McAllen International CarFest 2015

The 5th Annual McAllen International CarFest revs up to open Friday, January 23rd through Sunday, January 25th at the McAllen Convention Center.

Over 300 vehicles will be on display in both Exhibit Halls of the McAllen Convention Center as well as throughout the building and parking lot. The largest car show in south Texas will feature over 60 different categories of vehicles ranging from classic and antique to muscle cars, hot rods and race cars to modern vehicles and more. This year’s celebrity vehicles are the Fast and Furious “Grand National” and Dukes of Hazard “General Lee”. Tickets start at $12 and children under 12 years old are free. There will also be a free concert on Saturday which starts at 4:00 p.m.

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Edinburg is “Out of This World”

UFOs and ETs have taken the City of Edinburg by storm, as the annual “Out of This World!” Conference & Festival was again wildly successful. The conference speakers were Dr. Kevin Randle, Kathleen Marden, Melanie Young, David Bennett Carren, Noe Torres, and Stephen Andrasko.

Edinburg ET

Normally spotted in Presidio, TX, world famous Ebe Gebe sighted in Edinburg, TX.


Special thanks to the City of Edinburg, the Sekula Memorial Library, Edinburg Arts, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, and the Edinburg Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. Extra special thanks to Letty Leija, Imelda Rodriguez, Letty Gonzalez, and all the many others who contributed so much time and effort to the conference.

A date has already been set for the next event, which is August 14 & 15, 2015.

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Workforce Solutions Honored at State Conference and Board of Directors Meeting

Workforce Solutions (WFS) was recognized for outstanding board performance at the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) 18th Annual Texas Workforce Conference held November 19-21 in Grapevine. In total, WFS received four out of five performance awards including Child Care Quality, Workforce Investment Act Adult and Dislocated Worker Training-Related Employment, Workforce Investment Act Youth Preparedness, and Claimant Reemployment – making WFS the most decorated board in the state! The TWC performance awards recognize boards that display increased accountability and improved efficiencies.

“At the Texas Workforce Commission we believe that innovation and partnerships at the local level will maximize our effectiveness and keep Texas on top,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Hope Andrade. “I applaud the collaboration and leadership shown by Workforce Solutions in preparing today’s workforce for current and future opportunities.”

On December 10th, the WFS Board of Directors held its last meeting of the year to review old business, outline ongoing business, and assess new business, including WFS’ recognition by TWC at the annual state conference and the selection of new Board Officers. The 2015 officers voted in by unanimous consent were: Dr. Ricardo ‘Rick’ R. Gonzalez, Chair; Dr. Roy Sheneman, Vice-chair; Dalinda L. Guillen, Treasurer; and Jaime Ortiz, Secretary. The new Board Officers are succeeding: Dalinda L. Guillen, Chair; Dr. Ricardo ‘Rick’ R. Gonzalez, Vice-chair; Jaime Ortiz, Secretary; and Rudy Salinas, Treasurer.

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VIDEO: Brownsville Public Utilities Board Update – Resaca Restoration

The next venue for the Resaca Restoration Project requires some careful coordination and planning before it begins. See why it was necessary to use a crane operator in this week’s BPUB Update.

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Rio Grande Valley Celebrating Veteran’s Day

Salute to All Veterans!

Wednesday, November 11 at 10 am
Ceremony with American Legion Post 93
Chimney Park RV Resort
4224 S Conway – Mission

The public is invited to attend ceremonies honoring our nation’s veterans at The Veterans War Memorial of Texas on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 11 am. Join us at 29th and Galveston in McAllen, TX ( East of the McAllen Convention Center ) as we honor the memory of ALL who have served our great nation in its wars and conflicts to protect our freedom.

Marine Military Academy (MMA) will host its Veterans Day Parade Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. on the MMA Parade Grounds. Veterans from all military branches are encouraged to attend, as they will be honored at the event and asked to join the MMA superintendent for the pass in review. The public is not only welcome to attend but encouraged. MMA is located at 320 Iwo Jima Blvd., off Loop 499 and next to Valley International Airport in Harlingen. For more information on the Veterans Day Parade, call (956) 421-9225.

2nd Annual Mercedes Veterans Day Parade & Event
1000 N Texas Ave. – Mercedes, TX … for more info call 956-970-3745
Veterans Day is the day for all Americans to honor those men and women who have made the sacrifice for our continued freedom; therefore, we wish to recognize their service to our country by hosting this event on Nov. 11, 2014.

5pm .. Parade Texas Ave. to the RGV Livestock Show Grounds
5 – 8:30pm .. Food & Information Booths
5:30pm .. Live Band – “Mercy Town”
6:30pm .. Mercedes ISD Student Performances
7:30pm .. Mascot Race
8pm .. Spectacular Fireworks Show
Please join us as we acknowledge and appreciate our Veterans of the Rio Grande Valley.

Sunshine RV Resort – Harlingen
Veterans Day Flag Raising and Lunch .. $6 .. veterans are free
Flag Raising at 11:30 and Lunch in Recreation Hall
Tickets must be purchased in advance at Activities Office
For more info call 956-425-7448

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Public Rebirth of a Private Business

You’ll find a Walmart store in most American towns and cities. These stores are almost always giant, taking up an average 2.5 football fields worth of space. So what happens when one of them closes? It’s an awful lot of space to just let sit there.

Officials in McAllen, Texas, were faced with this problem when their local Walmart shut down. Instead of letting the giant store sit vacant, they did something amazing. They transformed it into the largest single-floor public library in America.

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One Day in the Lower Rio Grande Valley – Video Archive

Films that Investigate 10 questions about the future of your city

On April 26th, 2014 hundreds of filmmakers, non-profit organizations, and inspired citizens documented stories and investigated 10 questions for the future of The Lower Rio Grande Valley as part of a city-wide, participatory media-creation event. The resulting media will be showcased in an interactive geo-tagged archive and a TV series on the future of the American city. In addition, local media partners will showcase the most powerful and inspiring videos created during the one-day filmmaking event.

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$100 million in New Development for McAllen, Texas

McALLEN – Some $100 million in new restaurants, hotels and stores have opened their doors on McAllen’s southwest side or are planning to soon as the city expands its retail and commercial footprint in the Convention Center-Anzalduas Bridge corridor.

 The Embassy Suites Convention Center Hotel, the McAllen Performing Arts Center, various new shopping centers and unique restaurants – local and chain – such as Kokos, Los Asados, RGV Cupcakes, Blue Onion, Rodizio Grill, Salt Grass Steakhouse, Tilted Kilt, Zoe’s Kitchen and Starbucks among many others have set up shop on the city’s west side. Mostly located along West Expressway 83 (Interstate 2), the new attractions cement McAllen as the region’s restaurant hub and serve booming residential and high-traffic areas.

Development Map


“These tens of millions in investment in McAllen means that locally-owned and national businesses believe that the city is a dynamic, viable place for growth,” Mayor Darling said. “These unique restaurants, stores and hotels add to McAllen’s diverse offerings and keep McAllen as the hub for retail in South Texas and Northern Mexico.”

Mayor Darling added that developing McAllen’s west side has been a longtime strategic goal for the city and not only will grow the retail base, but serve residents in the Sharyland area and visitors using the Anzalduas Bridge corridor.

Mayor Darling and the City Commission, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, and local business leaders applauded the successes of the city’s economic development efforts at a news conference. McAllen has attracted numerous nationally recognized retailers to the southwest side of the city and the area has been distinguished as a hub for economic innovation and growth.

>>> Watch a video on McAllen dynamic retail market:

As the regional leader in retail, McAllen generates about $60 million in annual local sales tax receipts – four times as much as the next busiest city in Hidalgo County. Those funds are leveraged to provide City residents more services and amenities such as new libraries, hike-and-bike trails and street improvement projects.

The new developments demonstrate the appeal of the area, which will soon feature a $20 million, six-story Embassy Suites Hotel. The budding retail developments are also situated near the $45 million McAllen Performing Arts Center that will become another signature facility and host everything from Broadway productions to local recitals.

“Our city has an outstanding set of attributes that appeal to major retailers, and we’re seeing a great response when it comes to new developments. We are laying the groundwork for an even more dynamic year in 2015,” said Rebecca Olaguibel, Retail and Business Development Director for McAllen.

In February, the Simon Property Group broke ground on a $2.1 million project between Best Buy and Barnes & Noble that added another 392,000-square-feet for development. Conveniently located off the highway, all of these retail areas are easily accessible to major roadways, international bridges and McAllen International Airport.

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San Benito P.D. Adopts Online Neighborhood Watch Program

The San Benito Police Department has implemented the Nextdoor program to introduce a virtual neighborhood watch-type initiative to the community.

Nextdoor is a localized social network that lets members of the community create a login — they must confirm their address — and communicate nearby concerns with their neighbors.

Using valid addresses helps to ensure that only those within the community and within their neighborhood can use the website.

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Alamo, Texas and the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge

The City of Alamo is the Gateway to the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. Nature tourists visiting Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge exceed 165,000 per year, with 99,000 of them here to go “birding”.  More than 90% stay three-to-seven nights at local motels and bed and breakfasts. They inject an estimated $34 million per year into Alamo and surrounding communities.

Considered the jewel of the National Wildlife Refuge (NWF) system, Santa Ana is also the most popular and best known wildlife refuge in the Valley.  It’s 2088 acres has nearly 400 species of birds, half of all butterfly species found in North America, and rarities such as the indigo snake and the endangered ocelot.  A butterfly garden is next to the Visitor Center.  During the winter, a 60-passenger tram traverses the refuge three times a day.  A friendly naturalist from the Valley Nature Center leads the hour-long, guided, seven-mile ride.  The refuge is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.  Access is via Alamo Road (FM 907) from Expressway 83 or Business 83.

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