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Mission approves controversial permit

MISSION — A conditional use permit to allow the construction of an events center along East Griffin Parkway was approved by Mission city leaders this week despite opposition from business owners in the area.

Aaron Balli, who owns and operates Balli's Social & Event Center at 1620 E. Griffin Parkway, submitted a permit request to construct a new building for a nearby dance hall on portions of two lots in the same commercial subdivision. The proposed building would also take in a smaller lot shown on plats as a 12-foot wide “common area,” which is situated between two lots that Balli now owns. The common area apparently was designated for a possible future sidewalk when the subdivision was originally platted. However, Balli said he now owns that lot, along with the two lots adjacent to it where he plans to construct his building. The proposed building would be over 7,000 square feet, plus a second floor.


Proposed road dissects future Sharyland high school

MCALLEN — After more than an hour of executive session Tuesday, Aug. 7, McAllen city commissioners adjourned with their sleeves rolled up and without a decision.

The meeting was held to consult with the city attorney regarding legal aspects of the transportation plan and discussion of the economic development project “Echo.”

The agenda listed a possible action item relating to setting a public hearing regarding 6 ½ Mile Road, which as it stands cuts directly through the proposed site for a new Sharyland high school.


John Calvillo Named Pharmacist of the Year

20120810 john calvilloJohn P. CalvilloThe Texas Pharmacy Association named Mission’s John P. Calvillo, owner of Med-Aid Pharmacy, as Pharmacist of the Year.

According to the association, Calvillo possesses a record of unquestionable integrity, outstanding service to the local or state association and a personal record of exemplary service to the pharmacy community.

“As part of our process, TPA asks for nominations from the field for each of our ten awards,” said Texas Pharmacy Association Chief Executive Officer Joe A. DaSilva. “Pharmacist of the year is one of the two most prestigious recognitions. Our awards committee reviews the nominations, considers others that were not nominated and makes a selection based on the subjective parameters noted above.”


Bats roosting under Mission highway

20120802 Mission -Bats lg-1 WEBThousands of bats spend the daylight hours “crevice packed” along the north walls of the overpass at Expressway 83 and Conway Ave. in Mission. Progress Times photo by Luciano GuerraMISSION — As Mindy Schroeder was driving over the Conway and Expressway 83 overpass August 6 she drove into a cloud of what she thought were birds. But it was dusk and most birds were already roosting.

The animals avoided her car with the acrobatic excellence of an Olympic gymnast. And Schroeder said there were thousands of them. To clarify, there were thousands of bats that found a home in a niche in the overpass where a small eve overlaps the decorative rock.


Paul Rodriguez appointed to STC Board of Trustees

MCALLEN — The South Texas Board of Trustees unanimously selected on July 24 Valley Land Title Company president and CEO, Paul R. Rodriguez, to replace the late Michael Allen, who died after a long battle with cancer in 2010.

Allen represented south McAllen, southwest Pharr, Hidalgo, Sharyland, southeast Mission and Granjeno in District 3 since May 2004. Rodriguez will serve out Allen’s term, which ends in May 2016.

Rodriguez said he appreciates the board’s confidence in him.


MCISD discusses 4.5 percent increase in insurance rates

MISSION — Representatives from Humana presented Mission Consolidated Independent School District trustees and staff with an insurance plan that includes a 4.5 percent increase in rates along with a wellness plan to reward healthy living.

The increase would be an across-the-board increase, with no change in benefits offered. In response to concerns about the plan’s fourth tier, which resulted in higher costs for people who had serious health problems like cancer or multiple sclerosis, a $100 co-pay cap was added to it, which would result in an across the board $5 dollar increase in co-pays. In the current plan, people facing this situation would have to pay up to 25 percent up to $2,500.


Draft budget revisions improve bottom line

MISSION – After rejecting a draft budget presented by staff during a budget workshop held July 16, the Mission City Council approved a revised 2012-13 preliminary budget in a special meeting held Monday, July 30. The proposed budget of $41,081,000 is $73,590 less than the budget adopted for the current fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

The revised version of the city’s preliminary budget presented Monday included several changes designed to bring up the projected fund balance in the General Fund to an acceptable level. The new fund balance figure that is projected at the end of 2012-13  is now at $4,737,000, according to the revised numbers – up from the preliminary number of $550,000 presented by staff to the council two weeks ago. Mayor Norberto "Beto" Salinas made it clear to staff during the prior workshop that the numbers presented were not acceptable.


Mission residents show support for Chick-fil-A

20120801 CHICK-FIL-A DAY JB 0001The Mission Chick-fil-A drive-thru lane had a continuous line of cars Wednesday, as hundreds of customers packed the restaurant for hours in support of Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day and Dan Cathy, president of the national restaurant chain.Hundreds of supporters turned out at the Mission Chick Fil-A restaurant on Wednesday, following a nationwide call to action in support of the restaurant franchise. Similar scenes played out at Chick-fil-A restaurants all across the country.

The crowds were responding to former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's call to make Aug. 1 a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, as a show of support for the restaurant's president Dan Cathy, who spoke out in favor of traditional marriage recently.

Gay rights activists besieged Cathy with harsh attacks since he made his comments two weeks ago, as the national media fanned the furor.


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