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Sen. Hinojosa announces plan by TXU to allow low-income and senior citizens to spread out payments of upcoming costly summer utility bills

Texas Speaker of the House Tom Craddick on Wednesday, April 30, told area residents in McAllen that he has been a champion for Texas community colleges since his 1969 election as a state representative from Midland. It was his work with Midland College, he says, that led him to realize the important role of community colleges. “Being here today makes time served in the legislature worthwhile,” Craddick told a crowd during his late morning visit to the South Texas College Pecan Campus in McAllen. The college honored Craddick at a reception and thanked him for his many contributions to STC and other Texas community colleges. Featured with him in this portrait are, from left: STC Board of Trustees member Mike Allen; STC President Dr. Shirley Reed; Rep. Ismael “Kino” Flores, D-Palmview; Craddick; STC Board of Trustees president Irene García; Palmview Mayor Jorge García; Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg; and Rep. Verónica Gonzáles, D-McAllen. See story later in this posting.

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Howard Pebley, featured left, on Wednesday, April 30, in Pharr received a special award from Speaker of the House Tom Craddick, center, honoring Pebley, President of McAllen Construction, for his many years of dedicated service to the Republican Party and the community. Craddick, a Republican from Midland, was the keynote speaker for the Lincoln Day Dinner, which raises funds for the Hidalgo County Republican Party. Hollis Rutledge, featured right, who is chairman of the Hidalgo County Republican Party, told more than 100 supporters at the event of Pebley’s considerable professional and community achievements, ranging from serving as chairman of the McAllen Economic Development Corporation, being appointed by then Gov. George W. Bush to the One Call Board of Texas, to holding the leadership role of President of the Associated General Contractors of Texas (Highway, Heavy Utility, and Industrial Branch).

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Five student leaders at The University of Texas-Pan American were honored during the Salute the Leaders Award Luncheon held April 17 as part of the annual National Student Leadership Week April 14 – 19. Now in its fourth year, the program hosted by the UTPA Student Leadership Academy and Program, honors outstanding university students for campus and community involvement. Students are nominated based on academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, and/or service to the community. Forty-four students were nominated. Featured are award recipients Melissa Hernández, graduate student in occupational therapy, from Pharr; Cruz Ríos, senior communications major, from Edinburg; Diana Cepeda, senior biology major, from Los Fresnos; and María Hinojosa, senior bilingual education major, from Donna. Not pictured is James Berglund, senior biology major, from Corpus Christi. For more information on the Student Leadership Academy, contact Amy Martin, program coordinator, at 956/381-2262.

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Sen. Hinojosa, County Judge Salinas endorse Mikal Watts for U.S. Senate during swing through Edinburg

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U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, on Thursday, July 26, successfully passed an amendment to H.R. 2638 / S. 1644, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill, which will prevent Congress from dictating to states where border fencing will be built. Hutchison, shown in this file photo earlier in the year with Larry R. Faulkner, president of the University of Texas at Austin (left) and Kenneth M. Jastrow, II, chief executive officer of Temple-Inland, received key help on the amendment from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. See story later in this posting.

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Sen. Juan “Chuy”” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, featured right, was honored Saturday, July 28 with the 2007 Patient Advocacy Award from the Texas Academy of Family Physicians for his work during the 80th legislative session in fighting for transparency in managed care contracts and protecting taxpayer money. The award was presented during the TAFP’s 58th annual scientific assembly in Corpus Christi at the American Bank Center. Hinojosa is featured here in Edinburg with Social Life Magazine publisher Pepe Cabeza de Vaca. See story later in this posting.••••••

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Gov. Rick Perry, seated, was joined by South Texas College leaders and legislators on Thursday, July 19, at the State Capitol for a ceremonial bill-signing ceremony authorizing the creation of a STC Rural Technology Center in Starr County. The Rural Technology Center will be managed by STC in partnership with local public schools, libraries, learning centers, businesses, and the local community. STC will also fund the annual operating costs. Participants will be able to learn about computers and information technology, explore related career pathways, further their education through the development of skills in the area of technology, and much more. Featured in this photograph are, from left: STC President Dr. Shirley Reed; Rep. Ismael “Kino” Flores, D-Palmview; Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, the author of the law; Irene García of Mission, chair of the STC Board of Trustees; STC board trustee Manuel Benavides of Rio Grande City; Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City, the author of the law; and Palmview Mayor Jorge García. See story later in this posting.

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