Category Archives: Government

City of McAllen Hires Finance Director

Sergio Villasana Jr.

Sergio Villasana Jr. as the new director of finance for the City of McAllen. The Rio Grande Valley native has six years of experience in municipal work. His most recent service includes deputy finance director for the City of Harlingen. Villasana has a broad range of expertise in finance. This includes both serving as the assistant auditor for Cameron County and owning his own public accounting firm. “The City of…

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Development Makes the RGV Prosperous

Eighty years ago, the Rio Grande Valley was a rural, agriculturally based economy with little growth happening. Fast forward to 10 years ago, and the RGV was quickly becoming a thriving metropolitan area as development intensified. Today, the region has completely transformed economically. It has become an area developed by improving and increasing commercial, retail, industrial, entertainment, medical and higher education institutions.  Education In 2013, the transformation of the RGV’s…

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Second Chance Leads to Careers

Students stand by one of their instructors in the welding shop at the Bayview center.

AMIkids Rio Grande Valley is a one-of-a-kind program rehabilitating young felons. At the same time, it gives them the chance to become certified welders. The program has been in operation in eastern Cameron County for quite some time. AMIkids Rio Grande Valley is the only one in the Lone Star State and one of 44 AMIkids programs nationally. The organization works with at-risk youngsters ages 15 through 18. With roots in…

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It Truly Takes a Community to Inspire Students

Judge JoAnne Garcia presides over the Hidalgo County Probate Court. When she was asked to serve on the PSJA ISD Pre-Law Institute Advisory Board, she readily agreed.  As she looks back on its first year, she identifies three aspects of the Institute that stand out for her. “Number one,” Garcia said, “is it’s a great opportunity for the kids, at a minimum, to be exposed to professionals in the legal…

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Regional Unification Expects Greatness

RGV MPO

The decades of political sparring among Rio Grande Valley cities in competing for federal and state funds – and recognition – has long been a source of anguish as to why local leaders could not put aside individual wishes for the greater good. “We’re a unique area in that we don’t have one city that overwhelms all the others in the region,” said Ron Garza, the executive director of the…

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PSJA ISD: Pre-Law Institute Pioneers

PSJA ISD Pre-Law Institute students have the opportunity to ask their law mentors questions about the practice of law. (photo PSJA ISD)

PSJA ISD has emerged as a visionary district, home to four specialized “schools” (much like “colleges” in a university system) offering certificates or associate’s degrees in specialties ranging from cybersecurity and graphic arts to biology and basic firefighter technology. Last year, PSJA’s college-readiness vision went though an expansion with the launching of the PSJA Pre-Law Institute. “The vision is to make a legal education attainable to all students in PSJA…

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Local Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available

disaster unemployment

The Texas Workforce Commission is accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance as a result of severe storms and flooding. Under Presidential Disaster Declaration (FEMA 4454-DR), workers who lost their jobs and self-employed individuals who have been unable to work due to damage sustained from flooding may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits. Individuals affected by the recent severe storms and flooding in Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy Counties can apply…

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State Association Recognizes HIDTA Agents

Two agents of the Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office – High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force have top honors from the Texas Narcotic Officers Association. HIDTA Commander Juan Pablo Sifuentes is “Supervisor of the Year” and Agent Genovevo “Geno” Martinez III “Narcotic Officer of the Year” for the TNOA South Region. Both will receive recognition at the organization’s annual conference Aug. 19-22 in South Padre Island. Hidalgo County Criminal District…

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Preservation Awards Nominations Enter Final Days

(photo THC)

Only 10 days remain to nominate an individual or organization for their contributions to preserving Texas’ heritage. The Texas Historical Commission offers awards to recognize both worthy accomplishments and exemplary leadership in preserving Texas history. The deadline for submissions for the 2019 THC Preservation Awards is July 12. The THC is accepting nominations for the following historic preservation awards Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation John L. Nau III Award of Excellence…

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McAllen Communications Wins State Awards

The City of McAllen Office of Communications is the recipient of three TAMI Award of Excellence. The announcement came at the annual Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers conference held recently in Denton. TAMIO is a division of the Texas Municipal League. The three awards are for: Communications Planning for the 2018 Bond Election Best Media Relations for the 2017 McAllen Holiday Parade Best Use of Unplanned Social Media for…

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