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Court Delivers Election Maps for Texas House, Congress

Texas Tribune

Now there are maps.

Federal judges in San Antonio unveiled maps for the state's congressional delegation and for the state House Tuesday afternoon, and they did it in time to allow the state to hold its delayed political primaries on May 29. The court also signed off on Senate plans agreed to earlier this month.

The court has not ordered a May 29 election, but on Monday it asked the political parties to detail the election law waivers they would need in order to hold their primaries on that date. The judges put out the maps early enough to take comments from the various parties on them, but they didn't immediately seek those comments, and aren't required to do so.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said these maps are much closer to those originally approved by the Texas Legislature last year. "I consider these interim maps to be a substantial improvement over the maps previously issued by the San Antonio court," he said. "The court properly rejected demands by some plaintiffs to draw drastic and over-reaching maps."

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Local law enforcement attends grant conference

MISSIONU.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, hosted a multi-city grants videoconference on Tuesday in which more than 60 law enforcement personnel gained insightful knowledge of the latest tools and resources available to submit a successful grant application.

Cuellar and representatives from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) joined participants at the Cuellar’s district office via videoconference from Washington D.C.

“This month’s grants workshop is all about providing law enforcement personnel with the information they need to bring federal dollars back home so that they may continue to keep our communities safe,” said Cuellar. “Every month, I plan to host a grants workshop tailored to different community groups with the needs of our district in mind.”

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LJHS preps for Locks of Love event

LA JOYA — La Joya High School Cosmetology Department and Locks of Love have joined forces to provide financially disadvantaged children with hairpieces on Wednesday.

The community is invited to attend and donate their hair for this great cause on Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the La Joya High School Cosmetology Department.

A free shampoo and blunt haircut will be provided for each individual. Hair donated must be at least six inches long. No bleach hair will be accepted, organizers said.

This will be the last hair drive this school year and the next one will be in October.

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Key change to Medicaid set for March 1

MISSION — A major change, effective March 1, in how Texas provides Medicaid to an estimated 400,000 residents in deep South Texas, including the Rio Grande Valley, will was reviewed during a public meeting recently.

The gathering featured top staff representatives from the five Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) that will be administering the Medicaid program in 10 South Texas counties, according to state Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission, who hosted the event.

Organizers said they expected to draw a wide spectrum of health care providers, from doctors and hospitals to therapist, pharmacists, home health and other agencies.

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County court to apply for grants to aid victims, youth

EDINBURG — A district court here will apply for close to $1 million in grant funding to assist local residents.

Those grants include the Court Efficiency Intervention Project, Victims Empowerment Project and Young Adult Re-Energizing Project. Judge Noe Gonzalez with the 370th District Court made the request to the Hidalgo County Commissioners’ Court on Tuesday.

“Each one of those grants has its pluses,” he said.

Gonzalez said the projects would allow the county to help offer public awareness on family violence and victims of crime.

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Courthouse plans meet resistance

20120224_COUNTY_PCT3_FORUM_EPG_0019MISSION — At the first community forum where Hidalgo County’s options for remodeling or constructing a new courthouse were unveiled, several residents and Hidalgo County Precinct 3 Commissioner Joe M. Flores said it would be too expensive to build a new courthouse in a struggling economy.

“How are we going to pay for a new courthouse right now,” Flores asked during the hour-long forum where residents were given a historical background of the courthouse as well an update on a 28-member team’s work on the courthouse master plan.

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Ninth annual Mission Classic Car Show is Saturday

20120224_ClassicCarShow_0111MISSION — Lovers of old cars, rev your engines and get ready for one of the biggest car shows in South Texas this weekend. The ninth annual Mission Classic Car Show will be held  on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sports Park in The Grove at the Sharyland Plantation.

Mindy Schroeder, chairwoman of the show, said $5000 in cash and prizes will be given away to those who win the different categories.

First, second and third place will be awarded in all categories. Other prizes include Mayor’s Choice, Exhibitors’ Choice, Ladies’ Choice and Kids’ Choice. Additional prizes include Best Paint, Best Flames, Best Engine Compartment, Best Interior, Long Distance Travel, Outstanding Truck, Outstanding Foreign Car and Most Unique.

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Regional drainage plan to be finalized in coming months

MISSION — A regional drainage plan that could help the Rio Grande Valley manage its storm systems and maintain its economy after a major hurricane hits should be completed by the end of May, officials said this week.

At a special workshop at Hidalgo County Precinct 3 Offices on Wednesday, engineer Sharlotte L. Teague, a consultant on the project with S&B Engineering, said the Lower Rio Grande Valley Regional Economic Adjustment Plan (Regional EAP) would include top projects that are vital to maintaining the area’s economy. Currently, a narrowed list of projects has over 70 different initiatives across Hidalgo County.

Through the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council’s grant from the Economic Development Administration in 2009, the group’s “Regional Economic Adjustment Plan for Building Disaster Resilient Communities” has the Valley working as one region following Hurricane Dolly in 2008.

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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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