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General Interest General Interest

Texas Butterfly Festival begins Saturday

TexasButterflyFestival-logoMISSION—The peak of the butterfly season is in full flight and the National Butterfly Center is excited to launch the Texas Butterfly Festival beginning Saturday and ending Nov. 5.

Marianna T. Wright, executive director for the center, said people will be attending from 18 states as well as Canada and Australia.

“This is the first time the NBC is organizing the Texas Butterfly Festival for the City of Mission, and what an honor it has been,” Wright said. “We are the butterfly capital of the country.”


Judge Guerra looks to reclaim the bench

20131101 Fidencio-GuerraFormer and Retired State District Judge Fidencio Guerra Jr. has announced his candidacy for the 275th District Court of Hidalgo County in the upcoming primary elections in 2014.

Guerra stated he is eager and excited to once again be able to serve the citizens of Hidalgo County as one of their judges. Guerra retired from the bench in 2012 after serving 20 years.

The present judge, Juan Partida, told Guerra and several attorneys this would be his last term and he was not going to run again and instead would retire and serve as a visiting judge. Guerra said he was approached by several lawyers who asked him to consider running for the open seat as they were anxious to have him back on the bench. Guerra said he has received positive feedback from many of the lawyers at the courthouse.


Early voting continues through Friday

Hidalgo-County-SealEarly voting is underway in Hidalgo County and continues through Friday, Nov. 1.

On the ballot for the Nov. 5 general election are several statewide constitutional amendments, various city and school general and special elections, and a special election for South Texas College. Registered voters are encouraged to take advantage of the convenience offered during early voting and cast their ballots at 22 locations and two mobile voting sites located throughout the county.

Unofficial early voting totals indicate that residents are taking an interest in this year’s elections, which generally tend to have lower turnouts than presidential and congressional elections. As of Sunday, Oct. 27, 6,355 ballots were cast in person, with an additional 298 mail-in ballots sent in, for a total of 6,653, according to unofficial counts from the Hidalgo County Elections Department. In comparison, early voting in the last constitutional, general and special election in 2011 yielded a total of 3,381 ballots cast.


Border Patrol agents seize more than 5,300 pounds of marijuana in 4 days

20131025 RGV BPEDINBURG—U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector have confiscated more than $4.2 million worth of marijuana in multiple seizures last week.

One of the largest seizures occurred near Los Ebanos on Oct. 15 when agents observed a vehicle traveling away from the Rio Grande at a high rate of speed. A helicopter from the Office of Air and Marine followed the vehicle.

Personnel aboard the helicopter saw the vehicle make brief stops at three different residences. Eventually agents stopped the vehicle and another vehicle that was suspected of scouting for the other vehicle.

The passenger and the driver of the scout vehicle were detained; however, the driver of the load vehicle fled into the thick brush. At the last house where the load vehicle stopped, agents found nearly 440 pounds of marijuana.


Tempers flare at county meeting over RMA project

Hidalgo-County-SealTempers flared at the Hidalgo County Commissioners Tuesday meeting during a discussion of allowing McAllen and Mission to put money into completion of State Highway 365 to a point west of Conway Avenue.

In the past few years the Regional Mobility, Authority has been working to get funding for the stretch of SH 365 from Anzalduas Bridge west to the Donna Bridge, Phase I of the Hidalgo County Loop Project. This included 15.28 miles of road from FM 396 east to US 281. Phase II of SH 365 was 2.65 miles of road from FM 1016 (Conway Avenue) to FM 396.

A second project known as the International Bridge Trade Corridor would run north from FM 3072 in the east and west from FM 493 in the east to US 83 (a total of 13.1 miles of road) at a cost of $233 million. Both segments of the corridor are on the eastern side of the county.


A dream ride for Freddy

20130922 Freddy Thrash Dream Ride lg-03Few things in Freddy Thrash’s life have been easy.

At 10, Thrash was put into the foster care system. At 11 he was taken to a center for children with disabilities and not expected to live to see his 13th birthday. And now at 31, Thrash has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer doctors said will kill him in a matter of months.

So when Freddy expressed a desire to ride in a motorcycle, his church family jumped to help him fulfill his dream, a task far easier said than done. That’s because Freddy has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a disorder caused by a mutation in the dystrophin gene, which has resulted in him being wheelchair bound for most of his life.

Shortly after Freddy was diagnosed with cancer, he shared one of his bucket list wishes with Conway Avenue Baptist Church’s youth pastor Jeff Vaughn. It was to ride with the Blue Knights Motorcycle Club, of which he is an honorary member. That was when Vaughn got the ball rolling on an event he named Freddy’s Dream Ride.


Mobile stations around Hidalgo County to offer Election Identification Certificates

Hidalgo-County-SealElection Identification Certificates (EICs) will be available from mobile stations throughout Hidalgo County for a week beginning Wednesday, Oct 16.

EICs are available without charge to qualified Texas voters who do not have an approved form of photo ID, which is now required for voting in person. The Nov. 5 election will be the first statewide election with photo ID requirements in effect.

"Accommodating my constituency to be part of the election process is one of the most sacred duties I have,” State Rep. Sergio Muñoz Jr. stated in a news release. "Although I did not favor the voter ID law when it was proposed in 2011, it is the law of the land, and my intention with these mobile certificate stations is to allow all Texans here in deep South Texas the opportunity to have the tools they need to have a voice at the ballot box."


National Butterfly Center prepares for Texas Butterfly Festival, opens registration

20131008 National-Butterfly-Center AF  2350MISSION—Butterflies can be seen flitting and fluttering through neighborhoods, across highways, and around businesses in Mission.

The months of October and November are the peak of butterfly season, according to the National Butterfly Center Executive Director Marianna T. Wright. Mission is perfectly located to capture it with 150 species of butterflies that can only be found in the Valley.

“There is not anything else like this park in the country; we are the one and only,” Wright said.


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