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Friday, December 2, 2016 | 25 Cents

Vol. 45 No. 18

Traveling immigrants enjoy respite on journey north IBC feeds 350 for Thanksgiving By Henry Miller McALLEN - Gloria Alvarenga traveled with her 4-year-old daughter for 21 days to reach McAllen. She hadn’t talked to her family in Honduras – where her trip began – during that time nor had she reached her aunt, who was waiting for her in Kansas City. Ironically, that changed the day before Thanksgiving in the parking lot next to Sacred Heart Church in McAllen on a sunny, 92-degree day. But the heat didn’t bother any of the people there – they were being treated well and they enjoyed the moment. “I talked to them,” Alvarenga said in Spanish. “They know we are okay and on our way.” Alvarenga and her daughter were two of approximately 350 immigrants who were given a place to shower, rest on cots out of the sun and

partake of a Thanksgiving lunch thanks to Dora Brown and International Bank of Commerce (IBC). All of those at the lunch had been processed by the Border Patrol, given legal status in the United States as long as they continued the process in an immigration court in wherever their destination city was. Brown, the senior vice president of marketing for IBC bank, had visited the Catholic Charities center earlier in the year and felt compelled to find some way to help those who were hungry and in need, said Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. “She went back to her people at the bank and they were all in,” said Pimentel. Staffers from the bank lined up serving trays of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, bread and more. Gabriela, a 25-year-old mom

from El Salvador, pushed a piece of turkey and stuffing into her 5-year-old daughter Camila’s mouth. Camila eagerly accepted the food, totally unaware of a smudge of food on her cheek, while being awed with her surroundings. Her smile was brighter than the day itself as she laughed, her eyes glistening with pure innocence, completely putting behind her the 1,200-mile journey she had just completed. And that was just the first leg of her journey as she and her mom readied for a trip to Atlanta – another 1400 miles – the next day. But that portion of the trip shouldn’t be anywhere near as difficult – or as dangerous – as the first part. Another young girl was on her way to Florida to be with cousins and other friends. Relief covered her face. She said now she knew she would make it to her final destination in time


H-E-B market reopens after fatal shooting Immigrants seated outside a temporary shelter at McAllen’s Sacred Heart Church were among about 350 who were treated Nov. 23 to a Thanksgiving meal donated by IBC Bank. Photo by Henry Miller

La Joya School board president arrested for assault

Oscar Omar “Coach” Salinas

By Jose De Leon III SULLIVAN CITY—Police arrested the La Joya School Board president Saturday following a domestic disturbance in his home. Oscar Omar “Coach” Salinas was charged with assault causing bodily injury-family violence, a Class A misdemeanor punishable with up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine, following his arrest Saturday. He was released from custody later that day on a $5,000 bond. Police were called to Salinas’ home Saturday, Nov.

26 at 1:14 a.m. in response to a family disturbance report made by Salinas, according to the criminal complaint obtained by Progress Times. When police arrived at the Sullivan City home they found Salina’s’ wife, Alma, waiting outside. She told police she was involved in a physical confrontation with her husband after she stepped in to prevent an argument between Salinas and their son, the complaint states. Mrs. Salinas told police she went to her son’s room after noticing her husband

By Joe Hinton PALMVIEW - The H-E-B market where one worker was shot dead and three others were wounded Monday reopened for business Wednesday. Palmview’s police chief said paranoia caused a 25-year-old man to allegedly shoot his coworkers. Raul Lopez-Saenz of west Hidalgo County was arraigned Monday afternoon on one count of first degree murder and three counts of attempted first degree murder after allegedly shooting his coworkers at the H-E-B at 1840 W. Palma Vista Drive, Palmview. Bond was set at $1.9 million by Hidalgo County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Jaime J. Munoz. Munoz set a million dol-

lar bond for the first-degree murder charge and $300,000 for each of the attempted murder charges. Palmview Chief of Public Safety Christopher R. Barrera identified the deceased as Mario Pulido, 48. No hometown or address was provided. The injured were identified as Bill Martinez, 33, Frailan Garza, 51 and Raphael Martinez, 37. Police did not know if the two Martinez victims were related. All four victims were shot through a window from the exterior of the store while in a store break room, Barrera said. He said police were called to the scene of an active shooting about 3:15 Monday morning. Barrera said Garza received only a graze wound to the side of his head and was

released from MMC Monday. He said the two other victims underwent surgery and were expected to survive their wounds. Contacted Wednesday MMC spokeswoman Cari Lambrecht said only one of the four victims were transported to the center and she could not divulge which. She said the others were taken to Rio Grande Regional Medical Center. Lambrecht said the condition update could only be released through a law enforcement agency but Palmview Police did not respond to a request for a condition update Wednesday and the public information office at Rio Grande Regional did not return a phone call

See SHOOTING pg. 12

See SALINAS pg. 11

Rare butterfly recorded at National Butterfly Center By Luciano Guerra MISSION—The month of November saw over 100 species of butterflies recorded at the National Butterfly Center (NBC). However, last Sunday a butterfly never before recorded in the United States was spotted at the Butterfly Center located in Mission. The Alana White-Skipper was spotted at the NBC’s south gardens.


Luciano Guerra took this photo of the rare Alana White-Skipper Tuesday at the National Butterfly Center. Pat Riek was the first to photograph and report the butterfly.

Raul Lopez-Saenz, 25, signs acknowledgements at his arraignment Monday after being charged with shooting to death one HEB co-worker and wounding three others Monday in Palmview. Progress Times photo by Joe Hinton


New Chief

The City of Mission names an interim fire chief who may find himself caught in the middle of negotiating differences between the city and the firefighter’s union. See page 14


Entertainment | pg. 2

Lifestyle | pg. 3

Brand for Mayor

Coach of the Year

Like father like son. Othal Brand announces he will follow in his father’s footsteps and run for mayor of McAllen.

Patriots volleyball coach Martina Carillo is named Coach of the Year for District 31-5A. She is one of several post-season award winners announced this week.

See page 5

See page 8

Opinion | pg.4

Sports | pg. 9

Memorial Cremation Center 208 E. Canton • Edinburg, Texas 956-720-4449

We are proud to be family owned. Dedicated to the care of those we serve.

Obituaries | pg. 11

Classifieds | pg. 13

Direct Cremation


Immediate Need


MHS E.N.C.O.R.E. Theatre presents ‘The Little Mermaid’ Experience Ariel, Sebastian and the evil Ursula coming to life at Mission High School’s E.N.C.O.R.E. Theatre production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Performances will be held Thursday through Sunday for two weeks on Dec. 8 to 11 and Dec. 15 to 18 at the Mission High School Theatre, 1802 Cleo Dawson. Show times are 7 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. The family-friendly production takes on a full Broadway-level production from the classic story enacted by the talented cast of students. Over 80 high school students are involved as the cast and crew, joined by the participation of

over 140 elementary students. A different group of elementary-age performers will be featured from different schools at each performance. “We have been working hard to make this year’s show one of the greatest that has ever been displayed here at Mission High School,” said Adrian Guerrero, MHS theatre director. “Involving all the elementary students, we have over 140 students involved in our musical, which is a phenomenal success story, knowing where we were two years ago when we accepted the challenge of coming into a place and rebuilding the theatre program.” Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students at the door.

A Tejano Christmas Carol

Pedro Garcia plays Ezequiel Codos, the Mexican American Scrooge, in the Pharr Community Theater’s, “A Tejano Christmas Carol,” an adaptation of the Dickens classic. Abel Gonzalez plays his employee Pablo Gomez. Set in the city of Pharr, Codos is the most powerful attorney in all of the region. In the hilarious and dramatic story, Codos is visited by the ghost of the past who is La Rielera, a female soldier from the Mexican Revolution era, and by the ghost of the Christmas

present, a Zoot Suiter from the 40s. Show times are Dec. 2 to 11, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. at the Elva and Keith Michal Performing Arts Center at 213 W. Newcombe Ave. in Pharr. Tickets can be purchased starting one hour before performances for $10 general admission and $7 for students, seniors and veterans. It’s free for children under age 5. For more details, call 956600-9463. The play will also be performed at The Bogus Ford Events Center on Monday, Dec.19. at 7:30 pm.

McALLEN – South Texas College (STC) Theatre will hold auditions for its latest comedic production of the season, “Boeing Boeing.” Auditions will be held on Dec. 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. at the STC Cooper Center at 3201 W. Pecan Blvd. in McAllen. All STC and Rio Grande Valley community members, ages 18 and over, are invited to audition. A cold reading will be available at the audition. Di-

rector Roberto De Hoyos is seeking a cast of two men between the ages of 20 and 60 and four women, three of whom will require German and French accents. Boeing Boeing is scheduled for performance at the Cooper Center on February 23 to 26, 2017. For more information, call 956-872-2639 or email or

Auditions set for ‘Boeing Boeing’

Christmas concert under the stars

The Dean Canty Big Band returns for the Holidays Concert in the Park at Quinta Mazatlan on Dec, 8 from 6 to 7 p.m. The 18 swinging musicians perform music from the libraries of and in the style of Harry James, Woody Herman, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Stan Kenton, the Dorsey Brothers and other nationally known bands. They will perform on the north lawn of Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center. An event for the entire family, it includes a visit from Santa Claus, cookies and cider. Admission is $5 per person with tickets sold at gate. Quinta Mazatlan is located at 600 Sunset Dr. in McAllen. For more information, call 956-681-3370.

UTRGV Mariachi, Folklórico launch holiday tour

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s School of Music and the dance program will present the award-winning ensembles – the Mariachi Juvenil Aztlán and the Ballet Folklórico – in a special Holiday Concert, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, and 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at UTRGV’s Performing Arts Auditorium on the Edinburg Campus. The concert will kick off a weeklong tour, leaving Dec. 10 to perform in New Mexico in cities including Albuquerque, Socorro and Artesia, and returning Dec. 17. The performance highlights traditional folk music and dance that celebrate the Christmas traditions of Mexico, featuring lively violins, joyous horns and swirling dresses. Dahlia Guerra, Dr.

Clubs, Schools, and Organizations: You’re invited to join the

11th Annual Alton Christmas Parade & Toy Giveaway

Saturday, Dec. 10th Start Time: 11 A.M. • Cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place floats • Non-profits enter free (except for float competition) We welcome floats, cars, bands, military, police, fire, bicycles, horses, motorcycles, RVs and trucks. Register your parade entry at: Alton City Hall 509 S. Alton Blvd. or call 956-432-0760 Join us for the festivities after the parade at the Alton Recreation Center.

Brought to you by the Greater Alton Chamber of Commerce & the City of Alton

UTRGV’s assistant vice president of Public Art and founder and co-director of the university’s Mariachi Program, said the mariachi and dance groups were invited to perform on the concert tour because of the accolades they have received and their national reputation. The dance ensemble is under the direction of Francisco Muñoz III, artistic director and Dance Program director; and Miguel Peña, Dance Program lecturer. The Mariachi Program is under the direction of Guerra and Francisco Loera, School of Music lecturer. Tickets are $10, available online at events or at the door. For more information or accommodations, call 956-6653881 or 956-665-2353.

VMHS presents ‘Chicago’

The Veterans Memorial High School Harlequin Drama Club presents the acclaimed theatre production “Chicago” this Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 4 pm. The VMHS Theatre is located at 700 E. 2 Mile Line in Mission. Arrik Bazan and Brittney Schmidt star in the lead roles. Doors open a half hour before show time. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

December 2, 2016

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Coming Attractions

Now to December 31 • The 26th Annual Hidalgo Festival of Lights runs all month with over three million lights and 500 illuminated displays with a superheroes theme this year. Go to for a full line-up of activities and musical performances. • Brownsville’s Holiday Village, located at Dean Porter Park across from Gladys Porter Zoo, officially opens for the season. Come out for the first lighting of the season at 7 p.m. Take in the food, fun and festivities from 6 to 10 p.m. throughout the season on weekdays and 6 to 11 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free. December 2 • The annual Edinburg Lighted Christmas Parade begins at 7 p.m. with lighted floats created by businesses and schools and marching bands. It begins at the corner of University Drive and Sugar Road and ends at the Hidalgo County Courthouse. A Night of Lights Festival will be held in the city courtyard with food, arts and crafts from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call 956- 383-4974 or 800-800-7214. December 2-4 • UTRGV University Productions presents the premiere of “The Life and Times of Winter Texans,” with eight original sketches by Eric Wiley. It begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Studio Theatre in the Edinburg Liberal Arts Building at the corner of University Drive and Sugar Road on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus. General admission is $5; open seating is first-come, first-served limited seating. Designated seating is available by reservation for groups of 10 or more. For information, call 956-665-3581. • The Magic Valley Chorus of Sweet Adelines International presents “Christmas and Barbershop” at 3 p.m. each day. Special guests will be the Weslaco East Girls’ Choir under the direction of Jeffrey Figueroa. Performances will be held at the Tower Theater in Weslaco at 120 South Kansas St. Tickets are $5. Call 956-969-2368 for reservations. December 2-11 • Under the direction of Pedro Garcia, the Pharr Community Theater presents “A Tejano Christmas Carol” adapted from the Charles Dickens story. The bilingual play (predominately in English), with song and dance, will play at the Elva and Keith Michal’s Performing Arts Center, 213 W. Newcombe Ave. in Pharr. For more details, call 956-655-9308 or 956-600-9463. December 3 • McAllen’s Holiday Parade begins at 6 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in McAllen and continues down Bicentennial Blvd. to Bus. 83. December 5 • The 64th Annual Brownsville Christmas Parade will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on E. Elizabeth Street. December 6 • The Valley Symphony Orchestra (VSO) presents the second chamber concert of the 65th anniversary season with Geoffrey Wong and the Super Strings. It begins at 7:30 p.m. at the 17th Floor Sky Tower Club in the Chase Neuhaus Bank building in McAllen. A hors d’oeurves and wine reception begins at 7 p.m. before the concert. Tickets are $50 per adult and can be purchased at valleyorchestra. org or by calling the VSO box office at 956-661-1615. December 8-11, 16-18 • Camille Playhouse in Brownsville stages the musical “Billy Elliot,” the story of a young boy’s struggle again the odds to make his dreams come true. At Camille Playhouse, tickets for plays are $15 and musicals are $20. Performances are 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and matinees at 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Go to for more information. December 10 • The City of Alton Christmas Parade begins at 11 a.m. beginning west of Cantu Elementary and ending at the Alton Recreation Center. • The last Sunset Live concert for the fall season will bring together the talents of Sarah Aranella featuring the Gabriel Santiago Trio, Jai Malano, The Brannen & Red Show and Jeanette Garcia. Admission is free, and the event is pet-friendly. Concert-goers should bring a lawn chair or blankets to view the concert around the reflection pool at the McAllen Convention Center. • The Mid-Valley Christmas Parade in Weslaco begins at 6:30 p.m. and runs between Pike and 8th Streets. • The Jolly Night Hike will be held Resaca de la Palma State Park, 1000 New Carmen Blvd. in Brownsville from 5 to 9 p.m. • Billed as the longest lighted Christmas street parade in South Texas, the San Benito Annual Christmas Parade runs from 6 to 10:30 p.m. through downtown San Benito. To see the complete Coming Attractions calendar, go to


Mission flips the switch on Christmas tonight

Photographs with Santa, free drawings for bicycles and toys, folklorico groups, musical and choral performances are all on the agenda for the City of Mission’s annual Christmas Lighting Celebration on Friday, Dec. 2. It begins at 5:30 p.m. in Leo Peña Placita Park at Conway Ave. and Business 83 in Mission. Mission Deputy City Manager Aida Lerma said arts and crafts, door prizes and mariachis will also be

part of the celebration. The official tree lighting takes place at 6 p.m. with festivities continuing until 10 p.m. Food vendors will also be on hand. Performances are planned by Agape Christian School, Mission High School’s theater group, folklorico groups from Mission Parks & Recreation and Mission C.I.S.D., the South Texas College Chamber Winds ensemble and the Bryan Elementary fifth grade choir.

The Mission High School and Alton Memorial Junior High Libraries are joining to host the Border Bash: Celebrating Tweens and Teens of the RGV book festival. on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m. It takes place at Alton Memorial Jr. High, 521 S. Los Ebanos Rd. The event is free and open to the public. “Border Bash is a first of its kind in the Valley – there has never been a festival exclusively for teens,” said Margie Longoria, Mission High School Librarian. Book festivals are usually for adults or elementary students, and she has been planning for the last five years to make an event of this magnitude possible for teens in the Mission school district and throughout the Rio Grande Valley. She worked to bring notable and award-winning authors to the event. “We called other districts in the Valley to get [the authors] booked for school

visits, so we could pay to have them come down,” said Longoria. A total of 20 authors will be in attendance at Saturday’s bash and will visit participating schools Friday, further reaching Valley youth. Award-winning author Meg Medina will meet with students Friday at Mission High School. She has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Pura Belpré Award presented to distinguished Latino writers who affirm and promote the cultural experience of Latinos. Besides Medina, other authors include Rene Saldana from the La Joya/Penitas area, David Bowles, Crystal Allen, Jessica Lee Anderson, Chandler Baker, Beth Fehlbaum, Xavier Garza, Jason Henderson, C.C. Hunter, Diana Lopez, Mari Mancusi, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Hernan Moreno-Hinojosa, Cory Putman Oakes, Christina Soontornvat, Madeline Smoot and Tim Tingle.

With Christmas around the corner, memorializing a history buff family member in stone might be the answer. The Mission Historical Museum is closing out the 2016 year with a Dec. 30 deadline for the purchase of brick pavers to honor individuals, family, friends, groups and clubs or even to advertise a business. The requisition of pavers can only be processed

in lots of 100 or more. Part of the landscaped gardens, the brick pavers are not only a contribution to the continuation of the museum’s mission, but they become small monuments of memorabilia left for future generations. They come in two sizes: 4x8-inch, priced at $70 for members or $75 for non-members, and square 8x8-inch priced at $140 for

It’s time to consider entering quilting creations in the 11th Annual Mission Quilt Show. Entries will be accepted in three categories: hand-quilted bed quilts, machine-quilted bed quilts and wall hangings. Entries will be accepted at the Museum through Wednesday, Jan 4, 2017. Quilts will be accepted Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Museum will be closed Dec. 23 through 26, and Jan 2. Quilts and wall hangings must be ready to hang with a sleeve for display purposes. Entries are accepted on a first-in/first accepted basis. Because of limited space, the museum reserves the right to close entries when the slots

are filled. Participants may submit only one item per person. Any quilt entered within the past five years is not eligible for entry this year. The quilts will be judged by a panel of independent judges, with ribbons awarded for first through third place in each category. Best-of-show and Viewers’ Choice ribbons will also be awarded. The exhibit opens on Saturday, Jan. 14, and runs through Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017. An awards reception and Turning of the Quilts program will take place on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at 2 p.m. MHM is located at 900 Doherty in downtown Mission. Admission is free. For more information, call 956580-8646.

Border Bash festival designed for teens-n-tweens

Deadline nears for MHM pavers

Accepting entries for 11th Annual Mission Quilt Show

December 2 , 2016

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Celebrate with ‘A Nostalgic Christmas’ at MHM



December 2-22 – The International Museum of Art & Science has brought back their Gingerbread Workshops where families can decorate their own miniature gingerbread house to take home. Spacing is limited; reservations are required. Cost is $3 per person, supplies included. Call 956-682-0123 for workshop times. IMAS is located at 1900 Nolana in McAllen. December 3 – The La Joya I.S.D. Winter Coat Drive will accept donations from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Public Information Center, 201 E. Expressway 83 in La Joya. All donations need to be bagged and should be new or gently used winter clothing, including scarves, gloves, coats and hats. For more information, call 956-323-2585. December 5 – A program, “The Evolution of the Western Saddle,” presented by Wade Marcum, will be presented at 12 p.m. at the Dustin M. Sekula Memorial Library, 1906 S. Closner St., in Edinburg. For information, call 956-3836246. December 7 – Children ages 5 and under will take a look at the world of folk art as they read Market Day and participate in the activities at the IMAS Young Adventurer Day. It begins at 10 a.m. The program lasts about 30 minutes. Admission is $5 per IMAS member and $10 per nonmember. To register, call 956-682-0123. IMAS is located at 1900 Nolana Ave., McAllen. December 7 – The Armstrong Retirees meet the first Wednesday of each month through March at 11:30 a.m. at Ann’s Restaurant in San Juan. For information, call Al Ensley at 515-360-5992 or Dick Overholser at 515-321-4034. December 7 – The Marine Military Academy (MMA) in Harlingen will host a Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Parade at 4 p.m. All parades are held on the academy grounds, and the public is invited. Veterans and former classmates and their families are encouraged to attend. December 9 – The Texas A&M University-Kingsville will hold three commencement ceremonies at the Steinke Physical Education Center. At the 10 a.m. ceremony, graduates from the Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences, the College of Business Administration and the College of Education and At the Human Performance will receive their degrees. 1 p.m. ceremony, graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences will cross the stage. The graduates from the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering receive their degrees at 4 p.m. December 10 – Aglow International Spanish Lighthouse Chapter of Mission will hold their Christmas Party at this month’s meeting. It begins at 9:30 a.m. at Emmanuel Adult Day Care, 1312 Oblate Ave., Mission. For information, call Lisa Gomez at 956-776-8505; Sandy Rodriguez, 956-5889313; or Gaby Rodriguez, 956-240-6607. (For daily events and upcoming weeks, see the full calendar at members and $150 for nonmembers. The museum reserves the right to edit text and cannot honor placement requests. For more information or to order a paver, call Linda Castañeda at 956-580-8646

Join the Mission Historical Museum to usher in the holidays with “A Nostalgic Christmas” luncheon on Wednesday, Dec. 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Museum’s Annex building, 200 E. Tom Landry, Mission, TX. Enjoy a delicious lunch while listening to the sounds of the ever popular entertainer Ralph Kuster who has been performing his own show in Branson, Mo. His music includes the sounds from the Sinatra & Martin era to Country and soft Rock, Neil Diamond and Elvis to Broadway and Gospel. Kuster will be bring songs from his popular White

Christmas show to the Mission Historical Museum for everyone to enjoy. Afterward, spend time to view the Christmas tree exhibit. Each tree has been decorated by organizations from the community and students from local schools. A seasonal Christmas card exhibit takes visitors back in time with cards spanning the last century. For more information or to purchase tickets for the luncheon, call the museum office at 956-580-8646. Office hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

McALLEN/HARLINGEN – The public is invited to attend the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 Twin Towers ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the Veterans War Memorial of Texas, located at 29th St. and Col. Plummer Dr. (east of the McAllen Convention Center). Keynote speakers, McAllen High School band and choir and Zavala Elementary School choir will highlight the ceremony. According to Col. Frank Plummer, organizer, the program is to remind people of the consequences of unexpected armed attacks on American soils. The Dec. 7, 1941 surprise attack at Pearl Harbor sank the USS West Virginia, Arizona, California, Oklahoma and Utah ships and beached the Nevada to prevent its sinking. America declared war on Japan the next day and entered into WWII. By the war’s end, America had lost 300,782 men and women with 682,801 wounded and 100,000 missing. It ended on Sept. 28, 1945. Leaders vowed to never let another attack happen on American soil again. That changed on Sept. 11, 2003,

with the coordinated attacks on the Twin Tower buildings in New York City, at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and with the downed passenger jet, also en route to Washington, D.C. target. Plummer noted more people were killed that day than were killed in the Dec. 7 attack on Pearl Harbor. The Marine Military Academy will host the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Parade Wed., Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. on the MMA Parade Ground. Veterans from all military branches are encouraged to attend, particularly those who served in World War II. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is observed annually on Dec. 7 to remember and honor the 2,403 non-combatant Americans killed and the 1,178 who were injured. MMA’s battalion-size parades are always held in front of the historic Iwo Jima Monument. Although bleacher seating is available, parade-goers may bring lawn chairs. MMA is located at 320 Iwo Jima Blvd., off Loop 499 and next to Valley International Airport in Harlingen. For more information, call 956-421-9225.

Planning Pearl Harbor observances

or visit the museum at 900 Doherty Ave. The museum is a nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. Office hours are Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You’re Invited to

Starr’s Specialty Gift Shop OPEN HOUSE

Thursday Dec 8th, 2016

It’s the most wonderful time of the year....

11am - Closing (7pm)

This Day Only 10% to 50% Discount on exclusive items

• Seasonal Decorations & Gifts • Religious & Inspirational Items • Cook & Nutritional Books • All Natural Gourmet Items (Assorted Varities) Baking Goods, Jellies & Spicies

“Several” Trunk Shows exclusively this day only!

ted Loca e: insid

1300 S. Bryan Rd. Ste. 101 (South of Mission Regional Medical Center)



November January 2, 2, December 2015 25,2016 2016 |

NEWS | SPORTS | ENTERTAINMENT | PHOTOS By Ed Sterling Texas Press Association

Americans are Right to Worry about Insurance Quality


By Larry Hausner f all their concerns about healthcare, Americans are most worried about whether they can afford their insurance. That’s the key finding from a new Morning Consult survey of over 20,000 people. It’s easy to see why Americans are so anxious. Premiums are set to rise sharply next year. And insurers are shifting more of the cost of procedures and medicines onto patients. In short, people are paying more but getting less coverage. In many cases, patients appear to be skipping needed treatments because they can’t afford their copays or co-insurance. Unaffordable insurance is a problem for the nation, not just for individual households. If people don’t have quality coverage, they’ll be stuck with ineffective treatments. Their conditions can worsen -- causing their healthcare costs to balloon. Rising premiums are crushing family budgets across the nation. More than four out of ten Americans said that their monthly health insurance premiums increased in the past year. Come 2017, insurers will increase premiums for employer-sponsored plans about 5 percent. For Americans who buy coverage on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, premiums will skyrocket 25 percent, on average. Consumers in many states could see their premiums increase 60 percent or more. Insurers are making patients shoulder a larger share of treatment costs. Four out of ten Americans say that their out of pocket costs have spiked in the past few years, according to the survey. As of 2014, Americans were spending more than triple on their deductibles than they had a decade prior, according to the Kaiser Family Founda-

tion. In exchange for the added costs, Americans are receiving less coverage. Insurers increasingly exclude some providers from networks to squeeze big discounts out of the remaining in-network doctors and hospitals. As a result, four in ten consumers had trouble, or knew somebody who had trouble, finding an in-network doctor or clinic. Recently I had a medical issue that required surgery. The cost of the out-of-network surgeon was $18,000. The insurance company refused to pay the doctor’s charge for the surgery. After three long and tedious rounds of appeals, an outside arbitrator deemed that the surgery should be covered since it was an emergency situation. The insurance company paid the surgeon its previously negotiated in-network fee of $179.47. The number of in-network doctors, and thus patient’s choices, is shrinking. Firms are also dragging their feet or flat out refusing to pay for certain therapies. Nearly 30 percent of Americans report that their doctor prescribed them a treatment that wasn’t covered by insurers. A similar percentage experienced difficulty getting an insurer to cover a needed treatment. The thinning coverage and bulked up costs mean that healthcare is, in practice, inaccessible for many people, even though they technically have insurance coverage. A majority of Americans either couldn’t fill a prescription, or know someone who couldn’t, because the cost-sharing requirement was too high. Consider the story one doctor recently shared about his patient suffering from ulcerative colitis, a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the large intestine.

The doctor had prescribed the 28-year-old woman two medications that got her colitis under control. But a year later, the woman returned to his office, crying. She was sicker than before. The doctor asked if the medicines had stopped working. She then revealed that she had quit taking them because her insurance company stopped covering the drugs, and she couldn’t afford the out of pocket costs. Going without treatment is bad for patients -- and for the nation’s healthcare budget. Nearly 60 percent of the population suffers from at least one chronic disease. Preventing and managing these diseases is vastly cheaper than letting them spiral out of control. Chronic diseases are already projected to cost us $42 trillion from now until 2030. If insurance quality continues to decline and more patients can’t adhere to their treatments, the bill could grow even larger. Reforms to lower insurance costs and ensure quality coverage would enable patients to better manage their chronic diseases. That would spare them from needless suffering -- and the nation from needless healthcare expenditures. In the current political climate, it is difficult to see quick resolution to this not insurmountable problem. However, amending Obamacare -- as was always anticipated by the administration -- could resolve the issues. For millions of Americans, good insurance is a prerequisite for good health. No wonder people are so concerned about their worsening coverage. Larry Hausner is chief patient advocate of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.

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Texas African-American History Memorial unveiled at Capitol

USTIN — A crowd of citizens and dignitaries gathered on the south lawn of the state Capitol on Nov. 19 to witness the unveiling of the Texas African American History Memorial. The 32-foot-wide, 27-foot-tall bronze monument by sculptor Ed Dwight features images of African-Americans in Texas from modern times going back nearly 500 years. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a former long-time member of the Texas House of Representatives, spoke at the event. “This monument stands as a marker that no matter how smart you may think you are, no matter how gifted you may be, and no matter what contribution you may have made, we are standing on the foundation and the shoulders of people who have sacrificed to get us where we are today,” Turner said. Gov. Greg Abbott, who also delivered remarks at the ceremony, said: “Today we come together to proudly honor the African-Americans who helped to grow Texas from the bounty of the land, from the sweat of their toil and from the passion of their dreams.” “We are reminded that our work is not yet done,” Abbott said. “If we are to truly elevate Texas to its limitless potential, we must continue to expand liberty and opportunity for all.” The effort to have a monument to the contributions of Texas’ African-Americans commissioned and installed on the Capitol grounds was launched some 20 years ago, according to the Texas African-American Memorial

Foundation, an organization created to raise funds for the project. Oil discovery is reported The United States Geological Survey on Nov. 15 announced the largest estimate of “continuous oil” ever assessed in the United States, and it’s in Texas. The Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin portion of the Permian Basin contains an estimated mean of 20 billion barrels of oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of associated natural gas and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids. This estimate, according to the USGS, consists of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources. The estimate of continuous oil in the Midland Basin Wolfcamp shale assessment is nearly three times larger than that of the 2013 USGS Bakken-Three Forks, which is situated in a land area that includes the western twothirds of North Dakota, the northwestern corner of South Dakota and northeastern Montana, and extends northward into the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Continuous oil and gas, according to the USGS, are dispersed throughout a geologic formation rather than existing as discrete, localized occurrences, such as those in conventional accumulations. Because of that, continuous resources commonly require special technical drilling and recovery methods, such as hydraulic fracturing. Texas economy adds jobs The Texas Workforce Commission on Nov. 18 announced Texas grew by an estimated 13,700 nonfarm jobs in October and the state has added jobs in 18 of the

past 19 months. Also, Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.7 percent in October, down slightly from 4.8 percent in September, and remained below the national rate of 4.9 percent. “Texas employers continue to demonstrate the resiliency of the Texas economy with 207,500 jobs added over the past year,” said Andres Alcantar, chair of the Texas Workforce Commission. Abbott releases tax return Gov. Abbott on Nov. 22 released his federal tax return for 2015. The document shows: - $119,819 in total wages earned; - $42,544 paid in property taxes; - 37 percent combined local, state and federal tax burden; and - $13,125 in charitable contributions. Anti-smoking bills filed State Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, recently filed SB 183, legislation to increase the legal age to purchase, possess or consume tobacco and nicotine products in Texas from 18 to 21 years of age. Uresti also filed SB 228, legislation that would allow municipalities to determine a smoking age that is best for their communities. The bills are supported by a broad coalition of Texans, Uresti said, and pointed out that “tobacco use kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined.” Cities and the state have an obligation to discourage young people from taking up a habit that is likely to shorten their lives, he added.



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The Progress Times (USPS 971-420; ISSN 0890-2666) is published each Friday by Mission Publishing Co., 1217 N. Conway, Mission, Texas 78572, (956) 585-4893. Subscriptions $20 annual in Hidalgo County; $25 outside of Hidalgo County. Periodicals postage paid in Mission, Texas 78572. ©2016 Mission Publishing Company. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the PROGRESS TIMES, P.O. Box 399, Mission Texas 78573.


Letters to the Editor are welcome but must conform to certain guidelines. All letters must be original, dated, signed and bear the complete name, address and phone number of the writer/signer. No photo copied letters will be printed. No letters addressed to others will be printed. Letter content must be relevant to concerns and interests of Mission and the surrounding area. Relevance is determined by the editor. Anonymous cards or letters are neither read nor printed. Letters may be submitted by e-mail to, but must include the author’s name and daytime phone number.

December 2, 2016

page 5 |

Othal E. Brand Jr. announces McAllen mayoral run


By Jose De Leon III he son of a former city of McAllen mayor announced he will attempt to follow in his father’s footsteps and campaign for the position during the upcoming May 2017 election. Othal E. Brand Jr. announced his candidacy Nov. 23 during a 10 minute press conference at his office in North McAllen. His father, Othal E. Brand Sr., served as McAllen’s mayor for 20 years starting in 1977. He died of congestive heart failure in 2009 at the age of 90. “Our family has invested so much into the city, just as much as the city has blessed

us for being here,” Brand said at the news conference. “They say there’s honor in a good name. I believe my father left me and McAllen a good one and I hope to do the same.” Brand is the board president and general manager of Hidalgo County Water Improvement District 3. He is the first person to announce his candidacy for McAllen’s mayor. Before becoming mayor of McAllen, the senior Brand turned his company, Griffin & Brand, into one of the world’s largest producers of onions and vegetables and one of the largest fruit and vegetable growers in the

state, according to the produce industry news website, “The Packer.” As mayor, Brand’s father was known for clashing with members of the city commission, who accused him of acting without their consent, according to a 2009 article in the McAllen Monitor published following his death. The article also said the senior Brand was credited with creating the McAllen Economic Development Corporation in 1989, which laid the groundwork for businesses in McAllen to rapidly grow. During the news conference, Brand acknowledged his father was a polarizing figure in the community.

Meadow Creek controversy continues By Kathy Olivarez The rezoning of a 0.304acre tract of land from PUD (Common Area) to PUD R-1 for single family residences located in the Meadow Creek Subdivision was approved after discussion in the Monday, Nov. 28, meeting of the Mission City Council. The site is located at the intersection of Lakeview and Lake Front Drives and has been considered green space since the subdivision was built. One resident presented a petition stating the majority of property owners who could be reached were opposed to the action. Many residents of Meadow Creek were in the audience but seemed resigned to being unable to stop the action. Another stated they were residents who bought their home and had lived there 16 years. They bought their property thinking the common ground would stay intact. They wanted the lifestyle of living on a golf course where there was green space. They did not want to see the green spaces being built on for more hous-

ing, spoiling the view of the golf course and lake. Another resident implored the council to come out and see what the residents were talking about before voting to approve the changes. Councilwomen Norie Gonzalez and Jessica Ortega said they had already gone to see the situation. Cesar Wilson, who owns the adjacent property, said he offered several times to buy the lot from Olaguer Bauza, current owner of Meadow Creek, for a reasonable price. He would keep the land open, Wilson said, but Bauza would not quote him a price. Wilson has a special problem in that his house is only located 1.5 feet from the property line instead of the required six feet. If Bauza builds a fence, as he says he plans to do, it will be 1.5 feet from Wilson’s house, which already had the encroachment when he bought it. “I will not even be able to get between my house and the fence to mow,” he stated. He turned to the members of the Planning staff who were present and

said to them, “You were out there. You saw how close it is.” None of the planning staff responded. Wilson told the Progress Times Bauza has already cut down trees that were on the land and had been measuring for the fence against his property line. Wilson said he thinks Bauza is planning to build two houses on the site. After discussion, the council voted to approve the R-1 zoning. Two other items related to Meadow Creek were remanded to Planning & Zoning. They dealt with a 0.531-acre tract and a 0.850-tract that are proposed to be rezoned to R-1T for townhouses. Another request for a conditional use permit for sale and on site use of alcoholic beverages came from The Best Flavored Beer, Bar & Grill, located at 2306 E. Expressway 83. Previously the owner had a permit to sell alcohol until 2 a.m. on weekends. Recently the council changed the ordinance on alcohol sales to fall in line with the state guidelines for the sale of alcohol, which

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“With my father, it was either you loved him or you hated him, there was no in between,” he said. “I can’t tell you if his name sways for or against me [in this election] but I can say I am my father’s son, but I am not my now requires bars to close at 1 a.m. instead of 2 a.m. on weekends and 12 midnight weekdays. Bar owner Santiago Gonzalez made a plea to be given a variance to stay open later hours, saying he worked very hard to establish his business and did not want to move elsewhere. However, Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas said the council could not change the ordinance that brought the hours of operation into compliance with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms regulations. Gonzalez was told he would have to comply with the mandated hours. L&G Engineering is designing three separate roads for the proposed Madero Bridge. The cost of the entire project would be $45.9 million. The cost for phase I would be $8.35 million requiring a local match from the city of $1,276,000. Council members were told the Metropolitan Planning Organization would be contributing $19.1 million toward the project. Approval for the proposed construction costs of the connecting roads was granted to L&G. In other matters Mission Finance Director Angie Vela

Iglesias was paid to perform, citing a confidentiality clause in his contract, according to a June 2016 article from news source Fusion.Net. “Taxpayers are entitled to know where that money goes instead of having people withhold that information,” Brand said after the conference. “The concerns I have with the city are from within. And if you can’t get an account of what went on in a parade, or at least a report from an auditor, then that’s a cause for concern.” Brand Jr. concluded the conference by saying he will ramp up his campaign in January and is prepared to spend as much as needed for it. “I hope to bring something to the table, better than where we are,” he said. “I hope this election will be a positive one we can be proud of.”

presented the certified tax roll for the city as being $4.1 billion in taxable value. The local tax levy will amount to $20.1 million. The maintenance and operations fund is set at $17.8 million while the interest and sinking fund is set at $2.3 million. And fol-

lowing executive session, the city manager was authorized to sign a lease on a vacant parcel of land adjacent to Astroland Park. Because of the upcoming holidays, the council will only meet once in December, on Dec. 19.

Sharyland High School Academic Achievers Ten students from Sharyland High School have been recognized as an AP Scholar by the College Board AP Scholar Program. These students are (from top row) Luis E. Salinas, Norma Rubio, Anne M. Rara, Alicia Davila, Ewin Zuo and Hugo Rodriguez. Bottom row: Luciano Ibarra, Anne LaGrange, Kayla Barrios and Brady Butcher. These students received a score of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams. Courtesy Photo.

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father. There’s not anybody like my father, even me.” Brand said his campaign would focus on accountability and transparency in McAllen, adding that the city has changed in the last few years. “McAllen is different than the McAllen I grew up with. It has changed and I don’t mean the people so much as I do the folks on the second and third floors downtown,” he said, alluding to city hall. “There’s a lack of accountability, transparency and spirit of open government in McAllen and I know it can be better than this. I would not run if I felt everyone else was happy.” During the news conference, Brand cited the city’s 2015 Holiday Parade as an example of a lack of transparency in the city. The headlining guest was singer Enrique Iglesias, but the city refused to divulge how much




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District 31-5A Co-MVP

District 31-5A volleyball honors announced

Sharyland Rattlers

District 31-5A Co-MVP

Alexandria Jimenez

Mission Veterans

December 2, 2016 |

Caleigh Hausenfluck

page 8

Lady Patriots, Lady Rattlers, Lady Diamondbacks earn postseason awards

Mission Veterans

Sharyland Pioneer

Mission Veterans

Mission Veterans

1st Team All District

Mission Veterans

Jacqueline Howell

1st Team All District

aces. “It’s an honor. It just made me feel proud that all of the work that I’ve put in has paid off,” Hausenfluck said. “The mentality for me was to keep getting better and do everything for my team to make my team successful. In the end it’s about the team. As Co-MVP this year it will give me confidence and my team a lot of confidence and we’ll have a lot of momentum going into next year.” Mission Veterans Memorial sophomore Jacqueline Howell won Outstanding Defensive Specialist/Libero for her defensive play and all-around game of providing blocking and digging for her Lady Patriots squad. “I just wanted to play hard. I knew defense was a big part of the game so I wanted to help my team,” Howell said. “You just try to help your team in any way you can in hopes of going far and we were able to do that. I was happy I got recognized. It makes me want to play better and do better things next year.” Pioneer junior hitter Mikayla Zimmerer was named District 31-5A’s Newcomer of the Year for her play in her first season at the varsity level. Zimmerer helped lead the third year Pioneer program to a second place finish in district play and a first round playoff win in a five-set thriller over Donna. “I was kind of scared because it’s a very different experience,” Zimmerer said. “This year on varsity has taught me so many lessons, including life lessons. It changed my mindset on everything. I hope I can exceed Newcomer of the Year next season and go farther than we did this year.” With the 2016-2017 season wrapped up, teams will be looking forward to next year to build on this year’s accomplishments in District 31-5A, one of the strongest in Valley volleyball.

Makenzie Gerlach

1st Team All District

Iliana Contreras

District 31-5A Newcomer of the Year

enzie Gerlach. Sharing District 31-5A Most Valuable Player honors is Veterans Memorial’s Alexandria Jimenez and Sharyland’s Caleigh Hausenfluck. Mission Veterans Memorial sophomore Jacqueline Howell won Outstanding Defensive Specialist/Libero Pioneer junior hitter Mikayla Zimmerer was named District 31-5A’s Newcomer of the Year Jimenez, a senior hitter, earned her Co-MVP honors by leading the Lady Patriots with her play around the net. As a junior, Jimenez was named an honorable mention to the All-District selections, but grew her game in her final year to earn the recognition of the nine head coaches in the district. “I think it has a lot to do with being one of the leaders on this team,” Jimenez said. “Me and Andrea, being senior captains and leaders, it’s not just worrying about yourself but bringing everybody else up as well. I think I owe it to my team really because it was a total team effort.” Jimenez wraps up her volleyball career for the Lady Patriots with a successful showing, earning the highest award possible in the district. Jimenez said her mentality was to give it her all on the floor and not think about each game possibly being her last. “I wasn’t thinking “this could be my last game, this could be the last time I play Sharyland or Pioneer.” I tried just to play it out and I came out with the award in the end and that’s all that matters,” Jimenez said. “It’s been great overall building great friendships and playing the sport that I love.” Hausenfluck’s Co-MVP honor comes after she was named to the All-District 31-5A First Team in her freshman and sophomore seasons. In her junior year in 2016, Hausenfluck led the Lady Rattlers covering the floor with her defensive play, totaling 442 digs on the season, averaging 5.5 digs per set to go with her 57 kills and 27

Andrea De La Garza

District 31-5A Coach of the Year

Mikayla Zimmerer

Coach Martina Carrillo

By Bryan Ramos The nets have been taken down and the volleyballs put away as the 2016-2017 season came to a close and the UIL State Tournament crowned its champions in their respective classifications. Now that the season is over, postseason honors recognizing players for their accomplishments over the year are being revealed as voted on by head coaches in the district. The Mission Veterans Memorial Lady Patriots, the Sharyland Lady Rattlers and the Pioneer Lady Diamondbacks were well represented on the District 31-5A award list. Lady Patriots first year head coach Martina Carrillo has been named the District 31-5A Coach of the Year in addition to being selected to coach the West Team in December’s All-Star game after coaching her squad to a perfect 16-0 record in district play. Her first year in the Rio Grande Valley has been a successful one. “My focus was in us staying undefeated and we did just that and I’m grateful for my players for giving all their effort, having fun and enjoying the season,” Carrillo said. Coach of the Year goes to not just me but my coaching staff who has been there with me every step of the way.” Carrillo was not just a leader on the court, but also off the court where she and her team bonded through community service around Mission, visiting junior high volleyball teams, nursing homes and raising breast cancer awareness. “It’s an honor and humbling experience to be District Coach of the Year,” Carrillo said. “I look back and see a lot of positive changes. I smile and think of this is where I’m supposed to be – leading the mighty Lady Patriots. We love to compete.” Carrillo’s Lady Patriots squad also has three First Team All-District members selected in senior Andrea De La Garza, junior Iliana Contreras and sophomore Mak-

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page 9

Patriots close out historic season


By Luciano Guerra t took eight years but Mission Veterans Memorial Patriots’ head football coach David Gilpin finally got his wish; getting to hold football practices during Thanksgiving week. Very few high school football coaches get to do that every year because only a select few football teams across the state of Texas extend their seasons into the third round of the UIL state playoffs that takes place Thanksgiving weekend. And that is exactly what the Patriots did this year for the first time in school history. While Gilpin’s wish did come true this year, it wasn’t wishing that made it happen. It was hard work. Hard work that started three to four years ago when the seniors on this year’s Patriots team were freshmen and sophomores, hard work that extends well past the end of one season and begins well before the start of the next, and hard work that doesn’t always result in success in the playoffs. But when it does, it makes it worth all the work and preparation it took to get them there. “It was everything that I expected it to be, and more,” Gilpin said about having a game to prepare for last week. “It was just the greatest joy to come in

throughout the week, have our practice and get our field work in. We were able to have a Thanksgiving luncheon on Wednesday served by the parents, then we came in on Thanksgiving Day and had a good hour of practice, which is something we had never done before, I was just ecstatic about the extra week of practice.” The fact that the Patriots met their match Saturday afternoon when they went up against the Dripping Springs Tigers in San Antonio’s Alamo Stadium and lost 35-69, did nothing to diminish Gilpin’s enthusiasm over what his team accomplished this year. “There were only four Valley teams left in the playoffs going into this weekend and we were one of the four,” expressed Gilpin immediately after the Patriots’ loss. “We take great pride in that and the area we’re from, and to be one of the last teams standing from our area means a lot to us. The bottom line is that when you get beat by a better team, go out and play with some character and our kids did that.” “I have absolutely no regrets about today, none,” added

Veterans Memorial’s Joshua Acosta out jumps a Dripping Springs defender as he reaches for the ball during the third quarter of the Patriots’ Regional Semi-final round playoff game against the Tigers. Progress Times photo by Luciano Guerra

Gilpin. “I wish that things had broken a little differently for us at the beginning of the game, but that’s football. It is what it is. We had a great year and we made history. At this point and at this time with our season having come to an end, all I can say is that I’m proud of our kids, I’m proud of our coaching staff, I’m proud of this great community and the administration that’s out here supporting us today, and I’m proud of the media that turned out to cover us.” Despite the loss, Patriots’ senior quarterback Diego Hernandez had one of the best games of his career Saturday. He threw a touchdown pass of 39 yards to sophomore Landry Gilpin, touchdown passes of 25 yards, 13 yards and 11 yards to senior Jacob Guerrero, and ran one in himself from 5 yards out as well. After the game, and after spending 20 minutes hugging and posing for pictures with family and friends, Hernandez discussed how he and his teammates never gave up against Dripping Springs despite the lopsided halftime score. “At halftime Coach Gilpin asked us to keep fighting and keep swinging until the end and that’s what we did,” Hernandez said. “That’s what we’ve done all season long. Whenever our backs have been up against a wall we’ve all stepped up, listened to our coaching staff and fought. But I couldn’t have done it without the support I’ve had from my Patriot football family and my real family that have been there for me even during my freshman and JV years.” Guerrero, who like Hernandez played his last game as a Veterans Memorial Patriot Saturday, took a few minutes after the game to reflect back on what being a Patriot has meant to him. He said, “It’ meant a lot, especially getting to play under the great Coach Gilpin. Also, making history and setting the standard for those that will come in the years to come. It’s meant the world to me to get to play here these past four years and to accomplish great things with this program.” Senior defensive back and kick returner Jacob Garcia set

up two of the Patriots’ touchdowns with kick-off returns of 79 yards and 62 yards. When asked what being able to provide a spark to the offense, not once but twice, meant to him, he said, “It

means a lot to me to be able to contribute to my team and helping them to get something going. It was just amazing, that feeling of being able to help the team.” The Patriots have now

closed out their 2016 season with an 8-5 overall record, but more importantly as Bi-district and Area Champions, and as the last Valley team to be eliminated from the playoffs.

The Veterans Memorial Patriots run onto the field prior to their Regional Semi-final playoff game against the Dripping Springs Tigers at Alamo Stadium in San Antonio Saturday. Progress Times photo by Luciano Guerra.

Veterans Memorial’s Mike Garcia does his best to elude Dripping Springs defenders as he carries the ball during the first quarter of the Patriots’ Regional Semi-final round playoff game against the Tigers. Progress Times photo by Luciano Guerra

City of Mission Mayor and City Council Cordially invite you to attend this year’s

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Join Us on Game Day! Present your military ID at the Vipers Pro Shop or State Farm Arena box office to receive one free ticket to any homegame. Mon., Dec 5 • 7pm Sun., Dec 11 • 6pm

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page 10

MRA to cover portion of Mission road widening project


By Jose De Leon III

he Mission Redevelopment Authority (MRA) approved a reimbursement agreement with the city to cover the first phase of a street expansion project for two of Mission’s busiest thoroughfares. The streets to be expanded are Military and Inspiration Roads. Per City Manager Martin Garz the agreement, made during the MRA’s Nov. 28 board meeting, will have the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) covering the environmental studies, public involvement and preliminary schematics necessary for this expansion. The estimated cost of this phase is $1.3 million and should

December 2, 2016 |

take about 18 months to complete, Garza said. During this expansion project, Inspiration Road south of Expressway 83 to South One Mile Road will be turned into a four-lane street. A boulevard will then be added between South One Mile and Military Road to make it a five-lane thoroughfare similar to Shary Road. “We have a lot of growth southwest of Mission and we need to accommodate that,” Garza said. “Besides the commercial and residential growth happening south of the expressway, we also have the National Butterfly Center, the Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery and the World Birding Center located there and those

two roads direct the public to those areas. We need to prepare transportation for the need of the community in that area.” Garza first presented the MRA board with this proposal during a Nov. 8 special meeting. In that meeting, Garza said this road expansion project was necessary to accommodate the proposed Madero International Bridge the city plans to utilize for commercial traffic once it is completed. The city already has more than $19 million set aside in transportation funds from the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization (HCMPO) for construction of the proposed bridge. Of those funds, $3.5 million


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will go toward property acquisition that cannot begin until after phase one of the road expansions for Inspiration and Military Roads are completed. The city has until 2021 to begin construction of the bridge, as required by the presidential permit for the Madero Bridge, according to Garza. As part of the agreement,

San Antonio based H-E-B grocers announced Nov. 18 it has issued a precautionary recall of its entire H-E-B Baby Food 2 pack 4 oz. cups product line after a customer reported finding a small piece of rubber inside a single container of one variety of the product. . As of Friday the H-E-B Baby Food 2 pack 4 oz. cups were removed from shelves out of an abundance of caution, according to a company press release. The recall effects the H-E-B Food 2 pack 4 oz. cups only, the press release stated. Per the release there have been no reports of injury or illness associated with this isolated incident, however the company is taking the is-

H-E-B has launched a full investigation into the incident and is working closely with its H-E-B Baby Food manufacturer to ensure all safety measures are being taken when manufacturing the product. The FDA has been made aware of the recall. H-E-B is encouraging customers who have any H-E-B Baby Food 2 pack 4 oz. cups in their pantries to return it to their nearest H-E-B store for a full refund. The precautionary recall affects all lots of only H-E-B Baby Food 2 pack 4 oz. cups, including:

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La Joya ISD’s first ever coat drive set for tomorrow In the hopes of ensuring its students stay warm this winter, the La Joya Independent School District will hold a coat drive Dec. 3. The Winter Coat Drive


During this time, the Judge will dismiss the “Failure to Appear” charge on defendants who have failed to appear before the Court provided the defendant pays all fines and fees in full immediately. The amount dismissed for the “Failure to Appear” charge may be up to $206.

sue very seriously and taking all necessary precautions. “Though we have only received one report of a foreign material in H-E-B Baby Food 2 pack 4 oz. cups, as a company, we are committed to absolute and complete food safety. As a result of that commitment, coupled with the fact that we are dealing with a children’s product, we have made the decision to pull all of our H-E-B Baby Food 2 pack 4 oz. cups from our shelves,” said Winell Herron, H-E-B Group Vice President of Public Affairs, Diversity and Environmental Affairs. The recall involves 18 varieties of the 2 pack 4 oz. cups. The press release states


Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. No purchase necessary.

December 1st – December 31, 2016

at Inspiration Road and the Bentsen Palm Development Lift Station Project. According to representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation and Melden & Hunt, the two firms in charge of the projects, respectively, both projects are on schedule and should be completed by February 2017.

H-E-B issues baby food recall

To SubSCRIbE Call 585-5893

Amnesty Period

the TIRZ will be reimbursed by the city throughout phase one of the project. According to Garza, the engineer firm S&B Infrastructure has already been selected to conduct the initial environmental studies. During the recent meeting, the MRA board also heard updates on two projects: the U.S. 83 Overpass

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will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the district’s public information center, located on 201 E. Expressway 83. The coats collected at the drive will go toward the district’s

student population of more than 23,400 students, according to the district website. District Spokeswoman Brenda Cantu said she hopes this coat drive, the district’s first ever, will be the first of many. “We serve a large population, a large area of that is low income families and we need to provide for them,” she said. “We’ve seen the needs of our students and we don’t want a student missing a coat to be an obstacle in their academics.” Besides jackets and coats, Cantu said the district is looking to collect scarves, gloves and hats. Any sizes are welcome as long as the donations are bagged. According to Cantu, all the donations will be picked up and distributed among the district within a week after the collection drive as campuses across the district have already identified students in need of winter clothing. During the Winter Coat Drive, food and drinks will be provided.

December 2, 2016


was being verbally aggressive with him. The son, a minor, is unnamed in the complaint. Salinas allegedly pushed his wife, causing her to stumble backwards and hit the doorframe with the back of her head. She then bit Salinas’ right forearm in self-defense, the complaint states. The responding officer noted a bump on the back of Mrs. Salinas’ head and redness on her neck. According to the complaint, Mrs. Salinas showed “obvious signs of intoxication” which included slurred speech and the smell of alcohol on her breath.

from pg 1 A portion of the altercation was recorded on Mrs. Salinas’ cell phone, which she provided police, the complaint stated. Officers then interviewed Salinas who said the argument was over marital issues. Officers noted Salinas appeared highly intoxicated, showing the same symptoms as his wife, and had scratches on his neck, the complaint stated. Salinas was arrested after police determined he was the aggressor in the incident. Salinas was reelected to the La Joya school board last


Jose Angel Gonzalez MISSION – Jose Angel Gonzalez, 88, passed away on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, at his home in Mission. Mr. Gonzalez served in the U.S. Army. He went on to work for the USDA at the former Moore Air Force Base north of Mission. As a carpenter the remainder of his life, he worked on a variety of projects, such as the La Lomita Amphitheater Park. He spent the last 10 years before his retirement as carpenter at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Consuelo Gonzalez; children Lydia Prieto, Gloria Gonzalez, Irene Abbott, Sylvia Pinon, Delia Garcia, Dalia Garcia, Jose Angel Gonzalez Jr., Hilda Martinez, Enrique Gonzalez and Raul Gonzalez; sister, Lupita Rendon; and 19 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. A funeral mass was held on Nov. 26 at Our Lady of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Mission. Burial followed at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Mission. Socorro C. Guerra MISSION – Socorro C. Guerra, 85, passed away on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, at Mission Regional Medical Center. Mr. Guerra was a graduate of Mission High School and was employed at Mis-

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sion Dry Goods for over 25 years. Survivors include her husband of 62 years, Arturo Guerra; daughters, Susie Guerra of San Antonio, Roxie Gonzales of McAllen, Ilianna Juarez of Mission and Audrey de la Garza of Pflugerville; and six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son, Jacobo Arturo Guerra, and parents, Jacobo and Eloisa Carrales. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, Dec. 2, at 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Mission. Burial follows at Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery. Romulo D. Martinez Jr. McALLEN – Former Sharyland I.S.D. superintendent, Romulo D. Martinez Jr., 90, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, at

month and was elected president by fellow board members following a swearing in ceremony at a Nov. 16 special board meeting. When reached for comment, Salinas declined an interview, stating his lawyer advised him not to comment on his arrest. However, he was able to text a statement to the Progress Times. “Me and my wife are cooperating with the authorities in their investigation. We are confident when this is over that our relationship will be stronger,” he stated. “We are together, we love each other and we will continue to support each other.”

his home in McAllen. Mr. Martinez was born in Peñitas and graduated from La Joya High school. As a Boy Scout, he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in two years. Later, he served his country during World War II and was stationed in Korea. After the war, Mr. Martinez attended Edinburg Junior College and then transferred, earning a degree at the University of Texas. In September 2000, the Romulo D. Martinez Elementary School in Sharyland I.S.D. was dedicated in his honor. In November of that year, he and his wife, Becky, and their five children were recognized as a Distinguished Family by the UTPA Alumni Association. Although best known as an educator, he was active in the Catholic Church and community, where he taught C.C.D. classes and was a Eucharistic minister. He served on the board of directors for Kiwanis for over 30 years. He was preceded in death by his parents, Romulo and Maria G. Martinez, and siblings, Lydia Schaffer, Baudelia Rosales, Roberto Martinez, Gloria Tijerina and Elma Brink. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Rebecca P. Martinez; children, Romulo D. Martinez III, Sandy Martinez-Fulton, Cynthia Elizabeth Monaco, Rebecca Eileen Weber and David H. Martinez; and 10 grandchil-


Skippers are a family of butterflies that occur worldwide. The greatest diversity of Skippers is found in the Neotropical regions of Central and South America. Seven species of white-skippers are found in Mexico. Prior to Sunday’s sighting, five of the seven species had been recorded before in the United States. That number has now increased to six. How long this particular Skipper has been in the Valley will never been known. Neither will who may have been the first to see it at the NBC. What is known, however, is that Pat Riek, of Lancaster,

dren and three great-grandchildren. A funeral mass was held on Nov. 22 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Mission. Burial will follow at Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission. Serving as pallbearers were Romulo D. Martinez III, David H. Martinez, Lio Garcia, Lucas Cuevas, Christopher Martinez and Travis Weber. Honorary pallbearers included Arnoldo Garza, Tommy Monaco and Ben Weber. Proxey K. Prukop McCOOK – Proxey K. Prukop, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016. Mrs. Prukop was born in the Polish settlement of Kosciusko and moved to the farming community of McCook as a young child. She was an active member of the McCook community serving in the PTA and 4-H. She was a devout Catholic, a founding member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in McCook and the church’s Altar Society. Survivors include her children, Karen Vaughan of Corpus Christi, Joanna Prukop of Santa Fe, N.M., John Prukop of Bishop, James Prukop of Bishop, Ted Prukop of Mission, Carol Rando of Sugar Land, Frank Prukop of Kingsville and Barbara Gibson of Katy; siblings, Vincent Keller, Christine Prukop and Florence Vinklarek; and 12 grandchildren. She was preceded in death

from pg 1 Wis. and Green Gate Grove, Mission, was the first to report it and to accompany that report with a photograph that identified it as an Alana White. As a result, Riek is being credited with a First U.S. Record for this particular species. Before Riek could be credited with the historic find, however, the same butterfly was seen and photographed at the NBC the following morning by two other butterfly enthusiasts. At that time it was believed to be a similar looking species of Skipper known as the Veined White-Skipper. Had it been a Veined White, it would’ve been the Second

by her husband, of 54 years, Philip R. Prukop; son, David Prukop; siblings, Rose Marie Keller and Ernest Keller; and grandchildren, Caitlynn Prukop and Joshua Gibson. Visitation will be held on Friday, Dec. 2, from 5 to 9 p.m. with a 6:30 p.m. rosary at Ric Brown Family Funeral Home in Mission. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. at Immaculate Conception. Burial follows at Immaculate Conception Cemetery in McCook. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association at either or P.O. Box 841125, Dallas, TX 75284-1125. Rita Oralia Velez MISSION – Rita Oralia Velez, 64, passed away Wed., Nov. 23, 2016 at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg. Survivors include her daughter: Rita Oralia Spann, and siblings, Maria, Cristina, Maria de la Luz, Rosa, Ester and Eliezer. A funeral service was held on Nov. 28 at Rivera Funeral Home of McAllen. Burial followed at Valley Memorial Gardens in Mission.


Jayden Carrasco MISSION – Jayden Carrasco, age 2, passed away on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, at Edinburg Children’s Hospital.

U.S. Record for that species. It was not until later in the day that the identification was corrected and then confirmed by Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg, founder of the North American Butterfly Association and the NBC. It was also on Monday that Riek informed Marianna Trevino Wright, executive director of the NBC, that she had photographed the same butterfly the day before. That was when she was credited with the First U.S. Record. The National Butterfly Center is located at 3333 Butterfly Park Drive in Mission. For more information, call 956-583-5400 or visit www.

Genesis Gonzalez MISSION – Genesis Gonzalez, infant, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2016, at McAllen Medical Center. Christian Emmanuel Jauregui Medina MISSION – Cristian Emmanuel Jauregui Medina, infant, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, at Mission Regional Medical Center. Mario Alberto Pulido MISSION – Mario Alberto Pulido, 48, passed away on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, in Palmview. Homero Ramirez MISSION – Homero Ramirez, 59, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, in Mission. Maria Emma Ruiz MISSION – Maria Emma Ruiz, 85, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in Mission. Raul Villalon SULLIVAN CITY – Raul Villalon, 77, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, at Mission Regional Medical Center. Gealeen Wiley MISSION – Gealeen Wiley, 87, passed away on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, at Mission Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Rosemary Wiegand ALTON – Rosemary Wiegand, 85, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, at her home in Alton.


“OLG Activity School of the Gospel, Pre-School, Day Care” Open for Registrations




MASS SCHEDULE “Texas Friendly” spoken at all masses (and confessions) Saturday (English) ........................................... 4:00 P.M. Saturday (Spanish) .......................................... 7:00 P.M. Sunday (Spanish) ........................................... 7:30 A.M. Sunday (English)............................................. 9:00 A.M. Sunday (English)........................................... 10:30 A.M. Sunday (Tex-Mex) Mariachi Mass ......... (Noon)12:30 P.M. Sunday (Tex-Mex)............................................ 5:30 P.M. Monday - Wednesday & Friday (Tex-Mex) ....... 6:55 A.M. Thursday (Tex-Mex) ......................................... 7:00 P.M.


Thursday ....................................................... 6:00 P.M. Saturday......................................................... 3:00 P.M.

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SHOOTING requesting a condition update. Barrera could not provide more information about the deceased except to say his wife and adult daughter were at the hospital before he was pronounced dead. Barrera said Lopez-Saenz was working with the shooting victims prior to the incident. He said video surveillance recorded Lopez-Saenz drive up to the store in a pickup truck, exit the vehicle, walk to the break room window from the store’s exterior and begin shooting into the break room. Lopez-Saenz called 911 later Monday morning admitting he was the shooter and wanted to surrender, Barrera said. Lopez-Saenz was taken into custody a short time later without incident, Barrera said. Lo-

December 2, 2016 | from pg 1

pez-Saenz provided information to police that led to the recovery of a 9mm Desert Eagle semiautomatic pistol, said Palmview Public Safety Information Officer Saul Uvalle. During a press conference Monday Barrera said Lopez-Saenz claimed he was only trying to scare the victims. He told investigators he believed the store windows were bullet proof and thought he hadn’t hurt anyone. Barrera said Lopez-Saenz was paranoid “that everyone was out to get him” and that the alleged shooter could have chosen random targets anywhere, they just happened to be at his workplace. “Nobody was targeted. It was not gang related at all,” he said.

Also during the press conference H-E-B Group Vice President and General Manager Javier Avalos said the company was deeply saddened by the incident and that the company was working with police to bring the case to a successful conclusion. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” he said. An H-E-B spokesperson said later the company would be making counselors available to store employees and that the company would “be reaching out to the victims’ families to provide assistance and support.” The store reopened on Wednesday at 6 a.m. an H-E-B employee at the store said.

Career Day inspires local students


By Jose De Leon III

t 10, Damari Pedraza already knows she wants to grow up to be president of the United States. The 4th-grader at Palmview’s E.B. Reyna Elementary School said she’s wanted to be president since she was in kindergarten and even has a career path in mind. “I look up to Hillary Clinton and before she ran for president she was a lawyer so I know I need to be a lawyer to gain experience to be president,” Pedraza said. “I also want to be a business owner to get business experience so I can know as much as possible about being a leader before I start running

for president.” Pedraza was one of several students participating in the school’s 27th Annual Career Day Thursday, Nov. 17. During career day, local professionals were invited to speak to students all over the campus to inspire them to start thinking about their futures. Speakers included law enforcement officers, cosmetologists, medical professionals and a journalist, among others. Pedraza, who is also an officer in the school’s student council, said her Career Day was special because of the insight she’s received from presenters. “One of the speakers was an accountant and he

MCISD approves funding for computer tablets for youngest students


By Joe Hinton

ometime in the near future all 14 elementary school campuses in the Mission Consolidated Independent School District will begin receiving shipments of Samsung computer tablets for all classrooms from kindergarten to second grade. The district’s Board of Trustees voted Nov. 16 to spend $158,000 on 700 tablets. Currently there are 3,385 students enrolled in kindergarten through second grade in the district, said Craig B. Verley, public information officer for the school system. Francisca Sanchez, the district’s executive director for elementary education, said the funding is enough to provide four to five of the hand held computers to each classroom. She said the new tablets are in addition to 1,200 others purchased three years ago and used in

classroom training centers. Though the allocation is not enough to provide each student with their own tablet it reduces the number of students sharing them, she said. “Every high school student in grades nine through twelve has a Chromebook,” Verley said prior to the board’s action Nov. 16. “And every year we try also to add access at the junior high level to add Chromebooks and tablets. And what’s going to happen tonight will just add to the availability of tablets to elementary students.” Sanchez said the school district hopes one day to be able to provide every student a personal computer of some kind. “The direction we’re moving is to insure our students have access to all the equipment that the real world has access to,” she said prior to the Nov. 16

vote. “We are working with students and trying to give them twenty-first century skills. And we can’t do that without the lead materials, you know, we can’t do that with obsolete materials like what we used in the old days, just the hard copies of text books. We need to keep up with the times to let our kids have those opportunities.” In other Nov. 16 actions the Board of Trustees accepted an auditor’s Annual Financial Report for the ten months ending June 30. The reporting period was truncated because the district changed the end of the fiscal year from August 31 to June 30 said the district’s superintendent, Dr. Ricardo Lopez Jr. By changing the fiscal year Lopez said the district had about $8 million more in it’s accounts than it did following the previous year’s audit.

said when he was little, his school didn’t have a career day but now we have them to look up to,” she said. “It’s cool knowing these people with jobs were once like us so they get to share with us what to expect when we grow up.” Among the speakers was 36-year-old Christopher Dennett. The McAllen resident, formerly a teacher at La Joya’s Nellie Schunior Middle School, now works as a physician’s assistant at the Family Health Center of Mission. Dennett explained to students the difference between a physician’s assistant and a physician, which he described as a relationship similar to that of Batman and his sidekick Robin, to appeal to students. “Even though the kids are thinking about the future, they also need to have some fun,” Dennett said after his presentation. “As a former student, I know they can struggle with themselves so I want to give them a peace of mind to let them know they shouldn’t doubt themselves. Nothing is unattainable if they really want it.” Overseeing Career Day for the school was E.B. Reyna’s Instructional Supervisor Orfelinda Jimenez. She explained the school sought out local professionals within the Palmview area specifically to motivate students. “Career Day is for the community so to have these young students see how so many people from their own community have gone on to have successful careers will hopefully empower them into wanting the same,” Jimenez said. “The career clusters we present won’t always be the same, but the goal of inspiring these students will never change.”

December 2, 2016

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For Sale LAUREL HILL CEMETERY Plots, Mission Texas, 2 Plots, Block #33, $1500 each - front section - 2 Plots, Block #43, $2000 each - front rows, call or text 956– 703–3010.

Make it happen, we’re located at 1217 N. Conway in Mission, TX Come on in! Our hours of operation are Mon. - Fri. 8 - 5 p.m. If you can’t drop by, mail it! P.O. Box 399, Mission, TX 78573 Submit by email or pay by phone 585-4893. The deadline to get your classified in is Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Y A M A H A EF2400ISHC GENERATOR, less than 10hrs use, like new, $1,100, call 701-891–9789. PORCH SWING WITH attaching hardware, excellent condition, $25, call 701–891–9789. ELECTRIC LIFT RECLINER, excellent condition,


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Call: (956) 399-3469 NOTICE OF PUBLIC SALE of property to satisfy Landlord’s Lien. Sale is 10 am, December 3 , 2016 at 2604 W. Exp. 83, Mission, TX. Property will be sold to the highest bidder for cash. Clean up and removal deposit may be required. Seller reserves right to withdraw property from sale. Property includes contents of spaces of following tenants: #46 Pablo Antonio Faz, household items. Contact ABC Storage, 2604 W. Exp 83, Mission, TX 956-585-1155.


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$175 (cost over $850), call 701891–9789. BEAUTIFUL ENT E R TA I N M E N T CENTER— Excellent condition. Must sell. $50, OBO. Call 956-585–4893.

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LOOKING FOR AN experienced screen printer, full time/part time, apply at MCM Sporting Goods, 1302 N. ConwayMission, TX, call 956–581-1632, fax 956–581-1685, or email mcmsports@ POSITIONS AVAILABLE IN several Valley resorts for workcampers. We need front desk help and maintenance, minor carpentry, painting, mowing, and weedwacking. Please call 956– 226-9479, we offer site and electric and

pay for extra hours. NEED LICENSED HAIR dresser FT or PT, please call 956585–1287 for more information. NOW HIRING FULL or part-time condominium administrator for supervisor maintenance in McAllen area, email resume to alicia@ or fax to 956-6316117. PEST CONTROL TECHNICIAN growing company looking for motivated individuals, good pay & benefits, apply in person at 1609 Mozell, Pharr. TACO PALENQUE NOW hiring all positions and all locations, call 956-9970030.

Mobile Homes


from pg 1

– she’s due to have her first baby at the end of December. “It’s amazing to hear some of these stories,” Pimentel said. “Some are sadder than others. Amazing what they go through. One girl came from Honduras and she is pregnant and was happy to be there. Amazing how young she is, risking her life to look for opportunities. It’s beautiful to hear those stories, to appreciate life and be blessed.” This was the first time for the event and according to Pimentel, Brown and IBC were talking about organizing something similar for Christmas. “All of these people had a chance to see how we celebrate Thanksgiving – we all were immigrants too when our country started. We wanted to show love and appreciation and IBC provided a very beautiful Thanksgiving meal for them,” Pimentel said. “You could see on their faces they were really happy to be treated with such respect and care and it was a first class meal – not a common meal for them – but the way it was presented, it Camila, who arrived in McAllen with her mom after was just so beautiful.” a long journey from El Salvador, is all smiles after Little Camila was given a her Thanksgiving lunch provided by IBC Bank at couple of pens and some paper Sacred Heart Church in downtown McAllen. and came to sit with Pimentel Photo by Henry Miller and showed her a couple of her Or Scan This drawings, including a “perrito” (dog) and “frutas” (fruit). Code With Your Pimentel patiently showed the Smartphone girl some drawing tips, and off she ran with her paper and pen, laughing and smiling all Or Scan This the way back to her mother’s Code With Your Submit online: arms. Or Scan This Meanwhile, Alvarenga reSmartphone turned the phone Code someone Withlet Your Submit online: her borrow, wiped a tearus fromyour Send Fax it in: Fax it in: Bring it in: Smartphone Bring it in: her eyes and said, “Gracias.” 1217 N Conway Mission 585-2304 585-2304 1217 N Conway Mission

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The Mission City Council will hold a Regular Meeting on December 19, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers, 1201 East 8th Street, Mission, Texas in order to consider the following: Rezoning: A 0.348 acre tract of land out of Meadow Creek Country Club Phase I-A Subdivision, from PUD (Planned Unit Development – Permanent Open Space District) to PUD (Planned Unit Development – Townhouse Residential); Rezoning: A 0.712 acre tract of land out of Meadow Creek Country Club Phase 1-A Subdivision, from PUD (Planned Unit Development – Permanent Open Space District) to PUD (Planned Unit Development – Townhouse Residential); Rezoning: A 2.36 acre tract of land, more or less, out of the Southwest one-quarter (S.W. ¼ ) of Lot 24-9, West Addition to Sharyland Subdivision of Porciones 53, 54, 55, 56 and 57, from AO-I (Agricultural Open Interim) to R-3 (Multi-Family Residential); and Rezoning: The Eastern 5 acres of the Lot 4, Mrs. E.V. Flores Subdivision out of Porcion 52, from AO-I (Agricultural Open Interim) to C-3 (General Business) If a zoning is amended during the public hearing, it shall be pursuant to the City of Mission’s Amendatory Zone Policy Statement. Anyone interested is invited to attend. Anna Carrillo, City Secretary


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The Mission Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a Regular Meeting on December 14, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers, 1201 East 8th Street, Mission, Texas in order to consider the following: Rezoning: A 0.348 acre tract of land out of Meadow Creek Country Club Phase I-A Subdivision, from PUD (Planned Unit Development – Permanent Open Space District) to PUD (Planned Unit Development – Townhouse Residential); Rezoning: A 0.712 acre tract of land out of Meadow Creek Country Club Phase 1-A Subdivision, from PUD (Planned Unit Development – Permanent Open Space District) to PUD (Planned Unit Development – Townhouse Residential); Rezoning: A 2.36 acre tract of land, more or less, out of the Southwest one-quarter (S.W. ¼) of Lot 24-9, West Addition to Sharyland Subdivision of Porciones 53, 54, 55, 56 and 57, from AO-I (Agricultural Open Interim) to R-3 (Multi-Family Residential); and Rezoning: The Eastern 5 acres of the Lot 4, Mrs. E.V. Flores Subdivision out of Porcion 52, from AO-I (Agricultural Open Interim) to C-3 (General Business) If a zoning is amended during the public hearing, it shall be pursuant to the City of Mission’s Amendatory Zone Policy Statement. Anyone interested is invited to attend. Anna Carrillo, City Secretary





NOTICE TO PUBLIC/PUBLIC HEARING AVISO AL PUBLICO/AUDENCIA PUBLICA CITY OF MISSION COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT CONSOLIDATED ANNUAL PERFORMANCE AND EVALUATION REPORT FY 15-16 (DRAFT) AND CITIZENS PARTICIPATION PLAN AMENDMENT In accordance with the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the City of Mission hereby announces a public hearing regarding the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) FY 15-16 and Citizens Participation Plan Amendment. De acuerdo con el Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano de los Estados Unidos, la Ciudad de Mission anuncia una audiencia pública para el Informe Anual de Desempeño y Evaluación Consolidado (CAPER) 15-16 y la enmienda del Plan de Participación Ciudadana. The Public hearing will be held on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. at the Mission City Hall Council Chambers, 1201 E. 8th Street, Mission, Texas. La audiencia pública se llevará a cabo el martes 13 de Diciembre, 2016 a las 5:30 p.m. en la Comisión Consultiva de los Ciudadanos de Mission, 1201 E. 8th Street, Mission, Texas. Interested parties are encouraged to attend and make their views known. These documents will be available for review until December 16, 2016 at the Community Development Department, 1301 E 8th Street, Ste.102, Mission, Texas during normal working hours. Se convoca a las partes interesadas para asistir y conocer sus opiniones. Estos documentos son requeridos para revisión hasta el 16 de diciembre de 2016 en el Departamento de Desarrollo Comunitario, 1301 E 8th Street, Ste. 102, Mission, Texas durante las horas normales de trabajo. This document is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which contains a summary of resources and accomplishments of the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) and the Citizens Participation Plan will reflect additional citizen participation requirements for local governments by the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule for preparation of the assessment of Fair Housing Plan. Este documento es requerido por el Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano de los Estados Unidos, que contiene un resumen de recursos y logros del Programa de Subsidios Globales de Desarrollo Comunitario (CDBG) y La Propuesta de Enmienda al Plan de Participación Ciudadana reflejará los requisitos adicionales de participación ciudadana para los gobiernos locales mediante la Vivienda para la preparación de la evaluación del Plan de Vivienda Justa.



Persons with disabilities or non-English speaking who need to communicate more effectively and who may need auxiliary aids or services such as interpreters for persons who are deaf or hearing impaired are asked to contact the Community Development Department at (956) 580-8670 three working days prior to any meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Las personas con discapacidad o no habla Inglés que necesitan comunicarse de manera más efectiva y que pueden necesitar ayudas o servicios auxiliares, tales como intérpretes para personas sordas o con discapacidad auditiva se le pide ponerse en contacto con el Departamento de Desarrollo Comunitario al (956) 580-8670 tres días hábiles antes de cualquier reunión para que los arreglos apropiados se pueden hacer. se pueden hacer.





For additional information, please contact the Community Development Department at (956) 580-8670. Para obtener información adicional, póngase en contacto con el Departamento de Desarrollo Comunitario (956) 580-8670


page 14 |

Mission names interim fire chief Former chief claims union went over his head By Joe Hinton

As Mission’s city council names an interim fire chief to replace retired Chief Rene Lopez Jr., the head of the department’s labor union said he was offended by Lopez’s allegation the union went around the former chief to override some of his decisions. Monday, the city council approved the appointment of Mission Fire Marshal Gilbert Sanchez to head the

66-member department. It is an interim appointment until the city can advertise for the position. In an interview Tuesday Sanchez said he was told the position won’t be advertised for three to six months. Sanchez, 49, has been with the department since 1994 and has served as fire marshal since 2000, he said. Sanchez replaces former Chief Rene Lopez Jr. who retired Nov. 18 after 35 years with the department. San-

chez said Tuesday he plans to apply for the permanent position but declined to comment on whether he is concerned about inheriting some of the problems within the department Lopez cited in his notice of retirement letter. In his Nov. 4 letter Lopez told Mission City Manager Martin Garza he had made conditions difficult to work under so Lopez decided to resign. “Your actions and words have made it clear that the

Chief Gilbert Sanchez

Mission Firefighter’s Association (union) can override decisions of the fire chief regarding operations of the department,” Lopez wrote. “You have given me 6 months to be more fiscal (sic) responsible and to curtail the actions of the union or else. It is difficult to work under these conditions so I must step aside. I cannot work under the gun, constantly second guessing if I’ll be around in 6 months because there will be more concerns brought forth by the union within those 6 months.” Sanchez declined to comment on Lopez’s statement but union president, Mission

December 2, 2016

Fire Department Lt. Mike Silva, said he was offended by Lopez’s allegation the union went over his head to have the chief’s decisions overridden. Rather, Silva said the union brought some of their concerns to Garza. “We never sought the city manager to override a decision. It would be improper to say that,” Silva said in an interview Tuesday. “We went to the city manager when we were concerned he (Lopez) failed to address the union’s concerns. But never to override one of his decisions.” Silva, who has been union president for 10 of the past 12 years - serving two and eight year terms - declined to specify any of the concerns the union discussed with Lopez or Garza. But he said concerns and conflicts are part of daily life, even as they were with Lopez’s predecessor, Ricardo Saldaña. Lopez was named chief when Saldaña retired in 2015 to become head of Hidalgo County’s Emergency Management Services. “In my opinion we worked pretty well together with [Saldaña]. I won’t say there were never any concerns because they’re concerns in an everyday work environment. But to say we had conflict that is a question you would have to ask him,” Silva said. Although former Mission Fire Chief Saldaña could not be reached for comment on his relationship with the union, Silva was at the heart of a clash between the union and management several years ago. Silva and Chief Saldaña were on opposite sides of a push by the firefighters’ union to establish collective bargaining for the city fire department in 2010. Silva, the local union president at the time, tried to rally support for the city proposition that failed in a May 2010 election. Silva claimed the city was not providing the necessary equipment and resources for the fire fighters, however, Saldaña disputed those claims. Silva said he was happy with Sanchez’s appointment as interim chief. “Gilbert-the fire marshal’s a great guy,” Silva said. “He knows the system. He’s been there twenty-something years. I don’t know what he’d bring to the table but all I can say is if he is appointed as the new chief we welcome him and think that he would do a great job for the citizens and the department.” As for going to the city manager in the future Silva said, “We don’t have authority to override the chief’s authority, the city manager does. But one of our priorities is to protect and provide the best quality of services to our staff, the citizens of Mission and visitors who come to our town.” Garza said Sanchez will continue his role as fire marshal and that with two assistant fire marshals he did not expect a decline in the office’s production. Contacted Wednesday Garza declined to discuss Lopez’s letter saying it was the chief’s decision to retire and he could not comment because it was a personnel matter.

December 2, 2016 PT ISSUE  
December 2, 2016 PT ISSUE  

December 2, 2016 PT ISSUE - Digital Editon