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People Poll

Texas Voter ID law sidelined

Monday the Justice Department blocked implementation of the Texas voter ID law  passed by the state legislature in 2011, claiming the law poses a burden on minority voters. The issue will now be decided by a federal court in Washington.

Advocates for voter ID say voter fraud undermines the integrity of our elections system, which must be safeguarded. They say the Justice Department’s move is blatantly political by an administration trying to block the Texas law.

Opponents say the law is discriminatory and discourages minorities, the poor and the elderly from voting. Advocacy groups say there is no significant voter fraud so voter ID is unnecessary.

Voters who don't have an ID could get one for free from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

‘Choose Your Ride’ during Spring Break

20120309_MissionPD_SpringBreak_ChooseYourRide_CAB_090MISSION — The Mission Police Department hosted a “Choose Your Ride” presentation for local high school students last week to show the repercussions of making the wrong decisions during Spring Break activities.

About 65 students from Mission High School and Veterans Memorial High School from an AP history class and a law enforcement class were in attendance. Craig Verley, a spokesman for the Mission Consolidated Independent School District, said the students are meant to be ambassadors and share the message with friends and other students.

Interim Police Chief Martin Garza introduced a video that showed pictures of car accidents that were the result of teenaged drivers taking the wheel after a Spring Break party. The message was simple – driving while intoxicated kills.

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SISD Chess champions ready for nationals

20120309-Sharyland-ISD-Chess-Champs-002MISSION — Two Sharyland Independent School District students have qualified for national chess competitions.

Anthony Van Wagoner, a seventh-grader at Sharyland North Junior High (SNJH), and Katherine Mata, a sixth-grader at Shary Elementary, placed first in their divisions at a recent state chess tournament.

Now they are looking at competing in nationals.

Anthony said he started playing chess after watching his older brother play. He said he wanted to be like his older brother. Anthony won all seven of his games at the state tournament.

Katherine said her dad convinced her to start playing.

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Pharmacists protest managed-care rates

20120307_Pharmacy-IMG_6129PHARR — Standing inside Daniel Yarritu’s Sam Houston Pharmacy in Pharr, which closed recently, dozens of local independent pharmacy owners said they feared a similar fate as reimbursement fees for Medicaid pharmacy services could make it hard to keep their businesses open.

Joining them were state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and state Rep. Sergio Muñoz Jr. who vowed to work to make changes to the managed-care change that took effect on March 1.

Under managed-care, which was approved to include prescriptions in the last legislative session, Medicaid patients chose an insurance plan from a list of approved companies contracted by the state that in turn pays a set fee to insurance companies for each patient’s coverage, pharmacists said.

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People Poll results in favor of bar

The People Poll from the Feb. 24 issue of Progress Times asked readers ‘Do you think the council’s action will discourage other bar owners from calling police when their patrons become disorderly?’

According to poll results, 82 percent of readers answered “yes,” with 14 percent answering “no.”

Five percent of voters who participated in the poll said they were unsure.

The Mission City Council in February declined to renew the liquor license for Smokin’ Aces located on U.S. Business 83 and Taylor Road. City leaders cited safety concerns and complaints from nearby residents as their reasons for not issuing a permit to sell alcohol.

SISD hires interim superintendent

MISSION — Filomena Leo, who served as superintendent for La Joya Independent School District several years ago, was named as the Sharyland Independent School Distirct’s new interim superintendent at a special meeting last week.

Leo will serve as interim superintendent until the school board hires a new superintendent.

In the meantime, the board is still looking at prospective consultants to hire to help with the search to replace Superintendent Scott Owings who resigned weeks ago.

In discussion matters, the board discussed the City of McAllen’s prospective 6 ½ Mile Line Road that would run from Ware to Los Ebanos Road. The road would run through the new high school’s property, officials said.

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2012 Primary Election Date, additional key dates set for 2012 Primary Election cycle

AUSTIN, TXAs ordered by the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, the 2012 Republican and Democratic Primary Elections will be held May 29, 2012. Per the Court’s Order, the runoff for the May 29, 2012 Primary Election is scheduled for July 31, 2012. The Court’s Order can be found at www.sos.state.tx.us.

“I am pleased Texas voters and candidates now have certainty when the 2012 primary and runoff elections will be held in Texas,” said Secretary of State Hope Andrade. “I urge all voters who want to make their mark on Texas by casting a ballot in these critical primary elections to verify they are registered to vote, by visiting www.VoteTexas.gov. Texans who are eligible, but not yet registered will find the necessary information directing them how they can become registered voters.”

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Honoring a Uniquely Texan Holiday

“I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls – I shall never surrender or retreat.”  - William Barret Travis at the Alamo, 1836

Every year on March 2, Texans celebrate a holiday that is entirely and uniquely Texan—Texas Independence Day. The day marks the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos.

The 59 delegates to the historic convention were a diverse group. Two delegates, José Francisco Ruiz and José Antonio Navarro, were native Mexicans. The rest were immigrants from other parts of Mexico, the United States, and Europe. Two-thirds of the delegates were less than forty years old.

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