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Mission property crimes continue decline

20130208 MPDMISSION – According to Mission Police Department’s 2012 Uniform Crime Report, a report the department files annually with the state, crime has declined by 13 percent in the City of Mission in the past 12 months. The biggest decrease in crime has been property crimes.

Property crimes like burglary, larceny and auto theft have gone down each year since 2010. Police Chief Martin Garza said this could be attributed to continued efforts to get more officer presence in residential areas.

Since 2010, auto theft has decreased nearly 50 percent, with 307 auto thefts in 2010 and 162 reported in 2012.

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MCISD considers demolition vs. renovation of high school buildings

MISSION—A workshop was held Jan. 30 for the Mission CISD Board Facilities Committee and Bond Oversight Committee to discuss proposed demolition, reconstruction and structure additions to Mission High School.

Though the project will not begin until the summer of 2014, the MCISD board hopes to approve the final additions and changes within the month.

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MPD officer fired after DWI charge

MISSION – Mission Police Chief Martin Garza said one of his police officers has been terminated after being charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI).

Mission police arrested Randy Garza about 7:15 a.m. Sunday after being called out to where his vehicle had struck a mailbox. Randy Garza was off duty at the time.

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Aggravated robbery leads to Mission school lockdowns

MISSION – Mission Junior High and Mission High School were under a lockdown Wednesday afternoon while Mission Police Officers searched for an aggravated robbery suspect. The suspect was caught a short time later near the 1300 block of Conway.

Before 2 p.m., Wednesday, officers responded to a call at the popular Luau restauant, located at Doherty and 11th Street in Mission. Employees of the Luau told officers they had been robbed at gunpoint. The robber left with an undisclosed amount of money.

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LJISD school board extends super’s contract

20130201 Dr-Alda-T-BenavidesLA JOYA – After a lengthy executive session during a school board meeting last week, La Joya Independent School District board members announced they would extend the school superintendent’s contract for two more years.

Dr. Alda T. Benavides’ contract was set to expire in June of 2014. With the extension granted last week she will now have a contract through June 2016. The board also approved a 14 percent raise for the superintendent, bringing her yearly salary to $225,000.

Board President J.J. Peña said he was happy that the board was able to give Benavides an exceptional evaluation.

“We appreciate everything you have done for our community, our staff, and most of all our students,” said Peña. “You have our backing 100 percent. You have our full faith and backing behind you.”

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Julio Cerda resigns as city manager

20130130 Mission City Manager AF 0001In a move that seemed to catch everyone by surprise, Mission City Manager Julio Cerda announced Wednesday that he is resigning from his post as the city’s head.

With tears in his eyes, he told Progress Times publisher in a private interview before making the announcement to a room full of city department directors, that he had a burning desire to do what he loves and start his own engineering company. His last day with the city will be Feb. 28.

Trained as a civil engineer, Cerda was hired as the city’s first staff engineer in 2003. Two years later, he was tapped to run the city from the city manager’s desk.

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Mission Historical Museum to construct new garden, event area

20130201 MHM Landscape-Renovation-Plan featureMISSION—Mission Historical Museum is scheduled to see renovations begin on its property within the next month. Museum Director Luis D. Contreras II explained the changes are going to be an exciting new addition for the community of Mission.

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Citrus Fiesta tradition continues

20130126 TCF PARADE JB 0353 featureThe Texas Citrus Fiesta Parade of Oranges attracted tens of thousands of spectators as over 200 floats, bands, marching units and other parade entries proceeded down Conway Avenue in Mission Saturday. Rev. Roy Snipes, the iconic priest from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, leads the church procession on horseback, representing the seven priests who formed the “Cavalry of Christ” over 100 years ago.

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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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