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Fair, 77 F

Forecast:
Tue - Sunny. High: 103 Low: 75
Wed - Sunny. High: 102 Low: 77
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Kino Flores gets five-year probation sentence

KinoFlores_PopAUSTIN — State Rep. Ismael “Kino” Flores was sentenced by a state judge this week to five years probation following his guilty conviction of tampering with government records and perjury.

According to the Associated Press, state District Judge Bob Perkins handed down the sentencing on Monday where he said Flores, 52, had violated the law and would set an example for other public officials when preparing their financial disclosure forms.

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Community lights tree, Leo Peña park

Girl-with-Inflatables_Pop MISSION — The City of Mission lit the Leo Peña Plazita Park with the help of hundreds of families to start the holiday season.

Emily Barker, a Winter Texan visitor from Minnesota, made her first trip to the annual tree lighting ceremony where the Veterans Memorial High School Mariachi, Veterans Memorial High School Choir, El Valle Cloggers, Mission Parks Folklorico Group and the McAllen Memorial Folklorico Group performed.

“It’s different to see a Christmas celebration with kids running around in short sleeve shirts and not scarves and mittens,” she said.

Dozens of children and their parents stood in line for a chance to win one of their first Christmas gifts of the year in the city’s Parks and Recreation Department raffle where about 30 bicyles were given away, along with other gifts.

Shortly before the official lighting by Mayor Pro Tem Leo Olivarez and Councilmember Ruben Plata, Santa Claus made his way into the park escorted by McGruff the Crime Dog and over a dozen children. Santa handed out candy bags and also visited with local children.

“I like to come with my family to meet Santa and look at the lights,” said 7-year-old Alex Leal as he stood in line to sign up for the raffle.

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Police and fire substation almost complete

20101210_Dec072010_BIG_0013MISSION — Workers were putting the finishing touches on the Mission Police Department substation and the Mission Fire Department’s Station No. 5 this week as city officials prepare to officially open the buildings aimed to serve residents on the city’s growing south side.

Deputy City Manager Sonia Carnes said the substation is set to open in January while crews work on finalizing details for the buildings. The construction on the project is approximately $2.2 million.

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MHS FFA Places in Top 10 at Competition

20101210_MCISD_MHS_FFA_PlacesMISSION — The Mission FFA Senior Chapter Conducting (parliamentary procedure) team had a very successful round of competitions this fall. The team placed first at the district, regional, and state semi-final competitions. At the state finals held last weekend, the Mission FFA conducting team placed sixth out of 242 teams competing at the Texas FFA State Leadership Development events held at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville.

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Mission Crime Stoppers welcomes new board

MISSION — Mission Crime Stoppers recently welcomed their new executive board members that assist the group in community outreach as well as support police in stopping crime.

New executive board members are Rene Flores, treasurer, Yadira Ramos, secretary, Randy Parez, president, Dianna Alaniz, vice president and David Escalera as historian.

The past board members and volunteers have worked countless hours throughout the year helping with community involvement and receiving leads that led to 85 arrests, group officials said.

To date, Mission Crime Stoppers has received leads that led to the arrests of five fugitives or violent crimes, 60 arrests for possession of narcotics, eight arrests for robbery, three for kidnapping, two for graffiti, five arrests for credit abuse/fraud and one arrest for auto theft, police said.

Mission Crime Stoppers also get involved with community policing events such as Neighborhood Watch and Campus Crime Stoppers.

Through Neighborhood Watch, residents are educated on what to look for and encouraged to report suspicious activity; Campus Crime Stoppers does the same with students at Veterans Memorial and Mission High schools. The students have the same responsibilities as the adults with their own board members and tough decisions to make.

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Anzalduas park cleanup ongoing, Riverside re-opened

MISSION — Bulldozers collected and moved piles of dirt in a major cleanup effort at Anzalduas Park this week as Hidalgo County Precinct 3 officials continue to get the Winter Texan attraction up and running again. Meanwhile, the local Riverside Club has re-opened its entertainment area to winter visitors.

Precinct 3 Park Director Sergio Saenz said the tedious work of moving the piles of sand and debris seems never-ending as portions of the park were overwhelmed this summer when U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission diverted floodwater to the Anzalduas. The park has remained closed to the public until county workers can not only clean up the mess left behind, but also repair and restore unsalvageable buildings. Workers move about 60 trucks of dirt a day in the park, Saenz estimated.

“Everything you can imagine landed in our park,” Saenz said as he walked through the mounds of loose sand. “Most of the park was underwater for more than a month.”

Signs of the water, which got as high as six feet, are evident with watermarks at the park’s office, restrooms and on a number of signs. In some areas where the sand isn’t completely removed, park tables are still surrounded by sand.

“All you could see is sand,” Saenz recalled of his first day back at the park once the floodwaters had receded.

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Mission’s Kops for Kids and Palmhurst police accepting donations

MISSION — Operation Kops for Kids, in its 16th year, has started accepting donations of toys for children, newborn to 12 years of age. Nearly 1,000 toys were given out during last year’s distribution, Mission Police Department officials said this week.

Residents are encouraged to donate new toys or monetary donations to Kops for Kids at the Mission Police Department, 1200 E. 8th St., until Dec. 20.

MPD Assistant Police Chief Martin Garza said money received goes toward purchasing more gifts for Mission children.

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MRMC recognized for joint placement surgery

MRMC_2010-HealthGrades-Joint-Replacement-AwardMISSION — For the third year in a row, Mission Regional Medical Center has been nationally recognized for its clinical excellence and ranked among the top 10 percent of hospitals in the nation for joint replacement surgery, hospital officials announced last week.

"I am extremely proud of the physicians and staff at our hospital," said Javier Iruegas, CEO of MRMC. "The ratings and recognition we have received in the last three years demonstrate that we continue to provide patients with the highest quality orthopedic care in a patient-focused environment."

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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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