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What’s new in Progress Times?

The weekend is almost upon us, which means our latest issue will hit newsstands tomorrow.

Below are some quick teasers on our front page stories that you can read in full either in our website or buy purchasing a copy of our latest issue where ever our issues are sold.

20161216 Eli Ochoa Architect Pics JH 0554Mission native Eli R. Ochoa, center, CEO of his McAllen-based ERO Architects, confers Tuesday with staffers Manny Zamora, left and Larry Alvarez.  Progress Times photo by Joe Hinton

McAllen Performing Arts Center architect home grown in Mission

When Eli R. Ochoa was in second grade his father, Ciro, a Mission Barber and businessman, hired a friend to design and build a new home for his growing family. It was an act that would shape who the younger Ochoa would become, a regionally known architect whose recently completed McAllen Performing Arts Center has been compared to New York’s Lincoln Center and Washington, D.C.’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

We knew when we were designing it that we were designing something special,” Ochoa said Tuesday in the conference room of his McAllen-based firm, ERO Associates. With his Belgian Malinois, LaLa, sitting nearby Ochoa, 60, called the McAllen PAC the crowning achievement of his 30-year career, but not the last achievement. Among other projects his staff of 30 is designing are two high schools for the Houston Independent School District as well as projects for the University of Texas and the South Texas College’s new nursing building.

‘This is needed’ La Joya breaks ground on ER

LA JOYA — Strong winds and temperatures in the low 40s did not prevent a group of 20 people from attending the Dec. 8 groundbreaking for La Joya’s first medical emergency room.

The South Texas ER is being built behind the new La Joya City Hall, 701 E. Exp. 83, and is expected to open by mid-2017, said Texas ER Management CEO Dan McLean, who will be overseeing the medical facility.

“This 6,300 square foot facility will serve as an ER where experienced physicians will be on site at all times to stabilize patients before transferring them to a hospital,” McLean said at the event.

Alton holds annual Christmas Parade and Toy Giveaway

ALTON — The City of Alton and the Greater Alton Chamber of Commerce held the 11th Annual Christmas Parade and Toy Giveaway last Saturday, Dec. 10.

The parade drew families and involved many Alton city officials, business leaders and residents who volunteered to make the event a success.

Christmas can be challenging for kids in foster care

The past few weeks have been filled with Christmas parties as organizations from around have come to help make sure these kids, whose struggles at home have made life difficult, feel the joy and the love that these holidays are meant to bring.

But there still are some needs, said Nelida Tristan, Foster Care Supervisor for the Rio Grande Children’s Home, which comes under the umbrella of Buckner Children and Family Services.

“Something we are really and always in need of are things like duffel bags or luggage,” she said. “When these children get here their clothes are usually in bags and we don’t want to send them back to their families the same way. We want them to have suitcases or luggage – it’s a new beginning for them.”

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