Five RGV stories you might have missed this week: July 12

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PHOTO:KVEO Salvador Castro, March 8 2021.

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — This week, the new highly contagious COVID-19 variant was found in the RGV, hospitalizations increase, a Border Patrol agent faces smuggle charges and more.

Pssst… Take a look at this weekend’s forecast—How will the Saharan dust affect the 956?

The first case of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Hidalgo County, according to Judge Richard F. Cortez.

The case has been confirmed on an unvaccinated 33-year-old man by state health officials. The man is from the mid-valley area of Hidalgo County.

The man had not received any COVID-19 vaccine but had traveled extensively both in-state and out of state, according to health officials.

A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that evidence suggests the Delta variant is more transmissible than the other variants of the COVID-19 virus.

“This is why it is so important for all of us to get vaccinated,” Cortez said. “We must continue to take this disease seriously.”

Click here to learn about COVID-19 vaccine locations in the RGV

The number of people being hospitalized with COVID-19 in Hidalgo County has risen, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez urges the community to take caution when in public.

On Monday, Hidalgo County saw a 38 percent increase in the number of people being hospitalized, the number jumping from 67 individuals to 93, according to a press release from the Hidalgo County Judge’s Office.

Hidalgo County hospitals also saw a 50 percent increase in the number of people going into intensive care units due to the virus, the number jumping from 24 patients to 36 that same Monday.

Judge Cortez credited the “biggest factor working in our favor” as the vaccinations, urging individuals to “please get vaccinated and please be vigilant. That’s the only way we are going to beat this disease.”

 Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agent was arrested on accusations that he helped smuggle cocaine through the Falfurrias checkpoint.

U.S. Border Patrol Agent Oberlin Cortez Peña Jr., 22, of La Joya. Pena was arrested for DWI in March by the Alamo police department, according to jail records. (Photo courtesy of the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office.)

Oberlin Cortez Pena Jr., 22, from La Joya was taken into custody last week in connection with the drug smuggling.

Authorities said Pena accepted $1,000 in exchange for helping a vehicle with at least 11 pounds of cocaine.

Days later, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Officials said Pena “utilized his knowledge” as a Border Patrol agent “in acting as a scout and providing information about the inspection lanes and which one to utilize.”

According to the criminal complaint, Pena gave precise instructions on hiding the drugs and tactics to use to distract the K-9 unit at the checkpoint.

Source: Brownsville Police Department

Brownsville Police arrested a Brownsville man with an invasive visual recording of a woman.

Mario Berrrones used his cellphone to record a female while she was in the restroom.

The incident happened at an undisclosed residence earlier this year.

Berrones was charged with a state jail felony and was taken before a judge on July 12. He was given a $7,500 bond.

*Texas Penal Code 21.15: A person commits an offense if, without the other person’s consent and with intent to invade the privacy of the other person, the person: photographs or by videotape or other electronic means records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image of another in a bathroom or changing room.

RGV NEWS: Local doctor urges health precautions as Saharan Dust nears

An Edinburg woman did not know why she kept seeing a bird in one of her planters until the bird took flight and she got to take a peek.

Mary Saenz noticed that when she would go outside, there would be a bird sitting in her hanging planter.

“Sooooo, for a few days every time I walk out the back door I noticed that a dove would fly out of my hanging planter. So today I was curious and I looked into the hanging planter and look what I found,” wrote Saenz on a Facebook post.

And then… there were two.

Saenz discovered another egg in the mint plant.

“It’s twins!” said Saenz.

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