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SISD junior highs receive Blue Ribbon honors

20110923_SISD_blue-RibbonMISSION — Junior highs at in the Sharyland Independent School District are two of 26 Texas public and private schools to receive a 2011 Blue Ribbon award from the U.S. Department of Education last week.

“When the person from (the Texas Education Agency) called in the spring about the nomination, they were actually excited,” said Superintendent Scott Owings this week. “If you look at that list, even the huge cities that have more than one, many of them are magnet campuses. I think that’s an extra feather in their cap that we’re regular public school campuses and have both of them in the same year, like, that is just really fantastic.”

Nationwide, SISD’s Sharyland North and B.L. Gray junior highs are two of over 300 recognized schools. The schools will be formally honored at an event in Washington, D.C. in November.


Collection initiative collects $8K in first days

20110916_HidalgoCountySealEDINBURG — Hidalgo County officials said their campaign to collect on over $30 million in overdue fines and fees in the justices of the peace department is off to a good start, collecting over $8,000 in its first few days.

Operation Clean Slate started late last week, offering individuals a chance to pay up before they’re unable to renew their vehicle registration or driver’s licenses and met by a third-party collector.

County officials said 46 people had visited their website to determine whether they had any outstanding fines due. As of Tuesday, $8,396.50 in fines had been collected.


College excitement starts with MCISD fair

20110916_MCISD_CollegeFair_JB_0029MISSION — Seniors crowded the Neuhaus Gym floor at Mission High School during a College Fair Tuesday morning asking college, university and military representatives about continuing their education. Over 1,300 students were able to walk through and visit with the representatives.

The Mission Consolidated Independent School District has made the College Fair available to seniors for over 20 years. Now with two high schools, the school district alternates which school hosts the event each year. Juniors from the hosting high school were also given the opportunity to attend. While some students may know what they want to do after high school, many more students are still trying to decide. The fair gives the students a chance to touch base with recruiters face-to-face, district officials said.

Mission High School Principal Joe Lopez said it is a great opportunity for the students to network and establish relationships with the university recruiters and admission counselors.


Bobby Guerra pledges to support education, healthcare for District 41

20110916_DISTRICT-41_BOBBY-GUERRA_EPG_PAGE-1_0066McALLEN — Former Hidalgo County Democratic Party Chairman R.D. “Bobby” Guerra last week told supporters in the newly reconfigured District 41 that they should be represented by someone who’s dedicated to the ideals of the district.

“This is not about Democrats or Republicans,” Guerra said at an event kicking off his campaign to be the Democratic candidate for the state representative seat in the 2012 election. “This is not about being in power, it’s about what’s right. It’s time to make things right.”

District 41 in the last Legislature was reworked, cutting out chunks of McAllen, formally covered by Democrat Veronica Gonzales. It’ll now be represented by Republican Aaron Peña, who previously belonged to District 40, which extended west to some of the most Democratic parts of the county. Under the new plan, District 41 represents parts or all of the cities of McAllen, Edinburg, Mission, Palmhurst and Pharr.


‘We can’t afford it’

20110916_Hidalgo-County-SealNo action on new county court

EDINBURG — The Hidalgo County Commissioners’ Court on Tuesday took no action on selecting a judge for Hidalgo County Court-at-Law No. 7 after not being able to agree on a candidate last week.

But on Wednesday, commissioners said they were inclined to forgo funding for the new court this budget cycle all together, citing budget and space constraints.

“We’re shooting from the hip,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Joel Quintanilla of funding the court. “We’re not ready.”

By delaying the court’s creation and omitting its costs, which includes staffing, the county can save about $600,000 this year, Budget Officer Sergio Cruz said Wednesday.


Citizen awards nominations close Wednesday

20101022-MrMission-WEBNomination deadline for the Mission citizen awards is 5 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 21, said Jim Brunson, publisher of the Progress Times. The awards for Mr. Mission, First Lady of Mission, Man of the Year and Woman of the Year will be presented by the Progress Times at the annual banquet of the Mission Chamber of Commerce on October 11.

Nominations may be submitted in person at the Progress Times office at 1217 N. Conway or by mail to Citizen Awards, c/o Progress Times, P.O. Box 399, Mission, Texas 78573. Nomi­nations may also be submitted by email to or by fax to 956-585-2304.


County budget cuts won’t affect salaries

EDINBURG — At this week’s Hidalgo County budget workshop, county leaders said they didn’t want budget cuts to affect county staff.

“I don’t think we ought to be impacting our employees with furloughs or (salary) cuts,” Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia said Wednesday. “If we’re going to be cutting, it should be something in the operating budget.”

Last week, officials decided on a three percent departmental budget cut that excluded law enforcement. Budget Officer Sergio Cruz said those cuts in some departments may mean someone loses their job. On Tuesday, officials said they didn’t want to see that happen.



20110909_MCISD-Parent-Portal-001MCISD kicks off Parental Portal program

MISSION — Ida Gonzales is looking forward to taking an active role in her daughter’s education this year, discussing grades and homework assignments with Alyssa who just started high school at Veterans Memorial. But instead of waiting for a printed progress report or report card, Gonzales will look to the Internet for updates. Starting this week, Gonzales and hundreds of other parents will be able to log into a computer program to view their child’s grades via Mission Consolidated Independent School District’s new Parent Portal.

The Parent Portal aims to get parents access to their child’s assignments, attendance, class schedules and grades from their own computer at anytime.


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