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Fair, 85 F

Forecast:
Thu - Mostly Clear. High: 98 Low: 76
Fri - Sunny. High: 101 Low: 76
Sat - Sunny. High: 100 Low: 77
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Judge: Proper infrastructure critical for county

20120329-Hidalgo-County-Annual-Report-012PHARR — Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia said the county’s drainage is one of the key initiatives in his administration at last week’s State of the County where elected officials discussed the progress and goals of the region.

“A good drainage system is badly needed,” he told the audience of elected officials, including city and school officials.

Drainage is one of the three infrastructure improvements needed here, he said. The others are transportation improvements and the renovation of the historic courthouse building.

The county’s drainage advisory committee is nearing the completion of its improvement plan. The committee serves as a link between stakeholders and residents – a mix of elected officials and community and business leaders – in the development and planning of the plan, officials said.

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UPX and STC partner to serve the community

20120406_UPX_LEG3757MISSION — The University of Phoenix (UPX) and South Texas College (STC) developed an academic partnership to encourage STC students to continue their education at UPX.

This partnership is the fifth of its kind in the nation UPX has developed in a community focused on serving its people.

Through the enterprise, UPX and STC will work with businesses and leaders in the area to identify workforce needs. The school will develop focused curriculum and career pathways to address workforce skills gaps in the Rio Grande Valley.

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LJISD board gets updates on health insurance, truancy

20120406_La_Joya_ISD_LogoLA JOYA — The La Joya Independent School District board was updated on prescription drugs benefits in the district’s health insurance plan and truancy statistics at last week’s board meeting.

The board received additional information about the drug benefits after a misunderstanding on how the plan works. There were concerns on the cost of prescriptions purchased through the plan.

Co-pays for prescription drugs had recently changed, confusing employees. Previously, co-pays for prescription drugs were a flat rate. Now, employees have to pay 20 to 30 percent of the cost of a prescription drug.

Board Member Espie Ochoa said employees needed to be better informed of these changes. She said she had fielded several calls about the higher amount employees are now asking to pay.

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Ladies Night at STC's Tech Campus set for April 12

20120406_STC_Logo_cmykMcALLEN — South Texas College’s Technology Campus located at 3700 West Military Highway in McAllen will host Ladies Night on Thursday, April 12 with an evening of music, a fashion show, refreshments and career exploration from 5-7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. The first 500 attendees will receive a free vanity bag.

“More than 1,400 women are pursing studies for careers in business and technology at STC,” said Mario Reyna, STC division dean of business and technology. “More and more women are coming to realize they have the qualities needed to succeed in these fields - innate curiosity, problem solving abilities and a willingness to learn."

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Weather make-up date set for local schools

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MISSION — Sharyland Independent School District (SISD) parents are reminded that Monday, April 9 is a bad weather make-up day for the district, necessitated by the weather-related closure of schools on March 30.

Students from the Mission Consolidated Independent School District (MCISD) will be made up in June.

April 9 was designated as a bad weather make-up day by SISD trustees when they adopted the school calendar.

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Hailstorm causes damage, strands residents


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MISSION — David Reyna, a resident of Mobile Gardens Community, was watching a Mavericks basketball game with his family when last week’s storm made a grand entrance into his neighborhood and cut off his satellite signal.

“I told the boys that it was time to go to bed,” he said, recalling the March 29 storm. “That’s when I saw that a piece of aluminum siding had come right through my bedroom wall and broke the headboard on my bed.”

Strong gusts of winds left trees and other debris in residents’ yards throughout the Mission-McAllen area, leaving many without power for several hours. The rainfall that accompanied the winds and hail also left several motorists stranded due to flooding in the area.

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Desk from the heart

Students build desk for FFA philanthropist

20120330_Sharyland_FFA_Desk_lg_002MISSION — For students in Sharyland High School’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) shop class, creating handmade art is nothing new, but when it comes to constructing a desk for one of FFA’s top scholarship contributors, the pressure was on.

Dedicated to the challenge of building a desk to show their appreciation, the students used old-world craftsmanship and attention to detail complete with dovetailing on desk drawers made from aged red oak lumber to earn top awards at the recent 2012 Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show. Their desk, with an accompanying chair and lamp, was selected as grand champion shop project among over 450 other entries.

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Mormon Helping Hands transform colonia conditions

Church volunteers clean up 80 tons of debris

20120330_LDS_Colonia_Llano_Grande_Cleanup_JB4599Bright yellow shirts with the words Mormon Helping Hands, smiling faces, and trash bags dotted the landscape of Colonia Llano Grande on Saturday, March 17, as more than 600 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated their Saturday morning to clearing out trash, brush and debris from the streets and alleys of this neighborhood just outside Weslaco.

In a massive effort dedicated to serving others, volunteers were able to remove over 80 tons of trash and debris. Focus was given to trimming trees obstructing traffic and power lines, clearing overgrown drainage ditches, streets, and alleys, cleaning lots, and making much needed home repairs. In total, 16 large truckloads of rubbish were collected and removed from the colonia.

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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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