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General Interest General Interest

Caribbean literature focus of A&M Kingsville conference

KINGSVILLE — For the second summer in a row, faculty from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and educators across South Texas have studied the literature, culture and history of the Caribbean in an effort to hone strategies for teaching college and high school levels.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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