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Current Conditions:
Fair, 88 F

Forecast:
Fri - Partly Cloudy. High: 101 Low: 79
Sat - Partly Cloudy. High: 101 Low: 79
Sun - Partly Cloudy. High: 100 Low: 78
Mon - Mostly Sunny. High: 98 Low: 78
Tue - Mostly Sunny. High: 100 Low: 79

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General Interest

ERCOT breaks peak demand record third time

20110803_OutletRecord power use expected again Thursday; Conservation needed 3-7 p.m.

AUSTIN, Aug.3, 2011 – For the third consecutive day, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), system operator for the state’s bulk transmission grid, set a new electricity demand record – 68,294 megawatts (MW) today between 4 and 5 p.m.

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Torres heads for Olympic trials

20100820_Isaac_02MISSION – A 20-year-old boxer from Mission has punched his ticket to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials to be held July 31-Aug. 6 in Mobile, AL.

Isaac Torres, who has been boxing since age 9, won the bantamweight division of the Last Chance Qualifier tournament held July 3-8 in Cincinnati, OH. According to usaboxing.org, “Torres claimed the remaining U.S. Olympic Team Trials berth” by defeating Joe Perez (Fountain, CO) by a 28-16 margin to win the bantamweight final round bout.

The Mission boxer won three matches at the Last Chance Qualifier tournament before advancing to the finals match with Perez. He defeated Julian Wyant, (Glenwood, CA), 18-16, in the preliminaries; Patrick Harris (Capitol Heights, MD), 20-17, in the quarterfinals; and Edwin Sandoval (Bakersfield, CA), 22-21, in the semifinals.

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Food Bank’s annual Throw-a-Thon slated for July 30

SOC_throw-a-thon-2011EDINBURG – The University of Texas-Pan American Art Department is partnering with the Food Bank RGV to make almost 1,000 one-of-a-kind ceramic bowls for the upcoming annual “Empty Bowls” fundraiser. Volunteer artists and ceramicists are encouraged to come make bowls from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturday, July 30, at the Ceramics Lab, Fine Arts Complex at UTPA.

“Not only is this a fun event, but it is a great opportunity to share your talent and/or improve your craft,” said Karen Featherston, Food Bank special events manager.

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ALG Urges Congress to Avert Credit Downgrade, Cut Trillions

July 25th, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today urged Congress to avert a credit downgrade by enacting legislation that will slash borrowing by trillions:

"A solution is not the same thing as a deal, and today America needs a solution to the debt crisis.  S&P has warned that a credit downgrade of the nation's Triple-A rating is imminent within 90 days if action is not taken to slash borrowing by trillions of dollars. A downgrade will cause interest rates to soar, as annual interest owed rises to over $1.3 trillion by 2021.  Soon, the debt will become so large it cannot be refinanced, making a catastrophic default more likely down the road.

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Smashburger partners with Food Bank RGV to collect school supplies

smashburger-school-tools-2011McALLEN – Smashburger McAllen has partnered up with The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley’s School Tools to collect school supplies for 43 schools in the South Texas region between July 18 and 30.

School Tools is a school supply collection campaign that provides low-income kids with needed school supplies. Donate three unopened school supply items such as three packs of pencils; three packs of notebook paper, three boxes of crayons, etc. and you will receive a free Smashburger kids meal.

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STC celebrates top spots on community college rankings

20110708_STC-Top-In-GradsMcALLEN — Although the nation just finished its celebration of Independence Day with an array of fireworks and parades, South Texas College is just starting its celebration, but not of Independence Day. Instead, STC is celebrating garnering top spots in national rankings of community colleges.

“Every time we receive the publications regarding annual rankings, it is a time of celebration for us because it reaffirms the decisions we make to ensure the education we provide is rigorous, as well as affordable and transferrable,” said STC Chief Academic Officer Juan E. Mejia. “As an institution, we have almost doubled our graduation numbers every year for the past several years and in May 2011 we graduated more than 4,200 students. Our graduation figures, which provide the basis for these rankings, serve as a signature of authenticity regarding the opportunities we provide to students through the academic and skill sets for better lives.”

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IRS Increases mileage rate to 55.5 cents per mile

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service recently announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of 2011. Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and other purposes.

The rate will increase to 55.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011. This is an increase of 4.5 cents from the 51 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2011.

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UVAL artists featured at Mission Chamber

20110603_Luciano-Guerra_UVAL_0002The Mission Chamber of Commerce is now exhibiting the works of members of the Upper Valley Art League in their building located at their building, 202 W. Tom Landry. Current featured artist is photographer Luciano Guerra of Mission. Exhibits at the Chamber will be changed out on a three-month rotation with a new artist and can be seen during regular business hours.

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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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