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Friday, February 17, 2017 | 25 Cents

Vol. 45 No. 28

MHM Artesano Market Days ‘We don’t have this in Minnesota’ By Jamie Treviño

Visitors browse among the approximately 50 vendors from Mexico and area artisans who set up shop last week at the Mission Historical Museum’s 4th Annual Artesano Market Days. Progress Times photo by Jim Brunson.

Minnesota residents Dave and Kathy Farlinger have been to a lot of open-air markets in their day. But if there’s one thing they agree on they can’t find one in Minnesota like the one held last weekend by the Mission Historical Museum. “The crafts are beautiful. They’re different things that we’ve never heard of before,” Kathy Farlinger said. “That’s why you go traveling, you want to see something that you can’t see at home.” The Farlingers were among an estimated 1,000 Winter Texans and Valley natives alike who walked about multi-colored stands last Friday and Saturday and purchased artisanal crafts, food and drinks. It was all part of the Mission Historical Museum’s fourth annual Artesano Market Days, part of the Mega Winter Texan Fiesta thrown by the Mission Chamber of Commerce and the City of Mission and held in front of the museum at 900 Doherty Ave., in Mission. The colorful stands were

engrossed with different styles of art, gifts, crafts, accessories and clothing from local and Mexican artisans. It was the Farlingers first time at the market. “The stuff here is different, we don’t have this in Minnesota,” Dave Farlinger said. “Otherwise it’s pretty much set up the same.” The event was as different for some vendors as it was for out of town visitors. Elbert Avendaño, who is originally from Pharr but now lives in Mission, sold his art. An artist by trade, Avendaño runs EA Artwork. It was his second year selling his works at the market. “It’s a different crowd of people, because mostly what I do is conventions and art walks with a younger crowd,” Avendaño said. “And this is more Winter Texans, a group I don’t normally cater to at the other events.” Avendaño, who only took art classes in middle school and high school, makes his living painting brightly colored abstracts of animals and pop culture figures, among


Mission may be next site of unaccompanied minor immigrants Bill aims to curb Agua SUD Site could bring about 300 jobs to the city

By Joe Hinton Officials of two Rio Grande Valley Baptist Church organizations have confirmed negotiations are underway that may lead to Mission becoming the next site of a temporary holding center for unaccompanied minor immigrants. If plans come to fruition it could mean about 300 new jobs in the city, one official said. But leaks about the proposal have already prompted concerns from some area

residents. Othal E.Brand Jr., executive director of the Harlingen-based Valley Baptist Missions Education Center, confirmed Tuesday his organization has signed a lease agreement with the Valley Baptist Retreat of Mission to house between 85 to 100 unaccompanied minor females. Valley Baptist Retreat is located on Stewart Road just south of Bus. 83 in an area surrounded by recreational vehicle parks that cater to


‘conflicts of interest’ By Jose De Leon III Following what he described as “pushback” from his constituents, State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, filed a bill Feb. 10 aimed at blocking the Agua Special Utility District

lawns, working in the UA library, six years as a Marine Corps reservist and contributing to the university’s daily newspaper. During a 16-year career in print, radio and television news, Hinton has been the direct winner of seven reporting awards and shared in two more from among the Arizona Press Club, Associated Press and Arizona Newspapers Association. Hinton has experience covering nearly every beat and usually had to cover several simultaneously. He has covered over 100 criminal and civil trials. He has

Progress Times Photo by Joe Hinton

been a page editor for the Sierra Vista Herald where he covered the U.S. Army, crime, courts and the Arizona border with Mexico. He was an assignments editor for KGUN-TV, the ABC-affiliated Tucson news station. Hinton has won awards for investigative, spot news, crime, city council and general assignments reporting. When John McCain ran for the U.S. Senate the first time Hinton was one of three panelists on a televised Tucson debate. Hinton was imbedded with the U.S. Army’s 11th Signal Brigade from Ft. Huachuca, Ariz. in Saudi



See AGUA SUD Pg. 9

The Valley Baptist Retreat, operated by the Rio Grande Valley Baptist Association on Stewart Road south the Bus. 83 is being considered by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlements as a site to house between 85 and 100 unaccompanied minor immigrant girls.

Joseph M. Hinton named editor

Jim Brunson, publisher of the Progress Times and Sharyland Times has named Joseph M. Hinton as editor of the two local newspapers. “Joe brings solid journalistic experience to this position and has demonstrated his ability to get to the bottom of a story,” Brunson said. Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in McLean, Va., Hinton, 58, is a University of Arizona Journalism School graduate who brings a variety of experiences to the job. Hinton worked his way through college as a restaurant cook and waiter, cutting

board of directors from hiring elected officials. If passed, State Bill 814 would prevent Agua SUD, which provides water services to nearly 15,000 residents in Western Hidalgo

The Agua SUD board of directors at an October 2016 board meeting. Progress Times photo by Jose De Leon III

Low-income housing project proposed in Mission By Kathy Olivarez and Joe Hinton

Joseph M. Hinton Arabia to cover the buildup to the first Gulf War. For more than three years,



Mission’s city council has taken steps paving the way for an Austin-based developer to increase the number of rent-subsidized apartments in the city. As it stands now there is an 18-month to two-year wait for one of the approximately 1,000 subsidized housing units managed by

the Mission Housing Authority, said Jaime Ayala, the authority’s deputy executive director. Ayala said there are currently 1,700 families on the authority’s waiting list hoping to obtain low-income housing in the city. And county wide only 6 percent of the just under 10,000 housing units subsidized by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development




Some 50 area high school wrestlers are headed for Austin and San Antonio this weekend to compete in the first round of state playoffs.

The city of Alton has approved a 10-year master parks plan intended to help the city keep recreational opportunities in pace with its rapid growth.

A free class is teaching local entrepreneurs how to enhance the value of their products while increasing their on-line market share.

See Pg. 6

See Pg. 7

See Pg. 12

Entertainment | pg. 2

Lifestyle | pg. 3

Opinion | pg.4

Sports | pg. 6

Obituaries | pg. 9

Classifieds | pg. 11


Coming Attractions

February 17-19 • The Ballet Folklórico UTRGV will present its annual concert series, Alegría 2017, with six shows at the UTRGV Performing Arts Complex on the Edinburg Campus. Shows are 7:30 p.m. each night with matinees Feb. 12 and 19 at 2 p.m. Alegría brings to life Mexico’s beautiful art of folk dance with a cast of 36 dancers, colorful costuming, and exciting choreographies supported by special lighting and lively music. Pre-sale tickets will be available at or at the PAC Box Office one hour prior to each event. Prices are $12, adults; $10, seniors and students; and $8, children. For more information, call 956-665-2230 or visit • The 31st Annual All Valley Boat show will be held at the McAllen Convention Center, 700 Convention Center Blvd., McAllen. All sorts of boats will be on display. There will be door prizes and a virtual sailfish fishing tournament going on. Admission is $9. The show runs 12 to 9 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday; and 12 to 6 p.m., Sunday. February 18 •The International Museum of Art & Science, 1900 Nolana in McAllen, presents the first Children’s Ball, “Mermaids & Pirates,” from 6 to 9 p.m. The event gives families the opportunity dress up while still enjoying family fun. Call 956-682-0123 for information. February 18-19 • La Joya High School Mariachi Los Coyotes and Folklorico Tabasco will celebrate 35 years with a two-day fiesta at the Alejandro “Alex” H. Saenz Performing Arts Center in La Joya. It runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday. Stage performances by the groups begin at 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Outside, artisans from Mexico will sell their works, and musical groups Conjunto Los Diamantes, trio Soraima y sus Huastecos and Banda XL will perform during the day. Fiesta admission is free. The indoor concert admission is $8 per person. Purchase concert pre-sale tickets at the Saenz Performing Arts Center, Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Call 956-323-2895 for more information. February 19 • Men of A-Chord will perform their barbershop music in a benefit concert at First Presbyterian Church in Mission at 7 p.m. February 24 • Men of A-Chord will perform barbershop music at 7 p.m. at Wintergreen Estates in Mission. Those interested in joining can attend choir practices on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. at St. Marks United Methodist Church in McAllen, located on the southwest corner of 2nd and Pecan. February 25 • Learn the art of calligraphy in a beginner’s workshop with Jonathan Blocher at the Upper Valley Art League. It will be held in the art annex in the Kika de la Garza Fine Arts Center, 912 E. 12th St. in Mission, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a break for lunch. Membership is required to participate. Cost is $50 for members; materials will be provided or class members may bring their own. For information, to sign up or to become a member, call UVAL at 956-583-2787. To see the complete Coming Attractions calendar, go to

Big Top show Circus Saurus comes to Palmview

PALMVIEW – The Carson & Barnes Circus family presents the debut of “Circus Saurus.” They come to town next Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 22 and 23, sponsored by Palmview Crime Stoppers. There will be two show times each day at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. The Big Top will be set up at 304 N. La Homa Rd., located at the corner of La Homa Rd. and FM 495. Carson & Barnes is billed as the world’s biggest Big Top show. Entertainment includes all the acts generations of families have come to know and enjoy, elephants, tigers, aerialists, horses, clowns and more. But, this new show brings an-

other dimension to the show as it steps back millions of years to bring back the giants that walked the earth before their extinction – dinosaurs. Tyrannosauruses, Deinoychus, Wooly Mammoth and today’s endangered Asian Elephants will come together in an adventure that tells their evolutionary story. General admission tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for children. Box seating is $24 for adults and $16 for children. Buy advance tickets locally at the Palmview Police Department and save $4. Online, tickets are available at For more information, call 956432-0303.

PALMVIEW – It may be winter, but the weather is right for the City of Palmview’s Winterfest 2017 tomorrow, Feb. 18. A strong line-up of musical entertainment and activities, including an IBCA sanctioned cook-off will be staged from 12 to 10 p.m. at the Palmview City park. Over $10,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded for winners in the Second Annual Guadalupe “Sonny” Hernandez Memorial Cookoff. There is a $200 entry fee for the contest which is co-sponsored by the La Joya

I.S.D. Crime Stoppers and the Palmview Crime Stoppers. Families can watch the Wild Wild West Parade, listen to live music throughout the day, dine on street tacos or take in the truck show. A street taco contest is also part of the culinary competitions during the event. There is no fee to enter the truck show. Prizes will be awarded. Call 956-271-4762 for info. For general questions, call Palmview City Hall at 956432-0300 or Palmview P.D. at 956-432-0328.

Palmview presents Winterfest 2017

McAllen Expo adds entertainment line-up

McALLEN – In addition to free health screenings and a wide variety of information from healthcare specialists and travel-related businesses, this year’s McAllen Travel & Health & Wellness will feature live entertainment. Admission is free for the Feb. 21 to 22 event, and it runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the McAllen Convention Center. The entertainment at this year’s Expo will feature the

sounds of Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland from talented musical artists. The popular local band “The Agency” will bring classic rock sounds to the stage, along with Soul and Motown sounds of the 50s, 60s and 70s. Gary Anthony premiers as the Frank Sinatra tribute artist. He has been described as not just sounding like Sinatra but also “evoking and channeling” the iconic swooner. Denise Rose performs as Judy Garland. Last June, Rose received a special Tribute Artist award from the Las Vegas Entertainers Hall of Fame, following the premier of her one-woman show “Songs and Stories of Judy Garland.” The Agency has been performing 24 years and is “composed of seasoned musicians who grew up with classic rock.” There will also be a grand prize drawing for a Las Vegas trip. Local businesses may contact Laura Robles at 956687-2787 or email lrobles@ for information about booths and sponsorships.

February 17, 2017

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Saddling up for PRCA rodeo

LOS FRESNOS – Get ready for the riding, roping at the 28th annual Los Fresnos PRCA Rodeo on Friday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 19, alongside the Cameron County Fair and Livestock Show. Beginning at 9 a.m. today, there will be a performance of competitors who will not be performing in the main rodeo event. Later on, the Tejano Boys will perform a free concert, weather permitting. The rodeo begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are $18. On Saturday at 6 p.m., the PRCA Rodeo and the Wade Bowen Concert. Reserved seating tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the gate and ticket admission includes the concert. The final rodeo events will be held on Sundayat 3

p.m. Reserve tickets are $18. Purchase tickets at the gate or online at On Friday the event includes judging of junior beef cattle, lambs, goats, market steers, shop projects and all home show divisions. At 8 p.m. there will be a Los Fresnos Rodeo and Calf Scramble. On Saturday at 8 a.m., the fair starts with market hogs followed by baked goods. There will be a rodeo and calf scramble at 6 p.m. Rabbits will be judged on Sunday at 9 a.m. followed by a Livestock Judging Contest and Reserve Rodeo and Calf Scramble at 3 p.m. The Los Fresnos Rodeo and Fair Grounds are located at 500 E. Ocean Blvd. in Los Fresnos. For more information call 1-855-537-6336.

EDINBURG – The 49th Annual Fiesta Edinburg runs Thursday to Sunday, Feb. 23 to 26, at H-E-B Park, located at 1616 S. Raul Longoria Rd. in Edinburg. Headlining the stage entertainment on Feb. 24 is Nashville recording artist and country singer Josh Turner. On the same stage will be special guests The Powell Brothers, Eddie Saenz and Lauren Corzine. Events open Thursday at the carnival from 6 to 10 p.m. and on Friday gates open at 5 p.m. For Saturday, the Fiesta Edinburg parade begins at 10 a.m. at the county courthouse parking lot and moves down Closner, south to Cats Stadium. At noon the park gates open. On Sunday, the carnival will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. Besides the top quality entertainment, major attractions of the community festival includes Fiesta “Mardi Gras” Parade, conjunto and folklorico competition, Family Fun Zone, Contacto Animal, regional food, arts and crafts plus top notch entertainment. Multi-platinum MCA Nashville recording artist Josh Turner is one of country music’s most recognizable

hit-makers. With a rich, deep voice and distinctive style, Turner has sold more than 12 million units, is a disciple of traditional country music and one of the youngest members of the Grand Ole Opry. From his 2003 Platinum-selling debut “Long Black Train” to his most recent 2012 Billboard No. 1 release “Punching Bag,” Turner has garnered multiple Grammy, CMA and ACM nominations. Turner’s hits include “Your Man,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” “Firecracker,” “Would You Go with Me,” “All Over Me,” and “Time Is Love,” the most played country song of 2012. Admission to enter on Friday and Saturday is $10 per person. Parking is free. Concert tickets are sold separately. General admission concert tickets are $35 which includes admission to the vendor and exhibit area of the festival. Limited premium admission concert tickets are also available for $55. Purchase tickets at Parking is free. For more information, contact the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce 956-3834974.

Country artist Josh Turner to appear at Fiesta

PCT auditions open for new play

McALLEN — Enjoy the classic works of Czech composer Antonin Dvorak during the Valley Symphony Orchestra’s penultimate concert of the season, “Dvorak with Opera.” Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert begins at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, at the McAllen Performing Arts Center, 801 Convention Center Blvd. VSO patrons will travel back in time through classical music featuring the voices of the Valley Symphony Orchestra Chorale directed by Dr. David Means. Showcasing famous operas from Verdi, Puccini, Bizet and

Wagner, featured vocalist is mezzo-soprano Esperanza Medina followed by Antonin Dvorak’s wholesome Symphony No. 8 in the second half led by Maestro Peter Dabrowski. Tickets range in price from $35 to $55 and can be purchased at ticketmaster. com, by calling 800-7453000, or visit the McAllen Convention Center box office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call Vivian Vargas at 956-6611615 or email

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MHM hosts Mexican War presentation

The Mission Historical Museum hosts Jaime “Mateo” Hernandez on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 11 a.m. for a living history presentation. He will be accompanied by Bruce Johnstone as they present Palo Alto and the Mexican War, 1846–48. The presentation will focus on the cause of the Mexican War from Mexico’s point of view, including how prepared they were to fight a protracted war, uniforms worn by the soldiers and the equipment and weapons used

in the war. Hernandez is a lifelong resident of the Rio Grande Valley and received his bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in education. He taught history for 29 years before his retirement. He now presents living history at Palo Alto National Park and belongs to the America’s Last Patrol veterans group. For more information contact the MHM office at 956-580-8646. The museum is located at 900 Doherty.

Pioneer High places in mock trials

Eighteen teams representing high schools participated in the Annual Region One ESC Mock Trial Competition held on Jan. 16 at the Hidalgo County Courthouse. The final competition took place on January 18. Edinburg’s Robert Vela High School mock trial team took first and Sharyland’s Pioneer High School, in only their second year of competing, walked away with second place. Edinburg High School took third. Pioneer High School Team was awarded the second place $1,000 scholarship. Both the first and second place teams will rep-

resent the region at the State Mock Trial Competition on March 2 to 4 in Dallas. Members of the second place Pioneer High School Mock Trial Team are Kayla Barrios, Heriberto Andres Galvan, Emily Guerrero, Samuel Luke Jones, Edgar Lozano, Jazmin Molina, Rebecca L. Salazar, Haley Steele, Tyler Trigg, and Rey Jesus Villalobos. The team was coached by Vanessa Mora. Judges also selected individual honors and “Best Witness” was awarded to Heriberto Andres Galvan from Pioneer High School.

MMA Iwo Jima parade is Feb. 18 HARLINGEN – Marine Military Academy will hold its annual Iwo Jima Parade Saturday, Feb. 18, at 10 a.m. on the MMA Parade Grounds. This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. It is open to the public. Because of the subtropical climate of South Texas, MMA is the only organization in the country that holds a battalion-size parade at the time of the actual anniversary (Feb. 19, 1945) of the Battle of Iwo Jima. There will be special reserved seating for Iwo Jima survivors in front of the parade stand,

which directly faces the historic Iwo Jima Monument. During the parade, the Iwo Jima survivors will join the MMA superintendent for the ceremonial pass in review. Since April 1982, MMA has been home to the Iwo Jima Monument. The statue depicts five Marines and one Navy Corpsman raising the American flag on Feb. 23, 1945 during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Harlon Block, the Marine depicted at the base of the flagstaff, was a native of Weslaco. For more information, call 956-421-9225 or e-mail


CALENDAR February 18 – The International Museum of Art & Science, 1900 Nolana Ave. in McAllen, presents their first Pirates and Mermaids Children’s Ball from 6 to 9 p.m. Kids can dress up in their favorite mermaid or pirate character and participate in a variety of hands-on activities. Admission is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Admission is free for children up to age 1. For information, call 956-682-0123. February 18 – Rainbow Child, a children’s painting class, will be led by Diane Roman at Frontera Audubon, 1101 S. Texas Blvd. in Weslaco. For ages 6 to 10, it begins at 10 a.m. Cost is $10 and space is limited; pre-registration is required. The Rainbow Child is based on a Hopi Indian legend about the future of the earth when great trees, animals and even rainbows will disappear. But, say the Hopis, children are coming – from the Great Star. They will be the ones who help bring back the great trees, the animals and even the rainbow. For the painting class, children will see a painted story of the legend and then paint their own rainbow child. Call 956-968-3275 for information. February 19 – To celebrate the 50th day of their 50th anniversary, the International Museum of Art & Science, 1900 Nolana Ave. in McAllen, is collecting at least 50 pounds of food to benefit the RGV Food Bank. All day, admission is free to IMAS with one can or non-perishable food item for each person. Call 956-682-0123 for information. February 21-26 – Celebrate National Engineering Week at the International Museum of Art & Science, 1900 Nolana Ave. in McAllen. There will be interactive demonstrations, experiments and gallery experiences with professional engineers and educators demonstrating how to turn ideas into reality. Call 956-682-0123 for info. February 22 – In celebration of Financial Aid Awareness Month in February, Student Financial Services at South Texas College will host a financial aid fair at the Pecan campus from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 956-8728375. February 24 – The Río Grande Valley-Texas Democratic Women will host Texas 4th Court of Appeals Justice Rebeca Martínez as their guest speaker. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Almaguer Law Firm, 801 E. Fern, Ste. 139, McAllen. For information, call or text 956-283-4669 February 25 – To help connect with potential students interested in attending The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley a student introduction orientation will be held at the UTRGV Performing Arts Complex, 1201 W. University Dr. Edinburg, at 8:30 a.m. Check-in is 8 a.m. For questions, special accommodations or general information, contact the Office of Recruitment and Scholarships at (956) 665-7335 or email Vanessa Martinez at February 28 – Speer Memorial Library in Mission will host a discussion of In the Time of the Butterflies in the Community Room at 5:30 p.m. in Spanish, and at 6:30 p.m. in English. Stop by the library at 12th and Kika de la Garza Loop to sign up for the book discussion or to obtain a copy of the book. Call 580-8754 or 580-8750 for information. (For daily events and upcoming weeks, see the full calendar at

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South Texas pioneer and ranching life comes to life

EDINBURG – Take a step into the past with the Museum of South Texas History as they chronicle the heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico with the annual Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day. Set for tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the event started 27 years ago to showcase pioneer, ranching and indigenous heritage and culture. The performance tent will be swaying with live bands, folklorico groups and other talented performers. The public can put on their dancing boots and cut a rug to the musical styling of Country Roland Jr., legendary Conjunto artist Gilberto Perez and up-and-coming Texas Country band Matt and the Herdsmen. Partners can also swing along to the tunes of the Rio Grande Valley GIT-R-DONE Bluegrass Band and baile to the ballads of the ENHS Mariachi Oro or ENHS Conjunto Dorado Norteño. For those with two left feet, learn how to with line dance with instruction by Jo Williams, or sit and marvel at the culture and passion of performances by Edinburg Folklorico Dance Team, Grupo Folklorico RGV, Conceptos Entidad Dancistica and the Lipan Apache Tribe. After working up an ap-

petite, head to vendors serving up tacos de guisados, tamales estilo Veracruzano and tacos de trompo. Barbecue is on the menu with South Texas-style pulled pork sliders and fajita tacos, or eat vaquero style with pan de campo, free charro bean samples made in a traditional olla de frijol and cowboy chili straight from a chuck wagon. Other favorites include tamales, elote en vaso, chicharrones, nieve Mexicana, aguas frescas, raspas, nachos, pan dulce and artisanal cakes. The backbone of Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day is demonstrations of traditional homestead skills. Dozens of demonstrators and activities will showcase a range of artistic and survival-necessary skills used by the forefathers, ranging from treadle spinning, cotton carding and needlework to beekeeping, roping and bootmaking. Families can have their faces painted, visit Mexican revolutionaries Los Liberadores, see native animals brought by the Gladys Porter Zoo and visit with authentic members of the Lipan Apache Tribe. MOSTHistory is located at 200 N. Closner Blvd.. Call 956-383-6911 for more information.

Volunteers needed for Special Olympics tourney

MISSION – Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) will host an area-wide basketball competition for nearly 1,000 athletes in the Rio Grande Valley on Saturday, Feb. 18. All games of the tournament will be held at Sharyland Pioneer High School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and volunteers are needed. Action will include individual skills competition, 5-on-5 team play and 3-on3 and unified play, featuring athletes with and without

intellectual and developmental disabilities. The event is open to the public and free to attend. Volunteers, especially scorekeepers and officials, are needed, but a variety of services are needed throughout the day ranging from set up and tear down and runners and escorts. Anyone interested in assisting is asked to contact Lauro Garza at or 956-6303434.

opinion By Ed Sterling Texas Press Association


Legislation banning sanctuary city policies clears hurdle

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Feb. 8 praised the Texas Senate’s approval of legislation to ban sanctuary cities, an item on his priority list for the current legislative session. Senate Bill 4 by Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, passed after 16 hours of floor debate on a 20-10 party-line vote, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats in opposition. The bill, if enacted, would prohibit a municipality, county or special district, campus police department of an institution of higher education, an employee of certain local entities and a district attorney or criminal district attorney from adopting rules, orders, ordinances or policies that prohibit enforcement of state and federal immigration laws. It also would void any local policy that currently prohibits law enforcement from inquiring about a person’s immigration status and would require compliance with federal detainer requests. SB 4 now moves to the Texas House of Representatives for consideration. Abbott said: “As governor, I will not tolerate sanctuary city policies that put the citizens of Texas at risk. Elected officials do not get to pick and choose which laws they will obey. Today’s action in the Senate helps ensure that sheriffs and officials across Texas comply with federal immigration laws and honor Immigration and Custom Enforcement detainer requests that keep dangerous criminals off of our streets.” Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, voted against the bill. “It signals to many in our immigrant community that they are not welcome in Texas,” Uresti said.

Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers reportedly arrested more than 40 undocumented Mexican citizens in Austin alone. Similar sweeps, ordered by the White House, were conducted in other major cities in Texas and across the nation. Senate OKs ethics bill Also on Feb. 8, the state Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 14, omnibus legislation to revamp ethics laws pertaining to elected officials. This was another issue tagged as an emergency item by Gov. Abbott. Authored by Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, the bill would prohibit a registered lobbyist from serving in elective office and require any elected official convicted of a felony to be removed from office. The bill also calls for canceling any taxpayer-funded pension if the crime relates to abuse of office. Other things the bill would require: – Increased reporting of wining and dining by lobbyists; – A moratorium of one full session before a former legislator could register as a lobbyist; and – Public disclosure of any ties officials or their immediate family members have to contracts between private businesses and government agencies. Speaker names committees House Speaker Joe Straus on Feb. 9 announced chairs and members of 38 standing House committees for the 85th Legislature. “These assignments reflect the diversity of the Texas House. Some very good members are taking on new challenges. I’m looking forward to their leadership. There is always a balance

to strike between continuity and fresh thinking and I think we have the right mix,” Straus said. Lists of committee chairs and members can be accessed online at http://www. committee.pdf Missing jersey is sought Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Feb. 6 asked the Texas Rangers, a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety, to assist the Houston Police Department in the hunt for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey. “Whoever took this jersey should turn it in. The Texas Rangers are on the trail,” Patrick said. The jersey was reported missing from the Patriots’ locker room at NRG Stadium in Houston. Brady wore the jersey in leading the Patriots to a come-from-behind victory in the Super Bowl Feb. 5. Allocations to be sent Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Feb. 8 announced he would send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $858.6 million in local sales tax allocations for February, 1 percent less than in February 2016. These allocations, Hegar said, are based on sales made in December by businesses that report tax monthly; October, November and December sales by quarterly filers; and 2016 sales by businesses that report tax annually. “The cities of Houston, Midland and San Antonio saw noticeable decreases in sales tax allocations,” Hegar said. “The cities of Round Rock, Frisco and Irving saw noticeable increases in sales tax allocations,” he added.

February 2017 November January 2,17, 2015 25, 2016

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Guest Editorial

Protection of Property Rights and Civil Liberties for Texans

By State Senator Juan ‘Chuy’ Hinojosa Civil asset forfeiture is one of the most controversial practices in the American criminal justice system. Civil asset forfeiture is a process by which local, state, and federal law enforcement authorities obtain ownership and control of an individual’s property without committing a crime. Unlike legal action taken against a person accused of criminal conduct, civil forfeiture is a case brought against the property itself. The property is guilty until proven innocent, and is held by the seizing agency regardless of whether criminal charges are brought forth against the individual. Once property is seized, the legal costs associated with getting one’s property back often far exceed the cost of the property itself, placing a great burden on the property owner. And since many civil forfeiture proceedings take a year or more to navigate, many forfeiture proceeds go uncontested. Right now, state law allows law enforcement to retain 70% of forfeiture funds and may be spent for any law enforcement purpose. Law enforcement agencies at all levels that are experiencing budget deficits have an incentive to rely on civil asset forfeiture to boost revenue, fund operations, buy new equipment, and increase employee salaries. They even set up road blocks and do pretext stops to search mo-

tor vehicles for cash or other valuable personal property. These laws can encourage law enforcement agencies to “police for profit,” and undermine the property rights of innocent owners. Although the Texas Legislature has passed measures to curtail controversial practices from law enforcement such as the roadside waiver of rights and purchasing frivolous items like margarita machines using forfeiture funds, expenditures have been reported to occur on items of questionable value. For example, one large Texas county showed the purchase of several microwave ovens and a 42-inch LED smart TV. Through civil asset forfeitures, an average of $41.5 million per year is funneled into Texas law enforcement agency budgets. In Texas, the law gives the government a very low burden of proof in civil forfeiture cases. In order to seize and forfeit a property, the government only has to show by a “preponderance of the evidence” that it was connected with an alleged crime. The result of this scheme is that Texans are deprived of their property without due process or evidence of wrongdoing. With state laws that grant law enforcement a strong incentive to seize property, a low burden of proof to meet before seizing someone’s property, and weak protections for property owners, it is no surprise that Texas’ civil forfeiture laws received

a grade of “D” in “Policing for Profit,” a nationwide report from the Institute for Justice. In fact, a statewide poll released this week by the Texas Public Policy Foundation found that 88% of Texas voters want property rights protected from overzealous police and prosecutors who can take and keep money, houses, and cars without a criminal conviction. Forfeiture laws vary from state to state and a growing number of states now require criminal convictions before property may be forfeited. New Mexico, Montana, and North Carolina all require actual conviction before assets can be forfeited. In the last few sessions, I have authored legislation to raise the burden of proof that the state must prove from a “preponderance of evidence” to a “clear and convincing” standard. The heightened legal burden placed on the state will not interfere with our law enforcement agencies’ ability to do their jobs, and will uphold the property rights of all Texans. This session, I have authored Senate Bill 156 as an important protection for Texans’ property rights and civil liberties. This critical change to our Texas criminal justice system will better protect Texas property owners and stop abusive forfeiture practices, while also allowing the government to still claim property used in criminal activity.

Letters to the Editor Dear Editor: I read with interest, the article about cameras in special education classrooms. As a retired school psychologist and director of special education, my reaction was not positive. To require that a camera be placed in every special education room is going extremely overboard. In fact, why only special education. I would think that if there were a perceived problem in any room or place of gathering in a school, and a parent requests a camera, then it might be ok to consid-

er the placement of a camera in that setting only. Once the situation has been resolved, the camera would need to be taken out of the classroom. It should never be considered for all classrooms in an individual school or district wide. During my career, I dealt with several situations where it was reported that a school staff member was suspected of abusing students. With my observations, the school principal’s observations, and other input, we were able to correct the situation. I would

suggest that privacy is also a very important issue. Confidentiality is extremely important when working with kids and parents, especially special education students. To say that all special education classrooms in a school or district should have cameras is totally inappropriate.

Del Zander Mission, Texas Del Zander is a nine-year Mission resident who retired as a school psychologist in Walla Walla, Wash.

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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.

— Thank you Sharyland ISD School Board for supporting our athletes —

Way to go Diamondbacks! GOOD LUCK ON YOUR NEXT ROUND!

Sharyland Pioneer High School Boys Basketball Team


Alex Villarreal Carlos Montelongo Joey Martinez Alexis Tovar Nick Garza Ojay Saenz

12 14 22 23 24 25

Romel Villarreal Adam Luna Jorge Rosales Julio Gonzalez Juztin Pulido Ricardo Salinas

2 3 4 5 10 11 12

Alan Ramirez Chaunts Weston Andrew Ogletree Johnny Suarez Jorge Suarez Cody Sanchez Andre Garza

13 20 23 24 30 32 33

Taggart Chandler Aaron Cuevas Jordan Wilson Braden Wilson Michael Madrigal Lavar Lindo Sean Curtis

Pioneer Boys Basketball

00 2 3 4 5 11

La Joya Boys Basketball

2 3 5 11 12

Sara Flores Brittany Cano Jazmin Pena Edna Ovalle Renee Flores 13 20 23 32

Terrisa Ochoa Krystal Bocanegra Cyndar Magallon Lori Esqueda

Palmview Girls Basketball

“Teamwork is the beauty of basketball. Five people working as one. You become selfless.” - Mike Krzyzewski “Coach K”

! s n o i t a l u t a r g n o C


La Joya ISD congratulates the Basketball Teams on a successful season.

Playoff Bound!

February 17, 2017 | page 5

February 17, 2017

page 6

Lady Coyotes, Diamondbacks take district titles 50 local wrestlers advance to Regionals

By Luciano Guerra

The Lady Coyotes wrestling team made up of Natalee Guzman, Estephany De La Rosa, Jacqueline Beltran, Rosie Ramirez, Steffany Rosas, Felicia Hernandez, Veronica Montes and Elizabeth Ochoa (L-R) earned the first girls wrestling district championship for La Joya High School since its three-way split. Progress Times photo by Luciano Guerra

High school wrestling may not be as big a spectator sport here in the Valley as sports such as football, basketball and baseball are, but local wrestlers consistently compete and succeed at the state tournament level while local football, basketball and baseball teams rarely do. Case in point, Juarez-Lincoln’s Leslie Oliva and Jesenia Gaytan, Veterans Memorial’s Klarissa Blanco and Palmview’s Gustavo Arpero, all of whom medaled at the

La Joya, Pioneer building a playoff tradition By Bryan Ramos A winning culture is what every sports program attempts to build. The La Joya Coyotes and the Pioneer Diamondbacks are doing just that in the 2016-2017 basketball season as they’ve earned their way into the state playoffs. Each team’s journey to the postseason didn’t come without facing adversity. La Joya snapped a 12year streak of missing the playoffs this year. The Coyotes won their way to the third seed in 30-6A, posting an 8-4 record in one of the most competitive districts in the Valley and finishing 2411 on the season. Coyotes Head Coach Eric Montalvo, a La Joya alumni, now in just his second year with the program, has changed the culture at his alma mater in a short time. “It’s been tough in a competitive district,” Montalvo said. “We’ve had some bumps and bruises here and there so we just tried to grind it out. We talked to our kids

about working hard every day even though it can get hard and tough throughout the year. We just have to stay disciplined and focused here as we get ready for the playoffs.” “It’s been 12 years,” he continued. “That’s something we tell our kids every day, that we could do something special if we stayed humble and keep working.” Senior center Romel Villarreal said he enjoyed the ride of the regular season. “We’ve had a lot of good momentum and good teamwork and it’s been one of the best rides I’ve ever been on,” Villarreal said. “The last time we were in the playoffs was 12 years ago and it’s a great honor. There are no words to describe the feeling of this.” In the Coyotes’ season finale, they played host to rival Palmview High School on Tuesday. With Palmview eliminated from playoff contention, the Lobos were playing for pride while the Coyotes were playing for seeding. La Joya got off to a slow

start but remained composed in their comeback attempt, winning by a final score of 67-60. Coyotes’ junior guard Juztin Pulido poured in 28 points in the game, knocking down six from beyond the arc. He said the team wanted to finish strong against their sister school. “Shooters keep shooting,” Pulido said. “We just wanted to finish the season strong. That’s our rivalry school and we want to take care of them every time. We just had to stay confident and now we’re going into the playoffs strong.” The La Joya Coyotes first round playoff game will be against San Antonio South on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Corpus Christi Ray High School at 7 p.m. Pioneer Diamondbacks In District 31-5A, the Pioneer Diamondbacks locked up the third-seed after a roller coaster in league play. The Diamondbacks suffered a setback when two starters, Jordan Wilson and Andre Garza, went down

with injuries early in district action. The Diamondbacks proceeded to drop five out of their first six 31-5A games and found themselves at the bottom of the district standings nearly halfway through league play. Pioneer Head Coach Rene Gonzalez said his team’s road to the playoffs was rocky but were able to turn things around when at full strength. “It was a little bit of a rocky road after starting 0-4 in district,” Gonzalez said. “We were trying to find ourselves in those first four games. As soon as Jordan and Andre came back it changed the dynamic of our team.” The turnaround for the Diamondbacks was sparked by a furious comeback on the road when they visited the Roma Gladiators. Facing a 12-point deficit, Pioneer responded and won the game 72-69, launching them into a hot streak of winning nine out of their last 11.


UIL State Wrestling Tournament last year. How many of this year’s crop of Big 7 schools’ wrestlers will qualify for and possibly medal at state is yet to be determined, however 50 of them have taken the first step towards that end by qualifying for the UIL Region IV 5A and 6A Wrestling Tournaments taking place in Austin and San Antonio respectively this weekend. While wrestling is an individual sport, each wrestler’s points are added to his or her teammates’ points to deter-

mine which boys’ and which girls’ teams earned their respective district championships. At the District 165A tournament, which took place in Rio Grande City last Thursday, it was the Pioneer Diamondbacks that took the boys district championship. And at the District 16-6A tournament, which took place at McAllen Memorial High School last Friday and Saturday, it was the La Joya Lady Coyotes that took the girls district championship.


Despite being called for a foul, La Joya’s Jorge Rosales executes a clean block of Palmview Lobo John Castanon’s shot during the first quarter of the Coyotes 67-60 Tuesday night victory over the Lobos. Progress Times photo by Luciano Guerra

February 17, 2017

WRESTLERS First year La Joya head girls wrestling coach, Christopher Hernandez, shared how close it was between his Lady Coyotes and the defending district champions, the Juarez-Lincoln Lady Huskies, when it came to the team competition. “On the first day there were actually a few teams in the running,” Hernandez said. “We only had a threepoint lead over Juarez-Lincoln going into the second day so we were neck-andneck. We wanted to continue the momentum we had from the first day into the second day so I told my girls to put everything they had into it. The points started to come together for us as we won most of our matches, but they did the same, so we both pulled away from the other 17 teams. When all was saidand-done, we won the tournament with 162 points and the Lady Huskies came in second with 151 points.” Individual district champions for the Lady Coyotes are Rosie Ramirez (119 lbs.) and Steffany Rosas (185 lbs.). Regional qualifiers are Estephany De La Rosa (2nd, 95 lbs.), Jacqueline Beltran (4th, 110 lbs.), Elizabeth Ochoa (3rd, 128 lbs.), Veronica Montes (3rd, 148 lbs.), Individual district champions for the Lady Huskies are Diana Acuna (95 lbs.), Nancy Becerra (128 lbs.) and Jesenia Gaytan (215 lbs.). Regional qualifiers are Vanessa Doria (3rd, 102 lbs.) and Guadalupe Chavez (2nd, 102 lbs.). Keyla Gutierrez (2nd, 215 lbs.) of the Palmview Lady Lobos was the only other 166A girls’ regional qualifier from pg 6 COYOTES While the school only opened their doors three years ago, Pioneer is in the early stages of building a yearly competitor after qualifying for the postseason in back-to-back years. “Little by little we’re building tradition,” Gonzalez said. “The boys and the players in our program have bought into our philosophy and our program and the direction we want to take them in. That’s the main thing, believing in themselves, believing in their teammates and believing in their coaches.” Pioneer’s first round playoff game puts them up against the Mercedes Tigers at PSJA Southwest High School on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.

page 7 | from pg 6 among Big 7 schools’ teams. Five Big 7 schools’ boys earned individual district championships at the 166A tournament. They are Mission High’s Guadalupe Rodriguez (138 lbs.) and Manuel Vega (160 lbs.), Juarez-Lincoln’s Ricardo Villegas (145 lbs.) and Eliutt Gonzalez (220 lbs.) and Palmview’s Arnoldo Nacianceno (170 lbs.). Boys’ regional qualifiers are Mission High’s Agustin Orellana (2nd, 106 lbs.), Alberto Juarez (2nd, 113 lbs.) and Victor Gutierrez (3rd, 182 lbs.), Juarez-Lincoln’s Leonardo Mendez (2nd, 138 lbs.) and Alexander Silva (4th, 152 lbs.) and La Joya’s Gaudencio Tavarez (3rd, 126 lbs.). In the District 16-5A tournament, the Pioneer boys bettered Rio Grande City by only two points, 199.5 to 197.5, to take the team championship. Individual district champions for the Diamondbacks are Diego Serna (106 lbs.), Brandon Pritchard (152 lbs.), Dominique Rodriguez (182 lbs.) and Emmanuel Huerta (195 lbs.). Pioneer boys that qualified for the regional tournament are Luis de la Cruz (3rd, 120 lbs.), Juvel Castillo (3rd, 126 lbs.), Michael Dominguez (4th, 132 lbs.), Manuel Almanza (3rd, 160 lbs.), Angel Resio (3rd, 170 lbs.) and Ethan Garza (4th, 220 lbs.).

Two Sharyland High and one Veterans Memorial High boys earned district championships as well. They are Sharyland’s Juan Colegio (126 lbs.) and Joseth Suarez (132 lbs.) and Veterans Memorial’s Armando Bustillos (120 lbs.). Sharyland High boys that qualified for the regional tournament are Abraham Flores (2nd, 113 lbs.), Ray Sanchez (3rd, 138 lbs.), Carlos Vera (3rd, 152 lbs.), Noe Cortez (4th, 170 lbs.) and Gabriel Martinez (2nd, 185 lbs.). The Patriots’ regional qualifiers are Mauricio Vela (4th, 126 lbs.), Daniel Arvizu (2nd, 138 lbs.) and Eric Chavez (3rd, 145 lbs.). The only Big 7 schools’ girl wrestler to earn a district championship at the District 16-5A tournament was Pioneer’s Mia Padilla (138 lbs.). Regional qualifiers for the girls are Pioneer’s Lisaannette Calderon (2nd, 148 lbs.), Sharyland High’s Marissa Rubio (3rd, 95 lbs.) and Yamile Vilchis (2nd, 128 lbs.) and Veterans Memorial’s Kaitlan Trevino (3rd, 148 lbs.) and Valerie Cordova (3rd, 165 lbs.). Both regional tournaments are taking place today and tomorrow; the Region IV 5A tournament at the AISD Delco Activity Center in Austin and the Region IV 6A tournament at the Blossom Center in San Antonio.

Alton city council plans for long-term growth City manager defends funding choice By Joe Hinton In the year 2000 the City of Alton’s population was about 4,500 residents, per the U.S. Census Bureau. By July 2015, per the latest Census Bureau data available, Alton’s population more than tripled to nearly 16,000 residents. Alton City Manager Jorge Arcaute attributes the growth to the town’s location about five miles north of Mission and 11 miles west of Hidalgo County’s largest city, McAllen. “When cities develop the way Mission and McAllen do, real estate prices go up,” Arcaute said. “And so why don’t you get something that’s just a couple minutes away that’s a lot cheaper.” On Tuesday night Alton’s city commission approved several measures to prepare the city for its anticipated

continued growth. The commission approved a ten year “Alton Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan,” which if implemented in its entirety, would commit the city to spending between $9 million and $11 million on quality of life enhancements. The plan was presented to the mayor and commission by Christian F. Lentz, a planner with the Richardson, Texas-based engineering, architecture and environmental planning firm, HALFF, Associates. The 70 page comprehensive plan was developed over the past year pursuant to guidelines set by the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife and following meetings with city staff, residents and a public survey to determine resident’s recreational priorities. Some of the highlights of

the plan call for pedestrian trails throughout portions of the city that will connect with a proposed regional trail system. It also calls for a major expansion of the city’s main park, Josefa Garcia Park. Arcaute told the mayor and commission the plan was important so easements and rights of way can be delineated as developers continue to expand the city. He said it’s also advantageous to have a plan in place in order to apply for grants that will offset the cost of the plan. “This is an aspirational plan,” Lentz told the mayor and commission. “We put the costs in there so you have an idea. Success doesn’t mean after 10 years you’ve completed all of these projects. It’s a success if you’ve started some of them.” Arcaute said the city


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page 8

February 17, 2017 |


Winter Texans. Brand said the lease agreement is contingent on the outcome of negotiations between the U. S. Office of Refugee Resettlements (O.R.R.) and the Harlingen-based Baptist Child and Family Services or BCFS. The BCFS already operates temporary housing facilities in Los Fresnos, Harlingen and San Benito, said Robert Cepeda, Director of Missions for the Rio Grande Valley Baptist Association and operator of the Valley Baptist Retreat. For the past 30 years the Stewart Road retreat was a way station for missionaries heading into Mexico but Cepeda said the number of missionaries traveling south of the border have been greatly reduced by drug related violence in Mexico. Cepeda said for several months Baptist Church officials have been negotiating with him to use his site as a temporary housing facility for the overflow of unaccompanied immigrant minors but that in January he was asked if the site could become a permanent facility. Cepeda said he recently received a call from an area RV park operator who was concerned about immigrants roaming area streets and neighborhoods and coming and going as they please. Cepeda said by the time the minors reach his facility they are no longer undocumented and are being housed temporarily while their families in the U.S. are located and the minors can be transported to them. “It will be a secure facility and these kids know someone is trying to find their family,” Cepeda said Tues-

from pg 1 day in a telephone interview. “They’re getting three meals a day. They’re wearing clean clothes. They’re going to class everyday on site. They have recreation facilities and are able to attend religious services of their choosing on site and so those kids don’t really want to go anywhere else because if they leave who’s going to help them get back to their families?” Brand said he expects Baptist Child and Family Services to inform him of the results of its negotiations with the O.R.R. possibly as soon as next week. “We’re right smack in the middle of negotiating with them right now,” Brand said in a telephone interview Tuesday. B.C.F.S. Executive Director, Andrew Carter, could not be reached for comment prior to press time to answer an inquiry about the status of its negotiations with the O.R.R. The O.R.R. required queries submitted in writing via the Washington, D.C.based public relations firm that handles its media inquiries but no response had been received as of press time. Brand said the Baptist Association operates the largest minor holding facility in the U.S. in Harlingen and that the Mission site could mean up to 300 new jobs for the city. “It’s counselors, it’s teachers, kitchen staff, grounds keepers, all that stuff,” Brand said. Brand said the Mission site was chosen to house female minors because the O.R.R. seems to have difficulty finding suitable facilities for them. “We only work with unaccompanied kids. We don’t

work with families, that’s I.C.E., that’s totally different than what we do,” Brand said referring to U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement. Brand, who is running for mayor of McAllen, said he considers working with immigrant minors gratifying work. “When I was growing up our church used to go down to Mexico and Central America to do mission work in the villages to help those people,” Brand said. “Well the Bible says in every curse there’s a blessing. And the blessing for us is that with all the illegals that are coming up here now we minister to them right here. So we don’t have to travel anywhere. And we have an opportunity to invest in them financially instead of investing in a bunch of travel expenses. We’re actually able to do a lot more with the kids that are here.”

Named to Dean’s List

COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M University has named students added to the Dean’s Honor Roll for the 2016 Fall semester. Students taking at least 15 semester hours during the fall semester who have maintained a 3.75 or higher grade point (GPR) out of a possible 4.0 include Helen Chen, Noemi Garcia, Alejandra Solis, Natalie Stubbs and Carolina Zarate, all of Mission. A second designation, “Distinguished Student,” recognizes those who earned a 3.5 to 3.74 GPR while taking at least 15 hours for the fall semester. Named on the list were Javier Cervantes, Rubi Garcia, Yvette Garcia, Jorge Medrano, Megan Mills and Amanda Treviño.

February 17, 2017

LOW INCOME (HUD) remain unoccupied, according to statistics provided by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA). On Monday the council approved a request from Tejas Housing Group to rezone 8.5 acres of land at the southeast corner of Bus. 83 and San Antonio Avenue to provide apartments with rents subsidized through a program administered by the TDHCA. Located between Glasscock and Stewart Roads, the rezoning from heavy commercial to multi-family residential would allow construction of a 104-unit apartment complex, 84 units of which would be dedicated to helping the city’s “working poor,” said Tim Lang, director of tax credits and acquisitions for Tejas Housing Group. The developers plan to call the eight building complex, Mission Twin Oaks. Unlike HUD-subsidized housing, Lang said the proposed project utilizes a federal income tax break that allows developers to reduce the construction costs and charge reduced rents based on HUD sliding scales that are determined by household income and occupancy. “We’re not Section 8 and we’re not HUD,” Lang

from pg 1

said. Section 8 is a common name for the HUD Housing Choice Voucher Program. It allows private landlords to rent apartments and homes at fair market rates to qualified low income tenants, with a rental subsidy administered by HUD. HUD also administers publicly owned subsidized housing. “We serve basically the working poor. So it’s those who earn too much for Section 8 and don’t earn enough to comfortably live in market rate housing,” Lang said. Also Monday the council approved a resolution supporting the project. The action is required by the TDHCA’s application process. Tejas Housing Group has until March 1 to complete its application to the TDHCA. Lang said there were 20 other groups vying for the tax credit. The TDHCA will not make a final selection until July, said Kristina Tirloni, a TDHCA communications advisor. In other action Monday the council authorized staff to solicit bids for an asphalt overlay improvement project. The project will also include utility adjustments and replacement of damaged concrete curbs and gutters. Streets earmarked for the improvements include those in the Colinas Del Rio Sub-

Worthy Women event set for Feb. 18 PHARR – Inspirational hearing-impaired recording artist Sherry Anne and pastoral counselor Sharon LaBella will be the special guest presenters at the 2017 God’s Worthy Women conference on Feb. 18 at Center Church, 4801 N. Cage Blvd. in Pharr. The 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. event includes a concert, workshops focused on overcoming physical and emotional challenges to achieve spiritual health, breakfast and catered lunch and door prizes. Sherry Anne will sing and share her testimony of overcoming a bilateral hearing and speech impairment not

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diagnosed until she was 5 years old. She was voted to the Top Ten Singing News Fan Awards Favorite New Artists in 2016. Sharon LaBella, a pastoral counselor and registered nurse, will share her testimony of overcoming hardships and help conference attendees realize their true worth in spite of difficult circumstances. Tickets for the event are $30 per person by registration with Leila Preuss at 479-957-6683. There is no childcare for small children.

division, Los Ebanos Road between Exp. 83 and Mile 1 South Road, Mayberry Road between FM 405 and the Mile 2 Road. Also set for improvements are Fairway Street from Bryan Road to Highland Park Avenue. And the council approved Mission Police Chief Robert Dominguez’s request to submit a grant application for $60,000 to the Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division. If granted the money would be used to implement a program for first time offenders between the ages of 10 and 16. The program is designed to mentor children and provide them with a second opportunity to succeed in life, Dominguez said. After successfully completing the six-month program the child’s arrest record would be destroyed. During this time the youth and their families would get counseling to help the youth make wiser decisions in the future. If granted the city would not be required to provide matching funds, Dominguez said. In other police business

a No Parking Zone was approved for the 2200 block of Creed Run Road. Dominguez told the council when vehicles were parked on the street there was only room for one vehicle at a time to move north or south. Authorization was also given to solicit bids to replace four drive-thru units outside and four teller units inside the Mission Water Department. City Manager Martin Garza said the existing units were getting old and need to be replaced with new equipment. Following an executive session Mayor Norberto Salinas was authorized to execute a Water Operations Agreement, Water Delivery Contract and Permanent Water Supply Contract with United Irrigation District. The water supply contract addresses subdivisions excluded after 1981 and before 2016. The new operational agreement establishes the boundaries of Water District 16 and District 14. And a request to replace the flooring on the southern half of the main Boys and Girls Club gym near Mission High School was approved.


Gay Frances Lewis MISSION – Gay Frances Lewis, 79, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 8., 2017, in McAllen. Mrs. Lewis was born to Tuny and Ean Malone on April 15, 1937, in Clovis N.M. and graduated from Hereford High School in 1955. She married Gene Lewis on June 5, 1955. They farmed for 15 years south of Dimmitt and moved to the Rio Grande Valley in 1969 to become citrus growers. Survivors include her husband, Gene Lewis; children, Robby Lewis of Bertram, Rusty Lewis of Edinburg, Randi Mena of Monte Alto and Becky Miller of Mission; and six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers,

Denis Ray Malone and Jerry Malone; and son, Ricky Lewis. A graveside service was held on Feb. 10 at Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Notices Earl K. Albrecht MISSION – Earl K. Albrecht, 53, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at his home in Mission. Rodolfo Cantu ALTON – Rodolfo Cantu, 74, passed away on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, at his home in Alton. Joaquin De la Cruz MISSION – Joaquin De la Cruz, 64, passed away on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at Mission Regional Medical Center.


County, from employing elected officials who oversee the schools and cities where utility board members work. According to Hinojosa, the bill was filed after his office was contacted by a “number” of constituents who were worried of a potential conflict of interest concerning several hires in Agua SUD related to the La Joya school district. “People were concerned the majority of board members who worked for the La Joya district were hiring school board members —their bosses—to work at Agua,” Hinojosa said. “Potential conflicts of interest, whether perceived or real, have perceptions of reality.” Board President Rogelio “Roger” Hernandez III, Secretary Lloyd Loya, Treasurer Esequiel “Zeke” Ortiz Jr. and Director Cesar Rodriguez Jr. are current employees of the La Joya school district. The bill would affect Agua SUD employees Oscar “Coach” Salinas and Armin Garza, both serve on the La Joya ISD school board as president and vice-president, respectively. In a statement to the Progress Times, Hernandez said he and the Agua SUD lawHeliodoro Flores MISSION – Heliodoro Flores, 75, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, at Doctor’s Hospital in Edinburg. Rebecca R. Garcia MISSION – Rebecca R. Garcia, 85, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, at McAllen Heart Hospital. Rosa Elvia Luera LA JOYA – Rosa Elvia Luera, 69, passed away on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen. Sergio Melendez MISSION – Sergio Melendez, 55, passed away on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at his home in Mission Thurman L. Moody MISSION – Thurman L. Moody, 86, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, at McAllen Medical Center.

from pg 1 yers are reviewing the proposed legislation before determining how to proceed. Salinas, the Agua SUD outreach coordinator, said he would respect the outcome of the bill even though he doesn’t understand the need for it. “Why is this directly targeting Agua SUD,” Salinas asked during an interview Tuesday. “Why is he specifically looking at the school district? It’s hard to understand where he’s coming from since in my position, I’ve had no influence or applied pressure in contracts, hiring or in any work related to Agua SUD.” Armin Garza works as the Agua SUD Billing Manager and said he was surprised by the legislation. “I’ve only held office [in La Joya ISD] for three months and there’s no just cause for someone filing legislation to get rid of my job,” Garza said. “I don’t think they have an idea of who will be affected by this.” Hinojosa was among the attendees of an eventful September 2016 Agua SUD board meeting where

See AGUA SUD 10 George Morgan MISSION – George Ray Morgan, 69, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, at his home in Mission. Maria Obregon MISSION – Maria Obregon, 69, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at Mission Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. San Juanita Perez MISSION – San Juanita Perez, 72, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, at Doctors Hospital in Edinburg. Laverne Priske MISSION – Laverne Priske, 89, passed away on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at Mission Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Joel Zavala ALTON – Joel Baez Zavala, 66, passed away on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at his home in Alton.

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February 17, 2017 |

then-Executive Director Julio Cerda resigned from his position. As previously reported, the board of directors went through a restructure at the same meeting as then Board President Ricardo Ochoa was stripped of his title and replaced by Hernandez. The meeting was heavily attended with most of the spectators continually interrupting the board meeting to voice their disapproval of the changes. Salinas believes the bill was drafted as a result of that meeting. He said he only applied for an Agua SUD position because its office is close to his home in Sullivan City. He said finding local work is an issue for other residents living in La Joya. “We need to understand that for many people near the school district, a job in Agua SUD is one of the places for employment,” Salinas said. “I don’t know what will hap-

from pg 9 pen to my job but I’ll continue to do it on a daily basis.” Sen. Hinojosa said in regards to employees such as Salinas, the bill is drafted in a way that they are not eligible to be employees or consultants hired on a contract basis. “This is about public policy and oversight,” Hinojosa said. “Agua SUD is a public entity that receives hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds. It’s not unusual for the state to file legislation to amend the law or deal with issues like this when they arise.” The bill also calls for Agua SUD directors be elected from the cities of Mission, Palmview, Peñitas, Sullivan City and La Joya to serve on the board with the remaining two positions to be filled by directors elected at-large who do not reside in any of the previously mentioned cities. If passed, the bill would go into effect Sept. 1.


just out of the UA, Hinton was the news director, afternoon drive-time anchor and sole reporter for KTUC News radio in Tucson. During that time the Arizona Press Club awarded him best investigative radio report. After 16 years reporting Hinton took a hiatus working first as an underground miner and then corrections officer in Arizona. He also obtained a commercial helicopter pilot’s license. Hinton spent nine years as a paralegal with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix where among other duties he created multi-media

from pg 1 power points that homicide bureau prosecuting attorneys used in closing arguments. Then he worked a year for the defense. He then spent four years as a construction contractor, process server and mobile notary public. Hinton said he believes his intervening experiences can only better inform his reporting and said he is grateful for the opportunity to return to the best job he’s ever had, journalist. Hinton said what he misses most about Arizona is that he can no longer say, “Yeah, but it’s a dry heat.”


from pg 1

other subjects. He said that the Artesano Market Days and the crowd it brought are a good way to make his work more known. “They get good crowds here,” Avendaño said. “And with art, the more people that see it, the better chance you

have. The bigger the crowd, the better chance you have at doing well.” Cynthia Lopez, director of the Mission Historical Museum, said there were close to 50 vendors at this year’s market, from both Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley. Over 1000 people visited the market combined over both days, she estimated. Lopez said one part-time and five full-time employees worked the event that had been in the planning since November. “It’s important because it brings about an awareness and appreciation for the culture,” Lopez said. “A lot of our vendors are from Mexico, so we want to highlight our neighboring country to our visitors and remind the members of our community ednesday about our roots and heritage. EdNESday appreciateb The awareness is pm Feb. 22 ed.”@ 5:00pm


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BUY LOCALLY AND SAVE $4 Advance Tickets available at Palmview Police Dept. Online: WWW.BIGTOPSHOW.COM • WWW.BOLETOSDECIRCO.COM

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from pg 7

has already committed a half-million dollars toward applying for grants with the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. Also Tuesday the mayor and commission unanimously approved a resolution authorizing publication of the city’s notice of intent to issue certificates of obligation (CO) in an amount not to exceed $500,000. Arcaute said the money will be used for a master storm drainage study. According to Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, commissioner courts, city councils and health or hospital district boards can opt to use certificates of obligation in lieu of the more common general obligation bond. Entities opting to use certificates of obligation must post a description of the projects to be financed and how they will be paid in local newspapers at least twice, first more than 30 days before the governing body’s vote on the CO issuance and again a week after the initial posting. In an article in the Economy newsletter published by the comptroller’s office and written by Liz Vela, Hegar expressed concern by the increasing numbers of cities opting to use COs to fund projects instead of allowing the public to vote on incurring public debt. Following Tuesday’s commission meeting Arcaute said the Texas Water Development Board, an agency responsible for water and sewar infrastructure, is issuing the CO being sought by Alton. He said the board receives federal funds and distributes them via COs at an interest rate

below prime that wouldn’t be available under a general obligation bond. He said utilizing the CO also eliminates the expense of a costly bond election. As for the comptroller’s concerns that COs in some cases amount to taxation without representation Arcaute said: “I come at it with the point of view of local control. And if citizens voted for their elected officials there is an element of trust in them to not make any decisions that are so rash that people are going to be left on the hook.” Arcaute said also the state attorney general requires cities to hire a financial adviser before incurring public debt. “You are required to hire a financial advisor who has a duty, not just to the client but to the people. And so they are not going to let you issue some debt that you’re not going to be able to afford,” he said. Also Tuesday the commission approved May 6 as the date of its election for city commissioners. Early voting will be available to residents weekdays and Saturday between April 24 and May 2 at the Alton City Hall. Three members of the Alton City Commission are up for reelection, Ricardo Garza in Place 2, Richard Arevalo in Place 3 and Emilio Cantu Jr. in Place 4. There are a total of five places on the Alton City Commission. As yet only the three encumbents have filed notices of intent to run in the election. The deadline for filing is 5 p.m. today, said City Secretary Beaudelia Rojas.

The pre-trial hearing for La Joya Housing Authority’s former Executive Director Juan “J.J.” Garza has been delayed until April. Judge Ricardo Hinojosa granted a motion of continuance to Garza in order to try him and co-defendant Armando Jimenez together, according to records obtained by the Progress Times.

Garza and Jimenez were arrested in September by federal agents in connection to an alleged bid-rigging scheme. Both men pled not guilty to the charges of wire fraud after their arrests. The final pretrial is set for April 3 with jury selection set for the day after.

Pre-trial hearing for former housing director delayed

theclassifieds February 17, 2017

page 11 |

buy • sell • trade • rent • hire

this page is your oyster opening up to a world of opportunity

LEGAL NOTICE Application has been made with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for a Wine and Beer Retailer’s permit by Marla Castro dba Lobo’s Den to be located at 13606 N. Trosper, Mission, Hidalgo County, Texas. .

PUBLIC NOTICE The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a Public Hearing on March 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm at Palmhurst City Hall, 4417 North Shary Road, Palmhurst, Texas in order to consider the following: Rezoning: 4.79 Acres out of the East 20.00 Acres out of Lot 33-5, John H. Shary Subdivision, from Residential B to Commercial. Anyone interested is invited to attend and present their comments. Celina Perez, City Secretary


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.

Classified Rate:

1 Week = $7.00 2 Weeks = $10.00 4 Weeks = $14.00




2007 NISSAN XTERRA 4x4 6 speed, set up for tow, including “blue ox” hitch, base plate and “brake buddy”, full power package windows, door locks, tilt, cruise, CD player and more, nice condition, $8,500 or OBO, call 605–381-2367. 1966 T-BIRD California car, light blue, all options, excellent condition, 69k miles, $13,995, cal 956–424–6953. 2000 FL-60 FREIGHTLINER SPORTCHASSIS, 3126-B Cat engine, all leather, wood trim, 6-speed Allison transmission, asking $34,900, 217,000 miles, call 563–663-1711. 2008 BMW 328I, silver with grey leath-

READ, CONSIDERED AND PASSED, THIS THE 13th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2017. Norberto Salinas, Mayor Attest: Anna Carrillo, City Secretary







READ, CONSIDERED AND PASSED, THIS THE 13th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2017. Norberto Salinas, Mayor Attest: Anna Carrillo, City Secretary

READ, CONSIDERED AND PASSED, THIS THE 13th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2017. Norberto Salinas, Mayor Attest: Anna Carrillo, City Secretary

THE STATE OF TEXAS NOTICE TO RESPONDENT: “You have been sued. You may employ an attorney. If you or your attorney do not file a written answer with the clerk who issued this citation by 10:00 a.m. on the Monday next following the expiration of forty two days after you were served this citation and petition, a default judgment may be taken against you.” To: THE WALLACE G. COOK REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST CREATED NOVEMBER 23, 1999, THE WALLACE G. COOK SURVIVING TRUST AND THE HEIRS AND THE UNKNOWN HEIRS OF WALLACE G. COOK AND ELIZABETH COOK GREETING: You are hereby commanded to appear by filing a written answer to the Plaintiff’s petition at or before 10:00 o’clock a.m. of the first Monday after the expiration of 42 days from the date of issuance of this citation, the same being Monday the 20th day of February, 2017 at or before 10 o’clock a.m., before the 206th District Court of Hidalgo County, at the Courthouse in Edinburg, Texas. Said Plaintiff’s Petition was filed on December 13, 2016 in this case, numbered C-5522-16-F on the docket of said court. The names of the parties to the cause are as follows: RUDOLPH ARBANAS and BETTY L. ARBANAS INDIVIDUALLY AND AS TRUSTEES OF THE RUDOLPH JOSEPH ARBANAS AND BETTY LOU ARBANAS TRUST DATED JUNE 7, 2010 are Plaintiffs and THE WALLACE G. COOK REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST CREATED NOVEMBER 23, 1999, THE WALLACE G. COOK SURVIVING TRUST AND THE HEIRS AND UNKNOWN HEIRS OF WALLACE G. COOK AND ELIZABETH COOK are Defendants. A brief statement of the nature of the suit is as follows, to-wit: The suit seeks to establish clear title in the Plaintiffs in Lot 240, Amended Plat of Aladdin Villas Subdivision, Phase II, Hidalgo County, Texas, and remove any claim or interest the Defendants may have, resulting from defects occurring in previous conveyances dating back to 1995, all as is more fully shown by Plaintiffs’ Petition on file in this suit. If this citation is not served within ninety days after the date of its issuance, it shall be returned unserved. The officer executing this writ shall promptly served the same according to requirements of law, and the mandates thereof, and make due return as the law directs. ISSUED AND GIVEN UNDER MY HAND AND the SEAL of said court at office in Edinburg, Hidalgo County, Texas, on this January 11, 2017.

er interior, 72,000 miles in good shape for $7,500, call For Sale 956–369–4004. GANDY 10X5 SNOOKER table, 3 piece slate, you disassemble and move, $1,500 OBO, Restful Valley Ranch, Mission, Texas, contact Dale at 319–240–7590. 2005 CHEVY MALIBU, 200k miles, good condition, asking $2,500 OBO, call 713– 212–9695. MIXER AMPLIFICADOR 1000 wattz, marca Topp Professional y par de bocinas Pavey 15 pulgadas de 400 wattz c/u, semi nuevos, $550, call 713–212–9695. 2001 PRAIRIE SCHOONER 5th wheeler, 36 feet, 3


slides, Tri-Axle, Lot 97 Canyon Lake RV Resort, 4770 North Mayberry Road, 807-252–2150, $10,000 OBO. 2003 BORENKER 34’ 49,700 miles, clean, Cummins diesel engine, Allison transmission, 4 door fridge, generator, plus 2 slides, call 712–269-0240. 2000 NEWMART AMERICAN Star, 34 ft., rear living, center kitchen, single slide, 12x30 aluminum awning, 8x8 shed with washer and freezer, Mission, call 419–234– 5276. 2006 OUTBACK 30 ft., new king bed, all furniture stays, immaculate inside, two canopies, $10,000, in Mission, TX, call 217–341-1401. 2002 HITHCHIKER II, LS 34.5 ft.rear living, 3 slides, center kitchen, heat pump, queen size bed, carpeted living room, 4 recliners, good condition, many extras, $8,500, call 612– 703-0072. 2000 36 FT. JAYCO Designer, 3 slides, oak cabinets, new tires, very clean, $8,000, call 217–430-7846. 1999 JAYCO DE-

PUBLIC NOTICE Executive Director Position for the La Joya Housing Authority

The Executive Director’s position would be responsible for, but not limited to the following: Experience in communicating with others both written and in person, ability to administer the public housing programs and work with others, in office and out of office. The applicant needs to be computer literate in preparation of written documents, work plans, spread sheets, accounting programs, reports and other work related computer activities. The applicant needs to have appreciation of the philosophy and fundamental purpose of the program and reading and understanding public housing programs and their changes mandated by the Federal Government. Applicant must have detailed knowledge of our geographic area, have community relations experience, plus have a good rapport with local, county, state and governmental agencies. This position will be filled by resumes only and resumes will be accepted in person or by mail until Noon on March 10, 2017. The office is located at 945 S Leo, La Joya Texas 78560, (956) 581-7069. Selection will be made as soon as possible after the closing date for resumes.

Sharyland Independent School District: Public Hearing Notice Sharyland Independent School District will hold a public hearing at 5:00 p.m., February 21, 2017 at Sharyland High School Auditorium Mission, Texas. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the school district’s Academic Performance Report for the 2015-16 school year. In accordance with Texas Education Code Chapter 39, each district’s board of trustees is required to publish an annual report that includes the TAPR, campus performance objec-tives, a report of violent or criminal incidents, and informa-tion received under Texas Education Code §51.403(e) from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The board of trustees is required to hold a hearing for public discussion of the report. NOTICE OF INTENT TO ISSUE CITY OF ALTON, TEXAS CERTIFICATES OF OBLIGATION, SERIES 2017 TAKE NOTICE that the City Commission (the City Commission) of the City of Alton, Texas, shall tentatively convene at 7:30 p.m. on the 28th day of March, 2017, at its regular meeting place in the City Commission Chambers at 509 S. Alton Blvd., Alton, Texas 78573 and during such meeting, the City Commission will consider the passage of an ordinance authorizing the issuance of certificates of obligation in an amount not to exceed $500,000 for the following purposes: to pay for professional services in connection with the planning of certain wastewater system improvements, and to pay the costs of issuance of the certificates of obligation. The Certificates of Obligation will be payable from a combination of the City’s ad valorem tax within the limits authorized by law on all taxable property of the City, and a limited pledge of $1,000 from the net revenues from the operation of the City’s water and sewer system. The Certificates of Obligation are to be issued, and this notice is given, under and pursuant to the provisions of the Certificates of Obligation Act of 1971, as amended, Local Government Code Section 271.041 through Section 271.063. Salvador Vela, Mayor City of Alton, Texas

SIGNER 34’ fifth wheel, rear living, two slides, new air conditioner, $7,900, call 956– 874–3900. 1997 HOLIDAY RAMBLER IMPERIAL 37’ 5th wheel, 17x10 deck, vinyl roof, well maintained, $7,500 OBO, call 903–9656171. HAPPY JACK ONEX: wound dressing repels flies and kills hatching larvae. Allows healing. Border Enterprises (487-2570) ( MERMAID MERCHANDISE, WE have jewelry, clothing, accessories & more, visit/follow our website www. Garage Sales

GIGANTIC RUMMAGE SALE, February 23–24–25, at 7am, Southern Oasis Park, 1407 E. 2nd St., Mission, new items added daily as room becomes available, no early bird sales. SATURDAY ONLY, TWIN Lakes park wide garage sale, 301 N. Shary Rd., 8am- noon. Homes For Sale

NEW HOME FOR sale, 3BR/2 Bath/2 car garage- 1,511 sq. ft. live-in area, 1102 Miracle Lane, Mission, TX, contact Eloy at 945–648–1045 for more information, great location- near elementary school, parks and expressway. Service

FOR APPLIANCE REPAIR and Handyman- 55+ years experience, call Don at 956–584–7817. GOLF CART REPAIR, 25 years serving the Valley, insured & factory trained, 956–580 -3370. HANDYMAN SERVICES INCLUDING remodeling, repairs, painting, carpentry, over 35 year of experience, call 870-615–0089 or 870–615-4579. PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL CITRUS trees, certified applicator will treat per schedule, free consultation, call Dave at Valley Citrus Rescue 956–2214097. Wanted

I BUY ANTIQUES: 50 years plus, glass, brewery, sports, linens, art, etc., call Phil on S.P.I at 563-329–0266. WANT TO BUY 2008 or newer Suburban or Yukon XL, low miles, clean, prefer 4x4, call 956929-3842. GERMAN, JAPANESE, U.S WW2 MILITARIA guns, swords, helmets, medals, etc., top cash paid, collector, 712–310-0905. DODGE DIESEL TRUCK with 4-Wheel Drive, also 25–100 horse power tractor, prefer with motor & 4- Wheel Drive, call 618-780–5824 or 618–315-0415.

page 12

February 17, 2017 |

Free class enhances value of local entrepreneurs’ products By Jose De Leon For the last five weeks Rossana Gomez had crossed the border from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas every Wednesday to attend a two-hour class in Mission to prepare for the launch of her online store. A baker, Gomez will soon open, “Cookies by Ross,” in the online store Etsy, where users can sell or buy handmade crafts or vintage goods. The 29-year-old said she plans to sell her goods online to cater to a new crowd. “Most of my work is usually sold through word of mouth or on my Facebook

page but I’m not making a profit because I sell them really cheap,” Gomez said. “If I were to start selling my cookies online, I could actually turn in a much bigger profit because the shop values handmade items so my cookies could actually be worth more if I sold them online.” The class, held at Mission’s Center for Education and Economic Development building, is a partnership between the Mission Economic Development Corporation and Etsy. Participants go through a five-week course to provide RGV residents with the micro-business and

e-commerce training they need to sell their handmade products to new markets, according to the Mission EDC website. Rebecca Monroe, an English teacher at South Texas Preparatory Academy, was chosen to instruct the program last year due to a combination of her job as a teacher and the fact that she runs a successful store on Etsy. Her store, “Baby by Becca,” specializes in selling crochet baby clothes. According to Monroe, the class is free and students are only required to have a product they can sell on Etsy. “We’re here to show you

how to market a product, not how to make one,” Monroe said. “Several students here have already been selling

their items at local shops so the next step would be for them to sell online to reach a new set of customers


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Program instructor Rebecca Monroe. Progress Times photo by Jose De Leon III.

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they otherwise never could reach.” The classes reach a wide range of topics that include how to properly photograph their items to ensure they look presentable online, proper etiquette when talking to a customer and how to properly price their items. Monroe said a common factor in all the classes she’s taught is that students are undervaluing their products because they’re not sure how much to charge for them. “Most students are used to selling their items for cheap or giving them away as a gift but they need to know they can charge more because their skills and time has a value,” Monroe said. “I had a student who sold candles for $5 because she thought, ‘I’d pay that much for a candle, why should I charge more?’ As part of my class, I have students list all their materials and keep track of how much they spend on one item and to set a price based on those expenses to ensure they make a profit. The students will learn to value their own work and that will mean they will be successful once the class is over.” As program director for the Mission EDC, Cristina Garza oversees the classes and praises them for helping local artists in the area. “We have a lot of artistic talent in the Valley and as the only place in South Texas who offers this class, we’re allowing people to push themselves into the digital world and not be confined to selling in the Valley,” Garza said. “Students can make connections where they can sell products at a higher price and be empowered with the skills they gain.” The next round of classes for the Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship program is slated to start April 26. The enrollment deadline is April 1.

Sat. FEB 18, 2017 9:00AM- 1:00PM La Joya Palmview High School 3901 N. La Homa Rd. Mission, TX 78574 visit our website


LA JOYA ISD? - Schools & Programs Showcase Expo - Principals on Site for Parents - Dual- Enrollment Booth - AP Course Information - Fine Arts Expo - Athletics Expo - Student Club Registration - College Information Booths - Door Prizes - Summer Programs - Food & Fun - ENROLLMENT OPPORTUNITIES!

Join us at our 2nd Annual Schools & Programs Showcase Expo! This is open to the entire community! We invite our parents and parents of neighboring school districts to be part of this event!

February 17, 2017 - PT ISSUE  

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