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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
Salinas vows lower taxes The council chamber was packed as Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas took the oath of office for another four years as leader of the city. Read the Full Story
Salinas wins another 4 years Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas had tough words for his opponent after winning the runoff election Saturday with 57 percent of the vote. Read the Full Story

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Current Conditions:
Partly Cloudy, 94 F

Forecast:
Wed - Partly Cloudy. High: 98 Low: 76
Thu - Mostly Sunny. High: 98 Low: 76
Fri - Sunny. High: 101 Low: 77
Sat - Sunny. High: 100 Low: 78
Sun - Sunny. High: 101 Low: 77

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Tom Landry Mural sees its fourth renovation

20140630 MISSION painting-of-Tom-Landry-mural AF  8788MISSION—The Tom Landry mural has become a landmark in the city of Mission. The 95-by-18 foot tribute sits at the intersection of Conway Avenue and Tom Landry Boulevard on the north side the building owned by Bill and Gen Long.

Bill Long still recalls when the mural was just a way to keep children from spray-painting graffiti on his white building. Currently, the mural is seeing its fourth touch up in the last 20 years. The Tom Landry mural was dedicated on Sept. 18, 1995.

After being told by friends a mural would turn into a great tourist attraction, Long ran through his options of what to paint. His first thought was to create a mural of a grapefruit, but at the time, there was already dedicated art to citrus on a local building. He said he doesn’t remember how Tom Landry’s name was brought up, but he immediately knew it was the perfect fit.

Read more: Tom Landry Mural sees its fourth renovation

 

Hidalgo County recovers body of 11-year-old Guatemalan boy

20140704 LA-JOYA Guatemalan-immigrant-childWhen Hidalgo County deputies were called to recover a dead body in the brush west of La Joya, it had been decomposing for two weeks.

The body was covered in blue jeans, black boots, a brown belt and had a white rosary around the neck. The shirt had been removed. A forensic pathologist estimated the age of the male in the late teens.

A phone number was inscribed on his belt buckle.

That number led authorities to the decedent's brother in Chicago, who said the body was 11-year-old Gilberto Francisco Ramos Juarez, of Guatemala. The clothes he was wearing matched the description of what Ramos Juarez was wearing the last time he was seen, which was 25 days prior in Reynosa. He was traveling with an uncle into the United States, but family members said the uncle was detained by Border Patrol. Ramos Juarez was released to a coyote with a big group, and authorities believe the 11-year-old was going to meet up with his brother in Chicago.

Read more: Hidalgo County recovers body of 11-year-old Guatemalan boy

 

Fourth of July schedule

pt-square logoThe Progress Times, Sharyland Times and Winter Texan Times offices will be closed Friday, July 4, to allow employees to celebrate Independence Day with their families.

This week’s edition of Progress Times and Sharyland Times is being distributed Thursday, July 3.

We will resume our regular schedule Monday, July 7, and we wish all of our readers and advertisers a happy and safe Fourth of July.

Read more: Fourth of July schedule

 

Winter Texans warns county ‘not to kill the golden egg’

Hidalgo-County-SealA Winter Texan drove 1,600 miles to the Valley this week to protest his property appraisal and warn Hidalgo County officials that doubling and tripling property values may cause him and others to reconsider wintering in the Rio Grande Valley.

At Monday’s commissioners court meeting, Dale Miller said the financial impact of Winter Texans on the Rio Grande Valley is a big asset to Hidalgo County and the Hidalgo County Appraisal District should not tax Winter Texan property so heavily or they might put an end to something that is good for the county.

Miller, who lives in Ohio, said he also was speaking on behalf of others who were unable to return. Miller resides in Paradise Park in McAllen. People there pay a fee to rent their lots for as long as they stay and own only the personal property left on the property. Ownership of the land remains with the corporation. Yet people who bought property leases with older model mobile homes on them were being taxed as if they owned the land as well.

Read more: Winter Texans warns county ‘not to kill the golden egg’

 

Catholic students help colonia residents

20140627 Catholic-youth-service 2066Bobby Acosta helped nail down a porch roof while 15-year-old Samantha Guerra balanced on a ladder around the corner, putting up trim.

They were two of more than 50 students who dedicated a week of their summer to working on the houses of low-income residents in Pueblo de Palmas, a small community north of Peñitas.

Last week was Acosta’s second year participating in the Catholic Youth Renovation Project in its fifth year. A Mission resident, Acosta, 14, said last year he helped install a toilet.

Read more: Catholic students help colonia residents

 

Guitar Gods bring 2014 show to Pharr

20140704 Yngwie-MalmsteenOn July 11, at the Pharr Events Center Yngnwie Malmsteen, Bumblefoot, Uli Jon Roth and Gary Hoey will all perform in one night in part with the Guitar Gods tour.

Yngnwie Malmsteen is an accomplished guitarist who had a focus in the rock/heavy metal genre. In addition to countless awards from music and instrument specific publications, TIME Magazine hailed him as one of the ten greatest electric guitarists.

Malmsteen released his bestselling autobiography in 2013 called “Relentless” which coincided with a successful tour that played to full houses all over the world. The only way he could top that in 2014 was to hand pick an all-star lineup of GUITAR GODS to share the stage with him on a magical full North American tour.

Read more: Guitar Gods bring 2014 show to Pharr

 

Lone Star UAS Center conducts drone test flights over South Texas ranchland

20140627 Area-DroneCORPUS CHRISTI–Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Center is conducting a series of flight missions this week, the first since becoming fully operational as a federally-designated test site.

Researchers conducted missions Wednesday and scheduled additional flights Thursday with the University’s RS-16 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) designated the center as one of only six test sites in December, and approved it as operational on Friday, June 20.

Read more: Lone Star UAS Center conducts drone test flights over South Texas ranchland

   

The eyes of Texas are upon the border

20140623 AREA Immigration-influx 2039Two different messages were heard this week as the number of undocumented minors and families flooding the Rio Grande Valley received state and nationwide attention.

“What we’re trying to avoid is a perception that the criminal element is prevalent in our area or the situation is at a crisis,” said Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia at a news conference Monday morning. “It’s not, and that’s the message we’re trying to communicate. “

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Perry said at a news conference Monday afternoon, “There are babies that have been transported all across Mexico. I’m telling you in July and August if the message does not get out into those countries in Central America, you’re going to see a Trail of Tears again from Central America to Texas.”

Read more: The eyes of Texas are upon the border

   

Mission PD to get more officers

City-of-Mission-logoThe Mission Police Department will be able to bring in eight more officers through a federal grant that will pay 75 percent of their salaries for three years.

The Community-Oriented Policing Services grant was one of two grants for the police department approved at the Monday city council meeting.

Police Chief Roberto Dominquez said the COPS grant annually helps growing cities get an adequate number of policemen to serve their needs. The second grant, for $119,577, is a supplemental Stonegarden grant to pay overtime and purchase equipment to aid with border security.

Also Monday, the city council approved an ordinance authorizing the sale of refunding bonds for the waterworks and sewer system bonds approved in 2004. The move will result in a savings of $1,858,000 for the city of Mission. The bonds currently have a principal balance of $10,849,000.

Read more: Mission PD to get more officers

   

Educator finds love for teaching early on

20140627 SISD-Teacher Stephan-SlawsonMISSION—As a teenager, Stephan Slawson volunteered his time to help his favorite teacher with students in his campus special needs program.

Now, as the Sharyland District Teacher of the Year for secondary education, he believes the seed was planted early that sprouted his love for education.

Originally from Michigan, Slawson said that same favorite teacher was his inspiration to become an educator.

“Mrs. Hyslop is the teacher that I owe my spark and passion for working with special needs students to,” Slawson said. “Thank you Mrs. Hyslop, you had no idea how much you influenced my education, careerchoices and my life in general. Thank you for everything that you did and I wish I couldhave told you how much you meant to me.”

Read more: Educator finds love for teaching early on

   

Saldaña finds true calling as educator

20140627 SISD-Teacher Johanna-SaldanaMISSION—Johanna Saldaña envisioned herself in many careers growing up, from Barbie clothes designer to an ophthalmologist who cures macular generation.

The last thing on her mind was making a living in education.

“My mother's side of the family is full of teachers, so I actually didn't want to be a teacher when I was growing up,” Saldaña said. “I worked as a tutor during high school and college and that is what sparked my interest in education and working with children.”

Now in her seventh year as an educator, Saldaña has been named Sharyland ISD District Teacher of the Year for the elementary level. She said the reaction from her grandparents, mother and son made a huge impact on her.

Read more: Saldaña finds true calling as educator

   

Board names new MRA director

20140627 Daniel-SilvaMISSION—Daniel Silva, chief operating officer of the MEDC, was named the executive director of the Mission Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday.

Richard Perez, former MRA executive director, will stay on to assist Silva during the transition process for an undetermined amount of time.

Richard Hernandez, chairman of the MRA board, said that Silva had been behind the scenes learning about the board and its projects within the city’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone.

Hernandez said that Silva’s contract agreement is set for a year, during this time he added Perez would assist in his training and transfer of responsibilities. He added Perez also received the same assistance from the executive director before him.

Read more: Board names new MRA director

   

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Sports

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Lady Patriots’ Alexandria Gonzalez honored

Lady Patriots’ Alexandria Gonzalez honored

With only 15 girls from across the state being selected, the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s (TGCA’s) Track and Field All-Star Team is a very select group. That’s 15 girls from all the 4A and 5A schools in the Lone Star State. Of this year’s honorees only one is from the Rio Grande Valley – Veterans Memorial High School’s Alexandria Gonzalez. Having been nominated by the Lady Patriots head track coach Kathy Howell, Gonzalez met all the criteria...

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Felipe Valencia takes gold at state

Felipe Valencia takes gold at state

Palmview High’s Felipe Valencia set a new gold standard at the UIL State Track and Field Meet in Austin last week. For the second year in a row, Valencia earned a gold medal in the state 5A shot put competition. As the defending gold medal winner in the event, Valencia is now the only two-time track and field state champion in La Joya Independent School District history. Prior to his winning the gold last year, it had been 45 years since then La Joya High...

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Guillermo Galvan named best in state

Guillermo Galvan named best in state

As a two-event UIL State Track and Field qualifier, Veterans Memorial’s Guillermo Galvan earned the right to compete at the state meet last weekend in both the shot put and the discus. He won regional championships in both events at the Region IV-4A meet. Having never qualified for the state meet before, Galvan had no expectations of taking the gold in either event. “Going into the state meet my goal was never to be a state champion,” said Galvan. “I...

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News

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Mission runoff election is Saturday

Mission runoff election is Saturday

Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas was confident heading into Election Day that he’d keep his title once votes are counted Saturday evening. He faces local businessman Jaime Gutierrez in a runoff; the only race on the ballot. After Salinas narrowly missed clinching his seat without a runoff in May, he said he hadn’t changed his campaign strategy. He’s depending on voters who have kept him in office more than 16 years to hit the polls. “I think they started going out again to vote,” Salinas said. “I’m very happy to see that they responded to the campaign.”

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Conway Baptist welcomes new pastors

Conway Baptist welcomes new pastors

The members of Conway Avenue Baptist Church in Mission have recently welcomed three new pastors to their church family, according to Senior Pastor Johnny Mora. Joining the staff are Joe Ramey, associate pastor; Frank San Martin, youth pastor; and Chris Rangel, music pastor. They officially began their new assignments in April. “We are excited to introduce to our community three new ministers God has brought to our way. These godly men come with a vigor to love God and love our community. We, as a church, have made it a goal to help the families in our community find hope in a broken world,”...

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Dr. Kenneth White funeral services held Friday

Dr. Kenneth White funeral services held Friday

Leaving a legacy that was larger than life, Dr. Kenneth E. White, superintendent emeritus of the Mission CISD, peacefully passed away in his sleep Sunday, June 8, at his home in Grapevine. Services are scheduled for Friday, June 13, at 10 a.m. at Palm Valley Church in Mission. Burial will follow at Valley Memorial Gardens under the direction of Ric Brown Family Funeral Home. Dr. White served Mission Consolidated Independent School District as its superintendent for 23 years, longer than any other individual. He was granted the emeritus status by the school board at the time of his retirement...

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OBITUARIES

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OBIT-Iris Aida De La Rosa

MISSION – Iris Aida De La Rosa, 75, passed away on Sunday, July 20, 2014 at Mission Regional Medical Center.

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OBIT-Rosa Maria Guerrero Villarreal

MISSION/CORPUS CHRISTI - Rosa Maria Guerrero Villarreal, 55, passed away on Saturday, July 19, 2014, at her home in Corpus Christi.

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DEATH NOTICE-Alejandro Alanis

LA JOYA - Alejandro Alanis, 77, passed away on Sunday, July 20, 2014, at Mission Regional Medical Center. Services will be held later in Mexico.

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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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