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What to watch out for in the Progress Times

Another week is ending, which means it’s time for a new issue of the Progress Times.


Below is a sneak peek at tomorrow’s front page stories, which include coverage on Monday’s vigil for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and La Joya School board Trustee Juan “J.J.” Garza stepping down from board amidst his indictment.


To read the full stories, make sure you pick up an issue of it tomorrow wherever our papers are sold.

20170403 CrimeVictimsMarch

Family members of Jolissa Rangel, whose Oct. 25, 2013 murder at an Edinburg apartment complex remains unsolved, were among about 100 persons who participated in a walk for victim’s rights Monday afternoon in Mission. Jolissa’s mother, Martha L. Rangel, center, said the family honored Jolissa by wearing her favorite color, orange. In front in the aviator sunglasses is Jolissa’s niece, Dezirae Avila, 10, and to her left is Jolissa’s half-brother, Tony Rangel, 8, and to his right is Jolissa’s half-sister, Nikki Rangel, 6. Progress Times photo by Joe Hinton

For some, pain never heals for families of violent crime victims
By Joe Hinton


It’s been nearly four years since a drunk driver collided with a car driven by the son of Mission resident, Lucretia Davila, killing four members of her family near Los Fresnos and a passenger of the drunk driver.


And though Margaret Gil was eventually sentenced to 50 years in prison for the offense, the pain remains for Davila and her daughter, Norma Alvarez, whose daughter, Julexy, 12, was among the members of Davila’s family killed that day. Also killed were Davila’s daughter, Erika Gomez, 30, and Erika’s husband, Edward Gomez, 32, and their daughter, Kamilla, 3. The incident occurred as the family was driving from Mission for a day at the beach at South Padre Island, Alvarez said.


“It completely changed my life,” said Alvarez, as she walked alongside her mother and other relatives Monday during the walk for victims’ rights in Mission commemorating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which runs April 2-8.


Alvarez and her mother were among about 100 persons who participated in the walk which was followed by a vigil in front of the Mission Police Department.


Amid criminal charges La Joya school board member steps down
By Jose De Leon III


Amid a federal indictment for his involvement in an alleged bid-rigging scheme,  a La Joya school board trustee has resigned from his position with the district.


Juan J. “J.J.” Garza turned in his letter of resignation March 30 to his fellow board members, Garza said in a recent phone interview. The resignation was effective immediately and will give him time to concentrate on his legal problems.  


“I told my wife it’s better to get this out of the way and concentrate on this hearing and just move on,” Garza said, referring to his upcoming May 1 pretrial hearing. “That way I can work on whatever I have to work [for the hearing].”


TxDOT planning for one million Hidalgo County residents


In anticipation of a predicted one million Hidalgo County residents by the year 2040, the Texas Department of Transportation is planning a series of road projects designed to ease congestion on the Valley’s two major interstates. And it’s seeking public comment on the first project that would double the size of the single lane ramps that transition traffic between Interstate 2, also known as Expressway  83, and I-69C, also known as Expressway 281. The road-widening project will impact the cities of McAllen, Pharr and San Juan. And depending on the design option selected, the project could cost up to $325 million, according to one TxDOT official involved in the project.


Firefighters seek public’s support in honoring fallen comrades
By Joe Hinton


On Monday it will be exactly four years since an explosion at the West Fertilizer Company near Waco killed 15, mostly firefighters and other emergency response personnel, while they were fighting a fire at the company’s storage and distribution center.


As a member of Mission Fire Department’s honor guard, Firefighter Samuel Carrion Jr., was on duty at the April 25, 2013 funeral for the 15 victims held in the packed 9,000-seat Baylor University basketball arena. Also in attendance were President Barack Obama, Gov. Rick Perry, and more than 300 bagpipe players, the latter of whom had volunteered their talents to honor their fallen comrades.


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