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Wind farm developers say turbines pose little risk to birds

Two proposed wind farms on Kenedy Ranch could pose “significant” risk to migrating birds, according to a preliminary environmental study commissioned by an environmental group.

The Coastal Habitat Alliance, a group of 11 organizations that opposes the wind farms, commissioned Colorado-based EDM International to perform the assessment. A preliminary draft that report was released Monday.

But the two companies who plan to build the wind farms say they have conducted their own studies and found the electric-generating turbines pose little risk to birds.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 17, 07 | 6:25 am | Profile

Attorney General sues Valley developer

The state’s top lawyer is suing a Cameron County developer he said violated anti-colonia laws by selling land without ensuring residents would have basic utilities.

Attorney General Greg Abbott filed suit Monday in Travis County district court against Manuel J. Montemayor, owner of MG Joint Venture.

The lawsuit says Montemayor subdivided land near Los Fresnos, near the intersection of Old Alice Road and Papaya Drive, into 26 half-acre tracts. But he failed to first get approval from Cameron County Commissioners Court or arrange to bring water and wastewater services to the subdivision, both required under Texas law designed to prevent developers from building substandard housing.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 17, 07 | 6:24 am | Profile

Man charged with murder and shooting and South Padre Island

A Brownsville man has been charged with the murder of a Laguna Vista man and the shooting of a Port Isabel man on South Padre Island.

Charles Wayne Warden, 33, originally of Tulsa, Okla., but currently living in Brownsville, was holding a rifle when South Padre Island police responded to a 9-1-1 call at 4001 Padre Blvd. on Sunday, SPI Police Department spokesman Jason Moody said.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 17, 07 | 6:22 am | Profile

County sues district attorney

BROWNSVILLE — Cameron County has sued District Attorney Armando Villalobos, seeking the return of former County Auditor Mark Yates’ computer and hard drive.

The lawsuit, filed by the county’s Civil Legal Division, which represents County Judge Carlos Cascos and the Commissioners Court, also asks state District Judge Abel Limas to order the return of what the lawsuit called privileged and confidential information and to issue a temporary restraining order and protective order preventing the DA’s office from using, copying or sharing any information obtained from the computer.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 17, 07 | 6:20 am | Profile

Project seeks to grow dunes to protect property

South Padre Island will start testing a plan by the University of Texas at Brownsville that could help grow a continuous dune line to protect property.

Aldermen approved as much as $25,000 for a small-scale effort Oct. 3 to test the university’s recommendations that stirring seaweed in a compost pile could create material that would help grow dunes with plants.

The Board of Aldermen approved the work after a motion by Alderwoman JoAnn Evans and the unanimous vote of the remainder of the board.

The work will be paid with the town’s beach maintenance funds, and the Beach and Dune Task Force will make recommendations to the town on changes to its policies for raking seaweed on the beach.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 13, 07 | 3:25 pm | Profile

Lecture series to feature prominent physicist

Star Wars fans, Trekkies, astronomers and other star gazers have an opportunity to learn from one of the best scientists in the Valley.

Thursday at 5:30 p.m., Dr. Richard Price, Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College will be at Club Padre.

Latest in a series of distinguished Island speakers, Price will lecture on the subject of “Curved Spacetime, Black Holes, 21st Century Astronomy and Brownsville.”

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 13, 07 | 3:24 pm | Profile

Sand sculptors to compete in event’s 20th year

Even Walter McDonald (aka The Amazin’ Walter) and Lucinda (Sandy Feet) Wierenga had no idea how big an event they were starting when they hosted the first Sand Castle Days on South Padre Island.

Next week is the 20th anniversary of the Masters of Sand competition. A dozen Master sand sculptors will compete to see which is the best.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 13, 07 | 3:23 pm | Profile

La Feria classes of 1930 to 1970 to hold reunion

A reunion of La Feria High School graduates from the years 1930 to 1970 will be held at La Copa Inn on South Padre Island this week.

The festivities will begin with dinner Thursday night, continue through Friday, and end with another dinner Friday night. Both dinners will be catered at the hotel by Jake’s Restaurant and Bar.

Philip Oliver, of San Benito, who organizes the event, is a graduate of La Feria. He was a principal with the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District for 30 years before he retired.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 13, 07 | 3:22 pm | Profile

Unique Machines: Motorcycle builder focuses on custom work

Hank Strickler brought a line of Big Dog Motorcycles down from San Antonio to display at the South Padre Island Convention Centre for Bike-Fest.

He sold Hondas, Suzukis, Polaris, Sea Voo jet skis, and Can-Am ATV’s for 35 years, he said. But in the past three years, since the dealership he works for took on the Big Dog line he has sold 185 machines under that brand alone, he said.

The manufacturer of Big Dog motorcycles is Sheldon Coleman, a member of the Coleman Camping Equipment Company who happened to love motorcycles, Strickler said.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 13, 07 | 2:27 pm | Profile

Blues legend Robert Cray to play Schlitterbahn during BikeFest

Robert Cray has never tried to be the fastest gun in town.
It’s just not what he’s about.

The singer, songwriter and guitarslinger can count guitar god Eric Clapton as his No. 1 fan. But Cray’s not out to impress people with flashy playing.

“For me, it’s always been about the stories you can tell with music,” Cray said by phone from a tour stop in Dallas.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 12, 07 | 3:13 pm | Profile

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