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Cloudy, 68 F

Forecast:
Fri - AM Clouds/PM Sun. High: 79 Low: 60
Sat - Partly Cloudy. High: 83 Low: 66
Sun - Cloudy. High: 83 Low: 68
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General Interest

Hidalgo County Drainage District 2006 bond projects reviewed

Hidalgo-County-SealThe Hidalgo County Drainage District questioned where the $100 million from the 2006 bond issue was spent during a meeting on Tuesday, prior to the commissioners court meeting.

Commissioners were told there was $4 million left in the budget.

Once again, county leaders discussed problems at the Peñitas Pumphouse and why it was not repaired during the 2006 bond issue. Godfrey Garza, director of the drainage district, said the wall of the levee at Peñitas needed to be raised to the level of the other levee walls. He added many people think there is a hole in it.

“That’s not true,” Garza said. “The walls were never raised when the levee walls were raised. The International Water Boundary Commission had taken on that project but did not have money to do the necessary work. Garza previously expressed fear that in a hurricane situation, the lower walls at Peñitas could cause flooding along the levee through south Mission including Cimarron, McAllen, and portions of Pharr and into San Juan if the issue is not addressed. There is a four-to-five foot difference in the level of the walls.

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Granjeño aims to keep close through festival

20140222 GRANJENO Friendship-Festival 1443Granjeño Mayor Yvette Cabrera said every year the city’s Friendship Festival is different. It fluctuates with the weather and economy, she explained.

This year, Cabrera said she thinks the political campaign season is responsible for a drop in sponsorship in the eighth annual festival.

Even so, children from surrounding communities lined up in front of the plastic mechanical bull couched on an inflatable bouncer as parents watched. Another ride spun kids in a sphere and bouncey houses lined the way. Meanwhile, inside the Granjeño Community Center, acts like the Lipan Apache Tribe and Winter Texans Melody and Alan performed while residents of the community and surrounding area enjoyed barbecue and a cold drink.

“We tried to make do with the little bit we had, especially to keep it free for the kids,” Cabrera said. “We just sit down, relax and have a good time.”

It’s important a small community like Granjeño stay united, the mayor said, and that’s why they host events throughout the year, like the annual Thanksgiving lunch and Christmas play.

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Guerra, Rodriguez in battle for DA seat

20140212 UTPA Candidate Forum DA Rene-GuerraRicardo Rodriguez believes after more than 30 years it’s time for new blood in the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office. Incumbent Rene Guerra said he was ready to step down until Rodriguez stepped up for the office.

Guerra said if someone he deemed a good candidate had decided to run, he would not be in the running.

“He (Rodriguez) helped change my mind. His family helped change my mind,” Guerra said, pointing out Rodriguez is related to the Palacios family, which is involved in county and Edinburg politics.

Rodriguez said the six and a half years he served as 92nd District Court Judge showed him ways the district attorney’s office could be improved.

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Winter Texan Fiesta offers live music, food, fun

20140220 Lindley-CreekThe Winter Texan Fiesta, to be held Saturday, Feb. 22, promises to be an exciting event featuring Valley performers with music and songs representing a variety of genres from Rock n Roll, Classic Country, Bluegrass, 50s & 60s favorites, and a tribute to the “Man in Black” himself, Johnny Cash. The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce rolls out the red carpet for Winter Texans at this annual appreciation event by providing a great lineup of popular performers, free admission and free box lunches – while 3,000 lunch tickets last.

The event will once again be held at Leo Peña Placita Park on Conway Avenue in downtown Mission, across from the H-E-B store just south of the railroad tracks. Bring lawn chairs or cushions.

Rich Bellert, known for both his serious and humorous cowboy poetry, will be emceeing the event. The show begins at 12:45 p.m. with a welcome from Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas and other city dignitaries.  

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City of Granjeño set to hold Friendship Festival on Saturday

City-of-Granjeno LogoGRANJEÑO—The eighth annual Friendship Festival in Granjeño will kick off with a parade beginning on south Shary Road at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Mayor Yvette Cabrera said the parade would run its course up to the Granjeño Public Facility.

The mayor said due to bad weather in the past, this year’s festival would be partially housed indoors. Cabrera said booths would be inside the facility, while children’s rides would be left outdoors. She added the event would also include food and live music and would run from 10 a.m.– 3 p.m.

“Sometimes we get bad weather, which is why we will have the program indoors,” Cabrera said. “We are also having the event indoors because we want to show when construction of our new park is going to begin.”

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Electioneering codes discussed at county meeting

Hidalgo-County-SealRules for electioneering in Hidalgo County are going to be more restrictive, according to a presentation by Yvonne Ramon, director of the Hidalgo County Elections Department, as a result of House Bill 259, affecting voting periods for elections after June 2013.

Electioneering means the posting, use of distribution of political signs and literature. It cannot take place within 100 feet of the polling location. Electioneering will be allowed outside the 100 feet of the polling place, but only during early voting or on election days, even if it is on county-owned property.

The bill stated that signs for candidates must be set up at polling places within 30 minutes of early voting times and removed within 30 minutes after polls close each day. They cannot be left overnight.

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County primary elections to begin Tuesday

20140131 voteEarly voting for the primary election begins Tuesday. The last day of early voting is Feb. 28, and Election Day is March 4.

Statewide races on the ballot include U.S. Senator, governor and lieutenant governor.

Meanwhile, countywide races are State Representative, Districts 36 and 41; 13th Court of Appeals District justice, Place 6; 275th District Judge; District Attorney; District Judge, 92nd District; County Court-at-Law No. 8 Judge; County Clerk; County Probate Court Judge.

Jose “Melo” Ochoa, Pct. 3, Place 2 justice of the peace does not have any challengers as well as the county treasurer, district clerk and county judge.

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Homeland Security chief recognizes importance of trade

20140121 Area Homeland-Security 0771Standing at the Anzalduas Bridge on Tuesday, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said part of his mission is to pay continued attention to South Texas.

“This area is an area where we see a lot of border crossings, a lot of them non-Mexicans, which presents some challenges,” Johnson said. “We need to continually evaluate whether we need more resources.”

It was the second time Johnson, who was sworn in to the post in December, had been to the Valley. The first visit was to attend the funeral of a Customs and Border Protection officer a few weeks ago.

This week, however, Johnson came with border security in mind. He accompanied Border Patrol agents on a river mission, visited a port facility and a detention center and talked with area leaders.

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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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