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Election Q&A: MCISD board of trustees

20120420-Mugs-of-CandidatesElection Q&A: MCISD board of trustees

Editor’s note: Over the next several weeks, the Progress Times will ask Mission Consolidated Independent School District board of trustees candidates a series of questions about the district and its future. Candidates were given a word limit for each question. If a candidate went beyond the limit, their response was cut. Place 4 candidate Jorge Esquivel did not reply to the request for participation. The candidates for contested results were asked to participate; J.C. Avila, candidate for Place 5 was not included because the race for the seat is uncontested.

Read more: Election Q&A: MCISD board of trustees


Mother of three shot, abandoned along road

20120420_Jacqueline-KalifaMISSION — The body of a 23-year-old woman was found early Tuesday morning at 2 ½ Mile Line and Moorefield roads with a gunshot wound to her neck. The incident is being treated as a homicide.

Investigators believe the woman was shot at a different location and then dumped on the side of the road. They also said her body had not been at the location long before passerby’s reported seeing her body.

The woman was later identified as Christine Jacqueline Kalifa, mother of three.

Police said when Kalifa’s body was found, there was no initial evidence of trauma, but an autopsy revealed she had been shot at close range, execution style at the back of the neck, with a chest exit wound.

Read more: Mother of three shot, abandoned along road


MCISD using bond monies for AG facility renovations; ECHS

20120420_MissionCISD_two_color_BIGMISSION — Trustees for the Mission Consolidated Independent School District voted to spread remaining funds from a 2008 bond over a number of projects, including the aging agriculture facility and the newly approved Early College High School.

The 2008 bond money, which included construction of a new elementary school for $15 million, has been divided up for different urgent needs in the district after the construction for a new school was no longer needed. Already, the district has reallocated $10 million for major renovations at Mission High School. Before beginning this project, MCISD must first tell the Texas Education Agency what it plans to do with the remaining funds.

Read more: MCISD using bond monies for AG facility renovations; ECHS


Battling obesity in schools, at home

20120411-LJISD-Healthy-School-Lunch-Program-012Obesity, and in particular, childhood obesity has become a real concern in national media over the past few years. A recent survey done as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index put the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro area at the top of their list for fattest cities in the nation.

To combat the rising rate of obesity, the Food And Drug Administration, school districts, and other organizations are trying to take necessary steps to combat obesity and health concerns.

Read more: Battling obesity in schools, at home


Expy. 83/Shary Rd. most congested in county

20120411-cityofmissionrevisedlogoNEWMISSION — The Shary Road and U.S. Expressway 83 intersection is the most congested corridor in Hidalgo County, according to a survey done by the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).

To help accommodate the traffic, Alex Meade, CEO of the Mission Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), asked the Mission City Council to approve a $142,597 expenditure from the new Mission Corridors Infrastructure Fund.

MEDC plans to engage L&G Engineering services for the Shary Road traffic improvement project. The total cost of the project is estimated around $554,190. Meade said about $168,000 would come from the MPO, $234,593 from the Texas Department of Transportation and MEDC paying $142,597 for the project.

Read more: Expy. 83/Shary Rd. most congested in county


OWLS upset over public comment changes

20120411-HidalgoCountySealEDINBURG — A shift in the arrangement of the Hidalgo County Commissioners’ Court open forum has upset residents who speak weekly to the court about county business.

Previously, the open forum was held after the court approved its consent agenda near the start of the meeting. Now, as of about three weeks ago, commenters must wait until the end of the meeting, after all other county business, excluding matters under executive session like litigation.

“It’s never easy to take criticism, but we feel they should be open to hear our concerns,” said Virginia Townsend, a Mission resident and member of the Objective Watchers of the Legal System (OWLS).

Read more: OWLS upset over public comment changes


El Mesias reaches centennial milestone

20120404_El-Mesias-United-Methodist-Church_100th-Anniversary_JB__0023El Mesias United Methodist Church has reached many milestones in its collective 100-year history.  The most significant ones are intertwined in the influence it has in the lives of steadfast members.

In celebration, the public is invited to join the congregation in marking their centennial year with three days of celebration Friday through Sunday, April 13 to 15, according to Rev. Robert Lopez, the current pastor.

Graciela de la Garza, age 78, has seen the influence of the church on four generations of her family.  Her grandmother led the way, and she has been a member of the church all her life, as was her mother. Her children grew up in the church and her family members who still live in Mission also attend the church.

Read more: El Mesias reaches centennial milestone


Judge: Proper infrastructure critical for county

20120329-Hidalgo-County-Annual-Report-012PHARR — Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia said the county’s drainage is one of the key initiatives in his administration at last week’s State of the County where elected officials discussed the progress and goals of the region.

“A good drainage system is badly needed,” he told the audience of elected officials, including city and school officials.

Drainage is one of the three infrastructure improvements needed here, he said. The others are transportation improvements and the renovation of the historic courthouse building.

The county’s drainage advisory committee is nearing the completion of its improvement plan. The committee serves as a link between stakeholders and residents – a mix of elected officials and community and business leaders – in the development and planning of the plan, officials said.

Read more: Judge: Proper infrastructure critical for county


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