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18-year-old charged with capital murder

20120420_Kalifa_CAB5110MISSION — An 18-year-old was charged with capital murder Friday morning in the death of Christine Jacqueline “Jackie” Kalifa.

Aaron Gonzalez was charged with capital murder Friday morning. If convicted, Gonzalez could face the life in prison or the death penalty. He was also charged with aggravated robbery in connection to an attempted home invasion on Wednesday morning.

Kalifa, 23, was found early Tuesday morning at 2 ½ Mile Line and Moorefield roads with a gunshot wound to her neck. According to authorities, her body had not been at the location long before passerby’s reported seeing her body.


Possible Afternoon Thunderstorms

The following weather advisory came in today from the National Weather Service in Brownsville.

20120420_FlashBy now, you may have been alerted to the potential for afternoon thunderstorms capable of producing damaging wind gusts and large hail.  While there is such potential, confidence in a widespread event occurring Valley-wide is Low. Here are a few details as to why.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.


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