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TO 4,000 HOMES





2 years in prison

Abbott wants more funding for security

Convicted for role in firearms trafficking ring By MATTHEW NELSON THE ZAPATA TIMES

A woman involved in a Zapata firearms trafficking ring was sentenced to two years in federal prison Monday for her role in the conspiracy after she recruited others to purchase firearms that eventually made their way to mem-

bers of Los Zetas drug cartel. Adriana Garza, 32, of Mission, was sentenced for conspiracy to make a false statement in connection with the acquisition of certain firearms. Garza was one of seven women sentenced in connection to the illegal purchasing of firearms that

eventually made their way into the hands of members of Los Zetas in Mexico. The women would then be paid for purchasing the firearms, Garza’s plea agreement states. On April 1, 2010, Garza suggested co-defendant Anna Salinas-Alaniz, 53, would purchase firearms. Garza said she could not

because she did not have the proper identification, according to her plea agreement. Approximately six days later, court documents state, Garza accompanied Salinas-Alaniz to Gladiator Guns and Ammo in Roma on two separate occasions





Photo by Mike Lawrence/The Gleaner | AP

Top: Students from Henderson County’s North Middle School head to their buses after an early dismissal for yet another winter storm on Tuesday, in Henderson, Ky. Below: Icicles hand from the front grill of a vehicle at Will Rogers World Airport on Tuesday, in Oklahoma City.

Midwest to get socked again by cold front By KATHY MATHESON ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHILADELPHIA — Just as the East Coast dug out from a canopy of wet, heavy snow that again shut schools and emptied workplaces, another hit was expected to sock the Midwest. The National Weather Service said Monday’s storm, which brought 8

inches of snow to New York City, 3 to 9 inches to the Philadelphia area and up to 9 inches to central New Jersey, will be followed by a new storm in the Midwest on Tuesday. The heaviest accumulations are expected in Kansas and Missouri. The double whammy continues for the Northeast



Photo by Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman | AP

Pledges $300 million to help secure the state’s border with Mexico By PAUL J. WEBER ASSOCIATED PRESS

DALLAS — Republican Greg Abbott pledged Tuesday to double border security spending if elected Texas governor while deflecting talk of Democratic opponent Wendy Davis and her scrutinized biography that has dominated the race in recent weeks. “It’s time to move beyond all this,” said Abbott, the state’s attorney general. “It’s time that we do exactly what I’m doing today, and that is focusing on the issues that matter most to Texas.” Abbott said those issues for him are public safety, education and transportation. Unveiling his most comprehensive policy rollout since launching his long-expected candidacy in July, Abbott outlined a nearly $300 million border security plan that includes an extra 500 troopers along the Texas-Mexico border. Federal data show a decrease in violent crime along the border, which tracks with national trends. But Republicans and the top officials at the Texas Department of Public Safety reject those statistics because they don’t include such crimes as public corruption or human and drug trafficking. The presumptive GOP nominee recalled a former South Texas prosecutor convicted last summer of accepting bribes, including an $80,000 payment in a scheme that allowed a convicted murder to escape. “This creeping corruption resembles third-world county practices that erode the social fabric of our communities,” Abbott said. Davis’ campaign seized on the “third world” language and characterized his plan as a rehash of gettough Republican views on immigrants who are in the country illegally. Davis has spent much of the previous two weeks fighting back criticism after small

discrepancies in her personal story about going from a trailer park to Harvard Law School emerged. “Actions speak louder than words, and Greg Abbott’s actions are downright hostile,” Davis spokeswoman Rebecca Acuña said. “(His) positions don’t vary much from the ‘stop the invasion’ rhetoric we’re hearing from his allies.” Abbott said he also wants all state agencies checking the immigration status of employees under the federal E-Verify system. When asked why he wouldn’t instruct lawmakers to impose the same requirement on private businesses, Abbott said the state should first show that the system works and set a standard. Also left unclear is whether the state currently has a problem with giving jobs to immigrants who aren’t authorized to work in the country. “We’ll find out,” Abbott said. Abbott said his border security plan would be paid from state general revenue, which lawmakers wield the most control over — and causes the most friction in the Legislature, even when state coffers are flush with cash. He claimed that taxpayers are already forking over $150 million annually for county jails to house immigrants in the country illegally, and cited that as an area where savings could be found if his policies work. It was Abbott’s third policy rollout after laying out earlier plans on the economy and constitutional rights. Notably absent from Abbott’s remarks Tuesday was overt bashing of President Barack Obama, one of his favorite targets, and his administration’s efforts on the U.SMexico border. Davis’ only policy rollout so far has been on Texas schools, which figures to emerge as one of the dominate issues in the race.


Tech fund shows gains despite bankruptcies By PAUL J. WEBER ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUSTIN — More bankruptcies within Gov. Rick Perry’s portfolio of Texas startups funded with taxpayer dollars didn’t dampen a better year on paper for the Emerging Technology Fund, but behind a reported $30 million uptick is a wrinkle complicating that bottom line. A new state report is also unlikely to muzzle Republicans who’ve grown publicly weary of the state playing venture capitalists. Calls to eliminate the fund have become common at GOP campaign stops this primary season, casting doubt over one of Per-

But the tech fund that weathered scrutiny from Democrats and good government groups … also faces conservative criticism. Top Republicans began speaking more skeptically about the fund as tea party groups panned taxpayer dollars for private companies. ry’s signature initiatives once he leaves office in 2015. For now, the last annual fund report Perry will deliver suggests improvement; of the $192.7 million the state has awarded to 142 private startups since 2006, fund managers late last week put the value of those investments at $221

million. That’s a sharp increase from 2012, when the fund was valued at just $2.4 million above what taxpayers put in. At least 16 fund recipients have filed for bankruptcy or shut down, including one in January. Those still in business reported modest overall job growth.

“I think we’re tracking pretty well for an early-stage fund,” said Terry Chase Hazell, who in September took over as the fund manager in Perry’s office. But the $30 million difference between the fund’s current value and the money paid out to startups doesn’t reflect all the dollars

Perry’s office has spent to take pieces of private companies. That’s because a $40 million grant to the Texas A&M University System in 2012 was contingent on the fund getting a 20 percent stake in Kalon Biotherapeutics LLC, said Dr. Brett Giror, the interim executive vice president and CEO of the Texas A&M Health Science Center. Kalon was created by A&M to help operate a major federal biodefense laboratory in College Station. Giror said “the whole project would’ve gone down the tubes” if the A&M System hadn’t agreed to give equity in Kalon as part of the



Zin brief CALENDAR




Wednesday, Feb. 5


Spring Vegetable Gardening Seminar. 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. City of Laredo Environmental Department Conference Room, 619 Reynolds St. Speaker is Dr. Juan R. Anciso, association professor and extension vegetable specialist. Topics: soil preparation, variety selection, insect and disease control, cylinder gardening and more. $10 fee. Contact George L. Gonzales at 7212626 or

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 5, the 36th day of 2014. There are 329 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Feb. 5, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed increasing the number of U.S. Supreme Court justices; the proposal, which failed in Congress, drew accusations that Roosevelt was attempting to “pack” the nation’s highest court. On this date: In 1783, Sweden recognized the independence of the United States. In 1811, George, the Prince of Wales, was named Prince Regent due to the mental illness of his father, Britain’s King George III. In 1914, “Beat Generation” author William S. Burroughs was born in St. Louis. In 1919, movie studio United Artists was incorporated by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith and Charles Chaplin. In 1922, the first edition of Reader’s Digest was published. In 1940, Glenn Miller and his orchestra recorded “Tuxedo Junction” for RCA Victor’s Bluebird label. In 1953, Walt Disney’s animated feature “Peter Pan” was first released. In 1967, “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” premiered on CBS-TV. In 1971, Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell stepped onto the surface of the moon in the first of two lunar excursions. In 1973, services were held at Arlington National Cemetery for U.S. Army Col. William B. Nolde, the last official American combat casualty before the Vietnam cease-fire took effect. In 1989, the Soviet Union announced that all but a small rear-guard contingent of its troops had left Afghanistan. Ten years ago: CIA Director George Tenet offered a forceful defense of prewar intelligence in a speech at Georgetown University. Five years ago: USA Swimming suspended Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps for three months after a photo showing him inhaling from a marijuana pipe became public. One year ago: President Barack Obama asked Congress for a short-term deficit reduction package of spending cuts and tax revenue that would delay the effective date of steeper automatic cuts scheduled to kick in on March 1. (The president and congressional leaders failed to reach an agreement, and the $85 billion in federal spending cuts, known as sequester, went into effect.) Today’s Birthdays: Baseball Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron is 80. Actor Stuart Damon is 77. Tony-winning playwright John Guare (gwayr) is 76. Financial writer Jane Bryant Quinn is 75. Actor David Selby is 73. Singer-songwriter Barrett Strong is 73. Football Hall-of-Famer Roger Staubach is 72. Singer Cory Wells (Three Dog Night) is 72. Movie director Michael Mann is 71. Rock singer Al Kooper is 70. Actress Charlotte Rampling is 68. Racing Hall-ofFamer Darrell Waltrip is 67. Actress Barbara Hershey is 66. Actor Christopher Guest is 66. Thought for Today: “The greater the philosopher, the harder it is for him to answer the questions of common people.” — Henryk Sienkiewicz, Polish author (1846-1916).

Thursday, Feb. 6 Los Amigos Duplicate Bridge Club. 1:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. Laredo Country Club. Call Beverly Cantu at 7270589.

Friday, Feb. 7 TAMIU Planetarium shows. “Wonders of the Universe” 6 p.m. and “Ancient Skies, Ancient Mysteries” 7 p.m. General admission $4 children and $5 adults. Premium shows $1 more. Call 326-3663.

Photo by Joshua Trujillo/ | AP

The Denver Broncos take the field before the game at MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, in New Jersey. Sixteen juveniles forced into prostitution — including some teens who had been reported missing by their families — were rescued by the FBI in a two-week operation leading up to the Super Bowl, the agency said Tuesday.

Saturday, Feb. 8 TAMIU Planetarium shows. “The Little Star that Could” 3 p.m.; “The Future is Wild” 4 p.m.; “Lamps of Atlantis” 5 p.m.; and “Pink Floyd’s The Wall” 6 p.m. General admission $4 children and $5 adults. Premium shows $1 more. Call 326-3663. Noche de Cabaret, hosted by LULAC Council No. 7. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Higher education award honors former County Judge Mercurio Martinez. Proceeds benefit scholarships. Entertainment: Liberty Band from San Antonio and Grupo Premier de los Dos Laredos. Call 949-7685.

Thursday, Feb. 13 Los Amigos Duplicate Bridge Club. 1:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. Laredo Country Club. Call Beverly Cantu at 7270589. Laredo Border Slam Poetry. 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. 513 San Bernando Ave. Spoken word competition. Second and fourth Thursday of every month. Three minutes to perform an original work. Two rounds, five random judges from the audience. Cash and quirky prizes. Contact Julia Orduña at

Friday, Feb. 14 TAMIU Planetarium shows. “Star Signs” 6 p.m. and “New Horizons” 7 p.m. General admission $4 children and $5 adults. Premium shows $1 more. Call 326-3663.

Thursday, Feb. 20 Winter Texan & Senior Citizen Appreciation Day. 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday, March 10 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920.

Thursday, March 13 42nd Annual Zapata County Fair. 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Zapata County Fairgrounds.

Friday, March 14 42nd Annual Zapata County Fair. 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Zapata County Fairgrounds.


NEWARK, N.J. — Sixteen juveniles forced into prostitution — including some teens who had been reported missing by their families — were rescued by the FBI in a twoweek operation leading up to the Super Bowl, the agency said Tuesday. Officials said the children ranged in age from 13 to 17 and were found in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. More than 50 women who were also forced to work as prostitutes were also rescued and more than 45 pimps were arrested, according to authorities. Officials said many of the women and children were forced to travel to the New York City area during the Super Bowl. “The FBI and its partners remain committed to the identification and rescue of minor

1 child dies, 1 hospitalized after cruise incident RALEIGH, N.C. — One young boy died and a second was revived and taken to a North Carolina hospital after they were pulled from a cruise ship swimming pool off the state’s coast Monday, officials confirmed Tuesday. It was unclear whether the boy who died, age 4, and the 6year-old who was flown to CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern with his grandmother and a nurse from the Norwegian Cruise Line ship were related. The boy was later transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. Hospital spokeswoman Chris Mackey said Tuesday that the boy’s parents did not want the boy’s condition shared with the public. Norwegian said on its Facebook page that the Norwegian Breakaway’s emergency medical team responded to a report that the children were unresponsive on the ship’s pool deck and

victims, and to hold accountable those who exploit children for financial gain,” said Aaron Ford, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Newark field office. Authorities said big sporting events provide potentially lucrative opportunities for sex traffickers. There are scant statistics and significant debate over how much trafficking actually increases during such events, but New Jersey, like previous hosts for the game, paid particularly close attention to it. The operation came after months of investigative work to find sex trafficking rings and training for legions of law enforcement personnel and others on identifying the signs of sex trafficking. The New Jersey Attorney General’s office set up a Super Bowl sex trafficking task force shortly after it was announced that the game would be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

quickly administered CPR. “After extensive efforts, the younger child could not be revived,” the Facebook post said. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the family during this extremely difficult time and are providing full assistance and support.” Norwegian Breakaway, an 18deck ship with a capacity of 4,000 passengers, is one of Norwegian’s newest ships. The vessel’s year-round home port is Manhattan.

Gay marriage fight comes to Southern courtroom NORFOLK, Va. — The gay marriage fight arrived in a Southern courtroom Tuesday, as opponents of a Virginia law banning same-sex unions told a federal judge it was just like the Jim Crow-era prohibition against interracial marriage. Supporters maintained there was no fundamental right to gay marriage and the ban exists as part of the state’s interest in responsible procreation.

“We have marriage laws in society because we have children, not because we have adults,” said attorney David Nimocks, of the religious group Alliance Defending Freedom. The case is being watched because it could give the gay marriage movement its first foothold in the South, and because legal experts think it’s on the fast track to the U.S. Supreme Court. Recently elected Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, announced Jan. 23 that he would not defend the ban because he thinks it violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Federal judges have cited the 14th Amendment in overturning gay marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma. Those rulings are on hold while they are appealed. Herring, as a state senator, supported Virginia’s 2006 voterapproved constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and woman. His change illustrates how rapidly the landscape on gay marriage in the U.S. is shifting. — Compiled from AP reports

Saturday, March 15 42nd Annual Zapata County Fair. 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Zapata County Fairgrounds.

Monday, March 24 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920.

Monday, April 14 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920.

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

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

AROUND THE WORLD Marbles that belonged to Anne Frank rediscovered AMSTERDAM — Shortly before Anne Frank and her family went into hiding from the Nazis, she gave some of her toys to a non-Jewish neighborhood girlfriend for safekeeping. The Anne Frank House Museum says the toys have now been recovered and Anne’s tin of marbles will go on display for the first time this week at an art gallery in Rotterdam. The neighbor, Toosje Kupers, kept the marbles along with a tea set and a book. When Kupers was interviewed in 2009, she realized the items would be of historical interest and donated them to the Museum.

Report: NSA spied on Merkel’s predecessor too BERLIN — German media are reporting that U.S. intelligence began spying on current Chan-

CONTACT US Publisher, William B. Green.................. 728-2501 General Manager, Adriana Devally.......... 728-2510 Adv. Billing Inquiries........................... 728-2531 Circulation Director ............................ 728-2559 MIS Director, Michael Castillo............... 728-2505 Managing Editor, Mary Nell Sanchez ...... 728-2543 Copy Editor, Nick Georgiou .................. 728-2565 Sports Editor, Zach Davis .................... 728-2578 Spanish Editor, Melva Lavin-Castillo ....... 728-2569 Photo by Diederik Schiebergen/Anne Frank House Amsterdam | AP

A set of marbles belonging to Anne Frank is shown on Nov. 14, 2013. Shortly before Anne Frank and her family went into hiding from the Nazis, she gave away some of her toys to a non-Jewish neighborhood girlfriend for safekeeping. cellor Angela Merkel’s predecessor in 2002 because of his opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Previous reports provided to German media by NSA leaker Edward Snowden indicated that Merkel’s cell phone was targeted.

Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and public broadcaster NDR reported Tuesday that Merkel’s predecessor Gerhard Schroeder was added to the NSA’s National Sigint Requirement List as number 388 in 2002. — 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






Juan Luis Esquivel was arrested and served with a capias for assault Jan. 31 in the 800 block of Falcon Avenue. Bobby Joe Green was arrested and charged with assault of a public servant Sunday in the 2400 block of Carla Street. Valentin SarmientoSantiago was arrested and charged with assault, family violence Jan. 31 in the 1700 block of Falcon Avenue. Cynthia Esquivel was arrested and charged with assault on a security officer Monday at Zapata High School.

Raymundo SanchezArredondo was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated Saturday in the intersection of Ninth Street and U.S. 83.

Possession Osiel Alberto Sanchez was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance Saturday in the 5400 block of Vicki Lane.

Public intoxication Ruben



was arrested and charged with public intoxication Sunday at the Stripes Convenience Store parking lot, off U.S. 83.

Terroristic threat Adalberto Ramos Resendez was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and terroristic threat Saturday in the 700 block of Juarez Street.

Theft Craig Monroe Shelton was arrested and charged with theft Sunday along Ann Drive. Courtesy photo

“Rex” the Barbary sheep was born at 8 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 26 at 1 pound and 7 ounces at the city zoo in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

Two suspects accused NL zoo has newborns in immigration case THE ZAPATA TIMES

Woman in group claims she is leaving violence back home By CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

An illegal immigrant from Ecuador claimed she came to the United States because a gang in her country threatened to kill or sexually assault her, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in federal court in Laredo. U.S. Border Patrol detained two foot guides and a group of 14 immigrants the woman was traveling with in Zapata County, a criminal complaint filed Monday states. Federal agents identified the suspects as Pedro ContrerasCoto and Jose Luis Hernandez-Secundino. They were charged with bringing in and harboring the immigrants. U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Zapata area caught up to foot prints of suspected illegal immigrants at about 6:45 p.m. Jan. 28 at Tejon Ranch, off U.S 83. Agents

managed to find that the same foot prints had crossed U.S. 83 and the trail kept on going northeast. A National Guard chopper responded to requests for assistance. Air support notified agents about a group of people located one mile away from the agents’ location. Lawmen encountered and detained 15 people in the brush area. “Upon further questioning, subject revealed that they had crossed the Rio Grande River illegally by walking across a shallow area,” the complaint reads. Moments later, air support notified agents on the ground that they had visual for another suspect who had fallen from a creek wall. A total of 16 people were detained. In questioning, ContrerasCoto and Hernandez-Secundino allegedly stated they were the foot guides for the group.

“Hernandez-Secundino also stated that he was being trained by ContrerasCoto as to the route and pick up locations. Contreras-Coto verified the claim by Hernandez-Secundino and also stated that he was to give him part of the $1,000 he was to be paid to smuggle the group,” the complaint reads. Two people held as material witnesses stated they were to pay $10,000 to be smuggled into the states. “(One woman) stated that she wanted to cross into the United States because she was threatened by a gang in Ecuador,” court documents states. “She stated that the gang, ‘La Sombra Negra,’ had told her that they were going to kill or sexually assault her.” (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 7282568 or

A llama and Barbary sheep are the two latest inhabitants of the Regional Zoo in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. “Patrick” the llama was born at 9:10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 26 pounds and 10 ounces, while “Rex” the Barbary sheep was born at 8 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 26 at 1 pound and 7 ounces. The llama will reach 6feet-tall at most, while the Barbary sheep will grow to 2- to 3-feet-tall. “They (animals) are in perfect health, like their mothers,” said Irene Alzaga Madaria Lucia, secretary of human and social development for Nuevo Laredo’s city government. “The medical staff of the zoo has been following the health of the two new offspring.” The zoo was temporarily closed in October after the death of a female Asian buffalo was attributed to negligence and E. coli, according to zoo veterinarians who took over during Mayor Carlos Canturosas’ administration. The animals are being

Courtesy photo

“Patrick” the llama was born at 9:10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 26 pounds and 10 ounces at the city zoo in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

sheltered in a special area to protect them from cold temperatures, Alzaga said. During the breeding period, the two are fed by their mothers, but once they reach adulthood, zoo staff will offer alfalfa, pasture and Mazuri, a food supplement for exotic animals. For those wanting to see

the animals, they’ll have to wait until the end of winter, as the animals must be protected for their health. The Nuevo Laredo Regional Zoo has 67 different species, among which are white and Bengal tigers, two African pigs, a black panther, lion and spider monkey.








Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been taking a lot of heat lately for visiting a shrine where war criminals from World War II are among those remembered. China accused Abe of threatening “regional peace.” South Korea said he was glorifying Japan’s past history of aggression. All this outrage was predictable, so much so that Vice President Joe Biden spent an hour on the phone trying to persuade Abe not to go. But Abe went anyway, like other Japanese politicians before him. Here’s Abe’s reason: Normal leaders of normal countries honor their war dead. And seven decades after World War II, Japan yearns to be “normal” again. How long should it take a country to be forgiven for horrific crimes? White Southerners in the wake of slavery, and Germans after the Holocaust might ask the same question. Good people in those places wrestle with how to be proud of their past, without glorifying the evil in it. They grow weary of being the bad guy. “When every day in the media this past is presented to me, I notice that something inside me is opposing this permanent show of our shame,” German novelist Martin Walser said during a debate about a Holocaust memorial in Berlin. “I start looking away.” We shouldn’t look away from Japan’s war crimes. They happened. Between 1937 and 1945, the Japanese military killed millions of civilians. In the name of Japanese Emperor Hirohito, Japanese soldiers murdered, raped, and looted China’s then capital, Nanking. Japanese military units conducted experiments on living prisoners of war in China, freezing and sawing off limbs to research frostbite. Women were forced into sexual slavery to service Japanese soldiers. These were not forgettable crimes, and it is wrong for anyone to deny them. But many Japanese leaders have expressed “deep remorse” over the war. Abe, whose own grandfather was investigated for war crimes, said his visit to the shrine was not to pay homage to war criminals but to “report before the souls of the war dead” his pledge “that Japan must never wage a war again.” Up until now, Japan has renounced the very idea of reconstituting its army, calling it a “self-defense” force. And Japan has paid for its crimes, quite literally. It has given massive amounts of development aid to China. In 1993, Japan set up a special fund for the former “comfort women” of South Korea. Japan’s prime minister personally signed notes of apology to each woman. But the Korean government rejected them. No apology will ever be enough. In the wake of a total war in which so many fought and died, it’s understandable that a new generation of Japanese are asking themselves: Were we really so much worse than everybody else? It isn’t lost on them that the Allied Powers also engaged in acts that could be considered war crimes, just as Northerners got rich off the slave trade and Europeans outside Germany persecuted Jews. Had America lost World War II, Charles Donald Albury, who dropped the bomb on Nagasaki, and Curtis LeMay, architect of a devastating bomb campaign in Asia, might have been convicted of war crimes instead. All too often, in the heat of struggle, we ask our soldiers to do unspeakable things. We deny, downplay, and justify those acts, until the evidence becomes impossible to refute. Then we call those soldiers “rogues” and erase them from our national memory. But how do you erase an entire generation of military and political leaders? Among the “Class A War criminals” who were quietly added to the Yasukuni shrine after their executions were Prime Minister Koki Hirota, army chief of staff Seishiro Itagaki, and Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, who ordered the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Like it or not, they were the government of Japan. Can we really pretend that they never existed? China is no stranger to such conundrums. After all, Chairman Mao killed far more Chinese than the Japanese army did. Yet, mourners still line up in Beijing outside his tomb to pay respects to his embalmed body. If we are paying attention, we’ll notice that China’s outrage is as much about the present as it is about the past. China wants some islands that Japan owns. Japan isn’t backing down. So China finds it useful to remind the world of Japan’s pledge to remain peaceful, and its history of aggression. Farah Stockman can be reached at


Obamacare has killed trust in the president’s thrust for his agenda By MARC A. THIESSEN SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON POST

Barack Obama has all but conceded his lame-duck status. His State of the Union address was bereft of big ideas. And his declaration that he will use his “pen and a phone” to issue a raft of executive orders is an admission of political impotence — a presidency reduced to small-ball initiatives like creating “myRA” savings accounts and raising the minimum wage for federal contractors. The one exception — his one last shot at a major legislative achievement — was comprehensive immigration reform. But that isn’t happening either. And the reason can be summed up in one word: Obamacare. “Comprehensive” is Washington-speak for “big.” And in the wake of the Obamacare debacle, no one is interested in anything big from Barack Obama. “I try to focus not on the fumbles but on the next plan,” Obama said this weekend. But when you fumble as spectacularly as the president did with Obamacare, people don’t trust your next plan. It’s not just that Americans don’t trust the president’s competence. Increasingly, they don’t trust him — period. A majority believe the president passed Obamacare on the basis of a lie. And when you lie to people, they stop listening to you. Obama’s State of the

When people look back at the Obama era, they will not say, as he hoped, that this is the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow. They will say it was the moment when the rise in support for big government began to slow and, indeed, reverse. Union address garnered the lowest ratings of any president in 14 years — with 19 million fewer viewers than his first address in 2009. Obama can’t rally the country around big ideas when millions of Americans are tuning him out. And Obama certainly can’t rally Congress around big ideas when he is simultaneously declaring his intention to circumvent it. Every time Obama mentions using his “pen and a phone,” he reminds Republicans that he can undo any immigration deal he reaches with them with a stroke of his pen — gutting border-enforcement provisions while pocketing legalization. As Paul Ryan, a leading GOP supporter of immigration reform, put it this weekend, “We have an increasingly lawless presidency, where he is actually doing the job of Congress, writing new policies and new laws without going through Congress. . . . We don’t trust the president to enforce the law.” Ryan is right. Whether it is ignoring the law that requires

him to suspend U.S. assistance to Egypt following a coup, or delaying the implementation of the Obamacare employer mandate even though nothing in the law permits him to do so, or issuing an executive order directing immigration officers to no longer deport an entire class of illegal immigrants who came here as children, regardless of individual circumstances — Obama has repeatedly shown his contempt for the law. Through his words (“you can keep your plan”), actions (selectively enforcing the law) and incompetence (, Obama has eroded the trust needed to do big things. And that makes it unlikely we will see any major initiatives signed into law for the remainder of his time in office. But the damage is deeper than the impact on Obama’s closing years in office. Americans have lost confidence not only in Obama’s competence but also in the competence of the federal government. And therein lies the great, unintended conservative achieve-

ment of the Obama presidency: Barack Obama has done more to discredit the cause of big government than a thousand Reagan speeches ever did. After five years of Obama, 72 percent of Americans now say big government is the biggest threat to our country — the highest that number has been in 50 years of polling. Even 56 percent of Democrats agree. In other words, when people look back at the Obama era, they will not say, as he hoped, that this is the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow. They will say it was the moment when the rise in support for big government began to slow and, indeed, reverse. For the next quarter-century, any time a liberal politician proposes a big-government program, all conservatives will have to say to discredit it is: “It’s just another Obamacare.” That, in the end, will be this president’s lasting achievement — what Obama will ultimately be remembered for long after his presidency is over.

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New wave of heroin Rising use is due to large supply of cheap, potent drug By MEGHAN BARR ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — Heroin was supposed to be an obsolete evil, a blurry memory of a dangerous drug that dwelled in some dark recess of American culture. But smack never really disappeared. It comes in waves, and one such swell is cresting across the nation, sparking widespread worry among government officials and driving up overdose deaths — including, it appears, that of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Fueled by a crackdown on prescription pain killers and an abundant supply of cheap heroin that’s more potent than ever, the drug that has killed famous rock stars and everyday Americans alike is making headlines again. “Heroin has this sort of dark allure to it that’s part of its mystique,” said Eric Schneider, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who wrote the book “Smack: Heroin in the City,” a historical account of the drug. “What I’ve heard from heroin users is that flirting with addiction is part of the allure: to sort of see how close to that edge you can get and still pull back.” Medical examiners have not made an official determination of the cause of the 46-year-old actor’s death, but police have been investigating it as an overdose. Hoffman was found in a bathroom with a syringe in his arm. Authorities say a number of factors are fueling the drug’s use, including relatively low prices and a less demonized image than it once had. Rather than seeing heroin as the pointof-no-return drug of strungout junkies — in his 1967 song “Heroin,” Lou Reed called it “my wife and ... my life” — some users now see it as an inexpensive alternative to oxycodone and

other prescription opiate drugs. “People think that it is someone who is a bum, who’s homeless, who has no money and who is sort of living at the very bottom,” said Michael Clune, a former addict who wrote the memoir ‘White Out: The Secret Life of Heroin.’ “When the truth is, it really is everywhere.” The number of recorded heroin overdose deaths nearly doubled from 1,842 in 2000 to 3,036 in 2010, according to the most recent statistics available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heroin deaths still account for a relatively small percentage of total drug overdose deaths: less than 10 percent in 2010, for example. Last month, the governor of Vermont devoted almost his entire State of the State address to the state’s heroin problem, calling on the Legislature to pass laws encouraging treatment and seek ideas on the best way to prevent people from becoming addicted. The striking thing about heroin’s most recent incarnation is that a drug that was once largely confined to major cities is spreading into suburban and rural towns across America, where it is used predominantly by young adults between the ages of 18 and 29, said Jim Hall, an epidemiologist who studies substance abuse at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “We haven’t really seen something this rapid since probably the spread of cocaine and crack in the mid-1980s,” Hall said. The very first American heroin users in the early 20th century were white, working-class residents of New York City, which was the epicenter of heroin use for much of the century and the key entry point to the U.S. market. Heroin is processed from morphine, which itself is

derived from the opium poppy. It originated in Chinese opium dens in the late 1800s, when people switched from opium smoking to heroin because it was easier to smuggle. The drug was even marketed by the Bayer Co. in 1898 as the “wonder drug” of the arriving 20th century, sold as a cure for the wracking cough caused by tuberculosis. Schneider said after World War II, heroin became a drug primarily used by blacks and Puerto Ricans in the Northeast and by Mexican Americans in the West. In the late 1960s, at the height of the hippie drug experimentation era, there was a surge of heroin use among young white people in New York’s East Village and in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. Crime spiked among heroin users who were desperate to keep up the habit. Heroin’s reputation in the 1970s was “a really hard-core, dangerous street drug, a killer drug, but there’s a whole generation who didn’t grow up with that kind of experience with heroin,” said New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan, whose office was created in 1971 in response to heroin use and related crime. In the 1990s, there was another wave of attention when the term “heroin chic” became ubiquitous as a description for pale, thin supermodels like Kate Moss. The earliest heroin came to the U.S. from Chinese opium fields, Schneider said, and then Turkey became the leading source after World War II. After that, U.S. servicemen began smuggling the drug back from Southeast Asia and drug traffickers opened up a supply from Latin America. Today, Afghanistan is the world’s largest heroin producer.




Agenda en Breve MIÉRCOLES 5 DE FEBRERO LAREDO — LTGI presenta “Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?”, de Del Shores, a las 8 p.m. en el teatro del Center for the Fine and Performing Arts de TAMIU. Entrada general es de 15 dólares; estudiantes y adultos mayores a 10 dólares. NUEVO LAREDO, México— Cine Club presenta “Historias de cocina” a las 6 p.m. en Auditorio de Estación Palabra. Entrada libre. NUEVO LAREDO, México— Laboratorio de letras postmodernas “Kafka en las Rocas” a las 5 p.m. en Estación Palabra. Entrada libre.

JUEVES 6 DE FEBRERO LAREDO — WBCA— Taste of Laredo (Sabores de Laredo) del WBCA inicia a las 6:30 p.m. en Laredo Energy Arena. Costo es de 25 dólares, para adultos; niños de 12 años y menores entran gratis. Música a cargo de Electric Circus. LAREDO — LTGI presenta “Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?”, de Del Shores, a las 8 p.m. en el teatro del Center for the Fine and Performing Arts de TAMIU. Entrada general es de 15 dólares; estudiantes y adultos mayores a 10 dólares. NUEVO LAREDO, México— Concierto para todos invita a la presentación del disco de Esther Tovar (La Dama del Bolero Feelings), “Contigo en la Intimidad” a las 7 p.m. en la Sala Sergio Peña. Entrada libre.




Seis personas fueron sentenciadas en una prisión federal el viernes en relación con una organización para traficar armas de fuego que opera a las afueras de Zapata para enviar armas de fuego a miembros del cártel de drogas de Los Zetas en México. A María Elena Ramos, de 31 años, procedente de Rio Grande City se le asignó la sentencia más larga, al recibir cinco años por intentar exportar, de manera ilegal, municiones. La originaria de Zapata, Claudia Medrano, de 29 años, recibió una sentencia de 42 meses por conspiración para realizar un reporte falso en relación a la adquisición de cier-

tas armas de fuego. Por hacer una declaración falsa en relación con la adquisición de ciertas armas de fuego, Anna Salínas-Alaniz, de 52 años, de Zapata, recibió dos años en prisión; María del Carmen Carvajal, de 31 años, procedente de Sullivan City, recibió dos años y cuatro meses; Marlene Riojas, recibió un año y cuatro meses; y María Micaela Berrones, de 26 años, originaria de Zapata fue sentenciada a dos años y 11 meses en prisión. El dictamen de sentencia de Adriana Garza, una séptima acusada. Se declaró culpable por conspiración para realizar un reporte falso en relación con la adquisición de ciertas armas de fuego. A principios de 2010, ATF descubrió un grupo de mujeres que vi-

vían en el área de Zapata que estaban comprando armas de fuego de Gladiator Guns and Ammo en Roma, Texas, y contrabandeándolas a México para miembros del grupo Los Zetas. Entre las preguntas que se realizaron a las vendedoras de x armas, por parte del Buró de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos fueron para considerar que comprador es el “vendedor real” de las armas. Si el arma de fuego es destinada a otra persona que no sea quien la compró, se prohíbe que un vendedor de armas presencie esta venta. Las mujeres compraron de manera ilegal un total de 51 armas de fuego, la mayoría de las cuales eran rifles de asalto tipo AR-15, de acuerdo con un comunicado de prensa de la Oficina del Alguacil de EU.




Mueren tres durante agresiones TIEMPO DE ZAPATA

VIERNES 7 DE FEBRERO LAREDO — BÉISBOL: El equipo de béisbol de Texas A&M International se enfrentará a Angelo State University a las 2 p.m. en Jorge Haynes Field. LAREDO — Planetario Lamar Bruni Vergara de TAMIU presenta: “Wonders of the Universe” a las 6 p.m.; y, “Ancient Skies, Ancient Mysteries” a las 7 p.m. Costo general: 4 dólares para niños y 5 dólares para adultos. LAREDO — LTGI presenta “Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?”, de Del Shores, a las 8 p.m. en el teatro del Center for the Fine and Performing Arts de TAMIU. Entrada general es de 15 dólares; estudiantes y adultos mayores a 10 dólares. NUEVO LAREDO, México— Cine Club presenta “Mariana, Mariana” a las 7 p.m. en Estación Palabra. Entrada libre. NUEVO LAREDO, México— Inauguración de la Exposición Arte y Lucha en la Galería de Maquila Creativa a las 6 p.m. Entrada libre.

SÁBADO 8 DE FEBRERO LAREDO — Caminata/ Carrera de 5 Km en memoria de Krizia Lauren Keiser, a partir de las 8 a.m. en Lago Casa Blanca. Inscripción: 25 dólares, a partir de las 7 a.m. LAREDO — La Diócesis de Laredo invita a la Misa Anual por Aniversario de Bodas, para parejas que celebran 25 y 50 años de matrimonio, a las 11 a.m. en la Iglesia de San Agustín. LAREDO — Planetario Lamar Bruni Vergara de TAMIU presenta: “The Little Star that Could” a las 3 p.m.; “The Future is Wild” a las 4 p.m.; “Lamps of Atlantis” a las 5 p.m.; y, “Pink Floyd’s The Wall” a las 6 p.m. Costo general: 4 dólares para niños y 5 dólares para adultos. LAREDO — LTGI presenta “Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?”, de Del Shores, a las 8 p.m. en el teatro del Center for the Fine and Performing Arts de TAMIU. Entrada general es de 15 dólares; estudiantes y adultos mayores a 10 dólares.

Ramos recibió la sentencia más dura después de que fue sorprendida intentando el contrabando de aproximadamente 3.500 cartuchos de municiones, un telescopio de visión nocturna y dos juegos de gafas de visión nocturna a través de la frontera. La investigación, que duró más de tres años, ha dado lugar a 16 condenas por crímenes como tráfico de drogas y lavado de dinero. La investigación fue conducida por ATF, Drug Enforcement Administration, la División de Investigaciones Criminales del Servicio de Impuestos Internos, Patrulla Fronteriza, Investigaciones de Seguridad Nacional, el Departamento de Seguridad Pública de Texas y las Oficinas del Alguacil del Condado de Webb y Zapata.

Foto de cortesía | Gobierno de Tamaulipas

Del 4 al 17 de febrero se están llevando al cabo las pre-inscripciones para el siguiente ciclo escolar en Tamaulipas.

Dan inicio a proceso para próximo ciclo escolar TIEMPO DE ZAPATA


ebrero es conocido como el mes de las pre-inscripciones en Tamaulipas. Este sistema ayuda al gobierno a determinar la cantidad de alumnos que estudiarán el siguiente ciclo escolar. Las pre-inscripciones aplican para los alumnos de segundo a tercer grado de educación preescolar, primer grado de primaria y primer grado de secundaria. El periodo inició el martes y concluirá el 17 de febrero. El Secretario de Educación en Tamaulipas, Diódoro Guerra Rodríguez, explicó que uno de los propósitos fundamentales para inscribir a los alumnos es la base estadística que se recopila, ayudando

a proyectar un más amplio panorama indicativo que permitirá establecer las estrategias adecuadas en cuestión de recursos y estímulos que se aplicarán una vez iniciado el ciclo escolar. “Los indicadores que obtenemos durante el proceso de preinscripciones nos permiten tener actualizado el perfil de cada escuela en cuanto a su nivel de ocupación, espacios, recursos”, dijo Guerra. “Es decir sabemos exactamente como apoyar a los alumnos que van a cursar el ciclo escolar y al plantel que va a estar recibiéndolos”. Esto se realiza con el propósito de sensibilizar a los padres de familia a que tengan la documentación de sus hijos en regla y asegurar un lugar en las aulas.

En el caso específico del nivel secundaria este periodo servirá como un proceso de inscripción anticipada, eliminando el examen de oposición, y otorgando mayor oportunidad para los alumnos de incorporarse a la educación secundaria en agosto, asegurando sus espacios en los planteles. Guerra agregó que la Secretaría de Educación de Tamaulipas emitió las siguientes recomendaciones: Si al 31 de diciembre el hijo cumple 4 o 5 años de edad, debe de cursar preescolar; en caso de que el hijo esté por concluir la educación preescolar, se tiene que presentar la constancia y debe ingresar a primaria; si va a ingresar a la secundaria solo se deberá presentar la constancia de sexto grado.

El viernes y sábado se registraron enfrentamientos entre civiles armados y elementos militares en las ciudades de Matamoros, Miguel Alemán, Reynosa y Camargo, Tamaulipas, México. El sábado 1 de febrero, personal militar circulaba por la calle Uniones y Las Torres, dentro del Parque Industrial del Norte, en Matamoros, cuando fue atacado a balazos por personas armadas que se desplazaban en una camioneta Chevrolet Suburban, color blanca, de modelo reciente y placas de circulación de Oklahoma. El saldo fue de dos personas muertas, quienes no han sido identificadas. Uno tenía 20 años de edad, y el otro 30, aproximadamente, revelaron autoridades. Uno de los cadáveres quedó en el interior de la camioneta, en tanto que el otro quedó sobre la carpeta asfáltica. Una cantidad no determinada de sospechoso logró darse a la fuga, reveló el Grupo de Coordinación Tamaulipas (GCT). Autoridades lograron incautar la camioneta, cuatro armas largas, una granada de mano, 36 cargadores, 1.019 cartuchos y equipo táctico.

Miguel Alemán Fue el viernes cuando en Miguel Alemán un civil armado muriera tras que elementos militares repelieran una agresión. Los hechos ocurrieron en el cruce de calle Tamaulipas y Salubridad, en la colonia Nuevo Amanecer, cuando militares patrullaban el sector y observaron a personas armadas a bordo de una camioneta pick-up Toyota Tundra, modelo 1981, color blanca, con placas de Texas, indica un comunicado. Al marcarles el alto, los civiles armados respondieron a balazos. Al repeler la agresión, murió uno de los agresores, lesionaron a un segundo y

detuvieron a dos más. El hoy occiso fue identificado como Edgar Eduardo Reyes García, de 23 años de edad. Los detenidos son Néstor Alberto Flores, de 21 años de edad; Emilio Neftalí López Díaz, originario de Guatemala, de 20; y, Gerónimo Alberto Ibarra Mejía, de 27. La camioneta, que contaba con blindaje artesanalm tenía en su interior cinco armas largas, una granada, cargadores, cartuchos, un paquete con marihuana y cuatro bolsas pequeñas con piedra, base de cocaína, indica el comunicado.

Reynosa y Camargo Tres agresores fueron detenidos durante enfrentamientos entre civiles armados y elementos militares en los municipios de Reynosa y Camargo, el viernes. El primer hecho ocurrió en la Ampliación Rodríguez, de Reynosa, cuando soldados fueron atacados a balazos por civiles que se encontraban dentro de una residencia y unas camionetas pick-up. Ahí fueron detenidos los tres agresores, pero además se incautaron cuatro armas largas, 33 cargadores, 816 cartuchos de diferentes calibres, equipo táctico y un vehículo. Los nombres de los detenidos no fueron dados a conocer. El segundo caso ocurrió sobre una brecha que conduce al ejido Santa Gertrudis, en Camargo, cuando personal militar realizaba recorridos de vigilancia y fue atacado por civiles armados que se desplazaban en tres camionetas pick-up, incluyendo una camioneta doble cabina con blindaje arsenal. Los elementos del Ejército Mexicano repelieron la agresión, lo que obligó a los agresores a huir. En el lugar de los hechos se aseguraron seis armas largas, 156 cargadores, 1.382 cartuchos de diferentes calibres y la camioneta.


Detallan vida en Tamaulipas hacia 1910 POR RAUL SINENCIO ESPECIAL PARA TIEMPO DE ZAPATA

(El siguiente es un artículo que trata acerca de hechos trascendentales en la vida de los Tamaulipecos y México. Segunda de dos partes) Reynosa presenta tan modesta cantidad de familias que encuadra apenas en la categoría de villa. “Matamoros se encuen-

tra” cerca “del Río Bravo. Ocupa “un terreno arcilloso y deleznable. Todavía en un plano” de “1890 se ve cercado por murallas y con una serie de fuertes. Las puertas de Bagdad y de San Fernando eran las únicas que interrumpían la línea de los muros. Tiene edificios notables”, mencionándose “su parroquia, su casa municipal, su aduana, su hospital y su teatro”.

Por el noroeste, Nuevo Laredo emerge debido al “comercio, de tránsito principalmente. Término de una de las más grandes líneas” rieleras “que nos ligan con los EU, es la suya la aduana fronteriza por donde se importan y exportan mayor número de mercancías”. Con asiento en la zona centro y sede de los poderes locales, “está rodeada

Victoria de arboledas de naranjos, álamos y fresnos, que le dan el aspecto de gran jardín, y aún muchas de sus manzanas se ven ocupadas por huertas. Al pie de la loma del Muerto se halla el barrio de Río Verdito, y a la falda de otra loma, el cementerio”. Prosigue: “El clima de Tula se califica de bellísimo”. Al Este, “se cultivan plantas subtropicales”.

Considera el autor inmuebles emblemáticos “la parroquia, las casas municipales y algunas escuelas”. “Tampico –remata—se halla en la margen izquierda del Pánuco, como a 11 kilómetros de su desembocadura. Las calles son rectas”. (Contenido cortesía de Raul Sinencio, según fue publicado en ‘La Razón’ de Tampico, México)




Senate sends $100B farm bill to Obama Farmers to receive protection against weather, marketplace By MARY CLARE JALONICK ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — The sweeping farm bill that Congress sent to President Obama Tuesday has something for almost everyone, from the nation’s 47 million food stamp recipients to Southern peanut growers, Midwest corn farmers and the maple syrup industry in the Northeast. After years of setbacks, the Senate on Tuesday sent the nearly $100 billion-a-year measure to President Barack Obama. The White House said the president will sign the bill on Friday in Michigan, the home state of Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow. The Senate passed the bill 6832 after House passage last week. The bill provides a financial cushion for farmers who face unpredictable weather and market conditions. It also provides subsidies for rural communities and environmentally-sensitive land. But the bulk of its cost is for the food stamp program, which aids 1 in 7 Americans. The bill would cut food stamps by $800 million a year, or around 1 percent. House Republicans had hoped to reduce the bill’s costs even further, pointing to a booming agriculture sector in recent years and arguing that the now $80 billion-a-year food stamp program has spiraled out of control. The House passed a bill in September that would have made a cut to food stamps that was five times more than the eventual cut. Those partisan disagreements stalled the bill for more than two years, but conservatives were eventually outnumbered as the Democratic Senate, the White House and a still-powerful bipartisan coalition of farm-state lawmakers pushed to get the bill done. The White House has been mostly quiet as Congress worked out its differences on the bill.

Photo by J. Scott Applewhite | AP

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, speaks with reporters just after Congress gave its final approval to a sweeping five-year farm bill that provides food for the needy and subsidies for farmers. But in a statement after the vote, Obama said the bill would reduce the deficit “without gutting the vital assistance programs millions of hardworking Americans count on to help put food on the table for their families.” He said the farm bill isn’t perfect, “but on the whole, it will make a positive difference not only for the rural economies that grow America’s food, but for our nation.” Obama praised the bill for getting rid of controversial subsidies known as direct payments, which are paid to farmers whether they farm or not. Most of that program’s $4.5 billion annual cost was redirected into new, more politically defensible subsidies that would kick in when a farmer has losses. To gather votes for the bill, Stabenow and her House counterpart, Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., included a major boost for crop insurance popular in the Midwest, higher subsidies for Southern rice and peanut farmers and land payments for West-

ern states. The bill also sets policy for hundreds of smaller programs, subsidies, loans and grants — from research on wool to loans for honey producers to protections for the catfish industry. The bill would provide assistance for rural Internet services and boost organic agriculture. Stabenow said the bill is also intended to help consumers, boosting farmers markets and encouraging local food production. “We worked long and hard to make sure that policies worked for every region of the country, for all of the different kinds of agricultural production we do in our country,” she said. The regional incentives scattered throughout the bill helped it pass easily in the House last week, 251-166. House leaders who had objected to the legislation since 2011 softened their disapproval as they sought to put the long-stalled bill behind them. Leaders in both parties also have hoped to bolster rural candidates in this year’s midterm elections.

Conservatives remained unhappy with the bill. “It’s mind-boggling, the sum of money that’s spent on farm subsidies, duplicative nutrition and development assistance programs, and special interest pet projects,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “How are we supposed to restore the confidence of the American people with this monstrosity?” McCain pointed to grants and subsidies for sheep marketing, for sushi rice, for the maple syrup industry. The $800 million-a-year savings in the food stamp program would come from cracking down on some states that seek to boost individual food stamp benefits by giving people small amounts of federal heating assistance that they don’t need. That heating assistance, sometimes as low as $1 per person, triggers higher benefits, and some critics see that practice as circumventing the law. The compromise bill would require states to give individual recipients at least $20 in heating

assistance before a higher food stamp benefit could kick in. Some Democrats still objected to the cuts, even though they are much lower than what the House had sought. The Senate-passed farm bill had a $400 million annual cut to food stamps. “This bill will result in less food on the table for children, seniors and veterans who deserve better from this Congress, while corporations continue to receive guaranteed federal handouts,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said. “I cannot vote for it.” Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, a longtime member of the Agriculture Committee, also voted against the bill. He cited provisions passed by the Senate and taken out of the final bill that would have reduced the number of people associated with one farm who can collect farm subsidies. Grassley has for years fought to lower subsidies to the wealthiest farmers. The bill does have a stricter cap on the overall amount of money an individual farmer can receive — $125,000 in a year, when some programs were previously unrestricted. But the legislation otherwise continues a generous level of subsidies for farmers. In place of the direct payments, farmers of major row crops — mostly corn, soybeans, wheat and rice — would now be able to choose between subsidies that pay out when revenue drops or when prices drop. Cotton and dairy supports were overhauled to similarly pay out when farmers have losses. Those programs may kick in sooner than expected as some crop prices have started to drop in recent months. The bill would save around $1.65 billion annually overall. But critics said that under the new insurance-style programs, those savings could disappear if the weather or the market doesn’t cooperate. Craig Cox of the Environmental Working Group, an organization that has fought for subsidy reform for several years, said replacing the direct payments with the new programs is simply a “bait and switch.” “The potential for really big payoffs” is huge, he said.



Sports&Outdoors BOXING


Zapata wins again Lady Hawks win third straight meet By CLARA SANDOVAL THE ZAPATA TIMES

LAREDO — For the third consecutive week the Zapata girls’ powerlifting team has brought home the top prize in their latest meet. The Lady Hawks took the title at the JW Nixon Powerlifting Championships. Zapata beat out six Laredo schools plus Hebbronville and Bruni. The Lady Hawks scored 60 points followed by Bruni in second with 33. Third place belonged to Hebbronville only three points behind the Badgers with 30. "Its an awesome feeling," Powerlifting coach Veronica Arce said. "There are teams out there that are very competitive and challenging each and every meet, and we just owe it all to their dedication and hard work that these girls put out each and everyday at practice. They love powerlifting. Again our goal is to increase on their totals every meet." Laredo Nixon was to top Laredo school coming in fourth place with 22 points. Nixon was followed by United South, LBJ, Cigarroa, Martin and United. Zapata took first place in seven of the 11 weight classes at the meet and was led by Jackie Garcia who took top honors in the 105 weight class with a total lift of 650 pounds. In the 114 class it was Brianna Gonzalez that took first place with a total lift of 740 while Alan Montes was golden in the 123 class with a total lift of 795. For the second consecutive week, Delany Cooper took the 148 weight class with a total lift of 835 while Secilia Mata dominated the 165 weight class with a total lift of 765. In the 181 division it was Amanda Esquivel with a total lift of 900 pounds as Gaby Reyes demolished the competition in the 220 weight class. The highest finish recorded by a Zapata boys’ lifter was by Jesus Treviño who placed second in the 123 weight class and Eduardo Sanchez who took silver in the super heavy weight division with a total lift of 1,545 pounds. Zapata will be back in action in two weeks at the Hebbronville Invitational.

File photo by Chris Carlson | AP

Nearly two years after Timothy Bradley won in a disputed split decision against Manny Pacquiao in a WBO welterweight title fight in Las Vegas, promoters announced the two will fight again on April 12.

Seeking redemption in rematch Pacquiao and Bradley prepare for April fight By GREG BEACHAM ASSOCIATED PRESS Photo by Clara Sandoval | The Zapata Times

Zapata’s Eddie “Big Ed” Sanchez took second place in the Super Heavy Weight division at the JW Nixon Powerlifting meet Saturday. Sanchez lifted a total of 1,545 pounds.

Varsity girls

Varsity boys

105 weight class: 1. Jackie Garcia, Zapata, 650; 3. Joeli Castillo, Zapata, 575; 5. Daniella Vela, Zapata, 510. 114 weight class: 1. Brianna Gonzalez, Zapata, 740; 5. Gina Rodriguez, Zapata, 615. 123 weight class: 1. Alana Montes, Zapata, 795; 2. Lily Cantu, Zapata; 3. Crystal Navarroa, Zapata, 670. 148 weight class: 1. Delany Cooper, Zapata, 835. 165 weight class: 2. Secilia Mata, Zapata, 765; 3. Trisha Garcia, Zapata, 695. 181 weight class: 1. Amanda Esquivel, Zapata, 900; 2. Elise Muños, Zapata, 800. 220 weight class: 1. Gaby Reyes, Zapata, 820.

123 weight class: 2. Jesus Treviño, Zapata, 905. 132 weight class: 4. Artemio Garcia, Zapata, 845. 165 weight class: 5. Miguel Alvarez, Zapata, 1,095. 242 weight class: 3. Syvestre Bustamante, Zapata, 1,315. 275 weight class: 4. Manuel Navarro, Zapata, 1,340; 5. Hugo Martinez, Zapata, 1,260. Super Heavy Weight: 2. Eduardo Sanchez, Zapata, 1,545. Clara Sandoval can be reached at

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley intend to leave no doubt this time. Nearly two years after Bradley beat Pacman in a hotly disputed unanimous decision, the welterweights both seem uncommonly confident as they begin work for their April 12 rematch. Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs) mentioned redemption as his goal several times Tuesday before the fight’s kickoff news conference. He feels wronged by the public’s reaction against his decision victory over Pacquiao in 2012. He believes he’ll earn an even easier victory this time. Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) and trainer Freddie Roach are both confident Pacquiao beat Bradley in their first fight. The Filipino congressman wants to prove his career is still going strong by avenging the loss that snapped his 15-fight winning streak.


NASCAR creates new ‘deterrence’ penalty system By JENNA FRYER ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR unveiled a revamped penalty system Tuesday that for the first time will define specific offenses with pre-determined penalties. The new “Deterrence System” classifies six different levels of penalties, with fines and point deductions increasing as the infractions become more severe. The new system will be applied only to technical infractions; NASCAR will still handle behavioral offenses individually. The structure also allows the sanctioning body to hit repeat offenders with a multiplier that could increase penalties by 50 percent. NASCAR’s previous penalty system did not tie pre-determined sanctions to specific offenses. “Our goal is to be more effective, fair and transparent,” said Steve O’Donnell, senior vice president of racing operations. “It’s never our intent to penalize, but in order to keep the playing field fair for everyone, we recognize that strong rules need to be in place.” NASCAR has also removed chief appellate officer John Middlebrook. The retired General Motors executive has been replaced by Bryan Moss, president

emeritus of Gulfstream Aerospace. Middlebrook had overturned or modified some key NASCAR decisions, including a penalty to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012 and Penske Racing last year. “I wanted to clearly state that Bryan’s appointment is not a result of recent appeals outcomes or because of the changes to the Chase,” O’Donnell said. “John did a great job for us, but Bryan will take over as the final appeals officer.” NASCAR also has removed track promoters from its appeals panel in order to keep them from having to rule on a team while also needing that team’s members to help promote races. “We have probably put some people in some tough spots in the past,” O’Donnell said. “You won’t see national series promoters as part of that panel and you’ll see more industry experts participate in that role in the future.” Another change to the penalty system is in the appeals process: Penalized teams will be allowed to see NASCAR’s presentation during the first appeal. Previously, each side presented its case without the other side in the room. Parties will now submit summaries of issues in advance of the hearing and it will be

NASCAR’s burden to prove that a penalty violation occurred. During second and final appeals, the burden will shift to the team to prove the panel decision was incorrect. The biggest changes are to the penalty system, which is now broken into six classes. Minor technical infractions in the P1 class could lead to lost track time and other relatively light punishments; violations affecting the internal workings and performance of the engine in P6, on the other hand, could lead to the loss of 150 points, a fine of at least $150,000 and suspensions. If P5 and P6 infractions are found in post-race inspection, wins would not be eligible to be used to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship or to advance through the Chase rounds. And if the same car repeats an offense in the same category during the season, the penalty increases 50 percent above the normal standard. “We believe the new system is easily understood and specifically lays out exactly what disciplinary action will be taken depending upon the type of technical infraction,” said vice president of competition Robin Pemberton. “More importantly, we believe we have strengthened our system to ensure even more competitive racing.”

Photo by Associated Press

NASCAR and CEO Brian France announced a new penalty system on Tuesday with six different levels of penalties.



RAQUEL FLORES GUTIERREZ Jan. 7, 1925 – Feb. 3, 2014 Raquel Flores Gutierrez passed away peacefully Feb. 3, 2014, at the age of 89 years. Raquel was the last surviving sibling of the eight children born to Cesario P. Flores and Francisca Garza de Flores. Raquel was born in Old Zapata and graduated from St. Henry’s Academy in San Antonio. In 1954 she married Hector J. Gutierrez, also of Zapata, and eventually settled in Laredo where she spent the rest of her life devoted to her family. Although Raquel remained a life-long resident of Laredo, she maintained close ties with family and friends living in Zapata. She was preceded in death by her parents, Cesario and Francisca; brothers and sisters: Esperanza Flores, Mario Flores (Carmen), Araceli F. Ramirez (Ramiro), Fransisca F. Porras (Natividad), Lydia F. Alonzo (Jesse), Romeo Flores (Biatriz) and Blanca F. Villarreal (Gustavo); and nieces and nephews: Luis Villarreal, Homero Flores, Romeo Flores, Carmen Massie and Marta Rodriguez. She is survived by her devoted husband of 60 years, Hector J. Gutierrez; five children: Hector M. Gutierrez, Priscilla G. Muñoz (Manuel), Clarissa G. Rodriguez, Jorge A. Gutierrez and Adriana G. Garcia (David); grandchildren: Manuel Muñoz III, Lisa Celina Hammett (Jeb) of Monroe, La., Adriana Cecilia Garcia, Jorge A. Gutierrez Jr., Bianca A. Rodriguez, Gabriela Garcia and Raymundo Rodriguez III; great-grandchildren Nathan J. and Andrew J. Hammett; beloved sisterin-law Nilda Gutierrez; and numerous nieces, nephews and dear friends. Visitation hours will be held Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. at

Rose Garden Funeral Home in Zapata. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Zapata. Interment will follow at the Zapata County Cemetery. The family would like to thank her caring physician of many years, Dr. Luis M. Benavides; kind and devoted Star of Life Home Care, Inc. nurses Claudia Hourigan and Edward Lightner; faithful and gentle caregivers Maria Candelaria Guerra, Rosita Montoya, Felipa Lara, and Guadalupe Mendoza; and Nurses on Wheels. Condolences may be sent to the family at Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Rose Garden Funeral Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 N. U.S. Hwy. 83, Zapata.

Photo by Madeleine Smither/The Monitor | AP

The burned-out ruins of the Delta Lake Hotel, once known as the “jewel of the Delta,” stands empty and overgrown with foliage in Monte Alto. The hotel, built in 1931, nearly burned down in 1995 and has stood in ruins ever since.


ESTHER DAVILA HERNANDEZ APRIL 1, 1956 — FEB. 4, 2014 Esther Davila Hernandez, 57, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, at Doctor’s Hospital in Laredo. Mrs. Hernandez is preceded in death by grandson Christopher Devin Hernandez; parents Francisco and Maria Davila; and brothers-in-law Jose R. Bustamante and Alvaro Salinas. Mrs. Hernandez is survived by her husband, Carlos S. Hernandez; sons Michael Eric (Crystal) Hernandez and Christopher Phillip Hernandez (Ruby Lopez); daughter Angela Marie Hernandez; grandchildren: Alexis Hernandez, Michael Joseph Hernandez, Khole S. Hernandez, Dillon Sloan, Clayton Sloan, Alicia V. Hernandez, Hailee Hernandez, Briana Reyna, Clarissa Reyes, Gerardo Gutierrez Jr. and Mia Gutierrez; brothers Gilberto (Blanca) Davila, Francisco Jr. (Carmen) Davila and Catarino (Melissa) Davila; sisters San Juana Solis, Julia Salinas, Estela D. (Jorge) Solis, Alejandra (Miguel) Martinez and Azeneth Davila; and by numerous nephews, nieces and friends. Visitation hours will be held Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. at Rose Garden Funeral Home. The funeral procession will depart Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. for a 10 a.m. funeral Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic

Church. In lieu of flowers donations can be mailed to Zapata High School Scholarship Fund, 3750 STOP 37C, Zapata, TX 78076. Committal services will follow at Zapata County Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Rose Garden Funeral Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 N. U.S. Hwy. 83, Zapata.

MONTE ALTO — Along a lonely stretch of Farm to Market Road 88 there stands what used to be a grand hotel once known as the “jewel of the Delta.” The brilliant-white, 56-room mansion held a splendid, tiled ballroom where residents from all around the Rio Grande Valley and Mexico would gather, dressed in their finest, to dance at monthly socials in the 1940s where a big-band orchestra would play. “My mama used to go there,” Gabriela Garcia, a 40-year-old Monte Alto resident and mother of three, told The Monitor of McAllen. “She would say that the men wore pocket watches and those baggy pants ... It’s where you would go in those days to meet other young people and just have a good time. They played all Hispanic music and they loved that.” The derelict building now stands three stories tall and hollow in faded pink, surrounded by palms that have sprouted around the property and through the rubble. Palm fronds drape exposed rebar and flowers grow where the orchestra once played. Today, the place is silent — a tomb of memories unopened, a question begging to be answered. It’s a piece of Valley history, and more than that. Over the years it has become a mystery, even a dare. Some have taken the unspoken challenge to cross the property’s

fence. “They used to shoot trespassers there,” wrote Joel Garza, an adjunct lecturer at the University of Texas-Pan American. “The highlight of every high school student in 2000 was trespassing and not getting caught.” Others simply pass it by and feel a quiet yearning to explore. “I’ve always wanted to check that building out,” said Edinburg resident Michelle Evins. “It has such a pull to it.” In 1928, a businessman named W.A. Harding purchased 53,000 acres in what would become Monte Alto, with plans to make a fortune in real estate in the undeveloped area. He started the Delta Orchards Company in a bid to lure other potential land buyers to the area with the promise of a mint to be made in agriculture. According to records in the Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives of the Museum of South Texas history, it was two years and 10,000 laborers later that the land became a town site, ready to be filled with commerce and community. Construction of the mansion began in 1929, when Harding realized he needed a place to house potential buyers in the lap of luxury while they considered the value of the land. He took them on a tour of the Valley and across the border — a selling point in his brochure which described the “primitive customs of Mexico.” But hit by the Great Depression in the 1930s, Harding could no longer support the property,

and was forced to give it up to the American Life Insurance Company, from whom he had gotten a loan. The Bentsen family purchased the property in 1945, then sold it to another prominent family, the Gattis. The Gatti family converted the house into Delta Lake Hotel, which it remained through the 1960s. Since then, the property has had several owners, none of whom have made any changes, according to Hidalgo County records. Most recently, the derelict property was the site of a grisly discovery — in 2007, owner Laura Doyle was found dead, shot at least five times and burnt beyond recognition. Her son, Christopher Hughes, then 17, was convicted of the murder. By the time Doyle was reported missing, Hughes had used her credit cards to purchase more than $7,000 worth of video games and accessories, and upgrades for his car. Before her body was discovered by her eldest son, Randy Langston, Hughes had continued to live in a trailer on the property with his mother’s decomposing corpse a few yards away. According to Hidalgo County records, Laura Doyle is still listed as the owner of the property, making it a true piece of the “Forgotten Valley.” “It’s mysterious,” Garcia said of the building. “There’s just something about it. You want to know more.”

The Zapata Times



Prosecutors give account of fatal shooting By JACQUES BILLEAUD AND ASTRID GALVAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHOENIX — A firefight that killed a Border Patrol agent near the Arizona-Mexico border in 2010 erupted as armed men who sneaked into the country to rob marijuana smugglers walked in a single-file line toward a group of agents, according an account given by prosecutors of the shooting that revealed the government’s botched “Fast and Furious” gunsmuggling investigation. Agents sitting atop a small hill and using night-vision gear could

see that rip-off crew members were carrying rifles and waited until the men were close before an agent yelled “police” in Spanish. The gunmen turned toward the agents and started to fire, setting off an exchange of gunfire that killed Agent Brian Terry and wounded acknowledged ripoff crew member Manuel OsorioArellanes, prosecutors said. “I’m hit,” Terry told fellow agents, noting that he couldn’t feel his legs, according to court records filed by the agents who were with Terry during the gun fight. Terry lost consciousness and died at the scene from a sin-

CONVICTION to purchase the weapons. Garza and her six other codefendants’ arrests were part of 16 convictions that resulted from an investigation spanning more than three years. Because of their involvement, Zapatan Salinas-Alaniz was sentenced to two years in prison; Maria Elena Ramos, 31, of Rio Grande City, received a five-year sentence; 26-yearold Maria Micaela Berrones, of Zapata, was sentenced to two years and 11 months; Zapatan Claudia Medrano, 29, was ordered to serve three years and six months behind bars; Marlene Riojas, 32, also of Zapata, was handed a oneyear-and-four-month sen-

gle gunshot wound. The account marks the most complete publicly available summary by prosecutors of the Dec. 14, 2010, firefight in a canyon just north of the Arizona border city of Nogales. In the past, federal authorities repeatedly declined to disclose information about Terry’s death. Prosecutors recounted details of the shooting in a court record filed in advance of a sentencing hearing Monday for Osorio-Arellanes, who pleaded guilty to firstdegree murder in Terry’s death. The filing was accompanied by written accounts from three Bor-


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tence; and Maria Del Carmen Carbajal, 31, of Sullivan City, was sentenced to two years and four months in prison. All of the women, except Garza, were sentenced Jan. 31. A total of 51 firearms were purchased from Gladiator Guns and Ammo, many of which were AR-15-type weapons. The Mexican military recovered approximately seven of those assault rifles found throughout Northern Mexico “after military engagements between the Mexican military and members of Los Zetas,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. A number of local and

federal law enforcement organizations were involved in the investigation, with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives taking the lead. ATF received assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Department, Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Department of Public Safety and the Zapata and Webb County sheriff ’s offices. Garza remains out on bond until she is assigned a prison date to begin serving her sentence. (Matthew Nelson may be reached at 728-2567 or

late Tuesday into today when the storm brings up to a foot of snow in northern Pennsylvania and 5 to 9 inches in Boston. The New York area could get 4 to 7 inches of snow followed by rain, freezing rain and sleet — possibly creating a messy morning commute. And even though it’s days away, the weather service said there’s a chance of even more of the cold, white flakes beginning Saturday and continuing into Sunday on the East Coast. It could be a trifecta of foul weather. “This winter has been a pretty amazing winter across a whole lot of the country,” said Joseph T.

TECH FUND deal. Giror said he thought the center’s estimated $42 billion in future economic impact alone would’ve been enough for the state, but he said fund managers insisted on Kalon as part of the award. “The state would not have gotten a piece of Kalon if it had not granted the A&M System that $40 million,” Giror said. It’s the first time the fund has taken an equity position without directly investing in a company.

Hazell called the arrangement a victory for the state since it was getting a slice of Kalon without directly giving the company money, and said she’ll explore similar opportunities in the future. Hazell said she couldn’t disclose the value of the state’s position in Kalon, but that it was by no means propping up the worth of the tech fund. “It’s not going to be ginormous,” Hazell said. Perry credits the tech fund and

der Patrol agents who were with Terry as he died. Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year sentence for Osorio-Arellanes. Clay Hernandez, Osorio-Arellanes’ lawyer, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday. Terry’s stepmother, Carolyn Terry, said Osorio-Arellanes’ upcoming sentencing won’t give the family any closure. “We don’t know what happened to him out there that night,” she said, noting her family and their attorney are still looking for answers. Federal authorities who conducted “Fast and Furious” have

faced tough criticism for allowing suspected straw gun buyers for a smuggling ring to walk away from gun shops in Arizona with weapons, rather than arrest them and seize the guns. Two rifles bought by a gunsmuggling ring that was being monitored through “Fast and Furious” were found at the scene of the firefight. But authorities have declined to say whether the murder weapon in Terry’s death was linked to a purchase from the investigation. The guilty plea by Osorio-Arellanes in October 2012 marked the biggest conviction to date.

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Pajor, deputy director of the department of public works and utilities for the city of Wichita, Kansas, which was expected to get about 2 inches of snow overnight and another 6 inches on Tuesday. On Monday, government offices, courts and schools were closed in parts of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia; scattered power outages were reported throughout the region. Speed limits were reduced on many major highways. At least two deaths and one serious injury were blamed on the storm. In western Kentucky, where the snow began falling

Sunday, a 24-year-old man died that night when his car skidded into a snowplow. On Monday, a 73-yearold New York City man was fatally struck by a backhoe that was moving snow. A 10-year-old girl was in serious condition after she was impaled by a metal rod while sledding north of Baltimore. In Ohio, where the storm dumped as much as 10 inches on the state Monday, there were numerous traffic accidents, none serious. “It was mostly bent fenders and hurt feelings,” said Kim Carver, director of the Scioto County Emergency Management Agency in Portsmouth.

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the Texas Enterprise Fund, which similarly gives companies taxpayer dollars to companies, as economic engines helping make Texas the envy of the nation in creating jobs. His office stresses taking a long view with inherently risky early-stage startups, and says job creation and outside funding attracted by companies are important performance measures. But the tech fund that weathered scrutiny from Democrats and good government groups early on

now also faces conservative criticism. Top Republicans began speaking more skeptically about the fund as tea party groups panned taxpayer dollars for private companies. Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is the early Republican favorite to replace Perry next year, says the state shouldn’t be picking winners and losers. Last year, the GOP-controlled Legislature replenished the tech fund with $50 million. Perry had sought nearly tri-

ple that amount. Fund recipients still in operation reported 1,661 total jobs in the last fiscal year. But that number includes Kyle-based Xtreme Power Inc., one of the biggest employers in the fund, which received $2 million in 2007 and filed for bankruptcy last month. In 2012, companies reported 1,236 jobs, which wasn’t an entirely accurate snapshot since 10 companies didn’t provide employment data that year.

The Zapata Times 2/5/2014  
The Zapata Times 2/5/2014  

The Zapata Times 2/5/2014