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Palmhurst approves cameras for PD

20170321 PALMHURST Camera-demo 1606 featureEvery officer in Palmhurst will soon have video footage of every call to which he responds. Tuesday night, the city commission agreed to spend more than $22,000 on point-of-view cameras that each officer will wear on a pair of glasses or on his collar.

Chief Michael Vela said the city's new policy will require officers to turn it on during each call.

“My main focus here is for the officers, the officer safety and the citizens,” Vela said. “If there’s a shooting, the majority of the time it’s just the officer and the suspect.”

The Palmhurst City Council also agreed to pay $91,000 for a new dispatch system that should be more efficient, but city leaders didn't take spending that kind of money lightly.

Read more: Palmhurst approves cameras for PD


La Joya student shows in RGVLS for first time

20140314 AREA Livestock-show 1558 featureTwo hours before showtime, Ellora Vela began to prep her goat for competition Wednesday.

Quickly, she and a classmate realized they needed a halter in order to wash their goats one-on-one. But since they didn’t have one, they helped each other out, first washing one goat while one held it and then washing the other. Vela grabbed a bottle and poured a purple goo onto the goat she’s been caring for for months.

“Is this shampoo?” she asked in surprise seeing it turn the goat’s hair purple. She reached for the bottle to confirm she was doing the right thing.

Read more: La Joya student shows in RGVLS for first time


New chief no stranger to challenges

city-of-la-joyaAt 39, Geovani Hernandez has worked for the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, served on international missions in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Haiti and worked with mental health patients at Tropical Texas Behavioral Center.

His next challenge began this week when he started work as the new city of La Joya police chief Monday.

Out of eight applicants for the job, La Joya Mayor Jose “Fito” Salinas said Hernandez’s experience is just what the city needs. The fact that the new chief has a master’s degree and is working on a Ph.D in psychology helped as well, the mayor said.

“He has worked with young kids in the tropical center, and maybe my heart is toward him because I was a high school principal, and I think our youth in La Joya need a lot of good direction, and I think that he’s the man to do it,” Salinas said.

Read more: New chief no stranger to challenges


City of La Joya holds ribbon ceremony for new municipal library

20140306 La-Joya-Ribbon-cutting AF IMG 6962LA JOYA—Community members along with the La Joya Board of Alderman celebrated the near completion of the La Joya Municipal Library on March 6.

Construction began Feb. 1, 2013, the $500,000 project is now being completed through the efforts of the city and the County of Hidalgo Urban County Program.

Mayor Jose A. “Fito” Salinas said many parents and children would take advantage of the new facility. It’s expected to open the first week of April.

“I think this is something beautiful for the community,” Salinas said in Spanish. “And this is just the start of what is to come in La Joya, we have various projects underway.”

The mayor added the projects would benefit the community and were in large part due to the help of Diana Serna, director of Hidalgo County Urban County Program. The library sits on two acres out of an estimated 13 acres owned by the city, which will be used for new business.

Read more: City of La Joya holds ribbon ceremony for new municipal library


Luis Contreras named to TAM board

20140314 L-Contreras-Bio-PicMISSION—Mission Historical Museum Director Luis Contreras has been named to the Texas Association of Museums Board effective March 1. The organization is a nonprofit that supports professionals working in Texas museums, historic sites, arts organizations and other cultural and community organizations.

“I have known Luis Contreras since he entered the field and have watched with interest the development of his career,” Ruth Ann Rugg, executive director of Texas Association of Museums, said. “From the beginning he exhibited a practical understanding of community engagement and has worked tirelessly to weave museums in the fabric of his own community.”

Contreras began his museum field experience with the City of Mission in 2006 when he worked as the archivist/curator for the Mission Historical Museum. In 2008, he became the executive director of the Weslaco Museum of Local History and Cultural Art.

Since 2006, Contreras has also been involved with the University of Texas-Pan American and South Texas College as an arts instructor. In August 2012, he returned to the City of Mission as director of the Mission Historical Museum where he manages two facilities and supervises the daily operations, while implementing the strategic plans set forth by the museum’s board of directors.

Read more: Luis Contreras named to TAM board


Council supports RGV youth drug rehabilitation center

City-of-Mission-logoMission City Council joined a Valley-wide effort to bring a full-service residential drug rehabilitation treatment center for juveniles to South Texas by passing a resolution in support of the center in a Tuesday meeting.

Eddie Olivarez, a member of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Advisory Board and director of Hidalgo County Health and Human Services, said the facility would treat juveniles aged 16 and under who have chemical dependency issues with drugs or alcohol in a residential treatment center for six months or longer.

Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas made it clear he’d like to see the center built in Mission.

Currently, the closest treatment facilities are in Laredo or Corpus Christi. There are none in the Rio Grande Valley. Working as a spokesman for the committee, he was “simply trying to help the kids in the community by finding a way to get them the help they need.”

Read more: Council supports RGV youth drug rehabilitation center


MRA Board discusses Conway Streetscape Project, water tower addition

City-of-Mission-logoMISSION—The Mission Redevelopment Board received an update on the status of the Conway Streetscape Project last week from Ricardo Gallaga with L&G Engineering.  

Gallaga explained work on Conway Avenue started on Feb. 19, and crews had already demolished portions of the sidewalk at Leo Pena Placita Park. 

“The grapefruit, under the direction of the city, will be cleaned … repainted and reinstalled at the same location,” Gallaga said.  

MRA Chairman Richard Hernandez asked Gallaga who designed the park’s grapefruit statue, and City Manager Martin Garza said the city has searched for the designer but has come up empty handed. 

Read more: MRA Board discusses Conway Streetscape Project, water tower addition


Alleged driver in auto-ped fatality faces criminal negligent homicide charge

20140307 Carmen-Gonzalez-VelezInvestigators with the Department of Public Safety arrested the woman they believe was driving the car that struck and killed 16-year-old Brenda Cuellar, who was exiting a school bus Feb. 24.

Carmen Gonzalez-Velez, 36, of Mission, faces a charge of suspicion of criminal negligent homicide, a state jail felony. She is being held at the Hidalgo County Jail under a $100,000 bond.

Cuellar, who played for the Palmview High School’s junior varsity soccer team, was coming home from practice when she exited the school bus on La Homa Road south of 4 Mile Line at about 7:30 p.m. The bus’s flashing lights were activated and the vehicle was facing south when Cuellar attempted to cross the road.

Read more: Alleged driver in auto-ped fatality faces criminal negligent homicide charge


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