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La Joya ISD to take $50 million from fund balance to balance budget

2014 LJIS LOGOLa Joya ISD will spend nearly $50 million more than it brings in next year in a budget presented last week.

“Remember, we did undertake an aggressive approach to technology for our schools,” Alfredo Vela, assistant superintendent of finance told La Joya Independent School District Board of Trustees at a public hearing on the budget.

He also acknowledged a $2,400 salary boost for teachers and a 4 percent raise for other professionals in the district. Technical and maintenance workers will get a $1.25 per hour raise.

Read more: La Joya ISD to take $50 million from fund balance to balance budget


Residents split on Taylor expansion

20140820 MISSION Taylor-Road-expansion 0113 featureResidents on Taylor Street are split on a joint effort to expand the roadway to five lanes.

Dozens of residents showed up at a public forum at Romulo Martinez Elementary School to learn more about the project, which requires cooperation from the cities of Mission, McAllen and Palmhurst as well as Hidalgo County.

“I’ve been looking at Taylor Road for the last 30 years,” Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas said. “I never thought we could do this project because of the funding, but we finally got it put together, and I think we can make it happen.”

Read more: Residents split on Taylor expansion


Mission looks at changes in lighting and landscape ordinances

City-of-Mission-logoAware of the need for lighting in parking lots for safety and the need for additional beautification of parking lots, the Mission City Council approved changes in ordinances regarding city policies of both at a Monday meeting.

Lighting plans for parking lots will be examined whenever a building permit is sought for safety against vandalism, theft and assault, and for the convenience and comfort of the user.

Levels of lighting will be regulated to provide sufficient lighting but not cause interference on public thoroughfares or encroach on the privacy of occupants of adjacent buildings. The plan must show the types and heights of the lights to be used, which must provide illumination at 10-foot intervals.

Read more: Mission looks at changes in lighting and landscape ordinances


Mission economy gaining ground in '14

MEDC-logoA cross section of economic indicators in Mission are showing that the city is bouncing back from the recession with steady growth, job creation, stronger retails sales and more residential construction.

Through the first half of 2014, unemployment is down over last year and has dropped to its lowest point on average since 2008. Mission’s retail stores and restaurants are humming this year and the city stands to have its biggest year yet for retail. On construction, residential building is a bright spot and through the first six months, it’s the busiest in three years.

The Mission Economic Development Corporation and the City of Mission have worked together for years to draw more business to the city and to grow from within. In 2014, MEDC CEO Alex Meade, said that “as the economy begins to turnaround, businesses are seeking to expand”.

Read more: Mission economy gaining ground in '14


Buckner celebrates expansion of Family Hope Center

20140829 PENITAS Buckner-Ribbon-Cutting 3133 COLORPEÑITAS–Buckner International executives and community leaders celebrated the new expansion of the Buckner Family Hope Center in Peñitas with a ribbon cutting and ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

Thanks to the generosity of Buckner donors, the construction provides additional resources for families in the Peñitas area.

“We are excited for this new addition because it gives Buckner an opportunity to expand the work of the Buckner Family Hope Center and provide hope to even more struggling families,” said Monica Salinas, executive director of Buckner Children and Family Services in the Rio Grande Valley. “This expansion will provide a safe and stable environment as our families strive to gain control of their futures and make positive changes for their families.”

Read more: Buckner celebrates expansion of Family Hope Center


Students return to school

20140825 AREA Back-to-School 3093There were tears from both students and parents Monday as schools in the area welcomed them in for the first day of class.

La Joya Independent School District is one of few districts in the area to offer full-time pre-kindergarten programs, and some of the youngest students at Camarena Elementary weren’t quite ready for their parents to leave.

The first day of the school is the only morning parents are allowed on campus to visit their children’s classrooms before school, and Principal Mary Lily Garza said everything was running smoothly as she ushered parents out of the building at 8:15 Monday.

Read more: Students return to school


Regional Teacher of the Year goes to MCISD

20140822 MCISD-3-Peat-Regional-Teacher-of-the-Year featureHumble beginnings have helped educator Jesus Razo, 38, strive for excellence. That excellence is now being recognized.

Region One Education Service Center has named Razo, a math teacher at Mission Jr. High School, as Regional Secondary Teacher of the year. It’s the third year in a row Region One has selected a teacher from Mission CISD. This is also the fourth time in five years a teacher has been selected from the district.

Ada Castillo, principal at Mission Jr. High, is honored to have Razo as an educator at her school.

Read more: Regional Teacher of the Year goes to MCISD


Businesses win through Ruby Red Ventures

20140819 MISSION Ruby-Red-Ventures 2989Parking will expand at Jitterz Coffee Bar after owners received a $10,000 grant through Mission’s Ruby Red Venture program.

It was one of five grants adding up to $50,000 announced by the Mission Economic Development Corporation at Tuesday’s meeting. Through the program, the corporation hands out up to $100,000 annually in two rounds to encourage entrepreneurial ventures.

Since the program started, the city has handed out $182,000 to local business owners. In this round, grants went both to new entrepreneurs as well as established businesses in Mission.

Read more: Businesses win through Ruby Red Ventures


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