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Edinburg Economic Development Corporation reports $150.6 million in construction in city between January and May 2017, $50 million ahead of last year’s pace

Featured, from left: Roberto González, Publisher, Texas Border Business and Mega Doctor News; Peter Higgins, Managing Partner, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg; and Juan Luis Mussenden, General Manager, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg, on Thursday, June 22, 2017 inside the multi-million dollar, nationally-rated restaurant, which is one of dozens of construction projects valued at $1 million and higher that have been built in Edinburg during the past two years. Bob’s Steak & Chop House has scheduled its grand opening for the Valley for Friday, July 14, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. It is conveniently located by Interstate Highway 69 (U.S. Expressway 281) at The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley. More information is available online at https://www.facebook.com/bobsedinburg/. “I had the honor of visiting the new Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg during its preparation for their grand opening. The only comment I have is that the venue is a magnificent place to gather and dine. It will bring patrons from 250 miles’ radius to include South Texas and Mexico,” said González.

Courtesy Photograph

As Bob’s Steak & Chop House, one of the latest construction projects in Edinburg valued at $2.5 million, prepares for its grand opening on Friday, July 14, 2017, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation announced that total construction activities in the city reached more than $150 million from January through May 2017, including $10.1 million for the month of May. The year-to-date figure of $150.6 million continues to outperform last year’s pace, when total construction in Edinburg for the first five months of 2016 had reached slightly more than $100 million. For the month of May 2017 – the latest figures available from the city – Edinburg saw construction permits issued for work valued at $10,186,236, with single-family homes and multi-family residences leading the way, at $4 million and $2.7 million, respectively. Those totals do not include the value of any building-related activities at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg because the state government, not the city, oversees all construction at the Edinburg campus. As a result, the city – through its Code Enforcement Department – does not issue building permits for any construction work at UTRGV or its School of Medicine, or count the value of those activities in the city’s monthly and year-to-date figures. The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus García is Executive Director, 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 Gus García are not related. 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.

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Edinburg EDC announces that for the second consecutive month, Edinburg posted the lowest monthly unemployment rate – 5.4 percent – among all Valley cities for May 2017

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has purchased this existing shell building on Crosspoint Boulevard in Edinburg to house the UTRGV School of Medicine Pediatrics Clinic. The sale was finalized in May and project completion is estimated for September 2017. The UTRGV School of Medicine was created in May 2013 through Senate Bill 24 by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, serving as the primary author, and Rep. René Oliveira, D-Brownsville, serving as primary sponsor. The rest of the Valley legislative delegation played key roles in the creation of the medical school in Edinburg, serving as joint authors and cosponsors of SB 24. The Edinburg Mayor, Edinburg City Council, and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on behalf of UTRGV in Edinburg and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Jobs in Edinburg’s medical and health care professions will continue to grow following news on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine that it will establish a Pediatrics Clinic in the community. Edinburg – which for numerous consecutive years has registered the lowest or second lowest unemployment rate among all Valley cities, for the month of May 2017 posted the best figure, at 5.4 percent, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. This is the second consecutive month that Edinburg has posted the lowest unemployment rate in the Valley. The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus García is Executive Director, 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. Richard García and Gus García are not related.

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As community continues to show positive growth, Edinburg EDC to hold monthly public meeting at noon on Friday, June 30, 2017 at City Hall

Featured: Dr. Steven Lieberman, Interim Dean of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine in Edinburg, speaks to medical school residents during the Graduate Medical Education Program Orientation at the local campus on Thursday, June 22, 2017. The UTRGV School of Medicine was created in May 2013 through Senate Bill 24 by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, serving as the primary author, and Rep. René Oliveira, D-Brownsville, serving as primary sponsor. The rest of the Valley legislative delegation played key roles in the creation of the medical school in Edinburg, serving as joint authors and cosponsors of SB 24. The Edinburg Mayor, Edinburg City Council, and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on behalf of UTRGV in Edinburg and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

As Edinburg continues to receive positive and independent reports on its growth – it posted the lowest unemployment rate (5.4 percent) in the Valley for May 2017 and was approaching more than $150 million in construction activities during the first five months of this year – the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation will meet in public on Friday, June 30, 2017, to review its strategies for more advances for the community. The session, which begins at noon, will be held in the City Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 West University Drive. The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus García is the Executive Director, 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 Gus García are not related. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors’ agenda is posted online at: http://edinburgedc.com/meetings-agendas/.

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Sexual Assault Awareness Month, proposed by Rep. Canales, receives 144 – 0 House approval; lawmaker also wants universities and colleges to provide details of such crimes on campuses

Featured: A recent U.S. Air Force poster, part of an ongoing campaign by the American military in support of Airmen and their families who have been a victim of sexual assault. In Texas, a statewide effort led by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, is underway to develop strategies to reduce sexual assault by equipping the public with knowledge and awareness of this serious crime by designating April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Photograph Courtesy of U.S. AIR FORCE

Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, has proposed that April would be designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Texas in order to increase knowledge that leads to more prevention of sexual assault and punishment of criminals, and to authorize the regular observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month through appropriate activities in public schools and other places. Sexual assault, according to FindLaw.com, occurs when a defendant – intentionally and knowingly – commits any of a number of prohibited sexual activities listed under Texas’ sexual assault law without the victim’s consent. Canales’ proposal, as illustrated in House Bill 822, was overwhelmingly approved by the Texas House of Representatives on Thursday, April 2o, 2017.  The bill will now go to the Texas Senate for their action. “Today, I passed legislation out of the House to officially designate the month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in an effort to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual assault,” Canales said. “We need everyone’s help to reduce sexual assault, and I believe that officially designating this month is a step in the right direction towards proactively reducing sexual assault.” Sexual assault is a serious criminal violation. Canales’ measure stems from a study conducted by UT Austin’s Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, whose findings were released on Friday, March 24, 2017. The report titled Cultivating Learning and Safe Environments showed that sexual assault is an ongoing problem throughout society, including in the halls of higher education. According to the study,  almost 200 out of the more than 3,800 students who participated in the anonymous online survey reported to have been sexually assaulted since they have been enrolled at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s campuses. Nine percent of those students who participated in the anonymous online survey – almost 350 individuals – said they had been victims of unwanted sexual touching since they have been enrolled at UTRGV’s campuses. “These figures are shocking, to say the least,” said Canales, an attorney who also serves on the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, which shapes state laws to protect Texans, especially from violent criminals. “But through this legislation, and another major bill I am working on, we are going to help remove the shroud of secrecy over sexual assault, family violence, and stalking policies at our public universities and colleges.” House Bill 1096, coauthored by Canales and Rep. J.M. Lozano, R-Kingsville, would require public universities and colleges in Texas to provide students and organizations with information about these crimes. “If HB 1096 becomes law, but a public university or college fails to provide that information, that university or college would not receive any state funding,” Canales said. 

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Edinburg EDC: Retail economy has produced almost $6.9 million in local sales taxes in past four months, ahead of same period the previous year

Featured: Students and faculty from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in February 2017 won numerous awards for creative excellence at the American Advertising Federation (AAF)-Rio Grande Valley ADDY awards competition. Shown, front row, from left, are: Ping Xu, UTRGV Assistant Professor of Graphic Design; and UTRGV students Richard Guzmán; Alexandra González; Jacqueline Maldonado; and Arael Meza. Back row, from left: Samuel Hernández; UTRGV Art Lecturer Erika Balogh; Mónica Lugo; Julio Aranda; Mariana Zapata; and Robert Gilbert, Associate Professor of Graphic Design. The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on behalf of UTRGV in Edinburg and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg.

Photograph Courtesy of MARCI CALTABIANO

Between November 2016 and February 2017, Edinburg’s retail economy remained ahead of the same period the year before, up 0.63 percent, based on local sales taxes generated, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. For the month of February 2017, the city’s retail economy was slightly behind the pace set during the month of February 2016 – registering a slight drop of 1.08 percent – with almost all of the other Valley communities also reporting decreases in local sales taxes generated from the same month the prior year. From November 2016 through February 2017, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $6,888,933.94 in local sales taxes, compared with $6,845,130.80 for November 2015 through February 2016, an increase of 0.63 percent. For February 2017, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $1,543,532.91 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,560,406.24 in February 2016, representing a decrease of 1.08 percent. The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, 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 Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr. are not related.

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