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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.

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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).

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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.

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Sharyland Leo Club serves community

20120512 Leos PET Workday lg-15MISSION — There is always a cause to be addressed within the community, and when the need is there, a Mission-based organization is prepared to assist.

“When there is injustice, we will be there. When there is a hungry mouth to feed, we will be there. There is always a cause,” said Sharyland High School English teacher and Leo Club sponsor Julissa Sanchez. “That’s why I say that Leos never sleep.”

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SISD names lone finalist for superintendent post

MISSION—Sharyland ISD (Independent School District) has narrowed its search for a new superintendent to just one finalist—Dr. Virginia Richter.

Richter has been working for the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district for 24 years serving as an area administrator for over 15,000 students. Before working for PSJA, Richter worked at Mission Consolidated Independent School District for two years.

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We Remember: Mission reflects on fallen soldiers

20120528 MEMORIAL DAY Service Jose Lopez DiegoMontoya JB  0051-nodataA standing room only crowd of family, friends, veterans and a police honor guard gathered on Memorial Day to pay honor to Mission’s sons who lost their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan. They filled Leo Peña Placita Park nestled in the heart of downtown Mission to hear words of remembrance, gratitude and honor.

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SISD approves additional personnel, superintendent search continues

MISSION – Sharyland School Board approved requests for additional personnel at several schools during this week’s board meeting. Most of the personnel were requested because of increasing enrollment numbers at the high school.

More staffing was also requested to help with new testing practices that will be fully implemented next year. The hiring of three testing strategists, an administrative position, was approved for the high school and both junior highs.

The board also approved hiring a physical therapist. The school district expects to save money by having a therapist on the payroll instead of paying for outside services.

Agriculture Building Update

The board rejected a bid on Package B for the Agriculture Building. The package calls for an addition and small office space with lockers. Original budget for the project was set at $400,000. Bids received were over $700,000.

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Bryan Road construction falls behind

20120525-Bryan-Road-Bridge-Demolition-007Since demolition of the Bryan Rd. bridge crossing over Expressway 83 on March 7, motorists have had to detour to either Conway Ave. or Shary Rd. to cross the expressway. Although city officials had hoped the contractor could re-open the intersection to north-south traffic sooner, TxDOT project engineer Oscar Cancino says he expects to see them reach that milestone in mid-July to mid-August.

He says that while the overall project is running behind – with 60 percent of the work completed and 80 percent of the allotted time expired – the Bryan Rd. reconnection appears to be on target within the five months time originally allotted. He added that the contractor is expected to submit an updated work schedule that TxDOT will review and work out an agreement on issues such as number of rain delay days and utility delays allowed.

“Overall we’re a little [behind] with the total working days that they have here versus what they say now. But at any time the contractor can accelerate the work. They can bring in more forces and hit their allotted days,” Cancino said.

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