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Forums set for courthouse master plan

20110916_HidalgoCountySealMISSION — Hidalgo County residents will get a chance to meet with planners next week to discuss the Hidalgo County Courthouse master plan that a 28-member committee has worked on over the past few months.

Each precinct will get its own meeting where consultants will discuss the history of the courthouse, the project and the work done thus far, organizers said this week.

Precinct 3’s forum will be held Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. at the precinct’s offices located at 725 N. Breyfogle St. The hour-long meeting will also allow taxpayers a chance to ask questions about the effort.


LJISD extends Benavides’ contract

20120210_Dr.Benavides-LJISD-SuperintendentLA JOYA — The La Joya Independent School District School Board approved extending Superintendent Dr. Alda T. Benavides’s contract for another two years at Wednesday’s board meeting.

After executive session, LJISD school board came back to announce they would extend Benavides’ contract and said that her evaluation was overall exemplary.

Benavides will not receive a raise until looking at next year’s budget, which the board will do by October.

“This was done because she has done such a great job,” said Irene Garcia, board member.

Arnoldo Ochoa, board president, said he looks forward to the two years ahead with Benavides.


MOSTH hosts annual Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day

SOC_MOSTH_PioneerDays_Leo-LopezEDINBURG — The heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico will be celebrated with authentic crafts, food, music, performances, demonstrations, and family-friendly activities at the annual Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Museum of South Texas History, 200 N. Closner Blvd.

New to this year’s event is Texas Parks and Wildlife with a “Feed the Birds” activity for kids to make and take home for free. Kiddie-sized train rides will be running to commemorate the establishment of Valley towns as the railroad was built in the early 1900s.


SISD superintendent resigns

scott-owings-1MISSION — One week since Sharyland Independent School District board extended Superintendent Scott Owings’ contract, the board accepted his resignation.

Local media has reported the resignation comes at the heels of allegations of sexual harassment at a recent conference.

The resignation of Owings will be effective June of this year.


BorderFest names Sen. Hinojosa Border Texan of the Year

20120203_PT_Sen_HinojosaHIDALGO — Mission native state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa was selected as BorderFest’s Border Texan of the Year 2012. He was chosen for his contributions to the border region.

The festival’s committee and City of Hidalgo leaders honored Hinojosa on Monday. Lt. David Dewhurst, who was last year’s honoree, was also present at the event.

He will later be honored at a reception dinner that raises money for scholarship programs of Hinojosa’s choice. Officials said the benefit dinner has raised over half a million dollars for Rio Grande Valley students.

Hinojosa, who represents District 20, which covers Hidalgo, Brooks, Jim Wells and Nueces counties, said he was humbled and honored by the recognition.

BorderFest officials said they selected Hinojosa based on his dedication to bringing economic and educational benefits to the region he serves.

“Over the years, we’ve been recognizing people who give unselfishly” and without expectations, said Hidalgo Mayor David Franz.


Royal Court announced for 76th Texas Citrus Fiesta

20120203_PT_TCF_Coronation2_JB__1417The Neuhaus Gym stage was decorated with masks, ribbons and purple, green and gold feathers on Jan. 26 as beautiful duchesses, family and friends waited for the announcement of the new royal court for the Texas Citrus Fiesta.

The duchesses took the walkway one last time to do their promenade wearing simple, elegant gowns to gowns full of ruffles and layers adorned with beaded accents. They wore gowns of bright reds, yellows, golds, greens and blues. Some duchesses wore pastels of yellow, gray, periwinkle, purple, pink and green. The colors blended with each other on stage to make a rainbow of colors and glittering jewels to go with the Mardi Gras theme of this year’s Texas Citrus Fiesta.


Partnership makes role models out of students

20120131_STC_LJISD_CABLA JOYA — Speakers present at the South Texas College Teaching Center this week all agreed that even though it was cloudy and dreary outside, it was a sunny day for the La Joya Independent School District.

STC announced this week that they would be expanding their services at its La Joya Teaching Center. The expanded services will include more courses and offering these courses to not only students and employees, but to the community as well.


County holds off on salary adjustments for courts

20110916_HidalgoCountySealEDINBURG — Nearly 10 district courts here asked Hidalgo County Commissioners to approve salary adjustments for staff totaling over $36,000.

Over $10,000 of that was requested from indigent defense.

The salary adjustments were mostly for court coordinator and assistant coordinator raises, according to the requests the court was set to vote on this week.

Adjustments were at least $1,600 increases and at most $9,000 in indigent defense for the program manager’s salary.


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