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General Interest General Interest

Construction accident at IMAS

McALLEN - The International Museum of Art & Science will be closed for the remainder of Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, due to a construction accident that occurred on the museum’s grounds just before 11 a.m.

A hired crew was in the process of moving the museum’s wind turbine blade to the north parking lot when a crane tipped over; one crane operator was injured. City of McAllen rescue officials appeared quickly to the site of the accident and were able to rescue the operator.

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Cloud technologies becoming more popular

20130802 Cloud-TechnologyIn the past few years, cloud technologies have become extremely popular for business users; however, they also offer many opportunities for personal users. When people mention “the cloud,” they are referring to storage, services, and software applications that are hosted on the Internet instead of on a local computer, tablet or smart phone.

Most people use the cloud and don’t even realize it. For example, common email services, such as Gmail and Yahoo! Mail provide cloud storage for emails and attachments. Social media sites, such as Facebook, offer message boards, games, media storage, and other cloud services.

The cloud is convenient because it can be accessed from any location and with any device that has Internet access. For example, you can view the same email from your computer at work, your laptop at home, or your smart phone at the beach.

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Longoria to seek re-election in Texas House District 35

Oscar-LongoriaMISSION—Representative Oscar Longoria (D-La Joya) announced Monday that he will seek a second term to the Texas House of Representatives for the Rio Grande Valley, District 35. Longoria is a freshman representative currently serving his first term in Austin.

Longoria’s campaign office said they are not aware of any opponent for this seat at this time. The first day to officially file for the March 4 Primary Election is Nov. 9, and the last day to file is Dec. 9.

Longoria’s House District 35 encompasses both Hidalgo and Cameron Counties in the Rio Grande Valley and includes the cities, or part of the cities of La Joya, Sullivan City, Peñitas, Alton, McAllen, Mission, Edinburg, Monte Alto, Edcouch, La Villa, Mercedes, Weslaco, Santa Rosa, Primera, Palm Valley, Combes, Harlingen, and La Feria.

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Sergio Muñoz Jr. appointed to Transportation Committee

Sergio-Munoz-JrAUSTIN—With the eyes of Texas poised on the State Legislature as it makes a fourth  attempt to settle badly needed transportation funding, House Speaker Joe Strauss Wednesday appointed State Representative Sergio Muñoz Jr. to the Select Committee on Transportation Funding.

The committee is tasked with creating a consensus funding solution for the state's aging transportation infrastructure.  The challenge is to create a funding mechanism that allocates significant revenue, in the neighborhood of $1 billion per year, to the state's transportation infrastructure, without increasing taxes or fees.

With two special sessions now under their belt, Governor Rick Perry has called a third special session of the legislature to settle the issue.  Perry's legislative call came just minutes after the House and Senate adjourned the second special session without a solution to the transportation funding issue.

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Preventing malware infections

20130802 MalwareMalware includes unwanted programs, such as adware, spyware, and viruses, that get on a computer or laptop. Adware causes pop-ups and other unwanted advertisements that attempt to sell something to the computer user. Spyware tracks the user’s computer activity, such as the websites that are visited, and reports it back to an unknown recipient. Viruses may corrupt files, slow down your computer, or damage your computer to the point that it will not even boot up.

A computer can be infected by malware through simple activities such as browsing the Internet, downloading a file, opening an email attachment, or using a USB drive that has been infected by another computer. In order to prevent malware infections, you should always have strong antivirus protection on your computer.

When you purchase a new computer, you will probably receive a free 30- or 90-day antivirus trial. When the trial ends, you can purchase a yearly subscription for the antivirus that came with your computer or for a different antivirus product. Some of the highest ranking antivirus products include Bit Defender Antivirus Plus, Kaspersky AntiVirus, AVG Antivirus Professional, and Norton Antivirus. These antivirus subscriptions usually range from $30 to $60 a year.

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County pursues funding for indigent healthcare

Hidalgo-County-SealHospitals in Hidalgo County may be receiving up to $25.2 million in Medicaid reimbursements this year, which has historically been left on the table. The hospitals are paying an assessment of $10.5 million through the newly created County Healthcare Funding District to qualify for the federal funding, which will reimburse that amount plus a $1.40 or greater match for each dollar paid in.

The Healthcare Funding District is expected to capture up to $200 million over the next two and one-half years in federal funding for uncompensated indigent health care in the county.

Legislation passed last month in the Texas legislature authorized the formation of Healthcare Funding Districts in Hidalgo, Cameron and Webb counties. Senate Bill 1623, authored by Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, allows the county to establish an assessment fee on local hospitals. That fee is put into a Local Provider Fund and used for local payments required to draw down federal matching dollars for uncompensated indigent healthcare services.

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TxDOT unveils Interstate signs in Pharr

20130715 Interstate-sign-unveiling AF  0037PHARR—Local, state and federal officials celebrated on Monday as signs were ceremoniously unveiled, officially designating the first 100 miles of interstate highway in the Rio Grande Valley. The new interstate highway segments are the fruit of a 20-year effort to bring an interstate highway to the Valley.

The first signs were placed in Pharr Monday, marking the Interstate 69 East, Interstate 2 and Interstate 69 Central.

Former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar and the Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Austin were all in attendance for the unveiling of the new signs.

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Ringling Bros. Circus comes to town

20130719 Ringling-Bros Dean-KelleyHIDALGO—Dean Kelley explained at only 4-years-old, he knew he was destined to be an entertainer. After seeing clowns performing for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for the first time, he knew that’s what he wanted to be – a circus clown. Where else could adults jump around and have so much fun?

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Fully Charged Gold Edition show opened this week at the State Farm Arena on July 18 and runs through to July 21. Kelley said 2013 marks the 144th year of the circus’s run, though each year their show is unique.

“We do anywhere between 250 and 300 shows per year,” Kelley said. “Fully Charged is a show Hidalgo hasn’t seen. We have a strong man, Battulga Battogtokh, he is a direct descendent of Genghis Khan. He balances telephone poles around his body and juggles bowling balls.”

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