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Sen. Hinojosa, County Judge Salinas seek emergency help for storm victims in western Hidalgo County

On Saturday, May 10, 40 more students celebrated their graduation from South Texas College’s Bachelor Program. This marks the second class of graduates to earn a Bachelor of Applied Technology in Technology Management from the college since the program began in 2005. Through the program, graduates are prepared for a variety of career opportunities, including office management, paralegal management, plant supervisor, loan officer and supply chain management. Some of the members of this exclusive group are featured here. Sitting, from left: Dr. Shirley A. Reed, STC president; Juan E. Mejia, STC vice president of Academic Affairs; Yvette González; Mary J. Sustaita; María E. Cantú; Rosalba Ramírez; and Damaris Aguirre. Standing, from left: Yvonne Gutiérrez, Dustin Tichnell; Edna Marines; Adolfo Miranda; Mónica Garza; Gil Cisneros; María Ozuna; Richard García; Juan Segura; Johnny Valladarez; Sonia Elizondo and Mónica Jiménez. See story later in this posting.


South Texas College is one of only three colleges in the state accredited to offer bachelor’s degrees and is the only college in the state to offer two bachelor’s degree options. In addition to its Bachelor of Applied Technology in Technology Management, the college was accredited to begin offering a Bachelor of Applied Technology in Computer and Information Technologies in spring 2008. Some of the 40 graduates from the groundbreaking academic program are featured here. Sitting, from left: Ricardo Garza; San Juanita Cuevas; Noriselda García; Diana Vittitoe; Elvira Alonzo; and Dr. Ali Esmaeili, STC associate dean of Bachelor Programs. Standing, from left: Alta Alaniz; Erica Villarreal; Isaac Sánchez; Sergio Cardoza; Arturo Flores; Daniel Cortéz; Lillian Silva Flores of Edinburg; Benjamin Arjona of Edinburg; Angélica Cantú; and Carlos Leal of Edinburg. See story later in this posting.


The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College on Friday, May 9, honored Dr. Rubén Gallegos (featured right), a former superintendent with the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District, as one of this year’s two Distinguished Alumnus. Gallegos is executive director of International Educational Services, an agency that provides children of illegal immigrants who have been arrested a basic education as they await deportation or reunification. See story later in this posting.


HEB and Inter National Bank are new sponsors for the third annual Texas Cook ‘Em: High Steaks in Edinburg, a nationally-recognized competition coordinated by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, and the City of Edinburg, and held on July 4 at Edinburg Municipal Park. Featured, from left, are: Evana Vleck, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director; Rey Garza, HEB Unit Director; Cris Torres, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Chairman; Letty Reyes, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Project Manager; and Bobby Rodríguez, HEB Store Director. See story later in this posting.

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The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley to herald economic, cultural renaissance for Edinburg


Area leaders on Thursday, August 2, participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for The Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley, arguably the most important private investment in the three-time All-America City in history. When it is opens in the fall of 2008, the 80-store complex will provide one of the most unique shopping experiences in Texas, and generate a $90 million economic impact for the city and surrounding region. Local leaders participating in the event included: Mayor Joe Ochoa; former Mayor Richard García, who serves as president of the board of directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg; Hidalgo County Judge J.D. Salinas; Mayor Pro Tem Alma Garza; Councilmember Noe Garza; Councilmember Gene Espinosa; and Hidalgo County Commissioner Hector “Tito” Palacios. See story later in this posting.



Rep. Verónica Gonzáles, D-McAllen, featured here second from right with some of her legislative staff in Edinburg, has almost $50,000 in her campaign treasury for her reelection bid in 2008 for a third two-year term, according to her latest campaign finance report. Gonzáles will be facing at least one challenger – Javier Villalobos, also of McAllen, who will be running for the Republican nomination. Both parties will hold their primaries in March 2008, with the general election in November 2008. Gonzáles represents House District 41, which includes southwest Edinburg. Shown here with Gonzáles are, from left: Ricardo López-Guerra, chief of staff and campaign manager; Stephanie Ozuna, legislative intern; Gonzáles; and Edna Dougherty, constituent services liaison. See story later in this posting.



The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation is helping sponsor the 2nd Annual Jewels of the Valley seminar in McAllen on August 28. Topics will include issues of importance to women who are in business or considering starting a business. Attendees will come face-to-face with over 25 exhibitors and will have the opportunity to participate in a 10-minute networking session. Featured are members of the planning committee for the 2nd Annual Jewels of the Valley are front, from left: Dora Ramírez, Maggie Jiménez, Time Warner Cable; Fatima García, McAllen Convention Center; Rosie Delgado, Southwest Community Investment Corporation; Desiree Méndez-Caltzontzint, Office of Congressman Rubén Hinojosa; Rosalinda Kiger, SCORE; back, from left: Osvaldo Cardoza, Southwest Community Investment Corp.; Elizabeth C. Martínez, The Business Times of the Rio Grande Valley; Gracie Guillen, Small Business Administration; and Juan Gómez, Time Warner Cable. See story later in this posting.



On Wednesday, August 8, an organization led by former Hidalgo County Judge Ramón García and the McAllen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will meet in McAllen to lay out possible strategies to block the planned creation of a high-security border fence – the so-called “Border Wall” – favored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Shown making plans for the discussion session are seated left to right: Brenda Lee Huerta, MHCC Chair, and Cynthia M. Sakulenzki, MHCC president/CEO. Back row are Diana González, Vice Chair of Education; former Hidalgo County Judge and attorney Ramón García; Hari Namboodiri, Chair Elect; and Verónica Vela, Vice Chair of Women’s Issues. See story later in this posting.