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Magazine names State Farm Arena top in ticket sales

HIDALGO — A lead trade magazine for concert and events venues, Venues Today, has named State Farm Arena top in Texas for venues of its size.

The local arena qualified for the recognition among arenas that have capacity between 5,000 and 10,000 people.

Across the Lone Star State, for venues of all sizes, State Farm Arena, which has a capacity of 7,500 people edges out Houston’s Toyota Center, which has a capacity of 19,000 people, to claim the fifth spot, behind Houston’s Reliant Stadium, (71,500 capacity), Dallas’s American Airlines Center (20,000 capacity), San Antonio’s AT&T Center (18,000 capacity), and Austin’s Frank Erwin Center (16,800 capacity).

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‘Flavor of Excellence’ showcases grant recipients

20120316_SISD_Flavor-of-Excellence_CAB_048MISSION — Students crowded around tables with robots, musical instruments and puppets last week while other students were engaged in information about gardening, an educational game show, and playing with pulleys as district officials from the Sharyland Independent School District showcased its recent grant recepients.

SISD recognizes the Education Foundation grant recipients with the “Flavor of Excellence” every year.

District educators develop educational products and programs to help students in the classroom with these grants. The programs are used to increase skills in core subjects and engage students in the classroom.

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Smokin’ Aces Shot Down again

A request for a re-consideration of previous action on a conditional use permit (CUP) for sale and on-site consumption of alcoholic beverages at Smokin’ Aces club met defeat again at the hands of the Mission City Council during their Monday, March 12 meeting.  Smokin’ Aces is located 300 feet west of Taylor Road along the south side of Business 83.

In consideration of the number of police calls to the site and a letter from the apartment complex manager next door recounting the grievances of the people who lived in his apartments about the business, the CUP for alcohol use was revoked.

Mayor Beto Salinas was livid that the request was on the agenda. He asked what the Planning and Zoning board said about the return of the request and was told they had not seen the request. The city manager and the Planning Department had placed the item on the agenda at the request of the club owners.

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People Poll

Texas Voter ID law sidelined

Monday the Justice Department blocked implementation of the Texas voter ID law  passed by the state legislature in 2011, claiming the law poses a burden on minority voters. The issue will now be decided by a federal court in Washington.

Advocates for voter ID say voter fraud undermines the integrity of our elections system, which must be safeguarded. They say the Justice Department’s move is blatantly political by an administration trying to block the Texas law.

Opponents say the law is discriminatory and discourages minorities, the poor and the elderly from voting. Advocacy groups say there is no significant voter fraud so voter ID is unnecessary.

Voters who don't have an ID could get one for free from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

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‘Choose Your Ride’ during Spring Break

20120309_MissionPD_SpringBreak_ChooseYourRide_CAB_090MISSION — The Mission Police Department hosted a “Choose Your Ride” presentation for local high school students last week to show the repercussions of making the wrong decisions during Spring Break activities.

About 65 students from Mission High School and Veterans Memorial High School from an AP history class and a law enforcement class were in attendance. Craig Verley, a spokesman for the Mission Consolidated Independent School District, said the students are meant to be ambassadors and share the message with friends and other students.

Interim Police Chief Martin Garza introduced a video that showed pictures of car accidents that were the result of teenaged drivers taking the wheel after a Spring Break party. The message was simple – driving while intoxicated kills.

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SISD Chess champions ready for nationals

20120309-Sharyland-ISD-Chess-Champs-002MISSION — Two Sharyland Independent School District students have qualified for national chess competitions.

Anthony Van Wagoner, a seventh-grader at Sharyland North Junior High (SNJH), and Katherine Mata, a sixth-grader at Shary Elementary, placed first in their divisions at a recent state chess tournament.

Now they are looking at competing in nationals.

Anthony said he started playing chess after watching his older brother play. He said he wanted to be like his older brother. Anthony won all seven of his games at the state tournament.

Katherine said her dad convinced her to start playing.

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Pharmacists protest managed-care rates

20120307_Pharmacy-IMG_6129PHARR — Standing inside Daniel Yarritu’s Sam Houston Pharmacy in Pharr, which closed recently, dozens of local independent pharmacy owners said they feared a similar fate as reimbursement fees for Medicaid pharmacy services could make it hard to keep their businesses open.

Joining them were state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and state Rep. Sergio Muñoz Jr. who vowed to work to make changes to the managed-care change that took effect on March 1.

Under managed-care, which was approved to include prescriptions in the last legislative session, Medicaid patients chose an insurance plan from a list of approved companies contracted by the state that in turn pays a set fee to insurance companies for each patient’s coverage, pharmacists said.

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People Poll results in favor of bar

The People Poll from the Feb. 24 issue of Progress Times asked readers ‘Do you think the council’s action will discourage other bar owners from calling police when their patrons become disorderly?’

According to poll results, 82 percent of readers answered “yes,” with 14 percent answering “no.”

Five percent of voters who participated in the poll said they were unsure.

The Mission City Council in February declined to renew the liquor license for Smokin’ Aces located on U.S. Business 83 and Taylor Road. City leaders cited safety concerns and complaints from nearby residents as their reasons for not issuing a permit to sell alcohol.

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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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