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TO 4,000 HOMES





Conspiracy charges

Police check man’s death

Pot found in vehicle; Border Patrol agents arrest two THE ZAPATA TIMES

Two women allegedly acting as scouts for the transportation of a marijuana load were arrested Sunday near Zapata. Sanjuana Flores and Vanessa Barrera face charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to dis-

of the vehicles, a Chevy Malibu, the vehicle in front of it, a Jeep Cherokee, swerved off the road. The Jeep stopped and its occupants fled into the brush, eluding capture. Agents searched the vehicle and found about 242 pounds of marijuana in it.

tribute a controlled substance. At about 4 a.m. Sunday, Border Patrol agents noticed several vehicles driving in tandem east on Highway 16 from Zapata. Two hours later, agents saw the same vehicles driving on FM 649. As agents pulled behind one

While with the abandoned Jeep, the Malibu drove slowly by and agents asked the driver to pull over. Flores was identified as the driver and Barrera the passenger. Agents suspected that the women were scouts for the Jeep and detained

them. Flores told federal agents that she was a “guide” for a drug trafficking organization based in Rio Grande City and Roma, according to the criminal complaint. Flores said to them that



BP agents tried saving man’s life By CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ




Photo by Cuate Santos | The Zapata Times

Zapata High School Army JROTC cadets Cheyenne Rodriguez and Adrian Ramirez fold the Texas Flag after taking it down from the school’s flag pole Wednesday afternoon.

LAREDO — Laredo police said Friday that they have opened a death investigation in the case of man who died this week at a local hospital after being detained by U.S. Border Patrol in El Cenizo. Laredo Police Department’s crimes against persons unit are investigating. A preliminary investigation shows that there are no visible signs of foul play involved, said Investigator Joe E. Baeza, LPD spokesman. The 31-year-old’s name is yet to be released because family members in Mexico have not been located. Baeza said that after Dr. Corinne Stern, Webb County medical examiner, finalizes the autopsy, detectives will have a better picture of the cause of death. Police pointed out the case unraveled during Monday’s hot afternoon hours. Dehydration could’ve been a factor, police said. According to police, it’s believed Border Patrol agents saw a group of people in a brush area near the City of El Cenizo. It’s unclear if the man was left behind. Agents discovered a man on the ground at about 7 p.m. Federal authorities said the man “exhibited symptoms of severe dehydration.” He allegedly became combative as agents were assisting him. A police report states agents used force to subdue the man, but the report does not detail the type of force used. A Border Patrol statement reads that the man fell unconscious after they subdued him. EMS rushed the man to Laredo Medical Center. Ef-



Boy Scouts to accept openly gay youths Activists to seek gay leaders, also By DAVID CRARY AND NOMAAN MERCHANT ASSOCIATED PRESS

GRAPEVINE — After lengthy and wrenching debate, local leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have voted to open their ranks to openly gay boys for the first time, but heated reactions from the left and right made clear that the BSA’s controversies are far from over. The Scouts’ longstanding ban on gay adults remains in force, and many liberal

Scout leaders — as well as gay-rights groups — plan to continue pressing for an end to that exclusion even though the BSA’s top officials aren’t ready for that step. Meanwhile, many conservatives within the Scouts are distraught at the outcome of the vote and some are threatening to defect. A meeting is planned for next month to discuss the formation of a new organization for boys. The vote was conducted by secret ballot Thursday during the National Council’s annual meeting at conference center not far from Boy Scout headquarters in suburban Dallas. Of the

While I will always cherish my time as a Scout and the life lessons I learned, I am greatly disappointed with this decision.” GOV. RICK PERRY

roughly 1,400 voting members of the council who cast ballots, 61 percent supported the proposal drafted by the governing Executive Committee. The policy change takes effect Jan. 1. “This has been a challenging chapter in our his-

tory,” the BSA chief executive, Wayne Brock, said after the vote. “While people have differing opinions on this policy, kids are better off when they’re in Scouting.” However, the outcome will not end the member-

ship policy debate, as was evident in the reactions of leaders of some of the conservative religious denominations that sponsor Scout units. “We are deeply saddened,” said Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee. “Homosexual behavior is incompatible with the principles enshrined in the Scout oath and Scout law.” The Assemblies of God said the policy change “will lead to a mass exodus from the Boy Scout program.” It also warned that the change would make the BSA vulnerable to lawsuits seeking to end the ban on

gay adults. John Stembeger, a conservative activist and former Scout from Florida, founded a group called to oppose the policy change. He assailed the BSA executive committee for its role in gaining a “Yes” vote. “What kind of a message are we sending to young people about being brave when its top adult leaders don’t even have the courage to stand up to the pressure of a militant lobby when the bullies in Washington D.C., Hollywood or even some of their own renegade councils start pressuring



Zin brief CALENDAR

SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013





The 10th Annual Juvencio de Anda Memorial Golf Tournament will be held at the Laredo Country Club. Tee time is 8 a.m. The tournament will honor the late Alfonso “Lefty” Valls. The 10th Annual Juvencio de Anda Memorial Golf Tournament will be held at the Laredo Country Club. Tee time is 8 a.m. The tournament will honor the late Alfonso “Lefty” Valls. It’s Family Movie Day at the Texas A&M International University Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium. “Toy Story 3” will show at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. General admission is $3. There will be free face painting, arts and crafts. Call 326-3663. Class of ’73 Reunion formal dinner and dance starts at 8 p.m. at Laredo Country Club, 1415 Country Club Drive. Sunday best attire is encouraged. There will be a cash bar and music. Contact Marilyn Novy Campbell at 645-3899 or

THURSDAY, MAY 30 Los Amigos Duplicate Bridge Club will meet at the Laredo Country Club, from 1:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call Beverly Cantu at 727-0589.

FRIDAY, MAY 31 The Texas A&M International University Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium will show “The Zula Patrol: Down to Earth” at 6 p.m. and “Secrets of the Sun” at 7 p.m. General admission is $4 for children and $5 for adults. Premium shows are $1 more. Call 3263663

SATURDAY, JUNE 1 The Bass Champs South Region Fishing Tournament is set for 7 a.m. through 4 p.m. at the Zapata County Public Boat Ramp. The race starts at the Zapata County Courthouse. First United Methodist Church will hold a used book sale, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 1220 McClelland Ave. Hardback books are $1, paperback books 50 cents, and magazines and children’s books 25 cents.

TUESDAY, JUNE 4 The Les Amis Birthday Club will hold its monthly meeting at 11:30 at the Holiday Inn Civic Center. This month’s honorees are Viola Gonzlez, Luisa Peña, Thelma Sanchez and Grace Stegmann. This month’s hostesses are Hercilia Camina, Velia Herrera and Mary Lou Solis.

THURSDAY, JUNE 6 Los Amigos Duplicate Bridge Club will meet at the Laredo Country Club, from 1:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call Beverly Cantu at 727-0589.

THURSDAY, JUNE 13 Los Amigos Duplicate Bridge Club will meet at the Laredo Country Club, from 1:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call Beverly Cantu at 727-0589.

SATURDAY, JULY 6 First United Methodist Church will hold a used book sale, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 1220 McClelland Ave. Hardback books are $1, paperback books 50 cents, and magazines and children’s books 25 cents.

SATURDAY, JULY 20 The PFC Ira “Ben” Laningham IV 5K Memorial Run is set for 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. There will also be a 200m Kids Fun Run. Early registration through Sunday is $8; from Monday through July 19, $10; late registration on race day is $15. Registration for the Fun Run is $5. Those who wish to participate may register at Zapata Boys & Girls Club, 306 6th St.; Zapata County Chamber of Commerce, 601 N. U.S. 83; Momentum Running Co., 1202 E. Del Mar Blvd., Ste. 103, Laredo; or by email at event/5820121139#.

SATURDAY, AUG. 3 First United Methodist Church will hold a used book sale, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 1220 McClelland Ave. Hardback books are $1, paperback books 50 cents, and magazines and children’s books 25 cents. Submit calendar items at or by emailing with the event’s name, date and time, location and purpose and contact information for a representative. Items will run as space is available.

Photo by Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman| AP

Governor Rick Perry shakes hands with members of the House of Representatives on Friday afternoon. Perry is staying mum about whether he’ll order lawmakers to stay at the Capitol for a special legislative session as speculation intensifies. The legislative session ends this weekend.

Special session possible ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry wouldn’t say Friday whether there is too much unfinished business at the Texas Legislature to adjourn next week as scheduled. His record the last 13 years says lawmakers aren’t going anywhere. The regular 140-day session ends Monday. But with only the Memorial Day weekend left to work through reams of bills — including a new state budget stalled in down-to-thewire turmoil — speculation intensified Friday that a special summer session is around the corner. Settling voting maps that have been disputed in federal courts since last year will most likely keep the Legislature working into June. But Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst also wants to revive failed conservative efforts

such as tighter abortion restrictions, looser gun laws and a harder cap on state spending. Since becoming governor in 2000, Perry has presided over six regular sessions of the Legislature. Four times he called lawmakers back to the Capitol to keep working. When asked Friday whether another special session was in the works, Perry would only coolly reply, “We are headed for the end of this session.” But the number of lawmakers resigned to overtime is growing. Republican state Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, called it a “done deal.” “I think (Attorney General Greg) Abbott has convinced many lawmakers we have got to certify the map,” Eltife said. “From what I gather, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and Gov. Perry are convinced of that. “As for all the other issues swirling around, that’s totally up to Gov. Perry.”

No lesson plans means no Lawmakers set up Ex-’Yogurt shop murders’ state review for CSCOPE endangered species group man seeks compensation AUSTIN — The State Board of Education is scrapping its special panel to review a controversial curriculum system, after its creators agreed to stop offering lesson plans. CSCOPE had helped teachers adhere to state educational requirements by offering Webbased lesson plans and exams. But some conservatives claimed CSCOPE promoted antiAmerican values.

Report: Insurance commissioner quitting AUSTIN — Texas Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman says she’s steeping down as head of insurance regulatory agency. Kitzman told her staff she was leaving her post. The legislative session ends Monday and Kitzman can’t continue past then because her appointment by Gov. Rick Perry wasn’t confirmed by the Senate.

AUSTIN — How the state responds to the listing of an endangered species in Texas will be coordinated by a special task force under a bill approved by the Legislature. Lawmakers sent the measure to the governor on Friday. The bill would create the Coordinated State Endangered Species Response Committee.

Jury deliberating Villalobos bribery case BROWNSVILLE — A jury is deliberating in the bribery trial of a former district attorney charged with helping a crooked judge. The Cameron County jury heard closing arguments Friday in the trial of former District Attorney Armando Villalobos. He said no one paid him to fix criminal cases and that he gave no money to former Judge Abel Limas for similar purposes.

AUSTIN — A man whose conviction in the 1991 slayings of four teenage girls at a yogurt shop was overturned wants compensation for his imprisonment. Robert Springsteen IV spent nine years in prison before an appeals court overturned his sentence. Now, he wants a federal judge to clear him and award him more than $700,000 from the state.

Galveston leaders to meet over Ike housing story GALVESTON — Leaders of a Southeast Texas city will meet Tuesday to discuss legal options over a newspaper story about where to build new public housing since Hurricane Ike. The Galveston City Council voted Thursday to call a special meeting and consider legal action against The Galveston County Daily News. — Compiled from AP reports

AROUND THE NATION FBI agent fatally shoots man in Orlando ORLANDO, Fla. — A man was fatally shot when a team of FBI agents swarmed an apartment complex near Universal Studios. The shooting happened early Wednesday. The FBI did not immediately return a phone call early Wednesday from The Associated Press seeking details. An FBI spokesman told Orlando television stations that their agent was conducting official duties when the shooting occurred. No further details were released, but the agency says an update is expected later Wednesday.

Up to 30 hurt in crash in northwest Ohio BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The Highway Patrol says up to 30 people have suffered injuries in the collision of a commercial bus and a car on Interstate 75 in

Today is Saturday, May 25, the 145th day of 2013. There are 220 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy told Congress: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” On this date: In 1787, the Constitutional Convention began at the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia after enough delegates had shown up for a quorum. In 1810, Argentina began its revolt against Spanish rule with the forming of the Primera Junta in Buenos Aires. In 1895, playwright Oscar Wilde was convicted of a morals charge in London; he was sentenced to two years in prison. In 1935, Babe Ruth hit the 714th and final home run of his career, for the Boston Braves, in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1942, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Stilwell, frustrated over being driven out of Burma by Japanese troops during World War II, told reporters in Delhi, India: “I claim we got a hell of a beating.” In 1946, Transjordan (now Jordan) became a kingdom as it proclaimed its new monarch, Abdullah I. In 1963, the Organisation of African Unity was founded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (The OAU was disbanded in 2002 in favor of the African Union.) In 1968, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis was dedicated by Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Interior Secretary Stewart Udall. In 1979, 273 people died when an American Airlines DC-10 crashed just after takeoff from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared while on his way to a school bus stop in lower Manhattan. In 1981, daredevil Dan Goodwin, wearing a Spiderman costume, scaled the outside of Chicago’s Sears Tower in 71/2 hours. In 1986, an estimated 7 million Americans participated in “Hands Across America” to raise money for the nation’s hungry and homeless. In 1988, the final episode of “St. Elsewhere” aired on NBCTV. Today’s Birthdays: Former White House news secretary Ron Nessen is 79. Author W.P. Kinsella is 78. Country singersongwriter Tom T. Hall is 77. Actor Sir Ian McKellen is 74. Country singer Jessi Colter is 70. Actress-singer Leslie Uggams is 70. Movie director and Muppeteer Frank Oz is 69. Actress Karen Valentine is 66. Actress Jacki Weaver is 66. Rock singer Klaus Meine (The Scorpions) is 65. Actress Patti D’Arbanville is 62. Actress Connie Sellecca is 58. Rock singer-musician Paul Weller is 55. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, DMinn., is 53. Actor-comedian Mike Myers is 50. Actor Matt Borlenghi is 46. Actor Joseph Reitman is 45. Rock musician Glen Drover is 44. Actress Anne Heche (haych) is 44. Actresses Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush (TV: “Little House on the Prairie”) are 43. Actorcomedian Jamie Kennedy is 43. Actress Octavia Spencer is 43. Actor Justin Henry is 42. Thought for Today: “A historian is a prophet in reverse.” — Friedrich von Schlegel, German diplomat and writer (1772-1829).

CONTACT US Publisher, William B. Green........................728-2501 Business Manager, Dora Martinez ...... (956) 324-1226 General Manager, Adriana Devally ...............728-2510 Adv. Billing Inquiries ................................. 728-2531 Circulation Director ................................. 728-2559 MIS Director, Michael Castillo.................... 728-2505 Copy Editor, Nick Georgiou ....................... 728-2565 Managing Editor, Mary Nell Sanchez........... 728-2543 Sports Editor, Adam Geigerman..................728-2578 Spanish Editor ........................................ 728-2569 Photo by Rogelio V. Solis/file | AP

A Nissan employee works in a Canton, Miss., manufacturing plant. Nissan is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its plant with a free-to-all festival today that includes a circus, concert by Kool & the Gang and fireworks show. northwest Ohio. A state police spokeswoman said early Wednesday that 1-75 south of Bowling Green has been closed following the crash. Initial reports are that the passengers of the two vehicles have been taken to local hospitals but are

not badly hurt. A Toyota Camry was rear-ended by a bus transporting employees of the Consolidated Biscuit Company in McComb. It says among those injured were two infants who were in the car. — 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


SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013



Sheriff’s Offfice wants help with cases By CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

Zapata County Sheriff ’s officials are asking the community to come forward with information regarding a couple of thefts. On May 16, deputies responded at 12:01 p.m. to a stolen vehicle report at Triple J Office located in the 3300 block of Las Cruces. Sgt. Mario Elizondo said a red 1986 Ford F-350 and a welder were taken from the office yard. Deputies entered the vehicle and welder into the Texas and National Crime Information Center. Investigators are looking into the case. Both items had a combined value of $10,120, Elizondo

Photo by Cuate Santos | The Zapata Times

Workers stand high above the Zapata County Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon as they reinforce the building’s copula after it was damaged from water seepage.

THE BLOTTER ASSAULT An assault was reported at 12:15 a.m. Wednesday in the 1400 block of Ramireño Avenue.

THEFT A theft was reported at 2:04

p.m. May 15 at Pepes’s Car Wash. The property stolen had an estimated value of more than $500, less than $1,500. A theft was reported at 1:19 p.m. May 17 at the Exxon in the 1300 block of U.S.83. A Class B misdemeanor theft report was filed.

An attempted theft was reported at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Las Palmas. The victim filed reports of theft and criminal mischief. Deputies responded to a theft call at 9:34 a.m. Wednesday at Stripes in the 100 block of U.S. 83. The victim filed a Class C misdemeanor theft report.

Honor society established SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Texas A&M International University has established a new chapter of The National Criminal Justice Honor Society, Alpha Phi Sigma. TAMIU commissioned the Nu Psi Chapter in a recent ceremony. The mission of Alpha Phi Sigma, Nu Psi Chapter is to promote analytical thinking through

scholarship and ethical standards in the criminal justice field. “One of the most exciting things about our Chapter is the opportunity to involve our outstanding criminal justice students in new community service opportunities that will benefit all involved,” said Kelly Frailing, TAMIU assistant professor of criminal justice and chapter faculty advisor.

Fran Bernat, TAMIU chair of the department of public affairs and social research and professor of criminal justice, and Frailing serve as chapter faculty advisors. The requirements to become a member include a minimum 3.2 GPA for undergrads and a ranking in the top 35 percent of their class; graduate students must meet a minimum 3.4 GPA.

said. A second theft was reported at 12:28 a.m. Tuesday in the 1200 block of Elm Street. The complainants stated several tools had been stolen from the inside a rear left compartment of a 1990 GMS 1-ton work pickup, according to Elizondo. The assailants stole a cutting torch with 50 feet of gas hose valued at $700, an electric grinder valued at $60 and a 50-feet long air hose valued at $60, sheriff ’s officials said. People with information on the case are asked to call the sheriff ’s officer at 765-9960. (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 728-2568 or



SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013




Unfinished biz — death penalty By O. RICARDO PIMENTEL SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

There is this photo of Gov. Rick Perry in the news recently signing legislation that diminishes the chances of wrongful convictions in Texas. It is rich in irony. More to the point, it projects an indelible sense of unfinished business. The irony is embodied in the now-deceased person of Cameron Todd Willingham, who also points to that job undone. Those intimately familiar with Texas’ criminal justice history can tell you that Willingham, even more than Michael Morton — whose case prompted this legislation — is the state’s prime example of wrongful conviction. Morton’s story is incredibly tragic. He spent nearly 25 years in prison after being convicted in the beating death of his wife. The prosecution withheld evidence that would have cleared him. Thanks to the work of the New Yorkbased Innocence Project, Morton was exonerated by DNA evidence that pointed to another man, who has since been convicted. But Morton is alive. Willingham is dead, executed in 2004 on the strength of highly flawed arson evidence for the deaths of his three daughters in Corsicana. The photo shows Perry signing the bill, flanked by Morton and legislators. The irony: a report discrediting the evidence used to convict Willingham came across that desk or one similar in plenty of time for Perry to have spared Willingham’s life. It is likely — if not certain — that Texas executed an innocent man. At the very least, the new evidence pointed to the need for a new trial. But the state ignored the report. And the story might have ended ingloriously there but for Perry’s actions in 2009, when he replaced three members of the Texas Forensic Science Commission as it was considering the flawed evidence used to convict Willingham. The governor obviously feared embarrassment as a pri-

mary challenge from thenU.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison loomed. His handpicked commission chairman squelched the Willingham investigation. Understand, the bill Perry signed on May 16 was absolutely necessary. Sponsored by Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, the measure forces prosecutors to share all evidence relevant to the defense. Had it been around, Morton would have likely been spared those 25 years in prison. And, now, others will surely be spared that fate. Have I mentioned that Texas has a nation-leading 117 exonerations? But about that unfinished business. Texas has undertaken other reforms of criminal justice. It’s now easier, for instance, for inmates to get access to DNA testing. But DNA evidence is not available in all cases. Even with this new requirement for sharing evidence, there will surely be convictions in the future based on circumstantial evidence, notoriously flawed eyewitness accounts, testimony from untrustworthy sources and other evidence of dubious scientific and factual merit. And even with the scare presented by the pursuit of criminal charges against the district attorney who prosecuted Morton, there will still be prosecutors for whom winning will be the most important thing. Some of these will be capital cases. The unfinished business for Texas is to rid itself of the death penalty — an absolute sanction from which there is no remedy. There can be no guarantee of error-free process in these types of cases and others. It will be legal due process, to be sure, scant comfort to someone wrongfully executed. If Morton’s case involved the death penalty, he’d be dead. Willingham is, killed on the strength of invalid arson evidence. There will be errors in future death penalty cases. Since it cannot be otherwise, Texas — and all other states — must cease killing people.


Can-do spirit after storm THE KANSAS CITY STAR

By now many know the drill when it comes to helping fellow Americans after tornadoes have devastated their communities, as occurred Monday in Moore, Okla., and south Oklahoma City. Contribute money to groups such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army and others providing emergency aid. Mourn the lost lives, pray for the injured and celebrate the miracles that spared children, adults and beloved pets from near-certain death. As of Tuesday, despite widespread destruction in Moore, the death toll was blessedly lower than had been feared just a day earlier. Workers were combing through flattened

buildings. Parents were hugging children rescued from two destroyed schools, but also mourning young students who died inside one of them. Monday showed, once again, the value of early warning systems. Forecasters posted a tornado warning more than 16 minutes before the storm roared into Moore. People took cover as best they could in a city where fewer than 10 percent have basements, partly because the expanding and contracting clay soil there makes it difficult to build them. Moore rebuilt after a devastating 1999 tornado and will be challenged to do so again. That’s the essential can-do spirit that has brought other cities back from the rubble.


The end is drawing near for this legislative session AUSTIN — The regular legislative session ends Monday. We’ll see if we need special sessions. Regardless, closing-days fever has infected your Capitol. After several days of ”drama,” it looks like the state budget will be wrapped up Saturday, or not. (I ran into Sen. Chuy Hinojosa, D-McAllen, getting cash Thursday at a Capitol ATM. He assured me it had nothing to do with balancing the budget.) Much of this year’s legislative tension happened because we have a GOPcontrolled Senate, GOPcontrolled House and GOP-controlled governor’s office. The result is divided government, divided between conservative Republicans and conservativer Republicans who think the conservative Republicans are communists. And some of the senior conservative Republicans are unimpressed with some of the freshman conservativer Republicans ”A lot of people in here just don’t know anything,” one of the former told me about some of the latter. Closing days are something to behold, though the important stuff defies beholding because it happens behind closed doors. Corridors once buzzing with the sound of lobbyists’ meters running become eerily quiet because


committee work is done. Only one House committee posted a meeting notice for Wednesday. The Committee on Urban Affairs scheduled a session at Second Bar & Kitchen. ”The Committee on Urban Affairs will meet for their committee dinner,” said the notice. (Ahem. That should be ”The Committee on Urban Affairs will meet for its committee dinner.” Yes, it’s a mistake we sometimes make in the paper, but, for the kids’ sake, shouldn’t our legislators get it right?) I haven’t seen the tab on that dinner, but the Texas Tribune’s Ross Ramsey got his hands on a $22,241 bill, covered by lobbyists and others among about 140 attendees, for Sunday night’s dinner for the House Calendars Committee, the powerful panel that controls what gets to the floor. The event was listed as a ”work session.” Looks like attendees were working on quenching a thirst for adult beverages. The tab raised eyebrows and questions: Do you bring a date to a Calendars Committee dinner? Was this a dinner or a bar mitzvah? Did III Forks

server Shane have to split the $3,656 tip with anybody? Despite the closing-days pressures of doing the people’s work, our leaders still find time for politics. ”Idiot Howard Dean says ’Benghazi’ is a laughable joke,”’ Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst tweeted Wednesday. Or did he? The AP’s Jim Vertuno, watching Dewhurst in the Senate, tweeted after another Dewhurst tweet that the lite guv ”must be able to do magic. He can tweet w/ out a computer or smart phone at his fingertips.” Hey Jim, let’s not forget that Dewhurst used to be CIA. (FYI, Thursday afternoon, after I had written that line, Dewhurst tweeted to Vertuno: ”CIA training, Jim.” Should I be concerned about being on same wavelength as Dewhurst?) At about 6 p.m. Wednesday, as the House debated affairs of state, Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, tweeted what was on his mind: ”I’m determined to go see Star Trek on IMAX tonight. Who’s in?” There were two inspiring, personal moments Wednesday in the House. Members honored Rep. Senfronia Thompson, DHouston, who’s served 40 years. Speaker Pro Tem Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, listed Thompson’s accomplishments and shared her guiding philosophy.

”When asked to define her personal style,” Bonnen said, reading from something, ”Representative Thompson simply said, I quote, ’I don’t take (expletive).”’ Beautiful, and a lesson to live by. The day’s tears were shed by Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, a 20-year member who announced he won’t seek re-election next year. He choked up several times, including while thanking colleagues for their help when Hurricane Ike tore up Galveston. ”Monumental,” Eiland called the legislative response. He mentioned the current large freshman class in the House and pronounced Texas in good shape for the future, though ”some of them are crazy.” At about 9 p.m., freshman Wu took to Twitter to alert the world to a major life cycle event for him: ”Just got my first conference committee!” And then this: ”Seriously. Star Trek on IMAX (at) Bob Bullock — 9:45pm start time.” Moments later, he made the motion to adjourn. ”We’re done,” he tweeted. ”I’m headed home to change and grab a bite to eat. Then movie.” Ken Herman is a columnist for the Austin American-Statesman. Email:

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SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013




SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013

Butterflies tell scientist about climate By HELEN ANDERS AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

AUSTIN — The University of Texas’ star climatologist was planning a career in medical research until she met the white rats. “The cutest little white rats,” she says with a smile, remembering the creatures she encountered on the first day of vertebrate physiology lab in her premed senior year at UT. She read the instructions on how to anesthetize the rats, cut them open alive, remove some organs and eventually kill them. “I just said ‘No’ and I walked out,” Camille Parmesan told the Austin American-Statesman. She headed straight for the office of professor Michael Singer, who had taught an animal behavior class she’d enjoyed that included a two-week butterfly research trip to California. She told Singer she was switching her major to zoology, and she wanted to write a thesis on butterflies. That’s how Parmesan wound up one recent day standing on a chair, trying to nail the Distinguished Texas Scientist Award onto the institutional-green wall of her cluttered office overlooking the UT Tower. After dropping the nail and retrieving it from behind her bookcase, she managed to mount her most recent plaque next to her U.S. Fish and Wildlife certification of appreciation and

the National Wildlife Federation’s 2006 Conservation Achievement Award. Her 2007 Nobel is on another wall. Oh, her Nobel? She shrugs. It was a team Nobel Peace Prize, she says, won with other scientists from throughout the world. “There were about 1,200 of us,” says Parmesan, who was lead author of the Nobel winning climate change impact research performed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel, established in 1988 by the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization, each year produces a report — two phone book-size tomes — on the far-reaching impacts of climate change. “It was so much work, and it’s all-volunteer,” says Parmesan, 51. She had to slide that work into her schedule as professor of integrative biology at UT; it wasn’t part of her university job description. But finding time for these sorts of things is just part of life when you’re an eminent scientist whose papers have been cited by other scientists more than 14,000 times. Science was part of her life as far back as Parmesan can remember. “My mother got me into it,” she says. Parmesan grew up in Houston. Her mother was a geology and botany student and an amateur conservationist, Parmesan says, and “ever since I literally could walk,

she was taking me on hikes. She’d bring along field guides.” They explored the Big Thicket together. “When I was 10 years old, there was a sixth-grade science fair, and I built the Big Thicket ecosystem,” she says. “And I won.” Parmesan’s interest in the outdoors and the creatures that live there was reignited on that butterflystudy trip she took in college with Singer’s class. And, about Singer: “He’s my husband,” she says as she sips a cup of tea, “but that didn’t happen until later, when I was a graduate student.” She had brewed the tea for herself in her office, which also contains a fridge and toaster oven. The woman does a lot of living inside these walls, and it’s not surprising to learn that her marriage is interwoven with science and UT. Parmesan has studied many species of butterflies, she says, “but the one that has given me the most bang for the buck is Edith’s checkerspot. It’s just a brilliant species to ask questions of because it is very, very sensitive to climate.” She’d been studying this butterfly for 10 years when, as a postdoctoral student at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, Calif., she won a NASA grant that resulted in her first single-author paper in 1996 on the effects of climate change on butterflies.

Ricardo Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman | AP

University of Texas award-winning climatologist Camille Parmesan poses at the University of Texas’ greenhouse in Austin.

SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013




SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013

Fox reality chief leaving the network By FRAZIER MOORE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — Fox reality chief Mike Darnell said Friday that he’s exiting the network after an 18-year stay, ending a reign that — depending on one’s point of view — has made TV more exciting or more squalid. And great for Fox. In a puckishly worded announcement, the 50year-old Darnell said that the end of his current contract in June presented him with a decision: “either stay (and basically admit to myself I was going to retire at Fox ... not a terrible choice) or leave and try something new.” “I’ve been in ‘reality’ since before it was even called that,” added the exec who was once called “the world’s scariest programmer.” But now, “with hundreds of channels and limitless ways to watch television, I’ve decided this was the perfect time to take advantage of the rapidly changing marketplace.” Darnell, who was named the network’s president of alternative entertainment in 2007, joined Fox in 1994 as director of specials. During nearly two decades, he oversaw such programs as “American Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Joe Millionaire,” “My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance,” “Temptation Island” and “The Simple Life.” While many of his shows won Fox high ratings and loads of attention, his irrepressible (and some said shameless) style pushed Fox and reality TV to new

Photo by Sue Ogrocki | AP

A man walks in the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., on Friday. The Moore School District canceled its school year after the tornado hit Plaza Towers and the Briarwood school.

Principal recalls tornado By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS ASSOCIATED PRESS Photo by Danny Moloshok/file | AP

President of Alternative Entertainment for FOX Mike Darnell says he’s exiting the network after an 18-year stay. extremes, as with “When Animals Attack,” “World’s Scariest Police Shootouts” and “The Moment of Truth,” whose players were strapped to a polygraph and asked embarrassing questions. His most recent creation premiered Thursday night. “Does Someone Have to Go?” takes its cameras into small businesses whose employees are obliged to rat out underperforming colleagues, then choose one co-worker to recommend for firing. “This is the thing they promise to do in retreats, but nobody really does it,” Darnell told The Associated Press in a recent interview hyping the new show. Darnell’s successes at Fox were many, but perhaps his low point was “Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?” This 2000 special attracted nearly 23 million viewers to watch eligible bachelor Rick Rockwell choose a bride from among a bevy of attrac-

tive prospects and marry her on the spot. But then questions were raised about Rockwell’s financial status as well as his background, including allegations that he had struck an ex-girlfriend. Beset by bad publicity, Fox executives declared they were swearing off exploitative reality shows. But a week later, Fox aired a special featuring daredevil Robbie Knievel in a live motorcycle jump over a moving train. He emerged unhurt. Darnell, similarly unscathed, continued his reign. On Friday, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Fox parent News Corp., called Darnell “smart and fearless,” “a pioneering force in shaping the reality programming genre that exists today.” “We wish he would’ve stayed forever,” said Peter Rice, chairman of Fox Networks Group. Fox had no comment on a possible successor.

MOORE, Okla. — Teachers and students at Plaza Towers Elementary School hunkered down against the storm just as they had been taught in countless tornado drills, their principal said Friday, recounting how she walked the halls until the twister was on the doorstep, then announced on the intercom, “It’s here.” In a pause-filled recollection that left many weeping, Amy Simpson said at a news conference that her teachers emerged battered after doing what they could to save every child in the Oklahoma school. Still, seven secondand third-graders were among the 24 killed when the top-of-the-scale EF5 tornado with 210 mph winds struck Moore on Monday. “The teachers covered themselves in debris while they were covering their babies. And I believe that is why so many of us survived that day, because the teachers were able to act quickly, stay calm and take literally the weight of a wall onto their bodies to save those that were under them,” said Simpson, a native of the city of about 56,000. The tornado was on the ground for 40 minutes and left a 17-mile path of destruction.

Its victims at the school were ages 8 and 9. “These kids are close. They grew up in one neighborhood. They play in the streets. They play in the creek. They have their own little community, even more so in the classroom,” secondgrade teacher Amy Eischen said. The Moore School District canceled its school year after the tornado hit Plaza Towers and the Briarwood school, where all students survived. District officials and teachers met with pupils and their parents Thursday to give everyone a chance to say goodbye before heading into summer vacation. Simpson said that, having been born and raised in Oklahoma, she knew what it meant to deal with tornadoes. The state, in the heart of Tornado Alley, has averaged more than 50 tornadoes per year since record-keeping began in 1950. “Not one parent blamed us because they’re Oklahomans, too, and they know what a tornado means and they know what it means in school,” Simpson said. “We practice our procedures. We get in our safest places.” Simpson said teachers and students had spent much of Monday morning celebrating their achievements and practicing this year’s sixth-grade gradua-

tion. Then attention turned to the sky. When the sirens blared, the principal walked the school to make sure everyone was prepared. “Teachers were rubbing kids on the back, singing songs,” while the students were crouched with their hands behind their necks, Simpson said. When Simpson got to her office, a fifth-grade teacher told her the storm was just southwest of the school. “I got on the intercom and said, ‘It’s here,”’ Simpson said. She rode out the storm in a bathroom. “You feel things trickling down on you from the ceiling, then those things become chunks of things,” Simpson said. “I yelled and said, ‘In God’s name, go away!’ I yelled it about four times. And then it was gone.” While debris was still flying, Simpson said, she told others, “I’ve got to get to the kids. I got out of the bathroom and the whole neighborhood was gone.” She quickly tended to the younger students then saw that students in grades 4, 5 and 6 were heading to a nearby church. She asked her husband to help the second- and third-graders — she hadn’t seen any of them yet.

SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013




SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013

Trucker watches bridge fall behind him By MANUEL VALDES AND MIKE BAKER ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — The trucker was hauling a load of drilling equipment when his load bumped against the steel framework over an Interstate 5 bridge. He looked in his rearview mirror and watched in horror as the span collapsed into the water behind him. Two vehicles fell into the icy Skagit River. Amazingly, nobody was killed. The three people who fell into the water escaped with only minor injuries. Officials are trying to find out whether the spectacular collapse of a bridge on one of the West’s most important roadways was a fluke — or a sign of a bigger problem with thousands of bridges across the U.S. Authorities focused first on trying to find a temporary span for the Skagit, although it won’t come in time for the tens of thousands of Memorial Day vacationers who would travel between Canada and Seattle. “You cannot overstate the importance of this corridor to Washington state,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. Traffic on I-5 and surrounding roads was backed up for miles, a situation the governor said would continue indefinitely. Officials were looking for a temporary, pre-fabricated bridge to replace the 160foot section that failed, Inslee said Friday. If one is found, it could be in place in weeks. If not, it could be months before a replacement can be built, the governor said. The spectacular collapse unfolded about 7 p.m. Thursday on the north end of the four-lane bridge near Mount Vernon, about 60 miles north of Seattle and 40 miles south of the Cana-

Photo by Francisco Rodriguez | AP

Bryce Kenning sits atop his car that fell into the Skagit River after the collapse of the Interstate 5 bridge there minutes earlier Thursday, in Mount Vernon, Wash. da border. “He looked in the mirrors and it just dropped out of sight,” Cynthia Scott, the wife of truck driver William Scott, said from the couple’s home near Spruce Grove, Alberta. “I spoke to him seconds after it happened. He was just horrified.” The truck driver works for Mullen Trucking in Alberta, the Washington State Patrol said. The tractortrailer was hauling a housing for drilling equipment southbound when the top right front corner of the load struck several of the bridge’s trusses, the patrol said. Scott, 41, remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. He voluntarily gave a blood sample for an alcohol test and was not arrested. Scott, has been driving truck for 20 years and hauling specialized loads for more than 10. “He gets safety awards, safety bonuses ... for doing all these checks, for hiring the right pilot cars and pole cars,” his wife said. Initially, it wasn’t clear if

the bridge just gave way on its own. But Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste blamed it on the tootall load. The vertical clearance from the roadway to the beam is 14.6 feet. The truck made it off the bridge, but two other vehicles went into the water about 25 feet below as the structure crumbled. Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup heading to a camping trip when he said the bridge before them disappeared in a “big puff of dust.” “I hit the brakes and we went off,” Sligh told reporters from a hospital. Bryce Kenning, of Mount Vernon, said the bridge seemed to explode in front of him. The 20-year-old slammed the brakes and could see the edge of the pavement approaching, but there was nothing he could do. “It was like time was frozen — like a roller coaster where you’re not attached to the tracks,” Kenning said in a phone interview. “I’m sure it was just one of the loudest sounds ever to hear

this thing explode and fall into the water like that, but I didn’t hear a thing. I just witnessed it happening in front of me.” Ed Scherbinski, vice president of Mullen Trucking, said in an interview with The Associated Press that state officials had approved of the company’s plan to drive the oversize load along I-5 to Vancouver, Wash., and the company hired a local escort to help navigate the route. Mike Allende, a state Department of Transportation spokesman, confirmed the truck had a permit. “We’re still trying to figure out why it hit the bridge,” Allende said. “It’s ultimately up to the trucking company to figure out whether it can get through.” State officials approved the trucking company to carry a load as high as 15 feet, 9 inches, according to the permit released by the state. However, the southbound vertical clearance on the Skagit River bridge is as little as 14 feet, 9 inches, state records show. The

bridge’s curved overhead girders are higher in the center of the bridge but sweep lower toward a driver’s right side. The bridge has a maximum clearance of about 17 feet, but there is no signage to indicate how to safely navigate the bridge with a tall load. The permit specifically describes the route the truck would take, though it includes a qualification that the state “Does Not Guarantee Height Clearance.” It’s not rare for trucks to strike bridges in Washington state — it’s just that such accidents don’t usually cause the structures to collapse. The state DOT said there were 21 bridge-strikes involving trucks last year, 24 in 2011 and 14 in 2010. There were no signs leading up to the Skagit River bridge to warn about its clearance height. State Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson said that under federal and state standards, the clearance is tall enough to not require signage.

Inslee said it will cost $15 million to repair the bridge. The federal government has already promised the state $1 million in emergency funding. Traffic could be affected for some time. The bridge is used by an average of 71,000 vehicles a day, so the roadblock will cause a major disruption in trade and tourism. The closest detour is a bridge about a quarter mile east of I-5, which is mostly used by local traffic between Mount Vernon and Burlington. Officials are also recommending detours using state Routes 20 and 9 that add dozens of miles to a trip. The bridge that collapsed was inspected twice last year and repairs were made, Peterson said. It was not classified as structurally deficient, but a Federal Highway Administration database lists it as “functionally obsolete” — a category meaning that the design is outdated, such as having narrow shoulders and low clearance underneath. The 1,112-foot-long bridge, with two lanes in each direction, has four spans, or sections, over the water supported by piers. It’s a steel truss bridge, meaning it has a boxy steel frame. The span on the north side is the one that collapsed. The mishap was reminiscent of the August 2007 collapse of an I-35W bridge in Minneapolis that killed 13 people and injured another 145 when it buckled and fell into the Mississippi River during rush-hour. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the Minneapolis bridge failed because steel gusset plates that connected the structure’s beams and girders were too thin.

Illinois OKs guns plan despite governor By JOHN O’CONNOR ASSOCIATED PRESS

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Gun owners could carry concealed weapons in Illinois, the last state in the nation to prohibit it, under legislation that swept through the House Friday with the backing of the powerful Democratic speaker from Chicago, a city torn by violence despite what critics claim are the nation’s toughest firearms restrictions. The historic 85-30 vote would allow the carrying of concealed guns, a legislative task compelled by a federal appeals court ruling and precipitated by House Speaker Michael Madigan’s turnabout. But its obliteration of all local gun laws, including Chicago’s ban on assaultstyle weapons, drew immediate resistance from Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat like Madigan. Quinn said the proposal endangers the public by preempting local gun laws, which have nothing to do with concealed carry, the only subject covered by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decree. “We need strong gunsafety laws that protect the people of our state. Instead, this measure puts public safety at risk,” Quinn said in a prepared statement. Senate President John Cullerton, another Democrat from Chicago, called the pre-emption provision “offensive.” Cullerton said he would meet privately with his majority caucus Monday to decide how to proceed. A Senate concealed-carry plan, which overrules local control only by requiring a statewide carry program, is on the Senate floor awaiting a vote. The appeals court declared Illinois’ last-in-thenation prohibition on public possession of weapons unconstitutional in December and gave lawmakers until June 9 to adopt a carry system. The measure, sponsored by ardent gun-rights advocate Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Democrat from Harris-

burg in deep southern Illinois, outlines a so-called “shall issue” law, meaning law enforcement officials would be required to issue permits to qualified gun owners. Only about 10 states, such as New York, have more restrictive “may issue” laws, which give police more discretion to deny permission. Despite deep, conservative roots outside of Chicago accompanied by fervent support for the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms, the Prairie State has for decades resisted a carry law because of gun-wary Windy City Democrats. The nation’s third-largest city is a leader in murders and violence despite what muscular restrictions on weaponry. “Criminals are cowards,” said Rep. Mike Bost, a southern Illinois Republican. “If they know there’s an opportunity they’re going to get caught or get shot — because they don’t like a fair fight — they’re not going to commit the crime.” The plan would require the Illinois State Police to issue a carry permit to anyone who gets the required 16 hours of gunsafety training — most in the nation — passes a

Photo by Seth Perlman | AP

Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan discusses concealed carry gun legislation on the House floor in Springfield Ill. background check and pays a $150 fee. Local police or a county sheriff could object to an application, which a statewide review panel of criminal-justice and mental-health experts would review. Madigan said his change of heart came after a mid-April test on a more restrictive concealed-carry bill backed by Chicago Democrats polled just 31

votes. Despite the way the current idea mimics Phelps’ earlier plan, the speaker said it significantly broadens the places that would be off-limits to guns, including all of the places Chicago officials requested, such as mass-transit buses and trains, parks and street festivals. Local school officials would no longer be able to decide whether they want-

ed to allow guns. Private property owners could ban guns on their land. If Illinois blows the June 9 deadline without a law, cities and counties could enact their own gun restrictions — or none at all, supporters say, creating “more chaos and havoc on our streets,” Republican Rep. Jim Durkin of Western Springs said. “Let’s not just look what’s good for one part of the state, let’s look at what’s good for the whole state,” Phelps said when asked about Quinn’s comments. “I would hope under his leadership, he would not want this to go off the cliff.” In fact, with 220 socalled “home-rule” communities — generally larger cities such as Chicago, Peoria, Bloomington and Springfield which are free from state oversight on many local policy decisions — Madigan said there could be just as many different gun standards if there’s no statewide standard. “As people attempted to move about the state, they would contemplate the possibility that there would be a change in the rules up to 220 times,” Madigan said. The Phelps bill would

wipe out local regulations such as Chicago’s assaultweapons ban, gun-purchase taxes and required reporting of lost and stolen guns. Rep. Christian Mitchell called it a “massive dismantling of local administration of gun safety.” “It is the opposite of small government,” Mitchell said. “This bill is massive overreach, it is dangerous, it is right in time for summer” when crime heats up. The National Rifle Association has said nothing about the House plan since it surfaced Wednesday, but Phelps acknowledged having the powerful gun lobby on the sidelines likely helped. Monday, Senate Democrats will discuss their proposal. Cullerton said he’s willing to forgo its requirement for a special “endorsement” — and extra fee— for qualified gun owners to carry in Chicago. The Senate could act on the House plan after stripping it of the distasteful provisions overruling local laws. “The part that’s offensive in the bill,” Cullerton said, “is the part that has nothing to do with conceal and carry.”


Agenda en Breve LAREDO 05/25— J.W. Nixon Thespian Society presenta “The Boys Next Door” en Laredo Little Theatre, 4802 Thomas Avenue, a las 8 p.m. Costo: 10 dólares. Ganancias se destinarán a un viaje de studio en Escocia. Otra function el domingo a las 3 p.m. 05/25— Planetario Lamar Bruni Vergara de TAMIU presenta el “Día Familiar de Película” con la proyección de “Toy Store 3” a la 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. y 7 p.m. Costo: 3 dólares. Pintacaritas gratuito, y manualidades. 05/26— El Recital de Danza Juvenil 2013 se llevará a cabo en el Salón de Recitales del Center for the Fine and Performing Arts de TAMIU, a las 3 p.m. Evento gratuito. 05/26— Ballet Becky presenta “Under The Sea” (Bajo el Mar) Recital 2013 a las 5 p.m. en el Laredo Civic Center. 05/26— Silverado’s Night Club, 5920 San Bernardo, presenta a Bukanas de Culiacán las 9 p.m. Informes al 726-4347 y 7261076. 05/31— Planetario Lamar Bruni Vergara de TAMIU presenta: “The Zula Patrol: Down to Earth” a las 6 p.m.; y, “Secrets of the Sun” a las 7 p.m. Costo: 4 y 5 dólares. 06/01— First United Methodist Church tendrá su venta de libros usados, desde las 8:30 a.m. hasta la 1 p.m. en el 1220 McClelland Ave. Libros de pasta dura: 1 dólar; pasta blanda, .50 centavos; revistas y libros infantiles, .25 centavos. 06/01— El Concierto a Beneficio – Cross Over, presentando a Agresor, VelcroNites, Volatile Colour, Red October Subset, Erebus, Rat Bite Disease y Fit Kistos se realizará de 6 p.m. a 10 p.m. en el estacionamiento de Flat Five Music Studios, 8602 McPherson Rd. Costo: 5 dólares. Las ganancias se destinarán al Centro de Rehabilitación Ruthe B. Cowl. 06/01— Silverado’s Night Club, 5920 San Bernardo, presenta a Grupo Pesado a las 9 p.m. Informes al 726-4347 y 726-1076.

NUEVO LAREDO, MX 05/25— Estación Palabra presenta “Bazar de Arte” a las 12 p.m.; Festival Infantil “Cuentos de la era medieval: Caballeros, princesas y dragones” a las 2 p.m.; Lecturas antes de abordar: Homenaje a Rayuela: 50 años de una leyenda literaria (lectura, música y charla), a las 3 p.m. 05/25— El programa “Leo… Luego Existo” presenta a la actriz Ángeles Marín, en el Auditorio de Estación Palabra a las 6 p.m. Entrada gratuita. 05/26— El Grupo de Teatro Laberintus presenta la obra “Alicia en el país de las maravillas”, del Clásico de Lewis Carroll, dirigida por Luis Edoardo Torres, a las 12 p.m. en el teatro del IMSS, Reynosa y Belden, Sector Centro. Costo 20 pesos. 05/26— Domingos de Teatro Universitario presenta “El Drama de la Risa” con el Grupo Tiempo y Espacio, a las 6 p.m. en el Teatro Lucio Blanco de Casa de la Cultura. Entrada gratuita. 05/28— Laberintus Teatro presenta “Diálogos de Nostalgia y Pollos”, con las actuaciones de Jhovanni Raga y Luis Edoardo Torres, a las 7 p.m. en el Teatro del IMSS, Belden y Reynosa. Costo: 20 pesos. 05/29— Cine Club presenta “El hombre quieto” (1942) a las 6 p.m. en el Auditorio de Estación Palabra. Apta para todo público. Entrada gratuita.





WASHINGTON – Un miembro de un cartel de drogas de México se declaró culpable en una Corte de Distrito el jueves por el homicidio del agente especial de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés), Jaime Zapata, de Brownsville, durante una emboscada en México. Julián Zapata Espinoza, de 32 años, conocido como “El Piolín” o “Tweety Bird”, también se declaró culpable del intento de homicidio del agente especial de ICE, Víctor Ávila, de acuerdo con oficiales del Departamento de Justicia. “El agente especial Zapata murió por su país en ataque sin sentido y brutal, y el agente especial

Ávila fue gravemente herido en la misma emboscada por miembros del cartel de Los Zetas”, dijo Mythili Raman, asistente interina del fiscal de EU. JAIME ZAPATA Tras la declaración de culpabilidad, el tribunal federal dejó documentos sin sellar que revelaban las declaraciones de culpabilidad de los otros tres acusados JULIÁN ZAPATA en la emboscada en México, quienes también fueron acusados de homicidio, intento de homicidio y extorsión. Rubén Darío Venegas Rivera, de 25 años, y José Ismael Nava Villa-

grán, de 30 años, se declararon culpables de homicidio e intento de homicidio. Francisco Carvajal Flores, de 38 años, se declaró culpable de extorsión. Zapata Espinoza, Venegas Rivera y Nava Villagrán admitieron ser miembros del cartel de Los Zetas quienes participaron en la emboscada a los agentes especiales el 15 de febrero en 2011. El Juez de la Corte de Distrito Royce Lamberte, dijo que EU se comprometió a no pedir la pena de muerte a cambio de la extradición de Zapata Espinoza de México. El ejército mexicano ha dicho que Zapata Espinoza creyó erróneamente que Jaime Zapata formaba parte de un cártel rival. Los agentes estaban sirviendo como agentes de ICE en México

cuando fueron rodeados y forzados a salir de la carretera mientras viajaban entre la Ciudad de México y Monterrey, cerca de San Luis Potosí. Zapata Espinoza ordenó a los agentes salir del vehículo. Cuando los agentes se negaron y trataron de identificarse como diplomáticos estadounidenses de la Embajada de EU, los miembros del escuadrón dispararon contre el vehículo. Los miembros del cártel de Los Zetas continuaron disparando contra el vehículo cuando los agentes intentaron escapar. Jaime Zapata murió a causa de heridas de bala que sufrió en el ataque. (Frederic J. Frommer, reportero de Associated Press, contribuyó en este reportaje)



Foto de cortesía

Atraer a turismo nacional y extranjero es el objetivo de promoción de la ruta de la Huasteca Mágica, por parte de los gobiernos de San Luis Potosí y Tamaulipas.

Promueven zona que une dos entidades mexicanas TIEMPO DE ZAPATA


os estados de Tamaulipas y San Luis Potosí firmaron un convenio cuyo objetivo es promover la ruta conocida como “Huasteca Mágica”. ,”Venimos a promover todos los destinos turísticos que tenemos, las cascadas los ríos, los rápidos, el rapel, entre otros”, dijo Edna Buenfil, representante de la agencia Expediciones Ésta agencia trabaja en conjunto con Tamaulipas en integrar y promocionar una sola ruta, que incremente el número de visitantes y, a la vez, la derrama económica en la región. El objetivo del convenio Ruta de la Huasteca Mágica es ofrecer un producto turístico, sostuvo Buenfil. “La gente tiene que empezarlo a conocer, recomendarlo y constatar el estándar de calidad necesario”, dijo ella. El acuerdo entre las dos entidades incluye la capacitación de operadores turísticos, el de-

sarrollo de los productos del ramo, la promoción de la Ruta de la Huasteca Mágica y de los atractivos naturales, históricos y culturales de la región, explicó Mónica González García, Secretaria de Desarrollo Económico y Turismo en Tamaulipas. “Este convenio ha traído resultados muy positivos porque ambos gobiernos unimos los esfuerzos para hacer de esta región un destino competitivo a nivel nacional para el turismo de naturaleza, de aventura y cultural”, señaló González. El acuerdo impulsa el registro entre las rutas del Consejo de Promoción Turística de México y permite unir los atractivos de Tamaulipas y San Luis Potosí en materia turística. Expediciones promueve el jardín surrealista de Eduard James en Xilitla, el Castillo Beto Ramón en Axtla de Terrazas e integran la Biósfera El Cielo con la observación de aves. “Tamaulipas es un estado increíble, tiene

lugares fascinantes”, dijo Buenfil. “La gente se acerca y nos pregunta cómo está la situación en esos lugares y es parte de nuestro trabajo convencerlos que viajen, ya hemos hecho el recorrido nosotros mismos y les demostramos que todo está tranquilo, que pueden ir sin ningún problema”. Destacó la Reserva de la Biósfera El Cielo al que calificó como “un sitio perfecto, además de la distancia a la que se encuentra de San Luis Potosí, destaca su tranquilidad y lo bello de su flora y fauna, por lo cual vale la pena recorrerlo”. González agregó que el compromiso a corto plazo es consolidar la “Ruta de la Huasteca Mágica” como destino de turismo cultural, de naturaleza y aventura preferido por los mercados de Texas, Nuevo León, Coahuila, Querétaro, Guanajuato, Estado de México y Distrito Federal, además de Tamaulipas y San Luis Potosí. (Con información del Gobierno de Tamaulipas y de HT Agencia)


Hombre se declara culpable; espera sentencia POR CÉSAR RODRÍGUEZ TIEMPO DE ZAPATA

Un hombre arrestado el 20 de marzo por supuestamente dirigir un grupo de 14 inmigrantes a través de una zona de maleza en Zapata se declaró culpable en una corte federal la semana pasada. Antonio Castro Rangel, ciudadano mexicano, se declaró culpable de transportar inmigrantes. La fecha para dictar sentencia aún está por ser determi-

Antonio Castro Rangel, ciudadano mexicano, se declaró culpable de transportar inmigrantes. Sentencia está por determinarse. Castro Rangel podría enfrentar hasta 10 años en prisión. nada. Castro Rangel podría enfrentar hasta 10 años en prisión. Investigadores especiales de Seguridad Nacional detuvieron a Castro Rangel, cerca del vecindario Twin Lakes en Zapata

el 20 de marzo alrededor de las 12:30 p.m. El mismo día agentes de Aduana y Protección Fronteriza descubrieron a 14 personas que habían entrado en el país ilegalmente escondidas entre la maleza.

Oficiales federales dijeron que los inmigrantes identificaron a Castro Rangel como “el guía” que los llevaría a través del área, según estados de la súplica. En una entrevista des-

pués de la detención, Castro Rangel admitió que dirigió al grupo a través del Río Grande de México a Estados Unidos. Castro Rangel habría recibido un pago de 200 dólares por persona, de acuerdo con documentos de la corte Los 14 inmigrantes eran ciudadanos de México. Las personas mantenidas como testigos declararon a los agentes federales que habían pagado una cuota para pasar al país del norte.


SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013

Broadwell: I’m getting my life in order By MICHAEL BIESECKER ASSOCIATED PRESS

RALEIGH, N.C. — The biographer whose extramarital affair with then-CIA director David Petraeus triggered his resignation says she regrets the relationship and the harm and grief it caused her family. Paula Broadwell told WSOCTV in Charlotte on Thursday that she credited her husband and friends for standing by her as she rebuilds her life six months after her relationship with the married Petraeus was revealed by an FBI investigation and ignited a political firestorm. TV crews camped out front of her family home for days and Broadwell went into seclusion. The couple has two young children. “I have remorse for the harm, sadness that this has caused in my family and other families and for causes that we belong to,” Broadwell said. “I’m blessed with family, community. That’s been a great part of my rehabilitation

Photo by ISAF/file | AP

The former Commander of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Gen. Davis Petraeus, left, shakes hands with Paula Broadwell, co-author of "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus," in 2011. and wonderful organizations that realize that even if you’ve made mistakes you can pick up dust off and move on.” Broadwell spoke briefly last month with a reporter outside a Charlotte prayer breakfast, but

CONSPIRACY she was responsible for communication between the Jeep and the scouts, identifying law enforcement threats and the various routes that the organization would use to deliver pot to Houston, the complaint states. It adds that Flores told agents that she was in touch with three scout vehicles and for picking up Barrera,

Thursday was her first in-depth media interview since the scandal broke. Broadwell is a U.S. Army reserve officer who met thenGen. Petraeus while researching a book about his wartime leadership in Iraq and Afghanistan.

DEATH Continued from Page 1A

Continued from Page 1A

who had delivered the marijuana-loaded Jeep to the driver. Flores allegedly said that she was to be paid $2,000 for her services as a scout that day and that she had worked for the drug trafficking organization for about four years and had been caught by Border Patrol and DEA before. She said Barrera was called a “jumper,” re-

sponsible for delivering the Jeep to the marijuana stash location and then taking the potloaded vehicle to the driver, the complaint states. Barrera would then get in Flores’ vehicle and assist her in scouting, according to the complaint. Flores told agents that she believed Barrera would get paid $1,500 for her services.

The affair came to light after Broadwell sent vaguely threatening emails to a Florida socialite she viewed as a rival for his attention. That woman, Jill Kelley, showed the emails to an acquaintance who is an FBI agent.

For his part, Petraeus made similar comments in March in a speech at an event for soldiers in California, saying he was sorry for the affair and the pain it caused his wife, family, friends and supporters. “Needless to say, I join you keenly aware that I am regarded in a different light now than I was a year ago,” said Petraeus, who retired as a four-star general before being named by President Obama to head the CIA in 2011. “I am also keenly aware that the reason for my recent journey was my own doing.” Broadwell spends much of her time now working with local organizations in the Charlotte area that help returning veterans and wounded warriors with finding jobs and housing. “I’m not focused on the past, I’m not dwelling on it,” she said. “It was a devastating thing for our family and we still have some healing to do, but we’re very focused now on how can we continue to contribute.”

forts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. The man was pronounced dead at about 8 p.m., shortly after he was found. Baeza said since the death occurred in Laredo, LPD took the case. Miguel Angel Isidro Rodríguez, Consulate general of Mexico in Laredo, said consular officials were notified promptly about the incident. Rodriguez said he hopes the investigation will determine

what happened. He said his office continued working on locating next of kin in Mexico. The man was from Tamaulipas. Rodriguez echoed authorities’ comments regarding high temperatures possibly being a determining factor. Jose “Pepe” Carmona Flores, secretary of immigrants for the Institutional Revolutionary Party in Tamaulipas and former director of the Immigrant Institute of

Tamaulipas State, said he’s been following the case. He said he hopes family members are notified soon about their loved one. Carmona Flores added that he’ll look for any possible negligence, abuse or violation of human rights in the case. “It’s important to know. Society needs the truth,” Carmona Flores said. (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 728-2568 or

BOY SCOUTS Continued from Page 1A and harassing them?” he asked. He said OnMyHonor.Net and other like-minded organizations and individuals would meet in Louisville, Ky., next month to discuss the creation of “a new character development organization for boys.” Texas Gov. Rick Perry also expressed dismay. “While I will always cherish my time as a Scout and the life lessons I learned, I am greatly disappointed with this decision,” he said. The result was welcomed by many liberal members of the Scouting community and by gay-rights activists, though most of the praise was coupled with calls for ending the ban on gay adults. “I’m so proud of how far we’ve come, but until there’s a place for everyone in Scouting, my work will continue,” said Jennifer Tyrrell, whose ouster as a Cub Scout den leader in Ohio because she is lesbian launched a national protest movement. Tyrrell recalled having to tell her son she had been forced out as den mother. “He doesn’t deserve to be told that we’re not good enough,” she said. ‘’We’re not going to stop until this is over.” Pascal Tessier, an openly gay 16-year-old Boy Scout from Maryland, had mixed emotions after the vote. “I was thinking that today could be my last day as

a Boy Scout,” he said. “Obviously, for gay Scouts like me, this vote is life-changing.” Tessier is on track to receive his Eagle Scout award — he only needs to complete his final project — but said he is troubled that on his 18th birthday he could transform from someone holding Scouting’s highest rank to someone unfit to be a part of the organization. “That one couple hours (between 17 and 18) will make me not a good person,” he said. James Dale, 42, who was the first person to challenge the Boy Scouts gay ban in court, agreed, calling the decision “a bit of a step backward” for gay youth. “It sends a very convoluted, mixed message to gay kids. It says that being gay is a youthful indiscretion, and that there’s no future for you,” Dale, of New Jersey, told The Star-Ledger. Dale sued the Boy Scouts in 1990 after he was removed as an assistant scoutmaster because of his sexual orientation. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the organization was within its rights to ban gays. Tessier has indeed been

an exception — an openly gay Scout whose presence was quietly accepted by local Scout leaders. In general, the Scouts’ policy has been to avoid any questioning of would-be Scouts as to their sexual orientation, but to dismiss boys who did speak openly about being gay. For example, Scout officials refused to grant the Eagle Scout rank to Ryan Andresen, an 18-year-old Californian, after he came out as gay last year. The vote followed what the BSA described as “the most comprehensive listening exercise in Scouting’s history” to gauge opinions, including a survey sent out starting in February to members of the Scouting community. Of the more than 200,000 leaders, parents and youth members who responded, 61 percent supported the current policy of excluding gays, while 34 percent opposed it. Most parents of young Scouts, as well as

youth members themselves, opposed the ban. The proposal approved Thursday was seen as a compromise, and the Scouts stressed that they would not condone sexual conduct by any Scout — gay or straight. “The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive and unresolved societal issue,” the BSA said in a statement. Among those voting for the proposal to accept openly gay youth was Thomas Roberts, of Dawsonville, Ga., who serves on the board of a Scout council in northeast Georgia. “It was a very hard decision for this organization,” he said. “I think ultimately it will be viewed as the right thing.” The BSA’s overall “traditional youth membership” — Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers — is now

about 2.6 million, compared with more than 4 million in peak years of the past. It also has about 1 million adult leaders and volunteers. Of the more than 100,000 Scouting units in the U.S., 70 percent are chartered by religious institutions. Those include liberal churches opposed to any ban on gays, but some of the largest sponsors are relatively conservative denominations that have previously supported the broad ban — notably the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Southern Baptist churches. While the Southern Baptists were clearly upset by the vote to accept openly gay youth, the Utah-based Mormon church — which has more Scouting troops than any other religious de-

nomination — reacted positively. “We trust that BSA will implement and administer the approved policy in an appropriate and effective manner,” an LDS statement said. Utah’s largest Boy Scout councils supported the change. “This is a win for youth and a win for the community,” said John Gailey, spokesman for the Utah National Parks Council, which covers central and southern Utah. “It gives all youth the opportunity to take advantage of the values instilled by Scouting.” The National Catholic Committee on Scouting responded cautiously, saying it would assess the possible impact of the change on Catholic-sponsored Scout units

SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013


MARIA P. SOLIS SAN YGNACIO — Maria P. Solis, passed away on Monday, May 20, 2013 at 8:30 am in Laredo. She was born July 19, 1923, in San Rafael, Tamaulipas (Rancho Las Tortillas), Mexico and lived most of her life in San Ygnacio. Ms. Solis is preceded in death by her parents, Anita F. Paredes (Jul 16, 1972) and Lazaro Paredes (Jan 21, 1963); son, David Ramiro Solís (Dec. 1981); husband, Estanislao Solis (January 27, 2005); grandparents, Tomasita Hernández and Gregorio Paredes; sibilings, Adela, Arturo, Ernestina, Guadalupe, Ernesto, Margarito, Esperanza, and Gregorio (born between 1902 and 1926 in San Ygnacio). Ms. Solis is survived by her children, Benito Solis (Cecilia), Elia Solis, Joaquin Solis (Sylvia) and Adela Solis (Tom). She is also survived by the mothers of her grandchildren San Juana D. Solis and Evelyn De Spain; 11 grandchildren, Javier Solis, Leticia Solis, Benito Solis Jr.(Nilda), Juan Jose Solis, Miguel Solis, Armando Solis, Ricardo Solis, James Solis (Marion), Melissa Solis Hernandez (Mark), Christina Solis Thompson (Douglas), Rolando Gutierrez Jr. (Kim); 12 great-grand-children, Benito Solis III (Mirely), Marissa Solis Chapa (Willie), Melissa Solis Chapa (Osvaldo), Clarissa Solis Villarreal (Steve); Juan Jose Solis Jr., David Solis, Alejandro Solis, Stephen Solis, Julian Solis, Matthew Solis Hernandez, Brittany Solis Hernandez, Payton Solis Foster, and Nathan Solis; six greatgreat-grandchildren, Alexsandra Benavides, Delissa Chapa, Jay Solis, Ryan Solis, Osvaldo Chapa, Jr., and Jordan David Villarreal. She worked for about 20 years in San Ygnacio’s Arturo L. Benavides Elementary School. She retired as cafeteria supervisor in 1990-1991. She was known for her dedication and commitment to the San Ygnacio and Zapata communities and church. She participated and collaborated in my religious, cultural and fund raising activities. She mostly stood out as a quilt maker. Following the traditional style of South Texas quilt making she quilted for many years for family and friends and donated quilts as gifts for weddings and to raffle to raise funds for the church and other community needs. She used beautiful leaf and floral patterns drawn onto bright colors of satin and cotton fabrics stuffed with real wool to produce beautifully and delicately stitched “colchas”. Quilting, as tamale making, was a big social event at Maria’s house and in other places around San Ygnacio where family, friends and neighbors could gather to contribute their expert help and advice, and where they shared lots of gossip and fine stories, of course. Maria’s quilts and her quiltmaking skills were recog-

GUSTAVO ARMANDO RODRIGUEZ SR. Feb. 27, 1934 - May 17, 2013

nized as she willingly demonstrated the art of quilt making locally, in the state and nationally. It was not unusual to find her at local fairs such as Zapata County Fair, Frontier Days, and Border Fest in Laredo, Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio. Additionally, she was invited to participate in the Smithsonian 1987 & 1993 American Folklife Festival in Washington DC where she joined a group of folklorists/artists from the Laredo area to demonstrate their crafts. She contributed quilts for exhibition in museums in Zapata, Kingsville and the Smithsonian Institute where her work traveled worldwide. Several years after retirement Ms. Solis began her struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Since her mid-seventies she’s been cared for by family and at wonderful nursing care facilities in Zapata and Laredo. The family would like to express its appreciation for the care she received from staff at the Falcon Lake Nursing Home in Zapata and Regent Care of Laredo, specifically the staff of the Blanco Wing, and much appreciation especially to Dr. Alex Blanco for the special care he provided during her 15-year struggle with Alzheimer’s. Her love and dedication to her family, church and community were the highlights of her life and surely in her heart during the years she could no longer be of service, something she wanted to have done until the very last day of her life. She died just two months short of her 90th birthday. Maria P. Solis will never be forgotten and always be loved. Visitation hours were held Friday, May 24, 2013, from 6 to 9 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. at Rose Garden Funeral Home. The funeral procession will depart Saturday, May 25, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. for a 9 a.m. funeral Mass at Our Lady of Refuge Mission in San Ygnacio. Committal services will follow at Uribe Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Rose Garden Funeral Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 N. U.S. Hwy. 83 Zapata.

Gustavo Armando Rodriguez was called upon by our heavenly Father on Friday, May 17, 2013. Gustavo was born on February 27, 1934, in San Ygnacio. He was raised in San Ygnacio at a young age and later moved to Laredo. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 43 years Graciela Irene Rodriguez. Also preceding him in death are his parents Juan De Dios and Josefa (Salazar) Rodriguez; brothers Juan Howard Rodriguez, Ramiro Adolfo Rodriguez, sister in-law Gloria Diaz and brother in-law Raul Garcia, Jr. Gustavo worked for Uniroyal Proving Grounds, just outside of Laredo, for more than 30 years and retired from there. He made many friends and many knew him as a hard working, honest man. Gustavo enjoyed the outdoors and spending time at his ranch. He was a proud member of the U.S. Army during the Korean War and later the U.S. Army Reserve and finally the U.S. National Guard where he retired after 26 years of service to his country. Gustavo provided a strong, warm, caring and loving life for his wife and three children. His wife Graciela was the love of his life and never left her side for 43 wonderful years. Gustavo was a hands-on dad and was involved in all aspects of his children’s lives, from becoming a Boys Scout Troop Leader for his son, to his involvement in the Band Parent’s Association. His legacy will live on in his children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren. He is survived by his son Gustavo Armando (Brenda) Rodriguez Jr. and two daughters Alma Leticia Rodriguez and Belinda Irene Hinojosa (Andres Garcia); grandchildren Jaime A. Hinojosa Jr (Martha), Vanessa Irene Hinojosa, Armando Andres Hinojosa, Laura L. ( Ricardo Garza), Gustavo A. Rodriguez III, Ashley F. (Ricky Ramirez), George O. Rodriguez, Juan De Dios Rodriguez, Edward Raul Rodriguez, and Graciela Irene Rodriguez; great-grandchildren Mackey and Chantel Salcedo, Ricardo Jr. and Kendra Garza and Dominic Ramirez Jr. and Bruce and Jason Hinojosa, as well as siblings Samuel (+Delia

)Rodriguez, Raquel (+Narciso) Gonzalez, Hilda (+Bernardo) Ayala, Celinda (Filiberto) Garza, Sister in-law Guadalupe Rodriguez, as well as an extended family such as beloved nieces, nephews and friends. The family would like to give special thanks to Dr. Carlos Canova and staff and Laredo Specialty Hospital and Doctor’s Hospital. Visitation was held Monday, May 20, 2013, at Joe Jackson Heights Funeral Chapels, 719 Loring at Cortez from 5 to 9 in the evening. A Vigil for the Deceased was held at 7 in the evening. Funeral services were held Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Departure was at 9:30 a.m. Interment with military honors will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery. Pallbearers was Gustavo Armando Rodriguez Jr., Gustavo Armando Rodriguez III, Jaime A. Hinojosa, George O. Rodriguez, Armando Andres Hinojosa, Ricardo Garza, Ricardo Ramirez and Mackey Salcedo. Honorary pallbearers was Samuel Rodriguez, Juan de Dios Rodriguez, Edward Rodriguez, Ricky Garza, and Dominic Ramirez. You may express your condolences to the family at Arrangements are under the care and direction of the funeral service professionals at Joe Jackson Heights Funeral Chapels, 719 Loring at Cortez, Laredo, 78040, (956) 722-0001.

Associated Press/file

Vernon McGarity received the Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman in October 1945.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Former World War II Army squad leader and Medal of Honor recipient Vernon McGarity has died at age 91, a funeral home said Thursday. McGarity died of cancer on Tuesday night in Memphis, said Taylor Loeffel, a spokeswoman for Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery. Funeral services were set for Saturday. President Harry Truman awarded the Medal of Honor to McGarity in October 1945. According to the U.S. Army Center of Military History, McGarity was a Technical Sergeant in the 393d Infantry, 99th Infantry Division, during World War II. McGarity was wounded in an artillery barrage that preceded a German counteroffensive near Krinkelt, Belgium, in December 1944. He received treatment but refused to be evacuated and returned to battle. During the battle, McGarity rescued two wounded soldiers, immobilized a tank with a round from a rocket launcher, replenished the unit’s ammunition under heavy fire and destroyed a German machine gun. The machine gun had cut off the squad’s only escape route, but McGarity managed to destroy it single-handedly under heavy fire and kill or wound all the German gunners, according to his Medal of Honor citation. The delaying action allowed reserves to assemble and form a line against the Germans. McGarity received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and two Belgian medals in addition to the Medal of Honor. There are 79 Medal of Honor recipients who are still alive, according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

HILDA V. FLORES Hilda V. Flores, 78, passed away on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at Laredo Medical Center in Laredo. Ms. Flores is preceded in death by her husband Baldomero Flores; parents Meliton and Nicolasa Valadez and a brother, Meliton Valadez Jr. Ms. Flores is survived by her sons Baldomero Jr. (Maria) Flores, Osiel (Maria) Flores, Carlos Javier (Maribel) Flores; daughters, Nora (Rolando) Martinez, Mirtha (Omar) Medina, Nelly (Vicente) Gon-

zalez, Amadelia (Rolando) Gonzalez, Maricruz (Benito) Bernal and Fabiola Flores; 30 grandchildren,

41 great-grandchildren, brothers, Jaime (Maria) Valadez, Leonel (Amanda) Valadez; sisters, Yolanda (Anibal) Alanis, Sylvia Reyes; and by numerous nephews, nieces, and many friends. Visitation was held Thursday, May 23, 2013, from 6 to 9 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. at Rose Garden Funeral Home. The funeral procession departed on Friday, May 24, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. for a 10 a.m. funeral Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Commit-

tal services followed at Zapata County Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Rose Garden Funeral Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 N. U.S. Hwy. 83, Zapata.


SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013

SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013



Senior bowl Zapata players in All-Star game By JASON MACK

ticipate in the game kicking off at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Shirley Field in Laredo. The game features seniors from all seven Laredo public schools, along with schools from around the area such as Ben Bolt and Eagle Pass. The seniors are split into North and South teams. United


Photo by Ulysses S. Romero | The Zapata Times

Martin coach David Charles speaks Monday during practice at Shirley Field. Charles is coaching the South squad which includes Zapata seniors Daniel Hinojosa, Cesar Ramos Jr. and Jose Martinez.

Three seniors from Zapata are getting one more chance to show what they can do on the gridiron today in the South Texas Coaches Association AllStar Game. Daniel Hinojosa, Cesar Ramos Jr. and Jose Martinez will all par-

coach David Sanchez and his staff are coaching the North squad, and Martin coach David Charles and his staff are coaching the South team. “It’s fun having the opportunity to coach some of the better athletes from the surrounding area,”




Photos by Cuate Santos | The Zapata Times

Zapata High School student-athlete Cesar Ramos Jr. was surrounded by his family, coach, school admininstrators and teammates at the school’s gymnasium Wednesday afternoon for a ceremony where Ramos signed a national letter of intent to play football for Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi.

Cesar Ramos Jr. signs his national letter of intent while his mother Elisa looks on Wednesday at the school’s gymnasium.

Cesar Ramos Jr. sports a Belhaven University Blazers baseball cap.

Cesar Ramos Jr., right, is congratulated by his high school football teammates at the school’s gymnasium Wednesday.



Parker guiding the Spurs

Brent’s bond upheld





SAN ANTONIO — Even if the San Antonio Spurs can’t help but feel a touch uneasy about their 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals, Tony Parker is completely comfortable. For the second straight year, Parker used a sensational Game 2 to give the Spurs a two-game lead to start the conference finals. This time, it was a 15-point, 18-assist masterpiece that featured Parker scoring or assisting on 14 of the

DALLAS — Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent will remain free while he awaits trial for intoxication manslaughter, as a judge on Friday denied a request by prosecutors to revoke his bond due to problems with alcohol monitoring. Brent is charged in the fatal car crash Dec. 8 that killed Jerry Brown, a Cowboys practice squad player, college teammate and friend. Police have


Photo by Eric Gay | AP

San Antonio’s Tony Parker goes up for a shot during the first half against Memphis on Tuesday in San Antonio.


Photo by Mike Fuentes | AP

Cowboys player Josh Brent leaves court in Dallas on Friday after a hearing to determine if he violated the terms of his bail.



SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013

Texans begin to prepare for season By KRISTIE RIEKEN ASSOCIATED PRESS

Photo by Eric Gay | AP

Sources say the Dallas Mavericks will pursue Dwight Howard during free agency. Howard will become a free agent on July 1 when free agency begins across the league.


DALLAS - Now that the Los Angeles Clippers have refused to offer coach Vinny Del Negro a new contract, a source said Wednesday that the Dallas Mavericks believe they have a better chance of acquiring Dwight Howard than acquiring Chris Paul. Howard is the Los Angeles Lakers’ center who will become a free agent on July 1, the day free agency begins across the league. Paul, a point guard with the Los Angeles Clippers last season who also will be a free agent, likely will have a say-so on which coach the Clippers hire, meaning he’ll probably stay with the Clippers. "I think Chris Paul, de-

pending on who (the Clippers) hire, is going to stay with the Clippers," the source said. "The Mavericks are really interested in Chris Paul, but I think they want Dwight more. They think they can make them a point guard." The source said two point guards who interest the Mavericks are Golden State’s Jarrett Jack and Memphis’ Jerryd Bayless. Both of those players figured prominently in their team’s runs in the current playoffs, and both will become free agents in July. Meanwhile, the source said that the Mavs were aggressively shopping the No. 13 pick they garnered in Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery so they’d be able to create more salary cap space and make a stronger pitch to obtain Howard. The Lakers are in the

driver’s seat in that they can offer Howard a fiveyear, $118 million contract. The most any other team can offer Howard is a fouryear, $87.6 million deal. Forward Dirk Nowitzki has already said he’ll sign for significantly less money when he becomes a free agent next summer if it’ll help the Mavs secure Howard, who is generally considered the game’s best center. Howard has not said what his future basketball plans are other than to mention that the Houston Rockets, Mavs and Lakers are on his wish list. "They’re trying to go after (Howard) pretty hard," the source said of the Mavs. "They think they’ve got as good enough of a chance as anybody, but I think Houston is a better fit for him."

HOUSTON — Matt Schaub has gotten good at tuning out criticism from those outside the organization. Houston’s quarterback doesn’t have time for those opinions. Besides, even his harshest critics probably aren’t as hard on him as he is on himself. “I have higher expectations of myself than anyone could ever put on me,” he said. So what does he expect from himself this season? Simple. After the Texans were bounced from the postseason in the divisional round two years in a row, he is determined to help them go deeper in the playoffs and contend for a championship. “Whenever you’re not the last team standing at the end of the day, that’s motivation to get back at what you’ve been doing and start working toward next season,” Schaub said. “Last year is in the past, and this is the time to get better individually and as a group, and if we all get better by a little bit, we’ll be right where we want to be.” Last season was Schaub’s playoff debut after he missed Houston’s first playoff run with a

foot injury. Houston’s season ended with a 41-28 loss to New England. Schaub threw for 343 yards and two scores in that game, but also had an interception in the fourth quarter ending a drive which could have got Houston within a touchdown. That miscue had many fans and media blaming the quarterback for the loss. Coach Gary Kubiak brushed off the notion that Schaub was the problem in that loss. “We were there because of him,” he said. “So (criticism’s) part of playing quarterback and that just makes you better and pushes you every day and he’s doing fine. If you can’t take a little bit of that in this business you’re probably not going to last very long.” He doesn’t think that what happened last season puts any extra pressure on Schaub this year. “I think pressure is the same all the time, I don’t think it changes,” Kubiak said. “Matt’s goal is to win a championship and we’ve got to get a team that can get that done and he’s got his job to do with the football team.” The Texans won a franchise-best 13 games last season. However, they had trouble celebrating the ac-

complishment because of a late-season collapse where they lost three of their final four regularseason games, costing them a bye and homefield advantage. Schaub is hoping to help the team avoid a similar fate this time around. “We played so well throughout the season, and then that last month we kind of were up and down, we had peaks and valleys and we didn’t have that consistent level of play across the board,” he said. “Then we got to the playoffs and it was the same thing. So we’ve just got to be a little more consistent.” He started every game for Houston in 2012 and threw for 4,008 yards with 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. This season he’ll have a new weapon on a unit that already boasts running back Arian Foster and receiver Andre Johnson in first-round draft pick DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans hope that Hopkins can develop into a top-tier receiver they’ve lacked to play opposite Johnson. “He’s such a dynamic player and the run after the catch, the ability to go up and get the ball; he’s just going to bring an added dimension to our offense,” Schaub said.

FOOTBALL Continued from Page 1B Sanchez said. “It’s even more fun for the kids because they get to play with some of the guys they grew up with and meet some of the players they played against all year. It’s a great opportunity for them to build a relationship with guys they’ll have an opportunity to work with in the community later on.” The game provides Sanchez with one more chance to coach 11 of his outgoing seniors along with eight Alexander players such as LMT All-City MVP Alex Bryand. The team also features athletes from Eagle Pass, Bruni, Cotulla, Ben Bolt, Crystal City, Pearsall and C.C. Winn. “It’s always a good time to have that opportunity to coach

your kids for the last time,” Sanchez said. “More than anything, it’s a lot of fun for them. We also get to meet some other players we’ve been competing against as coaches. We get to see the character these kids bring with them. It’s always been a really pleasant experience.” Charles is coaching Zapata’s seniors along with players from Martin, Nixon and Cigarroa, United South and LBJ. It gives Charles a final opportunity to coach record-breaking running back Rudy Castillo and other graduating Tigers. Castillo has committed to play next year at Texas Lutheran University. “That one last game means a

lot,” Castillo said. “It’s a treasure I’ll hold in my heart forever. These are guys I’ve played against and now I’m with them. We all feel the same passion for the sport. We’re all in love with football. It’s going to be a great game together.” Castillo is teaming up in the backfield with other local tailbacks including United South’s Simba Ijeoma. The game is Ijeoma’s final game in Texas before heading to Kansas to play football at either Sterling College or Tabor College. “It feels good to have a last game with the seniors,” Ijeoma said. “It’s fun to meet everybody. I’ve never really got to talk to any of them in person, so it’s

nice to be on the field with them and get to know each other.” “You really don’t know the kids and what they can do, but you know they are great athletes,” Charles said. “It’s just a matter of putting them in a position to be successful. It’s kind of exciting. We’ve been watching these guys on film all year long. You know how great of football players they are. It’s exciting to get your hands on them and coach them.” Saturday’s matchup is about more than just football as the STCA uses the opportunity to raise funds for scholarships and charity. “It’s a great thing our South Texas organization has done to

SPURS Continued from Page 1B Spurs’ 18 baskets after halftime. Asked Wednesday if it was a performance reminiscent of John Stockton, the NBA’s career assists leader, Parker said: “No, Tony Parker.” “I don’t want to be anybody. I just want to have my own identity,” he added. “I always fight with (coach Gregg Popovich) for that because he wanted me to be — no disrespect to Avery Johnson — but like Avery, and then like John. I was like, ‘I want to be me.’ I want to do both. I want to be aggressive, and I just try to find that balance. “That’s the thing through my whole career is to find the happy middle between scoring and passing.” Parker has already won three NBA titles with San Antonio and seemed to have the Spurs rolling toward another one last season when he scored 34 points on 16 for 21 shooting — and also dished out eight assists — in a 120-111 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 of the West finals. It was San Antonio’s 20th straight win, a streak spanning seven weeks. And then — poof ! — the season was over a week later following four straight losses to Oklahoma City. That history puts this year’s strong start to the series in a completely different perspective. “We understand that we didn’t do anything. We just protected home court and we have a long way to go because we know we’re playing a very good team,” Parker said. “People who know basketball, they know they are a very good team and you can’t take anything for granted.” Parker informed reporters before practice that he plans to use the three-day break before Game 3 on Saturday in Memphis to have an MRI on his troublesome left calf Thursday “just to make sure” he’s improving on schedule. He said the knot that developed after he got kicked in the calf during the Golden State series was the biggest he’s had in his career, but has been feeling better. “Slowly and surely, I’m turning the corner and so hopefully, I’ll be fine,” Parker said, not expecting to miss any time. Last year’s Western Conference finals turned when the Thunder deployed 6-foot-7 defensive ace Thabo Sefolosha against Parker and began routinely switching screens on defense. Parker’s shooting percentage dipped to 39 percent and he had four assists in each of the next three games. Even his 29 points and 12 assists in Game 6 weren’t enough to save the Spurs. Even before Tuesday night’s loss, Parker had been the focus of several defensive adjustments by the

Grizzlies, and more figure to be on the way. “On pick-and-rolls, they had such good spacing that it allowed him to manipulate and move the ball different ways, get into the paint and draw and kick,” Memphis point guard Mike Conley said. “When you have a guy that’s able to create plays like that for other people, it really puts the defense at its mercy.” While Parker presents an entirely different challenge, the Grizzlies found success in the last round by continually decreasing the effectiveness of threetime NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant. “We’ve played against a lot of great players all year long, and you just have to go out and compete against them the best you can and try to limit some things and find a way to win,” coach Lionel Hollins said. Parker said he believes he has become a better passer over the years, and his career-best assist total from Game 2 was also a product of the ball being in his hands more than ever. He had assists on San Antonio’s first seven baskets after halftime, then scored the next two. After coming out for a rest, he returned and hit back-to-back shots to extend the Spurs’ lead to 83-70 before he finally went cold and Memphis rallied. “He goes through his phases. He’s to the point now where he can do it both ways. He kind of reads what they’re giving him, what he’s being asked to do, and you see (Tuesday) night where he just decided that the pass is what was there,” Tim Duncan said. “Guys knocked down shots for him, which was great, but he controlled the entire game. “I think having that much on his shoulders really wore him out towards the end there, but he’s the one that got us the lead that we had.” Parker acknowledged he wore down late in regulation, when he missed five straight shots, in part as a residual effect from a long Golden State series and in part because of his heavy load so far in this one. Even so, he had assists on two of Duncan’s three baskets in overtime that enabled San Antonio to win and go up 2-0. “We’re in a great spot, but if you look at it, it’s the same spot that we were last year. It doesn’t mean at all that we are going to make it just because we won the first two,” Manu Ginobili said. “We’ve got to go there and try to grab one. ... We’ve been here. We know that it’s not over until you win the fourth. “We’ve just got to stay humble, keep working hard and definitely try to get one from Memphis.”

put this All-Star game together,” Sanchez said. “It’s for a good cause. We’re raising money and donating two scholarships to each school that’s a member of the organization. We also give a $4,000 scholarship to the Laredo Food Bank. We gave it to them early this year because somebody was matching the amount raised. With our $4,000, they got $8,000. It was a good deal.” The game will also feature the induction of Estella Kramer, Francisco Ibarra and Cynthia Haynes Ramirez into the Hall of Honorees during the halftime ceremonies. The STCA All-Star Game kicks off at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Shirley Field.

BRENT Continued from Page 1B accused Brent of driving with a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit. As a condition of his $100,000 bond, Brent is required to wear an alcohol ankle monitor and appear for regular meetings with a county officer. Witnesses at Friday’s hearing said he had repeatedly missed required times for his ankle monitor to download information, as well as two appointments with the officer. Judge Robert Burns ordered a second form of monitoring to take breath samples, and for Brent to provide a urine sample. Burns said he would not increase Brent’s bond amount. Prosecutors had filed a motion Thursday asking for his bond to be revoked. Brent’s ankle monitor was set off for alcohol four times in February and March, but both sides agreed Friday that those instances were most likely caused by the presence of alcohol in the air or near Brent — not drinking. His attorneys said they didn’t know how the alcohol positives occurred, but suggested in court that they could have been triggered by things as benign as mouthwash or hand sanitizer. Brent sat silently throughout the nearly hour-long hearing, though at times he tapped one of his attorneys, George Milner, on the shoulder and whispered in his ear. He did not testify and declined to answer questions outside court. Heath Harris, the Dallas County first assistant district attorney, said authorities wanted to be certain that Brent wasn’t drinking or doing anything to violate his probation. “Even though ... we can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was drinking, we can’t prove that he was not drinking,” Harris said. “That’s the biggest problem.” Milner accused prosecutors of making a show of otherwise ordinary issues, many of which are from earlier this year, due to Brent’s notoriety as a Dallas Cowboys player. His career is on hold pending the outcome of this case. “I think we’ve unequivocally established the fact that the district attorney’s office is treating Mr. Brent differently because of the helmet that he wears,” Milner told reporters outside court. “There’s no disputing that now. Everybody down here knew it. Now it’s out in un-contradicted, sworn testimony.” Harris denied the charge. “This guy is a repeat alcohol offender that killed someone in our county,” he said. “We take offense to that.” A crash report released by suburban Dallas police says Brent was driving the night of the crash with a suspended driver’s license from Illinois, where he pleaded guilty three years ago to a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge. Brent and Brown both played college football at the University of Illinois. Brent faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of intoxicated manslaughter, though he could also get probation.

SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013


HINTS | BY HELOISE DOGGY DENIAL Dear Heloise: How do I go about telling people that I do not want them to bring their DOG into my house without hurting their feelings? The dog is very wellbehaved, but I am not a dog lover. He eats people food, and they feed him the food I cook, from the table, while we are eating a meal. Don’t you think it is rude for them to expect others to “enjoy” their dog as much as they do? — A Traveling Reader, via email This is a tough one! I guess the best way is to just be honest and explain how you feel. Not everyone is a dog lover, and many don’t enjoy having a dog in their home. They (or you) may be afraid because of an incident when young, or they never had a dog as a pet. Simply say what you told me in this letter in a nice way. — Heloise PET PAL Dear Readers: Paul Magurany of Hammond, Ind., sent a photo of his granddaughter, Lauren, giving Hannah the puppy some


tender, loving care. Hannah is an adorable tricolored terrier who looks like she is enjoying the special attention she is getting. To see Hannah, visit my website, www., and click on “Pets.” — Heloise TRAVEL HINT Dear Heloise: When I make a reservation at a hotel, I immediately put the phone number in my phone. I delete it after my visit. — Chuck Reinbolt, via email NO SLIP Dear Readers: My husband, David, and I take our miniature schnauzer, Cabbie, with us many times when we travel by car. She likes to rest her paws on the console, so I made a Cabbie Console Cover out of some old towels. I sewed two tea towels together, leaving one long end open to slip it over the console. It worked great! — Heloise





DAILY CRYPTOQUOTES — Here’s how to work it:



SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013

The Zapata Times 5/25/2013  

The Zapata Times 5/25/2013