Texas Border Business
Mayor Javier Villalobos presented his address on McAllen’s State of the City 2023 before fellow commissioners, residents, sponsors, friends, and family. He welcomed distinguished guests, which included senators, congressmen, mayors, consuls, federal and state judges, council members, trustees, and university leaders.
Throughout the event, the ‘Power of McAllen’ during 2022 was lauded for making the city safer and healthier. After the economy of the year 2021 and the effects of the pandemic, the city faced rising fuel costs, inflation, and problems with the supply chain.
Mayor Villalobos said, “The power of McAllen to turn challenges into opportunities created a year of innovative solutions and hard-earned achievements.”
The year 2022 proved to be a very different one for the city as the retail segment grew and their sales tax revenue increased exponentially. Read more details about the City’s efforts and successes inside.
Alert! – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is receiving an increase in reports of scams targeting clients who use Lone Star Cards and is urging Texans who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits to monitor purchases on their Lone Star Card through the Your Texas Benefits mobile app.
“We hope these resources and outreach efforts will minimize the fraud we’re seeing in Texas,” said Texas HHS Access and Eligibility Services Deputy Executive Commissioner Wayne Salter. “We encourage clients to take immediate action to secure their benefits.” Learn more on how Texans using Lone Star Cards and/or receiving SNAP and TANF benefits can protect their benefits inside.
Another Alert came from Hidalgo County District Clerk Laura Hinojosa who warns citizens to remain vigilant of any jury scammers who continue to target citizens with false jury service claims and threatening arrest for a missed jury summons. The callers, impersonating court officials or other law enforcement officers, will typically contact random victims to try to convince them to pay a fine to avoid arrest for failing to appear for jury duty. The scammers will further insist that their victims either pay over the phone with a credit card or bring cash or prepaid credit cards to the courthouse where they arrange to meet them.
“Jury scams continue to exist and have become more elaborate over the years making it more difficult for citizens to quickly identify its fraudulent nature,” said Hinojosa. “We want to ensure the public is aware that the courts or law enforcement will never call anyone to arrange payment of fines over the phone for failure to appear for jury duty, for outstanding warrants, or for any other infraction.” Read more details inside.
On another note, Governor Greg Abbott announced a statewide model security plan for Texas state agencies to address vulnerabilities presented by the use of TikTok and other software on personal and state-issued devices.
“The security risks associated with the use of TikTok on devices used to conduct the important business of our state must not be underestimated or ignored,” said Governor Abbott. “Owned by a Chinese company that employs Chinese Communist Party members, TikTok harvests significant amounts of data from a user’s device, including details about a user’s internet activity. Other prohibited technologies listed in the statewide model plan also produce a similar threat to the security of Texans. Read the complete story inside.