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Bryan Rd. overpass demolition set for Wednesday

MISSION — The Bryan Road bridge over U.S. Expressway 83 will be torn down Wednesday, March 7, said Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) engineer Valente Olivarez.

Olivarez told city leaders about the demolition, which will start from the bridge’s southern end, at the council’s regular meeting on Monday.

The conversion of the Bryan Road overpass is part of a $23 million that should allow traffic from Anzalduas Highway to flow smoothly onto the expressway without stopping. The entire project was anticipated to take 22 months, of which 18 have already passed creating the main lanes and frontage roads.

During the demolition, traffic on Bryan Road traveling south and east will be redirected on the frontage road to the Conway Avenue turn around where two turn lanes for traffic (one going west to east on the frontage road and the other coming from the north turning east) was created to merge traffic safely. Northbound traffic on Bryan Road will be redirected to the Shary Road turn around in a similar scenario.

TxDOT engineer Juan Sustaita said work would be done at night from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to create less problems with traffic and for safety issues. He said it would take four to six days to completely take down the bridge. During that time there will be traffic delays. Once the bridge has been removed traffic delays will stop but removal of debris from the site will last until March 16.

Construction of the east and west connections to Expressway 83 will begin with construction of the bottom decking and then the pillars. Once the pillars are completed, the top decks can be constructed. At the same time, after the bottom decking and pillars are completed, construction on the connecting road between north and south Bryan Road will begin.

Read more: Bryan Rd. overpass demolition set for Wednesday


La Joya ISD celebrates literacy with 'parade'

20120302_LJISD_PHS_Literacy_CampaignPALMVIEW — Harry Potter, Shrek, Fiona, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Three Blind Mince, Jack Sparrow, Snow White, Belle and many other book characters were parading around Palmview High School this week to celebrate literacy.

La Joya Independent School District kicked off a literacy campaign with their Texas Citrus Fiesta float in January and carried the theme into the schools. Elementary school students presented “literacy” floats while middle school students displayed their art work in their coordinating high schools last week and this week.

Floats and artwork displayed representing books the students have read. One school had several pieces that gave tribute to Dr. Seuss and Whoville. Other floats portrayed pirates, super heroes, Disney characters and nursery rhymes.

Read more: La Joya ISD celebrates literacy with 'parade'


Feeding dreams in a new home

20120302_RGV-FOOD-BANKFood bank opens new facility

PHARR — Standing in the loading area of the historic Valley Fruit Company facility on Cage Boulevard, Teri Drefke said she’s sometimes still in awe of the building’s construction.

“They don’t build anything like this anymore,” she said.

Drefke, the executive director of the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley said when searching for a new site to house the organization’s growing demands the vacant building was the perfect fit.

Read more: Feeding dreams in a new home


Vintage fashions highlight MHM luncheon

20120302_MHMFashionTake a step back in time on Thursday, March 8, at the Mission Historical Museum Vintage Fashion Show and Luncheon.  It will be held at 11:30 a.m. in the museum annex, 200 E. Tom Landry, Mission.

This has become the project of Sonia de la Garza, part of her internship at the museum from the Museum Studies course she is taking at The University of Texas-Pan American.  She wanted to do a project involving public programming and is working with Patti Burrow, MHM education and outreach coordinator.  According to Casandra Karl, MHM director, as the two selected a theme for the museum’s final winter luncheon of the season the vintage fashion show idea was born.  Karl stated that De La Garza has done everything from getting the dresses and finding the models to the preparations on the table decorations while keeping close tabs with her mentors at the museum.

Read more: Vintage fashions highlight MHM luncheon


Court Delivers Election Maps for Texas House, Congress

Texas Tribune

Now there are maps.

Federal judges in San Antonio unveiled maps for the state's congressional delegation and for the state House Tuesday afternoon, and they did it in time to allow the state to hold its delayed political primaries on May 29. The court also signed off on Senate plans agreed to earlier this month.

The court has not ordered a May 29 election, but on Monday it asked the political parties to detail the election law waivers they would need in order to hold their primaries on that date. The judges put out the maps early enough to take comments from the various parties on them, but they didn't immediately seek those comments, and aren't required to do so.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said these maps are much closer to those originally approved by the Texas Legislature last year. "I consider these interim maps to be a substantial improvement over the maps previously issued by the San Antonio court," he said. "The court properly rejected demands by some plaintiffs to draw drastic and over-reaching maps."

Read more: Court Delivers Election Maps for Texas House, Congress


Local law enforcement attends grant conference

MISSIONU.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, hosted a multi-city grants videoconference on Tuesday in which more than 60 law enforcement personnel gained insightful knowledge of the latest tools and resources available to submit a successful grant application.

Cuellar and representatives from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) joined participants at the Cuellar’s district office via videoconference from Washington D.C.

“This month’s grants workshop is all about providing law enforcement personnel with the information they need to bring federal dollars back home so that they may continue to keep our communities safe,” said Cuellar. “Every month, I plan to host a grants workshop tailored to different community groups with the needs of our district in mind.”

Read more: Local law enforcement attends grant conference


LJHS preps for Locks of Love event

LA JOYA — La Joya High School Cosmetology Department and Locks of Love have joined forces to provide financially disadvantaged children with hairpieces on Wednesday.

The community is invited to attend and donate their hair for this great cause on Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the La Joya High School Cosmetology Department.

A free shampoo and blunt haircut will be provided for each individual. Hair donated must be at least six inches long. No bleach hair will be accepted, organizers said.

This will be the last hair drive this school year and the next one will be in October.

Read more: LJHS preps for Locks of Love event


Key change to Medicaid set for March 1

MISSION — A major change, effective March 1, in how Texas provides Medicaid to an estimated 400,000 residents in deep South Texas, including the Rio Grande Valley, will was reviewed during a public meeting recently.

The gathering featured top staff representatives from the five Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) that will be administering the Medicaid program in 10 South Texas counties, according to state Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission, who hosted the event.

Organizers said they expected to draw a wide spectrum of health care providers, from doctors and hospitals to therapist, pharmacists, home health and other agencies.

Read more: Key change to Medicaid set for March 1


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