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General Interest General Interest

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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CBP, DoD join forces for training operation on border

LAREDO — Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) announced his support July 5 for a U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Department of Defense joint training operation. South Texas residents can expect to see an increased law enforcement and military presence in the region as CBP and DoD join forces for this limited duration coordinated training operation. The joint-training venture will provide real-world training opportunities for DoD military personnel while also serving to enhance the Border Patrol’s ability to counter threats along the border.

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STC gets grant for high-tech summer camps

AUSTIN — The Texas Workforce Commission awarded 14 grants totaling nearly $1 million to Texas universities and community colleges for summer youth camps that focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The grants will allow 1,200 students between the ages of 14 and 21 to attend camps, which help prepare them for future high-skill, high-demand jobs.

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$1.2M in cocaine seized at Pharr Port of Entry

HIDALGO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Pharr Port of Entry on July 7 seized cocaine valued at approximately $1,164,800 during a routine inspection of a passenger vehicle.

A CBP officer at the bridge detained a 20-year-old female Mexican citizen from Reynosa, who was driving a 2001 Ford Focus. After noting discrepancies in the vehicle, CBP officials conducted in intensive examination and discovered 15 packages containing nearly 35 pounds of cocaine.

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