County Attorney Press Releases

October 2014 - Posts

2nd Annual Cycling Tour To Benefit Survivors Of Domestic Violence

Route will take cyclists through the historical Juan De Oñate Trail and beautiful green fields and pecan farms in New Mexico

El Paso County Attorney’s Office will host its 2nd annual cycling tour “Cycle for Change: From Surviving to Thriving” on Sunday October 26, 2014, at Gallegos Park (7361 Bosque Rd., Canutillo, TX).

The purpose of the event is dual: to bring awareness about the recovery phase of the survivors of domestic violence and to raise funds to provide scholarships for educational opportunities and therapeutic services for survivors of domestic violence.

“The first cycling event held last year was a great success, and thanks to the support of the community, nine survivors of domestic violence received funds to pursue educational opportunities,” said El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal.

“Once victims finally escape the hold abusers have on their mind and body, they get a whole new outlook on life. There is an overwhelming sense of freedom they get while finding themselves once again. There is also a sense of fear in undertaking a new path in their lives. They want to do things they have not been able to do. Escaping domestic violence provides a whole new perspective for former victims. That’s where the Cycle for Change Scholarship comes in to assist and empower the survivor to soar to new heights while breaking the cycle of violence they have endured,” Bernal added.

“Our shelter was created out of a desire to help homeless women who might be struggling to recover from an abusive relationship and who might have substance abuse problems or mental health issues,” said El Paso Villa Maria director Linda Velarde.

Sponsors of this year’s event include the NM State Police, El Paso Sheriff’s Office, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, El Paso District Attorney’s Office, and more than 16 local businesses.

The cost to register for the cycling event online is $35 for adults or $15 for children under 17 and active duty military. Online registration will end on Wednesday October 22, 2014. There will be on-site registration the day of the event starting at 7:00 a.m.

Participants will be able to choose from 3 different courses:

· 20 Mile course: (Description)

· 30 Mile course: (Description)

· 50 Mile course: (Description).

We will give out t-shirts to the first 250 registered participants. There will be cash prizes to the top 3 finishers in the 50 mile ride, and gift cards to the top finishers in the 20 and 30 mile courses.

This year, individuals who want to support the scholarship fund but are unable to attend the event can register as “Sleep-in for a Change,” paying $20.

WHO: El Paso County Attorney’s Office/ Villa Maria Shelter

WHAT: 2nd Annual Cycling Tour “Cycle for Change”

WHEN: Sunday, October 26, 2014 @ 8:15 a.m.

WHERE: Gallegos Park, 7361 Bosque Rd., Canutillo, TX

# # #

2014 Cycle for Change Press Release.pdf

Local Organizations Unite To Offer Free Assistance To Execute “Medical Wills” in October

 El Paso County Attorney's Office and the University Medical Center of El Paso are partnering with the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP) to promote the use of Advance Medical Directives (“medical wills”) in the community, particularly among the beneficiaries of public housing programs in El Paso County. The pilot program was created to inspire, educate and empower the public about the importance of advance care planning.


 As part of the campaign to promote the use of the “living wills,” attorneys from the County Attorney’s Office, and volunteers from the University Medical Center will be offering free assistance regarding advance care planning and advance directive forms on Thursday October 16, 2014, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Father Pinto Apartments, 1001 S. Ochoa St. All residents of El Paso County are encouraged to come and get assistance drafting their advance directives forms.

 Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to convey your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They provide a way for you to communicate your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals, and to avoid confusion later on.

 A Directive to Physicians or Living Will tells how you feel about care intended to sustain life. You can accept or refuse medical care. There are many issues to address, including:

 The use of dialysis and breathing machines

  • If you want to be resuscitated if breathing or heartbeat stops
  • Tube feeding
  • Organ or tissue donation
  • Blood transfusions

 A Medical Power of Attorney allows individuals to designate someone they trust to make health decisions if they are unable to do so.

             As part of the program, the participating organizations will host similar events every month at different HACEP locations around El Paso. The events are open to the general public.


November 13, 2014

3:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Alamito Terrace Community

509 St. Vrain

El Paso, TX 79901

December 6, 2014

2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Baines Community

10661 Vista Del Sol

El Paso, TX 79935

January 20, 2015

2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Father Ochoa

8820 Old County Rd.

El Paso, TX 79907                               

February 4, 2015

2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Williams, Machuca Communities

1039 Sunland Park

El Paso, TX 79922

March 13, 2015

2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Tays Community

2201 San Antonio St.

El Paso, TX 79905

April 7, 2015                    

2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Paisano Green Community         

4000 E. Paisano St.

El Paso, TX 79905


Individuals interested in getting the Directive to Physicians and Medical Power of Attorney forms can download them by visiting the County Attorney’s web page at The forms are available in both English and Spanish.


WHO:       Volunteers from the County Attorney’s Office and UMC

WHAT:     Free Assistance in drafting “Living Wills”

WHEN:     Thursday, October 16, 2014, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Father Pinto Apartments, 1001 S. Ochoa St.           

# # #

2014 Living Wills Campaign Press Release 6.pdf 

Boletín Campaña 2014 Testamentos Medicos 6.pdf