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Councilwoman announces re-election campaign

20140226 Maria-Elena-RamirezMaria Elena Ramirez, widow of former Councilman Celestino Ramirez, has been a full-time Mission city councilwoman since 2009.

After more than four years of dedicated service, Ramirez has announced her candidacy for re-election for Mission City Council Place 1.

“It has been an honor serving my community and working diligently with Mayor Beto Salinas, and the rest of the council, to spur economic growth for Mission,” Ramirez said. “Although much has been accomplished in this short term, there is still more progress to be achieved.”

Ramirez was born and raised in Mission and has dedicated more than 26 years of her career as an educator to the Mission Consolidated Independent School District. Mission not only has impacted her life, but it has left a lasting imprint on her children; all four of Ramirez’s children have decided to raise their families in Mission (Celestino “Tino” Ramirez Jr., married to Melanie Ruiz; Anita Ramirez, married to Eduardo Rivera; Sylvia Ramirez married to Abiel Flores; Hector Ramirez married to Samantha Salinas).

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La Joya ISD athletic director to get award

20140228 Victor-GarzaVictor Garza credits athletics for giving him a free education.

He started out playing baseball and basketball for La Joya High School before earning scholarships to pay his way through Texas Southmost College and the Pan American University.

Now the athletic director of La Joya Independent School District, Garza said he leads a different type of team, but a team nonetheless.

“Above all, our team has a big impact on the greater team of the district, which is working for overall academic success,” Garza said. “Athletics, fine arts and UIL academics— we’re the No. 1 dropout prevention programs.”

Garza will be honored during the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association state conference, March 1-5, as Athletic Administrator of the Year for Region VII. This is only the second year for the awards, which honor one athletic director from each of the association’s eight regions. Region VII stretches from west of the Laredo area down through the Rio Grande Valley and north past Corpus Christi.

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Mission EDC announces Ruby Red Ventures grants

20140220 Ruby-Red-Ventures AF IMG 6731 featureMISSION—The Mission Economic Development Corporation named three businesses as first-round winners of the Ruby Red Ventures at a meeting this week.

The Mission EDC and the Mission City Council created the program to assist small businesses through a $100,000 awards fund. The program seeks to encourage entrepreneurially oriented Rio Grande Valley residents to expand and/or launch new ventures in Mission.

Chief Operating Officer Daniel Silva said the program has been able to fund 12 businesses since it’s creation.

“Ruby Red Ventures has been a program that we’ve been able to reach the micro business, the small business population,” Silva said. “It has been very successful. The groups complete a business plan…they go through courses and give a presentation.”

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A glimpse of beauty amidst tragedy

20140214 ALTON House-fire 1348 featureBeyond a charred home, beyond a yard littered with fire investigators, beyond a community rocked by the tragic loss of a daughter, an underlying theme of love prevails.

It can be seen in the scars of Alma Rosa Fuentes’ older brother, who fought the fire and smoke to try and find his sister. It’s seen in the firefighter who crawled into the burning building on his hands and knees.

And it’s seen in the neighbor whose entire family tried in vain to save Alma Rosa Fuentes.

Fuentes, a 7-year-old student at Americo Paredes Elementary was killed Thursday, Feb. 13, in a house fire, and several of her family members were hospitalized, one of whom at a San Antonio hospital, after trying to save her.

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GoMission Card brings high tech tools to Main Street

20140213 GoMission with Downtown-Mission-Merchants-Assn JB 1949George Myers, president and CEO of the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce, has come up with a powerful new program to help local businesses, as well as consumers looking for great deals – the GoMission Discount Card.

Myers said he is drawing on his retail experience in managing mall shopping centers by taking the mall discount card concept and improving on it in several ways. One advantage of the GoMission Discount Card for shoppers is the large pool of retailers and other businesses participating in the program. The chamber has already enrolled nearly 60 businesses in GoMission and more are being added each week as the new program grows.

The Mission Chamber has incorporated the latest tools to make the program easy for shoppers to use and for merchants to update their special offers. Last month, the chamber launched the GoMission Card website at The website is user friendly, making it easy to look up or print out all the deals being offered by the participating businesses. There are dozens of special offers available to GoMission Cardholders.

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Elijah King wins SuperSong FIFA World Cup 2014 contest

20140221 Elijah-KingMISSION—Elijah King can remember marching through his neighborhood with a drum set in his toy wagon to work on music in a friend’s garage at the age of 10.

“I’ve always had dreams of doing something in music. That has always been where my heart is,” King said. “I’ve always had a connection with music, like a love for a relative or a friend. It’s a love for the other half of you.”

This month, King won the 2014 FIFA World Cup SuperSong contest with his song titled “Vida.” The musician sings in both English and Spanish and writes and produces his own music. King has worked with artists like T-Pain, Young Cash and Grupo Treo.

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City of Mission gets Conway Streetscape Project underway

20140214 Mission-Streetscape LDB 6691Construction on the Conway Streetscape Project kicked off this week at Leo Peña Placita Park.

At a meeting with local owners and managers of businesses on the block Friday, Feb. 14, City Manager Martin Garza said the city is starting on the west side of the block in front of the park. There, he said, contractors will put in a demonstration of what the entire project will look like.

“We wanted to make sure that we addressed priorities for them,” Garza said. “We wanted to know what times they open, what times they close, what parking areas do they use the most.”

The $2.6 million project revamps Conway Avenue from First to 14th Streets. It includes benches, pavers, palm trees and new lighting. The project also has been expanded to include a splash pad and a “Welcome to Mission” sign.

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Palmhurst takes no action on proposal for park land

2014 PALMHURST-LOGO-170pxThe City of Palmhurst took no action Tuesday on a proposal from their neighbors to purchase 10 acres the city recently acquired across The Mansion on Shary.

Mayor Ramiro Rodriguez said the commission's lack of action killed the offer from local developer Obed Flores, a petroleum engineer who owns the Shary mansion next to city hall.

"They're welcome to come back anytime to make another offer," Rodriguez said. "It was a hard decision, but I think for the community get-together it's going to be great."

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