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General Interest

STC tax rate hike opponents rally for rollback election

STC-logoHidalgo County watchdogs vowed to take action when the South Texas College board followed through with plans to increase the tax rate Tuesday night.

The approved tax rate is 18.5 cents per $100 property valuation–that’s a 3.5-cent increase, which would increase property tax revenue by 26 percent. The figure opponents seem most focused on is the 26 percent.

Les Rydle, a retired professor from University of Texas-Pan American, said he’d never seen a budget jump more than 20 percent. He suggested the board compromise and stick with the rollback rate, the highest tax the board could set without going to a voter election.

Read more: STC tax rate hike opponents rally for rollback election


Catholic Extension honors three women for work in Peñitas

20140926 CHURCH-Penitas-TX-9309sThree women from the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary are being recognized nationally for their work among the poor and immigrant people of Peñitas.

Catholic Extension has named the sisters as the 2014 recipients of its Lumen Christi Award, which in Latin means “Light of Christ.” Catholic Extension is a national organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening the Catholic Church in the poorest regions of the United States. For the past 37 years, through its Lumen Christi Award, Catholic Extension has recognized a priest, woman religious or layperson whose work is transforming the hearts and lives of the people they serve. As the 2014 recipients, the sisters will receive a grant of $25,000 in support of their ministry; in addition, the Diocese of Brownsville, which nominated the sisters, also will receive a grant of $25,000.

The three women, Sister Carolyn Kosub, Sister Emily Jocson and Sister Fatima Santiago, first came to the tornado-­‐stricken colonia of Pueblo de Palmas, in Peñitas, in 2003 at the request of then-­‐Bishop Raymondo J. Pena. Upon arrival, the sisters were shocked not only by the destruction they encountered, but also by the poverty. Moreover, they were deeply moved by the richness of faith they found there. They decided to make this colonia the focus of their missionary efforts and moved into the community to live in solidarity with the residents.

Read more: Catholic Extension honors three women for work in Peñitas


Mission seeks dog lovers

20140905 MISSION Animal-adoptions 3221Mission city employees said the biggest reason dogs aren’t adopted out of the kennels is the requirement to have those pets spayed and neutered.

Last month, the city started featuring a pet of the week, a dog they deemed friendly and adoptable, to raise community awareness about dogs picked up by animal control. Dogs can be adopted free, but the new pet owners must show proof that they’ve taken care of vaccines and spaying/neutering within 30 days.

Rusty was a friendly 6-month-old lab and the first featured pet of the week. City Manager Martin Garza said the city received 50 calls on the puppy, but nobody would commit to adoption.

Read more: Mission seeks dog lovers


Republican hopes to turn county

20140919 Al-PerezWith 30 years of experience in law enforcement, Al Perez believes the “R” next to his name on the November ballot shouldn’t dissuade voters from supporting him in the race to be Hidalgo County’s next sheriff.

Perez said he retired from the sheriff’s office in June with a vision of what the department could be free of corruption, focused on public safety. He wants to put more deputies on patrol and restore accountability internally.

The former sergeant is the Republican nominee for the office, which was vacated by Lupe Treviño earlier this year, shortly before Treviño pleaded guilty to money laundering. The Hidalgo County Commissioners Court took applications for interim sheriff before appointing then-Pct. 4 Constable Eddie Guerra to the open position in April. Guerra was later chosen by the Hidalgo County Democratic Party as its nominee for the November election.

Read more: Republican hopes to turn county


County confirms West Nile virus fatality

Hidalgo-County-SealEDINBURG – Authorities have confirmed an 83-year-old Donna man died last week of the West Nile virus, and a 92-year-old Pharr area man has been hospitalized with what is expected to be the second local case of West Nile.

The Hidalgo County death is the third West Nile virus fatality in Texas this year.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne illness. People more than 50 years old and those with weakened immune systems are the most vulnerable; however, all residents are urged to take precautions when working or playing outdoors.

Read more: County confirms West Nile virus fatality


Sheriff’s office makes arrest in 2012 shootings

20140912 MISSION Homicide-arrest Jose-Carlos-MartinezThe Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest this week in a homicide that occurred in 2012 in rural Mission.

On Nov. 18, 2012, deputies responded to a shooting in the 3100 block or West 5 Mile Line Road. When deputies arrived at the scene, they observed multiple victims with gunshot wounds. The victims were later identified as: Casto De Los Santos, 52; Ramiro Rodriguez , 40; Aurora De La Pena, 19; a 13-year-old boy, and a 12-year-old boy.

The victims were transported to hospitals for immediate medical treatment; however, De Los Santos and Rodriguez died due to their injuries.

Read more: Sheriff’s office makes arrest in 2012 shootings


Democrat endorses Republican Tijerina in 92nd District Judge race

20140912 COUNTY Ortiz-endorses-TijerinaHidalgo County Democrat Rey Ortiz has endorsed 92nd District Judge Jaime Tijerina, a republican, in his campaign to remain on the bench.

Ortiz, who ran for the democratic nomination to the post in the March primaries, lost to Luis Singleterry. In his letter of endorsement, Ortiz states he’s known Tijerina, of Mission, for 20 years and Ortiz notes Tijerina’s service through the U.S. Army Reserves.

“We have come a long way, but we have much more to accomplish,” Ortiz states. “Restoring public trust and integrity to our judicial system is critical to our mission to accomplish that goal. Judge Tijerina is the public servant who will be a fair judge, who will serve the public well and who will uphold the law.”

Read more: Democrat endorses Republican Tijerina in 92nd District Judge race


Skeet and Trap Club offers education, competition and fellowship

20140816 Mission Skeet Trap Club lg-07When it comes to hitting the mark on recreational and competitive shooting, hunter education and good fellowship, the Mission Skeet and Trap Club is on target. Located half a mile south of Expressway 83 on Conway Avenue in Mission, the club features a skeet, trap and sporting clays range, a pistol range and a 3-D archery range.

Formerly known as the McAllen Gun Club, the club is a nonprofit organization offering three types of memberships and three associate memberships to all qualified individuals. Membership types include; Member, Member – Senior Citizen, Junior Member, Associate Member – Pistol, Associate Member – Archery and Associate Member – Winter Texan. Member and Member – Senior Citizen memberships include full club privileges and voting rights. Annual dues range from a high of $200 for members to a low of $50 for Winter Texans. National Rifle Association membership is required prior to becoming a member of the club.

“The gun club originally started in McAllen in the 1960s,” said Lester Tisdale, club board member and handgun director. “In 1988 the club made a deal with the city of Mission to lease part of the sanitary landfill, where we are located now, since nothing else could be done there. We are a private, nonprofit 501c4 organization so anything we make we have to put back into the facilities at the club whether it be machinery, buildings, salaries or anything needed to make the club work.”

Read more: Skeet and Trap Club offers education, competition and fellowship


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