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MCISD Board approves improvements to athletic facilities

MCISDlogoMISSION—The Mission CISD Board agreed to budget for improvements to Tom Landry Stadium and Leo Najo Baseball Field on Dec. 11.

Roosevelt Rios, coordinator for purchasing, said the district had two options, and each option covered work on the Tom Landry Press Box, stadium bleachers and Leo Najo Baseball Field Bleachers.

“My concern is if you do a renovation or something like that, how do you know what the shelf life is for that,” said trustee Patricia O'Caña-Olivarez. “I know you like to bring us the less expensive option, but we need to know are we going to be spending what we would’ve saved at the end anyway.”

Renovations to the press box total $833,000, while option 2 totaled to almost $1.1 million for a press box with prefab construction. O’Caña-Olivarez said she would rather take the more expensive option if it will save the district money in the long run.

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La Joya fires chief of police

city-of-la-joyaLa Joya officials fired police chief Julian Gutierrez in a special meeting last week with no explanation.

Though the vote was unanimous, members of the La Joya City Commission would not comment on what prompted the move. The termination of the police chief was the only item on the agenda Friday, Jan. 10, and discussion was held in closed session.

City Attorney Roberto Jackson said the city was going in a different direction. No interim or replacement was named.

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MCISD board approved MHS project schematics

20140117 MHS SchematicsMISSION—The Mission CISD Board of Trustees agreed to move forward with a schematic design, provided by ERO Architects, for the Mission High School Phase III project.

ERO Architects presented four options for a new building and renovations for the MHS Phase III project on Dec. 4 at the district’s committee meetings. The district found that “Option D” would be best suited for the campus and the educational program they had created.

In October, Superintendent Ricardo Lopez brought in the idea of using an educational program for the project. The program is a document given to architects with the specific data of sizes, types and numbers of classrooms required for a new building.

The program called for 49 new classrooms, an expansion on the cafeteria and creating a recognizable front entrance for the campus. Lopez stressed that only necessary items would be included in the project with no luxuries.

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City of Mission nears settlement with Allied Waste

City-of-Mission-logoTwo years ago, the City of Mission gave notice to Allied Waste's owners BFI of its intention to end its contract after two decades of sanitation service.

The only problem is the contract, which renews itself annually, calls for a five-year notice of cancellation. City Manager Martin Garza said the city has deemed it the "evergreen" contract.

"The mayor and the council believe it's a contract that ties the City of Mission's hands and doesn't allow us to look at other options," Garza said.

Primarily, Garza said, the city wants to start its own sanitation department. But it can't do that and keep paying Allied Waste $400,000 annually to pick up trash. So the city filed suit in 2012, calling the contract unconstitutional. City attorneys are arguing that cities can't approve an evergreen contract without specifying a specific funding source.

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Princess Anna carries on family tradition

20140117 Princess-Anna featureAt an age Rosette Keith was almost too young to remember, her mom put in her in a pretty dress, put her on stage and had her compete for the Princess Anna title for the annual Texas Citrus Fiesta.

Keith, now with children of her own, doesn't remember much from the experience, but that didn't stop her from entering her eldest daughter two years ago when she was old enough to compete. Callie Keith, then 8 years old, was named second runner-up.

"I grew up in Mission, so I've always known about the Texas Citrus Fiesta," Rosette Keith said.

Callie's little sister Liv Bailey, who was 6, loved watching Callie compete and asked her mom when her turn would come to enter the contest.

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MCISD super sees bright future for 2014

20140110 Samsung ChromebookMISSION—After recently completing his first 100 days with Mission CISD in December, Superintendent Ricardo Lopez said he is excited for the district’s future, especially with support from a community that is not afraid of hard work.

The year 2014 opens up more avenues for the district in technology and careers. Lopez said the district must provide a service to students that will equip them for the new job climate.

“We are providing resources; it’s part of our Chromebook initiative, making sure that the kids have the technology that they need to be ready for the 21st century,” Lopez said. “But it also comes with better teacher training.”

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Queen Citrianna smiles through tears

20140110 TCF CoronationShe’s wearing an orange off-the-shoulder ball gown with deep purple beading.

The dress is so ornate it requires few, if any, accessories, so she’s chosen elbow-length white gloves and simple pearl drop earrings. Her hair is pulled back in a modern updo, emphasizing a bare collarbone and graceful neck.

She’s glowing as she attempts to look perfect in her heavy gown even as the wire in one of two corsets is cutting into her skin.

Still, she maintains a smile, bright white teeth flashing the room as her king escorts her into the ball. This night she is not Sara Ramon, senior at Sharyland High School and star softball and volleyball player. Tonight she is the Duchess of Carrots, and nobody is to know the name behind the title.

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Citrus couture comes to catwalk

20140110 Product-costumes Mission-HIstorical-Museum-Archives featureMISSION—Dried citrus leaves, burnt tangerine peels and powdered bugambilia petals are all critical details of fashion for the annual Texas Citrus Fiesta Product Costume Style Show.

The art of creating outfits, hats, capes and accessories solely from agricultural products grown in the Rio Grande Valley is one that has been practiced for more than 60 years with the fiesta.

The show is the first of multiple events for the 2014 Texas Citrus Fiesta. This year’s Product Costume Show will be held at the Mission Community Center, 1420 E. Kika de la Garza Loop. The event will run from 2 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door for adults and $3 for children 10 years old and younger.

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