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SISD gets low rate on bond; lower tax rate increase

20111021_SISD_SecondHighSchool_Site_CAB_0048MISSION — Sharyland Independent School District taxpayers won’t receive as high of an increase in their school taxes as originally projected by the school district.

In September, SISD had projected a 9.7-cent tax rate to district taxpayers to help pay a $55 million bond for a second high school. By getting a low interest rate on the sale of the bond, the tax rate increase will be 8.78-cents, almost one cent less than originally projected. Jesse Muñiz, assistant superintendent for business and finance, said the increase could be as low as 8.5 cents after the sale closes on Feb. 9.

Last week, the district was looking at getting a 3.89 percent interest rate on the bond sale. When the district ran everything through on Monday, they were able to get an interest rate of 3.80 percent. The difference in interest rates will save the district nearly $2.5 million.

Read more: SISD gets low rate on bond; lower tax rate increase


University of Phoenix opens Mission campus

20120113_University of Pheonix_OpensMISSION — University of Phoenix (UOP) officially opened their doors to the community yesterday, giving community members a place where they can work face-to-face with UOP personnel to get their bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

UOP is widely known for offering online classes in healthcare, business, criminal justice, arts and sciences, human services, education, psychology and technology. The school will offer some of these programs in a classroom setting at their new campus in located at 4201 S. Shary Rd. just before Military Highway on the second floor.

UOP started in 1976 and has become one of the largest private universities in the country. Students can study at more than 200 locations with online programs available throughout the world. The university holds the same accreditation as other major universities and credits students have from other schools could be applied to their programs.

Read more: University of Phoenix opens Mission campus


Citrus Fiesta product costume show is Saturday

20120113_tcf2008_9853MISSION — Local residents will put their skills to the test this weekend and display their clothing creations made from oranges, grapefruit, cabbage and other Rio Grande Valley agricultural products at the annual Texas Citrus Fiesta Product Costume Show.

The event will be held Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. at the Mission Community Center, 1420 E. Kika De la Garza Loop. Each costume must have a mask in keeping with Mardi Gras traditions as it’s the theme of the show.

Costumes are made from agricultural products grown here, and each costume must use citrus of some kind.

Read more: Citrus Fiesta product costume show is Saturday


Courthouse draft irks community appointees

20120106_Possible_Courthouse_ComplexEDINBURG — Images of preliminary drafts for the Hidalgo County Courthouse includes an eight-story building, but seem nothing like what community appointees said they had hoped for.

“I was totally out of the loop,” said Mission resident Virginia Townsend, a community-at-large appointee for Precinct 3, of her reaction to the architectural images.

The drafts by ERO Architects, the firm contracted to develop the plans, went against the process the committee – which includes county officials, their staff and four community members – had discussed, she said.

Townsend, who is also a member of the Objective Watchers of the Legal System (OWLS), expected to be presented with different options after the committee had discussed which features and needs should be incorporated in the design.

Read more: Courthouse draft irks community appointees


MHM celebrates Citrus Fiesta Exhibit with luncheon

20120106_CentennialDuchessDressExhibitThe Mission Historical Museum invites the public to a luncheon celebrating the newly-expanded Citrus Fiesta Exhibit. To be held next Thursday, Jan. 12, at 11:30 a.m. in the Shary Building, 900 Doherty Ave., the luncheon will feature a citrus-themed menu and a program on the Texas Citrus Fiesta product costume show.

Patti Burrow will emcee the luncheon, and Barbara Gerlach and Anne Whitfield will present the style show program. There will be live music, courtesy of the Sharyland High School String Ensemble, and door prizes.

The sit-down meal is $15 for non-members and $12 for members. Call Burrow at 956-580-8646 to buy tickets.

Read more: MHM celebrates Citrus Fiesta Exhibit with luncheon


Top 2011 stories: MEDA/MEDC shakeup, U.S. Census undercount allegations

20120106_SISD_SecondHighSchool_Site_CAB_0046MISSION — The top stories for 2011 in the Mission area concentrated on the growing population and the effects it has on economic development groups and a local high school busting at the seam, among others.

MEDA/MEDC shakeup

The biggest story here was the Mission City Council’s February decision to disband and eliminate funding to the Mission Economic Development Authority which eventually led to a reshuffling of the board of directors serving on the Mission Economic Development Corporation.

Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas indicated he was not happy with how MEDA projects were handled or how long they took to complete. He also said he wanted the city to  have one economic group like neighboring cities.

Read more: Top 2011 stories: MEDA/MEDC shakeup, U.S. Census undercount allegations


Woman skydives to 83rd birthday

20120106_SkysTHEimit_2SOUTH PADRE ISLAND -  Jean Moudry of Mission with her bright red hair and her bold red nails stood with her hands clasped together at her chest as she waited for her ride to destiny.

After years of debating with herself and friends, the 82-year-old Nebraska native finally set her sights on her dream crusade of soaring through the clouds in a Cessna plane before jumping at approximately 12,000 feet in the air with a parachute for her 83rd birthday.

Joined by friends and family, Moudry, an Ann Richards Middle School volunteer, said the skydiving adventure was part of her bucket list of things she wanted to do in life.

Read more: Woman skydives to 83rd birthday


Chief Longoria: ‘I’m going to stay active in law enforcement’

20111230_ChiefLongoriaMISSION — As Mission Police Chief Leo Longoria recently took a break from his intermittent vacation before he officially retires, he met with his top administration officials, but didn’t look like a man who was ready to stow away his badge.

His office remained in tact. Piles of paper lined his desk, his awards and photos still stood in his bookshelf and his bulletproof vest stood on the floor beside the door ready for a quick exit.

After announcing his retirement – effective in 2012 – last October, Longoria has been preparing himself for his new life as a hands-on dad and insurance agent.

“There’s been a big transition in my life and it basically had to do with setting my priorities,” Longoria said in an interview from his office recently. “I’m reflecting more on the fact that there were times that I took a vacation, but I was never on vacation. I never took one mentally, I was usually always thinking about work.”

Read more: Chief Longoria: ‘I’m going to stay active in law enforcement’


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