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Edinburg’s pro-business policies, safe environment promoted by Edinburg Economic Development Corporation to recruit top Mexican investors

Edinburg's pro-business policies, safe environment promoted by Edinburg Economic Development Corporation to recruit top Mexican investors - Titans of the Texas Legislature

The Texas Secretary of State on Thursday, September 6, certified that R.D. "Bobby" Guerra, D-Sharyland, is declared elected as the new state representative for House District 41 and will serve the unexpired term of former Rep. Verónica Gonzáles, D-McAllen, which ends in mid-January 2013. Guerra, the Democratic Party nominee who also is seeking a full two-year term in the November 6 general election, was the only candidate to file for the special election to fill the unexpired term for District 41, which includes southwest Edinburg, north, central, southeast and portions of west McAllen, Palmhurst, Sharyland, Alton, and a portion of northwest Pharr. Guerra, an attorney, is facing Miriam Martínez, R-Edinburg, a small business owner and international journalist, in the November 6 general election for the new two-year term that begins in mid-January 2013. All state representatives serve two-year terms. "Being declared state representative for District 41 to serve the unexpired term in the Texas House is a tremendous honor for me. I am truly grateful for the overwhelming community support I have received for the privilege of wanting me to represent our Valley families," said Guerra. See story later in this posting.

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Edinburg's pro-business policies, safe environment promoted by Edinburg Economic Development Corporation to recruit top Mexican investors - Titans of the Texas Legislature

The appointment of Democrat Bobby Guerra to finish the final months of former Rep. Verónica Gonzáles’ term in the Texas House of Representative has little value for South Texans, says Miriam Martínez, the Republican nominee for House District 41. The Texas Secretary of State on Thursday, September 6, certified that R.D. "Bobby" Guerra, D-Sharyland, is declared elected as the new state representative for House District 41 and will finish out the final months of Gonzáles’ term, which ends in mid-January 2013. Guerra was the only person to file paperwork with the Texas Secretary of State to complete the remaining portion of Gonzáles’ term, which became vacant on June 30, when Gonzáles, a Democrat, retired from the Texas House of Representatives in order to take a $170,000-a-year job with the University of Texas-Pan American. "I remain on the general election ballot, and that is what is most important," said Martínez, R-Edinburg. House District 41 includes southwest Edinburg, north, central, southeast and portions of west McAllen, Palmhurst, Sharyland, Alton, and a portion of northwest Pharr. See story later in this posting.

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Edinburg's pro-business policies, safe environment promoted by Edinburg Economic Development Corporation to recruit top Mexican investors - Titans of the Texas Legislature

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV on Tuesday, September 4, received a city proclamation recognizing Saturday, September 15, as Boys & Girls Clubs Day for Kids. BGC Day for Kids is an annual event highlighting the value of meaningful time between caring adults and children. This year, in celebration of Boys & Girls Clubs Day for Kids, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV  is partnering with H-E-B and the Edinburg Rotary Club to host a family cooking demonstration on Friday, September 21, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Legacy [email protected] & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV, located at 702 Cullen Street (near the intersection of Rogers Road and U.S. Expressway 281). Featured during the city ceremony on September 4 are, front row, from left: Carrie Gutiérrez, Devin López, Alex Castillo, Carina Espinoza, and Abigail González. Second row, from left: Dazzrae López, Jaime Vega, Amaya Hernández, Ashley Garza, Miguel Espinoza, and Araceli Valencia, Program Supervisor, Boys & Girls Clubs Edinburg RGV. Third row, from left: Armando Chapa, Rotarian; Beverly Land, Rotarian; and Sabrina Walker-Hernández, Chief Operating Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV. Back row, from left: Mayor Pro Tem Agustín "Gus" García; Eddie Villanueva, Members, Board of Directors, Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV; Councilmember Elías Longoria, Jr.; Mayor Richard García; Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr.; Councilmember J.R. Betancourt; and Michael Le Coste, Member, Board of Directors, Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV.

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Edinburg's pro-business policies, safe environment promoted by Edinburg Economic Development Corporation to recruit top Mexican investors - Titans of the Texas Legislature

U.S. Expressway 281, which is the main transportation corridor linking the Valley and Mexico to major cities in Texas and beyond – plus the proactive approach by Edinburg’s city leadership in helping existing and prospective businesses – were among the key messages delivered on Wednesday, September 5, during the first annual International Business and Franchise Investment Expo. The event, hosted by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, drew more than 160 local, state and Mexican business, community and government leaders to the gathering, held at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance. Among the speakers and organizers of the expo were, from left: Adrian A. Arriaga, CCIM, CIPS, broker/owner of AAA Real Estate and Investments; Guillermo Canedo, who leads the City of Edinburg’s office in Monterrey, Mexico; Nelda T. Ramírez, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Letty Reyes, Project Manager, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Juan R. López, A.I.C.P., Director of Planning and Zoning, City of Edinburg; César Cepeda, FranNet; and Pablo Cerda, Building Official, City of Edinburg. See lead story later in this posting.

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Edinburg's pro-business policies, safe environment promoted by Edinburg Economic Development Corporation to recruit top Mexican investors - Titans of the Texas Legislature

Sabrina Walker-Hernández, featured center, Chief Professional Officer for The Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV, was recently honored as the 2012 Inspiration Award Winner for many achievements on behalf of the local chapter. The Inspiration Award, announced on Monday, September 3, is given to an outstanding professional whose leadership serves as an inspiration and catalyst resulting in transformational change with the Boys & Girls Clubs movement. Featured, from left: Teresa Walch of Dallas, the Regional Vice President at Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Sabrina Walker-Hernández, CFO, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV; and Lorraine Orr of Atlanta, Senior Vice President of Field Services for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. See story later in this posting.

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Edinburg's pro-business policies, safe environment promoted by Edinburg Economic Development Corporation to recruit top Mexican investors - Titans of the Texas Legislature

On Thursday, October 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., South Texas Health System and the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Public Affairs Committee will present a Public Affairs Luncheon featuring Jennifer Garza, Chief Executive Officer for Edinburg Regional Medical Center/Edinburg Children’s Hospital. The cost to attend the luncheon is $12 per person or $125 for a table of 8, and includes a hot lunch, beverage and dessert.  The luncheon will take place at The Echo Hotel and Conference Center, located on 1903 South Closner in Edinburg. Featured promoting the upcoming luncheon are, seated from left: Catherine Domian, Chief Nursing Officer, Edinburg Regional Medical Center; Elva Jackson Garza, Vice President/Marketing Manager, Edwards Abstract & Title Company; Jennifer Garza, Chief Executive Officer, Edinburg Regional Medical Center; Lisa Killion, Marketing Executive, South Texas Health System; and Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber President. Standing, from left: Imelda Rodríguez, Director of Tourism, Edinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau; Jacob De León, Funeral Director, Memorial Funeral Home; Martín Rivas, Membership Director, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Michael LaCoste, Associate Administrator, Edinburg Regional Medical Center; and Jason Chang, Chief Operating Officer, Edinburg Regional Medical Center. For more information on this event or to make a reservation please call the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce at 956/383-4974.

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Edinburg's pro-business policies, safe environment promoted by Edinburg Economic Development Corporation to recruit top Mexican investors - Titans of the Texas Legislature

On Wednesday, September 26, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and the Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library will feature art from beginners to practicing professionals at the Historic Train Depot, located at 602 W. University Drive. More than a dozen artists will display their art work made possible through instructional classes supported by Friends of the Edinburg Library. There is no admission charge and the artwork will be available for sale. For more information on this event or to RSVP by September 25, individuals may call the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce at 956/383-4974. Promoting the event are students from the 2012 Summer Art classes, from left: Letty Leija; Imelda Canales; Ramón Vela; Nelly Villarreal; and Zack Sáenz.

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Edinburg's pro-business policies, safe environment promoted by Edinburg Economic Development Corporation to recruit top Mexican investors - Titans of the Texas Legislature

The McAllen Chamber of Commerce and FECANACO Tamaulipas on Thursday, September 27, will host the Bi-National Reunion of Chambers of Commerce Meeting at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, located at 1200 Ash Avenue. The meeting will feature local and regional leaders of chambers of commerce from the Rio Grande Valley and Tamaulipas. During the gathering, important issues that are common to chambers of commerce on both sides of the border will be addressed. Featured, from left: Luis Cantú, Vice President of International Business, McAllen Chamber of Commerce, and Alma Ortega-Johnson, Member, Board of Directors, McAllen Chamber of Commerce. See story later in this posting.

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Edinburg's pro-business policies, safe environment promoted by Edinburg Economic Development Corporation to recruit top Mexican investors - Titans of the Texas Legislature

The Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and New York Life will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a fiesta – which is free and open to the public – on Tuesday, September 25, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Nuevo Santander Gallery, 717 North Main Street in McAllen. Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, México, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, México and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period. Featured helping prepare for the local fiesta are, front row, from left: Nancy Pascual, Michelle Guajardo, Rhonda Zavala, Connie Hernández, and Cynthia Sakulenzki, President and CEO for the RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Back row, from left, are: Gus Pascual, Arlene Villarreal, Gilbert Pérez, Noemi Hernández, Bertha Z. García, and James Burmane. More information on the event and the RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is available by calling 956/928-0060.

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Following banner years for Edinburg school district, Robert Peña, Jr., files for reelection for Place 4 seat on school board

Following banner years for Edinburg school district, Robert Peña, Jr., files for reelection for Place 4 seat on school board - Titans of the Texas Legislature

Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., Chancellor of the University of Texas System (featured third from right) on Friday, August 17, 2012 was welcomed at the UT Regional Academic Health Center in Edinburg by UT, Edinburg and state leaders, including Mayor Richard García and Rep.-elect Terry Canales, D-Edinburg. Cigarroa announced plans to significantly expand medical education in South Texas and graduate the first class of medical school students in the region in 2018. “On behalf of The University of Texas System Board of Regents, I am honored to make two announcements. First, the year 2018 will be a very special year for all of us. It will be the year that we graduate our first class of medical school students in South Texas,” said Cigarroa. “Second, we are beginning the transition of the UT Health Science Center – San Antonio Regional Academic Health Center—known as the RAHC – into an independent, freestanding, comprehensive and research intensive regional medical school, with its own president and structure, for South Texas.” Cigarroa outlined a blueprint that he developed in coordination with UT System Chairman of the Board of Regents Gene Powell and Regent Robert Stillwell, Chairman of the Health Affairs Committee. The plan was developed to bring the new South Texas medical school to life, and it addresses a significant list of past commitments and future steps to move the project forward. Featured, from left: Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell; retiring Rep. Aaron Peña, Jr., R-Edinburg; Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville; Chancellor Cigarroa; Mayor García; and Rep.-elect Canales. See story later in this posting.

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Following banner years for Edinburg school district, Robert Peña, Jr., files for reelection for Place 4 seat on school board - Titans of the Texas Legislature

Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, featured here in mid-August at the McAllen Convention Center as the keynote speaker during the summer graduation ceremony for the University of Texas-Pan American, is hailing a federal court ruling on Thursday, August 30, that overturned the state’s so-called "Voter ID Law". The measure, made possible last spring with the passage of Senate Bill 14, popularly known as the Voter ID Law, does disenfranchise certain segments of the voting-age population in Texas, the Washington, D.C. federal court ruled. "From the day this legislation was filed we voiced as loudly as we could that Voter ID legislation is designed to stop minorities and the indigent population from exercising their constitutional right to vote," said Hinojosa. Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, any changes to the elections process in Texas must be approved by the United States Department of Justice before it can be implemented. See story later in this posting.

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Following banner years for Edinburg school district, Robert Peña, Jr., files for reelection for Place 4 seat on school board - Titans of the Texas Legislature

South Texas state and congressional leaders on Wednesday, August 15, saluted retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, for the work she has done  on behalf of the state, including help secure federal funding for the new McAllen VA Outpatient Clinic. Hutchison was addressing more than 100 Valley veterans and other local leaders during the groundbreaking of the new 58,500 square-foot medical facility, set to open late next summer, which will improve services to McAllen area by providing extended primary care services and outpatient specialty care. Featured, from left: Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission; Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville; Congressman Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo/McAllen; Congressman  Rubén Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, and Sen. Hutchison. See story later in this posting.

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Following banner years for Edinburg school district, Robert Peña, Jr., files for reelection for Place 4 seat on school board - Titans of the Texas Legislature

With area students of all ages returning to school for the fall semester, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation on Friday, August 10, organized a Back to School Runway Show, featuring fashions being sold locally by Wal-Mart, Bealls, and Kenya Rose. Young women with Missy’s Modeling Studio showcased the latest back-to-school styles as part of iShop Edinburg’s ongoing campaign at the monthly Jardín Del Arte’s Summer Nights Jazz Series 2012, held free-of-charge and open to the public, at the City Hall Courtyard, 415 West University Drive. The modeling show, live music, and other activities – which showcased more than 20 artists and artisans, and food from local vendors – drew hundreds of area residents. Musical performances were delivered by Del Viento, and Bongo Bob & The Bobaloos. Among the other local talent featured at the event were: Benjamin Varela; Anna Varela; Celerrino Castillo; Rubén Ríos; Julián Rodríguez; Raúl Treviño; Ramón Vela; Ernesto Gómez; Lupe Vázquez; Raquel Hinojosa; Isis D. Camarillo; Paul Valadez; Martha Hinojosa; and Anna Ramírez – Robot Annie. Jardín Del Arte is organized by the EEDC, which is the jobs creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. The City of Edinburg and the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce also are sponsors of Jardín Del Arte and iShopEdinburg.

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Following banner years for Edinburg school district, Robert Peña, Jr., files for reelection for Place 4 seat on school board - Titans of the Texas Legislature

The Edinburg Cultural Activities Board along with Edinburg Arts recently made a connection between the Evins Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg and the Emmanuel Project. The Emmanuel Project provides art supplies and creative learning materials for incarcerated youth ages 12 to 21 to help engage them in academics and facilitate success in the classroom. The project is named after Emanuel Martínez, a master painter and sculptor, and includes a customized mural for each center in which 80 percent is painted by the center’s youth. “The Arts can improve the quality of life in our community as they lift our spirits and touch our deepest emotions, as well as teach us to appreciate all cultures and traditions. The Arts are a vital component of our children’s education because they inspire and expand the creative mind, and promote development of analytical and critical thinking skills," Guerra said. "The Arts sustain and preserve the heart and soul of our civilization, and, in short, the Arts make us better people." She continued, "We are very happy to have facilitated this opportunity for the inmates in the Evins Regional Juvenile Center, with the hope of touching and possibly transforming a young life in Edinburg. These are the types of projects that the Edinburg Cultural Activities Board strives to bring to our community." Featured, posing in front of the working mural earlier this summer, are, from left: Dr. Dahlia Guerra; Emanuel Martínez; Letty Leija; and Ronaldo Chávez, the principal at the Evins Regional Juvenile Center. See story later in this posting.

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Following banner years for Edinburg school district, Robert Peña, Jr., files for reelection for Place 4 seat on school board - Titans of the Texas Legislature

Ladies, come out and enjoy an evening of shopping, dinner, cocktails, pampering, silent auction and a Men’s Style Show comprised of local business and community leaders on Thursday, September 27, at La Antigua Revilla in Edinburg from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Women’s Committee of the Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has scheduled this event to raise funds for their upcoming Women’s Conference. Enjoy yourself as you get pampered with free massages, nail color change, make up makeover’s and new hair do’s. RGVHCC male board members will be bartenders and butlers to the ladies present. The Men’s Style Show will be coordinated by Debi Lou Productions. They will be showcasing casual, sport, business, western and formal wear. Ladies will have the opportunity to take pictures with the popular men. Several single and eligible models will be auctioned off for Dinner Dates hosted by several restaurants in the Valley. Tickets for the fundraiser are $25 each, and $300 for a reserved table of 10. Sponsorships of $3,000, $2,000, $1,000 and $500 are also available. Sponsorships include reserved tables in priority seating, ads in the program book and a vendor table. For more information call the RGVHCC office at 928-0060. Helping promote the fundraiser with Cynthia M. Sakulenski, the president and CEO of the RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, are some of the male models. Featured, from right; Sergio Contreras, ATT; Ray Cantú, Frank Smith Toyota; Johnny R. Cavazos, Johnny’s BBQ; Cynthia M. Sakulenzki; Emilio de los Santos, Lone Star National Bank; J.C. Cervantes, Pangea Floor Covering; and Joe Smith, L3 Technologies.

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Following banner years for Edinburg school district, Robert Peña, Jr., files for reelection for Place 4 seat on school board - Titans of the Texas Legislature

The Miss Edinburg 2013 Scholarship Pageant is accepting applicants for the Saturday, October 6 pageant, which will be held at the historic City Auditorium, located at 415 W. McIntyre, next to Edinburg City Hall. Registration is officially underway and will take place until the end of September. "We are looking forward to our upcoming pageant and are very excited to meet all interested applicants. Miss Edinburg and Miss Teen Edinburg 2013 will receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve their community with honor by promoting different events throughout Edinburg and the Rio Grande Valley," said Minerva Olivarez, Pageant Director. Featured promoting the pageant are, from left: Imelda Rodríguez, Director of Tourism, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Rachel Tunberg, Miss Teen Edinburg; Letty González; President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Miranda Gracia, Miss Edinburg; and Minerva Olivarez, Pageant Director. See story later in this posting.

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Following banner years for Edinburg school district, Robert Peña, Jr., files for reelection for Place 4 seat on school board - Titans of the Texas Legislature

The Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is well underway in preparing for the annual “Hispanic Heritage Fiesta & Cook Off” that is scheduled for Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10 at the Mercedes Livestock Show Grounds. The Cook Off is a Sanctioned IBCA Cook Off with cash prizes over $10,000.  Besides the sanctioned chicken, brisket and ribs, additional categories that can be entered into are Pan de Campo, Fajitas, Chef’s Choice and Beans. Cooking Teams can register for $200 and pick their cooking spot on a first come first serve basis. Other new events that will occur this year are a Chihuahua Race, Jalapeno Eating Contest, Horseshoe Toss and Chihuahua Costume Contest.  The popular Kiddie Cooking Contest,  Biker Poker Run & Field Events hosted by SPI BikeFest and Kiddie Land will return. Car dealerships will also display some of their new vehicles as well as compete in a Car Dealership Cook Off.  Live entertainment from popular local bands will also be on stage all day Saturday. For information on the Fiesta & Cook Off call the RGV Hispanic Chamber at 928-0060. Featured working on the event details are, seated, from left: Lee Cabrera, Marti Miller and John Kowalski. Standing, from left: Anthony Covacevich, Cynthia M. Sakulenzki and Ronnie Bernal.

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Following banner years for Edinburg school district, Robert Peña, Jr., files for reelection for Place 4 seat on school board - Titans of the Texas Legislature

Hidalgo County Clerk Arturo Guajardo, Jr. and his Office of Records Management were recognized by the members of Hidalgo County Commissioners’ Court for receiving a national "Best Practice" Award by the National Association of County Records, Election Officials and Clerks (NACRC). The achievement, which was announced by the NACRC at their annual conference held in July, recognizes the County Clerk’s Office for their newly implemented program, "Records Management: Record, Retain, Recycle," which began with the initiative to reduce overcrowding, manage bulk paper waste, and promote environmental preservation of the county’s records management system. As the program evolved, the County Clerk’s Office successfully included a county-wide recycling strategy that is both efficient and effective, resulting in a tremendous environmental impact as well as a revenue-making stream. Featured, from left: Hidalgo County Judge Ramón García; Precinct 3 County Commissioner Joe M. Flores, Armando Pérez, a staff member with the Office of Records Management; Hidalgo County Clerk Arturo Guajardo, Jr.; Precinct 2 County Commissioner Héctor "Tito" Palacios; and Precinct 1 County Commissioner Joel Quintanilla. See story later in this posting.

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Following banner years for Edinburg school district, Robert Peña, Jr., files for reelection for Place 4 seat on school board - Titans of the Texas Legislature

Congressman Rubén Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, on Friday, August 10, announced that $129,534,387 in disaster recovery funds were awarded to several counties, a city and to the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council through the Texas Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recover Grant and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). "This funding will help thousands of people by upgrading their quality of life when it comes to health and safety," said Hinojosa. "We are still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Dolly, which hit the Rio Grande Valley in 2008 and caused severe wind damage and flooding. This grant award is very much needed and appreciated." According to Wikipedia, Hurricane Dolly – which hit the Valley and deep South Texas in 2008 – was the third most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. in the month of July in recorded history, behind a storm in 1916 and Dennis in 2005. Dolly was also the second most destructive U.S. hurricane in July, behind Dennis. See story later in this posting.

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