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More people moving into Edinburg, with $108+ million in new homes and multi-family residences approved for construction between January and September 2016, announces Edinburg EDC

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Featured: Dr. Guy Bailey, President, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, on Saturday, July 23, 2016, addressing the inaugural class of the UT Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, which opened its $54 million Medical Education Building at the Edinburg campus, welcoming 55 students into its charter class. In a related development, the UT System Board of Regents on Monday, September 26, 2016, unanimously approved the leasing of an approximately 85,000-square-foot facility from Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, which is based in Edinburg, to UTRGV for medical research and educational and clinical uses. The Edinburg Mayor, Edinburg City Council, and Edinburg Economic Development Corporation lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents for advances at UTRGV and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg.

Photograph By DAVID PIKE

More people continue to move into Edinburg, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced, based on the latest year-to-date figures which show that between January and September 2016, more than $108 million in new homes and multi-family residences were approved for construction. For the month of September 2016, total construction activities during that period totaled more than $13.5 million. Also year-to-date, construction and related building activities for all categories have approached the $180 million level, based on information collected by the city’s Code Enforcement Department. The increasing number of residents in Edinburg is reflected in the most recent population estimates by the U.S. Census Department, which show the city has grown more than 13 percent between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2015. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Edinburg’s estimated population as of July 1, 2015 was 84,497, compared with 74,541 on April 1, 2010, representing a growth of 13.4 percent. Year-to-date (January through September 2016), building permits were issued for 357 single-family residences, valued at $47,071,342, compared with 257 single family residences, valued at $37,102,917 from January through September 2015. Year-to-date (January through September 2016), building permits were issued for 230 multi-family residences, representing 928 units, valued at $61,655,264, compared with 36 multi-family residences, representing 71 units, valued at $5,365,356, from January through September 2015. The Edinburg EDC, whose executive director is Agustín García, Jr., 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.

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Concealed handguns at UTRGV, trademark agreement with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, and new Ph.D program tied to SpaceX set for action this week by UT System Board of Regents

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the American Marketing Association recently earned awards at the AMA shown here with their awards from the AMA annual competition in New Orleans. Featured, from left, are Eric Rodríguez, Saydahli Mejía, Julio Salinas, Óscar Ramos, David Pérez, Fabiola Cortés, Fuad Chagollán, Jolene Arellano, Martín Nievez, Ángela López, Albert Adame and Alexandra García. The AMA Collegiate Case Competition is an annual, international contest open to undergraduate teams at schools that have an affiliated AMA Collegiate Chapter. The purpose of the competition is to provide AMA Collegiate members an opportunity to work together on a problem that illustrates a real marketing situation, and to provide competition sponsors direct contact with marketing students who have possible real-world solutions to a marketing problem.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Where and when concealed handguns may be carried at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, allowing Doctors Hospital at Renaissance to use trademarks of UTRGV’s School of Medicine, and creating a new Ph.D program to take advantage of the coming creation of the SpaceX launch site are among key items that will be taken up on Wednesday, May 11 and Thursday, May 12, 2016, by the UT System Board of Regents, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The EEDC, along with the City of Edinburg, promote the best interests of UTRGV and the UTRGV School of Medicine through its extensive legislative lobbying efforts before the UT System Board of Regents, the Texas Legislature, and Congress.

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Edinburg, Doctors Hospital begin negotiations on planned $14 million medical conference center

Roberto Hugo González, publisher of Texas Border Business and Mega Metropolis Health & Fitness, has picked up two key recognitions for his publishing endeavors and his excellence in journalism in the pursuit of public service. During the McAllen South Rotary Club Annual Officer Installation Banquet, held on Wednesday, June 24, González proudly displays the Paul Harris Fellow Award and pin bestowed upon him by the McAllen Rotary Club. The award is given to those who have given outstanding service and is the highest prestigious award recognition given to a fellow Rotarian. In late spring, González was selected as the 2009 Small Business Journalist of the Year in the Rio Grande Valley by the U.S. Small Business Administration. He received the prestigious SBA award during at a ceremony at the University of Texas-Pan American Annex in Edinburg on Thursday, April 30. See story later in this posting.

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Congressman Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo/McAllen, featured with former Mexican President Vicente Fox and his wife, former Mexican First Lady Marta Sahagún de Fox during a March 27 gathering at the University of Texas at San Antonio,  is now vice-chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI). Cuellar was voted in by the CHLI Board of Directors at its Thursday, July 9, private meeting. The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI, pronounced “chili”) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, based in Washington, D.C., that advances the diversity of thought in the U.S. Hispanic community in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, as well as in the international community. See story later in this posting.

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Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, on Sunday, May 31, was commissioned as a major in the Texas State Guard during a swearing-in ceremony held on the floor of the House of Representatives.

The Edinburg attorney, 50, is using his legislative and legal skills as a Staff Judge Advocate serving in the Command Headquarters in Austin, helping protect the rights of members of the state’s military forces, including the Texas Army National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard. The mission of the Texas State Guard is to provide mission-ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies, such as hurricanes, as well as to participate in homeland security and community service missions. Major General Chris Powers administered the oath for the commission directed by Governor Perry and the Adjutant General. Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio and Brigadier General Raymond Peters joined Peña, his wife, Mónica, and his grandson, Anthony, during the formal event.

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Nicolas "Nico" Palacios Jr., 62 – featured right in this November 2007 file photo – a longtime Edinburg business leader who also excelled in the world of local and state politics, passed away on Thursday, July 23, at Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas, California. The cause of death was reported as a heart attack. Palacios, seen here speaking with Rep. Aaron Peña, Jr., D-Edinburg, was part of a renowned South Texas political family which not only greatly influences local and state elections, but from its ranks has produced elected officials, community advocates, doctors, lawyers, and business leaders. Three of his siblings are also well-recognized leaders in South Texas: Edinburg Municipal Court Judge Toribio "Terry" Palacios and Fred Palacios, a longtime member of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation board of directors, are among his brothers; Justice of the Peace Mary Alice Palacios of Edinburg is one of his sisters. In addition, Hidalgo County 92nd District Court Judge Ricardo Rodríguez, Jr., a former Edinburg city councilmember, and Omar Palacios, the president of the Edinburg school board, are among his nephews. See obituary later in this posting.

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Dr. Larry Balli, health care and economic leader, honored for life’s work by Gov. Perry, Legislature

 

Every year, Texas Monthly publishes much-anticipated reviews of some of the state’s best medical, legal, and community leaders, based on a strict and independent research process that identifies Texans who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Dr. Larry Balli, one of the area’s most influential dentists, has long enjoyed a stellar reputation in Edinburg. Late last year, he was bestowed the coveted honor of "Super Dentist" by Texas Monthly, a major statewide magazine with a national following. Now comes news that his professional and civic contributions to the region have earned him praise from Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Legislature, which have approved a legislative resolution publicly recognizing him for his efforts in the Lone Star State. See lead story later in this posting. 

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As the veto period came to a close on Sunday, June 21, Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, featured here during a McAllen Chamber of Commerce legislative update on Wednesday, June 17, announced final approval of 59 measures that he authored or sponsored. Hinojosa’s legislative package includes bills on transportation, natural resources, criminal justice, infrastructure, and health care issues, benefitting South Texas and the entire state.  See story later in this posting. 

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SOCIALIFE News Magazine, the five-year-old creation of South Texas entrepreneur Pepe Cabeza de Vaca, featured here with Rep. Verónica Gonzáles, D-McAllen, has been honored by the Texas House of Representatives for its vital role of promoting a positive image of the Rio Grande Valley and by helping charitable organizations in the state and nation.  The honor, contained in House Resolution 2283 filed by Rep. Verónica Gonzáles, D-McAllen, was unanimously approved by House of Representatives on May 25. See story later in this posting. 

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The laboratories at McAllen Heart Hospital and McAllen Medical Center were accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) after site inspections on April 1 and May 1. Both laboratories received complimentary remarks by CAP inspectors on the quality of patient testing, documentation and organization. The laboratories also received  exemplary marks on their standard of laboratory practices. Featured here are some of the employees of McAllen Medical Center and McAllen Heart Hospital who are instrumental to the quality of care and services the laboratories provide. From left, first row: Dr. Feliberto Cavazos, pathologist; Sobie Treviño, system assistant director; Grace Garza, system lab director; and Robert Tamez, hospital administrator. Second row, from left: Dr. José Luis Valencia, pathologist; Norma Rodríguez; and Lester Alvarado. Third row, from left:  Denisha Niño; Aida Galván; Diana Villarreal; Janice Milford; and Jennifer Ríos. Four row, from left: Elisa Díaz; Mylene Trasmonte; Becky Flores; and Sylvia Aguinaga. Fifth row, from left: Virgil Zuñiga; Robert Hockaday; Alejo Romero; Andy Romero; and Aydee García. See story later in this posting. 

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Hundreds of future South Texas College graduates, such as these featuring during this spring’s commencement exercise, will benefit from a major grant, to be dispersed over the next three years, for expanded development education programs. On Monday, June 22, STC leaders announced that the college has been named as one of 15 national recipients – and only four in Texas – of a new grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and MDC, Inc. Together the groups are giving $16.5 million to community colleges across the nation, $743,000 of which will come directly to South Texas College. “At STC we are so happy to receive the funds because it will help us institute a change to the respective course contents in our developmental programs to create learning connections for students among the three developmental education disciplines through contextualization of the curriculum,” said Dr. Ali Esmaeili, dean of developmental studies for STC. “We plan to implement a robust case management student support framework to ensure a consistent and reliable contact experience for all of our developmental students.” See story later in this posting. 

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Alonzo Cantú unveils vision, details for proposed $14 million Edinburg Medical Conference Center

 

A planned $14 million Edinburg Medical Conference Center (highlighted in red) would be the latest addition to the growing Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Complex in southwest Edinburg. Construction magnate Alonzo Cantú on Tuesday, February 24, unveiled his vision for the complex, along with a proposed hotel, during a presentation before the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. 

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Projected to be 54,000 square feet in size, the proposed Edinburg Medical Conference Center would represent the latest cutting-edge medical resource for Doctors Hospital at Renaissance and for South Texas, according to DHR leader Alonzo Cantú. If plans for the center are successful, Edinburg could increase its chances of landing a proposed University of Texas System medical school, he predicted. "We would have the infrastructure in place, we would have the credibility, plus we would have doctors who are teaching at other hospitals who would see we do have the state-of-the-art equipment and technology," Cantú observed. "So, if a medical school was started, we would be ready to have some of the medical students training here." 

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