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Mission grad takes Army command post

20120824 Cantu Roman JLt. Col. Roman J. CantuEL PASO—Mission High School and University of Texas-Pan American graduate Lt. Col. Roman J. Cantu recently took over command of the 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment in June at Fort Bliss, which is part of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. All together, he is in charge of 670 troops.

Cantu graduated from high school in 1989 and graduated from UTPA in 1994. When he graduated from college, he attended the United States Army Armor Officer Basic Course and was eventually deployed to Camp Casey Korea where he worked as a Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer from August 1995 to December 1996.

Once finishing his tour in Korea, Cantu was assigned to Fort Knox, Ken. Where he served as Company Executive Officer of a Basic Training Company from 1996 to 1999. But as the new millennium ushered in, Cantu came back to Texas where he was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood from 1999 to 2003. While at Fort Hood he held several positions including Brigade Level Assistant S3 (Plans) officer, Company Commander in 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, and the Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.

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Progress Times celebrates 40th anniversary

2012 PT Staff Photos FeatureToday marks the 40th anniversary of the first edition of the Progress Times. The first issue was published Aug. 24, 1972 when a group of local businessmen founded the weekly newspaper to serve Mission and the surrounding areas. It is now owned by Jim Brunson who is the publisher and editor.

News content is dedicated to local coverage of city and school government, school sports and social, church and community events. Reporters regularly attend school board meetings for Mission CISD, Sharyland ISD and La Joya ISD, as well as city council meetings for Mission and neighboring cities.

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Sharyland places among elite in UIL Lone Star Cup

20120824 Sharyland Lonestar Cup featureSharyland High School coaches proudly display the trophies their teams won during the 2011-12 season as the school celebrates seventh place in the state University Interscholastic League Lone Star Cup. L-R: Dale Whitaker (girls’ basketball), David Keith (boys’ basketball), Paul Cruz (softball), JJ Lopez (girls’ soccer), Rev Hernandez (State Champion boys’ soccer), Donna Mason (academics and UIL Coordinator), Claudia Garza (volleyball), Bart Bickerton (baseball) and Ron Adame (football). Progress Times photo by Doug YoungMISSION—The accolades from the past academic year keep coming for Sharyland as they were notified recently that they placed seventh in state in the year-long University Interscholastic League Lone Star Cup competition that includes athletics and academics.

The Lone Star Cup is a competition that honors the top academic and athletic programs in the state, and includes all member high schools that are in good academic and athletic eligibility standing. The annual program recognizes five high schools, one in each of the five UIL classifications, based on their overall team achievement in specific academic and athletic championships.

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Mission spends $568,000 on road improvements

Mission City Council awarded a bid for street paving to Mission Paving Company, Inc. in the amount of $567,970 in the July 23 meeting of the council. The largest project included was a reworking of Stewart Road between Business 83 and FM 495.

Public Works Director Roberto Salinas said it would take about a month before the approved projects could be started because of the need to have pre-construction conferences with Mission Paving and to allow the company time to get its bond approved. Salinas said the projects could be done at the same time. He estimated time from start (when construction actually begins) to finish would be about three months.

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McAllen, Sharyland reach agreement

MISSION – City of McAllen Commissioners approved to ‘grant a variance with conditions to the requirements related to 6 ½ Mile’ to Sharyland Independent School District during this week’s commissioner’s meeting.

As long as SISD meets right-of-way conditions, McAllen city attorney, Kevin Pagan, said that the city wouldn’t follow through with building a road through the middle of a new high school campus, which conflicted with McAllen’s long-range transportation plan.

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SISD, LJISD miss mark for AYP scores

MISSION – School districts recently received their preliminary 2012 Adequate Yearly Progress scores. With higher standards this year, fewer schools and districts met requirements. Sharyland and La Joya Independent School Districts struggled this year with both districts missing their AYP in reading. LJISD also missed their AYP in math.

To meet AYP standards this year, school districts were to have 87 percent or more of their students passing the state reading test, 83 percent in math, and have either a 75 percent graduation rate or 90 percent attendance rate. According to the Texas Education Agency, only 28 percent of Texas school districts met these new standards.

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MCISD poised to miss AYP targets

Raw Adequate Yearly Progress testing data is beginning to paint a tough picture for Mission Consolidated Independent School District as 14 schools will not meet testing targets, and the district — overall — will miss targets in reading and math for all students. The final results are released by the Texas Education Agency in November or December.

“As the raw testing data began to come in, it helped us begin to identify the areas of need even though we won’t know until the spring where we stand regarding state accountability standards,” said MCISD Superintendent Cornelio Gonzalez in a press release. “We have been spending the summer tweaking improvement plans for our schools and the district, as well as fine tuning our curriculum implementation.”

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Mission approves controversial permit

MISSION — A conditional use permit to allow the construction of an events center along East Griffin Parkway was approved by Mission city leaders this week despite opposition from business owners in the area.

Aaron Balli, who owns and operates Balli's Social & Event Center at 1620 E. Griffin Parkway, submitted a permit request to construct a new building for a nearby dance hall on portions of two lots in the same commercial subdivision. The proposed building would also take in a smaller lot shown on plats as a 12-foot wide “common area,” which is situated between two lots that Balli now owns. The common area apparently was designated for a possible future sidewalk when the subdivision was originally platted. However, Balli said he now owns that lot, along with the two lots adjacent to it where he plans to construct his building. The proposed building would be over 7,000 square feet, plus a second floor.

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