called “anti-terrorist operation” after the accord. Pro-Russia insurgents who have seized police stations and other public buildings in eastern Ukraine are defying the call to

were arrested, three days after warrants were issued for the captain and two other crew. The victims are overwhelmingly students of a single high school in Ansan, near Seoul. More than three-quarters of the 323 students are dead or missing, while nearly two-thirds of the other 153 people on board the ferry Sewol survived. The number of corpses recovered has risen sharply since the weekend, when divers battling currents and low visibility were finally able to enter the submerged vessel. Emergency task force spokesman Koh Myung-seok said bodies have mostly been found on the third and fourth floors of the ferry, where many passengers seemed to have gathered. Many students were housed in cabins on the fourth floor, near the stern of the ship, Koh said.

vacate, saying they were not party to the agreement by Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the European Union. In a statement, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said the two bodies found Tuesday in Slovyansk bore signs of torture. One of them was a member of the city council and a member of Turchynov’s party, he said. Terrorists “are beginning to torture and kill Ukrainian patriots. They are impudently rejecting the calls of not only our country but of all the world’s society when they demonstratively mock the decisions taken in Geneva,” he said. “These crimes are being done with the full support and connivance of Russia,” Turchynov added.

46 criminals posing as vigilantes arrested MORELIA, Mexico — Mexican authorities said Tuesday they have arrested 46 people who worked for criminal gangs but posed as members of vigilante

“self-defense” groups. The vigilante movement sprang up last year in the western state of Michoacan to fight the Knights Templar drug cartel. The heavily armed vigilantes wear white T-shirts with slogans demanding freedom for their home towns, or the slogan “Self Defense Group.” The federal envoy to Michoacan, Alfredo Castillo, said the arrested gang members were wearing similar, but fake, T-shirts. They were arrested Monday in the town of Huetamo, near the neighboring state of Guerrero, after they opened fire on federal forces. The suspects were found with 23 guns, three grenades and a grenade launcher. Castillo did not specify which gang the suspects belonged to, but there have been reports that drug gangs from Guerrero are seeking to expand their territory in Michoacan. Authorities arrested five other people last week who are suspected of having passed themselves off as vigilantes in another Michoacan town. — Compiled from AP reports

AROUND THE NATION Fire sends up plume of smoke near airport PHOENIX — A fire at an oil recycling business near Sky Harbor International Airport critically burned two men and sent a tall plume of black smoke over central Phoenix on Tuesday. Fire Department officials said the fire occurred as used automotive oil was being transferred from a rail tanker to a truck. One of the men being treated had burns over 50 to 60 percent of his body, and the other had burns on 15 percent, officials said. About 20 fire engines and ladder trucks were sent to the blaze.

Stowaway teen is resting at Honolulu hospital HONOLULU — A teenager who stowed away in the wheel well of an airplane for a fivehour flight from California to Hawaii is resting at a Honolulu

CONTACT US Publisher, William B. Green........................728-2501 Account Executive, Dora Martinez ...... (956) 765-5113 General Manager, Adriana Devally ...............728-2510 Adv. Billing Inquiries ................................. 728-2531 Circulation Director ................................. 728-2559 MIS Director, Michael Castillo.................... 728-2505 Managing Editor, Nick Georgiou ................. 728-2565 Sports Editor, Zach Davis ..........................728-2578 Spanish Editor, Melva Lavin-Castillo............ 728-2569 Photo by Lynne Sladky | AP

Juan Cedeño, 32, of Miami, holds a handful of plastic fishing line he recovered in rocks along the beach, while volunteering to pick up trash on Earth Day, on Tuesday, in Miami Beach, Fla. hospital. Hawaii’s Department of Human Services said in a statement Tuesday that child welfare services officials are continuing to work to ensure his safe return home. The department didn’t indi-

cate when the 15-year-old would be going back to California. American Medical Response air and ground ambulances flew him from Maui to Oahu and drove him to a Honolulu hospital Sunday evening. — Compiled from AP reports

SUBSCRIPTIONS/DELIVERY (956) 728-2555 The Zapata Times is distributed on Saturdays to 4,000 households in Zapata County. For subscribers of the Laredo Morning Times and for those who buy the Laredo Morning Times at newsstands, the Zapata Times is inserted. The Zapata Times is free. The Zapata Times is published by the Laredo Morning Times, a division of The Hearst Corporation, P.O. Box 2129, Laredo, Texas 78044. Phone (956) 728-2500. The Zapata office is at 1309 N. U.S. Hwy. 83 at 14th Avenue, Suite 2, Zapata, TX 78076. Call (956) 765-5113 or e-mail




Cancer survivor recalls journey Gloria Rodriguez credits faith, doctor in helping her during battle with cancer By YASMIN SHARIFF THE ZAPATA TIMES

Gloria Rodriguez has been involved with Relay for Life ever since she beat colon cancer in 2004. She started in Zapata then moved to Laredo, consequently, working with the Webb County Relay for Life. A decade later she still has a clean bill of health and still is involved with Relay for Life. “You never think you will be the one diagnosed with cancer. But I lost my father to cancer recently,” she said. “All my siblings’ but two had polyps that can turn into cancer.” According to the Mayo Clinic website, colon cancer is a cancer of the large intestine and most cases begin as small, non-cancerous benign clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. “You may have regular pap tests or breast exams but there are other parts that need to be looked at as well,” Rodriguez said. “Also, people will say that they have acid reflux and just get some over-the-counter medi-

RODRIGUEZ cine. “But in retrospect, maybe when I was having these symptoms I could have been developing colon cancer.” According to, although younger adults can develop colorectal cancer, chances increase markedly after the age of 50. Also, most colorectal cancers happen in people with a family history of it, according to the website.

Rodriguez was 50 when she was diagnosed with stage-three colon cancer. Stage four is the last and worst stage, so she was given an aggressive treatment for it. “What made me go was that I was having unusual pain below my abdomen and the doctor immediately sent me for a colonoscopy,” she said. The Mayo Clinic suggests that since polyps can be small, producing few, if any, symptoms, doctors consequently recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying polyps before they become cancerous. Rodriguez sights her faith in God to be what mainly got her through her battle with cancer. “God will never give us more than what we can handle,” she said. “I believe that and that is how I handled my cancer.” She also cites her doctor as a large contributing factor to her recovery from colon cancer. “My doctor was Dr. (Eduardo) Miranda,” she said. “He was a wonderful doctor and I recommend him to anybody. I still see him.”

Trailride, hayride set for May 3 Third annual event in memory of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata By MALENA CHARUR THE ZAPATA TIMES

The third annual Never Back Down Trailride and Hayride is scheduled for May 3 to honor the memory of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jaime Zapata and to raise scholarship funds. It’s part of the Viva Laredo Festival 2014 that will include a charreada, mutton busting, tamales tasting cookoff, salsa cook-off, grito contest and Li’l Miss Viva Laredo Contest for girls 10 and under. Organizer Rosy Gregory said the event sends a positive message in appreciation to all those who serve the country and to honor Zapata’s memory. “It’s a positive message to honor Jaime Zapata’s life, and a reminder to appreciate the officers who work and risk their lives for our country,” Gre-

ZAPATA gory said. Zapata lost his life in an ambush in Mexico on Feb. 15, 2011. Gregory said the funds raised from the trail ride and rodeo will be used

to award scholarships to local high school students. “The scholarships will provide support and education to those students who wish to become teachers, nurses or law officers,” she said. The trail ride will begin at La Sita Rose VIP Trailriders’ rest area on Highway 59 and end at the Laredo International Fair and Exhibition, where the rodeo will take place with food, prizes and a live band. “The trail ride and rodeo has been growing every year. “The first year had about 225 riders, and this year we expect many more,” Gregory said. Entry fee is $20 per rider. For more information contact Gregory at 744-7505. (Contact Malena Charur at 7282583, or at Translated by Mark Webber of the Times staff.)

Photo by Danny Zaragoza | The Zapata Times

A view of LCC South shows children and parents flying kites during the LCC South Kite Flying Fest held Thursday. A 10th anniversary celebration of the South campus is set for Saturday.

Turning 10 LCC invites community to celebration SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

For the last 10 years, Laredo Community College said its South Campus has worked to meet the educational needs of South Laredo and Zapata residents, and now the LCC South family would like to extend a little of that love to the community during its 10th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday. LCC’s Fort McIntosh and South campuses serve a three-county area composed of Webb, Jim Hogg and Zapata counties. Saturday’s celebration kicks off at 10 a.m. with an opening ceremony led by Fred Solis, associate vice president for instruction. The event also will feature an invocation by Sister Rosemary Welsh and Sister Maria Luisa Vera of Mercy Ministries, and the performance of the National Anthem by the new Campus Orchestra

under the direction of music instructor Andrew Uhe. LCC President Juan L. Maldonado and LCC Board of Trustees President Cynthia Mares will share some words of reflection with guests attending the formal ceremony. U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar, an alumnus of LCC, will be the keynote speaker. At the end of the ceremony, LCC staff and students will officially unveil a Palomino statue donated by longtime LCC supporters Steve and Linda LaMantia. The festivities do not stop there, however. After the ceremony, students, families and the public are invited to share in an afternoon of fun, food and games. For more information about the LCC South 10th anniversary ceremony and celebration, contact the LCC South Dean’s Office at 956-794-4002.







Pope Francis is winning hearts, minds CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Fifteen months ago, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio had chosen his room in a home for elderly Argentine priests. Like other Roman Catholic bishops who turn 75, he had submitted his retirement letter to the Vatican. Then another abdication upended his plans: Benedict XVI, his stamina fading, was the first pope in 598 years to leave by resignation, not death. On March 13, 2013, Bergoglio’s peers elected him pope on their fifth ballot. He took the papal name Francis to evoke Francis of Assisi, a 13th-century saint whose time with Roman beggars at St. Peter’s Basilica had converted the silk merchant’s son to a life of poverty. The new pope, an accountant’s son, opened with a subdued, servile request to the throng in St. Peter’s Square, and to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics: “Before the bishop blesses his people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that he will bless me.” The world noted his humility, that rarest of leadership traits. In the succeeding year, his warmth, informality and spoken tolerance have made him a living oxymoron: a religious celebrity, even to many nonbelievers and other non-Catholics. As of his second Easter as pope, Francis has achieved a breakthrough that each of us can evaluate but none of us can deny: Some of those who have disliked the Roman Catholic Church now find themselves liking this first man from the Americas to lead it. The sheer global heft of his church — if it were a nation, only China and India would be more populous — makes it, and its leaders, objects of spiritual but also secular inquiry: In the United States and many other lands, Catholics and their institutions are the biggest private providers of education, health care and charity. What’s more, if only for lack of competition, a pope is the closest thing Earth has to a globally recognized voice on social issues — a headturning distinction guaranteed to make his official pronouncements tumultuously controversial. Francis has the power to provoke planetary conversation, as with his oft-quoted statement last summer that “... if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge.” More than his immediate predecessors, Francis has used that limelight to lobby for service to the millions of impoverished people marginalized from thriving economies. The former cardinal who routinely trod miserable and dangerous alleys of Buenos Aires, communing with the least of his flock, today demands more than generous donations and noble sentiments. He wants gritty, hands-on action. Whether you’re of the Catholic or any other persuasion, or of none at all, Pope Francis hopes to change how you spend your weekends. “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets,” he wrote in a November mission statement, “rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.”

The companion to this emphasis on helping the poor is his evidently heartfelt outreach to those hurt or angered by agents of his church. He has apologized and welcomed those estranged from Catholicism without changing church policies that critics condemn as rigid and restrictive. His compromise, essentially, is to stick to church teachings on controversial issues but to stress, by word and deed, Gospel messages of kindness and compassion. Earlier this month, the paradox showed vividly: Francis made headlines with unscripted and unequivocal words, taking personal responsibility and asking forgiveness for the “evil” committed by clerics who molested children. He acknowledged the “personal, moral damage carried out by men of the church” and pledged stronger (if unspecified) punishments. Two days later, he used equally unequivocal words to reaffirm that he is not rewriting Catholic doctrine: “It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day.” And while his love for gays as children of God is a recurring theme, so is inflexibility on samesex marriage (“anthropological regression”). These complexities — the welcoming pastor, the rigorous shepherd — still are settling in ways that liberal and conservative Catholics struggle to parse; it can be tricky to square Francis’ humane sensitivities with his enduring imperatives. In naming him its Person of the Year, Time magazine synthesized the conundrums in a passage worth airing at length: The papacy is mysterious and magical: It turns a septuagenarian into a superstar while revealing almost nothing about the man himself. And it raises hopes in every corner of the world — hopes that can never be fulfilled, for they are irreconcilable. The elderly traditionalist who pines for the old Latin Mass and the devout young woman who wishes she could be a priest both have hopes. The ambitious monsignor in the Vatican Curia and the evangelizing deacon in a remote Filipino village both have hopes. No pope can make them all happy at once. This pope signals no intent to aggravate, or to appease. Francis, after all, says he joined the Jesuits — aka “God’s Marines” — because that order was on “the front lines of the Church, grounded in obedience and discipline.” If you follow not only news coverage of him but also his words, you sense a man aware that while he is pope, he is but the 266th pope — the fleeting guardian, we’ve written, of multimillennial values in a culture prone to preach that what’s new is therefore good. Pope Francis relentlessly prods all of us to think beyond our privileged First World concerns. On this feast of Christendom, it will be an Easter surprise if he doesn’t remind us anew of our obligation to our fellow humans who suffer in Third World poverty. Whether each of us checks the box for Catholic, for another faith or for none, Francis appeals to our better angels. And he does so in ways that many people find, well, appealing.


When a veto becomes a crime


AUSTIN — Take one longtime governor/potential presidential candidate. Add equal quantities, to taste, of words including grand jury and special prosecutor and bribery and official oppression and abuse of official capacity. Stir until newsworthy. What you have is a recipe for high-stakes speculation. And, thanks to a Travis County grand jury impaneled last week, we’re about to find out if we also have a recipe for criminal charges against Gov. Rick Perry. At the heart of it all is a June 2013 Perry promise, one he made good on, to veto state funding for the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County district attorney’s office if local DA Rosemary Lehmberg did not resign in the wake of her April DWI guilty plea. She didn’t quit and Perry did veto, marking the starting point for the current criminal investigation of our governor. At issue is whether the legal use of a gubernatorial veto becomes a crime if a governor announces in advance an intent to use it if a certain thing (Lehmberg’s resignation in this case) doesn’t happen. Isn’t a governor supposed to use the veto as a way to threaten folks, including other elected officials, into doing something? Don’t governors do that all the time with legislators? So how does using a legal veto become a crime? As they say in rural Texas, we may be fixing to find out. ”The veto was made in accordance with the veto power afforded to every gov-

ernor under the Texas Constitution,” Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said last week. ”As we have from the beginning, we remain ready and willing to assist with this inquiry.” The beginning was in June 2013 when Texans for Public Justice, which does a good job of tracking money and corporate influence in Texas politics, filed a criminal complaint alleging bad stuff, seriously bad stuff about the governor. State law, director Craig McDonald says, bars public officials from using official actions to coerce other public officials into doing something. You and I know that this kind of thing goes on all the time, including when a governor privately threatens a veto in order to coerce lawmakers to vote a certain way. In the complaint, McDonald told local prosecutors (including Lehmberg, who properly had it farmed out to a special prosecutor) that he had “good reason to believe ... that (Perry) committed one or more offenses ... against the peace and dignity of the state.” Though it might seem otherwise, it’s been some time since we’ve had an indicted Texas governor. In July 1917, Gov. James E. “Pa” Ferguson was indicted in Travis County on charges of misapplication of public funds, embezzlement and diverting a special fund. All were related to what the Texas State Historical Association’s Handbook of Texas calls “a serious quarrel with the University of Texas.” Sound familiar? Impeachment proceedings based on those charges led to conviction in the Texas Senate, though Ferguson resigned a day prior to the announcement of the decision. I asked McDonald to ex-

plain how it’s possible that the legal use of a veto could be a criminal offense. He walked me through the four laws cited in his complaint (which does not limit what laws the grand jury can look at). We started with the law concerning “coercion of a public servant,” the section of which says somebody breaks that law if “by means of coercion he ... influences or attempts to influence a public servant in a specific exercise of his official power or a specific performance of his official duty.” McDonald’s take: Perry used the veto threat to attempt to influence public servant Lehmberg to quit, which could be construed as a “specific exercise of (her) official power.” This one’s a misdemeanor but becomes a felony if the “coercion is a threat to commit a felony.” Next is the state law frowning on “abuse of official capacity,” the portion of which says ”a public servant commits an offense if, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he intentionally or knowingly (1) violates a law relating to the public servant’s office or employment, or (2) misuses governmental property, services, personnel, or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has come into the public servant’s custody or possession by virtue of the public servant’s office or employment.” McDonald’s take: Public servant Perry misused his office to obtain a benefit by trying to induce Lehmberg to quit. This one can be a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on “the value of the use of the thing misused.” The Public Integrity Unit long has been targeted by the Texas GOP. Though not

in its current platform OK’d in 2012, the previous one urged lawmakers “to secure the impartiality and probity of the Travis County Public Integrity Unit, by transferring its powers and funding to an impartial statewide elected judicial entity.” The next law McDonald accuses Perry of violating deals with the oneroussounding “official oppression.” The potentially relevant section of this one says “a public servant acting under color of his office or employment commits an offense if he ... intentionally denies or impedes another in the exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power or immunity, knowing his conduct is unlawful.” McDonald’s take: This one is related to and kind of “piling on” the previous two, having to do with Perry illegally using his gubernatorial powers to try to force from office somebody he has no authority to force from office. This one’s a misdemeanor. The next and final law raised by McDonald is the felony of “bribery.” The law says “a person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly offers, confers, or agrees to confer on another, or solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept from another ... any benefit as consideration for the recipient’s decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion as a public servant, party official, or voter.” McDonald’s take on this one is a bit tricky, but I can get from here to there. Perry, he says, used state money (or the withholding of same) to try to bribe Lehmberg into a decision to resign. Ken Herman is a columnist for the Austin AmericanStatesman. E-mail: kherman(at)

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phone number IS NOT published; it is used solely to verify identity and to clarify content, if necessary. Identity of the letter writer must be verified before publication. We want to assure our

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ing or gratuitous abuse is allowed. Via e-mail, send letters to or mail them to Letters to the Editor, 111 Esperanza Drive, Laredo, TX 78041.



Findings on West blast Federal officials: Fertilizer plant explosion could have been prevented; new laws, oversight needed By NOMAAN MERCHANT ASSOCIATED PRESS

DALLAS — The fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people last year in a tiny Texas town could have been prevented, even if it’s still not clear what started an initial fire that triggered the blast, federal officials said Tuesday. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board announced its findings after a year of investigating the blast in West, Texas, that also injured 200 and decimated parts of the town. The safety board said the owners of West Fertilizer Co. failed to safely store hazardous chemicals or prepare for a potential disaster. The board also said several levels of federal, state and local government missed opportunities to prevent the tragedy. “It should never have occurred,” said Rafael Moure-Eraso, the chairman of the safety board, which does not have any regulatory authority. Despite investigations that have yielded information about safety deficiencies at the plant and voluntary safety steps taken by the nation’s fertilizer industry, not a single state or federal law requiring change has been passed since April 17, 2013. As many as 34 tons of ammonium nitrate detonated inside West Fertilizer Co. It’s a chemical commonly used in fertilizer and as an industrial explosive, but it is dangerous under certain conditions or in the wrong hands. The plant in West had 40 to 60 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in wooden containers inside a wooden building with no sprinkler system, investigators said Tuesday. There was more ammonium nitrate in a rail car outside the building.

File photo by Tony Gutierrez | AP

The aftermath of an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West is shown, on Thursday, April 18, 2013. A separate, ongoing investigation by federal and state officials has narrowed the possible causes of the fire to three things: a golf cart battery, an electrical system or a criminal act. No one has been charged in connection with the blast. Daniel Horowitz, the chemical safety board’s managing director, told The Associated Press on Monday that even if some questions remain unanswered, “we know more than enough to keep this from happening again.” Moure-Eraso said federal, state and local agencies could all do more. He said he believes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has enough authority already to require companies to follow stricter safety guidelines. In Texas, companies can still store hazardous chemicals in flammable wooden containers in buildings without sprinklers, and volunteer firefighters like the dozen who rushed into the West plant still aren’t required to train how to fight such fires. Moure-Eraso suggested that Texas could pass a

state fire code or change state law to allow small counties to enact their own, and said officials in McLennan County, where West is located, could have done more to prepare an emergency response plan for the plant. But he laid the ultimate responsibility for preventing the disaster on West Fertilizer Co. “What the regulators do is basically monitor what is happening, but the primary responsibility has to be for whoever is putting this chemical in commerce,” Moure-Eraso said. “The regulators themselves are not the ones that caused this thing.” A spokesman for the owners of the plant did not immediately respond to a message. The plant’s owners have denied the allegations of dozens of residents and companies suing them in civil court, saying the plant was negligent in how it handled and stored ammonium nitrate. The safety board will hold a meeting Tuesday night in West to discuss its findings and recommendations with residents and town officials.




Obama views Washington mudslide scene By DARLENE SUPERVILLE ASSOCIATED PRESS

OSO, Wash. — Swooping over a terrain of great sadness and death, President Barack Obama took an aerial tour Tuesday of the place where more than three dozen people perished in a mudslide last month, then mourned privately with those who lost loved ones in the destruction. Evidence of the mudslide’s power was everywhere: trees ripped from the ground, a highway paved with mud and debris, a river’s course altered. And in the midst of the awful tableau, an American flag flying at half-staff. Even as the president flew overhead, the search for bodies continued below. Two people are still listed as missing. Back on the ground, the president gathered at a community chapel in the small town of Oso, about an hour northeast of Seattle, with families of the victims. The March 22 mudslide killed at least 41 people and buried dozens of homes. Obama was meeting separately with emergency responders and planned a public appearance at the local firehouse to talk about what he had witnessed and experienced on a clear, sunny afternoon. On his drive to the fire-

Photo by Elaine Thompson |AP

Brande Taylor, left, and her partner Matt Ingison wave flags and take photos as President Barack Obama’s motorcade drives past Tuesday, in Oso, Wash. Obama was visiting the area to survey damage from a recent mudslide. house, a sign outside one business read “Oso strong.” Brande Taylor, whose boyfriend volunteered to work on the mudslide debris field, was appreciative that the president made the effort to visit this rural outpost. “It is a small community. It’s little. It’s not huge on the map.

But there’s still people here who need help, that need the support,” said Taylor, who stood near the firehouse. “And they need to know the president is here to support and to help them rebuild their lives.” Kellie Perkins, who lives in Oso, said Obama’s visit would help families who have lost so

much begin to heal. “They don’t now have houses any more, they don’t have anything they own, their friends or relatives are dead,” she said. “I think they need this.” At the request of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Obama earlier this month declared that a major disaster had occurred in the

FISHING Continued from Page 1A Contestants should register in teams with no more than two anglers, must have a valid fishing license, be 18 years of age and not be considered a professional angler. Registration will be held the evening prior to the event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. or onsite registration beginning at 5 a.m. Cash prizes will be awarded and first place will win a Ford-150. Winners will be selected by the highest weight combination of three fish. On Feb. 15, 170 teams participated in the event with a total of 175 fish caught. For information on the event or registration information, visit According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the angling opportunities for Largemouth Bass and Catfish are excellent angling opportunities, for Crappie and

White Bass are poor. “Largemouth bass anglers are more successful during the spring, fall and winter months,” the department’s website states. “Popular baits include spinner baits, crank baits and Texas and Carolina rigged worms. These are used around flooded brush points, and offshore structure which includes humps, rock piles, inundated buildings and road beds. “Summer fishing at Falcon can be tough, partially because of the South Texas heat. The same lures along with top-water and buzz baits (fished early and late) are successful. Catfish can be caught almost any time during the year. Stink baits or natural baits such as shad, shrimp or sunfish are effective for catching catfish throughout the lake.” (Judith Rayo may be reached at 728-2567 or

911 Continued from Page 1A in Webb, Jim Hogg, Zapata and Starr counties as well as the cities of Hebbronville, Rio Grande City, Roma and Laredo, the latter of which administers the region. Twelve people from throughout the region were nominated to receive the 911 Telecommunicator Award 2014 for outstanding performance in handling emergency calls. Damaris Chapa, who works in the Webb County Sheriff ’s Office, was chosen to receive the award. “I did not expect it. It’s just part of my obligation and duty. The safety of people is first and foremost, and my duty is to help them,” Chapa said. Chapa recalled receiving a call from a home where a distraught mother said her 2-

month-old son was drowning. She said she was able to provide information that helped the woman keep her child alive until an ambulance arrived. Special recognition was awarded to a group of four dispatchers who assisted 22 people, including two children, held against their will in an operation that lasted about six hours. The four were Joann Rodríguez, Eduardo Herrera, Luis Ramírez and Francisco Moreno. In addition, one special award, that of 911 Heroine of the Day, was given to 9-yearold Delecia Mueller, fourth grader at Oilton Elementary School. Mueller called 911 when her father suffered a stroke.

DEPORTATION Continued from Page 1A mated that some 20,000 deported immigrants fell into the categories in question last year. The potential changes come as Johnson proceeds with a review ordered by Obama on how to make deportation policy more humane. With comprehensive immigration legislation stalled in the Republican-led House after passing the Senate last year, Obama has come under intense election-year pressure to stem deportations, which have neared 2 million on his watch, and allow more of the 11.5 million immigrants living in the country illegally to stay. Many activists want sweeping action by Obama to give legal certainty and work permits to millions more immigrants, like he did for those who arrived illegally as children and attended school or served in the military. It’s not clear whether the

The change could limit removals of people who have little or no criminal record but have committed repeat immigration violations such as re-entering the country illegally after having been deported, or failing to comply with a deportation order. administration ultimately will take such steps. Obama has said repeatedly his options are limited without action by Congress. “The only way to truly fix it is through congressional action. We have already tried to take as many administrative steps as we could,” Obama said last week at a news conference. “We’re going to review it one more time to see if there’s more that we can do.” For now, administration

state, making it and affected residents eligible for various forms of financial aid, including help covering the costs of temporary housing, home repairs and the loss of uninsured property. The Homeland Security Department, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers also are helping. The president repeatedly has stepped into the role of national consoler in times of mourning. Just two weeks ago, he met with families and comrades of those killed in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas. Three soldiers died and 16 others were wounded in the rampage by another soldier, who killed himself. Obama also has mourned with the grieving after carnage in Tucson, Ariz., Aurora, Colo., Newtown, Conn., Boston, the Washington Navy Yard — and once before at Fort Hood. Tuesday’s stop in Washington came as Obama headed for Tokyo, the first stop on a four-country visit to the Asia-Pacific region. The president is scheduled to spend the rest of this week and part of next week conferring with the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.

officials appear focused on more limited, near-term steps that could still make a difference for the immigrant population, according to lawmakers and activists who’ve met with administration officials. Adjusting the department’s priorities for deportation is one such approach. Depending on how it’s done, it could have a significant impact by providing new guidance to ICE agents on the front lines. Activists want more wholesale chang-

es; some say ICE agents don’t always follow the priorities set by the administration. At the same time, Obama would likely face wrath from the Republican Party for taking even the smallest steps toward providing relief to people in this country illegally. Republicans already accuse Obama’s administration of subverting the law through previous moves to give “prosecutorial discretion” to immigration agents.

“I called because my dad was having a stroke. I told him, ‘Don’t go to sleep,’” she said. Mueller, who was accompanied by her parents and brother at the ceremony, said she was pleased by the recognition. Consuelo “Connie” Chavarria, 911 program specialist, said the event was important because not only does the staff respond to emergency calls but also work at educating the public and managing the system’s database. “It’s about everybody working together when a crisis hits,” she said. (Contact Malena Charur at 728-2583 or at Translated by Mark Webber of the Times staff.)


Agenda en Breve ZAPATA 04/25— Torneo de Campeonato de Pesca de Lubina, inicia a las 8 a.m. y concluirá el sábado a las 5 p.m., en el Public Boat Ramp del Condado de Zapata.

LAREDO 04/23— Chamber Singers de TAMIU se presentarán a las 7:30 p.m. en el Salón de Recitales del Center for the Fine and Performing Arts. Evento gratuito. 04/24— Denise Dresser, profesora de ciencia política en el ITAM en la Ciudad de México, disertará el tema “México bajo el ‘nuevo’ PRI: Lo bueno, lo malo y lo feo”, a las 7 p.m. en el aula 203 del Student Center Ballroom de TAMIU. Evento gratuito. 04/24— La recepción del Student Senior Show se realizará en la Galería del Center for the Fine and Performing de TAMIU, de 6 p.m. a 7:30 p.m. Evento gratuito. 04/24— Osvaldo Ibarra Jr. estará en concierto dentro del Salón de Recitales del Center for the Fine and Performing a las 7:30 p.m. Evento gratuito. 04/25— La organización Strength Within Me estará asesorando a las personas con discapacidades físicas entre 14 y 35, de 2 p.m. a 4 p.m. en Ruthe B. Cowl Rehabilitation, ubicado en 1220 de avenida Malinche. 04/25— Planetario Lamar Bruni Vergara de TAMIU presenta: “Secrets of the Sun” a las 6 p.m.; y “Destination Saturn” a las 7 p.m. Costo: 4 dólares, niños; y 5 dólares, adultos. 04/25— Se presentará el Concierto de Primavera del Ballet Folklórico en el teatro del Center for the Fine and Performing Arts a las 7 p.m. Evento gratuito. 04/25— Gilberto Soto presentará un Concierto Internacional de Guitarra en el Salón de Recitales del Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, a las 7:30 p.m. Evento gratuito. 04/26— Se realizará una recaudación de medicamentos recetados para evitar las adicciones a los mismos de 10 a.m. a 2 p.m. en el Edificio Administrativo del Departamento de Bomberos de Laredo, ubicado en 616 de Del Mar Blvd. y en M.S. Ryan Elementary School, en 2401 de Clark Blvd. 04/26— Concierto del Ballet Folclórico Primavera 2014 a las 7 p.m. en el Teatro del Center for the Fine and Performing Arts de TAMIU. Evento gratuito.

NUEVO LAREDO, MX 04/23— Día del Libro con Homenaje a Octavio Paz. “Reinventando a Octavio Paz” en Paralibros de Paseo Reforma, de 5 p.m. a 6:30 p.m. Entrada libre. 04/23— Cine Club presenta “Dorothy” a las 6 p.m. en el Auditorio de Estación Palabra. Entrada libre. 04/24— Grupo de teatro Primer Sol presentará la obra teatral “La Madre Pasota” de Dario Fo, en el teatro Lucio Blanco, a las 7 p.m. Entrada libre. 04/24— Conmemoración del centenario del incendio de la ciudad, a las 7 p.m. en el Centro Cívico. Plática a cargo de José María Zertuche. Entrada libre. 04/25— Inauguración de la exposición de esculturas y pintura “Experimentaciones de Gloria Becerra”, a las 6 p.m. en Estación Palabra. Entrada libre. 04/26— Estación Palabra invita a “Bazar de Arte” a las 12 p.m.; Festival del Día del Niño” a las 2 p.m.; “Homenaje a William Shakespeare”, a las 3 p.m. Todos los eventos tienen entrada gratuita.





LAREDO — Autoridades estatales han identificado a las dos personas que fallecieran después de una volcadura cerca del Punto de Revisión de la Patrulla Fronteriza de EU sobre la Interestatal 35, el Domingo de Pascua. Las personas fueron identificadas como Raúl Torres Gloria y Petra Torres, dio a conocer la Oficial María Madrigal, vocera para el Departamento de Seguridad Pública de Texas. Torres Gloria era el vocalista principal del grupo mexicano Vagón Chicano. El sitio de internet del grupo y su página en Facebook confirmaron su muerte. Un camión de la empresa Los García se volcó alrededor de las 7:40 a.m. del domingo en la milla 29 de la I-35. Oficiales del DPS contabilizaron un conductor y 33 pasajeros. Treinta y un pasajeros fueron trasladados al Laredo Me-


dical Center y a Doctors Hospital, en tanto que otros fueron transportados vía aérea a San Antonio, dijo Madrigal. Oficiales están tratando de determinar la causa de la volcadura. Ellos se encuentran inspeccionando el autobús para determinar si

algo estaba mal antes de que ocurriera el percance, dijo Madrigal. No se pudo confirmar si las víctimas son familiares. No hubo información disponible acerca de Petra Torres al cierre de esta edición. Mientras continúa la investigación, varios aficionados de la música comentaron en la página de Facebook de Vagón Chicano, lamentando la pérdida de Torres García. “Él era una persona con gran optimismo y un hombre de familia”, dijo Guadalupe Reyes, vocero para Vagón Chicano. “Había escrito en los medios sociales que iría a recoger a sus hijos a la escuela. Amaba estar con sus hijos”. Torres Gloria, de San Luis Potosí, México, creció en una familia que apreciaba la música. De alguna forma, él sabía la importancia que tenían los seguidores. Torres Gloria siempre tuvo tiempo para tomarse una fotografía con sus se-

guidores y para firmar autógrafos, dijo Reyes. “Él era una persona con gran carisma. Era fiel con sus seguidores”, agregó. Además de la música, a Torres Gloria le gustaba jugar softból, fútbol soccer y voliból con sus hermanos. Vagón Chicano recientemente había realizado una gira por Carolina del Norte y Georgia abriendo los conciertos al grupo Los Tigres del Norte. En México, la agrupación tuvo sus últimas presentaciones en Guanajuato y Puebla. Reyes dijo que Torres Gloria había tomado el autobús para visitar a sus familiar en Katy, cerca de Houston. Su esposa se encontraba allá, esperándolo. “Recuérdenlo como la gran persona que era. Su música vive para siempre”, dijo Reyes, entre lágrimas. (Localice a César G. Rodriguez en el (956) 728-2568 o en




Abaten a hermanos dentro de cárcel POR CÉSAR G. RODRÍGUEZ TIEMPO DE ZAPATA

Foto por Eduardo Verdugo | Associated Press

Un ejemplar de “Cien años de soledad” fue colocado junto a la urna con las cenizas del Nobel de Literatura colombiano Gabriel García Márquez durante un homenaje en el Palacio de Bellas Artes, en la Ciudad de México, el lunes.

Rinden homenaje a Gabriel García Márquez POR E. EDUARDO CASTILLO ASSOCIATED PRESS

MÉXICO — Flores, mariposas, música y miles de lectores y admiradores. Así fue como México despidió y rindió el lunes homenaje al Nobel de Literatura colombiano Gabriel García Márquez, cuyas cenizas reposaron por horas en el Palacio de Bellas Artes de la capital mexicana. Y como una manera de resaltar el vínculo de García Márquez con su natal Colombia y su adoptivo México, los presidentes de ambos países se unieron por la noche en una ceremonia en la que aseguraron que el escritor perdurará por generaciones a través de una obra que logró llevar Latinoamérica al mundo entero. “Gabriel García Márquez, el más colombiano de los colombianos sigue vivo, seguirá vivo en sus libros y en sus textos”, dijo el presidente de Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos. “Gloria eterna a quien más gloria nos

ha dado”. “Sus palabras y sus libros sobrevivirán los límites de la efímera vida humana”, aseguró el mandatario mexicano Enrique Peña Nieto. Ambos presidentes culminaron su participación con una guardia de honor junto a la urna con las cenizas de García Márquez, mientras algunas mariposas amarillas de papel eran lanzadas sobre ellos. Poco después, miles de mariposas amarillas de papel más volaron por los aires fuera del Palacio de Bellas Artes. El amarillo era el color predilecto del escritor, y las mariposas evocan una célebre escena de su obra maestra, “Cien años de soledad”. Llevados por su familia desde su casa en el sur de la Ciudad de México, los restos del escritor fueron recibidos en Bellas Artes con una lluvia de aplausos, mientras la urna con sus cenizas era colocada sobre un pedestal rodeado de rosas amarillas.

Su esposa Mercedes y sus hijos Gonzalo y Rodrigo hicieron la primera guardia de honor y de inmediato comenzó a tocar un cuarteto de cuerdas que intercaló con una orquesta para interpretar algunos fragmentos de piezas clásicas que le gustaban al escritor, del húngaro Béla Bartók al italiano Giovanni Bottesini. Un trio musical se detuvo frente a la urna e interpretó un vallenato, la música de la costa caribeña colombiana de donde era originario y que tanto gustaba a Gabo, como cariñosamente se le decía al escritor que falleció el jueves a los 87 años en su casa en México. Algunos asistentes siguieron con aplausos el ritmo. García Márquez dijo en algún momento que su obra cumbre, “Cien años de soledad”, era un vallenato de 400 páginas. Los restos del autor de “El amor en los tiempos del cólera” fueron cremados, aunque su destino final aún no es claro.


Dos hermanos quienes fueran arrestados la semana pasada por cargos de narcotráfico fallecieron después de una trifulca adentro de la prisión de Nuevo Laredo, México, anunciaron autoridades de Tamaulipas el viernes. La Secretaría de Seguridad Pública y la Oficina del Procurador General de Tamaulipas confirmaron que ocurrió una riña a las 7:50 p.m. del jueves OSCAR GARCÍA dentro del Centro de Ejecución de Sanciones o CEDES. Autoridades estatales identificaron a los hermanos como Oscar García Dueñas, de 29 años de edad, y Rogelio García Dueñas, de 21, ambos de ROGELIO GARCÍA Reynosa. Oficiales de Tamaulipas se encuentran investigando el incidente. Autoridades reportaron que los hermanos habían sido arrestados el miércoles 16 de abril por cargos de narcotráfico. Ernesto Alonso García, de 30 años de edad, y Valentín Morales Soto, de 24, han sido identificados como los sospechosos. García y Morales Soto sostuvieron que los hermanos García Dueñas deseaban pelear desde que llegaron al CEDES, indican los reportes. Durante las primeras horas del 16 de abril, oficiales de la policía estatal acreditable en un patrullaje de rutina, notaron una camioneta pick up Toyota, color gris, cerca del crucero de avenida Reforma y Bulevar Pedro Pérez Ibarra, por el hotel Cesar Palace. La Toyota aceleró pero oficiales lograron alcanzarla poco después, de acuerdo a reportes. Una inspección del vehículo les llevó a encontrar un ladrillo de marihuana con cinta. Autoridades identificaron a los ocupantes como Oscar García Dueñas y Rogelio García Dueñas. (Localice a César G. Rodriguez en el (956) 728-2568 o en



Duros comienzos en la farándula vive Pedro Infante y acepta una propuesta de trabajo que lo hace pisar suelo tamaulipeco. Va de Sur a Norte, recorriéndolo completo. La suerte empieza a sonreírle entonces y vientos propicios van sucediéndose. Cobra 20 pesos diarios. Iban a cubrirle asimismo los gastos de comida y hospedaje. Pedro Infante

marcha a Tampico y ofrece “actuaciones por un mes”, informa Mariano Sánchez Ayala. Las sedes de sus conciertos –amplía Jesús Gabriel González— resultan insuficientes, “quedando gente en la calle sin poder entrar”. Requerido por empresarios del propio ramo, el mazatleco se interna en Tamaulipas. El Mante lo aplaude. Continúa a Matamoros y Reynosa, limítrofes con EUA. Sin abandonar la zona fronteriza, viaja después hasta Nue-

vo Laredo, población en que funcionan la XEFE, la XEBK y la XEDF. Toca por último Ciudad Victoria, capital de la entidad. Acude “invitado a la recién inaugurada [frecuencia de Amplitud Modulada] XEBJ”, detalla Infante Quintanilla, bien al tanto del pariente. “La Cotorra”, hoy conocida así, le habría ofrecido el pequeño auditorio en la calle Matamoros, entre las calles 10 y 11, actual sede de Radio Universidad.

Foto de cortesía

El Condado de Zapata aprobó una proclamación en la cual se declaró al 4 de mayo del 2014 como el Día del Club de Leones del Condado de Zapata. El Club de Leones tendrá oficialmente 60 años de existencia en esa fecha, informaron sus oficiales.




Spurs’ Popovich honored Popovich wins coach of the year By JON KRAWCZYNSKI ASSOCIATED PRESS

The San Antonio Spurs, the model for stability and sustained success in the modern NBA, were still a shaken team when they showed up for training camp in October, less than four months after a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals. Some coaches would try to brush off the disappointment of letting a title slip through their fingers and refuse to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Gregg Popovich took it head on, embraced the heartache, and in a career full of masterful coaching performances, delivered perhaps his finest effort in season No. 18. “The way we lost in the finals wasn’t an ordinary loss, it was pretty devastating,” Popovich said on Tuesday after being named NBA coach of the year. “We decided that we needed to just face that right off the bat at the beginning of the season and get it out of the way. Don’t blame it on the basketball gods or bad fortune or anything like that, the Miami Heat beat us and won the championship and that’s that.” Popovich joined Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches in league history to take home the Red Auerbach trophy three times in their career. “They’re on the hood of my car,” Popovich cracked. “One, two, three, right on the car, the way players do license plates. ... I’ve got three of those right on the hood.” He’s never liked the attention, never bought into the proclamations of his genius. When the accolades come his way, Popovich is quick to deflect them, giving the credit to his players, his assistant coaches, owner Peter

Photo by Eric Gay | AP

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich sits with the Red Auerbach trophy during a news conference after he was named the NBA coach of the year on Tuesday for the third time. Holt and general manager R.C. Buford. The humility in his voice on Tuesday was genuine, the challenge of putting the pieces back together after last season’s finish as daunting as ever. They showed up to training camp still stinging from that defeat, and Popovich had to get to know a new-look coaching staff after losing longtime assistants Brett Brown and Mike Budenholzer to head coaching jobs in Philadelphia and Atlanta. Then he led the Spurs to a league-best 62-20 record, which gives them home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. And he did it while deftly navi-

gating a season filled with nagging injuries to several key players. Tim Duncan was the only starter to play in at least 70 games. No Spur averaged 30 minutes per game and Tony Parker led the team with a modest 16.7 points per game. Despite all of that, the Spurs won at least 50 games for the 15th straight season and topped 60 for the fourth time in that span. “Day after day, year after year, the energy that Pop provides our organization is truly unique,” Buford said. The Spurs lead the Dallas Mavericks 1-0 in their best-of-seven

series, with Game 2 on Wednesday night in San Antonio. “He’s a gentleman,” Spurs swingman Marco Belinelli said. “Everybody knows that he’s the best coach in the league. So to say that is not really important. But maybe some people, they don’t know he’s really a great guy, a great gentleman. He really helps guys, helps each other. He wants to help everybody. Great person.” When Miami topped San Antonio in that classic seven-game series, Popovich’s reaction resonated deeply within some members of the Heat organization. Instead of showing his disap-

pointment at the final buzzer, Popovich lingered on the court for a few minutes, sharing heartfelt embraces and words with Erik Spoelstra, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, among others — even smiling as he chatted with them and congratulated them on winning the title. And when told of Popovich’s award Tuesday, James offered high praise to the Spurs’ coach. “Not surprised,” James said. “It’s well-awarded. I have the utmost respect for Gregg Popovich, man. Not only what he’s been able to do for that team, but him just being able to always keep those guys motivated and always keep their best interests. ... From the outside looking in, it seems that he has their best interests and all he cares about is the team’s success and nothing else matters. That’s big-time.” Behind all his press conference bluster and the orneriness he directs toward the officials, there is a softer side that endears Popovich to those around him. That much was revealed during Game 1 against the Mavericks when he was interviewed by Craig Sager Jr., who was filling in for his father, a longtime sideline reporter who is being treated for leukemia. Popovich’s curt demeanor and one-word answers to the elder Sager’s questions have become appointment viewing, but this time the coach stopped in the middle of tense game, stared right into the camera and delivered a heart-felt message. “We miss you. You’ve been an important part of all of us for a long time, doing a great job,” he said. “We want your fanny back on the court, and I promise I’ll be nice.” Popovich garnered 59 firstplace votes and 380 total points in voting conducted by a panel of media members. Phoenix’s Jeff Hornacek (37 first-place votes) finished second and Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau (12) finished third in the voting, with Charlotte’s Steve Clifford and Toronto’s Dwane Casey rounding out the top five in a season so strong that Spoelstra did not make the top 10.



Dirk Nowitzki missed from several of his usual spots as Dallas blew a lead in the fourth quarter of its playoff-opening loss to San Antonio. The Mavericks star even flubbed a glorified layup, the most surprising of all the misses when Dallas went without a meaningful basket for the final 8 minutes of the 90-85 loss to the Spurs. Now Nowitzki has to bounce back from one of the worst playoff games of his 16-year career when the Mavericks play at San Antonio in Game 2 on Wednesday night. It’s hard to imagine Dallas knocking off the team with the NBA’s best record as long as Nowitzki has 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting. It was his lowest point total in the playoffs in seven years. The Mavericks aren’t imagining it. “Dirk is our least concern,” said backup guard Devin Harris, who led Dallas with 19 points in the opener. “He is going to get his shots and we know he’s going to make them.” The Spurs tend to make it harder on the pure-shooting 7footer, crowding him at the 3-

point line and bumping him when he gets closer to the basket. When Nowitzki had plans to take over in the fourth quarter with post-up moves, the Spurs blindsided him with a second defender and forced a turnover. That sequence came during a 14-0 San Antonio run that wiped out an 81-71 Dallas lead. “We basically stayed with him a lot of times and we didn’t help,” said Spurs center Tiago Splitter, who shares most of the defensive load on Nowitzki with Boris Diaw. “That makes the other guys have to work a little bit more. So it wasn’t just me and Boris.” This is how it’s always been the six times the Mavericks and Spurs have met in the playoffs since Nowitzki came to Dallas. The Spurs find a way to take Nowitzki out of the game. The Mavericks look for a way to make him a factor again, knowing it won’t be easy. “I don’t think they’re going to leave me much on pick-and-roll coverage all series,” Nowitzki said. “I can’t just sit out there and measure the wind and shoot.” The last time Nowitzki scored 11 points in a playoff game, he came back with 50 against Phoenix in 2006, when the Mavericks

topped the Suns in the Western Conference finals before Miami beat them for the title. That’s unlikely to happen again because the 35-year-old Nowitzki no longer carries that kind of offensive load. Instead, he shares it with a variety of options led by guard Monta Ellis. He rarely shoots 26 times a game as he did back then — and coming off a bad game isn’t going to tempt him. “You don’t want to overthink it,” said Nowitzki, who has had several clunkers during Dallas’ current 10-game losing streak to the Spurs. “You don’t want to go completely crazy and just hoist everything you see because some of those shots are contested. They’ve got to be within the flow and within the rhythm of the game.” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle is sure those shots will be. “The thing about all-time great players is that it’s not about one day coming in and saying, ’Hey, I’m going to go harder today’ or ’I’m going to be more aggressive today,”’ Carlisle said. “He’s had the same approach every day for 16 years.” And the Spurs have had the same game plan. The Mavericks are hoping it does. Otherwise it figures to be a short series.

Photo by Eric Gay | AP

Dallas’ Monta Ellis and the Mavericks are hoping to rebound after blowing a late 10-point lead in Game 1 against San Antonio in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.







NYSE 10,599.02



NASDAQ 4,161.46

Opower n 25.23 +3.34 +15.3 IntriCon Allergan 163.65+21.65 +15.2 GW Phm n Centene 64.29 +7.00 +12.2 Revance n SunEdison 20.06 +2.13 +11.9 EvokePh n RubiconP n 22.24 +2.03 +10.0 IderaPhm Circor 80.23 +7.15 +9.8 InterceptP PumaBiotc 83.78 +7.40 +9.7 AgiosPh n n 13.65 +1.20 +9.6 EgaletCp n Modine 15.78 +1.32 +9.1 GeronCp DaqoNEn 42.72 +3.45 +8.8 SareptaTh

Last Chg%Chg 6.66 +2.01 60.86+14.82 35.99 +7.37 9.29 +1.43 3.32 +.48 282.77+40.66 47.54 +6.33 12.30 +1.58 2.19 +.28 38.79 +4.81

+43.2 +32.2 +25.8 +18.2 +16.9 +16.8 +15.4 +14.7 +14.7 +14.2

Last Chg%Chg Name

Last Chg%Chg

Lexmark ArchCoal DirGMBear Castlight n Pentair PhilipsNV CSVLgCrde Wipro Danaos CallonPet

41.52 4.55 25.21 16.74 74.95 32.66 34.48 12.50 5.90 9.13

40.71 -11.98 3.71 -.75 7.52 -1.15 3.19 -.39 8.64 -.97 5.80 -.64 5.02 -.46 4.62 -.42 2.58 -.19 17.47 -1.28

-22.7 -16.8 -13.3 -10.9 -10.1 -9.9 -8.4 -8.3 -6.9 -6.8


Vol (00)

Last Chg Name

BkofAm 750004 16.29 +.20 S&P500ETF 622628 187.89 +.85 AMD 521147 4.30 +.18 iShEMkts 376837 41.64 -.11 iShR2K 347576 114.62 +1.17 SunEdison 315342 20.06 +2.13 Petrobras 284037 13.60 -.37 AT&T Inc 282108 36.29 +.23 Allergan 280732 163.65+21.65 GenElec 269935 26.58 -.01

Vol (00)

Last Chg

Facebook 581157 MicronT 450803 SiriusXM 405569 Comcast 337061 Zynga 336775 Intel 285123 PlugPowr h 281057 Cisco 279342 PwShs QQQ 279112 Microsoft 261562

63.03 +1.79 26.18 +.86 3.22 +.03 50.83 +.95 4.56 +.09 26.84 -.11 6.70 -.31 23.52 +.12 87.53 +.69 39.99 +.05

DIARY Advanced Declined Unchanged Total issues New Highs New Lows


2,289 820 109 3,218 130 4 3,130,530,284

DIARY Advanced Declined Unchanged Total issues New Highs New Lows

1,898 720 134 2,752 70 13 1,825,417,577


ANITA J. GAYTAN JAN. 1, 1957 — APRIL 15, 2014


16,631.63 7,715.91 550.08 11,334.65 4,371.71 838.47 1,897.28 1,398.91 20,257.19 1,212.82




14,457.60 5,952.18 462.66 8,814.76 3,198.74 698.14 1,548.19 1,109.81 16,308.50 899.92



Dow Industrials Dow Transportation Dow Utilities NYSE Composite Nasdaq Composite S&P MidCap S&P 500 S&P MidCap Wilshire 5000 Russell 2000

16,514.37 +65.12 +.40 7,734.90 +48.71 +.63 542.82 +.04 +.01 10,599.02 +39.67 +.38 4,161.46 +39.91 +.97 831.79 +2.64 +.32 1,879.55 +7.66 +.41 1,365.16 +9.99 +.74 20,020.55 +112.06 +.56 1,155.61 +13.30 +1.16



-.38 +4.52 +10.65 +1.91 -.36 +.97 +1.69 +1.69 +1.60 -.69

+12.19 +27.46 +2.45 +16.30 +27.29 +16.84 +19.05 +20.06 +20.29 +24.34


Last PvsWeek










AT&T Inc AMD AEP BkofAm Caterpillar CCFemsa Comcast CmtyHlt ConocoPhil Dillards EmpIca ExxonMbl Facebook FordM GenElec HewlettP HomeDp iShEMkts iShR2K Intel IntlBcsh



1.84 ... 2.00 .20 2.40 2.17 .90 ... 2.76 .24 ... 2.52 ... .50 .88 .64 1.88 .86 1.45 .90 .50

YTD Yld PE Last Chg %Chg




YTD Yld PE Last Chg %Chg

5.1 ... 3.9 1.2 2.3 2.0 1.8 ... 3.7 .3 ... 2.5 ... 3.1 3.3 2.0 2.4 2.1 1.3 3.4 2.1

IBM Lowes Lubys MetLife MexicoFd MicronT Microsoft Modine Penney RadioShk S&P500ETF Schlmbrg SearsHldgs SiriusXM SonyCp UnionPac USSteel UnivHlthS WalMart WellsFargo Zynga


3.80 .72 ... 1.40 3.13 ... 1.12 ... ... ... 3.48 1.60 ... ... .25 3.64 .20 .20 1.92 1.20 ...

2.0 1.5 ... 2.7 ... ... 2.8 ... ... ... 1.9 1.6 ... ... 1.3 1.9 .7 .3 2.5 2.4 ...

11 86 17 21 19 ... 20 24 12 14 ... 11 ... 9 20 12 21 ... ... 14 15

36.29 +.23 4.30 +.18 51.67 +.02 16.29 +.20 103.69 +1.05 110.33 -1.56 50.83 +.95 36.64 +.51 74.17 -.43 95.89 +4.84 6.60 -.04 100.37 -.56 63.03 +1.79 16.10 +.12 26.58 -.01 31.77 -.17 79.67 +1.71 41.64 -.11 114.62 +1.17 26.84 -.11 23.90 +.60

+3.2 +11.1 +10.5 +4.6 +14.2 -9.4 -2.2 -6.7 +5.0 -1.4 -21.9 -.8 +15.3 +4.3 -5.2 +13.5 -3.2 -.4 -.6 +3.4 -9.3

13 22 ... 15 ... 11 15 83 ... ... ... 19 ... 54 ... 20 ... 16 16 12 ...

192.15 -.12 47.54 +.86 5.93 +.27 51.90 +.75 26.41 +.19 26.18 +.86 39.99 +.05 15.78 +1.32 8.09 -.10 1.34 -.11 187.89 +.85 102.03 +.23 40.76 +1.16 3.22 +.03 18.68 -.32 192.05 +.51 26.85 +.23 75.72 +.23 77.56 -.04 49.23 +.11 4.56 +.09

+2.4 -4.1 -23.2 -3.7 -9.9 +20.4 +6.9 +23.1 -11.6 -48.5 +1.7 +13.2 +2.6 -7.7 +8.0 +14.3 -9.0 -6.8 -1.4 +8.4 +20.0

Stock Footnotes: g=Dividends and earnings in Canadian dollars .h= Doe not meet continued- listings tandards lf = Late filing with SEC. n = New in past 52 weeks. pf = Preferred. rs = Stock has undergone a reverse stock split of at least 50 percent within the past year. rt = Right to buy security at a specified price. s = Stock has split by at least 20 percent within the last year. un = Units. vj = In bankruptcy or receivership. wd = When distributed. wi = When issued. wt = Warrants. Mutual Fund Footnotes: b = Fee covering market costs is paid from fund assets. d = Deferred sales charge, or redemption fee. f = front load (sales charges). m = Multiple fees are charged. NA = not available. p = previous day’s net asset value. s = fund split shares during the week. x = fund paid a distribution during the week. Gainers and Losers must be worth at least $2 to be listed in tables at left. Most Actives must be worth at least $1. Volume in hundreds of shares. Source: The Associated Press. Sales figures are unofficial.

Prime Rate Discount Rate Federal Funds Rate Treasuries 3-month 6-month 5-year 10-year 30-year

3.25 3.25 0.75 0.75 .00-.25 .00-.25 0.03 0.06 1.74 2.71 3.50

0.04 0.05 1.62 2.63 3.46

Australia Britain Canada Euro Japan Mexico Switzerlnd


Pvs Day

1.0680 1.6822 1.1029 .7245 102.64 13.0537 .8850

1.0717 1.6801 1.1017 .7249 102.63 13.0255 .8846

British pound expressed in U.S. dollars. All others show dollar in foreign currency.

MUTUAL FUNDS Name Alliance Bernstein GlTmtcGA m Columbia ComInfoA m Eaton Vance WldwHealA m Fidelity Select Biotech d Fidelity Select BrokInv d Fidelity Select CommEq d Fidelity Select Computer d Fidelity Select ConsFin d Fidelity Select Electron d Fidelity Select FinSvc d Fidelity Select SoftwCom d Fidelity Select Tech d T Rowe Price SciTech Vanguard HlthCare Waddell & Reed Adv SciTechA m

Total Assets Total Return/Rank Pct Min Init Obj ($Mlns)NAV 4-wk 12-mo 5-year Load Invt WS 596 82.75 +0.8 +25.2/A +13.2/E 4.25 2,500 ST 2,498 52.76 -1.5 +28.4/E +15.6/E 5.75 2,000 SH 909 11.83 -3.2 +29.8/B +19.8/E 5.75 1,000 SH 9,388 186.40 -9.7 +29.5/B +30.1/A NL 2,500 SF 728 70.57 -2.4 +27.5/A +18.0/B NL 2,500 ST 297 31.46 +1.1 +36.5/B +17.9/D NL 2,500 ST 681 75.78 -1.2 +31.9/C +22.7/A NL 2,500 SF 233 15.14 -2.2 +21.6/C +18.3/B NL 2,500 ST 1,353 70.70 +0.5 +49.2/A +21.7/B NL 2,500 SF 934 81.14 -2.0 +24.3/B +15.2/D NL 2,500 ST 3,748 114.10 -4.3 +40.5/A +26.1/A NL 2,500 ST 2,345 113.13 -4.1 +32.0/C +23.0/A NL 2,500 ST 3,024 39.81 -1.8 +39.5/B +20.5/C NL 2,500 SH 10,515 191.38 -1.7 +30.0/B +22.9/C NL 3,000 ST 3,600 16.00 -2.8 +39.5/B +23.0/A 5.75 750

CA -Conservative Allocation, CI -Intermediate-Term Bond, ES -Europe Stock, FB -Foreign Large Blend, FG -Foreign LargeGrowth, FV -Foreign Large Value, IH -World Allocation, LB -Large Blend, LG -Large Growth, LV -Large Value, MA Moderate Allocation, MB -Mid-Cap Blend, MV - Mid-Cap Value, SH -Specialty-heath, WS -World Stock, Total Return: Chng in NAV with dividends reinvested. Rank: How fund performed vs. others with same objective: A is in top 20%, E in bottom 20%. Min Init Invt: Minimum $ needed to invest in fund. Source: Morningstar.

Job market for grads better but weak College graduates finding work not related to degree By PAUL WISEMAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

Anita J. Gaytan, 57, passed away Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at her residence in Zapata. Mrs. Gaytan is preceded in death by her father, Joe Rodriguez Gaytan; brothers, Bernal Ignacio, Noah Ignacio; and by a nephew and a niece. Mrs. Gaytan is survived by her mother, Deyetta Gaytan; brothers, Alonzo Gaytan, Jerry (Carrie) Gaytan, Carlos Guzman; sisters, Lorrine Martinez, Henrietta Gaytan (Roberto Ordoñez); and by numerous nephews, nieces and friends. Visitation hours were Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at 8 a.m. with a rosary at 9:30 a.m. and a chapel service at 10:30 a.m. at Rose Garden Funeral Home. Committal services followed at Zapata County Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Rose Garden Funeral Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 N. U.S. Hwy. 83, Zapata.

YTD 12-mo Chgg %Chg %Chg %Chg




-5.25 -11.2 Medidata s -.42 -8.5 Arotech -2.01 -7.4 Edgewater -1.32 -7.3 Unilife -5.53 -6.9 UBIC n -1.93 -5.6 BebeStrs -1.84 -5.1 Abraxas -.65 -4.9 IntrCloud n -.30 -4.8 CelatorPh -.44 -4.6 ProUShBio


Close: 16,514.37 Change: 65.12 (0.4%) 16,800



Dow Jones industrials +39.91


Last Chg%Chg Name


WASHINGTON — With college commencement ceremonies nearing, the government is offering a modest dose of good news for graduating seniors: The job market is brightening for new grads — a bit. But finding work — especially a dream job — remains tough for those just graduating. Many are settling for jobs outside their fields of study or for less pay than they’d expected or hoped for. The Labor Department on Tuesday said the unemployment rate for 2013 college graduates — defined as those ages 20 to 29 who earned a four-year or advanced degree — was 10.9 percent. That was down from 13.3 percent in 2012 and was the lowest since 7.7 percent in 2007. The drop reflects the steady recovery in overall U.S. economic growth and hiring. But unemployment for recent grads was still higher than the 9.6 percent rate for all Americans ages 20 to 29 last October, when the government collected the numbers. “I’m finding that all these entry-level jobs are requiring experience I don’t have or degrees that are just unattainable right out of college,” says Howard Rudnick, 23, who graduated last year in political science from Florida Atlantic University and wound up earning $25,000

File photo by Jessica Hill | AP

Graduates pose for photographs during commencement at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., on Monday, May 20, 2013. The job market for new college graduates is brightening but remains weaker. a year working for an online shoe company. “The worst part is that I’m afraid at some point I may have to go back to school to better myself and take on more debt just so I can get a better-paying job.” Over time, though, Americans who have college degrees are still far more likely to find employment and to earn more than those who don’t. And while opportunities for new college grads remain too few, they’re increasing. “It really is getting better,” says Jean ManningClark, director of the career center at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo. She says more automotive and steel companies are now looking at the school’s graduates, joining energy and technology companies that have been actively recruiting for several years. Last year’s female grad-

uates fared better than men: 9 percent were unemployed as of October last year, compared with 13.7 percent of men. Analysts note that the economy has been generating jobs in many low-wage fields — such as retail and hotels — that disproportionately employ women “It seems like the jobs that are growing fastest are jobs that are low-wage jobs, service jobs,” says Anne Johnson, executive director of Generation Progress, an arm of the liberal Center for American Progress that studies youth issues. Other fields that attract women — including health care — weren’t hit as hard by the recession. Philip Gardner, director of Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute, says women also “have skill sets that employers want... They have better

communications skills. They have better interpersonal skills. They are more willing to work in teams.” Alexa Staudt’s job search lasted just three weeks. Before graduating from the University of Texas last spring, Staudt, 23, had landed an administrative position at an online security company in Austin. “I had marketable skills from my internships” in event planning, marketing and copy-editing and experience working as a receptionist for a real-estate firm, Staudt says. She’s happy with the job and the chance to stay in Austin. Yet the McKinsey & Company consultancy last year found that 41 percent of graduates from top universities and 48 percent of those from other schools could not land jobs in their chosen field after graduation.

Even in good times, many college graduates need time to find a good job. But researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concluded earlier this year that “it has become more common for underemployed college graduates to find themselves in low-wage jobs or to be working part time.” The Labor Department reports that 260,000 college graduates were stuck last year working at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. That’s down from a peak of 327,000 in 2010. But it’s more than double the 127,000 in 2007, the year the recession began. “Every way you cut it, young college grads are really having trouble — much more trouble than they used to have,” says Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the liberal Economic Policy Institute. “The labor market is not producing decent jobs.” In a study last year, economists at the University of British Columbia and York University in Canada found that college graduates were more likely to be working in routine and manual work than were graduates in 2000; technology was eliminating some mid-level jobs that graduates used to take. The result is that many have had to compete for jobs that don’t require much education. Their sobering conclusion: “Having a B.A. is less about obtaining access to high-paying managerial and technology jobs and more about beating lesseducated workers for the barista or clerical job.”

GM, lawyers fight over bankruptcy protections By TOM KRISHER AND DEE-ANN DURBIN ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT — General Motors Co. and a battalion of trial lawyers are preparing for an epic court fight over whether GM is liable for the sins of its corporate past. The company is asking a U.S. bankruptcy court to shield it from legal claims for actions that took place before the company’s 2009 bankruptcy. But lawyers who are suing GM say it shouldn’t get the usual benefits of bankruptcy protection because it concealed a deadly ignition switch problem when the court was making bankruptcy decisions. They also say the company’s motion is part of a broader strategy to force settlements in dozens of lawsuits alleging the ignition switches caused deaths and injuries. Late Monday, GM filed a mo-

The Detroit automaker contends in its motion that under the bankruptcy, which ended on July 10, 2009, assets and liabilities of the old General Motors Inc. were split in two. tion in New York asking the court to bar claims that GM small cars lost value because of the ignition switch problem, which has led to the recall of 2.6 million older small cars worldwide. The company has admitted knowing about the problem for more than a decade, yet it failed to start recalling the cars until February to replace the defective switches. The faulty switches, which GM says have caused at least 13 deaths, can move unexpectedly from the “run” position to “accessory” or “off,” shutting down the engine and knocking out power-assisted steering and

brakes. If that happens, steering can become difficult and surprised drivers can lose control of their cars and crash. If the engine is off, the air bags won’t inflate. GM’s behavior has brought allegations of a cover-up from members of Congress, who earlier this month held hearings on the recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government’s road safety watchdog, and the Justice Department also are investigating GM’s delayed recall. The Detroit automaker contends in its motion that under the bankruptcy, which ended on

July 10, 2009, assets and liabilities of the old General Motors Inc. were split in two, with good assets sold under court order to “New GM” and bad ones and most liabilities going to the “Old GM,” which was left behind. The recalled cars were made and sold by the old company. The new GM, the motion asserts, took on only three categories of liabilities after bankruptcy: Those for post-bankruptcy crashes involving cars made by “Old GM” that caused injuries, deaths or property damage; and warranty and lemon law claims. “Plaintiffs assert claims for liabilities that, under the sale order

and injunction, were retained by Old GM,” the motion states. It asks the court to dismiss about 50 class action lawsuits seeking damage for lost car values, and for an order stopping similar new claims. But Robert Hilliard, a lawyer who has several wrongful death lawsuits pending against GM, says the motion is an implied threat to those who have filed such lawsuits against GM: Either settle or risk getting nothing because the company will argue that claims should go against the Old GM, which has few assets. GM has hired Kenneth Feinberg — who handled the fund for the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Boston Marathon bombing and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — to explore ways to compensate victims. No decision has been made yet on just what GM will do. “It’s completely strategic,” said Hilliard, of Corpus Christi, Texas.



The Zapata Times 4/23/2014  

The Zapata Times 4/23/2014

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