Select Page

Hidalgo County saved from losing millions of dollars following successful presentation by Judge Ramírez, County Commissioner Palacios

 

Media are evolving and the multimedia skills that students at The University of Texas-Pan American are learning will make them more competitive in the job market, said media professionals at the first annual Communication Showcase at UTPA held on Tuesday, April 20. Speakers shared their personal experiences during what is being called a transitional period in history for news. They also provided feedback on student work and gave advice about a student’s future in the business of media. The communication showcase also served as the launch of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) chapter at UTPA, the first and only student chapter in the Rio Grande Valley. NAHJ is the primary association for Hispanic journalists to encourage and support the study and practice of journalism by Hispanics. Its mission is to further the employment of Hispanics in the media and to improve coverage of the Latino community.  Three of the media professionals participating in the inaugural event included, from left: Will Ripley, reporter and anchor for KRGV Channel 5; Jeff Smith, copy editor/designer, The Monitor; and Ana Ley, reporter, The Monitor. See story later in this posting. 

••••••  

Area leaders are promoting the Valle Verde Landscape of the Month Project, a joint effort between the Edinburg Environment Advisory Board (EEAB), the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Edinburg’s Planning and Zoning Department and Urban Forestry Program. The program, originally launched by the city in the fall of 2006, seeks to encourage home and business owners to use native trees, shrubs and plants in their landscaping to promote the protection of the local environment. Featured, from left, reminding city residents of the program, are: Mark Peña and his wife Michelle Peña; Crystal Cavazos, Imelda Rodríguez, and Letty González with the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Letty Reyes with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; and Dr. Andrew McDonald. See story later in this posting. 

•••••• 

The McAllen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will be holding its monthly mixer for current and prospective members on Thursday, May 13, at the Stilo Design Show Room, located at the corner of N. Main St. and Hackberry. Food and refreshments will be provided during the networking event, which will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Featured, from left: Leslie Garza with Stilo Design; Roxanna Godínez, MHCC vice chair of membership; Ismael García, owner of Stile Design; Lorenzo Olivarez, MHCC board treasurer; and Cynthia M. Sakulenzki, MHCC president and chief executive officer. More information is available by contact the McAllen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at 928-0060. 

•••••• 

Johnny García, managing partner of Ceballos-Díaz Funeral Home in Edinburg, was recently named Funeral Director of the Year by the South Texas Regional Funeral Directors Association, an 80-member professional organization of funeral directors from across the South Texas region. The honor was presented to García during the South Texas Funeral Directors Association annual spring meeting on South  Padre Island. Jack Sawyer, owner of Sawyer-George Funeral Home in Corpus Christi and president of STFDA, presented the coveted award on Thursday, March 11. “This award, the only award which funeral directors are judged by their peers, has been one of my goals since I became a funeral director 12 years ago,” García said. “When other funeral directors believe you are one of the best in their profession, this is truly one of the highest honors.” García, 35, who graduated from Edinburg High School in 1993, said his first experience with the funeral profession came 20 years ago when the funeral home handling his grandmother’s funeral needed someone to drive a hearse to the cemetery and García volunteered for the job. See story later in this posting.  

•••••• 

Byron Jay Lewis, President and Director of Edwards Abstract and Title Co., based in Edinburg,  on Wednesday, April 21, announced the merger of three title insurance companies. Edwards Abstract and Title Co., Security Land Title Co. and Southern Texas Title Company will unite and emerge as Edwards Abstract and Title Co. “As owner of all three companies, it makes business sense to form one company that is stronger, and that will unite the talent and experience of our personnel,” said Lewis. "The merger is a natural evolution of the opportunities and energy of the past 10 years, and an integral part of the company’s new business model," he added. After 130 years of service in the Rio Grande Valley, the firm has continued to grow and change with the times. An important key to the success of Edwards Abstract and Title Co. has been the ability to set the pace for change in the title insurance industry in the Valley, and to adapt to market conditions during the past 13 decades. See story later in this posting. 

•••••• 

In addition to being the first and only college in the entire state of Texas to earn the National Institute of Metalworking Skills Accreditation for its Precision Manufacturing Technology Program, now South Texas College can add a new accolade to its NIMS accomplishments. Mario Reyna, STC division dean of business and technology, was named to the organization’s board of directors for a three year term beginning on May 1, 2010. As a member of the 20 member board, Reyna will help establish and refine skill standards, vote on certification of individual skills and accreditation of training programs. 

••••••      

(more…)

Interim President Sorber updates UTPA Alumni Association on plan for $70 million fine arts facility

 

Former Edinburg Mayor Pro Tem Alfredo "Fred" Longoria, a native son, successful businessman, and longtime community leader who helped transform what many considered to be a sleepy border town in the early 1990s into a major economic force for South Texas in 2009, on Sunday, March 22, passed away as a result of complications from a stroke. He was 80. For Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, Longoria’s passing literally hit home. His son, Aron Leonel Peña, is married to one of Longoria’s daughters, Clarissa Longoria-Peña. "I am very sad to hear that Fred Longoria has passed away. My condolences to his family and friends," the veteran state representative reflected. "Fred was not only a long time supporter but a good man who wanted to do right by his City of Edinburg. Sometime after our initial work together, Fred became a member of the family when my eldest son married his daughter," Peña said. "The City of Edinburg has lost a loyal son who will be dearly missed. May God speed."  See story later in this posting. 

•••••• 

The Hidalgo County Commissioners’ Court on Tuesday, March 17, unanimously approved a resolution in support of a “universal freight shuttle”, featured in this diagram, along U.S. Highway 281. The diagram illustrates what the freight shuttle could look like: an elevated, unmanned track with single load transporters going in both directions. At destination, the transporters would enter cargo bays terminals at which point the trailers would simply hook up with a traditional big rig to get a short distance to a particular store. The freight shuttle is a linear motion, automated track with single container transporters that could get goods quickly and safely from Point A to Point B using only renewable energy sources and with zero-emissions. This concept, developed over the past eight years by the Texas Transportation Institute, could be used within the footprint of existing highways, including U.S. Highway 281. “Hidalgo County is working with the communities along U.S. Highway 281 to make sure we are ready to be the first to make the most of this new technology,” said Hidalgo County Judge J.D. Salinas III. See story later in this posting. 

•••••• 

Lack’s Furniture has created a $10,000 scholarship fund through South Texas College to provide opportunities for the dependants of Lack’s employees to attend college. The company was originally founded in 1935 by Sam Lack, a Russian immigrant. The operations focused on selling automotive parts, but World War II pushed the boundaries of Lack’s into the home furnishings arena.  Today, the business is still family-operated under the leadership of Lee Aaronson. A tradition of giving runs in the Aaronson family, which still owns the chain of 11 Lack’s stores serving the Rio Grande Valley from Laredo to Port Isabel. Featured, from left; Michelle Moffitt, buyer’s assistant for Lack’s; John Price, director of human resources for Lack’s; Al Moffitt, general manager for Lack’s; Kris Karr, advertising manager for Lack’s; and Anabel Hudson, buyer’s assistant for Lack’s. See story later in this posting. 

•••••• 

House Calls, one of South Texas’ largest home-based health care agencies, along with their employees and various community donors, have donated $20,000 to The University of Texas-Pan American to establish the Veronica Noble-Daley, R.N. Scholarship endowment. Noble-Daley graduated from UT Pan American in 1991 and became a registered nurse. She was only 25 years old when she decided to open House Calls and fulfill her desire to care for the sick and promote education, something she considered very important. Many times she assisted her employees in completing or furthering their education by providing them with flexible hours and tuition reimbursement. In addition, she helped support organizations and events that promoted education, such as the Florence Nightingale Gala, an event aimed at raising money for the university’s Department of Nursing. The endowment will benefit students pursuing a registered nursing degree and who are classified as entering freshmen, continuing freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors. Other requirements for the scholarship include maintaining a 3.2 grade point average, and residency in one of four Rio Grande Valley counties. Surrounded by House Calls employees, holding the check, from left, are: Armando Garza, House Calls marketing director; Erika Nobel, sister of Veronica Daley; Michael Daley, husband of Veronica Daley; Ruth Nobel, mother of Veronica Daley; and Lydia P. Alemán, associate vice president for University Advancement. For information on supporting the advancement of UTPA, call the Division of University Advancement at 956/318-5301. 

•••••• 

The McAllen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has scheduled a "Spring Luncheon and Style Show" at the Embassy Suites in McAllen on Saturday, April 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Casual, business, western and formal wear will be modeled by local community leaders and professional models. "The luncheon and style show allows our members, future members and the community to enjoy viewing the latest fashions as well as helping to stimulate our economy in McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley," said Verónica Vela, MHCC Vice Chair of Women’s Issues. A Spring Mercado consisting of individuals and/or stores will also be selling their wares and services in the hallway.  Spring jewelry, crafts, purses, dietary supplements, etc. are just some of the items.  The Mercado is free to the public. There are still some Mercado booths for sale. For more information on the Spring Mercado and/or the Spring Luncheon & Style Show call the MHCC at 928-0060. Featured are representatives of the stores that will be participating in the Style Show: Maclyn Flynn and Becky Cuellar of Warehouse 503; Becky Malcik of Beck’s Fashions; Alicia Suárez and Jessica Rangel of JCPenny’s Hair salon; Raúl Traigo of GUESS; Ana Delgado of GUESS by Mariano; Alejandro J. Garza of Kalifa’s Western Wear; Gloria Muñoz of Cute Cotton Co.; Carmen Esparaza of Joyce’s International Boutique; Mónica de Coss of Room Clothing; and Tony Lucio of Banana Republic. Committee members shown are: Verónica Vela, Vice Chair of Women’s Issues; Zaira García; Elizabeth Martínez, Vice Chair of Public Relations; and Orie Salinas, Vice Chair of Events. Participating stores not shown are: Spa La Posada, Our Secret, Dillards, Boot Jack, Nicole’s Boutique and Renée’s. 

•••••• 

(more…)

Hidalgo County Road Builders negotiates $46.3 million contract to work on Hidalgo County Loop project for local Regional Mobility Authority

20080314a1.jpg

Mayor Pro Tem Alma Garza and Johnny Rodríguez, her opponent in the Saturday, May 10 city council elections, maintained a positive, friendly tone on Wednesday, March 12, when both candidates showed up late that morning at Edinburg City Hall to see whose name will be placed first on the ballot for their seat. Staff members for the City Secretary drew the names with the candidates looking on as witnesses. Garza will have her name first on the ballot. In the second race, challenger Leonel Guerrero’s name will be first on the ballot in his race against Councilmember Gene Espinoza. Guerrero also attended the drawing, which was open to the public. Espinoza was unable to attend due to other important business. Garza and Rodríguez are vying for the Place 4 city council post, while Guerrero and Espinoza are seeking the Place 3 seat.

••••••

20080314a2.jpg

Gerry Pate, standing left, managing general partner with Hidalgo County Road Builders, a private coalition, has negotiated a $46.3 million contract with the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority – a governmental entity – to provide pre-construction services in preparation for the building of major portions of the $645 million Hidalgo County Loop, which will be designed to shuttle heavy commercial truck traffic coming to and from the region. Services included in the agreement include advance planning, environmental clearance, preliminary and final design, right-of-way acquisition services. The contract was approved on Thursday, February 28. HCRB is contracted to complete the pre-construction services within 18 months and deliver to the RMA board a guaranteed maximum price for the completion, including construction of a major portion of the loop project by 2013. The agreement is expected to be executed within the next week. Also featured with Pate is Jacinto Garza, the project engineer. Both men were addressing the RMA board during the organization’s meeting in Weslaco on Thursday, February 28. See lead story later in this posting.

••••••

20080314a3.jpg

Bryant Morrison, a faculty member at the University of Texas-Pan American, addressed the Edinburg School Board on Tuesday, March 11, to announce the formation of Yes4Kids, a political action committee that will raise money to help pass a two propositions relating to the construction and renovation of schools in the district. The election will be held on Saturday, March 10. were among some of the Yes4Kids members who made their pitch before the Edinburg school board during the trustees’ regularly bimonthly meeting on Tuesday, March 11. Also at the meeting were opponents of the bond election, who are concerned that, with the U.S. economy slowing down – possibly already in an economic recession – now is not the time for local taxpayers to go into long-term debt by passing bond issues. But Morrison and other bond proposals believe otherwise. “We don’t need their money, we need their support and we need the community discussing the pros and cons of the bond. The more people talk, the more they will see that there is really no debate here,” Morrison said. “When they get the information, they will see we will be saving money, we will get a bigger bang for the bank, and we will relieve the district from some of the bond debt they already have.” See story later in this posting.

••••••

20080314a4.jpg

Rep. Armando “Mando” Martínez, D-Weslaco, recently presented a $500 check to Women Together/Mujeres Unidas, a local charity organization whose vision is to end violence so that individuals may live without fear, abuse or oppression. The mission of Women Together/Mujeres Unidas is to provide shelter and support services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and their families. Martínez organized a charity event in November 2007 to benefit various charity organizations in the Rio Grande Valley. Among those charities that benefited from the event was Women Together/Mujeres Unidas. Since 1978 Women Together/Mujeres Unidas has worked to end domestic violence and sexual assault in Hidalgo and Starr Counties. Women Together/Mujeres Unidas have three locations, two in McAllen and one in Weslaco. They provide education, awareness and prevention programs to the communities. Featured with the Mid-Valley lawmaker is Marlene Ramírez, Outreach Advocate for Women Together/Mujeres Unidas in front of Martínez’ district office in Weslaco.

•••••• (more…)

Juez Susan Criss archivo para la Corte Suprema de Tejas, dice ella que va traer diversidad, justicia para todos los Tejanos

unapposedreelection.jpg

Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, featured second from right in this file photo, is hoping to get a new, four-year term to the Texas Senate if no one files against him by 5 p.m. Wednesday, January 2, the deadline for candidates who want to place their names on the ballot for the March 4 party primaries in Texas. As of Thursday, December 27, the veteran legislator, whose Senate District 20 includes Edinburg, remained unopposed, according to the Texas Democratic Party. Only those candidates whose constituency covers multiple counties are required to file with the Texas Democratic Party. If Hinojosa draws no opponents, his new four-year term will begin in January 2009. His district includes part of Hidalgo County, along with all of Brooks, Jim Wells, and Nueces counties. Local legislative races also up for grabs that affect Edinburg include the expected battle between two Democrats – Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, and Eddie Sáenz – and next fall’s upcoming contest between Rep. Verónica Gonzáles, D-McAllen, and Javier Villalobos, a Republican. Gonzáles’ House District 41 includes southwest Edinburg.

••••••

twinteentitans.jpg

Edinburg High School’s twin brother athletes Roberto (featured left) and Ricardo Vergara, 17, were honored recently by the Edinburg school board with a resolution recognizing their many accomplishments in race walking. Both young men are members of the South Texas Walking Club which promotes health and fitness through competitive walking. In addition to be outstanding in their academics, the brothers also have built international athletic reputations. Along with the Edinburg school board members featured in this portrait, the two brothers also were joined by their former elementary school – and now Edinburg High School – principal, Maria Luisa Guerra, shown here in the first row, second from right. A.C. Jaime, featured third row, first on left, has been the coach and mentor for the Vergara brothers. See story later in this posting.

•••••• (more…)