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TO 4,000 HOMES





Cartel man explains gang

‘Kind of porous’


Sheriff: Crooks find unguarded border easy to cross By CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

Capt. Aaron Sanchez, of the Zapata County Sheriff ’s Office, does not hesitate in saying the border in Zapata County is “kind of porous.” The county

dubbed “Home of Falcon Lake” does not give authorities much access to patrol in certain rural areas, since these are privately-owned or are surrounded with thick brush. Sanchez said the criminal element seizes that opportunity.

“It’s kind of easy for them to bring their stuff across, whether it’d be human smuggling or drugs,” Sanchez told Texas Traffic Series, a series of video testimonials where ranchers and farmers voice their concerns about issues with smug-

glers. Farmers and ranchers along the Texas-Mexico border are being intimidated on their properties by transnational criminal organizations, said



BROWNSVILLE — When Americans cross the border into the tiny town of Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, to buy prescription drugs at a fraction of the cost, a chunk of those transactions ends up in the pocket of Mexico’s Gulf cartel, the organization’s one-time boss of that region testified Friday at the trial of a fellow cartel supervisor. Rafael Cardenas Vela, 38, the nephew of former cartel kingpin Osiel Cardenas Guillen and a rising star in his own right, testified in rare detail at the trial of Juan Roberto Rincon-Rincon about how Cardenas Vela ran three of the cartel’s principal zones during a decade. So-called plaza bosses such as Cardenas Vela and Rincon-Rincon are responsible for making sure the cartel gets a piece of the activity — legal and illegal — in their zones of control. Using a nearly 6-foot tall organizational chart and dozens of magnetically mounted photos, Cardenas Vela walked jurors through each cartel event since 2002 and the turmoil and reshuffling that followed. The display would have been familiar to anyone in the corporate world except at the bottom of the chart were spaces for those arrested and killed. From 2009 to 2011, Cardenas Vela ran the Rio Bravo “plaza” — a territory along the Rio Grande encompassing various smuggling routes — for the cartel. Nuevo Progreso, the laid-back, touristfriendly strip sat within his sphere of influence. Cardenas Vela bribed every level of police authority in his plaza. He bribed U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, and agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol. He met with the press, put some on his payroll and warned them




Photo by Danny Zaragoza | Laredo Morning Times

Motivational speaker J.R. Martinez inspires the audience at the Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Fine Arts Center as he speaks about being happy by keeping a positive attitude, on Wednesday evening at LCC.

J.R. Martinez urges audience to reach for their goals By RICARDO R. VILLARREAL THE ZAPATA TIMES

Motivational speaker, dancer, actor, military veteran and survivor J.R. Martinez was the first speaker in the 2012-2013 Distinguished Speaker Series at Lare-

do Community College on Wednesday evening. Martinez was almost one month into his deployment in Karbala, Iraq in April 2003 when the Humvee he was driving struck a land mine and he sustained severe burns to more

than 40 percent of his body as he lay trapped inside. Three fellow soldiers riding with Martinez were thrown from the vehicle and sustained minor injuries. Martinez spent almost three years in recovery at Brooke Ar-

my Medical Center in San Antonio, where he endured 33 skin grafts and cosmetic surgeries. He said that it was as he lay early in his recovery while speaking to his mother that he



Utility line move may cost less if changed now By MIKAELA RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

Zapata County commissioners on Monday will look to get a jump on cutting county costs incurred by a TxDOT project. The Texas Department of Transportation is slated to build a bridge crossing Valeno Creek in March of 2014, but county officials say relocating

sewer and water lines in the area could cost about $1.5 million less if moved now, while the creek bed remains dry. “Right now it would be less expensive to move it; if we wait for the water to go up, it has to be done underwater and it would be three or four times more expensive,” Mario Gonzalez Davis, Zapata County projects coordinator, said. The

$500,000 to be allotted for the rerouting of water lines was set aside by the county when TxDOT proposed the project in 2007. County Judge Joe Rathmell said he is recommending the court approve the project because it is unknown if Falcon Lake’s water level will rise in coming years. Officials said nearby residents’ sewer and

water services won’t be affected by the construction. Davis said once Phase One of the project is in place, services can be aligned to the new route “within a matter of hours.” The court will also decide on opening a Legal Ease account from which other counties can collect payment when a Mental Health, Mental Retardation Services patient is transferred

from the Zapata County judge’s office to another county, such as Bexar. Romeo Salinas, Zapata County treasurer, said the $300 transfer fee can sometimes be difficult for the receiving county to procure from smaller counties. “A lot of counties are having trouble paying fees, so they no-



Zin brief CALENDAR






Today is the first day of the 2012 South Texas Archery Shootout, which begins at 8:30 a.m. at Zapata 3-D Archery Course. General rules are no crossbows, practice points only and scoring by peers. Pick up t-shirt and score card between 7 and 8 a.m. Fee for youth division is $50; for adults, $100. The first Prostate Cancer Awareness Walk, “Walking for a MANLY Cause,” is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., with registration starting at 8 a.m. Fee is $10 per walker, and first 100 to register the day of the walk receive a free T-shirt. For more information, call Diana Juarez at 956-319-3100. The Bud Light 2012 San Antonio Division tournament takes place at Falcon Lake. The 2012 South Texas Archery Shootout continues until 4 p.m. at Zapata 3-D Archery Course.

Today is Saturday, Sept. 22, the 266th day of 2012. There are 100 days left in the year. Autumn arrives at 10:49 a.m. Eastern time. Today’s Highlight in History: On Sept. 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in rebel states should be free as of Jan. 1, 1863. On this date: In 1761, Britain’s King George III and his wife, Charlotte, were crowned in Westminster Abbey. In 1776, during the Revolutionary War, Capt. Nathan Hale, 21, was hanged as a spy by the British in New York. In 1862, King Wilhelm I of Prussia met with Otto von Bismarck, whom he decided to appoint minister president, or premier. In 1911, pitcher Cy Young, 44, gained his 511th and final career victory as he hurled a 1-0 shutout for the Boston Rustlers against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. In 1922, Congress passed, and President Warren Harding signed, the Cable Act, which allowed an American woman to keep her U.S. citizenship following marriage to a foreigner, provided the husband was considered eligible for American citizenship. In 1927, Gene Tunney successfully defended his heavyweight boxing title against Jack Dempsey in the famous “long-count” fight in Chicago. In 1938, the musical comedy revue “Hellzapoppin’,” starring Ole (OH’-lee) Olsen and Chic Johnson, began a threeyear run on Broadway. In 1961, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued rules prohibiting racial discrimination on interstate buses. Actress Marion Davies died in Los Angeles at age 64. In 1964, the musical “Fiddler on the Roof ” opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 3,242 performances. In 1975, Sara Jane Moore attempted to shoot President Gerald R. Ford outside a San Francisco hotel, but missed. (Moore served 32 years in prison before being paroled on Dec. 31, 2007.) In 1980, the Persian Gulf conflict between Iran and Iraq erupted into full-scale war that lasted nearly eight years. In 1982, the situation comedy “Family Ties” premiered on NBC. Ten years ago: Thousands of Palestinians marched to protest Israel’s siege of Yasser Arafat’s headquarters, and Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinians who defied curfews. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s Social Democrats won one of Germany’s closest postwar elections. The White House drama “The West Wing” won its third consecutive Emmy as best drama series; “Friends” was honored as best comedy for the first time in its eight years on the air. Today’s Birthdays: Baseball Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda is 85. Actor Paul Le Mat is 66. Capt. Mark Phillips is 64. Actress Shari Belafonte is 58. Classical crossover singer Andrea Bocelli is 54. Singer-musician Joan Jett is 54. Thought for Today: “I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne, American author (1804-1864).

FRIDAY, SEPT 28 The Sun Country Fishing Tournament concludes. The Texas A&M International University Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium will show: “The Little Star that Could” at 2 p.m.; “New Horizons” at 3 p.m.; “Seven Wonders” at 4 p.m.; and “Ancient Skies, Ancient Mysteries” at 5 p.m. Matinee show is $4. General admission is $4 for children and $5 for adults. Premium shows are $1 more. For more information, call 956326-3663.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 23 The Our Lady of Guadalupe Church Annual Gran Jamaica is today from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 1718 San Jorge Ave. There will be food, games, live music and sound-system music with Rulee Garcia. Attendees can come meet new pastor Juan Ayala Jr. For more information, contact Sylvia Maldonado at 956-723-6954, extension 12, or

MONDAY, SEPT. 24 The Office of Continuing Education will hold its Pharmacy Technician Course from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Student Center, Room 120. Course cost is $4,295. For more information, contact the Office of Continuing Education at 956-326-3068 or

SATURDAY, SEPT. 29 The Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium at Texas A&M International University hosts "The Age of the Universe and Dark Energy" at 6:30 p.m. in Spanish and 7:30 p.m. in English, featuring Texas A&M astronomer Lucas Macri. A free star party will follow the talk. There will be a Make-Your-OwnTelescope activity available for $5. The activity space is limited. For more information, contact Claudia Herrera at 956-326-2463 or Sunday, Sept. 30 This is the last day to view “Pureza de Sangre – A History of Crypto Jews in New Spain,” a historical exhibit of 18th century books and documents, at the Villa Antigua Border Heritage Museum, 810 Zaragoza St. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free on Tuesdays. For more information, contact the Webb County Heritage Foundation at 956-727-0977 or

Photo by Brandon Wade/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram | AP

In this 2009 photo, Bishop Kevin W. Vann, who oversees the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese, gets ready to throw out the first pitch at a Fort Worth Cats game in Fort Worth. Pope Benedict XVI on Friday announced the appointment of Vann as bishop to the diocese of Orange, Calif. Vann will be installed in December.


ORANGE, Calif. — The Roman Catholic bishop from Fort Worth introduced himself to his new Southern California flock on Friday by showing off a hand-stitched cowboy boot embroidered with the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Bishop Kevin Vann, 61, will be installed in December as the new leader of the 1.2-million person Diocese of Orange, the nation’s 10th largest Roman Catholic diocese. Vann will replace Bishop Tod D. Brown, who has reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. “I have so much to be grateful to God for the people of the Diocese of Fort Worth and north Texas and beyond. I will miss them very much,” Vann said, before removing his right cowboy boot to cheers and applause. “But I promise that as we grow together in

Jury deliberating in cold case murder trial

this exciting and dynamic time of the Diocese of Orange, I will love you and do my best to serve you with the Lord’s help.” Vann has led the 710,000-person Diocese of Fort Worth since July 2005 and oversaw the construction in Arlington, Texas, of a church to house one of the largest VietnameseAmerican parishes in the country. He also oversaw several payouts to settle allegations of clergy abuse, including more than a dozen against the late priest Rev. James Reilly, who predated Vann’s tenure there. The Diocese of Orange presented Vann with flip flops to replace his cowboy boots and also gave him with sunglasses, an Angels baseball hat and a basket of oranges. During his time in the diocese, Brown agreed to a $100 million settlement with victims of sex abuse — the largest ever when it was inked in 2005.

Fort Hood suspect appeals Galveston man gets prison beard shaving order for Hurricane Ike fraud

FORT WORTH — A jury has started deliberating in the trial of a 45-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing his friend when they were teenagers because she refused his romantic advances. Ryland Shane Absalon faces up to life in prison if convicted of capital murder in Ginger Hayden’s 1984 death. She was stabbed more than 50 times. A Fort Worth police cold-case unit tested evidence and it matched his DNA.

FORT HOOD — The Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage has appealed a military judge’s order to have his beard forcibly shaved before his murder trial. Maj. Nidal Hasan’s defense attorneys filed two appeals with the Army Court of Criminal Appeals this week. They say the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act allows Hasan to keep his beard during trial.

3 more sentenced in sexual assault of girl

Man set to die next week loses appeal

LIBERTY — Three men who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a then-11-year-old girl in 2010 have each been sentenced to 15 years in prison. Twenty-year-old Timothy Ellis, his 21-year-old cousin Rayford Ellis Jr. and 23-year-old Kelvin King were sentenced Friday in a Liberty courtroom.

HOUSTON — A federal appeals court has refused to stop next week’s scheduled execution of a former Army recruiter convicted in the rape-slaying of a woman in Fort Worth more than 10 years ago. Cleve Foster is set to die Tuesday in Huntsville for the death of Mary Pal.

HOUSTON — A Southeast Texas man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for a Hurricane Ike scam involving a home owned by his mother. A federal judge in Houston on Friday sentenced Patrick Adolf Prendergast Jr. of Galveston. Prendergast was suspected of submitting claims on a house he does not own and payment of nearly $90,000 in disaster relief funds.

Midland man pleads guilty as fake Texas Ranger MIDLAND — An oilfield trucker operating illegally has pleaded guilty to pretending to be a Texas Ranger. Donald Walter McBroom pleaded guilty Wednesday in Midland to impersonation of a federal officer. No sentencing date has been set for the 65-yearold Midland man. — Compiled from AP reports

FRIDAY, OCT. 12 The Southeast Texas Bass Federation will host a tournament through Saturday, Oct. 13.

THURSDAY, OCT. 18 The Anglers Quests tournaments begin, to run through Sunday, Oct. 21.

SATURDAY, OCT. 27 The Bass Champs South Region Championship takes place today and Sunday, Oct. 28.

SATURDAY, NOV. 17 The Bud Light Tournament Fall 2012 San Antonio Division tournament returns to Falcon Lake.

THURSDAY, MARCH 21 The Falcon Slam Bassmaster Elite Tournament returns to Falcon Lake. The tournament will run through Sunday, March 24. To submit an item for the calendar, send the name of the event, the date, time, location and contact phone number to

AROUND THE NATION Officials: Fla. man wanted to cook rare sea turtle TAMPA, Fla. — A rare sea turtle that a Florida fisherman wanted to cook and eat has been released back into the wildOfficials at The Florida Aquarium say the fisherman snagged the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle in May. Instead of releasing it, he put the 15-pound juvenile turtle in a tank in his backyard in Tampa. A neighbor reported him to authorities. Gary Morse, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, says the fisherman told investigators he didn’t know the turtle was endangered.

Speech jammer among 2012 Ig Nobel winners BOSTON — For anyone who’s ever been tired of listening to someone drone on and on and on, two Japanese researchers

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Nobel Prize laureates Eric Maskin, Rich Roberts and Dudley Herschbach lean over behind a mini Eiffel Tower during a performance at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass., on Thursday. have the answer. The SpeechJammer, a device that disrupts a person’s speech by repeating his or her own voice at a delay of a few hundred milliseconds, was named Thursday as a 2012 winner of the Ig Nobel prize — an award spon-

sored by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine for weird and humorous scientific discoveries. The echo effect of the device is just annoying enough to get someone to sputter and stop. — 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




THE BLOTTER ASSAULT Amado R. Martinez Jr., 27, was arrested and charged with assault, family violence at about 5:15 p.m. Sept. 15 in the 800 block of Laredo Street. He was given time already served. Francisco J. Villarreal, 21, was arrested and charged with assault, family violence at about 3 a.m. Tuesday in the 2200 block of Carla Street. He was fined $500. A 27-year-old man reported an assault at 10:10 a.m. Tuesday at Stripes in the 100 block of U.S. 83.


Courtesy photo

A woman was uninjured following an accident in a construction area near Arroyo Burro, off U.S. 83. Deputies said the car was traveling toward Zapata when its tire caught the shoulder’s gravel. This caused the car to veer across U.S. 83 and land in a cement culvert.


An 18-year-old woman escaped injury Tuesday after her vehicle went into a culvert in a construction area near Arroyo Burro, off U.S. 83, according to Zapata County sheriff ’s officials. Deputies responded to

the single-vehicle accident that occurred in a construction zone near Ramireño. Sgt. Mario Elizondo said a white passenger car was traveling toward Zapata when its tire caught the shoulder’s gravel. This caused the car to veer across U.S. 83 and land in a cement cul-

vert. The woman was not injured, Elizondo noted. She was not cited since authorities considered the collision an accident. Authorities are urging people to keep their eyes on the road. “The sheriff ’s office is encouraging drivers to be careful on the roadway,

especially through construction area(s), where traffic can be easily held up and an accident may occur,” Elizondo noted that people issued a traffic ticket in a construction area pay double. (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 7282568 or

Daniel Jesus Arroyo, 24, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct at about 2:10 a.m. Sept. 13 at the Longhorn Bar in the 1300 block of Ninth Street in the Medina Addition. Arroyo was released, pending a court appearance.

DWI Carlos Gutierrez, 28, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated at about 2:15 a.m. Sept. 16 at Seventh and Miraflores streets. He is out on bail.

IDENTITY THEFT A 29-year-old man reported at 2 p.m. Sept. 12 in the 100 block of Flores Drive that someone had been using his Social Security number.


Body found near San Ygnacio By CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

A man’s body dressed in underwear was found floating in the Rio Grande near a gravel pit yard north of San Ygnacio on Sept. 15, according to authorities. At 1 p.m., Zapata County Sheriff’s investigators responded to the Anderson Columbia yard for a reported body floating in the river. Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr. said the body was

pulled to shore. Investigators did not find identification on the man, since he was only wearing underwear. Preliminary reports indicate the body did not show signs of foul play or any other “markings,” the sheriff pointed out. Justice of Peace Juana Maria Gutierrez arrived at the scene at 2:30 p.m. and pronounced the man dead at 2:35 p.m. She ordered an autopsy. The sheriff said early reports indicate the man could’ve been an undoc-

umented person trying to cross onto U.S. soil. Sgt. Mario Elizondo said Rose Garden Funeral Home in Zapata took custody of the body and transported it to the Webb County medical examiner’s office in Laredo. An autopsy is pending to determine what caused the man’s death, Gonzalez said. (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 728-2568 or

A 16-year-old juvenile was detained and charged with possession of marijuana at about

7:45 p.m. Monday at the Romeo Flores Park in the 100 block of Delmar Street. Deputies turned over the offender to juvenile probation.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION Jorge Sanchez, 20, was arrested and charged with public intoxication at about 12:45 a.m. Sept. 15 at the Zapata County Pavilion in the 2300 block of Glenn Street. He was taken to Zapata Regional Jail and later released for court appearance. Ricardo Carrizalez, 58, was arrested and charged with public intoxication at approximately 4:45 p.m. Sept. 16 in the 100 block of Miraflores Avenue. He was released for future court appearance. Alvaro Lopez, 18, was arrested and charged with public intoxication at about 8:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at West Second Avenue and Glenn Street. Lopez is out of jail, pending court appearance. Deputies arrested Roberto B. Guzman, 30; Aaron Villarreal, 30, and Maria Reyes, 28, on charges of public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia at about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday at Siesta and Peña lanes in the Siesta Shores Subdivision. All arrestees were released for future court appearance.

TERRORISTIC THREAT A 12-year-old juvenile was detained and charged with terroristic threat, family violence at about 8 p.m. Tuesday in the 300 block of Gonzalez Street. The 12year-old was taken to the Webb County Youth Village.







Empty chair has political overtones By KEN HERMAN

he said. “That’s all it is.” I asked what statement he was trying to make. “What does the empty AUSTIN — The frontlawn political statement chair mean?” he asked. being made on Leafwood “What does it mean to Lane in Northwest Austin you?” I told him it could had Bud Johnson’s name all over it. Actually, it has mean a lot of things and mentioned the Republican his name under it. “Bud Johnson,” it said National Convention. “That’s exactly what it on the bottom of the empty folding chair, with an meant,” he said. “That’s American flag taped to it, all you get.” With that, he headed totwisting in the breeze as it hung from a tree on ward his home as I asked Johnson’s fine-trimmed why he took the chair down. lawn Thursday morning. Johnson: “Because of Weird, isn’t it, how something as inanimate mistaken conception.” Me: “So you decided to and politically neutral as an empty chair can take make the change because on political overtones? some people are upset?” Johnson: “No. I decided Thank you, Clint Eastwood. And because an to make the change beempty chair now can cause some people are stand for President Ba- stupid.” Sensing common rack Obama and because Obama is black and be- ground, I said, “I’m aware cause of America’s dis- of that. A lot of people are graceful history of lynch- stupid.” Johnson: “Yes, they ing, Johnson’s front-lawn political statement right- are.” I thought we had bondfully offended some folks. Grace Chimene, a Dem- ed. I was wrong. Me: “So you’re not goocratic volunteer who lives on Leafwood Lane, ing to put it back up?” Johnson: “Not unless I said the chair scared her “because of the connota- want to.” Me: “Can I get a pictions of hanging something that to me repre- ture of you with the chair?” sented the president.” Johnson: “No.” I heard about the chair With that, we parted Wednesday evening from a friend who lives out that company, deprived of an way. By Thursday morn- opportunity to discuss ing, when I headed out to Obama and lynching and chat with the chair-man, respectful free speech. its fame had been spread What I didn’t realize until nationwide by The Huff- the 5 p.m. news was that ington Post and Gawker- he had taken the chair .com, which picked up on down earlier Thursday it from Burnt Orange Re- when KEYE-TV of Austin port, an Austin-based came by to see it. “I’m not a racist,” he told KEYE, Democratic blog. There was no answer adding, “It has nothing to when I rang Johnson’s do with lynching anybell at 8:30 a.m. At noon, body” and he hung the his garage door was up as chair because “it’s the onJohnson, 73, aided by a ly place I had to put the single crutch, walked damn thing.” As I left, Johnson’s gahome from getting his mail. The chair was on rage remained opened. It the front lawn, no longer contained two Fords, neither of them a Gran Torihanging. Johnson, who I soon no. One of the Expedipegged as a shoo-in first- tion’s bumper stickers ballot inductee into the said, “So How’s That Get-Off-My-Lawn Guy ‘Hope And Change’ Thing Hall of Fame, greeted me Working Out For You?” with “You’re trespassing and another said, “The Best of the West Shooting on my property.” “I apologize,” I said. “I Sports.” The hitch mount was just coming to ring on the rear had a medalyour bell. Ken Herman lion with a Smith & Weswith the Austin Ameri- son motif. Isn’t free speech, be it can-Statesman.” “I don’t want to talk to on a bumper or hanging from a tree, a wonderful you,” he said. I pressed on. “You don’t thing? And isn’t Johnson want to talk about the po- fortunate that Eastwood litical statement you’re didn’t show up on stage with an empty sofa? making with ...” Johnson interrupted (Ken Herman is a colwith, “The political state- umnist for the Austin ment is one.” American-Statesman. E“One what?” I asked. mail: kherman@states“It’s an empty chair,” COX NEWSPAPERS

Media’s lousy track record


At least Bernanke is trying CHICAGO TRIBUNE

The black-and-white film clip, evidently lifted from an old “Our Gang” comedy, is titled “Ben Bernanke as a kid.” It depicts the Federal Reserve chairman as a lovably clueless tyke, feverishly heaving great wads of cash out a window as if something good is sure to follow. Bernanke, as quick and good-humored a practitioner of the dismal science as you’ll find, probably revels in the joke — even if it exaggerates his persistent attempts to goose the U.S. economy. In the 39 months since the end of the Great Recession, Bernanke has toiled to turn a slo-mo recovery into a robust rebound.

Job try A week ago Thursday, Bernanke’s Fed announced a huge gambit to do what its previous gambits haven’t: stimulate a labor market that has spent 43 straight months in the cold grip of 8-plus-percent unemployment. You needn’t be a Nobel economist to understand the essentials of his latest plan: The Fed will print enough money to buy $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities — for as long as it takes for the job numbers to grow. In a perfect world, that would drive down interest rates — already quite low — and nudge investors into stocks, real estate and other assets. Oh, the Fed also said it will keep short-term interest rates near zero, where they’ve been since late 2008, at least through mid-2015. All this easy, easier, easiest credit, which theoretically leads to lots of money sloshing around, is supposed to make people feel wealthier, spur their spending, and thus create more demand for American workers.

Inflation, perhaps? Sounds good, unless you’re a saver — perhaps a retiree dependent on investment interest — or you’re old

enough to remember how painful it was for many Americans when Paul Volcker’s Fed sought to strangle dangerous inflation three decades ago. Bernanke and his activist Fed colleagues, including Charles Evans, head of the Chicago Fed, would correctly retort that today’s core inflation rate is downright tame, generally in cahoots with the Fed’s target rate of 2 percent.

Washington is maddening: Businesses have been writing their 2013 business plans and budgets for many weeks. They have no reason to think Congress and the White House suddenly will find solutions in late 2012 that they’ve refused to find since the midterm election of November 2010. Many of those businesses, faced with uncertainty, are hoarding cash and refusing to hire until they see ... stability. Do you blame them?

Rising prices Stop right there: That core calculation camouflages the impact of rising energy and food costs. Bought any gasoline lately? Any produce? So color us skeptical of Bernanke’s efforts to rehab financial reality and psychology. We hear fewer complaints from employers about unavailability of capital. That said, we can’t fault Bernanke for trying, even if his policies to date haven’t ignited the economy or the jobs market. Bernanke sees what we all see: Household income has fallen. Employers buffeted by so much uncertainty see the so-called fiscal cliff and sit tight rather than hire. The Congressional Budget Office says sailing off that cliff, with its tax increases and instantaneous spending cuts, would mean a significant recession next year. Moody’s Investors Service threatens to join Standard & Poor’s in downgrading the government’s credit rating and that stubbornly slow growth, which clocked in at 1.7 percent for the second quarter of this year. Bernanke, at least, is trying. One more thing he sees that we all see: a Congress and a White House so mesmerized by Election Day that there’s not even a pretense of thinking about retreat from the fiscal cliff until sometime after Nov. 6. Time and again, Washington pols and policy pros tell us not to worry, because they have time to back away from the cliff before its January due date. This attitude that it’s all about

Missing leaders What confronts Bernanke, then, confronts all Americans: not exactly denial from our political class, but rather our political class’ total abdication in the face of a predictable end date — certain crisis. We do wish Bernanke would accept that a central bank is just a bank. Economist and financial journalist Larry Kudlow, writing Saturday, succinctly synthesized the practical, and thus far evident, limits of what Bernanke can do: Nothing like this has ever been used by our nation’s central bank. The Fed’s balance sheet, which has ballooned from around $800 billion to $2.5 trillion under Bernanke, will go to $3 trillion, or $4 trillion, or who knows how high. But here’s the rub: More money doesn’t necessarily mean more growth.

Lower the tax rate More Fed money won’t increase after-tax rewards for risk, entrepreneurship, business hiring, and hard work. Keeping more of what you earn after-tax is the true spark of economic growth. Not the Fed. Feel free to disagree. But think on this: In an unemployment streak that cannot rouse feckless politicians most interested in keeping their own jobs, Ben Bernanke is the grown-up. Even if he really were heaving great wads of cash out a window, he’d have our respect.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR POLICY The Zapata Times does not publish anonymous letters. To be published, letters must include the writer’s first and last names as well as a phone number to verify identity. The

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

readers that a letter is written by the person who signs the letter. The Zapata Times does not allow the use of pseudonyms. Letters are edited for style, grammar, length and civility. No name-call-


With media on right and left in hysterics over Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” remarks, it’s hard not to think about how inaccurate media judgments have been. Here are assertions that proved to be dead wrong: 1. Romneycare would prevent Romney from getting the nomination and/or arguing against Obamacare. 2. Texas Gov. Rick Perry was a sure thing. 3. The GOP would nominate a tea-party favorite. 4. Romney’s $10,000 “bet” in a primary debate would wreck his campaign. 5. Romney adviser’s “Etch a Sketch” remark would kill Romney’s chances. 6. Romney’s remark about owning Cadillacs would doom him in Michigan. 7. Romney would have to release more than two years of tax returns. 8. Romney’s remarks on the embassy attacks would wreck his campaign.


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Congress exits D.C. to hit campaign trail By ANDREW TAYLOR ASSOCIATED PRESS

Photo by Julie Jacobson | AP

Supporters cheer as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a rally Friday, in Las Vegas.

More back-and-forth in campaign stops By DAVID ESPO ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney struggled to steady his presidential campaign on Friday, buffeted by an outbreak of sniping among frustrated Republicans, fresh evidence of a slide in battleground state polls and President Barack Obama’s accusation that he was writing off “half the country” in pursuit of the White House. Republican running mate Paul Ryan drew boos at an AARP convention in New Orleans when he said Romney would repeal Obama’s health care law, which closed a gap in coverage for seniors’ prescription drugs. The Wisconsin congressman accused the administration of weakening Medicare and flinching from tough measures needed to stabilize Social Security’s finances, adding that the president has “put his own job security over your retirement security.” Obama rebutted Ryan’s charges point by point in a video appearance to the

same audience. He said the Republican prescription for Medicare would mean “billions in new profits for insurance companies” and replacing guaranteed benefits with a voucher. Romney campaigned in Nevada as aides released a 2011 federal income tax return showing he and his wife, Ann, paid $1.94 million in federal taxes last year on income of $13.7 million. Their effective tax rate was 14.1 per cent, lower than many families pay because most of the couple’s earnings come from investments. The campaign released a letter from Romney’s doctor saying the 65-yearold former Massachusetts governor is healthy and physically up to the demands of the presidency. Republicans tried to yank the campaign focus back to the economy. “While President Obama and Democrats will try to distract voters, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are focused on fixing the economy, getting Americans back to work and en-

suring a better future for our children and grandchildren,” Sen. John McCain, the Republicans’ 2008 presidential candidate, said in a statement. In an interview taped for broadcast Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Romney said of his campaign: “It doesn’t need a turnaround. We’ve got a campaign which is tied with an incumbent president to the United States.” Despite Romney’s difficulties, recent soundings on employment have not been encouraging for the president’s re-election. Newly released figures show joblessness ticked up in five swing states in August, fell in two and was unchanged in two others. Romney’s allies also point to a series of presidential debates beginning Oct. 3 as a chance to shake up the race. But for now, Romney’s troubles have sent shudders down ballot, where Republicans are in tough races that will settle the outcome for the struggle for control of the Senate this fall. .

WASHINGTON — The most partisan, least productive Congress in memory is bolting Washington for the campaign trail, leaving in its wake a pile of unfinished business on the budget and taxes, farm policy and legislation to save the Postal Service from insolvency. The GOP-controlled House beat its retreat Friday morning after one last, futile slap at President Barack Obama — passing a bill entitled the “Stop the War on Coal Act.” The measure, dead on arrival with Obama and the Senate, would block the government from policing greenhouse gas emissions and give states regulatory control over the disposal of harmful coal byproducts. Over in the Democratic Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., delayed that chamber’s getaway to force a procedural vote on legislation by endangered Democrat Jon Tester of Montana to boost access to public lands for hunting and fishing. Republicans protested that the move was nakedly political and had tried to block it. The spitting match ensured a post-midnight Senate session before a final vote on the only must-do item on the agenda — a six-month spending measure to keep the government running after the current budget year ends on Sept. 30. Reid also relented to a monthslong demand by tea party Sen. Rand Paul, RKy., for a vote on cutting off foreign aid to the governments of Libya, Egypt and Pakistan. The measure faced sure defeat. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., however, was poised to win sweeping approval of a nonbinding resolution supporting action to make

sure Iran doesn’t develop a nuclear weapon. It’s the earliest pre-election exit by Congress from Washington since 1960, though lawmakers will return in November after the election to deal with its stack of unfinished work. The approval rating for the current Congress in a Gallup poll earlier this month sank to just 13 percent, the lowest ever for an election year. The GOP-controlled House and Democratic Senate managed to come together with Obama to enact just 173 new laws. More are coming after the election, but the tally is roughly half the output of a typical Congress. Even so, political pundits say Republicans are strong favorites to keep the House while Democratic chances of keeping the Senate are on the upswing. The exit from Washington leaves the bulk of Congress’ agenda for a postelection session in which it’s hoped lawmakers will be liberated from the that has ground Capitol Hill to a near halt. Topping the lame-duck agenda is dealing with the so-called fiscal cliff, which combines the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts on Dec. 31 and more than $100 billion in indiscriminate, across-the-board spending cuts set to strike at the same time as punishment for the failure of last year’s deficit “supercommittee” to strike a deal. Also left in limbo is the farm bill, stalled in the House due to opposition from conservative Republicans who think it doesn’t cut farm subsidies and food stamps enough and Democrats who think its food stamp cuts are too harsh. The current farm act expires on Sept. 30 but the lapse won’t have much practical effect in the near term. Still, it’s a political

black eye for Republicans, especially those from farm states like North Dakota and Iowa. The lack of productivity of the 112th Congress was the result of divided government and bitter partisanship. The looming presidential and congressional elections caused top leaders in both parties to play it safe and stick to party positions. The result: Congress’ major accomplishments tended to be legislation that mostly extended current policies, like a highway bill passed earlier this year and bills demanded by Obama to renew a 2 percentage point payroll tax cut and extend student loan subsidies. Even this Congress’ signature accomplishment — a budget and debt deal enacted last summer to cut $2.1 trillion from the budget over 10 years — punted most of its difficult decisions to the future by tasking the supercommittee with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings. And, after the supercommittee cratered, House Republicans walked away from the budget deal by pressing for further cuts to domestic appropriations and reversing some on the pact’s Pentagon cuts. Meanwhile, in the Senate, Reid worked closely with the White House to use the Senate schedule for Obama’s advantage, repeatedly forcing votes on closing tax breaks for oil companies and raising taxes on upper bracket earners. But Reid failed to schedule floor debates on any of the 12 annual appropriations bills and the Democratic-led chamber, for the third year in a row, failed to pass a budget. Republicans also point to almost 40 items of Housepassed jobs-related legislation sitting stalled in the Senate.




Earlier proclamation now in the spotlight By BRETT ZONGKER ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — Issued 150 years ago this week, President Abraham Lincoln’s initial proclamation that he would free the South’s slaves is enjoying a public showcase to match its increased profile among scholars. Lincoln released his lesser-known preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862 — 100 days before the final version. The first of the two documents has gained importance among historians as a turning point in the Civil War because of a

change in thinking over the past 50 years. Slavery and its abolition were once treated as minor parts of the story behind the Civil War, but that began to change after the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, said historian Edward Ayers, president of the University of Richmond. Since then, the steps that led to emancipation have been recognized for their importance — with the Sept. 22 proclamation being a prime example. “All our thinking about this has undergone remarkable recasting over the last 50 years,” Ayers said. “People begin now with slavery

as the fundamental fact and emancipation and less with union as being the sole focus of attention.” Commemorations began Monday with a forum moderated by Ayers at the Smithsonian Institution which discussed the steps leading to emancipation. The discussion was broadcast to 100 schools, museums and libraries. The National Endowment for the Humanities also organized readings. Meanwhile, the only surviving version of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in Lincoln’s handwriting will make an eight-city tour of New York

Photo by Alex Brandon | AP

Christen Williams does an interpretative dance at an event sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Howard University to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Monday, in Washington. state this fall. Other exhibits will feature copies of the final version in the months preceding the Jan. 1 anniversary of its issuing.

The preliminary proclamation served as a warning that if the Confederacy did not end its “rebellion” against the United States and voluntarily abolish

slavery, then Lincoln would order the slaves freed on the first day of 1863. Lincoln believed it was a way to use his military powers to push to end slavery.



Agenda en Breve

Caso abierto

LAREDO 09|22— Taller de planeación para Quinceañeras con Steve Valdez de 11 a.m. a 1 p.m. en la Sala de Usos Múltiples H-E-B de la Biblioteca Pública de Laredo, 1120 E. Calton Road. 09|22— La Exposición de Coleccionistas del Sur de Texas se llevará a cabo en Laredo Civic Center, hoy y el 23 de septiembre, de de 10 a.m. a 5 p.m., donde habrá más de 100 vendedores participando. Costo: 5 dólares por día; 8 dólares, por ambos días. 09|22— Segundo día del Primer Auto Show Anual Internacional, de 10 a.m. a 4 p.m. en UniTrade Stadium, 6320 Sinatra Parkway. Entrada gratuita. 09|22— Programa de Lectura Dahlathon presenta la lectura del libro “The Witches” a la 1 p.m en el Departamento Infantil de la Biblioteca Pública de Laredo, 1120 E. Calton Road. Gratuito y abierto para niños de 8 a 14 años de edad, acompañados de sus padres. Habrá discusiones, actividades, premios y más. 09|22— Planetario Lamar Bruni Vergara de TAMIU presenta “The Little Star that Could” a las 2 p.m.; “New Horizons” a las 3 p.m.; “Seven Wonders” a las 4 p.m.; y “Ancient Skies, Ancient Mysteries” a las 5 p.m. Costo: 4 dólares, niños; y, 5 dólares, adultos. 09|23— Gran Jamaica Anual de la Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, de 7 p.m. a 9 p.m. en 1718 avenida San Jorge. Habrá juegos, comida y música de vivo. Más información con Sylvia Maldonado en el (956) 723-6954, extensión 12. 09|27— “Series Clásicas de Otoño” en Cinemark presenta “The African Queen” a las 2 p.m. y 7 p.m. en Cinemark Mall Del Norte. 09|28— Vigilia con Velas “No Me Olvides” a las 8:30 p.m. en la Fuente en el terreno de Laredo Medical Center, en recuerdo a aquellos quienes han perdido la batalla contra el cáncer, para fortalecer a quien combata el cáncer, o sea sobreviviente. Más información en 796-3220. Evento gratuito. 09|29— Espectáculo de Marionetas, lectura de libros “Curious George” en The Kids Bookstore, 2715 E. Del Mar Boulevard, Unit A-6, de 11 a.m. a 5 p.m. Estará presente Curious George. 09|29— Planetario Lamar Bruni Vergara de TAMIU presenta: “The Age of the Universe and Dark Energy” a las 6:30 p.m. en Español y a las 7:30 p.m. en Inglés, presentando al astrónomo de Texas A&M, Lucas Macri. Una fiesta gratuita continuará a la charla. Habrá una actividad para fabricar su propio telescopio por 5 dólares. El espacio es limitado. Más información con Claudia Herrera al (956) 3262463. 09|29— Women’s City Club presenta “Bailando con las Estrellas—Estilo Laredo” en Laredo Country Club. La cena se servirá a las 6:30 p.m. y el baile iniciará a las 8 p.m. Boletos cuestan 75 dólares por persona, y reserva la mesa para ocho está a 1.000 dólares. Más información con Nancy de Anda al 763-9960. 09|29— La Coalición Comunitaria del Condado de Webb de SCAN y DEA invitan a deshacerse de cualquier medicamento sin uso, indeseada o que haya expirado, en dos ubicaciones: United Middle School, 700 Del Mar Blvd., y Ryan Elementary, 2401 Clark Blvd., de 10 a.m. a 2 p.m. Evento gratuito.



Los cuerpos de tres servidores públicos del estado de Tamaulipas fueron encontrados el miércoles por la noche dentro de un vehículo en Nuevo Laredo, México. Se trataba de José Luis Orozco García, Director de Estrategia Po-

licial; Arturo Alvarado, Encargado de Armamento y Guillermo Hernández Pacheco, Director de Análisis, informó en un comunicado de prensa el Gobierno de Tamaulipas. La Secretaría de Seguridad Pública y la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado dieron a co-

nocer que a las 11 p.m. del miércoles recibieron reporte de que dentro de un vehículo Chevrolet Aveo, modelo 2012, color gris, con placas del Estado de Tamaulipas, estaban los cuerpos de tres personas. La unidad estaba estacionada en el crucero de Jesús Carranza y

Paseo Colón. “El vehículo en que se transportaban presenta orificios producidos por proyectiles de armas de fuego en cristales y carrocería”, indica el comunicado. Autoridades también encontraron 32 cartuchos de calibre de alto poder.



Fotos de cortesía | Fototeca del Archivo General e Histórico del Estado

Plaza de Guerrero Viejo, México.

Familias luchan por mantener presencia del pasado Nota del Editor: Esta es la segunda de dos parte de un artículo acerca de Guerrero Viejo.



uerrero Viejo, fue residencia de familias de alto linaje: Los Gutiérrez, González, Villarreal, Treviño, Uribe, Báez, Benavidez, Cuellar, Peña, Leal, Ramos, García, Guerra y otros. Desde siempre, los descendientes de Guerrero Viejo, se negaron a aceptar la pérdida física de un territorio y patrimonio edificado, que sentimentalmente los ligaba a sus ancestros. A lo largo de su historia, los habitantes de Guerrero se han distinguido como gente hacendosa. Las mujeres de “antes” fincaron la tradición al ser reconocidas como hogareñas, excelentes cocineras de cabrito en su sangre, cortadillo norteño, desayunos norteños de machacado, chorizo con huevo, tamales de venado y caldillo de queso panela, acompañados de tortillas de harina. A mediodía, el chicharrón de catán, no faltaba en la mesa, acompañado de una cerveza bien fría. Las damas de sociedad, eran expertas bordar a mano cojines para boda; almohadas, colchas o edredones, manteles, blusas, vestidos y cualquier elemento relacio-

Puente de suspensión que estaba ubicado entre Ciudad Guerrero, México, y Zapata. nado con accesorios del hogar. En cambio los hombres tenían a su cargo las labores de la ganadería y agricultura; algunos preferían laborar en ranchos y granjas tejanas. Otros se ganaban la vida de matanceros o carniceros. En época de verano, vestían con orgullo: botas, sombrero tejano, pantalón vaquero y un paliacate al cuello. Para no olvidarse de su terruño, el Dr. Rubén Flores, Jaime Gutiérrez González, Lilia Treviño Martínez, Leonelo Tamez Rafael de la Garza, Dr. Luis Elizondo, Rolando Peña, Arturo Mtz, Abraham García, Olga Yolanda Peña, Jaime González y Carmen González Carvajal y otros más, fundaron la Asociación Hijos y Amigos de Ciudad Guerrero, Tamaulipas. Desde sus inicios, se dedica-

ron a documentar los episodios históricos más relevantes de esta población. Pusieron especial énfasis en la salvaguardia y ordenamiento del archivo histórico municipal de Guerrero. Además conservan piezas simbólicas de la bonanza de este pueblo: roperos, vigas de construcción, cajas fuertes, relojes, herrajes, llaves antiguas, retratos, mobiliario, victrolas y otros objetos de la vida cotidiana. Dentro del ámbito intelectual, una de las mayores satisfacciones es la visita de la escritora Elena Poniatowska, quien dedicó a Guerrero, un extenso reportaje en el periódico El Nacional, y una amplia entrevista a la profesora Lilia Treviño Martínez, que apareció en El País. Otro de los testimonios de la escritora, se plasma

Guerrero Viejo es recuerdo de la labor diaria del hombre y la mujer, con raíces y amor a su tierra. en el libro Guerrero Viejo, publicado en 1997 en Austin. Acerca de su desaparición, debido a un desafortunado proyecto hidráulico binacional México- Estados Unidos, Poniatowska, escribe una severa crítica del efecto social que constituyó este acontecimiento: “A los ciudadanos de Guerrero se les desarraigó y se les desplazó, esencialmente se les robó su legado cultural, su tierra, sus hogares, su sentido de comunidad, su orgullo cívico, sus lugares de culto, de trabajo y de esparcimiento, su arte, su cultura y sus tumbas”. A lo largo de los años México ha sido un país de naufragios y calamidades. Los guerrerenses, dice Elena, lo perdieron todo: “…más de 25 mil hectáreas de tierra, sus sembradíos de maíz, cebolla, sandía, cala-

baza, su ganado que vendieron al mejor postor, sus peces que se fueron en busca de agua río abajo dejando a los pescadores sentados en las márgenes del río, sus casas antiguas de más de doscientos años, sus calles amplias y bien diseñadas, sus costumbres, su infancia, sus balcones, las llaves de la puerta”. Además de esas ruinas que todavía vemos, actualmente Guerrero Viejo es un tributo a la memoria y un reclamo a quienes lo movieron de su solar primitivo. De la admiración a su pasado, también prevalecen docenas de reportajes que han aparecido en publicaciones prestigiadas. (Artículo publicado con autorización de la revista En Público de Ciudad Victoria. Visite


Universidad en Miguel Alemán inicia curso escolar ESPECIAL TIEMPO DE ZAPATA

MIGUEL ALEMÁN, México — La Universidad Politécnica de la Región Ribereña (UPRR) mantiene este ciclo escolar la premisa de que la educación de nivel superior para regiones estratégicas de Tamaulipas, es de interés total para conformar jóvenes preparados en campos del

conocimiento, acorde al desarrollo de sus comunidades. La rectora de la UPRR, Sonia Mercado Rodríguez, expresó a jóvenes universitarios que continúan con sus carreras exhortándolos a seguir trazándose metas y luchar de forma comprometida, entusiasta y responsable por concluir las mismas.

“Este ciclo escolar sin duda estará lleno de éxitos y triunfos ya que en nuestra universidad buscamos formar jóvenes emprendedores que demuestren sus capacidades en las áreas productivas de nuestra región, una de las más importantes en Tamaulipas”, expresó Mercado Rodríguez. Sostuvo que el compromiso del personal es importante para cumplir con las expectativas.

Foto de cortesía | Gobierno de Tamauilipas

La Universidad Politécnica de la Región Ribereña, ubicada en Miguel Alemán, México, inició el ciclo escolar 2012-2013.



Woman leads after Air Force scandal By PAUL J. WEBER ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN ANTONIO — The Air Force handed the reins of basic training to a woman Friday following a sex scandal in which 42 female recruits say they were improperly approached, sexually harassed or raped during their first weeks in uniform. Col. Deborah Liddick downplayed any significance, however, to a woman taking charge at such a crucial and visible moment for Lackland Air Force Base, where more than 36,000 airmen graduate each year but which has been shaken by widespread allegations of instructor misconduct. Liddick said “it does not matter” that the Air Force chose a woman and she mostly sidestepped questions about the scandal following a formal change of command ceremony at the Texas base. “I will ensure the airmen under my command maintain the highest standards possible, that the standards are enforced and folks are held accountable,” Liddick

told reporters. It’s not the first time the Air Force has picked a woman to lead basic training. In fact, Liddick is the third woman to helm the 737th training group in the past decade at Lackland, where every new American airman reports for eight weeks of basic training. The training environment has come under intensifying scrutiny — from military investigators to Congress — since allegations of sexual harassment and assault involving male instructors began surfacing last year. Four have been convicted on charges ranging from adultery to sexual assault, and a fifth is scheduled to stand trial Monday. Six instructors have been charged in all, and a dozen more remain under investigation, said Brent Boller, a spokesman for Joint Base San Antonio, which encompasses Lackland. Boller said some of the 42 female victims identified by investigators simply received text messages from their male instructors, a violation of military policy. Even consensual relationships between instructor

and trainee can result in criminal charges. The most serious allegations involved an instructor sentenced to 20 years in prison in July after being convicted of raping one female recruit and sexually assaulting several others. Earlier this month, another instructor was sentenced to a year in prison and received a dishonorable discharge after pleading guilty to having sex with a trainee. About one in five Air Force recruits are female, while most instructors are male. There were few women Friday among the nearly 600 new airmen at Lackland who graduated from basic training after Liddick took command. Among them was airman Jessica Gibson, of Dallas, who said she her male instructors the last two months had her best interests at heart and always were approachable. But she said a female commander could have a positive influence on the training environment. “I think that could make a difference, but I think a male commander could also

carry out the same instructions,” Gibson said. “I think she could add perspective, though.” Anu Bhagwati, executive director of Service Women’s Action Network, applauded the choice of a woman. But she said there is a long way to go to fix what she called deeper issues throughout the military that cause problems like those at Lackland. Among them is the ratio of instructors to recruits, which Bhagwati called “abysmal” at Lackland. The base has about 500 instructors and was operating this summer at about 85 percent of what it would consider a full roster. Instructors are among the toughest assignments for the Air Force to staff because of the demanding nature of the assignment: a four-year commitment, longer hours than most and time away from friends and family. “It’s a great first step for the Air Force, but it’s not enough because (Liddick) can’t fix the problem herself,” Bhagwati said Friday. Liddick takes over for Col. Glenn Palmer, who was

Photo by U.S. Air Force | AP

Col. Deborah Liddick is now in charge of the United State Air Force’s basic training unit at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, where dozens of female recruits have alleged they were sexually assaulted or harassed by male instructors within the past year. ousted last month as attention to the scandal intensified. Another commander at Lackland also was relieved during the summer for what military prosecutors described as a lack of confidence.

U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, visited Lackland this month and said he believed the Air Force was being diligent in its investigation.

Jurors: Guilty in cold case murder trial By ANGELA K. BROWN ASSOCIATED PRESS

FORT WORTH — Jurors have convicted a man in the brutal 1984 stabbing death of his teenage friend, who prosecutors say had rejected his romantic advances. Ryland Shane Absalon was found guilty Friday of capital murder. The 45year-old was automatically sentenced to life in prison because prosecutors didn’t seek the death penalty. Prosecutors say he stabbed Ginger Hayden more than 50 times in her bed in Fort Worth, then confessed two years later during a drug-treatment program. But he wasn’t charged until two decades later, after DNA evidence was tested. Hayden was found on the floor beside bloodsoaked sheets when her mother went into her room, wondering why her alarm clock kept ringing. It would have been the 18-year-old girl’s second day of college. “Ginger Hayden’s family deserves justice. They’ve been waiting 28 years for this day,” prosecutor Jim Hudson told jurors, who began deliberating Friday afternoon. But defense attorney Gary Udashen said Absalon gave a false confession because he was pressured and abused while at the now-closed treatment center. He reminded jurors that DNA found under Hayden’s fingernails, as well as on a quilt and a sock, matched an unknown man. Some of Absalon’s DNA was found in her apartment because they were former high school classmates and neighbors who would hang out, he said. Udashen also said a rash of murders of attractive young women in the mid-1980s in Fort Worth prompted police to form a task force. “It won’t help Ginger or her mother for police to stop looking for her killer,” Udashen said, adding that it “does not appear to be the crime of a 17-year-old kid.” Absalon was arrested in 2010 at his home in Sierra Vista, Ariz., where he was working as a welder and living with his wife and young child. A

Fort Worth police coldcase unit had re-opened the case, tested evidence and found that some matched his DNA. News of Absalon’s arrest prompted some former participants in the drug-treatment program to tell police about his confession — nearly 30 years after they’d been told that everything said at the center must remain confidential. One former participant testified that about two years after Hayden’s murder, Absalon said in a group therapy session in the drug treatment program that he fatally stabbed a young woman when he was high on heroin. Prosecutors said Absalon’s 1986 confession in the treatment program supported the evidence and included details that only the killer would know: that he took a knife from her kitchen, hid in the closet until she went to sleep and then stabbed her on the bed. Absalon told another participant he killed Hayden because he was angry that she only wanted to be friends after he told her he wanted a romantic relationship, according to testimony. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported a witness testified that Absalon said nobody would find out because he covered it up too well, washing his hands and cleaning up in the bathroom. Prosecutors said he used socks as gloves. Absalon’s DNA was found in the bathroom on a towel and bloody sock, and a piece of wood from the knife that killed Hayden also was found on one of the socks, according to testimony. “(That evidence) puts him at that apartment at the time of her death,” Hudson told jurors during closing arguments.

Photo by Pedro Mendoza/file | AP

In this April 19 photo, people walk past Hotel El Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia. Investigating the prostitution scandal at the Secret Service, the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general uncovered a hotel record suggesting a member of President Barack Obama’s team might have been involved, according to a summary of the case submitted to Congress.


WASHINGTON — Investigating the prostitution scandal at the Secret Service, the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general uncovered a hotel record suggesting a member of President Barack Obama’s team might have been involved, according to a summary of the case submitted to Congress. A senior administration official told The Associated Press the White House determined the record was false and that the person in question did nothing wrong. The mere possibility of such an encounter raises the potential for electionyear fallout for the White House, which reviewed the matter months ago and cleared all its workers of wrongdoing. In a sign of campaign politics, Republican lawmakers questioned the credibility of the White House review, as Obama’s team feared. “I am troubled that the (inspector general’s) findings reveal White House personnel may have been involved,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said in a statement. “The White House explicitly denied any involvement after its own investigation and now the IG is questioning that account. This raises concerns

about the credibility of the White House investigation.” Sen. Chuck Grassley, RIowa, sent the White House a letter Thursday asking for more information about its internal review of the incident. Grassley also questioned whether the White House had any role in delaying the inspector general’s report, which had been expected to be completed months ago. The acting inspector general, Charles K. Edwards, said the employee— described by the administration as a volunteer, not a staff member — “may have had contact with foreign nationals” and “may have been affiliated with the White House advance operation,” according to a letter to lawmakers obtained by the AP. Edwards cited as evidence a hotel registry obtained by his investigators. Edwards acknowledged that his investigators did

not pursue information about the activities of the White House worker, who was not identified, or the actions of another U.S. military employee, because his report was intended to focus solely on employees at the Homeland Security Department. Edwards said his office “did not conduct any additional investigation into this finding and has made no determination related to these individuals because they are not DHS personnel.” Edwards also said that while the Secret Service employees “engaged in misconduct,” Obama’s security was never at risk. The senior administration official told the AP that the hotel record Edwards cited in his letter to Congress was incorrect, and the person affiliated with the White House team did nothing improper. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose details of a review that has

not made been public and also spoke to quickly quash a potential controversy. The Obama team member in question was a volunteer working as part of a White House advance team that helped set up Obama’s trip to Cartagena, Colombia, for a Latin American summit in April. The worker had his expenses paid but is not on the White House staff. The official who spoke to the AP refused to name the White House advance team member. The White House review found that a guest, perhaps a prostitute, had signed in to visit the same room assigned to that volunteer member of Obama’s team. This occurred at the Hilton hotel where Obama would later stay during his visit. But the review found that the hotel log was false and that there was no other evidence to corroborate the individual had received a visitor, the official said.




PORT ISABEL — From a living room in Jerry and Jackie Reeves’ house that is converted into a lab filled with camera equipment, computers and monitors, the couple brings thousands of people from around the world daily images and live streaming video of South Padre Island and the surrounding areas. The Reeves own 13 different cameras that are placed around South Padre Island and Port Isabel to bring live streaming images of the Island and bay. They own a multitude of websites promoting the Island and they post screen captures of sunrises, sunsets and parties on the beach to their Facebook page, See South Padre Island from 10 Live Cams. “Everything we do is getting the image of the Rio Grande Valley out to the world,” Jackie said. But the married couple that frequently finishes each other’s sentences didn’t come down to the Rio Grande Valley to work, they moved here from Dallas 10 years ago to retire. “We suck at retiring,” Jerry and Jacky said with a laugh and nearly in unison. “We came here to retire, but we’ve never worked so hard in our life.” Jerry owned an air-conditioning company and Jackie worked for Fed-Ex when the newly married couple decided to come down to the Island for the popular motorcycle festival, SPI Bike Fest. They had opened a Harley-Davidson rental business in Dallas and brought the bikes down to the island for bike week. Jerry had never been to the island, but Jackie had. “I had never seen the ocean,” Jerry said, with Jackie adding that it was culture shock for him. “We unloaded all our bikes and put up the “for rent” sign and rented every bike we had in less than two hours.

We had to hang onto the one we were riding.” After renting them all out, the Reeves rode around and fell in love with the island. Then they decided to spend the rest of their lives on the beach. “We rolled the dice and it worked out fine,” Jackie said of the move to South Padre Island. So how did they get into live streaming webcams? Jerry said when he first arrived, he walked into a local radio station with a plan to trade motorcycle rides for advertising, since he didn’t have too much start-up cash. “I walked in to buy advertising for the Harley business and after talking with the station manager for more than an hour, I ended up taking a job as a promotion manager,” he said, adding that he had always been a salesman. But the future wouldn’t come easy, as Jerry and Jackie said they had to repair some damaged relationships because of decisions, bad deals and services not delivered. He said they didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. Repairing the relationships came with time and care, but with Spring Break arriving, Jerry said they had to hit the ground running. “We came in right before Spring Break and were going to do some live remotes for the radio station. I didn’t know it was just calling in on your cell phone, but we weren’t getting a big response,” he said. So Jerry and Jackie decked out an F-150 pickup with a generator and large bass speakers and drove around the island playing the radio station at 9,000 decibels, much to the dismay of code enforcement. “Little did we know there was an ordinance against that,” Jerry said with a laugh, adding that he and Jackie used spotters to elude code enforcement officers. Well, that got them no-

ticed and earned them gravitas, he said. “People said, ‘These are guerilla marketing people,’” he said. But while they were building gravitas and prominence by running from code enforcement and blasting the radio station on the island, Jackie said she and her husband kept having one thought running around their minds. “Our thing was, how do people know this is here?” she said of the island. And then Jerry asked, “How can we show them?” And that’s where was born. This is where you go to view the cameras and even operate a couple of them. The first cam went up at Louie’s Backyard, but initially there were a couple of problems, including a cease and desist order from someone claiming to have copyrighted live web cams on South Padre Island. That didn’t hold up very well, Jerry said with a laugh. However, the second problem was tougher because it was sneaky. People used the cam to see behind the bar at Louie’s and read credit card numbers. In response, Jerry and Jackie limited the resolution on cameras that could be used to see confidential information in business environments. Despite the problems, cameras people can interact with — Jackie calls them communication cams — were largely attractive to the demographics using the cameras. The cameras taught the couple a lot about demographics. They can tell you who is looking at the cameras, where those viewers are coming from and how many people from those areas are looking through the live webcams. Jackie said South Padre Island is to Chicago what Miami is to New York, and they know that from data gathered through their websites and a wedding

business they run. Jerry said their websites receive between 4,000 and 6,000 unique hits a day. A unique hit is a completely new visitor, not a repeat visitor. He said most traffic comes from a link on the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau website. And that’s really how Jackie and Jerry said they are able to do so much with just a few cameras. It’s the partnerships they form that make the operation work. And those partnerships are very local, but also include a few non-local big names in news, like CNN and the Weather Channel. During severe weather events CNN and the Weather Channel are able to log into the webcams and use them, Jerry said. But again, the goal is to get people who are not from South Texas images of what South Padre Island really is, aside from the Spring Break madness stereotype that many people think, Jackie said. They realized the power of images when Jackie made a video from still shots of South Padre Island for a real estate company that started selling plots of land to people in Florida without those clients ever coming to see the land in person. “Images sell. They are the 10,000 words people will listen to,” said Jackie. Once they realized they were onto something, Jerry and Jackie started buying up as many combinations of South Padre Island in domain names as they could, including, which Jerry has high hopes will someday be useful. “I even own just to keep people from buying it,” he said with a laugh. Jerry and Jackie got married on Sept. 11, 1999 after having lived 11 miles from each other without having ever met. And guess where they met? They met online.

Man gets mauled by tiger in zoo By JIM FITZGERALD ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — A visitor to the Bronx Zoo leaped from an elevated monorail train on Friday, plummeted over a fence into an exhibit and was mauled by a tiger, police and zoo officials said. The man was alone with the 400-pound beast for about 10 minutes before being rescued, zoo officials said. He suffered bites and

punctures on his arms, legs, shoulders and back and broke an arm and leg. The attack happened at around 3 p.m. in the Wild Asia exhibit, where a train with open sides takes visitors over the Bronx River and through a forest, where they glide along the top edge of a fence, past elephants, deer and a tiger enclosure. Passengers aren’t strapped in on the ride, and the 25-year-old man appar-

ently jumped out of his train car, with a leap powerful enough to clear the perimeter fence. The man was attacked by an 11-year-old male tiger that has been at the zoo for three years. The zoo’s staff used a fire extinguisher to chase the tiger off, and the man was instructed to roll under an electrified wire to get to safety, zoo director Jim Breheny said. Zookeepers then called the tiger into a holding area.

The man was conscious and talking after the mauling, Breheny said. “If not for the quick response by our staff and their ability to perform well in emergency situations, the outcome would have been very different,” he said. Police said the man was hospitalized in critical condition. The tiger did nothing wrong and will not be euthanized, zoo officials said.

CONSUELO RODRIGUEZ Consuelo Rodriguez, 83, passed away Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, after a short illness at Laredo Medical Center in Laredo, Texas. Mrs. Rodriguez is preceded in death by her daughter, Romelia R. Garza; parents, Alfonso and Celia Rodriguez; brother, Norberto Juarez; sister, Anita J. Longoria; brother-in-law, Antero Villarreal; and sisters-in-law, Maria Petra Rodriguez and Alicia Garcia. Mrs. Rodriguez is survived by her husband, Evaristo Rodriguez; grandson, Zachary O. Jr. (Roxana) Garza; granddaughters, Zarah (Adolfo) Serrato, Jo Emma (Angel) Solis; great-grandchildren, Angelica M. Garza, Zachary Ryan Garza, Cesar Santes, Juan Santes, Zaidelyn Zarahi Serrato, Angel Solis Jr., Arayani Solis and Zachary Garza; brothers, Ignacio (Elva) Juarez, Alonzo (Beatriz) Juarez and Jose Maria (Maria) Juarez; sister-inlaw, Emilia R. Villarreal; and by numerous nephews, nieces and friends. Visitation hours were held Monday, Sept. 17,

2012, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. at Rose Garden Funeral Home. The funeral procession departed Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. for a 10 a.m. funeral Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Committal services followed at Las Alejandreñas Cemetery. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Rose Garden Funeral Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 N. U.S. 83 Zapata, TX.

FRANCISCA G. DE LOS SANTOS Francisca G. De Los Santos, 92, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, at her residence in Zapata, Texas. Mrs. De Los Santos is preceded in death by her son, Joel Gonzalez. Mrs. De Los Santos is survived by her husband, Luis De Los Santos; sons, Arnoldo (Gayle) De Los Santos, Armando (Yolanda) De Los Santos, Adolio (†Carolina) De Los Santos and Adolfo (Elvira) De Los Santos; daughters, Angelica De Los Santos, Adela (Mario) Silva and Alma(†Carlos) Chapa; grandchildren, Maricela Ramirez, Blanca Gonzalez, Francis Molina, Cristina Gonzalez, Elio, Omar De Los Santos, Aldo, Arlo, Eric De Los Santos, Illeana, Victoria Silva, Yilsa De Los Santos, Karla Chapa, Gabino, Arturo De Los Santos, Angel Cuellar and Victor Guzman; numerous greatgrandchildren; daughterin-law, Nelda Gonzalez; brothers, Servando Gonzalez and Leonzo Gonzalez; and by numerous other family members and friends. Visitation hours were

Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. at Rose Garden Funeral Home. The funeral procession departed Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. for a 10 a.m. funeral Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Committal services followed at Zapata County Cemetery. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Rose Garden Funeral Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 N. U.S. 83 Zapata, TX.



PEACE Continued from Page 1A “made a choice at that moment and focused on the short term goal of getting through one day at a time by having a positive attitude.” While he was a patient at the medical center, a nurse asked him to speak to a despondent burn victim who then “turned on the light in his room and opened the curtain, letting light in his room and his heart,” Martinez said. Martinez then realized the impact he could have in helping others. His talents as a speaker and performer have been in demand ever since. “There is a secret in helping others and that is, you get more out of it than they do,” he said. He has made numerous TV appearances including “Oprah,” had a successful three-year run in the daytime drama “All My Children” and is perhaps better known for winning on Season 13 of

“Dancing With the Stars.” For two hours Wednesday, Martinez often used the metaphor of life being a stage as he recounted his life in detail, sometimes with a great sense of humor. He said one has to sometimes use parts of the stage that one is uncomfortable or unfamiliar with. “If you have a goal, stick to it and believe that you can achieve it. Don’t think you have to settle,” he said. He stressed the importance of being adaptable in life and having faith that “life and fate will put all the answers in front of you and you’ll be able to put the puzzle together and you’ll have a beautiful picture that not only you but everyone around you will be proud of.” (Rick Villarreal may be reached at 728-2528 or

CARTEL Continued from Page 1A not to cross him. In Nuevo Progreso, he met with the mayor and told him as long as he stayed out of his business he would leave him alone. The town has enjoyed relative peace compared to the mayhem in surrounding cities. Directly or indirectly, Cardenas Vela controlled all of the drugs and illegal immigrants that crossed on a long stretch of riverfront. For each of the town’s approximately 100 pharmacies, nearly all within three blocks of the bridge connecting to Texas, Cardenas Vela set the amount they would pay him to operate, which he called the “cuota.” The rate started at $3,000 per month. His monthly expenses to run the plaza were about $1 million, he said. In 2010,

when the Gulf cartel split with its one-time muscle, the Zetas, all those costs increased and he was just making enough to keep the business going. “When the fight with the Zetas started everything went up, weapons, expenses,” Cardenas Vela said. In March 2011, Cardenas Vela had just taken over the plaza in Matamoros, the Gulf cartel’s historical home base, across the border from Brownsville. He would replace Jose Luis Zuniga Hernandez, also known as “Comandante Wicho,” who along with two others was irritating the boss. In a month’s time, Zuniga Hernandez and the others had robbed eight armored cars, bringing a lot of heat to the area, Cardenas Vela testified.


BRIDGE Continued from Page 1A

Photo by Alberto Martinez/ | AP

Hundreds from Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin protest Gov. Rick Perry’s shunning of an estimated $13 billion in federal funds at the Capitol in Austin, on Friday. The funds are part of “Obamacare.”

tified us that they’d reject patients unless the county opened the account,” Salinas said. The account will allow the swift payment of filing fees to Bexar county when patients are referred for services in San Antonio. (Mikaela Rodriguez may be reached at 956728-2567 or

BORDER Continued from Page 1A Todd Staples, Texas Department of Agriculture commissioner. “We wanted landowners, ranchers and law enforcement to tell the stories in their own words,” Staples said in a phone interview. “These are real stories from real people describing the dangers they’re facing.” Counties along South Texas have been featured on the TDA’s “Protect Your Texas Border” website. In the Zapata video launched Tuesday, Sanchez alleges smugglers have spies on U.S. soil watching every movement law enforcement makes. Once smugglers learn lawmen’s shift changes and patrol areas, they simply “circumvent us or wait us out,” Sanchez says in the video. “It’s very frustrating. We think that we might have a lead on something. Sometimes we work (a case) for a week just to find out they moved their operation somewhere else. We put in some manhours that did not produce anything,” Sanchez told Texas Traffic Series. Zapata is no stranger to spillover events. On June 11, 2010, the owner of Los Potreritos Ranch in Zapata County, about 2.5 miles east of U.S. 83, found

ranchhand Miguel Angel Serrato Garza dead. Investigators recovered several spent casings from 9mm, .357and .22-caliber rounds, according to sheriff ’s investigators. A ranch worker from a nearby area identified as David Hernandez Guzman went missing the day Serrato Garza was found dead. Up until this day, Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr. said it is unclear what led to Serrato Garza’s killing. But a couple of theories have emerged. In one, investigators believe smugglers were trying to move a load through the area and Serrato Garza did not comply. Another theory is that the suspects wanted to steal a Chevrolet pickup, which was recovered later that same day north of the City of Rio Bravo in Webb County. Throughout the investigation, Gonzalez said Serrato Garza’s family was threatened in Mexico if they would cooperate with authorities. No one was arrested in connection with the case. On April 3, 2010, sheriff ’s investigators arrested Arturo Cisneros, of Zapata; Ariel Perez Mendoza, of Toluca, Mexico; and three Mexican nationals from Acapulco identified

as Juan Carlos Hidalgo Gallardo, Severiano Gallardo Solano and Adrian Gonzalez Morales. All five alleged hit men were after a man for allegedly stealing a marijuana load. Officials alleged the men were Zetitas, a type of lower-rank Zetas in training. According to court documents, the men never made it to court and were released because Texas Department of Public Safety failed to have an offense report for the district attorney’s office within 90 days. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has also seen its share of spillover incidents in regard to human and drug trafficking. Game wardens have referred cases of illegal trafficking to federal and local authorities. Click here to view reports obtained through an open records request. Though incidents have been documented throughout South Texas, Staples said, “Washington is in denial.” Staples was quick to point out a shooting between suspected smugglers and a ranch foreman on March 6, 2011, near the Dimmit and Webb county lines. The ranch foreman drove up on a white extended cab Ford pickup occupied by

five people suspected of loading narcotics on the property, according to a DPS report. The report states the suspects fired at least with one rifle while the ranch foreman returned fire with a shotgun. Broken windshield glass injured the foreman in an eye, the DPS report states. Staples said more boots on the ground are needed, whether it’s U.S. Border Patrol agents or National Guard troops. He would like to see federal agents to a level equivalent to neighboring states of Arizona, California and New Mexico. Those states have 14 agents per border mile while Texas has six, according to Staples. He tells cities that enjoy a low crime rate reported in the FBI uniform crime reports to be aware of the disclaimer. Staples said these stats should not be used as an indicator of overall safety because doing so “leads to simplistic, incomplete or misleading perception. The point here is that data doesn’t monitor kidnappings, intimidation, extortion and bribery, which are the very things cartels participate in (on) a daily basis.” (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 7282568 or




Zapata takes first

Courtesy photo

Zapata took first place at the UTSA Ricardo Romo Invitational with 47 points.

Hawks win behind first place finish for Luis Garza By CLARA SANDOVAL THE ZAPATA TIMES

The Hawks flew north to San Antonio for the UTSA Ricardo Romo Invitational meet Saturday. UTSA gave Zapata an idea where they stood in the region as each passing week the Hawks get closer to the district meet in October. Zapata captured the team title with 47 points while Boerne came in second with 77 points and Giddings in third with 133 points. Over 200 runners took the course in the 3A division with 22 teams. Six of the seven Hawks runners finished in the top 20 at the meet and were led by junior Luis Garza, who captured first place. Garza has perfected his running strategy and captured three first place finishes in four meets. Not far from Garza was Carlos Rodriguez, who crossed the finish line in third place while Jose Garcia came in ninth

place to put Zapata in a great position to capture the team title in the 3A division. Sammy Camacho placed 16th and Heriberto Perez finished 18th to help Zapata run away with the team title at one of the biggest cross country meets in South Texas. “The Hawks have done an excellent job in staying focused and have embraced the new coach and are working hard to accomplish their team goal, which is to make the trip to the state meet,” Zapata coach Roel Ibanez said. Rounding out the Hawks were Jerome Cabagos (20th place), Romeo Morales (36th), Luis Lerma (49th), Omar Alfaro (63rd), Jose Hernandez (84th) and Alex Martinez (94th). Zapata are back in action Sept. 29th at the Corpus Christi Splash meet where the Hawks will be competing with some of the best 4A and 5A school in the region. “I would like to thank all of the people that have supported the team with donations and with our fundraiser,” Ibanez said. “Also to all the parents for their continued


support and to those that were able to make the trip to San Antonio, the kids really appreciate you being there for them.”

JV Division The junior varsity Hawks placed 11th out of 26 teams from all classifications that ranges from 5A to 1A with over 190 runners in this division. The Hawks were paced by Daniel Hinojosa in 23rd followed by Roberto Salinas in 24th place. Hector Leduc placed 61st while Alvaro Rodriguez placed 80th to pace the team. Rounding out the team was Maycol Mendoza in 112th. “The JV Hawks team did a great job and was able to run tough against schools from all different classifications,” Ibanez said. “We had a young JV team competing with two sophomores and three freshmen. It was


Outdoor sports strong in Texas The outdoor sporting world is in full swing, and Zapata offers some of the best events around South Texas. This weekend the South Texas Archery Shootout will be held at the Zapata 3-D Archery Course. The youth division will have three subdivisions based on school grade and includes high school, middle school and elementary. The fee for the youth division will be $50 instead of $100. The event will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday with youth, traditional, intermediate and expert divisions competing. The fourth cycle will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. Once the scores are totaled, awards and prizes will be presented to the top three scores in each division. The prize package will include an event trophy, an event cap designating the recipient as a “Champion Archer” and a $25, $50 or $100 gift card from Academy Sports and Outdoors. Registration for all other divisions is $100 and includes an event shirt designating the wearer as a contestant. Similar shirts will be available for non-contestants. The rules and regulations for each will be as follows: The target distances will be adjusted for the youth division so that competitors will have a challenging shoot. Each contestant will shoot five arrows per round with two rounds per cycle. Four divisions: Youth (18 and under), traditional (long bow and re-curve), intermediate, and expert will compete for awards and prizes. The targets will be at various distances from five to 60 yards depending on the division.



Zapata remains unbeaten By CLARA SANDOVAL THE ZAPATA TIMES

The Lady Hawks were not on anyone’s mind when they headed to the UTSA Ricardo Romo Invitational last Saturday but they made their presence felt. On one of the biggest stages from Central to South Texas, Zapata captured the runner-up position behind 2011 AAA state runner-up La Vernia and in the

With district play starting this afternoon, Zapata’s final tune up went well as the Lady Hawks took home a 25-17, 25-22, 20-25, 2522 victory over Crystal City on Tuesday night. The freshman and junior varsity teams dropped both their games against Crystal City. Zapata (13-0) has turned to their offensive dynamo Kristina De Leon who is just getting better with each passing game. De Leon led the offense with 25 kills and is heading into Saturday’s game as one of the most viable offensive weapons that Zapata has had from anywhere on the floor. De Leon is deadly from the back row or at the net and can hit the ball from anywhere. Vanessa Martinez has been coming around for Zapata and contributed with seven kills while Jeana Jasso and Clari Villarreal added six apiece in the victory. Running the offense for Zapata was Sessy Mata, who recorded 25 assists with the majority going to De Leon. Gaby Gutierrez had 10 assists to help out the offense and was when Mata was out of the setter’s position. Mata also



Courtesy Photo

Zapata finished in second place in a tournament consisting of 30 teams and over 300 runners last Saturday.

Lady Hawks make impact at Ricardo Romo Invitational By CLARA SANDOVAL THE ZAPATA TIMES

When the latest state rankings were released, Zapata’s name was missing. That did not sit well with the Lady Hawks. Rankings are based on the previous year’s performance and Zapata experienced a down year.

CUATE SANTOS | The Zapata Times

Lady Longhorns’ Amabeli Fernandez (10) hits the ball as Zapata’s Valerie Gutierrez (2) defends in the second game of their match Friday afternoon at the United Invitational.




Aggies try for first home win Letter accuses Gillispie of verbal abuse By BY KRISTIE RIEKEN ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLLEGE STATION — Texas A&M took note of the times this season when Football Championship Subdivision teams have pulled off upsets over BCS teams. When the Aggies meet South Carolina State for the first time on Saturday, they know better than to overlook the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team, despite its 56-0 loss last week at Arizona. Texas A&M actually believes that difficult defeat could make the Bulldogs even more dangerous. “They’re a team on the rebound,” Texas A&M linebacker Jonathan Stewart said. “We have to prepare for every single opponent as if they are a big-time opponent. We can’t take them lightly at all and end up being one of the teams that everybody looks at around the nation as: ’How did you lose to that team?”’ The Aggies look to pick up their first win at Kyle Field after opening the season with a 20-17 loss to No. 14 Florida two weeks ago. They bounced back from that defeat with a 48-3 victory at SMU on Saturday and return to Southeastern Conference play next week against Arkansas. Freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel starred against the Mustangs in his second career start, throwing for four touchdowns and running for two more in three quarters. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said he’s improving every day, but dealing with not being able to rely solely on his talent to succeed is a process. “For a lot of players that go through that, you have to find out what you can do with your strengths and what you can’t do with your weaknesses,” Sumlin said. “When you’re used to having success doing certain things a certain way, as you progress you start to learn the speed of the game, what you can get away with and what you can’t ... he’s a very talented guy that has got to continue to work on moving from an athlete that’s playing quarterback to a quarterback that’s an athlete. There’s a big difference.” South Carolina State also has a dual-threat quarterback in Richard Cue. Cue leads the team in yards passing with 458 and yards rushing with 129. His best performance came in the Bulldogs season-opening win over Georgia State, when he threw for a career-high 300 yards and three touchdowns. “I think their quarterback is a


Dave Einsel | AP

Florida running back Mike Gillislee (23) rushes for a gain as Texas A&M linebacker Jonathan Stewart (11) tries to tackle him during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, in College Station, Texas. Florida beat Texas A&M 20-17 by outscoring the Aggies 10-0 in the second half. smooth athlete,” Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said. “They’ve got a couple of receivers that can play a lot of places. You can see schematically that they know what they’re doing. If you give them something here or there, they’ll counter with something. I’ve been very, very impressed with them. We’ll have to come to play.” Cue and the Bulldogs’ offense will be challenged by a Texas A&M defense which leads the nation with six sacks a game. Stewart saw the Aggies make strides on defense from the first to second game, and expects that to continue on Saturday. South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough is hoping his team is able to put last week’s loss, where his team managed just three first downs, behind it. He added that Texas A&M’s offensive and defensive lines are “imposing.” “Tough isn’t the word for it. We got knocked around pretty good,” he said of last week’s loss. “It was one of those kind of games where it just got away from us ... we’ve got our work cut out for us. It will be inter-

esting to see how our kids react.” He also isn’t quite sure what to expect from the Aggies since they’ve played just two games after their opener against Louisiana Tech was rescheduled because of Hurricane Isaac. The development of Manziel has been helped by the emergence of fellow freshman Mike Evans. Evans led the team with 123 yards receiving last week and has a team-leading 183 yards receiving overall. The 6-foot-5 Evans is a former basketball star that only began playing football a few years ago. “He’s got to keep getting better,” Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury said. “He made some good plays and had some he wished he could take back. With his size and speed, what do you tell him? ’There shouldn’t be anybody covering you. If you execute the route you’re supposed to and use the technique you’re supposed to, you should be indefensible.”’ That should be especially true this week against a secondary that starts just one player taller than 6-feet.

LUBBOCK — The mother of a teenager at Billy Gillispie’s summer basketball camp claims in a letter to a top school administrator that the former Texas Tech coach repeatedly verbally abused her son, according to a document obtained Friday by The Associated Press. The woman wrote that other coaches at the camp told her son that Gillispie “likes to pick someone and try to ’break them’ for some reason,” and that the young man “wasn’t doing anything wrong,” according to a letter to Texas Tech’s chancellor obtained through an open records request. Gillispie resigned from Texas Tech on Thursday, citing health concerns after he was hospitalized twice in the past month. The 52-year-old Gillispie stepped down amid allegations he mistreated players on his team. The mother’s name is redacted in the Aug. 20 letter to university chancellor Kent Hance. No written reply was made but Hance called the Texas Tech alum, who is a teacher, to discuss the matter, officials said. On the camp’s first day in late June the woman’s son, now a high school se-

nior, overthrew a pass to another camper. “It happens,” the mother wrote in her letter. “That’s the only thing he thought brought on the barrage of insults spurted from the mouth of your coach Gillispie. This was the first of many such verbal attacks.” On Aug. 29, several Texas Tech players went to athletic director Kirby Hocutt with claims of mistreatment by Gillispie. Two days later, the school announced it was scrutinizing Gillispie and his leadership. The same day reported that Gillispie made players practice long hours, which led to injuries. Just hours before Gillispie and Hocutt were to meet Aug. 31 to discuss the players’ claims, the coach called 911 and was taken to a Lubbock hospital where he stayed for six days. A week later Gillispie traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he said he was treated for kidney problems, abnormal headaches and high blood pressure. He said doctors ordered him to avoid stress for 30 days. Hocutt removed Gillispie from making day-today decisions about the program so he could focus on his health. Gillispie did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

UNBEATEN Continued from Page 1B recorded three aces. In defense it was libero Abby Aguilar who held the team together in the back row with 23 digs while De Leon also made a huge impact with 10. Anissa Garcia also had six digs in the game. The duo of Celia Rathmell, Villarreal and Martinez combined for seven blocks at the net and forced the Lady Javelinas to change their of-

fense attach during the game.

Starting District The Lady Hawks will start their title defense today when they face Kingsville at 2p.m. After the UIL realignment was announced as Kingsville dropped to 3A after holding 4A status the past cou-

ple of years. Kingsville is new to the district and not much is know about the Lady Brahmas, but that does not deter Zapata’s motivation to come home with a victory. Zapata will continue to pound the ball and play tough defense, two attributes that have helped the Lady Hawks capture the past two district titles.

OUTDOOR Continued from Page 1B Youth and traditional divisions will not have shots farther than 40 yards. Each division will shoot two back-to-back rounds in four cycles for a total of 40 scored shots making the final shootout score. No crossbows will be permitted. Once all shooters have completed a cycle, the sequence will be repeated until all divisions have shot three two-round cycles.

For more information please call Gil Gamez (512-426-4255). Fishing Tournaments Zapata is slated to hold some of the best fishing tournaments in South Texas. The Sun Country Championship takes place today. On Oct. 12 the Southeast Texas Bass Federation hits town and on Oct. 18 the Angler’s Quest Tourna-

ment is in town. The Bass Champs South Region Championships is in town on October 27. For more information please call the Zapata County Chamber of Commerce (956-765-4871) or email ( (Clara Sandoval can be reached at

Courtesy photo

Luis Garza won the individual title at the UTSA Ricardo Romo Invitational.

HAWKS Continued from Page 1B a great experience for them and the future is looking

bright for the cross country program.”

IMPACT Continued from Page 1B process knocked off two state ranked teams. There were over 30 teams competing and over 300 total runners. The Lady Hawks won this event back in 2007 and since then have opted to run the Gold division, 5A division and the 4A division but that changed this year when UIL changed the distance. With the increase in distance at the higher classification, running against a larger school is no longer an option. Being back in the AAA race gives Zapata a chance to compete against the best South Texas has to offer in AAA. The Lady Hawks have been working all season long on closing their gaps (the time between the first through fifth runner). The gaps have been fluctuating between 1:00-1:20. This past Saturday the gap was a mere 15 seconds with seven

girls hitting their personal records on a very muddy but fast course at the National Shooting Complex. Jazmine Garcia remained the top runner for ZHS despite battling a bad side stitch for most of the race. Gracia was leading the race at the mile mark and slipped to 17th place. Freshman Raquel Almaguer continues to improve and impresses as she raced her way to the No. 2 spot with a personal record of 13:10. Cassie Pena raced her way back into a great position to finish as the No. 3 runner. Jannet Chapa slipped back in the rankings but still managed to hit a personal record with a time of 13:18. Closing out the top five was Erica Hernandez, who was being chased closely by Joyce Garcia and Sara Pena and Ange-

la Darnell and Norma Ramirez, who had a personal record completing the lineup for the Varsity team.

JV Division In the JV division our Lady Hawks also captured the runnerup spot with an impressive performance competing against over 40 teams and over 250 runners. Yulitza Mendiola hit a personal record and was the top finisher just missing out on the medal stand. Maria Rodriguez raced like the runner of old and finished close to the top of the pack. Daniela Vela (PR), Abby Zuniga (PR), Bianca Ponce, Alondra Lara (PR), Kassy Galvan (PR) and Corina Martinez (PR) all contributed to the win. The Lady Hawks will be off this weekend and then prepare to

Courtesy Photo

Zapata’s women’s cross country team finished second at the UTSA Ricardo Romo Invitational last Saturday. take on the Coastal Bend area at the A&M Corpus Christi Islander Splash. With seven weeks left until the regional meet and five weeks un-

til district competition, the girls will be working hard to represent Zapata to the best of their ability.



HINTS | BY HELOISE Dear Heloise: I came across a BOX OF OLD BOOKS that I would like to keep, but they have a musty smell. Is there any way to remove it? — A Reader in Texas This is a common question, and being a collector of old books, it is a problem I’ve often encountered. Many times the musty smell is just from age. Take some baking soda (not for antique or rare books) or cornstarch and sprinkle between the pages. When done, slip the book into a plastic bag (large zipper bag) and place in a cool, dry place. Let sit for about a week or so. When the week is up, brush out the powder. Repeat, if necessary. CAUTION: Never place baking soda on damp books. Once the musty smell is gone, store your books carefully. If they are older, heavy or extra-large books, they should be stored flat on their side. Storing them upright can damage the pages and crack the spines. — Heloise PET PAL Dear Readers: Abby in Texas sent a picture of her 10-year-old, black-andwhite cat, Neo, watching over her school supplies.


Abby says that during the school year, Neo helps her pack for school every day. To see Neo and our other Pet Pals, go to and click on “Pets.” Do you have a pet you would like to see as the weekly Pet Pal? Send a picture to Heloise at P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000. — Heloise THANK-YOU POSTAGE Dear Heloise: I just had a loved one pass away, and I received many cards with money in them. One thing that I had never heard of before was that several cards had a book of stamps for the thankyou cards. I thought this was a great idea. Next time, instead of money or flowers, I will send a book of stamps. — Rae in Omaha, Neb. SEND A GREAT HINT TO: Heloise P.O. Box 795000 San Antonio, TX 782795000 Fax: 1-210-HELOISE Email:









Romo, Cowboys aim to shorten the field ASSOCIATED PRESS

IRVING, Texas — Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys have had to go a long way to score their touchdowns this season. Their four touchdown drives have averaged 78 yards, including a 95-yarder for their only score in the last game. “You have to do a lot of things right to go 80 yards, 60 yards, whatever,” Romo said Thursday. “When you have a short field sometimes, it makes things a lot easier. You’re just always going out there to score points and you don’t really think about how far you’ve got to go, but obviously, that plays a role.” The Cowboys (1-1), who play their home opener Sunday against Tampa Bay, haven’t had a short field yet this season. The average starting position for 19 possessions is their own 20. Only one drive started beyond the 30, and that was at the 34 on the second drive of the season opener after the New York Giants fumbled. That fumble is the only turnover forced by the Cowboys this season. And they haven’t had any big plays on special teams. Felix Jones has averaged 21.3 yards on his eight kickoff returns this season, and the longest was a 29-yarder against Seattle last week that only set the Cowboys up at the 21 since he took the ball eight yards deep in the end zone. Dez Bryant has four punt returns for a total of 2 yards, and Dwayne Harris had one return for 3 yards. Their 95-yard TD drive against the Seahawks came after a punt in a 27-7 loss.

Phelan M. Ebenhack | AP

Houston Texans running back Ben Tate (44) runs past Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Kyle Bosworth (56) during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday.

Texans’ Tate looks ahead ASSOCIATED PRESS

Kevin P. Casey | AP

The Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo points during the game against the Seattle Seahawks on a play in the second half Sunday in Seattle. Romo went 23 of 40 for 251 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the 27-7 loss. Dallas has three turnovers, including Jones fumbling away the opening kickoff at Seattle. Romo has thrown an interception in each game, while the Cowboys’ upgraded secondary has yet to pick off a pass. “You need to make some plays,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Oftentimes, that comes from pressuring the quarterback and forcing him to throw it earlier than he wants to. And then on the back end, you just simply have to go get the football and make some plays. We keep emphasizing it and the players understand the importance of it and hopefully they’ll start to come for our defense.” Officially, the Cowboys’ shortest touchdown drive

was listed as 73 yards against the Giants, but adding a penalty means Dallas had to actually move 78 yards. There was an 82-yard drive in that same game when the Cowboys had to pick up 112 yards because of four penalties. Their shortest scoring drive of the season was a 65-yarder for a field goal in the 24-17 season-opening win at the Giants. NOTES: DT Marcus Spears (knee) had limited participation Thursday after not practicing Wednesday. ... NT Jay Ratliff (ankle) and DT Kenyon Coleman (knee) didn’t practice again. ... Rookie CB Morris Claiborne indicated that he’s getting more chances at kickoff returns in practice.

HOUSTON — Ben Tate was in a position any rookie would envy. Drafted by the Houston Texans in the second round in 2010 after a stellar senior season at Auburn, the running back was competing for a starting job. But almost as quickly as his opportunity came, it was over when a broken right ankle in the first preseason game ended his rookie campaign. Arian Foster emerged to lead the NFL with 1,616 yards rushing, meaning Houston would have a talented backup when Tate returned. The 24-year-old Tate insists he doesn’t waste time thinking of what might have been. “This is where I’m supposed to be,” he said. “Maybe I wasn’t ready yet. Maybe I thought I was ready, but maybe I wasn’t. You never know. I just always think things happen for a reason and I just go with the flow and don’t think about it anymore.”

Tate appeared in 15 games last season and finished with 942 yards rushing as a complement to Foster. He had just 6 yards rushing in Houston’s season opener two weeks ago, but stood out against the Jaguars with 74 yards and two scores and along with 23 yards receiving. He was chosen offensive player of the week by the coaching staff. Foster had 110 yards rushing last week to help the Texans to 2-0 entering Sunday’s game at Denver. For Tate, instead of lamenting the chance he missed because of his injury, he prefers to focus on the improvements he made, both mentally and physically while rehabilitating from it. A major change during the time he wasn’t playing was revamping his diet. Tate was crazy about junk food, from gummy worms to ice cream, but his biggest indulgence was probably the worst. “I would definitely bake a cake and eat it without even thinking about it,”

Tate said. He’d be lying if he said he hasn’t baked a cake and eaten a piece or two since he changed his eating habits, but he certainly bakes less often. He keeps fruit and yogurt in his refrigerator as an alternative to the junk he once loved to scarf down. “The best thing that came from (being out) was being more aware of my body and learning how to eat,” he said. Because he’d never had a major injury before, Tate struggled to deal with the setback. He relied on his family and faith to get through it and believes he came out stronger in the end. “Before I took those things for granted, and when playing the game that I love gets taken away, it makes you think about those things and cherish those things more,” he said. Coach Gary Kubiak said he expects the split of plays between Foster and Tate to be about 4-2 in favor of Foster.

The Zapata Times 9/22/2012  

The Zapata Times 9/22/2012

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