Select Page

Border Wall to be discussed at April 15 forum sponsored by UT-Pan American, Texas Border Coalition

High school students Melissa Castaño of Edinburg, featured center, and Atanacio Gómez of Eagle Pass were named Students of the Year on Monday, March 31 by the Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program at The University of Texas at Austin. Castaño, a senior at Johnny G. Economedes High School, is the oldest child of Ricardo and María del Jesús Castaño. She ranks 13th in a class of 537 students and is the highest-ranked migrant student in her school. “She is a student who has a quiet demeanor and who excels in all her classes because she happens to be a very intelligent young lady,” said Castaño’s migrant counselor, Diana Alejos. “My ideal is to change a life and assist the people in my community,” Castaño said. See story later in this posting.

••••••

Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster, chairman of the Texas Border Coalition, is among the key Texas border leaders scheduled to be in Edinburg on Tuesday, April 15, from 10:30 to noon, for a forum on the controversial planned Border Wall. The session, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the University of Texas-Pan American in the Student Theatre, located in the Student Union Building on campus. “We hope that this event contributes to UTPA’s standing as a national resource for the study of Latin America and its borders with the United States,” said Dr. Glenn A. Martínez, associate professor of modern languages and literature, who also serves on the board of directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. For more information on the forum, contact the Office of International Programs at 956/381-3572. See lead story later in this posting.

••••••

The Edinburg CISD School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) will host its seventh annual ECISD Wellness Fair at the Harwell Middle School Gym on Thursday, April 10 from 6 – 8 p.m., announced Albert López, RN, Coordinator of Health Services. Harwell MS is located at 801 E. Canton Road. The wellness fair will feature various health-related entities from throughout the community as well as a food show sponsored by the ECISD Child Nutrition Department and a Physical Education Showcase by eight elementary schools. The SHAC is a state-mandated council made up of community members, parents and school district staff. The purpose of the SHAC is to address issues that deal with health, nutrition and a safe school environment with the intent to reflect the values of the community. Membership on the health advisory council is approved by the local school board every school year. For more information on the wellness fair, contact the ECISD Health Services office at 289-2300. Edinburg CISD School Health Advisory Council members (left to right) Mike Castillo, parent member; Esther López, Physical Education teacher; Albert López, RN, Coordinator of Health Services; and Dalia Fellows, parent member, plan for the health fair at the Harwell Middle School Gym. Not pictured are Mary DeLuna, director of Child Nutrition; Leo Reyes, PE teacher; and Iris Pérez, ECISD Dietitian.

••••••

The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce has revamped its web page presence on the Internet, thanks to a “virtual face lift” and brand new web page designed by Web Magik. The domain and web address will remain the same at http://www.edinburg.com and will continue to update the community on the local chamber’s news, including ground breakings, ribbon cuttings, seminars, event/meeting dates and more. The user friendly website includes an updated calendar, membership listing, photos, and news involving chamber and city events in which the chamber partners with other entities on such events as Texas Cook’em: High Steaks in Edinburg, set for July 4. The website was unveiled on March 31 at the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting held at the depot. If you would like more information on chamber events and news please call 956-383-4974, or log onto http://www.edinburg.com. Featured in this portrait are some of the active members of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, including, standing, from left: Abel J. Leal, Tiffany Gómez, Naomi Perales, Dalia Arce, Dr. Walt Green, Flo Prater, Ian Ochoa, Dina Araguz, Alicia Campos, Aaron Ramírez, Holly Martin, Frank Lara, and Marie García; and seated, from left: Gisela Hughes, Paulina Solis, Elva J. Garza, Jeannie Sandoval, and Eva Rodríguez.

••••••

South Texas is making its mark in the realm of online media. PodCamp San Antonio Numero Dos is scheduled for May 3, 2008 at El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel. PodCamp San Antonio is an event that attracts online media stars and producers from throughout the state, and has a global audience. Technology events like PodCamp San Antonio Numero Dos have typically been held in cities like Austin, Houston, or Dallas; but they never specialized in podcasting. According to http://www.podcasting-tools.com, podcasting is quickly becoming a buzz word among the techie crowd. So what is podcasting, anyway? Podcasting is online audio content that is delivered via an RSS feed. Many people liken podcasting to radio on demand. However, in reality, podcasting gives far more options in terms of content and programming than radio does. In addition, with podcasting, listeners can determine the time and the place, meaning they decide what programming they want to receive and when they want to listen to it. Listeners can retain audio archives to listen to at their leisure. While blogs have turned many bloggers into journalists, podcasting has the potential to turn podcasters into radio personalities. Key organizers for PodCamp San Antonio Numero Dos are featured here, from left: Richard Galvan, Shaine Mata, Jennifer Navarrete, Michael De Leon, and Lans Hobart. See story later in this posting.

••••••

Kenneth I. Shine, M.D., executive vice chancellor for health affairs at The University of Texas System, was appointed interim chancellor of the UT System on Tuesday, April 1, by Regents’ Chairman H. Scott Caven, Jr. The appointment is effective May 1. Shine, a world-renowned cardiologist and physiologist with outstanding academic and medical credentials, will succeed UT System Chancellor Mark G. Yudof, who last week was named the president of the University of California system. See story later in this posting.

•••••• (more…)

Judge Susan Criss files for Texas Supreme Court, says she will bring diversity, justice for all Texans

backinthesaddle.jpg

Former Hidalgo County Judge Ramón García takes his oath of office on Thursday, December 13, to become the newest member of the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority, which met in Weslaco. “While I was county judge (2003-2006), I quickly realized that there are two very important issues that need to be addressed in this county: one was transportation, the other was drainage, not necessarily in that order,” he recalled. “To be able to serve on a board that I consider to be a meaningful board, I welcome that opportunity.” His oath of office was administered by Justice of the Peace Luis Garza of Mission. See story later in this posting.

••••••

stcaccounting.jpg

South Texas College has earned a financial reporting award from North American government group for fourth consecutive year. From left are Rubén Moreno, CPA and partner with Long Chilton, LLP of McAllen; Diana Peña, vice president for finance and administrative services for STC; Irene García, chair of the South Texas College Board of Trustees; and Mary Elizondo, STC Business Office comptroller. See story later in this posting.

••••••

texasstyle.jpg

Rep. Juan García, III, D-Corpus Christi, featured center at the front podium of the House of Representatives last January in this file photo, is calling on a Texas to play a bigger role in deciding who the nominees will be for president. ” Last April I was part of an overwhelming majority of the State House of Representatives who voted to move our primary to the first Tuesday in February, giving Texans a say in who our next President will be,” García said. “However, the measure died in the Senate, with members arguing that the change would create a burden on election officials, who would have to conform to new dates (registration deadlines, sending new registration cards, filing dates for candidates, etc.), several of which would fall over the holidays.” García elaborates on his thoughts in his essay, featured later in this posting.

•••••• (more…)

El legado familiar del juez Susan Criss incluye abolir “esclavitud” de trabajadores agrícola

eddiesaenz.jpg

Eddie Sáenz of Edinburg addresses several hundred voters on Thursday, October 25, during his campaign kick-off for state representative, House District 40, which includes all but southwest Edinburg, La Joya and Sullivan City in western Hidalgo County, Edcouch, Elsa, La Villa, and San Carlos in eastern Hidalgo County, and northern Hidalgo County. Sáenz, a Democrat, is portraying incumbent Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, as loyal to the Republican Party, criticizing Peña for helping keep a Republican in power as Texas Speaker of the House. “Our great state senators and South Texas representatives need a partner working with them in Austin. We need to elect a Speaker who is for everyone,” Sáenz said. “That is why I am committing to stand with the Democratic Caucus, and support a Democrat for Speaker that we can all stand behind.” See story later in this posting.

••••••

luciohonored.jpg

Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT) President Chris McGill and CLEAT Political Director Charley Wilkison presented Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, featured right, with the Senator of the Year 2007 award at CLEATS 31st annual convention held October 6 in Brownsville. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Lucio pushed for an increase of $369.4 million in funds for the incarceration and treatment of adult felons. He also helped secure $108 million for border security operations, including funding for local law enforcement surge operations, joint operation and intelligence centers, a border security operation center, additional Department of Public Safety troopers and more aviation support. See story later in this posting.

•••••

thesocialclub.jpg

A portion of the program cover for the November 15 Tejano Walk of Fame scholarship fundraiser provides a colorful preview for the event, to be hosted by The Social Club, an upscale restaurant located at 205 Conquest Boulevard in Edinburg. Hundreds of fans of the latest inductees of the Tejano Walk of Fame will be able to see their favorite musicians – at no charge – during the public portion of the popular event, which will be held outside The Social Club from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. See story later in this posting.

•••••

pillars.jpg

An exhibit titled “Pillars of Success” featuring the photos and success stories of five distinguished alumni of The University of Texas-Pan American opened at the University’s Visitors Center on October 11. Pictured from left are new UTPA “Pillars of Success” honorees Arturo E. Guerra Jr., Roberto Pulido, Dr. Marla M. Guerra, and Lucious “Luke” Jackson Jr. Not pictured is Major General William F. Garrison, who was unable to attend the Pillars exhibit opening. See story later in this posting.

•••••• (more…)

County Judge Salinas applauds Gov. Richardson’s promise to bring down planned U.S. border wall

tbcally.jpg

Hidalgo County Judge J.D. Salinas,III, standing, and Pat Townsend Jr., president and CEO of the Mission Economic Development Agency, featured here on Thursday, July 5 in Edinburg, discussed progress on efforts by the Texas Border Coalition to continue rallying opposition against the planned U.S. border wall, set to be built in 2008 and to be located along the U.S.-Mexico border, including in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. On June 30, Democratic presidential candidate and current New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson voiced his strong opposition to the planned wall, a view shared by TBC. Salinas and Townsend are members of TBC, an alliance of elected leaders and economic development officials representing more than two million residents who live in the 11 Texas counties that border Mexico. See story later in this posting.

••••••

edinburgworkforcesummit.jpg

Ramiro Garza, Jr., standing, the executive director of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, led a roundtable discussion on Thursday, July 5, during a workforce summit held at the University of Texas-Pan American. The gathering, held in the University Ballroom, served as a preparation for a major conference, to be held August 8 at the McAllen Convention Center. More than 150 area leaders participated in the preliminary summit, entitled “Building Future Talent,” where they developed strategies for helping Hidalgo County residents acquire the education and skills needed to effectively compete in a global economy. See story later in this posting.

••••••

stcstudents.jpg

South Texas College and The University of Texas-Pan American are expanding their partnership allowing for seamless transfer opportunities for liberal arts students. Some of the students planning to take advantage of the new agreement include, from left: Marisol Hernández, class of 2007; Michelle Escamilla, class of 2009; and Micah Mullins, class of 2007, study social work at STC, who plan to transfer to UT-Pan American upon graduation. See story later in this posting.

(more…)

In anticipation of possible Democratic challenge, Rep. Peña defends working with GOP leadership

partypolitics.jpg

Most of the Valley legislative delegation, along with McAllen Mayor Richard Cortéz, surprised Rep. Verónica Gonzáles, D-McAllen, by congratulating her on her birthday in McAllen on Tuesday, June 19. The lawmakers, who were featured speakers during a legislative wrap-up luncheon sponsored by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, along with Cortéz and a full house in the audience, sang Happy Birthday to Gonzáles, who is the first woman state representative in the history of Hidalgo County. Featured, from left, are Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville; Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg; Rep. Armando “Mando” Martínez, D-Weslaco; Cortéz; Rep. Ismael “Kino” Flores, D-Palmview; Gonzáles, whose legislative district includes southwest Edinburg; Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen; and Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City. The issue of party politics, including the controversial support by some Valley Democrats for Speaker of the House Tom Craddick, a Republican, was one of the highlights of the event. See story later in this posting.

••••••

edinburgbusinessseminar.jpg

The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, WorkForce Solutions, and the Small Business Development Center organized a Business Development Seminar for Wednesday, June 27 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Depot, located on 602 W. University Drive in Edinburg. This is a free event organized for the community that will include topics on the following: on-the-job training; work experience program; work opportunity tax credit; OSHA training; business loans; market research; and business procurement. More information is available by calling 956-383-4974. This event is being made possible by Austin Personnel Services. Promoting the event are, from left: Haitham Alhaddad, Small Business Development Center; Johnny Rodríguez: Austin Personnel Services; Melissa Rodríguez, Austin Personnel Services; Nancy Reed, Texas Workforce Solutions; Javier Martínez III, Small Business Development Center; Leticia Reyes, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; and Frank Lara, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce

•••••

stcgrants.jpg

State and South Texas College leaders on Friday, June 22, participated in a ceremony announcing two major grants from the Texas Workforce Commission, which was represented at the event by Diane Rath, chair of the TWC. “We are overwhelmed by the continued support we receive from TWC,” said Wanda Garza, executive officer for Workforce Development and External Affairs for STC. “It is clear that the leadership of TWC understands our mission and vision. They have consistently stepped up to the plate to find ways to assist STC’s efforts in building a better workforce for the Rio Grande Valley.” Featured, from left, at the ceremony, which was held at Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco, are Rath; Al Serrano, market manager for Wal-Mart-McAllen District; James A. Summersett III, president and CEO of Knapp Medical Center; Sam Díaz, human resources director for Convergys; Garza; Rep. Armando “Mando” Martínez; and Dr. Shirley A. Reed, president of South Texas College. Also present at the event, but not shown in this photograph, were Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville; Manuel López Delgado, Consulado de México; Janie Oliváres, chief operations officer for the Center of Industrial Rehab Services; María Elena Sánchez, director of special projects for Starr County Memorial Hospital; and Bonnie González, chief operations officer for Workforce Solutions. See story later in this posting.

•••••• (more…)