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Current Conditions:
Cloudy, 70 F

Forecast:
Thu - Showers. High: 80 Low: 67
Fri - Partly Cloudy. High: 83 Low: 62
Sat - Mostly Cloudy. High: 83 Low: 66
Sun - Cloudy. High: 82 Low: 69
Mon - AM Clouds/PM Sun. High: 85 Low: 68

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Inspiration overpass demolition set to begin March 27

City-of-Mission-logoMISSION—Demolition of the overpass on Inspiration Road and U.S. 83 begins this week, according to an update from TxDOT at the Mission Redevelopment Authority meeting on Tuesday.

Judith Garza-Bozquez with the Texas Department of Transportation said a barrier has already been placed within the project limits, shifting main lane traffic to the outer lanes in preparation for the demolition.

“Currently, we have a contractor on schedule to begin bridge demolition on March 27,” Garza-Bozquez said. “It should take approximately three weeks. Of course that is subject to change.”

Palm trees in the vicinity of the overpass have been removed and planted on Conway Avenue and the Sharyland Golf Course. Garza-Bozquez said TxDOT is encouraging the city to notify citizens about the construction.

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La Joya to provide wastewater service to more residents

city-of-la-joyaThe City of La Joya is working to provide 140 residents in the western portion of the area with utility service.

The area, known as Havana, currently has septic tanks and City Administrator Mike Alaniz said the city plans to extend wastewater lines to residents. It has applied to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to decertify that area, which is currently under the Agua Special Utility District.

At the same time, La Joya is moving forward to construct a 1.2 million gallon per day wastewater treatment plant. The city obtained funding for the $3.5 million project in 2007 through a government loan at 0 percent interest. The plant will be built at the corner of Military Road and Garza, next to the existing lift station. It’ll be an Aero-Mod plant that’s more energy conservative than a traditional plant, Alaniz said.

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Progress Times seeks reader feedback

pt-square logoSeveral local elections are on the way, and that means it’s time for voters to choose the direction of the communities in which they live.

We at Progress Times want to know the concerns and questions citizens want addressed as we prepare for Election Day, May 10.

Seats on both the Mission Consolidated Independent School District and Sharyland ISD are both up for election, and they all have competition.

Members of area school boards make decisions that affect everyday life of community members.

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New chief no stranger to challenges

city-of-la-joyaAt 39, Geovani Hernandez has worked for the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, served on international missions in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Haiti and worked with mental health patients at Tropical Texas Behavioral Center.

His next challenge began this week when he started work as the new city of La Joya police chief Monday.

Out of eight applicants for the job, La Joya Mayor Jose “Fito” Salinas said Hernandez’s experience is just what the city needs. The fact that the new chief has a master’s degree and is working on a Ph.D in psychology helped as well, the mayor said.

“He has worked with young kids in the tropical center, and maybe my heart is toward him because I was a high school principal, and I think our youth in La Joya need a lot of good direction, and I think that he’s the man to do it,” Salinas said.

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City of La Joya holds ribbon ceremony for new municipal library

20140306 La-Joya-Ribbon-cutting AF IMG 6962LA JOYA—Community members along with the La Joya Board of Alderman celebrated the near completion of the La Joya Municipal Library on March 6.

Construction began Feb. 1, 2013, the $500,000 project is now being completed through the efforts of the city and the County of Hidalgo Urban County Program.

Mayor Jose A. “Fito” Salinas said many parents and children would take advantage of the new facility. It’s expected to open the first week of April.

“I think this is something beautiful for the community,” Salinas said in Spanish. “And this is just the start of what is to come in La Joya, we have various projects underway.”

The mayor added the projects would benefit the community and were in large part due to the help of Diana Serna, director of Hidalgo County Urban County Program. The library sits on two acres out of an estimated 13 acres owned by the city, which will be used for new business.

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Luis Contreras named to TAM board

20140314 L-Contreras-Bio-PicMISSION—Mission Historical Museum Director Luis Contreras has been named to the Texas Association of Museums Board effective March 1. The organization is a nonprofit that supports professionals working in Texas museums, historic sites, arts organizations and other cultural and community organizations.

“I have known Luis Contreras since he entered the field and have watched with interest the development of his career,” Ruth Ann Rugg, executive director of Texas Association of Museums, said. “From the beginning he exhibited a practical understanding of community engagement and has worked tirelessly to weave museums in the fabric of his own community.”

Contreras began his museum field experience with the City of Mission in 2006 when he worked as the archivist/curator for the Mission Historical Museum. In 2008, he became the executive director of the Weslaco Museum of Local History and Cultural Art.

Since 2006, Contreras has also been involved with the University of Texas-Pan American and South Texas College as an arts instructor. In August 2012, he returned to the City of Mission as director of the Mission Historical Museum where he manages two facilities and supervises the daily operations, while implementing the strategic plans set forth by the museum’s board of directors.

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Council supports RGV youth drug rehabilitation center

City-of-Mission-logoMission City Council joined a Valley-wide effort to bring a full-service residential drug rehabilitation treatment center for juveniles to South Texas by passing a resolution in support of the center in a Tuesday meeting.

Eddie Olivarez, a member of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Advisory Board and director of Hidalgo County Health and Human Services, said the facility would treat juveniles aged 16 and under who have chemical dependency issues with drugs or alcohol in a residential treatment center for six months or longer.

Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas made it clear he’d like to see the center built in Mission.

Currently, the closest treatment facilities are in Laredo or Corpus Christi. There are none in the Rio Grande Valley. Working as a spokesman for the committee, he was “simply trying to help the kids in the community by finding a way to get them the help they need.”

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MRA Board discusses Conway Streetscape Project, water tower addition

City-of-Mission-logoMISSION—The Mission Redevelopment Board received an update on the status of the Conway Streetscape Project last week from Ricardo Gallaga with L&G Engineering.  

Gallaga explained work on Conway Avenue started on Feb. 19, and crews had already demolished portions of the sidewalk at Leo Pena Placita Park. 

“The grapefruit, under the direction of the city, will be cleaned … repainted and reinstalled at the same location,” Gallaga said.  

MRA Chairman Richard Hernandez asked Gallaga who designed the park’s grapefruit statue, and City Manager Martin Garza said the city has searched for the designer but has come up empty handed. 

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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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