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The Monitor 01-24-2012

The Monitor 01-24-2012

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Published by AIM Media Texas
Serving the Rio Grande Valley Since 1909
Serving the Rio Grande Valley Since 1909

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Published by: AIM Media Texas on Oct 22, 2012
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Mike A. Pruneda
300 E. Exp. 83 - Pharr 702-7777 
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TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012 | WWW.THEMONITOR.COM | 75 CENTS DAILY
TOO MANYTESTS?
Some routine medical checksare getting a second look to seeif they waste time and money.
Health | 4A
HISTORICCHOICE
McAllen namesits first femaleathletic director.
Sports Day | 1C
DARKERDESIRES
Mexican investigatorssay they’ve busted anillegal adoption ringthat ensnared destituteyoung Mexican womentrying to earn morefor their children andchildless Irish couplesdesperate to becomeparents.
Beyond the Valley | 3A
WARRANTREQUIRED
The Supreme Courtruled unanimouslyMonday that policemust get a searchwarrant before usingGPS technology totrack criminal suspects.
Beyond the Valley | 3A
TODAY’S WEATHER | 6B
Mostly cloudy, a shower
HIGH
82
LOW
68
INSIDE
Classifieds 6DComics 5DLottery 2ABeyond The Valley 3AObituaries 2BOpinion 4BPuzzle 6CTV Listings 3D
A Freedom NewspaperVol. 103, No. 18130 Pages, 4 Sections
A DREAMCOMES TRUE
Regino Gonzalez, awheelchair-bound teenwith an aggressivebone cancer, got achance to live his adream of being a policeofficer for a day withWeslaco authorities.
Valley & State | 1B
KILLER’SCONFESSION
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Michael Mele, center, is led Monday into the Orange County Courthouse in Goshen, N.Y. Mele pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and evidencetampering in the December 2008 killing of 25-year-old McAllen native Laura Garza just before the start of his murder trial.
NYC PD
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McAllen native Laura Garza, whodisappeared after leaving a New YorkCity nightclub in 2008 with convictedsex offender Michael Mele, is seen.
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GOSHEN, N.Y. — A sex offender sud-denly admitted Monday that he suffocatedan aspiring dancer from Texas he met at aManhattan nightclub, stuffed her body into a laundry basket and dumped her85 miles away in the Pennsylvania woods. Accepting a manslaughter convic-tion in a plea bargain after three yearsof non-cooperation, Michael Mele saidthat after he picked up 25-year-old Lau-ra Garza in December 2008, she becameupset in his upstate apartment when shesaw a picture of his girlfriend.“She wanted to leave. I didn’t want todrive back,” said Mele, 26. “She startedto get a little louder. I put my hand overher mouth and partially her nose, andshortly after that, she stopped yelling,stopped moving, and I realized some-thing bad had happened.”He said he then panicked.“I put her in a laundry basket andput a blanket over it,” before carrying the body to his Infiniti SUV and driving to a remote area outside Scranton, Pa., where he dumped it, he said.Garza’s remains weren’t found formore than two years.
>>Michael Mele admitssuffocating McAllen nativeLaura Garza in 2008.
Murder suspect apologizes
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EDINBURG — A man accused of kill-ing his girlfriend with a vehicle early Sunday morning apologized at his mur-der arraignment Monday morning.Justice of the Peace Charlie Espinozacharged Sergio Osvaldo Garcia, 23, withthe first-degree felony andset his bond at $500,000.“I’m sorry, very sorry,”Garcia said as jail person-nel at the Hidalgo County Detention Center escortedhim out of the courtroom.The 23-year-old con-fessed to killing his live-in girlfriend Jillilah Rivas, 17, HidalgoCounty Sheriff Lupe Treviño said. Witnesses driving along Mile 4, southof Mile 19, saw Garcia’s red Ford Expedi-tion strike Rivas as she walked along a
Obama totake oneconomicanxiety 
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 WASHINGTON Eagerto command center stage ina year dominated by Repub-lican infight-ing, Presi-dent Barack Obama is pol-ishing a Stateof the Unionaddress that will go tothe heart of  Americans’economic anxiety and try tosway voters to give him fourmore years. He will speak tonight to a nation worriedabout daily struggles andunhappy with his handling of the economy.Obama’s 8 p.m. addressbefore a politically divid-ed Congress will be builtaround ideas meant to ap-peal to a squeezed middleclass. He is expected to urgehigher taxes on the wealthy,propose ways to make col-lege more affordable, offernew steps to tackle a debili-tating housing crisis and try to help U.S. manufacturersexpand hiring.Designed as a way for apresident to update the na-tion and recommend ideasto Congress, the State of theUnion address has becomemore than that, especially 
>>Tonight’s addressis an opportunityfor the president tooffer voters a visionfor his second term.>>Witnesses say they sawSergio Osvaldo Garcia’sred Ford Expedition strikehis 17-year-old girlfriend.
Obama
ELECTION 2012|
 
STATE OF THE UNION
Garcia
The vehicleallegedlydriven bysuspect Ser-gio OsvaldoGarcia atthe time ofthe collisionSundayis seenMonday inEdinburg.
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A local teen will debut an original B-movieand horror cinema homage in McAllen.
Valley Life | 1D
OCTOPUSATTACK
 
2A | MONITOR PREVIEW
The Monitor, www.themonitor.com | TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
(USPS 594-160) (ISSN 8750524X)Founded in 1909. Published every morning by TheMonitor Division of Freedom Newspapers at 1400 E.Nolana Loop, McAllen, Texas 78504. The Monitor iscommitted to providing our readers and advertisersin Hidalgo and Starr counties with the best qualitysource of news and information for the Rio GrandeValley community rich in its diversity and hometownvalues.Periodicals Postage Paid at McAllen, Texas 78501.
POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGE TO:THE MONITOR, P.O. BOX 3267,McALLEN, TEXAS 78502-3267WANT TO SUBSCRIBE?
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Phone Number: 683-4400 • (800) 366-4343© 2012 THE MONITORContents of this newspaper may not bereproduced without permission ofTHE MONITOR.
TECHNOLOGY
STAY INFORMED
If you have asmartphone, youshould definitelycheck out our app.
www.themonitor.com/mobile
ALLERGY ALERT
Pollen forecast forMcAllen area
HighMed. HighMed.Low Med.Low
Today
Predominant pollen:
Juniper
POLLEN IS CALCULATED ON A SCALE OF0 TO 12 FROM WWW.POLLEN.COM
Today’s Level: Medium-High
8.1
Tomorrow
8.7
ONLINE
MULTIMEDIA
ON THE WEB
SOCIAL LENS
Follow ourphotographers onFacebook and Twitter.
Nathan Lambrecht
@MonitorNathan
Gabe Hernandez
@MonitorGabeH
Joel Martinez
@MonitorJoel
Delcia Lopez
@MonitorDelcia
FOOD
WHERE TO GOFOR LUNCH?
Monitor 
reporter AmyNichol Smith featuresdifferent restaurantsaround the Valley.
lunchbreak.themonitor.com
ONLINE POLL
Do you all feel plasticbags should be bannedin McAllen as theywere in Brownsville?>> Yes, but it should bevoluntary.>> Yes, but it should bemandatory.>> No, plastic bagsshould not be banned.>> I’m not sure.>> I don’t care.
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WEDNESDAY
JUST FOR ME
What’s the deal withsingle-cup coffeemakers?
Valley Life
COMINGIN THEMONITOR
MONDAY
SURFACETREATMENT
Each week, NancyMoyer takes a look atwhat’s happening inthe Valley’s art scene.
Valley Life
WEDNESDAY
LATINO LENS
Columnist RubenNavarrette Jr. keepsyou posted on nationalHispanic politics.
Opinion
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ENTER THE NEW YEAR
Performers take part in a dragon dance during an evening parade Monday in Hong Kong celebrating the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Accord-ing to the Chinese zodiac, the year 2012 is the Year of the Dragon.
FESTIVA
Scan thiswith yoursmartphoneto check outthe blog.
THE BEAT
Scan thiswith yoursmartphoneto check outthe blog.
CRIME WATCH | We’re up at 6 a.m. to monitor police activity. Check for new postings throughout the day.
WHAT THEY REALLY THINK
The guys at RGVSports.com speak their mind on the Real Talk blog, givinga little more insight on what’s happening in Rio Grande Valley high schoolsports. Check out the blog at
realtalk.rgvsports.com
.
REAL TALK
Scan thiswith yoursmartphoneto check outthe blog.
THE BUZZ
Scan thiswith yoursmartphoneto check outthe blog.
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‘FESTIVA’ BLOG: UP TO DATE WITH ENTERTAINMENT
Whether music, movies or fashion are your thing, the
Festiva 
blog isconstantly updated with entertainment goodness. It’s definitely somethingthat should not be missed. Check out the blog at
festiva.themonitor.com
.
BEES BLOG: BRIAN SANDALOW TALKS HOCKEY
Monitor 
sports reporter Brian Sandalow gets the inside scoop on what’sgoing on with the Valley’s favorite hockey team. Check out our Killer Beesblog at
killerbees.themonitor.com
.
THE LATEST IN CRIME
Monitor 
reporter Naxi Lopez is on top of the latest crime news. If youdon’t want to miss out, be sure to check out the blog at
cops.themonitor.com
.
TEXAS TWO-STEP(Monday)
5-12-19-35; BB: 10
TEXAS LOTTERY
PICK 3
4-8-2
(Day)
PICK 3
5-7-3
(Night)
DAILY 4
1-2-1-8
(Day)
DAILY 4
6-3-9-6
(Night)
RESERVOIRWATCHPESOWATCH
Monday’s average from a surveyof
casas de cambio.
Peso:
13.28pesos buy$1.
Dollar:
$1 buys 12.78 pesos.
FALCON LAKE
Normal:
301.20*
Current:
271.72*
LAKE AMISTAD
Normal:
1,117.00*
Current:
1,105.71*
* Surface elevation above sealevel measured in feet
MEGA MILLIONS (Friday)
1-9-28-38-47
Mega Ball: 8; Megaplier: 2
LOTTO TEXAS (Saturday)
5-10-12-16-36-48
CASH 5 (Monday)
4-11-24-36-37
POWERBALL (Saturday)
12-24-43-44-45; PB: 7
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PHOTO OF THE DAY
 
picking upthe pieces
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OAK GROVE, Ala. — Knowing thiscommunity’s history o tornadoes,Jhan Powers gets nervous anytimeviolent weather rolls in. While herhouse was spared this time, a torna-do demolished nearby mobile homes— all o which were just a short driverom a path o destruction cut justlast year by a deadly twister.Several possible tornadoes roaredacross the heart o Alabama on Mon-day, killing two people and injur-ing more than 100 others during the middle o the night. Frightenedamilies huddled together as windshowled outside, and rescue teamshad to go door-to-door in some plac-es, calling out to residents.The unincorporated community o Oak Grove was hit hard in Apriland again Monday, though ofcialssaid none o the same neighbor-hoods were struck twice.“I would really like to never seeanother tornado again,” Powers saidas neighbors sorted through theremnants o their home. “When yousee this destruction, how can you nottake it seriously?”The area near Birmingham has ahistory o being a tornado alley go-ing back decades. In April, about20 people were killed in JeersonCounty, most o them close toOak Grove.Powers’ brother was injuredin April 1998 when a tornadokilled 34 people, injured 260and destroyed Oak GroveHigh School. Thestorm let a heavily- wooded sectiono the county barren.In a sign the state has become alltoo amiliar with severe weather, o-fcials had to reschedule a meeting Monday to receive a report on theirresponse to the spring twisters.Retiree Mary Roberts coveredher mouth with her hand and grew misty-eyed describing what hap-pened within sight o her mobilehome on Toadvine Cemetery Roadin Oak Grove.Just across the street, a twisterripped apart Amber and Russ Butler’strailer, which was scattered across apasture. The couple took cover in arelative’s brick home, and they werenot injured.Further down the road, Roberts’sister, Janice Sims, lost her husband,Bobby, and her home.“They were in a double wide. They have a camper buried that they useto get down in during storms, but ithappened so quick they couldn’t getto it,” she said.Roberts said her sister is hospital-ized but should recover. “I just don’tknow what she’s going to do,” shesaid. As dawn broke, residents sur-veyed the damage and begancleaning up across severalparts o central Alabama.The governor declared astate o emergency.The storm systemstretched rom the GreatLakes to the Gul o Mexi-co, producing hail, strong  winds and rain.Jeerson County, Ala.,has been inamous or de-structive tornadoes dating back to the 1930s.State Climatologist JohnChristy said there seems to bea general path rom centralMississippi going into north Alabama that gets attentionor a large number o espe-cially intense tornadoes. Onetheory has to do with the dis-tance rom the Gul o Mexico.
>>Alabama is hit againby tornadoes in a scenethat’s familiar to many.
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Residents comb through debris looking for personal belongings Monday afternoon aftera severe storm and possible tornado ripped through the Georgebrook subdivision areaMonday morning in Trussville, Ala.
THE MONITOR
BEYOND
THE VALLEY 
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012 | The Monitor, www.themonitor.com
3A
TODAY’S FEATURED INTERACTIVE @ WWW.THEMONITOR.COM/SECTIONS/APNEWS: lOOk AT STATES’ ATTEMPTS TO RESIST HEAlTHCARE REFORM
“The United Nations is outraged by theseaegations and taes its responsibiity todea with them extremey seriousy.” |
 
MARTINNESIRKY, United Nations spokesman, on allegations o U.N. policeabuse and sexual exploitation o children in Haiti. Allegations oabuse have dogged U.N. peacekeeping missions since their incep-tion more than 50 years ago.
See more on this story beow
6 inseconds
the day’s biggestnewsmakers
Compied rom Associated Press reports
6. HAMAS lAWMAkERSARRESTED AT RED CROSSJERUSAlEM — Two aw-maers rom the miitantPaestinian party Hamaswere arrested ater hidingor more than one yearinside a Red Cross com-pound in Jerusaem, anIsraei poice spoesmansaid Monday. Red Crossofcias confrmed the menhad been hoed up inside.1. U.N. POlICE ACCUSEDOF ABUSE IN HAITI
UNITED NATIONS — TheU.N. is investigating two newallegations o U.N. policeabuse and “sexual exploita-tion” o children in Haiti,spokesman Martin Nesirkysaid Monday. One caseinvolves U.N. police ofcers inthe Haitan capital o Port-au-Prince, Nesirky said. Theyhave been removed rom dutywhile under investigation. Thesecond case involves one ormore members o a police unit.
2. MEXICO OFFICIAlS:DRUG DEAlER AIDE DEAD
MEXICO CITY — Members oa Mexican army special orcesunit atally shot Luis AlbertoGabrera Sarabia, a high-rank-ing aide to the country’smost-wanted drug dealer in agunfght in the northern stateo Durango, ofcials said Mon-day. Sarabia was responsibleor the operations o Guzman’sSinaloa Cartel in Durango andpart o the neighboring state oChihuahua.
4. U.k. PROPOSES BINDINGSHAREHOlDER VOTE
LONDON — The Britishgovernment is proposinggiving shareholders o majorcompanies a binding vote onexecutive pay. U.K. Busi-ness Secretary Vince Cablesaid Monday that the newregulations could require payarrangements to be supportedby 75 percent o shareholders.At the moment, these votesare advisory and not binding.
3. 10 CAR BOMBS FOUNDIN ATTACkED CITY
KANO, Nigeria — A policespokesman said authorities haveound 10 unexploded car bombsin a northern Nigeria city wherean attack by a radical Islamistsect Friday killed more than150 people.
5. lAWYER: EX-INTERIORMINISTER IS NOT GUIlTY
CAIRO — The lawyer deendingEgypt’s ormer interior ministerrom charges that he orderedthe killing o protesters duringlast year’s uprising on Mondayblamed “thugs and oreignelements” or shooting people.Essam al-Battawi told a Cairocourt that Habib al-Adly, who ranthe police orce under deposedPresident Hosni Mubarak, wasinnocent o all charges. Al-Adlyentered a ormal plea o not guiltylast April.
Rescue workers helpa amily out o theirneighborhood ater asevere storm rippedthrough the Trussville,Ala., area early Monday.
High court: Warrant required for GPS
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 WASHINGTON TheSupreme Court ruled unani-mously Monday that policemust get a search warrant be-ore using GPS technology totrack criminal suspects.The decision was a deeator the government and po-lice agencies, and it raises thepossibility o serious compli-cations or law enorcementnationwide, which increas-ingly relies on high tech sur-veillance o suspects, includ-ing the use o various types o GPS technology. A GPS device installed by police on Washington, D.C.,nightclub owner AntoineJones’ Jeep helped them link him to a suburban houseused to stash money anddrugs. He was sentenced tolie in prison beore the ap-peals court overturned theconviction. Associate Justice AntoninScalia said that the govern-ment’s installation o a GPSdevice, and its use to moni-tor the vehicle’s movements,constitutes a search, meaning that a warrant is required.“By attaching the deviceto the Jeep” that Jones wasusing, “ofcers encroachedon a protected area,” Scalia wrote. He concluded that theinstallation o the device onthe vehicle without a warrant was a trespass and thereorean illegal search. All nine justices agreedthat the GPS monitoring onthe Jeep violated the Fourth Amendment’s protectionagainst unreasonable searchand seizure, a decision the American Civil LibertiesUnion said was an “impor-tant victory or privacy.”
This Jan. 5, 2011,file photo showsYasir Afifi at hishome in SanJose, Calif., wherea GPS trackingdevice was placedon his car.
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Childtrafficking ring bustedin Mexico
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ZAPOPAN, Mexico — Lieseemed to give Karla Zepedaa break when a woman cameto her dusty neighborhood o cinderblock homes and dirtroads looking or babies tophotograph in an anti-abor-tion ad campaign.The woman asked to usethe 15-year-old’s baby girl in atwo-week photo shoot or $755— $10,000 pesos — a smallortune or a teen motherho earns $180 per month ata sandwich stand and sharesa cramped, one-story houseith her disabled mother, step-ather and three brothers.But 9-month-old Camilaasn’t just posing or photo-graphs when she was takenaway.Jalisco state investigatorssay the child was let or weeksat a time in the care o anIrish couple who had come to jijic, a town o cobblestonestreets and gated communities37 miles away, thinking they ere adopting her.Prosecutors say the baby as apparently part o an il-legal adoption ring that en-snared destitute young Mexi-can women trying to earnmore or their children andchildless Irish couples desper-ate to become parents.Camila and nine other chil-dren have been turned overto state ofcials who suspectthey were being groomed orillegal adoptions. And authori-ties hint that ar more childrencould be involved: Lead in-vestigator Blanca Barron toldreporters the ring may havebeen operating or 20 years,though she gave no details.Prosecutors also say our o thechildren show signs o sexualabuse, though they gave nodetails on how or by whom.Nine people have been de-tained, including two suspect-ed leaders o the ring, but noone has yet been charged. At least 15 Irish citizenshave been questioned, theJalisco state attorney general’sofce said, but ofcials havenot released their names andtheir lawyer says all have re-turned to Ireland ater spend-ing weeks or months in Ajijictrying to meet requirementsor adopting a child. None wasdetained.
>>Young womendid not knowtheir babies werebeing groomed forillegal adoptions.
they said it
“(This is a) victory or privacy rights and or civi iberties in thedigita age.” |
 
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY, right, the Democratic chairman o the SenateJudiciary Committee, on the Supreme Court’s ruling that police must get a search warrantbeore using GPS technology to track criminal suspects.
See the u story beow

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