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Local Weather

Current Conditions:
Fair, 81 F

Fri - Scattered Thunderstorms. High: 91 Low: 78
Sat - Thunderstorms. High: 89 Low: 76
Sun - PM Thunderstorms. High: 88 Low: 75
Mon - PM Thunderstorms. High: 87 Low: 73
Tue - PM Thunderstorms. High: 90 Low: 73

Full Forecast at Yahoo! Weather

(provided by The Weather Channel)

General Interest

Use caution while celebrating July 4

20120703 FireworkSafetyCOLLEGE STATION — With Independence Day celebrations drawing near, Texas Forest Service officials are reminding residents to remember that just one spark can cause a devastating wildfire.

About 90 percent of wildfires in Texas are human-caused, which means they can be prevented. As residents enjoy building a campfire, shooting off celebratory fireworks in approved areas or cooking on the grill, they’re asked to take a few safety precautions to ensure their homes and families are protected.

Texas Forest Service Wildland Urban Interface and Prevention Coordinator Justice Jones said that while drought conditions have improved for much of the state, wildfire potential still exists — especially in areas where consecutive days of hot temperatures have dried out the vegetation.

Read more: Use caution while celebrating July 4


Student loan rate hike hits Hispanic students hard

20120629 StudentLoanHikeCollege student leaders June 27 from the University of Texas at Brownsville, the University of Texas-Pan American and the University of Texas at San Antonio and Christine Lindstrom from the Texas Public Interest Research Group called on U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison to support a bipartisan bill to keep student loan interest rates low.

UTPA Student Financial Services Associate Director Jael Garcia said Latinos are the largest minority in Texas, at 9.5 million or 38 percent of the population.

Read more: Student loan rate hike hits Hispanic students hard


Hidalgo County farmers harvesting sunflowers, grain sorghum

MISSION — Sunflowers are blooming in Hidalgo County and sugar cane is being actively irrigated.

According to Texas AgriLife Extenstion experts, growers in Hidalgo County are preparing to harvest sunflowers and grain sorghum as well as actively irrigating sugarcane, cotton and citrus crops. Over in Willacy County cotton began opening and 75 percent of sorghum was harvested.

Read more: Hidalgo County farmers harvesting sunflowers, grain sorghum


Corpus man indicted for bomb threats to Islamic Center in Tennessee

WASHINGTON D.C. — A federal grand jury indicted a Corpus Christi man June 21 for leaving a threatening, explicative-ridden voice message saying, among other things, that, “on September 11, 2011, there’s going to be a bomb in the building.

Read more: Corpus man indicted for bomb threats to Islamic Center in Tennessee


Border Patrol agents save two men bitten by rattlesnakes

KINGSVILLE — U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued two men early June 26 near the Kingsville Station after the Guatemalan Nationals were bitted by rattlesnakes.

The men are part of a growing number of people rescued this fiscal year by agents. Since October 2011, nearly 200 people have been rescued and the remains of 64 more have been found. United States Customs and Border Protection urges people not to put their lives at risk by entering the States illegally or by circumventing a checkpoint — especially now, as temperatures rise.

Read more: Border Patrol agents save two men bitten by rattlesnakes


Legislation to allow CBP to seek alternate sources of funding

WASHINGTON D.C. — Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10) have introduced the Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act of 2012, which will allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection the authority to enter into public-private partnerships with either local governments or private sector entities to fund improvement of services and facilities at land-border ports of entry, with the goal of speeding the traffic flow at the ports.

Read more: Legislation to allow CBP to seek alternate sources of funding


Independence Day celebrations planned

20120629 July4th-graphicHere’s a quick rundown of July 4 events in the Rio Grande Valley:

South Padre Island

If you’re looking to spend July 4 on South Padre Island get started at 10 a.m. at Beach Access 22 with a parade, which will end at Beach Access 17. There will be water and watermelons at the end of the parade as well as free beads and kazoos. If you stay through the day and into the night, be sure to check out the fireworks that start at 9:15 p.m. The best viewing is bayside between Palm and Red Snapper Streets. For more information call the SPI Convention & Visitors Bureau at (956) 761-6433.

Read more: Independence Day celebrations planned


UTPA’s Mariachi Aztlán selected to perform in Washington

UTPA-LogoThe University of Texas-Pan American's Mariachi Aztlán headed to Washington, D.C. this week to perform at the 2012 Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. The 16-member group has been scheduled to perform outdoors on the National Mall, between the Smithsonian museums, twice daily June 27-July 1 and July 4-8.

UTPA was among 21 universities chosen out of more than 100 grant applications for the coveted performance spot in the Smithsonian’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of land-grant universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The fair takes place for two weeks every summer overlapping the Fourth of July holiday. Free to the public, like other Smithsonian museums, the festival typically draws more than one million visitors yearly.

Read more: UTPA’s Mariachi Aztlán selected to perform in Washington


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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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