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VMHS Harlequin’s sing for ‘Hairspray’

20111202_VMHS_Harlequin_01MISSION — After nearly three months of practicing, the Veterans Memorial High School (VMHS) Harlequin Drama Club is ready to bring “Hairspray” to the stage. Nearly 60 students including actors, stagehands, lighting crew, director, band and the drama teacher are looking forward to seeing many happy faces in the crowd.

Drama teacher James Hodgson said this has been the largest production the club has done under his tutelage. Of the 60 members, 30 of them are freshmen.

“This is a difficult play because of the size. We haven’t had all at once, 50 people, or 45 people on the stage,” said Hodgson. “It’s complicated to get them all up there and busy…and it’s a lot of singing. There’s not a lot of dialogue.”

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Alton seeks sponsors for Christmas festivities

City-of-alton-logoALTON — City officials as well as the Greater Alton Chamber of Commerce are seeking sponsors for the upcoming sixth annual Christmas Parade and festivities to be held on Dec. 17 at 11 a.m.

Festivities include a toy giveaway to be held at the community center following the parade.

Officials said in the past, many business leaders and residents have come forward to demonstrate their generosity and civic pride and to see that the children of Alton have a fun-filled event.

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Sheriff visits White House to discuss border security

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, Sheriff Guadalupe "Lupe" Treviño met with senior administration officials at the White House including Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to talk about enhancing public safety and economic development in the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Treviño, vice chair of DHS’s Southwest Border Task Force, was joined by other sheriffs, police chiefs, and officials from the Southwest border who traveled to share their on-the-ground perspectives and brain storm ways to continue collaborating with state and federal agencies.

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Federal court develops new districting map

20111125_FED-HOUSEPLANH298EDINBURG — Hidalgo County gained an additional Texas House seat and most of District 41 was restored to its original boundary lines under new redistricting maps released by a federal three-judge panel in San Antonio last week.

The new maps will be used in the 2012 election cycle, said Hidalgo County Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramon at this week’s Commissioners’ Court.

County officials boasted that the new development was anticipated after the area grew according to the 2010 U.S. Census results.

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PHS student selected for U.S. Army All-American Marching Band

20111125_PHS_EricGomez_0112MISSION — Palmview High School trombone player Eric Gomez was honored last week for his selection to be a member of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band.

The band will play during halftime during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 7, 2012 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Gomez, his family, school officials, representatives from the U.S. Army Accessions Command, friends, and classmates filled the cafeteria last week during a jacket presentation to honor Gomez. Gomez was one of 125 high school seniors selected to participate in the marching band. He was also one of eight trombone players.

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Car plows into Bob Starks meat market

20111125_BobStarksCarInsideMISSION – A Monday morning accident left a business here cleaning up and wondering when they would be open again.

Just after 10 a.m. Monday, a woman driving a Ford Expedition drove through Bob Starks Beef Shop at 2301 E. Griffin Pkwy. near Shary Road. A female driver and customer were both taken to the hospital. Witnesses said the two women were not severely injured.

Shattered glass was inside and outside of the store. The vehicle crashed through the windows in front of the store, a pillar of the building and a freezer that was outside. Inside, the floor refrigerators containing meats were pushed nearly halfway across to the other side of the business. Rubber balls and other items from toy vending machines also littered the floor.

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County prepares for Phase II in overdue collections

20110916_HidalgoCountySealEDINBURG — Hidalgo County officials said their Operation Clean Slate effort, which allowed individuals to pay overdue fines and fees online or at local justices of the peace office without a fear of being arrested, was a success and are prepared to enter the second phase while looking for ways to maintain effective collections.

Operation Clean Slate helped the county collect over $300,000 in overdue fines and fees, said Roy Salazar with the county’s budget office. This helped resolve over 1,600 cases.

The average case was for $170, Salazar said.

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CONJUNTO TRADITIONS: ‘IT’S LIFE’

20111118-La-Joya-ISD-Conjuntol_dy-044LJISD festival brings conjunto youth, legends together

Guarded by posters of rock and pop legends like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Michael Jackson, a group of young men from Palmview High School worked on perfecting the sounds of their region that holds strong routes throughout South Texas and Mexico since the 19th century.

“It has a good beat to dance to, to listen to,” said 17-year-old Omar Garza, an accordion player with La Tradicion, PHS’s conjunto group.

After years of perfecting the mariachi scene for high schoolers, the La Joya school district struck another chord in creating classes and later individual conjunto groups for its three high schools, addressing the desire among students to get involved in another popular music genre celebrated in the area.

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