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Mission and Sharyland campus chronicles out this week

As we do every spring, we celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating class of the Mission and Sharyland school districts with our graduation editions-the Campus Chronicles.

These graduation editions can be found in our latest issue of the Progress Times, which will be available tomorrow wherever are newsstands are available.

pt square logoBesides the Campus Chronicles, expect our usual coverage of the biggest issues happening in our area. Below is a sneak peek at these stories which include: a swearing-in ceremony swear for new members of the Mission school board of trustees, a former investigator from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office who left amid a sexual harassment investigation now working with the Alton Police Department las.

Be sure to pick up a copy of tomorrow’s issue to read the stories in full.

MCISD Board of Trustees sworn in at special meeting
By Jamie Treviño

The Mission Consolidated Independent School District held a special meeting on Wednesday in order to canvass the votes and swear in members of the new board of trustees for the 2018-2019 school year.

Sylvia Cruz, an officer of the local canvassing authority, read the votes each candidate received, and announced the winners of the election.

For School Trustee, Place 1, Veronica “Betty” R. Mendoza received a total of 2,397 votes. The incumbent, Roy Vela, received 2,094 votes. Mendoza was sworn in by Ricardo Rodriguez, Jr.

“I want to thank the community for supporting me and placing their trust in me,” Mendoza said. “I pledge to you that I will work as hard as I can to make Mission Consolidated Independent School District a better district.”

After sexual harassment complaint, Alton offers police officer a second chance
By Dave Hendricks

An investigator who resigned from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office amid a sexual harassment investigation found a new job with the Alton Police Department last month.

Inv. Heriberto “Eddie” Sanchez resigned from the Sheriff’s Office in July 2016 after a female deputy accused him of sexual harassment.

After discussing the sexual harassment allegations during the interview process, Alton police Chief Jonathan B. Flores said he thought Sanchez deserved a second chance.

“People in their law enforcement careers are going to make mistakes and I believe that they deserve a second chance to redeem themselves,” Flores said. “And this is Eddie’s opportunity to rectify some of the mistakes that he’s made in his career.”

City of Mission holds Police and Fire Memorial Ceremony
By Jamie Treviño

Honoring the service and sacrifice of officers and firefighters in the City of Mission, a memorial ceremony was held at the beginning of National Police Week.

Held at the Mission Police Department Monday morning, police officers, firefighters, constables, chiefs and local politicians and representatives gathered for the service. Members of the city council were also in attendance, and several people spoke in order to commemorate those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Writing workshop held at Peñitas Public Library draws crowd from all over RGV
By Jamie Treviño

Attracting people who live all over the Rio Grande Valley, the Texas Writes Program gave local writers the opportunity to grow.

The Writers’ League of Texas organizes free workshops in local libraries across the state. Funded by the Tocker Foundation, the Texas Writes Program is a way for writers of every age to gain free insight from published writers across Texas.

The Peñitas Public Library held the first Texas Writes Program in the Valley Saturday, May 12.

The program included two writers from the state who are active in the Writers’ League, Charlotte Gullick and Antonio Ruiz-Camacho. Gullick, the Chair of the Creative Writing department at Austin Community College, has been a speaker at multiple Texas Writes Programs.

Auditor says Agua SUD employment contracts were ‘unreasonable and unnecessary’
By Dave Hendricks

The Agua Special Utility District approved “unreasonable and unnecessary” employment contracts with two administrators last year, according to an independent audit — setting the stage for six-figure payouts.

Former Executive Director Oscar Cancino approved five-year employment contracts with Community Relations Coordinator Oscar “Coach” Salinas, the president of the La Joya school board, and utility Project Manager Armin Garza, the vice president of the La Joya school board, on May 1, 2017.

Two months later, the utility district approved settlement agreements with Salinas and Garza that included six-figure payouts.

Federal regulator says paralegal defrauded La Joya ISD
By Dave Hendricks

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission slapped a paralegal who worked for state Rep. Sergio Muñoz Jr. with a $180,000 civil penalty last week for defrauding the La Joya Independent School District.

Mario Hinojosa, 58, of Mission created a company called Barcelona Strategies LLC, which he promoted with a misleading brochure.

The brochure claimed “professionals” at Barcelona Strategies had worked on bond issuances, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission order published on May 9.

Apparently impressed, the school district hired Barcelona Strategies as the financial adviser for bond issuances during 2013 and 2014. The company collected nearly $387,000.

“Hinojosa was Barcelona’s only employee and had never served as advisor — municipal or otherwise — on any bond issuances,” according to the Securities and Exchange Commission order.

Neither Barcelona Strategies nor Hinojosa admitted any wrongdoing.

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