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La Joya board meeting draws sparks

pt-square logoThe first meeting of La Joya Housing Authority since federal investigators picked through documents at both the office and the executive director's home drew sparks when one board member said they weren't doing enough to support the agency.

"Things happened over the holidays and we never sat down and discussed it," said Board Member Frances Salinas De Leon on Tuesday evening. "I didn't see any action. I didn't see anyone addressing it."

She said she tried to get in touch of Chairwoman Abby Garcia at the time, but De Leon only has Garcia’s work number. She sent an email, but said she didn't get a response until Tuesday. In the meantime, De Leon said, she called up a friend with the Bexar County Housing Authority and found out about an informal meeting Friday for area housing authority attorneys and directors to discuss issues.

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Mission to use eminent domain

City-of-Mission-logoThe Mission City Council approved the use of eminent domain as a method of getting the needed right-of-way for improvements to the U.S. 83/Inspiration Road intersection at a Monday meeting.

The law firm of Galligan, Key & Lozano attempted to negotiate to come up with a solution, but the parties were unable to agree on a valuation of the 0.0893-acre tract of land, so the City Council initiated condemnation proceedings.

In other action, the council approved a traffic safety recommendation that states there will be no parking or standing at any time on the southwest corner of Business 83 and Highland Avenue for 205 feet along the west side of the road. Vehicles have been parking on the west side of the road, creating traffic jams and hazards near the railroad tracks.

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Mission CISD class start times delayed for Wednesday, Jan. 29

MCISDlogoMISSION—Mission CISD schools will be delaying their start time on Wednesday, Jan. 29, by an hour and a half. This is due to the current weather forecast trends.

Classes will begin at 9:15 a.m. for our elementary schools, at 9:45 a.m. for our junior high schools and high schools; school bus pick up times will also be delayed by an hour and a half.

School administration and custodians should report to work as close to the regular times as possible. The school day will end at the regular time.  The regular schedule will resume on Thursday, Jan. 30.

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Valley star hopes to shine in Hollywood

20140122-Viviana-Villalon-American-Idol dy-004 featureShe has the look, she has the voice, but it remains to be seen if Viviana Villalon will survive Hollywood.

In just one short moment during the American Idol premiere, Mission resident Villalon made her debut, singing "Love Somebody" by Maroon 5 on a ukulele.

That was all that was shown on television, but Villalon said the judges were wary at first. Jennifer Lopez was on board, but Keith Urban worried Villalon altered the song to cover a lack of range. It wasn’t shown on television, but Villalon put down the ukulele and sang “Marry Me” by Bruno Marks acapella.

The 20-year-old was awarded a ticket to Hollywood with consent of all three judges. She also gained support from across the Valley.

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Split Rail RV Park preps for Parade of Oranges

20140122 TCF-Float-preparations 0846MISSION—Star-shaped slices of cactus and palm tree branches were strewn on the ground outside of the Split Rail RV Park Annex in preparation for a glitzy saloon, fit for a true cowboy.

The Texas Citrus Fiesta Parade is set for Saturday at 3 p.m. with the theme of Western Glitz and Glamour, and Split Rail RV Park resident Bob Baker said this year has proven to be one of the more difficult themes when decorating for the Product Float category.

Residents grouped up and discussed their plans for their float, which must be almost completely covered with fresh fruit, according to rules in the category. When using freshly cut citrus and plants, Ida Czmielewski explained there is a limited amount of time that the fruit stays fresh, leaving the park in a time crunch.

“You have to water the oranges after they are put on the float to keep them from rotting,” Czmielewski said. “Hopefully it doesn’t rain this weekend, because we don’t have a place to store our float.”

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Mission and La Joya natives compete in statewide H-E-B Slim Down Showdown contest

20140124 AREA HEB-Slimdown  0814SHARYLAND—Sharp chest pains and shortness of breath gave Kristina Flores a wake up call on her lifestyle, causing her to apply for the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown.

Flores, a La Joya native, said after visiting a doctor she found her symptoms were related to anxiety. After seeing a commercial for the weight loss competition, Flores said it was a sign.

“I saw the commercial last year and thought I wouldn’t get picked…I’m in a little town from the Valley,” Flores said. “This year I saw the commercial and thought I need to do something. They called us right before Christmas to let us know we were chosen. It was a really good Christmas present for all of us in the competition.”

The H-E-B Slim Down Showdown selected 30 employees and customers out of 4,000 applicants across Texas. The contest began Jan. 6 and will continue for 12 weeks. The contestants will compete to win a $10,000 grand prize or a $5,000 “health hero” prize.

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Streets close for parade, Fun Fair

20140124 TCF PARADEWith the Texas Citrus Fiesta Fun Fair and Parade of Oranges planned Saturday, the City of Mission will close the following streets at the times noted below.

Fun Fair

The Fiesta Fun Fair will be held at Leo Pena Placita Park, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

  • Business 83 at Conway Avenue will be closed all day Saturday, from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. for the Fun Fair.

Parade of Oranges

The Parade of Oranges route will be along Conway Avenue, starting at FM 495 and proceeding south to 4th Street. Parade line-up will be along Conway between 2 Mile Line and FM 495, so that portion of Conway will be closed from 1 p.m. until the parade is finished.

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Border Patrol recognizes seven students as ‘Head of the Class’

20140124 BP-Head-of-Class-storyMISSION—The U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector recognized the academic excellence of seven local high school students on Jan. 15 as part of its “Head of the Class” program.

The “Head of the Class” is a monthly award to recognize high-achieving seniors at high schools throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Students are nominated by their school counselor and selected by an impartial committee.

So far this academic year the Rio Grande Valley Sector has held four ceremonies and recognized 37 students as “Head of the Class.” The program provides an opportunity to showcase students who are working hard to further their education, many of whom are first-generation college students who also volunteer a significant amount of time to their communities.

The ceremony was hosted by La Joya Independent School District’s Juarez-Lincoln High School. Award recipients included Daniela Chavez of Juarez-Lincoln High; Nancy Garcia of La Joya High; Keyla Marroquin of Palmview High; Ruby Zavala of PSJA Southwest High; Andres Salazar of Rio Grande City High; Marissa Marroquin-Peña of Grulla High; and Aaron Alvarado of San Isidro High.

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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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