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Edinburg EDC contribution of almost $435,000 for Memorial/Eisenhower Sports Complex set for action by Edinburg City Council on Tuesday, February 20

Featured: Leadership Edinburg Class XXIX members who recently completed their community service session include, front row, from left: Mary Lou Escobedo (Escobedo & Cárdenas, LLP); Maricruz Z. Nieto (Townplace Suites by Marriott); Nydia M. Treviño (Memorial Funeral Home); Marivel Valdéz (Open Range Enterprises); Deborah Tomai (Co-Founder and President, RGV Down Syndrome Association); Perla Reyes (Mujeres Unidas); Jasmine M. Champagne and Erica Pérez (RGV Town Planner Community Calendar); Mónica Ann Vega (Oceangate Hospitality); and Priscilla C. Whiteaker (Farmers Insurance). Back row, from left: Johnny Rodríguez (Bert Ogden Auto Group); John Mark Atchley (South Texas Health System Edinburg); Joe A. Delgado (Halff Associates); and Abel Garza (Wells Fargo).

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

An offer by the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation to provide almost $435,000 to help cover the costs of the Memorial/Eisenhower Sports Complex is set for action by the Edinburg City Council on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, when city leaders hold their regular bimonthly meeting, beginning at 6 p.m., at Edinburg City Hall. In another item on the city council’s agenda relating to the Edinburg EDC, the Mayor and City Council are scheduled to appoint a City Secretary following the announcement that longtime City Secretary Myra Ayala Garza has resigned, effective Tuesday, February 13, 2018, to begin working with the Edinburg EDC. On Friday, February 16, 2018, the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, joined by the Mayor Molina, Mayor Pro Tem David Torres, Councilmember Enríquez, and Councilmember Salinas, participated in a news conference at Edinburg City Hall to announce they had selected Plinio “Joey” Treviño as the Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of Mayor Richard Molina, Mayor Pro-Tem David Torres, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember Jorge Salinas. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D. as Members.

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Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors scheduled to conduct interviews for Executive Director beginning at noon on Friday, February 16 at Edinburg City Hall

Featured: Mario López, Jr., an American television host and actor, featured back row, center, was the honored guest during the 11th Annual “Steak” In Your Community fundraiser held on Sunday, January 18, 2018 for the Boys & Girls Club of Edinburg Rio Grande Valley. As part of the gala, Brianna Capetillo was selected 2018 Junior Youth of the Year, with Brianna García being named 2nd runner-up, and Alicia Alemán taking the 3rd runner-up honor. Each received a technology gift bag and certificate. According to the Boys & Girls Club of America, Junior Youth of the Year seeks to develop junior leaders ages 10-13 within the Club environment. The program fosters Club members’ emerging leadership abilities while preparing them for later participation in the Youth of the Year program. In addition to recognizing the leadership achievements of Club youth, Junior Youth of the Year also cultivates their leadership potential, providing the foundation they need for advanced leadership development, academic excellence and postsecondary success. Through this program, Club youth become motivated to seek opportunities for leadership and to act as responsible citizens and change agents. From left are: Brianna García, 2nd runner-up; Brianna Capetillo, 2018 Junior Youth of the Year; and Alicia Alemán earned 3rd runner-up honors. Back row, from left, are: Marissa Castañeda, Chief Operating Officer, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, who served as the Honorary Chair for the event; Mario López, Jr; and Joe Quiroga, President, Texas National Bank South Jackson Branch who also serves as Chairman of the Board for the Boys & Girls Club of Edinburg RGV. Mario López, Jr. has appeared on several television series, in films, and on Broadway. He is known for his portrayal of A.C. Slateron Saved by the Bell, whom he also portrayed as a regular on Saved by the Bell: The College Years. He has appeared in numerous projects since, including the third season of Dancing with the Stars and as host for the syndicated entertainment news magazine show Extra. He has also hosted America’s Best Dance Crew for MTV. In 2012, he co-hosted the second season of American version of The X Factor with Khloé Kardashian-Odom, and was the sole host for the third and final season.

Photograph Courtesy BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF EDINBURG RGV

The Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation on Friday, February 16, 2018, is scheduled to conduct interviews for the position of Executive Director, and possibly take action for the hiring of the new administrative leader of the organization. The Board of Directors special meeting, which is open to the public, will be held in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 W University Drive, beginning at noon. However, the interviews may take place in executive session, according to the agenda, which is posted outside of Edinburg City Hall, and is also posted online at: http://edinburgedc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2-13-18-Agenda.pdf Any action – including no action – taken by the board of directors on all executive session items would have to be announced in public. The agenda states: “In accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, Vernon’s Civil Statutes Annotated, Government Code, exception to requirements that meetings be open, Section 551.074 Personnel Matters, and Section 551.071 Consultation with Attorney, the Board of Directors will announce that it will adjourn into Executive Session to deliberate the following items. The EEDC Board may elect to go into Executive Session on any item, whether or not such item is posted as an Executive Session item, at any time during the meeting, when authorized by the provisions of the Texas Open Meeting Act. The EEDC Board will deliberate on the following items: a. Conduct Interviews for the position of Executive Director and possible action for the hiring of the position of Executive Director; and b. Consultation with Attorney.” The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of Mayor Richard Molina, Mayor Pro-Tem David Torres, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember Jorge Salinas. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D. as Members.

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City saw total construction activities in 2017 pass $271 million in value, compared with $209 million the previous year, reports Edinburg EDC

Featured: Conrad Brown, Assistant Director, Ambulatory Services, SED, representing South Texas Health System, and Mayor Richard Molina led the traditional ribbon-cutting during the grand opening ceremony for the hospital system’s open house and health fair event held on Saturday, January 6, 2018 of STHS ER Monte Cristo, a new stand-alone emergency room located at 3615 N. Interstate 69-C in north Edinburg. The facility is providing 24-hour emergency services year-round, and is staffed and equipped with the same diagnostic technology available in STHS’s hospital-based emergency rooms. The new STHS location is the first in north Edinburg and will serve approximately 60,000 residents in the area. From left, first row, are: Fabian Borrego, Market CFO, STHS; Martha Pérez, House Supervisor, STHS; Conrad Brown, Assistant Director, Ambulatory Services, SED, STHS; and Mayor Richard Molina. Other hospital officials in attendance were Daniel Caldwell, CEO, McAllen Heart Hospital; Doug Matney, Regional Vice President of South Texas Health System; Jennifer Garza, CEO, Edinburg Regional Medical Center/Edinburg Children’s Hospital; and Lance Ames, COO, Edinburg Regional Medical Center/Edinburg Children’s Hospital. STHS ER Monte Cristo, which represents an $8.6 million private investment, was among the more than $271 million in construction activities that took place in Edinburg in 2017.

Photograph Courtesy SOUTH TEXAS HEALTH SYSTEM

Total construction activities in Edinburg for the year – January through December 2017 – including more than $8 million for the month of December, were valued at more than $271 million, compared with more than $209 million during 2016, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The building permits do not include the value of the land for the homes and buildings. In general, a building permit is legal permission given by the City of Edinburg, through the Code Enforcement Department, to erect, construct, renovate, maintain, or conduct any other specified activity on any building or structure, or on any installations or facilities therein. The term “building permit” includes but is not limited to building permits, electrical permits, mechanical permits, and plumbing permits. The top categories in Edinburg for 2017, which led to the total figure of $271,400,571, were: $84,537,000 – Non-Taxable New (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine); $61,972,808 – Multi-Family Residences New Construction; $59,715,790; Single-Family Residences New Construction; $37,456,294; Commercial New Construction; $13,180,161; Commercial Alterations; $8,653,359 – Non-Taxable Alterations (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine); and $5,885,159 – Residential Alterations. During 2017, building permits were issued for 496 new single-family residences, valued at $59,715,700, and building permits were issued for 325 multi-family residences, representing 938 units, valued at $61,972,808. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D., as Members.

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$88.3 million city-owned Bert Ogden Arena update set to presented before the Edinburg City Council on Tuesday, February 6, announces Edinburg Economic Development Corporation

Featured: An artist’s rendition of the city-owned Bert Ogden Arena, a first-class indoor multi-purpose center being built at the corner of Interstate Highway 69-Central and Alberta Road in east Edinburg, which according to building permits issued by the City of Edinburg, is valued at an estimated $88.3 million. On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, representatives for The Vipers Arena, LLC will present an update on the project before the Edinburg City Council at Edinburg City Hall. The city council session begins at 6 p.m.

Illustration Courtesy of THE VIPERS ARENA LLC

Representatives for The Vipers Arena LLC, which is overseeing all aspects of construction of the $88.3 million, city-owned Bert Ogden Arena, on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, are scheduled to make a major presentation on the progress of the complex before the Edinburg City Council, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Vipers Arena LLC of McAllen, whose principal agent is Alonzo Cantú of McAllen, is serving as the private investor in the Public-Private Partnership. Vipers Arena LLC is overseeing all aspects of the construction of the facility, with Cantú Construction of McAllen, which is a company owned by Alonzo Cantú, building the Bert Ogden Arena. Vipers Arena LLC will also serve as the major tenant of the Bert Ogden Arena, and will be responsible for the operations, maintenance, scheduling of events, and marketing of the facility, which will feature 8,500 fixed seats, which includes 1,200 club seats, 12 luxury suites, a restaurant/club area, locker rooms, offices for sports team personnel, and marquee signs by the expressway. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D. as Members.

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Rep. Canales is the only Hidalgo County lawmaker who earns a perfect 100 percent rating from National Federation of Independent Businesses

Featured: Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, left, is interviewed by Mark Hanna, Publisher, Rio Grande Guardian, on Thursday, January 25, 2018, at Bob’s Steak and Chop House in Edinburg. The two men discussed numerous major issues relating to the Texas Legislature, South Texas, and Hidalgo County. That conversation, which was broadcast live and is available on the Rio Grande Guardian, which is South Texas’ first online newspaper, is available at no cost by logging on to: https://www.facebook.com/rgguardian/videos/1800590286640933/?sid=0.46409932360984385 .

Photograph By STEVE TAYLOR

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)/Texas, the state’s leading small business association, has announced that Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, is the only state legislator from Hidalgo County – and only one of three Democrats in the Texas Legislature – who earned a perfect 100 percent rating on key measures of vital importance to small businesses in the state. “Small businesses are the life blood of our South Texas economy, and I will always make an effort to support policies that help small businesses grow, operate, and flourish,” said Canales, the House District 40 lawmaker. “I invite anyone who has ideas to help small businesses to contact me with their vision, and I will help them learn about and become part of the state legislative process.” He may be reached at his House District Office in Edinburg at (956) 383-0860 or at the Capitol at (512) 463-0426. House District 40 includes portions or all of Edinburg, Elsa, Faysville, La Blanca, Linn, Lópezville, McAllen, Pharr and Weslaco. “These distinguished lawmakers understand and value the true backbone of Texas’ economy, small business owners, and the impact public policy changes will have on these owners’ abilities to own, operate, and grow their businesses,” said NFIB Executive Director Will Newton. “Lawmakers who vote with small business during session are fulfilling their campaign promises to keep the Texas economy robust, as small businesses account for 99.8 percent of all businesses in the state.”

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Two finalists for position of Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, to receive second interviews by Board of Directors beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 31

Featured: Twenty-eight employers, ranging in size from small business owners to local governments, state and federal agencies, along with 413 area residents, participated in a successful major job fair held at the Michael Dustin Sekula Memorial Library on Thursday January 25, 2018, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The event, which was held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., was free and open to the public. Also at no charge to area residents were a Résumé Writing Workshop held on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 and a Job Interview Workshop which took place on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. The workshops and the job fair were organized by the Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, the City of Edinburg, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Workforce Solutions. There was no charge to the 28 employers who participated in the job fair. “The Edinburg EDC job fairs are designed to make it easier and more convenient for employers and prospective employees to get together,” said Jennifer Cabrera, who leads the Edinburg EDC’s marketing efforts. “The workshops and job fair were for every kind of person, from people who want to get a job for the first time, to individuals who are already employed, but are looking for a better job or a different career.” Leticia S. Leija, Director of Library & Cultural Arts, said the city library staff takes great pride in hosting the employment gathering. “The Michael Dustin Sekula Memorial Library is committed to empowering our community, and by providing these Job Readiness workshops, in conjunction with the UTRGV Career Center, and then following up with the Job Fair coordinated with the Edinburg EDC and WorkForce Solutions, two dedicated partners, we help provide our residents with a life-changing opportunities,” said Leija.

Photograph Courtesy MICHAEL DUSTIN SEKULA MEMORIAL LIBRARY

Two of the six applicants who were interviewed on Tuesday, January 28, 2018 for the position of Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, will be back for further consideration by the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors during a special meeting, set to begin at 6 p.m. at Edinburg City Hall, on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. The interviews will take place, as allowed by state law, in executive session, along with three other items: deliberate the offers of financial or other incentives to business prospects; deliberate authorizing the Assistant Executive Director to amend the Development Agreement with Oceangate; and consultation with attorney. The meeting, whose agenda also is posted online (http://edinburgedc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Jan-31st-Agenda.pdf), will be held in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall, which is located at 415 W. University Drive. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D. as Members.

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Edinburg one of only two Valley cities with unemployment rate lower than five percent in December 2017 as number of local jobs that month reached 37,232, reports Edinburg EDC

Featured: U.S. Border Patrol’s “Head of the Class” program recently honored four students from the Edinburg Independent Consolidated School District. Border Patrol officials said that the program recognizes the academic excellence of 69 high-achieving seniors from high schools throughout the Valley. Students were nominated by their respective schools and selected by a committee. The students were selected based on being well-rounded students, who are involved in their schools and communities, as well as excelling in academics and promoting a drug-free lifestyle. From left, front row, are: Vela High School senior Eric Anthony Jackson; Edinburg North High School senior Olivia Vela; Economedes High School senior Ángela María López; Edinburg High School senior Bryan López; and U.S. Border Patrol Agent Rubén García Jr.; Back row, from left, are: U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert R. Galván; Vela High School Principal Sylvia Ledesma; Edinburg North High School Principal Mark Micallef; Edinburg High School Principal Yesenia Molina; and Economedes High School Principal Dr. Raúl D’Lorm. The students will compete with dozens of other Valley honorees for at least three $1,000 scholarships, which the Border Patrol expects to award in the spring. Miguel “Mike” Farías, Vice President of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Edinburg school district, and Edinburg City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, who serves as President of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, is a former longtime member of the Board of Trustees of the Edinburg school district. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. In addition to Enríquez and Farías, the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D. as Members.

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Edinburg posted an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent in December 2017, representing 37,232 jobs for that month, making the city, along with McAllen, the only two major economies in the Rio Grande Valley which came under the five percent level, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. These latest figures, prepared by the Texas Workforce Commission and released on Friday, January 19, 2018, showed that there was an increase of 265 people employed in Edinburg in December 2017 (37,232) compared with November 2017 (36,967). Also, Edinburg saw a growth of 756 jobs when comparing the monthly total for December 2017, (37,232) and December 2016 (36,476), according to the Edinburg EDC. In addition, the December 2017 unemployment rate of 4.9 percent represents the sixth time during that month that the city’s unemployment rate has been below five percent since 2005, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The number of jobs in Edinburg is independently documented by the Texas Workforce Commission, a state agency with many key duties, such as maintaining and reporting on key trends in state and local economies, including unemployment rates and the number of people employed in cities. The unemployment rate is the number of persons unemployed, expressed as a percentage of the civilian labor force, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The civilian labor force is that portion of the population age 16 and older employed or unemployed. To be considered unemployed, a person has to be not working but willing and able to work and actively seeking work. During 2017, Edinburg has recorded one of the lowest unemployment rates among Valley cities in April and May, and came in with the second-lowest unemployment rates during the other months in 2017 through July. McAllen, which came in with a 5.4 percent unemployment in May 2017, tied Edinburg for the best showing for that month. For the past several years, Edinburg has registered the lowest or second-lowest monthly unemployment rate among all Valley cities. Edinburg’s December 2017 unemployment rate of 4.9 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including November 2017 (4.8 percent); October 2017 (4.7 percent), September 2017 (5.5 percent), August 2017 (6.2 percent), July (5.7 percent), June 2017 (5.9), May 2017 (5.4 percent), April 2017 (5.4 percent), March 2017 (6 percent), February 2017 (6.4 percent) and January 2017 (6.2 percent). The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D. as Members.

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Edinburg EDC offices, effective on Monday, January 29, 2018, will be housed in Edinburg City Hall in order to generate new non-tax revenue for its jobs-creation mission, announce Mayor Molina and EEDC Board of Directors President Enríquez

Featured: City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez is sworn in on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall. With Enríquez in this image is his wife, Diana, and Judge Patty Ocañas-Olivarez, who administered the oath of office to the city councilmember, who soon after was appointed by his colleagues to serve on the five-member Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.  Along with Councilmember Enríquez, who serves as President of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors,  Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías serves as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., is Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D., are Members.

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation’s downtown offices, effective on Monday, January 29, 2018, will complete its relocation to Edinburg City Hall in order to generate new, non-tax revenue for its jobs-creation mission, Mayor Richard Molina and City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, the President of the EEDC Board of Directors, have announced. The Edinburg EDC is now based on the second floor at City Hall, as part of the Edinburg City Manager’s suite. The Edinburg EDC’s telephone number – 956/383-7124 – remains the same. “Upon my request, Edinburg City Manager Richard Hinojosa confirmed that there were excellent office space and related resources available at City Hall to house the staff and activities of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors,” the mayor said. “This action allows the Edinburg EDC to lease its vacated offices spaces, which will generate new non-tax revenue for its many vital projects.” Soon to be listed as available for lease, the former Edinburg EDC offices, located at 101 North 10th Avenue, represent 3,200-square feet. That suite, which is part of the building owned by the Edinburg EDC, features five offices, one receptionist area, two conference rooms, a kitchen, one work station, a waiting area, a copy area, three bathrooms, closets and storage rooms. Rep. Terry Canales’ legislative offices will remain in the other half of the Edinburg EDC building, which is located at 415 West University Drive, immediately west of the Hidalgo County Courthouse. “In our dedication to help existing businesses to expand, and to recruit new businesses, Edinburg City Hall will now truly become a one-stop center for economic development, because all the key issues needed for businesses to grow, from learning the zoning requirements, obtaining building permits, meeting with the key city and Edinburg EDC leadership, and so on, all will now take place in one location,” said Enríquez. “So when potential developers come into City Hall, they are able to go to every department and get the answers they need in order to continue with the activities they want to do in Edinburg.” The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D., as Members.

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Interviews for vacant Executive Director position among 21 scheduled items during Edinburg EDC Board of Directors’ meeting beginning at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at Edinburg City Hall

Featured: Dr. John H. Krouse, Dean of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine and Vice President for Health Affairs, participated with state and federal lawmakers in a panel discussion on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 hosted by The Texas Tribune on healthcare reform. In this image, Krouse addresses Evan Smith, CEO and co-founder of the Texas Tribune at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance. Other participants in the event were Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, Rep. Óscar Longoria, D-Peñitas/La Feria, and Congressman Filemón Vela, D-Brownsville. On Wednesday, January 31, 2018 from 11:30 a.m to 1 p.m., Krouse will be the featured speaker for the Public Affairs Luncheon, also at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, 118 Paseo Del Prado, hosted by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. The cost to attend the luncheon is $25 per person or $250 for a table of 8, and includes a hot lunch, beverage and dessert. For more information on sponsorships or to make a reservation, interested individuals may call the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce at 956/383-4974. The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.

Photograph By DAVID PIKE

The Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, is scheduled to conduct interviews for the position of Executive Director, and possibly take action for the hiring of the new administrative leader of the organization. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of Mayor Richard Molina, Mayor Pro-Tem David Torres, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember Jorge Salinas. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D. as Members. The session, which is open to the public, will be held in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 W. University Drive, beginning at 6 p.m. The scheduled interview process for the new Executive Director, however, as authorized by state law, will take place in executive session, which is closed to the public. Any action – including no action – taken by the board of directors on all executive session items would have to be announced in public. Following a recent vacancy in the position of Edinburg EDC Executive Director, the leadership for many of the organization’s administrative duties has been provided by Nelda Ramírez, the Assistant Executive Director. The agenda for the Tuesday, January 23, 2018 Edinburg EDC Board of Directors meeting is posted in front of Edinburg City Hall and online at http://edinburgedc.com/meetings-agendas/.

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With uncertainties still surrounding proposed $150 million courthouse, Rep. Canales submits questions from citizens to County Judge García

Featured: Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, recites the Pledge of Allegiance on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives at the Texas Capitol in Austin. In an effort to help South Texas residents better understand the pros and cons of building a new Hidalgo County Courthouse, the House District 40 lawmaker has submitted a series of questions, which Canales has received from his legislative constituents, to Hidalgo County Judge Ramón García. García has been the main supporter of a current plan favored by the county judge to build a new courthouse, whose cost could reach $150 million, in downtown Edinburg, next to existing Hidalgo County Courthouse.

Photograph By HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY

Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, an attorney whose House District 40 features much of Edinburg, including the downtown region, in a January 16, 2018 letter to Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia, has submitted concerns from citizens. “There is little doubt that our current courthouse is not adequate for the actual needs of this community, yet I believe we need to work together to clarify misconceptions that seem to be circulating around the area,” Canales stated in his letter to García. “I have a series of questions that I have been asked by Hidalgo County residents that I would like answered in writing to help my constituents and myself become more comfortable with this project.” Canales said as he receives the responses – on the county judge’s official letterhead – to the specific questions from citizens, he will share those answers in follow-up news releases from his legislative office and postings on social media. “It is much better to get Judge Ramón García on the record on these important questions which continue to be asked by the community, show his answers to the people, and let the chips fall where they may,” Canales said. Canales has been deeply involved in introducing and passing state legislation that benefits Hidalgo County residents and county government, including working with Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, and Rep. Armando Martínez, D-Weslaco, as a joint author in 2015 that resulted in the creation of a special fund to pay for construction, renovation, and repairs to the county courthouse. “Every major issue involving Hidalgo County government and services protecting Hidalgo County residents have been shaped and are reviewed by me,” Canales said. “The current and proposed county courthouse are in the heart of my legislative district, so you can bet that I have been very involved in following this very important development.”

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