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General Interest General Interest

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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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.

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DPS urges drivers to move over, slow down for tow trucks

State agencies emphasize recent change in law

 AUSTIN – This week the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will place special enforcement emphasis on the addition of tow trucks to the Move Over/Slow Down law, which requires motorists to move over or slow down when certain vehicles are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated. To remind the public of this important safety measure, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will activate electronic signs this week, which will read: If Tow Truck Stopped Ahead, Move Over or Slow Down, It’s The Law.

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Children, pets and hot cars don’t mix

20120622 HeatSafety ThermometerSummer heat indexes are hitting 110 degrees and above according to daily weather reports. Awareness of the dangers the rising temperatures can have on individuals or pets left in a parked vehicle becomes critical when hypothermia, a condition where the body absorbs more heat than it can handle, quickly sets in.

In the last year, the Mission Fire Department has responded to approximately 48 calls of a child locked in a vehicle. Most incidents occurred at area Wal-Marts and H-E-Bs, according to Deputy Chief Rene Lopez Jr. He said none of the incidents were life threatening, but the potential is always there.

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