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General Interest General Interest

UTPA’s Mariachi Aztlán selected to perform in Washington

UTPA-LogoThe University of Texas-Pan American's Mariachi Aztlán headed to Washington, D.C. this week to perform at the 2012 Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. The 16-member group has been scheduled to perform outdoors on the National Mall, between the Smithsonian museums, twice daily June 27-July 1 and July 4-8.

UTPA was among 21 universities chosen out of more than 100 grant applications for the coveted performance spot in the Smithsonian’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of land-grant universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The fair takes place for two weeks every summer overlapping the Fourth of July holiday. Free to the public, like other Smithsonian museums, the festival typically draws more than one million visitors yearly.


DPS urges drivers to move over, slow down for tow trucks

State agencies emphasize recent change in law

 AUSTIN – This week the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will place special enforcement emphasis on the addition of tow trucks to the Move Over/Slow Down law, which requires motorists to move over or slow down when certain vehicles are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated. To remind the public of this important safety measure, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will activate electronic signs this week, which will read: If Tow Truck Stopped Ahead, Move Over or Slow Down, It’s The Law.


Children, pets and hot cars don’t mix

20120622 HeatSafety ThermometerSummer heat indexes are hitting 110 degrees and above according to daily weather reports. Awareness of the dangers the rising temperatures can have on individuals or pets left in a parked vehicle becomes critical when hypothermia, a condition where the body absorbs more heat than it can handle, quickly sets in.

In the last year, the Mission Fire Department has responded to approximately 48 calls of a child locked in a vehicle. Most incidents occurred at area Wal-Marts and H-E-Bs, according to Deputy Chief Rene Lopez Jr. He said none of the incidents were life threatening, but the potential is always there.


UVAL hosts summer camp at NABA

20120615 National Butterfly CenterThe Upper Valley Art League is hosting a series of summer camp art classes, “Celebrating Nature through Art,” at the 100-acre National Butterfly Center (NBC) in Mission. UVAL members will be the instructors.

The classes are for ages 5 through 12. UVAL instructors will guide the youth in self-expression of nature through drawing, watercolor and crafts. They should bring their own snack and water each day.

All classes are held Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to noon, and the cost for each student is $40 per week. The upcoming sessions will be June 26 to 29, July 10 to 13, July 24 to 27 and August 7 to 10.


LJISD talks graduation rates

20120615 BudgetLA JOYA – The La Joya Independent School District school board discussed retention and graduation of students on June 11. School board members were given numbers from a cohort group of freshmen students at each high school from 2008-2009 and what their status was as of May 31.

The question board members wanted answered was how to get the students to stay in school and see them walk across the stage accepting their diplomas.

Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Adriana Villarreal told the board they are identifying needs and target areas where more work needs to be done to keep these students in school and help them graduate.


LIBRE focusing on economic freedom

20120601 A-Mano-Limpia-with-Oscar-HazaMISSION — A national non-profit organization cemented its status in the community last month, bringing in elected officials to talk with the group and the community about education and immigration with a focus on the economy and how Hispanics can help.

The LIBRE Initiative is a national non-profit that aims to increase awareness of and support for the principles of economic freedom among Latinos.


Rare hummingbird spotted at EWBC

20120601 Rare-HummingbirdThe Leucistic Black-chinned Hummingbird has been sited at the Edinburg World Birding Center. The white hummingbird has been seen feeding on the flowers of the Turks Cap, next to the Interpretive Center between 2 and 5 p.m. daily. First discovered and photographed on Sunday, May 20, by local photographer Mati Lopez, word has spread quickly and images have spread across the internet.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds are one of four hummingbird species commonly found in the Rio Grande Valley, though they are much less abundant than the resident Buff-bellied Hummingbird and migratory Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Black-chinned Hummingbirds are migratory species, spending their summers in the Western U.S. and Canada and their winters in Mexico. However, a few Black-chinned Hummingbirds have been known to winter and breed in South Texas.


Photo exhibit unearths Mexico’s unique beauty

20120525-Unearths-MexicoSouth Texas College’s Technology Campus Library presents “Beauty in the Cracks: Photographing Matamoros,” an exhibit featuring black and white photography by Rocío Rangel. The exhibit opens Thursday, June 7, and will be on view through Friday, Aug. 24. Admission is free and open to the public.

The exhibit pays homage to the city of Matamoros, Mexico, where Rangel was born and raised.

Rangel studied biology at The University of Texas at Brownsville, as well as art and photography. She organized a photography club in Matamoros and has coordinated exhibits in the border town, including one at the Instituto Regional de Bellas Artes. Her photographs have been exhibited in various shows at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts and at The University of Texas at Brownsville.


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