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General Interest General Interest

Don’t Mess with Texas Scholarship open to HS seniors

AUSTIN — Texas high school seniors who care about the environment have the chance to win a college scholarship by composing a 350-word essay explaining what they’ve done to improve the litter situation in their community.

The ninth annual Don’t Mess with Texas Scholarship is sponsored by BASF Corporation’s Freeport, Texas, location in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful. Don’t Mess with Texas is accepting essays for the 2012 Scholarship March 15 through April 20.

“This scholarship is such a fit for what we at BASF are trying to accomplish. From the products we make that impact the quality of our lives every day to how we operate our facilities safely and as good stewards of our environment, we are living the ‘Don't Mess with Texas’ philosophy,” said Chris Witte, senior vice president and site manager, BASF Freeport.


FALFURRIAS In preparation for a brutally hot summer, the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector launched “Operation Heat Wave” this week.

The operation will enhance search and rescue efforts in an attempt to prevent heat-related injuries and deaths along the South Texas border. The Border Patrol’s Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team along with members of the Mobile Response Team will be focusing on the Rio Grande Valley’s most dangerous corridor, the Brooks County area.

BORSTAR is the premier border search and rescue team along the southwest border. They are a specially trained, rapid-response search and rescue unit designed to meet the complexities of southwest border search and rescue operations. BORSTAR agents are experts in operating in the border environment, topography, climate and the distinctiveness of the southwest border.


Local students excel at the 73rd Annual RGV Livestock Show

20120323_RGVLS_lg_017MERCEDES — For hundreds of Rio Grande Valley teenagers involved in FFA and 4-H, last week’s 73rd annual Rio Grande Valley Livestock show put their hard work to the test as they showcased their goats, hogs and cattle, among other animals or agriculture products to earn a spot in the winners circle.

The Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show, which was first held in 1940 on the grounds of a local livestock sales yard with makeshift pens and lean-to sheds, has come to be known as the premier livestock show in South Texas. It draws exhibitors from all across the state and according to Gregory Bean, the show’s advance ticket sales director and advertising and public relations director, the 2012 Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show set a new record.


Gladys Porter Zoo’s baby giraffe joins the herd

20120323_Giraffe_AnnBROWNSVILLE – It’s a girl! The Gladys Porter Zoo’s baby giraffe Ann, the newest baby reticulated giraffe born on Saturday, February 4, joined the rest of the herd. At birth, she weighed 80 pounds and measured in five feet tall. She is the eighth member of the herd.

In the month since Ann’s birth, zookeepers have kept a close eye on mother and baby. They are housed in a separate stall and special padding has been installed to provide better footing for baby Ann.


Eddie De La Garza to perform

20120316_Eddie_de_la_GarzaPianist Eddie De La Garza will perform for the final concert in the 2011-2012 Celebration Sunday Concert Series on Sunday, March 18, at 6:30 p.m. He closes out the 14th season sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church (FPC) of Mission. The performance is open to the public and free of charge.

A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, De La Garza has a degree in music composition and teaches music at Escadon Elementary in La Joya. He has been on staff at FPC Mission since 2001, where he has performed in concerts featuring his hymn arrangements. This concert, called “Ideas & Concepts,” will feature his original music.

Accompanying him will be his son, Niko De La Garza, vocals; Eli Rodriguez, vocals and guitar; Tal Hazon, bass; Rene Peynado drums; and Tina Capili, vocals.

Volunteers needed for UTPA used book sale

The UTPA Alumni Association is looking for volunteers to help during their Fourth Annual Used Book Sale set for Saturday, March 24, at the newly-opened UTPA Alumni Center, 2401 S. Closner Blvd., Edinburg. Funds from the sale will be used for scholarships.

Volunteers do not have to be an alumni or UTPA student to help. The general public is invited to participate. With thousands of novels, nonfiction, children’s books, cookbooks, western, science and others donated for the sale, volunteers will be needed to help with the sorting, packing and sale of the books.

Books can be dropped off at the UTPA Alumni Center at 2402 S. Closner Blvd. in Edinburg or at Office Furniture USA, 1008 E. Pecan Ave., McAllen.

Arnoldo Mata, book sale chair, stated pick up is available for anyone with boxes of books that are too numerous or too heavy for an individual to deliver on their own. Call 956-665-2500 for pick up or more information, email Mata at

Texas Onion Fest recipe contest open

WESLACO — The Onion and Salsa Recipe Contest returns to Texas Onion Fest this year at Weslaco City Park, to be held on Sunday, March 25, at the AEP Texas Culinary Center. Creativity is the name of the game, as last year’s winners included Sweet Onion Jam with Goat Cheese Crostini and Butter Poached Baby Onion Tart.

The Culinary Center will feature a state-of-the-art kitchen. The contests will be held in front of a live audience.

For the Onion Recipe competition, participants are required to use a one-half cup of onions in their recipe. The salsa recipe contest adds a local flare to the event which requires participants to include a one-half cup of jalapenos. The contest honors the Mild Jalapeno developed in Weslaco by Dr. Ben Villalon.


Miriam Martínez switches parties

Texas House of Representatives District 41 candidate Miriam Martínez of Edinburg announced last week that she was no longer a candidate under the Democratic party. Read about her decision to change in this week's issue of the Progress Times.

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