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Cloudy, 69 F

Forecast:
Sat - Mostly Cloudy. High: 82 Low: 68
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General Interest

County maintains 14 holidays for employees

Hidalgo-County-SealFern McClaugherty, OWLS (Objective Watchers of the Legal System), spoke out Tuesday against a proposed agenda item giving county employees an additional holiday in 2014. Returning Columbus Day to employees was on the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court agenda for Tuesday, Nov. 5.

McClaugherty told commissioners she had researched all 254 counties in Texas and found that most Texas counties gave no more than 12 days. Some gave as few as eight while El Paso County had 15.

McClaugherty told the court that 75 percent of the county’s residents had incomes under the poverty level and 79 percent of them lived on fixed incomes. They could not afford for the county to be giving away holidays where the county had to pay salaries but got no return on them.

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Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday morning

20131101 daylight-savingsDon’t forget to set clocks back an hour at 2 a.m. Sunday morning to mark the end of Daylight Saving Time or else risk showing up for church and other activities early …  and lose a free hour of sleep.

Some states began observing Daylight Saving Times early as 1918, and the practice became mandatory yearlong in the United States during World War II as a way to conserve resources for the war effort. Residents now spring forward in March and fall back in November.

The country will spring forward once again March 9.

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Public to tour new Mission church

20131026 MissionChapel Exterior landscaped 0012 smallMISSION—The public is invited to tour the newly-completed Mission meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The bishops of the three congregations that will occupy the meetinghouse announced that an open house is slated for Thursday, Nov. 7, and Saturday, Nov. 10, with tours of the meetinghouse from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

People of all ages, faiths and backgrounds are welcome. The new chapel is located at the corner of Bryan Road and Mile 2 Line in Mission.

“We have waited years for a meetinghouse in this area,” says Richard Young, bishop of the Mission Second Ward, one of three congregations that will use the meetinghouse.

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Texas Butterfly Festival begins Saturday

TexasButterflyFestival-logoMISSION—The peak of the butterfly season is in full flight and the National Butterfly Center is excited to launch the Texas Butterfly Festival beginning Saturday and ending Nov. 5.

Marianna T. Wright, executive director for the center, said people will be attending from 18 states as well as Canada and Australia.

“This is the first time the NBC is organizing the Texas Butterfly Festival for the City of Mission, and what an honor it has been,” Wright said. “We are the butterfly capital of the country.”

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Judge Guerra looks to reclaim the bench

20131101 Fidencio-GuerraFormer and Retired State District Judge Fidencio Guerra Jr. has announced his candidacy for the 275th District Court of Hidalgo County in the upcoming primary elections in 2014.

Guerra stated he is eager and excited to once again be able to serve the citizens of Hidalgo County as one of their judges. Guerra retired from the bench in 2012 after serving 20 years.

The present judge, Juan Partida, told Guerra and several attorneys this would be his last term and he was not going to run again and instead would retire and serve as a visiting judge. Guerra said he was approached by several lawyers who asked him to consider running for the open seat as they were anxious to have him back on the bench. Guerra said he has received positive feedback from many of the lawyers at the courthouse.

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Early voting continues through Friday

Hidalgo-County-SealEarly voting is underway in Hidalgo County and continues through Friday, Nov. 1.

On the ballot for the Nov. 5 general election are several statewide constitutional amendments, various city and school general and special elections, and a special election for South Texas College. Registered voters are encouraged to take advantage of the convenience offered during early voting and cast their ballots at 22 locations and two mobile voting sites located throughout the county.

Unofficial early voting totals indicate that residents are taking an interest in this year’s elections, which generally tend to have lower turnouts than presidential and congressional elections. As of Sunday, Oct. 27, 6,355 ballots were cast in person, with an additional 298 mail-in ballots sent in, for a total of 6,653, according to unofficial counts from the Hidalgo County Elections Department. In comparison, early voting in the last constitutional, general and special election in 2011 yielded a total of 3,381 ballots cast.

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Border Patrol agents seize more than 5,300 pounds of marijuana in 4 days

20131025 RGV BPEDINBURG—U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector have confiscated more than $4.2 million worth of marijuana in multiple seizures last week.

One of the largest seizures occurred near Los Ebanos on Oct. 15 when agents observed a vehicle traveling away from the Rio Grande at a high rate of speed. A helicopter from the Office of Air and Marine followed the vehicle.

Personnel aboard the helicopter saw the vehicle make brief stops at three different residences. Eventually agents stopped the vehicle and another vehicle that was suspected of scouting for the other vehicle.

The passenger and the driver of the scout vehicle were detained; however, the driver of the load vehicle fled into the thick brush. At the last house where the load vehicle stopped, agents found nearly 440 pounds of marijuana.

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Tempers flare at county meeting over RMA project

Hidalgo-County-SealTempers flared at the Hidalgo County Commissioners Tuesday meeting during a discussion of allowing McAllen and Mission to put money into completion of State Highway 365 to a point west of Conway Avenue.

In the past few years the Regional Mobility, Authority has been working to get funding for the stretch of SH 365 from Anzalduas Bridge west to the Donna Bridge, Phase I of the Hidalgo County Loop Project. This included 15.28 miles of road from FM 396 east to US 281. Phase II of SH 365 was 2.65 miles of road from FM 1016 (Conway Avenue) to FM 396.

A second project known as the International Bridge Trade Corridor would run north from FM 3072 in the east and west from FM 493 in the east to US 83 (a total of 13.1 miles of road) at a cost of $233 million. Both segments of the corridor are on the eastern side of the county.

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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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