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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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County VSO earns achievement award

EDINBURG — Last week officials announced that Hidalgo County Veterans Service Office Director Emilio de los Santos was recognized with the 2010 Dan Garcia Memorial Achievement Award from the Veterans County Service Officers Association of Texas for going beyond the call of duty to serve South Texas veterans and their families.

Only one such award is merited each year to a VSO who exhibits sustained superior performance, is actively involved in community affairs and patriotic activities and who is constantly educating themselves to improve the quality of life for veterans. De Los Santos was also recently appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the Selective Service System Local Board, meaning in the case of any future military draft, he would sit on a committee that determines whether a prospect would receive a deferment, postponement or exemption from service.

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Police: Gun wielding teen robbed peers

MISSION — Cesar Villegas, 17, accused of pointing a gun at teenagers demanding money and cell phones was dumbfounded to hear from Mission Municipal Judge Jonathan Wehrmeister that he could face up to life in prison during his arraignment on five charges of armed burglary on Nov. 12.

Villegas and the other three suspects have confessed to other crimes in the Mission, McAllen, Pharr and San Juan areas, police said. Other items were found in the suspect’s vehicle that might lead to other crimes committed within the past two weeks. Villegas was arrested in connection with burglaries that occurred on Nov. 11.

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Hidalgo Co. RMA board installs new members

20101119_COUNTY_Hidalgo-Co.-RMA-board-installs-new-members_EPG_MUSTAlonzo-Cantu_Forrest-RunnelsWESLACO — Two new members were welcomed to the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority board last week in a workshop meeting to acquaint their members with new projects, including vital funding issues.

McAllen residents Alonzo Cantú and Forrest Runnels were given the oath of office by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, at a Nov. 10 meeting. Cantú, a real estate developer, was appointed by former Interim Hidalgo County Judge Rene A. Ramirez while Runnels was appointed by Precinct 4 Commissioner Oscar Garza Jr. and Commissioner-Elect Joseph Palacios.

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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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