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Palmview High School hosts Operation Lone Star

20140804 Operation Lone Star lg-02 featureOperation Lone Star returned to South Texas this week, bringing with it free health care services for children and adults alike.

Student physicals, hearing and vision screenings, child immunizations and in some locations dental care and eye exams for prescription glasses were among the services provided all week and will continue to be provided until 2 p.m. today by hundreds of health care professionals at five sites across south Texas.

Palmview High School and Pharr San-Juan Alamo High School served as the two Operation Lone Star host sites in the Upper Valley while middle schools in Brownsville and Rio Grande City and the Laredo ISD Performance Arts Center served as the other three sites this week.

Read more: Palmview High School hosts Operation Lone Star

   

La Joya ISD eyes $337M budget

2014 LJIS LOGOEmployees are getting 4 percent raises, buses are getting GPS and students are getting a $12 million natatorium in the $337.6 million proposed budget presented by La Joya ISD administrators Wednesday.

The added expenses mean the district will dip into its $116 million fund balance. Alfredo Vela, assistant superintendent of administration and finance, estimated the district would need more than $23.6 million from its reserves to cover the budget. The district is maintaining its $1.31 tax rate.

It was the first time the district publicly released the budget projections, though staff and board members have said throughout budget workshops that the district would be using some of its fund balance.

Read more: La Joya ISD eyes $337M budget

   

DPS aims to deter crime on river

20140801 DPS Gunboat-Ride Immigration-Overload-DPS-Surge TXEG140 featureArmed with six .30-caliber machine guns, each capable of producing 1,000 rounds of ammunition a minute, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s patrol boats are meant to be threatening.

“And a lot of people ask us, ‘Don’t you think that’s a little bit of overkill?’ And our answer is ‘Yes, it is, by design.’ The more threatening we can be to the cartel, the less chance of them engaging us,” said DPS Lt. Charlie Goble.

Goble and Capt. James Dunks, game warden with Texas Parks and Wildlife, toured the Rio Grande with Associated Press reporter Christopher Sherman last week as state leaders push for more border security on the Texas-Mexico border because of an influx of people, mostly from Central America coming into the country illegally.

Read more: DPS aims to deter crime on river

   

Human trafficking at issue in hearing

20140724 LA-JOYA Human-trafficking-panel 0063LA JOYA—Victims of human trafficking are reluctant to make an outcry because of the life of crime to which they have been accustomed, Capt. Ron Swenson, of the TABC Special Investigation Unit, said at a hearing last week on human trafficking.

During a Texas Joint House/Senate committee hearing held at the La Joya ISD boardroom, Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, said La Joya and other cities lining the border are currently home to the trafficking of women and minors.

“My particular focus is to make sure there is not one child that ends up in the commercial sex trade industry,” Huffman said. “I think we need to stay focused today about why we are here and that is to address the interim charges that we have been given as a committee to study. Hearing testimony on how to combat sex trafficking along the Texas border and to discuss services available to victims. ”

Read more: Human trafficking at issue in hearing

   

Mayor opposes hospital district tax burden

betosalinasA new tax could soon be imposed on all Hidalgo County taxpayers and Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas is blaming the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court and the Valley’s state legislators. Those officials have pushed for the formation of a county hospital district with a potential ad valorem tax rate of 75 cents.

If a tax rate of just 25 cents is imposed on local taxpayers, that will cost $100 million per year, Salinas says.

Hidalgo County is expected to hold a referendum for voters to authorize formation of a county hospital district this fall. The hospital district would not just be for indigent care, but would also create a new tax to fund the proposed RGV medical school. When the formation of a RGV medical school was proposed, many people asked, “How will you pay for it?” But very few specifics were provided the media concerning funding.

Read more: Mayor opposes hospital district tax burden

   

Mission readies for National Night Out

2014 National-Night-Out-LogoMission Crime Stoppers and Police Department are hosting one of the largest crime prevention events in Western Hidalgo County on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

The event will be held at Leo Peña Park, across from the H-E-B on Conway and Business 83, from 6-10 p.m.

The event will feature food, entertainment and information from local nonprofit organizations

to deter crime. Mission Crime Stoppers and the police department's victim assistance representatives also will be at the event.

Read more: Mission readies for National Night Out

   

Cornyn, Cuellar call for action, propose HUMANE Act

20140718 HUMANE-Act-news-conference 2508It's time for solutions, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar emphasized while discussing their proposed HUMANE Act with local leaders in the Rio Grande Valley at Mission City Hall last Friday.

"We need to act," Cornyn said. "We can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We’re more than happy to work with you to try to improve this, but you can’t just say no. Washington is so polarizing these days that many people think they can just say no and feel satisfied they have done their jobs."

The HUMANE (Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency) Act would amend the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. If passed, it would treat all migrant children the same no matter their native country. Currently, children from Mexico are given an immigration hearing and can be deported within seven days. Meanwhile, Central American children are given a notice to appear in immigration court and often don't have a hearing for three to five years, Cuellar said.

Read more: Cornyn, Cuellar call for action, propose HUMANE Act

   

Glenn Beck’s Mercury One visits Palmview

20140719 Iglesia Del Pueblo lg-10It was Christmas in July for thousands of lower-income Valley children Saturday when radio talk show host Glenn Beck’s Mercury One charitable organization rolled into the parking lot at Iglesia Del Pueblo church in Palmview complete with tractor trailer-full loads of food, water, stuffed toys and soccer balls.

As volunteers worked to prepare and serve the kids and their parents breakfast, others handed each child their brand new stuffed toy or soccer ball. Iglesia Del Pueblo pastor Juan De La Garza explained how Mercury One came to be involved with the event meant to help the needy right here in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Some weeks back I got in contact with Glenn Beck through a friend of mine and as a result of our conversation Glenn decided he wanted to do what he could to help those being affected by the border crisis,” said De La Garza. “While Glenn was well aware of the border crisis, I explained that we actually have two issues we’re dealing with down here. We have the issue of the unaccompanied illegal immigrant children and we have the issue of the colonia residents who need help as well. What we came up with, and what we’re doing here today, is a way of dealing with both issues at the same time.”

Read more: Glenn Beck’s Mercury One visits Palmview

   

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