Featured: As Dr. Lino García, Jr., Ph.D., approached his 84th birthday in January, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Professor Emeritus of Spanish Literature said change is what keeps him motivated. García has ridden waves of major change in the Rio Grande Valley’s higher education offerings, going back to his college days in the 1960s at Pan American College, to UTRGV and its sprawling distributed-campus university that serves some 28,000 students throughout the Valley and beyond. He started working at Pan American College in 1967 as a Spanish instructor. Fifty years later, he is still teaching with the same enthusiasm for his students and their success. The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.
Photograph By PAUL CHOUY
Featured: The Edinburg Rotary recently honored the top eight students from the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District’s Fine Arts Department during its luncheon meeting at the Echo Hotel in Edinburg. “It’s great that the Rotarians recognize our students from the visual arts, band, choir, orchestra, musical arts, mariachi and theater for their achievements,” Edinburg North High School Band Director Chad Dempsey said. The students’ recognition is part of the Edinburg Rotary’s Student of the Month Program, which highlights two senior students from each high school. “All of these students are going to be highly successful in music or any of the arts that they have done,” Dempsey said. “Their work ethic will carry them way past their high school years.” From left: Edinburg High School senior Keyla Contador; Edinburg High School senior Abraham Vergara; Edinburg North High School senior Maegan Carithers; Edinburg North High School senior Mathew Salinas; Economedes High School senior Alejandra Ibarra; Economedes High School senior César Tovar; Vela High School senior Grace Sexton; and Vela High School senior Miguel López. Miguel “Mike” Farías, Vice President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, also serves as a member of the ECISD Board of Trustees.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR
Featured: Erika Stubberud, left, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Nursing student from Brownsville, and Alejandra Benítez, UTRGV Environmental Science student from Reynosa, Mexico, in front of the UTRGV sign as winter weather brought rare snow to the campus on Friday, December 8, 2017 in Edinburg. Edinburg’s retail economy during the November and December 2017 holiday season – which feature Thanksgiving and Christmas – showed an improvement of 0.51 percent over the same two months of the 2016 holiday season, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.
Photograph By PAUL CHOUY
Featured, from left: Elva Jackson Garza, Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Richard Molina; Julio César Carranza, Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Alex Ríos, Chairman, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; and Jacob De León, Immediate Past Chairman, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. These city leaders were participating in a grand opening of a local business during Fall 2017.
Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
Edinburg’s retail economy in November 2017 showed one of the best improvements among the Valley’s largest cities, generating more than $1.6 million in local sales taxes for that month, an increase of 8.49 percent over November 2016, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The amount of local sales taxes collected helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends. The local sales tax is also used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city. For November 2017, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $1,652,449,46 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,523,109.54 in November 2016, representing an increase of 8.49 percent. In terms of local sales tax revenue for November 2017, McAllen led all major Valley cities with $5,010,846.63, while Brownsville was second ($3,051,584.55), Harlingen was third ($1,922,065.33), and Edinburg was fourth ($1,652,449,46). The sales tax, formally known as the State Sales and Use Tax, is imposed on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services. Texas cities, counties, transit authorities and special purpose districts have the option of imposing an additional local sales tax for a combined total of state and local taxes of 8 1/4% (.0825). he Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of Mayor Richard Molina, Mayor Pro-Tem David Torres, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember Jorge Salinas. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D. as Members.
Featured: The Center for Border Economic Studies (CBEST) of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Friday, January 27, 2017, hosted its Economic Forecast Luncheon at the McAllen Public Library Conference Center. Visitors heard about the research and predicted outcomes of economic development in the area from speakers that included Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, Governor of Tamaulipas, Mexico; Dr. Salvador Contreras, Director of CBEST; Dr. Dennis Jansen, Professor of Economics, Texas A&M University; María D. Juárez-Serna, Director of the UTRGV Small Business Development Center; and Dr. Keith R. Phillips, Assistant Vice President and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, San Antonio Branch. Contreras addressed current and future regional economic activity, including the new, large retailers building in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area that place the MSA among some of the top metros in Texas, including San Antonio and Austin. The luncheon concluded with Gov. García Cabeza de Vaca, who told the crowd, “We can grow juntos (together) more than we can as two,” and encouraged our country to “build bridges, not walls.”
Photograph By SILVER SALAS
While the combined average of cities statewide in December 2016 showed a 0.9 percent decrease, Edinburg recorded a 1.33 percent increase in its retail economy, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. For the month of December 2016, Edinburg’s retail economy – as measured by local sales taxes generated from purchases of eligible goods and services – had the third-best showing among the Valley’s largest cities. That figure is based on sales made in December 2016 by businesses that report tax monthly; October, November and December sales by quarterly filers; and 2016 sales by businesses that report tax annually. The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city. For December 2016, Edinburg’s retail economy generated $2,248,780.54 in local sales taxes, compared with $2,219,178.85 during the same period in 2015, representing the improvement of 1.33 percent, also according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.