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Residents split on Taylor expansion Residents on Taylor Street are split on a joint effort to expand the roadway to five lanes. Read the Full Story
Regional Teacher of the Year goes to MCISD Humble beginnings have helped educator Jesus Razo, 38, strive for excellence. That excellence is now being recognized. Read the Full Story
MRMC to celebrate 60th anniversary Mission Regional Medical Center celebrates its 60th anniversary Aug. 15. Read the Full Story
Palmview High School hosts Operation Lone Star Operation Lone Star returned to South Texas this week, bringing with it free health care services for children and adults alike. Read the Full Story

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Current Conditions:
Partly Cloudy, 79 F

Forecast:
Mon - Partly Cloudy. High: 96 Low: 78
Tue - PM Thunderstorms. High: 94 Low: 77
Wed - Scattered Thunderstorms. High: 87 Low: 76
Thu - Scattered Thunderstorms. High: 90 Low: 77
Fri - Scattered Thunderstorms. High: 94 Low: 77

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Free, expanded STC Jag Express service begins Aug. 18

20140808 JagExpressOne of the biggest obstacles Rio Grande Valley college students face when they try to continue their education is transportation. In response to the community’s need, South Texas College and Valley Metro have partnered to provide free transportation between all five of STC’s campuses with the expansion of the Jag Express Intercampus bus service beginning on Aug. 18.

“Students will be able to utilize the transportation that’s being made available to them through the Jag Express Intercampus bus service for free and it’s also a means for them to save on their finances,” said Mike Carranza, Associate Dean of Student Financial Services & Veteran Affairs. “Now that we’re doing this, all five campuses will be connected. This is just a starting point for something bigger and for future expansion.”

The Jag Express will have three bus lines and cover five routes from STC’s Mid-Valley Campus in Weslaco to the Starr County Campus in Rio Grande City. The bus service will run from Monday to Friday and is open to the public. Students with a valid STC ID card will be allowed to use the service for free and transfer to other Valley Metro systems.

Read more: Free, expanded STC Jag Express service begins Aug. 18

 

Patriots prepare for new season, new district and new rivals

20140731 VMHS Football Key Players lg-01For the past two seasons, the Mission High School (MHS) Eagles and the Veterans Memorial High School (VMHS) Patriots football teams have been district rivals. However, after the University Interscholastic League’s (UIL’s) most recent re-alignment, that is no longer the case. MHS up to District 30-6A and VMHS to District 31-5A. Despite this being a non-district game, the inter-city rivalry between the Eagles and Patriots will fuel the two teams’ intensity and desire to win.

While the Eagles do hold an advantage over the Patriots in their overall series record, for the past four seasons the series is split 2-2. With MHS taking the most recent match-up by a score of 44-16, the Patriots will be out for revenge when they take to the field against the Eagles in both teams’ non-district openers Aug. 29.

Adding to the significance of this inter-city face-off, this will be the first athletic event of any kind to be played on Tom Landry Stadium’s new artificial turf. And that new turf features the National Football League Hall of Fame logo on it in honor of Mission native and former Dallas Cowboys head football coach Tom Landry.

Read more: Patriots prepare for new season, new district and new rivals

 

La Joya ISD eyes $337M budget

2014 LJIS LOGOEmployees are getting 4 percent raises, buses are getting GPS and students are getting a $12 million natatorium in the $337.6 million proposed budget presented by La Joya ISD administrators Wednesday.

The added expenses mean the district will dip into its $116 million fund balance. Alfredo Vela, assistant superintendent of administration and finance, estimated the district would need more than $23.6 million from its reserves to cover the budget. The district is maintaining its $1.31 tax rate.

It was the first time the district publicly released the budget projections, though staff and board members have said throughout budget workshops that the district would be using some of its fund balance.

Read more: La Joya ISD eyes $337M budget

 

Human trafficking at issue in hearing

20140724 LA-JOYA Human-trafficking-panel 0063LA JOYA—Victims of human trafficking are reluctant to make an outcry because of the life of crime to which they have been accustomed, Capt. Ron Swenson, of the TABC Special Investigation Unit, said at a hearing last week on human trafficking.

During a Texas Joint House/Senate committee hearing held at the La Joya ISD boardroom, Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, said La Joya and other cities lining the border are currently home to the trafficking of women and minors.

“My particular focus is to make sure there is not one child that ends up in the commercial sex trade industry,” Huffman said. “I think we need to stay focused today about why we are here and that is to address the interim charges that we have been given as a committee to study. Hearing testimony on how to combat sex trafficking along the Texas border and to discuss services available to victims. ”

Read more: Human trafficking at issue in hearing

 

Mayor opposes hospital district tax burden

betosalinasA new tax could soon be imposed on all Hidalgo County taxpayers and Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas is blaming the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court and the Valley’s state legislators. Those officials have pushed for the formation of a county hospital district with a potential ad valorem tax rate of 75 cents.

If a tax rate of just 25 cents is imposed on local taxpayers, that will cost $100 million per year, Salinas says.

Hidalgo County is expected to hold a referendum for voters to authorize formation of a county hospital district this fall. The hospital district would not just be for indigent care, but would also create a new tax to fund the proposed RGV medical school. When the formation of a RGV medical school was proposed, many people asked, “How will you pay for it?” But very few specifics were provided the media concerning funding.

Read more: Mayor opposes hospital district tax burden

 

Mission readies for National Night Out

2014 National-Night-Out-LogoMission Crime Stoppers and Police Department are hosting one of the largest crime prevention events in Western Hidalgo County on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

The event will be held at Leo Peña Park, across from the H-E-B on Conway and Business 83, from 6-10 p.m.

The event will feature food, entertainment and information from local nonprofit organizations

to deter crime. Mission Crime Stoppers and the police department's victim assistance representatives also will be at the event.

Read more: Mission readies for National Night Out

 

Commissioners consider capital improvement requests

Hidalgo-County-SealHidalgo County budget officers received about $342 million in requests for capital improvements within the county, Sergio Cruz, finance director, told commissioners court at its Tuesday meeting.

Cruz broke the number of requests down, saying the costs for requests for building projects amounted to about $281 million while equipment was figured at nearly $18 million. Road construction and repairs was the next largest request at just under $37 million, and infrastructure needs were figured at $822,300. Technology was figured at more than $5 million.

Cruz told the court the recent refinancing of bonds freed about $21 million to address these needs. There also was a contingency fund equal to about $3 million for capital projects.

Read more: Commissioners consider capital improvement requests

   

RGV Sector brings in nearly 150 seasoned agents to help secure border

20140724 Anzalduas Park Illegals Custody lg-10McALLEN – One hundred and fifty experienced Border Patrol agents have arrived to the Rio Grande Valley Sector to bolster targeted enforcement efforts and supplement current manpower.

“All part of the South Texas Campaign, Customs and Border Protection has brought seasoned Border Patrol agents with a wealth of knowledge and experience that will prove valuable in securing the border,” said Chief Patrol Agent Kevin Oaks. “They are well-trained and equipped with the skill-set necessary to operate in a border security environment.”

This risk-based approach enhances enforcement efforts and aims to disrupt and degrade criminal organizations that are responsible for smuggling illegal immigrants and drugs throughout the South Texas Corridor. The ongoing increase in additional agents gives local field commanders the ability to deploy resources to areas where the risk is greatest. Experienced agents from other sectors are able to perform processing duties and other tasks, which frees up local tenured agents to provide security along the immediate border.

Read more: RGV Sector brings in nearly 150 seasoned agents to help secure border

   

‘Night at the Museum’ spotlights 20th century

20140801 MOSTHistory-SNATM14-Night-3EDINBURG – The Museum of South Texas History (MOSTH) completes its fourth annual Summer Nights at the Museum at 7 p.m. on Aug. 7. The adventure takes place at the River Crossroads section of the signature exhibition, Rio Grande Legacy. The spotlight will shine on 20th century history.

To enhance the experience, all adventurers are invited to dress in their favorite 20th century costume. The night will conclude with a prize drawing for the evening’s winning game card. The summer’s grand prize of a family five-pack of movie passes, refillable cups and popcorn tub will be awarded.

The event kicks off promptly at 7 p.m. with a puppet show tied to 20th century history. Adventurers arrive on time to get their seats and treats before show time. Following the show, children will receive a game card to begin playing “Find Me if You Can.” This night’s game will be a quest to find the artifacts and images that inspired the puppet characters in the show, Chalmers the tractor, Lizzie the Model-T and Lionel the train, with a prize awarded at the end of the night for one completed game card. Events highlighted will include the Mexican Revolution, the introduction of the “Tin Lizzie,” World War II and postwar years.

Read more: ‘Night at the Museum’ spotlights 20th century

   

Valley native Mikey López debuts for Sporting KC in first regular-season MLS game

20140801 Mikey-Lopez-1 Courtesy-of-Gary-RohmanKANSAS CITY – Almost a year ago Mission native Mikey López stood at a podium before a national audience when he was selected in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft. On July 16, the Valley midfielder made his professional debut for Sporting Kansas City in a regular-season MLS match against Columbus at Crew Stadium.

López started and played 64 minutes in Sporting KC’s 2-1 victory over the Crew. He had two shots in the match.

“It felt amazing, it honestly took a load off my shoulders because I had put so much pressure on myself to make my debut and to perform well,” López said. “It was truly an amazing feeling to get my debut and to perform the way I did. I just have to keep getting better every single day in training and keep getting better in every game that I am a part of.”

Read more: Valley native Mikey López debuts for Sporting KC in first regular-season MLS game

   

Cornyn, Cuellar call for action, propose HUMANE Act

20140718 HUMANE-Act-news-conference 2508It's time for solutions, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar emphasized while discussing their proposed HUMANE Act with local leaders in the Rio Grande Valley at Mission City Hall last Friday.

"We need to act," Cornyn said. "We can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We’re more than happy to work with you to try to improve this, but you can’t just say no. Washington is so polarizing these days that many people think they can just say no and feel satisfied they have done their jobs."

The HUMANE (Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency) Act would amend the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. If passed, it would treat all migrant children the same no matter their native country. Currently, children from Mexico are given an immigration hearing and can be deported within seven days. Meanwhile, Central American children are given a notice to appear in immigration court and often don't have a hearing for three to five years, Cuellar said.

Read more: Cornyn, Cuellar call for action, propose HUMANE Act

   

Glenn Beck’s Mercury One visits Palmview

20140719 Iglesia Del Pueblo lg-10It was Christmas in July for thousands of lower-income Valley children Saturday when radio talk show host Glenn Beck’s Mercury One charitable organization rolled into the parking lot at Iglesia Del Pueblo church in Palmview complete with tractor trailer-full loads of food, water, stuffed toys and soccer balls.

As volunteers worked to prepare and serve the kids and their parents breakfast, others handed each child their brand new stuffed toy or soccer ball. Iglesia Del Pueblo pastor Juan De La Garza explained how Mercury One came to be involved with the event meant to help the needy right here in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Some weeks back I got in contact with Glenn Beck through a friend of mine and as a result of our conversation Glenn decided he wanted to do what he could to help those being affected by the border crisis,” said De La Garza. “While Glenn was well aware of the border crisis, I explained that we actually have two issues we’re dealing with down here. We have the issue of the unaccompanied illegal immigrant children and we have the issue of the colonia residents who need help as well. What we came up with, and what we’re doing here today, is a way of dealing with both issues at the same time.”

Read more: Glenn Beck’s Mercury One visits Palmview

   

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Sports

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MCISD top 10 sports achievements of the year

MCISD top 10 sports achievements of the year

Athletically speaking, the 2013-14 school year was one to remember for both Mission high schools. With an individual state championship, team district, bi-district and area championships, and one team holding the No. 1 state ranking for over 12 weeks, Veterans Memorial High School (VMHS) and Mission High School (MHS) teams and athletes achieved excellence in a wide variety of sports. With the Patriots and the Eagles competing in the same district for the second year in a row, the two schools’ teams oftentimes found themselves going head-to-head for district titles or playoff berths. In some...

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VMHS tops RGV Sports Hall of Fame awards nominations

VMHS tops RGV Sports Hall of Fame awards nominations

Sometimes it seems as if sports awards are a dime a dozen. Some organizations and associations out there give out sports awards almost as if they’re handing out candy to the neighborhood kids at Halloween. While oversaturation may have caused some sports awards to lose their luster, that is certainly not the case when it comes to the annual Rio Grande Valley Sports Hall of Fame awards. Their awards, and to a somewhat lesser degree their nominations, are...

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Chris Rocha named Pitcher of the Year

Chris Rocha named Pitcher of the Year

The La Joya Palmview Lobos baseball team had a season to remember. With their first district, bi-district and area championships, Coach Manuel “Ricky” Garcia’s boys attained heights never before...

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News

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Texas Syndicate gang member killed in La Joya shootout

Texas Syndicate gang member killed in La Joya shootout

LA JOYA—After a three-hour shootout Tuesday evening, La Joya Police Chief Geovani Hernandez said a minimum of 500 rounds came from the residence at the intersection of Leo Avenue and 9 1/2 Street in La Joya. Mayor Jose A. “Fito” Salinas stood feet away from a La Joya Police Department vehicle that had a...

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Mayor loses battle for commercial zone

Mayor loses battle for commercial zone

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Work on Bryan Rd to create detour

Work on Bryan Rd to create detour

Construction Bryan will reroute traffic today through Monday, July 21. According to a news release, a street cut will be made on Bryan Road north of Business 83, and vehicles will be diverted west along Ash Street, north on Pecan Street and then east on Oak Street back to Bryan Road. For more information, contact the city of Mission planning department at 580-8672.

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OBITUARIES

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DEATH NOTICE-Aurora Salas Delgado

MISSION – Visitation for Aurora Salas Delgado will be held on Thursday, Aug, 28, 2014, from 5 to 9 p.m. with a 7 p.m. rosary at Ric Brown Family Funeral Home in Mission.   A funeral mass will be held on Friday, Aug. 29, at 11 a.m. at St. John of the Fields Catholic church in Mission. Interment will follow at the Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery.

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DEATH NOTICE-Juan A. Salinas

MISSION – Visitation for Juan A. Salinas will be held on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, from 1 to 9 p.m. with a 7 p.m. rosary at Ric Brown Family Funeral Home in Mission. A funeral service for will be held on Friday, Aug. 29, at 10 a.m. at the funeral home followed by cremation.

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OBIT-Mariano Manrique

MISSION - Mariano Manrique, 99, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, at Mission Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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