Featured: Leaders gathered in front of the Hidalgo County Courthouse in Edinburg in support of migrant farmworkers from the Rio Grande Valley during the 1966 melon strike that featured a walk from Starr County through Edinburg to Austin seeking better working conditions and pay for workers, which helped ignite the Chicano Movement in Texas.
Photograph Courtesy LA UNÍON DEL PUEBLO ENTERO (LUPE)
Edinburg and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Friday, September 9, 2016, will serve as sites for the 50th anniversary celebration of the 1966 melon strike by Texas farmworkers that resulted in more civil rights for labor and Hispanics, and helped ignite the Chicano Movement in Texas.The event, which is being hosted by the United Farmworkers, will begin at 9 a.m. at the courtyard of the International Trade and Technology Building at the Edinburg university, 1201 West University Drive. At 9:30 a.m., participants will continue with a march to the Edinburg City Hall Courtyard, followed by a program inside the adjacent City Auditorium, located at 415 W. University Drive, beginning at 10 a.m. The announcement of the upcoming celebration came on Tuesday, August 23, 2016, during the public comment portion of the Edinburg City Council meeting at Edinburg City Hall. As part of that news, Mayor Richard García and the City Council – Mayor Pro Tem Richard Molina, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember J.R. Betancourt, and Councilmember David Torres – unanimously approved a city proclamation recognizing the impact and importance of the 1966 melon strike on the Valley and Texas. García also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Mayor and Edinburg City Council.
Featured: Jesús “Jesse” M. Ozuna of Edinburg, and his girlfriend, Rep. Ana Hernández, D-Houston, appearing before the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court in Edinburg on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Ozuna, the Chief Administrator for Hidalgo County Commissioner Precinct 4 Joseph Palacios, was honored for his distinguished service to the region and received well-wishes for his new position, effective in July, as Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs for Mayor Sylvester Turner in the City of Houston.
Photograph By LORENA BALLI
Another local man has made good, helping further promote the image and reality that South Texans always have what it takes to excel in any profession, including in the highly-skilled world of legislative affairs for Houston, which is the nation’s fourth largest city. “We want to make sure you understand we really want to wish you well, we really enjoyed the work you have done for us,” Hidalgo County Judge Ramón García told Ozuna, who since 2012 worked himself up the proverbial ladder of success from being a right-of-way agent to helping lead the 115-member staff for Hidalgo County Commissioner Precinct 4 Joseph Palacios of Edinburg.
Featured: Korean War veteran Antonio “Tony” Muñiz of Falfurrias accepts the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of a grateful nation from Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, during ceremonies held on Monday, May 30, 2016 – Memorial Day – at the Brooks County Courthouse in Falfurrias.
Photograph By ALEX RÍOS
Antonio “Tony” Muñiz was with the 3rd Recon Company, which was attached to the 65th Infantry Regiment – known as The Borinqueneers – during the Korean War. The 65th Infantry Regiment is the first Hispanic Unit and the sole Unit from the Korean War to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. The regiment is also credited with the last battalion-sized bayonet assault in army history. “This award has been bestowed to a very few men, so I am very honored,” said Mr. Muñiz, who served as an Army combat medic. “But I must say the ones who should be honored the most are the ones who died for our freedoms, who made the ultimate sacrifice.” Mr. Muñiz has deep ties to Hidalgo County with three adult children and five grandchildren in Edinburg and McAllen.
Featured, from left: City Councilmember David Torres; City Councilmember Richard Molina; Mayor Richard Garcia; Richard Ruiz, President, RMR Inc., dba Ruiz Sales; Laura S. Ruiz, Accounts Manager, Ruiz Sales; Mayor Pro Tem Homer Jasso, Jr.; and Councilmember J.R. Betancourt, on Tuesday, June 2, at Edinburg City Hall. Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR
Edinburg’s retail economy from January through May 2015 was 6.19 percent better than the same period last year, generating $11,748,113.94 in local sales taxes, compared with $11,062,277.87 from January through May 2014, according to the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. The EEDC, led by Executive Director Agustín “Gus” García, Jr., is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. This latest showing is the second-best – in terms of the rate of improvement – among all of the Valley’s major cities for the first five months of 2015, based on the findings of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, which on Wednesday, July 8, released statewide figures, which represent the most up-to-date data information by that state agency. Among its many duties, the Texas Comptroller’s office is the state’s chief tax collector, accountant, revenue estimator and treasurer. For the month of May 2015, the Edinburg retail economy generated $1,561,948.68 in local sales taxes, up 2.88 percent over the May 2014 showing of $1,518,208.18. Mayor Richard García (no relation to Gus García, Jr.), who is President of the EEDC Board of Directors, explained that 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 used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the EEDC uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city. 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). The sales tax figure represents monthly sales made in May by businesses that report tax monthly, sent to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in June, and returned as sales tax rebates to the respective local government entities in July. The positive growth by the Edinburg economy reflects the importance and impact of family-owned businesses in the community. On Tuesday, June 2, the Edinburg City Council honored one of the many pioneer families whose firms have have succeeded, both as a business and as a leader in community service. Ruiz Sales, distributor of fresh fruits and vegetables, located at 1902 West Canton Road in Edinburg, is the creation and legacy of a family with more than 100 years of experience in that profession. “We specialize in tropical fruits such as mangos and limes, which are available year around from Mexico and South America,” according to its website, http://www.RuizSales.com. “We work with only the best growers and shippers to bring you only the best fruits and vegetables available on the market today.” Richard M. Ruiz and has wife, Laura S. Ruiz, both attended the city council session in early June to receive the city proclamation recognizing their family business. For details of the May 2015 local sales tax figures for all cities, counties, transit systems, and special purpose taxing districts, locate the Monthly Sales Tax Allocation Comparison Summary Reports at the comptroller’s website: http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/allocsum/compsum.html
Robert. S. Nelsen, Ph.D., former President of The University of Texas-Pan American, addressing a gathering at the Student Union Building on Thursday, October 24, 2013.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR
The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees on Wednesday, March 25, appointed former University of Texas-Pan American President Robert. S. Nelsen, Ph.D., as President of California State University, Sacramento (officially known as “Sacramento State”). He will assume leadership of the university in July 2015. “Sacramento State has truly become a destination campus where students receive a transformative educational experience that prepares them for success in the future,” said Nelsen. “The opportunity to work alongside the many dedicated faculty and staff who guide students along that journey and prepare them for achievements beyond the classroom is incredibly exciting.” Nelsen will become the eighth permanent president of Sacramento State and succeeds Alexander González, who will retire at the end of the academic year after 12 years as president. “Dr. Robert Nelsen is an ambitious and visionary leader who will successfully build on the foundation President González has established at Sacramento State,” said CSU Trustee Steve Glazer, chair of the Sacramento State Presidential Search Committee. “He has extensive experience leading a large, diverse university and a long history of always putting students first.” Pedro Reyes, Ph.D., Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the UT System, congratulated Nelsen on the announcement, citing the soon-to-be former UTPA president long-lasting impact in Texas. “Dr. Nelsen served The University of Texas System with great distinction and we will miss his leadership and guidance,” said Reyes. “He embraced the culturally rich environment of the Rio Grande Valley as president of UT Pan American, and his passion and dedication for students and faculty and their success are without comparison.” Nelsen’s importance and influence in Edinburg also was recognized last fall with a proclamation in his honor unanimously approved by the Edinburg City Council. “Jody and I have loved everything about the Rio Grande Valley, and it will be very hard to leave this magical place,” Nelsen said. “But we are excited to embark on a new adventure in California, and we will take all of you with us in our hearts. Somos para siempre familia.”