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DPS aims to deter crime on river Armed with six .30-caliber machine guns, each capable of producing 1,000 rounds of ammunition a minute, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s patrol boats are meant to be threatening. Read the Full Story
Texas Syndicate gang member killed in La Joya shootout LA JOYA—After a three-hour shootout Tuesday evening, La Joya Police Chief Geovani Hernandez said a minimum of 500 rounds came from the residence at the intersection of Leo Avenue and 9 1/2 Street in La Joya. Read the Full Story
Sheriff candidates sound off in forum The fate of the office for the top law enforcement officer in Hidalgo County could lie in the hands of 53 people. Read the Full Story
Minors stir immigrant debate Bishop Mark Seitz, of El Paso, emphasized the violence unaccompanied minors flooding the Rio Grande Valley are trying to escape in their home countries in written testimony to the Homeland Security Committee. Read the Full Story

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Local Weather


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Mostly Cloudy, 82 F

Forecast:
Fri - Partly Cloudy. High: 101 Low: 79
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Human trafficking at issue in hearing

20140724 LA-JOYA Human-trafficking-panel 0063LA JOYA—Victims of human trafficking are reluctant to make an outcry because of the life of crime to which they have been accustomed, Capt. Ron Swenson, of the TABC Special Investigation Unit, said at a hearing last week on human trafficking.

During a Texas Joint House/Senate committee hearing held at the La Joya ISD boardroom, Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, said La Joya and other cities lining the border are currently home to the trafficking of women and minors.

“My particular focus is to make sure there is not one child that ends up in the commercial sex trade industry,” Huffman said. “I think we need to stay focused today about why we are here and that is to address the interim charges that we have been given as a committee to study. Hearing testimony on how to combat sex trafficking along the Texas border and to discuss services available to victims. ”

Read more: Human trafficking at issue in hearing

 

Mayor opposes hospital district tax burden

betosalinasA new tax could soon be imposed on all Hidalgo County taxpayers and Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas is blaming the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court and the Valley’s state legislators. Those officials have pushed for the formation of a county hospital district with a potential ad valorem tax rate of 75 cents.

If a tax rate of just 25 cents is imposed on local taxpayers, that will cost $100 million per year, Salinas says.

Hidalgo County is expected to hold a referendum for voters to authorize formation of a county hospital district this fall. The hospital district would not just be for indigent care, but would also create a new tax to fund the proposed RGV medical school. When the formation of a RGV medical school was proposed, many people asked, “How will you pay for it?” But very few specifics were provided the media concerning funding.

Read more: Mayor opposes hospital district tax burden

 

Mission readies for National Night Out

2014 National-Night-Out-LogoMission Crime Stoppers and Police Department are hosting one of the largest crime prevention events in Western Hidalgo County on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

The event will be held at Leo Peña Park, across from the H-E-B on Conway and Business 83, from 6-10 p.m.

The event will feature food, entertainment and information from local nonprofit organizations

to deter crime. Mission Crime Stoppers and the police department's victim assistance representatives also will be at the event.

Read more: Mission readies for National Night Out

 

Commissioners consider capital improvement requests

Hidalgo-County-SealHidalgo County budget officers received about $342 million in requests for capital improvements within the county, Sergio Cruz, finance director, told commissioners court at its Tuesday meeting.

Cruz broke the number of requests down, saying the costs for requests for building projects amounted to about $281 million while equipment was figured at nearly $18 million. Road construction and repairs was the next largest request at just under $37 million, and infrastructure needs were figured at $822,300. Technology was figured at more than $5 million.

Cruz told the court the recent refinancing of bonds freed about $21 million to address these needs. There also was a contingency fund equal to about $3 million for capital projects.

Read more: Commissioners consider capital improvement requests

 

RGV Sector brings in nearly 150 seasoned agents to help secure border

20140724 Anzalduas Park Illegals Custody lg-10McALLEN – One hundred and fifty experienced Border Patrol agents have arrived to the Rio Grande Valley Sector to bolster targeted enforcement efforts and supplement current manpower.

“All part of the South Texas Campaign, Customs and Border Protection has brought seasoned Border Patrol agents with a wealth of knowledge and experience that will prove valuable in securing the border,” said Chief Patrol Agent Kevin Oaks. “They are well-trained and equipped with the skill-set necessary to operate in a border security environment.”

This risk-based approach enhances enforcement efforts and aims to disrupt and degrade criminal organizations that are responsible for smuggling illegal immigrants and drugs throughout the South Texas Corridor. The ongoing increase in additional agents gives local field commanders the ability to deploy resources to areas where the risk is greatest. Experienced agents from other sectors are able to perform processing duties and other tasks, which frees up local tenured agents to provide security along the immediate border.

Read more: RGV Sector brings in nearly 150 seasoned agents to help secure border

 

‘Night at the Museum’ spotlights 20th century

20140801 MOSTHistory-SNATM14-Night-3EDINBURG – The Museum of South Texas History (MOSTH) completes its fourth annual Summer Nights at the Museum at 7 p.m. on Aug. 7. The adventure takes place at the River Crossroads section of the signature exhibition, Rio Grande Legacy. The spotlight will shine on 20th century history.

To enhance the experience, all adventurers are invited to dress in their favorite 20th century costume. The night will conclude with a prize drawing for the evening’s winning game card. The summer’s grand prize of a family five-pack of movie passes, refillable cups and popcorn tub will be awarded.

The event kicks off promptly at 7 p.m. with a puppet show tied to 20th century history. Adventurers arrive on time to get their seats and treats before show time. Following the show, children will receive a game card to begin playing “Find Me if You Can.” This night’s game will be a quest to find the artifacts and images that inspired the puppet characters in the show, Chalmers the tractor, Lizzie the Model-T and Lionel the train, with a prize awarded at the end of the night for one completed game card. Events highlighted will include the Mexican Revolution, the introduction of the “Tin Lizzie,” World War II and postwar years.

Read more: ‘Night at the Museum’ spotlights 20th century

 

Valley native Mikey López debuts for Sporting KC in first regular-season MLS game

20140801 Mikey-Lopez-1 Courtesy-of-Gary-RohmanKANSAS CITY – Almost a year ago Mission native Mikey López stood at a podium before a national audience when he was selected in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft. On July 16, the Valley midfielder made his professional debut for Sporting Kansas City in a regular-season MLS match against Columbus at Crew Stadium.

López started and played 64 minutes in Sporting KC’s 2-1 victory over the Crew. He had two shots in the match.

“It felt amazing, it honestly took a load off my shoulders because I had put so much pressure on myself to make my debut and to perform well,” López said. “It was truly an amazing feeling to get my debut and to perform the way I did. I just have to keep getting better every single day in training and keep getting better in every game that I am a part of.”

Read more: Valley native Mikey López debuts for Sporting KC in first regular-season MLS game

   

Cornyn, Cuellar call for action, propose HUMANE Act

20140718 HUMANE-Act-news-conference 2508It's time for solutions, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar emphasized while discussing their proposed HUMANE Act with local leaders in the Rio Grande Valley at Mission City Hall last Friday.

"We need to act," Cornyn said. "We can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We’re more than happy to work with you to try to improve this, but you can’t just say no. Washington is so polarizing these days that many people think they can just say no and feel satisfied they have done their jobs."

The HUMANE (Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency) Act would amend the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. If passed, it would treat all migrant children the same no matter their native country. Currently, children from Mexico are given an immigration hearing and can be deported within seven days. Meanwhile, Central American children are given a notice to appear in immigration court and often don't have a hearing for three to five years, Cuellar said.

Read more: Cornyn, Cuellar call for action, propose HUMANE Act

   

Glenn Beck’s Mercury One visits Palmview

20140719 Iglesia Del Pueblo lg-10It was Christmas in July for thousands of lower-income Valley children Saturday when radio talk show host Glenn Beck’s Mercury One charitable organization rolled into the parking lot at Iglesia Del Pueblo church in Palmview complete with tractor trailer-full loads of food, water, stuffed toys and soccer balls.

As volunteers worked to prepare and serve the kids and their parents breakfast, others handed each child their brand new stuffed toy or soccer ball. Iglesia Del Pueblo pastor Juan De La Garza explained how Mercury One came to be involved with the event meant to help the needy right here in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Some weeks back I got in contact with Glenn Beck through a friend of mine and as a result of our conversation Glenn decided he wanted to do what he could to help those being affected by the border crisis,” said De La Garza. “While Glenn was well aware of the border crisis, I explained that we actually have two issues we’re dealing with down here. We have the issue of the unaccompanied illegal immigrant children and we have the issue of the colonia residents who need help as well. What we came up with, and what we’re doing here today, is a way of dealing with both issues at the same time.”

Read more: Glenn Beck’s Mercury One visits Palmview

   

Northern sheriffs get close-up look at border crisis

20140717 Sheriffs Border Tour lg-08The tens of thousands unaccompanied immigrant children who have been caught this year at the border are being bused and flown to facilities across the country where they will be housed and cared for in make-shift camps until they are released to family. As a result, many officials in northern states are taking a sudden interest in this crisis and are demanding to know what is being done to deter future waves of children from coming to America illegally.

Last week six sheriffs from across the country were given the opportunity to take a ride on two of the Texas Highway Patrol speed and gun boats that have been patrolling the Rio Grande south of Mission since this crisis began.

Susan Tully, as the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR’s) National Field director, helped organize the tour. Tully said FAIR is a nonprofit public policy organization out of Washington, D.C., that has been in place 35 years. Supporters of FAIR believe immigration policies should benefit America and Americans first and foremost, she said.

Read more: Northern sheriffs get close-up look at border crisis

   

Sharyland school board, administration actions questioned

sharyland-logo-copy-1MISSION—Former Sharyland ISD Board Member, Virginia Townsend said it has been 21 years since she has listened in on a Sharyland ISD regular meeting. During the public comments portion of this month’s regular meeting, Townsend told board members she did not like the way discussions were being conducted.

A group of community members came to show support for Townsend and three other citizens participating in the public comments portion of the regular meeting.

Townsend is an active member of the Objective Watchers of the Legal System (OWLS), a non-partisan public watchdog group based in Hidalgo County.

Read more: Sharyland school board, administration actions questioned

   

Border Patrol opens facility to process unaccompanied migrant children

20140725 AREA Border-Patrol-processing-facility 2337McALLEN–It took contractors 17 days to get the new Border Patrol processing facility up and functional.

The facility, at the corner of W. Ursula Avenue and Ware Road, has the capacity to hold 1,000 children. The warehouse is filled with four pods that can hold 250 children each. Chain-link fences serve as dividers and forest green mats were stacked in corners for sleeping.

For now, it will solely be used to process the influx of unaccompanied children coming from Central America, but Kevin Oaks, chief patrol agent for the Rio Grande Valley Sector, said in the future it could be used to process other populations.

Read more: Border Patrol opens facility to process unaccompanied migrant children

   

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Sports

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MCISD top 10 sports achievements of the year

MCISD top 10 sports achievements of the year

Athletically speaking, the 2013-14 school year was one to remember for both Mission high schools. With an individual state championship, team district, bi-district and area championships, and one team holding the No. 1 state ranking for over 12 weeks, Veterans Memorial High School (VMHS) and Mission High School (MHS) teams and athletes achieved excellence in a wide variety of sports. With the Patriots and the Eagles competing in the same district for the second year in a row, the two schools’ teams oftentimes found themselves going head-to-head for district titles or playoff berths. In some...

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VMHS tops RGV Sports Hall of Fame awards nominations

VMHS tops RGV Sports Hall of Fame awards nominations

Sometimes it seems as if sports awards are a dime a dozen. Some organizations and associations out there give out sports awards almost as if they’re handing out candy to the neighborhood kids at Halloween. While oversaturation may have caused some sports awards to lose their luster, that is certainly not the case when it comes to the annual Rio Grande Valley Sports Hall of Fame awards. Their awards, and to a somewhat lesser degree their nominations, are...

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Chris Rocha named Pitcher of the Year

Chris Rocha named Pitcher of the Year

The La Joya Palmview Lobos baseball team had a season to remember. With their first district, bi-district and area championships, Coach Manuel “Ricky” Garcia’s boys attained heights never before...

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News

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Mayor loses battle for commercial zone

Mayor loses battle for commercial zone

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Work on Bryan Rd to create detour

Work on Bryan Rd to create detour

Construction Bryan will reroute traffic today through Monday, July 21. According to a news release, a street cut will be made on Bryan Road north of Business 83, and vehicles will be diverted west along Ash Street, north on Pecan Street and then east on Oak Street back to Bryan Road. For more information, contact the city of Mission planning department at 580-8672.

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H-E-B plus! store offers larger selection, donates to local non-profits

H-E-B plus! store offers larger selection, donates to local non-profits

MISSION—Visitors to the H-E-B plus! on Shary Road took tours last week to see the multiple additions made to the existing facility. Bob Tellez, director of retail operations for the Upper Valley, said customers could expect many upgrades and more items offered at the store. Areas offering more products include: the Flaming Bird Café, dairy department, the bakery, the entertainment department, lady’s apparel and the wine section. Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas, City Manager...

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OBITUARIES

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OBIT-Lydia Leal

MISSION - Lydia Leal passed away on Friday, July 25, 2014 in Mission where she lived since 1955. She was born on Dec. 31, 1929 in Edinburg.

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DEATH NOTICE-Yazmin Martinez

PENITAS - Yazmin Martinez, 23, passed away on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at Mission Regional Medical Center.

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OBIT-Jose de Jesus Chairez

MISSION - Jose de Jesus Chairez, 52, passed away on Sunday, July 27, 2014, at Lifecare Hospital in McAllen.

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