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LEARNING OUTSIDE THE BOX: Tech Prep forms partnerships between students and businesses

20120615 Mission-Consolidated-Independent-School-District-teacher-Rene-Pena-featureMISSION—When a high school student has an opportunity to shadow a professional it can change his life. When a teacher or school counselor does it, it can change 100 lives, said Tech Prep of the Rio Grande Valley Executive Director Pat Bubb.

Tech Prep is an organization that creates partnerships between school districts and employers throughout the region to help high school students learn real-world skills while earning transferable college credits, which allows high school students a head start on their future.

Here’s how it works: Tech Prep of the Rio Grande Valley has formed partnerships with schools districts, businesses and community members from Port Isabel to La Joya and in between.

Read more: LEARNING OUTSIDE THE BOX: Tech Prep forms partnerships between students and businesses


A dream fulfilled: Angel Ibanez drafted by Astros

20120615 Angel IbanezASHEBORO, N.C. — Sharyland High School graduate Angel Ibanez was at his host family’s house watching TV and surfing the Internet June 6 when he got a call from the Houston Astros.

“I was in and out of talks with the Astros all day,” he said over the phone from North Carolina. “They called and said, ‘We’re going to take you in the next round. I hope you’re ready.’”

Angel, a junior at the University of Texas-Pan American, was spending the summer keeping his skills sharp with the Asheboro Copperheads in the Coastal Plains League. But that was cut short when the Houston Astros drafted him in the 28th round. He said the Astros shut him down in North Carolina so he will be coming back to Mission soon. But he won’t be returning to UTPA for his senior season as Angel decided to jump right into the minors.

“It has been a dream of mine since growing up, and it’s a dream come true,” he said. “Since the news broke, I’ve gotten phone calls from my friends, my family, my coaches, my ex-coaches, everybody really.”

Read more: A dream fulfilled: Angel Ibanez drafted by Astros


The grass is greener at Martin Valley Ranch Golf Course

20120607 Martin Valley Golf lg-16PALMVIEW — It’s been said that golf’s popularity is due to the fact that it combines two favorite American pastimes: Taking long walks and hitting things with a stick. That may or may not be true, but there is certainly no denying how popular the game of golf is across the country. So popular in fact that, according to a National Golf Foundation study, there were over 25 million golfers in the U.S. in 2011.

Golf’s popularity is certainly not lost on the many Rio Grande Valley residents who play golf on courses across South Texas on a regular basis, specifically, the Martin Valley Ranch Golf Course in Palmview.

Situated on land that was purchased over three decades ago by Jack Martin, Martin Valley Ranch Golf Course (MVRGC) is a 27-hole championship course with a par 72 on the first 18 holes and a par 36 on the back nine.

Read more: The grass is greener at Martin Valley Ranch Golf Course


30 more feet: City council amends changeable copy sign ordinance

20120615 Changeable Letter SignMISSION—Mission City Council voted unanimously Monday, June 11, to amend the sign ordinance, increasing the size and height of changeable copy signs along the Expressway corridor.

The amendment changes regulations for changeable copy signs from a maximum height of 20 feet and a face size of 40 square feet to a maximum height of 50 feet and a maximum face size of 210 square feet.

The council members also approved a request by Bert Ogden to issue a changeable copy ground pole sign permit at 1400 E. Expressway 83. The sign Bert Ogden proposed is 49 feet, 6.5 inches tall and has a face of 203 square feet.

Read more: 30 more feet: City council amends changeable copy sign ordinance


Community honors Kika with 8-ft statue

20120602 KIKA STATUE UNVEILING jb 0354-featureMISSION — Eligio “Kika” de la Garza II’s first job was as a newspaper boy in the 1930’s, earning one penny for every five-cent copy of The Monitor he sold at the unpaved intersection of Conway Avenue and Business 83.

Nearly 80 years later, city leaders and community members joined forces to ensure that the former congressman will be remembered for his service.

Read more: Community honors Kika with 8-ft statue


ROAD MONEY-City leverages funds to bring millions in road monies

The City of Mission has landed yet another road widening project while having to pay only a fraction of the total cost. Addressing the need for a major north-south corridor on Mission’s west side, the city council is pressing forward with plans to widen Inspiration Road, between Expressway 83 and Mile 3 Road to the north.

City Manager Julio Cerda said the city is paying the engineering and right-of-way acquisition costs, or about $2.6 million of the total $12.9 million cost of the project. The rest of the funding is coming from the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization).

Read more: ROAD MONEY-City leverages funds to bring millions in road monies


LJISD approves raises, supplemental pay

LA-JOYA-LOGOLA JOYA – Amid school budget strains and cuts, La Joya Independent School District (LJISD) has found the means to give its employees a raise and supplemental stipend pay. These two items are costing the district $6 million. The district approved the raise and stipend during a May 28 special meeting.

At the special meeting, the board approved a $400 supplemental retention stipend for all employees, with the stipulation that the employee must come back to the school district next year. The stipend pay will cost the district approximately $1.6 million.

Read more: LJISD approves raises, supplemental pay


Shindig at MHM celebrates opening of “That’s Entertainment!”

20120608 MHM Mario-SaenzThe Mission Historical Museum is hosting a not-so-traditional shindig this Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. for the opening of their newest exhibit, “That’s Entertainment! Movies, Music and More from the Past in Mission.”

The special party features live music by Trio Nuevo Amanecer, Carlos Guzman and renowned singer and musician Mario Saenz. The nostalgia will be sprinkled with popcorn and Cokes at throwback prices, food vendors and a preview tour of the new exhibit designed by Maria Hurtado.

“In a time before computers, video on demand, or MP3 players, the citizens of Mission had to leave their homes to find entertainment,” said Casandra Karl, MHM director. “Although…a small community at that time, venues for movies, music and other diversions were prolific, and people had a lot to choose from when it came to entertainment.”

Read more: Shindig at MHM celebrates opening of “That’s Entertainment!”


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