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City of Alton launches website, plans for growth this year

Alton LOGO TNALTON— The City of Alton Development Corporation (CADC) is prepping for the upcoming year with a main goal of growth and development.

Steve Peña, assistant city manager/CADC general manager explained the focus is not solely on building development, but website growth as well.

“We opted to do a whole new website, so we spent about $8,000 or so through the CADC, and hired MPC Studios to develop our website,” Peña said. “We wanted to make it user friendly.”

Peña said he along with a few staff members have access to the site, updating it regularly to keep the community up to date with services and upcoming projects for the city.

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Mission High School welcomes new principal

20131219 MHS-Principal IMG 0003MISSION—Mission High School welcomed new principal Edilberto Flores in November 2013. The principal is on his 21st year with Mission CISD and said he hopes not only to meet academic goals, but also create a welcoming environment for parents, staff and students.

Flores has spent time at Mission Junior High, Alton Memorial Junior High, Midkiff Elementary, K.White Junior High and worked at the district’s administration building. The principal said he has decided to take advantage of a unique opportunity to work as a principal again.

“I enjoyed the central office life, I learned a lot about budgeting and state and federal compliances,” Flores said. “But I missed being around kids and teachers … I missed the school, the environment and meeting to plan out curriculum.”

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City of Mission is prepared for big changes in 2014

City-of-Mission-logoMISSION—City of Mission Mayor Norbeto “Beto” Salinas said the community should expect many changes in 2014. Multiple projects have been approved and others are still in the works, but all will benefit the citizens of Mission.

A project that will be executed within the first 45 days of 2014 is an expansion at the city’s sewer plant. An addition of 4.5 million gallons per month will be added to the usage this year.

With added water comes more usage for new homes and new residents, and the Mission mayor is excited to keep the city growing.

“We want to provide more housing for the people that we have,” Salinas said. “So far, in the last few years, we have built 225 new homes and repaired 75 homes. (City Manager) Martin (Garza) is working on some other houses that are abandoned or need some rehab.”

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Mission city employees hand out gifts

20131220 MISSION Toy-giveaway 0714St. Nick arrived like a rock star.

Dressed in what can only be described as the trendiest look of the holiday season, Santa wore red velvet pants trimmed in white and a matching jacket and hat. The jolly portly figure rode in on an all-terrain vehicle surrounded by law enforcement and trailed by children of all ages, eager to get a photo with the worldwide celebrity in his busiest time of the year.

In an unprecedented move, Mission city employees banded together to organize the event, a toy giveaway for the community's children in its 12th year on Friday, Dec. 20. Until this year, the event was organized solely by the Mission Police Department. It was made possible through the work of city employees, organizations like Crime Stoppers and donations from area businesses and members of the community. Even the entertainment was donated.

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Mission families enjoy church snow day

20131214 Snow Day Conway Ave Baptist Church AF 4893 featureMISSION—Children threw snowballs, made snow angels and sipped on hot chocolate to keep warm early Saturday. With morning temperatures in the 60s, it was very much a South Texas winter wonderland.

Members of the Conway Avenue Baptist Church poured out 6,000 pounds of snow for local children to have a taste of a white Christmas. Members of the church and visitors put on their coats and mittens, and then spent their morning playing in snow, which was a first for many of the attendees.

Griselda Garza, mother of four daughters, said she is originally from Chicago, Ill. She grew up around snow, and she wanted her daughters to experience the snow at a young age.

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MHS staff recognized for acting as first responders, saving student’s life

20131211 MCISD-Meeting-boy-who-collapsed IMG 4731MISSION—Superintendent Ricardo Lopez recognized Mission High School staff members who acted as first responders to save a student’s life at the regular board meeting for Mission CISD on Dec. 11.

Student Rene Diaz Jr. collapsed on Oct. 31 during basketball practice, according to Craig Verley, public information officer.

“They had a student that morning collapse in the gym and was unresponsive,” Verley said. “He is actually sitting with us in this room this evening, due in part to the actions of these individuals here.”

The staff members that were recognized included: Rogers Brown, Hosea Henderson III, Everardo Castellano Jr., Robert Aparicio, Janelle Hernandez and Elizabeth Ponce. Students who assisted were Jose Garcia, Jesus Cuellar, Caleb Oviedo and Adrian Cerda.

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Alton parade grows with city

20131214 ALTON Christmas-parade IMG 0051Early on, it looked like rain would threaten the eighth annual Alton Christmas parade, but by 11 a.m. the skies cleared up, giving way to only slightly cool temperatures.

Families happily lined 5 Mile Road, sitting on bleachers and curbs, ready for the action, as Alton city officials lined up floats down the road. The sirens of emergency vehicles announced the procession, which city leaders boasted included 50 percent more entries than last year.

Seated in a float made to look like a train car (“City of Alton named after the Alton Railroad” a banner states), Miss Alton 2014 in a blue sequined evening gown waved to the crowd. Dancers from Domingo Treviño Middle School with pom poms at their sides led the way for the Husky band behind Miss Alton.

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Primera Baptist Church to host Christmas party

20131214 MISSION Primera-Baptist-program IMG 0411Primera Baptist Church has been hosting Christmas performances for years, decades even, but this year it literally starts with a bang—a drummer’s solo leading into a rendition of the “Little Drummer Boy.”

Pastor Eli Sanchez said the goal is to have a Christmas party, not another program.

“We wanted to make it fun, but we also wanted to have a message,” he said.

Church leaders recruited talent from across the congregation, and the result is heavy on percussion with three drummers who dominate the party, an adult choir and dancing children. The entire church is represented well, Sanchez said, which reflects their stance that church is for everyone.

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