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Edinburg EDC: City, school district, UTRGV begin efforts to help with disaster relief for countless Texans hurt by Hurricane Harvey

IDL TIFF file

As Hurricane Harvey approached the shores over coastal Texas on Thursday, August 24, 2017, Edinburg and Rio Grande Valley were alarmed over the possibility that it could strike close to home. Instead, deep South Texas was spared from what became one of the most powerful hurricanes in history – a category 4 storm thaton Friday night, August 25, 2017 packed wind gusts up to 132 miles per hour northeast of Corpus Christi, and which has caused billions of dollars in damages and human suffering from flooding in the Houston region in the following days. 

Photograph By NASA

Local officials and organizations are pulling together resources as part of a national effort to help the countless Texans hurt by Hurricane Harvey, which on Friday, August 25, 2017 slammed into the Texas Coastal Bend, anchored by Corpus Christi, threatened metropolitan areas of San Antonio and Austin, and has produced epic flooding in the Houston region, including the displacing of thousands of homeowners, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. “We wish all those (affected by Hurricane Harvey) well, and we ask that you put them in your prayers, because God knows they need it,” Agustín García, Jr., Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC, said Monday, August 28, 2017, during the Edinburg EDC Facebook live broadcast, “Edinburg Connects”. In response to the humanitarian disaster that has taken place elsewhere in Texas, the City of Edinburg, the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District, and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, which has its main campus and its School of Medicine in Edinburg, have announced their respective assistance plans, which began on Monday, August 28, 2017 and will continue through the upcoming weekend and beyond. 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 Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García are not related.

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Promoting Texas’ economy, protecting the environment and defending families from violent criminals, among top goals of Rep. Canales’ House Committee assignments

FEATURED, FROM LEFT: Claudia Jackson, Executive Director of Strategic Communication and Government Relations, Del Mar College, Corpus Christi; Barbara Canales, Attorney-at-Law, Corpus Christi; Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg; Dr. Gilda Ramírez, Vice President, Small Business & Education, United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce; and Rosie Gonzalez Collin, Director of Community Relations, Port Corpus Christi, meeting in Canales’ office at the State Capitol on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. The Coastal Bend delegation met with Canales to discuss pending legislation that will affect community colleges in Corpus Christi.
 
Photograph By CARLOS PIMENTEL
 
With Texas’ energy industry expected to grow in 2017, Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, will play a key role on legislative matters that affect this vital economic force, which accounts for $13.8 billion in Fiscal Year 2015 ($15.7 billion in FY 2014) in taxes and royalties that directly fund Texas’ public schools, roads and emergency services. Canales on Thursday, February 9, 2017, was reappointed to the House Committee on Energy Resources, which has widespread jurisdiction over proposed laws and policies that, among its duties, deals with the conservation of the energy resources of Texas, the production, regulation, transportation, and development of oil, gas, and other energy resources, protecting the environment, and the activities of the Railroad Commission of Texas. The House District 40 state legislator, who is in his third two-year term, also was reappointed to the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, which usually considers proposed measures designed to protect Texans from criminals. “I will be supporting efforts to let family violence victims know more accurately the whereabouts of convicted abusers when those criminals are out on bond for their violence, to develop classroom education to teach young people how to be in a healthy relationship, and to increase state funding for women’s shelters across the state,” he said.
 
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South Texan Antonio Reyna, III, artist extraordinaire, launches major exhibition Dec. 11 – 20 in Corpus Christi

Much like a gifted athlete who dominates in three key aspects of his sport, Antonio Reyna, III – an Austin resident with deep roots in South Texas – is a rare triple threat in the fiercely competitive world of art: he excels with oil paints, sculpture, and photography. On Friday, December 11, through Sunday, December 20, Reyna will be the featured artist for a major exhibition being hosted by the Produce Gallery, located at 415 Peoples Street, in Corpus Christi – including a special reception in his honor on Saturday, December 12, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. In a fitting tribute to his talent, Reyna’s exhibition also marks the grand opening of the Produce Gallery, a trailblazing effort of its own which promises to showcase the best talent and artwork in the Shining City by the Sea. Reyna’s mastery of his chosen profession is such that his accomplishments have attracted the attention and praise of Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, who views the Mission, Texas hometown product as representative of the scores of American success stories who hail from deep South Texas. “Antonio not only demonstrates tremendous talent and skills, but this outstanding man symbolizes a great new generation of Texans who will help lead our state now and in the future through their ingenuity, entrepreneurship, hard work, and determination,” said Hinojosa, whose constituents include all residents of Mission and Corpus Christi. “I am very proud of Antonio, who brings great credit to my senatorial district and even greater honor to his family.” Reyna encourages persons interested in his work or who wish to communicate with him to contact him online through his website, http://www.AGrainofUniverse.com, or at MySpace/AGrainofUniverse, via e-mail at Laidbackpa@hotmail.com, or at Twitter/ReynaIII. See lead story later in this posting.

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Sergio Muñoz, Jr. – a successful attorney, area municipal court judge, and South Texas native son – on Thursday, December 3, filed for state representative, House District 36, vowing to think big, fight hard, and help people from all walks of life. “I am running because I believe that my years in professional and community services, and my experience as a defender of the people, combined with my vision and commitment for all of us to have a better life, are positive qualifications to serve the good people of District 36,” said Muñoz. Dolly Elizondo, chair of the Hidalgo County Democratic Party, congratulates Muñoz after he finalized the campaign filing paperwork.

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Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, featured center, on Friday, December 4, signed up for his party’s nomination for a fifth two-year term for the House District 40 legislative district, which includes most of Edinburg. “It’s official. I filed. My hat’s in the ring,” said Peña. The Edinburg attorney said he decided to highlight an area business – The Boxing Gym, located in the downtown square – while promoting his own candidacy as well. Dolly Elizonda, chair of the Hidalgo County Democratic Party, accepted Peña’s legal papers for his reelection bid at the local business. Featured with Peña are two of his staff members – Maricela De León and Orlando Salinas.

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Diana Delgado graduated from South Texas College with an Associates of Science in Paralegal in May 2008. But it wasn’t her intended career path. “I attended another college and started out in criminal justice, but I made the switch to STC and decided to try something else,” she explained. “I took some classes in office management and got interested in paralegal studies because I really wanted to work in the legal field.” Now she is putting her degree to use as a paralegal assistant for Pharr family law lawyer Damian Orozco. Delgado isn’t finished with higher education. “My dream is to go on and earn my bachelors and then attend law school,” she concluded. “I am looking into the requirements now and look forward to opening up that next chapter in my life.” See story later in this posting.

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Leadership Edinburg Class XXI, along with the City of Edinburg and the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, will host the Reflections of Edinburg photography contest for non-professional photographers. Top pictures will be published in Edinburg’s Annual Reflections of Edinburg magazine. Deadline to register is December 15 by 5 p.m. Fees are $50 for adults and $25 for youths. Awards and prizes will be given to the top five entries in each category and division: People, Places, Culture and Nature. Photographers must reside in the Rio Grande Valley, and photos must be taken within the Edinburg city limits. For a complete list of rules/regulations and to register please visit http://www.edinburg.com or call 956/383-4974. Promoting Reflections of Edinburg photo contest are some of the current participants of Leadership Edinburg Class XXI. Seated, from left: Maris Aguirre; Lisa Chávez; Emilio Santos; and Myra L. Ayala Garza.  Standing, from left: Rita Flores; Juan Aguirre; Abel Vaquera; María Medina; and Sal Martínez.

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Members of the National Honor Society at South Junior High in Edinburg, featured here, secured the first place award in the school division during the 2009 Night of Light Parades held on Saturday, December 5.  Kenya Rose Clothing Store secured the top spot in the business category, followed by the City of McAllen and Vicky Roy Home Health Care. More than 50 entries were featured in the light parade, coordinated by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.

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STC President Reed endorses efforts by Rep. Martínez, Sen. Hinojosa to bring UT law school to South Texas

 

Dr. Blandina “Bambi” Cárdenas, second from right, is congratulated by members of The North American Advanced Manufacturing Research and Education Initiative (NAAMREI) leadership team, who recently honored her with their first Leadership Award. Featured, from left: Leticia Flores, Office of the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism; Carlos Margo of South Texas College; Dr. Miguel A. González, The University of Texas-Pan American College of Science and Engineering; Bonnie González of WorkFORCE Solutions; Blas Castañeda of Laredo Community College; President Cárdenas; Keith Patridge, McAllen Economic Development Corporation; and Wanda Garza, STC and NAAMREI. Other members of the NAAMREI leadership who were present for the Sunday, June 7 ceremony, but not included in this shot, were: Pat Townsend Jr., Mission Economic Development Authority and Greater McAllen Alliance; Dr. Charles Sorber of UTPA; Angie González of Texas State Technical College in Harlingen; Héctor Quintanilla, The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College; and Dr. John Lloyd of UTPA’s Rapid Response Manufacturing Center.  See story later in this posting. 

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Gov. Rick Perry, featured second from left during a June 26 swing through the Valley, on Friday, July 10 emphasized accomplishments made during the 81st legislative session that provide resources and assist law enforcement officials in protecting Texans. The governor is touting House Bill 2086, an omnibus gang bill that provides state and local law enforcement agencies with additional tools to combat the threat of transnational gangs. These resources include electronic monitoring of criminal gang members who have two or more convictions; penalties for engaging in organized crime activity in gang free zones; and enhanced surveillance capabilities, among others. Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, and Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, are shown here, second and third from right, respectively, during Perry’s visit to Peñitas. Letty Garza, KRGV-TV anchorwoman, was leading the group with the Pledge of Allegiance.  See story on the governor’s anti-gang legislation later in this posting.  

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South Texas College and Texas A&M University Kingsville leaders on Friday, July 10, celebrated the signing of an agreement to ease student transfer between the institutions. Seated are TAMUK President Steven Tallant and STC President Shirley A. Reed. Standing from left are: Mike F. Desiderio, TAMUK Chair for Education; Margaretha Bischoff, STC Division Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences; Marilyn J Bartlett, TAMUK Dean of the College of Education; and Juan Mejia, STC Vice President for Academic Affairs. Not featured, but also present at the event, are Ali Esmaeili, STC Dean for Bachelor Programs and University Relations, and William Serrata, STC Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.  See story later in this posting. 

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