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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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City of Alton launches website, plans for growth this year

Alton LOGO TNALTON— The City of Alton Development Corporation (CADC) is prepping for the upcoming year with a main goal of growth and development.

Steve Peña, assistant city manager/CADC general manager explained the focus is not solely on building development, but website growth as well.

“We opted to do a whole new website, so we spent about $8,000 or so through the CADC, and hired MPC Studios to develop our website,” Peña said. “We wanted to make it user friendly.”

Peña said he along with a few staff members have access to the site, updating it regularly to keep the community up to date with services and upcoming projects for the city.

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Mission High School welcomes new principal

20131219 MHS-Principal IMG 0003MISSION—Mission High School welcomed new principal Edilberto Flores in November 2013. The principal is on his 21st year with Mission CISD and said he hopes not only to meet academic goals, but also create a welcoming environment for parents, staff and students.

Flores has spent time at Mission Junior High, Alton Memorial Junior High, Midkiff Elementary, K.White Junior High and worked at the district’s administration building. The principal said he has decided to take advantage of a unique opportunity to work as a principal again.

“I enjoyed the central office life, I learned a lot about budgeting and state and federal compliances,” Flores said. “But I missed being around kids and teachers … I missed the school, the environment and meeting to plan out curriculum.”

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City of Mission is prepared for big changes in 2014

City-of-Mission-logoMISSION—City of Mission Mayor Norbeto “Beto” Salinas said the community should expect many changes in 2014. Multiple projects have been approved and others are still in the works, but all will benefit the citizens of Mission.

A project that will be executed within the first 45 days of 2014 is an expansion at the city’s sewer plant. An addition of 4.5 million gallons per month will be added to the usage this year.

With added water comes more usage for new homes and new residents, and the Mission mayor is excited to keep the city growing.

“We want to provide more housing for the people that we have,” Salinas said. “So far, in the last few years, we have built 225 new homes and repaired 75 homes. (City Manager) Martin (Garza) is working on some other houses that are abandoned or need some rehab.”

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