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Cloudy, 78 F

Forecast:
Mon - Partly Cloudy. High: 84 Low: 73
Tue - Partly Cloudy. High: 89 Low: 73
Wed - Isolated Thunderstorms. High: 93 Low: 77
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Mission CISD raises tax rate 3 cents

20140905 generic-schoolMission teachers will receive raises and equity adjustments ranging from $1500 to $3000 plus a 2.5 percent from midpoint pay bonus just before Christmas. Meanwhile, taxpayers will see their school taxes go up next year, and every year for the next three years if school administrators get their way.

The pay raises/adjustments for all Mission CISD employees will cost $3.75 million and the bonuses will run an additional $2.6 million.

In the Aug. 6 meeting of the Mission CISD Board of Trustees, Superintendent of Schools Ricardo Lopez pushed for a 5.5-cent tax increase this year, followed by a series of tax hikes each year until a total of 13 cents is added to the I&S tax levy. However, board members Sonia Trevino and Patty Bazaldua reined in the superintendent, instructing the staff to come back with a budget based on a 3-cent tax increase.

Read more: Mission CISD raises tax rate 3 cents

 

La Joya ISD to take $50 million from fund balance to balance budget

2014 LJIS LOGOLa Joya ISD will spend nearly $50 million more than it brings in next year in a budget presented last week.

“Remember, we did undertake an aggressive approach to technology for our schools,” Alfredo Vela, assistant superintendent of finance told La Joya Independent School District Board of Trustees at a public hearing on the budget.

He also acknowledged a $2,400 salary boost for teachers and a 4 percent raise for other professionals in the district. Technical and maintenance workers will get a $1.25 per hour raise.

Read more: La Joya ISD to take $50 million from fund balance to balance budget

 

Gov. Perry names Mission doctor to Texas Medical Board

20140905 Dr-Guerra-PhotoAUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry has named Michael Arambula of San Antonio chair and appointed John Guerra of Mission to the Texas Medical Board. The board protects and enhances the public's health, safety and welfare by establishing and maintaining standards of excellence used in regulating the practice of medicine and ensuring quality health care for Texans.

“It’s going to be an honor and a privilege to serve the great State of Texas in this manner,” Guerra said of the appointment. He previously had served on one of the board’s committees.

Arambula is a psychiatrist in private practice and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) at San Antonio. He is a member of the American and Texas Medical associations, American Psychiatric Association, National Hispanic Medical Association and the Federation of State Medical Boards. He is also a member of the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians, Bexar County Medical Society, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, and the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics.

Read more: Gov. Perry names Mission doctor to Texas Medical Board

 

County warns public of jury duty scam

Hidalgo-County-SealHidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra and District Clerk Laura Hinojosa are warning the public about a scam to extort money from Hidalgo County residents.

Criminals, posing as county court or law enforcement officials, are calling victims to collect fines for failing to appear for jury service. In most cases the impersonator(s) instruct their victims to pay the “fine” by using prepaid debit cards. Victims are further instructed to provide the card number and 3-digit card security code located on the back of the card, all while the impersonator remains on the line with the victim. The victims are then directed to the courthouse where a supposed court official will remove the warrant for arrest as a result of the payment.

Hinojosa said the county does not call residents and ask them to pay fines over the phone.

Read more: County warns public of jury duty scam

 

Trooper Eduardo Chavez Memorial Highway

20140829 IN Trooper-Eduardo-Chavez-highwayAt a roadside ceremony near the Starr/Hidalgo County Line, State Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr. unveiled a roadside marker dedicating a five-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 83 as a memorial to fallen Texas Highway Patrol Trooper Eduardo Chavez.

Surrounded by family of Chavez, state and local leaders and fellow law enforcement officers, Muñoz officially recognized the five-mile stretch, starting near the Starr/Hidalgo County line and proceeding northwest to Farm-to-Market Road 2360, as the “Trooper Eduardo Chavez Memorial Highway."

Among those in attendance were Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw, Texas DPS Regional Commander Jose Rodriguez, Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra, Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra, Pct. 3 Constable Larry Gallardo and Pct. 4 Constable Atanacio "J.R." Gaitan.

Read more: Trooper Eduardo Chavez Memorial Highway

 

Patriots to play Odessa-Permian

20140905-missionderbyfootball-1-16Road trips are nothing new to Coach David Gilpin and his Veterans Memorial Patriots football team. Each season approximately half their games are played away from the friendly confines of Tom Landry Stadium so boarding buses for quick trips up or down the Valley, or possibly to venues as distant as Laredo or Corpus Christi, comes with the territory.

Today, however, the Patriots will be embarking on the longest road trip in Veterans Memorial High School (VMHS) football history. Their destination will be the fabled Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, Texas which is known as “The epicenter of Texas high school football,” home to the Odessa-Permian Panthers – the team immortalized in the book and subsequent movie and television series titled, “Friday Night Lights.”

So why would Gilpin go to all the trouble and expense of scheduling a non-district game so far away? It’s all part of his plan to make his Patriots competitive against the kind of teams that always seem to beat Valley teams in the third round of the playoffs and beyond.

Read more: Patriots to play Odessa-Permian

 

Tranquil Beginnings

20140905 Tranquil-BeginningsUpper Valley art League member David Bowen is a musician, but only recently entered the visual arts scene when he became a member of UVAL about three years ago. He is an accomplished organist, pianist and harpsichordist whose primary interest is early music. Having no experience in the visual arts, the floodgates opened when he immersed himself in all the instruction available as he attended many workshops, and studied with Ines Kowalyszyn who says that his rapid progress is based on "practice, practice, practice." The fruits his labors and dedication will be on display in his exhibit, “Tranquil Beginnings,” that opens at McAllen Stained Glass this Friday, Sept. 5, from 4 to 7 p.m. It is located at 800 Main St., Ste. 400.

   

VSO opens new Sky Tower Chamber Concert series

20140905 VSOThe Valley Symphony Orchestra (VSO) presents “Hungarian Passion” for their new Sky Tower Club Chamber Concert. This new chamber series debuts on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the newly-remodeled Sky Tower Club located on the 17th Floor of Chase Bank located on 200 S. 10th St. and Business 83 in McAllen. It runs from 6 to 8 p.m. This is the 62nd season the VSO brings together the talents of musicians from across the Valley and beyond for Valley audiences.           

In this new setting, the evening offers the ambience of the 17th floor setting for a brief reception at 6 p.m. that includes complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres followed by a 45-minute music program. After the program, mingle for another 45 minutes with other members of the audience, musicians and supporters of the arts in the Concert Connection Post-Reception.

The concert features the talents of virtuoso pianist Éva Polgár in an intimate atmosphere to enjoy music in the sky from Hungary and a chance to mingle with musicians and other classical music lovers.

Read more: VSO opens new Sky Tower Chamber Concert series

   

La Joya ISD begins work on sports complex

20140901 LJISD Sports-complex-groundbreaking 3310Months after purchasing Martin Valley Ranch Golf Course, La Joya ISD is preparing to turn the property into a sports complex that could rival facilities around the state.

La Joya Independent School District has moved its plans for a $9.5 million natatorium to the land, which is now named Howling Trails Golf Course. Another $2.5 million will be used to construct soccer fields and tennis courts.

A $2 million planetarium also is planned for the golf course property.

Read more: La Joya ISD begins work on sports complex

   

García leads Pioneer to inaugural victory over Hidalgo

Diamondbacks sophomore quarterback Alec Garcia on his way to scoring Pioneer High's first ever touchdown during their 21-0 win over Hidalgo.HIDALGO – Sharyland Pioneer sophomore quarterback Alec García scored twice, including a 95-yard TD run from scrimmage, to lead the Diamondbacks to a 21—10 inaugural season-opening victory over Hidalgo on Friday at Bill Pate Stadium.

 “It’s exciting, it’s a starting point. I felt that we matched up pretty well,” said Pioneer first-year head coach Jason Wheeler. “We got some things we’ve got to correct, but anytime you get a win and you’re a young program, it’s huge on confidence and you can almost tighten up a bit more now. When you get a tough loss, it’s harder to get after them so much and we’re going to learn from this.”

 “We got a lot of work to do, but I saw some things,” he added. “We stood up defensively a lot there and kept them out of the end zone real well. Alec García, our speed guy, we put him back there at quarterback and he really gave us a spark there in the first half, and that really helped.”

Read more: García leads Pioneer to inaugural victory over Hidalgo

   

Patriots emerge victorious in Battle of Conway

Patriots Eagles game picsmAs the rains let up and a double rainbow appeared in the eastern sky the Veterans Memorial Patriots and the Mission Eagles took to the newly turfed field at Tom Landry Stadium for the most recent chapter in their long-running cross-town rivalry. With the Eagles having won the last three matchups between the two sister schools it was the Patriots turn to emerge as the victors as Coach David Gilpin’s team pulled off a 14-7 come-from-behind victory much to the pleasure of the boisterous Patriots’ fans that filled the visitors’ side bleachers.

It was the Eagles who drew first blood when MHS starting quarterback Jesus Cuellar completed a 38 yard touchdown pass to David Flores with 6:40 left in the first quarter. Cuellar, who connected on his first eight passes on the night, completed nine of 12 passes for 104 yards and one touchdown in the first half. Flores caught four passes for 64 yards and rushed 10 times for 27 yards on the night.

The Patriots scored their first points of the 2014 season when senior quarterback Santos Villarreal connected with John Garcia for a 10 yard touchdown pass with 1:31 remaining on the clock in the first half.  The point-after-attempt failed which gave the Eagles a 7-6 lead at the intermission.

Read more: Patriots emerge victorious in Battle of Conway

   

Patriots and Eagles to debut revamped Tom Landry Stadium

20140821 Tom Landry Stadium Statues lg-11Tom Landry Stadium will be rocking tonight as the Veterans Memorial Patriots and the Mission Eagles face off on the gridiron for their annual head-to-head, east side versus west side matchup. While the Eagles and the Patriots have met on the football field many times before, tonight’s contest will be unlike any other Eagles-Patriots game. Not necessarily as a result of the play on the field but definitely due to the look and feel of the game due to its surroundings.

As fans of both teams will certainly notice as soon as they’ve made their way up one of the ramps and emerged from under the bleachers, the natural grass is gone and brand new artificial turf has been installed. In addition, a new state-of-the-art track encircles the field, a new fieldhouse has been erected on the west end of the field, a new Eagle sculpture and Patriot sculpture have been erected at Tom Landry Stadium.

With all the improvements the stadium has undergone, the Patriots now having a sculpture they can call their own and with tonight’s contest being a non-district game for the first time in three years, this matchup has all the makings of being a celebration of the community of Mission coming together.

Read more: Patriots and Eagles to debut revamped Tom Landry Stadium

   

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Sports

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Coyotes ready to howl

Coyotes ready to howl

At first glance, the La Joya Coyotes had an extremely disappointing 2013 season. With their only win being a non-district 64-0 thrashing of Brownsville Porter, the Coyotes went on to lose eight...

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Huskies activating ‘beast mode’

Huskies activating ‘beast mode’

La Joya Juarez-Lincoln head football coach Tomas Garcia is ready to release the beast on his team’s District 30-6A opponents. After taking over a 2-8 Huskies’ team against 4A...

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Requenez returns to lead Lobos

Requenez returns to lead Lobos

Just two games into last year’s Palmview Lobos’ football district schedule the La Joya Independent School District’s (LJISD’s) Athletic Office announced the reassignment of head coach Manuel Flores and named...

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News

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Funeral Services Planned for Berta Olivarez Filut

Funeral Services Planned for Berta Olivarez Filut

Berta Hilda “Bert” Olivarez Filut, 59, passed away on Friday, September 5, 2014, at her home in Mission following a lengthy illness. Mrs. Filut was the executive director of Texas Citrus Fiesta for 19 years and was the owner of B&B Flowers and BP Feed Store. Active in the community, she received the Woman of the Year award for her broad volunteer efforts. While a member of the Lion’s Club, she served as secretary and received the Jack Welch Fellow Award and the Melvin Jones Fellow...

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Residents split on Taylor expansion

Residents split on Taylor expansion

Residents on Taylor Street are split on a joint effort to expand the roadway to five lanes. Dozens of residents showed up at a public forum at Romulo Martinez Elementary School to learn more about the project, which requires cooperation from the cities of Mission, McAllen and Palmhurst as well as...

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Students return to school

Students return to school

There were tears from both students and parents Monday as schools in the area welcomed them in for the first day of class. La Joya Independent School District is one of few districts in the area to offer full-time pre-kindergarten programs, and some of the youngest students at Camarena Elementary weren’t quite ready for their parents to leave. The first day of the school is the only morning parents are allowed on campus to visit their children’s classrooms before school, and Principal...

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OBITUARIES

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OBIT-Howard Lee Reese

MISSION - Howard Lee Reese, Jr., 84, of Mission, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014.

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OBIT-Oralia S. Rivas

Oralia S. Rivas, 86, passed away on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014.

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OBIT-Eulalio Villarreal

MISSION - Eulalio Villarreal, 100, passed away on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014.

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