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Wed - Mostly Clear. High: 98 Low: 79
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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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Valley star hopes to shine in Hollywood

20140122-Viviana-Villalon-American-Idol dy-004 featureShe has the look, she has the voice, but it remains to be seen if Viviana Villalon will survive Hollywood.

In just one short moment during the American Idol premiere, Mission resident Villalon made her debut, singing "Love Somebody" by Maroon 5 on a ukulele.

That was all that was shown on television, but Villalon said the judges were wary at first. Jennifer Lopez was on board, but Keith Urban worried Villalon altered the song to cover a lack of range. It wasn’t shown on television, but Villalon put down the ukulele and sang “Marry Me” by Bruno Marks acapella.

The 20-year-old was awarded a ticket to Hollywood with consent of all three judges. She also gained support from across the Valley.

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Split Rail RV Park preps for Parade of Oranges

20140122 TCF-Float-preparations 0846MISSION—Star-shaped slices of cactus and palm tree branches were strewn on the ground outside of the Split Rail RV Park Annex in preparation for a glitzy saloon, fit for a true cowboy.

The Texas Citrus Fiesta Parade is set for Saturday at 3 p.m. with the theme of Western Glitz and Glamour, and Split Rail RV Park resident Bob Baker said this year has proven to be one of the more difficult themes when decorating for the Product Float category.

Residents grouped up and discussed their plans for their float, which must be almost completely covered with fresh fruit, according to rules in the category. When using freshly cut citrus and plants, Ida Czmielewski explained there is a limited amount of time that the fruit stays fresh, leaving the park in a time crunch.

“You have to water the oranges after they are put on the float to keep them from rotting,” Czmielewski said. “Hopefully it doesn’t rain this weekend, because we don’t have a place to store our float.”

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