Five RGV stories you might have missed this week: August 23

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PHOTO:KVEO Salvador Castro, March 8 2021.

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — This week, the RGV focused the attention on the third round of PEBT, the importance of contracts, and arrests made related to the murder of a 39-year-old man.

(TEXAS TRIBUNE) — Families with students relying on free or reduced-cost meals at school can now receive a single payment of $375 as a part of a summer round of Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer food aid, which has previously provided single payments of up to $1,200 for eligible students.

The federal benefit provides food aid for the 3.7 million eligible low-income children in Texas who lost access to free and reduced-price meals when the pandemic first shuttered schools.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that families who applied for P-EBT aid for the 2020-21 school year and already received benefits will automatically receive the $375 payment, along with families of children born after Aug. 1, 2014, who relied on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits this summer. SNAP provides food aid for low-income adults.

A San Benito resident is left without her money after she claims the contractor she hired stopped replying to her.

“This is the property where I had anticipated to build a home,” said Maricela Cardoza, a previous customer of Prestige Home Builders in San Benito. “He never returned any of my emails, I then sent out certified notifications to him and he refused to sign any of them.”

Cardoza is referring to the owner of Prestige Home Builders, also known as RGV Prestige Home Builders, Luis Arevalo. According to Cardoza, Arevalo asked her to pay a $17,940 down payment upfront. She complied but has not heard from him since.

Timothy Lopes, the attorney for Prestige Home Builders, spoke to ValleyCentral and stated they attempted communication with Cardoza.

“We asked her to come into the office to discuss the issue with the intent of going over the paperwork to discuss why we had to hold onto the money for a bit because we had a considerable amount of materials on order,” said Lopes.  According to Lopes, they did not hear from her after. 

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A schedule change at Port Isabel High School has upset many parents and faculty members.

On Wednesday those affected gathered outside the high school to protest the new schedule. The change has caused an overlap and is forcing students to choose between the two activities.

“You’re in high school you’re supposed to be having fun not choosing between what you can do and what you can’t do, we’re a small community,” said Juliann Hernandez, a recent graduate from Port Isabel High School.

After announcing the schedule change, Port Isabel Band Director Scott Hartsfield put in his resignation. Hartsfield denied to comment, but students and parents are hopeful for his return.

The only two Disney Stores in the Rio Grande Valley will be closed by mid-September, according to shopDisney.

The closures come after Disney’s March announcement that the company will focus more on “its eCommerce business and significantly reduce its brick-and-mortar footprint.”

The two RGV locations which are in McAllen at The Plaza Mall and in Mercedes at the Rio Grand Valley Premium Outlets will be closed on or before Sept. 15.

The Brownsville Police Department has arrested two individuals for the murder of a 39-year-old man.

Two suspects were identified as Jose Luis Vasquez, 45, and Britny Nicole Perez, 26. A release mentions there is a third suspect.

On August 13, officers responded to a body being found on the side of the road. Officials said the man had blood on his face. He was identified by police as Jose Villarreal. Police said Villareal was shot and died due to his injuries.

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