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Llegó el 2020 y conocíamos algunos hechos simples. Este sería el año en que se realizarían las Elecciones Presidenciales, comenzaría una nueva década y había esperanza. Avanzamos once meses y vemos la marca indeleble que el 2020 ha tenido en nosotros no solo como población, sino también en términos de tribalismo, ideología y descarado desprecio por la santidad del versículo bíblico de Gálatas 6:2: “Soporten los unos a los otros cargas, y así cumplir las leyes de Cristo.”
El año vio rápidamente la creación de tres lados en el frente de COVID, los que estaban a favor de los negocios, los que estaban a favor de la seguridad y, por último, los que creían que todo era un engaño.
Si bien el argumento más racional sigue siendo hasta el día de hoy los negocios o la seguridad, nosotros, como personas, no deberíamos delinear la pandemia actual como una u otra. Hay una posición mucho más matizada y, lamentablemente, parece que ninguna de las partes estaría dispuesta a comprometer sus ideales.
El director ejecutivo del condado de El Paso, el juez del condado Ricardo Samaniego, vio que se estaba desarrollando una tendencia alarmante en El Paso, la cantidad de nuevos casos de COVID por día aumentaba a un ritmo exponencial y con ello, hospitalizaciones y muertes.
COVID tiene un historial de crecimiento y propagación exponencial si no se contiene adecuadamente. Por lo tanto, cuando vea la evidencia de su crecimiento, puede que sea demasiado tarde para extinguir el fuego, pero puede frenarlo.
El juez del condado Samaniego decidió que necesitaba implementar una orden de cierre / cierre para frenar la propagación de este virus en su comunidad, que en ese momento abrumaba a los hospitales y morgues.
Después de firmar la orden, el fiscal general Ken Paxton junto con la Asociación de Minoristas de Texas llevaron al juez a la corte.
El juez del condado perdió el caso en una decisión emitida por el Juzgado Octavo y decidió no apelar sino trabajar para sus electores y tratar de mitigar el contagio y las muertes.
El fiscal general de Texas, Ken Paxton, declaró: “Felicito al Tribunal 8 por detener la orden de cierre. Es importante que no cerremos la economía nunca más … y permitamos que las pequeñas empresas continúen operando y pagando a los empleados.”
El Procurador General continuó con el tema en su página de Twitter diciendo: “Un tirano que piensa que puede ignorar la ley estatal no puede detener eso. No permitiré que subdivisiones políticas deshonestas intenten acabar con las pequeñas empresas y las reuniones festivas mediante órdenes ejecutivas ilegales.”
Esta publicación se realizó ya que el condado de El Paso, así como la mayoría de los condados de Texas, incluidos los que se encuentran a lo largo de la frontera (como Maverick), están experimentando un aumento de casos, muertes y hospitalizaciones.
La mayoría de los casos nuevos son el resultado de eventos de difusión como reuniones familiares y “comidas al aire libre” que se llevan a cabo en entornos privados.
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2020 came and we knew some simple facts. This would be the year that a Presidential Election would be held, a new decade would begin and there was hope. Fast forward eleven months and we see the indelible mark that 2020 has had on us not only as a population, but also in terms of tribalism, ideology and blatant disregard for the sanctity of the biblical verse of Galatians 6:2: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the laws of Christ”.
The year quickly saw three sides being created on the COVID front, those that were pro-business, those pro-safety and lastly those who believed it was all a hoax. While the most rational argument is still to this day business or safety, we as persons should not delineate the current pandemic as one or the other. There is a much more nuanced position and sadly it seems neither side would be willing to compromise their ideals.
The Chief Executive of El Paso County, County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, saw that an alarming trend was developing in El Paso, the number of new COVID cases per day was rising at an exponential rate and with it, hospitalizations and deaths.
COVID has a history of growing and spreading exponentially if not properly contained. Therefore, when you see the evidence of its growth you may be too late to extinguish the fire, but you can slow it.
County Judge Samaniego decided that he needed to implement a lockdown/shutdown order in order to slow the spread of this virus in his community which by that time was overwhelming hospitals and morgues.
After signing the order, Attorney General Ken Paxton along with the Texas Retailers Association took the Judge to court. The County Judge lost the case in a decision handed down by the 8th Court and decided not to appeal but rather work for his constituents and try to mitigate the contagion and deaths.
The Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stated, “I commend the 8th Court for stopping the shutdown order. It is important that we do not shutdown the economy ever again… and allow small businesses to continue to operate and pay employees.”
The Attorney General continued on the topic on his Twitter page stating, “A tyrant who thinks he can ignore state law cannot stop that. I will not let rogue political subdivisions try to kill small businesses and holiday gatherings through unlawful executive orders.”
This release was made as El Paso County as well as most counties in Texas, including those along the Border (Like Maverick) are seeing an increase in cases, deaths and hospitalizations.
The majority of new cases are as a result of spreader events like family gatherings and “cookouts” held in private settings.
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Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber reported that 26-year-old Vancing Suke posted a $12,000 bond and was released from the Tom Bowles Detention Center after being charged for deadly conduct.
Suke was arrested in the early morning hours of Wednesday when deputies responded to a possible motor vehicle accident on Highway 277 North.
Upon arriving at the scene deputies observed an unoccupied Chevrolet Tahoe parked on the highway.
While searching the area, gun shots were fired in the Becos Street area, prompting several area law enforcement agencies to partake in an exhaustive search for a possible assailant.
Twenty-six-year-old Vancing Suke was taken into custody after he was detained on Becos Street carrying a loaded AR-15 rifle.
He was then transported to the Tom Bowles Detention Center for processing.
Multiple law enforcement agencies were summoned to the location including the Maverick County Sheriff’s Department, Eagle Pass Police Department, United States Border Patrol, and Texas Department of Public Safety.
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The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is investigating a fatal crash that occurred on November 10, 2020 at approximately 4:17 pm on Highway US 277 in Maverick County.
The crash occurred one mile north of Eagle Pass, TX. Preliminary investigation revealed a red 2011 Dodge pickup was traveling south on US 277 when the vehicle drove onto the wrong side of the roadway causing a head on collision with a gray 2003 Chevrolet pickup. The driver of the gray Chevrolet pickup, Teresa Fuentes Barrientos, 50, a resident of Eagle Pass, TX, was pronounced deceased on scene.
The driver of the Dodge pickup and passenger of the Chevrolet pickup were transported to the local hospital to treat injuries. DPS Troopers are further investigating this fatal crash.
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The Eagle Pass Independent School District Board of Trustees approved the request to hire a professional employee to be assigned by the Superintendent as Chief of Police subject to possible reassignment by the Superintendent on Tuesday, November 10.
During the EPISD Board’s monthly meeting they were presented with an item in executive session to consider several Individuals who had applied for the position which had been filled on an interim basis for the past two years by Interim Chief of Police Crestino Ynocencio.
Once back in open session, EPISD Board President Jorge Barrera called for a motion to be considered.
Board Trustee Glenna Purcell motioned to consider hiring now Interim Chief of Police Ynocencio to the position.
The motion was put up for discussion which had none and was then approved on a unanimous vote.
Other names considered for the hiring was former Chief of Police Joe Ramos who had been Chief for 3 years before being reassigned by retired Superintendent Gilbert Gonzalez.
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The Eagle Pass Independent School District Board of Trustees have moved to rename the Robert E Lee Elementary School.
During a meeting held on Tuesday, November 10th, the School Board moved under a motion by Board President to consider removing the name Robert E Lee Elementary and replacing it with the name of Spanish-Tejano political and military figure of the Texas Revolution
Juan Nepomuceno Seguin.
The name change was put up for a vote and was approved unanimously.
The name change will go into effect in the near future.
At approximately 1:05pm a large power outage in all of Maverick County occurred. The outage as of 1:10pm has affected 7,603 customers and has an estimated restoration time as reported by AEP of 4:30pm
Update (1:20pm) : Police Chief Guajardo stated that they are in contact with AEP and are working to alleviate the problem, he further stated that the city’s 911 system is functioning
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The Maverick County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 election recount took place this morning with no change in the final results.
Back in November 3rd the election had three seats up for grabs.
There were a total of five candidates who were vieing for an opportunity to be elected to one of the three spots available.
The winners included Randy Edwards who garnered 93 votes, Juan Perez, Jr. with 78 votes, and Gabriel De La Cerda with 69 votes.
Juan Manuel Garcia, Jr. received 68 votes and Rodolfo Garza, Jr. received 63 votes.
The newly elected officials will receive their oath of office tomorrow.
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The Eagle Pass Independent School District will be holding a meeting on Tuesday in which they will be discussing a request to hire a Chief of Police for their law enforcement department.
The item will be discussed in executive session under personnel matters and action on the item could be taken once back in open session.
Currently, and for the past 2 years Crestino Ynocencio has been interim Chief of Police after then Superintendent Gilbert Gonzalez reassigned Chief Joe Ramos from the position on March 8, 2018.
Ramos went on to file an employee grievance/appeal in regard to his reassignment by then EPISD Superintendent Gilbert Gonzalez through his legal attorney Claudio Heredia.
Ramos had been Chief of Police for 3 years before the re-assignment.
One of the requirements for the position is that the applicants must be employed by the Eagle Pass Independent School District as a Certified Peace Officer.
There are several Individuals who are qualified and that have thrown their name for consideration.
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As of Friday, November 6, Maverick County has had 4,447 or 7 percent of its entire population test positive for Covid-19. That means that 1 out of every 13 people in our community has at some point tested positive for Covid-19.
On Friday evening, officials announced that they had another 29 new cases added to the increasing number of positive cases.
Up to now, 24,760 people have been tested. That represents 42.2 percent of the population. Of those 20,030 have tested negative.
There are 441 active cases with 102 tests pending results.
18 people are hospitalized with one Individual on a ventilator.
Officials urge the community to please wear a face mask and follow all safety precautions.
“We’re not over this, and we must continue working on stopping the spread,” said Judge David Saucedo.
In the past weeks, Maverick County has been seeing an increase in positive cases after a small decline.