This is your Friday Update, which takes a quick look at some developments that El Paso Matters is following.

Meet Blitzen: Border Patrol El Paso’s Support Dog: Blitzen, a 6-month-old black Labrador, has joined the U.S. Border Patrol and is stationed in the El Paso sector as its support canine. Part of the agency’s recently launched nationwide support canine program, Blitzen is charged with promoting resilience among agents by helping reduce the stress, anxiety and depression among employees. Blizten also will work with the Family Support Unit when it responds to calls, and will be handled by agency chaplains and peer support members. Blitzen will visit the community during outreach events.

Blitzen, a black labrador, has joined the U.S. Border Patrol El Paso sector as a support canine. (Photo courtesy U.S. Border Patrol)

“The program can mitigate the negative emotional or psychological impact from the stresses they face in their duties,” El Paso Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Peter Jaquez said in a statement.

“Canine support teams will improve staff morale, assist in emotional recovery, and promote agent resiliency.”

Texas Ethics Commission Fines Ex-city Rep. Rodriguez: Former city Rep. Claudia Rodriguez, who lost her re-election bid for District 6 in a December runoff election, was fined $1,000 by the Texas Ethics Commission for accepting a political contribution from a corporation and not properly disclosing the total contribution in her 30-days before election campaign finance report. The commission made its ruling and issued the civil penalty on Feb. 17. 

Arnulfo Hernandez Jr., who unsuccessfully ran for the District 6 seat in 2019, filed several complaints against Rodriguez, citing missing information on her campaign finance reports as first reported by El Paso Matters.

However, the corporate gift disclosure was not among Hernandez’s complaints, which were dismissed after Rodriguez promptly filed corrected reports. Rather, the commission, in its investigation, came across a copy of a $1,000 check from the Harvey Development Company, Inc., a for-profit corporation in El Paso. It is against Texas election law to accept political contributions from corporations. Rodriguez had listed the donation as coming from William P. Harvey, the company’s owner. She told the commission she believed the donation was from Harvey himself and not the corporation. She agreed to pay the fine.

International Women’s Day Film Screening: The El Paso Feminist Media Group will host a screening and discussion of the 1980 comedy “9 to 5” at 6 p.m. March 8 at the Aaron and George’s Film Café, 105 Texas Ave. The event is part of an International Women’s Day celebration. The cafe’s owners selected the film that stars Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Admission is free and the café will have food and beverages available for purchase.

Founded in 2022, the El Paso Feminist Media Group has a mission to educate others about women’s and girls’ issues through various media ranging from podcasts to documentaries. Learn more about the group on Instagram @feminist_media club.

El Paso native Cindy Ramirez has spent most of her career in journalism, with some stints in public and media relations and military reporting. She's covered everything from education to local government...