At Tuesday's meeting, Direct Energy, LP presented a check to the Neighbor to Neighbor Fun in the amount of $453,595 for the benefit of Hidalgo County Residents for utility assistance.

"We serve about six percent of the eligible population with our assistance program," said CSA Executive Director Jaime Longoria. "In 2016, we served 697 families, in 2017 we served 441 families, and in 2018 we've assisted 493 families."

Hidalgo County Community Service Agency promotes self-sufficiency of the low income and vulnerable households of the county by providing effective, efficient, and comprehensive services through partnerships and direct funding.

"This funding allows us to assist those families who may fall through the gaps and may not qualify for assistance from our state program," Longoria said. "We've been able to assist 1,500 families over the last three years alone."

The amount listed is for the combined total provided to the residents of Hidalgo County over the last five years.

"The Neighbor to Neighbor program services all counties; there are 44 counties in South Texas, which is one of our largest network agencies," said Direct Energy Vice President Jessica Mahaffey. "We use our various resources to help those in need."

Hidalgo County CSA is asking for the public's input on forums that will be held next week on April 30 at the Mayor Eugene A. Braught Memorial Theater, May 1 at The Endowment Center in San Carlos, and May 2 at the Pharr Development Research Center all from 6:00 p.m - 7:30 p.m.

Hidalgo County recognizes the importance of jury service Commissioners Court proclaimed the week of April 30 through May 4 as Jury Appreciation Week, and recognizes that the right to a trial by jury is one of the core values of American citizenship, and the obligation and privilege to serve as a juror are as fundamental to our democracy as the right to vote.

The District Clerk, together with County and District Courts in Hidalgo County, is committed to educating the public about jury duty and the importance of jury service.

Hidalgo County District Clerk's Chief of Administration Ricardo Contreras accepted the proclamation on behalf of District Clerk Laura Hinojosa. 

"We have been celebrating Jury Appreciation week since 2016 at the courthouse," said Contreras.  "This is a great opportunity to recognize our jurors for their service and contributions to our justice system."

Continuing the imperative goal for the courts, the bar, and the broader community is to ensure that jury selection and jury service is fair, effective, and not unduly burdensome on anyone.

The county continues to applaud the efforts of jurors who fulfill their civic duty; ensuring that the responsibility of jury service is shared fairly among citizens; supporting employees who are called upon to serve as jurors, and continuing to improve the jury system.

Contreras also invited the public for pastries and coffee.  "We invite Commissioners Court to come out and greet our jurors during Juror Appreciation Week," said Contreras.  "Our food items have been donated by local businesses in observance of this event."

For juror information, please click here.