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BORDER SECURITY

Ranchers: Border unsafe Politicians, lawmen hear concerns about trafficking, drug smuggling By CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

Human trafficking, drug smuggling and people carrying weapons while trudging through ranches are some concerns South Texas ranchers voiced to area lawmen during a rural border se-

curity panel discussion Monday morning at Laredo Community College’s Ft. McIntosh Campus. During the event hosted by Rep. Henry Cuellar, ranchers spoke about concerns about who they should communicate with when suspicious activity is spotted on their properties.

Rob Hinnant, a representative of the Texas Farm Bureau, said landowners in South Texas have concerns about safety and private property destruction. “The safety issue comes from the new type of people that are coming across the border,” said Hinnant, who grew up in South

Texas. “We used to have illegal immigrants coming across looking for work.” At the time, Hinnant would describe the people as innocent. But things have changed. Ranchers are now facing human and drug trafficking. “Many of these people involved

in the trafficking are carrying firearms,” Hinnant said. “It is a concern. I live in the country. I have a wife and daughter who are in my home.” Private property destruction is as simple as pedestrians walking

See BORDER PAGE 9A

CRIME SAN YGNACIO

OPENING DOORS TO HISTORIC PAST

Laredo dispute leads to arrest San Ygnacio man accused of assault By CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

Photo by Cesar G. Rodriguez | The Zapata Times

Pictured on Wednesday afternoon is a kitchen setting that takes visitors back in time. People can admire a historical way of setting up a table at La Paz Museum located on Arturo L. Benavides Elementary School grounds during the Historic Homes Tour on Sunday.

Homes tour shows how area residents once lived By MIKE HERRERA IV THE ZAPATA TIMES

T

he storied history of Zapata County comes alive tomorrow in San Ygnacio. As it has for the last four years, the Historic Homes Tour promises to transport visitors into the late 19th and early 20th centuries by allowing them to visit San Ygnacio’s oldest buildings. Established in 1830, San Ygnacio is Zapata County’s oldest town and is listed in the National Register of Historical Places for, among other things, boasting more late 19th century Spanish-style

sandstone homes than any other location in South Texas. Its founder, Don Jesus Treviño, built such a home facing what is now Uribe Street. Known as Fort Treviño, this colonial structure, topped with the famous sundial, is San Ygnacio’s cultural showpiece, and a symbol for the sense of history that unifies the community. “As far as San Ygnacio is concerned, there is that spirit of unity, that pride in our history,” said Norma V. Arellano, principal of A.L. Benavides Elementary School. The school itself takes on the rustic appearance with its river stone façade inspired by Fort Treviño, appropri-

ate considering the Historic Homes Tour is a project for and by the school. “This tour helps us raise funds for the school, and one teacher is assigned to each historic site,” Arellano explained. “They learn about the home and its historical importance.” On the grounds of the school, right next to the playground, is La Paz Museum, also a part of the tour. From 1898 to 1918, this building saw use as a cantina, schoolhouse, and a mess hall for U.S. troops stationed in San Ygnacio amid tensions with Mexico. Its collection of

See TOURS PAGE 9A

A San Ygnacio man was arrested last weekend after authorities say he was the aggressor during a stabbing attack a few days ARAMBULA ago in Laredo. Zapata County Sheriff ’s Office deputies served Jorge “Camaron” Arambula, 27, with an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon warrant after a traffic stop Nov. 26 near U.S. 83 and 20th Avenue. Arambula was taken to the Zapata Regional Jail and later released to authorities to bring him to Webb County Jail. He remained behind bars as of Friday afternoon. Around 9 p.m. Nov. 21, the victim got into a heated argument with a person he knows in the 2000 block of North India Avenue in Laredo. The criminal complaint states that the person owed the victim $200. The victim got upset with the person because he was able to buy beer but could not pay a debt of $200. According to the complaint, an intoxicated person went to the victim’s apartment complex to call him out. During a verbal argument, a small, black car operated by a woman pulled over. A man later identified as Arambula stepped in for the person. The complaint states that Arambula attacked and stabbed the victim once with a knife and

See ARREST PAGE 9A


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Zin brief CALENDAR

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

AROUND TEXAS

TODAY IN HISTORY

SATURDAY, DEC. 3

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A book sale will be held in the Widener Room of the First United Methodist Church, 1220 McClelland Ave., from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is invited, and admission is free. Donated books and magazines are accepted. Call 722-1674 for more information. The Texas A&M International University Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium will show “The Polar Express” at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Santa will be available for pictures between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The Bazaar Art Movement is from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. today at La Reserva Bar and Grill, 107 Calle Del Norte. Artists will have the opportunity to sell or showcase their work at no charge. For more information, add Bazaar Laredo on Facebook or email BackTheBazaar@gmail.com. A garage sale will be held in the Holy Redeemer Church parking lot, 1602 Garcia St., from 7 a.m. to noon today.

Today is Saturday, Dec. 3, the 337th day of 2011. There are 28 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Dec. 3, 1911, Italian film composer Nino Rota, known for scoring works by such directors as Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti, as well as the first two “Godfather” movies, was born in Milan. On this date: In 1810, British forces captured Mauritius from the French, who had renamed the island nation off southeast Africa “Ile de France.” In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state. In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States by the Electoral College. In 1833, Oberlin College in Ohio — the first truly coeducational school of higher learning in the United States — began holding classes. In 1925, George Gershwin’s Concerto in F had its world premiere at New York’s Carnegie Hall, with Gershwin at the piano. In 1947, the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire” opened on Broadway. In 1967, surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived 18 days with the new heart. The 20th Century Limited, the famed luxury train, completed its final run from New York to Chicago. In 1979, 11 people were killed in a crush of fans at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum, where the British rock group The Who was performing. In 1984, thousands of people died after a cloud of methyl isocyanate gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India. In 1991, radicals in Lebanon released American hostage Alann (cq) Steen, who’d been held captive nearly five years. Ten years ago: In the wake of bombings that had killed 26 Israelis, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared a war on terror. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge asked Americans to return to a high state of alert, citing threats of more terrorist attacks. Enron took steps to bolster its weak financial footing following its historic bankruptcy filing, arranging $1.5 billion in financing and slashing 4,000 jobs, or 20 percent of its work force. Today’s Birthdays: Singer Andy Williams is 84. Movie director Jean-Luc Godard is 81. Singer Jaye P. Morgan is 80. singer Ozzy Osbourne is 63. Rock singer Mickey Thomas is 62. Country musician Paul Gregg (Restless Heart) is 57. Actor Steven Culp is 56. Actress Daryl Hannah is 51. Actress Julianne Moore is 51. Olympic gold medal figure skater Katarina Witt is 46. Actor Brendan Fraser is 43. Actress Anna Chlumsky is 31. Actor Brian Bonsall is 30. Pop/rock singer-songwriter Andy Grammer is 28. Actress Amanda Seyfried is 26. Actor Michael Angarano is 24. Actor Jake T. Austin is 17. Thought for Today: “Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it.” — Joseph Conrad, Polishborn English novelist (born this date in 1857, died 1924).

SUNDAY, DEC. 4 The United High School boys’ basketball booster club will host its first annual Christmas Bingo from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Chapa’s Reception Hall, 5904 West Drive. Items include a 42-inch flat-screen TVs, cologne sets, household items and electronics. Support the program by purchasing a ticket for $15 (three cards for 10 games). For more information or to purchase tickets, call Abrahan Rubio at 763-1544 or Diana Juarez at 319-3100. The Laredo Community College Faculty Cello Recital is from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. today in the Private David B. Barkeley Cantu Veterans Memorial Chapel. It features new LCC music instructor Guillermo Teniente. It is free and open to the public.

MONDAY, DEC. 5 The Laredo Community College Fine Arts Center will host auditions for the Tony Award-winning musical “Picnic” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today. “Picnic” will be staged in the spring. Acting experience is not required.

TUESDAY, DEC 6 The Zapata Community Coalition will meet from 11:30 a.m. through 1 p.m. at the Zapata Community Center. RSVP to SCAN, Inc., at 956-765-3555 or email nedina.gutierrez@scan-inc.org or sonia@scan-inc.org. Les Amies will have its monthly luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn at 800 Garden St. Honorees are Alicia Laurel and Olga Laurel. Hostesses are Consuelo Lopez, Hilda Lopez, Berta Garza and Olga Hovel. The South Texas Food Bank will have a fundraiser today at Hal’s Landing, 6510 Arena Road. The event will feature a lockup “jail and bail” of Laredo personalities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A Hal’s-sponsored party will be from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission is $10 per person, with raffle prizes available. Proceeds benefit the food bank. For more information, call the food bank at 3242432. The Alzheimer’s support group will meet at 7 p.m. today in Meeting Room 2, Building B, of the Laredo Medical Center. The support group is for family members and caregivers taking care of someone who has Alzheimer’s. The Webb County Community Coalition of SCAN Inc. will meet from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Texas National Guard Armory, 6001 Bob Bullock Loop. Guest speaker will be Webb County Medical Examiner Dr. Corinne Stern. The public is invited. For more information or to RSVP, call Melissa Belmares-Cavazos or Veronica Garza Jimenez at 724-3177.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 7 The Texas AgriLife Extension Service will sponsor a Pesticide Applicator Recertification Course from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Webb County Agriculture Building, 7209 E. Saunders St. The course is an approved Texas Department of Agriculture course worth five credits toward a private, noncommercial or commercial pesticide applicator license. The registration fee includes a noon meal, refreshments, training materials and handouts. For special accommodations, call the Webb County Extension Service office in advance. For more information, contact Webb County Agricultural Extension Agent George L. Gonzales at 721-2626, 721-2627, 721-2229 or gl-gonzales@tamu.edu. The Zapata Community Coalition will host bingo at the Zapata County Pavilion.

Photo by Scott Heckel/The Repository | AP

Barb Daily, sister of Timothy Kern, speaks of her bother in Massillon, Ohio on Tuesday. Timothy Kern has been missing for over a week after responding to a Craigslist help wanted ad. He is believed to be the third victim to be linked to the employment robbery scheme.

Texas man released By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS AND THOMAS J. SHEERAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

AKRON, Ohio — A Texas parolee now linked to a deadly Craigslist robbery scheme was in an Ohio jail and poised to stay there but was released after Texas officials said they only wanted him extradited if he were convicted on a drug charge, according to court records and a sheriff ’s office. Richard Beasley, released in July on a judge’s order, is now linked to a plot in which, authorities say, someone tried to lure robbery victims by posting a bogus ad touting a cattle farm job in southeast Ohio. Texas issued a warrant in February when Beasley was arrested on drug charges and confirmed the existence of the warrant with Ohio officials in June when he was arrested again on a separate drug-dealing charge. The Texas warrant asked that Beasley be held for

violating parole on a burglary conviction. Beasley asked to be released on bond, and on July 12, Akron Judge John Murphy granted his request. “Texas authorities are only interested in extradition if there is a conviction in Ohio,” Murphy wrote. Texas says it never authorized Beasley’s release and filed two additional warrants for his arrest. Beasley was released “despite the existence of the Texas warrant and detainer,” Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said Thursday. “That doesn’t say to me we were OK with him being free from custody,” Clark said. Bill Holland, a spokesman for the Summit Count Sheriff ’s Office, said Texas officials said they wanted to wait until the outcome of the Akron drug case, “because if he was found not guilty, then there would be no parole violation.”

Woman unharmed after plane crashes into house

Bay City woman shot by spouse remains critical

Texan, 81, shoots at burglars, she later dies

MIDLAND — Officials say an 81-year-old woman was rescued unharmed after a small plane crashed into her West Texas home, a fiery accident that destroyed the house and injured the pilot. City of Midland spokeswoman Tasa Watts says the woman was inside the home when the crash occurred Friday morning.

BAY CITY — A Southeast Texas woman shot three times by her husband, who then fatally shot their four children before killing himself, remains in critical condition two days after the attack. A spokesman for Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston said Laura Gonzalez of Bay City remained hospitalized Friday.

HOUSTON — Police say an 81year-old Houston-area woman has died of an apparent heart attack after shooting a gun and scaring off two burglars. Memorial Villages police believe a man and a woman had posed as utility workers and talked the homeowner into opening her door to them.

3 Dallas police officers hurt working wrecks DALLAS — Three Dallas police officers were hurt while trying to clear two unrelated Interstate 635-area wrecks on a rainy morning. Police say two officers were injured around 2 a.m. Friday when a tractor-trailer rig hit two parked squad cars. The second accident happened around 2:30 a.m. Friday when a stopped patrol car was hit from behind by another vehicle.

Capital murder indictment over Texas deputy death NEW BOSTON — A man accused in the shooting death of a sheriff ’s deputy has been indicted on a capital murder charge. A grand jury in New Boston on Thursday indicted Tucker Strickland of Texarkana. He remains in the Parker County Jail with bond set at $3 million. Bowie County sheriff ’s Deputy Sherri Jones was shot in the head her own gun.

Man cited after wild turkey at N.B. dies NEW BRAUNFELS — A man has been cited over the death of a wild turkey that was a favorite of visitors to a South Texas park. The turkey died Nov. 22, a day after allegedly being grabbed by the neck and thrown into a wading pool. Game warden Brent Satsky says 53-year-old Ernesto Zavala Cerna of San Antonio has been cited for illegal possession of a live game bird. — Compiled from AP reports

AROUND THE NATION EPA eases boiler rule; health benefits unchanged WASHINGTON — Facing criticism from industry and lawmakers, the Obama administration on Friday proposed easing rules aimed at reducing toxic air pollution from industrial boilers and incinerators. But administration officials maintained that the health benefits of the regulation wouldn’t be compromised. The changes would require pollution controls at the 5,500 largest and most polluting boilers nationwide, such as those at refineries and chemical plants. An additional 195,000 smaller boilers would be able to meet the rule through routine tune-ups.

Unemployment rate drops to lowest since 2009 WASHINGTON — The unemployment rate, which has refused to budge from the 9 percent

CONTACT US Publisher, William B. Green........................728-2501 Business Manager, Dora Martinez ...... (956) 324-1226 General Manager, Adriana Devally ...............728-2510 Classified Manager, Karla Cruz .................. 728-2525 Adv. Billing Inquiries ................................. 728-2531 Circulation Director ................................. 728-2559 MIS Director, Michael Castillo.................... 728-2505 Managing Editor, Julie Silva ...................... 728-2565 City Editor, Mary Nell Sanchez .................. 728-2543 Sports Editor, Dennis Silva II......................728-2579 Spanish Editor, Melva Lavín-Castillo............ 728-2569

SUBSCRIPTIONS/DELIVERY (956) 728-2555 Photo by Jason Redmond | AP

Good Jobs LA and Occupy LA activists, left, yell as people participate in a home auction outside the county courthouse in Norwalk, Calif., on Friday. Protesters are calling for an end to foreclosures. neighborhood for two and a half frustrating years, suddenly dropped in November, driven in part by small businesses. The rate fell to 8.6 percent, the lowest since March 2009. Unemployment passed 9 percent that spring and had stayed there or

higher for all but two months. The country added 120,000 jobs in November. The economy has generated 100,000 or more jobs five months in a row — the first time that has happened since April 2006. — Compiled from AP reports

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 thezapatatimes.net


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

Zlocal

Christmas parade, tree lighting is Thursday By MIKE HERRERA IV THE ZAPATA TIMES

The holidays may bring their share of gift-giving stress, but the 2011 Christmas Parade and Lighting of the County Plaza promises a welcome reprieve. For just one evening next week, Zapatans can forget the season’s material demands and join their neighbors shoulder to shoulder to partake in one of the county’s long-standing traditions. “People look forward to his every year,” said Celia Balderas, membership services coordinator for the Zapata County Chamber of Commerce, which has spearheaded the event for the last three years. Balderas remembers people turning out in droves every year to watch the school marching bands and elaborately decorated floats. “The weather is usually great, and people get very excited,” she said. The parade lines up at the corner of 17th and Glenn Street and proceeds south on U.S. 83 until it ends on 6th Avenue at the Zapata County Plaza, where the Christmas tree will be lit. “We’re staring to work on the tree this week,” Balderas said. “It should be up soon, and once it’s lit, it looks beautiful.” While the parade and plaza lighting ceremony go way back, it’s only over the last two years that all children who go receive a free toy. “It’s a toy drive that we (the chamber) added over the last couple of years,” said Balderas. “Just to give

PAGE 3A

THE BLOTTER ANIMAL ACCIDENT An accident was reported at 7:34 p.m. Nov. 26 on U.S. 83 near Arroyo Dolores. A sheriff’s office incident report states a maroon 2011 Nissan Rogue struck a deer while traveling southbound to Zapata. No injuries were reported. A 48-year-old man reported an accident with an owl at 11:04 p.m. Monday in Bustamante near Texas 16. A sheriff’s office report states a white Ford F-150 sustained damage to the front grill. No one was harmed.

ASSAULT Martin Herrera, 47, was arrested and charged with assault family violence after deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call at about 9:30 p.m. Nov. 19 in the 200 block of Lozano Road. The man was taken to the Zapata Regional Jail. He was later released to appear in court. Annette Marie Perez, 21, was arrested and charged with assault at about 7:15 p.m. Nov. 27 in the 600 block of Miraflores Avenue. A sheriff’s office incident reports states Perez struck a man in the head with a closed fist. She was taken to the Zapata County Jail, where she was later released to appear in court.

Photo by Cesar G. Rodriguez | The Zapata Times

kids something extra to look forward to.” As to what she feels personally about the parade, Balderas gives a simple answer. “Warmth. Warmth and the love of the holiday season.”

The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Anyone interested in donating to the toy drive is encouraged to contact Balderas at 7654871. (Mike Herrera IV can be reached at 728-2567 or mherrera@lmtonline.com)

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE Erik Jasso, 20, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after a traffic stop at about 2:15 a.m. Nov. 14 the parking of a local convenience store in the 100 block of North U.S. 83. The man was later released from the Zapata Regional Jail for court appearance.

Deputies and firefighters responded to a vehicle on fire call at 7 p.m. Nov. 19 in the 1800 block of Fourth Street. A sheriff’s office incident report states officials have reason to believe it may have been arson.

INTERFERE WITH EMERGENCY CALL

A 52-year-old man reported at 3:12 p.m. Nov. 20 in the 800 block of Ramireño Avenue that he believes two people he knows stole some metal pipes.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF

POSSESSION

Deputies responded to a

turned over Carlos Javier Sanchez Jr., 21, to deputies. Sanchez was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana at about 8 p.m. Nov. 19 in the 100 block of Kennedy Street. The man was taken to the Zapata Regional Jail and held on a $1,500 bond. Deputies say the man had 21 grams of marijuana, for an approximate street value of $20. A 14-year-old boy was detained and charged with possession of marijuana at about 11:30 a.m. Nov. 25 in the 100 block of Ken’s Way. The boy was taken to the Webb County Juvenile Detention Center.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION FIRE

A 13-year-old juvenile was detained and charged with interference with an emergency call at about 12:30 a.m. Nov. 27 in the 1900 block of North Siesta Lane. A sheriff’s office incident report states a woman suspected the boy was using drugs. When she called deputies, the boy was trying to prevent her from making the call. The juvenile was taken to the Webb County Juvenile Detention Center.

BURGLARY Celia Balderas, Zapata County Chamber of Commerce membership services coordinator, holds a large stocking Wednesday afternoon at the chamber’s office. Children can register during the parade for raffle of the stocking.

criminal mischief call at 3:59 p.m. Tuesday at the Zapata County Cemetery on FM 496. A 53-year-old man stated that two aluminum brown horse statues were stolen from his stepson’s grave site.

U.S. Border Patrol agents

Jorge Alejandro Galvan, 20, was arrested and charged with public intoxication at about 3:45 a.m. Nov. 23 near 16th Street and Laredo Avenue. The man was taken to Zapata Regional Jail. He was released to later appear in court.

TERRORISTIC THREAT Deputies responded to a terroristic threat call at 5:56 p.m. Tuesday in the 1300 block of Juarez Avenue. A woman told deputies that two individuals threatened her and her family. She also stated she had an argument with the mother of the pair.

THEFT A 72-year-old man reported at 8:01 p.m. Nov. 25 in the 300 block of Gonzalez Street that someone broke into his residence and stole two revolvers. The stolen items had a total value of $800.


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Zopinion

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR SEND YOUR SIGNED LETTER TO EDITORIAL@LMTONLINE.COM

COLUMN

OTHER VIEWS

Believing can cost you trillions By JONATHAN GURWITZ SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

The French philosopher Blaise Pascal — who had a sideline interest in gambling — argued that belief in God, even if the existence of God is in doubt, is a sure bet for a rational human being. If you believe in God and that belief is corroborated in the hereafter, then the benefits are infinite. If you do not believe in God and that lack of faith is disproved, then the losses are substantial. If God does not exist, then death brings the believer and the non-believer alike to the same end. The essence of Pascal’s Wager is that, whatever the probability of God’s existence, you have everything to gain from belief and nothing to lose. Salvation is priceless. Belief costs nothing. Believers in catastrophic global warming — and the conviction that human activity is its primary cause — have their own version of Pascal’s Wager. The losses for failing to believe in global warming are a hellfire brew of melting polar icecaps, catastrophic flooding from rising oceans, devastating hurricanes and famine-inducing droughts. The salvation of planet Earth and its inhabitants is priceless. Belief costs . . . well, $37 trillion, according to a report from the International Energy Agency prepared in advance of the 2009 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Also in advance of that conference, an anonymous source who identifies himself as “FOIA” leaked confidential emails among leading global warming researchers that showed their willingness to subvert science and silence criticism in an effort to uphold a worstcase scenario for humancaused global warming. They talked about the need to use ”tricks” and ”hide the decline,” delete emails and purge data to avoid Freedom of Information requests and silence dissenting views “even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is.” That sounds less like

sound science and more like a cult. One of the tests of a scientific theory is falsifiability — the possibility that it can be disproved by experimentation or observation. Yet, according to true believers, everything is evidence of a human hand in global warming — both rains and droughts, snowstorms and hurricanes, record cold and record heat. Thus the need to adopt the more flexible term “climate change.” Now another U.N. Climate Change Conference is taking place in Durban. And “FOIA” has released another trove of emails showing scientists colluding to manipulate data, help “the cause” and discredit anyone whose work diverges from their orthodox beliefs. None of this disproves global warming or man’s contribution to it. But it does sow skepticism, does highlight the complexity of climate science and the countless variables — including sun spot activity, volcanic eruptions and naturally occurring greenhouse gases — that influence it, and should raise serious questions about the immediacy of the global warming threat, what’s causing it and what a sensible strategy should be to deal with it. Which gets us back to Pascal’s Wager. In a note accompanying the release of the latest emails, ”FOIA” writes: “Over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day. Every day nearly 16,000 children die from hunger and related causes. One dollar can save a life — the opposite must also be true.” His point is that the remediation strategy proposed by global warming alarmists will cost at least $37 trillion, the majority of which will presumably be borne by developing nations. Assuming any nation would be willing to forgo a rising standard of living, better health and all the other benefits that derive from development, shouldn’t such a costly wager be based on fact, not on a scheme more reminiscent of religious dogma than science? (Email: jgurwitz@express-news.net)

Disrespect is uncalled for By JONATHAN CAPEHART THE WASHINGTON POST

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker riding atop the GOP polls, has been shooting his mouth off. He called himself a celebrity who makes $60,000 a speech. A tweet from Charles Blow of The New York Times piqued my interest Thursday. It began: “RT foxnewspolitics Gingrich: ‘Poor kids don’t know work unless it’s crime.’” Surely, I thought, the Fox News report was referring to something from Gingrich’s end-welfare past. Would that were so. “GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich defended his stance against certain child labor laws during a campaign stop, saying children born into poverty aren’t accustomed to working unless it involves

crime. “‘Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works so they have no habit of showing up on Monday,’” Gingrich claimed. “‘They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of I do this and you give me cash unless it is illegal,’ he added.” A lot can be said about the plight of families not lucky enough to make $60,000 for a half-hour of bloviation. But Gingrich’s blanket condemnation of “really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods” is disgusting. And it is disrespectful of the overwhelming majority of those children and their families, who live their lives with far more integrity and far less cash than Gingrich ever will.

COLUMN

Euro may cause world ‘quake’ By LLEWELLYN KING HEARST NEWSPAPERS

WASHINGTON — To paraphrase Leon Trotsky, you may not be interested in the euro but the euro is interested in you. If the Europeans get it wrong and there is a cascade of defaults by financially weak European countries, led by Greece and followed by Italy, Spain and, maybe, Portugal, then a world financial crisis would result and the euro might collapse. The epicenter of the crisis would be Europe, but every economy would be shaken as currencies realigned, banks collapsed, and gold soared to even higher and more unsustainable levels. If the euro collapses, so possibly would the European Union itself. That would be a great historical regression, a reversal of a noble purpose. And it would leave the continent vulnerable to the will of the strongest. In this instance, Germany. No one thinks that is a good idea. Not even the Germans. The European Union has one overriding purpose: peace in Europe. That was the inspiration of its founders, who planned a customs arrangement in 1958 between six nations that had suffered two great wars and had a 2,000-year history of internecine war. As the generation that had known war died out and was replaced by generations that have known

peace and prosperity, the purposes of European integration became more clouded and more political. The committed Europeans wanted a form of European federation: a kind of United States of Europe. But national interests prevailed and Europe has been shaped instead by leaders who want a kind of United States-lite: an affiliation of nations rather than a true union. Lacking a central political voice, Europe slipped into a rancorous family arrangement where every nation is an in-law. Disparate family members bound together in self-interest. There are now 27 nations in the European Union, 17 of which have adopted the euro as their currency.

Kind of successful This has resulted in dysfunction at many levels and created the impression — emphasized by British Conservatives and American right-wingers — that the whole enterprise has failed. In reality, there is more success than failure. The so-called democratic deficit is the most glaring weakness. European national legislatures are still where law is made, not in the European Parliament, which has no power and is a sort of giant Sunday morning talk show writ large. Instead, the power has been concentrated in the European Commission.

Based in Brussels, this is where Europe is governed by bureaucrats through licensing and regulation. The commissioners reap the ire of politicians throughout Europe and reflexively in Britain. The commission makes rules about everything and tries, so much as it can, to ”harmonize” products and labels. But French wine producers, Italian pasta makers do not wish to be ”harmonized,” even though they appreciate the ease of intra-European trading, road subsidies and farmsupport prices. Poles appreciate the freedom of labor to move to more prosperous countries and the workers in those countries resent the immigrants. Individuals, particularly small business operators, object to health and safety standards coming out of Brussels. But they don’t hesitate to run to the European Court in Luxembourg if they feel they are not being treated right by their own government. Indeed, the court is one of Europe’s successes. The rest of the world has been able to find a common voice in the European Union, instead of 27 separate voices. The union has worked despite its flaws. The common currency, the euro, is something else. It was wished into being by strong, idealistic forces. The finance ministers of the 17 nations in the currency union are not sleeping well. It was always known

that the euro had one great weakness: no regional flexibility. Overheated countries could not cool off by allowing their currency to rise and weak ones could not boost their exports by devaluing the currency. One size fit all, badly. Many economists warned of this inherent weakness when the euro was introduced in 1999. But the European architects so wanted the building block of a currency that they ignored the problem and forged ahead. It also had to be known that certain countries were cooking the books, notably Greece, to get into the euro. So why not disband the euro? How? If the euro is withdrawn, how to do that without true chaos? Suppose Greece, Italy and Spain try to return to the drachma, the lira and the peso? Who would convert their euros to drachma or lira or pesos? Who would trade a known currency for a fledgling one? If the euro were to be withdrawn altogether, who would not want German marks over Irish pounds? All the options for Europe other than riding out the crisis with, ironically, lashings of German support, look catastrophic for Europe and nearly as disastrous for us. We caused a global tremor with the housing bubble, but the euro can cause the full earthquake. (Email Llewellyn King at lking@kingpublishing.com.)

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-

DOONESBURY | GARRY TRUDEAU

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


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

THE ZAPATA TIMES 5A

Burglary has sheriff stumped By CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ LAREDO MORNING TIMES

The Zapata County Sheriff ’s Office is asking the community for help in solving a break-in that took place late Tuesday in Falcon Meza. Deputies went out to a burglary call at 11:16 p.m. to the 600 block of Eagle Street. A 62-year-old man stated the shed located in the back of his residence was burglarized. He also said the shutter door had been broken. According to Sgt. Mario Elizondo, the alleged of-

fenders stole several tools valued at approximately $1,235. Items stolen included a Craftsman sand blaster, a Tig Welder, a compound saw, a blue wheel barrow, six ¾-inch pipe clamps, some handsaws and hand tools. Investigators are looking into the case. To provide information, call the sheriff ’s office at 765-9960 or Crime Stoppers hotline at 765-TIPS (8477). All callers may remain anonymous. (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 728-2568 or cesar@lmtonline.com)

Deported felon arrested here By STEPHANIE IBARRA THE ZAPATA TIMES

A sex offender registered in Illinois was arrested in Zapata on Nov. 29 for violating his supervisory terms of release as a deported aggravated felon. Jesus Duron-Montoya, 50, was interviewed by Za-

pata County deputies on Nov. 29 following suspicions of his status as a deported feDURON-MONTOYA lon. According to a press release provided by the sheriff ’s office, Montoya is a

former Illinois resident who has been residing in Zapata for approximately three years. During an interview with deputies, Montoya was able to provide officers with an Illinois Identification Card, and through the assistance of U.S. Border Patrol personnel, deputies

were able to identify Montoya’s criminal history. Montoya has a history of numerous convictions and arrests in the state of Illinois, including aggravated sexual assault, failure to register as a sex offender and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

Blue Santa needs Christmas help THE ZAPATA TIMES

The Zapata County Chamber of Commerce is asking the public’s help with this year’s Blue Santa program.

Those who would like to help should bring either unwrapped or wrapped gifts to either the chamber office, 601 U.S. 83 South, or the office of the justice of the peace at the Zapa-

ta County Courthouse, Suite 205. Wrapped gifts should indicate the intended age of the recipient and whether the recipient should be a boy or a girl.

Mexico’s ex-ruling party leader quits amid scandal By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ AND MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN ASSOCIATED PRESS

MEXICO CITY — The head of Mexico’s former ruling party resigned Friday over a financial scandal that threatened the party’s efforts to rebrand itself as corruption-free and retake the presidency in 2012. Institutional Revolutionary Party head Humberto Moreira stepped down at a party meeting broadcast nationwide and intercut with live denunciations by opposition politicians. It was a remarkable scene in a country where the leader of the PRI once held virtually unquestioned power. The PRI ruled Mexico for seven decades until voters angry at economic mismanagement, cronyism and corruption voted for the conservative National Action Party in the 2000 presidential race. Eleven years later, Mexicans appear to widely accept the PRI’s argument that it has learned from the past and become open and democratic. Its youthful and telegenic candidate, former Mexico State Gov. Enrique Peña Nieto, leads potential competitors by double digits in recent opinion

Photo by Harry Cabluck/file | AP

Coahuila, Mexico, Gov. Humberto Moreira Valdes is shown in 2006, in Austin. Moreira, head of Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, resigned Friday in a scandal that threatened the party’s efforts to rebrand itself as corruption-free. polls on the July 2012 election. Moreira was widely promoted as the face of the new PRI after he stepped down as governor of the northern state of Coahuila last January. Then, in July, the Coahuila legislature said the state’s total debt was four times larger than the 8.4

billion pesos ($700 million) that was reported by state officials just before Moreira stepped down. The PAN said it suspected at least some of the public money was stolen by officials, demanding a criminal investigation into the assets of one of Moreira’s former aides. Moreira has not clear-

ly explained the ballooning debt figure, but has said repeatedly that the debt issue is being used by PAN as a smear campaign. For months, Peña Nieto and other powerful PRI members stood by Moreira, who repeatedly said he would not step down. Then, on Monday, Coahuila’s

state treasurer was arrested on suspicion of falsifying state documents that authorized the government to seek new loans — the first criminal charges in the case. Peña Nieto and other PRI members began distancing themselves from the party head, and on Thursday the presidential candidate told Milenio Television that the party “clearly needed to weigh the circumstances of the weakening of our party’s leader.” By Friday it was clear Moreira would be forced out. “I’ve resigned because I’m not going to allow a media war that is trying to harm our party to continue,” Moreira told party members. “I also do it because I believe in a man who is the hope for Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto.” PRI secretary-general Cristina Diaz was named interim president of the party. The national head of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, Jesus Zambrano, said Moreira had been “sacrificed” to save Peña Nieto, 45. “It’s becoming much clearer that the highly touted new PRI is the same old PRI that the majority of the people threw out of the presidency in 2000 because it was a true burden and a tragedy for the country,” he said.


PAGE 6A

Zentertainment

‘Nutcracker’ is Sunday By MIKE HERRERA IV

Band to help food bank SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

THE ZAPATA TIMES

It’s a story often told, but never quite like this. This week, audiences in Los Dos Laredos get to experience “The Nutcracker” performed by dancers from both cities under the direction of Becky Salinas Chapa. “This is a Christmas tradition,” Chapa said about Piotr Illich Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. “Everybody enjoys it — children, adults.” For this performance, students from her Laredo and Nuevo Laredo dance schools as well as other academies are united as the Compañía de Ballet Laredos. All dancers had to audition and demonstrate classical ballet experience. “This is a company, so we don’t teach,” said Chapa. “You’re expected to already know how. I direct the rehearsals, but this is not to learn how to dance.” The group performs Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Laredo Civic Center Auditorium. The 39 dancers selected by a panel of judges have worked under Chapa’s direction since August to tell this classic holiday story. Though synonymous with the Russian composer, “The Nutcracker” comes from German writer E.T.A. Hoffman. Known for his fantasy and horror tales, Hoffman often used living dolls as characters in his stories. In 1816, he penned “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” which was later adapted by French novelist Alexandre Dumas (he of “The Three Musketeers” fame) and finally became Tchaikovsky’s ballet by 1892. The basic story remains the same. At a Christmas Eve party hosted by her parents, young Clara receives a special gift from her godfather, Drosselmeyer, a toymaker. After dispensing toys to the other children, he gives Clara a nutcracker in the shape of a soldier. Later, when the clock strikes midnight, magic takes over and the adventure begins. “It really is about magic,” said Chapa. “The magic of dance, the magic of ‘The Nutcracker.’ That’s what I tell my dancers, and that’s what audiences feel.” In the true spirit of holiday sharing, the Compañía de Ballet Laredos decided to share this magic with those less fortunate. Thursday, the company graced the stage at Nuevo Laredo’s Centro Cultural for two performances aimed at children from local orphanages. “These performances

Photo by Ulysses S. Romero | The Zapata Times

Andrea Salinas dances the part of Clara in “The Nutcracker” by the Compañía de Ballet Laredos on Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Laredo Civic Center Auditorium. are free of charge. We want to share this with children who may not have experienced it before,” Chapa said. Nuevo Laredo Mayor Benjamín Galván Gómez along with the Rotary International Nuevo Laredo Reforma sponsored buses to transport the children to and from the cultural center. Expressing her appreciation of the sponsors, Chapa called the performances “really exciting.” This isn’t the first time she’s held shows for the underprivileged children, and she keeps doing them because she loves watching children experience ballet for the first time. “They’re the most amazing audiences because, even though they may not

know about classical ballet, they appreciate it. They applaud and stand and cheer,” she said. “At the end of the performance, we send the dancers down with the audience to talk to the children and show the costumes. It’s a real treat for them.” Like any ballet company interpreting this tale, the Compañía de Ballet Laredos has a few surprises in store for “The Nutcracker.” “This year at the end of the performance, we’re putting a piece with the same Nutcracker music but with rhythm and modern dance. It will be a like a techno-type piece,” Chapa said. (Mike Herrera IV can be reached at 728-2567 and mherrera@lmtonline.com)

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

The South Texas Food Bank’s mission of feeding the hungry receives a holiday boost with a fundraiser Tuesday at Hal’s Landing Restaurant and Bar, 6510 Arena Blvd., next to the Laredo Energy Arena. The event features Laredo’s Jolly Ranchers from 7 to 11 p.m. Doors open at 6. The day includes a jail and bail lockup of Laredo celebrities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a mock jail also at Hal’s. “Fugitives” jailed must raise at least a $500 bail for release. Hal’s Landing owners Tom and Marianne Lamont sponsor the party night for the food bank. Admission is $10 per person. Raffle tickets will also be sold for several items. “We dearly appreciate the Lamont family’s support of the food bank over the last three years with events such as this,” said Cindy Liendo Espinoza, STFB chief development officer. Lamont noted, “The food bank is a well organized, important entity in Laredo. We’re conscious that nonprofits are having a tough time because of today’s economy and we’re willing to lend a hand.” The Jolly Ranchers have been playing music in Laredo and the area for 17 years under the leadership of Mark Guerrero, a 1993 graduate of United High School. Guerrero recalled, “Me and a TAMIU student Bulgarian friend Steve Pandov started playing at the old Laredo Bar and Grill for fun, making $20 to $30 a night. The good money was in the after parties.” The Jolly Ranchers

We’ve had 25 or 26 (musicians) come in and out. Many have gone on to better things” JOLLY RANCHERS LEADER MARK GUERRERO

name? Guerrero explained, “Some lady put a Jolly Rancher into a cup (that belonged to Steve) and the next day they were calling us the Jolly Ranchers. “It stuck, but with a name like that, people don’t know what to expect, a country band or something else.” The group has grown through the years. “We’ve had 25 or 26 (musicians) come in and out. Many have gone on to better things,” Guerrero said. The growth included people whose family names have a long association with music in Laredo, specifically Cano and Cisneros. The Cano Brothers — Frank, Mauricio, Steve and Alex — all at one time or another played with the Jolly Ranchers. Mauricio went on to play with La Cosumbre and Duelo. Steve has his master’s degree and teaches in Austin. The Cisneros family originates in the band with brothers Archie and Andy. Today’s Jolly Ranchers include Arturo Cisneros on guitar and Alex Cano on bass. Guerrero, now 36, and wife, a Laredo school teacher, are parents of three children — boys, 11 and 7, and a girl, 8. Distinguished by his black fedora hat on stage (“Because I like gangster

movies”), Guerrero is the guitar player and lead vocalist. The other Jolly Ranchers are Larry Botello on drums, “Chino” (“He’s just ‘Chino,’ no other name,” said Guerrero) on percussion, Danny Garcia on trumpet and Jerry Espinoza on saxophone. The vocalist is Claudia Rodriguez. Guerrero says the group is musically diverse. “All bring something different to the table,” Guerrero said. “I grew up listening to soul. On any given night we can play soul, rock, classic rock, jazz, salsa, merengue or a cumbia.” The Jolly Ranchers have been on stages in what Guerrero called, “the South Texas Circuit (Laredo, Alice, Corpus Christi, Premont, South Padre Island, the Valley, etc.). We’ll perform four to five times per week … about 225 gigs per year. I can tell you we work real hard.” From 1999 to 2002 and 2006 to the present, the Jolly Ranchers have been regulars at Laredo’s Coyote Creek Bar and Grill. Celebrating its 24th anniversary in December, the South Texas Food Bank, which started as the Laredo-Webb County Food Bank in 1989, distributes supplemental food once per month to 24,000 families, 7,000 elderly, 6,000-plus children and 500 veterans and their widows in an eightcounty area.


SÁBADO 03 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2011

Agenda en Breve NUEVO LAREDO 12/03 — En el marco de “Así Soy y Leo” se presentan “Los Generales de Nuevo Laredo y otras Asociaciones Civiles” para leer cuentos. Las lecturas iniciarán a las 2 p.m. 12/07 — Reunión para el Primer Encuentro de Escritores de Nuevo Laredo, a las 6 p.m. en Estacióm Palabra.

LAREDO 12/03 — ‘Trinkets & Treasure Market’ at Laredo Center for the Arts, 500 avenida San Agustin, de 10 a.m. a 3 p.m. Habrá manualidades y libros. 12/03 — Planetario Lamar Bruni Vergara de TAMIU invita a disfrutar “The Polar Express” a las 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. y 6 p.m. Santa estará disponible entre las 2 p.m. y 6 p.m. 12/03 — El Movimiento de Arte Bazaar es de 2 p.m. a 6 p.m. en La Reserva Bar and Grill, 107 Calle Del Norte. Artistas podrán mostrar y vender su trabajo. 12/03 — Concierto de Navidad de la Primaria Newman, a las 5 p.m. en el Bill Johnson SAC, 5208 Sta. Claudia Lane. 12/03 — Concierto Las Posadas 2011 del Ballet Folklórico a las 7 p.m. en el Center for the Fine and Performing Arts de TAMIU. Evento gratuito. 12/03 — Hockey: Laredo Bucks recibe a Quad City Mallards a las 7:30 p.m. en el Laredo Energy Arena. 12/04 — Recital de Violonchelo de la Facultad es hoy a las 3:30 p.m. en Private David B. Barkeley Cantú Veterans Memorial Chapel, del Campus Fort McIntosh. Evento gratuito. 12/04 — Compañía de Ballet Laredos presenta “El Cascanueces” de Piotr Illich Tchaikovsky, dirigida por Becky Salinas Chapa, a las 5 p.m. en el Laredo Civic Center. Boletos a la venta en Ballet Becky Dance Academy, 7019 Village Blvd. Ste 107. Teléfono: (956) 3373694. Evento en memoria de Fernando A. Salinas. 12/05 — Recital Benéfico de la Orquesta Filarmónica de Laredo con la presentación de Jolyon Pegis y Brett Serin a las 7:30 p.m.en Center for the Fine and Performing Arts (CFPA) de TAMIU. Pegis presentará una clase maestra a la 1 p.m. en el Salón de Recitales de CFPA. Entrada gratuita. 12/06 — Hockey: Laredo Bucks recibe a Texas Brahams a las 7 p.m. en Laredo Energy Arena. 12/08 — Reunión para el Primer Encuentro de Escritores de Nuevo Laredo, a las 6 p.m. en Estacióm Palabra. Último Show del Año de “Joyería de plata ‘Linda Franco Collection’” a las 6 p.m. en Embassy Suites. 12/09 — Reunión para el Primer Encuentro de Escritores de Nuevo Laredo, a las 6 p.m. en Estacióm Palabra. Laredo Center for the Arts, 500 avenida San Agustin, presenta a Sharon Theriot Ferrara con su exposición “Passion for Point”. Ceremonia/cocktail de apertura de 6 p.m. a 9 p.m. en LCA. 12/09 — Programa Navideño de Jóvenes Bailarines se presenta hoy a las 7 p.m. en el Teatro del Center for the Fine and Performing Arts de TAMIU. Evento gratuito. 12/09 — Nudo Piedi Contemporary Dance presenta “Passage” en Laredo Civic Center a las 7:30 p.m. Costo: 5 dólares. 12/09 — Hockey: Laredo Bucks recibe a Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees a las 7:30 p.m. en Laredo Energy Arena.

Zfrontera

PÁGINA 7A

EJÉRCITO DESMANTELA RED DE COMUNICACIÓN DE ORIGEN SOSPECHOSO

Ubican equipo sofisticado ASSOCIATED PRESS

MÉXICO — El ejército mexicano desmanteló una sofisticada red de radiocomunicaciones que servía presuntamente a miembros del narcotráfico en cuatro estados del norte del país, informó el jueves la Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional (Sedena). La dependencia señaló en un comunicado que militares confiscaron entre otras cosas 167 antenas, 155 repetidoras, 166 fuentes de poder, 1.446 radios, 1.306 celulares y 71 equipos de cómputo que presuntos

Militares confiscaron entre otras cosas 167 antenas, 155 repetidoras, 166 fuentes de poder, 1.446 radios, 1.306 celulares y 71 equipos de cómputo. narcotraficantes utilizaban para comunicarse y rastrear movimientos del personal militar. Los equipos fueron ubicados y decomisados en las ciudades de Saltillo en Coahuila, Escobedo en Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí en San Luis Potosí y Reynosa en Tamaulipas. En el comunicado, Sed-

ena intuye que el sistema “les permitía conocer los movimientos y ubicación del personal militar, para ocultarse o darse a la fuga sin ser detenidos”. También varios “integrantes de grupos delictivos”, de quienes no especificaron más información, fueron detenidos. La Sedena no especificó

a que grupo o grupos del narcotráfico pertenecían los equipos de comunicación. No se informó si los radios estaban dispersos en un número de bases o si eran unidades móviles; ni si las estaciones repetidoras y las antenas estaban operando o no. Por otra parte, el miér-

coles las fuerzas militares confiscaron 1 tonelada 74 kilogramos de marihuana que estaba escondida en 59 paquetes dentro de un tractocamión en el Puente Internacional III “Del Comercio Mundial” de Nuevo Laredo, México. El ejército arrestó al conductor del vehículo. También el miércoles en el poblado Argüelles, municipio de Reynosa, militares localizaron ocultos entre árboles, dos vehículos en cuyo interior localizaron 427 paquetes de marihuana con un peso total de 2 toneladas 192 kilos 300 gramos.

GOBIERNO

INVESTIGACIÓN

PRIMER INFORME

Arrestan acusado de agresión POR CÉSAR G. RODRIGUEZ TIEMPO DE ZAPATA

ARÁMBULA

Foto de cortesía | Gobierno de Tamaulipas

El Gobernador de Tamaulipas, Egidio Torre Cantú es visto durante la lectura de su Primer Informe de Gobierno en el Polyforum Victoria, el 27 de noviembre en Ciudad Victoria, México.

Gobernador asegura prioridad es recuperar clima de seguridad POR MIGUEL TIMOSHENKOV TIEMPO DE ZAPATA

L

as adversidades enfrentadas en once meses de gobierno se han convertido en oportunidades para en el 2012 aplicar programas de gobierno que reconstruyan el tejido social. Este fue el mensaje central expresado en su Primer Informe de Actividades por el Gobernador de Tamaulipas, Egidio Torre Cantú. Para el 2012, aseguró que aplicará una estrategia clara, con rumbo y metas para atender prioridades que reclaman contribuyentes de los 43 municipios de la Entidad. Una de las prioridades es regresar el clima de seguridad a Tamaulipas. “Mi gobierno quiere la paz, por eso actúa con firmeza; busca el orden, por eso asume su responsabilidad de sus acciones”, dijo Torre. “El pueblo quiere la tranquilidad y demos asegurarsela. Transitamos para llegar y nadie nos va a detener”. Alabó la sociedad de Tamaulipas con el Gobierno Federal para tener en las calles una policía honesta y confiable, interesada en defender la vida e integridad de los Tamaulipecos.

“(En 22 municipios) están incorporados 500 elementos del Ejército Mexicano a las tareas de policía estatal y 2,290 policías militares para la labor preventiva”, dijo Torre. En clara referencia a lugares como Ciudad Mier, Torre expresó: “Nada nos alienta más que ver a nuestros conciudadanos regresar a su tierra, volver a su pueblo, sentirse dueños otra vez de su casa y de su calle”, dijo. “Que sean dueños otra vez de su presente y su futuro”. En el aspecto económico, sostuvo que el gobierno de Tamaulipas se está recuperando de sus fortalezas financieras al negociarse los pasivos heredados de la anterior administración. Torre dijo que ha reestructurado las condiciones de créditos por 1,700 millones de pesos, así como se han recuperado 500 millones de pesos de las reservas. En el aspecto educativo reveló que el 45 por ciento del presupuesto fue destinado a éste rubro, impulsando el Sistema Estatal de Becas, Estímulos y Créditos Educativos con iniciativas para reconocer y estimular la excelencia y el logro educativo. “Mi compromiso con la educación es total”, dijo. “En bene-

ficio de la economía de las familias tamaulipecas distribuimos paquetes escolares a todos los alumnos de educación básica de las escuelas públicas del Estado”. En el aspecto humano, agradeció la labor que al frente del Sistema para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia realiza su esposa María del Pilar González. “(Ella) trabaja con las presidentas del Sistema DIF en los 43 municipios y juegan un papel esencial para la vida de quienes menos tienen”, dijo Torre. Tan solo con el programa Nutriendo Tamaulipas se ha contribuido a mejorar la alimentación de 60,000 familias en condiciones de pobreza y de casi 8,000 niños en riesgo de desnutrición. En el programa Primero Desayuno durante este año se apoyó a más de 190,000 niños en edad escolar. Finalmente, durante el mensaje de Primer Informe de Gobierno en el Polyforum Victoria, Torre expresó que su tesis de gobierno es: “desempeñar el cargo con el orden que exige este ejercicio, con honestidad en el manejo de los recursos públicos”. (Localice a Miguel Timoshenkov en el (956) 728-2583 o en mramirez@lmtonline.com)

Un hombre de San Ygancio fue arrestado el pasado fin de semana luego de que autoridades dicen que él fue el presunto agresor en un apuñalamiento ocurrido hace algunos días en Lare-

do. Oficiales de la Oficina del Alguacil del Condado de Zapata le cumplieron a Jorge “Camarón” Arámbula, de 27 años de edad, una orden de aprehensión por cargos de agresión agravada con un arma mortífera después de una parada de tránsito el 26 de noviembre cerca de la carretera U.S. 83 y 20th Avenue. Arámbula fue remitido a la Cárcel Regional de Zapata y posteriormente fue entregado a las autoridades correspondientes para ser trasladado a la Cárcel del Condado de Webb. Él sospechoso permanecía tras las rejas el viernes por la tarde. Alrededor de las 9 p.m. el 21 de noviembre, la víctima del apuñalamiento se vio envuelto en una fuerte discusión con una persona conocida en la cuadra 2000 de North India Avenue en Laredo. La queja criminal indica que la persona le debía 200 dólares a la víctima. La víctima se molestó con la persona debido a que tal persona había podido comprar cerveza mas no había podido pagar una deuda de 200 dólares. Según la queja, una persona embriagada fue al complejo de departamentos en donde vive la víctima para enfrentarlo. Durante un altercado verbal, un pequeño auto de color negro conducido por una mujer se aproximó. Un hombre posteriormente identificado como Arámbula intervino por la persona embriagada. La queja indica que Arámbula atacó y apuñaló a la víctima en una ocasión con una navaja y posteriormente huyó en el auto de color negro. Una investigación resultó en detectives identificando a Arámbula, de San Ygnacio, como el presunto agresor. Con el auxilio de la Oficina del Alguacil del Condado de Zapata, la víctima, mientras se encontraba hospitalizada en el Laredo Medical Center, identificó a Arámbula como el agresor, indica la queja criminal. (Localice a César G. Rodriguez en el (956)728-2568 o en cesar@lmtonline.com)

SEGURIDAD

SSP ofrece consejos para antes de salir de viaje Pone a disposición de familias teléfono de emergencia 066

puertas y ventanas de su domicilio bien cerradas, desconectar aparatos eléctricos, evitar almacenar combustibles innecesarios, ropa vieja, periódicos, pinturas etc.

TIEMPO DE ZAPATA

Si las familias tienen planeado salir de viaje en esta temporada decembrina, la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública del Estado de Tamaulipas (SSP) los exhorta a que aseguren su domicilio para evitar delitos patrimoniales. Entre las recomendaciones están el dejar las

Contacto Otra sugerencia es comunicar a sus familiares y vecinos que van a salir de viaje o, en caso necesario, dejar la llave de su casa con alguno de ellos, por si se requiere, así como dejar el

número telefónico donde se puedan localizar para una emergencia. Si se requiere el auxilio de los cuerpos de seguridad y de socorro, podrán llamar al teléfono de emergencia 066 las 24 horas del día. La llamada es gratuita y se puede hacer desde celular, casetas telefónicas, teléfonos públicos o de negocios y particulares. También se recomienda no subir a extraños en la carretera, no ingerir bebidas alcohólicas en el viaje, respetar los límites de velocidad, no conducir fatigado y revisar el automóvil.


National

8A THE ZAPATA TIMES

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

Woman blames, sues psychologist By JIM SALTER ASSOCIATED PRESS

ST. LOUIS — The memories that came flooding back were so horrific that Lisa Nasseff says she tried to kill herself: She had been raped several times, had multiple personalities and took part in satanic rituals involving unthinkable acts. She says she only got better when she realized they weren’t real. Nasseff, 31, is suing a suburban St. Louis treatment center where she spent 15 months being treated for anorexia, claiming one of its psychologists implanted the false memories during hypnosis sessions in order to keep her there long-term and run up a bill that eventually

Photo by Jim Mone | AP

Lisa Nasseff walks through a St. Paul, Minn., park. Nasseff, 31, is suing a St. Louis center over psychological treatment issues. reached $650,000. The claims seem unbelievable, but her lawyer, Kenneth Vuylsteke, says other patients have come forward to say they, too, were brainwashed and are considering suing.

“This is an incredible nightmare,” Vuylsteke said. Castlewood Treatment Center’s director, Nancy Albus, and the psychologist, Mark Schwartz, deny the allegations. Albus pledged to vigorously fight the law-

suit, which was filed Nov. 21 in St. Louis County and seeks the repayment of medical expenses and punitive damages. As in repressed memory cases, which typically involve allegations of abuse that occurred during childhood, the outcome will likely hinge on the testimony of experts with starkly different views on how memory works. Nasseff, who lives in St. Paul, Minn., stayed at Castlewood from July 2007 through March 2008 and returned for seven months in 2009. She was struggling with anorexia and as a resident of Minnesota, which requires insurers to cover long-term eating disorders, she could afford to stay at the center.

Calif. grapples with storm cleanup By NOAKI SCHWARTZ ASSOCIATED PRESS

TEMPLE CITY, Calif. — As the hurricane-force winds that pummeled the West eased Friday, Diane Johnson stood knee high in leaves and branches, surveying a fallen tree trunk at eye-level and trying to decide just how to begin the big cleanup. A near century-old eucalyptus tree toppled over in the middle of the night, crushing all three of the family’s cars, landing at the doorstep of their Southern California home and blocking any view from their windows. Trapped inside for hours, they were able to get out when the fire department cut them a small pathway. “I have no idea what to do,” she said. “I don’t know. I don’t know.” Like hundreds of thousands of people in Southern California on Friday, Johnson was without electricity. And just like Johnson, residents and crews

Photo by Bret Hartman | AP

Power company crews work to clean up and restore power Friday in Temple City, Calif. People began cutting up felled trees, hauling away trash and firing up power generators. struggled to clean up smashed trees, toppled power lines and debrisstrewn roadways. Several cities in the region, the hardest hit from Wednesday night’s windstorms, were still in a state of emergency. In Temple City, the Los Angeles suburb where

Johnson lives, a row of toppled power poles with wires attached blocked a street. The city’s main street remained a shuttered ghost town as cars inched past darkened stop lights and shop signs in Chinese. Seventy-five percent of the city remained without power. As residents in

some parts were being advised to boil water or use bottled water, others began tossing out the food in their increasingly pungent refrigerators. As many as 200 trees fell in the storms. As the night loomed, police increased patrols and the city handed out free flashlights.

Sweat lodge lawsuits settled By FELICIA FONSECA ASSOCIATED PRESS

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A self-help author imprisoned for the deaths of three people following an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony settled civil lawsuits with the victims’ families for more than $3 million, according to court documents. James Arthur Ray began serving a two-year sentence last month on a trio of negligent homicide convictions. The terms of the settlements reached last year recently were disclosed in court documents filed as exhibits in Ray’s criminal case and released Friday at the request of The Associated Press. The families of Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y.; James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee; and Liz Neuman, 49, of Prior Lake, Minn., sued Ray after the October 2009 ceremony near Sedona. The lawsuits accused Ray and his company of negligence, fraud and wrongful death. Others who were injured in the ceremony also were party to the lawsuit. Brown’s parents, who received nearly $860,000, said they were motivated to settle because of the financial burden that Shore’s death had placed on his own family. Shore’s wife, Alyssa Gillespie, testified in the criminal trial that she saw her massage therapy business crumble after her husband’s death. Since Shore took care of all the bills, she said she was uncertain whether their cars were paid off or who provided their cellphone service. “They had lost their main breadwinner,” Brown’s mother, Virginia, said Friday. Shore’s family, including Gillespie and his three

children, received $1.38 million, and Neuman’s family received more than $1 million in the settlement. The payments made for physical injury, sickness and emotional distress didn’t come from Ray himself but from his insurers. Ray’s business tumbled after the deaths, and his attorneys proclaimed during a bail hearing he was broke. Brad Jardine, who represented Ray in the civil cases, said he could only assume that Ray “felt very deeply that everything possible should be done for those families.” Ray is being held at the Arizona state prison in Florence. Other civil cases against him are pending, including a wrongful death suit filed by a woman who committed suicide at one of Ray’s events and another brought by the owners of the Angel Valley Retreat Center, which Ray rented for his five-day “Spiritual Warrior” event that resulted in the deaths. Ray was released from any other claims or potential claims by the victims’ families, and no attorneys’ fees were awarded in the settlement. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys tiptoed around specifics of the civil settlement during Ray’s criminal trial almost until the end because of a confidentiality agreement. At one point, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk suggested that by settling the civil case, Ray was admitting fault for the deaths. Ray’s attorneys quickly denied that, and the settlement includes no admission of guilt. The amount paid to the families eventually came up in questioning by Ray’s defense team during the sentencing phase.


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

THE ZAPATA TIMES 9A

Justice Dept. details how it got statements wrong By PETE YOST ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Friday provided Congress with documents detailing how department officials gave inaccurate information to a U.S. senator in the controversy surrounding Operation Fast and Furious, the flawed law enforcement initiative aimed at dismantling major arms trafficking networks on the Southwest border. In a letter last February to Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department

said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had not sanctioned the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser and that the agency makes every effort to intercept weapons that have been purchased illegally. In Operation Fast and Furious, both statements turned out to be incorrect. The Justice Department letter was responding to Grassley’s statements that the Senate Judiciary Committee had received allegations the ATF had sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw purchasers. Grassley also said there

BORDER Continued from Page 1A through the property and cutting fence or destroying water systems, Hinnant said. Furthermore, theft of property, such as vehicles, and ranch burglaries are a concern. “Some of the issues are pursuits, people going into their property,” said Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr., who labeled the gathering as a “productive meeting.” During the panel discussion, ranchers expressed concerns about confronting traffickers or individuals bringing “stuff ” through their property, Gonzalez said. Gonzalez’s and Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar’s offices often see such reports. Cuellar said not knowing who to call is a concern for ranchers. “Sometimes Border Patrol may (respond) quicker because they may be in the area,” Sheriff Cuellar said. A rancher was concerned about self protection. The man asked, “What do we do if we are fired upon?” “There’s state law that if you are going to protect yourself, you have that right,” Sheriff Cuellar said. But the sheriff said lawmen cannot specifically tell ranchers what to do and how to do it. “There are other issues. There are judgment calls these ranchers have to have … If someone wants to steal a jug of water, are you really going to shoot him?” the sheriff asked. Webb County Sheriff ’s Chief Deputy Fred Garza said society is living times in which citizens need to help out law enforcement. “Looking the other way is not the right thing to do anymore,” Garza said. “We wish we could put a police officer, a deputy in every ranch but you know that’s not reasonable. That’s not rational.” Capt. Orlando Alanis, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said the panel discussion covered the

different sets of tasks lawmen undertake to protect the border. “But it was more important to hear (the ranchers’ concerns),” he said. Ranchers worry about collateral damage from pursuits going onto their property. They also are concerned about the lawmen’s response time to emergencies. “When they see any kind of criminal activity on their ranches, who can they communicate with is one of the biggest challenges,” Alanis said, noting putting together a call list for the ranchers would give them opportunities to make contact as soon as possible. Bringing in the folks who are out on the ground helped in the sharing of ideas to work collaboratively to secure the border, Rep. Cuellar said. Every year there’s $25 to $30 billion in illegal profits being sent into Mexico. “The bad guys are going to do anything they can to protect (their profit),” he said. To combat crime, Rep. Cuellar said federal officials have augmented their manpower by hiring Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bureau agents. “The ICE office in San Antonio is the largest in the country now. It’s never been like that,” he said. Laredo falls under that area of responsibility. Rep. Cuellar pointed out that a recent Rio Grande Mission Requirement Analysis — 2011 Report to Congress made by the U.S. Coast Guard concluded that communities north of the Rio Grande are safe. If people spot suspicious activity, they are encouraged to call their local sheriff ’s office. In case of an emergency, 911 should be dialed immediately. (César G. Rodriguez may be reached at 728-2568 or cesar@lmtonline.com)

were allegations that two of the assault weapons had been used in a shootout that killed customs agent Brian Terry. In an email four days later to Justice Department colleagues, then-U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke in Phoenix said that “Grassley’s assertions regarding the Arizona investigation and the weapons recovered” at the “murder scene are based on categorical falsehoods. I worry that ATF will take 8 months to answer this when they should be refuting its underlying accusations right now.” That email marked the start of an internal debate

in the Justice Department over what and how much to say in response to Grassley’s allegations. The fact that there was a criminal investigation into Terry’s murder prompted some at the Justice Department to argue for less disclosure. Some of what turned out to be incorrect information was emailed to Lanny Breuer, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division. Breuer sent an email saying “let’s help as much as we can” in responding to Grassley. The emails sent to Capitol Hill on Friday showed that Burke supplied addi-

tional incorrect information to the Justice Department’s criminal division that ended up being forwarded to Breuer. For example, Burke said that the guns found at the Terry murder scene were purchased at a Phoenix gun shop before Operation Fast and Furious began. In fact, the operation was under way at the time and the guns found at the Terry murder scene were part of the probe. Breuer was one of the recipients of that information. In written comments this week to Grassley, Breuer said that he was on a three-day official trip to Mexico at the time of the

Justice Department response and that he was aware of, but not involved in, drafting the Justice Department statements to Grassley. Where Burke got the inaccurate information is now part of an inquiry conducted by the inspector general’s office at the Justice Department. Burke’s information was followed by a three-day struggle in which officials in the office of the deputy attorney general, the criminal division and the ATF came up with what turned out to be an inaccurate response to Grassley’s assertions.

ARREST Continued from Page 1A left in the black car. An investigation led detectives to name Arambula of San Ygnacio as the suspect. With the assistance of

the Zapata County Sheriff ’s Office, the victim, while hospitalized at Laredo Medical Center, identified Arambula as the aggressor, the com-

plaint states. (César G. Rodriguez may me reached at 728-2568 or cesar@lmtonline.com)

TOURS Continued from Page 1A

Photo by Cesar G. Rodriguez | The Zapata Times

People traveling down to the Historic Homes Tour on Sunday in San Ygnacio may admire old-fashioned items such as the iron and coffee pot pictured on Wednesday morning at La Paz Museum. items reflects each of these eras and more. Visitors will see everything from an old typewriter to an arrowhead collection and medical kits with all manner of elixirs and curealls. A faded poster displaying members of the 1923 Zapata Tigers baseball team hangs near an enclosure with a 19th century stove and iron. Visitors strolling down Washington or Grant Avenues will notice the gabled sandstone of the Blas Maria Uribe Plaza and, across from it, Nuestra Señora Del Refugio Catholic Church, another important stop on the tour. Its Spanish vernac-

ular features were not widely known until the modern veneers were taken down during reconstruction efforts following a 1991 fire. Starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m., this walking tour also allows visitors to meet the people of San Ygnacio. Significant sites such as the Don Trinidad Uribe and Proceso Martinez Homes are privately owned, and the owners add a personal element to the tour. “It’s the homeowners that make this tour special,” said Arellano. “They bring you in and you get not

just San Ygacio’s history, but their family history.” In all, five sites comprise this celebration of history. Admission is $6 per person, and the tour begins at the River Pierce Foundation Visitor’s Center, 602 Washington Avenue at Benavides Street. The Benavides Elementary children’s choir will sing Christmas carols, and the school’s Parent Teacher Organization will hold a bingo game at 1 p.m. (Mike Herrera IV can be reached at 728-2567 or mherrera@lmtonline.com)


10A THE ZAPATA TIMES

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

Drug war refugees escape to more bloodshed By ADRIANA GOMEZ LICON ASSOCIATED PRESS

VERACRUZ, Mexico — Rafael Echevarria had a steady factory job, a modest home of his own, and enough cash to occasionally take his family to McDonald’s. It was a good life until the drug war hit Ciudad Juarez, followed by two robberies at his house, extortion at his daughter’s school, and finally, the shootout on the bus. When the firing began, 6-year-old Valeria dove to the floor, breaking a tooth. There was so much blood from her mouth wound, her parents thought she’d been shot. The next day, the couple and their two children boarded a flight back home to Veracruz, along with 1,600 others who had once moved north for work in foreign assembly plants and now were fleeing south in search of safety. The Veracruz state government paid for the flights, and assured the drug war refugees that there would be jobs, education and housing. At the time, it seemed to the Echevarrias like the only solution. Then the drug war followed them home.

No mercy Military offensives against the drug cartels and turf battles among crime syndicates have pushed the war into areas once considered quiet. A year after their hopeful flight, the Echevarrias are not only caught anew in a crush of violence, but still without the promised help. In Juarez, the Echevarrias had a house and a van. In Veracruz, they’ve had to pawn their appliances and move to a concrete hut to make ends meet. The trade of solvency for safety was a fake choice, because in Juarez, Echevarria said, “We

Photo by Felix Marquez | AP

In this Nov. 16, photo, Rafael Echevarria, 50, left, stands inside his home with members of his family. They moved from Ciudad Juarez to Veracruz to escape violence, but the violence followed them. would have been living well. “Now we’re in a hole. And it’s very difficult to get out.” The Echevarrias are among thousands of Mexicans who make up the internal diaspora trying to escape drug violence that seems to migrate rather than cease, with more than 45,000 troops fighting cartels and more than 40,000 dead by many counts. Recent survey results by Parametria found that 1.6 million Mexicans have moved because of drug violence since 2006. One study by the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre put the number at 230,000 in 2010, estimating that half fled to the United States. Another study, by demographer Rodolfo Rubio at Colegio de la Frontera Norte, says 200,000 people left Juarez alone for other Mexican cities between 2007 and 2010.

Must stay put Many of the affected are

working class or poor who can’t leave the country. “People who have status or small medium-sized businesses don’t have a problem going to the U.S.,” said Genoveva Roldan, a migration expert at the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez. “That’s not the case for workers in the maquiladoras. They don’t have that option.” Veracruz is a steamy, tropical mountain state that cultivates sugar cane and coffee. But it was the lack of opportunity there that drove thousands of Veracruzanos northward beginning in the 1990s, when border factories started recruiting assembly workers with above-average wages and benefits. Echevarria had grown up poor and left school in the ninth grade to help his father support the family. He joined the navy for a while, he says, and later became a taxi driver. But it wasn’t enough to pay the bills. In 2004, he and his wife, Alejandra Duran, decided they could build a better life in Ciudad Juarez for

their two younger children.

Doing well There, Echevarria and his son, Cristian, found jobs working in the assembly plants that largely produce goods exported to the U.S. Cristian rose to quality control inspector in a factory that made printer cartridges. Together the two made about 14,000 pesos a month, nearly triple Mexico’s average salary. They bought a three-bedroom house on the southeastern outskirts of town, as well as a van. “Juarez was a land that helped people,” Duran said. By 2008, the drug wars shattered the peace. Two rival cartels — Juarez and Sinaloa — began fighting for control of the lucrative smuggling corridor to the U.S. The annual murder rate nearly doubled from 1,600 in 2008 to 3,100 in 2010. President Felipe Calderón deployed thousands of soldiers to curb drug violence, and later federal police to patrol the streets

and lead counterattacks. Nonetheless, the Echevarria house was robbed twice. An uncle was attacked by a group of men trying to steal his car. Then came the extortion. Valeria’s teacher told the Echevarrias that gang members were asking for a weekly fee from the school. It was hard to sleep, Echevarria said. In early 2010, word got around that the Veracruz government was offering to evacuate the refugees and help them resettle. The day after the bus shooting, the Echevarrias abandoned their house and left with a washing machine, a set of saucepans, a dining table, Valeria’s dresser and her Disney princess chairs. Once back in Veracruz, Cristian Echevarria got a job as a cashier in a convenience store, while his father decided to get a taxi driver’s permit. Valeria had stopped talking after the trauma of the bus shooting, instead spending her time drawing pictures of corpses in the graves that were found

around their Juarez neighborhood. But she seemed to improve after enrolling in school. Then-Gov. Fidel Herrera’s administration also promised to transfer the title of Echevarrias’ home in Juarez to a governmentsubsidized house in Veracruz. That never happened. The phones to the offices set up to help the returning residents stopped working. A new governor, Javier Duarte, took office last December. Gina Dominguez, Duarte’s spokeswoman, said the “social agenda” was going in a different direction. “It was a good program on paper,” she said. “But obviously the execution wasn’t simple because it had to provide for everyone.” Herrera did not respond to requests for an interview. Echevarria couldn’t get help paying the 6,000 pesos for his taxi license plates.

Drug route Veracruz had long been a route for drugs and migrants coming from the south. For years it was dominated by the Gulf cartel, which had contracted with former army special forces — the Zetas. Because the state and the port were controlled by one drug gang, it was quiet. In early 2010 the Zetas split from the Gulf cartel, triggering a vicious war in the border state of Tamaulipas, just north of Veracruz. This year a government offensive to stop that drug war spilled the violence into Veracruz. The Echevarrias found themselves in a situation worse than the one they’d fled. They had moved to a slum of concrete-block housing outside Veracruz to save 500 pesos a month in rent.


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

ON THE WEB: THEZAPATATIMES.COM

Sports&Outdoors HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Ready for liftoff

Builders for the future

Veteran Lady Hawks start hot, want much more By CLARA SANDOVAL THE ZAPATA TIMES

A

new era has started in Zapata. Hector Garcia Jr. has taken over the Lady Hawks basketball team after Clyde Guerra Jr. stepped down to take on the golf program. Garcia served as a boy’s assistant coach for three years under coach Juan Villarreal, and was finally given the nod to lead the Lady Hawks back in September. Garcia brings his up-tempo style of play that has the Lady Hawks fast breaking all over the court and scoring at will while also taking the time to pound the ball inside the paint. The Lady Hawks are off to a great start with their 4-1 preseason record, with their latest win coming last Tuesday against Falfurrias, 31-26. Garcia welcomes five returning letterman and impact players who to the team, changing the dynamic with their recent play on the court. Seniors Jackie Salinas, Shelby Bigler, Estella Molina, Jackie Gutierrez, Aly Jo Gutierrez, Liana Flores and Kristina De Leon have been a collective steady hand for the Lady Hawks and have Zapata off to a great start. They are all coming

Courtesy photo

Lady Hawks team captain, senior Estella Molina has been a steady hand for Zapata. off the volleyball team, where enjoyed success and finishing with a district title in their pocket. Now they are vying to sprinkle some magic on the basketball hardwood.

Rounding out the Lady Hawks: senior Ashley Gracilazo, junior Rebecca Quintanilla, sophomore Celia Rathmell and freshmen Isela Gonzalez. Bigler and Molina are the team captains

for the season. Despite the early wins and great record, Garcia feels that the team is trying to find their identity and gel as a team “We are trying to find the right team

chemistry and are still in the learning process,” he said. The Lady Hawks are having a hard time finding the basket early in games and have had to mount a few comebacks to secure their victories. Against Roma and San Diego, Zapata fell behind by as much as 15 points, but was able to find a second wind in the second half, leading to wins. “We are looking like a second half team that comes back after a sluggish start in the first half,” Garcia said. “We find some way to pull it out in the second half and come back.” Leading the Lady Hawks on the offensive end, Bigler and De Leon have scored in double figures through the first five games while Molina, Gutierrez and Salinas have been steady from the perimeter. The Lady Hawks are aggressive on the defensive end, playing get-in-your-face defense that doesn’t allow teams wiggle room bringing the ball up the court. “I like the team’s aggressiveness and the way that they play defense,” Garcia said. Zapata is coming off a co-district title — shared with La Feria and Port Isabel — and are predicted to make another run for the re-

W

e are in the midst of the school year with teachers hard at work making sure they cover all the required material so students can be successful when the state tests come around in late spring. It takes a special person to become a teacher; not many are willing to take on the challenging career that gives you sleepless nights and oft cases of heartburn. The teacher turnover rate is astronomical with many first-year teachers quitting after a few months in the classroom, running away from a noble profession that lays the foundation of our society. I recall when I started my student-teaching. I would come home drained and needing a nap after 31/2 years of college classes that ended before noon, well, my schooling didn’t prepare me for a full day of teaching. The teaching profession has changed over the years, with increased responsibilities bestowed on teachers and new demands levied every year. The days of lesson plans have become accompanied by benchmark tests, taking attendance, parent phone logs, student profiles, tracking special education students, and after-school tutorials. The required paperwork for teachers is ridiculous and every year the school systems pile something on top of the ever-growing list. Teachers don’t only teach, but they have become counselors — at times because students come to them with problems —and nurses at others — when they need a band aid — or even psychologists at times.

See HOOPS PAGE 2B See SANDOVAL PAGE 2B

NFL

NCAA FOOTBALL

Cowboys play for redemption

A&M, Sherman split up after disappointment

By BOB BAUM ASSOCIATED PRESS

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The last two times the Dallas Cowboys came to the desert, they lost in excruciating fashion. A blocked punt in overtime cost them in 2008, and after Arizona converted on fourth-and-19, Jay Feely booted a 48-yard field goal with 5 seconds left to give the Cardinals 27-26 victory last Christmas. So there should be no looking past the 4-7 Cardinals on Sunday by a Dallas team that, at 7-4, holds a onegame lead over the New York Giants in the NFC East. The Giants are at Dallas next weekend. “Never do we go into Arizona and not have a tough game,” Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said. “It just continually happens since I’ve been here. It just seems like that’s always taken shape. We’ve got to be prepared for a tough, grind-it-out football game.” The Cowboys have won four in a row, and a victory Sunday would give them their longest winning streak since they won seven straight in 2007. The streak left Romo 17-2 in November, so the Cardinals must be pleased this one is on Dec. 4. “He’s a guy that’s scary because he makes plays,” Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “Just in the last game (20-19 over Miami on Thanksgiving), there at the end, he had that last drive. He moved around and made plays and made throws. That’s the thing that you have to be careful with this guy. He’s always looking down the field, even when he has to

By KRISTIE RIEKEN ASSOCIATED PRESS

Photo by Matt Strasen | AP

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) and tight end Jason Witten (82) haven’t won in Arizona in their last two tries, but this weekend they look to buck the trend against the Cardinals. scramble or move in the pocket. He can make those throws.” The Cardinals have won three of four, but two were against the St. Louis Rams, now 2-9, and one was at reeling Philadelphia. Arizona is 0-4 against teams that currently have a winning record. The Cardinals are expected to have quarterback Kevin Kolb in the lineup for the first time in five games. A frustratingly slow-to-heal right turf toe and bruise on the side of the same foot has sidelined him for four games. While Arizona has gone 3-1 in his absence, backup John Skelton struggled mightily the past two games, completing a combined

18 of 42 for 213 yards, with no touchdowns with five interceptions. Kolb grew up in Texas as a Cowboys fan, specifically a Troy Aikman fan, so he likes the idea of coming back against Dallas. “It will be fun,” Kolb said. “They are playing well right now on both sides of the ball, leading their division. It will be a true test for us and we know that. We are ready for it. We feel like we are getting better in all phases.” It won’t be much fun if his mobility is hampered by the injury as he tries to evade Dallas’ powerful pass

See COWBOYS PAGE 2B

Texas A&M was supposed to return to national prominence this season. Instead the Aggies finished the regular season with a disappointing 6-6 record that cost Mike Sherman his job. Athletic director Bill Byrne announced Sherman’s firing in a statement Thursday night. The Aggies, who are leaving the Big 12 for the SEC next season, must now find a replacement to lead the team into their highly competitive new league. The school hasn’t named any candidates, but possible replacements could include Houston coach Kevin Sumlin or Louisville coach Charlie Strong. Sumlin, who has led the seventh-ranked Cougars to a 12-0 record, was an assistant at A&M from 2001-02. Strong also spent time with the Aggies, working as a graduate assistant in 1985.

MIKE SHERMAN: Head football coach, was fired by Texas A&M. Sherman, 25-25 in four seasons at A&M, had three years remaining on his contract and the buyout will be about $5.8 million. He was given a one-year extension to his original contract in July, but it was never executed. He was hired at the end of the 2007 season three days after Dennis Franchione resigned. His best and only winning season came last year, when the Aggies won their last six regular-season games and lost in the Cotton Bowl to finish 9-4. “I appreciate Coach Sherman’s selfless service to Texas A&M as our head football coach and his tireless efforts in building leaders of character,” Byrne said in the statement. “He is truly one of the great offensive minds in football, both collegiate

See TEXAS A&M PAGE 2B


PAGE 2B

Zscores

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

Williams sisters return to Olympics

It’s time to boo Suh By RICHARD ROSENBLATT ASSOCIATED PRESS

We’ve got two words for all you Detroit Lions fans — boo Suh. By the time mean, nasty Pro Bowl defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh returns from his two-game suspension for stomping on a Packers’ player, his Lions could find themselves all but eliminated from NFL playoff contention. They enter Sunday’s game at NFC South leader New Orleans in a wild-card playoff scramble with the likes of the Bears, Falcons and Giants. Suh could have played a huge role in leading the charge against Saints quarterback Drew Brees, but now the Lions will have fill a gigantic hole in the line, a task not easily accomplished. So let the Motown boo birds sing away while their Lions head to the Big Easy for a big game without their big man in what can turn out to be a big loss. Suh has far from cornered the booing market, but he’s so far ahead we felt it necessary to create a Pick Six of players, coaches and teams worthy of a boo or two. Andy Reid: With virtually the entire crowd at the Linc imploring the Eagles to “Fire Andy, Fire Andy,” in last Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, imagine how high the heat will be turned up in Philly following Thursday night’s loss to the Seahawks? Perhaps it’s a good thing the Eagles’ next game on Dec. 11 is at Miami. So much losing with so much talent usually gets blamed on the coach, but Reid just keeps plugging along. For now. Ryan Pontbriand: The Browns aren’t very good.

By DANIELLA MATAR ASSOCIATED PRESS

Photo by Rick Osentoski |

Detroit Lions’ Sammie Lee Hill (91), Andre Fluellen (96) and Ndamukong Suh (90) have been tenacious, but Suh’s borderline dirty antics landed him a suspension. The coach is in his first year. Some of the losses have been excruciating. Many are to blame, but Pat Shurmur took aim at veteran long snapper Ryan Pontbriand, who was waived two days after his second poor snap in three weeks cost Cleveland another possible win. After his latest bad snap, Pontbriand said he was in a pretty tough slump. The day before he was let go, Shurmur said, “We can’t slump.” On Tuesday, he was waived. Indianapolis Colts: A loss to the Panthers in what looked to be the Colts’ last chance at winning a game this season drew the wrath of even the most loyal fans. Boos rang down from the home

crowd, the only cheers coming at halftime when WR Marvin Harrison was inducted into the Colts’ Ring of Honor and some of his fabulous plays were shown during a video tribute. Next day, the team fired the defensive coordinator, benched Curtis Painter and told Dan Orlovsky he’s starting against the Patriots. Jim Leonhard: The Jets safety may have to get used to the boos if the team doesn’t make the playoffs. Seems Leonhard was “frustrated” that the home crowd booed QB Mark Sanchez before last Sunday’s last-minute win against the Bills. Imagine the fans’ reaction if the Jets had lost. Caleb Hanie: This may be borderline, but if the

HOOPS Continued from Page 1B peat and a playoff spot, but will have to get through La Feria and Rio Hondo. The Lady Haws first district game is on December 13, when they open league play against Port Isabel on the road. With 10 days until that first district game, Garcia is working hard to hit the district season in stride and work on the aspects of the game that will allow the Lady Hawks to be one of three playoff teams when all the dust settles at the end of the season. “We still need to work on our free throw shooting,” he said. “We are playing a good defense but we are lacking out free throw shooting and down the stretch of a game.”

SANDOVAL Continued from Page 1B I love that fact that people are always saying that teaching is the easiest job to do out there. People also throw in that teachers have almost 31/2 months of vacation and they should not be whining about working, because most other professions only have two or three weeks of vacation a year. What most fail to understand is that teachers head into the summer break drained and beaten from a long school year where they strive to guide students to comprehend the material. When you are a teacher, you need the 31/2 months off.

Now days, individual scores are posted in the teacher’s lounge so everyone knows which teacher is doing their job, and who might need to push harder in the classroom. They call this a healthy competition among the teachers but the reality is that the administration is putting indirect pressure on the teachers because schools are measured on how they perform on the STAAR tests. Teachers do need the summer break and every other break that they get through the school year because they need to recharge so they can

COWBOYS Continued from Page 1B rush, led by DeMarcus Ware, who leads the NFL with 14 sacks. “Their front seven is as good as anybody’s,” Kolb said. “Rob Ryan does a good job of mixing a lot of different looks in there, getting mismatches here and there that he wants. That causes a lot of disturbance. When things get like that, you just have to play your own game, focus in on the details of your own offense, and try to simplify things and do them right.” Arizona running back Beanie Wells said it’s important for him to have some success on the ground to keep the pressure off Kolb. Wells, despite a nagging right knee injury that limits him in practice, set a franchise record with 228 yards rushing in last Sunday’s 23-20 win at St. Louis. “We don’t want to go out there and say it was a fluke — it happened one time — and we can’t run the ball successfully, we can’t block successfully, like we did that game,” Wells said. Dallas’ standout punter, Mat McBriar, will face the NFL’s rising punt-return star Patrick Peterson, the rookie whose fourth re-

Bears quarterback doesn’t know the rules, well, boo on him. We’re overlooking his three interceptions in a 25-20 loss to the Raiders — one late in the first half when Chicago was looking to take a lead — but a botched spike attempt in the final seconds cost his team a chance at a final play. Game over. Stevie Johnson: Not funny. A 15-yard penalty was called, followed a few days later by a $10,000 fine, but the Bills wide receiver’s post-TD antics may have cost the Bills a win over the Jets. After catching a TD pass, he celebrated by mimicking Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the thigh, then imitated a jet in flight before crashing to the turf.

MILAN — The Williams sisters want to defend their Olympic doubles title in London next summer. Serena Williams said Friday that she and sister Venus are eager to go for their third Olympic gold together after victories at the 2000 Sydney and 2008 Beijing Games. First up, the sisters will play an exhibition match in Milan on Saturday against Italian duo Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta. “We’re the defending champion and we want to defend our title and I don’t see why we wouldn’t,” Serena said of the London Games. “This is a good preview to the Olympics, we both want to play. So this is a great, great time for us, so exciting.” The sisters were unable to defend their title in Athens 2004 after Serena injured her knee. Venus also won the singles gold medal in Sydney. However, the five-time Wimbledon champion’s ranking has fallen to No. 104 because of injuries, while Serena’s ranking has improved to 12th after missing nearly a year with injuries and health issues. Venus has played just once since pulling out of the U.S. Open three months ago because of an immune system disease. She defeated Serena 6-4,

7-6 (5) in an exhibition match in Colombia last week. Venus has changed her diet to include more vegetables after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, which can cause fatigue and joint pain. “I’m eating different things and that’s helping.” Venus said. “I need to try and be stronger for next year. This is a good start for me. It’ll show me where I’m at physically. “The goal is to come back in Australia. I’m taking each day at a time. When I feel good, I feel really happy. Today I feel really good, so it’s a great day.” Serena returned shortly before Wimbledon after dealing with foot surgeries and blood clots in her lungs. She fell to No. 175 but has managed to rise in the rankings. “I told myself I wanted to end the year in the Top 20,” Serena said. “But I didn’t think I would. So I’m really happy now.” Serena has played just once since losing to Samantha Stosur in the U.S. Open final in September. “I was tired after the Open and didn’t want to go to Asia,” she said before bursting into laughter and correcting herself. “Well no, I was injured.” The Williams sisters, who often design their own tennis outfits and have launched clothing lines, said they’ve been to Armani during their stay.

turn for a TD this season came last week against St. Louis and tied a league record. “It’s easier said than done to say we’re going to punt it out of bounds or we’re going to do this with the ball,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. “Those are hard things to do. Every team that faces the Cardinals has this challenge. It’s very important for our coverage teams to play well and keep him contained, and to tackle him well. He’s really exceptional. I think the evidence has been out there over the course of the first 11 games.” Arizona’s defense has played better lately, growing more comfortable in the scheme of first-year coordinator Ray Horton. But against the Cowboys, the Cardinals will be challenged not only by Romo and his receivers but by rookie running back DeMarco Murray, who in his first extensive playing time following an injury to Felix Jones set a singlegame franchise rushing record of 253 yards. Like Wells, he did it against the Rams. Murray has gained 834 yards, averaging 5.7 per carry.

“He was banged up early in training camp and didn’t really play very much in the preseason until the last preseason game,” Garrett said. “He was working his way to getting some more reps as the season started, and then he got a real good opportunity against the Rams a few weeks back and did a really good job for us running the football. He’s certainly helped us a great deal, and we’re hopeful that he’ll continue to play as well as he has.” The teams have met 86 times and used to face each other twice a season when they belonged to the NFC East. In the old days, before University of Phoenix Stadium was built, about the only time Arizona sold out at home was when the Cowboys came to town and their fans packed Sun Devil Stadium. Even now, a good share of the crowd will be cheering on the Cowboys. And as for those last two hair-raising matchups, “Don’t mean nothing,” Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. “Different teams, different records, different personnel. Don’t mean nothing.”

come back full of energy and get ready to tackle another year. With recent school budget cuts, salaries and raises are in the back burner. No person is going to become rich off teaching and most teachers live comfortable only after teaching for more than 20 years. If you are a first year teacher, then you came in at the right time when salaries are getting better — not where they need to be — but better. Teachers that teach for a long time and retire from this career should be lauded for their years of service.

We don’t have parades downtown where people honor teachers and cheer for educating the next generation of doctors, lawyers, engineers or, even, teachers. We do have a teacher appreciation week in the month of May but we should not have to wait to thank a teacher who has inspired to fulfill our dreams and future career goals. So this is our moment of honor. Thank you coach Debbie Esparza. (Clara Sandoval can be reached at sandoval.clara@gmail.com)

TEXASA&M Continued from Page 1B and professional, and I know that he has much to offer the game of football in the future.” Byrne said he will talk with the assistant coaches to decide who will serve as the interim coach for Texas A&M’s bowl game. He also hopes to meet with the team and remaining staff Friday. Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin thanked Sherman for his contributions to the program and said he created a “solid foundation for Texas A&M to build upon in the future.” “Decisions of this nature are never easy, and I appreciate the patience of Aggies everywhere as we carefully evaluated the current state of our football program and the prospects for the future,” Loftin said. The Aggies entered this season with 18 returning starters, a top-10 ranking and were expected to contend for the Big 12 championship and be a factor in the national title hunt. Instead they lost early games to Oklahoma State and Arkansas after holding double-digit halftime leads to fall to 2-2. They won three in a row after their first skid, but a three-game losing streak, which included two over-

time losses, ensured the Aggies of a mediocre season. The low point of the season came when Texas A&M ended its more than century-old rivalry with Texas with a 27-25 loss at home on Thanksgiving. At times, Sherman seemed to be grasping for ways to deal the team’s narrow losses. Four of their six defeats were by a combined 10 points, including a 53-50 four-overtime loss to Kansas State. “I’ve never experienced a season like this and I don’t plan on experiencing a season like it again,” Sherman said after the loss to Texas. “This was a very difficult season to swallow. We have good kids, they work hard, but for whatever reason the ball bounced funny for us sometimes, and we didn’t make the play when we need to make it to win the games we didn’t.” Current and former players expressed their thanks and support for Sherman via Twitter as they learned the news on Thursday night. “It’s unfortunate to see Coach Sherm go. He is like another father to me. He helped me become the person I am today. I will never forget, never,” tweeted Von Miller, the former A&M

pass-rusher taken second overall in the year’s draft by the Denver Broncos. Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill was disappointed to see Sherman leave. “I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to play for such a great coach and great man as Mike Sherman,” he said. “He helped us become not only better football players, but better men. ... He will be missed.” Sherman came to Texas A&M after spending two seasons a Houston Texans assistant coach. A&M was his first college job since he worked as an assistant with the Aggies from 1995-96. After leaving A&M he was an assistant for Green Bay and Seattle before becoming the Packers’ coach in 2000. Green Bay went 5943 under Sherman and won three NFC North titles in six seasons, but he was fired after the Packers finished 4-12 in 2005. The change gives the Aggies a chance for a fresh start when they move into the SEC next season. They end their time in the Big 12 after a decade filled mostly with disappointing finishes. The team had more than seven wins just twice since 2002.


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

THE ZAPATA TIMES 3B

HINTS BY | HELOISE Dear Heloise: I have a 92year-old CEDAR CHEST that was my mother’s, and my granddaughter would like to have it. It is a beautiful piece of furniture, but the problem is that through the years, the cedar aroma has turned rancid. I have tried leaving the chest open for a couple of weeks in fresh air, and I added baking soda, leaving the chest both closed and open. I also tried a fabric refresher. I thought maybe sanding it would restore the cedar aroma, but I am afraid to try. If possible, I would like to eliminate any fragrance at all. I was hoping you might have some ideas; my granddaughter and I welcome your thoughts. — Ann in California Hi, Ann. Completely eliminating any cedar fragrance? That is a challenge. Normally, cedar would not give off a rancid smell unless it had absorbed the scent of something stored in it or something the chest was treated with. This question stumped Heloise Central, as well as a leading cedar-chest manufacturer! Removing mildew and mothball smells has been addressed, as well as refreshing the cedar scent, but never how to eliminate the cedar smell entirely from storage chests. You might try wiping the insides with my beloved vinegar on a cloth. If cleaning and lightly sanding the inside of the chest do not help, then your last resort is to seal in the odor by using an oil-based primer on the interior. Then paint the inside with latex paint. Contact an auction house or antiques dealer prior to painting the chest to find out about any depreciation in value of the chest. Good luck. — Heloise

HELOISE

PET PAL Dear Readers: Catherine C. of Lansing, Ill., sent in a picture of her adorable black-and-white Chihuahua, Piccolo. Piccolo understands Italian and knows 12 animal toys by name. Catherine says that “Piccolo” means “little” in Italian. Fine, but how do you say “adorable” in Italian? To see Piccolo and our other Pet Pals, visit www. Heloise.com and click on the “Pets” link. — Heloise

DIRTY DISHCLOTH Dear Heloise: I noticed a friend of mine toss her wadded-up dishcloth in the upper rack of her dishwasher before running it. I have tried this, and it works really well in keeping the dishcloth clean and fresh. — Betsy in Maryland Betsy, be careful. The cloth can come loose and get caught in the dishwasher. Secure the cloth if you use this hint. — Heloise

SELF-GRIPPING FABRIC TAPE Dear Heloise: What can you do to get self-gripping fabric tape to stick again on shoes? — A Reader, via email Easy answer! Clean the lint out of the fabric tape. Use a small crochet hook or an old, stiff toothbrush to gently clean out the debris. Also, pressing the two sides together when not wearing the shoes will help prevent lint from building up. — Heloise

DENNISTHE MENACE

DAILY CRYPTOQUOTES | HERE’S HOWTO WORK IT:


Sports

4B LAREDO MORNING TIMES

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

Two added to Christmas By BRIAN MAHONEY ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — Oklahoma City will host Orlando before Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers visit Golden State on Christmas night, running the NBA’s planned opening-day schedule to five games. Those games were added Friday to the three that were already set when the 2011-12 schedule was originally unveiled: Boston at New York, Miami at Dallas, and Chicago at the Los Angeles Lakers. Commissioner David Stern said the league hoped to open the season with that tripleheader after announcing a tentative agreement on a new labor deal with the players last Saturday. But the league decided to add two later games, with the nightcap featuring Mark Jackson’s debut as Warriors coach. The revised 66-game schedule will be released Tuesday night during an NBA TV special. TNT will televise the opener, while ABC gets the NBA finals rematch and the matchup between MVP Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant, whose Lakers will be playing their first game under former Cleveland coach Mike Brown. The final two contests will air on ESPN. The Thunder reached the Western Conference finals last season behind league scoring champion Kevin Durant, while the Magic face the uncertainty of Dwight Howard’s future

Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack | AP

Houston Texans quarterback T.J Yates (13) is set to take the snaps against the Falcons on Sunday with both Matt Leinart and Matt Schaub injured.

Oft-hurt Texans take on Atlanta By KRISTIE RIEKEN ASSOCIATED PRESS

Photo by LM Otero | AP

Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki (41) and Miami Heat’s Mike Miller (13) will meet again on Christmas Day as the two pick up where they left off after last year’s NBA Finals. with the team. “It’s a different opening day than has ever happened in the past and Christmas Day games have always been a big day for the NBA,” ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy said in a statement. “This unique situation combined with the unveiling of a championship banner for the Mavericks in a finals re-

match, and then to see the Lakers and the debut of Mike Brown as head coach, those things are all going to be very compelling.” The Dec. 25 opening date is contingent on the CBA being ratified next week. Lawyers for the league and players’ association resumed negotiations Friday on the remaining issues, the so-called B-list items

such as drug testing, the draft eligibility age and the commissioner’s power to discipline. The goal is to complete the agreement Tuesday so it could be presented at a meeting of player representatives Wednesday, then both sides would vote to ratify it Thursday. If that happens, training camps and free agency would open next Friday.

HOUSTON — The stars and even their backups keep falling for the Houston Texans. This team has weathered season-ending injuries to linebacker Mario Williams and quarterback Matt Schaub as well as playing for six games without Andre Johnson, yet managed to remain atop the AFC South standings. Now this resilient bunch will face its toughest test when rookie thirdstring quarterback T.J. Yates makes his first NFL start against the Atlanta Falcons (7-4) on Sunday. Yates saw his first NFL action in a 20-13 win over Jacksonville last week after backup Matt Leinart was injured. Leinart broke his left collarbone and is out for the season, leaving Yates as the Texans’ best option (for now) as they try to secure their first playoff berth. This certainly isn’t the scenario the Texans envisioned when the season began. Still, they insist there’s no reason for panic and that they’ll deal with this setback just as they’ve handled everything else thrown at them this year. “Nothing’s changed. We’ve been dealing with

injuries all year,” Johnson said. “Everybody’s running around here like things are supposed to be bad, but the team is fine.” Johnson has plenty of reasons to be confident. The Texans (8-3) have the league’s top defense (measured by yards allowed), the third-most potent running game and have won five straight heading into Sunday’s game. Yates, a fifth-round pick out of North Carolina, doesn’t seem daunted by his new responsibility. “I wasn’t expecting for it to come under these circumstances and this quick in my career, but I’ve been preparing for it all season long just in case something like this was going to happen,” he said. Yates was 8 of 15 for 70 yards against Jacksonville after Leinart was injured in the second quarter. Falcons coach Mike Smith isn’t expecting much of a drop-off with Yates in at quarterback. “It is a system offense. Coach (Gary) Kubiak’s offense has a system and it’s really based, in my mind, around the running game and the running game sets up everything else,” Smith said. Atlanta cornerback and former Texan Dunta Robinson agrees.

OSU’s BCS bid depends on Bedlam game By JEFF LATZKE ASSOCIATED PRESS Photo by AP

Antonio Margarito, right, of Mexico, faces a rematch three years in the making with Miguel Cotto, of Puerto Rico, tonight in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Cotto, Margarito set for rematch By RACHEL COHEN ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito have sold out Madison Square Garden, proving there’s plenty of interest in what happens in their rematch Saturday. Even if it often sounds as though they’re still fighting their bout from more than three years ago. “There’s a lot of anger. There’s a lot of hatred between both of us,” Margarito said Wednesday through a translator. “Someone will be getting hurt in this fight. Both of us are going out to hurt each other.” The two boxers spent more time talking about the past than the present in the buildup to their fight for Cotto’s WBA super welterweight title. Margarito beat Cotto in July 2008, but what happened six months later forever changed discussions about that bout. Margarito was found to have illegal hand wraps before a loss to Shane Mosley and didn’t box again for more than a year. Cotto says he has photos proving that Margarito also used illegal hand wraps in their fight — which Margarito denies, just as he insists he didn’t know his former trainer had placed illegal pads atop his fists in January 2009. “He has to accept that like a man,” Cotto said of wanting Margarito to admit wrongdoing. “That’s

the only issue I have with him.” Margarito said Cotto was just “talking the talk.” “That’s what he wants to do,” Margarito said. “What I said and I’ll say again: I fight clean; I’ve always been clean.” The Tijuana Tornado stopped Cotto in the 11th round in Las Vegas in their first meeting. Cotto said he long resisted a rematch because he didn’t want money going to an opponent who didn’t fight fair. “He played with my health,” Cotto said. “This is a sport where you use your skills, your conditioning.” Cotto (36-2) said he noticed “something strange, something weird” in their first fight. His face swelled up in ways it shouldn’t have. Cotto controlled the early rounds in that bout, but Margarito (38-7) withstood punch after punch with not a hint of backing down. “My constant pressure got to him,” Margarito said, “and I finished him off.” He plans more of the same in Saturday’s pay-per-view event. “Everyone knows how I fight,” Margarito said. “Pressure, pressure. That’s what I’m going to be doing.” The 31-year-old Cotto said he didn’t view the rematch as vindication, because nobody questions whether he was clean in the first

bout. “I don’t have to prove anything,” he said. “The pressure is on him.” This is the second time Cotto has sold out the Garden — he also did it for his title defense against Zab Judah in 2007. The Pride of Puerto Rico would have a loud contingent backing him even if not for Margarito’s current role of boxing villain. Promoter Bob Arum dismissed talk that the crowd would sway the scores. “He plans to knock Cotto out,” Arum said. “He doesn’t need the judges.” It’s a high-profile stage for both boxers to prove they’re still forces in the sport. Both have been battered by Manny Pacquiao since their first meeting. The 33-year-old Margarito needed surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone in his right eye after a blow from Pacquiao last year. He considered retirement before doctors assured him he could still fight. The New York State Athletic Commission didn’t license Margarito until Nov. 22 after ordering another examination of his eye. Since losing to Margarito, Cotto has defeated Michael Jennings, Joshua Clottey, Yuri Foreman and Ricardo Mayorga while losing to Pacquiao. “I just prepare myself for a war,” he said. “That’s what everyone’s going to see.”

STILLWATER, Okla. — In more than a century’s worth of Bedlam games, the stakes have never been higher for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) are No. 3, matching their highest ranking ever heading into the annual rivalry game against No. 13 Oklahoma (9-2, 6-2), and they still have an outside chance at getting into the national championship game with an impressive win Saturday night. At the least, the instate showdown is a substitute for the Big 12 championship game, which went away when the league shrank to 10 teams this year. The Sooners will be attempting to win their eighth Big 12 crown, by far the most in the league’s 16-year history. Oklahoma State is after its first outright conference title since 1948. “We know we have a lot at stake and it’s going to be a fun challenge down there,” Oklahoma cornerback Demontre Hurst said. “Going down there to their place, playing against one of our biggest rivals, going on the road, trying to defend the Big 12 title again, there’s a lot going on. It’s exciting.” To earn a shot at its first national champion-

Photo by Billy Hefton | AP

Oklahoma’s James Hanna outruns the Oklahoma State defense for a late touchdown in 2010. But OSU could keep its national championship hopes alive with a win. ship, Oklahoma State will have to put together a strong case against a Sooners team that has won eight straight Bedlam games and is 81-17-7 in the series. The Cowboys are third in the BCS standings, but must make up the most ground on topranked LSU and No. 2 Alabama in the human polls. They’re ranked fifth in the coaches and Harris polls, and — unlike the idle Crimson Tide — have one last chance to make an impression before ballots are due. “The way I look at it is that if we go out and play well enough and win the football game, then somebody’s going to have to make a decision based on it,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. So it does matter what the Cowboys do.


The Zapata Times 12/3/2011