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General Interest General Interest

Eddie De La Garza to perform

20120316_Eddie_de_la_GarzaPianist Eddie De La Garza will perform for the final concert in the 2011-2012 Celebration Sunday Concert Series on Sunday, March 18, at 6:30 p.m. He closes out the 14th season sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church (FPC) of Mission. The performance is open to the public and free of charge.

A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, De La Garza has a degree in music composition and teaches music at Escadon Elementary in La Joya. He has been on staff at FPC Mission since 2001, where he has performed in concerts featuring his hymn arrangements. This concert, called “Ideas & Concepts,” will feature his original music.

Accompanying him will be his son, Niko De La Garza, vocals; Eli Rodriguez, vocals and guitar; Tal Hazon, bass; Rene Peynado drums; and Tina Capili, vocals.

Volunteers needed for UTPA used book sale

The UTPA Alumni Association is looking for volunteers to help during their Fourth Annual Used Book Sale set for Saturday, March 24, at the newly-opened UTPA Alumni Center, 2401 S. Closner Blvd., Edinburg. Funds from the sale will be used for scholarships.

Volunteers do not have to be an alumni or UTPA student to help. The general public is invited to participate. With thousands of novels, nonfiction, children’s books, cookbooks, western, science and others donated for the sale, volunteers will be needed to help with the sorting, packing and sale of the books.

Books can be dropped off at the UTPA Alumni Center at 2402 S. Closner Blvd. in Edinburg or at Office Furniture USA, 1008 E. Pecan Ave., McAllen.

Arnoldo Mata, book sale chair, stated pick up is available for anyone with boxes of books that are too numerous or too heavy for an individual to deliver on their own. Call 956-665-2500 for pick up or more information, email Mata at arnoldo.mata@hotmail.com.

Texas Onion Fest recipe contest open

WESLACO — The Onion and Salsa Recipe Contest returns to Texas Onion Fest this year at Weslaco City Park, to be held on Sunday, March 25, at the AEP Texas Culinary Center. Creativity is the name of the game, as last year’s winners included Sweet Onion Jam with Goat Cheese Crostini and Butter Poached Baby Onion Tart.

The Culinary Center will feature a state-of-the-art kitchen. The contests will be held in front of a live audience.

For the Onion Recipe competition, participants are required to use a one-half cup of onions in their recipe. The salsa recipe contest adds a local flare to the event which requires participants to include a one-half cup of jalapenos. The contest honors the Mild Jalapeno developed in Weslaco by Dr. Ben Villalon.

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Miriam Martínez switches parties

Texas House of Representatives District 41 candidate Miriam Martínez of Edinburg announced last week that she was no longer a candidate under the Democratic party. Read about her decision to change in this week's issue of the Progress Times.

Comptroller unveils Texas Conservation Plan

AUSTIN A voluntary species conservation plan that will help protect the economic vitality of Texas oil and gas and other industries was approved recently by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

The Texas Conservation Plan (TCP) for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard was spearheaded by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs with the help of stakeholders representing landowners, the oil and gas industry, agriculture and state and federal agencies.

The TCP is a voluntary plan which serves as a safety net for landowners and businesses in West Texas who choose to enroll. The plan is expected to allow participants to continue operating uninterrupted if the lizard is later listed as an endangered species.

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UTPA joins Texas State in marrow drive

EDINBURG — The University of Texas-Pan American is joining Texas State University-San Marcos (TSU-SM) in raising awareness to students about how they can save a life.

UTPA and TSU-SM are holding a bone marrow donor registration drive for TSU-SM's Kathy Soliz Texas State Radiation Therapy Outreach Program Feb. 27-29 on the Edinburg campus to encourage more students to become donors.

Those who register will be included in the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). The NMDP's “Be the Match” Foundation will provide buccal swab kits and other materials for the volunteers to use for the marrow donor registration.

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MCISD rewarded for energy efficiency

MISSION — The Mission Consolidated Independent School District (MCISD) celebrated its fifth year of participation in the AEP Texas SCORE Program, which helps schools save energy and money, by accepting a check for $43,549.

It is an incentive check earned through participation in the SCORE Program in 2011. Since joining the SCORE Program in 2007, MCISD has completed more than 30 qualifying energy efficiency improvement projects in school buildings, which will save the district more than $190,000 annually.

The SCORE Program provides no-cost facility improvement recommendations and financial incentives based on the total amount of energy the district will save. In 2011, the district installed energy efficient air conditioning and lighting systems in several schools. The new equipment will save nearly 721,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually, which is equal to the carbon dioxide emissions of more than 56,000 gallons of gasoline, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculations.

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Pulitzer winner Friedman to speak at UTPA

EDINBURG — Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Thomas L. Friedman to speak at UTPA will speak Wednesday, Feb. 29, as the second speaker of the 2011-2012 Distinguished Speakers Series at The University of Texas-Pan American. The presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium.

He is the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and author of five best selling books including “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” “The World is Flat,” and “Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How It Can Renew America.” Friedman is a foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times and a frequent guest on programs such as “Meet the Press,” “Morning Joe” and “Charlie Rose.” His TV documentaries, “Searching for the Roots of 9/11,” “The Other Side of Outsourcing,” “Straddling the Fence” and “Addicted to Oil,” have aired on the Discovery Channel.

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