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Steve Peña named CEO of City of Alton Development Corporation

Alton LOGOALTON—Alton is receiving multiple inquiries about development opportunities, according to City Manager Jorge Arcaute. So much so that Assistant City Manager Steve Peña has been promoted to handle development for the city full time.

Peña has been named the CEO for the City of Alton Development Corporation. For the last seven years, Peña has worked as the general manager for the CADC.

“The city manager is creating a very sustainable team to move forward to the next level for Alton,” Peña said. “Part of that was to put me into the economic development realm, full time. So far, this is what we’ve gotten on a part time basis.”

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Mission creates more jobs in 2013, sees lowest unemployment rate in five years

City-of-Mission-logoClose to 500 new jobs were created in Mission in 2013 and the city's unemployment dropped to the lowest rate in five years, according to the latest statistics from Texas Workforce Commission.

Mission's annual average unemployment rate sunk to 8.5 percent, the lowest since 2008, and November's 8 percent jobless rate was one the lowest single months for the city in the last five years. Mission's unemployment rate bested both of the Valley's metro areas and is third best in Hidalgo County just behind McAllen and Edinburg. 

"Mission's mayor, the city commission, EDC board and chamber are working together to create more jobs. Mission is an attractive place to grow or relocate your business," said Alex Meade, Mission Economic Development Corporation CEO. "The expansion of Royal Technologies Corporation is a perfect example of that synergy. We are confident that 2014 will continue to be as successful because of that formula." 

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Students receive first round of Chromebooks

20140131 Chromebooks-1 featureMISSION— Zayda J. Martinez, a freshman at Mission Collegiate High School, grabbed a Google Chromebook box labeled with her name in delight.

Martinez’s fellow classmates also grabbed brand-new laptops and settled in with their parents to analyze their new educational tools.

On Jan. 23, during a report card night, the Google Chromebooks were distributed in part with the Mission CISD 1 to 1 Technology Pilot Project, which was approved in May 2013.

The MCISD Board approved a purchase of an estimated 1,500 Google Chromebooks that will be received by all freshmen students and sixth graders from K. White Jr. High. The purchase totaled to $462,150.

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Conway Streetscape to start by block

City-of-Mission-logoMISSION—City Manager Martin Garza told the Mission Redevelopment Authority Board on Tuesday that constant meetings with business owners are in order with the planned Conway Streetscape Project. He added the city plans to handle construction of the project block-by-block.

“We want to be able to meet to let them know we are there and able address every issue,” Garza said. “As we do one block, we will move to the next block and have a pre-determination meeting on what the business owners should expect on traffic, the amount of time we are going to spend on the east and west side of the roadway and when we anticipate to move on to the next block.”

The City Council awarded the project contract to Highmark Construction last week. Highmark placed the lowest bid at almost $1.9 million.

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Mission readies for election

20140131 voteThe Mission City Council approved an ordinance Monday calling for a general election for Mayor and Councilman places One and Three (Maria Elena Ramirez and Norie Garza) to be held on Saturday, May 10.

Early voting will be at City Hall, 1201 E. 8th Street, and the Mission Boys and Girls Club, 1822 N. Shary Road. Early voting will be Monday April 28, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Tuesday, April 29 through Monday, May 5, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 6 early voting will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be no voting on Sunday.

Election Day polls will be open at Mission High School, Castro Elementary, Pearson Elementary, Bryan Elementary and Mission Boys and Girls Club at Bannworth Park from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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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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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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