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Thu - Showers. High: 80 Low: 67
Fri - Partly Cloudy. High: 83 Low: 62
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Meet in the Middle program begins at Veterans Memorial High School

201312061 VMHS-homecoming-king-queen featureMISSION—Cristian Bautista, a senior at Veterans Memorial High School, is much like the average student. An athlete, Bautista has a love for soccer and was named VMHS Homecoming King for 2013.

Bautista also has been part of the first steps with a new program for the campus and Mission CISD, called Project Unity-Meet in the Middle— a project that is headed by Special Olympics Texas and designed to promote acceptance and inclusion amongst students with and without intellectual disabilities.

Diana Cremar, adapted PE teacher, brought the program idea to the campus and fellow teachers Kathy Howell and Maricela Munoz quickly came on as facilitators.

“It is about breaking down walls,” Howell said. “The students learn about tolerance, building friendships that perhaps they might not have had otherwise. They get to see that just because people are different, they can still be friends.”

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MHS choir students advance to area auditions for All-State Choir

20131206 MHS-choir-Region-and-Pre-AreaMISSION—Six Mission High School choir students recently took part in the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Region/Pre-Area performances. They are, from left to right: Oscar Salinas, Carolina Gonzalez, Frankie Chaires, Joel Guerrero, Samantha Sanchez and Xavier Alonzo.

Of these six students, five have qualified to compete in the TMEA Area auditions in January that will be held at Rockport-Fulton High School. Those students are: Oscar Salinas, Carolina Gonzalez, Frankie Chaires, Samantha Sanchez and Xavier Alonzo. If they place in the top ten in their respective sections at the Area auditions, they will become members of the TMEA All-State Choir.

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La Joya student selected for U.S. Army All American Marching Band

20131125 Palmview-U.S.Army-Bowl-Marching-Band AF  0066 featurePALMVIEW—U.S. Army representatives visited Palmview High School on Monday to select Christian Hernandez for the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. Hernandez is scheduled to play trombone during the half-time show of the U.S. Army All American Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 4, 2014.

The high school senior, along with his mother and Superintendent Alda T. Benavides, were part of the selection presentation. John Cahill, selection tour representative with the U.S. Army, said the program is on its seventh year with more than 4,000 applicants from across the nation.

Cahill added the application process is strenuous, and students must submit three different videos: a marching routine, personal video with their instrument of choice and a team video with their campus marching band.

“We team up with the National Association for Music Education in selecting the students,” Cahill said. “It’s long and tedious, but if they want to do it, they put in a lot of time and effort to get here. They will perform during half time of the nation’s premier high school football game.”

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Freedom Life Church gives the extra mile

20131123 MISSION Giving-the-extra-mile IMG 3923Members of Freedom Life Church dug into their own pockets to provide 250 strangers with free gas Saturday morning at Leo’s gas station at the corner of W. Griffin Parkway and Inspiration Road.

Dozens donned scarves, beanies and coats to deliver $5 gas vouchers to unsuspecting drivers pulling into the station. Some volunteered to wash windshields as drivers pumped gas. Even after the group cheered as the last gas voucher was handed out just after noon, teens continued to wash windshields of incoming vehicles.

“We just really wanted to show them that we love our community; we love our area,” said Penny Cruz, associate pastor at the church under Eliud and Cathy Garcia, senior pastors. “We love people, and it’s been so awesome looking at the people’s faces like, ‘Why are you doing this?’ Because, just because we have a heart for the people.”

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City of Mission shares the blessing

20131122 MISSION Turkeys-delivered JS IMG 3913A caravan of Mission fire trucks, police units and other vehicles slowly made its way into a trailer park off Mile 2 and Trosper roads. Each vehicle was loaded down with boxes of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and vegetables, almost everything families would need to put together a Thanksgiving Day meal.

Residents stood outside their homes—most of them old RVs that had been immobile years ago—braving the 40-degree temperatures and light rain. Fifty families in the small community had one more thing to be grateful for as they broke bread Thursday.

It’s a Thanksgiving tradition for the Mission Police Department that goes back at least a decade, and this year several city departments got involved. Even Mayor Norbeto Salinas was a part of the convoy that parked along the dirt road that winds through the trailer park.

“We feel that we needed to do something like this for these types of families, getting to some of the most poorest people that we have,” Salinas said.

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La Joya ISD addresses reading skills

LA-JOYA-LOGOLa Joya ISD board members heard reports Tuesday reading assessments given to kindergarten, first- and second-grade students at the beginning of the year.

As part of the Texas Education Code, the assessments must be done at the beginning, middle and end of the year and the results must be shared with the La Joya Independent School District Board of Trustees.

The tests assess skills like chronological awareness, reading comprehension and accuracy. In La Joya, the majority of students are in the dual language program and took Tejas Lee, which tests them in Spanish. Most of those students had difficulty with reading comprehension.

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Community members become Principals for a day

MCISDlogoMISSION—At 7:30 a.m., Principal Orlando Farias can be found enjoying his first cup of coffee, and standing at the entrance of Mission Collegiate High School greeting his students every morning.

Mission Collegiate HS is known for its size of 225 students and rigorous curriculum. Farias said the idea that the top students in the district are attending his campus is a misunderstanding, but he said by the time the students graduate, they will be.

Through the annual Principal for a Day Mission CISD event, members of the community had the opportunity to shadow a principal for half a school day to get a glimpse into the daily routine of school leaders.

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Palmview takes hard look at finances

City-of-Palmview-LogoPALMVIEW—Entering into the tightest part of the year, city leaders hope to save enough money at the end of the fiscal year to put away for a rainy day.

“I want to be part of a group, of a team, of a city that’s going to have a fund balance,” Palmview’s Mayor Pro Tem Ricardo Villarreal said Monday night as city leaders discussed finances. “Even if we start at $3,000 this year in the black, please help us do that.”

City Manager Ramon Segovia only was named to the position last month, but he’s working with the finance director to streamline procedures, implementing a new purchase order system and becoming more strict on spending.

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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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