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General Interest General Interest

OWLS push commissioners for open forum up front

EDINBURG — The Objective Watchers of the Legal System (OWLS) revisited its concerns July 31 regarding Hidalgo County Commissioners’ Court decision to move open forum to the end of the meeting.

OWL Frank Traver told commissioners that he just doesn’t understand why open forum is at the end of the meeting to save time when award ceremonies and individual recognitions take up a huge amount of time at the beginning of Commissioners’ Court.

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County Judge Ramon Garcia expresses support of transportation projects

The Texas Transportation Commission met in Corpus Christi on July 26, 2012 and approved the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority’s (HCRMA) request to terminate the Pass-Through Agreements for the State Highway 365 and US 281 Military Highway Overpass project.  This action was necessary to allow for the HCRMA to proceed in negotiating an Advance Funding Agreement (AFA) with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for $112 million in funding for SH 365 and US 281.  The proposed AFA gives the HCRMA greater flexibility than the Pass-Through Agreements if additional funding is secured for the projects.  It is anticipated that the AFA will be considered by the Texas Transportation Commission at its August 2012 meeting.

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Mobility and Hope: groups work together to help disabled Mexicans

WEB 20120714 PET -Project lg-6 FEATUREPET Project RGV coordinator Stan Marley cheers Matamoros resident Sarahi Hernandez Prado on as she takes her first ride on the PET cart she just received to replace her wheelchair. Progress Times photo by Luciano GuerraMATAMOROS — Cerebral palsy left Sarahi Hernandez Prado, 20, wheelchair bound since childhood. She has been disabled her whole life, but recently she received a new lease on life, thanks to the Personal Energy Transport (PET) hand-powered cart the PET Project Rio Grande Valley in Mission, and Comunidades Unidas Pro Salud (CUPS), in McAllen, gave to her.

“I want a PET so that I can sell things and be more mobile,” she said. “More than anything I want to be able to help myself, and with a PET I will be able to go places and do things I cannot do in a wheelchair.”

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Hidalgo County faces $11M budget shortfall

Budget-ShortfallEDINBURG — A new sheriff substation in Weslaco and proposed cost of living adjustments are two major factors affecting the 2013 Hidalgo County budget, Sergio Cruz, budget officer, told county commissioners during a July 24 workshop.

Cruz told the commissioners that 2013’s estimated revenues are $159.5 million.

“Revenues have not increased significantly this year compared to last, about $1 million increase due to property, but we’ve incurred $3.7 million in expenditures since the last adoption” Cruz told commissioners. “If we don’t intend to cut and keep the status quo, we would have to cut into the fund balance.”

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RGV Hispanic Chamber to host Immigration Workshop

In response to President Barack Obama’s administrative policy deferring deportation of young people meeting certain requirements, the RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will host an Immigration Workshop from 9 to 11 a.m. July 26.

Aaron Cabrera, Immigration Specialist, with the law office of Osiris Gonzalez and owner of A.L.C. Security Services, will answer questions and make a presentation.

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Early voting for 2012 primary run-off elections began July 23, ends today

AUSTIN — Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade announced Friday that early voting in the 2012 primary run-off elections begin Monday, July 23 and run through Friday, July 27.

“Every election is important and an opportunity for Texas voters to exercise their voice in setting the course for the future of our great state,” Andrade said. “I urge voters to take full advantage of the ease and convenience of voting early by making it a part of your summer plans.”

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I-69 moving forward

AUSTIN — TxDOT officials recently announced key funding details to advance I-69 in Texas.

In South Texas, $40 million in funding will go toward construction of a relief route in Premont on U.S. 281. On U.S. 77, $60 million is dedicated to the design-build project from Driscoll to Kingsville. In Laredo, $9 million will be used to construct an overpass on Loop 20. The citizen planners of the I-69 segment committees recommended these improvements. The funding is part of the 2012 Unified Transportation Program, which the Texas Transportation recently revised to include an additional $2 billion for highway projects across the state.

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Learn how to protect a business idea

Come and learn about Intellectual Property Protection: How to Protect Your Business Idea, at a workshop hosted by the University of Texas-Pan American Small Business Center and the RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Thursday July 26 in McAllen.

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