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Tue - Partly Cloudy. High: 101 Low: 76
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Judge Ramon Garcia takes the reins ahead of schedule

20101109_Hidalgo-County-Judge-Ceremony_010EDINBURG — Judge Ramon Garcia returned to his old job Tuesday, weeks ahead of schedule after Interim Hidalgo County Judge Rene A. Ramirez resigned.

At Tuesday’s Commissioners’ Court, Garcia was selected to serve as the new interim judge for the remainder of former Judge J.D. Salinas III’s term, which ends Dec. 31.

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LJISD discusses improvement plans

LA JOYA — The La Joya Independent School District discussed their 2009 Financial Integrity Rating at a recent board meeting.

The rating system was developed in 2000 and has 21 standards for evaluating a school district’s financial condition. The standards assess the fund balance, asset balance, debts, when reports were filed, clean audit, tax collection rate, district’s academic rating, expenditures per student, cash, investments, administrative costs, ratio of students to teachers, earnings, and other financial related issues.

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SISD discusses construction project delays

20101025_SharylandISD_WalkThrough_CAB_0043MISSION — Administrators with the Sharyland Independent School District reported that renovations at Castleman Gym have been completed while a major renovation at Sharyland High School’s auditorium is behind schedule and won’t be complete until November.

“There’s a couple of little things, but it is pretty much complete,” said Superintendent Scott Owings when asked if the gym was done.

The gym received a new paint job, renovated locker rooms and restrooms, new bleachers, air conditioning and offices, and new wall pads, among other amenities.

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Border Patrol agent, foundation leader dies

20101101_EddieVela_Funeral_CAB_0008MISSION — Family, friends and local U.S. Border Patrol agents packed into St. Paul’s Catholic Church on Monday to remember Eduardo “Eddie“ Vela who died last week. He was 33.

Vela died on Oct. 29 after a 15-month battle with a rare and incurable cancer called appendiceal carcinoma. Vela was diagnosed with the cancer on June 25, 2009 after having his appendix removed.

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Novitiate back to life with Juan Diego Academy

20101029_Juan-Diego-Academy_0080MISSION — Come August a group of high school freshmen will be the first to reinvigorate the former St. Peter Novitiate and Diocesan Seminary as a new site for education – Juan Diego Academy, the first Catholic high school in Hidalgo County.

Following last year’s fire that destroyed the novitiate, board members for the high school approached Bishop Daniel E. Flores about getting help for a site. Paul Rodriguez, the board’s chairperson, said the bishop acted quickly.

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'The political machine has corrupted the process’

Problems with voter assistance evokes new legislation draft

LA JOYA — Allegations of a new element in voter and employee intimidation struck here this election cycle as employees of the La Joya Independent School District reportedly brought assistants to help them cast their vote.

“That’s not the intent of the voting process,” said Dr. Filomena Leo, LJISD’s former superintendent who believes voter assistance could be used against employees with serious repercussions. “This is a freedom we enjoy that comes with confidentiality. This brings fear, intimidation and coercion.”

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Incumbents seize election night

MISSION — New candidates may have fueled their campaigns by taking their platforms to the streets with campaign supporters to get their names out, but it was incumbents in local races that came out victorious this week to return to their positions.

La Joya Independent School Board incumbents Jose A. “Fito” Salinas and Johnn Alaniz will retain their seats on the board for another four years, joined by their PASS group members U.S. Border Patrol agent Narciso “Chicho” Solis and Palmview Municipal Judge J.J. Peña Jr.

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Interim County Judge Ramirez resigns

20091103_20091106_County_RamirezEDINBURG — Nearly a year after accepting what he called a managerial role as the interim judge of Hidalgo County, Rene A. Ramirez announced he would step down from his position effective today at 5 p.m.

“There’s nothing you can accomplish in two months,” Ramirez said in an interview of the time remaining in his position as interim judge. “And to sit not working and collecting a check is just not me.”

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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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