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Cupboard is bare; Rotarians lend helping hand

Rotary-LogoThe shelves at the Mission Food Pantry are bare, and the Rotary Club of Mission is lending a hand with a canned food drive throughout the summer, according to Lindslee Brunson, Rotary president.

With school out for the summer, and families now having to supply meals that would normally be provided by the school food programs, several Rotarians and others have volunteered their businesses as drop-off points for the drive.

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Mission crime rates continue decline

20130702 MPD Crime Vehicle CAB 0003MISSION—Mission Police Interim Police Chief Robert Dominguez said crime rates in the City of Mission are continuing to decrease because more citizens are getting involved and are calling the station. The overall city crime rates have continued to decrease since 2009.

In 2009, the total crimes reported to the state were 3,549. Last year, Mission Police Department recorded 2,479 crimes. The crimes reported include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft.

Cities that have high crime rates are eligible for grants to use for programs that help deter crime. Because of the dropping numbers, Mission has not qualified for the grants the past two years.

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Texas citrus growers wage fight against greening disease

20130705 ACP-adults-laying-eggs featureMISSION—According to USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service citrus greening is one of the most serious citrus plant diseases in the world. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure.

Until recently, this critical citrus disease that kills the tree itself, was found in Florida and California, but not the Rio Grande Valley. That changed a year and a half ago when, in January 2012, citrus greening disease was found in two groves in San Juan, according to Texas Citrus Mutual President Ray Prewett.

A New York Times article published last month states USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) crop estimates for Florida’s citrus production this year have been downgraded for five consecutive months, ascribing most of the losses to greening disease. Greening was first detected in Florida in 2005 and has spread to all 32 citrus-growing counties throughout the state, devastating the citrus industry. Florida citrus growers have vigorously tried to combat the disease, spending over $60 million on research trying to eradicate greening. But no solutions have been found.

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Conway streetscape project options depend on additional funding

20130625 Mission-Streetscape-Schematic-Plan-Option-3-(6-24-13) SpawGlassMISSION—The Mission Redevelopment Authority (MRA) received a report on the proposed Conway Streetscape Project at their Tuesday, June 25 meeting.

Juan Delgado, project manager for SpawGlass Contractors Inc. who has been hired to design the project, said he has met with city officials over the last few weeks and had created different options for the $1 million Conway streetscape project.

The “Cadillac plan” includes multiple, expensive upgrades but with extensive changes to Conway Avenue sidewalks the budget would only include four blocks. A less expensive plan, which was referred to as the “Chevy Nova plan,” allowed eight blocks to be upgraded.

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La Joya ISD proposes $9.5 M natatorium

20130628 LJISD-Natatorium-Entrance-ViewLA JOYA – La Joya Independent School District is discussing their budget for the 2013-14 school year. The proposed budget includes a $9.5 million natatorium and salary increases.

The natatorium has been a topic of discussion for over a year due to conflicts with their contract with the City of La Joya.

The natatorium would include three separate bodies of water with an eight-lane competition pool, a competition diving well with two one-meter diving boards, a location for a future three-meter diving platform and a shallow learn to swim pool. The natatorium would also have a spectator area for 500, a director’s office, coach’s offices, classroom, student locker/changing room, team storage areas, a weight room, training room, first aid room, public restrooms and associated building and pool mechanical rooms to support the facility. The proposed building would be 37,500 square feet, and the district is looking at bidding out the project in August 2014. Construction would take 12 to 14 months after school board approval and awarding of the bid.

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Conway Avenue to get $2 million makeover

20130626 DOWNTOWN STREETSCAPE JMB 0062Over 30 business owners and community leaders crowded into the small meeting room at El Rodeo Restaurant located on South Conway Tuesday evening. Those gathered there were anxious to learn about the city’s plans for a major sidewalk improvement project designed to help revitalize Mission’s downtown district.

Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas explained, “We want to improve our downtown area all the way from 1st Street to 14th Street. It’s a $2 million budget and it’s going to give the downtown area a facelift.”

While the city had budgeted $1 million in TIRZ funds for the improvements, the project designers have indicated that they could only complete six or seven blocks with that amount of funding. So, the city is looking at options to come up with an additional $1 million to complete the 13-14 block area between 1st and 14th Streets. The options being considered include a bond issuance to borrow the funds and possible grant monies that can be applied to the project.

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Bannworth, Mayberry Pools now open to public

20130619-Gus-and-Goldie-Swim-Class-005-FEATUREConstruction of the new Bannworth Pool and remodeling of Mayberry Pool took years to complete, but now with warmer temperatures and the arrival of summer, the public will be able to cool off and enjoy swimming at both locations in addition to the Northside Pool located at Mission High School. All that remained in May for Bannworth Pool to be ready for the public was staffing. Now that the pool is fully staffed and operational, the public has a chance to enjoy the pool.

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SISD discontinues use of C-SCOPE

20130621 CSCOPE logo-FEATUREMISSION – Since the Texas Legislature recently voted to abolish C-SCOPE lesson plans, Sharyland Independent School District decided to discontinue the use of C-SCOPE. The rule by the state came after much controversy regarding social studies lessons materials.

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