Author Archives: VBR

Pharr Breaks Natatorium Ground

Pharr officials ceremoniously turn the dirt for the Pharr Natatorium groundbreaking.

Amid a crowd of enthusiastic swimming athletes, community members, and elected officials, the City of Pharr broke ground on the Pharr Natatorium Sept. 27. The Pharr Natatorium is a years-in-the-making project in partnership with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District. “My son is an avid swimmer and my wife and I have had the privilege of cheering him on during many competitions,” said Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez.…

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McAllen School Honored as Blue Ribbon

Sam Houston Elementary Principal Debra Thomas holds up a blue ribbon emblem as students celebrate in the background. Sam Houston is one of just 26 schools in the state to earn a national Blue Ribbon award.

McAllen ISD’s Sam Houston Elementary is now a national Blue Ribbon School. The announcement came Sept. 26 with recognition of 362 school nationally by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019. Only 26 schools in Texas were nominated for the prestigious Blue Ribbon. Houston was nominated as an Exemplary High-Performing School in January. It then became official with this announcement. “This is like winning the…

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Keep McAllen Beautiful Call for Artists

Keep McAllen Beautiful irrigation pipes artwork by Manuel Robledo, Cristina Pechero, Concepcion Flores and Alejandra Leal.

Keep McAllen Beautiful is working to give public art a stronger presence in the city. The organization is seeking local design concepts that would painted on irrigation pipes. Submissions should promote the Rio Grande Valley natural landscape, ecology, species and heritage. The submission deadline is Oct. 25. Location of the pipes is along the City of McAllen’s hike and bike trails along Bicentennial Boulevard and 2nd Street, According to Chris Lash, program coordinator for…

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Hidalgo Receives Recognition for Health Efforts

Health and Human Services Chief Administrative Officer Eduardo Olivarez, Commissioners Court, and Health Department Public Health Education Coordinator Ricardo Salinas, holding the county's Gold recognition.

Hidalgo County’s Health and Human Services department has received state recognition in the form of a Gold Award. The award comes from the Texas Healthy Communities Program for efforts to reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke, as well as other chronic diseases in the county. “This award is a direct result of collaborative efforts of a workgroup coordinated by Ricardo Salinas,” said Eduardo “Eddie” Olivarez. Olivarez serves as Health and Human Services…

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Pharr Hosts First Responders Festival

Pharr First Responders Festival

To honor and celebrate the lives and dedication of first responders, the City of Pharr is hosting the inaugural First Responders Festival Sept. 28. Families may attend this free event from 6-11 p.m. in Downtown Pharr (118 S. Cage Blvd.) to learn more about first responders, safety tips and life-saving resources. “Our first responders are crucial to saving lives and are always the first to arrive on the scene during an…

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Brownsville Names Engineering & Public Works Director 

Armando Gutierrez Jr.

Armando Gutierrez Jr. is now the Engineering & Public Works director of the City of Brownsville. Gutierrez oversees the department to implement systems, operational plans and policies to improve city services by efficiently and effectively allocating resources. The Engineering & Public Works Department aims to execute capital projects for improvements to city infrastructure. There is an emphasis on streets and drainage. Gutierrez was most recently the director of Public Works for…

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McAllen ISD Hosts College Night

College Night

The annual McAllen ISD College Night event takes place Sept. 23 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the McAllen Convention Center. More than 60 universities will be representing their institutions of higher education. They will provide students and parents with admissions information as well as address individual questions. Local scholarship associations will be available to disseminate scholarship information. University alumni will also be available to share their individual college experiences. Financial aid…

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McAllen ISD Hosts Dyslexia Conference

The McAllen ISD inaugural Dyslexia Conference takes place Oct. 19 at McAllen High School. Here, parents can increase their knowledge about dyslexia while also learning strategies for home and school. The free event takes place from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. McAllen High is at 2021 La Vista Ave. Dyslexia, also known as reading disorder, is characterized by trouble with reading despite normal intelligence. Dyslexia affects different people in varying degrees.…

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SBA Funds to Expand Small Business Exporting

STEP

The Texas Department of Agriculture is the recipient of a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to support export growth among small businesses. The funds come through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program. “STEP is a great example of a true export development and promotion tool for preparing U.S. small businesses for international opportunities,” said District Director Angela Burton. “STEP grant awardees will offer the resources to help small businesses…

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ECO-RIO Builds Student STEAM Skills

Danny Conner and his live reptiles are among the many educational entertainers at ECO-RIO.

The largest environmental educational event in South Texas, ECO-RIO, takes place this weekend at Fiesta De Palmas. From Sept. 21-22, students 12 and under can build STEAM skills for free. The Science-Technology-Engineering-Art-Math event also builds environmental leadership.  Since nature education takes many forms, ECO-RIO features more than 40 educational booths. Students will have opportunities to see live animal ambassadors up-close. Many educational entertainers will be on hand including Sky King Falconry, Contacto…

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