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Sen. Hinojosa: Affordable Care Act against American liberty

20120711 SenatorHinojosa-CAB 8043Texas State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa. Progress Times photo by Carina A. BrunsonMISSION – State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa spoke about issues the state is currently facing at Mission Chamber’s Buenes Tardes Luncheon this week. Hinojosa said this last legislative session was probably one of the most difficult sessions he has seen, due to budgetary challenges. And the next session might just be as difficult.

Hinojosa said Medicaid is one of the fastest growing parts of the state’s budget. Last session, Medicaid was underfunded by $5 million, said Hinojosa.

Hinojosa said Governor Rick Perry has already made a decision to reject the extension of Medicaid, but it isn’t only his decision; it is up to the legislature as well.

With the issues of the Affordable Care Act, I would like to wait before making a decision, said Hinojosa.

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Heroes for Heroes: Sgt. Lopez Memorial Blood Drive

20120706 SgtJoseMLopez01Sgt. Jose M. Lopez. Courtesy PhotoThe Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce will be hosting Heroes for Heroes: Sgt. Lopez Memorial Blood Drive July 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The citywide event is a replenishment blood drive to honor the Valley’s fallen heroes and local heroes from the police and fire departments.

The event is a first of its kind. United Blood Services encourages the community to set up a booth or table to share memories of military personnel and public servants who have died in the line of duty.

This blood drive commemorates Sgt. Jose M. Lopez, one of the Valley’s Medal of Honor recipients, who acted bravely during the Battle of the Bulge.

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New superintendent official for SISD

20120706 SISD-Superintendant-VirginiaRichterSISD Superintendent Virginia Richter. Courtesy PhotoMISSION – With a starting contract date of July 1, Dr. Virginia Richter is ready to move forward and develop goals for the district as the newly named superintendent for Sharyland Independent School District.

Richter was named as the lone finalist during a late May school board meeting and was officially hired last week. Richter has signed on with the district for three years. She will receive an evaluation every year.

Even though her first official work day is July 11, Richter said she has been taking time to interview each board member this week to find out the inside of the district and what their goals are.

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CBP: Woman arrested for smuggling child at Pharr International Bridge

PHARR — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Pharr International Bridge arrested a female Pharr resident on charges of alien smuggling..

On June 29, a green Mercury Villager minivan driven by a 36-year-old female United States citizen arrived at the Pharr/Reynosa International bridge with four minors. She showed agents her U.S. passport and birth certificates for four minor children traveling with her. During a secondary inspection, it was discovered that one of the children, an 11-year-old male, was a Mexican national without documents.

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Council to review home occupation permits

20120629 homebusinessA request to establish a flower shop in a residence spurred Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas to order a review of the city’s home occupation ordinance.

“I want to protect the merchants who operate businesses in our central business district and who pay taxes to the city on their sales,” Salinas said during the discussion at Mission City Council meeting held Monday, June 25. “Allowing home occupations where people can produce and sell merchandise at lower costs because they have no overhead is unfair to the merchants who support the downtown area of the city.”

Mayor Salinas suggested that before the request was approved or denied, the council should review the home occupation ordinance. He said he wants to hear from other flower shop owners to find out how they feel about a home-based flower shop competing for their customers during peak selling periods.

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$168M drainage referendum recommended for improvements

Hidalgo-County-SealEDINBURG — The Hidalgo County Drainage Advisory Committee recommended that the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court go ahead with a $168 million referendum to improve efficiency in the county’s existing drainage system.

Two main issues facing the infrastructure are opening up and removing blockages that can choke the system and increasing efficiency of the existing system using a 1997 study and its recommendations, said Jim Darling, a McAllen city commissioner and co-chair of the Drainage Advisory Committee.

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Valley youth serve colonia, learn lessons in humility

20120625 Colonia Service Project St Paul Catholic 0187-featureJack Cavazos and April Cerda measure insulation on a house they are renovating through St. Paul’s Catholic Church and the Catholic Youth Renovation Project, which is a program from the Brownsville Diocese. Progress Times photo by Mark ReaganNORTH OF PEÑITAS — A dust devil ripped up dirt and trash as it crossed Tom Gill Road a mile or two south of the Pueblo de Palmas colonia where Rio Grande Valley youth spent a week in late June helping people improve their quality of life.

Roughly 50 teenagers teamed up to spend a week erecting walls, sheet rocking, building a roof, installing insulation and more as part of the Catholic Youth Renovation Project, which is sponsored by St. Paul’s Catholic Church, of Mission. The church established the project three years ago to help improve and repair the homes of needy families in the Mission area.

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Crime Stoppers host cheer clinic

The Mission Crime Stoppers will host the Mission Power Divas in a cheerleading clinic for girls ages five to 12 on Thursday, July 12. Proceeds will benefit the Crime Stoppers program.

The camp fee is $40 for a full day, but $35 if pre-registering during the month of June. It will be held at the Mission Parks and Rec building, 721 N. Bryan Rd., Mission, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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