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General Interest General Interest

West Nile Virus confirmed in Hidalgo County

EDINBURG – Hidalgo County officials were notified Sept. 7 by the Texas Department of State Health Services of a positive confirmation of the West Nile virus in Hidalgo County. County leaders held a press conference on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Hidalgo County Health Department to address the issue.


Tempers flare at commissioners’ court over $5 million Pct. 2 fund

County officials continue to struggle with the upcoming budget shortfall as they seek ways to treat employees in an equitable way. In last week’s Hidalgo County Commissioners’ Court meeting it was stated that a 4.7 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) would be given across the board. This week, a three percent COLA is being proposed instead.


Los Ebanos Ferry to get new port facility following flood

20120809 Los Ebanos Ferry -Church lg-5 featureThe Los Ebanos Ferry on one of its many daily trips across the Rio Grande River. Progress Times photo by Luciano GuerraLOS EBANOS — Thirteen miles west of Mission in the small, quiet border town of Los Ebanos, a scene right out of the history books takes place nearly 100 times a day: Pedestrians and motorists float across the Rio Grande River on a ferry powered solely by five men pulling on a rope.


Paul Rodriguez takes Oath of Office as STC trustee

20120907 Paul Rodriguez OathNewly appointed South Texas College Board of Trustee for District 3 Paul R. Rodriguez was sworn-in on Aug. 29 during an Oath of Office Ceremony held at the college’s Pecan Campus Library Rainbow Room in McAllen.

Rodriguez was sworn-in by U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa for the Southern District of Texas.

“I fully understand that there are expectations and standards that I’m expected to fulfill and I have no intention of disappointing the board,” said Rodriguez after taking the Oath of Office. “While my overriding responsibility is to South Texas College as a whole, I fully understand the duty I have in representing Southeast Mission, Sharyland, Granjeno, Hidalgo, South McAllen, and Southwest Pharr. I’ve spent the past 30 years working and or living within this district, and I look forward to promoting the needs and interests of this diverse district.”


Hidalgo County looks at cost-of-living adjustment

Pay increases could lead to $16 million budget shortage

EDINBURG — Hidalgo County leaders this week mulled over a five percent cost-of-living increase for employees that could leave the county with a potential $16 million shortfall.

At a budget workshop held Tuesday, officials also discussed whether to bring constable salaries in line with justices of the peace salaries.

The adopted 2012 budget is approximately $167 million. Budget adjustments brought the total to about $170 million. The county has estimated revenues of $161 million leaving a shortfall of $9.5 million. This budget did not include a planned cost-of-living increase of 4.7 percent or other adjustments to the budget. While county commissioners and county court and district judges’ salaries would stay at their current level, the cost of giving a 4.7 percent cost-of-living to 2,108 employees came to $4.3 million.


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints breaks ground

20120901 LDS Church Groundbreaking lg-25 featurePictured at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Mission chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are, from left with shovels, Darrell Davis, member; Manuel Thompson, second counselor in the stake presidency; Brice Chandler, stake president of the McAllen Texas West Stake; Richard Young, first counselor in the stake presidency; Carmen Solis, member; and Rolando Garza, bishop of the Mission 3rd Ward. Progress Times photo by Luciano GuerraApproximately 200 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered at the corner of Bryan Rd. and 2 Mile Line last Saturday morning for a groundbreaking ceremony for a new chapel. Construction is expected to begin next week and will take about 12 months to complete the $3,500,000 facility.


New director named at National Butterfly Center

20120831 MariannaWright NationalButterflyCenterMISSION—Marianna Trevino Wright has joined the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) as executive director of the National Butterfly Center in Mission. The National Butterfly Center is a flagship project of NABA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and study of wild butterflies in their native habitats.

Prior to becoming the Butterfly Center's executive director, Wright was the executive director of The Foundation at Mission Regional Medical Center, and the Texas Project Manager for the worldwide Christian Children's Fund.

“I am delighted to join the National Butterfly Center, and look forward to sharing the beauty of this place with everyone in Texas—and with those fortunate enough to visit our great state,” said Wright. “Everyone in Mission and the Rio Grande Valley should be proud the National Butterfly Center is located here, as it plays such a special role in preserving our quality of life, beneficial native plant species, and the many winged wonders that make the Rio Grande Valley so rich and biologically diverse.”


Hidalgo Co. talks $184 mil drainage project in forum

20120831 Drainage District Bond Referendum Brochure ver 5-2 featureEDINBURG — Getting proper drainage for Hidalgo County is the No. 1 one issue facing Hidalgo County, making the county’s proposed multi-million dollar drainage project a critical need, said Judge Ramon Garcia at the first of several open forums to discuss the proposed project which will go before voters in November.

The $184 million bond issue project will connect the rapidly developing northern area of McAllen to the Raymondville Drainage Ditch, a $250 million channel located in the northern park of the county.

The meeting was held at the University of Texas-Pan American on Aug. 22. Fourteen more meetings will be held across the county before Election Day.


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