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Mission CISD crowns top spellers

20130208 PHOTO MCISD Spelling Bee winnersMISSION—Starting with a field of 36 competitors, it took about an hour to whittle that number down to one at this year’s Mission CISD Spelling Bee, held last Friday at Salinas Elementary School. This year’s top speller in the Mission School District is the same as last year – and the year before that.

Kimberly Garza, an eighth grader from Mission Jr. High School won this year’s annual district spelling bee for the third year in a row.

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Alton City Commission approves May election

ALTON—The Alton City Commission adopted an ordinance on Feb. 5 to prepare for the General Election to be held on May 11.

The election in May is for positions of City Commissioner Place 2, City Commissioner Place 3 and City Commissioner Place 4.

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Innovative Mission teacher makes lasting impressions

20130201 MCISD Teacher re-enactor AF  0028MISSION—Mathew Adams, social studies teacher at K. White Jr. High School, toured his classroom at the end of the day last Friday with a hat, wool coat, pocket watch, a canteen and satchel added to his everyday wardrobe.

Unusual accessories for a person living in 2013. Adams, a re-enactor of historical events, believes in teaching visually – among other educational strategies. He has spent 13 years participating in re-enactments of wars, and now, he combines his hobby with his passion for history.

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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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