EARLY VOTING Feb. 20th - Mar. 2nd
Patty O’Caña Olivarez
ELECTION DAY March 6th
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Friday, March 2, 2018
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Vol. 46 No. 29
After leak investigation, La Joya ISD restricted access to public records By Dave Hendricks After a woman accused the La Joya school board of compadrismo during a mid-September meeting, the district responded by restricting access to public records — documents other school districts routinely post online. Mary T. Hernandez, 51, of Mission confronted the school board on Sept. 13. “I am concerned about the amount of $377,000 being awarded simply to maintain and replace filters,” Hernandez said during public comment. “Especially since the district has plenty of personnel to take care of this matter.”
What Hernandez said apparently didn’t bother the board. Trustees unanimously accepted the proposal without any discussion. And the district posted the meeting video, which includes her acerbic comments, on YouTube five days later. However, what Hernandez knew — that a company called Dezvia LLC, which is co-owned by former Palmview City Manager Ramon Segovia, submitted a proposal to maintain and replace air filters — prompted a leak investigation. District police Chief Raul Gonzalez tasked an investigator with tracking down the leak, according to records obtained by the Progress
Times under the Texas Public Information Act. “According to Chief Gonzalez, the person Mary Hernandez had information that was not readily available to public (sic) and was an agenda item that the board had not approved as of yet,” according to the investigation report. “Chief Gonzalez advised that he wanted me to review if it was possible for us to find out who had leaked the information and released a form from the binders that have the agenda items.” After a fruitless search for the leak, the La Joya Independent School District restricted access to public records and created a cumbersome new process for obtain-
also appointed by the Board of Judges to administer the Hidalgo County Drug Court Diversion Program for first time drug offenders. Rodriguez took great pride in the program, which
ure as the county’s top prosecutor in January 2015. During his tenure as District Attorney, Rodriguez has prided himself on the many new initiatives he and his staff have implemented. Most notably, Rodriguez created the Special Crimes Division and the Crime Victims Unit, to help victims of crime navigate the judicial process. He and his Crime Victims Director were recently recognized on a national level for their mutual efforts by being appointed to the National Organization for Victims Assistance board of directors, where they hope to influence national policy for better assistance for crime victims. Rodriguez also worked in conjunction with all Hidalgo County law enforcement agencies, the Hidalgo County Health Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Transportation to implement the Labor Day “No Refusal” campaign, currently in its third year.
Ricardo Rodriguez, Jr. for Hidalgo County District Attorney
Special for Progress Times
Ricardo Rodriguez, Jr. is a native of Edinburg, Texas. He is a former migrant worker, was born to a 16-year old mother and 17-year old father, and lived much of his childhood traveling across Texas and the United States to work in the fields. He received an academic and athletic scholarship to the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration - Accounting in 1995. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 1999. In 2006, Rodriguez was elected in a special election to preside over the 92nd District Court for a two year term, and subsequently was re-elected to the office in 2008 for an additional four - year term. While on the bench, Rodriguez was appointed by the Board of Judges as the overseer for the Auxiliary Drug Courts in Hidalgo County, and was
Ricardo Rodriguez, Jr. boasted a tremendous success rate for participants. In 2012, Rodriguez ran unopposed, and was re-elected for another four-year term, where he served until stepping down in August 2013 to run for Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney. In March 2014, Rodriguez was elected Criminal District Attorney, and began his ten-
See RODRIGUEZ Pg. 12
ing basic information that other districts post online. The Agenda Packet State law requires school districts to post meeting agendas, which provide short descriptions of what the board plans to discuss, at least 72 hours before the meeting begins. Along with the agenda, school districts usually prepare a packet with exhibits for each item, including draft contracts, financial reports and other key documents. “With those vague descriptions on the agenda, sometimes I’d have to go to the exhibits to see what, exactly, we were discussing,” said former McAllen school board President Erica de la
Garza-Lopez. Many school districts, including Mission, McAllen and Harlingen, post their meeting packets online. “It’s vital for the community to know what’s going on,” de la Garza-Lopez said. “It’s key to transparency in the district.” To help districts post agendas and meeting packets online, the Texas Association of School Boards created software called BoardBook. Competitors, including Colorado-based Granicus, offer software with additional features. Other districts simply upload meeting packets to the web themselves. La Joya posts only the agenda online, leaving the
public with very little information about what the school board plans to discuss. Until September, school board secretary Irma Herrera printed courtesy copies of the meeting packet upon request. “At the end of the day, anybody can go and request a copy,” said school board Trustee J.J. Peña. “It’s a public record.” Filing a formal public information request became the only option after the Sept. 13 meeting, when the district stopped providing courtesy copies. The Dezvia Controversy On Sept. 13, the school
See INVESTIGATION Pg. 12
Mission EDC holds first ever Civic Innovation Summit
By Jamie Treviño Gathering from all over the Rio Grande Valley, people seemed to enjoy the conversation, connections and coffee. Last Thursday, the Mission Economic Development Corporation held its first ever Civic Innovation Summit, hosting speakers, entrepreneurs, and creators from all over the United States. The all-day event is also the first of its kind in the Valley. The summit was held at
See MISSION EDC Pg. 7
(from left) Mark Hanna, Alex Meade, Sam Garcia and Mike Perez conduct the final panel of the first Civic Innovation Summit, “Shaping the Future of the RGV: What’s Next?”
Father sues city of Mission after fatal police shooting By Dave Hendricks A father filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Mission last week — exactly two years after police officers shot his son. David M. Green Sr. of Battle Creek, Michigan, filed the federal lawsuit against Mission on Feb. 22. Along with the city, the lawsuit also includes claims against three police officers. The lawsuit resulted from a police shooting at the Wag-
on City South mobile home park on Conway Avenue. David Green Sr. lived at Wagon City South with his 38-year-old son, David M. Green II. At about 1:40 p.m. on Feb. 22, 2016, David Green Sr. called 911. “Mr. Green calmly explained to the dispatcher that his son was mentally ill and diagnosed with schizophrenia, but was off his medication and making physical threats,” according to the
lawsuit. “Mr. Green also told the dispatcher that David was a mental health patient who had spent significant time in a hospital and was at that point in the midst of a mental health crisis.” During the call, David Green Sr. said his son grabbed an ax and threatened to kill him. “The dispatcher did not, however, report David’s mental illness or past treatment nor call for any medical
See FATHER SUES CITY Pg. 9
INSIDE Political Candidates Seek Election
Seats in Hidalgo County are currently up for election. See announcements and biographies inside for more insight toward candidates running for District Attorney, Probate Court, and more.
Race for Soccer Playoffs heats up
Wi-Fi in the City of Alton
Look into the four local districts (boys’ and girls’) with Big 7 teams as they gear up for the soccer playoffs. Luciano Guerra lays it out as two weeks remain in the regular season, with more details and information inside.
Alton is hoping to expand free Wi-Fi service to all residents in the city. The effort should take a few years, but officials are hopeful. Jose De Leon III has more details inside.
See Pg. 5 & 8
See Pg. 6
Entertainment | pg.2
Lifestyle | pg.3
Sports | pg. 6
Obituaries | pg. 9
Classifieds | pg. 11
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LA JOYA • PALMVIEW
March 2, 2018
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Mariachi Los Coyotes y Grupo Folklórico Tabasco performs this weekend
La Joya High School’s award-winning and nationally recognized Mariachi Los Coyotes y Grupo Folklórico Tabasco will present their Spring 2018 concert, “Orgullo y Tradición,” at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. They are the longest-running mariachi and folklorico group in the nation with roots back to 1982. Performances will be held at the Alejandro “Alex” H. Saenz Performing Arts Center, 604 Coyote Dr. in La Joya. Pre-show entertainment, “Feria Artesanal,” features performances by Conjunto Los Diamantes, “The Gentlemen,” and Folklórico groups from Dr. Saenz Middle School, Lorenzo de Zavala Middle School and Cesar Chavez Middle School. Tickets can be purchased at the Fine Arts Office, next to the Alejandro “Alex” H. Saenz Performing Arts Center at La Joya High School, 604 Coyote Drive, in La Joya. Advance tickets are sold Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to Noon and 1 to 4 p.m. General admission is $8. For information, call 956-323-2895. (Magallon Photography)
Schedule packed for Borderfest 2018 festivities HIDALGO – Borderfest 2018 celebrates all things Spain from Friday through Sunday, March 2-4 on the grounds of and inside State Farm Arena. Spanish food and music, a bloodless bullfight, the annual parade and the carnival are just a glimpse into the activities of the 42nd annual event. At the State Farm Pavilion, the midday lineup on Saturday includes Vance Greek at noon, 4 His Glory at 1 p.m., Regan James at 2 p.m., Greg Jones at 3 p.m. and Curt James at 4 p.m. On Sunday, 14-year-old Kelli Marie opens the midday lineup at noon, followed by Southern Anthem at 1 p.m., The Classic Band at 2 p.m. and Raices 2 Mariachi. Among the events inside the State Farm Arena will be a bloodless bullfight on Sunday, March 4 featuring world-class matadors Manolo Martinez Jr. and Michelito Lagravere. The “Abrazo” – and ensuing square dance in Reynosa – officially kicks off the event where the mayors of Hidalgo and Reynosa meet on the International Bridge and embrace as a sign of peace and cooperation. The event begins at 9 a.m. There will be a celebration
after with lunch, drinks and souvenirs. The Zaragoza Market will be open for shopping and there will of course be mariachis and more. The celebration will be held at the UETA Duty Free store next to the bridge in Hidalgo. The annual Budweiser Grand Parade will start at 10 a.m. Saturday on State Highway 336 in Hidalgo. Festival tickets are $12 for adults 13 and older, a three-day pre-sale pass is $15 and a two-day pre-sale pass is $10. Veterans, active duty military and National Guard service members get in for free with identification, and children age 3 and younger also get in for free. Tickets are available at State Farm Arena, Hidalgo City Hall and all Boot Jack Locations. For more information, visit hidalgoborderfest.com.
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Coming Attractions March 2 • Concert V of the Valley Symphony Orchestra brings the re-emergence of Broadway classics and the return of guest pianist Asiya Korepanova performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The concert, Spectacular Broadway and Much More, is set for 8 p.m. at the McAllen Performing Arts Center. Single tickets for all concerts are currently on sale and range in price: orchestra, $58; front of the house, $48; and back of the house, $38. For tickets, visit valleyorchestra. org or stop by the McAllen Performing Arts Center box office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 2-4 • The 2018 spring season for the UTRGV Department of Theatre opens with the musical, “In the Heights,” with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), and book by Quiara Alegria Hudes. Performances March 2 and 3 are at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on March 4. Performances are held in the Albert L. Jeffers Theatre and the Studio Theatre in the Edinburg Liberal Arts Building South (ELABS) at the corner of University Drive and Sugar Road. For information and special accommodations, contact Elva Galvan, University Productions Box Office, at 956-665-3581, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. March 8 • The Valley Symphony Orchestra presents “The Art of Harp Symphony Gala” from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the McAllen Convention Center Ballroom, 700 Convention Center Blvd. The cocktail attire fundraiser offers complimentary champagne and wine throughout the evening, dinner and award presentation. Guest harpist Iraida Poberezhnaya and her husband, pianist Ildar Khannanov, will perform. To become a sponsor or to purchase tickets ($175 per person), visit valleyorchestra.org or call Vivian Vargas at 956-661-1615. • The Ballet Folklórico UTRGV presents the final performance of Alegría 2018 at the UTRGV Performing Arts Complex on the Edinburg campus at 7:30 p.m. in the Brownsville TSC Arts Center. Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for seniors and students; and $5 for children. For advance ticket information, visit utrgv.link/alegria or call the Dance Program office at 956-665-2230. Tickets will be available at the PAC Box Office one hour prior to the event. (For more Coming Attractions, go to ptrgv.com)
Wine and Masterpiece workshop The next “Wine and Masterpiece” workshop, led by Joyce Capen, will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Upper Valley Art League annex. Joyce Capen is the instructor, and participants will create a rooster in watercolor using saran wrap and salt where they can also add collage elements. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Class size is limited to 15. Art supplies will be furnished, but students should bring their own beverage and snack. Classes must be paid at the time of registration. Register at the UVAL gallery at 921 E. 12th St. in Mission. Call 956-583-2787 for information.
‘Music for All Ages’ concert is March 2
PHARR – The Senior Ambassadors members will join Men of A-Chord, the Magic Valley Chorus and the RGV Band for “Music for All Ages” concert at 7 p.m. Friday, March 2 at Center Church, located at 4801 N. Cage in Pharr. “We have tried to increase our fun factor and have a few ‘cute songs,’ a much more divers repertoire,” Senior Ambassador member Ken Morrison said. “But every group sings or plays songs
that are germane to them. There’s a huge variety of songs and music.” Each year a different group organizes the event, with this year being the Senior Ambassadors running the show. “We have singers from all over the United States and Canada who sing with us,” Morrison said. “I’ve been the group since 2010 and I’ve been in four of these. It’s a good time with a lot of good music.” Tickets are $10 at the door.
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March 2, 2018
Monarch Festival offers Scouts badge opportunities
McALLEN – The Monarch Festival at Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center on Saturday, March 17, offers educational opportunity for anyone wanting to know more about the life cycle, habitat and conservation of monarch butterflies. For Girl and Boy Scouts the festival offers something extra – badge fulfillment opportunities. The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with activities to help Scouts accomplish objectives related to badges. While these activities are designed to meet Scouts’ needs, it will keep children and members of other youth organizations simply interested in the topics. Girl Scouts can accomplish 90 to 100 percent of their badge requirements featuring the Daisy girl scouts – Outdoor Art Petal; Brownie – Bug; Junior – Animal Habitat and Gardener badges. Cub Scouts can also accomplish a majority of badge requirements: Tiger - Into the Wild; Wolf – Grow Something; Bear-Feathers, Fur & Fins; and Webelos - Into the Wild. The Boy Scouts can accomplish 9 of the 10 requirements
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The Monarch Festival on March 17 at Quinta Mazatlan offers Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and youth groups fun and educational activities. for the Insect Badge. Children and adults attending the festival can gain valuable knowledge regarding life cycle, land conservation and the importance of milkweed (Aslepias sp.) preservation for monarch butterflies. Activities include planting native seeds, arts and crafts, taking a nature hike with a naturalist, learning about garden design and discovering endangered habitats. McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, the McHi DrumLine and Costume Characters lead the Bug Parade at 11 a.m. Ento-
mologist Dr. John Goolsby will speak at 11 a.m. and 12 and 1 p.m. Scouts are encouraged to come dressed in their Scout uniform, children in their favorite bug costume and adults in Monarch orange. Admission is $5 and pre-registration is not required. Activities will be completed on a first come, first serve basis. For information, call 956681-3370 or visit quintamazatlan.com. Quinta Mazatlan is located at 600 Sunset.
and os the author of several books. Beyond the brands, the television series and the books, John’s commitment to entrepreneurship has been celebrated on a global level. In 2015, former president Barack Obama appointed John as Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, a position focused on promoting the power and importance of entrepreneurship on a global scale. The event is free and open to the public Wednesday, March 7. Doors open at 7 p.m. for students with a valid university I.D., and 7:20
p.m. for the general public. For more information or special accommodations, call Student Involvement at 956665-2660
EWBC packs in March fun
EDINBURG – Beginning spring break week, the Edinburg World Birding Center (EWBC) has a variety of engaging and entertaining programs throughout the month of March for families to enjoy. From March 13 to 16 join in the Spring Break Adventures. On Tuesday, March 13, from 1 to 3 p.m., bring the kids for Outdoor Nature Play in the children’s garden where staff will have a variety of nature play items to use. On March 14, from 1 to 3 p.m., take a turn at Butterfly Baiting. View butterflies up close in the gardens. Then on March 15, from 2 – 3 p.m., go on a Photo Scavenger Hunt. See how many types of wildlife can be found
to photograph on the walk. Cameras are provided. All activities are free with regular paid admission: $3 adults, $2 children and seniors, children under 5 and EWBC members are free. Then cap off Spring Break Adventures on March 16 with the Outdoor Movie Night. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and watch the family classic “The Princess Bride” at the EWBC pergola. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase. The free outdoor movie begins at 8 p.m. On Saturday, March 17, nature and music enthusiasts alike are invited to participate in the family-friendly “Make Some Noise” program by making their own musical instruments out of natural and recycled materials. The
program will be offered at 11 a.m. and at 4 p.m. The fee for the program is $2 for members and $4 for non-members. Call to reserve a spot. On Saturday, March 31, learn how to make eco and bird friendly Easter eggs, or cascarones, just in time for Easter. Don’t leave behind all the confetti mess by making Easter eggs that will be fun for the entire family, while benefitting wildlife. The program runs from 2 to 3 p.m. and is $2 per dozen eggs for EWBC members and $4 per dozen eggs for non-members. Quantities are limited, so registration is required. The EWBC is located at 714 S. Raul Longoria Road in Edinburg Texas. Call 956381-9922 for registration or information.
Shark Tank’s Daymond John to speak at UTRGV
EDINBURG – From his wildly successful role on ABC’s smash hit Shark Tank, to his distinguished status as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, Daymond John will serve as the final speaker for The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Distinguished Speaker Series in Edinburg on Wednesday, March 7. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the UTRGV Performing Arts Center on the Edinburg campus. An entrepreneur, TV personality and author, John is best known as an investor in the ABC reality television series, Shark Tank. He is also the CEO and founder of the clothing brand FUBU, which he boasts he began with a budget of $40,
Program highlights RGV Livestock Show history
EDINBURG – One of the enduring traditions of South Texas is the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and Rodeo. The tradition has evolved into a family affair where people across South Texas can learn about farming and ranching. Mike Risica, president of the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and Agricultural Exposition (RGVLS) , will discuss its history and evolution at the Museum of South Texas History March 4 at 2 p.m. For the second year in a row, visitors to the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and the Museum of South Texas History will have a chance to enjoy a ticket-for-ticket partnership between the two. Museum visitors who attend the Sunday Speaker Series presentation will receive a one-day ticket to the RGVLS valid from March 8 to March 18. Additionally, visitors to either the museum or the RGVLS during that time period can bring their tickets to the other venue for free admission. This Sunday’s program is included with regular museum admission. MOSTHistory is located at 200 N. Closner Blvd. Call 956-383-6911 for information.
MHS choir students head to state UIL Thirty-one members of the Mission High School (MHS) Eagle Choir participated in the recent Region XV UIL vocal solo and ensemble competition. All singers earned division 1-superior ratings from their judges. Six of the members qualified for state UIL solo and ensemble. To qualify for state, students performed a Class 1 solo. Head to state, pictured front, left to right, are Maria Pruneda, Enez Balderas and Kathryn Macias. In back are, left to right, Mayra Flores, Abraham Alaniz and Giselle Reynaga.
March 3 – Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center presents their next Hobbies in Nature program, “Hawk Watching in the Valley,” with John Brush, urban ecologist, at 3 p.m. He will present tips to find and identify hawks, what makes them a bird of prey and conduct a guided bird walk. The program fee is $5. Quinta Mazatlan is at 600 Sunset in McAllen. Call 956-681-3370 for information. March 3 – The UTRGV Geology Club presents “Geology Rocks!” at the Edinburg World Birding Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Club members will guide visitors in exploring the various components that form the earth with rock and mineral samples ranging from salts to meteorites. The EWBC is located at 714 S. Raul Longoria Rd. in Edinburg. Call 956381-9922 for information. March 3 – “Ocelot Conservation Day” will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the South Texas Discovery Center at Gladys Porter Zoo (GPZ), 500 Ringgold in Brownsville. There will be kids’ activities, information tables and exhibits featuring ocelot conservation, including appearances by a live ambassador ocelot from the Cincinnati Zoo at 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 and 2:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served ticketed basis. The event is included in the price of GPZ admission. March 4 – The Tip of Texas Orchid Society meets at 2 p.m. at the Valley Nature Center, 301 S. Border in Weslaco. This month’s speaker is Francisco Miranda of “Miranda Orchids” located in Florida. Miranda is a taxonomist, naturalist and orchid grower who travels extensively in the U.S. and internationally speaking at orchid-related events and meetings. The title of his presentation is “The genus Laelia in Brazil The Rupicolous Laelias.” Admission is $5 for nonmembers and free for members. The yearly membership fee is $20. There will be orchids for sale at the meeting and a variety of orchid supplies available for purchase. March 5 – Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center presents “Carnivore Ecology” with Sabrina Lartz at 6 p.m. Lartz will discuss carnivore physiology, behavior, predator/prey interactions, and more. The program fee is $3 per person. Quinta Mazatlan is located 600 Sunset in McAllen. For information, call 956-681-3370. March 6 – Join in the next book discussion at Speer Memorial Library in Mission, to review Ways of Going Home in the library’s Community Room at 5:30 p.m. in Spanish and at 6:30 p.m. in English. For more information, or to sign up for the book discussion, call William Renner or Rose Alvarez at 580-8754 or 580-8750, or email the library at email@example.com. The library is located at 12th and Kika De La Garza in Mission. March 9 – The next Buenas Tardes luncheon, hosted by the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce (GMCC), features Alberto Altamirano as guest speaker. It will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cimarron Country Club, 1200 S. Shary Rd. in Mission. Tickets for the luncheon are $20 in advance or $25 at the door on a first come, first served basis. Spaces are limited. Arrive early to ensure seating. For tickets or information, contact the GMCC at 956-585-2727 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. March 10 – From 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., volunteers are needed at the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife to plant seedlings to create more thornscrub forest habitat. Bring work gloves, shovel, sturdy shoes/boots, water bottle, sunscreen and hat. Water refills and snacks will be provided. Go to fws.gov/ refuge/Laguna_Atascosa, or call 956-748-3607 for updated directions. (For more Events, go to ptrgv.com.)
By Ed Sterling Texas Press Association
STATE CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS Governor orders action to address safety at schools
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Feb. 21 sent a letter to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath ordering immediate action to ensure the safety of children in Texas schools following the multi-fatality shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school on Feb. 14. Abbott listed steps for Morath and other state education leaders to take to respond to and prevent such tragedies, including: — Catalog and share all available information from the Texas School Safety Center on school safety programs and distribute this information to all school districts, charter schools and education service centers across the state; — Ensure that all Texas public schools have completed their statutorily required school safety audits and have submitted confirmation of these audits to the Texas School Safety Center; — Publish on the Texas Education Agency website and via agency press release a list of any school districts that have not completed the statutory requirements referenced in point two above within 45 days; and — Work with the Texas School Safety Center, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the governor’s office to draft recommendations to the Texas Legislature on changes to the school safety architecture of our state. “All of Texas grieves the tragedy that occurred in Parkland last week. As governor, I take seriously the safety of all Texas residents, and as an American, I mourn the loss of 17 Floridians in a cruel and senseless act of violence. Immediate steps must be taken to keep our students and communities safe, with the understanding that more will be expected in
March 2, 2018
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the future,” Abbott said. State laws allow marshals Acknowledgement of the threat of school shootings came years ago in the form of House Bill 1009, a law passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature in 2013. The law allows public school districts and open enrollment charter schools to appoint school marshals. In 2015, the 84th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 386, to include public two-year junior colleges in the list of institutions that can appoint school marshals. And, in 2017, the 85th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 867, a law that allows private schools to appoint school marshals. According to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, “The sole purpose of a school marshal is to prevent the act of murder or serious bodily injury on school premises and act only as defined by the written regulations adopted by the school board/governing body.” Abbott spares prison inmate Shortly before state prison inmate Thomas Bartlett Whitaker, 38, was scheduled to die by lethal injection on Feb. 22, Gov. Abbott signed a proclamation commuting the death sentence to life in prison without possibility of parole. Abbott, in making the proclamation, agreed with a recommendation by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Whitaker was convicted and sentenced in 2008 for conspiring to kill his parents and brother, but he did not shoot the gun that caused the murders of his mother and brother. DPS drone program debuts The Texas Department of Public Safety on Feb. 15
announced the launch of its “unmanned aerial systems” program. Small, unmanned aerial vehicles, generically referred to as “drones” will be used for a variety of public safety missions across Texas, including flight missions related to officer safety, search and rescue, disaster support, aerial observation support, crash reconstruction, crime scene photography and communication tower inspections. So far, the DPS said, the program’s fleet includes 17 unmanned aerial systems costing the state an estimated $70,000 and paid for with existing funding, grant funding or seized funds. AG pursues elder fraud Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Feb. 23 announced that his office joined the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Association of Attorneys General in “the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history.” The multi-state actions charged a variety of fraud schemes, ranging from mass mailing, telemarketing and investment frauds to individual incidences of identity theft and theft by guardians. “Anyone can be a victim of fraud, but senior citizens are targeted more often by scammers seeking to exploit someone for a quick buck,” Paxton said. “Today’s action is one of many steps my office has taken in the fight to protecting elderly Texans whose financial well-being is compromised by nefarious characters,” he added. Joining Texas in the coalition are the U.S. Department of Justice, Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oregon and South Dakota.
Federal Indictment on Judge Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado Released By Dave Hendricks A federal grand jury indicted state District Judge Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado on six felony charges Wednesday. The indictment charges Delgado with three counts of federal program bribery and three counts of violating the federal Travel Act. “Judge Delgado is innocent and we will be fighting the charges,” said attorney Michael McCrum of San Antonio, who represents Delgado. “He has served the community for many years and never before has anything like this been alleged. So we look forward to having his day in court.” Federal agents arrested Delgado on Feb. 2 during a traffic stop in Jim Wells
County, according to records released by the Texas Department of Public Safety. FBI agents also executed simultaneous search warrants at the judge’s home and courtroom. The indictment provides new details about the bribery allegations against Delgado. An attorney — identified in the indictment as “Attorney A” — bribed Delgado to set personal recognizance bonds for clients accused of probation violations, according to the indictment. Delgado accepted a $260 bribe in December 2016 and another $260 bribe in November 2017, according to the indictment. Delgado also accepted $5,500 bribe in January 2018, according to the indictment. After accepting the third
bribe, though, Delgado sent the attorney a text message. In the text message, Delgado said he couldn’t accept campaign contributions in cash and asked the attorney to write a check, according to the criminal complaint against him. Along with the three bribery charges, the indictment charges Delgado with three counts of violating the Travel Act. Delgado violated the Travel Act by knowingly and willfully using a telephone to facilitate the bribery, according to the indictment. If convicted, Delgado faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for each bribery charge and five years in prison on each Travel Act charge. Check back for updates.
A New Week and Another Methamphetamine Smuggling Attempt From U.S. Customs and Border Protection
FALFURRIAS, Texas – On Friday, Febraury 23, agents assigned to the Falfurrias Checkpoint were conducting immigration inspections when a Dodge Durango, occupied by two United States citizens, approached the primary inspec-
tion lane. During inspection, the vehicle was referred to the secondary area after a Border Patrol K9 alerted. Agents discovered two bundles of methamphetamine weighing over 35 pounds with an estimated street value of nearly $1.2M. The driver and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Last week the RGV Communications Branch sent the attached news release highlighting a similar attempt on Saturday, February 17, where Falfurrias agents seized more than $1.1M worth of methamphetamine.
The drugs are worth an estimated $969K. The driver and juvenile passenger, both United States citizens, were apprehended at the scene and will face narcotic smuggling charges levied by the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office. “Juveniles in our community are being exploited. They are making decisions that put themselves at risk and they don’t understand the consequences,” said Patrol Agent in Charge Le-
tisia Camarillo of the Fort Brown Station.“Juveniles are viewed as cheap and disposable labor, a means for cartels to push their illicit product. They constantly recruit to replace kids that are arrested and prosecuted. It’s a horrific cycle and we need to come together to educate our children about the consequences.” The marijuana was turned over the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Teenager caught smuggling $1M worth of marijuana From U.S. Customs and Border Protection
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – On Thursday, February 22, 2018, agents assigned to the Fort Brown Border Patrol Station observed a vehicle leaving the Rio Grande at a high rate of speed. As agents responded, they discovered the driver had lost control and rolled the vehicle. 52 bundles of marijuana, weighing over 1,200 pounds, were found with the vehicle.
The public is encouraged to take a stand against crime in their communities and to help save lives by reporting suspicious activity at 800-863-9382. Please visit www.cbp.gov to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection. Follow us on Twitter at @CBPRGV.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.
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March 2, 2018
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Richard Cortez: The Right Choice for Hidalgo County Judge Special for Progress Times
With deep roots in Hidalgo County, life-long Democrat Richard Cortez has been making life better for our community and families over his long history of dedicated and proven public service. He has served as Mayor of McAllen, McAllen City Commissioner for District 1, and now is running for Judge of Hidalgo County. Cortez was born in Mercedes, Texas and raised in Weslaco. He is a graduate of Weslaco High School and Pan American College, now the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.). A life-long resident of Hidalgo County, he has lived in McAllen for over 33 years, serving his community in a variety of leadership roles. Together with his late wife Elva (Longoria), he raised four children: Rick, Sandy, Jay, and Laura. He is a proud grandfather of eleven grandchildren. As a respected professional, community leader, and family man, Cortez possesses a strong commitment to helping his community, a firm dedication to the values of honesty, integrity, and fiscal responsibility, and the necessary leadership skills to make profound and positive growth and improvements in our area. Cortez thrives on teamwork, collaboration, and uniting people from all areas to work together to achieve one common goal and purpose. Cortez plans to bring momentum and proven leadership to Hidalgo County as our next Hidalgo County Judge. There is much critical work to be done to ensure our residents and communities have the infrastructure, economic development, and services needed to thrive in our ever-growing region. While Cortez has big plans for our county, he will continue to safeguard your tax dollars, and is committed to not raising the property tax rate. As County Judge, Cortez will work hard every day to improve quality of life by focusing on infrastructure, roads, and drainage; enhancing educational, employment, and healthcare opportunities; and promoting economic opportunities so
that we can live, work, and raise our families in the best environment possible. Cortez has the vision, dedication, and commitment to continue making Hidalgo County a leader in our state, in our nation, and in the international arena, and will be a Judge that Hidalgo County needs. Hidalgo County families deserve a strong voice at the table to increase access to funding and resources that are imperative to meet the demands of our continued growth. Cortez is prepared to work hand-in-hand with our state and federal leaders and to advocate and fight for our fair share of what our Hidalgo County families deserve – educational opportunities,
Richard Cortez skills training and workforce development, higher-paying jobs, funding for infrastructure projects, and more. Cortez is against any increase in property tax rates. By effectively and efficiently managing county funds with a sharp eye on the bottom line, Cortez believes the county can fulfill its obligations and work to expand county services by keeping taxes low, without placing an undue burden on our taxpayers and families. Infrastructure, roads, and drainage systems are critical components of a county’s responsibility to its citizens. Cortez is committed to working with county commissioners to ensure that county infrastructure systems are functional, sustainable and prepared for future growth. Cortez believes that leaders at the local level must take action now to be prepared with adequate and sufficient flood prevention and mitigation plans. An important factor is the construction of the Raymondville Drain, which will alleviate flooding issues in low-lying
areas of the county. Cortez also believes in innovative solutions to prevent flooding such as city/school retention pond parks that were created during his tenure as Mayor in McAllen. Cortez is committed to promoting our area and making Hidalgo County attractive for new industries. Smaller, rural communities may not have the available resources and expertise as larger cities, but Cortez believes that Hidalgo County can provide the necessary assistance and resources for smaller communities to be competitive, grow their economies, and provide more opportunities for prosperity for all residents. Our population surge in recent years will help us with increased access to federal resources and funding. Cortez is committed to working together through intensive outreach and education among residents, especially in rural areas, to ensure that every person in Hidalgo County is accurately counted in the 2020 Census. Cortez is fully committed to continuing fulfilling Hidalgo County’s obligation to provide quality healthcare for indigent families that qualify at 21% of the federal poverty level, as required by law. He is against any proposition that will increase taxes and burden our taxpayers. Proper planning and foresight must be considered when evaluating and addressing our county transportation needs. Hidalgo County needs a strong voice at the state and federal levels to advocate for our fair share of transportation and infrastructure funding. Cortez wholeheartedly supports the efforts of our local law enforcement and our state and federal agency partners. As County Judge, Cortez will continue to partner with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and officials to keep Hidalgo County safe. Based on his experience, knowledge and desire to serve his community and make it better for future generations, Richard Cortez is a ready and willing servant leader and will be the County Judge that our Hidalgo County families deserve. Vote with confidence in a public leader we can believe in. Vote Richard Cortez for Hidalgo County Judge!
Former Judge Arnaldo Corpus seeking Justice of the Peace Pct. 3 Pl. 2 Special for Progress Times
Former Judge Arnaldo Corpus speaks with great pride as he jubilantly regales a story of a phone call received from a young man who once stood before goes court. The phone call was a token of gratitude. The young man who once stood before then Judge Corpus as a truancy violator and revived a judge’s wisdom and advice. Years later, after graduating from a University, he called to thank the one person he attributed with turning his life around. This story is a familiar one for the mission native who is long standing staple of this community. A once appointed member of State Juvenile Delinquency Board, Arnaldo Corpus sat as a board member for six years staying abreast of all prevalent and new laws to help curb juvenile delinquency. In the time he presided over such hearings, it was his personal involvement, his aptitude and his advice that even today makes him the benefactor of the accolades bestowed upon him by those he once presided over. “It is my greatest pride, my honor, to be called by student thanking me for my advice and help during their difficult time as truancy violators.” Says corpus, :it is an incomparable feeling when I am told that they are graduating from a college or university knowing that in some way I helped them achieve what they once thought was an unattainable goal”. Former Judge Arnaldo Corpus returned to the political forefront next spring, announcing his candidacy for the judicial office of Hidalgo County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 place 2. For 16 years, the former judge presided as Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3 Place 1 for Hidalgo County. It is an office he knows well. He also served 6 years as an appointee to the State Justice of the Peace and Constable Education Committee, during which time was assigned as a lecturer to educate all Justice of the Peace representing the state to obtain the mandatory 20 hour of certification necessary to continue
in their elected roles. His six year tenure as an appointed member of the state Juvenile Delinquency Board served to further broaden his scope of knowledge as it pertains to Juvenile Law. A vested Justice of the Peace since the turn of the century, Arnaldo Corpus brings with his candidacy not only imitable experience, but also an unshakeable commitment to law and order for the citizens of precinct 3. “in the end, as public officials, we are who we represent. I believe this whole-heartedly. Every citizen of the precinct 3 has a right to be heard regardless of the circumstance, whether it be a civil or criminal dispute.” The former judge
Arnaldo Corpus is insistent in his proclamation; he speaks with a matter of fact confidence. “My policy has always been of an open door. My intent is to make myself available to all citizens if they so request it. Being heard as citizen in matters of the law is their inalienable right”. A son of Mission, Arnaldo Corpus was born in Mission Texas to Guadalupe and Eva Corpus. His paternal grandparents, Urbano and Maria Corpus were a pioneering family of the City of Mission. Arnaldo Corpus sought out at an early age to serve the community he called home. He attended and graduated from Mission High School. He went on to study at Pan American University and later attended South Texas Jury College in Houston, Texas. He was to return to his native Mission to serve as a presiding Justice for 16 years. In Addition to the aforementioned credentials, the former judge also served as Vice Chairman of the Hidalgo County Manpower Board and was a
member of the Mission Junior Chamber of Commerce. He is currently married to his wife of 17 years, Ester Olivarez. Corpus has 45 children, Karla, Lorena, Ramon, and Kevin. Arnaldo Corpus is cornerstone of the City of Mission. He has served this community his entire life. He has formed and maintained a political legacy with an uncompromising work ethic, trusted leadership and an unrivaled knowledge for the office he represents. He is well known even by those who only know hi of him. He has developed this reputation by always being available to share his wisdom and offer his help to those who seek it. With his political pedigree and his experience, the former judge is ready to assume all responsibilities the bench comes with from day one. He is ready to answer to any civil or criminal dispute. He is ready to preside over a trial by jury. “Helping other is the way I give back to a community that has been so good to me,” say Corpus, “I can think of no better way to offer what help I can give then by returning to what I know best. Those who know me, know that they can give then by returning to what I know best. Those who know me, know that they can trust me to be fair, to be compassionate, and essentially do everything I can offer to rapid resolution to their concerns. I have been here before and I worked day and night for this community, and I feel it is time to do it once again.” For 16 years, Arnaldo Corpus symbolically fathered the citizens of precinct 3 in several facets, so much so, that to the day, it is not uncommon for a letter, email or phone call be received by the judge from someone offering their appreciation because he advised or helped them, and now they are on a better path. “That,” says the Judge “is its own reward”. Arnaldo Corpus is once again seeking the position of Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3, now Place 2., Humbly asks for your vote and support. He brings his independent candidacy his courtroom experience, both as a Judge and a lecturer, his work ethic, his integrity and his wisdom.
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Covering Mission, Veterans Memorial, Sharyland, Pioneer, La Joya, Palmview & Juarez-Lincoln Sports
Feel the burn as the soccer playoff races heat up
By Luciano Guerra With the District 30-6A and 31-5A soccer seasons winding down, 10 of the 14 Big 7 schools’ boys and girls soccer teams remain in control of their own playoff destinies. Broken down by district, the 30-6A boys’ teams are faring the best, but broken down by school district, the Sharyland ISD teams are sitting the prettiest, in regards to the likelihood of qualifying for post-season play. Here we will take a look at each of the four districts, two boys’ and two girls’, involving Big 7 teams and how the 14 teams are faring, as only two weeks remain in regular season play. But first, for the benefit of those that may not be as familiar with soccer as they are with other team sports, let’s take a look at the rather unique way the district standings and playoff qualifiers are determined in soccer. Unlike most team sports in which it is won-loss records that determine how teams line up in the standings and which teams qualify for the playoffs, in soccer it is the accumulation of points
the teams earn throughout the season that determines both of these. When a district game ends in regulation, the winning team gets three points and the losing team gets none. However when the outcome of a game that is tied at the end of regulation is decided by a shootout, the winning team gets two points and the losing team gets one. That is why it is possible in high school soccer for one team to finish the regular season with a better won-loss record than another team but still finish behind that team in the standings. Now, let’s take a look at the four districts involving Big 7 teams and how they’re stacking up as the playoffs loom right around the corner. District 30-6A – Boys Of the four districts, there is only one in which it’s looking more and more likely as if every Big 7 team in that district will qualify for the playoffs; the 30-6A boys district. That’s because as of the end of Tuesday night’s games, the four top spots in that district are being occupied by Big 7 teams; Juarez-Lincoln (7-1, 21 pts), Mission (5-3, 16 pts), La Joya (5-3, 16 pts) and Palm-
view (4-4, 11 pts) while the bottom three spots are being occupied by the three McAllen teams, Memorial (3-5, 8 pts), Nikki Rowe (2-5, 6 pts) and McAllen High (1-6, 3 pts). While there are no guarantees that this is the way the district will end up, with only four games remaining in most of these teams’ district schedules, it is very likely that at least three of the Big 7 teams will hold on to one of the top four spots and qualify for post-season play. If any of the McAllen teams are going to displace a Big 7 team in the top four, it will most likely be Memorial beating out Palmview for fourth place. As for the district championship, Juarez-Lincoln is in the driver’s seat as the Huskies look to not only qualify for post-season play, but also to make another run at the 6A state championship game as they came within one win of playing in last year. Their remaining district schedule includes Mission High, McAllen High, La Joya and McAllen Memorial. District 30-6A – Girls While the 30-6A Big 7 boys’ teams are dominating
the three McAllen teams, the opposite is the case when it comes to the 30-6A Big 7 girls teams. That’s because the three McAllen teams are currently occupying the top three spots in the district while the four Big 7 teams are occupying fourth through seventh places. Through Tuesday night’s games, McAllen High (7-0) and McAllen Memorial (71) are tied for first place with 21 points each, Nikki Rowe (5-2) is in third place with 15 points, Juarez-Lincoln (4-4) is in fourth with 12 points, La Joya (3-5) is in fifth place with nine points, Mission (17) is in sixth place with three points and Palmview (0-8) is in last place with no points. Last year, the Lady Huskies were the only Big 7 306A girls team to make the playoffs. They were district runner-ups with a 9-3 record and 26 points. Seeing as how they’re currently occupying fourth place in the district, they are the most likely 306A Big 7 girls team to make the playoffs this year. However, the Lady Coyotes could still get in; especially if they defeat the Lady Huskies in their second round match-up, a week from today.
District 31-5A – Boys With only two weeks remaining in district play, the Valley View Tigers (11-0, 32 pts) have the 31-5A district title all but wrapped up. While the Sharyland Rattlers (8-3, 25 pts) and the Pioneer Diamondbacks (7-5, 23 pts) are both theoretically still within striking distance of the top spot, it is highly unlikely that the Tigers will allow anybody to knock them off the top of the District 315A hill this late in the season. The good news for the Rattlers and the Diamondbacks is that they both control their own playoff destinies. While Laredo Martin (6-6, 19 pts), Mission Veterans (6-5, 18 pts) and Roma (6-5 18 pts), could possibly move up into second or third place should they win-out, those three teams will most likely be battling it out for fourth place and the district’s final playoff spot. Laredo Cigarroa (4-8, 12 pts), Laredo Nixon (3-8, nine pts) and Rio Grande City (0-11, 0 pts) are currently occupying the bottom three spots in the standings. Of the three Big 7 teams in this district, the Sharyland Rattlers are the only one to
make the playoffs last year. District 31-5A – Girls The big question in this district is which Sharyland team will emerge as champs. With 31 points, the Sharyland Lady Rattlers (10-1) are currently alone atop the standings but with 29 points the Lady Diamondbacks (101) are nipping at their heels. Their second round match-up this coming Tuesday, could very well decide which team will win the title and which will have to settle for no better than second place. While Pioneer did win the first round match-up between these two teams, they did so in a shootout so they only gained a one point advantage in the standings. Since then the Lady Rattlers have gone undefeated while the Lady Diamondbacks lost to Laredo Martin to drop them back into second place. With 25 points Martin (84) is currently in third place while Roma (8-4) is in fourth with 24 points. The only other Big 7 team in the district is Mission Veterans (4-8), and the Lady Patriots are pretty much out of the playoff picture with 11 points.
chanting in unison, cheerleaders cheering their team on and families lining the fence waiting after games to congratulate the pride of Juarez-Lincoln with highfives.
After making an appearance in last year’s 6A Soccer State Tournament, the Huskies have grown so popular even students from other schools make the trip to see Juarez-Lincoln take the field.
“The last players from Juarez-Lincoln left a great legacy and now everybody supports us because we went to the state tournament and it feels amazing having their support,” said senior Manuel Castrejon, last year’s District 30-6A Most Valuable Player. “I’m very happy we have
this support. People from other schools come and see us and that’s what I’m really shocked at. It’s amazing that we’re the ones that everybody’s looking at.” The Huskies proved why all eyes are rightfully on them as the 30-6A leaders continued to stroll through
district play Tuesday night with a 6-0 win over the rival Palmview Lobos. Juarez-Lincoln scored three goals in each half as Castrejon broke the scoring seal six minutes into the game with a lob into the box
Juarez-Lincoln Huskies eyeing return to state Huskies back at full-strength in 30-6A
By Bryan Ramos The crowd at Juarez-Lincoln Husky soccer games has grown in size over the last few years. There you’ll see a lively student section
Juarez-Lincoln’s Sergio Escareno is surrounded by Palmview defenders as he prepares to kick the ball during the first half of the Huskies’ 6-0 win over the Lobos Tuesday night. Progress Times photo by Luciano Guerra
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that travelled so well, it went over the Palmview goalkeepers head for the Huskies first points. 20 seconds later, the Huskies were at it again as Johan Arevalo scored from 20 yards out. Senior forward Gerardo Reyes got in on the scoring action to close the first half on a free kick from 32 yards away. The Huskies kept the pressure on in the second half, playing most of the game on Palmview’s side of the field. Juan Castillo punched in a ball that was deflected by the Palmview goalkeeper, leaving an open net for him to find. Reyes scored his second goal of the game after beating three
the Center for Education and Economic Development (CEED) building. Alex Meade, Mission EDC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, kicked off the event with a brief introduction of what was to come. “Innovation is typically something that people think happens in large communities and only large communities,” Meade said. “But the fact is that it’s happening everywhere throughout this country, large or small. And sometimes, the innovation is taking place more often in smaller communities because we’re having to learn how to do more with less.” Meade said that doing more with less comes with improvising and coming up with alternative solutions for the problems that larger communities sometimes take for granted. “The Valley has always been known as an area with low income, low education, so therefore the companies that we recruited, the things that we’ve done in the Valley have always been things that we can do with our hands,” Meade said. “We’ve never been looked at as a community or as a region that can work with our minds. The Valley is growing, and now we’re starting to see more innovation take place in communities like ours.” Meade used the CEED building as an example of how the RGV has been changing. The building, newly renovated, used to be a K-Mart, then a Converse facility, and then a ropa usada warehouse. Now, he says the EDC is there to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship. “For us to be having these discussions, I think it allows us to prove that we are an innovative community,” Meade said. “Despite the fact that we’ve had all the odds against us, the region is very innovative.” Cristina Garza, the Mission EDC Program Director, organized the event with help from Cityflag, a company based in San Antonio that is part of the EDC’s current Expert in Residence Program. The two pooled their resources and contacts in order to coordinate the summit. Alberto Altamirano, the CEO and co-founder of Cityflag, spoke about the difficulty of getting people excited about civic innovation. “Sometimes it’s challenging to talk about civic engagement or civic innovation in Texas, because some people get it and some people don’t,” Altamirano said. “So the challenge is there, but you’ve got to push those boundaries.” Garza said that the event took about three months to plan everything, and the result was due to all the hard work everyone involved put into it. The event sold out, with a few more people showing up than expected, allowing for a cool 100 to 150 total people in attendance. Garza said the summit was meant to promote local innovation, foster a more resilient community and share networks with people from across the state and country. “I think what matters to us is, how do we get creative with what our city provides?” Garza said. “What is our community? How do we engage people? How do we promote entrepreneurship? How do we make tech and tech education more accessible? So these are all the things we are thinking about when we talk about building
www.ptrgv.com | www.strgv.com Lobo defenders and Javier Torres scored the Huskies final goal with a strike from nearly 30 yards out. Juarez-Lincoln boys’ Head Coach Victor Ramos said his team was injured early in district play as they were down four key pieces, but are now healthy again and putting on a goal-scoring clinic. “The kids are playing great; six goals, what can I say?,” said Ramos. “It was a great game for us and we needed this game to play better. We had four or five injuries in the first district games. Now, we’re healthy and you could tell, we’ve had a lot of goals in the last four
from pg. 6 or five games. The key is in this long season is to just be healthy.” Reyes, who was named last year’s District 30-6A Offensive Player of the Year, was one of the key players who missed time earlier this season with a calf injury. After his two-goal performance against Palmview, Reyes said he’s happy to be healthy again and building momentum as the Huskies ready for the playoffs. “It feels great to be scoring goals for my team again, and most of all to stay healthy, I’m grateful for that,” he said. “It’s important so we can get that momentum when we start playoffs.
a better city. So that’s where the idea of civic innovation came to be. We had to narrow down the speakers, and I thought we had very strong content.” The speakers at the summit ranged from entrepreneurs to start-ups to business owners, such as Digi.City, Geekdom, Cityflag, ULinks, the Latino Business Action Network and CompTIA. The
from pg. 1 talks included solo speakers as well as panel discussions, all of which allowed for public interaction and many questions and answers. The summit also allowed for fifteen high school girls from the Mission area who are currently part of Garza’s internship program with the EDC to participate and help run the event. Garza hopes they were able to gain even
We’re looking forward to meeting the teams that await us. Our goals for this year are to go to the state tournament again and to win it.” The Juarez-Lincoln boys’ soccer team now sit comfortably atop District 30-6A at 7-1 and 21 points, six points ahead of second place Mission High. Next up for the Huskies is a meeting with the Eagles, the team who handed the banged-up Huskies their lone district loss by a score of 3-0 on Feb. 2. “It was a tough loss, we weren’t expecting that,” Castrejon said. “We’ve been working very hard and it’s sweet that we have another game coming up. We’re ready to play that game and more from this experience. CompTIA, the Texas Workforce Commission, Sequel Data Systems Inc., Jitterz and Whataburger partnered with the EDC to make this event a success. With more than 20 talks and panels covering various topics to choose from, and 30 speakers, there were several opportunities for people to share insight and information. “There’s clearly this energy that we just need to change the perspective of how we’re seeing this region, and we need to see it with fresh eyes, and with the eyes of opportunity and the eyes of the potential that this land has,” Garza said. “The content and the quality of the content that was here is the same or even better than what you would find at South by [South by Southwest]. And that says a lot about who we are here, that this is something that, that we are the kind of people that appreciate it, us in the Valley. We want this, we can have these types of conferences and that we can have these ideas as well. Because there’s nothing stopping us from being the next Austin.”
we’ve worked harder and we’re stronger, I believe.” The Huskies and the Eagles will face-off Friday at 6 p.m. at La Joya Pack Stadium. The Juarez-Lincoln Lady Huskies were just as dominant in their matchup with Palmview Tuesday night as they came through with a 7-1 win. Melanie Olivares found the back of the net four times, while Pricila Hernandez scored two goals and Ashley Segura scored one. With the win, the Lady Huskies improve to 4-4 in district play with nine points, putting them in sole possession of fourth place after La Joya lost to Memorial 4-0 on Tuesday.
The Lady Huskies have four games remaining in the regular season and put themselves in position to claim the final of four playoff spots up for grabs in District 306A. Over the next two weeks, the Lady Huskies will face three playoff contenders, including the first and second place teams in 30-6A. The action kicks off 8 p.m. Friday as Juarez-Lincoln hosts the Mission Lady Eagles (1-7, 3 points) at La Joya Pack Stadium, followed by matchups with McAllen High (7-0, 21 points) on March 6, La Joya (3-5, 9 points) on March 9, and McAllen Memorial (7-1, 21 points) on March 20.
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JoAnne Garcia seeking election for Hidalgo County Probate Court
Nora Longoria running for re-election for 13th Court of Appeals Special for Progress Times
Justice Nora Longoria, who currently sits on the 13th Court of Appeals, has announced her intention to seek reelection in 2018. She is unopposed in the Democratic primary, but faces a challenger in November. Her opponent is Greg Perkes, a lawyer from Corpus. Justice Longoria was born in Edinburg, Texas on December 10, 1964. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leo and Mary Longoria. Nora attended elementary and high schools in Edinburg, Texas. She attended Texas A&M University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and is a proud Texas Aggie, Class of ’87. Justice Longoria is also a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, J.D. 1990, and is also proud to be a Texas Longhorn. Prior to taking the bench, Longoria practiced in a private practice for over 20 years, representing clients from all walks of life. Before taking the bench, she was a name partner with the McAllen law firm of Hocke-
ma and Longoria, LLP. Since being sworn in on January of 2013, Justice Longoria has served as your
Nora Longoria Justice on the Court of Appeals, Place 2, which has jurisdiction over the following 20 counties: Aransas, Bee, Calhoun, Cameron, De Witt, Goliad, Gonzales, Hidalgo, Jackson, Kenedy, Kleberg, Lavaca, Live Oak, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Wharton and Willacy counties. The 13th Court of Appeals hears criminal and civil matters that are appealed from the county and district
courts throughout the 20 counties that compromise the 13th Court of Appeals. Over the last 5 years, she has authored over 550 opinions, and continues to work hard to maintain an efficient docket. Justice Longoria is a graduate of Leadership McAllen, and has served on the Hidalgo Bar Association Board of Directors. She is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a prestigious group of trial lawyers selected through a process that confirms each member to have tried at least 20 jury trials to a verdict. Her hobbies include yoga, reading, and spoiling her three dogs. Justice Longoria is up for reelection in November of 2018, and humbly asks for your vote and your support. She will be hitting the campaign trail throughout the remainder of the year and looks forward to meeting voters! For more information, visit her FB page @justicenoralongoria. Campaign volunteers are welcome. For more information, please call Patty at 956-994-8800.
Special for Progress Times
JoAnne Garcia is a member of a dynamic general practice firm, where the focus of her practice is estate planning, trusts administration, probate and guardianships. She also represents individuals and businesses in civil litigation, including personal injury and wrongful death suits, will contests and probate disputes. Her diverse background lends itself to the handling of complex matters for both defendants and plaintiffs. JoAnne is running for Judge of the Hidalgo County Probate Court, which is a court with original and exclusive jurisdiction over probate matters, guardianship cases, and mental health commitments. JoAnne is a Valley native, having been born in Weslaco and raised in Pharr. She graduated from PSJA North High School as Salutatorian of her class. JoAnne then attended the University of Texas Pan American on a full tuition scholarship, receiving her B.B.A. in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude. JoAnne received her
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law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Upon graduation, she returned to the Rio Grande
JoAnne Garcia Valley and worked as both a litigation and transactional associate at two law firms in McAllen, Texas, before she and her law partner opened their own firm, Garza Garcia, PLLC. Since the start of her legal career, JoAnne has represented many families across the State of Texas by assisting them prepare for the future with wills and trusts, guiding them as an attorney and counselor after the loss of a loved one, and supporting them as they care for disabled or incapacitated family members. “Unfortunately, we will all suffer through the loss of a loved one,” Garcia said. “Initial grief is often replaced with the stress and worry associated with paying for final expenses and distributing a decedent’s estate while adhering to the probate process. The Probate Court requires the service of a compassionate Judge, someone who upholds the law in a manner sensitive to
New generation of ambitious female candidates in Hidalgo County Special for Progress Times
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the distress suffered by families. I am ready to serve and will bring empathy, integrity, and knowledge to the bench if elected as Probate Judge.” JoAnne is active in her community and has served in leadership positions in various civic and professional organizations. She is no stranger to hard work and dedication, two traits her parents instilled in her from a young age. JoAnne is the proud mother of a beautiful and brilliant teenager, Alexia Dominique. JoAnne became a mother at a young age just shortly after graduating high school. Despite the obstacles she faced as a teenage mother, JoAnne stayed the course and completed college in just three short years, all while holding numerous part time jobs. She then attended one of the top law schools in the nation and the top law school in the state. JoAnne’s dedication demonstrates that anything is possible with hard work and determination. JoAnne loves to participate in teen outreach programs, where she passionately encourages teen parents to pursue higher education. “With the honorable Judge Homero Garza stepping down at the end of this term, the future leader of our Probate Court is up to the will of the people,” Garcia said. “I am ready to stand up for you and for families of Hidalgo County, and humbly ask you to STAND WITH ME as I begin my race to become your next Judge of the Hidalgo County Probate Court. Where there is a will, there is a way. And with your help, I will lead the way!”
Arminda “Mindy” Garza, a small Business owner and Immigration consultant, has filed for Justice of The Peace for Precinct 3, Place 2, according to a news release issued Monday. A General Education graduate at the age of 14, and a Registered Nurse Graduate from Escuela de Enfermería Dr. José Ángel Cadena y Cadena at the age of 16 , Mindy has been a single mom for a large portion of her life; Mindy is able to identify herself with residents in her jurisdiction. She is the mother of a beautiful 7 year old girl. Her resiliency in life is a testament that you can overcome any obstacle that you face in life. “I have come to learn that there are no shortcuts in life, only the path that you make for yourself.” Garza referenced to her life. “Everyone who walks into the courtroom should have a fair hearing.” Garza stated in the release. “They ought to be respected regardless of their life choices and everyone must be subjected to the
rule of law. — that’s what I believe the JP’s office represents.” “Previous office holders have taken a “shortcut” at justice accepting bribes between $1,000 and $2,000 for bond reductions, but would at times go as high as $5,000.” “We must rid ourselves of this type of corruption and favoritism within our Justice System. ” Garza added, “Justice must be impartial regardless of gender, money, influence or association. ” If elected, Garza has promised to work with county officials to add additional court hours and payment options for Pct. 3 residents. Garza Stated “ I am committed to making a positive difference to our JP Court System. We are doing something that no other Candidate or Elected official has tried before.” Garza’s filing makes her the youngest female Candidate in the State of Texas vying for Justice of The Peace, and the first person in Hidalgo County to run a GOP / JP race.
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March 2, 2018
obituaries Duane Casey MISSION – Duane J. Casey passed away on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, at his home in Mission. Mr. Casey was born on June 14, 1931, in Epworth, Iowa. He was drafted into the military in 1952, and served in Japan and Korea. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Northern Iowa, and retired as a school psychologist in Michigan. Survivors include his wife Gloria de la Vega, and brothers and sisters. Private services will be held at a later date.
Romana Ortiz Cortez February 27, 1927 February 23, 2018 We celebrate the life of Romana Cortez, of Kerrville, Texas, who passed away on February 23, 2018 in Stephenville, Texas. She was born to Apolonio Ortiz and Micaela R. Ortiz of La Grulla, Texas, on February 27th, 1927. She went to schools in La Gruella, Texas and later moved to Mission, Texas where she graduated from Mission High School. Romana met her husband and was married to him after six months of courtship. They were married 61 years until his death. She cared for him through a lengthy illness and their love is an inspiration to her family and many friends. Romana worked for the Kerrville State Hospital for many years where she also cultivated many strong friendships with her
co-workers and the patients she served. She is survived by her children which includes two sons, Sabino Cortez and his wife Richey, Javier Cortez and his wife Dyanne, and one daughter, Gloria Cortez. Romana had six grandsons, and two granddaughters which brought great joy to her. They are Israh Cortez and his wife Melissa, Josiah Cortez and his wife Kristi, Anna Cortez and her fiancé Quinton, Joaquin Cortez and his fiancée Summer, Samuel Cortez, Paule Cortez, Terisa Cortez and her fiancé Julian, and Dante Cortez. Romana was blessed with great-grandchildren who she enjoyed and loved deeply. They are Tristan, Cade, Dillon, Elijah, Gabriel, Olivia, Corri, Mia, Trinity, Mason, Maya, Juliet, Farrah, and Malachai. She leaves behind many nephews and nieces who loved her very much and who she enjoyed spending time with. They are her children, too. She loved life and all the people in it. Romana is preceded in death by the love of her life and husband, Sabino Cortez Sr.; her father, Apolonio Ortiz; her mother, Micaela R. Ortiz; and siblings, Lorenzo Ortiz, Rosa Ortiz, Abdon Ortiz, Acisla O. Rodriguez, and Eleuteria O. Rodriguez. A Rosary was for her at Grimes Funeral Chapels on Thursday, March 1, 2018, at 6 p.m. A Funeral Mass Celebration will be held at Notre Dame Catholic Church at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 2, 2018. Burial will follow at Garden of Memories Cemetery in Kerrville, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donations to the Guadalupana Lady’s Group at Notre Dame Catholic Church in Kerrville, Texas. Condolences may be sent at www.grimesfuneralchapels.com by selecting the
“Send Condolences” link. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Grimes Funeral Chapels of Kerrville. Aurora Garza PALMVIEW – Aurora Rodriguez Garza, 75, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at her home in Palmview. Survivors include her husband, Ramiro Garza; children, Ramiro Rodriguez, Javier Garza, Arturo Garza, Fernando Garza, Roberto Garza, Elena Garza and Ramona Garza; siblings, Angelina Arriola, Marcos Rodriguez, Reynaldo Rodriguez and Ramiro Rodriguez; and 14 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. Her remains were cremated. Maria Ortiz MISSION –Maria De la Luz “Lela” Ortiz, 88, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018 at Mission Regional Medical Center. Mrs. Ortiz was born to Jose and Julia Mejia in Jalisco, Mexico. Survivors include her children, Maria Gloria De Leon of Mission, Jose Reyes Ortiz Jr. of McAllen, and Ruben Ortiz, Yolanda Castaneda, Roberto Ortiz and Rene Ortiz, all of Mission; and 15 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jose Reyes Ortiz Sr.; sons, Reymundo Ortiz, Raul Ortiz and Arnulfo Ortiz; and two sisters and three brothers. A funeral mass was held on Feb. 28 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Mission. Burial followed at San Jose Cemetery in Mission. Manuela Ramon LA JOYA – Manuela Ramon, 88, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 at her home in La Joya. Mrs. Ramon was born in La Grulla, Texas, on Feb. 19, 1930, to Sotero and Cayetana Lopez. Survivors include her children, Julianita Sabala, Leandro Ramon Jr., Rogelio Ramon, Rolando Ramon, Reynaldo Ramon, Ricardo Ramon and Rebecca Ramon; siblings, Enriqueta Bor-
rego, Elida Gomez, Guadalupe Gomez, Ernestina Lopez-Ramon, Ramona Bernal, Seferino Lopez, Dagoberto Lopez and Israel Flores; and 19 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Leandro Mauro Ramon Sr.; her parents; grandson, Marco Antonio Luna; and siblings, Maria Balderas, Juliana Lopez, Jose De La Luz Lopez and Sotero Lopez Jr. A funeral mass was held on Feb. 26 at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in La Joya. Burial followed Cuevitas Cemetery. Antonio Reyna III MISSION – Antonio Reyna III, 60, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 at Pax Villa Hospice in McAllen. Survivors include his mother, Maria Guadalupe Reyna; children, Antonio IV, Hector and Jennifer Reyna from San Jose, Calif., Andy Rodriguez from El Paso and Charlie Rodriguez, Brenda and Melissa Reyna of Mission; siblings Diane Acevedo, Sylvia Del Valle, Miguel Reyna, Leticia Reyna and Richard Reyna; and 16 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father, Antonio Reyna Jr., and brothers, Francisco Manuel and Robert Reyna. A funeral mass was held on Feb. 24 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Mission. Burial followed at Valley Memorial Gardens in Mission.
CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD 2322 N. McColl. - McAllen 682-2092 CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS 5609 S 29th St. - McAllen 682-4881 CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS 2Mile & Bryan Rd Mission. CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS Missonaries • 580-2570 CHRISTIAN SCIENCE CHURCH 911 N. Main - McAllen 686-4241 CONWAY AVENUE BAPTIST CHURCH 2215 N. Conway • 585-2413 EL FARO BIBLE CHURCH 15 miles W. of Mission on Exp. 83 Sullivan City, TX • 585-5617 EL MESIAS UNITED METHODIST 209 E. 6th • 585-2334 FAITH BAPTIST CHURCH 3 miles N. Shary Rd. • 581-1465 FAITH FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH 1 mile N. Exp. 83 on Tom Gill Rd. 519-6311 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 1302 Doherty • 585-1442 FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH 12th and Miller - Mission 585-7281 FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1102 Ash St. • 585-4829 for worship schedule.
FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 1101 Doherty • 585-1665 FREEDOM LIFE CHURCH 2214 W. Griffin Pkwy. • 519-7000 Mission GRACIA DIVINA MINISTRY 11809 N. Shary Rd. • 584-3112 GREAT OAKS COMMUNITY CHURCH 2722 N. Conway • 451-5500 Mission HERITAGE BAPTIST MCALLEN 2549 Lindbergh Ave. McAllen • 451-6358 IGLESIA ADVENTISTA DEL SEPTIMO DIA 1725 W. Griffin Parkway 581-9008 IGLESIA BAUTISTA BETANIA 851 S. Breyfogle Rd. • 585-5688 IGLESIA BAUTISTA CRISTO EL REY 1600 E. Bus. 83 - Mission IGLESIA BAUTISTA COLONIAL 3713 N. La Homa Rd. • 585-5332 IGLESIA BAUTISTA DEL VALLE 217 W. Mile 3 Rd. • 424-1602 Palmhurst IGLESIA DEL PUEBLO 7500 West Expressway 83 581-1900 IGLESIA DEL DIVINO REDENTOR 1020 North Los Ebanos Rd 585-5898
IGLESIA PENTECOSTES NUEVA VIDA A/G 211 W. Mile 3 Road Palmhurst • 956-342-9711 Rev. Candelario Banda
LA RESPUESTA CHURCH 405 W. 12th Street • 585-0787 MISSION CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE 1 mi. E. 495 • 585-6683 NEW HOPE AT THE BORDER 905 N. Conway • 369-3603 NORTH MISSION CHURCH OF CHRIST 1410 E. Mile 3 Rd. • 585-0146 Palmhurst NORTH PALMVIEW APOSTOLIC CHURCH 7612 W. 6 Mile Ln. ONLY THRU JESUS 1511 E. Mile 2 Rd. Mission • 918-760-1625 OUR LADY QUEEN OF ANGELS One-half mile South Leo Avenue La Joya • 585-5223 OUR LADY OF FATIMA CHURCH 6634 El Camino Real • Granjeno OUR LADY OF LOURDES CHURCH 2.5 miles S. Conway (FM 1016) Mission OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE CATHOLIC CHURCH 620 Dunlap • 585-2623 OUR LADY OF THE HOLY ROSARY CHURCH 923 Matamoros St. • 581-2193 PALM VALLEY CHURCH 1720 E. Griffin Pkwy. 585-3203 PEÑITAS BAPTIST CHURCH 1/3 Mile S. of Exp.83 on FM 1427 583-6236 PRIMERA BAPTIST CHURCH Corner of 6th & Oblate 585-4711
Francisco Aguilar PEÑITAS – Francisco Aguilar, 43, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, at his home. Dana Englin MISSION – Dana A. Englin, 84, passed away on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, at Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen. Cruz Flores MISSION – Cruz Flores, 69, passed away on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, at Briarcliff Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in McAllen.
PROMISE LAND CHURCH 2300 E. Palm Circle (Corner of 495) Mission, TX 78572 • 624-9307 RIVER OF LIFE CHURCH 901 S. Shary Rd. (Located in the Holiday Inn Express Conference Room) 451-4838 SAN CRISTOBAL MAGALLANES & COMPANIONS PARISH
3805 Plantation Grove Blvd., Ste. 5
Mission • 580-4551
SAN MARTIN DE PORRES 5 mi. N. Conway, 1/2 Mile West Alton • 585-8001 & 585-8002 SPIRIT OF PEACE EV. LUTHERAN CHUCH 3104 Los Milagros Mission • 581-1822 ST. JOHN OF THE FIELDS CATHOLIC CHURCH 1052 Washington Ave. • 585-2325 ST. PAUL'S CATHOLIC CHURCH 1119 Francisco • 585-2701 ST. PETER & ST. PAUL EPISCOPAL CHURCH 2310 N. Stewart Rd. 585-5005 SHINING LIGHT BAPTIST CHURCH 6 1/8 N. Doffing Rd. (FM 492) 580-4078 TEMPLO BIBLICO 5 Mile/Conway 581-4981or 585-3831 TEMPLO EVANGELICO, M.B. CHURCH La Joya TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH 3905 W. 3 Mile Line • 585-3261 VALLEY FELLOWSHIP 1708 E. Griffin Parkway Mission • 424-7200
PRIMERA IGLESIA DEL VALLE APOSTOLIC ASSEMBLY 210 N. St. Marie. • 585-8651
KING, GUERRA, DAVIS & GARCIA ATTORNEYS AT LAW
DAVID H. GUERRA
Stacia Hoefer MISSION – Stacia J. Hoefer, 83, passed away on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, at Comfort House in McAllen. Marvin Jones MISSION – Marvin A. Jones, 88, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, at Solara Hospital in McAllen. Rodrigo Mendoza MISSION – Rodrigo Mendoza, 46, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, at his home.
FATHER SUES CITY
personnel or mental health crisis specialists to report to Wagon City South,” according to the lawsuit. When police Officer Jorge Cabrera arrived, David Green II had swapped the ax for a machete. “Rather than try to de-escalate the crisis, Officer Cabrera immediately drew his weapon without provocation and yelled commands while pointing his handgun at David,” according to the lawsuit. “Officer Cabrera ordered David to drop the machete. David did so within seconds.” David Green II didn’t surrender after dropping the machete. He jumped in his father’s truck and started driving through the mobile home park. Officers shot and killed David Green II after he attempted to run them over,
Antonio Reyna III MISSION – Antonio Reyna III, 60, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, at Pax Villa Hospice in McAllen. Arnoldo Rincon MISSION – Arnoldo Rincon, 55, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, in Mission. Martin Torres ALTON – Martin Torres, 82, passed away on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, at his home.
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according to information released by the Mission Police Department in February 2016. The lawsuit, though, tells a different story. An officer deliberately positioned himself in front of the truck, according to the lawsuit. Another officer shot David Green II after the truck careened off the road and struck a tree. Three officers fired their weapons during the incident. David Green II died at the scene. The lawsuit seeks damages on behalf of David Green Sr. and on behalf of David Green II’s estate. Attorney Victor Flores of McAllen, who represents David Green Sr., and Mission City Attorney Abiel Flores declined to comment on the case.
ChurCh DireCtory BREAD OF LIFE CHURCH 2820 N. Conway Ave. • 581-1411
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301 E. Tom Landry • Mission • 585-1622
MISSION AUTO ELECTRIC, INC. DBA
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915 West Bus. 83 • Mission, tX 78572 • (956) 581-7433
15 MHS FBLA students qualify for state Fifteen Mission High School (MHS) Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Chapter members have qualified for state competitions after the recent FBLA Area 4 Leadership Conference. The FBLA state leadership conference will be held in early March in Dallas. Members heading to state pictured on the front row, left to right, are Ruben Cantu, Kenya Salinas, Leslie C. Rivera, Neftaly Rivera, Yasmin Castillo and Roberto Ramirez III. On the back row, same order, are Oscar Ybarra, Juan Reyna, Ashmin Torres, Luis Munoz and Aaron Relko. Not pictured are Juan Rodriguez, Jensen Rosales, Jizzel Maldonado and Rochelle Saenz
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Alton bringing free Wi-Fi citywide By Jose De Leon III Over a month since the opening of its first ever public library, the city of Alton is continuing with its push into the digital age with a citywide project that will bring free Wi-Fi to Alton residents. Dubbed the Alton Smart City Wi-Fi Project, Alton will provide 1.5 megahertz of free Wi-Fi through the construction of service towers around town as part of a public-private partnership with the Edinburg-based company Wifirus, an Edinburg-based company, according to Steve Peña, Chief Executive Officer of the City of Alton Development Corporation. “The original intent was to get some sort of level of Wi-Fi to the kids within and outside our city jurisdiction that don’t have access to internet so they can hook up to
this and do their homework,” Peña explained. “That’s the whole premise, then it started to get bigger and this partnership happened.” As part of the partnership, Peña said the CADC would pay for the infrastructure to build service towers and antennas with a capacity of providing Wi-Fi to a service radius of 800 square feet. The first phase, currently ongoing, erected four service towers and added antennas to two existing towers around the city’s crossroads of Alton Boulevard and Mile 5 road. “So if you go to Elizondo Park, Sylvia Vela Park and our business park, you’ll get the free Wi-Fi,” Peña said, adding that the city plans to have 12 or 13 towers built in four separate phaseseach one costing around $400,000-for a total of $1.7 million. Wifirus, meanwhile will
cover operational costs in maintaining the towers, saving the city $20,000 per year, Peña said. The project would take about two to three years, Peña estimated, as more phases erect service towers throughout the city. Even with all the service towers, Peña noted that the available bandwidth won’t be able to penetrate homes or areas with too many trees. However, residents can contact Wifirus for packaged deals for stronger internet service at a discounted rate, he said. The Smart City Wi-Fi Project is part of the city’s ongoing push to bridge the digital divide amongst residents, Peña said. To accommodate that bridge, the city opened the digital and traditional library last January that is housed inside Mission Collegiate High School. The library offers a Digi-Tech
Benavides Elementary Supervisor Earns Distinguished Award Javier Hernandez, supervisor at Benavides Elementary School, was named Assistant Principal of the Year by the Region One Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. Hernandez goes above and beyond for his students every day to see them excel and evolve into the best versions of themselves, according to a press release from the La joya Independent School District. In the four years Hernandez has been at Benavides, he’s ensured that every student has school supplies at the beginning of the academic school year and a token of appreciation when the holidays roll around. With his continuing efforts, he’s seen a big change in community involvement. “The most significant change has been the acceptance from the community. Being here for the parents and listening to them really makes a difference. Parents just want to know that someone is there who will
listen to their concerns and understand where they’re coming from without being judgmental and unwelcoming,” Hernandez stated in the release. “My goal has been to solve every issue at the campus level before complaints reach central office. Parents are understanding as long as they know their concerns are being handled and resolved.” Hernandez believes that respect plays a big role and leads by example around the school and community. “Treat everyone with dignity and respect, even the child. No matter what, if you treat them like that they’ll convey that message and start to implement that same respect into their attitude towards their parents and those around them,” Hernandez said. Region One Education Service Center serves 37 school districts and 10 charter school systems across seven counties. In June, Hernandez will represent Region One in hopes of being selected as TEPSA’s Assistant
Principal of the Year along with 19 other hopefuls from regions across the state.
March 2, 2018
lab, a computer lab with 24 computers that allows access to the public to more than 13,000 books to download and read outside the library. “We are in a digital age and this is the way of the future,” Pena said of both projects.” Everything is being digitized and as you can see, when you have children in the colonias or areas with no internet service, they tend to be lacking because they can’t do their homework without internet.” The city also purchased
a $178,000 digital billboard to be placed right outside the city’s Regional Training Center to be paid off in four yearly installments, Peña said. As part of their Regional Training Center, which Peña said should open in April, the city purchased three 80-inch touchscreen monitors each valued at $2,000 that the center will use in a classroom setting, Pena said. At their Tuesday city council meeting, the city approved the purchase of new
radios and laptops for vehicles in the city’s fire and police departments valued at $83,500. “Schools are starting to push things off digitally. Books are becoming a thing of the past so we have to be ahead of that,” Peña said. “We need to invest it in our infrastructure for our service and community, it’s why we’re investing in these digital components for the city.”
By Kathy Olivarez
to have the animal spayed or neutered and to be given a chip naming its owner. Animals not rescued by local residents can be rescued by rescuers from other parts of the state or country where dogs are scarce and people are looking for dogs to adopt. Perez explained rescuers from other areas must have credentials proving they are actually rescuers in order to get dogs to take to other locations. The goal of the Pawsible Board is to see the animals have a better place to live and not have to be euthanized. The group has been working for a while, and has had several events to encourage people to adopt an animal such as the recent Museum night, where animals who were adoptable were taken to the museum to be seen and potentially find new homes. Citizens whose animals are missing or who want to adopt an animal should check the City of Mission website and look in the bottom right hand corner. Pictures of all dogs are placed there so owners can identify their pets, or future adoptees can see what dogs (and cats) are available for adoption. The site also tells where the animals were found. Following executive session, the council also approved Ordinance #4610, allowing the city to fund medical care for a firefighter whose illness is considered the be duty-related. The ordinance was approved to provide temporary relief after a firefighter’s claim was rejected by worker’s compensation insurance.
The care was approved for a time period not to exceed 18 months for personnel unable to return to work while they actively pursue a final determination on their medical claim. If a final determination is made and the claim is denied, if the firefighter returns to work, or if the firefighter fails to comply with the terms of the policy, the payments end. The Council approved a resolution for a grant application to the Office of the Governor for the AED Grant Project. If received the grant will fund a police department purchase of 30 automated external defibrillators to be used in times of cardiac trauma. A similar grant from the Office of the Governor if received would fund 13-night vision monocular scopes at no cost to the city. The Mission Police Department was authorized to accept a grant of $9764.65 for continuing education for full-time fully paid law enforcement personal in the department. The police department was authorized to enter into an interlocal agreement with Rio Grande Valley Communications Group to install a P25 radio antenna system at the intersection of Military Highway and Bryan Road. Solicitation of bids to add a room to the Upper Valley Art League building were approved. A request to use facilities at Mission City Hall for the May 5 election for the AGUA SUD Board of Directors was approved.
Council appoints Mission Pawsible Advisory Board
In an effort to make life better for four-legged Missionites, the Mission City Council officially appointed a Pawsible Advisory Board in the Monday, Feb. 26, council meeting. The five voting members appointed to the board, who have served on the committee for one year, will serve two terms. The members are Rosie Olivarez, Tina Lewis, Homer Garza, Yvonne Perez and Nathlie Watteau. According to Perez, they represent a group of citizens who became concerned about the number of animals being euthanized by the City of Mission and Palmview several years ago. When they went to talk to city staff about the problem, they were invited to be a part of the solution. Although it has taken five years to come up with a viable plan to protect Mission’s four-legged citizens, several changes have been made to give them a better chance for a good life. Perez said there are three main components to the program. One is education. Members of Pawsible will be going into the schools to educate children about the program. Proper care of animals will be stressed. The second component is the rescue of animals. People who have lost their animals should check the Pawsible website to see if their animal has been picked up. Animals who are not rescued by their owners can choose an animal to adopt. There is $50 fee for adoption. Part of the fee goes toward a certificate
March 2, 2018
Palmview holds first ever Job Fair
By Jamie Treviño Palmview natives seeking employment outside of the city’s usual job spheres gathered at the Parks and Recreation Building to meet 46 potential employers. This Wednesday, the Palmview Chamber of Commerce along with Workforce Solutions held Palmview’s first ever job fair for the community. Roughly [INSERT NUMBER] people from across the city attended the event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Diana M. Garcia, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, was in attendance that day, and spoke about its importance to the people in the area. “Workforce and the Chamber got together and
they both decided that this would be a great event for our city,” Diana M. Garcia said. “It’s all to help these employment seekers. So we’ve been working really hard to plan all this.” She, and Palmview City Council Member Linda Sarabia, said that residents should see the other options for employment outside the school district and the city, because the city has a variety of jobs to offer. “We need to be on the map,” Diana M. Garcia said. “We’ve got H-E-B, we’ve got U.S. Customs, Walmart, New York Life [Insurance Company]. We have other places that people can look.” “There’s more options,” Sarabia said. “I think that’s what we wanted to show-
case, because a lot of people think that the only source of employment in our area is from the public entities like the school and the city, but, it’s not so, there’s more. And sometimes it’s just because
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TRUCK 3/4 or 1 ton diesel dually truck, young woman wants good Texas truck to take North, must be in good shape and mechanically sound, call 810-965-0739. For Rent COUNTRY HOME FOR rent in Delmita, TX, 1 1/2 bedroom, 1 bath, refrigerator, stove, for more information call 956844-8168 or 956432-2437. For Sale HOUSE FOR SALE, 1 bedroom/1 bath frame home to be moved, good condition, call 956-5854751 for more information. 2009 KYMCO
ORDINANCE NO. 4601 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MISSION, TEXAS GRANTING A REZONING OF A 6.01 ACRE TRACT OF LAND OUT OF LOT 26-12, WEST ADDITION TO SHARYLAND SUBDIVISION, FROM AO-I (AGRICULTURAL OPEN INTERIM) TO R-1A (LARGE LOT SINGE FAMILY) READ, CONSIDERED AND PASSED, THIS THE 26th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2018. Norberto Salinas, Mayor Attest: Anna Carrillo, City Secretary
ORDINANCE NO. 4602 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MISSION, TEXAS GRANTING A REZONING THE EAST 5 ACRES OF THE NORTH 10.0 ACRES OF THE SOUTH 20 ACRES OF LOT 27-8, WEST ADDITION TO SHARYLAND SUBDIVISION, FROM AO-I (AGRICULTURAL OPEN INTERIM) TO R-1 (SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL) READ, CONSIDERED AND PASSED, THIS THE 26th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2018. Norberto Salinas, Mayor Attest: Anna Carrillo, City Secretary
PUBLIC NOTICE The Mission Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a Regular Meeting on March 14, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers, 1201 East 8th Street, Mission, Texas in order to consider the following: Rezoning: 3.0 acres out of Lot 28-6, West Addition to Sharyland Subdivision, from AO-I (Agricultural Open Interim) to C-3 (General Business); and Rezoning: Lot 6, Block 195, Mission Original Townsite Subdivision, from R-1 (Single Family Residential) 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
it’s hard to find these companies, so we wanted to make it very accessible and convenient to them.” The event, which, according to Diana M. Garcia, took six weeks to plan, included
Representatives from Spectrum, and other vendors, speak to potential employees about job opportunities. Progress Times photo by Jamie Treviño.
this page is your oyster opening up to a world of opportunity Autos
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250cc motorcycle, $1,500, call 956259-9611 for more information. WHEELCHAIR RAMP FOR sale, brand EZ Access Pathway, 3G modular aluminum, 4 6’ sections, 3 platforms, free standing rails, supports hardware, adjustable, one yr. old, original price $6,000, asking $1,750, call 402-314-7241. TRANSPOWER HEAVY DUTY wood shaper Model SP860, mfg. 1997, 3HP, 220 volt, used very little, misc. parts and cutters, Mcallen, TX, call 763-242-8251. H O N D A
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G O L D W I N G TRIKE, beautiful red Trike equipped with most options, even GPS, comes with new red matching trailer to transport it on, $23,900 for both, will sell Trike separately, call 573-348-9640. 1996 AMERICAN CRUISER class B 360 Dodge, good condition, new tires, 3 way refrigerator, bathroom , cab roof air, $6,900, call 218-310-8682. Miscellaneous 250 GALLON PROPANE tank with regulator, good condition, no rust, call 956585-4751 for
ORDINANCE NO. 4603 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MISSION, TEXAS GRANTING A REZONING OF A TRACT OF LAND CONTAINING 73.087 ACRES OF LAND BEING A PART OR PORTION OF THE SOUTHERN PART OF PORCION 52, FROM PUD (RESIDENTIAL) TO PUD (PUBLIC) (NON-RESIDENTIAL) READ, CONSIDERED AND PASSED, THIS THE 26th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2018. Norberto Salinas, Mayor Attest: Anna Carrillo, City Secretary
ORDINANCE NO. 4604 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MISSION, TEXAS GRANTING A REZONING 0.59 ACRES OUT OF THE NORTH 1.35 ACRES OUT OF LOT 202, JOHN H. SHARY SUBDIVISION & THE EAST 0.41 ACRES OUT OF THE WEST 11.80 ACRES OUT OF LOT 202, JOHN H. SHARY SUBDIVISION, FROM C-1 (OFFICE BUILDING) TO C-4 (HEAVY COMMERCIAL) READ, CONSIDERED AND PASSED, THIS THE 26th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2018. Norberto Salinas, Mayor Attest: Anna Carrillo, City Secretary
PUBLIC NOTICE The Mission City Council will hold a Regular Meeting on March 12, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers, 1201 East 8th Street, Mission, Texas in order to consider the following: Rezoning: 0.72 acre more or less, out of Lots 15-7 & 15-8, West Addition of Sharyland (aka being Tract 30, Melba Carter U/R Subdivision & Lot 30, Earnhard U/R Subdivision), from R-1 (Single Family Residential) to C-3 (General Business); and Rezoning: Lots 1 & 2, Block 61, Mission Original Townsite Subdivision, from R-1 (Single Family Residential) to C-2 (Neighborhood Commercial) 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
Services APPLIANCE REPAIR & H A N D Y M A N services for most brands, call Don, 60 years experience, call 956-584-7817. NIKKY CARPET
employers from Spectrum, Ticket Master, South Texas College, Bert Ogden, the Department of Public Safety, and several others. Diego Garcia, a Business Solution Representative from Workforce Solutions, organized the event. He explained the process of bringing the job fair together. “We call the employers, we ask if they’re hiring, and we actually offer for them to attend the job fair,” Diego Garcia said. “We set up the booth for them, we set up the table, and send the invitation and continue that communication.” Francisco Almaraz, the Chief Executive Officer of Workforce Solutions, also spoke about the event. “There are a lot of em-
ployers that are looking for workers in the area,” Almaraz said. “So even though some [employers] are from outside Palmview, it helps the residents from Palmview get employed.” Almaraz emphasized how the event started smaller in scale when they initially began working on it, but it grew quickly. He said that the interest in the job fair is good for the city and the RGV. “Originally, it started a little smaller,” Almaraz said. “But then there was a lot of interest from the employers to come and join the job fair. They’re very excited, so I could see it also for next year. The city and the chamber are both very excited.”
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. CLEANING, any size RV or park model $75, mobile home/ house $25 per room, call 956266-1369.
ORDINANCE NO. 4605 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MISSION, TEXAS GRANTING A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR THE SALE & ON-SITE CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES – MARISCOS EL 7 MARES #2, 2500 E. EXPRESSWAY 83, STE. 100, LOT 5B, SHARYLAND PLACE SUBDIVISION READ, CONSIDERED AND PASSED, THIS THE 26th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2018. Norberto Salinas, Mayor Attest: Anna Carrillo, City Secretary
ORDINANCE NO. 4607 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MISSION, TEXAS, AMENDING ARTICLE III SECTIONS 1.9, 1.10, AND 1.11 OF APPENDIX A OF ITS CODE OF ORDINANCES ALLOWING FOR THE EXTENSION OF ANY NONCONFORMING USES OF STRUCTURE, OR OF STRUCTURE AND LAND COMBINATION, WHICH WERE MANIFESTLY ARRANGED OR DESIGNED FOR SUCH USE, AND PROVIDING FOR ITS PUBLICATION READ, CONSIDERED AND PASSED, THIS THE 26th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2018. Norberto Salinas, Mayor Attest: Anna Carrillo, City Secretary
ORDINANCE NO. 4606 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MISSION, TEXAS GRANTING A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR DRIVE-THRU SERVICE WINDOW – XQUINKLES SNACKLAND INSPIRATION, 3009 N. INSPIRATION ROAD, LOT C1-A TAURUS ESTATES #3 SUBDIVISION READ, CONSIDERED AND PASSED, THIS THE 26th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2018. Norberto Salinas, Mayor Attest: Anna Carrillo, City Secretary
ORDINANCE NO. 4609 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MISSION, TEXAS, CREATING THE CITY OF “MISSION PAWSIBLE,” AN ANIMAL RESCUE AND ADOPTION ADVISORY BOARD, PRESCRIBING THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE BOARD, NAME OF THE BOARD AND SPECIFYING THE DUTIES OF THE BOARD READ, CONSIDERED AND PASSED, THIS THE 26th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2018. Norberto Salinas, Mayor Attest: Anna Carrillo, City Secretary
ORDINANCE NO. 4610 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MISSION, TEXAS, AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 4409 TO AMEND AND RESTATE THE PERSONNEL POLICY MANUAL FOR THE CITY OF MISSION, TEXAS; PROVIDING FOR A PUBLICATION CLAUSE AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE READ, CONSIDERED AND PASSED, THIS THE 26th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2018. 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: RAYMOND MANNING, MICHAEL MANNING, and THE HEIRS AND UNKNOWN HEIRS OF RAYMOND MANNING, and THE HEIRS AND UNKNOWN HEIRS OF MICHAEL MANNING, Defendants 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 26th day of March, 2018 at or before 10 o’clock a.m., before the 275th District Court of Hidalgo County, at the Courthouse in Edinburg, Texas. Said Plaintiff’s Petition was filed on January 23, 2018 in this case, numbered C-0258-18-E on the docket of said court. An amended original petition was filed January 29, 2018. The names of the parties to the cause are as follows: HERITAGE SQUARE RECREATION, INC., Plaintiff and RAYMOND MANNING, MICHAEL MANNING, and THE HEIRS AND UNKNOWN HEIRS OF RAYMOND MANNING, and THE HEIRS AND UNKNOWN HEIRS OF MICHAEL MANNING, Defendants. A brief statement of the nature of the suit is as follows, to-wit: The suit seeks to have judgment against the Defendants and to foreclose on the lien held by the Plaintiff for unpaid and delinquent assessments assessed against the property that belongs to or may belong to the Defendant, being Lot 7, Block 1, Heritage Square Subdivision Unit 2, and addition to the City of Mission, Hidalgo County, Texas. An order of sale of the property is requested in the Plaintiff’s Petition. 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 FEBRUARY 8, 2018.
board considered Item C15: “La Joya ISD Air System Maintenance, Inspection & Replacement Project through Construction Services Job Order Contract Competitive Sealed Proposal #2017-109.” The agenda packet included pricing information from Mission-based Dezvia LLC, which offered to handle the job for $377,106.80. Former Palmview City Manager Ramon Segovia
and Jovanna Hernandez, a counselor at La Joya Early College High School, formed the company in June 2017, according to records filed with the Texas Secretary of State’s Office. Jovanna’s husband, Edgar, is also involved with the company. They named it Dezvia, combining the last three letters of Hernandez and the last three letters of Segovia. Segovia brought years of
FIDENCIO GUERRA,JR. FOR
March 2, 2018
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PROBATE COURT HIDALGO COUNTY
EARLY VOTING: February 20 – March 2
Election Day: March 6 EXPERIENCED • 25 Years Judicial Experience Substitute Municipal Court Judge – McAllen 3 years 370th District Court Judge – 4 years Visiting Judge – 18 years (Jail-Drug-Aux. Courts) • Assistant District Attorney – Hidalgo County – 6 years • Practicing Trial Lawyer – 18 years • Participated in more than 100 jury trials • B.A. Degree – Pan American University – Edinburg • Law Degree – St. Mary’s University – San Antonio • President – Hidalgo County Bar Association 1982-1983 • National Judicial College – Reno, Nevada • Texas Judicial College – Austin, Texas
EXPERIENCE MATTERS Political Advertisement Paid for by Fidencio Guerra Jr. F.M. Guerra, Jr., Treasurer, 804 Pecan, McAllen, TX 78501
from pg. 1 government experience to the company. Hernandez had owned her own construction business. They were also old friends who attended skeet shoots together. When the school district solicited proposals from companies willing to perform job-order contracts, Dezvia responded. Along with Dezvia, the district accepted proposals from Center Stone Services in Weslaco and Adept Facilities & Design in Harlingen, according to district purchasing records. That allowed Dezvia to submit a proposal for the air filter work in September.
Other than the vaguely worded agenda item, the school district didn’t release any information about the air filter proposal to the public. Rumors about Dezvia started spreading before the school board meeting on Sept. 13. That day, someone sent documents from the agenda packet to Mary Hernandez. The information infuriated her. District workers, not private contractors, should perform maintenance work and replace air filters, Hernandez said, adding that she considered the deal a waste of taxpayer money. “This is a scam,” Mary Hernandez said during an
interview, recalling her initial reaction. “Then I looked at the name of the company. I was like ‘Really?’ They couldn’t have picked a better name for the company?” Mary Hernandez said Dezvia reminded her of the Spanish word desvia, which means divert or deflect. Concerned about the deal, Mary Hernandez attended the school board meeting and spoke during public comment. “I remind you that you were elected to look out for us, the taxpayers, and our children,” Mary Hernandez said. “Have you done your research? Is this going to save our district money? Where and how? How does this benefit our children?” The school board approved the $377,000 proposal from Dezvia without any discussion. Video of Mary Hernandez’s comments went viral in western Hidalgo County, but only a small number of people with access to the school board meeting packet had access to all the facts. “I think it’s all political,” Jovanna Hernandez said, adding that her company had a right to submit a proposal like any other contractor. “I don’t see why they’re having to bring innocent bystanders like myself and my husband into this.” The Aftermath Although the school board accepted the proposal from Dezvia, the company never actually provided any air filters. The $377,000 proposal,
which depended on quotes provided by a supplier, didn’t include transportation costs, Segovia said. As a result, Dezvia withdrew the proposal. Controversy over Dezvia, though, didn’t fade away. Concerned about the leak, district police Chief Raul Gonzalez ordered an investigation. “According to Chief Gonzalez, it was alleged that an unknown person provided Mrs. Hernandez with the aforementioned pages and (sic) ended up on a posting on Facebook,” according to the investigation report. “Chief Gonzalez provided me with a document that Mrs. Hernandez passed out during the board meeting.” The district prepared a list of people with access to the meeting packet, ranging from Superintendent Alda T. Benavides to J.J. Luna, who works for the American Federation of Teachers. Investigators never spoke with Mary Hernandez. They closed the case without finding the leak. After realizing the leak involved public information, Gonzalez said the case quickly shifted from “how did this get out” to “how can we make this better.” The district decided to require anyone who wanted a copy of the meeting packet to file a formal public information request. Administrators also started restricting internal access to the full meeting packet, providing information only as needed. Gonzalez said the changes save paper and reduce the potential for problems when a meeting is canceled. “They won’t give you anything now,” said Luna, the American Federation of Teachers representative. When he submits a public information request for the meeting packet, attorneys for the school district request a decision from the Texas Attorney General’s Office, Luna said. The process takes months and doesn’t allow him to review documents before school board meetings. “It’s just a delay tactic that they’re using,” Luna said, adding that he no longer bothers to ask for the meeting packet because he never receives a copy before the meeting. The Progress Times filed a public information request for the Sept. 13 school board meeting packet on Sept. 14. More than five months later, the district hasn’t released the documents. “They’re hiding stuff,” Luna said. “They’re hiding some of the stuff on the agenda.”
RODRIGUEZ from pg 1 In addition, the DA’s office, in collaboration with the State of Texas and the Hidalgo County Community Service and Corrections Division (Adult Probation) oversees several specialty courts that provide court-supervised probation and mandated treatment focused on treating issues underlying criminal behavior, including the Misdemeanor DWI Court, Mental Health Court, Family Violence Court, Veteran’s Court, and the Misdemeanor Drug Court. Rodriguez and his office also participate in numerous awareness campaigns and events throughout Hidalgo County to promote education and awareness of resources and assistance available, including Teen Dating Violence, Child Abuse Prevention, National Crime Victims Rights Week, Sexual Assault Awareness, National Day of Remembrance for Murdered Victims and Domestic Violence Awareness, among others. These efforts aim to increase awareness, promote prevention, and bring attention to many issues affecting many Hidalgo County victims and families. Ricardo Rodriguez, Jr. is the son of Ricardo Rodriguez and Olga Palacios Rodriguez of Edinburg. He is a devoted husband to Deyanira Medina Rodriguez, and they are proud parents to three wonderful children: Ricardo III, Nadia and Sofia.
Published on Mar 2, 2018