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Sharyland expanding engineering programs

20120323_sharyland-logoMISSION — Sharyland Independent School District board members said they are in full support of implementing two new programs here – a pre-engineering academy and Project Lead the Way STEM.

One of the goals for the board this year was to investigate a possible academy to be offered at Sharyland High School. The staff recommended a pre-engineering academy for incoming ninth-graders. The item had been discussed during previous budget and curriculum plans to use high school allotment funds to provide financial support for the academy. The board approved to start the academy this coming year.

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Alton hears plan for widening of Mile 5

City-of-alton-logoALTON — Plans for the future widening of Mile 5 North (Farm-to-Market 676) between Conway Avenue and La Homa Road were outlined at this month’s Alton City Council meeting.

Melba Schaus of the Texas Department of Transportation told the council she would be the liaison for the engineer on the project and would be reporting on progress frequently.

Mile 5 Road will be widened to four lanes with a continuous turn lane in the center. Schaus said there would be no shoulders. When constructed the road would have a 60-foot face-to-face road. Currently it is a two-lane road.

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US 83 (Mission) - Main Lane Closure

  • 20110729_RoadClosed_FEATMISSION - The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Pharr District will be performing main lane closures (West / East Bound) on US 83 / FM 396 in Mission to perform bridge work.  Main lane road closures will be needed between Conway Rd. and Shary Rd. to complete this work.
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Billy Leo honored for work in Hidalgo County, La Joya

20120316_MayorBillyLeo_023EDINBURG — The days of working on strategies and overseeing local elections and campaigns are taking a backseat as La Joya’s former mayor Billy Leo sets his sights on traveling.

“I’ve always wanted to travel, all my life,” Leo said, adding that he’d like to travel overseas.

Leo was honored this week by the Hidalgo County Commissioners’ Court for his work in the county and La Joya.

After nearly 15 years as mayor of La Joya, Leo lost his last campaign against Jose A. “Fito” Salinas last year. Since then, he’s working on a few other projects before ultimately retiring from public life after over 30 years in politics.

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State budget cuts affect local doctors

20120316_ValleyDoctorCrisis_12byReynaldoLealAfter completing his family medicine residency in 1985, Dr. Javier Saenz opened a practice in the Rio Grande Valley town of La Joya. Born 20 miles away in Rio Grande City and raised by a father who worked as a grocery clerk and a mother who worked on a farm, Saenz wanted to “come home” and serve the Valley, an impoverished region that is medically underserved.

Today, Saenz Medical Center treats up to 150 patients per day. Saenz is the volunteer physician for the local high schools and their football teams. A middle school is named after him.

Despite his success, Saenz, 56, said he feels nothing like a hero these days. He said his practice is hanging by a thread.

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Magazine names State Farm Arena top in ticket sales

HIDALGO — A lead trade magazine for concert and events venues, Venues Today, has named State Farm Arena top in Texas for venues of its size.

The local arena qualified for the recognition among arenas that have capacity between 5,000 and 10,000 people.

Across the Lone Star State, for venues of all sizes, State Farm Arena, which has a capacity of 7,500 people edges out Houston’s Toyota Center, which has a capacity of 19,000 people, to claim the fifth spot, behind Houston’s Reliant Stadium, (71,500 capacity), Dallas’s American Airlines Center (20,000 capacity), San Antonio’s AT&T Center (18,000 capacity), and Austin’s Frank Erwin Center (16,800 capacity).

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‘Flavor of Excellence’ showcases grant recipients

20120316_SISD_Flavor-of-Excellence_CAB_048MISSION — Students crowded around tables with robots, musical instruments and puppets last week while other students were engaged in information about gardening, an educational game show, and playing with pulleys as district officials from the Sharyland Independent School District showcased its recent grant recepients.

SISD recognizes the Education Foundation grant recipients with the “Flavor of Excellence” every year.

District educators develop educational products and programs to help students in the classroom with these grants. The programs are used to increase skills in core subjects and engage students in the classroom.

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Smokin’ Aces Shot Down again

A request for a re-consideration of previous action on a conditional use permit (CUP) for sale and on-site consumption of alcoholic beverages at Smokin’ Aces club met defeat again at the hands of the Mission City Council during their Monday, March 12 meeting.  Smokin’ Aces is located 300 feet west of Taylor Road along the south side of Business 83.

In consideration of the number of police calls to the site and a letter from the apartment complex manager next door recounting the grievances of the people who lived in his apartments about the business, the CUP for alcohol use was revoked.

Mayor Beto Salinas was livid that the request was on the agenda. He asked what the Planning and Zoning board said about the return of the request and was told they had not seen the request. The city manager and the Planning Department had placed the item on the agenda at the request of the club owners.

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