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Elijah King wins SuperSong FIFA World Cup 2014 contest

20140221 Elijah-KingMISSION—Elijah King can remember marching through his neighborhood with a drum set in his toy wagon to work on music in a friend’s garage at the age of 10.

“I’ve always had dreams of doing something in music. That has always been where my heart is,” King said. “I’ve always had a connection with music, like a love for a relative or a friend. It’s a love for the other half of you.”

This month, King won the 2014 FIFA World Cup SuperSong contest with his song titled “Vida.” The musician sings in both English and Spanish and writes and produces his own music. King has worked with artists like T-Pain, Young Cash and Grupo Treo.

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City of Mission gets Conway Streetscape Project underway

20140214 Mission-Streetscape LDB 6691Construction on the Conway Streetscape Project kicked off this week at Leo Peña Placita Park.

At a meeting with local owners and managers of businesses on the block Friday, Feb. 14, City Manager Martin Garza said the city is starting on the west side of the block in front of the park. There, he said, contractors will put in a demonstration of what the entire project will look like.

“We wanted to make sure that we addressed priorities for them,” Garza said. “We wanted to know what times they open, what times they close, what parking areas do they use the most.”

The $2.6 million project revamps Conway Avenue from First to 14th Streets. It includes benches, pavers, palm trees and new lighting. The project also has been expanded to include a splash pad and a “Welcome to Mission” sign.

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Palmhurst takes no action on proposal for park land

2014 PALMHURST-LOGO-170pxThe City of Palmhurst took no action Tuesday on a proposal from their neighbors to purchase 10 acres the city recently acquired across The Mansion on Shary.

Mayor Ramiro Rodriguez said the commission's lack of action killed the offer from local developer Obed Flores, a petroleum engineer who owns the Shary mansion next to city hall.

"They're welcome to come back anytime to make another offer," Rodriguez said. "It was a hard decision, but I think for the community get-together it's going to be great."

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La Joya ISD first-grader dies Thursday in house fire

Edited 20140214 ALTON House fire 1340A 7-year-old girl died Thursday night in a house fire, and several of her family members were taken to area and a San Antonio hospital after trying to save her.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño said a preliminary investigation indicates a fuse in the breaker box sparked the fire, which spread throughout the home on Bentsen Palm Drive north or Mile 3 Road. This far into the investigation, the sheriff said he sees no criminal culpability.

At the time of the fire, he said eight or nine family members were in the home. All but the girl made it out alive.

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Mission CISD Board extends superintendent contract

MCISDlogoMISSION—The Mission CISD Board agreed to extend the contract of Superintendent Ricardo Lopez for one year at the regular meeting held Wednesday evening.  

Lopez was approved for hire with MCISD in July 2013. Hailing from El Paso, the superintendent has almost 20 years of experience working in education.

Board Secretary Patty Bazaldua recommended in a motion of the approval for legal counsel to create the new contract for the extension in accordance with the superintendent’s evaluation. The final amendments to Lopez’s compensation also needed to be applied by legal counsel to create the contract that would be signed by Board President Oscar Longoria.

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LJISD Board approves two-year contract extension for superintendent

2014 LJIS LOGOThe La Joya Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a two-year contract extension for Superintendent Alda Benavides at its Wednesday meeting.

Board President Esmer Ochoa said Benavides has put together a comprehensive plan for the district to meet the needs of students. The district has a few instructional needs and the superintendent is working with her team to meet them, she said.

“We’re not where we need to be, but we’re going to get there,” Ochoa said after the meeting.

Board members said they would discuss raises when budget talks come up over the summer.

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Mission pool, center officially open

20140210 MISSION Ribbon-cuttings 1309Mission city leaders waited seven months for the right time to formally announce the community center and natatorium at Bannworth Park open for business.

City Manager Martin Garza said the buildings were preliminarily accepted by the city in June in time for summer use. Also, he said, the city wanted them open in time for the start of the school year. It allowed Sharyland Independent School District to use the pool during the winter.

But, though the buildings have been in use since June, the official ribbon cutting wasn't held until Monday afternoon in conjunction with an exhibition by the International Blind Tennis Congress.

"We reserved the ribbon cutting for this date, knowing that we were working together with the Blind Tennis Congress," Garza said. "We felt that this was a big event being that it's an international exhibition that was taking place."

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MCISD high school construction updates

20140214 MCISD-Construction-Update-SiteplanMISSION—Timelines for high school construction projects were discussed at the Mission CISD Facilities Committee meeting held last week. Superintendent Ricardo Lopez showed concern over the design development time for the Mission High School Phase III Renovation, which was predicted to last for 11 months.

“Just a clarification—you say this is about standard,” Lopez said. “In my experience, this process only takes about 8 months. It’s not a full 11 or a year. This seems four months too long just from my experience.”

Manuel Hinojosa, with ERO Architects, explained the project planning portion is lengthy due to the complicated nature of the design and regulations that needed to be followed.

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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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