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Current Conditions:
Cloudy, 69 F

Forecast:
Thu - AM Showers. High: 83 Low: 68
Fri - Isolated Thunderstorms. High: 81 Low: 63
Sat - Mostly Cloudy. High: 86 Low: 69
Sun - Mostly Cloudy. High: 83 Low: 69
Mon - AM Clouds/PM Sun. High: 84 Low: 67

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Texas Vineyards

20110729_Vineyard_LEG_5139Grape Harvest Brings Happy Days

Soon, Mission, Texas could be known not only for its citrus, but also for its grapes. Tucked away in the northern part of Mission are two thriving vineyards. Santa Anita Vineyard is operated by Ruth Casas and Jaber Estate Winery is operated by Jorge Jaber.

The vines at the charming, rustic Santa Anita Vineyard will soon be budding with black Spanish grapes. The vineyard, which is located on Bentsen Palm Drive at 6 1/2 Mile, is open to the public. Casas said the best time to visit is in April when the fruit is ripe. Pruning begins in February and harvest takes place in July.

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City, drainage district collaborate on major drainage project

2010_FLOODED_CountryEstates_Mission_SHEATSMISSION – In a meeting with concerned Mission residents last Thursday, July 21, Godfrey Garza, director of Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1 (HCDD), outlined a plan by local officials to widen the Mission Lateral drainage ditch. The action is expected to reduce the threat of flooding of homes throughout a large area of Mission.

Under the proposed plan, drainage district workers would perform the work of widening the major drainage structure, which is located between FM 495 and Two Mile Rd., running parallel to FM 495. The City of Mission has committed to haul away the tons of dirt to be excavated at no cost to the district, a measure that will create major savings in the cost of the project. About one-third of the city will benefit from the Mission Lateral drainage improvements, Cerda said. Areas as far south as Business 83 and west to Los Ebanos Rd. drain into the lateral drainage system.

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La Joya bypass using partnerships for funding

US-83-La-Joya-Relief-Route-Location-Map-EDINBURG —Hidalgo County and transportation leaders here say they hope a proposed collaborative effort will get the $81 million La Joya bypass project funded and finally constructed after a decade of planning.

On Tuesday, officials with the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) met with Hidalgo County leaders to discuss the partnership.

TxDOT Area Engineer Mario Jorge calls the La Joya relief route, a bypass through Peñitas to Sullivan City, a much-coveted project.

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MPD searching for evidence, stolen items in Kimmons death

20110719_MPD_MFD_Diving_Murder-Investigation_CAB_0010MISSION — Mission police this week combed the area along West 2 Mile Line Road near the home of retired U.S. Border Patrol Agent Willis Spears Kimmons who was found dead last week. The suspects have told officials they got rid of the weapon used in the area.

Police spokesman Sgt. Jody Tittle said the department is trying to find anything that would help the case, even though the suspects have confessed to the crime.

Authorities were unsuccessful in their search using a canine unit and divers in the canal next to the house.

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MEDC hires Meade as exec. director

logo_MEDCMISSION — The Mission Economic Development Corporation’s consultant Alex Meade of P3 Economics became its newest executive director this week.

The action was taken at Tuesday’s meeting following executive session.

Meade, who is fluent in Spanish, earned a bachelor of Business Administration in Economics at St. Edward’s University in 1999 and a master’s of Business Administration from the University of Texas-Brownsville in 2006.

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TxDOT plans overpass reconstruction at Inspiration Rd.

20110715_MapMISSION — With two major highway projects well underway, Mission is on track to gain approval for yet another major project – the extension of Inspiration Road under Expressway 83 and rebuilding the overpass at that intersection.

The proposed $23.2 million project would connect the north and south portions of Inspiration Road, which are presently interrupted by the expressway. Plans call for construction of a new overpass crossing over Business 83 and Inspiration Road as well as expansion of the expressway from four to six lanes. The project also includes a complete reconstruction of the intersection and frontage roads.

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Mission considers banning RVs in driveways

20110715-RVMISSION — A proposal that would ban parked recreational vehicles in front yard driveways was sent back to the Planning and Zoning Commission at Monday’s Mission City Council meeting.

The ordinance stated RVs could only be parked alongside public or private streets for temporary loading or unloading and must be completed within 48 hours.

The ordinance is currently limited to R-1, or large lot, residential areas.

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Police ID suspects in retired agent’s death

20110714_Tarbutton-Arista-Arraignment_Kimmon-Murder_CAB_0026MISSION — Mission police have arrested and charged two suspects in connection with the death of Willis Kimmons.

David Tarbutton Jr., 19 and Leroy Arista, 23, were charged with capital murder. Their bonds were set at $5 million each.

Peggy Arista, Leroy’s mother, was also arrested and charged with tampering with evidence.

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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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