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TO 4,000 HOMES





University profs to teach here

Hatchet job


A steering committee for the Zapata County Advanced Center on Thursday approved coursework to begin summer classes in what is said to be only the beginning of Zapata residents having to eliminate their commute to Laredo to attend classes. Starting May 26, the center, on the corner of

7th Street and U.S. Highway 83, will provide classes offered by Laredo Community College and Texas A&M International University to anyone interested in obtaining college credit. “The courses are going to lead up to a bachelor’s degree or a twoyear associate’s degree,” said Dean David M. Brown. “We’re also in-

District eyes trimming quarter of workforce By DENISE BLAZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

Almost a fourth of the Zapata County Independent School District 250-person workforce could lose their jobs due to projected shortfalls that are forcing the district to trim anywhere from $2.6 million to $11 million from its budget. According to Superintendent Norma Garcia, the expected targeted cuts are going to be announced this week at an as-of-yet unscheduled board meeting. “It’s been really difficult,” said Gar-

cia, whose teaching background spans 19 years. “In a community like this where a lot of the teachers are from here and they have their families here and have built their homes and bought cars, some are having their first baby,” she said. “It’s a really difficult thing to see … Some of these people are my former students. I have relationships with these people. I know them well. I care for them.” A declaration of cuts within ZCISD has already been made; however, Garcia expects to formally announce that

54 teachers with probationary contracts and six pre-K-3 program teachers may be on the chopping block. “While that group may seem like they’re a target group, some of these people may come back,” said Garcia, adding that the announcement must come before the April 13 deadline to renew teachers’ contracts. Factoring in benefits and insurance costs, the cuts will eliminate $50,000 per person. Cutting back on student incentives over time, stipends, travel expenses,





Photo by Cuate Santos | The Zapata Times

Gabriel Alvarez Briones, of Zapata, leaves the courtroom Monday morning at the Zapata County Courthouse after a hearing in which District Attorney Isidro “Chilo” Alaniz announced that his office would not seek the death penalty against Alvarez Briones, who is accused of killing his infant cousin.

LEFT: Amira Marie Juarez opens candy she found in a hidden egg during the Easter Egg Hunt and Car Show at Romeo Flores Park last Sunday afternoon. BELOW: Choo Choo Customs displays its line of custom cars along with a trophy won at the 2011 Youth Parade last Sunday afternoon at Romeo Flores Park.

Harsh penalty if convicted But DA won’t seek death By DENISE BLAZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

A 35-year-old Mexican national accused of killing a 6-month-old relative last year will not face the death penalty if he is convicted. At a short hearing held Monday morning at the Zapata County Courthouse, District Attorney Isidro R. “Chilo” Alaniz announced his team of prosecutors will not seek the death penalty in the capital murder case against Gabriel Alvarez

Briones. The announcement came as no surprise to Alvarez Briones’ defense attorneys. “I don’t even know if it’s a murder case,” said Oscar J. Peña, attorney for Alvarez Briones, adding that a time lapse during his client’s videotaped confession is questionable. Peña said a hearing on his motion to suppress the videotape is expected to be held soon. Meanwhile, Briones remains in the Zapata County jail under $1 million bond.


Photos by Danny Zaragoza | The Zapata Times


Zin brief CALENDAR




SATURDAY, APRIL 2 The Texas A&M International University Chamber Singers present their annual TAMIU Chamber Singers Spring Concert from 3-6 p.m. at the TAMIU Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the TAMIU Department for the Fine and Performing Arts at (956) 326-2654. For a list of upcoming arts events, call (956) 326-ARTS or to download to your personal calendar or to receive notices by text or e-mail,visit coe. Spend the evening at the Texas A&M International University Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium and enjoy “Extreme Planets” at 5 p.m., “IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System” at 6 p.m. and Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” at 7 p.m. General admission is $5 and $4 for children and TAMIU students, faculty, staff and alumni. Premium shows are $1 more. For additional show times, call (956) 326-DOME (3663) or click on The chess club at United High School, 2811 United Ave., will sponsor today’s Spring Scholastic Championship, a chess tournament. Check-in is at 9 a.m., and presentations will be after the last round, which starts at 3:45 p.m. Registration is $15 for the Scholastic Rated Section, for which USCF membership is required. On-site registration is $5 extra. Nonrated registration is $5. Trophies and medals will be awarded. For more information, call Lucy Gutierrez at 473-7444.

TUESDAY, APRIL 5 The Alzheimer’s support group will meet at 7 p.m. in meeting room 2, building B of the Laredo Medical Center. The support group is for family members and caregivers taking care of someone who has Alzheimer’s. The Texas A&M International University A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business and the Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade present the IBC Keynote Speaker Series featuring Gary C. Hufbauer, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC. Hufbauer will be presenting “Leadership Challenges Facing the Global Trading System: Climate Change Meets World Trade.” The lecture will take place at the TAMIU Student Center Ballroom (SC 203 A&B) from 7:30-9 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (956) 326-2820.

SATURDAY, APRIL 9 The 61st annual Flower and Art Show, sponsored by the United Methodist Women of the First United Methodist Church, is from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. today and Sunday in the FUMC Fellowship Hall, 1220 McClelland Ave. The public is welcome. Admission is $3.

SUNDAY, APRIL 10 The 61st annual Flower and Art Show, sponsored by the United Methodist Women of the First United Methodist Church, continues today from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the FUMC Fellowship Hall, 1220 McClelland Ave. The public is welcome. Admission is $3. Voz de Niños invites you to its third annual Family Field Day at the IBC Lago del Rio from 1-5 p.m. Please join us for this all-inclusive event and an afternoon of arts & crafts, field games, face painting, great food, and entertainment. Proceeds will support ongoing efforts to advocate the best interests of abused and neglected children in Webb County. $20 general admission.

SATURDAY, APRIL 30 The March of Dimes’ 2011 March for Babies is today from 8 a.m. to noon at Texas A&M International University. To register your family or company team, visit For more information, contact Luis Garcia, division director, at 1-800-580-3256 or

SATURDAY, MAY 7 A book sale will be held in the Widener Room of the First United Methodist Church, 1220 McClelland Ave., from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is invited, and admission is free. Donated books and magazines are accepted. Call 722-1674 for information. To submit an item for the calendar, send the name of the event, the date, time, location and contact phone number to


Photo by John Davenport/San Antonio Express-News | AP

In this March 27 photo, the Crossroads of Texas Living History Association reenacts the 1836 execution of Col. James Fannin by the Mexican Army at Presideo La Bahia in Goliad.


SAN ANTONIO — John Willingham long has been fascinated with the “Goliad Massacre,” which came three weeks after the 1836 Battle of the Alamo and further riled the Texans in their war for independence. When the Waco-born author speaks at the commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the execution of 342 men, he’ll likely contrast the Alamo with Goliad. “When you ask people what they think about the Alamo, they tell you immediately what comes to mind: never give up; fight to the death; an absolute right and wrong,” he said. “Goliad is more complex.” Lovers of history can explore the mysteries and relive the intense emotions through re-enactments, lectures and ceremonies in memory of the March 27, 1836, executions at

Defense questions key point in kidnapping trial EL PASO — Witnesses for two men accused of kidnapping an El Paso man later found dead in Mexico say the suspects weren’t at a New Year’s Eve party where a prosecution witness says one of them was heard bragging about the crime. A federal jury was deliberating Friday after closing arguments in the trial of Cesar Obregon-Reyes and Rafael Vega. They are accused of abducting Sergio Saucedo from in front of his home in 2009, in what would be a rare case of drug war violence spilling into the U.S.

House committee approves SBOE map AUSTIN — A new map for the 15-member Texas State Board of Education has won approval from the House Redistricting Committee. The map was approved Friday on a 12-4 vote. Rep. Carol Alvara-

Presidio La Bahía, near Goliad. One highlight of a candlelight tour is a reenactment of Col. José Nicolás de la Portilla getting orders sent by Santa Anna to execute Col. James Fannin and his men who had surrendered at the Battle of Coleto. “Even if you don’t know Spanish, the tension is so high the hair stands up on the back of your neck,” said Newton Warzecha, director of the 1749 presidio. On the anniversary of the Palm Sunday massacre, readings of the story of Goliad survivor Isaac Hamilton and a “death march” from La Bahía to the execution site will be followed by a memorial service. Visitors will walk in procession to the Fannin Memorial Monument, where the dead are buried, for a reading of the eulogy Texas Gen. Thomas Jefferson Rusk delivered June 3, 1836.

do, D-Houston, said she voted against the newly proposed boundaries because she thought lawmakers could craft an alternative that would give Hispanics a bigger voice on the board. Rep. Burt Solomons, the North Texas Republican who chairs the committee, said he thought it was a fair map. It now moves to the full House. The committee is drawing new district boundaries for the education board, members of the Legislature and Texans who serve in the U.S. Congress.

House Dems refuse to vote to rearrange funding AUSTIN, Texas — Democrats are taking a new tack in the budget debate. Some are voting “present not voting” on efforts by the Republican majority to reshuffle money between various programs. Rep. Sylvester Turner railed against an effort to take money from family planning services for the poor to give to mental health services for children.

“I will not be put in the position of choosing from one need to another when we are underfunding them both,” Turner said. “If we were not willing to pull from the Rainy Day (Fund) to meet the needs of these children and elderly folks, I will not be caught trying to decide if I should fund child one or child two.” Dozens of Democrats, and some Republicans, voted “present not voting” on the following amendments.

Texas death row inmate loses federal appeal HOUSTON — An East Texas man condemned for fatally shooting a disabled man at a convenience store has lost an appeal at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling posted Friday clears the way for prosecutors to seek an execution date for 28year-old Beunka Adams. Adams’ co-defendant, Richard Cobb, also is on death row. — Compiled from AP reports

AROUND THE NATION Wisconsin union law likely on hold for 2 months MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s polarizing union rights law is on hold for about two months after a judge said Friday that a restraining order blocking it will stay in place she while considers whether Republicans passed it illegally. Republicans had been pushing the law through despite a boycott by Democratic state senators and weeks of protests that drew as many as 85,000 people to the state Capitol. But they suffered a defeat Thursday when the same judge declared the law was not enacted last week as Republicans had claimed.

Final suspect in custody in armored car holdups LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — DeKalb County police say the final suspect wanted in connection with a series of metro Atlanta

Today is Saturday, April 2, the 92nd day of 2011. There are 273 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On April 2, 1811, James Monroe became the seventh U.S. Secretary of State. On this date: In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed in present-day Florida. In 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorized establishment of the U.S. Mint. In 1860, the first Italian Parliament met at Turin. In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va., because of advancing Union forces. In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying, “The world must be made safe for democracy.” (Congress declared war four days later.) In 1932, aviator Charles A. Lindbergh and John F. Condon went to a cemetery in The Bronx, N.Y., where Condon turned over $50,000 to a man in exchange for Lindbergh’s kidnapped son. (The child, who was not returned, was found dead the following month.) In 1956, the soap operas “As the World Turns” and “The Edge of Night” premiered on CBS television. In 1974, French President Georges Pompidou died in Paris. In 1982, several thousand troops from Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic, from Britain. (Britain seized the islands back the following June.) In 1986, four American passengers were killed when a bomb exploded aboard a TWA jetliner en route from Rome to Athens, Greece. Ten years ago: President George W. Bush demanded that China promptly return a U.S. spy plane and its crew members. (The plane had made an emergency landing in China after colliding with a Chinese fighter.) Duke won its third national men’s basketball championship with an 8272 victory over Arizona. Today’s Birthdays: Singer Leon Russell is 69. Jazz musician Larry Coryell is 68. Actress Linda Hunt is 66. Singer Emmylou Harris is 64. Social critic and author Camille Paglia is 64. Actor Ron Palillo is 62. Actress Pamela Reed is 62. Rock musician Dave Robinson (The Cars) is 58. Country singer Buddy Jewell is 50. Actor Christopher Meloni is 50. Singer Keren Woodward (Bananarama) is 50. Country singer Billy Dean is 49. Actor Clark Gregg is 49. Actress Jana Marie Hupp is 47. Rock musician Greg Camp is 44. Rock musician Tony Fredianelli (Third Eye Blind) is 42. Actress Roselyn Sanchez is 38. Country singer Jill King is 36. Actor Adam Rodriguez is 36. Actor Jeremy Garrett is 35. Rock musician Jesse Carmichael (Maroon 5) is 32. Actress Bethany Joy Lenz is 30. Singer Lee Dewyze (TV: “American Idol”) is 25. Actor Jesse Plemons is 23. Singer Aaron Kelly (TV: “American Idol”) is 18. Thought for Today: “Never think you’ve seen the last of anything.” — Eudora Welty, American author (1909-2001).

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Dan Schierl of Neenah, Wis., joins other protesters during Gov. Scott Walker’s announcement that a six-year cleanup of the area lowered PCB concentrations in the Lower Fox River. The announcement was made Thursday in Menasha, Wis. armored car robberies has surrendered. Edward Thornton turned himself in Friday at DeKalb County Police Headquarters. Police said he faces two counts of armed robbery. Three other men charged with

armed robbery in a series of armored car holdups in Gwinnett County have court appearances set for April 11. They are Ashley Henderson, Stacey Lamont Dooley and Quinton Lamar Booker. — 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




Fishing tourney raises funds for 29,000 meals By SALO OTERO SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If Pete Arredondo would have texted or tweeted about the first International Bass Challenge at Falcon Lake in Zapata, it would have been “OMG.” And that would have meant “Oh, my gosh,” which were the first words the Webb County chief sheriff ’s deputy used to describe the tournament last weekend. The fundraising event was co-sponsored by Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar and the Zapata Chamber of Commerce to assist the South Texas Food Bank mission of feeding the hungry. “It was very successful,” tournament director Arredondo said. And the success was on two fronts — supplying meals to the needy and the amount and quality of fish brought in. “By our count we have money for 29,000 meals on just the entry fees,” Arredondo said. The South Texas Food Bank turns every $1 donated into seven meals. Arredondo added: “And the fishing was amazing.” Thirty boats competed.

Heavy catches An avid angler who fishes Falcon Lake and Amistad Lake, Arredondo raved about the catches. “I’ve been involved in over 50 tournaments and this is by far the heaviest weigh-ins,” he said. He estimated the average fish weighed six pounds.

Courtesy photo

Shown is the vehicle driven by Javier Rodriguez, 37, who was charged with evading arrest with a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, and accident involving damage to a fixture.

Stop sign stops car chase Courtesy photo

The husband and wife team of Bubba and Linda Haralson won the International Bass Challenge at Falcon Lake to benefit the South Texas Food Bank. With the Haralsons are tourney coordinators Pete Arredondo, David Cardenas and J.J. Rendon of the Webb County Sheriff’s Office.

Driver wanted on warrant out of Dallas County By CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

The winners were the husband-and-wife team of Bubba and Linda Haralson of Del Rio. They snatched a $2,000 cash prize with a stringer that tipped the scale at 47.29 pounds, which included fish at 11.29 and 11.28 pounds. The Haralsons fish Amistad and Falcon. Second place went to Laredoans Leroy Medford and Eddie Dancause, who had a 41.32 pound stringer. Coming in third were Tom Haralson and Michael Bauer, with a 40.64 stringer. Haralson is the son of the winners, Bubba and Linda Haralson. Arredondo said the competitors were also very pleased with the awards.

Lots of prizes “The top 22 teams went

home with some kind of prize — from cash to trophies and gift cards,” Arredondo said. Pancho Farias, artist and marketing director for the South Texas Food Bank, who designed the unique trophies, is an avid fisherman himself. “Six pounds is considered a trophy fish. And that was the average. That’s remarkable fishing,” he said. “Nothing comes close to Falcon. The five stringer record held by Paul Elias in a pro Bassmasters Tournament was broken.” Asked whether there would be a second annual International Bass Challenge, Arredondo had a quick answer. “By all means.” (Salo Otero is director of development for the South Texas Food Bank)

A man led deputies on a chase in the early hours of March 27 because, officials say, he had an outstanding parole violation warrant out of Dallas County Sheriff ’s Office. The chase ended when the man crashed into a stop sign in the Siesta Shores subdivision. Zapata County sheriff ’s deputies arrested Javier Rodriguez, 37, and charged him with evading arrest with a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, and accident involving damage to a fixture. Deputies went out to a call reporting a harassment incident at 3:13 a.m. March 27 in the 900 block of Juarez Avenue.

JAVIER RODRIGUEZ: Charged with evading arrest.

By the time deputies arrived on scene, Rodriguez had already left. Moments later, deputies spotted a Nissan car matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle. Deputies attempted to stop it while the car traveled south through town on U.S. 83. Sgt. Mario Elizondo said Rodriguez accelerated and led authorities on a chase, which ended when the alleged offender hit a stop sign in the intersection

of Vicki and Falcon lanes. But the man persisted in eluding authorities, Elizondo said. Elizondo said the man got out of the vehicle and fled on foot. Deputies, however, apprehended him half a block away. Rodriguez sustained minor cuts and bruises because of the wreck. Deputies took him to the Zapata County Regional Jail, where he was held on a combined bond of $30,500. (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 7282568 or







Game faces hard times NEW YORK TIMES


t’s never easy getting back into the baseball season, what with the sport’s self-generated scandals and star-crossed narcissists. Fans yearning for the plain nine-inning deal — bat, ball, glove and hopes under open skies — lately had to wince at testimony about the monstrous side effects of illicit hormones taken by batters obsessed with hitting even more home runs. All Babe Ruth ever was reported abusing were hot dogs and beer. In the New York game, money is inevitably in the lineup. Yankee players sound ecstatic at finally being rated underdogs to the Red Sox, who spent with Yankee abandon in hiring new Boston players. The Mets, in contrast, have hit such grim times that a piece of the team is being offered for sale to keep the

club operating. The team, as everyone knows, was hard hit in the Ponzi scheme concocted by Bernard Madoff, who is in prison as this season opens. Mets fans desperate for the crack of the bat still reel from the auction of Madoff property that saw his satin personalized Mets jacket fetch $14,500. They’d consider it just if he can’t get the Mets on cable. Nine innings of distraction are a cure for life’s setbacks, and Mets loyalists can comfort themselves with that universal mantra of wait ’til this year. Hope is the thing with flutters, as last season’s comeback Met, R.A. Dickey, demonstrated with his looping knuckleballs and postgame philosophical riffs. “This game is about how to handle regret. It really is,” Dickey advised, a worthy theme for the brand-new season.




Iran, Syria should not have nukes By JONATHAN GURWITZ SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS


he Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” have nothing on the Korean Central News Agency, the official media organ of North Korea. Are reports of wars and humanitarian disasters getting you down? Then click over to the KCNA website and read the socialistically uplifting news from the paradise that is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. A March 29 news release touts a hydroponic greenhouse at the Pyongyang Vegetable Science Institute. “Cultivated in the greenhouse are tomato, cucumber ... and other nutritive vegetables,” a dispatch relates. “All the processes ranging from manuring to the adjustment of temperature and humidity are controlled by computer.” In sports, KCNA reported on March 23 that General Secretary Kim Jong Il enjoyed a demonstration of synchronized swimming. “The performers presented dynamic movements and beautiful rhythms in such colorful numbers as duet synchronized swimming ‘Let’s Sing of Our Pride in Being under the Guidance of the General’ ... and group synchronized swimming ‘We Sing of the Party.”’ The stilted translations and glorification of the mundane make KCNA’s “news” hilarious. But that hilarity is tempered by the disheartening knowledge that the agency speaks for a communist dictatorship that has turned a nation of 24 million people into a nuclear-armed slave labor camp. KCNA’s propaganda is largely directed at a captive audience. For outsiders, though, it can also shed light on the pathological thinking that guides the Kim government and similarly despotic regimes. Such was the case on March 22, when KCNA quoted a Foreign Ministry

spokesman about the lessons from what it calls the U.S. attack on Libya: “It was fully exposed before the world that ‘Libya’s nuclear dismantlement’ much touted by the U.S. in the past turned out to be a mode of aggression ... . It proved once again the truth of history that peace can be preserved only when one builds up one’s own strength.” Libya’s nuclear dismantlement occurred in 2003 and 2004. Having witnessed the fate of Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gadhafi approached the United States and Britain with an offer to surrender his previously undisclosed program to create weapons of mass destruction in return for a normalization of relations. I thought that was a bad deal — good for Gadhafi and the oil companies, but offering nothing for the Libyan people. Insufficient as it was, the deal put Libya’s WMD program out of business and its components into American hands. As the New York Times reported last month, “the cache of nuclear technology that Libya turned over to the United States, Britain and international nuclear inspectors in early 2004 was large — far larger than American intelligence experts had expected.” The clear lesson Kim Jong Il draws from this is that he must never surrender his nuclear weapons. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran and Bashar Assad in Syria, who aspire to possess nuclear weapons and are facing rebellions against their regimes, will draw a related conclusion: Create a bomb as quickly as possible, before it’s too late. The lesson for the United States and its allies is equally clear. If Iran or Syria is allowed to sprint across the nuclear goal line, then reform movements in those countries will be dead, and no amount of diplomatic blandishments will be able to stop the humanitarian catastrophes.


he only person who has spoken with clarity about the endgame in Libya is the mother of Eman al-Obeidi. Obeidi is the brave Libyan law student who burst into a Tripoli hotel to tell Western journalists she’d been gang-raped by government goons; she was promptly dragged screaming out of the hotel by secret police. A government spokesman said she was a whore and would be charged with slander. Obeidi’s mother, interviewed by CNN in the eastern town of Tobruk, said of Moammar Gadhafi: “If I were to see his face before me, I’d strangle him. I’d like to drive to Tripoli and cut his head off.” Unfortunately, no one else involved in the current Libyan conflict has been that direct.

What’s going on? Enough hot air has been flowing over the airwaves about Libya to make a substantial contribution to global warming. Yet, Americans are rightly confused about the Libya story. Are we involved in another war, or a brief humanitarian intervention? Should we have gone in sooner, alone, with our allies, or not at all? Does the Libya move herald a new Obama military doctrine, or prove he can’t exercise power? Do we or don’t we want to get rid of Gadhafi? If so, how? President Obama’s Libya speech Monday night didn’t

clear up the confusion. Republican presidential hopefuls were even more befuddled in their critiques.

Step-by-step So let me take a shot at providing a reality check. The Libyan intervention (as Obama did clarify) was an exceptional act — a response to a unique humanitarian crisis. It does not mean we will intervene every time foreign civilians are at great risk. Obama tried to avoid getting sucked into the Libyan conflict, which is far less crucial to U.S. concerns than rebellions in Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria, and political developments in Egypt. But, unlike in those countries, a huge international news corps was present in Libya; it would have documented Gadhafi’s massacre of civilians in Benghazi as U.S. ships stood by. Obama was cornered into a move he knew would be bad policy. Had he waited for congressional authorization, Benghazi might have fallen.

Critics speak Some Republicans, like Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, insist Obama should have gone in sooner, and solo. “We look to America to be the leader of the world,” says Romney. And Sarah Palin says our military should “strike hard, hit hard, not allow Gadhafi to be left standing, and then get out.” Hmm. That’s just the way the Bush administration imagined its inva-

sion of Iraq. Unilateral U.S. intervention in Libya would have been a disaster, placing the onus for the outcome on America’s shoulders. It would have revived the Arab narrative of U.S. colonial intervention. Those who tout it fail to realize how America’s status in the Mideast has plummeted over the last decade.

Who believes us? The postwar chaos in Iraq under George W. Bush and the failure to godfather an Israeli-Palestinian peace after both Bush and Obama pledged to do so have left U.S. credibility in tatters. The Bush doctrine of top-down democracy promotion was discredited by its violent results in Iraq, and by the fact that Bush dropped it when the going got messy. After elections led to a Hamas takeover of Gaza, the Bush team dropped its support for democracy activists in Egypt. Moreover, American interests in Saudi oil, fighting terrorists, and curbing Iran will make it impossible to follow identical policies throughout the region. The administration is pushing for peaceful, democratic transitions in Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria, but if rulers fail to listen, we can’t go in with guns.

What’s next? But back to Libya. Clarity is most lacking over what to do in the future. Obama was correct to turn over the lead to a NATOArab coalition and to rule

out use of American ground troops. But can he align this limited military investment with his stated political aim of getting rid of Gadhafi? If the dictator stays, the NATO no-fly zone will have to continue indefinitely.

Prodding The administration hopes for an internal coup in Tripoli, provoked by sanctions, bomb strikes, and pressure on Gadhafi to accept exile. It might work; the Libyan foreign minister just defected to Britain. But if the dictator holds on, more will be needed. Will air strikes slack off now that NATO is taking over military command, enabling Gadhafi to defeat the rebels? Obama has authorized the CIA to aid the rebels (agents are already in the country), but he has made no decision on sending arms.

More questions Will the Brits, French, or Egyptians provide the heavy weapons and training the rebels desperately need, no matter how uncertain we are of the rebels’ makeup? Will we recognize a rebel government? These questions must be answered soon. A long-running stalemate in Libya is not an option — and not just because Eman al-Obeidi and other Libyans deserve justice. Obama needs to return his attention to managing fallout from other, far more crucial, rebellions in the Middle East.

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THE BLOTTER ASSAULT Orlando Guerra-Peña was arrested and charged with assault after deputies responded to a family violence call at 12:42 a.m. March 25 in the 1100 block of Fresno Street. The man was taken to the Zapata Regional Jail. Jessica Molina Essary was arrested and charged with assault around noon March 25 in the 1900 block of Miraflores Street. She was taken to the Zapata County Jail.

BURGLARY A burglary of a vehicle was reported at 1:21 p.m. Monday in the 1300 block of Villa Street.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION Jesse Sanchez was arrested and charged with public intoxication at approximately 5 a.m. March 25 in the vicinity of Seventh Street and Bravo Avenue. Deputies say Sanchez was staggering in the middle of the road. He was taken to the Zapata Regional Jail. Adan Peralez was arrested and charged with public intoxication around 9 p.m. March 25 in a convenience store parking lot in the 100 block of North U.S. 83. An incident report states Peralez was asking for

money or beer at the parking lot. He was taken to the Zapata Regional Jail. Daniel Juarez was arrested and charged with public intoxication at approximately 3:15 a.m. March 26 in the vicinity of 23rd Avenue and Fresno Street.

BP agents seize half-ton of pot SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Border Patrol agents assigned to the Zapata Border Patrol station seized nearly half a ton of marijuana earlier this week. Thursday, agents patrolling in San Ignacio

spotted several people in a boat traveling east. A little later, they noticed eight people walking from a hilltop. As agents approached the people and identified themselves as agents, the people ran back into Mexico.

As agents tracked the subjects, they discovered several bundles of marijuana leaning against a back wall of a house and found additional bundles in the bed of a black truck. A total of 80 bundles of

marijuana totaling 935.9 pounds with an estimated street value of $748,640 was seized. The illegal substance and the vehicle were turned over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

THEFT Deputies responded to a theft call at 10:19 p.m. March 25 in the 1300 block of Lincoln Street. The complainant told deputies that someone stole a potted plant from her yard. Deputies responded to a theft call at 3:58 p.m. March 27 in the 200 block of Goodwin Ranch Road. The complainant told deputies that someone stole a 2001 Dodge 2500. A man called deputies at 9 p.m. March 27 to report that he dropped approximately $200 at Super S Foods and someone else picked it up. Deputies responded to a theft call at 2:30 p.m. Monday at Zapata High School, off Texas 16. The complainant told deputies that someone stole an iPod from inside her purse. A woman reported at 7:44 a.m. Tuesday that someone stole her child’s jewelry at Zapata Middle School, 702 17th Avenue.

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Financial aid letters going out to TAMIU students SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

This week, financial aid award letters are going out to students pursuing higher education at state universities and colleges. Texas A&M International University financial aid officials say this year’s letters will not provide a full indication of possible awards, as state funding levels for some assistance programs have yet to be determined. This year’s awards letters reflect the uncertainty of the time. “The sad truth is that as the state is considering very deep cuts to state financial aid programs, our available funds could be reduced. Qualified students do themselves and their families best by applying

now for fall 2011 financial aid consideration,” explained Minita Ramírez, TAMIU dean of student success. “The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has said that the bills before the Legislature would reduce the state-aid programs by about 43 percent, or $467 million. These programs provided awards to 276,600 students during the 2010-2011 biennium. If the cuts were real, the funded programs would award less than half of the grants in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years,” Ramírez explained. She noted that one especially strong program, TEXAS Grant, currently funds students for fouryears.

Easter, Lenten songs on tap today SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Hear the songs of the season at the upcoming Texas A&M International University Chamber Singers and Laredo Community College Mixed Choir concert, “A Musical Journey Through Easter,” today at 3 p.m. in the TAMIU Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. “This program of varied choral music will take the

audience through the Lenten and Easter narratives, beginning with music associated with Ash Wednesday and ending in pieces which celebrate Christ’s resurrection,” explained Dana Crabtree, instructor of music and voice. “The combined choirs are honored to collaborate with several other ensembles and musicians for this concert,” added Crabtree. Program highlights include pieces such as Roger T. Petrich’s “Chorale Variations on ‘Ah, Holy Jesus.’”




Lean budget getting laborious scrutiny By APRIL CASTRO AND JAY ROOT ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUSTIN — The Texas House plodded through a marathon debate over staggering cuts to the state budget Friday, including the first reduction in overall public education funding in decades. The proposal is $23 billion less than the amount spent in state and federal funds in the existing twoyear budget. With almost 400 amendments to slog through, the debate on the 2012-2013 budget is expected to last well into the weekend before a vote is taken. The House plan underfunds Medicaid, which provides health care to the poor and disabled, by more than $4 billion. Some parents brought their severely disabled children in wheelchairs to line up outside the chamber before the debate began. “Why are you voting to hurt me?” read a placard sitting in the lap of 9-yearold Charles Miller, who was born with hydranencephaly, meaning most of his brain tissue is missing. His parents are fighting steep reductions in reimbursements for homebased health care. Public education, representing more than half the state budget outlays, faces historic cutbacks. The plan on the House floor Friday reduces full-day pre-kin-

Photo by Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman | AP

Republican State Representatives Van Taylor, left, and Jim Pitts discuss the state budget in the House Chamber at the Capitol in Austin, on March 15. The House plodded through a marathon debate over staggering cuts to the state budget Friday, including the first reduction in overall public education funding in decades. dergarten, teacher incentive pay, college financial aid and numerous education programs. Dan Casey, co-author of “The Basics of Texas Public School Finance,” said it’s the first time since the current school finance structure was put in place in 1949 that public schools would get less than called for under state funding laws from one budget to the next. Rep. Larry Taylor, leader of the House Republicans, said the proper com-

parison stretches back to the Great Depression. He said before the debate began Friday morning that the Legislature was on the verge of enacting the first reduction in public education funding since 1929.. “This is the hand that we’ve been dealt,” Taylor said. “If we don’t have the money, we don’t have the money.” Taylor said legislators “don’t have the luxury to pander to every constituency” and pointed to reforms that could soften the

Vigil against cuts held Friday By SOMMER INGRAM ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUSTIN — As state House members engage in a grueling debate over massive state budget cuts, Texans affected by the cuts are holding a daylong vigil and protest at the Capitol. Protesters said Friday they were dismayed that

lawmakers have allowed a floor vote for a budget they say hurts so many Texans. The House budget contains deep cuts to health care and historic cutbacks to education, prompting weeks of outrage and protests across the state. Protesters said lawmakers are poking holes in a revenue system that is al-

ready broken. They say the budget will create severe deficiencies in schools, leave the poor and disabled without adequate health care and create at-risk children. Instead of protecting the state’s Rainy Day Fund, protesters said lawmakers should be protecting Texans.

blow to school districts before the session ends in May. Rep. Jessica Farrar, leader of the House Democrats, said the GOP created the financial mess and has the supermajority to get Texas out of it. She said

the Legislature should take more money out of the reserve Rainy Day Fund and close tax loopholes to raise more money. “They have to stop the politics and begin to govern,” Farrar said. The proposal cuts Medi-

caid reimbursement rates by 10 percent. That’s on top of the 3 percent rate reduction state leaders requested this year. The federal-state Medicaid health care program serves 3.1 million Texans — mostly children, pregnant women and adults with disabilities. For nursing homes, the cuts could come closer to 33 percent because of recent changes in the federal-state funding formula. The state’s share has increased, but budget proposals are not paying for that increase. Experts say that could jeopardize 45,000 residents in the state’s 550 nursing homes that depend on Medicaid. In an assault on family planning services, Republicans redirected more than $50 million to other programs, including to services that encourage alternatives to abortion. “You’re moving it into a strategy that has nothing to do with prevention,” said Rep. Mike Villarreal, a Democrat from San Antonio. “It’s about counseling women who are already pregnant. Isn’t that counterproductive?”



Agenda en Breve

Promoción urgente

SÁBADO 2 DE ABRIL LAREDO — Softbol: Dustdevil de TAMIU recibe a St. Edward’s University a las 1 p.m. y 3 p.m. en el diamante universitario. Repiten encuentro el domingo 3 de abril a las 11 a.m. Costo: 5 dólares. LAREDO — Disfrute la tarde con los Intérpretes de Cámara de TAMIU en su Concierto Anual de Primavera, a las 3 p.m. en el Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall de TAMIU. Entrada gratuita. LAREDO — Laredo Little Theatre presenta “Real Women Have Curves” de Josefina Lopez, a las 3 p.m. y 8 p.m., en el 4802 Thomas Ave. Otras función el domingo 3 de abril a las 3 p.m. LAREDO — Disfrute a Encanto Español durante su evento annual hoy a las 7 p.m. en el teatro del Center for the Fine and Performing Arts de TAMIU. Costo: 15 dólares. Las ganancias se destinarán a becas estudiantiles. La recepción es de 7 p.m. a 8 p.m. LAREDO — Big Ugly Mexican presenta: Best of Both Worlds, hiphop & rock show, a partir de las 7 p.m. en Tio’s Sport Bar, 519 San Agustin. Se presentan: Bum&Bugz, La Mata, J Miguelo, Tono Flow, Laredo’s Finest, 2Y Music, Minority Movement, Drank and Ace N Nacy. Costo: 5 dólares. EL CENIZO — El Segundo Baile Anual del Pollo y la Cerveza es hoy a partir de las 7:30 p.m. en la calle Cecilia Lane, en beneficio del Departamento de Voluntarios Bomberos. La música estará a cargo de La Sabrosura de Fito Olivarez y Sonora Sol. Boletos a la venta por 10 dólares.



HOMERO VILLARREAL: Preocupa cierre de negocios en la frontera.


En los últimos dos años y medio han cerrado sus puertas, ó se han visto afectados económicamente, alrededor de 7,000 negocios, desde Tijuana hasta Matamoros. El representante de la Confederación de Cámaras de Comercio en la frontera norte, Homero Villarreal Cerda, dijo la FECANACO cuenta con 650,000 asociados a nivel nacional, pero que un 30 por ciento de los 100,000 en la frontera han mostrado problemas económicos. “Esperamos que el gobierno federal movilice la economía del país invirtiendo en infraestructura”, dijo Villarreal. “La promo-

ción turística es vital para comunidades fronterizas”. Aceptó que el esquema de inseguridad es la causa por la que el turista ha dejado de visitar las ciudades, sumado a las alertas que emite el Gobierno de EU. A inicios de la administración del Presidente Municipal de Nuevo Laredo, Benjamín Galván Gómez, negociantes dijeron tener confianza en los planes que contemplaban la promoción del Centro Histórico y la mejora del cuerpo policiaco. Un negociante dijo que

tras el homicidio del General Manuel Farfán Carreola, quien se desempeñaba como Secretario de Seguridad Pública, “todo se desmorono”. Agregó que ya no se han reactivado las juntas de trabajo, y los agentes policíacos no han cambiado su manera de trabajar. “Los policías continúan protegiendo a quienes venden droga, asaltan y roban autos”, aseguró el negociante, quien solicitó el anonimato. El Presidente de la Cámara Nacional de Comercio en Nuevo Laredo, Emilio Girón Fernández de Jáuregui, dijo que empresarios se han visto afectados económicamente pero que no han perdido la esperanza.

“Hacemos el esfuerzo y nos mantenemos optimistas para continuar con nuestros negocios”, dijo Girón. “No solo las noticias fatalistas afectan, también la moral de nuestros asociados”. En el marco del Día del Empresario, el 30 de marzo, Girón dijo que son acciones las que se hacen necesarias para motivar y buscar alternativas de servicio y atención. En el Centro Histórico de Nuevo Laredo han cerrado más de 250 negocios, de los cuales unos 130 estaban ubicados en el Mercado Maclovio Herrera. En el mercado operan alrededor de 30 negocios y espera que la economía se fortalezca y que los visitantes estadounidenses

regresen a la frontera. De una estadística del 2008 que reportaba existen 90 negocios expendedores de bebidas alcohólicas en el Centro Histórico, actualmente solo quedan 55, entre depósitos y discotecas que eran visitados por estadounidenses. El Presidente de la Asociación de Negociantes del Centro Histórico, Higinio Ibarra, dijo que aunque perduran los aspectos de inseguridad, una campaña de promoción adecuada, “sería de mucha utilidad. “Se requiere de mayor promoción (del gobierno) para motivar a visitantes viajar y divertirse en la frontera mexicana”, dijo él (Localice a Miguel Timoshenkov en el 728-2583 ó en



DOMINGO 3 DE ABRIL LAREDO — Concierto de Danza de Primavera de Laredo Community College a las 3 p.m. en el teatro Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Fine Arts Center en LCC, campus del Fort McIntosh. Costo: 5 dólares adultos y 3 dólares para adultos mayores. NUEVO LAREDO — Grupo de teatro Expresión presenta la obra reflexica “El Carpintero” de Benjamín Gómez Jiménez en el Teatro Lucio Blanco de la Casa de la Cultura a las 7 p.m. Evento gratuito. Otras presentaciones, mismo lugar y hora, el 10 y 17 de abril.

LUNES 4 DE ABRIL LAREDO — La colección de dibujos realistas y abstractos “Double Vision” de William H. Wisner se exhibe a partir de hoy a las 10:30 a.m. en la Biblioteca Yeary del Campus Fort McIntosh del Laredo Community College. Entrada gratuita.

MARTES 5 DE ABRIL LAREDO — Béisbol: Dustdevils de TAMIU reciben a Universidad de TexasBrownsville a las 2 p.m. Costo: 5 dólares.

Foto de cortesía | Gobierno de Nuevo Laredo

Alumnas de escuelas primarias de Nuevo Laredo participaron en el Concurso Estatal de Rondas Infantiles y Salto de Cuerda, el jueves.

Alumnas participan en rondas infantiles y salto de cuerda TIEMPO DE ZAPATA


UEVO LAREDO — Esta ciudad fronteriza fue sede del Concurso Estatal de Rondas Infantiles y Salto de Cuerda. Las categorías de la competencia fueron: rondas infantiles, salto de cuerda individual, de pareja y de conjunto. Durante el evento también se reconoció la labor de maestras decanas en este tipo de tradicionales competencias. Un total de 160 alumnas, representando a 12 escuelas primarias

Rondas infantiles, una de nuestras más bonitas tradiciones” PRESIDENTE MUNICIPAL DE NUEVO LAREDO, BENJAMÍN GALVÁN GÓMEZ

de los tres sectores de educación locales, mostraron su capacidad de coordinación, disciplina y coreografía. El Presidente Municipal Benjamín Galván Gómez hizo entrega de medallas y reconocimiento co-



Piden a ATF aclare tema de armas hacia México

JUEVES 7 DE ABRIL LAREDO — David y Cherie Gregg, embajadores de la risa del Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey estarán hoy a las 5 p.m. en la Biblioteca Pública de Laredo, 1120 E. Calton Rd. Ellos leerá y hablarán sobre lo que es el circo. Evento gratuito.


VIERNES 8 DE ABRIL LAREDO — Hoy es el evento de boxeo ‘Rumble on the Rio’ en Laredo Energy Arena a partir de las 8 p.m. Las peleas estelares son: Dyah Davis vs Marcus Johnson; Gabriel Bracero vs Danny O’Connor; y, Willie Nelson vs Vincent Arroyo. ShoBox: The New Generation. Evento con costo.

mo estímulo a los ganadores. “Sin duda son las rondas infantiles, una de nuestras más bonitas tradiciones”, dijo Galván. Participaron las escuelas: Luis Donaldo Colosio, Mauricio González de la Garza, Juana de As-

baje, Antonio Vélez Castro, Santos Guzmán Treviño, Heroico Colegio Militar, Enrique C. Rébsamen; Mariano Escobedo, Niño Artillero, Carmen U. de Rendón, Lázaro Cárdenas y Simón Bolívar. Las maestras decanas, María Echartea Barajas, María Luisa Ramírez Lugo, Rosario Ramírez Mujica, Evangelina Rueda Ramírez, Hermenegilda Rodríguez Silos, Carmen Rico Rodríguez, María Concepción Rodríguez González y Ofelia Zapata Vedía, recibieron un reconocimiento a su labor en la educación local.

Foto de cortesía | La del Miernes

El reloj de la Iglesia en Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, es visto en una toma desde el interior de la torre.

WASHINGTON — Un legislador republicano anunció el viernes que ordenó a la Oficina para el control de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de fuego y Explosivos (ATF, por sus siglas en inglés) entregar documentos relacionados a una supuesta operación para permitir el ingreso ilegal de armas a México. El representante Darrell Issa, presidente del comité de supervisión y reforma gubernamental de la cámara baja, dijo en un comunicado de prensa que las acusaciones contra este programa “son serias

y la capacidad del Departamento de Justicia para conducir una investigación imparcial está en duda. La supervisión legislativa es necesaria para aclarar la verdad de lo que está pasando”. Issa dijo que el director encargado de ATF Kenneth Melson no cumplió con entregar la información en el plazo del 30 de marzo que el legislador había estipulado en un pedido del 16 de marzo, por lo que envió una nueva comunicación directamente requiriendo los documentos. El procurador general Eric Holder pidió este mes a un alto funcionario del

Departamento de Justicia a evaluar los esfuerzos de agentes estadounidenses que persiguen a traficantes de armas en la frontera con México. Issa quiere información relativa al programa Project Gunrunner y su componente “Rápido y furioso”. “La falta de voluntad de este gobierno específicamente de ATF, para responder preguntas sobre este tema importante es muy preocupante”, dijo Issa. El Senado mexicano manifestó su rechazo a una supuesta operación para permitir el ingreso ilegal de armas a México.




COMING UP TAMIU offers family entertainment

Photos by Cuate Santos | The Zapata Times

Estela, Carmen, Ana, Rosali and Pancha are at their work stations during a rehearsal of “Real Women Have Curves.”

Laredo Little Theatre presents ‘Real Women Have Curves’ THE ZAPATA TIMES


hrough a special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Ill., the Laredo Little Theatre will present “Real Women Have Curves” this weekend at the theater. The comedy is written by Josefina Lopez, the most produced Latina playwright in the country, according to a news release. Directed in Laredo by Joe Cano, “Real Women Have Curves” is the story of five Hispanic women working in a sewing factory during the fall of 1987 in East L.A. It depicts challenges faced by those who simply want the freedom to live and work in this country but whose struggles are further augmented

because they are undocumented. As the story unfolds, the audience is able to see a bond that is made between the women, as they each offer glimpses of their personal lives and the struggles they go through to live in the United States. “I hope that someday this country recognizes the very important contribution of undocumented people and remembers that they too came to this country in search of a better life,” playwright Lopez said. Cano claims he was drawn to this play because of its message — hope and endurance. The characters in the play are “curvier” women, hence the title. However, as each actress

unfolds her character, the audience finds that the word “curvier” is used on a deeper level, rather than to merely judge physique. In the play, “curvier” refers to the woman’s hopes and endurance, as in “cuanto aguanta.” And as the characters begin to get comfortable in their skins, they learn to embrace their realities and find the strength to dream bigger and to take on strong challenges. The play is also an example of the old adage, “never judge a book by its cover,” because in many, if not all of us, there are abilities yet to unfold. Thus, we must not empower a simple lack of perception with the ability to blind us from seeing the gifts and talents of others.

“Real Women Have Curves” has an all-female cast consisting of Demi Esquivel — who is making her theatre debut — in the role of Ana; Edna A. Garcia, who was last seen in The Teatro Chicano Festival, in the role of Carmen; Michelle Hix, making her LLT stage debut, in the role of Estela; Christina Salinas in the role of Rosali; and Letitia Villarreal, also making her LLT stage debut, in the role of Pancha. Performances are set for Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door. For more information, call the Laredo Little Theatre at 723-1342.

Texas A&M International University invites you to several entertaining events this weekend. First, TAMIU Chamber Singers presents its annual Spring Concert on Saturday, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the TAMIU Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. Also on Saturday, the university’s Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium will showcase “Extreme Planets” at 5 p.m.; “IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System” at 6 p.m.; and Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” at 7 p.m. General admission to the planetarium shows is $5 and $4 for children and TAMIU students, faculty, staff and alumni. Rounding out Saturday’s events at TAMIU will be the annual Encanto Español performance at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Theatre. Admission is $15 per person. The reception will feature wine and tapas and is from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., and will be followed by performances by TAMIU flamenco students.

Buffalo Wing Festival next Saturday Who doesn’t love Buffalo wings? Those spicy mini chicken legs and wings with ranch on the side… Women of Destiny Minis-

tries, a non-profit organization that provides social services to women, is hosting the Tejano-Country Buffalo Wing Festival at the Casa Blanca Ballroom Grounds, off U.S. 59. Set for Saturday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., the wing festival will feature live music, exhibits, a kids’ zone, a DJ competition, a wing cook-off contest and a wing-eating contest. Admission to the event is $3 and free for kids 12 and under. —Emilio Rábago III



Ernesto ‘Tio’ Arredondo SAN YGNACIO — Ernesto “Tio” Arredondo, 94, born July 4, 1916, passed away Saturday, March 26, 2011, at Laredo Specialty Center. Mr. Arredondo is preceded in death by his first wife, Irma Arredondo; a grandchild; parents: Manuel Arredondo and Felicidad G. Arredondo; brothers: Andres (Eusebia) Arredondo, Osvaldo Arredondo and Ramiro (Graciela) Arredondo; sister Elvira (Felipe) Vergara; and a brother-inlaw, Gregorio Garza. Mr. Arredondo is survived by his wife, Maria Arredondo; daughter, Emma Arredondo (Carlos) Casares; grandchildren: Carlos Jr., Daniel and Claudia; sister, Aurora A. Garza; and numerous great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law, Rosario Arredondo from San Ygnacio. Visitation hours were held Monday, March 28,


2011, from 8 to 9:45 a.m. with a 10:30 a.m. funeral Mass at Our Lady of Refuge Mission in San Ygnacio. Committal services followed at Panteon Del Pueblo in San Ygnacio, including full military honors by the American Legion Post 486 Color Guard. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Rose Garden Funeral Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 Highway 83, Zapata.

EDUCATION Continued from Page 1A terested in offering vocational training courses.” Approved for the summer course catalog, TAMIU announced it will offer introductory economics, sociology and a constitutional law course at the center. LCC on Thursday announced it could offer psychology, government, history, sociology and possibly English courses. Remediation courses for students who have graduated from high school, but need remediation classes in English, reading and math, will also be offered by LCC. The courses, which have not been scheduled, are contingent on LCC and TAMIU hiring parttime, adjunct professors, said Brown. Registration at the respective schools two to three weeks in advance of entering the classroom is a requirement. “They’ll (the students) will be taking courses here in Zapata,” said Brown. “They won’t have to do that horribly long drive and have to put up

Ex-judge pleads to bribery

with the price of gas. It will make it a lot easier.” The approximately 22,000 square foot center is scheduled to stand up to code for its May target date. The center is also working to increase Internet connectivity, and is set to be fully wired by August, Brown said. As distance-learning equipment is installed, students will be able to participate in classes taught in Dallas, Laredo or Austin in real time. “It’s similar to teleconferencing, but the students would be able to interact,” said Brown. “The students will interact, they will be able to write on chalkboards and communicate, ask questions, raise their hands and participate in a class.” Future plans, according to Brown, include offering classes taught by the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio by the center’s fall semester. (Denise Blaz may be reached at 728-2547 or

SAN ANTONIO — A former state district judge who ran a busy South Texas courtroom has pleaded guilty to charges of taking more than $250,000 in bribes from attorneys in exchange for favors from the bench, including dismissing charges and easing probation terms. Abel C. Limas, who ran the 404th District Court in Brownsville from 2001 to 2008, was arrested Thursday and pleaded guilty hours later in federal court. The 57-year-old, who is also a former Brownsville police officer, is scheduled to be sentenced in July. A 17-page indictment alleges Limas accepted money from at least four unnamed attorneys. Two of them allegedly paid Limas $235,000 alone for favorable consideration in civil cases, though the indictment does not go into specific detail. U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Angela Dodge said Friday she could not provide any details about the case. Limas

A 17-page indictment alleges Limas accepted money from at least four unnamed attorneys. declined comment after making his plea, and his attorney, Chip Lewis of Houston, did not return a phone message Friday. Limas was freed on a $50,000 bond. From his Brownsville courtroom, Limas handled everything from capital murder cases to civil cases and divorce proceedings. Attorneys who argued cases before Limas greeted the news with disappointment but not surprise, saying rumors dogged the former judge for the past year. Limas resumed a law practice after losing his reelection bid in 2008. He states on his website that he presided over more than 160 jury trials. “In addition, as a former judge, I can quickly and precisely determine if a court is acting within the boundaries of justice, allowing you to feel confident that justice will be served,” the website reads. It was unclear what af-

fect Limas’ guilty plea might have on closed cases he oversaw. Legal experts called the situation rare but did not believe that Limas admitting to accepting money in some cases was necessarily grounds for appealing other decisions. Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos said in a statement that, generally speaking, the judicial system is not set up to protect the state’s right to re-prosecute. Villalobos also said his office has been given no information about which criminal cases were the subject of Limas’ guilty plea. Brownsville attorney Arnold Aguilar, who had several cases before Limas, said the indictment didn’t cause him to second-guess the outcomes. “After I heard about the indictment came down, I didn’t think, ‘Oh dear, all my cases must have been badly decided,’” Aguilar

said. “For the most part the judge is just a referee. He doesn’t control most of the actions.” The state Commission on Judicial Conduct never publicly disciplined Limas. Seana Willing, the agency’s executive director, said she could not disclose whether Limas was ever the focus of an investigation. Limas initially pleaded not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Felix Recio. He later appeared before U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen and pleaded guilty in a plea agreement. The indictment charges Limas with using his court to “generate income ... through bribery, extortion, favoritism, improper influence, personal self-enrichment, self-dealing, concealment and conflict of interest.” It goes on to list eight separate alleged episodes of racketeering. The sentence for racketeering ranges from 10 years to life.


Photo by Nasser Nasser | AP

A Libyan rebel shells pro Gadhafi forces with mortar fire, along the front line outside the eastern town of Brega, Libya, on Thursday. Libya conceded Thursday that Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa had resigned but claimed that it was a personal decision driven by health problems, not a sign that the embattled regime is cracking at the highest levels.

2 convicted of kidnapping slain US drug trafficker By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA ASSOCIATED PRESS

EL PASO — A Texas jury on Friday found two men guilty of kidnapping an American drug trafficker who was found slain in Mexico with his hands chopped off in 2009. The West Texas Federal Court jury found Cesar Obregon-Reyes and Rafael Vega guilty of abducting Sergio Saucedo

from his home on Sept. 3, 2009. Prosecutors say they kidnapped Saucedo under orders of a Mexican drug cartel. Saucedo’s body was found on an unpaved street in Juarez, across the border from El Paso. The two defendants also were convicted of three other counts including conspiracy to kidnap and kill in a foreign country, and interstate and foreign travel in aid of racketeering.

Omar Obregon-Ortiz, the third man indicted for the crime — also known as Taylor and who at the time of his arrest gave an incriminatory testimony against the two defendants — pleaded guilty last Friday and will be sentenced separately. “We are going to appeal, I think we have pretty good chance there,” Vega’s attorney, Robert J. Perez, told The Associated Press. After five hours of deliberation, jurors decided on a verdict that could mean life

in prison for both men. They will be sentenced in July. Friends and relatives of Vega and Obregon-Reyes were present Friday and wept as they listened to the jury’s verdict. “Before this, I wanted to become a prosecutor. I wanted to work with the system. Now I’ll become a defense attorney to defend innocent people like my cousin,” Vega’s cousin, Maria Biddlestone, said outside the court building.



HATCHET Continued from Page 1A extracurricular activities and supplies and curtailing substitute teacher use also are expected to save money, according to Garcia. “We’ve already explained to teachers this is a step that needed to be taken because it’s still unknown; I may not be able to bring everyone back,” she said. “If I don’t meet that deadline, I’m going to have to give contracts to everybody. That’s impossible for us because we don’t know.” Even though nothing is concrete, Garcia said she and her administrators are listening to their consultants while they wait for fi-

Photo by Cuate Santos | The Zapata Times

Visiting Judge Robert “Bert” Richardson, left, listens as Isidro “Chilo” Alaniz, second from left with back to camera, announced Monday morning that his office will not seek the death penalty in the case of Gabriel Alvarez Briones, standing in orange suit. Alvarez Briones is accused of killing his infant cousin. One of the defense attorneys for Alvarez Briones, Eddie Peña, third from left, and his father, Oscar Peña, were on hand for the hearing.

TRIAL Difficult decision The decision to take the death penalty off the table came after a thorough analysis, Alaniz said. “Seeking the death penalty is a very difficult decision, a very careful decision that a (district attorney) has to make,” Alaniz said. “We felt that at the end of our analysis this case is not a death penalty case. We will be seeking the highest possible punishment.” Alvarez Briones’ clean criminal history record, the circumstances surrounding the event and “the gravity and the heinousness of the offense” were all factors considered in his final decision, Alaniz said. “This is a horrific crime where a baby’s life was taken,” Alaniz said. “We believe this deserves the highest level of punishment, but not death.” While costs associated with prosecuting a death penalty case can be significant — estimates range from $500,000 to $1 million — Alaniz said that wasn’t a factor in his decision.

Continued from Page 1A

In March, Jose Eduardo Peña, also an attorney for Alvarez Briones, told Laredo Morning Times that assistance from the Mexican Consulate has been extended to him to help advocate for Mexico’s resistance to the death penalty.

Child’s death According to prosecutors, Carlos Eduardo Gonzalez died while in the care of Alvarez Briones, who was babysitting the child at the time. Officials said the child was Alvarez Briones’ second cousin. Paramedics responded to a 911 call at 601 Ramireño Ave. on March 28, 2010, and later airlifted Gonzalez to Methodist Children’s Hospital in San Antonio, where the child was pronounced dead. First responders who attended Gonzalez indicated that he had his eyes closed and was moaning, according to officials. Reports state that the mother of the child said the baby seemed to be OK when she returned home

from work, but later she became aware that the child was “very unresponsive” while changing his diaper. A day after the baby’s death, Alvarez Briones was arrested at his residence when Webb County Medical Examiner Corinne Stern ruled the child’s death a homicide. According to Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, Alvarez Briones admitted to hitting the baby after he became frustrated with the infant’s crying.Gonzalez died of multiple fractures sustained to his head, said Sheriff Gonzalez, who is no relation to the victim. He added that Alvarez Briones, a native of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, was living and working in Zapata County when the death occurred. Alvarez Briones remains in custody under a $1 million cash bond, and he is being held in isolation from the general population at the Zapata Regional Jail for his own safety. (Denise Blaz may be reached at 728-2547 or

nal numbers. Their consultants say it’s safe to say the district has to find ways to cut $5 million to $6 million from its current $44 million budget. Looking at the district’s utility bills and shutting down buildings that are not in use are being studied to save money. According to Garcia, an informal survey among the district’s teachers has already yielded about five to six people interested in taking up an offer of paying 15 percent of their salary, or up to $10,000, to resign. Garcia said the offer has not officially been put on

the table but will be an agenda item at a school board meeting in the near future. “I am prepared to say this confidently: Some of the cuts are going to be due to overstaffing,” Garcia said. “This is a contingency plan; we weren’t expecting it. But we do have some overstaffing. So that means if you’re overstaffed, you still have enough staff to comfortably address the needs of the kids. That is going to be my first priority.” (Denise Blaz may be reached at 728-2547 or

Advertisement and Invitation for Bids COUNTY OF ZAPATA Lift Stations Improvement Project The Project consists of vacuuming and pressure washing 23 lift stations with depths varying from 12' to 40'. Repair one existing manhole with new ring and cover and concrete apron for structural stability. The County of Zapata will receive bids for Lift Stations Improvement Project until 3:00 PM (Central Time) on April 8,2011 at 200 East 7th Avenue, Zapata, Texas 78076. The bids will be publicly opened and read aloud at 200 East 7th Avenue, Zapata County Court House, County Judge's Office, Zapata, Texas. Bid / Contract Documents, including Drawings and Technical Specifications are on file at the offices of PREMIER Civil Engineering, LLC 1505 Calle Del Norte Suite 220, Laredo, Texas 78041, Tel: (956) 717-1199 Fax: (956) 717-1196. Copies of the Bid/Contract Documents may be obtained by depositing $100.00 with PREMIER Civil Engineering, LLC for each set of documents obtained. Half of the deposit will be refunded if the documents and drawings are returned in good condition within ten (10) days following the bid opening. The County of Zapata reserves the right to reject any or all bids or to waive any informality in the bidding process. Only bids and bid guaranties actually in the hands of the designated official at the time set in this Notice to bidders shall be considered. It shall be the responsibility of the contractor to insure the bid is received. Bids may be held by the County of Zapata for a period not to exceed 45 days from the date of the bid opening for the purpose of reviewing the bids and investigating the bidder's qualifications prior to the contract award. Zapata County is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer; small, minority and female owned firms are encouraged to submit bid proposals for this project. For more information contact Premier Civil Engineering at 956-717-1199. NOTICE March 26, 2011 • NOTICE April 2, 2011



Sports&Outdoors FINAL FOUR



Photo by Matt Rourke | AP

The Houston Astros’ Brandon Lyon goes into the dugout after giving up the game-winning RBI single to Philadelphia Phillies’ John Mayberry Jr. in the ninth inning Friday, in Philadelphia, Pa.. The Phillies won 5-4.

Photo by LM Otero | AP

Texas A&M’s Danielle Adams, left, and Sydney Colson celebrate after Texas A&M defeated Georgia 79-38 in an NCAA women’s basketball tournament regional semifinal Sunday in Dallas.

A&M squad filled with offensive threats

Tough start


COLLEGE STATION — On the day Danielle Adams became Texas A&M’s first first-team All-American, she didn’t score in the first 20 minutes of the team’s regional final against Baylor. It didn’t matter. Sydney Carter scored 15 first-half points to lead the Aggies to a 32-21 lead at the break and A&M went on to a 58-46 win over the Lady Bears. It was a game highlighting the many offensive weapons the Aggies have. Adams averages 22.3 points a game to lead the team and was the

They’ll need to keep it up against a Stanford team that is scoring almost 80 points a game and has three players averaging more than 12 points a game.

Astros lose in ninth inning of opener By ROB MAADDI ASSOCIATED PRESS

top scorer in the Big 12 in the regular season. But five other players have been the high scorer at least once each this season. “I think that’s what makes us really effective is that people don’t really know who to guard out there,” Carter said. “So it puts a question mark out like: ’Who do we need to put empha-

sis on? I think everybody needs to play us honest and be like: ’That person is a legitimate scorer and so is she,’ so it makes it hard for them.” The Aggies face Stanford on Sunday in Texas A&M’s first trip to the Final Four.



AP names best player, coach

PHILADELPHIA — Brett Myers nearly stuck it to his old team on opening day. Myers outdueled Roy Halladay and turned a two-run lead over to the bullpen, only to see the Philadelphia Phillies rally for three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday to beat the Houston Astros 5-4. John Mayberry Jr. lined an RBI single off closer Brandon Lyon that capped that comeback and spoiled Myers’ outing. “They’re a good team. That’s how it goes some-

times,” Myers said. Trailing 4-2 to start the ninth, the Phillies got going when Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard started with singles off Lyon (0-1). After Raul Ibanez popped up, Rollins stole third and Ben Francisco lined an RBI single. Carlos Ruiz followed with a single and Wilson Valdez hit a tying single that kept the bases loaded with one out. Mayberry then sent a shot over drawn-in center fielder Michael Bourn, kicking off a celebration after he touched first base. He then



HOUSTON — Jimmer Fredette became a onename star in his senior season at BYU. Leading the country in scoring helped as did being on a team that spent the second half of the season ranked in the top 10. On Friday, Fredette — excuse me; Jimmer — was selected The Associated Press’ player of the year. “It’s been quite a ride and it’s been a lot of fun and I wouldn’t take anything back,” Fredette said. “I had quite the career at BYU. There were a lot of ups and downs, but there were a lot more ups this year.” The Cougars won the Mountain West Conference regular-season title and lost to San Diego State in the tournament final. A No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, they lost to Florida in overtime in the round of 16 and finished with a 32-5 record. “I just knew right from the beginning we could have a very good year with the guys returning, and it was one of the most talented teams I’ve ever played on,” said Fredette, who averaged 28.5 points. “Then we started to play well and beat Arizona, and I knew from there we could be a force. That’s what happened because we stayed hungry all year, and that’s what separated us from other teams.”


Photo by LM Otero | AP

Texas head coach Mack Brown yells from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA football game against Texas Tech in Lubbock on Sept. 18.

Notre Dame’s Mike Brey was selected the coach of the year as he led the Fighting Irish to a secondplace finish in the Big East and a No. 5 ranking in the final poll. “The personality of this group was so stable whether it was a big win or a

loss, they stayed stable,” said Brey, who has been at Notre Dame for 11 seasons. “When they had great wins it didn’t change them. When they had a tough loss it didn’t change them. Stable is the word.” Fredette received 48 votes from the 65-member

national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. The voting was done before the NCAA tournament. Kemba Walker of Connecticut was second with 11 votes. Nolan Smith of Duke had five and Jared


Spring game to display change By JIM VERTUNO ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUSTIN — Texas coach Mack Brown knows Longhorns fans are excited to see what his new staff

brings to a program trying to rebound from a 5-7 season. He is too. But he’s also realistic. The Longhorns hold





NCAA’S BEST Continued from Page 1B Sullinger of Ohio State one. “To see Jimmer progress and become a leader of his team, that will be his basketball legacy,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. “He is driven not just to be the best player he can, but it was how he helped his teammates to win. He always found a way. That’s what I’ll remember most.” Fredette is the first BYU player to win the award and the first from the Mountain West since Andrew Bogut of Utah in 2005. Next up for the 6-foot-3 Fredette is the NBA draft. “I just feel like as long as I can get into the right sit-

uation I can be successful, but it’s all about the situation,” he said. “Hopefully when I get in that situation I’ll prove that I can play and earn the respect of my teammates, coaches and general manager, everybody involved, and hopefully play well for them.” Brey led the Fighting Irish to a 27-7 record, their second-most wins in a season. Their 14-4 mark in the Big East tied their record for conference victories. Notre Dame was a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, losing to Florida State in the third round. Brey drew 28 votes, 14 more than runner-up Steve Fisher of San Diego State.

Brey is the first Notre Dame coach to win the award, and he is the second straight Big East coach to get it following Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim last year. Winning an early season tournament in Orlando, Fla., let Brey know he had the makings of a good team. “I made sure we cut the nets down in Orlando and the Disney people said ’We don’t do that.’ I said ’You do this year. Get a ladder.’ As an independent for so long we didn’t have a lot of chances to cut the nets down. For the big picture and this year. That was a huge confidence boost.”

AGS Continued from Page 1B Photo by Dave Einsel | AP

Anthony Kim hits out of a bunker on the 15th hole during the second round of the Houston Open PGA Tour golf tournament, Friday, in Humble.

Walker ties course record in Houston By CHRIS DUNCAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

HUMBLE — Jimmy Walker followed Anthony Kim’s unorthodox strategy on the first day of the Houston Open. Walker overcame erratic tee shots with smooth putting to tie the course record with a 9-under 63 on Thursday and take a two-shot lead over Josh Teater and Nick O’Hern. Last year, Kim won the tournament, despite hitting only 23 of 56 fairways across four rounds. But Kim tied for second in putts per round (27.75) and averaged nearly five birdies per round. Walker hit only 5 of 14 fairways, ranking 136th out of the 142 players who started on a warm, placid day at Redstone. He still matched the scoring record set by Johnson Wagner and Adam Scott in the first round of the 2008 tournament. Wagner went on to win that year. “I’m not going to say like, ’Oh, every time I hit the green, this one is going in,”’ Walker said. “I just kept stroking it. I felt like I kind of got back to feeling that stroke that I was using earlier in the year, when I was putting so good and playing so good.” Walker started on the back nine and quickly realized that he had the touch, sinking 17-foot birdie putts on Nos. 14 and 16. He holed two 15-footers on Nos. 4 and 6 to reach 8-under par, then knocked in an 8-footer on the par-5 8th. The San Antonio resident changed putters at the start of the season, and he’s made six cuts in eight starts and already has three top-10 finishes this year. His round Thursday matched the lowest of his career. “When you putt well,” Walker said, “it cures a lot of ills, for sure.”

A total of 32 players broke 70 and 87 players shot even-par (72) or better. Chris Kirk was three back after a 66, and Steve Stricker, John Rollins, Nathan Green and Brendan Steele shot 67s and were four behind. Like Walker, Teater and Rollins also need victories to earn invitations to Augusta next week. And as long as they’re in town, they’re both hoping to see their favorite college basketball teams take home a trophy, too. Teater is a die-hard Kentucky fan and Rollins is the only VCU graduate on the PGA Tour. Both have tickets to Saturday’s Final Four games — Butler-VCU and Connecticut-Kentucky — at Reliant Stadium, about 25 miles from the course. Both have considered the tough decision they may have to make on Monday — fly to Augusta to get ready for the Masters or stay in Houston an extra day to see their team play for a national championship. “I don’t want to cross a bridge that I haven’t gotten to,” Teater said. “If it comes to that, I’ll probably stay for the game. But Monday night, it would be nice to be there, celebrating with everybody else.” Rollins’ connection to VCU is more personal. The Richmond native is a longtime friend of Athletic Director Norwood Teague and has built a friendship with Rams coach Shaka Smart, who’s played in Rollins’ charity golf event the past two years. Rollins has missed three cuts in his past five starts, and says he’s drawing inspiration from VCU’s surprising run. “This could be exactly

what I needed for my golf game,” Rollins said. “This could be something that I need to kind of get a little bit of a spark under me to get me going and just kind of maybe wake me up or whatever.” Calm conditions yielded low scores at Redstone on Thursday. A total of 32 players broke 70 and 87 players shot even-par (72) or better. Tournament organizers lured many top players by grooming the course to simulate conditions at Augusta — light rough, shaved mounds, fast greens and fairways mowed toward the tee. And most of the big names scored well, as they fine-tune their games for next week. Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington were in the large pack of players at 4 under, Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen were at 2 under and former Masters champions Angel Cabrera and Fred Couples were 1 under. Mickelson was 3 over after seven holes, then appeared to crack his driver hitting his tee shot on the par-5 8th. But Mickelson said the club was only marked, not damaged, and he hit it well the rest of the day. He made six birdies the rest of the way to match his third-lowest round in four starts at the Tournament Course at Redstone. “The course has got to be the best manicured course I think we play on tour, outside of maybe Augusta,” Mickelson said. “The greens, they’re just pristine. If you get the ball tracking on the right line, you know it’s in.”

Tyra White is scoring 13.6 points a game and Carter averages 10.5. Sydney Colson and Adaora Elonu round out the starting lineup and average 8.5 and 8 points, respectively. Coach Gary Blair believes everyone will need to step up when the Aggies face Stanford in the Final Four on Sunday. “The best player at the Final Four is Maya Moore since (Brittney) Griner didn’t make it,” Blair said. “You’d have to say (Connecticut’s) always the favorite until someone knocks them off, but I think Stanford might have the best overall team that’s there. You’re looking at a team that’s been to four straight Final Fours. They’ve knocked on the door, but they haven’t figured out how to win it like they did in the ’90s.” Adams finished with a season-low six points against Baylor. She wasn’t upset about the low-scoring

effort because the Aggies still found a way to win. “Carter stepped up and hit shots,” Adams said. “We were satisfied with that. We were happy with that. We just gave an allaround team effort.” The Aggies have had three players score in double figures in each of their four tournament wins. They beat McNeese State, Rutgers and Georgia before the victory over Baylor to get to their first Final Four. Carter likes the unselfishness of Adams and the vision she had against the Lady Bears. “If Danielle doesn’t have a 30-point game people like me or Tyra can step up,” Carter said. “I think she makes our job a little bit easier seeing that if she knows she’s not having a great night she’ll pass the ball to us.” Another factor in Texas A&M surviving in the tournament without a big offensive game from Adams was

its defense. They have held each of their four tournament opponents to under 50 points. They are just the second team in tournament history, joining LSU in 2005, to achieve that feat. The Aggies defense is led by longtime assistant coach Vic Schaefer, who Blair calls his defensive coordinator. Colson and the rest of the Texas A&M squad rave about the work he has done in making the Aggies one of the toughest defensive teams in the country. They’ll need to keep it up against a Stanford team that is scoring almost 80 points a game and has three players averaging more than 12 points a game. “They’ve lost three straight years in the Final Four, so hopefully we can turn it into four in a row,” Blair said. “But we will not even think about the other two (teams) because we are concentrating on who I believe is the best.”

LONGHORNS Continued from Page 1B their annual spring scrimmage on Sunday, giving Texas fans and anyone else curious enough to turn on ESPN, a chance to see the first steps in Brown’s rebuilding project. “I want to see them being aggressive, be mentally tough, give 100 percent effort, and I do want to see them having fun. We didn’t have any fun last year,” Brown said Friday. “(But) everybody should understand we are a work in progress. We’re not considered a great team right now. We’re a team that has question marks. There’s some anxiety but there’s a whole lot of enthusiasm and excitement.” Texas didn’t play in a bowl game last season for the first time in 13 years, prompting wholesale staff changes as several assistants retired, resigned or got jobs elsewhere. Brown kept spring practice closed to fans and the media to allow five new assistants, including co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin (Boise State) and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz (Mississippi State), to work with as few distractions as possible. While fans will be watching to see if quarter-

There’s been too many changes, too much learning to do in a short time frame, to expect that so soon. back Garrett Gilbert has taken steps to shake off last season’s 17 interceptions, or how the depleted secondary will look, Brown isn’t looking for sparkling individual performances. There’s been too many changes, too much learning to do in a short time frame, to expect that so soon. Brown also cautioned that just because all four quarterbacks will likely take snaps with the first and second teams, it doesn’t mean Gilbert has lost his job as the starter. Brow said he purposely avoided having a depth chart during the spring. “There is no message to the players,” Brown said. “We’ve asked every player that was here last year to start over. The entire team and our staff are under the microscope.” The Longhorns will scrimmage for about 90 minutes but won’t run more than base offenses

and defenses. With so many new assistants, ideas and schemes, Brown wants to keep opponents guessing about game plans until the fall. Any opposing coach who wants to watch can do it from his living room couch. “Everybody’s going to have the video,” Brown said. “We don’t need a full scouting report so people can look at it all summer. We’d rather not give them a six-month game plan.” Brown wants the atmosphere around the scrimmage to feel as much like a real game as possible. He’s encouraged a big fan turnout and the players will go through a normal gameday routine with pregame meals and warmups. The Longhorns are also bringing in recruits to watch. “I think it will be a lot of fun,” Brown said. “We want fans to see the new enthusiasm and toughness the guys have shown through the spring.”

ASTROS Continued from Page 1B got a shaving cream pie in the face during a postgame interview. “I felt real good. I just didn’t make the pitches I needed to make,” said Lyon, who was 20 for 22 in save chances last year. “I’ll just learn from this.” Ryan Madson (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless inning in relief. Myers, the Phillies’ opening-day starter from 2007-09, allowed two runs — one earned — and three hits in seven innings. Sporting a long, bushy goatee, Myers threw just 85 pitches, partly because he didn’t have any strikeouts. The Phillies didn’t even swing and miss against him until the sev-

enth, but they didn’t hit the ball too hard despite making plenty of contact — until the ninth. “I didn’t pay attention to the pitch count,” Myers said. “I could have gone to 120 if I had to.” Halladay, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, allowed one run and five hits, striking out six in six innings. Myers had two of those hits. Halladay didn’t get much support from an offense that’s missing No. 3 hitter Chase Utley (injured) and former No. 5 hitter Jayson Werth (signed a $126 million deal with Washington). Myers had something to do with that. He picked up where he left off last year. A

former first-round pick by the Phillies, Myers was 14-8 with a 3.14 ERA in his first season with the Astros, and pitched at least six innings in 32 of his 33 starts. “I can’t say enough about how he pitched,” Astros manager Brad Mills said. The four-time NL East champion Phillies became instant favorites to win their second World Series title in four years after signing Cliff Lee in December. But injuries took a toll in the spring and they entered the season without Utley, their five-time All-Star second baseman, and closer Brad Lidge. They’re going to need more production from a

lineup that features two former MVPs and five former All-Stars to avoid having dramatic finishes. Valdez, filling in Utley, and Francisco, taking Werth’s place for now, delivered key hits in the ninth. The Astros broke through against Halladay in the sixth. Angel Sanchez led off with an infield single on a slow grounder that rolled under second baseman Valdez’s glove. Hunter Pence followed with a double off the fence in right-center. Sanchez scored on Bill Hall’s one-out groundout to give Houston a 1-0 lead. Halladay departed after that inning and the Astros tacked on three more runs

in the seventh. Brett Wallace singled off reliever J.C. Romero, and reliever David Herndon allowed a single to Humberto Quintero. After Myers sacrificed, Bourn hit a triple to right-center for a 3-0 lead. Sanchez followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0. The Phillies cut the deficit in half in the bottom half. Placido Polanco walked, Rollins singled and they advanced on Quintero’s passed ball. A sacrifice fly by Howard and RBI groundout by Ibanez got the Phillies within 4-2. Halladay struck out five of the first eight batters he faced and didn’t allow a runner until Myers punched a single to center

in the third. Myers’ hit surprised even his teammates, who chuckled in the dugout. Myers got another one his next time up, too. With two outs in the fifth, Quintero reached second when right fielder Francisco dropped his liner for an error. Myers then lined a single to right, but Quintero held up. Halladay escaped the jam by retiring Bourn on a fly to deep right. Halladay won 21 games in his first season with the Phillies, including a perfect game. He then tossed a no-hitter in his first career postseason start. A crowd of 45,237 was the 124th consecutive regularseason sellout at Citizens Bank Park.



HINTS BY | HELOISE Dear Heloise: Thank you for your column! I’m hoping you may have some information to help me. I am almost 70 years old and have been alone 15 years. I love cats, dogs, birds — something for company! My dilemma? I would feel it immoral to NOT BE ABLE TOPAY for vet bills should I get a pet and have them. Is there any provision for those who need help financially for an ill or injured pet? I have no car any longer, and I long for a pet to give a lot of love to. — Annette in Oregon Annette, we can help you find a pet to love! Get to know a vet or ask for suggestions from friends. Tell the vet of your general financial situation, and should surgery or something serious arise, the vet might be able to find an organization to help you, or might work on a payment plan. However, think about a pet that DOESN’T NEED as much vet care or usually have “big” medical emergencies like cats or dogs. A parakeet, small bird or even a goldfish could fill the void. It would provide a bit of companionship — birds sing and some talk, while fish swim back and forth, are calming to watch, and some do have personalities! If you go the dog or cat route, check with your food bank as well. Many now offer food for pets. — Heloise RETIREMENT DONA-


TION Dear Heloise: I recently retired, and my staff made a donation to Southeastern Guide Dogs, Palmetto, Fla., in my honor. I had toured the facility and seen the wonderful work done to give the blind independence through a silent partner! It quickly became my charity of choice. My staff’s thoughtful generosity meant more than any other gift possibly could. — Bonnie in The Villages, Fla. FISH FOOD Dear Heloise: The personal weeklong medicine boxes are wonderful for things other than medicine. I think these pill containers would work well for fish food. The small divisions from Sunday to Saturday would hold a small amount of food for fish or other animals, like turtles. My sister also uses larger ones for medicines for her dogs. Love your advice. — Betty Harris, Goffstown, N.H. WORM SAVER Dear Heloise: Each morning after it rains, I take an old cup with me and pick up the worms in the driveway as I walk up to get the newspapers. I deposit these worms in large pots or planters. I recycle worms! — Carolyn in Auburn, Calif.

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Final Four



Dirty coaches, big stage By EDDIE PELLS ASSOCIATED PRESS

HOUSTON — Nobody will dispute that they are great coaches, and the latest evidence lies in the teams they guided to this year’s Final Four. Nobody will argue that John Calipari and Jim Calhoun are saints, either. The men on the sidelines for the KentuckyConnecticut Final Four matchup have had their share of trouble — with each other, the programs they run and the NCAA. They are a microcosm of everything that’s right and wrong in college basketball — a coach-driven game where good leaders can elevate programs and players to new levels but the road to success often produces its fair share of cringeworthy dealing. Calipari leads the fourth-seeded Wildcats (29-8) against Calhoun and the third-seeded Huskies (30-9) in the second semifinal Saturday. Both coaches coaxed a turnaround out of their young, struggling teams to make unexpected trips to the game’s biggest stage — the third for Calipari and fourth for Calhoun. On the eve of the game, their histories were as lively a topic as the success of their teams. One of the first questions Calipari fielded Friday was whether he is the 2000’s version of former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, a coach who did a lot of winning in his day but did it with his phone number firmly entrenched on the NCAA’s speed dial. The question slid off the Wildcats coach as smoothly as good Kentucky bourbon. “I respect everything that Jerry did — his kids, how they played, all those things,” Calipari said. “But, no, I think I’m the 2011 John Calipari. I don’t know what that means, and I hate to talk in the


Photo by Eric Gay | AP

Kentucky head coach John Calipari watches his team during a practice for a men’s NCAA Final Four college basketball game Friday in Houston. Kentucky plays UConn today. third party. But I am who I am.” Unlike Calhoun, Calipari has no qualms about how many of his players have had startlingly brief college careers and, indeed, views that as something of a feather in his cap. He recruits the best players, replaces them just as quickly — goodbye John Wall, hello Brandon Knight — and gets them to accept different, sometimes uncomfortable roles to come together as a team. He is back in Houston, where three years ago he won two games at the regional to lead Memphis to the Final Four, only to leave that school a year later, just as the program was

running into NCAA problems involving the recruitment of Derrick Rose. Calipari’s first Final Four visit, with Massachusetts back in 1996, also has been scrubbed by the NCAA. Which led to another tongue-in-cheek question: How does it feel to be coaching in your first Final Four? “I don’t deal with that,” said the 52-year-old coach, who spent four years in the NBA between his stints at UMass and Memphis. “We’ve been here three times. Those players played those games and did what they were supposed to. I’m so proud of what they’ve all accomplished.” He says this without

apology. Though his schools suffered, Calipari was not found at fault in either of the NCAA probes. The so-called problems between Cal and Cal began during those UMass days, when the coaches were on top of each other in neighboring states — one trying to protect his turf and the other trying to carve out his own. Things got testy during the recruitment of Marcus Camby, who wound up choosing UMass and whose issues there eventually landed the school on probation. Both coaches acknowledged the relationship got off to a rough start. “I mean, the northeast, you’re so tight, you’re right on top of each other, that it is a competitive environment,” Calipari said. “Our radio shows and television shows are in each other’s states, in our cities. That’s how it is there.” The 68-year-old Calhoun lightheartedly reprised the complaints he raised more than a decade ago about Calipari — a Pittsburgh native trying to muscle his way through New England — but made it clear the enmity has died down as the years have passed. “From a generational standpoint, to the fact that John really was trying to claim New England,” Calhoun said of the lack of a true friendship with his counterpart. Then, he affected his best Boston accent: “He could never say he pahked the caah in Hahvahd Yahd, he didn’t know what clam chowder really was. I took (umbrage) to it, but I take (umbrage) to a lot of things.” As magical as this season has been — Kemba Walker’s emergence as an NBA-bound star, the fivewins-in-five-nights title at the Big East tournament, then four more wins and the unexpected Final Four trip — it also has been a drain on Calhoun.

Battle for the glass slipper By NANCY ARMOUR ASSOCIATED PRESS

HOUSTON — That Butler and VCU proudly wear the same small-conference, lovable underdog label is readily apparent. Less obvious is their shared devotion to the notso-sexy practice of hardnosed, aggressive defense — long a trademark of Butler’s game but much more of a surprising lateseason development from the running, gunning Rams. “That’s what’s got us here. For five straight games, we’ve been playing great defense,” VCU forward Jamie Skeen said Friday. “If we play great defense again against Butler, we can probably come out with the win.” Eighth-seeded Butler (27-9) plays VCU, which has gone from the “First Four” to the Final Four, in the national semifinals tonight. “It’s more of a challenge because you know everybody is looking at their defense, how good they are,” VCU point guard Joey Rodriguez said. “We want to come out and try to prove to people we can play defense just as good as them.” Virginia Commonwealth (28-11) is a shooter’s dream team, a roster full of guys who think they’re in range as soon as the bus nears the arena. (It’s no coincidence TV analyst Steve Kerr joined the Rams for a shooting contest during practice at last weekend’s Southwest Regional.) The Rams have launched 895 3-pointers this year — no, that’s not a misprint — and are shooting an unbelievable 44 percent from long range just in the NCAA tournament. They’ve finished with 12 3s in three of their first five games, with Brandon Rozzell making six on his own


Photo by Mark Humphrey | AP

Virginia Commonwealth’s Reco McCarter dunks during a practice for a men’s NCAA Final Four basketball game Friday in Houston. VCU plays Butler today. against Georgetown and Bradford Burgess doing the same against Florida State. But don’t mistake VCU for the Globetrotters. The Rams are not exactly Wisconsin wannabes, ranking 238th (out of 336 teams) in field goal defense and 134th in scoring defense. They’re 298th in rebounding margin. Yet they’re in the Final Four because they shut down Southern California, Georgetown, Purdue and Florida State before manhandling top-seeded Kansas. The Jayhawks, once the top-ranked team in the country, managed just 61 points while shooting 35.5 percent overall and 9.5 percent from 3-point range, all season lows. After not trailing by more than two

points the entire tournament, Kansas was down by 17 before halftime. Overall, Virginia Commonwealth is allowing an average of 62 points in the tournament, almost five fewer than their season average. They’re holding opponents to 39 percent shooting, well below their season average of 44 percent. “They keep teams off balance,” said Matt Howard, Butler’s leading scorer and rebounder. “You have to be prepared for multiple looks. They’re going to press. They’ll play a little bit of zone. Then they also have a good manto-man. I think when you’re really scoring the ball really well, too, that gives you energy defensively. I think you can make an argument they’ve

scored as well as anybody. “When you’re able to score and get into those different defenses, I think that really helps their defense.” If anyone knows that, it’s Butler. The Bulldogs are one of the soundest fundamental teams in the game — these are the guys who play in the gym where “Hoosiers” was filmed, after all. They can shoot, and they do it quite well. Howard shoots almost 49 percent, while Andrew Smith is averaging almost 9 points a game on 62 percent shooting. “We really focused on the defensive end of the floor,” Howard said. “We weren’t guarding the way we normally had, and I think that was really important for us to get back to that.”

Photo by Bill Kostroun | AP

Kentucky’s DeAndre Liggins clenches his fist during the second half of the final of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament East regional game against North Carolina on Sunday in Newark, N.J.

Liggins is Kentucky’s man on defense By JIM O’CONNELL HOUSTON — There have been some great nicknames given to the better defensive players over the years. Gary Payton was known as “The Glove.” Others have had handles such as “The Sheriff,” “The Secretary of Defense” or “Man of Steal.” DeAndre Liggins doesn’t have one of those catchy titles. He’s just known as Kentucky’s best defender. “You have a 6-6 player with long arms who can guard a point guard, a 2man, a 3-man, and if I wanted him to, he could probably guard the 4,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said Friday. “Whoever is hurting you, he can go guard.” On Saturday, in the national semifinals, you can expect Liggins will be assigned to try and stop Connecticut All-America Kemba Walker, who has been on an incredible tear during the Huskies’ run through the Big East and NCAA tournaments. “The thing with me is taking on the challenge, being competitive, having confidence that I can stop the other guy,” Liggins said.

and had six assists. “Kemba Walker killed us. He was great offensively,” Liggins said of the November matchup. “We just played bad that game. We want to come out and play better Saturday. “I have totally great respect for Kemba Walker. He is a good player. It is going to be a challenge for me. I have to be up to it and make him work for every shot.” Walker has seen almost every kind of defense imaginable this season. Zones, matchup zones, double-teaming, bigger defenders, quicker defenders. He has beaten them all, averaging 23.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists. His numbers in the nine-game postseason run for the Huskies have been even better — 26.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists. “I faced a lot of different defenders. I faced guys just like him,” Walker said. “He’s one of the better defenders because he’s extremely active, and he has a height mismatch over me. “I know it’s going to be a difficult, tough night for me. But I’m just counting on my teammates to give me the ball in the right situations and set some great screens.”

A strong resume

A second chance

The junior from Chicago has a long list of players he has shut down this season. In the Southeastern Conference he held Chris Warren, Mississippi’s leading scorer, to one first-half field goal; he limited Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins to three points, all in the first half, and no field goals; and he held Bruce Ellington, South Carolina’s point guard and leading scorer, to eight points. He did it out of conference as well, holding Jared Stohl of Portland, the nation’s top 3-point shooter, to a 1-for-7 effort from beyond the arc. And in the regional semifinal win over No. 1 Ohio State he took 3-point specialist Jon Diebler out of the offense for most of the second half. There was one player, however, who got the best of Liggins and Kentucky this season — Walker.

Jim Calhoun has had some pretty good defenders in his 25 seasons at Connecticut. He knows what a player such as Liggins can mean to a team. “A great thing about him is he’s become kind of known as that. He feels that he can really stop you,” he said. “One of the ways to stop a guy is feeling like you can stop them, not being overwhelmed even before you face the challenge. He’s terrific. He’s absolutely terrific.” Calhoun smiled as he ended his thought. “He’s going to give whoever he plays a difficult time,” he said, obviously referring to Walker. Liggins knows he can’t shut down Walker, but he’ll give it a shot. “It is all mental. It is all a mental approach to try to stop that person,” he said. “There are players like Walker. You can’t stop players like that. You just have to do your best on them. If he makes a shot over you, then you have to live with that. He is going to make shots over me Saturday. He is going to make some crazy shots, but I have to keep playing. I can’t get frustrated. I have to keep playing.”


A worthy foe The 6-foot-1 junior had 29 points in the Huskies’ 84-67 victory in the championship game of the Maui Invitational. He was 10 of 17 from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range,

The Zapata Times 4/2/2011  
The Zapata Times 4/2/2011  

The Zapata Times 4/2/2011