Monday, September 22, 2014
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Local Weather

Current Conditions:
Mostly Cloudy, 85 F

Sun - Thunderstorms Early. High: 85 Low: 75
Mon - Partly Cloudy. High: 90 Low: 73
Tue - Scattered Thunderstorms. High: 88 Low: 73
Wed - Thunderstorms. High: 86 Low: 72
Thu - Scattered Thunderstorms. High: 84 Low: 73

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General Interest

Proyecto Desarrollo Humano center helps change Peñitas colonias

20130403 Proyecto Desarrollo Humano JB 0035 FEATUREPEÑITAS—Almost ten years ago, a handful of Catholic sisters had a desire to do something more for the poor people of the colonias. As they considered where to go and what to do, a tornado drew them to a colonia near Peñitas – Pueblo de Palmas.

Read more: Proyecto Desarrollo Humano center helps change Peñitas colonias


Agents seize more than 6 tons of marijuana over weekend

EDINBURG—U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector seized more than 6 tons of marijuana, with a value of more than $9.8 million, over March 8-10.

The largest seizure occurred at the Falfurrias Checkpoint on March 8 when a Border Patrol K-9 detected the presence of marijuana in a tractor-trailer during an immigration inspection. Upon further inspection, agents found more than 6,700 pounds of marijuana hidden inside the trailer.

Read more: Agents seize more than 6 tons of marijuana over weekend


County Auditor: No money for unpaid indigent medical bills

Hidalgo County auditor Ray Eufracio told county commissioners this week funds to pay indigent care medical bills for 2011 was no longer available in the accounts where they had been located. He explained that at the end of each year funding that is left in different budget categories is rolled over into the general budget for the next year instead of being left in the categories where they were previously designated.

The auditor’s opinion came during a discussion where Eddie Olivarez, Director of the Hidalgo County Health Department, and attorney Jim Darling, representing Doctor’s Hospital and Renaissance, spoke about funds for indigent care owed by the county to the hospitals, pharmacies and doctors of the area for services rendered in 2011. The amount Hidalgo County was required to set aside for 2011 was $8.5 million. The county only paid $6.1 million because the state was waiting for instructions from the federal government on the money and would not accept the money until instructions were given.

Read more: County Auditor: No money for unpaid indigent medical bills


Homeschooling: How do I begin?

Editor’s note: This is the second segment of a two-part series on homeschooling.

For those interested in homeschooling, one of the hardest decisions may be selecting the program that is right for you and your children. Prospective homeschoolers also need to become acquainted with local state laws and find a support group. Sadie Aldaya, director of Foundations and Essentials and local support manager of Classical Conversations, homeschooling curriculum programs, says there are many resources parents can use to find out more information.

For the first-time homeschooler, knowing their state laws and their rights regarding homeschooling are important, said Aldaya. She recommended some helpful websites for those looking into or just starting homeschool. Two recommended sites are and These websites provide information for parents about laws regarding homeschooling and how to withdraw their child from the public school system, Aldaya said. Another website to look at is

Read more: Homeschooling: How do I begin?


H-E-B Slimdown Show Down competitors nearing the end

20130315 HEB-Slimdown Cupples-and-Saldivar V-is-for-ValleyTami Cupples and Christina Saldivar, of Mission, are nearing the end the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown competition. Their last weigh-in and blood tests are scheduled for April 4.

Both women have been active on their blog, talking about exercising, eating right and feeling better. While they both have some difficult days now and then, they seem to be having more good days and have been redefining who they are and how they eat.

Cupples said she feels pretty good and is slimmer now – about 21 pounds slimmer – than when she started the program in late January. Her main change is redefining the idea of full versus stuffed when she eats.

Read more: H-E-B Slimdown Show Down competitors nearing the end


Valley medical school proposal passes Texas Senate

Legislation that would merge the University of Texas-Pan American and UT-Brownsville – and also creates a UT medical school in the Rio Grande Valley as part of the proposed system – was passed by the Texas Senate on Wednesday, March 13.

The Senate vote paves the way for action in the coming days by the House of Representatives.  

“Among many advantages it represents for South Texas, this bill would allow UT-Pan American, which is in my legislative district, UT-Brownsville, and the planned UT medical school access to the multi-billion dollar Permanent University Fund, which helps pay for major construction projects,” said freshman State Representative Terry Canales.

Read more: Valley medical school proposal passes Texas Senate


Valley cities may run out of water soon

20130315 crop-weatherCOLLEGE STATION – In the Lower Rio Grande Valley, water shortages are shaping up as a crisis not just for farmers but also for entire cities this year, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

In 2009, the area experienced the worst drought in decades, as did much of the state, but this year is shaping up to be much worse for area residents, said Dr. Guy Fipps, AgriLife Extension irrigation engineer, College Station.

“In 2009, there was a drought, but there was plenty of water in the reservoir systems, so there was irrigation water,” he said. “This year, there is almost no water in the reservoir systems.”

Read more: Valley cities may run out of water soon


Father-son team win $25,000 MEDC grant, build tortilla chip factory

20130315 Ruby Red Ventures Rafael Pacheco AF  5081 featureMISSION—Rafael Pacheco Jr. and Rafael Pacheco Sr. are nurturing a father-son tortilla chip business in Mission. The business has grown slowly each year since its creation in 2006, and has recently expanded distribution to multiple stores, including H-E-B stores, throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

Read more: Father-son team win $25,000 MEDC grant, build tortilla chip factory


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