GRANJENO, Texas (AP) - Fresh off his electoral victory in May,
Granjeno Mayor Vicente Garza Jr. has embarked on a quixotic project.
He's betting against long odds that a casino could secure the
future of his indebted South Texas town of 485 residents that was
founded in 1767 but not incorporated until 1993.
The only hitch is that the sort of gambling Garza ultimately
envisions, with slots and poker tournaments, is illegal in Texas.
Garza signed a letter earlier this month requesting an opinion from
Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has taken a narrow view of the
state's gambling laws previously.
Granjeno clings to a sharp curve in the road a mile from the Rio
Grande. It has a single city employee, a beer joint is its only
business, and most residents are related with one another.
But things are happening. The border fence that put Granjeno in
the spotlight last year when plans had it running through yards and
homes is taking shape instead just behind property lines on the
south side of town. A new international bridge to Reynosa, Mexico,
is under way to the west.
And Garza, at 24 years old, is the eldest of a new leadership
triumvirate striving to pay off debts and make Granjeno
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)