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Current Conditions:
Partly Cloudy, 93 F

Forecast:
Thu - Partly Cloudy. High: 97 Low: 76
Fri - Sunny. High: 101 Low: 76
Sat - Sunny. High: 100 Low: 78
Sun - Sunny. High: 101 Low: 78
Mon - Sunny. High: 101 Low: 76

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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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HCMRA prepares for possible bond sale

PHARR — Board members of the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority are set to meet twice next week as they prepare documents to get a rating for a bond sale in December and a public hearing for the proposed International Bridge Trade Corridor.

HCRMA's financial consultants said they were working to complete paperwork to be sent to bond agencies, which includes background on the county and the project. Officials said they'd continue to monitor interest rates that are most viable for the initiative; if rates get too high, making the project too pricey for the RMA, officials indicated they'd wait until 2011. The group plans to borrow about $84 million for IBTC. Already, approximately $21 million has been spent on the project.

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SISD won't flood Brentwood Estates

MISSION — Brentwood Estates Subdivision residents, upon learning that right-of-way land owned by the United Irrigation District behind their neighborhood was to be used by the Sharyland Independent School District for proposed drainage improvement, objected to the project saying the plan could flood their property.

Residents of the neighborhood, which is located off of Taylor Road north of Business 83, said they worry about possible flooding if the retention canal gets full. Project Engineer Mariano Garcia and board members tried to assure residents that they would do everything possible to keep water from flowing onto their properties.

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Matt Ruszczak named Mission Chamber CEO

Fred Kurth, chairman of the board for the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce announced this week that the board has officially hired Matt Ruszczak as the new president and CEO for the chamber.

"We're real excited to have him on board. We look forward to new chamber growth with Matt as our CEO," said Kurth.

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Four men charged in SHS student's death

MISSION — Three teenagers and one adult have been charged in the death of a Sharyland High School student. Mission police said the suspects have also been charged with two counts of aggravated assault.

Sergio Montiel, 23, who Mission police said is suspected of fatally shooting Efrain Reyna, is being held on a combined $5 million bond – $3 million on the murder charge and $1 million on each count of aggravated assault.

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Mission halts dependent insurance

MISSION —The Mission City Council clarified its intention to seek different health insurance provider for the next fiscal year to pay premiums only for employees, not their dependents.

Mayor Norberto "Beto" Salinas on Monday said he checked around the Rio Grande Valley and found that with the exception of Hidalgo County, none of the cities or school districts supplemented the cost of dependent health insurance.

"We simply cannot afford to continue doing so," said the mayor. "The cost of dependent care has risen to $900 to $1,000 a family.... We are going to work with an insurance broker to find a policy that will provide affordable dependent insurance to our employees next year."

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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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