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First MPP immigration cases heard via videoconferencing in South Texas

HARLINGEN, Texas (Border Report) ⁠— Some of the first cases of migrants who were sent back to Mexico from South Texas via the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocol program (MPP) were heard via videoconferencing Monday morning.

Asylum-seekers argued their cases from a new judicial tent city at the base of the Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville, to a federal immigration judge about 30 miles away in Harlingen.

U.S. Immigration Judge Daniel Gilbert heard the asylum requests of six people from two different families. Only one defendant listed on Gilbert’s MPP master docket was missing. During the first day of hearings, which were held last Thursday, only two of six defendants showed up to the Gateway facility for their hearing... Read More

College student travels more than 200 miles every weekend to attend class

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- An engineer working for a research company in Socorro, N.M. travels more than 200 miles every Saturday to attend English as a Second Language courses at El Paso Community College.

Saminda Fonseka, a Sri Lanka native, wanted to take his English-speaking skills to the next level to improve his work performance. That’s where he found the Intensive English Program at EPCC’s Valle Verde campus. The only catch–it’s a 200 mile drive for him every Saturday.

“I never had a formal English education, so when I was Googling other places around me in New Mexico, I saw lots of people talking about EPCC,” Fonseka said.

Fonseka came to the United States in 2012 to earn a master’s degree in engineering from NMSU. He then moved to Socorro, N.M. for work... Read More

2-time cancer survivor wins $4.6M jackpot

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Stu MacDonald’s wife would tell him to “get the winning ticket” every time he’d go out to buy his weekly Megabucks ticket — except for the day he won $4.6 million.

This huge win comes after MacDonald beat cancer 2 different times.

“I am a very lucky guy,” he said. “I have survived cancer twice and here I am. This is amazing.”

This lucky Megabucks ticket was purchased at Ashley’s Cafe on NE 3rd Street in Bend. For selling the winning ticket, the cafe will get a 1% bonus of $46,000.

“We are thrilled to learn that we sold a Megabucks jackpot,” said Tezra Kong, Director of Operations. “Some of the seller’s bonus will go back to the team that strives to delight our guests every day here at Ashley’s in Wagner Mall.”

Oregon Lottery players have won over $38 billion in prizes since 1985... Read More

Officials trying to avoid humanitarian crisis near El Paso port of entry

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Red Cross and church-based volunteers are trying to stem a developing humanitarian crisis on the Mexican side of a U.S. port of entry in El Paso, Texas.

Between 30 and 40 Mexican families, some with children under 2 years old, have been sitting and sleeping on a sidewalk near the Paso del Norte Bridge for the past six days, trying to request asylum in the United States. The families are fleeing drug violence in small towns in the West-Central states of Michoacan, Guerrero and Zacatecas, and are running out of food and money.

Mexican Red Cross workers tend to a woman who showed signs of dehydration Friday near the Paso del Norte Bridge. (photo by Julian Resendiz)

Red Cross workers on Friday provided health screenings and treated at least one person, an elderly woman, for heat-related symptoms. Volunteers with Migrant Support Network delivered sandwiches, water, milk, diapers, blankets and foam mats to the migrants... Read More

Vital Vegas for Monday, Sept. 16

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — There’s a glimmer of hope when it comes to free parking on the north end of the Strip because Wynn and Encore will offer free valet.

The founder of Vital Vegas Scott Roeben has more on why. Plus, he tells us about some big-name properties on the Strip that are up for sale. ... Read More

2 men from Netherlands sentenced for trespassing on Nevada National Security Site

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The two men from the Netherlands charged with trespassing at the Nevada National Security Site pleaded guilty to trespassing and illegal parking on Monday, Sept 16. Both charges are misdemeanors.

Both Charles Wilhelmus Jacob Sweep, 21, and Tres Granzier, 20, appeared in Beatty Justice Court, which is where they were sentenced to a year in the Nye County jail, with all but 10 days of their jail time suspended. This means they will only serve 10 days in jail at the most, but they have to complete the terms of the plea agreement which has them staying away from any events near or related to the National Security Site. They also have to stay 500 yards away from the site over the next year.

The two men will be released after serving three days as long as their fines and fees are paid on the morning of Sept. 19. If that happens, they will be released on that day... Read More

I-Team: Dept. of Energy says #StormArea51 attendees need to have right directions; blames Google maps for people ending up in wrong area

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Those heading to the Storm Area 51 events planned this weekend will likely be prepared with the proper food, water, and other supplies, but, according to a Department of Energy spokesman, attendees also need to be prepared when it comes to directions. Some early visitors followed the wrong instructions, and it landed them in jail.

The I-Team got an exclusive interview with Darwin Morgan, the spokesperson for the Department of Energy. He says Google maps are to blame for unwelcomed visitors showing up at the wrong place.

Just last week, two men from the Netherlands were arrested and charged with trespassing at the Nevada National Security Site in Nye County. They have since been released on bail.

“For the two Dutch nationals, 500 bucks each,” said Darwin Morgan, the NNSS spokesperson.

Morgan doesn’t want any of the visitors coming to the area for the Storm Area 51 festivities to make the same mistake... Read More